Fields in Trust – portal offering resources for open spaces

Fields in Trust


Fields in Trust the new operating name for the National Playing Fields Association, offers a one stop shop for resources to help with the success and sustainability of our outdoor spaces. 

Their Toolkit provides PDF downloads, signposting to other useful websites and Case Studies to highlight how other groups have used this information – or you can view their frequently asked questions to help you on your way.

Areas covered include;

  • funding
  • organisational & policy
  • planning process
  • volunteering
  • technical


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North Carolina Legislates on Level of Sea Level Rise

Source: Scientific American Blog
A group of legislators from 20 coastal NC counties whose economies will be most affected by rising seas have legislated on how future predictions should be calculated. In House Bill 819 2011 section 2, paragraph e, talking about rates of sea level rise: “These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly. …”
By doing this they are ignoring the feedback loops predicted in climate science and bringing down the predicted sea level rise from a meter to 8 inches by the end of the century.

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People and the Planet: a Royal Society Report


“Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment”. This report gives an overview of how global population and consumption are linked, and the implications for a finite planet. Key recommendations include:
1. Bringing the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 day out of absolute poverty and reducing the inequality that persists today.
2. The most developed and the emerging economies must stabilise and then reduce material consumption levels through: dramatic improvements in resource use efficiency.
3. Reproductive health and voluntary family planning programmes urgently require political leadership and financial commitment.
4. Population and the environment should not be considered as two separate issues.

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Ship Breaking in Bangladesh

The Observer on 6/5/12 highlighted the dangers in the recycling yards in Chittagong. It is estimated that over the last ten years hundreds of men working in the 125 breaking yards have died or been maimed or poisoned. Pollution is rife. Yet the industry ensures that all the materials are recycled, provides half the steel the country needs, employs over 20,000 people and the government collects £70m in revenue. The EU is now proposing laws stating that ships registered in Europe should be broken up only in licensed yards meeting strict new environmental guidelines. Few of these yards will pass without massive investment. See the website of the YPSA, an NGO working to improve the conditions of workers in the Chittagong ship breaking yards.

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Shell Sues Environmentalists to Avert Alaska Arctic Drilling Delays

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is suing in federal court more than a dozen environmental organizations that are likely to challenge its plans for drilling Alaska’s Arctic Ocean this summer, an unprecedented preemptive move aimed at avoiding potentially costly delays.
The suit names the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and 10 other organizations that oppose drilling in the Arctic or believe Shell’s oil response plan is insufficient. These organizations have filed lawsuits and appeals in the past challenging the U.S. offshore leasing program offshore Alaska.
Shell said it already has invested more than $4 billion purchasing leases in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea, in 2005 and 2008, respectively, without being able to drill a single well. Both areas are considered among the last frontier areas in North America with potential to hold significant source for oil and gas. The leases have an expiration term of 10 years.

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Toronto’s Green Roof Bylaw

Toronto is the first city in North America to require green roofs by law and has now passed into its third phase. All new buildings with a floor area of 2,000 sq metres are required to devote 20-60% of available roof space to vegetation. Lower utility bills result with reduced heat loss in winter and reduced heat gain in summer.

Posted in Canada, Politics & Policy initiatives | 2 Comments

Do You Still Believe in Global Warming?

So asks the billboards paid for by the Heartland Institute featuring some notorious criminals who do. “The Heartland Institute is widely recognized as a leading source of science and economics questioning claims that man-made global warming is a crisis”. Read their take on the issue and the Washington Post’s response while SourceWatch tells us who is behind the Heartland Institute.

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Biofuels from Seaweed

E. coli, best known for causing serious food poisoning, has been bioengineered to digest all the sugars found in seaweed and produce bioethanol and other useful products. The researchers estimate that seaweed farms along 3% of the world’s coastlines could produce 60 billion gallons (about 227 billion litres) of ethanol a year, using this technique. It is unlikely any accidental release of engineered E. coli could damage seaweed growing in the sea, as the microbes are not suited to the ocean environment.

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How Much Carbon Does Urban Green Space Store?

Image from
A recent study has calculated the amount of atmospheric CO2 that has been captured by a new green belt in Leipzig, Germany. The footprint ranges from 29 to 218 tonnes of CO2 sequestered per hectare depending on the level of mortality among the trees and their rate of growth. If the area was given over to lawn without trees it would be a source of increased atmospheric CO2. The city would need an area of green belt about 33 times its size to mitigate all its emissions.

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Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

A recent study from EASAC (the European Academies Science Advisory Council) examines how far CSP can help the EU reach its target of all electricity being produced with zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. It concludes that CSP could make a significant contribution to this target but four problems need to be overcome:
1. Costs – currently 2-3 times higher than fossil fuels but are expected to come down.
2. Location – Plants are most effective in hot, dry locations but they currently need large amounts of water.
3. Infrastructure – grid lines will have to be improved between Europe and the Middle East and North Africa.
4. Security – in protecting these lines and plants.

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