Section: Environment

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Trust issues emerge over the sale of greenfield land in Helston

Tom Scott

A tangle of conflicting interests raises questions over how developers have managed to push forward plans to build a new supermarket and a McDonald’s on a wildlife corridor on the outskirts of Helston in Cornwall. In 2019, Helston Town Council declared a climate emergency and announced that Helston was becoming an ‘Earth Protector Town’, a […]

“Code red for humanity”

Belinda Bawden

“Climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying” Surely no-one could have missed these headlines on the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 9 August 2021? The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the Working Group’s report was nothing less than “a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening and […]

Everything we love is at stake at COP26

Tom Scott
Gyllingvase Beach

So many of the things we hold dear in our communities and local environment are threatened by the accelerating climate emergency. Tom Scott writes of one spot in Falmouth that’s close to his heart. As Cornish beaches go, Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth is pretty modest – without the thundering surf and miles-long stretches of sand […]

Silent cars: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor-in-Chief, You have recently published two contrasting articles on electric cars. Without wanting to contribute to the for-and-against debate, I wish to offer a view on an aspect of these vehicles which seems to be overlooked in most reports about them. I well remember an item on electric cars – the vehicle of the […]

Police called to peaceful ‘McSit-in’ climate protest in Taunton

Catherine Cannon

Climate activists held a sit-in protest at Taunton McDonald’s on Saturday, demanding that the fast-food chain moves towards a plant-based menu. Branded a McSit-in, they brought their own plant-based lunches and occupied areas of the restaurant for over two hours, insisting that the fast-food chain takes responsibility for the destruction they say it causes on our […]

“The Politics of Climate Change:” – what can WE do?

Belinda Bawden
art work of politicians trying to avoid drowning in climate emergency

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published on 9 August 2021 was clear: “Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying” The Guardian’s verdict on the IPCC report: “As a verdict on the climate crimes of humanity, the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report could not be clearer: guilty as hell. The repeatedly-ignored […]

Climate emergency: a step change must be made NOW – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Every day on the television news and in the newspapers we see huge parts of the world on fire and other parts submerged beneath exceptional flooding. The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes it clear that this is undeniably the result of global warming caused by human activity. This report goes […]

Electric cars: the rhetoric vs the reality

Anna Andrews
empty road under beautiful sky

“We bought an electric car thinking we were doing the right thing… but it’s cost us a lot to set the whole thing up.” So said my friend Trisha, after she read my “Net zero” article in West Country Bylines and thought our readers might be interested in her experience of buying her first electric […]

Garden villages – are they as green as they seem?

Mick Fletcher

In August 2018 the government set out proposals for the creation of ‘garden communities’, intended to tackle the chronic shortage of housing in the UK and raise the standard of building development.  The name consciously harks back to the ‘Garden City’ vision of Ebenezer Howard but also reflects one of the stock cliches of property […]

How to change the future?

Robert Golden
young people demonstrating

This artice came out of West Country Byline’s recent online event on the true cost of cheap food. You can listen to the session here: A list for change We are ordinary people facing the huge wealth of the 1 per cent and the power of the state in an assumed democracy which is in […]

Net zero: delusional ambition or deliverable goal?

Anna Andrews
industrial pollution

“This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth. Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for […]

National Meadows Day: a tale of two meadows

Miles King
meadow with orchids

Wildflower meadows have their day in the sun today, Saturday 3 July: National Meadows Day. National Meadows Day is a new thing, just a few years old, but it seems to have captured the public’s imagination, and rightly so. Because wildflower meadows encapsulate a beautiful coming-together of people and nature, creating something sublime which everyone […]

Shock at ‘pre-crime’ attack on peaceful XR craftivists comes ahead of Patel’s draconian bill to suppress dissent

Rosie Haworth Booth
Xr protest placard

Leave our arts and crafts alone and free the press, say local activists. Extinction Rebellion activists in North Devon have been shocked and angered by police action in London ahead of last weekend’s demonstrations by many campaigning groups against the new government bill drawn up by the Home Secretary which, says young North Devon climate […]

Lack of action on active travel in Somerset

Mick Fletcher

Somerset County Council (SCC) have contacted us over our article on cycle paths in Somerset. They asked us to add three points giving the perspective of the County Highways Department on some of the key issues raised. We are pleased to set out their comments here in the interests of balance and to quote in […]

G7 in Cornwall: greenwash, gibberish and glorious rebellion

Tom Scott
Giant globe centrepiece of climate change protest in Falmouth showing world on fire or flooded

It’s been a crazy few days here in Cornwall. The skies have been buzzing with police drones and weird-looking military aircraft, like monstrous black insects. Police with machine-guns have been hovering around the entrance to my local Tesco. And down at Carbis Bay, inside their ‘ring of steel’, world leaders concluded their deliberations on the […]

Cae Hir: a gem of a garden in Wales

Anna Andrews
Cae Hir Gardens - the circuar pond and wedding cake tree

Cae Hir is one of the most beautiful gardens I have visited and if you ever get the chance to see it, I would absolutely recommend you go. It sits on the side of the valley of the little Bran river, near Lampeter (Llanbedr Pont Steffan) in west Wales.

Somerset Levels and Moors – rhetoric vs reality in the nature emergency

Tony Whitehead
Somerset Levels

If you live on the Somerset Levels and Moors, ask simply “will what I am hearing improve water quality here?”. Because unless national policy makes a real difference where you are, it is largely useless. We are in a nature and climate emergency. We need the government to show leadership and ambition that delivers action because they fully understand what this means.

Is the G7 being held in Cornwall or Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Tom Scott
massive cruise ship in Falmouth to house police for G7

The government’s claim that the G7 in Cornwall will be “carbon neutral” is unadulterated greenwash. I just walked to the end of my road in Falmouth to have a look at the MS Silja Europa, the massive cruise ship on which a thousand police personnel will be housed during the G7 summit in Cornwall next […]

WCB event: the true cost of cheap food

Editor-in-chief
Pizza factory

The UK today: record foodbank use, hungry children, an obesity crisis and post-Brexit trade deals which threaten to decimate British farming and flood the market with food produced to lower standards, and the politicians chant the ‘cheap food’ mantra. The costs of cheap food are high – for humans, animals and the planet. What can […]

A ban on the use of peat…or is it?

Mick Fletcher

News that the government is contemplating a partial ban on the use of peat in horticulture is welcome but needs to be put in context. A government that is serious about tackling climate change would have to take some really tough decisions. To reduce emissions from air travel for example it would have to face […]

“Why I was arrested blockading Rupert Murdoch’s printing press”

Caspar Hughes

On 5 September last year I was part of the Extinction Rebellion group that blockaded Rupert Murdoch’s printing press. We knew we were going up against a powerful group of men who own the Sun, The Times, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, all of which are printed at Rupert Murdoch’s printing press in Hertfordshire. […]