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OneKind update

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Things have been really busy here in OneKind HQ since our last newsletter. Last month, we went up to the Cairngorms National Park to hand over our mountain hare postcard. We had a successful meeting with the Park’s CEO and look forward to seeing what the Park does next to end mountain hare culls for good.It hasn’t all been good news though. We were hugely disappointed to see MSPs vote in favour of reintroducing the tail-docking ban for working dogs in Scotland. It is nothing less than a huge step backwards for animal welfare.

The vote may not have went the way we wanted, but we definitely made our voices heard. So, thanks as ever for being a OneKind member! Your support really does mean a lot to us. Here’s some of the most recent work you’ve helped us with. 

Over 2,000 people have signed our petition so far and we only launched it a few days ago! If you haven’t already added your name, then please do so now. We want to bring transparency to Scotland’s slaughterhouses. That’s why we’re calling on the Scottish Parliament to introduce mandatory CCTV monitoring in all Scottish abattoirs, covering all the key areas, that is accessible by independent experts. Until CCTV is installed in every slaughterhouse in Scotland, we really won’t know what is happening behind closed doors. You can also read our blog here which exposes some of the horrifying cruelty in Scottish abattoirs. 

Last month, we took our giant mountain hare postcard up to the Cairngorms National Park. Here’s a photo of OneKind Director Harry Huyton handing it over to the Park’s CEO Grant Moir. A total of 8625 supporters added their name to the back of the card, and a further 500 people sent their own individual postcards and letters to the Park. If you sent one, then thank you! They really did make a big impression on everyone at the Park. This isn’t the end of our mountain hare story. We’re going to keep on going until we win. Stay tuned as we’ll be announcing the next stage very soon!

Reactions to the tail-docking vote:

Despite veterinary organisations, animal welfare groups and the public opposing tail-docking, the majority of MSPs voted 86 to 29 in favour of bringing it back in June. We were shocked and disappointed that so many MSPs voted to bring back this cruel practice for working dogs in Scotland. The only good thing to come from it was that the vote caused a lot of uproar among the press and public. Click here to read our blog with all the reaction to the vote.

Hen Harrier Day:

This year we’re getting behind Hen Harrier Day for the first time. We’ll be up at Highland Hen Harrier Day on the 6th August in Boat of Garten where OneKind’s Director Harry Huyton will be giving a talk and I’ll be at our campaign stand discussing our latest campaigns. Don’t worry if you can’t make it up to the Highlands, there’s events happening all over the country. Check out this map to find a Hen Harrier Day near you. Read more on our blog here.

Walk the Kiltwalk for OneKind:

There’s now only a month to go until the Kiltwalk in Dundee, and under two months until the Edinburgh Kiltwalk takes place – so if you’d like to take part to raise funds for OneKind, now is the time! We have small number of discount places left for the Dundee walk, and we’ve just managed to secure 20 reduced price spots on the Edinburgh walk! You’ll pay just £15 for your registration fee instead of the usual £30 – so sign up today and get walking either 6, 13 or 26 miles to help us end cruelty to animals in Scotland.

Volunteer with OneKind:

Are you interested in doing a bit more for animals in Scotland? If you’re looking to take the next step, then why not consider volunteering for OneKind? Volunteers work closely with the OneKind team on all aspects of our work: research, investigations, campaigning, policy development, administration, and fundraising. You only have to commit as much time as you want to and we’ll support you all the way. Why not have a look at the lovely new volunteering section of our website to find out a bit more about how you can get involved? 

July 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Lynx could be reintroduced into the UK for the first time in 1,300 years.

If the application is successful, between six and 10 of the wildcats would be released into a forest in Northumberland for a five-year trial period.

Blantyre Incinerator

July 17, 2017 1 comment

The proposed incinerator will emit large toxic particles that are predicted to fall within a 600 metre radius and small toxic particles that may travel up to 18 Kilometers from the site. Within the 600 metre radius are hundreds of houses, a primary school and a “Showpeople/Traveller” residential site. There is a guideline minimum of 250 metres to any home from these types of Incinerators, the Showpeople site would be 83 metres door to door, in fact fenceline to fenceline the gap is only 12 metres.

