News August 2015

Our final verge walk of the season is on Tuesday August 4th. at 7pm.
Meet at the west end of Haresby Lonnen, on Thorngrafton Common. GR790661.

As always everyone is welcome and no botanical knowledge required. After the walk we will discuss various options for continuing this project - which could include further awareness raising and/or lobbying for changes in verge management.

Beeyond Beelief
In July Liz Truss, the Environment Minister, disregarded a petition with an incredible 473,000 signatures, and decided to relax the total ban on Neonicotinoid pesticides (which kill bees and other insect pollinators), allowing their use on a restricted area of oilseed rape in the UK. The campaigning group 38 Degrees is running a consultation to gauge support for various protest actions:

An invitation to join a community enterprise to secure the future of a shop in Hallbankgate and a Hub for the village and the surrounding area.
This offer for shares opened on July 1st. 2015 and is due to close on September 30th. 2015. The share issue has been designed to provide the chance to be involved in, and contribute financially to, the community shop business in the expectation of receiving a social dividend and possibly a financial return. If you want to find out how to invest please click on to download the share prospectus and follow the instructions.

Glyphosate in Bread
The world's most widely used weedkiller is glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and its use on British cereal crops has increased over 400% in the last 20 years.
According to Government data this rise in use is matched by a rise in the amount of glyphosate found in sampled bread.

Recent tests by the Defra committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) have found that as much as 30% of UK bread contained this weedkiller and a European study found that 7 out of 10 UK city-dwellers had traces of glyphosate in their urine.

Farmers spray the weedkiller pre-harvest, in order to kill and dry the crop, and reduce weeds for easier harvesting. But, The International Agency for Research on Cancer - part of the World Health Organisation - has recently identified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
The Soil Association is calling for a UK ban on the use of glyphosate sprayed on UK wheat as a pre-harvest weedkiller and its use to kill the crop to ripen it faster. But we need to make our voice heard amongst our bread manufacturers and retailers too. Please sign the Soil Association's petition asking for weedkiller to be kept out of Britain's bread:

World Water - from India to Northumberland

Rajendra Singh, the 'Waterman of India', has been named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his innovative river restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the lives of those most in need. Apparently the 'Natural Flow Management' techniques used to reduce flood risk in Belford essentially mirror the traditional, pre-colonial leaky-dam techniques employed by Mr Singh in Rajastan. Newcastle University's Institute for Sustainability has organised a workshop, 'Holding water', on 14th. August, where Mr Singh will discuss his work.

Rajastan, India, solution to drought

Belford, Northumberland, solution to flooding

Rajendra Singh is also chair of the UK charity, The Flow Partnership and the first of their ambitious, global program of 50 'World Water Peace Walks' linking places of water stress, will celebrate the Belford project. It takes place on 15th. and 16th. August, starting on Holy Island and finishing in Belford. To join the walk and for further info see:

South Tyne Sustainability aims to reduce the impact of the community of Haltwhistle and surrounding villages on our environment. This will help individuals, families and our community save money and resources and ensure a more sustainable future for us all.

To join STS contact Sue Seymour, 016977 47359