Author Archive


Anna Celeste Watson says:
What happened to National Carbon Footprint Day?

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , ,

Last year saw the first ever National Carbon Footprint Day here in the UK so I must say I am rather disappointed to not be able to find any information on the day continuing this year (please let me know if you hear any more!).

Climate change is as big an issue, if not a bigger issue, than ever. You may have seen Dorset Energized’s post last monthNew Report: Climate – Everyone’s Businesson a new report which adds thousands of new studies on the body of evidence on climate change.

This week the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has been widely criticised by climate scientists as “immoral” after they accused him of playing down the dangerous consequences of global warming. You can read more about that in The Telegraph at:

Confused about Climate Change?

The WWF have produced this interesting short video for people who are still confused about Climate Change and how we can all take action today:

Calculate your own carbon footprint & save money

Our lifestyle choices make up our environmental footprint.

You can calculate your Environmental Footprint on:

The government may well not be doing half enough to tackle climate change but they have at least produced the Act on CO2 Calculator website which I think is great, and where we can all as individuals and households play our part in reducing our carbon emissions and also save energy and save money too (which let’s face it, is the bottom line for most of us!).

You can measure your carbon footprint with the Act on CO2 Calculator at:

Check out our Energy Efficiency section for lots of other ways you can reduce your home energy bills. There are also several government grants and money back schemes available at the moment including the Green Deal and to prepare for the Renewable Heat Incentive which has been delayed until next year – check out our section on Renewable Energy to find out all the ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint and save money whilst investing in green sustainable energy, and look out for exclusive Dorset Energized offers too!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Dorset Celebrates Bake With Compassion this October 2013

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


Percy Pig says Get Baking!

Members from my local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset who support Dorset Energized, are celebrating BAKE WITH COMPASSION MONTH throughout October (with 14th – 20th October also being the UK’s National Baking Week), starting with our popular annual vegan cake sale in Dorchester town centre on Saturday 5th October where you can meet Percy the Free-Range Pig!

This year we are asking people across Dorset to get baking themselves to make this is a compassionate month to remember…

Bake With Compassion is the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming‘s annual event to raise awareness and funds to end the suffering caused by factory farming and celebrate ethical, higher welfare produce including organic, and to reduce the unsustainable demand for meat and dairy.

Compassion’s current major campaign ‘Project Pig’ is fighting to end the suffering of millions of Europe’s pigs following recent investigations into pig farming in Spain, Italy and Ireland where they found shocking widespread maltreatment of pigs enduring terrible conditions.

The UK alone also consumes over 30 million eggs per day. Although the barren battery cage was banned in the EU on January 1st 2012, the use of ‘enriched’ cages remains legal. Enriched colony cages house 60-80 hens with each hen only having space around 20% larger than an A4 piece of paper. Nest boxes, litter, perch space and ‘claw shortening devices’ must be provided but they are still very restrictive, the hens cannot fly up to a high perch to be safe from feather pecking. The litter area is often very limited and effective dust-bathing isn’t possible, so the hens are far from free-range. In fact, currently half of our eggs in the UK are still not free-range.

“Everyone loves cake”

I reckon that everyone loves a cake and taking cakes into work or school, baked with free-range, high welfare, or even vegan ingredients, is a great opportunity to bring people together, have fun and to raise awareness and vital funds for Compassion. Some of our group members have previously held their own Tea Parties for family or friends with one member April Walker-Bambury holding a Compassionate Tea Party with her pupils at Leweston School in Sherborne. Royal Veterinary College PhD student Sophie Collins hosted her own Come Dine With Me dinner party with her friends in Weymouth, and Laura Hodgson and Sue Loveless are putting on a meat-free day at work in Briantspuddle on alternate Fridays to raise funds.

My fellow Compassionate Dorset Co-founder Sandra Hood from Crossways, who is an NHS Diabetes Specialist Dietician and previously ran the 2011 London Marathon in aid of the charity and carried the Olympic Flame through Milborne St Andrew in 2012, held a Nutritional Cooking Workshop for last years’ Bake With Compassion with fellow Dietitian Sarah Smith, and is running the cake sale in Dorchester on the 5th.

