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Lets Get Energized says:
Win an Organic Veg Box plus Organic Cakes this Organic September!

Category: Climate Change, Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Deals & Offers, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living


Organic September is here once again for 2014, and is the UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic.

Dorset Energized believe that by choosing organic we can all support a kinder, greener and better food system – better for animal welfare, better for wildlife and better for the environment. This can be achieved by making simple every day changes such as switching your milk to organic.

New Monthly Prize Draw Launches for Organic September

To celebrate Organic September, we have launched our new Monthly Prize Draw by teaming up with two great organic Dorset based companies, Goldhill Organics and Respect Organics, to give away a free organic veg box of any size delivered straight to your door using only the best healthy, seasonal and local fruit and vegetables, plus an assortment of carrot cake, chocolate cake, banana loaf and ginger crush cake as a treat too!

The lucky winner will be picked at random from all our mailing list subscribers on 1st October 2014, when we will also launch the next monthly prize draw.

Click here to find out more and enter the prize draw by signing up to our e-newsletter >>

Why buy organic food?

Here are some of the advantages and benefits of choosing organic…

  • Nutritional differences in organic
    New research shows significant differences in anti-oxidant levels between organic and non-organic crops.
  • Food you can trust
    You can be safe in the knowledge that hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and MSG are banned under organic standards.
  • Better for the environment
    Organic farming reduces pollution and greenhouse gases released from food production by restricting the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
  • Wildlife protection
    Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. In fact, plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.
  • Higher animal welfare
    Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow – guaranteeing a truly free-range life. The leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming recommend buying Soil Association Organic approved meat and dairy as this specific label currently offers the highest animal welfare standards.
  • A GM free diet
    GM crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Choosing organic is an effective way to avoid GM in your diet.

It’s not just about food either…

You can also buy organic beauty products, fashion and textiles.

Visit the Soil Association’s website for lots more info on:

Plus, check out our own Sustainable Living  section for lots more information and tips on buying more sustainable food and products.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Organic September Infographic

Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

Its the last day of Organic September but hopefully just the start of your small changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle!

Your individual small change might not feel like much, but if all of us do something slightly differently, we can make a big difference to our environment.

Check out the facts on going organic in this fab new infographic by the Soil Association:


Read more about Organic Organic September in my previous blog post: ‘Small Change = Big Difference This Organic September’ and don’t forget to check out our Sustainable Living page for lots more tips!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Small Change = Big Difference this Organic September

Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

We are loving the Soil Association’s animation (above) which celebrates this year’s Organic September!

Organic September is the UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic. This year they are asking everyone to make a Small Change in their everyday lives, in order to make a Big Difference to our food and farming.

Dorset Energized, which is supported by Respect Organics who are based in Sturminster Newton and are the UK’s leading organic cake producers, believe if we all make a small and achievable change in September and beyond, collectively we can make a big difference.

By choosing organic we can all support a kinder, greener and better food system – from more bees and hedgerows, better animal welfare, and shorter more trustworthy food chains.

This can be achieved by doing simple, every day changes such as switching your milk to organic or choosing organic moisturiser.

Tell us what small change you’re going to make today by sending your comments below! : )

Visit the Soil Association’s website for lots more info:

And check out our pages on Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Living for Dorset Energized’s ideas on other simple changes you can make this month to save energy and to live a more sustainable life in balance with nature.


Lets Get Energized says:
Community Energy Fortnight 13th – 28th September

Category: Community Energy


It’s great to see so much going on this month on the subject of energy – with the launch of our new monthly prize draw competition for Organic September and Zero Waste Week earlier this month and now it’s Community Energy Fortnight (13th – 28th September 2014)…

Last year was the first ever Community Energy Fortnight which took place right across the UK. Events ranged from a walking tour of mountain hydros in Snowdonia, a visit to Westmill wind farm and solar park, to a free Energy Saving Workshop here in Bridport Dorset and an Open Energy-Saving Homes Day in our neighbouring county of Hampshire.

The aim of the Fortnight is to engage and inspire people about the wide-ranging benefits of community energy – and to encourage groups to set up their own projects too.

Both in the build-up to, and during, the 2013 Community Energy Fortnight, The Community Energy Coalition (CEC)  ran a petition in support of community energy. We are thrilled to hear they received nearly 60,000 signatures! They presented the petition to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, during the Fortnight.

