Archive for ‘Sustainable Farming & Food’


06
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Letsgetenergized is making its return to champion Renewable Energy


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
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This prototype Electric Tram is being tested in China, it runs on white painted lines in the road. Its highly advanced batteries give it amazing serviceability and it carries over 300 people.

Everyday I’m sent examples of new ways of developing electric transport capabilities. From cars to aeroplanes the future is electric and combined with the enormous development of renewable energy we are entering a new fossil fuel free era.

We can dramatically reduce pollution which effects everyone of us going about our daily routine.

We can begin to reverse the worst forecasts of climate change and together make our Planet once again safe for the generations to come.

Join us in spreading the word that the UK should be taking a lead in developing renewable energy and of course majoring on moving from petrol/diesel powered transport to electric or eventually even hydrogen.

None of our political parties are focussing on renewable energy or climate change the most important issues of our times. Hold your potential MP’s locally to account and make commitments of support on both subjects.

Our commitment is clear, to the Planet, to landscape, to people and of course to the Natural World.

Tell us your own stories about installing solar, buying an electric car anything that will give confidence to other people thinking of making changes.

Forward our website details to all your friends, relatives and colleagues. Lets shout about this new energy and really get the show on the road here in the UK.https---blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com-uploads-card-image-499014-01beaa53-bfe5-4474-adef-a6a4a3fc0533



08
JUL

Vince Adams says:
BATS – Conflicting Information


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
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The latest reports from the USA highlights that bats are being killed by wind turbines is great numbers. However with small adjustments to the revolution speed we can hugely reduce the number of deaths and cause very little reduction in energy output.

The last report I saw from the UK was by RSPB and indicated that WT’s did not cause anything but minor mortality to bats.

I don’t know which is right or wrong and how much the technology is different say from the States to European models. But its clear we do need to look out for our little friends and rather like Bees understand and rejoice in the work they do for us in reducing insect populations and their effects on crops.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bat-killings-by-wind-energy-turbines-continue/?WT.mc_id=SA_ENGYSUS_20160616

We at LGE would welcome more information and input from anyone or any source that might throw more light on this hugely important matter.



24
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Growing Vegetables


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Sustainable Living
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At Letsgetenergized we believe that local sustainability is hugely important and in partnership with a move to renewable energy will begin to drive back climate change and protect the Planet.

As someone who finds it difficult to grow vegetables this initiative by Pam and Ken to engage and develop growing your own is excellent.

Do support them if you can!!

Dear Friends,
As Ken or I may already have mentioned to some of you, we have set up two local groups on Meetup.com which you may be interested in joining – if so, please click on the relevant link below to register as a member (free of charge) so that you can receive email updates and come along to our talks and meetups.
Our groups are: ‘Grow It Yourself Dorset’, which meets monthly on a the first Wednesday evening of the month in Blandford and may be of interest to those wanting to learn more about growing fruit and vegetables and other related topics, and the other is ‘Resurgence Dorset’, which holds monthly talks on the last Tuesday of the month at Blandford Museum and bi-monthly on a Saturday at Hilfield Friary, for those interested in green-living, social justice, animal welfare, ethical living and environmental issues etc.  Full details of these groups are on the links below:
If you are not interested, or have already joined, sorry to bother you, but please do forward this email on to anyone else in North Dorset you think might like to join either of our groups.
Many thanks,
Pam and Ken


05
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Transition Town and its views on the future


Category: Community Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Transition Town and its views on the future

At Letsgetenergized we believe that we are here to communicate news of  the World of renewable Energy in all of its various guises.

Today we would  like to share with you the latest vision of a renewable future as seen by members of the Transition Town network.

Its a wide ranging look at the future putting sustainability as its central theme and offers a glimpse of what is happening now.

Real people doing real things centred around localism, food, energy, transport and even money that is inspirational.

The BBC news report from Brixton on its  community energy project demonstrates just how any local scheme can change the lives of local people.

Our own local Community Energy Schemes are already set to go. One of our contributors said and I quote “community energy schemes are just like standing on street corners giving out £5 pound notes, its almost so good that people walk on by”

We are here to tell you its true they are a win for you the public, a win for the community and of course a win for the environment.

