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Gove launches landmark blueprint for resources and waste - Defra

Businesses and manufacturers to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste under government’s Resources and Waste Strategy

Businesses and manufacturers will pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste, under a major new government strategy unveiled by the Environment Secretary today (Tuesday 18 December 2018).

The move will overhaul England’s waste system, putting a legal onus on those responsible for producing damaging waste to take greater responsibility and foot the bill.

The announcement forms part of the government’s ambitious new Resources and Waste Strategy, the first comprehensive update in more than a decade. It will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and help leave the environment in a better state than we found it for future generations.

Producers will also be expected to take more responsibility for items that can be harder or costly to recycle including cars, electrical goods, and batteries.

Householders will also see the existing complicated recycling system simplified, with new plans for a consistent approach to recycling across England. Timings for introduction will be subject to discussions at the Spending Review.


Reaction: Resources and waste strategy ‘a step in the right direction’, says CPRE

CPRE welcomes the long-anticipated launch of a Resources and Waste Strategy by the Department for En© CPREvironment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) today (18 December). It includes the commitment, previously made by environment secretary Michael Gove, to a deposit return system, for which CPRE has been campaigning.


The strategy aims to overhaul England’s waste system by valuing the resources that go into packaging, and make those who produce the packaging responsible for the cost of its recycling or disposal. CPRE warns, however, that it’s vital to ensure they are also responsible for the cost of its collection – otherwise, the whole system could be undermined.


£140,000 to help more children learn outdoors – Scottish Natural Heritage

Image: Scottish Natural HeritageSeven projects have been awarded a total of £140,000 to encourage more children in Scotland to enjoy and learn about the outdoors in their local area.

Image: Scottish Natural Heritage

The grants have been given in the second and final round of the two-year Outdoor Learning in Nature (OLIN) fund, which has now awarded over half a million pounds to 23 projects. It is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The projects will work with around 40 schools to deliver regular outdoor learning activities to around 1600 pupils in their local greenspaces, as well as providing professional learning to approximately 400 teachers.

Pete Rawcliffe, SNH’s People & Places manager, said: “These programmes will make a real difference to children from the most deprived areas of Scotland, giving them regular, structured time outdoors. This is so important to set them up for heathy life-long habits. It will not only help them appreciate, learn about and connect with nature, but also spending time in nature has been proven to improve mental and physical health for people of all ages.”


Three yellowhammers, two turtle doves and a song thrush in a blackthorn – North York Moors National Park Authority

The North Yorkshire turtle dove project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is seeking land owners large and small who may be able to give the gift of improved habitat to native bird species in 2019.

Turtle Doves by Richard BennetTurtle Doves by Richard Bennet

Turtle doves, those symbols of love and friendship that we sing about each Christmas, are now critically endangered in the UK. Due in part to modern farming practices, the dense patches of scrub in which they nest and the wildflowers that provide them with seed have been lost. The North York Moors National Park is fortunate to be one of the few remaining strongholds for the species, and the turtle dove project is seeking individuals and community groups who can help restore some of the birds’ natural habitat.

“This autumn, nine different landowners and tenants have established 17 new turtle dove wildflower plots,” said Richard Baines, Turtle Dove Project Officer. “These include the Sawdon Community Nature Reserve Group, which has also planted a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel to create a thicket of scrub, perfect to protect the delicate nests of turtle doves in future years. It’s a great start, but we need many more reserves if we are going to have a chance of making a difference.”


Hen harriers and red grouse: Finding common ground in a persistent conflict – University of Aberdeen

A conflict between those working to conserve numbers of hen harriers and those maintaining commercial shooting of red grouse in the English uplands has existed for decades with little sign of progress.

Image: University of AberdeenImage: University of Aberdeen

Drawing on work conducted in psychology, a new study published today in the journal People and Nature investigated the underlying values that hunters and conservationists hold that make it so hard to find shared solutions.

Ecological studies over the last 30 years have shown that hen harriers and other birds of prey are capable of reducing the number of grouse to such an extent that driven grouse shooting can become economically unviable. Consequently, hen harriers, although protected under UK legislation since 1952, are killed illegally on grouse moors.

Researchers from Bangor University and the University of Aberdeen surveyed a range of organisations that represent the interests of field sports (i.e. hunting, shooting, fishing) or nature conservation in England to assess their values and attitudes towards hen harriers, grouse shooting and potential management interventions.

Dr Freya St John from Bangor University said: “We found that people who are involved in field sports and those engaged in bird conservation hold more or less opposing views about human relationships with nature, challenging our ability to find shared solutions. Although there is general agreement about the evidence of the ecological relationships between hen harriers and grouse, there is much less agreement about the best approach to manage them.”

Read the paper: St John, F. A. V., Steadman, J., Austen, G. & Redpath,S. M. (2018) Value diversity and conservation conflict: Lessons from the management of red grouse and hen harriers in England. People & Nature. DOI: 10.1002/pan3.5 (open access)


Cairngorms writing project set to be a real page turner – Cairngorms National Park Authority

Image: Cairngorms National Park AuthorityAn exciting literary project for the Cairngorms National Park is set to come to life in the New Year with funding support from Creative Scotland. Anyone can get involved in the various aspects of the 12 month initiative with people encouraged to put pen to paper to share and explore the ways in which people and nature thrive together in the Park.

Image: Cairngorms National Park Authority

‘Shared Stories: A Year in the Cairngorms’ has been organised – and part funded – by the Cairngorms National Park Authority with a funding award of £8,000 from Creative Scotland and £10,000 from the Woodland Trust.

The financial support from partners has allowed the project to appoint the first ever Writer in Residence for the Cairngorms National Park, Merryn Glover from Kincraig.


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