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Category — England

UK: Call the cavalry! Horses ride to rescue of an inner city garden

Plant force … PC Ben Ballard, right, riding Clyde, and PC Jo Brown on Iris create divots and trample in seeds at the Barbican Wildlife Garden. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian

Mounted City of London police receive a surprise order: to help trample in wildflower seeds at the Barbican

By Phoebe Weston
The Guardian
Dec. 28, 2020

Excerpt:

The garden’s lead volunteer, Jo Rodgers, wanted grazing livestock to come and stamp in autumn seeds but there are none in London’s financial district. Instead, she called in the local police horses who came and walked around it for 30 minutes as part of their community engagement work. “In the countryside, you graze animals after you’ve cut the grass to help churn up the soil. We tried to think about getting in sheep or goats, and then we thought, ‘Horses!, we have them locally!’” she says.

Grazing animals play an essential role in maintaining traditional wildflower meadows because their hooves create dips and furrows that help push seeds into the soil and create microhabitats. More than 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost since the second world war.

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January 3, 2021   Comments Off on UK: Call the cavalry! Horses ride to rescue of an inner city garden

UK: ‘They thought I was completely dotty’ Prince Charles says ‘no one wanted to know’ when he began talking about environmental issues in 1970s

He said: ‘I’ve been talking to quite a lot of the First Nations leaders in Canada over the last year, and it’s high time we paid more attention to their wisdom, and the wisdom of indigenous communities and First Nations people all around the world.

By James Robinson
Daily Mailonline
29 December 2020

Excerpt:

During the interview, conducted by award-winning writer Ms Atwood, Prince Charles also hit out at ‘conventional’ intensive farming methods and said farmers who pollute the environment should be made to pay.

The royal heir, who for the last 35-years has owned a 1,000 acre organic farm in Gloucestershire, said the overuse of chemicals, growth hormones and antibiotics in beef production, as well as an over-reliance on mono-culture cropping systems in agriculture, is damaging the environment.

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December 29, 2020   Comments Off on UK: ‘They thought I was completely dotty’ Prince Charles says ‘no one wanted to know’ when he began talking about environmental issues in 1970s

UK: Growing crops in cities will put an end to food waste

Coronavirus showed how vulnerable our global food supply chains are, but growing closer to home could also solve our waste problem

By Ellen Macarthur
Wired
23 December 2020

Excerpt:

In the current food system, when food flows into cities, organic waste is created in the form of discarded produce, by-products and sewage. This waste is full of nutrients that can be used to grow new food and create biomaterials, but in today’s system it is more likely to end up in landfill or go untreated. However, there are more viable – and greener – alternatives. In Italy, paper is already being made from pasta by-products, while orange peels, grape skins and excess milk are being turned into fabrics. In the UK, London has committed to ensuring that by 2026 no biodegradable or recyclable waste will be sent to landfill.

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December 29, 2020   Comments Off on UK: Growing crops in cities will put an end to food waste

UK: Gardening experts reveal the gateway plants that got them hooked on horticulture

Merlin Labron-Johnson was fascinated by amaranth and the red and purple orach Credit: Andrew Crowley

Was there a particular plant that got you interested in gardening? Seriously green-fingered folk reveal their gateway to growing

By Jean Vernon
The Telegraph
21 December 2020

Excerpt:

Michelin-starred chef Merlin Labron-Johnson was late to the gardening party, although early life lessons on the family farm in Devon left their mark. Food is his first love, but a new hobby came knocking when lockdown closed his restaurant, Osip, in the Somerset foodie hub of Bruton.

“Growing veg is definitely a very recent thing. I was busy running the restaurant and never quite found time to get involved in any of the growing. It has become almost an obsession and something that I am now as passionate about as cooking. It provides a great kind of escapism and also there’s something slightly therapeutic and relaxing about it.”

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December 28, 2020   Comments Off on UK: Gardening experts reveal the gateway plants that got them hooked on horticulture

UK: Weeding uproots Tudor gold coin hoard

This year has seen a rise in backyard finds. More than 47,000 finds have been reported this year in the UK.

The History Blog
Dec 12, 2020

Excerpt:

A little lockdown weeding has unearthed a Tudor-era hoard of 63 gold coins and one silver coin in a backyard in New Forest, Hampshire. The family was turning up soil to clear weeds when the gold coins sprang from the ground. The coins range in date from the late 15th century to the early 16th and were issued during the reigns of Edward IV (r. 1461-1470), Henry VII and Henry VIII.

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December 24, 2020   Comments Off on UK: Weeding uproots Tudor gold coin hoard

UK: COVID-19 has transformed the gardening industry – so what are the new trends?

Craig Sam is founder of biochar products company Carbon Gold.

I’ve been heartened by the millions of new British growers who have sprung up this year – almost three million, according to research from The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). Nearly half of these new gardeners are aged under 45.

By Craig Sams
Horticulture Weekl
25 November 2020

Excerpt:

Not only does the gardening industry have more customers, but growers as a whole are spending more as they stock up their horticultural armoury.

The HTA Garden Retail Monitor found that sales of gardening products were up 34%, 17% and 19% in June, July and August respectively in UK garden centres, compared to the same time last year. On average, individual customers were spending 35% more on gardening products.

Sales also surged in bedding plants (29%), seeds (59%) and gardening equipment (51%), while garden leisure categories were higher than in August 2019.

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December 2, 2020   Comments Off on UK: COVID-19 has transformed the gardening industry – so what are the new trends?

Scotland: Many are still on the waiting list for allotments in Edinburgh

Allotments at Inverleith. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com

The council manages 1586 allotments in Edinburgh but it needs to provide 1,500 more to meet its legal obligations in terms of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.

By Phyllis Stephen
The Edinburgh Reporter
November 17, 2020

Excerpt:

Scottish local authorities are obliged to provide allotments and a council must also to take steps to ensure that nobody is on a waiting list for more than five years. The waiting list should not be more than half of the number of allotments provided.

There are currently 3,292 people on the waiting list with many new applications made during lockdown. There was a threefold increase in applications between April and July 2020 meaning that there are 1,095 would be gardeners out there without a plot. There is already a total of 615 people who have been on the waiting list for over five years.

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November 22, 2020   Comments Off on Scotland: Many are still on the waiting list for allotments in Edinburgh