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Browsing: Environment

A backpacker from Edinburgh got an unwelcome surprise a whole month after returning from a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. Daniela Liverani, 24, found a three inch leech living in her nose a full four weeks after returning from her trip after presuming it was a blood clot following a motorcycle crash. The leech, nicknamed Mr Curly, came to light when it crawled out of Ms Liverani’s nose in the shower; the animal was swiftly removed from her nose at accident and emergency and Ms Liverani disposed of the creature in “an Edinburgh City Council bin”, but not without boiling…

Britain is being threatened with court action by the European Commission within the next 2 months for what it sees as a failure to protect Harbour Porpoises. The threat comes after the numbers of the cetaceans has plummeted in recent years due to injuries from boats, underwater noise and fisheries bycatch. To avoid court action the UK needs to introduce more designated protection sites under the Habitats Directive so as to protect the cetaceans from “seriously compromise to their ecological character”, something that could happen should numbers continue to fall.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been the charity phenomenon of the summer and has encouraged everyone, from former US President George W Bush to Stephen Hawking, to pick up a bucket and get involved. The craze has created a much larger impact than just a few celebrities getting their heads wet however; the challenge has created a backlash from animal rights groups and also environmentalists. For anyone who has somehow missed the deluge of videos which have flooded social media the past few months, the basic idea of the Ice Bucket Challenge is as follows. The participant makes a short…

In the last week of August, a demolition crew detonated a battery of explosives to destroy the final 30 feet of a 210-foot high Glines Canyon dam on a small river in Washington State in the largest dam removal project in the world. The 45 mile long, Elwha River was damned twice in the early 20th century, in 1914 by the Elwha Dam, located 5 miles from the mouth of the River and secondly in 1927 by the Glines Canyon Dam in 1927, 8 miles further upstream. The dams were put in place at the time, along with many others…

With yet another London Fashion week over and companies already planning their 2015 spring summer collection, it seems that clothes from summer just gone are already well and truly out of style and those clothes that are ‘so last season’ will soon be disposed of. Over 60% of the UK clothing waste ends up in landfill which is a sad fact for any vintage lover, but the reality is that we just don’t make clothes like we used to any more. During the war material was in short supply and everything had to be made to last, now garments are…

HUNDREDS of householders have been left without water in California in the past 2 months, as taps have simple run dry when ground water levels have dropped below the reach of wells. The population of California has nearly double in past thirty years and the central valley of California is one of the most productive agricultural areas on the planet, producing 80% of the world’s almonds. David Phippen, an Almond farmer in the California said, “They [the government] have done a great job at increasing the population of California, but they have paid no heed to the infrastructure required for…

FOOD waste from across North Wales is now being used to produce electricity. A new anaerobic digestion plant which will be run solely on food waste collected from the local area has opened in Waem near St Asaph. A predicted total of 22,500 tonnes of food waste, from across Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire will be processed each year, and converted into enough electricity to power 2,000 homes. The scheme is the largest of its kind in the country and is leading the way in recycling food waste and helping Wales to make a significant contribution to the UK meeting its…

Residents of St David’s, in Pembrokeshire, will soon be having their homes powered by a 400kW tidal power generator that was unveiled in Ramsey Sound last week. The trial project will run for 12 months generating energy from tidal currents on the sea bed, and is being hailed as Wales’ first grid connected free standing tidal turbine. It is hoped that this trial scheme will lead to a larger project for Tidal Energy Ltd, which will incorporate nine, 150 tonne, seven story high turbines which are due to be built in Pembroke Dock by Mustang Marine. Mustang Marine were recently…

Five hundred years ago, cranes were a common sight across the British Isles, however these majestic birds were made extinct by over-hunting and loss of wetlands. Over the past 5 years, a programme, termed ‘The Great Crane Project’, has aimed to reintroduce cranes back into the UK. The project has raised and released almost 100 cranes on to the Somerset Levels and moors. The Great Crane Project is a joint venture between the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), the RSPB, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Viridor Credits. The project aims to restore the Eurasian Crane to areas where they used to…

The National Trust’s most polluting property is going green. Once heated by an oil boiler, Plas Newydd, located on Anglesey, is now to be heated by the Menai Straits. During the winter months, the house used to use 1,500 litres of oil a day, which is the same amount an average house would use in 10 months. Now after a £600,000 revamp, water is pumped from the straits through a 53 meter pipe into a heat exchanger which works in a similar way to a refrigerator only in reverse. Heat is extracted from the seemingly freezing water using the same…

On Thursday the 10th of July, four Peregrine Falcons were found dead at a local Gwynedd quarry. The birds were last seen alive on Thursday 3rd July, and this has been confirmed by photo evidence obtained by the police. The police have stated that three chicks and one adult have died at Dyffryn Nantlle Quarry, tragically, the chicks were only about a week from fledging. The RSPB have said that it is highly unusual for four birds to die in such a way, and therefore foul play is suspected. The most likely cause of death is poisoning by bait brought…

A village near Betws-y-Coed is now proud to be home to one of the eight contenders for the best ree in Wales! A horse chestnut tree in in Pentrefoelas near Betws-y-Coed was announced as a contender for the best tree in Wales last week. e spectacular tree is situated in the centre of Pentrefoelas, next to the Afon Merddwr, by the A5; the competition is not looking for beauty however, its objective is to nd the tree that most brings the community together. The Woodland Trust has said that the competition is about showing the importance of trees, as they…

Treborth Botanic Gardens is a small haven that lies roughly 1 mile down a track from the Bangor Side of Menai Bridge. Following this track through the arboretum leads to the entrance of this aesthetically pleasing location used by students and the local community alike. Although small in size, there is a multitude of interesting locations throughout the site. This includes: the arboretum (a project eventually housing Welsh forest history), the tropical house (growing Bangor’s best bananas), the temperate house (containing cacti of all sizes) and the orchid house (covering 3 different temperature ranges under one roof), not to mention…

An exciting new scheme is being developed in the Anafon Valley, near the village of Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd. The community is getting behind a brand new hydroelectricity project, harnessing the power of the Afon Anafon in what will be a 270kW run-off-river scheme. The scheme, which was originally an idea developed by the Abergwyngregyn Regeneration Company (ARC), is now being overseen by Ynni Anafon Energy (YAE), a community Industrial and Provident Society, managed by residents of the village. The project will see water extracted from the Afon Anafon via a 1m high weir, and channelled into a 45mm pipe that will…

The government have released new regulations for the latest round of bidding for fracking licences, which it says are much stricter than before. Campaigners this week, however, have claimed that beauty spots are still at risk from fracking, with new regulations not going far enough to protect some of Britain’s most beautiful areas. Planning permission may be granted in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, if it is deemed by planning bodies that they are ‘in the public interest’. However, Eric Pickles, the Communities’ Secretary, will have the right to overturn planning decisions, should they not…

At the start of 2011, it was believed the general consensus amongst Japanese politicians and the public alike leant towards policies favouring “more nuclear and less renewable energy”. Yet on March 11th government officials were locked in debate amidst proposals of the Renewable Energies Promotion Bill, urging a step away from nuclear power. That afternoon the Tohoku Earthquake struck and with a tragic irony the debate was cut short by the resulting Fukushima nuclear accident. Although no deaths or cases of radiation sickness have been reported since then, Japans interests in nuclear energy have been shaken to the core. A…