Spend sometime exploring all that Transition RE is about.

http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2015-05/8-paradigm-shifts-heart-reconomy



21
JAN

Guest Energizer says:
Leftovers Soup


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Leftovers Soup

Soup is one of the easiest and tastiest ways of eating a few more vegetables, and nature offers us just the vegetables our bodies need through the seasons. So, during winter, we can warm up with comforting carrot, squash and celeriac, while in the summer we can lighten things up with garden peas, tomato gazpachos and even lettuce soup.

We also love how soup is perfect for using up veg, and if you come across any ‘ugly’ veg that isn’t quite perfect in the looks department, soup loves all vegetables. Perhaps you have an organic farm or farmer’s market near you that struggles to sell its funny looking or slightly blemished fruit and vegetables – when it all goes in the pot it really doesn’t matter. For this recipe, you can use any combination of root vegetables and winter greens you like. We had leek, potato, carrot, cabbage and chard to hand.

Leftovers Soup

Winter vegetable soup

1. Chop an onion as fine as possible, followed by your root veg, for example a carrot and some celeriac. You might want to add a little chopped leek, too. Gently sweat all of these in olive oil in a large pan.

2. Shred some cabbage, perhaps some chard or cavelo nero. Saute this separately in a large frying pan or wok.

3. Add hot stock to the onions and root veg. We love to use a stock made with brown miso paste. Add the leafy veg to the pot.

4. Meanwhile, soft boil an egg for each person (6 minutes from boiling water), run under the cold tap, peel and slice in halves.

5. Ladle into deep bowls and add the egg halves to each.

photo-2-6

 

 

This is a Guest Post by Kate Adams, co-author with Nicole Pisani of Magic Soup: Food for Health and Happiness


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "We at Letsgetenergized believe in great vegetarian food being another plank in creating a way of life kind to our planet and utilising good food rather than creating more waste.
    Enjoy !! "

    January 21, 2015 a 6:08 pm


19
NOV

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
View from Steepton Bill


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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View from Steepton Bill

Below we have some words from Tess Evans, a smallholder and Steepton Bill Farm Shop co-owner who reflects on the present situation in dairy farming. This was originally published in the Milton Abbas Village Bulletin for November 2014

My grandmother who grew up on a farm in Somerset had vivid memories of being around eighteen years of age when the family were forced to sell off their beautiful farm and orchards as a result of her father suffering a serious accident. I think the images of lot numbers fixed onto the pony and trap, pens of animals, butter churns and even drawers of cutlery stayed with her till the day she died.

Selling up a farming enterprise is heart wrenching. Caring for and improving stock or a herd of cattle over the course of many years is a whole way of life, an emotional as well as a physical and business commitment. That is why my heart goes out to the increasing number of dairy farmers who are going out of business.

Since 2000 the number of dairy farmers has halved in the UK with an estimated two dairy farms now being sold off every day.Dairy farmers are in the eye of a ‘perfect storm’, with supermarket price wars, over production globally and EU embargos on fresh produce to Russia, a response to the conflict in Ukraine.

It costs the farmer approximately 33p per litre to produce a litre of milk but many are now receiving only around 25p per litre from the milk processors. Supermarkets use milk as a loss-leader and our farmers argue this devalues it in the eyes of consumers, they are bearing the cost cuts but the processors are still making a healthy profit (funny that!). Some dairies are following the American model where huge herds are kept in vast barns all year around, and fed on fodder based diets. These systems are extremely productive. These cows produce up to 50% more milk than those on pasture and are often milked 3 times a day.

