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UK public unaware of the tough realities of farming

According to new research by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, the UK public appears to have a rosy view of farming life, with 1 in 4 (25%) UK adults liking the idea of giving up their day job and working on a farm. Read more »

Smart charging provides solution to challenge of electric vehicles

Keith McLean is helping to trial smart charging technology

Electric vehicles could create an additional peak electricity demand of up to 18 GW by 2050, equivalent to an additional 30 per cent on top of today’s peak demand of 60 GW, according to one scenario in National Grid’s recently published ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ (FES).

In all the scenarios bar one, the report predicts a dramatic rise in electric vehicles (EVs), with sales being more than 90 per cent of all cars by 2050. Read more »

With urban grit and pink lights, London warehouse farms fish and greens

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Salad leaves, herbs and leafy greens grow inside a warehouse run by GrowUp Urban Farms in Beckton, London, July 25, 2017. © Thomson Reuters Foundation/Lin Taylor

By Lin Taylor

Inside a warehouse in industrial southeast London, farmed tilapia swim in blue tubs filled with pristine water, ready to be sold to trendy restaurants across the capital.

In an adjacent room, under pink LED lights and controlled temperatures, shoots of salad leaves and herbs grow on recycled carpet fibre fertilised with the fish waste. In this cavernous, windowless space more suited to a nightclub than a farm, the greens are stacked on metal shelves stretching to the ceiling. Read more »

APC launches competition to facilitate funding for the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development centre

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has launched a competition to facilitate funding of the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development centre, in conjunction with Innovate UK. The funding opportunity is a major step forward in ensuring the UK becomes a global leader in the development and production of electric vehicles (EVs). Read more »

The engineer using old cell phones to stop illegal logging

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Topher White installs a cell phone listening device. Source: Rainforest Connection

By Jeremy Deaton

On a 2011 hike through the Indonesian rainforest, Topher White stumbled across a rogue logger cutting down a tree. The man was working just a short distance from the ranger station, but the din of chirping birds and buzzing insects obscured the sound of his chainsaw, keeping him hidden in plain sight.

This gave White an idea. The San Francisco-based engineer dreamt of a device that could listen for chainsaws and report their whereabouts to park authorities. Read more »

GM crops bounce back with gains in production areas

Ankoor, 10, carrying a basket of maize through a field. Credit: Panos/SciDev.Net

By Joiada Cruzate, SciDev.Net

  • GM crops showed revived global acceptance in 2016 after slumping in 2015
  • US leads as top GM grower followed by Brazil, Argentina, Canada and India
  • Asian countries slow to accept GM with India drawing the line on food crops
Read more »

Entrepreneurs are turning discarded grains, fruits and vegetables into food, drink and clean energy

Beer. Source: Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

When Tristram Stuart was growing up on a farm in England, he raised pigs as a hobby. He saw that much of the thrown-out food he was feeding them was actually fit for humans. One day, having found an appetizing loaf of sun-dried tomato bread in the pile of waste, he sat down and ate lunch with his pigs. Read more »

Dirty Fashion: top brands source viscose from factories damaging the environment

Dirty fashion: a new report from the Changing Markets Foundation reveals top brands including H&M and Zara are buying viscose from factories wreaking havoc on the environment.

Some of the world’s largest fashion brands, including Sweden's H&M and Spain's Inditex/Zara, are buying viscose from highly polluting factories, reveals the report. Read more »

Brazil ranked world's most deadly nation for land activists as impunity reigns

A farmer evicted from this home in a land conflict with a powerful rancher poses for a photograph outside of Boca do Acre in Amazonas State, Brazil on May 26, 2017 (© Chris Arsenault, Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Standing beside broken floor boards and corrugated iron that once made-up his two-room house in the Amazon rainforest, Brazilian farmer Manoel Freitas da Conceicao is on the frontline of the world's most violent country for land activists.

Data released on 13th July 2017 by London-based campaign group Global Witness showed that 49 of 200 land rights activists killed last year were from South America's largest country, making Brazil the world's most dangerous nation for campaigners. Read more »

Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners

The London Assembly Environment Committee recently launched its report, ‘Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners,’ which looks at what measures should be taken to protect and improve the capital’s green spaces. In the video, hear from the Committee Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, and Londoners about why green spaces are so important in the capital.

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