Category: Environment

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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?

UPDATED

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.

UPDATE ON COP26

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 […]

NEW WRITER

How Sussex can rediscover its wild side…

Ross McNally

Greater species diversity would transform the South Downs National Park from ‘pretty’ sheep-grazing fields into a vibrant landscape for all kinds of wildlife. Bring back the bison and let nature take charge again, urges zoologist Ross McNally.

Labour conference buried gem: Land laws reform to stop the “free-for-all”

Rick Dillon
Labour Party Shadow Secretary for Housing Lucy Powell speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Sept 2021

Forget Starmer’s speech, McDonald’s resignation and Rayner’s expletives, says Sussex Bylines writer Rick Dillon, who attended much of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. Far more important were the under-reported land laws reform proposals, some put forward by the Hastings & Rye local party and passed enthusiastically by delegates, that would stop the developers’ planning free-for-all and could finally fix our nation’s housing crisis…

TOXIC SHOCK

For the birds: Brexit’s latest shock, a toxic threat to our water system

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
a yellowhammer bird in a tree

The safety of our water systems is now threatened due to the shortage of HGV drivers who deliver the chemicals needed to decontaminate wastewater. This is therefore a problem stemming directly from the consequences of Brexit – and one which, among many others, was predicted in the government’s own Operation Yellowhammer report, which laid out disaster contingency plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which has now become reality.

UPDATE ON COP26

Giving voice to climate activists – and the coat arrives!

Ginny Smith
Barbara Teal wearing the Coat of Hopes before any patches have been added, leading a group in song on Newhaven Beach

From Sussex to Scotland: Coat of Hopes just embarked on an inclusive, inspiring, and uniquely creative 500-mile, 60-day pilgrimage to the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. And at its centre is a community-made patchwork coat that is transformed as it travels…

NEW WRITER

Fixing our faulty food system: how community food partnerships work

Ali Ghanimi
People cooking in Community Kitchen at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

Across Sussex, local food partnerships are springing up to address the myriad problems stemming from the UK’s flawed food system that is not only making us ill, but also harming our planet. And our central government is lagging far behind these growing grassroots community groups…