Monday, 28 December 2009

UK government launches public consultation on circuses


Following a major exposé of circus animal abuse earlier this year by Animal Defenders International (ADI), the UK government is launching a public consultation on Monday 21 December concerning the use of animals in travelling circuses.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Planning Applications in Ceredigion

Tip: If you are interested in searching for or following planning applications in Ceredigion, did you know that it is possible to search for them by number on the Ceredigion County Council website? You can get straight to the search form here. It gives limited information but is much better than the weekly excel charts the Council created.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

Transport plans



We had a few emails this week from people at Aberystwyth University, saying that the University is investigating the environmental cost of their transport. We applaud the move. The text we were sent was:

Climate change global editorial project



Today for the first time in history 56 major newspapers in 45 countries all featured the same editorial, illustrating the vital importance of humanity acting to change our frequently wasteful way of life as soon as possible. You can read the 'Copenhagen Editorial' here; and find out how it came about here.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Rethink Trident


Add your name to the Rethink Trident statement.

CND and Compass have brought together a coalition of over 100 leading figures from across British public life to call for next week's Pre Budget Report to halt Trident replacement and re-deploy the resources saved to more socially useful areas. You can read the statement and add your name at rethinktrident.org.uk

Friday, 4 December 2009

Penglais School Initiative

Penglais School in Aberystwyth managed to get a small grant from Keep Wales Tidy for litter-picking equipment, and has already started with student litter picks. Their first one by year 10 students collected 10 bags of rubbish. Congratulations Penglais!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Know any meat eating 'environmentalists'?

Some interesting and thought-provoking facts below, courtesy of PETA's Animal Times. Click to enlarge (two separate images).


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Policies and the paper they're written on

We hate to complain about Aberystwyth University again, but we get a fair few emails on this topic, obviously people feel let down by the university's actions. We have had more emails, enough to add together as a new post. Wouldn't it be great if we could instead have positive posts about the university? E.g. they decided to preserve a greenfield site instead of building on it; or established a new wood; or instituted a policy of full consultation before any building projects; or halted expermentation on GMOs and their use of animals in vivisection?

Humans and other animals

We often hear 'humans' and 'animals' referred to as if they are separate things. However humans are a species of mammal: therefore we are animals in the same way that dogs, porpoises and rats are. However, few people stop to think about this kinship, or what our relationship really is, or should be. Sadly, in many cases, the relationship is to the detriment of other species, as these rare photographs of now extinct animals show.


Sunday, 1 November 2009

White Poppy Ceremony - 7th November


This year's White Poppy Wreath laying ceremony in Aberystwyth has been confirmed by the Town Council and will take place at 12 noon on 7th November at the War Memorial in the Castle grounds.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Climate Justice Fast


Climate Justice Fast is an international hunger strike to call for strong, just action on the climate crisis. It takes place from the 6th of November 2009, to coincide with the UN climate talks in Barcelona, until at least the end of Copenhagen climate conference, on the 19th of December (where world leaders will be effectively tasked with deciding the fate of our planet at the UNFCCC COP15).

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Action for Climate Change day - Saturday 24th October



Saturday 24th October is Action for Climate change day. As part of that a film distributed by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), will be shown at The Morlan Centre on Sat 24th, 7.30pm.

The aim of the event will be to raise awareness of the issue of rainforest destruction, share information, and enjoy some eco-entertainment. There will be rainforest stories with cellist Ailsa Mair Hughes and possibly other entertainers. An educational and entertaining, worthwhile event to support - take your family!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Whingy car lovers


Whinging again - recent letters in the Cambrian News (Thu 17 Sept 09, p20)

Yes, the annual whinge about traffic in Llanbadarn Fawr has begun again. As well as NIMBY snivelling for a bypass again - i.e. wanting to destroy part of an SSSI for more roads - there are now requests for a 'slip road' - which would again involve building roads on greenfield sites. Councillor Paul James wants a solution to 'the current rush-hour gridlock' caused by 'daily traffic jams'. The solution is simple. The people in the gridlock should leave their cars at home and walk, bus or cycle; and Councillors should be setting an example there, not adding to the traffic with their own car journeys. While our culture remains focussed on the laziness of short-distance drives with single-person vehicle occupancy, traffic jams are inevitable: ruining the environment in order to make things more pleasant for irresponsible motorists is hardly the solution.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Scallop Dredging Banned - yay!

