News: January 2023

Badgers and the Badgers Trust; Dark Skies Event at Grinton; Fairtrade Fortnight; RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch January 2023; Single-use plastic cutlery, plates and trays to be banned in England; Swaledale wool used in peatland restoration; Together for Trees project: call for volunteers; UK forests trap more CO2 than previously thought; UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) Montreal, December 2022; Warmest year ever in the UK; Wind generated a record amount of electricity in 2022; Woodland Trust’s Nature Calendar: become a phenologist

Image by andy ballard from Pixabay

Badgers and the Badgers Trust

The Badgers Trust estimate that over 50,000 badgers are killed a year as a result of road traffic accidents so the Trust have launched their  give badgers a brake campaign. You can help badgers by driving carefully at dawn and dusk and reporting casualties on their dedicated road traffic casualty form. The Trust uses badger road traffic casualty data to inform research about roadkill at Cardiff University and also support its campaigns and local groups. You can also report the location of setts. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police. 

Dark Skies event at Grinton

A Northern Dales Night Skies event will take place at Grinton on Tuesday 21 February from 6-9pm.  Hosted at the Dales Bike Centre, pizza, cake and hot drinks will be available from 17:00 with a chance to view Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon from 18:00. This is followed by a presentation of photos by local night sky photographer’s Paul Clark. Weather permitting, the event will be finish with either the chance to view the night sky arranged by the Reeth Informal Astronomy Group or a virtual sky tour. Tickets are £9.21 and can be booked through Eventbrite.

Part of the Yorkshire Dales/North York Moors Dark Sky Festival 2023. Information on other events can be found at:

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight (28 February – 12 March will be focusing on supporting farmers to cope with the impact of  climate change on  crops such as bananas, cocoa and coffee. Buy Fairtrade products and support the Fairtrade Foundation. Source:

RSPB Big Garden Watch January 2023

The RSPB’s Big Garden Watch is taking place 27-29 January this year.  Spend an hour counting how many of each species of bird land on the patch of land that you are watching and record it on their website. To find out more, visit the RSPB website

Single-use plastic cutlery, plates and trays to be banned in England

DEFRA has announced that England will follow Wales and Scotland in banning single-use plastic such as cutlery, plates and trays. It will still be possible to buy the items in shops. Source: BBC: Single-use cutlery and plates to be banned in England

Swaledale wool used in peatland restoration

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has given Ruth Lindsey funds from the  Farming in Protected Landscapes programme to investigate the production of wool logs for use in peatland restoration. 30 logs are being trialled in Fleet Moss with more in the North York Moors. Ruth, who lives in Hardraw, came to speak to the Sustainable Swaledale group in June last year where she explained that she hoped that the logs will prove a viable alternative to imported coir logs and help provide a market for Swaledale wool. Articles in the Northern Echo, Yorkshire Post and on the YDNPA website. The YDNPA still has funding to  support farmers find new income streams or explore diversification options.

Together for Trees project

Sustainable Swaledale has space for a few more volunteers for tree planting in both dales as part of a Together for Trees project along with Tees Swale: naturally connected. We will be planting into February/March so if you would like to help for a few hours, email for more information:

UK forests trap more CO2 than previously thought

Research published in Ecological Solutions and Evidence, January 2023 suggests that the amount of carbon capture by established woodland in Europe has been underestimated. Professor Mat Disney of UCL observes that we might be losing double the carbon capture capacity we thought for every square kilometre of woodland we lose. Temporarily trapping carbon in woodland is one way to meet climate emergency targets. A summary is available on the BBC website.

UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) Montreal, December 2022

The UN conference held at Montreal focused on agreeing on a new, 10-year Global Biodiversity Framework. Almost 200 countries agreed to the often repeated headline target of “30×30” – an ambition to conserve 30% of the world’s land and 30% of the ocean by 2030. This includes restoration of 30% of degraded ecosystems by 2030 and the effective conservation and management of 30% of land and 30% of  oceans by 2030. Other areas agreed include stopping human-induced extinctions, maintaining and restoring genetic diversity and the sustainable use, harvesting and trade of wild species.  A second “30×30” goal also made it into the final package, with developed countries agreeing to mobilise $30bn for developing countries by 2030. 

None of the components of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are legally binding but the conference attendees agreed to turn promises into action through a plan to report on, review and voluntarily increase their ambitions for tackling biodiversity loss. A good summary of what was achieved at COP15  and a handy table of the 23 targets is available on the Carbon Brief website

Warmest year ever for the UK

The Met Office has confirmed that 2022 was the warmest year recorded for the UK. The average monthly temperature topped 10C for the first time but is expected to be more commonly reached in future years. 15 of the UK’s top 20 warmest years have been this century with the top 10 within the past 2 decades. 

Wind generated a record amount of electricity in 2022

According to a BBC article, wind was the second largest source of electricity production in 2022 with renewables and nuclear generation accounting for 48.5% of electricity.

Woodland Trust’s Nature Calendar: become a phenologist

If you have enjoyed taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 27-29 January 2023, check out the Woodland Trust’s Nature calendar where you can help build up records of a changing world by observing a wide variety  of plants and animals. Record your first sighting this year of blackthorn in flower at:

Core Group Meeting

The February meeting will take place at the Two Dales Bakery on 2nd February  at  7.00pm. It will start with the AGM. Please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

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