Sandra says: “At all our bake events I have been so encouraged that most people do care about where their food comes from and want more information. People seem pleasantly surprised at how delicious cooking can be without even using any animal ingredients at all and love the free meat-free and vegan recipe booklets we have on our stall. A more plant-based diet can help energise you, keep you slimmer, and help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. I must admit I do have a sweet tooth though and particularly love baking vegan chocolate cake and cheesecake, and a little bit of what you fancy does you good – just make sure it’s in moderation!”

Know your food labels

Compassionate Dorset have found that many consumers are often confused about what they are buying as packaging does not always make it clear where food has come from. Compassion in World Farming believe that consumers have the right to know what they are eating, so for this year’s Bake With Compassion they are linking up with the ‘Labelling Matters’ campaign and encouraging bakers to inspect labels to ensure that the ingredients they bake with are higher-welfare.

Sandra adds; “Even if you are not a baker and don’t want to get involved in baking FOR Compassion, you can always bake WITH compassion and only buy free-range and high welfare ingredients or ready-made foods. If it doesn’t say ‘free range’ then it is probably factory farmed and beware of anything that says ‘farm fresh’, it doesn’t mean anything! The Red Tractor scheme is very misleading and offers few welfare benefits compared with basic standard industry practice. RSPCA Freedom Food is better as ensures greater space and bedding materials are provided, but the Soil Association Organic Standard currently has by far the highest welfare standards. We have Good Food Shopping Guides available to pick up at all our events to help people know what the labels mean.”

We would love to hear from anyone who does want to host their own bake event or send us their compassionate baking photos, or maybe people can ask their local village hall or church to provide coffee, cake and chat for a Compassionate Coffee Morning.

Dorset Businesses to support Bake With Compassion

Cafes, canteens or food businesses could use more free-range ingredients or put on a special dish for the month – it could even put them on the way to winning a Good Farm Animal Welfare Award!

One of my clients in my work as a Web Designer (hence my involvement with Dorset Energized as their Web Designer and Web Manager), Dorset business The Gilded Teapot who source and sell fine and rare speciality loose teas and fair trade coffees in their Dorchester shop in the Tudor Arcade, will be promoting Bake With Compassion throughout October, collecting donations for the charity and recommending the perfect teas to accompany your compassionate cakes.

Jo Davies, Founder and Managing Director at The Gilded Teapot says; “We are thrilled to be involved, and its a darn good excuse to eat cake, so let’s Bake With Compassion!”

The Moo Man is coming too…

Compassionate Dorset supporter Paul Fairman is also running the first ever full marathon at The Bournemouth Marathon Festival for Compassion on Sunday 6th (find out more on plus Compassionate Dorset will be hosting a film night on Saturday 19th October in West Stafford Village Hall which will see the remarkable story of a maverick organic dairy farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about – ‘The Moo Man’!

For more information on all Compassionate Dorset’s events visit or to download a free starter pack for Bake With Compassion visit:

Remember eating more ethically and sustainably is just one way you can help our planet whilst feeling good! Check out Dorset Energized’s pages on Sustainable Living and Energy Efficiency for more tips or look at the Renewable Energy options available to us all here in Dorset.

(P.S. I do have an admission to make… Percy Pig is not actually a real piggy, that is in fact me being a bit of a piggy for the photo… the things we do for fun!!!)


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:
More Than Honey Film Screening in Bridport on Saturday 6th October 2013

Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

Saturday 6th October 2013, 7.30pm
Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
More Than Honey Film Screening

The new film More Than Honey hit the big screen in September – supported by Friends of the Earth – and it’s coming here to Dorset!

The multi-award winning film tells the tale of what might happen if our bees disappeared. Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof investigates honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

Over the past 15 years, bee colonies across the world have been decimated, giving rise to a phenomenon that scientists have coined “colony collapse disorder”. This documentary looks for possible reasons why the bees are dying out and searches for solutions from the scientific community to avert an ecological disaster. More Than Honey is a great accompaniment to Friends of the Earth’s The Bee Cause campaign.

