Blog Action Day ’09 Climate Change

Blog ACtion Day 2009 on Climate Change15th October is Blog Action Day 2009, an annual event when bloggers around the world post about a common issue on the same day.

The aim is to raise awareness and encourage discussion around a global issue.

This year’s topic is climate change.

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Future proofing rural communities in Warwickshire

Warwickshire Rural Community Council logoWarwickshire’s rural dwellers are being encouraged to move to the forefront of the battle to address climate change by creating a ‘cheaper, greener, more sustainable’ future for their countryside communities.

Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) says that, historically, rural communities have always been willing to embrace change and see the strong community spirit at the heart of many villages as key to their future success.

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UK Climate Projections 2009

UKCP09 report

UKCP09 report

Today saw the publication of the long awaited UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09).

UKCP09 is the fifth time such climate information has been produced for the UK.

Funded by Defra, and based on sound science and projections provided by the Met Office, UKCP09 aims to meet the needs of a wide range of users who want to assess potential impacts of the future climate and explore adaptation options to address those impacts. Continue reading

Tracking a plant disease across Cannock Chase using GISlp

GIS (Geographical Information Systems) is helping to track and treat a plant disease, previously unknown in the United Kingdom, which is infecting and killing bilberry across the northern part of Cannock Chase Country Park.

Bilberry plant showing symptoms of PhytophthoraStaffordshire County Council’s Environment and Countryside team, with help from many volunteers, have been surveying the outbreak of Phytophthora pseudosyringae in the bilberry on Cannock Chase.

This alga-like fungus can cause the rotting of roots of some deciduous trees in Europe, and is associated with the condition known as oak decline.

It is rare in the United Kingdom. Few previous records on the infection of bilberry seem to exist.

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Guidance for local authorities undertaking research into culture

Stratford Royal Shakespeare theatre at nightEver read through a research report and wished that you could have the same types of information for the geographical area that you live and work in?

With this in mind, the West Midlands Cultural Observatory has just published a guidance paper (Word, 226KB) aimed at local authorities in the West Midlands who want to replicate the research presented in the two recent evidence papers:

This includes, for example, research into:

  • Numbers of people employed by cultural and creative industries.
  • Rates of participation in cultural pursuits such as visits to museums and art galleries and participation in sport.
  • Cultural attractions based in the area.

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State of the natural environment in the West Midlands

West Midlands Biodiversity PartnershipOn Thursday 23rd April 2009, I attended the Annual Biodiversity Conference organised by the West Midlands Biodiversity Partnership (WMBP) at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.

Key speakers included Olwen Dutton (Chief Executive of the West Midlands Regional Assembly), Roger Owen (Regional Director of Natural England), David Pape (Head of Ecology, Hampshire County Council), Conor Kretsch (Director of Cohab Initiative) and Heather Webb (Coordinator at Bedslife).

During the day the speakers highlighted the key role that biodiversity plays in the development of the West Midlands.

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‘Green’ firms fight the recession

Wind farmThe environmental technologies or “green” sector is showing greater resilience to the recession than the manufacturing sector as a whole, according to recent skills research by the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

The environmental technologies sector comprises companies concentrating on renewable energy, pollution monitoring and waste management, amongst others. Although the sector has been adversely affected by the recession, companies are fairing better than their counterparts in other sectors.

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