Article from the Cambrian News, Thu 1st October 09, p11 - click to enlarge

Scallop dredging could just as easily be called sea-floor scraping - because that is what it is. Indiscriminate damage to the seafloor and the life that lives there, it is about time that this destructive and unnecessary practice was banned. The issue has been covered in detail by Save Our Sea, who have campaigned hard on this issue along with other environmental groups. It is great to see common sense prevailing.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Aberystwyth Coast Care Group

We recently covered the Tan Y Bwlch beach clean. Attendance on the day was okay, but considering the amount of people in Aberystwyth it could have been a lot better! We picked up many binbags' worth of rubbish and recycling, leaving the beach pristine. It was nice to be out in the open doing something that leaves the world a little better off for your intervention.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Vandalism of the Green

One of many new trees in Plas Crug, Aberystwyth, snapped off by vandals

Ceredigion County Council does a fairly good job of keeping Plas Crug in Aberystwyth nice and green, and the new trees they planted in May/June were really appreciated. At least by normal people.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Beach clean in Aberystwyth - 19th September



Volunteers are wanted for the next beach tidy at the nature reserve at Pen Dinas & Tanybwlch, 10am, Saturday 19th September. Meet at the Stone Jetty, Tanybwlch Car Park. All are welcome! If you want to find out more, contact the Coast & Countryside Section, Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council, 01545 572142.

If you are interested in this kind of rewarding activity, then the Marine Conservation Society do similar things as part of their Beachwatch campaign. They also have a list of events in Wales.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Aberystwyth University - Sports Science Department extension


Aberystwyth University has brought in the diggers again, as the University's apparent plans to replace green areas with buildings and concrete continue apace. This time it is the Sports Science Department, which is being extended onto the green space nearby. We suppose that isn't too unexpected, since the University cut down part of a wood to build the department in the first place.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Welsh Assembly Government Climate Change Consultation Events in September

The Welsh Assembly Government is holding workshop events on their Climate Change Strategy in September, to "get your views on our proposals and find out more about the action that you are already taking". The full consultation document can be found online.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Off The Hoof



We just wanted to promote 'Off The Hoof' magazine. It covers a range of topics of interest to anyone interested in green and ethical issues, and some previous issues can be read online for free. Their website also includes a useful directory. Please consider supporting this new publication so that it can grow into a positive force for change.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Aberystwyth University Arts Centre = Concreteville

Diggers move in

For background on this, see our 'Aberystwyth Arts Centre - The Anti-green' post.

Since June there has been noise and disruption to pedestrian movement as the Arts Centre went on with its expansion plans. At the end of July tons of concrete was delivered so that the Arts Centre could build over the last green space on the plaza.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Swansea City's stupid planners

Visitors to Swansea can't fail to notice the City Centre bus station redevelopment taking place - it can be extremely confusing finding your way from the current bus dropping-off points to the city centre. However that wouldn't bother CIN - we support public transport!

What does bother CIN is when councils cut down mature trees. On Monday 20th July a CIN member was dismayed to see workmen cutting down mature trees as part of this redevelopment. The CIN member wasn't alone - a number of people stopped and watched, commenting that it was 'shameful' and 'absolutely irresponsible'.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Deadline for responses to Tesco planning application in Machynlleth

If the planning application for the large Tesco in Machynlleth is approved it could signal the end for many of the small, independent shops that make the place so interesting to visit, and which keep the money from trade within the local economy. Small is beautiful!