Narrated by one of my favourite actors, John Hurt, it looks at the reasons for the current bee crisis and why we rely on bees for so many things so should be a fascinating night out!

For more information and book to see the film go to:


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:
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.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Save water & energy this World Water Week 2013 (1-6 September)

Category: Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living, Water Power
Tags: ,

This week is World Water Week (from 1st to 6th September 2013) so a rather apt opportunity for us all to think about the way we use and overuse water!

According to the humanitarian charity Water Aid there is 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.

In stark contrast here in the UK, the vast amount of water we all use every day at home alone is simply putting an unsustainable demand on our planet’s resources, biodiversity and people, so we need to save water and recycle it where we can.

Did you know?…
The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day!

World Water Week is hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and takes place each year in Stockholm. The World Water Week has been the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues since 1991. Every year, over 200 collaborating organisations convene events at the World Water Week. In addition, individuals from around the globe present their findings at the scientific workshops.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of their supporters and 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.

There are lots of small things you can do every day to reduce your water usage that can make a huge difference for our planet – from something as simple as turning the tap off while you brush your teeth, to installing a Hippo in your cistern… Check out Waterwise’s Quick Tips and Facts on Saving Water.

Did you know?…
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. See more on the RAW website.

Did you also know?…
Hydro-electric power, which comes from using water to turn a turbine, supplies around 20% of the world’s electricity and yet it is barely being used at all in the UK even though we have one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world!

For 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.

You can also check out our Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Living pages for top tips on saving water to save energy (and maybe save on your water bills too!)

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Thanks for your comment Len – very good point and great to see Frack Free Dorset has a new website, good luck with all your campaigning. "
    September 3, 2013 a 2:25 pm

  • Len Herbert comments:
    "The perfect week to remind ourselves about hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. Fracking uses between 3 and 8 million gallons of water per frack, the water is so toxic with chemicals and radioactive particles it cannot be recycled and when the well leaks as all wells do eventually the water table will also be contaminated.
    Find out more at "

    September 3, 2013 a 2:20 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Open Energy-Saving Homes in Hampshire Saturday 7th September 2013

Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset

Open energy-saving homes tour
Saturday 7th September 2013, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Camp Road, Bordon, GU35 0LH (Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire)

As part of a series of events happening throughout the South West and the UK for the Community Energy Fortnight (24th August – 8th September 2013), The Co-Operative has joined up with Energy Saving Trust to offer you an exclusive opportunity to join another free event in our neighbouring county of Hampshire…

You can tour homes that have been retrofitted with a number of energy-saving measures, and visit the retrofitted old firestation (now called the Eco-station) which houses an interactive exhibition about the Whitehill & Bordon regeneration project, and you can tour the first zero-carbon home in the town which has a range of innovative energy-saving measures including an inter-seasonal heatstore.

To book tickets for this event email or more information visit

For other Community Energy Fortnight events in the South West (including the FREE ‘Energy Saving Workshop’ in Bridport, Dorset on 3rd September) visit:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
RSPB raises fracking fears for wildlife

Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Wind Power

Objections to fracking in the UK are pouring in thick and fast!
We have now heard that the RSPB is issuing its first objections to fracking proposals over concerns that the controversial drilling technique will harm wildlife and the climate.

Their website stated that the charity has lodged a letter of objection with Lancashire County Council to a proposal by Cuadrilla at Singleton near Blackpool in Lancashire. The drilling site is close to an internationally important protected area for pink footed geese and whooper swans and could cause disturbance to the birds. The RSPB is also officially objecting to the contentious plans to explore for oil and gas at Balcombe in Sussex on the grounds that no Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out, and because increasing oil and gas use will scupper their chances of meeting climate targets.

Harry Huyton, RSPB head of climate and energy policy, said: “Balcombe has hit the headlines as the battleground in the debate over fracking. The public there are rightly concerned about the impact this new technology will have on their countryside. These are not just nimbys worried about house prices – there is a very real public disquiet about fracking. We have looked closely at the rules in place to police drilling for shale gas and oil, and they are simply not robust enough to ensure that our water, our landscapes and our wildlife are safe.”

