Saturday 29 October 2022

Positive News Autumn 2022

 Positive News October 2022

Tree in Bubble Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Rest your soul a little by reading something positive

1.     Super Reserve in Somerset

In May 2022, Natural England announced a new 'super' nature reserve to be created in Somerset, protecting over 6000 hectares of precious saltmarsh, heath and wetland habitats, home to nationally significant wildlife populations.

The site will link six nature reserves and managed land in the Somerset levels, coast and moors and will join England’s developing Nature Recovery Network.

Various Nature Recovery projects will extend across 99,000 hectares of land in total over time – this is equivalent to all the 219 current national nature reserves in England.

2.     Bee Numbers Increasing in Sussex

Community funded projects have led to an increase in bee numbers in the South Downs. Sussex residents raised £75,000 to help a young charity, Bee Lines, plant wildflower oases across the South Downs national park.

There has been a 72% rise in bees and other pollinators since the projects began.

3.     Large Blue Butterfly Making a Comeback

Large blue butterflies were previously very rare in the UK. During an re-introduction program, around 1,100 of butterfly larvae were released at West Country locations, with 750 butterflies successfully emerging.

It is the first time for 150 years that the large blue butterfly - the largest and rarest of all nine British blue butterflies - has been recorded at Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common (Stroud in Gloucestershire).

It was also announced in March 2020 that butterflies have bounced back to the best levels in 20 years after a monitoring survey took place in the UK.

4.     Bison to Help With Rewilding in Kent

The UK is one of the most nature depleted areas and to help with re-wilding the Wilder Bean project have introduced wild bison to England, for the 1st time in thousands of years. 

Their grazing can help bring light to young shoots, their poop fertilises the land and their rolling (in dust baths) can help create habitats for lizards, birds, insects and other animals.

Three bison have been initially released in Blean Woods, Kent. The wardens were delighted to find a new calf was born in September (see video below)!

5.     George Ezra Donates to National Trust

Partnering with You Tube's Sustainability Fund, George Ezra has donated £85,000 to the National Trust which will help them plant 17,000 more trees.

The trees will create a new woodland that will lock in carbon, help reduce flooding and create homes for wildlife, the National Trust said.

6.     Fin Whales Returning in Large Numbers

A study published in July 2022 noted large numbers of fin whales in the Southern Ocean. Researchers estimate there could be at least 8,000 fin whales in the Antarctic, where they were hunted almost to extinction in the 20th century.

One group being spotted contained 150 whales - wowsa!

7.     Glastonbury Festival's Social Housing Pledge

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury Festival has donated some land just two miles from the Glastonbury festival site to The Guinness Partnership (who build affordable social housing).

The new houses, flats and bungalows will be built and equipped with heat pumps. Michael has also generously donated £275,000 to help with development costs.

8.     Glasgow City Emissions Continues to Fall

Glasgow City, which is historically home to some of Scotland’s most polluted streets due to traffic emissions, reported that their CO2 emissions fell by 13% since 2020 and 50% since 2006.

The Scottish Environment and Protection Agency (Sepa) said their latest statistics across Scotland follow a downward trend in emissions since 2007.

9.     Salvaged Metal in Future Coins

A newly planned Royal Mint factory set to open in South Wales in 2023 will aim to use salvaged metals in the production of new coins. 

Precious metals (including gold) can be extracted from used mobile phones, laptops and circuit boards. They aim to process up to 90 tonnes of UK sourced circuit boards per week, to retrieve hundreds of kilograms of gold per year.

10.     Milestone Reached in Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Ocean Cleanup team released prototypes to skim plastics from an area in the North Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Their first ocean plastic cleaning prototype (system 001 Wilson), was launched September 2018 which collected a little over 7,000 kilos of plastic. 

The 2nd system (system 002 Jenny), was released August 2021 and has collected over 100,000 kilos during its 45 extractions, which is equivalent in weight to 2.5 Boing 737-800s - wow!

1,000 more extractions will be needed to complete the mission but they are delighted a milestone of 100,000 kilos has been reached. 

The Ocean Cleanup Team are hoping to release system 003 soon for more sweeps to take place at a faster rate (at 3 times the size of system 002).

11.     The Great Bubble Barrier!

Meanwhile, entrepreneur Claar-els van Delft in the Netherlands devised a clever plastic catching device to be placed in rivers. 

Known as the Great Bubble Barrier it uses compressed air to push up plastics and push them to one side to be collected. This will help reduce the number of plastics that make it out to the oceans!

Sun through the Trees Photo by Ray Bilcliff from Pexels

Check out our positive news section for more encouraging reads.