30 days wild: day 3-cook in the sunshine

This morning wasn’t massively wild. We went to nursery for a craft fair. We won some cereal bars (not the most exciting prize) on the tombola and bought some nice wildlife cards.

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Then had a tea and scone at one of the local churches coffee mornings. They had a band playing and it was rather jolly. Alice got a bit bored though, so took her walking on the grass at the back of the church. She did enjoy her digestive biscuit from the church. Took the better part of an hour to finish it though.

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The afternoon fitted in a bit more wild activities. I keep well topped up bird feeders, but being 30 days time I thought I’d spoil them, so they’ve got the full range of options on the front and back garden feeders.

After Alice had her nap she joined me in the garden complete with her new explorer hat. We had bought her a watering can of her own a few days back, but hadn’t given it to her yet. She knew what to do with it straight away. She’s obviously watched me well. Didn’t give her any water yet though as didn’t fancy changing her just before tea.

I also added to the gardens wildlife provision planting the free seed mix that came with the 30 days pack and some night scented stock. It’s loved by moths apparently.

We finished off with tea on our new barbecue ticking the wild act food in the sunshine. Alice was a bit fractious though and wailed throughout taking some of the enjoyment away. Then she smeared beans on her new hat. Good job it looks like it’s easy to clean.

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Then managed a quick wild act while putting Alice to bed. The RSPB have an online petition placing nature on the agenda for the election. Only takes a minute to do if you feel inclined.

link

Now we’ve got an evening ahead of chilling watching fantastic beasts and where to find them. A rare night as parents we are going to try and sit down and watch a movie. I’ll leave this blog with a picture of my previously mentioned poppies that we’re looking nice today and a Bee enjoying a cornflower.

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Oldhouseintheshires

Stop the culls

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165672

 

The news came yesterday that the government plans to continue and extend the badger culls into new counties. They have already taken place in Somerset and Gloucestershire since 2013 and in Dorset last year. The aim of the culls is to tackle bovine TB. Bovine TB is a serious issue for cattle farmers it affects thousands of farms and tens of thousands of cattle are culled each year as a result of it. There is a push to develop and approve vaccines for Bovine TB to vaccinate badgers and the cattle. However due to the expense and time this will take the culling option has been put forward as the main way of tackling the problem.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37220043

So the culls have been going ahead which so far has been a very costly procedure.

A quick look at the figures:

2015 round of badger culling

Licensed culls in West Somerset, West Gloucestershire and Dorset

1,467

badgers culled in 2015

£1,779,000

total “badger control costs” for the year

  • £1,212.68 equivalent per badger culled
  • 743 badgers culled by “controlled shooting”
  • 724 badgers culled by cage trapping

Media coverage of the demise of climate

The removal of the climate change department by Theresa May potentially marks a big setback for tackling climate change. The department has been brought into a bigger department responsible for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The conservatives claim this will allow further progress to be made in tackling climate change. I would love to believe this, but given the lack of progress in the party that promised the greenest government ever (David Cameron “lets kill the green crap) I just don’t believe them. Business interests and protecting the environment have rarely gone hand in hand. To me the removal the department marks the conservatives downgrading the status of the issue of climate change. Thus why I am petitioning to restore the climate change department.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/161489

In this blog I am listing some of the press coverage of the decision to scrap the department to give people further context to decide whether to sign or not. If moved to sign, please share on facebook and twitter and with anyone else you think might care.