2014 Events

Here in Dorset for 2014, 18 local residents in Bridport, Lyme and surrounding villages will be opening their homes to the public to share information about how they have made their homes energy efficient, and energy generating between 12th – 14th September as part of an Open Ecohomes weekend.

There is also an Energy Savers Eco Fair in Devon, a Renewable Energy Fair in Somerset, a Poetry Slam in Exeter, and quite a few events including more open eco homes, energy saving workshops and a DIY Solar Panel workshops, in nearby Bristol.

For a full list of 2014 UK events go to:

Our Top 5 Dorset Community Energy Projects

It’s probably a good excuse to highlight some great community renewable energy projects we have previously reported on, to hopefully give you some inspiration to start or get involved with a local energy project with your own community group, school or business:

  1. Community Hydro Energy in Pymore Bridport (Currently only in the Planning Stage)
  2. Salway Ash Primary School in Bridport Go Green (with Solar PV, Heat Pumps and a Wind Turbine)
  3. Benjafield Screw Turbine Installation Near Gillingham (Hydro Power Project)
  4. Blandford Forum Parish Goes Green (with Renewable Heat Systems)
  5. Bindon Mill Screw Turbine Installation (Hydro Power Project)

Check out our Community Energy category here on our blog for lots more news and views too.


Lets Get Energized says:
NGPS Renewable Energy at Dorset County Show 7th & 8th September 2013

Category: Energy Events in Dorset

If you are worried about rising energy costs and would like free information on energy saving in association with the Dorset Green Knowledge Network, you can visit the NGPS stand as part of The Sustainability Roadshow at various events throughout Dorset.

The next event NGPS will be at is:
The Dorset County Show
Dorchester Showground
Saturday 7th & 8th September 

There will be free and friendly advice and information on Energy Efficiency and Renewables by NGPS including:

  • Solar PV (Electricity)
  • Solar Thermal (Hot Water)
  • Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Energy efficient lighting and LED lights
  • ETA Biomass boilers
  • The Governments “Green Deal” initiative providing energy efficient improvements at no upfront cost.

(Look out for Dorset Energized’s friends Compassionate Dorset while you are there too, as they are having a stall for Compassion in World Farming where you can find out how to eat more sustainably for animals, people and the planet by eating less meat and supporting local free-range organic farmers).


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Save water and energy for World Water Week

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,

HSBC/ WaterAid Partnership

As we celebrate Organic September and Zero Waste Week, this week is also World Water Week (31st August – 5th September 2014) and water is one thing we should never take for granted (although we all usually do of course – every day!)…

Global leaders gathered in Stockholm on 1st September for the 24th annual World Water Week, urging energy and water communities to work together to face some of the main challenges of our time providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water”.

In the UK, the excessive amount of water we all use every day at home is putting an unsustainable demand on our planet’s resources, biodiversity and people, and by using, and wasting, a lot of water we are also using, and wasting, a lot of energy (and money of course).

World Water Aid tell us that there is also a global water crisis, as every minute, every day, people in poorer countries suffer and lives are lost needlessly, simply because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like, so we can at least make a small effort to save water and recycle it where we can, so as not to put a further strain on our fellow people and the Earth.

Eat less meat to save water (and help stop climate change too!)

As I mentioned here on the Dorset Energized blog last year for last World Water Week (where does the time go?!), it takes 10,000 – 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef! This compares with around 1,200 litres for 1kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat. I have also read this week that to produce a day’s food for just one meat-eater takes over 4,000 gallons of water! Read more about water use in intensive factory farming on Compassion in World Farming’s RAW website (under Resource Waste).

According to the Vegetarian Society, farming accounts for around 70% of all freshwater taken from lakes, waterways and underground water supplies, much of it to produce meat. Waterways also run with manure, antibiotics and hormones washed in from the land and all sorts of pollutants from industrial fish farms.

We all know by now that we need to eat a lot less meat, and reports on how a plant-based vegan diet is the most eco-friendly and can help end climate change and reduce our impact on the environment, are all over the news and social media at the moment. I highly recommend visiting The Vegan Society website for more advice. I can vouch that being vegan makes you feel good too – on every level, and I truly feel it is one of the best decisions I ever made : )

Fracking uses millions of gallons of water

As one of our users previously commented on our blog – fracking uses a staggering 3 to 8 million gallons of water per frack. The water is also so toxic with chemicals and radioactive particles that it cannot be recycled and when the well leaks (as all wells do eventually) the water table will also be contaminated.