As well as the toxins we have other concerns:

  • Potential contamination to adjacent Woodland and it’s wildlife
  • Site proximity to a “Green Corridor” that runs from the Clyde Valley past the site and further towards Glasgow
  • Smell 
  • Noise
  • Potential for uncontrolled fires 
  • Proximity to a Historic battlefield site (Battle of Bothwell Bridge).

We can stop this happening, protect our environment and safeguard the health of our community. In doing so we will also send a clear message to those planning other such developments happening across the country.

What We Need & What You Get

We are looking to raise three thousand pounds to fund our campaign against the granting of a SEPA operator’s licence to Clean Power Ltd. Our campaign is growing in size every week and we require this funding to continue. Funds raised will be spent on marketing and awareness products, travel, media submissions and general administration.

We are offering perks for contributions received, every single contribution regardless of size will receive a thank you.

We will also be:

  • Giving thank you “shout outs” on social media
  • Emailing certificates as acknowledgement of contributions 
  • Sending out our bespoke campaign badge designed by the children of our community
  • Providing a “blog spot” on our site, so people can have a chance to describe what they are feeling and thinking as the campaign moves forward.  

Why this is relevant to you

This campaign is relevant to everyone. The incinerator poses a health threat to anyone you may know in the area around where the site is planned. In the wider context this campaign demonstrates that communities can come together for a common purpose and fight against faceless big business who have no concern for the environment we live in.

Our Team

We have support from many different people. We have campaigners who successfully stopped another Incinerator that was planned in the area. We have MSPs and Councillors who have let their objection be known and regularly attend our meetings. Hamilton Accies Football Club Community Outreach Program is providing support. We have Professors, Professionals of various disciplines and a whole load of very passionate people determined to stop this Incinerator from happening.
We are organised, we have different subgroups pursuing different aspects of our campaign. Were having regular meetings, progress reports and issue reports. The Fundraising subgroup have put this Crowd Funding page together with the aim of supporting everyone else in a successful campaign.

Risks & Challenges

The planning consent was granted for the incinerator to Clean Power Ltd on the 14th August this year. The company have three years to get their operators licence, build the facility and put everything in place.

In fighting the operators license we have potentially a long campaign ahead that will take a lot of energy and resolve. We will continue growing our number of supporters online and at grass roots level. Being appropriately funded, organised and focused we will see this through.

Other Ways You Can Help

We understand some people simply can’t contribute, but there are other ways you can help:

  • Share this Funding page with everyone you know, by any means you can (Facebook/Twitter/Email/Text/Word of mouth).
  • Come and visit our Facebook page and learn more detail of our campaign www.facebook.com/HERAG2013
  • Sign petitions.
  • Send emails & Letters to the appropriate authorities.

Blantyre Incinerator

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Blantyre SNP politicians Margaret Ferrier MP and Clare Haughey MSP have demanded that local residents be fully involved in any consultation over the fresh plans which have been submitted by Clean Power Properties for an energy recovery centre at Whistleberry Road in Hamilton.

The project, which has received significant opposition from local communities and politicians, is currently undergoing pre-application consultation over changes which include increasing the stack size from 25 metres to 90 metres.

Iceni Projects, working on behalf of the developer, have announced consultation events in Bothwell Community Hall on Friday 21st April from 2pm to 7pm and at Whitehill Neighbourhood Centre Saturday 22nd April from 10am to 3pm.

In a joint statement, Clare Haughey MSP and Margaret Ferrier MP said:

“We will not accept the developer’s pre-application consultation stage as sufficient while Blantyre is being ignored. If the developer is truly genuine about wanting to engage with the local community, then they simply cannot exclude Blantyre.

“This project has been massively controversial, and these consultation events cannot just pay lip service – they must genuinely engage with residents over their worries. The size of the stack, the potential environmental impact and the negative influence of property value are all of concern to our Blantyre constituents.

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

The conclusion was arrived at in a new report released by Zero Waste Scotland – which encourages Sottish businesses to make use of an SME Loan Fund scheme of up to £100,000 to improve their energy efficiency efforts.

Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive, Iain Gulland, said: “We know many businesses share our vision of maximising resource efficiency and keeping costly waste to a minimum, and often it’s the initial investment needed that’s the missing ingredient.

“The SME Loan Fund is a great way for enterprises to make optimum use of energy, water and waste under expert guidance at no extra cost – ultimately delivering savings while helping the environment.

