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Environment Update

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Every few months my website will carry news items concerned with the environment and climate change compiled by my staff. I hope you find the items useful and interesting.

Japanese Knotweed Invasion

This intrusive plant has been present in Britain since the 19th Century and, as its name suggests, it is not a native species. Due to the fact that it can grow as much as 10cm a day, Japanese Knotweed has become a nuisance to many people, out competing native plants. It can even cause cracks in concrete and tarmac, and has the potential to damage buildings and is particularly tricky to remove, as it can remain dormant in the soil for up to 20 years.

In Sheffield’s River Don, groups including the Environment Agency, the River Stewardship Company and Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd have come together to reduce the prevalence of the intrusive plant which along with debris on the banks reduce river capacity and increase flood risks.

For help on how to remove Japanese Knotweed from your garden or property and for more information on how to spot it and its origin visit:



A new lease of life for the River Don

Yorkshire Water has issued a commitment to improve the quality of water in the River Don in a bid to encourage fish and wildlife to return to the river. One of the main focuses of this initiative to clean up the river concentrates on reducing the Ammonia discharge from its Aldwarke Water Treatment Works in Rotherham. This has led to an investment of 7.7 million in a programme to modernise its equipment. The reduction in Ammonia discharge will help to ensure thriving wildlife in the river in line with the EU Freshwater Fish Directive.

To find out more visit: http://www.yorkshirewater.com/aldwarke

Global cooling?

A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling. According to a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a 60% increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of almost a million square miles. This has led to some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling, set to last for the next 15 years.


For further information visit: http://www.ipcc.ch/


Green goals for the 2014 World Cup

FIFA, world football’s governing body has promised to address the estimated 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent expected to be produced by the tournament with a number of dedicated carbon offsetting projects. The organisation will also be encouraging sustainability by offering training courses for all stadium operators.

Full story at: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2293298/fifa-sets-green-goal-for-2014-brazil-world-cup


Shale Gas and Fracking

Amid recent debate and concern regarding the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas from solid rock, the House of Commons library has produced a briefing paper. The paper provides explanations as to what fracking is and the potential environmental implications of it.

The briefing paper is at: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06073

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