A floral, scented lawn, planted in a west London park provides a better habitat for pollinating insects than traditional grass, according to researchers.
The grass-free lawn, which is believed to be the first in a public park, was the brainchild of PhD researcher Lionel Smith from the University of Reading and was commissioned for the park by Kensington and Chelsea council.
Mr Smith told BBC News how he devised the lawn and explains that its plants, which include daisies, red-flowering clover, thyme, chamomile, pennyroyal and Corsican mint, create a “pollinator-friendly patchwork” - with 25% more insect life than that found in “traditionally managed grass lawns”.
Five Live Wildlife Webcams You Need to See: Travel Without Leaving Home
For anyone who has an appreciation for the beauty and majesty of Turtle Island’s wildife, the technology exists today to be able to watch animals such as bison and owls in their natural habitats right from the comfort of home.
Explore.org has a fantastic collection of nature webcams, plus an abundance of photos, information and other wildlife resources. Here are five that you don’t want to miss.
When a pothole appeared in front of Stéphan Vigneault’s Gatineau, Que., home, he took it upon himself to fill it with dirt — and then flowers. The Post‘s Kyla Garvey spoke to the guerrilla gardener on Tuesday:
When did you first plant the garden?
Last summer I first planted it with a neighbour at night, filled the pothole. We did it at night so that people walked by in the morning and would be surprised by it. We chose a night without moon, and did it. This year we planted it again two weeks ago.
(Stéphan Vigneault/Family Photo)
Sydney has recently become home to the biggest green wall installation in Australia, amid a wider campaign to green the cityscape.
Currently 15.5 per cent of Sydney is blanketed in green canopy, but the city council wants to increase coverage to 23.5 per cent by 2030.
There are similar campaigns in other Australian capitals and an even wider global trend to boost the number of green spaces in urban centres.
Green roofs and walls project officer at City of Sydney council, Lucy Sharman, says the city is on track to reach its green canopy target, but more green roofs and walls need to be installed.
For 7,000 years, Blue Lake in Australia has been unaffected by environmental changes.
Brazil’s GHG emissions fall 39% since 2005, now 10% below 1990 levels
Brazil’s greenhouse-gas emissions dropped 39 percent between 2005 and 2010, largely due to a reduction in deforestation, reports an inventory released yesterday by the Brazilian government.
More than three-quarters of the 1.25 billion ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions came from a drop on forest loss in the Amazon rainforest and surrounding cerrado ecosystem. Deforestation in Brazil has fallen sharply since the first half of last decade when the government rolled out a plan to control Amazon deforestation. In 2010, the government announced a similar approach for the cerrado, a woody savanna that covers 20 percent of the country and has been the target for agricultural expansion in recent years.
Overall Brazil’s CO2 emissions in 2010 were 10 percent below 1990 levels, pacing it far ahead of most major industrialized countries in terms of emissions reductions. For example, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose 8.5 percent between 1990 and 2010.
However while Brazil’s emissions from land use have been falling, emissions from the energy sector have been rising rapidly. A study published last year estimated that fossil fuels burning could could pass deforestation as a source of emissions in Brazil. Accordingly, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said yesterday that the government now needs to aim for cleaner energy production. Part of that push includes new hydroelectric projects, according to Rousseff.
Yet new dams are a contentious issue in some parts of Brazil. Dams in rainforest areas can generate substantial emissions in the form of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Brazil says it is also making substantial investments in clean energy technologies.
The crucial monsoon arrived on cue in Kerala on the southern coast on Saturday, a top weather official said, boosting farming prospects and raising hopes a drought in cotton and sugar growing areas will ease.
“The monsoon has arrived in Kerala and large parts of adjoining Tamil Nadu,” L. S. Rathore, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department, told Reuters, referring to the two southern states.
The rains, which run from June to September, are vital for the 55 percent of farmland without irrigation in India, one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of food.
Seven southern and western states hit by drought last year need plentiful and timely rains to help a recovery.
44 different types of organic herbs and vegetables are growing in the middle of Chicago’s busy O’Hare International Airport.
Mimicking photosynthesis, these nanowire trees absorb light to generate oxygen and hydrogen.
Saskatchewan creates first new provincial park in nearly 20 years
Saskatchewan will get another provincial park this summer.
The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport announced Thursday that the Saskatchewan Legislature approved a 35th provincial park in the province.