So yet another reason (as if any sane person needed one) to oppose fracking and support clean energy instead. Find out more at

Go Go Hydro Power!

Renewable energy is all about positively harnessing the power of nature to generate clean and sustainable energy, and hydro-electric power which comes from using water to turn a turbine, supplies around 20% of the world’s electricity and yet it is still barely being used at all in the UK even though apparently we have one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world!

For more information on how we can use water as a renewable energy source to make hydro-electricity, here in Dorset and the UK, see our section all about Water Power which also links to local hydro-power projects.

Use less water to reduce your water footprint

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has lots of information on their website on how you can save water and on their campaign to reduce the impact of humanity’s water footprint, such as:

  • Turn off the taps in-between brushing your teeth
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Take short showers instead of a bath
  • Install water-saving, low-flow shower heads
  • Collect rainwater
  • Collect rinsing water

You can also check out Waterwise’s Quick Tips and Facts on Saving Water.

And as always, remember that small changes in your every habits really can make a big difference – and it all starts with you and me!

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "What a fantastic set of news, campaigns and generally exciting opportunities for us all to get involved with.
    If everyone of us did just a small act within each sector, save some water, eat just a little less red meat and support renewable energy the effect to yourself, your family, to the UK and to the World is just huge.
    Come on join up and feel the success of doing something positive. "

    September 4, 2014 a 4:58 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Keep Dorset Frack Free

Category: Energy Efficiency, Fracking

Photo: Frack Free Dorset campaigners at Balcombe in Sussex (and if you look carefully you’ll spot
Dorset Energized’s very own Paul McIntosh!)

Did you know?…
Fracking uses between 3-8 million gallons of water per frack?

As World Water Week 2013 comes to an end today, its the perfect time to look at one of many reasons why Fracking – Hydraulic Fracturing for shale gas – is causing such concern and outrage for local communities and environmental groups.

Why should we be concerned about fracking?

There is a substantial amount of evidence documenting the side effects of hydraulic fracturing, the majority of which are related to water contamination.
The main causes of concern include:

  • Methane contamination of ground water.
  • The toxic chemicals (and their carcinogenic properties) used in the process.
  • Contamination of water as a result of various materials leaching out of fracked rocks into the fracking fluid. Of particular concern are toxic elements like arsenic that can be brought to the surface by this process.
  • Radioactive Contamination. Radioactive isotopes (such as radium-226) can also be leached out of rocks the fracking fluid passes through. Biological concentration of these materials up the food chain would be the largest concern.
  • Food supply contamination via contaminated water.
  • The quantity of water involved in the fracking process in a climate of drought, water resource pressures and the needs of the agricultural community in Dorset.
  • Fracking has also been linked with air pollution, due to the production of ozone and leaks of a variety of volatile chemicals. Increases in respiratory problems have already been reported around the first fracking site in the UK.
  • Fracking has also been associated with earthquakes, most notoriously in the UK in Lancashire.
  • Fracking also demands an industrial landscape and an increase in traffic, the infrastructure of which has its own pollution consequences.
  • Fracking also extinguishes any opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a county or national level.

(Info above with thanks to FrackFreeSomerset)

Local group Frack Free Dorset have now set up a new website where you can find out more on:

Check out our previous blog posts about Fracking for further reading too:

At Dorset Energized we agree with environmental groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth that the UK government should stop wasting resources on looking for unsustainable fossil fuels including by fracking, and instead simply invest more in renewable energy – and that’s something we can all do as individuals too even if its something as simple as switching to a green energy supplier (and remember the Soil Association’s moto this Organic September: Small Changes = Big Difference)!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Holy Cow! Green Energy and Badger Friendly Milk?!

Category: Dorset Energized News, Sustainable Farming & Food

Photo: © Colin Varndell (with thanks to Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare)

Trial Badger Cull starts in the South West

In case you have somehow managed to miss the local and national news headlines, the UK government have given the full go ahead for a trial cull of at least 70% of the badgers living in Gloucestershire and Somerset in an attempt to test the safety, efficiency and humaneness of free shooting badgers at night (as part of a wider aim to see if culling badgers can help reduce the rates of TB in cattle), despite ignoring Scientific consensus, respected wildlife experts including Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham, as well as overwhelming public objections (the government petition started by Dr Brian May against the badger cull is the most signed e-petition EVER and ends this Saturday 7th September 2013 and now has over 300,000 signatures).