Press coverage

The Guardian-Abolition of Decc ‘major setback for UK’s climate change efforts’ (15.7.16)

The independent-Climate change department closed by Theresa May in ‘plain stupid’ and ‘deeply worrying’ move (14.6.16)

The Independent-Killing the climate change department could be Theresa May’s first and biggest mistake

The Huffington Post-Theresa May ‘Stupid’ To Abolish Department Of Energy And Climate Change

Nature World News

Inhabit

The Express-Department of Energy and Climate Change scrapped as Greg Clark heads up new role

Environment analyst

No ice, no polar bears

An update on petition to parliament. The petition has received more than its necessary support to know go to the approval stage. To do this it must meet the standards, but I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t. It reached the required number on Saturday, then it can take up to a week to go live on the site. When it does please share the petition, tweet about, blog, whatever you can do to help as it is an important issue. I don’t expect the government to necessarily change its decision, but I do want to show disgust at the decision and flag to the other parties that the environment should be on their agendas. During the Brexit debates the remain parties campaign was rather limp. The efforts from GPO’s to represent the environmental concerns were not massive. So now we are left in a position where the positive steps undertaken for the environment may be undone. EU environmental policies were far from perfect, but the conservatives left unchecked will destroy what little we have left. So now more than ever is a time for individuals to make their voices heard. Please support my petition when it goes live to send a message that climate matters. If you want to follow on twitter look for @jobasha

The campaign I am doing under the hashtag #climatematters

Standards for petitions

We’ll only reject your petition if it’s:

  • not clear what you’re asking for
  • about something that the UK Government or Parliament is not responsible for
  • about something that’s the responsibility of a devolved body (eg the Scottish Parliament)
  • about a purely personal issue
  • confidential, libellous, false or defamatory
  • contains language that may cause offence, or is provocative or extreme in its views deceptive or misleading
  • advertising or spam
  • nonsensical, or a joke
  • party political
  • about honours or appointments – there’s a different way to nominate someone for an honour
  • breaks the law or violates intellectual property rights
  • covered by a court order, injunction or is about a case that’s active in the UK courts
  • potentially confidential, commercially sensitive or might cause someone distress or financial loss
  • names people working in public bodies (except for senior management)
  • names family members of elected officials or people working in public bodies
  • names someone who has been accused of a crime, or contains information that may identify them
  • a Freedom of Information (FOI) request – there’s a different way to make an FOI request

 

In the mean time while I wait for the parliamentary petition to go live I have started another petition through 38 degrees. The first petition is through parliamentary petitions, which has been criticised as the idea of a petition website set up by the government is an odd one. It is an area which traditionally is done by outside forces to put pressure on the government. 38 degrees is an independent petition website, free from government control. It also means people worldwide can show disgust at the decision to scrap the climate change department, whereas the parliamentary website can only be signed by UK residents. So if you want to sign the 38 degrees petition the link is here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-the-climate-change-department

And now a bit of background on what climate change may mean. I can’t imagine anyone wanting polar bears to become extinct. These wonderful bundles of strength are on of natures wonders to watch. In this BBC story from 2014 they examine how man made global warming could lead to polar bear extinction.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141107-will-polar-bears-become-extinct?ocid=fbert

tory policy

Bring back the climate change department

Following on from my woodland trust tree party blog I figure more should be done than just ranting about the removal of the climate change department. I have started a petition to reinstate the department. I am fully aware of what the gloomy response I will get should it reach the successful debate number, but I don’t believe in not standing up and stating my views. In the words of the Lifted Lorax, “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”.

The petition needs 5 supporters to be introduced onto the website, so please click the link, get it rolling.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/161808/sponsors/453QNZjJ6m7yHRtLkR0C

The Independent stating it is a stupid move.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-department-killed-off-by-theresa-may-in-plain-stupid-and-deeply-worrying-move-a7137166.html

The Guardian also stating the removal of department as major setback.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/15/decc-abolition-major-setback-for-uk-climate-change-efforts

The Huffington Post providing it’s usual coverage of any Tory mistake.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nash-riggins/theresa-may_b_11009628.html

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My daughter sleeps soundly, but deserves a future with clean air, with wildlife, with plants, trees and fauna, with clean seas. We have a responsibility to look after this world for the future.

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Invite a tree to tea

Yesterday my Woodland Trust-invite a tree to tea pack arrived in the post. The Woodland Trust is encouraging people to get out and whether it’s having a picnic or a garden party invite a tree along. They have put together a delightful pack of activities available for free from the link. A lovely way to spend a day with kids or enjoy a glass of wine amongst the woods. The woodland trust recognises the need to connect children to nature if they want their work to continue to get support.

