Category: Environment

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Allotment Life

Ginny Foster

In non-allotment life, advice is not always welcomed and the very idea of even listening to a good plan from an opposing viewpoint is seen as betrayal. A very appealing aspect of the allotment community is the appreciation of good advice, the exchange of knowledge based on hard experience and the respect in which the older members are held. They literally ‘know their onions’!

Repairing, restoring and reusing in mid-Sussex repair cafés

Alison Rees

Local repair cafés are one of those developments that seem long overdue.  The UK currently has over 200 of them, with willing volunteers repairing all kinds of stuff and baking for the café.  They are an important step in the direction of community sustainability. Alison Rees visited the cafés in Lindfield and Chailey and was very impressed. 

Is the UK the litter lout of Europe?

Ginny Smith

Other countries manage to keep their environments much cleaner and clearer of litter and general rubbish than we do in the UK. Why is this, how do they do it, and what could we learn from them? Ginny Smith investigates.

A bigger splash: Sussex art show celebrates the sea

Rick Dillon

The new exhibition Seafaring, at Hastings Contemporary, features a wide variety of works by mainly British artists from 1820 to the present day. Rick Dillon describes the stunning range of paintings, from 19th-century shipwrecks by Romantic artists such as Géricault to contemporary canvases by Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling.

Bee bricks: constructive contribution or greenwash?

Ross McNally

Nearly half of Britain’s bees are designated as nationally or globally threatened. Leading factors include habitat destruction and the use of chemical pesticides. Ross McNally argues that the introduction of bee bricks into new buildings will not make much difference to bee survival; it’s more important to ban pesticides in gardens, streets and agricultural land.

Gardeners, give insects and slugs a break: we need them

Manek Dubash

Human dominance over nature is the lens through which we have been encouraged to see the rest of life on planet Earth. But the long-term consequences of this approach are becoming clearer daily: we are damaging the environment and ourselves. We have to reverse the trend, even if in small ways. We could do worse than start with our gardens, Manek Dubash explains.

Is it time to rethink unsustainable road expenditure?

Vic Ient

In 2020 the Government approved an eye-watering £27bn for major road construction despite the rising costs of dealing with Covid. Here in Sussex several schemes are planned over the next 10 years by a government that seems hell-bent on encouraging travel by road – at the expense of bus and rail.

What can we do in Sussex about climate change?

Mike Coyne

We all need to change the way we run our lives, if we are going to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. There are a growing number of community initiatives that are taking this open, co-operative and bottom-up approach to tackling sustainability issues.

Look again… at the legendary hawthorn tree

Ginny Smith

The familiar hawthorn tends to escape our attention except during a brief period in the spring when it is covered with brilliant white blossom and lightens a hedgerow with its flowers. But to ignore the hawthorn is to ignore the extraordinary weight of folklore, myth, history and literature linked to it.

What’s the buzz? Don’t forget to tell the bees!

Ginny Foster

Our bees are once more facing an existential threat. The powers-that-be have given permission for neonicotinoids to be used to control aphids on sugar beet. The very existence of these pesticides is a sword of Damocles being held over our bees, other insects and our countryside.

Knepp Estate: who controls and benefits from rewilding?

Ross McNally

Rewilding is all the rage yet there remain key fatal flaws in the model. First is the fragmented nature of rewilding in the UK. Second, it remains largely the domain of a handful of privileged people. Could greater democratic oversight help repair fragmentation?


Infilling at Barcombe: a bridge too far!

Ginny Smith

Are disused railway bridges liabilities or assets? It’s a question highlighted by plans to infill a bridge in Barcombe with concrete, plans which provoked a vigorous and, so far, successful campaign to halt what local campaigners describe as vandalism.


On the streets at COP26, I catch up with a ‘Sussex legend’

Anna Scott

DAY 3 in Glasgow  After my day in the Green Zone, I decided that I would spend a day on the streets. The sun was out and the autumn leaves looked so  golden and beautiful it seemed criminal to be inside. I began the day with a special Sussex Bylines assignment. In late August, one […]