We may in the future get used to seeing bottles labelled ‘Free Range Milk’ on the shelves from smaller dairy farmers, who will command a premium by ensuring their animals have access to pasture for a minimum of 180 days a year. Plenty of scientific evidence to show that milk and meat from animals that are free to graze is nutritionally of far greater value than the alternative. But if that’s what we want, it will come at a cost!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Tess you and your husband are wonderful and in due course I shall write about the visit we made and your kindness etc towards us.
    The need for small food producing farms is just so important and beyond the norms of our modern commercial world.
    We have to raise our standards of what food can taste and provide us with nutritionally using my maxim Less is More.
    From a base of people who believe in this mantra we can support enterprises like your own and spread the word far and wide that there are alternatives to cheap food that don’t in fact cost the earth and in fact offer better value and so many other good things. "

    November 25, 2014 a 11:35 pm


30
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Win a farmer’s market cookbook plus lots of yummy organic cakes in our October Prize Draw Competition!


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags:


 

This October we are celebrating Bake With Compassion Month especially as it was World Food Day on the 16th, so we are giving away more yummy Respect Organics cakes (an assortment of organic carrot cake, chocolate cake, banana loaf and ginger crush cake) along with a gorgeous ‘Cooking from the farmer’s market’ cookbook.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 31st October and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 1st November 2014.

Congratulations to last month’s competition winners Denise Jenkins who won a selection of Respect Organics cakes and to Emily OMara who won a lovely fresh organic Veg Box from Goldhill Organics.

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

Cooking from the farmers market

Cooking from the farmers market by Tasha De Serio and Jodi Liano

We were inspired to get this cookbook for you after our Web Manager Anna at Compassionate Dorset / The Compassion Collective blogged about it!

Anna says, “It is packed full of recipes, mostly using fresh vegetables so plenty here for vegetarians. And of course it’s so important to support local farmers. Here in Dorchester, Dorset, we have a farmers market every Wednesday and the fruit and veg is so much cheaper and fresher you really can taste the difference and it makes you feel good. (They do a delicious rye flour sough dough bread there too which I am particularly fond of so always stock up while we are there!).”

Choose Organic and Free-Range

Currently 2 out of 3 farms worldwide are intensively factory farmed in an unsustainable way and you may be surprised to know that many farms here in the UK are factory farms, so its important to look out for local, organic and free-range food.

Eating local and seasonal food is the key. Our country is choc-full of fantastic artisan producers, and if you don’t have the time to shop around every week, why not make a visit to your local farmers market or arrange for a home delivery? Also some supermarkets are better than others at stocking regional produce.

Organic and free-range food is not only much more planet-friendly (and is kinder to animals too of course), but is also better for your health and tastes much nicer too. Look out for Soil Association logo on your meat and dairy labels and avoid the Red Tractor logo if you are concerned about animal welfare. Eating less meat is also a good idea – it is better to spend a little more money on quality food, and just eat it a little less often – vegetables and pulses are much cheaper than meat too.

Or Grow Your Own!

Growing your own vegetables in a veggie patch or in pots can be great fun and extremely satisfying! If you don’t have your own garden or enough room to grow anything, or if you do but aren’t green-fingered yourself, there are Landshare schemes where garden owners who have an unused corner of their garden allow local gardeners to come in and treat it as if it were their own garden. Garden owner benefits include the chance to link with other Gardenshare Owners and the pleasure of seeing a developing vegetable plot emerging. (Or maybe they are number hundred-and-something on the allotments waiting list and are getting a bit hungry!).

Any why not raise your own free-range chickens in your garden and enjoy fresh eggs every day?! The British Hen Welfare Trust rehomes thousands of commercial laying hens destined for slaughter that deserve loving homes (they make great pets too!) and they still lay enough lovely fresh eggs for you and your family.

Check out our Sustainable Living section for lots more information and tips on buying more sustainable food and products.

Click here to enter our prize draw >>



28
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
If you watch 1 film to save the planet – watch “COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret”


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


Cowspiracy-dorset-poster

Saturday 8th November 2014 will see the new controversial, emotive and highly talked about environmental film “Cowspiracy” come to West Stafford Village Hall near Dorchester in Dorset for a special screening (and the DORSET PREMIERE!) of the US documentary that seems to be gripping the world with its teeth!

“COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary, which follows an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to discuss it.

It is described as a shocking yet humorous film which reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, as the leading cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction, and ocean ‘dead zones’.

The film is being heralded as eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of “The Cove” has said that, “Cowspiracy may be the most important film made to inspire saving the planet.”