The Welsh Assembly has cancelled its own badger cull plans and opted for badger vaccination. Similar trials have already been completed and deemed ineffective in Ireland where TB in cattle is still widespread (even though badgers have virtually been eliminated there according to Animal Aid), and yet a trial badger cull still started here in the UK – in Somerset last week and in Gloucestershire earlier this week. (I won’t go into the debates over the NFU and Defra’s actions and all the political shenanigans – you’ll find plenty of that all over the papers, Facebook and Twitter if you are interested!).

TB Free England say that a badger cull may only reduce bTB by 16% over 9.5 years for a 150sq-km culling area. Defra’s own wildlife advisory body, Natural England, who have to implement the government proposals, say they have little confidence in a badger cull delivering the predicted benefits long term. Notable scientists including Lord Krebs oppose the badger cull. After ten years of research, the Independent Study Group lead by Professor John Bourne said that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.

Dorset is the next badger cull zone

Dorset has been marked as the ‘reserve area’ which means our badgers could be culled at any moment if things don’t work out in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the next few weeks. If the cull is then rolled out across the UK then Dorset will be the next cull zone area (unconfirmed rumours are that it will be in West Dorset and North Dorset especially likely around Beaminster).

This July there was public outrage in Dorset as it was reported that Conservative Councillors hijacked a vote on the badger cull at the Dorset County Council (where as a Dorset resident I would hope they work for us on our local community issues and not just tow party lines), when DCC had the opportunity to follow the lead of other county councils such as Derbyshire who have banned badger culling on council owned land.

Why cull our badgers?

The South West is a TB hotspot. The aim of the pilot cull is to test the free shooting of badgers at night. The pilot culls will not actually measure the impact on bovine TB. If it is deemed a ‘successful’ humane killing method then the culling of badgers will also be permitted throughout the UK. The RSPCA have said that out of the 5000 badgers to be shot in the trials only 5% will actually be tested for ‘humaneness’ – it is too expensive to test them all! Out of the badgers that do carry TB it is also estimated only a small percentage will actually be ‘infectious’ making such as a mass culling completely indiscriminate.

Farming Monthly reported in July that Defra announced TB rates in cattle have actually hit their lowest levels for 6 years. Care for the Wild believes this follows new legislation brought in on January 1st 2013 to improve bTB testing and cattle movement procedures. Bovine TB is not in the top 3 causes of premature slaughtering of dairy cows – infertility, lameness and udder infections are much more rife – which along with other diseases are essentially caused by pushing cows above and beyond their natural production limit in order to squeeze more profit out of them, this in turn is as a result of struggling farmers who have been put under pressure by larger industrialised farms and by supermarkets demanding them to slash their prices. According to local group Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare, only 0.3% of UK cattle is slaughtered each year due to bTB.

I run local voluntary community group Compassionate Dorset who believe that all animals are sentient beings that deserve respect and compassion. We sympathise with farmers and our main concern is for the welfare of farm animals (and our logo is actually of a cow!), but we also care about our local wildlife and believe there must be a way for us all to live in harmony. We are very concerned that the inhumane method of killing in the badger culls would cause the badgers a tremendous amount of suffering (which is what is concerning the leading animal welfare charities including RSPCA, The International Humane Society and The Badger Trust), and even more alarming, that culling could actually spread TB to otherwise healthy cattle and cows if badgers start fleeing killzones, including of the free range and organic farmers that support us.

It is still illegal to kill badgers outside the specific trial cull zones in Somerset and Gloucestershire

There are other concerns that the trial badger culls are already opening the floodgates to animal cruelty and havoc in our countryside and communities, with shocking reports (although as far as I am aware there is no solid evidence) badgers may be being shot, gassed and setts blown up throughout the UK including in Dorset, and that farmers are using dogs to torment and kill badgers (which incidentally can cause great suffering to the dogs if bitten back by defensive badgers). Badgers are a much loved and ‘protected’ species – it is completely illegal to hurt them in any way except in the cull zones being trialled in Somerset and Gloucestershire this month. If you see a wildlife crime such as anyone hurting badgers, or find ANY dead badgers anywhere even on the roads, you should report it to the RSPCA Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999 or even the police.

There are also voluntary Wounded Badger Patrols who are peacefully and legally rescuing wounded badgers who have been shot and left to die slowly in the trial cull zones.