Responses to Powys must be received by the end of this week, Friday 31 July, so if you are going to object to the application please do so ASAP. Because the deadline is so close you should send objections by email to planning.services@powys.gov.uk; sample letters and background material can be seen on the 'Keep Mach Special' website. Their site includes some links to sources of information about the importance of small independent shops and market towns.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Veggie days spread

Not long ago we covered a Belgian city having a weekly veggie day. It must be spreading - now Israel is looking to do the same with their 'Vegetarian Monday' initiative.

Aberystwyth next?

Bypass no-go-go

News from Alun Williams' blog:
LLanbadarn Bypass Disappears
In news that will delight local environmentalists, the proposed Llanbadarn Fawr Bypass near Aberystwyth has slipped off the National Assembly's radar altogether in their latest National Transport Plan.
Read his blog for the rest of the text. Great news!

Friday, 24 July 2009

'Meat causes cancer' links

The site 'Kill or cure? Help to make sense of the Daily Mail’s ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it' has a number of links in the 'meat causes cancer' section.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

CCS

We don't normally promote websites that aren't specifically on environmental issues, but the Crappy Customer Service (CCS) blog has featured an article on The Co-operative Bank, and the bank's new scheme which seems to be environmentally wasteful. Many environmentalists use The Co-operative Bank because of their ethical policy, but this may make some of them think twice.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Tree vandalism in the woods

Update, Thu 16 July 09, reply received from CCC:
"I visited the site the day after receiving your e mail. I spoke to the workmen who told me that they were working on a site in Aberystwyth that day, because they could not reach the Bronpadarn site as the Gaz Men had closed the access by digging trenches. This has been confirmed by the Police who were called in by a Doctor who lives on site and could not go out on to the main road.The workmen received a call from Ben Davies(ex County Councillor) who lives nearby . He had seen smoke coming from the direction of the trees, he also saw 2 young. lads running away.I have since interviewed Ben who has confirmed the above. He also witnessed the workmen struggling for about 40 minutes trying to put the fire out. I have interviewed the men further since my chat with Ben and I have no reason to believe that they are lying. As far as the trees are concerned, Ben feels that they will recover as did a similar tree that he has in his garden which also went on fire a few years ago Again sorry for the delay in getting back to you."

The depressing housing development in the Llanbadarn Fawr Woods (planning application A080487, by Mr M Fenton) took a twist last week. One of the grounds for objection had been the inevitable damage that would follow if Ceredigion County Council allowed Mr Fenton to build more houses in this sensitive woodland location. Last week they were proved right when a number of trees were badly burned.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Wildlife Walks, all welcome



There are a series of Biodiversity Walks organised in the Aberystwyth area in the near future. Some have already taken place, but see below for others, The walks are open to all. People with mobility issues should get in touch with the organiser Chloe (thegardenexchange@gmail.com, or phone Mon-Wed 07966 018062) to find out which walks might be suitable for them. All walks leave the Mind building on Mill Street, by the Trefenter bridge, promptly at 3pm. Walks will finish at approximately 5pm. You will need to dress appropriately for the weather, whether that might be sunblock and a hat, or a raincoat! Sturdy shoes are advisable. The aim of the walks is to discover the range and variety of wildlife, especially plant life, that occurs in our area.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Badger cull - please respond before 30th July


Baby badgers being fed

As readers may know, Elin Jones of the Welsh Assembly Government recently stated her intention to go ahead with the - as near as possible - total eradication of badgers in North Pembrokeshire, as part of a raft of measures in that area against bovine TB. WAG have now put up a Public Consultation on their website.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

More research about vegetarians


On 15th June The Guardian ran an article 'Scientists warn consumption of processed meat linked to cancer':
A dramatic fall in the consumption of processed meat such as bacon and ham would stop around 3,700 people a year from developing bowel cancer.
Today they had an article with the headline 'Vegetarians less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters, says study':

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Greener Aberystwyth Group

GAG, the Grwp Aberystwyth Gwyrddach / Greener Aberystwyth Group, are a group which aims to promote the conservation and management of accessible green spaces and street trees in and around Aberystwyth as valued amenities for the community.