The voluntary animal welfare group that I run called Compassionate Dorset, who are based in Dorchester but active across the county (as well as having our creative online shop), have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming. The charity was founded by a concerned dairy farmer in 1967, who became appalled by the growth of intensive farming and the disconnect between modern agriculture and the well-being of animals and the environment. Compassion in World Farming are the only major charity who campaign solely on advancing farm animal welfare, and their mission is to end factory farming in our lifetime, for good.

Anya Pearson, our Spokesperson for Compassionate Dorset, says, “Following the success of our Moo Man Film Night in aid of Compassion last year, we are really thrilled to be screening another brand new thought-provoking farming / food / environmental film. We are particularly excited as this is one of only a very small handful of UK screenings so far confirmed.”

The film night will once again be held in the beautiful and intimate surroundings of West Stafford Village Hall where there will be a fully licensed bar with hot drinks and snacks including vegan-friendly cakes, farm animal and cow themed t-shirts, prints and accessories for sale, and a raffle with lots of fantastic prizes.

I haven’t seen the film myself yet as it only premiered in the UK last month, but from the reviews I have read it sounds like it will give everyone, whether a meat-eater, Meatless Monday supporter, vegetarian or vegan, a lot to think about in terms of how our everyday food choices impact the sustainability of our planet, which is a huge part of what Compassionate Dorset is all about.

It also seems rather apt that we have another cow themed film, as not only will we be celebrating ‘Moovember’ but our group will also be celebrating our 5th birthday, so it should be a very special night.

Booking Advised!

Doors open at 7pm and everyone is welcome. Tickets are available on the night on the door, adults £3.00 and children under 16 go free but booking is advised at there is only a limited number of seats available and last year for our “Moo Man” film screening we ended up as standing room only!

For more information and to book online visit: www.compassionatedorset.co.uk/cowspiracy-charity-film-screening-dorset-uk.htm

We look forward to seeing you there : )

To find another UK screening near you go to www.cowspiracy.com



23
OCT

Holly Barber says:
Be Part of The Simon King Wildlife Project


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,


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I am new to the Lets Get Energized Blog, so allow me to introduce myself…
I am the Commercial Manager for Simon King Wildlife. Our aim is to help you make the most of your time with the natural world which is why we set up The Simon King Wildlife Project charity…

We need the natural world for our own survival. The inexorable and rapid rise in human populations and our insatiable appetite for resources has become an unsustainable drain on the life support systems upon which we all depend. This is reflected in many global crises, but can be witnessed close to home in the catastrophic loss of wildlife and wild places.

The Simon King Wildlife Project was born of a desire to turn the tide against the loss of natural habitats and begin a movement to reclaim land for the natural world.

The Simon King Wildlife Project founder – naturalist, broadcaster and author Simon King OBE – took the first positive step on this journey in 2010, when he bought a 10 acre plot of overworked pastureland in Somerset and set about converting it into a haven for wildlife. In four short years the changes have been miraculous, with the variety and volume of wild creatures and wild plants and flowers on the land increasing enormously. This success story convinced Simon that landscape scale projects of a similar nature were possible, and The Simon King Wildlife Project was born.

But this project is as much about people as it is about wildlife.

As an internationally respected producer, cameraman and presenter of wildlife films (Planet Earth, Life, Springwatch etc), Simon also realised that the key to successfully halting the global degradation of the natural world was in people learning about, engaging with, and caring for wild creatures and wild places. It was with this in mind that Simon installed a live camera network within his 10 acre plot, known as Wild Meadows, so that the secret lives of the wild creatures that moved in to the land could be seen and shared by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

And it has worked.

In its first year of streaming live on the internet, SimonKingWildlife.com has received over 2 million page views and attracts a loyal audience in excess of 150,000 people.

This is just the beginning. We know we can change the land. We know we can reach the people. But we want to do more.

We want to acquire new sites that have suffered through intensive land use or urban encroachment, and return them to a state fit to support life in all its rich forms. We want to connect these places to everyone, using on-site field centres, live camera networks and online education facilities and resources to learn about, and enjoy, the benefits of a harmonious existence with wildlife.