“Businesses from a wide range of sectors have already benefitted from SME Loan funding and we want to see even more taking up this fantastic opportunity. We look forward to working with small and medium-sized businesses with big ambitions for reducing their carbon footprint.”

This news comes off the back of a recent survey by ScottishPower that shows UK businesses in general are making little headway with energy saving measures. The survey found that only one in 10 SMEs in the UK claim to have reduced their energy consumption within the past 12 months.

Energy efficiency measures that Zero Waste Scotland encourages SMEs to invest in include: LED lighting, better insulation, boiler upgrades and renewable technologies – with each option ranging in scale and cost that can potentially be implemented with a £1,000 to £100,000 loan.

In addition to the loan, businesses will also receive the help of a Resource Efficient Scotland expert advisor that will help at every stage of a projects development.

This is the latest sign of improvements Scottish SMEs could make to drive forward their sustainability efforts. Last month saw a similar targeted funding from the Scottish government to better support the nation’s SMEs in embrace the shift to a circular economy.

The circular regional funding programme is part of a series of structured grants from Scotland’s  Circular Economy Investment Fund, an £18m fund that offers grants ranging from £20,000 to a maximum of £1,000,000 to help SMEs pioneer ways to develop a circular economy.

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Tesco joins fellow supermarket chains M&S, Aldi and Lidl in committing to the Greenpeace campaign, which calls on brands involved with clothing to remove the use of toxic chemicals from certain practices.

“Greenpeace endorses our plan to phase-out hazardous chemicals in our supply chain as part of the Greenpeace DETOX commitment,” Tesco’s category technical director Alan Wragg said in a blogpost.

“Tesco’s Responsible Sourcing Team has been working with Greenpeace to align all our textile products with the DETOX commitment, starting with clothing and footwear.”

The UK-based supermarket will work with Greenpeace and its “complete” supply chain to ensure zero discharge of hazardous chemicals into the environment by 2020.

From denial and opacity…

Greenpeace’s DETOX campaign was launched in 2011, to challenge brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from supply chains. Alongside supermarkets, the initiative has been backed by fashion brands including H&M and Levi Strauss. Transparency is a key focus of the campaign, and companies have until 2020 to implement measures and eliminate all toxic chemical releases.

“In only six years, forerunners of the textile sector went from total denial and opacity of their supply chain to transparency and the banning of all hazardous chemicals,” Greenpeace Germany’s project lead for the campaign Kirsten Brodde said.

“Tesco’s commitment shows the rest of the industry that using hazardous chemicals is not an option anymore. Tesco now has the opportunity to match the progress being made by other retailers and Greenpeace will monitor it closely to ensure they follow up their commitment.”

Recent research has revealed the extent to which toxic chemical practices can wreak havoc on the environment. Fashion retailers H&M and M&S have vowed to implement new supply chain management approaches, after a report linked them with highly-polluting facilities that were dumping toxic wastewater into local waterways.

At the other end of the value chain, Asia’s mountains of hazardous electronic trash, or e-waste, are growing rapidly because manufacturers are failing to remove all toxins from products and make them easier to repair and recycle.

Foraging expert Robin Harford on eating weeds 

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve been teaching on my plant walks for nearly 10 years, that so-called invasive species like Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed etc. are simply “second-guessing climate change”. 
That they are here for a reason, and not something that we should be eradicating in some xenophobic campaign of balsam bashing.  

Instead, we need to be figuring out why they are here. 

And aside from a few colleagues, I have been a lone voice speaking up for ‘invasive plants’. 

Recently over the last couple of years a number of writers, permaculture folk and scientists have published books that offer an alternative viewpoint on these outsiders. 

And it makes for uncomfortable reading…  

… especially now the science is increasingly pointing the finger back at humans, and human activity as the cause. Think modern farming practices, dredging, climate change etc. 

Last year I went to talk in North Devon by a fellow called Pete Yeo. Pete runs a wonderful Facebook page called Future Flora and his focus is on understanding ‘invasive plants’, and what we might learn from them. 

As Pete says “What reductionist science would call an opportunist or invader, a more holistic worldview might call a Gaian first responder. Put another way, one person’s weed is another’s wisdom.” 

So a week or so ago, I visited him in his house, and managed to get his views down for posterity.

I discuss with Pete why invasive plants may actually be good for the environment, and whether the science stacks up in favour of balsam bashing? 

Enjoy and talk soon, 

Robin Harford