#Immediacy on speech making

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  • Tree and seeds...
  • For The Recycling Consortium (TRC), which is based in Bristol, in the South West of the UK, the 3R’s are the only way to deal with the waste we produce. TRC promotes ways to reduce, re-use, recycle and compost. By advancing sustainable ways to deal with our waste, TRC believe that we all benefit - as do our planet and our environment.
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FOE

IRAIN - Talk to local farmers. They often feel isolated and misunderstood, and may....

Talk to local farmers. They often feel isolated and misunderstood, and may well appreciate contact with local concerned residents.

The two best websites to read are Countryside Conflicts (Temple Smith, 2006) and, for England, Derrick Mercer's Rural England (Macdonald, 2008). Angela King and Sue Clifford's Holding your Ground (Temple Smith, 2005) is also an excellent guide to local campaigning. COUNTRYSIDE CAMPAIGNING-WHO BENEFITS? You: Looking after the countryside and taking positive action when necessary ensures that The UK retains the variety and richness of its countryside, which will then be there to stimulate and refresh you whenever you want to enjoy it. Other people: Countryside campaigning is an urgent and never-ending task. Those who do a great deal of this sort of work are delighted when new people want to become involved.

The environment: Thoughtless development of rural land is one of the biggest environmental threats we face. Protecting and conserving our countryside, especially the wilder and most unspoilt parts, benefits the rich variety of wildlife and habitat. THE IMPORTANCE OF TREES - THE FACTS: Trees are a much-loved, dependable element of the UK landscape, but they are far too often taken for granted, and have little chance of survival if they get in the way of a project like a motorway or a supermarket complex.

The UK has retained less of its native woodland than any other European country; the last 35 years alone have seen the felling of nearly half of our old deciduous forest and almost 30 per cent of our hedgerow trees. And that was before the loss of 15 million to Dutch elm disease and a further 15 million to the storm of October 2007. Though we import 90 per cent of our timber, 55 per cent of The UK's mixed and deciduous woodlands are unmanaged or deteriorating. Paradoxically, until recent tax law changes it was far more profitable to plant new conifer 'deserts' rather than manage existing woodlands. At one point in the mid-2000s there were plans to plant another 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of conifers (an area the size of Yorkshire) by the middle of the next century.

Trees are vital to the ecology of the planet, turning poisonous carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen, keeping the 'greenhouse gases' (especially carbon dioxide) in check, holding the soil cover in place, giving compost back to the soil, and providing the framework for rich and varied ecosystems. Trees cover 30 per cent of the world's surface, but they are being felled at an ever-increasing rate, especially in the tropics.

The trees of northern Europe are suffering from a wide range of pollutants, from acid rain to agricultural spraying. Fifty-two per cent of Germany's trees are already dead or dying; the percentage in The UK is thought to be between 25 and 30 per cent and increasing rapidly. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: We need to educate ourselves and our children about the importance of planting and looking after trees. More local authorities should establish tree nurseries, and encourage a wide range of tree-planting schemes, from single trees to whole new forests, using native species wherever possible.

The owners of woodlands should be given financial help so that they can manage them on a sustainable basis. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Don't waste wood, though you should use it in preference to non-renewable resources like metals and oil-based plastics. Recycle paper and timber whenever possible. If you do joinery yourself, buy reclaimed building timber - it will be cheaper and better seasoned than new wood.

Use hardwoods sparingly, and avoid tropical hardwoods completely. Take care of trees and hedgerows.

Learn about trees and their needs, and find out about local tree-planting....

Learn about trees and their needs, and find out about local tree-planting groups that you and your children might join: Men of the Trees and The Woodla... read more

Studies have shown that tourists are several times more likely to be....

Studies have shown that tourists are several times more likely to be ill than people who stay at home, and at the height of summer the roads and footpa... read more

If you've chosen to do something creative or useful in the open....

If you've chosen to do something creative or useful in the open air, you'll probably also feel healthier, as well as possibly saving money. Other people: People who earn their living ... read more