To achieve these goals, we need your help.

We need your support to maintain the online project as it stands, and with your support we can expand this vision to new areas, converting degraded land into wild spaces that once again breathe life and hope back into our planet.

We need to develop a fund that can be used to acquire land that currently has little value for the wild world and apply the ‘Wild Meadows’ model of restoration to it. To ensure the project has a sustainable future we intend to introduce field study centres and low impact accommodation to key locations to give people, young and old, the chance to learn about, and immerse themselves in, the natural riches that will again begin to flourish in these new wild spaces.

SKWP-Badger-Cam

With your help, we can make a difference.

For more information about The Simon King Wildlife Project and for details of how you could support us – please visit our website at SimonKingWildlife.com.



18
SEP

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Wildlife Friendly Gardening for Wild About Gardens Week 2014


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


Bee on Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

I was going to blog this week about how my partner Stu and I are planning on applying for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme, and talk a bit about how now is a good time to think about wildlife friendly gardening when we are tackling our gardens this Autumn for the Winter, when I discovered that it is actually Wild About Gardens Week!

Wild About Gardens Week

According to Wild About Gardens, over the past 50 years we’ve seen declines in two thirds of our plant and animal species, so Wild About Gardens is a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to encourage people to support local biodiversity in their gardens.

The massive decline in the UK’s animal and plant species is for a range of reasons including loss of habitat from housing developments and farming. Many of our common garden species – hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are becoming much less common. This is where gardeners can make a difference, by making their own gardens and the green spaces in their communities more wildlife friendly.

Community Grass Free Lawn Event in Dorset

Sat 20th September at Poundbury Garden Centre, Dorchester (9am – 6pm)

Here in Dorset, you help to create a Grass Free Lawn of low-growing flowering plants to be installed in the Dorchester Borough Gardens on Easter Monday next year 2015.

Pop along to the Poundbury Garden Centre to collect your free seed trays, peat-free compost and seeds, plant each different species in a separate seed tray, look after them at home and bring them along to the Borough Gardens for the Grand Planting Day next year.

Or find out if there is a Wild About Gardens Week event near you at www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk

Provide a sanctuary for wildlife this Winter

From hedgehogs and butterflies to birds and bats; it’s time to join forces and do something to help wildlife in your garden! For example, stems and seedheads provide habitats in your garden border so go easy on cutting back (which means less work for us too, hooray!).

Watch some ideas on how to encourage beneficial wildlife to stay in your garden through the coldest months:

Find out lots more about what you can do in your own garden at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk and make sure you visit The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts for more tips on how you can make a difference this autumn.

The Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme

Creating a wildlife-friendly garden (at any time of the year) makes a valuable contribution towards conserving your local wildlife and can form a vital patchwork linking urban areas with the wider countryside.

The Wildlife Trusts say that garden acreage is at least five times that of all the nature reserves and national parks put together. Climate change is also a real threat for our wildlife and having safe havens with food and water all year round could help some of our more vulnerable species survive.

Here’s the current criteria for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme:

You need to send photographic evidence to show you have five or more from the list below, to include at least one from each column A, B and C to be eligible for a plaque saying you have a ‘Wildlife Friendly Garden’.

A: HABITATS

  • Wildlife Pond
  • Bog or permanently wet area
  • Bird Bath
  • Bird Box
  • Bat Box

B: PLANTING

  • Wild flower Meadow
  • Climbing plants/Trellises suitable for nesting and feeding
  • Nectar rich flower border and bushes
  • Mixed Native Hedge
  • Mature Native Tree

C: MANAGEMENT

  • Log pile and/or substantial decaying tree stump
  • Compost Heap
  • Long Grass area
  • No-go area
  • Slug pellet free

Stu and I have discovered we already more than qualify for the plaque, basically because we quite like wild gardens and are so busy working from home as Designers we don’t spend a huge amount of time gardening to be honest, although it is very grounding and satisfying when we do!