Mr Huyton added: “Figures suggest that in the north of England there is potential for 5,000 sites and a total of up to 100,000 wells. The idea that these will not have an impact on the countryside is very difficult to believe. Fracking is technology largely untested in the UK and we really have no idea what the impact will be on our wildlife. We do know, however, that concentrating our resources on extracting fossil fuel from the ground instead of investing in renewable energy threatens to undermine our commitment to avoiding dangerous levels of climate change.”

Read the full article on the RSPB website at:

RSPB Wind Turbine Proposal
As an animal and nature lover, I find it very reassuring to see that the RSPB who are dedicated to protecting wildlife are working hard against climate change and, like Dorset Energized, believe we must invest in renewables. Interestingly, earlier this year in April 2013, the RSPB announced its grand plans for its own wind turbine (see my previous post at: ‘RSPB announces plans for a wind turbine at its HQ’).

Adam Murray from the RSPB, previously commented that “We believe that renewable energy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, which poses the single biggest threat to the long term survival of birds and wildlife.” He added “We know that with the right design and location wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife, but we always take care to consider any wind turbine proposal on a case-by-case basis.”

Dorset Energized also agree strongly with the RSPB that wind turbine proposals should always be very carefully considered on a case by case basis to make sure they will not have a detrimental impact on wildlife. Find out more about Wind Power here:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Energy Saving Workshop in Bridport on Tuesday 3rd September 2013

Category: Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset

Energy Saving Workshop
Tuesday 3rd September 2013, 4:00pm
Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR

As part of a series of events happening throughout the South West and the UK for the Community Energy Fortnight (24th August – 8th September 2013), The Co-Operative has joined up with Energy Saving Trust to offer you an exclusive opportunity to join a free event which provides advice and takes you through some straightforward ways to save money on your energy bills and at the same time reduce your carbon footprint.

The session will cover everything from small changes you can make in your home, to deals you can negotiate with suppliers, and habits you can change to make a real difference. Their simple ‘Three Steps’ programme can save you up to £155 a year without having to invest a penny!

You will also have a chance to hear about exciting community energy initiatives in the rejoin, such as the Bindon Mill Screw Turbine installation, and meet local groups that are working within your community.

This event is open to members and guests, and booking will be on a first come, first served basis. Places are limited.

To book and secure your place, visit, click the ‘Book tickets’ button on the right, or call 01884 266892.

For other Community Energy Fortnight events in the South West (including the ‘Open energy-saving homes’ in Hampshire on 7th September) visit:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Today is Earth Overshoot Day (20th August 2013)

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency
Tags: ,

According to the charity WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature), last year in 2012, we demanded more natural resources in eight months than what it takes the earth 12 months to produce.

For the rest of the year, we lived on resources borrowed from future generations. Falling on August 22nd in 2012, this year ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ has come 2 days earlier than last year, TODAY 20th August 2013. In fact, since 2001, Overshoot Day has moved ahead by an average of 3 days per year.

On a finite planet, we need to change the way we think about everything, but especially about where and how we live, work and travel, along with what and how much we consume. In short, we need to find ways to do more with less.

How BIG is YOUR Environmental Footprint?
Our lifestyle choices make up our environmental footprint. Measuring yours takes less than 5 minutes and could change the way you live:

WWF’s Earth Overshoot Day website is also filled with ideas on ways you can help to create a greener world including by buying environmentally-friendly products, reducing your carbon footprint and to better prepare for climate change. Visit the website on:

And of course our Dorset Energized site is also jam packed with top tips to help you be more energy efficient, invest in renewable energy and generally lead a more sustainable life.

Please share any other ideas you have and let us know what small steps you are taking today to reduce your personal impact on our earth’s precious resources.

