Michael Gove will be an environmental disaster

Theresa May’s appointment of Michael Gove as head of the environment and farming ministry, Defra, is a disaster in the making. He is likely to sweep away many of the regulations that protect the environment and biodiversity.

Politically, we live in curious times with no certainty that the government will be stable or strong enough to survive the Brexit process. Theresa May has reappointed most of her pre-election cabinet, but she moved Andrea Leadsom from Defra to become Leader of the House of Commons. Michael Gove has been brought back to cabinet as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We have gone from a barely noticed Defra Secretary to one that will crave attention by swinging a wrecking ball through environmental regulation.

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General Election 2017: How Green is Thy Manifesto?

Yesterday, Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green Party, carried a green question mark around London to draw attention to the absence of any discussion of the environment during the general election campaign. Across the pond, Donald Trump is about to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement.

So, what do the manifestos say about climate change and green energy?[1]

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Shropshire still not getting fly-tipping under control – you can help by reporting incidents

The good news is that fly-tipping in Shropshire is going down. The latest statistics show an 11% year-on-year fall in reports of fly-tipping in the unitary council area, much better than the 3% fall in the rest of England.

It’s not all good news unfortunately. The number of incidents is still higher than five years ago. Shropshire Council spent nearly £100,000 on cleaning up the mess and prosecuting offenders. The council needs to improve its enforcement. And we all need to do more to report fly-tipping incidents.

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Axing of oak tree on Whitcliffe Common hits reputation of Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Today, Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT) carried out its plans to fell an oak tree on Whitcliffe Common. The trust has reacted poorly throughout an affair that has divided our town. We need to learn the lessons from this.

For this oak tree, and the wildlife that sheltered in it, it is over. It has been felled. The freezing fog this morning was probably not the best time for all the bugs and beasties that live in oaks to find a new host. I guess they are now on their way to compost.

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A compromise has been reached on felling of Whitcliffe oak trees – we need to learn the lessons

Shropshire Wildlife Trust will today issue a press statement on the controversial plans to fell two semi-mature oak trees on Whitcliffe Common to improve views for visitors. Their position is that one tree should be felled and the other preserved. The tree that will be lost stands to the left as you look from the top of the common by the toposcope and parking area.

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