In the UK only 13% is covered by tress. This is rather pathetic compared with the average of 37 % in Europe. For a country once covered largely in woods this is devastating in terms of its effects on nature. As a result 60% of animal and plant species have declined in the last 50 years. Theresa May has closed the climate change department, along with the appointment of Andrea (foxes must die) Leadsome to Environment Secretary, shows clearly the environment and conservation is not going to be a priority for the new conservative government. Andrea Leadsome has previously suggested selling off forests. A little ironic from a woman who said she was better to lead as she had a stake in the world for her children. A refusal to accept climate change and looking at how we tackle our fossil fuel reliance will eventually crash our economy. It is incredibly short sighted from Theresa May, but then she possibly isn’t expecting to be re-elected. So more than ever is a time to support the Woodland Trust in their work encouraging people to enjoy trees and wooded areas and protect the little we have.

EDIT: I took action.

I plan to use the Woodland Trusts tree party set with my class to encourage their love of nature and to take care of the trees we have on our school site. We have our end of term reward next week and weather permitting we will get out and have our picnic under one of the trees on the school playing field. Then we can indulge in some of the the games from the pack and maybe go find it.

The set contains a few games to do. There is a leaf ID sheet for the kids to look for the different leaf patterns. There is a nice scavenger hunt with a list of wild objects the children might find (leaves, feathers, dandelion clock etc). Some stickers to show which trees they found. Then some lovely cards to use for photos to change the kids faces to animals.

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Day 26-spare a thought for nature

Currently I have held off on making an comments on the EU referendum. Like many of you I was disappointed by the decision to leave. I don’t want my baby girl coming into a world full of uncertainty, disunity and it seems hatred towards our fellow man. The decision, I feel is short sighted and in many cases made as a result of false promises and misinformation. While part of me would like David Lammy’s call for MP’s to ignore the referendum and vote for the good of the country. Or for the petition for a second referendum to be successful, seeing as the result was so close and it has already been revealed Farage is back pedalling on putting £350 million into the NHS. An issue many people based their decision on. But this is not how democracy works. The vote was taken and the decision made. Should parliament decide to ignore or over turn the results for a second referendum it would weaken belief in the democratic process. So the referendum will need to be lived with.

A guardian article on the subject of leave and the environment.

The decision to leave leaves great uncertainty for the environment. The RSPB, wildlife trust and PTES had all come out in support of remain. Many area of natural significance are currently protected by EU laws. Wildlife friendly farming has been pushed by the EU. Many animal rights rules come from the EU. Many of these were not perfect, but they will need to be rewritten with us leaving. Now is a time for unity within conservation groups, not just within the UK, but internationally. With all the work needing doing drafting trade agreements, movement, migration, immigration, the worry is environmental issues will be low on the agenda.

Now is a time to take action. Join wildlife groups, write letters to MP’s, emails, petition the government. Make sure the good conservation work done within the EU isn’t undone.

Below are a number of environmental issues you can support quickly through the links below:

A number of leading leave campaigners believe in fox hunting with dogs. They may use the opportunity created by people being distracted by the EU news to repeal the ban. Don’t let this happen. We hold our nose up at other cultures who all bear baiting, cock fighting. Why would we allow something so barbaric with so little purpose to come back.

The RSPCA provide a letter format to lobby your local MP.

Keeptheban.org.uk

1510080133379941

Keep bee harming pesticides out of our fields.

A friends of the earth campaign to stop harmful pesticides being used which threaten bees, and from there many other species.

Give the hedgehog better protection.

The wildlife trust-protect our marine conservation zone

The UK government have designated areas of sea as protected areas. While these rules have been flouted regularly if an effort isn’t made the oceans, we may rely on in future, will be depleted.

The peoples trust for endangered species

There are opportunities to help through surveys or action.

Stop the badger culls.

badger