By now, we are sure you have been made aware of at least a few factors that contribute to the struggles our native plants and creatures currently face. We at Lloyd Tree Services are firm believers knowledge is power. We wanted to provide you with a fully rounded run down as to what has happened, where we are at in regards to going green in 2021 and what we have left to change.
Unsustainable agricultural intensification
Agricultural intensification has been outlined as the largest contributor to the decline of thriving wildlife. So lets explore the reasons why our land and farming policies could have been more problematic, compared with the solutions they offered.
– According to a plethora of trusted sources, our recent policies have caused a great deal of damage to our environment. A huge 72% of land in the UK is dedicated to the agricultural sector, meaning the damage caused has impacted a massive proportion of our country.
– In order to dedicate such a large proportion of our land to farming, copious amounts of trees, fields, meadows and hedgerows have all been demolished; all of which provide essential homes, food and shelter for our wildlife. It is no wonder we are seeing a huge number of species drastically declining and our natural food chains disordered.
– The impact of intensified farming has also affected the quality of the soil we use to grow new life. 40-60% of the organic carbon we used to retain in our soil has been lost due to the overuse of harmful pesticides. Organic carbon is essential matter, responsible for the structure, water retention and fertility of our soil.
– Farmland species, particularly our feathered friends are close to extinction. Over half (56%) of bird species, including tree sparrows, grey partridges and turtle doves have been affected on a large scale.
So, as much as these policies successfully brought food to the table, they also provided a lot of food for thought…
Farmers, by an overwhelming majority would prefer to implement methods that contribute to a thriving eco-system. The complications with this arise due to the lack of support and funding farmers have received in general, as well as to introduce these new practices.
Going Green: The good news
as of 2021 a new plan has been put into place. The agricultural transition plan currently being introduced seeks to subsidise farmers adequately for the implementation. The full details can be found here at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agricultural-transition-plan-2021-to-2024 have a read and feel free to leave your thoughts below.
The good causes:
Here are some ways you can further extend your support and actively get involved in protecting our wildlife.
…or perhaps you have a local trust or charity, working with issues that directly affect your area to offer a voice to?
Changes to our Climate
The topic of climate change has been a prevalent discussion for over 40 years now, however initial speculation as to the impact of fossil fuels date back as early as 1890.
The theory of global warming essentially focuses in on the rise in temperature across our earths surface; linking parallels between this steady increase and the emission of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.
The idea of climate change has been met with resistance ever since it was first proposed. The slow pace at which temperatures increased was initially viewed as insignificant, nevertheless even the slightest shifts to our climate will naturally impact our ecosystem.
As the discussion progressed, awareness and acceptance of these theories have increased worldwide. We are seeing with our own eyes the influence of rising temperatures and the drastic reshaping of our landscapes.
The majority of us will be aware of the impacts on a global scale. The decline of our polar regions, the increase in wildfires across Australia and the rising degrees of our seas and oceans, are all recently documented confirmation the earth is warming.
We seem to be made less aware of how these changes are impacting the wildlife just beyond our doorstep.
A rise in temperatures across the UK currently has serious ramifications to our weather patterns. These weather patterns are causing consequential interference to the ecosystems, habitats and behaviors of our native environment.
Longer, warmer periods allow creatures that would naturally decrease in numbers (such as insects) in colder periods the ability to survive longer. The notable increase in numbers of these species is having knock on effects; putting stress on feeding habits and limiting the nutritional resources available to other wildlife.
Disease and pests have the ability to become well established and spread throughout our woodland in warmer weather. Certain species of tree are steadily declining due to the increase in critters and disease.
Changes to germination and pollination habits have also been triggered by longer, warmer seasons. The affects of which, put further stress on our food chains.
Going Green: The good news
The increase in awareness is initiating progressive change. Discussions on how to lower our carbon footprint are ever prevalent. We are actively choosing a different path. Small actions such as choosing to shop locally, eat more sustainably or use power more efficiently are highly encouraged to better our world.
On a larger scale, The advances of modern technology have allowed us explore and develop natural ways to generate power. Slowly we are moving away from our pollutive infrastructure and embracing greener policies.
The development of technology also allows us further insight into the issue, empowering a greater understanding as to how we turn things around and allowing us to make effective cleaner, greener strategies.
The UK government have announced the allocation of 5 billion pounds to support a green industrial revolution. The details of which can be found here… https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution/title
The good causes:
This is just a very small selection of places to start looking for inspiration. Have a look around and see what you can do to help.
