Environmental News

Car tyres are major source of ocean microplastics – study

Wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, say scientists

More than 200,000 tonnes of tiny plastic particles are blown from roads into the oceans every year, according to research.

The study suggests wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, the route that has attracted most attention to date. The analysis focused on the tiny particles produced by tyres and brake pads as they wear down.

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Farmers hatch plan to return area the size of Dorset to wild nature

WildEast aims to convince farmers, councils and others across East Anglia to pledge land to wildlife

Returning an area the size of Dorset to wild nature, reintroducing extinct lynx, pelicans and beavers and championing regenerative farming to restore soil health are the radical aims of a new charitable foundation.

But the most revolutionary feature of WildEast may be that it is founded by three farmers in the most intensively farmed region of Britain.

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Country diary: preening avocets attract attention | Country diary

Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex: The elegant black and white waders are breeding here for the first time

Marbled white butterflies are resting on the flower heads, stretching out their chequered wings towards the early-morning sun in ritualistic greeting, warming themselves at the start of the day. Nearby, the orange and black caterpillars of cinnabar moths feed on groups of tall, yellow-flowered common ragwort plants.

Song thrushes and greenfinches sing from the tops of the trees bending in the breeze. Leaves shake with parties of adult birds and their young. I watch three chiffchaffs chase each other in and out of the branches, over the brambles and back up the trees. A male common redstart lands on a shining barbed wire fence before taking off again to catch small flies mid-air. A black and red cinnabar moth flutters across my path.

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‘Compelling’ evidence air pollution worsens coronavirus – study

Exclusive: best analysis to date indicates significant increases in infections, hospital admissions and deaths

There is “compelling” evidence that air pollution significantly increases coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and deaths, according to the most detailed and comprehensive analysis to date.

The research indicates that a small, single-unit increase in people’s long-term exposure to pollution particles raises infections and admissions by about 10% and deaths by 15%. The study took into account more than 20 other factors, including average population density, age, household size, occupation and obesity.

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Team Lioness: the Kenyan women rangers risking their lives for wildlife

The coronavirus lockdown adds to challenges for those on the frontline of the war against poaching

  • Words and photographs by Georgina Smith

Her black boots brushing through swathes of yellow-brown bush, 24-year-old Purity Amleset is feeling tense. But fear is just part of the job, she says, as she patrols her section of the 147,000-hectare (363,000-acre) community land around Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, a Unesco-designated biosphere reserve.

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