Great Blue Heron Provincial Park covers 11,168 hectares north of Prince Albert. It contains nearly 300 campsites.
Culture Minister Kevin Doherty said the new park encompasses the Anglin Lake and Emma Lake recreation sites.
“They’ll have all the protections and advantages of a provincial park as opposed to just recreation sites,” he said.
“Recreation sites are certainly protected, but now we have a greater boundary. It expands the area from about 3,000 hectares to over 11,000 hectares now.”
Doherty said the government is hoping to proclaim the park in late July or early August and have a grand opening later this summer.
Last year Saskatchewan provincial parks recorded 3.5 million visits — a record number.
Doherty said Great Blue Heron is the first new provincial park in Saskatchewan in about 20 years. He noted Premier Brad Wall promised two new parks in his 2007 election campaign.
“This is the first of those two. It’s taken us almost six years now to establish the first one because there is a lot of work to do in establishing a provincial park — a lot of consultation to be done,” he said. “We’re working on the second one right now.”
Bill 62, which introduced the establishment of the new park, was first read in November. The park went through two years of consultation before the reading and the ministry continued to communicate with aboriginal groups and other interest groups after the reading to finalize the park’s name and boundaries, according to provincial officials.
Doherty couldn’t estimate the price tag.
Conservation minded citizens are planting trees to provide habitat for the endangered glossy black cockatoo.
Indonesia extends forest-clearing ban for 2 years
Indonesia has extended a landmark ban on clearing primary rainforests and peatlands for another two years, a move greeted by environmentalists with praise and skepticism.
Presidential environment adviser Pungki Agus Purnomo said Thursday that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (soo-SEE’-loh BAHM’-bahng yoo-doh-YOH’-noh) signed the decree to continue the 2011 moratorium, which barred new logging and palm oil plantation permits under a $1 billion deal with Norway.
Purnomo said the ban will preserve 64 million hectares (158 million acres). It will not affect areas where concessions were granted before the moratorium.
Environmentalists argue the government is not doing enough to fight corruption and protect areas from illegal fires and logging.
Indonesia has become one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters as it supplies the world with palm oil, pulp and paper.
A huge landfill site in Essex, transformed into a 120-acre nature reserve, has been officially opened by Sir David Attenborough.
The Thurrock Thameside Nature Park at Mucking, which lies on top of 50 years of waste from six London boroughs, has been restored to grasslands, woodland, ponds and reedbeds.
Essex Wildlife Trust has turned it into a haven for bees, birds and reptiles.
It is one of the Trust’s largest restoration projects.
The scheme will eventually expand to cover 845 acres, about twice the size of London’s Regent’s Park, sitting on a “pie-crust” up to 30 metres deep which covers the landfill site.
BBC plans ‘Tweet of the Day,’ radio for birds
Remember when tweeting was for the birds?
The BBC is hoping to revive that simpler time with “Tweet of the Day” — an early-morning radio program dedicated to British birdsong.
The broadcaster announced Wednesday that veteran naturalist David Attenborough will host the 90-second show, which will feature the song of a different bird each weekday, along with background on the species’ behavior, habits and place in literature and folklore.
Attenborough, who has traveled the world for documentary series including “Planet Earth” and “Frozen Planet,” said he was delighted to be involved in something closer to home.
“I’ve seen some of the most incredible animals on my travels around the world, but ‘Tweet Of The Day’ is a nice reminder of the teeming world of birds on my doorstep,” he said.
The show on the BBC’s main speech station, Radio 4, may be best appreciated by those who rise with the birds. “Tweet of the Day” will be broadcast at 5:58 a.m.
The BBC said 265 different birds will be featured during the year-long series, which begins May 6 with a recording of the cuckoo and moves on to song thrushes, swifts and wood warblers.
Attenborough will host for the first month, and be followed by other BBC presenters.
As this is the 21st century, “Tweet of the Day” will be available online — and will be promoted on Twitter, under the hashtag “r4tweet.”
Queensland farmers have welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement it will commit $200 million to continue the Reef Rescue program for another five years.
Since it began in 2008, the program has proved successful at reducing soil and chemical runoff into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says farmers are finding news ways of working to improve the environment and their productivity.
“Already, what we’ve been able to achieve under this program is the equivalent of a million wheelbarrows of stuff, of pollutants, not ending up in the Great Barrier Reef. That’s a great result all round; great for the reef, great for agricultural productivity.”