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Hi Chris, we know it can seem like things are a mess in the world, but please take heart – there are a LOT of good people doing good things and we truly believe that every little positive step we take as individuals can make a difference – all big global change starts with small changes by a small number of people. This very website is filled with ideas to help people make positive changes to reduce their impact on our environment while still benefiting ourselves – whether by saving money on our energy bills now, as a financial investment for the longer term, or even just to make you feel good that you are at least “doing something”! "
    August 21, 2013 a 1:36 pm

  • Chris comments:
    "Today will pass by as have so many days with our mind on ourselves and our little expensive freedoms and liberties, pains and shortages. And tomorrow will come and pass the same way. And it hurts so much to see that we dont understand life, even in the 21. technological, super dooper, advanced face lift century. With all egoistic force to make this world a better place we are only creating more and more uncomfortable comfort. Tomorrow never comes… "
    August 20, 2013 a 9:40 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
UnFrack Me! Switch to energy suppliers that don’t frack

Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas

You may or may not have noticed there is still an awful lot of fuss about fracking here in the UK at the moment in the national media. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth (literally under our feet). Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies (as explained on

While environmental action groups including Frack Free Dorset and ethical companies such as Lush continue to put pressure on local councils (you can ask Dorset County Council not to frack on council owned land at: and our government to stop fracking for gas and to instead invest in sustainable green energy, we must never underestimate the power that we have as individuals to make a stand and make a difference…

Frack-Off are therefore asking us as consumers to use our power and to support energy suppliers that don’t frack.

We’re always banging on about switching to renewable energy suppliers here at Dorset Energized anyway, as we know how simple and effective it is. 100% renewable electricity suppliers Good Energy who are on the list of green suppliers who also don’t frack, even currently have a special offer just for Dorset Energized users to save £50 off your first bill to help you make the switch (make sure you quote ‘Dorset Energized’). I put my money where my mouth is last year and made the switch myself and am pleasantly surprised that my bill is pretty much the same as it used to be when I was with Scottish Power (and before that British Gas).

As Frack-Off say, IT TAKES 3 MINUTES TO SWITCH! You won’t need account numbers or meter readings.

Compare green energy suppliers here:

What is fracking?
I like the way Frack-Off explain what fracking is! They say:
You know those scenes in films when junkies scratch around the house looking everywhere for one last tiny rock or heroin, find it, take it, and are found dead the next day? That’s fracking.

Why should I care?
As Frack-Off also put it, you should care about fracking:
Because every penny spent on fracking makes the problem worse, and isn’t spent on green energy which would make the problem better. It will also help melt the permafrost triggering massive methane release, poison water supplies, and make selfish sociopaths very rich.

Find out more about fracking at:
Check out the ‘Dangers of Fracking’ website if you haven’t already at:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
The world watches as the first test tube beefburger is unveiled

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

This week on Monday 5th August 2013 the world’s first lab-grown beefburger was cooked and served to a live audience in London under the glare of the world’s media. Hailed by experts as an exciting step towards food security, but slammed by many as something straight out of science fiction, ‘cultured meat’, or ‘lab meat’, is the subject of hot debate.

I’ve been vegan for many years so like many people my initial thoughts were of repulse, but according to my favourite charity Compassion in World Farming and their RAW campaign, the test-tube burger which was grown in a lab from the stem cells of a cow, could herald a new era of meat production as synthetic meat could prevent the future suffering of millions of farm animals and stop the pollution factory farming causes.

Can ‘cultured’ meat help feed the world? 

With the world population predicted to rise to around 9 billion by 2050, experts believe that food production must increase dramatically. The developer of the lab-grown burger, Professor Mark Post from the University of Maastricht in Holland, hopes that artificial meat could meet the future global demand for meat.

He says that: “The result of years of research, the breakthrough burger offers what experts believe could be a sustainable solution to the problem of feeding a growing population that’s more meat-hungry than ever. The current system of intensive livestock farming is threatening the environment, human health and the welfare of millions of animals, and alternatives need to be found.”

Compassion and RAW agree that cultured meat therefore has the potential to be part of the solution to world hunger. According to the BBC, a study in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal found that lab beef uses 45% less energy than farming cattle, produces 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires 99% less land. These figures are simply too significant to be ignored.

