Archive for 01/06/2014


Creating an impact in a space only 2m by 3m is a difficult task, but there is much to hold the attention in these six little “postcard gardens”.

Bloom 2014 053

It’s Bloom time in Dublin – Dublin’s Garden and Food festival. The large crowds hurtle towards the Floral marquee, the Show Gardens and artisan food stalls, but many pause on their exit to appreciate the ideas being showcased by the various Societies who have built these postage stamp gardens.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina took care to visit small as well as large exhibits. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina took care to visit small as well as large exhibits.

Irish people are well known for their “gift of the gab”, enhanced by kissing the Blarney Stone, and Blarney Castle and Gardens, Co Cork, presented us with  “thumbnail imagery” of what awaits the visitor to Blarney, in a representation of a Celtic Cross with Irish Ogham alphabet.199

The Community Garden Network showcased their…

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Official blog of the Met Office news team

Early statistics from the Met Office National Climate Information Centre show that this has been one of the warmest springs in records dating back to 1910.

Based on figures up until 28 May and then assuming average conditions to the end of the month, the mean temperature for the UK for the season is 8.97 °C, third warmest in the records (beaten by 2007 with 9.05 °C and 2011 with 9.15 °C).

Looking at specific countries, it is currently the third warmest spring for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, it has been particularly warm in Scotland compared to average. Depending on temperatures in the final three days of May, this spring could be Scotland’s warmest since records began with a current mean temperature of 7.63 °C, just above the record set in 2011 of 7.61 °C.

Each of the three months of spring have seen above average temperatures. The…

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One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

ID-100131830Smallholder farmers produce the bulk of the world’s food with only minimal resources such as land and water. In fact small-scale food producers farm less than one quarter of the world’s farmland, a proportion that is declining. A new GRAIN report, Hungry for Land, investigates whether the shrinking size of land under small-scale farming poses a potential threat to the global production of food. The conclusion was clear, “we need to urgently put land back in the hands of small farmers and make the struggle for agrarian reform central to the fight for better food systems”.

As a multitude of media articles tells us land is a hot commodity, one that is fought over and one that increasingly small-scale farmers are being evicted from. Be it for large-scale oil palm plantations, the creation of protected areas or the discovery of oil, insecure systems of land tenure and opaque policy…

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