News Archive

Hang outside to dry
Get a clothes line or rack to dry your clothes. Your clothes will last longer and you will save money.

Meadows urgently need our protection

A wild flower meadow, Picture by Trevor Dines for Sussex Wildlife Trust

Ray Cobbett from Havant Friends of the Earth

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 4th July 2017


AN estimated 97 per cent of England’s meadows – one-and-a-half times the size of Wales – have been lost since the Second World War.

Reports that one of Havant’s last remaining meadows at Langstone could be allocated to meeting the council’s housing targets adds weight to local as well as national concern.

Despite the word ‘meadow’ appearing throughout English literature and being featured in thousands of road names, most of us would be hard put to find one even with the aid of a global positioning system (GPS).

A meadow in high summer, full of wild flowers such as harebell, scabious and oxe-eye daisies, not to mention wild grasses, is one of the delights of nature.

Meadows are not only a repository for wild plants, they are also home to more than 100 insect species providing food for birds, bees and butterflies whose natural habitats are seriously threatened by the widespread over use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

The now-annual National Meadows Day, coordinated by Plantlife, a partnership of 11 organisations, aims to raise public awareness of the value of meadows everywhere.

Restoration projects are under way in various parts of the country, although hardly any in Hampshire.

Plantlife provides a wealth of information on how to create or restore meadowland and there may be funding available for viable projects.

It is often said that development is a fact of life and that we must keep pace with the needs of a growing population.

In towns like Havant developments such as the one recently approved in the former Emsworth gap press hard on protected land with more than a dozen sensitive sites less that 500 metres away.

There is a Local Biodiversity Plan, but, as with similar plans, it has become mostly a file-and-forget exercise.

Future generations plainly need somewhere to live but equally they need somewhere local to enjoy and re-connect with nature.

Concerns raised about potential development of ‘unique’ field in Langstone

Southmere Field, Langstone

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 27th June 2017


CAMPAIGNERS have raised concerns about the future of a meadow which they claim is among the last of its kind in the area.

Southmere Field, in Langstone, is listed as a potential site for development under Havant Borough Council’s Local Plan 2036.

The plan sets out the blueprint for the 11,250 new homes required across the Havant borough by 2036.

Ray Cobbett, co-ordinator of the Havant branch of campaign group Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The field is owned by Fasset Ltd, and could house 120 new dwellings.

‘The agricultural grade 1 site is one of the very few areas of farm land which hasn’t ever been ploughed.

‘It also hasn’t been chemically fertilised in 10 years.

‘This makes the field a unique home for a variety of birds, bees and butterflies as well as a habitat for other creatures.

‘We’re well aware the council is desperate for land to meet its housing targets, but it also has a responsibility to balance development with protecting our natural environment.’

Friends of the Earth: Election manifestos: the scores are in

The manifestos are out and so are our scores on how parties have done on the environment.

There are lots of issues close to our hearts at this election. It’s clear that the next 5 years are going to be crucial for protecting the environment.

Overall when we totted up the scores (from 0 to 3) for each policy the Greens came out well ahead, followed by Labour, then Lib Dems, with the Conservatives some way behind.

Updated scores

Conservatives: 11
Labour: 34
Liberal Democrats: 32
Greens: 46

Continue reading Friends of the Earth: Election manifestos: the scores are in