Alternative ways to help control bovine TB

The RSPCA (who offer a Freedom Foods standard for farm animal welfare) along with several other organisations including the Dorset Wildlife Trust recommend several measures as a more effective way to prevent TB in cattle without having to potentially wipe out our badgers, including:

  • vaccination for badgers
  • restricted cattle movements
  • better bio-security on farms (including; more rigorous and more frequent testing of cattle for bTB, improved ventilation in cow sheds to decrease cow to cow spread of disease, quarantine areas for infected cattle, regularly cleaning water troughs sometimes shared by badgers and other possible TB carriers and installing badger-proof fences where needed)
  • vaccination of cattle in the long-term (we need to put pressure on the UK government to focus on investing in changing current EU legislation for cows that have been tested for TB, and to trial the DIVA test)

Compassionate Companies Against the Badger Cull

Poole based ethical company Lush Cosmetics recently handed in 21,000 anti-cull campaign postcards that were collected in Lush stores, to the Conservative Policy Minister (also my MP for West Dorset), Oliver Letwin. Hilary Jones, Lush’s Ethics Director, said that “It’s time for someone sensible in government to step forward and bring this nonsense to an end. They know it will not solve bovine TB; their own scientists have told them this. It is time for the Tories to stop ransoming badgers in order to get farming votes and start dealing with the realities of modern farming practices.”

Green Energy Supplier Ecotricity have also supported Animal Aid’s campaign as part of Team Badger, with the founder of Ecotricity Dale Vince stating, “I fully support Team Badger in their efforts in getting this hideous cull stopped. It’s worth considering that if we truly have to virtually wipe out a species like the badger just to produce milk from cows, then maybe we should be questioning the basis for the dairy industry itself. After all, we don’t need cows’ milk to live.”

Certainly food for thought but if you don’t want to give up dairy, or to stop supporting conscientious farmers, several supermarkets are even selling ‘Badger Friendly Milk’ by supplying milk from farms that will not allow the badger cull on their land. This includes Asda, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. (I would personally urge people to spare a thought for our cows too and only ever buy free-range and/or organic dairy and meat, especially this Organic September).

Support Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Badger Vaccination Appeal

I think that the fact that all The Wildlife Trusts will not allow badger culling on any of their land speaks volumes. This is not about the morals of culling animals as part of land management or in order to protect an endangered species, which most people would probably agree should only ever be the last resort and done as humanely as possible – this is about the non-sensical highly controversial, unnecessary and inhumane slaughtering of the vast majority of a mostly healthy and otherwise protected species (it is extremely difficult to free shoot badgers especially at night so most will die slowly and in agony from their wounds) and I believe it has huge implications for the balance of our bio-diversity and even cause dire consequences for the very animals they are being killed to protect – our cows – who will all be killed in a few years time anyway to be sold for meat or when they are simply no longer of commercial value. This is the brutal and sad reality, but YOU have the power to protect our badgers AND our cows AND support our farmers!…

1 badger vaccine costs just £5.
Please consider texting BADG13 £5 to 70070 or go online to donate to the Dorset Wildlife Trust Badger Vaccination Appeal.

Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare are also working hard to support other voluntary badger vaccination schemes in the hope of offering them for free to farmers who pledge not to cull on their land.

Remember that farmers work for us

The government and the NFU may well be doing a dis-service to our struggling farmers with all the public outcry and negative press they are receiving, and by acting irrationally just to be seen to “be doing something”, but it would be sad to see this issue turning into ‘us v them’ (the ‘public v the farmer’) with such an emotive issue such as killing our beloved badgers. But please remember that farmers exist to provide us as consumers with our food and they need us to support British farming.

Some people are saying that if you eat cows or drink their milk you might as well be holding a gun, and there is a small number of people who would happily see us boycott British farms altogether over the badger cull issue, but although I choose to be vegan myself, I would personally hate to see that happen. Whatever your views are on eating meat/dairy or the badger cull, Britain still has higher farm animal welfare standards than many countries. We have a long way to go (according to Compassion in World Farming 2 out of 3 farms are still factory farmed worldwide) and there is simply no excuse for factory farming in this day and age (for many reasons I won’t go into now but you can read previous blog posts on Sustainable Farming), but please support British free-range, high welfare and organic farms, and of course badger friendly farms.