Apart from feeding the birds (and squirrels!) every day, making sure water trays are full for our frogs and resident hedgehogs, having a compost bin which our slow worms and smaller worms love, some bay trees which our lovely resident blackbird family sleep in, some runner beans that the slugs and snails love (we would NEVER dream of using slug pellets which can kill hedgehogs) and a couple of log piles left over from last time we gardened, we’d also like to actively create even more space for nature… so watch this space!!!

Find out more on www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-friendly-gardens-scheme.html and I’ll update you on if and when we get our plaque, hopefully soon!

Also check out Friends of the Earth’s 4 steps to a beautiful Bee World as we all know by now that its vital we have plants to feed the bees, as they are crucial to our whole ecosystem. Until next time… : )


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Natalie B. comments:
    "I love this article! I like events like garden week! There are many great ideas you can learn. I think it is very important to make your garden animal-friendly. I do everything I can to have many birds in the garden! Thanks for sharing! "
    October 15, 2014 a 10:42 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "This approach to helping wildlife by the way we garden is very close to my heart.
    My wife Lin has spent the last 25 years putting together a natural organic garden that we believe is a haven for wildlife of every kind.
    Our passion is seeing the bees and butterflies thrive and our ash, beech and silver birch trees grow ever bigger each year.
    2014 has been an amazing year with weather that appears to be perfect for the natural garden to thrive.
    If everyone of us changed our habits by allowing piles of garden rubbish to stay in situ the bees would thrive, hedgehogs, insects of all kinds and think of all the energy saved when big trucks don’t have to collect garden waste bags !! "

    September 18, 2014 a 5:37 pm


15
SEP

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Meat Free Monday – Climate Pledge Campaign


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


The Meat Free Monday team including Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella, are encouraging people to take the pledge to skip meat one day a week, to reduce their carbon footprint and help tackle climate change.

The ‘Meat Free Monday Climate Pledge’ campaign (make sure you follow and use the twitter tag #MFMclimatepledge) will run during the build up to the UN Climate Summit that is taking place later this month.

Greg Barker, the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, will be taking the signed pledge to the UN Climate Summit, where Global Leaders will be meeting in New York, on 23rd September 2014, to showcase support, and talk about the positive benefits for eating (and producing) less meat.

Did you know?

Fact1

Meat production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization1, with some scientists saying the percentage is higher.

Fact2

Skipping meat for one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as not driving your car for a whole month.

Fact3

An area of Amazon rainforest the size of a hundred football pitches is cut down every hour to create room for grazing cattle.

The launch, held at vegetarian restaurant tibits in Mayfair, was attended by environmental NGO leaders and a host of supporters including Chrissie Hynde and Victoria Pendleton. During a delicious Meat Free Brunch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF, Global Action Plan, Sustainability Hub and the Eating Better alliance came together to back the campaign and committed to encouraging their members and supporters to get involved too.

Greg Barker, who has personally supported Meat Free Monday since the start of the year said: “Giving up meat one day a week is more than just a symbolic act and, if enough of us do it, will send a very powerful and loud message to world leaders. Meat production is an increasingly large contributor to dangerous climate change so coming together like this may have a small but very real impact.”

The hope is for a million signatures by the end of this week so please pledge to go meat free for at least one day a week here: http://pledge.meatfreemondays.com

For full details of the campaign follow this link: www.meatfreemondays.com



01
SEP

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
Tags:


monthly-competition-organic-september-viral

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: www.soilassociation.org/smallchangesbigdifference

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



29
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Good Energy propose new solar farm near Wareham in Purbeck


Category: Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Sustainable Farming & Food
Tags: ,


Westmill

Example Photo: Westmill solar farm in Oxfordshire

100% renewable energy suppliers Good Energy have informed us that they recently submitted a planning application for a 5.8MW solar farm at Oaklands Plantation, just north of Wareham, Purbeck. Subject to approval, Good Energy’s Oaklands solar farm will generate enough renewable electricity to supply around 1,500 homes, helping to achieve their mission of increased energy security and stability for the UK.

The site at Oaklands is very well screened, positioned between a landfill site and a commercial forest. They are proposing to install the solar panels on land which is currently used as a Christmas tree plantation, some rough pasture and a motor-cross track.

