Landmark Decision on Peat-Extraction in Salford

Salford City Council today refused compost manufacturer William Sinclair’s application to extend their expired permission, with regard to peat extraction on Chat Moss in Greater Manchester. Prior to the decision being made; Salford City Council’s Lead for Planning, Cllr Derek Antrobus, had said: “As far as we know, this is the first time an application for peat extraction will be considered on grounds of principle rather than the impact on neighbours” and “If permission is refused I expect there to be an appeal which will be an important test case for the Government on the strength of its environmental policies.” – so it all now depends on just how far William Sinclair are prepared to take things. It is of course also the case that the planning refusal only covers the portion of the site within Salford; the other part is in Wigan, where a decision is yet to be reached. Further information is available on the ‘Organic In The Garden’ forum: here Update 6 July 2011: As widely expected; a formal appeal has been lodged against Salford Council’s decision. … [Read more…]

Anti GM Protest in Norfolk

Hello all, We hope you are having a great summer, and that we will see you for the Spuds Don’t Work rally and Camp Against the Come Back this weekend (see if this means nothing to you, or turn up at the Forum in Norwich at 12 noon this Saturday and follow the crowd!) Preparations are going well at this end. As I type, the spuds (local, organic, blight free – the spuds that do work) are being dug from the ground, and by Saturday they will be sizzling in the pan ready to feed you chips. The media may not be everyone’s chosen game, but it is interesting to note that both ITN and the BBC have been in touch wanting pre-recorded television interviews, suggesting they see this trial, and GM in general, as very much live issues again. On a more practical note, here is some of the information we think you will need if you are coming: What to bring: * Camping things, including your own food, cooking things and plates etc. We will be able to make cups of tea for the Sunday but try to BRING YOUR OWN MUG even if you aren’t camping * Banners, placards, flags, umbrellas with slogans on, costumes, musical instruments and other items to make the rally a carnival. * Your bike, if you can. There will be the option of getting a public bus or getting a lift in a vehicle from the centre of town to the John Innes Centre where the research is happening, but lots of us will be using bikes to get there under our own steam. Speakers: We will have speakers at the Forum in Norwich and outside the John Innes Centre when we deliver the spuds * Helena Paul from Econexus as compere * Peter Riley from GM Freeze * Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association * Gerald Miles, organic farmer from GM Free Cymru * Brian Baxter, local organic farmer * Peter Lungdren, co-founder of FARM and small-scale conventional farmer * Representatives from the Faucheurs Volontaires: a group who ‘de-contaminate’ GM trial sites in France * Jonathon Jones from the Sainsbury Laboratory: a senior scientist responsible for this trial will come out to explain what he is doing and answer your questions. Camping and Travel * There will be camping at the Norfolk Showground – turn up any time from 4 o’clock on Friday. Ideally let us know you are coming on 07595 506673. Camping will be in the Red Car Park (note the Country Music Festival is taking part in the main showground). A map of the Showground is available here Red car park is to the east of the Park and Ride. * Bus to and from the campsite: you can catch the Costessey Park and Ride to the Park and Ride itself (Mon-Fri). This service takes 20 mins and runs approx. every 20 mins from the bus station running via the university. Alternatively catch … [Read more…]

GM Crops – Farmer to Farmer

Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer, has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years. In this short documentary he investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA ten years after their introduction. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM. More info on the GM Crops – Farmer to Farmer website: here … [Read more…]

The Soil Association’s conference on Community Supported Agriculture

We have received the following invitation from the Soil Association: Farming together: The future of CSA in the UK 16 September 2011, Bristol Come and join us to celebrate CSA, explore the diversity of enterprises, hear about CSA overseas and look to the future of CSA development in the UK. We recommend you book as soon as possible as we’re expecting it to be a popular event! Click here for the invitation. We look forward to receiving your booking. Kind regards Amanda Amanda Daniel Information and Marketing Coordinator CSA & Organic Buying Groups project Soil Association T: 0117 914 2424 … [Read more…]

Anti GM protest in Norfolk

We have received the following note, from Rachel Harries at the Soil Association: Hi there Thought you might be interested in this anti GM protest happening in Norfolk. Apologies if you have heard about it already! Join us for a family-friendly rally against ongoing blight-resistant GM potato trials! Gather for organic chips before travelling by coach, bike or tractor to the John Innes Research Centre to deliver to them our tried and tested non-GM blight-resistant spuds! Meet 12 noon, The Forum, Norwich, Saturday 23rd July 2011. For more info email: or to book coach seats/enquire about accommodation ring 01271 850 616. To gather under the Soil Association ‘No GM’ banner at the event contact Kind regards Rachel Rachel Harries | Programmes Department | Soil Association | South Plaza, Marlborough Street | Bristol BS1 3NX | t: 0117 987 4601 | m: 07795 528926