The Pollution of Plastic
By now, it is hard to claim unawareness as to the problems our plastic use is causing. Haunting images, documentaries and news articles on the topic are regularly making their way to the surface; clearly demonstrating how overuse of plastics and poor recycling systems are suffocating our land, oceans and all life within, including humans. Rather than repeat these devastating facts to you, we wanted to explain why plastic is so prevalent, why it has purpose and what we can do to transform our plastic use for the future.
It is thought that the initial intention behind plastic production was to try to decrease the amount of man made pollution and help build a greener infrastructure. Before the invention of plastics, humans heavily relied on a plethora of natural resources for survival and creation; such as trees, ivory, tortoiseshell, metal, stone and bone. The problems began when humans realised nature can only produce so many of these raw materials at a time, and as we consumed, our resources drastically depleted.
The introduction of plastics actually did a lot of good…in the beginning. The manufacturing industry flourished, elements of nature were able to be preserved once again (from trees to elephants) and humans were able to freely expand socially and economically. This revolutionary feat prompted further research and development and slowly plastics became a reliable substitute for most natural materials. New uses and purposes for plastics also emerged, for instance the discovery of nylon that completely transformed our clothing industry.
When armed with this knowledge it is easy to identify the reasons why today we find ourselves in an abundance of this substance. Focus as to the problematic and wasteful nature of plastics has only been a recognised discussion for roughly half a century, and with countless industries reliant on the stuff, creating a greener future calls for massive reconstruction of past human practices.
Going Green: The good news
Plastics aren’t all bad! They can still be used in a way that continues to bring value to our social economy whilst simultaneously benefiting the natural world.
A wolrdwide campaign has been launched to stop the utilisation of single use plastics. We have already witnessed the gradual phasing out of plastic bags, straws and microbeads, but of course there is still a lot of work to be done.
The UK government have agreed to ensure that by 2025 all plastics are able to be safely reused, recycled or composted. They have dedicated a massive 7 billion pounds to researching and developing better plastics and substitutes. We were unable to find any clear plans regarding this allocation of funding and implemented practices. If you have any further information or sources, we urge you to drop us a link and join in the discussion!
Scientists are committed to finding ways to make plastic more sustainable and are in the process of developing bio plastics made from organic plant matter. This should steadily steer us further away from relying on fossil fuels as a means to produce our plastic, whilst concurrently introducing a new material capable of decomposition.
There are a great number of ways that we at home can also contribute to cleaning up our act. The easiest by far is to just be mindful of what plastics you purchase and how long you intend to use these items. Once these items have fulfilled their purpose they should be disposed of effectively, by means of recycling. Simple.
The good causes:
Again, these are just a small selection of wonderful charities dedicated to a country wide clean up, so check them out! If you are lucky enough to live near the coast, perhaps reach out and see when your community meets for a clean up! And if they don’t, why not take action and set one up yourself.
You may have been led to believe that the UK’s problems with pesticide are a thing of the past. Claims have been made suggesting the use of pesticides in the UK have halved over the past 30 years, which sounds pretty promising right?
When talking about the physical amount of pesticides, these claims on the surface present as true. However, if you dig a little deeper into the metrics you can quickly deduce that the potency of these poisonous substances are where problems arise. Decreasing the amount of pesticides isn’t really dealing with the problem at all, especially as we continue to enhance there potency; this is where our government should be aiming to make changes.
The reason why pesticides are such a popular choice, well, ultimately it is because they are effective. Like plastics, pesticides too played a part in revolutionising our agricultural industry. They allowed farmers the freedom to produce efficient, sustainable crops like they never had before! And we had a solution that enabled us freedom from disease carrying pests such as rats, mosquitoes and ticks.
Unfortunately the majority of pesticides are fast spreading and capable of killing far more than just the one pest or creature intended. These chemicals can be found in our rain, streams, lakes and rivers (not to mention our drinking water.) The presence of this toxic matter in our weather system means they are of widespread concern; infecting our soil, plants and wildlife, from birds to fish and everything in between.
Going Green: The good news
This is a fresh and current issue that you can directly support. Calls to the government are regularly being made to implement better, healthier practices. The more voices on hand there are to back these changes, the more likely we are to succeed.
And as always, there are ways to help from your home. If you are an avid gardener, steer aware from using harmful pesticides and do some research into eco friendly alternatives for propagation.
The good cause:
Currently the only UK charity committed to the plight of pesticides. They could really use your support, so follow the link to join in with the movement.
The issues affecting our wildlife may seem diverse, contrasting and far beyond your control; But don’t feel defeated. You can directly affect the outcomes and make positive change in so many ways! It really all starts with you, with me, with us; as a community. And there you have it! Going Green: Your No Nonsense Update 2021