For those farmers pro cull, sitting on the fence or those who have no care for badgers, I personally do hope they will see sense and at least postpone signing up to allow a badger cull on their land, and instead opt for badger vaccination and take much stronger bio-security measures and restricted cattle movements, otherwise they may well find themselves under more threat of TB than they are now, and they certainly won’t win over the hearts and minds of their customers.

(Please note that any opinions here are my own as a Dorset resident and speaking on behalf of the reported 70%+ UK people who do not want the badger cull and who instead support vaccination and better farming as humane and more sensible solutions to bovine TB).

6Comments | Post your own comment

  • Ian Mortimer comments:
    "I am not quite sure what “ringstead bay” finds to get so upset about. The author quite clearly states her interest which is far more than one gets when reading DEFRA, the NFU or government articles on the subject.
    I came to the subject of the badger cull with a completely open mind. I have a background in science so I began by reading the science. I do not mean the pseudo-science as reported in the newspapers. If you believe the newspapers you live in cloud cuckoo land although the Guardian does a very good job.
    I read Professor John Krebbs report into the disasterous gassing cull of 1975-1982, his report on the interim culls and then Professor John Bourne’s report on the ten year Independent Study Group trial. I have also read the follow up work carried out by Professor Cristl Donnelly and, most importantly, what really happened in Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and several other countries.
    After all this I have come to two conclusions. Firstly, this cull is crazy, unscientific and not justifiable. Secondly, government ministers, DEFRA and the NFU tell the public only what they want them to hear. In my opinion they lie by omission. Hence the oath in Courts of Law “the Truth, the WHOLE Truth and Nothing but the Truth”.
    Morts "

    September 6, 2013 a 12:55 pm

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Hi ‘Rinstead Bay’, I am extremely sorry to hear you think this as I have been very careful to only use information sourced from the leading animal/wildlife welfare charities and TB info websites, and aimed not to be biased although obviously I am clearly writing as anti badger cull / pro vaccination, and I am very concerned about a cull coming to Dorset as the overwhelming information from respected sources is that there is a threat it could actually make things worse. I want sensible long term solutions not an unrealistic quick fix that the majority of experts say won’t work – even Defra’s own wildlife advisory body, Natural England, who have to implement the government’s plans, have publically said they have little confidence in a badger cull delivering the predicted benefits. If there is anything you think incorrect please tell me specifically so I can check the facts for you although there is a lot of misinformation out there which is why farmers are confused and the last thing I want to do is add to that. However please note I have specified that this is a personal blog post written by me as an individual open to comments and I have linked to many websites where you can find out unbiased information. I also agree that the Dorset Wildlife Trust probably offer the least biased and very valuable information, hence why I have linked to them too and am asking people to support their vaccination appeal. "
    September 6, 2013 a 9:35 am

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Thank you for your comments Alex and Rainbow. In reply to Alex, no one ‘official’ except willing volunteers will be doing random checks of badger roadkill but the Badger Trust and RSPCA are asking the public to report all dead badgers they find as it is possible many farmers will dump badgers they have killed so they are not on their land. The RSPCA have also said only 5% of the planned 5000 badgers shot in the cullzones will be even tested for bTB – its too expensive, one of many reasons people are so outraged. "
    September 6, 2013 a 9:20 am

  • ringstead bay comments:
    "Quite frankly the most biased; ill-informed; unfactual piece I have read on this subject…. total and utter propoganda that does no credit to groups such as Dorset Wildlife Trust who offer balanced; informed and well reasoned arguments "
    September 5, 2013 a 11:05 pm

  • Rainbow comments:
    "A very well written account of the facts about all this! I would hope a lot of people.. not just in Dorset.. would actually take the time to read this properly. I also have been seeing a lot of badger ‘roadkill’ or not.. seeing 3 along the B3066 within 1 mile of each other is unusual but impossible to stop to investigate as in dangerous parts of the road! Well done Lush too.. being an ex employee of theirs I applaude their stance not only on this cull but other animal and nature welfare matters. "
    September 5, 2013 a 8:07 pm

  • Alex Smith comments:
    "I am seeing a sudden upsurge in ‘road killed’ Badgers over the past few days, here in Somerset.What’s to say farmers aren’t ‘taking things into their own hands’ and killing badgers then dumping at night as ‘road kill’? will anyone be out doing random checks on this such as Environment Agency? "
    September 5, 2013 a 4:54 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
The RAW campaign – kickstarting a food & farming revolution!

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,

In case you hadn’t noticed, at Dorset Energized we are kickstarting a renewable energy revolution!!!

