News

UK rivers heavily contaminated by pesticides

Eight rivers in England are heavily contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that threaten insects, fish and birds. Two of the rivers, the Waveney between Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Tame in the West Midlands, had an “acute level” of pollution, according to tests conducted by the Environment Agency. Neonics are used by farmers and are known to threaten bees and other crucial pollinators. Although some were banned on 2013, the ban only exists on flowering crops, such as oil seed rape.

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Frost in the garden

Many gardeners across the UK woke up to heavy frost this morning. We recorded -11 degrees at Ryton last night! Here's some information on how to deal with Nature's beautiful, but deadly, ice maker.

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Is your garden a treasure trove of underused resources?

We know plants provide food – healthy vegetables, herbs and fruit.  But what else can gardeners grow them for?  There are so many other uses for the plants found commonly in British garden, including dyes, medicines, materials and general household use.  Brambles, nettles and calendula may not reach the plate, but have been used for centuries in other ways in the household.

 

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Migratory birds badly affected by pesticides

Common pesticides can have disastrous effects on migrating birds. Research has shown that they lose body mass, and the ability to orientate.

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World Soil Day

World Soil Day is celebrated today, 5th December. 95% of our food comes from soil, but a third of our global soils are already degraded. Poor farming practices that are dependent on agrichemicals do little to help build up soil health and resilience. Here are some ideas on how to get your own organic soil in tip top condition...

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RHS responds to criticisms of 'Perfect for Pollinators'

The Royal Horticultural Society has admitted to reviewing its 'Perfect for Pollinators' scheme, after research showed plants in garden centres contained a mixture of pesticides which could harm the pollinators.

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Glyphosate authorised - but only for 5 years

The EU have finally voted to renew the licence for glyphosate. But only for 5 years. It has taken 18 months of battling between the agrichemical industry, who wanted a full 15 years licence renewal, and concerned individuals, NGOs and environmental organisations who wanted the substance banned.

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Glyphosate petition discussed in EU parliament

Earlier this year, over three thousand Garden Organic members signed a petition on glyphosate. This week it was presented to the EU parliament.

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Shocking facts on pesticides

Shocking facts on pesticide use were revealed yesterday, at a high level debate on Pesticides and food: is low dose exposure harmful? Held at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Garden Organic learned that:

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Glyphosate future still undecided

European ministers have once again reached stalemate on whether to relicense the weed killer chemical glyphosate. Only 14 voted to approve the proposal that the licence be renewed for a further 5 years, 9 voted against and 5 abstained. It now goes to an appeal committee for consideration at the end of this month. Time is running out, as the licence ends in December.

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