You may have seen their new leaflet lying around - it shows some of the local green spaces we should visit, enjoy and protect.

Their website is under construction, and does not yet include their new leaflet. Hopefully the site will develop over time, so give this worthy group your support!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Story of Stuff

Don't forget to monitor our Delicious account, new links are added all the time (and you can see a summary on the right of this blog).

Our latest addition is 'The Story of Stuff' - an informative 20 minute video showing the chain of processes involved in manufacturing the goods that fuel a consumer society - and the alternatives we could adopt to selfish consumption.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Aberystwyth Arts Centre - The Anti-green


Aberystwyth Arts Centre has been featured here before, due to the fact that it keeps destroying green spaces for buildings, and does not consult with stakeholders (staff, students, visitors) about any of its plans.

The plaza in front of the Arts Centre - there is a subtle concrete theme here. Note the fenced-off 'La Scala' steps. The concrete eyesore that is 'La Scala' took five years to plan and construct 'one of the largest public arts commissioned in Wales' and it was finished in 2003. The steps have been closed off as derelict and unsafe for a significant time now. A waste of public money on an ugly, badly planned and shoddily-built project? Another example of the mess the Arts Centre's projects make? 
In a special post, CIN focuses on just two of the projects that earned it this reputation.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Forthcoming Film - The End Of The Line



The Fish Film Company have their cinematic release of The End of The Line on June 8th , the first major feature documentary film revealing the impact of overfishing on our oceans. Filmed
over two years, it shows the effects of our global love affair with fish as food. The film examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in huge overpopulation of jellyfish; and the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation.

Tickets for preview screenings at cinemas on World Oceans Day, Monday 8 June, are now available from their site. Aberystwyth Arts Centre cinema will be showing the film.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Belgian city leads the world and has 'veggie' days



The Belgian city of Ghent is apparently the first in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week - see this BBC News article.

On the regular weekly meatless day civil servants and elected councillors will opt for vegetarian meals in order to reduce Ghent's impact on the environment. Schools will also adopt the veggie days which will help tackle obesity. 90,000 "veggie street maps" are being printed to help people find the city's vegetarian eateries.

Ghent leads the world!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Litter pick in Llanbadarn Fawr


We have been informed that there will be a trial community litter pick in Llanbadarn fawr on Saturday 9th May 2009 at 10.30am, meeting at the village square (opposite the Black Lion pub).

If you want to join in turn up with a pair of gloves and a bin bag! It is not expected to take more than an hour. Community litter picks can be fun, social occasions: and they encourage people to take pride in, and ownership of, their local community areas. Raising the issue of litter may also help to discourage people from dropping it.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Transition Towns

Transition Town Aberystwyth [TTAber] do some great work in helping people to prepare for the future and in keeping skills alive.

Transition Town Aberystwyth excluded from Masterplan discussions

Unfortunately some groups are too short-sighted to realise this. Last week the TTAber organisers received a letter from Mark Williams (a copy of one sent to him by Steffan Roberts, the Regeneration Manager) stating that:

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Badger talk



For anyone interested in badgers and wildlife, you may want to come along to a meeting on Thursday 23rd April in the Marine Hotel, Aberystwyth at 7:30pm. There will be a talk on badgers and discussions about actions regarding the proposed badger cull in Wales.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Eureopean ban on seal imports


The annual Canadian seal hunt is a barbaric practice that is sustained only by demand for seal products. Thousands of seals, pups and mothers are horrifically clubbed to death for a product nobody needs.

There is a desparate need for a European ban on seal imports in order to send a clear message to Canada that the hideous and barbaric clubbing to death of seals is totally out of step with public opinion, as wel as being totally unnecessary. The ideal of a total full ban on imports of all seal products in Europe has yet to be achieved, even though the USA has had such a ban since 1972. It's about time Europe did the same.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Keep Britain Tidy sees Red Over Elastic Bands


Red elastic bands dropepd by Royal Mail are now a common form of litter - they seem to have replaced cigarette butts as the things you are most likely to see on every road. If you are tired of seeing them littering our streets, then collect them and send them to arrive by 30 April to:

Climate change - campaigning can be a celebration!