The land surrounding the panels will be recreated as grassland which can be grazed by sheep and will be managed to improve its quality and biodiversity. Some areas of the site will be adapted to recreate heathland and they will introduce a wetland area providing habitat for heathland species.

Good Energy have also promised an annual investment of £5,800 (linked to RPI) into a community fund, which will be controlled by local people to support community initiatives.

Please support Oaklands Solar Farm

Good Energy has a stated mission of supporting the development of renewable electricity and helping deliver a more secure energy supply for the UK. They would love you to join them on this journey by supporting this latest project.

You can submit comments on the Purbeck planning website before the end of Friday 29th August (apologies for the late posting here), where you can also find all the documents associated with the application.

If you have any questions about the plans or you need some more information, please get in touch with the project manager, hugo.house@goodenergy.co.uk, and look out for updates on the project here.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Alastair Mumford comments:
    "I think this is a very good scheme and balances impact with renewable generation whilst supporting the local community financially. "
    August 29, 2014 a 2:33 pm


26
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Growing Vegetables with Charles Dowding


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


Charles Dowding is guest speaker for Grow it Yourself Dorset

Renowned local organic vegetable gardener, teacher and author, Charles Dowding will be the guest speaker at Grow it Yourself Dorset on 7 May. He is an inspiring speaker and immensely knowledgeable vegetable grower, and entry is only £3, so it’s an evening not to be missed if you grow your own food or would like to start. It is also an opportunity to pick up a signed copy of his latest books.

The evening will be at the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion in Blandford (inside the walled garden by the Post Office), from 7.30-9. For more information see http://www.giyinternational.org/



16
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
The Moo Man is coming to Dorset!


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


CompassionateDorset-MooManPoster-web

In keeping with today’s cow theme (!) and as its also World Food Day (16th October), plus we are also celebrating Bake With Compassion month…
I am very excited to present…

CHARITY FILM NIGHT: THE MOO MAN
OCTOBER Saturday 19th, Doors Open 7.00pm

At West Stafford Village Hall, West Stafford near Dorchester, Dorset
£3 ENTRY ON THE DOOR (UNDER 16s FREE)

Saturday 19th October will see the remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about!

The Moo Man is a film by Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier filmed over four years on the marshes of the Pevensey Levels. In an attempt to save his family farm, organic dairy farmer Stephen Hook decides to turn his back on the cost cutting dairies and supermarkets, and instead stay small and keep his close relationship with the herd. However farmer Hook’s plans to save the farm do not always go down well with his 55 spirited cows. The result is a laugh-out-loud, emotional roller-coaster of a journey. You will never see cows in the same way again!

Hailed as “The number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival”, the film is receiving rave reviews and recognition around the world.

The Moo Man is a heart warming, tearjerker of a movie about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside. According to Variety magazine it is “An endearing portrait of the kind of age-old family farm that’s becoming extinct”.

And as the Daily Telegraph say: “This story cannot fail to leave you moo-ved!”.

Local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming which was itself founded by a concerned dairy farmer, on a mission to improve the lives of farm animals.

There will be a fully licensed bar, cakes, a raffle and they will have their popular funky farm animal t-shirts for sale too.

The film will be followed by a short Q & A session headed by Compassion in World Farming where people can feedback on the film and its implications for farm animal welfare.

Remember to check out the Dorset Energized tips and links on food and farming on our Sustainable Living section.



01
OCT

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


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


bakewithcompassion1

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 www.compassionatedorset.co.uk/animal-welfare-dorset-news.htm) 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 www.compassionatedorset.co.uk or to download a free starter pack for Bake With Compassion visit: www.bakewithcompassion.org

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!!!)



30
SEP

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Organic September Infographic


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags:


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:

Organic_September_infograph

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!



30
SEP

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
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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: www.bridport-arts.com/events/honey



05
SEP

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


Category: Dorset Energized News, Sustainable Farming & Food
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Photo: © Colin Varndell colinvarndell.co.uk (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


04
SEP

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


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags:


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: www.soilassociation.org/smallchangesbigdifference

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.



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