Read RAW’s full blog on ‘Cultured Beef: ‘Frankenburger’ or Food Saviour?’ at:

But would you eat a test tube beefburger?

Compassion’s CEO Philip Lymbery, when asking if he would eat a lab-grown burger, says that he would. He says “The cost to the environment of industrial meat production is vast; a third of the world’s cereal harvest and most soya are destined for animal factories with huge inefficiency; a fraction of the calories and protein value of the crops is returned as meat, milk or eggs. To give a sense of scale; if the arable crops used to provide animal feed were planted in a single field, it would near cover the entire land surface of the European Union… To me, lab-produced meat has the scope to be the real win-win scenario for animals, people and the planet“.

Many people will simply be ‘yucked out’ by the thought of eating test tube meat, but as Jason Matheny from one of the companies involved in the research has commented, “the yuck factor should really be focused on conventional meat and the way it’s produced right now which is simply unhealthy, unsafe and unsustainable”.

Read Phillip Lymbery’s full blog post to see why he would eat lab-grown meat:

Eat less meat, but better meat

Personally I feel that lab-grown meat still sounds completely unnatural and unnecessary – the fact that humans have such an insatiable desire for meat that is so inhumane and threatening to our planet and very survival that we have to resort to ‘growing’  meat in labs, when we can live perfectly healthily and happily on a plant based diet,  just seems obsurd and against nature. However, if it means that billions and billions of animals will not have to suffer miserable lives and/or premature deaths just in order to sustain what is an unnatural and unsustainable demand by humans in developed countries like ours, and to help people in poor third world countries who are starving as they don’t have enough food, then lab-grown meat seems a far more humane and environmentally sustainable option, and may help people question the whole system of our current food production.

But, as RAW also commented this week: “The truth is that we need an arsenal of tools to overcome predicted food shortages. So alongside this triumph of science, which may or may not become mainstream, people everywhere should be looking to eat less but better meat. Not only is this option cheaper, but it’s good for us and the planet, and can get underway today.”

Remember that every small step we take today as individuals and families to lead a more sustainable life, can lead the way for others and make a big difference to our planet (and make you feel good too!).

Let us know what you think!

Eating less meat, that is free-range and organic, is a great way to help the planet and to save money, plus there’s loads more tips on Sustainable Living here as well >>


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Lush Say Frack Off! Defend your right to clean air and water…

Category: Dorset Energized News, Fracking, Renewable Energy Film/Video

If you haven’t heard about the dangers of fracking yet, or have and wonder what the frack all the fuss is about, then this new video from the always inspiring ethical people at Lush Cosmetics (who started here in Poole, Dorset) explains it all!

Fracking is a threat to our water and our air. The oil and gas industry wants to frack the UK when we should be investing in more renewable, sustainable energy sources. Only we can stop them.

Lush are supporting Frack Off – a grassroots campaign group committed to stopping the spread of ‘extreme energy’ and unconventional gas extraction here in the UK.

Find out more about the Lush campaign to fight against a fracked future at:

You may be alarmed to know that Dorset is a hot spot for planned fracking!
Find out more about our local group Frack Free Dorset at:

1Comments | Post your own comment


Anna Celeste Watson says:
UK to help end global hunger at the GT Summit 2013

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food

This weekend 17th to 18th June 2013, the UK will host the GT summit in Northern Ireland, where the world’s most powerful leaders will meet, so last Saturday 8th June, 45,000 IF campaigners packed Hyde Park in London to make a massive noise in demanding that G8 leaders take action to end global hunger. This Saturday 15th June will see the BIG IF in Belfast too…

A few weeks ago I posted about the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign with their fantastic video showing how climate change causes hunger and how the money that the UK and other G8 governments pledged as aid to help poor communities cope with climate change, can help mums and dads put food on the table for their children – you can view my post and watch the video again here:

It’s hard to face facts that nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night and two million children die from malnutrition every year. Hunger is still the great scandal of our age. All around the world, even in the UK, people are struggling to feed their families. The G8 is our best opportunity to tackle hunger and make our UK and world leaders keep their promise.An important part of the G8 Agenda under Transparency includes:

  • Support measures to ensure responsible use of land, fisheries and forests in the interests of national food security
  • Encourage sustainable investment and management of land resources and increased global transparency of resource-extraction

I was one of the 5,000 people who also signed postcards by IF allies RAW (brought to you by Compassion in World Farming) to reserve our ‘virtual place’ at the G8, calling for the UK, as G8 host, to lead us away from ‘grain-hungry’ factory farming and support smaller-scale farmers in developing countries.

