Wolf Fields Bee Project
We’ve been beekeeping at our urban nature reserve, Wolf Fields, for over three years now, which has been both inspiring and challenging. In the last year, we’ve faced major challenges in the form of stress caused to our resident bees by the Beast from the East, followed by a Wax Moth infestation, which, sadly, wiped them out entirely. The task began to get a new queen and restore our hive.
We have now had the good fortune to connect with local Master Beekeeper Karen Mann, who has generously decided to work in tandem with us on a volunteer basis to clean up and prepare for a new swarm next spring.
Having an expert beekeeper at hand has been invaluable, not only for A Rocha UK, but also for some of our local partner schools in Southall. Wolf Fields Primary School called us to say that they had a ... Read more...
The deal is on the table. After many months of wrangling, negotiations, political grandstanding and questionable assertions on all sides, the 586-page Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union has been published. And it offers more to those of us who care about the environment than we’d necessarily allowed ourselves to hope.
Importantly, the draft agreement commits the UK to continuing to respect the environmental principles recognised within the EU (known as the precautionary principle, the preventative principle, rectifying environmental damage at source and the “polluter pays” principle). Just as importantly, the draft agreement commits the UK to “non-regression”—we must ensure that the level of environmental protection provided by law is not reduced below the level provided within the EU.
Given that much of our current environmental protection legislation is currently determined by the EU, this is reassuring.
So what’s the ... Read more...
On 7th October, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change launched a special report on limiting global warming to just 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial average temperature (the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement).
Its message was stark, but with hope. If we don’t reduce our carbon emissions rapidly we are on course for a very dangerous 2-degree temperature rise by the end of the century – spelling higher sea level rise, droughts and floods, drops in food production, mass migration, and faster species extinction.
The good news is that if we can keep temperature rises to 1.5 degrees it would be ‘manageable’. The solutions are out there; the report points to the need for action particularly in energy (getting off fossil fuel), land use (reforesting was one example), and curbing greenhouse gas emissions from industry and cities, including electrifying transport.
But ... Read more...
In September, A Rocha staff and supporters joined a crowd of thousands on Chris Packham’s People’s Walk for Wildlife. The march in central London celebrated the fabulous wildlife we have in this country and called for people to join together to protect and restore it.
It was a typically English day, complete with drizzle, but thousands of people turned out nonetheless, cheering and playing birdsong through their phones, demonstrating that there is a real appetite in this country to see nature protected and restored. The difficult truth, however, is that the goodwill and fun of the march needs to be followed up by urgent action, in our homes and in our politics, to halt the decline of nature in these isles.
On this, as in so many of the great issues of our time, the church has a key role to play. In the ... Read more...
No, not an old song by The Drifters; at Foxearth Meadows nature reserve, we have a new boardwalk! This is an exciting development, as it opens up the public footpath across the site, which has previously flooded in winter. It will now be open year-round, enabling visitors to get much closer to the different habitats on the site without disturbing the wildlife.
The boardwalk was planned and designed by our Foxearth Meadows Ranger, Mark Prina, and part-funded by Essex County Council, whose contractors performed the installation.
The boardwalk is made of recycled plastic, meaning less plastic being lost into our rivers and oceans. The plastic will last much longer than wood and doesn’t leach chemicals into the soil.
Passing through an area of tall vegetation, the boardwalk will offer visitors an up-close-and-personal view of the fantastic diversity on the Foxearth Meadows reserve. Keep your eyes ... Read more...