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A-Level changes

August each year brings exam results for thousands of A-Level and GCSE students around the country. Our congratulations go out to all of those who have received their results, and with UCAS reporting record numbers of university places being accepted (since the cap on student numbers has been removed), including across the sciences, we hope that these successes will translate into thriving environmental science courses across the country.

Moving on from ‘the greenest government ever'

At the start of the last parliament, David Cameron claimed that the coalition would be ‘the greenest government ever’. Over the course of the parliament, this claim was frequently tested by environmental campaigners and his political opposition, particularly concerning the Government’s attitude to fracking and ‘green taxes’, and the handling of the controversial forestry sell-off policy.

Drones for environmental research? Taking a closer look at physical river habitat

The use of drones has become one of the latest hot topics within the media, with reports covering everything from their sometimes controversial military applications, to their position at the forefront of the latest Christmas toy craze. Perhaps less frequently publicised is the potential of these small flying platforms for environmental applications. However, within both academic and commercial arenas things are evolving rapidly.

Room for the environment in the Government's 'plan for growth'?

After several weeks of waiting and delay, the much anticipated Government Science and Innovation strategy statement was finally released on the 17th December.  A collaborative effort between Greg Clark (Minister for Universities, Science and Cities), Vince Cable (Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary), and George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer), this document entitled ‘Our plan for growth’ was initially supposed to be published alongside the A

The end of a green Europe? The Juncker Commission

In putting together his College of Commissioners, new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has been making some significant early changes in structure and focus.  In the second post of our blog series on The end of a green Europe?, we examine the new Commission structure, and explore what these changes may mean for the environmental agenda in Europe over the coming Commission term.

The end of a green Europe? The term of Janez Potočnik

The five year term of the current European Commission officially draws to a close on the 31st October 2014.  As the EU policy cycle renews with the influx of new Commissioners, it is a good time to take stock, review the progress that has been made, and think about the challenges ahead.  The EU has a strong history of promoting environmental protection and has the potential to be a political space for the development of progressive environmental policy which is underpinned by sound science.

Biodiversity offsetting — help or hype?

As a life-long naturalist with nearly three decades running an ecological consultancy, I find myself reaching boiling point over biodiversity offsetting, and simultaneously becoming sad because our native wildlife desperately needs all the help it can get. Every site’s ecology is particular to its specific location: you may be able to consider compensation for destroying it but it will never truly be “like-for-like” so you can’t “offset” it. Perhaps a better word than offsetting would be "compensation" and with an emphasis that this does not equal "equivalence". 

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