Individuals, households, businesses, communities, charity groups and organisations all need to do our own ‘little bit’ and pull together to:

1) invest in renewable energy today and
2) reduce our energy demand by becoming more energy efficient and sustainable.

Our website is packed full of ideas for steps you can take today to feel good, save the planet AND even save money too! From simply switching energy suppliers to Good Energy (something I am very happy to have recently done myself!), to buying a wood fuelled heater, investing in solar panels or buying an electric car but there are also some tips on energy efficiency, and on living in a more sustainable and natural way – something more and more of us are quite frankly yearning for!

In my spare time I also run Compassionate Dorset – the local supporter group for the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming who campaign peacefully to end factory farming – and as it also happens to be Soil Association’s Organic September, I wanted to let you know about a new campaign to end factory farming called ‘RAW’ and how it directly relates to the most pressing issues of sustainability including climate change and food energy.

RAW is an ambitious, international campaign and it aims to kickstart a food and farming revolution…

Factory farms are everywhere – they raise around 2 in every 3 farm animals, and they are here in the UK and Dorset! But they’re not working. Industrialised meat and dairy farming is dangerous, unfair and dirty, placing untold pressure on animals, people and the planet.

RAW will expose and explore the true cost of factory farming and build a movement for positive, practical food and farming solutions. RAW believes in better farming; farming that is safer, fairer and greener; farming that gives us all access to healthy, affordable food.

Factory farming and climate change
Factory farming intensifies climate change, releasing vast volumes of greenhouse gases.

  • Livestock farming accounts for around 18% of our global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the global transport sector.
  • Factory-farmed beef requires twice as much fossil fuel energy input as pasture-reared beef.
  • Methane and nitrous oxide are 25 times and 298 times more potent than carbon dioxide respectively in terms of their potential to intensify global warming.
  • Added heat stress, shifting monsoons, and drier soils may reduce yields by as much as a third in the tropics and subtropics, where crops are already near their maximum heat tolerance.

Factory farming and resource waste
Factory farming wastes resources, requiring vast inputs but giving relatively little food energy in return.

  • On average, it takes around 6kg of plant protein to produce just 1kg of animal protein.
  • It takes over 15,000 liters of water to produce an average kilo of beef. This compares with around 1,200 liters for a kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat.
  • In the US, chemical-intensive farming uses the equivalent of 1 barrel of oil in energy to produce 1 ton of maize – a major component of animal feed.

Factory farming and biodiveristy loss
Factory farming endangers the natural world, threatening the survival of many animals and plants.

  • Current trends suggest that agricultural expansion in the Amazon for grazing and crops will see 40% of this fragile, pristine rainforest destroyed by 2050.
  • One in 10 species could face extinction by the year 2100 if current predicted climate change impacts continue.

Factory farming and pollution
Factory farming pollutes environments, contaminating the natural world with a range of potentially lethal toxins.

  • US livestock farming is responsible for around a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus that enters the country’s freshwaters.
  • Some large farms can produce more raw waste than the human population of a large US city.
  • Livestock farming accounts for over 60% of our global ammonia emissions.
  • Pig slurry is 75 times more polluting than raw domestic sewage.

But this is still just a small part of it, there are also issues with; animal cruelty, food inequality, health threats, disease risk and damaged livelihoods. By taking action against factory farming, we will not just be creating a food and farming revolution; we are also tackling one of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges.

Join the RAW Campaign
Find out more about RAW and help expose the true cost of factory farming. Let’s kickstart a food and farming (AND renewable energy) revolution together!
Visit the website today:
(And for more information on Compassion in World Farming’s Dorset supporter group visit:

Organic is Better for the environment
All month Soil Association have been celebrating Organic September!

Organic farming reduces environmental pollution and the release of greenhouse gases from food production by severely restricting the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Instead, organic farmers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.

Organic farming offers the best, currently available, practical model for addressing climate-friendly food production. This is because it is less dependent on oil-based fertilisers and pesticides and confers resilience in the face of climatic extremes. In fact soils on organic farms store higher levels of carbon in the soil – so if organic farming was common practice in the UK, we could offset at least 23% of agriculture’s current greenhouse emissions.

Choosing organic, local and seasonal food is an easy way to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Organic standards also insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow – guaranteeing a truly free-range life.

Take the Organic Pledge to support sustainable farming when you shop:

Oh and by the way, happy World Peace Day too! : )

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