There’s loads more on the connections between factory farming, hunger and climate change on the RAW website

Check out the RAW infographic below too on why factory farming is bad for people, animals and the planet, and maybe consider taking one simple action yourself, TODAY, to help end world hunger : by eating less meat (and make sure its free range of course)! There’s loads more ideas on simple Food Lifestyle Changes on the IF website too at:

Remember that every small step today we take as individuals and families, towards a more sustainable life even simply through our food and energy use choices, can make a huge difference to our fellow human beings and even the whole planet!


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Energy we can all afford – Public meeting in Bridport 14th June 2013

Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security

Public Energy Meeting with Oliver Letwin MP & Friends of the Earth’s Chief Executive Andy Atkins

Friday 14th June 2013, 7pm – 8.30pm
Bridport Town Hall, Bridport, West Dorset  (DT6 3HA)

My local West Dorset Friends of the Earth have told me about this important rescheduled public meeting here in Dorset…

This winter millions of people have struggled to pay their energy bills. Cold homes are damaging the health of our most vulnerable citizens, including children and the elderly. Yet energy prices continue to go up – mostly due to the rising price of gas.

We need new ways to use, produce and above all save energy – and this means we need a change in the law. Now is the time to discuss this, as Parliament is debating these critical issues.

Join Oliver Letwin MP and Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton to debate these crucial issues here in Dorset.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Celebrating World Environment Day

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

We’re celebrating World Environment Day!

There are so many simple steps we can all take today here in Dorset and the UK to live a more sustainable life to help ourselves and our planet – from eating less meat, reducing our waste and using less energy to switching to renewable energy suppliers.

Dorset Energized is here to help guide you on the greener road to sustainable and renewable energy, so check out our web pages below for lots more tips, info and links to local suppliers:

  • Switching Energy Suppliers – switch to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity and they’ll give Dorset Energized users £50 off your first bill
  • Energy Efficiency – top tips from switching off your appliances and insulating your home to how to reduce your water usage and waste
  • Sustainable Living - from eco friendly travel to looking for organic local seasonal food
  • Renewable Energy Options – from biomass heating to electric cars and solar power

I have stumbled across a couple of interesting articles for World Environment Day here too:

Trashed: No Place for Waste by Good Energy –

A Diet Fit for World Environment Day? by RAW –


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Don’t duck climate change – the Power of IF…

Category: Climate Change, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Farming & Food

Today we celebrate Earth Day and Enough Food For Everyone IF have just released another fab little video showing how climate change causes hunger and how the money that the UK and other G8 governments pledged as aid to help poor communities cope with climate change, can help mums and dads put food on the table for their children.

Now we need to make sure they don’t duck their climate promise.

Please take just 1 minute today to ask our Climate Change Minister Ed Davey to keep the climate change promise.
Read more and sign online at:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
YouGen Energy Photo Competition

Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

Yougen have told Dorset Energized about a fantastic photo competition where you could win a fabulous energy saving pack worth £157.00!

They are looking for inspiring photos of any energy saving measures you’ve taken to make your home or business (or community) more energy efficient.

The winner will get a home energy saving pack, that includes:

  • Black & Decker Thermal Heat Detector worth £65.82
  • Radiator booster worth £24.95
  • Ecoflap worth £21.95
  • Radflek radiator reflectors 6 Pack worth £14.95
  • Pulse Eco Shower Head worth £29.95

Entry is free and you can submit your photos via email, Facebook and Twitter.

For more information visit:

I can’t wait to see what inspiring photos Dorset has to offer and please remember to let us know if you have entered so we can check them out too!

Good luck : )

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