Category: Environment

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Poo plaque protest! Eye-catching demo in Totnes to tell the truth about the sewage scandal

Michael Puleston

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Totnes Conservative Club at Station Road. to protest at the sitting MP Anthony Magnall’s environmental voting record, particularly with regard to voting against an important Lords’ Amendment to the Environment Bill during November 2021. The lively gathering today was made up of many diverse groups including swimmers, recreational water users, kayakers, paddle […]

No more greenwashing, Barclays! XR action in Exeter

Michael Puleston

On October 29, there was an excellent turnout of activists at Bedford Square Exeter from local Extinction Rebellion groups (Exeter, Totnes and Teignmouth/Newton Abbot), co-organised by Exeter XR and Exeter Samba Band. The objective? To call out Barclays yet again: the dirty bank of Europe. Barclays remains the number one bank in Europe and number […]

Who gives a damn – part 2

Malcolm Baldwin

Warning: contains reference to a distressing incident of animal cruelty. Ed Some notes towards understanding why we find ourselves so alienated from nature. Isolated events can sometimes coalesce together to make a coherent pattern. On a scorching day at the end of August I was driving past some pasture-fed cattle in a parched brown field: […]

You, too, can be a warrior in the war on plastic!

Anthea Bareham

I met Kay Pike when she brought the Plastic Free Axminster stall to All Saints, a village on the outskirts of Axminster. Kay is keen to stress that she is no expert on the subject – I beg to differ. The more she talks – passionately – about the subject of single-use plastic, the more […]

“Honour our knowledge… or get out of the way.”

Stefan Simanowitz

Stefan Simanowitz on a new platform for Indigenous voices ahead of COP and the Brazilian elections At the opening session of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow last year, Maori activist India Logan- Riley laid down a challenge to delegates: “Learn our histories, listen to our stories, honour our knowledge…or get out the way.” A […]

No excuses! Do NOT let this climate-denying government fool anyone

Belinda Bawden

Climate Emergency! This government and its over-influential fossil fuel and fracking-loving, regulation-hating, climate-wrecking corporate backers should not be allowed to ditch decades-worth of scrupulously researched and negotiated health and safety protections, workers and consumers’ rights and environmental and Net Zero commitments. We have to stop them! Everyone at every political level can step up to […]

The miracle of cider

Mick Fletcher

We didn’t plant the orchard just for fruit. In some ways the wildlife interest and impact on the landscape were more important. We wanted proper trees, full standards on non-dwarfing rootstock. We wanted trees that would outlive us and probably our children as well, growing tall and hanging heavy with mistletoe, becoming crusted with lichen […]

This royal throne of kings, this septic isle

Tom Scott

The (Dis)United Kingdom has a new King and Cornwall has a new Duke. Perhaps Prince William would like to have a word with the water company that is relentlessly pouring raw sewage onto Cornish beaches, and with the MPs who have failed to stop this, suggests Tom Scott. With politics suspended for ten days and […]

Who gives a damn?

Malcolm Baldwin

The climate and ecological crisis which is now upon us threatens the existence of humanity. Yes, it’s that serious. It’s not only climate chaos but soil erosion and desertification; it’s plastic pollution and the mindless application of chemicals to the environment. It’s about the million or so species threatened with extinction, it’s about industrial fishing […]

Total blackout

Andrew Levi

Britain’s imminent energy Armageddon, and how to avoid it: in a long read, Andrew Levi warns that the scale and nature of the crisis is still widely misunderstood, and the measures needed to address it woefully underdeveloped. Brexit, a unique act of self-harm, worsens the UK’s situation. Without great good luck, only radical immediate action […]

Truss or Sunak? What the farmers think

Editor-in-chief

We rarely publish unsolicited press releases but this is an important insight into the challenges farmers face. Truss or Sunak? When it comes to food, farming and the environment –what should be the top policy priority for the next PM? The race to become the UK’s next Prime Minister is almost over. As the two […]

Now is the summer of our discontent!

Mike Zollo

“Your government?! What a joke that is!” That was the sniggering reaction earlier this afternoon, albeit not in so many words, from our Danish neighbours in the Spanish village where we are spending a few weeks. OK, so it’s human nature to find it easier to recognise other people’s problems than to acknowledge our own, […]

“Ordure, ordure!”

Mr Rushforth

Look, it has to be said, Mr. Rushforth is sorry about your poke bowl or whatever it is you have instead of a decent breakfast, but ever since word got out that a majority of Tory MPs, including our Prime (pork and cheese) Minister-in-waiting, Liz Truss, voted against amending a bill to stop water companies […]

The sewage scandal: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, We have beautiful beaches in East Devon; Weston Mouth, in particular, is very special to me: pristine, crystal-clear water and I have enjoyed swimming there all through the year. I am very sad that since sewage has been pumped into the sea; ALL of the beaches in Lyme Bay are now […]

Action Nan!

Jane Leigh

The Final Straw battle is won – but Pat’s fight against plastic pollution goes on, reports Jane Leigh. “It bothered me enough to make me decide I wasn’t just going to be cross, but actively try to do something about it.” Cornwall grandmother Pat Smith has made a name for herself as a plastic pollution […]

The mysterious glow

Mick Fletcher

At around 9.30pm, on a warm summer evening in late July, some 40 residents of Westbury-sub-Mendip converged on the centre of the village and waited for it to get dark. They were taking part in the annual glow-worm count that has been carried out at about this time for the last 17 years. A small […]

Heappey sabotages a green funding bid with his own ‘imaginative’ idea for levelling-up

Mick Fletcher

James Heappey MP seems guilty of stabbing his constituents in the back after a last-minute intervention which threatens to derail a £20m bid for levelling-up funds. The plan, put together by Conservative-controlled Sedgemoor Council and LibDem-led Mendip, proposes substantial investment in a green transport corridor connecting communities from Wells in the east to Highbridge on […]

The real risk is that the economy could fail this winter

Richard Murphy

How many people lived in fear in the summer of 1914, dreading what might happen? Come to that, what about 1939? People must have known that they were living on a precipice then, just as we are now. A disaster is about to happen, but there seems to be denial all around. The disaster that […]

“As the seas die, we die” – protest in Plymouth against fossil fuels

Rosie Haworth Booth

As temperatures rise so do west country climate activists: Rosie Haworth Booth reports. The  days following the weekend 16/17 July were predicted to be the hottest on record in the UK.  It was maybe a significant coincidence that this was the weekend that Extinction Rebellion activists chose to raise public consciousness in Plymouth – England’s ‘Ocean […]