Environmental News

Serious farm pollution breaches rise in UK – and many go unprosecuted

Environment Agency figures show severe incidents are weekly occurrence as farms struggle with cost of pollution prevention despite subsidies

Serious pollution incidents in the UK from livestock farms are now a weekly occurrence, leading to damage to wildlife, fish, farm livestock and air and water pollution.

The Environment Agency in England and its devolved counterparts in Wales and Scotland recorded 536 of the most severe incidents between 2010 and 2016, the worst instances among more than 5,300 cases of agricultural pollution in the period across Britain. In England and Wales the figures relate to pig, poultry and dairy farms whereas in Scotland they refer to all livestock farms.

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Subsidised farm causes acres of damage to Sussex countryside

Noxious byproducts from slurry spill at Crouchland biogas farm poisoned neighbouring land and led to deaths of animals

Lynda and Richard Whittemore bought Quennells farm in the quiet Sussex countryside six years ago. They were hoping for what Lynda calls “an idyllic lifestyle”, tending their flock of 400 pedigree sheep and 45 cattle on 180 acres of farmland.

“We have an undulating field at the back of the stream, winding to the other corner,” Lynda says. “Usually it has lovely clear water, with a gentle slope down to the water supply. It’s picturesque – the [livestock] don’t need troughs, they can walk down to drink the water.”

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Moss may prove cheap city pollution monitor, study finds

Common moss changes shape in areas of high nitrogen pollution and drought and has potential to be big bioindicator, say scientists

Delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used to measure the impact of atmospheric change and could prove a low-cost way to monitor urban pollution, according to Japanese scientists.

Moss, a “bioindicator”, responds to pollution or drought-stress by changing shape, density or by disappearing, allowing scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations, said Yoshitaka Oishi, associate professor at Fukui Prefectural University.

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The eco guide to Electric Vehicle hype

Don’t get spooked by the pro-fossil fuel lobby: when we abandon petrol and diesel, our whole world is going to change

When it comes to cars, I had a bit of luck this summer. No, I wasn’t loaned the new Tesla Model 3. My street underwent a pavement improvement scheme. All the parking bays were suspended and minicabs no longer idled their engines during the night. I found myself living in an accidental Low Emissions Zone. It was wonderful.

The best I can say about the anti-EV campaign is that it lacks imagination

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Trump's decision to allow plastic bottle sales in national parks condemned

Reversal of ban shows ‘corporate agenda is king and people and environment are left behind’, say campaigners

The Trump administration’s decision to reverse a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in some of America’s most famous national parks, including the Grand Canyon, shows “the corporate agenda is king and people and the environment are left behind”, campaigners have said.

Related: Day of doom for national monuments is approaching

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