Some recent videos of major events below.



Video clip of lights going out all over the world. There are also pictures and news.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Cadw Calon Aberystwyth

Tonight a CIN member attended the Cadw Calon Aberystwyth meeting at MG's on Chalybeate Street in Aberystwyth. It was packed! The group is campaigning for sensitive development, not the destruction of the heart of Aberystwyth with Compulsory Purchase Orders evicting people from homes and livelihoods. We covered this issue recently, and were featured in the Western Mail (p14, Mon 23 March 09 - you can read the online version here or see the image below). Obviously CIN fully support the group.


Sunday, 22 March 2009

How Green is Ceredigion Council?

[See 29 March 09 update below]

Open to all:

Thursday 26th March
7pm
The Morlan, Queens Road, Aberystwyth

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Lammas Planning Appeal


There is a low-impact living project in Pembrokeshire which needs help, please see the e-mail below. You can help out by filling in the simple online petition.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Aberystwyth Madnessplan

As the articles below explain, there are proposals to demolish a number of independent shops and homes in Aberystwyth (on Chalybeate Street and Great Darkgate Street) in order to to allow a large, faceless retail complex to replace them. This proposal is backed up by the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs).


From the Cambrian News, Thu 5 Mar 09, p5

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cruelty to lambs



Hugh Richards is a former president of the National Farmers' Union of Wales. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to agriculture. A pillar of the community then?

No, a convicted criminal - as shown in The Telegraph, he was found guilty of 12 offences relating to transporting lambs to market.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Llety Parc plans to build on green fields

Image from the Cambrian News, Thu 22 Jan 09

As the article above shows, Llety Parc in aberystwyth has been given approval to expand and build on 2.31 ha of recreational green land - around the same time that the National Assembly published guidance on protecting recreational land. As usual (and has been shown in other articles on this site) central Governments talk the talk, and Councils ignore it and allow developments anyway.

Monday, 9 February 2009

More reasons to boycott Morrisons


It isn't surprising that supermarkets which choose out of town locations (thereby increasing car use and usually building on greenfield sites) don't put the environment first. However Morrisons have gone that little bit further.

A CIN member pointed out the wrapper above. The first thing I noticed was that there were no ingredients; no label as to whether there were unwanted animal products, or if the bread was suitable for vegans or not. But that isn't the complaint here.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Bronpadarn Mansion woods - attempts to protect the woods from developers


For many years CIN members and Llanbadarn Fawr residents have fought to preserve Bronpadarn Mansion woods from a series of building applications from the developers Mr Fenton and ALP Property Management (of 31 Chalybeate Street, Aberystwyth). They continued to regularly put in applications, obviously determined to try and build more houses in the woods and destroy vital green spaces, even though there is plenty of property to rent or buy in and around Aberystwyth.


Images of the woods and environs, showing what a beautiful place it is

Friday, 30 January 2009

Street lights

Many councils are now thinking of turning off streetlights in certain areas after pre-defined hours in order to save energy.

Germany is ahead of the game here - see this video about their system, in which it is possible for local residents to turn streetlights on temporarily using their mobile phone!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Say NO to a third runway at Heathrow


Air travel is bad!

Air travel is extremely damaging to the environment, and new runways take up vast swathes of green land. On Wednesday there will be a vote in parliament on a proposed third runway at Heathrow. Ahead of this vote there is a chance to put pressure on Labour MPs to vote with their conscience and say NO to a third runway. Campaigners already have the support of the LibDems and Tory MPs.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Carbon footprints

What is the environmental impact of your life? That is not something we can ever know for sure, but carbon calculators are a simple way of getting a rough idea of our impact in one particular sphere of the environment (i.e. carbon usage). Try one of the calculators below (or compare a few) - let CIN know which you think is the most accurate.