Please join us for a visit to Those Plant People in Steeton on Saturday 19th August, arriving for 10am.
Those Plant People are Andrew and Pippa. They run gardening courses at Fern Cottage throughout the year to help you move from amateur to confident gardener. They also provide a gardening maintenance service.
They also grow and supply their own hardy herbaceous perennial plants, grown and tested in their own borders, and use them in their garden designs as well as selling at specialist plant fairs all across Yorkshire.
Tea, coffee and cakes will be available, free to WYOG members.
If you are coming from Keighley come along the B6265 through Utley. As you are entering Steeton there is a rock on the left with ‘Steeton with Eastburn’ written on it. We are the first drive on the left less than 100m past the rock. The drive is marked ‘Stiverton House’.
If you are coming from Skipton(A629) or Ilkley(A6034) take the turning off the roundabout signposted Steeton and Silsden train station and carry on up station road until the traffic lights. Turn left at the traffic lights along Keighley Road, the road bears to the right round a bend then it is the next driveway on the right. The drive is marked Stiverton House.
Please park in front of the main house or on the cobbled area.
If you are coming by train walk up Station Road to the traffic lights, turn left and walk along Keighley Road. The road bends to the right and we are the first drive on the right, marked Stiverton House. It is about 10-15min walk.
The address is: Fern Cottage
If you get lost you can contact
Pippa Chapman 07704178585
15th July: The Bee Event – explore the hives, honey tastings & sales, bee-friendly gardening, wild bee info. 12-4pm
22nd July: Guided Walk. Crook Farm & Baildon Moor. 10am start at BH
26th July: Wild Wednesday!
NB Wild Wednesdays are particularly suitable for younger children (& those who like countryside crafting & activities). They run from 2 to 4pm
2nd August: Wild Wednesday! (see above)
5th August: The Big Butterfly Count. Ties in with Butterfly Conservation’s annual national survey. Experts will be on hand to help you spot & identify butterflies in the garden & in the treetops. 11am-4pm
9th August: Wild Wednesday! With added butterflies!
16th August: Wild Wednesday! 23rd August: Wild Wednesday!
25th August: Guided Family Walk. Meet at Bracken Hall at 10.30am
30th August: Wild Wednesday!
8th-17th September: Saltaire Festival. Special activities each Saturday & Sunday. 8th September: Bat talk then walk with bat detectors. 6.30pm.
All events are FREE! (But donations welcome)
Photograph this sheet on your phone so it’s always handy!
All children to be accompanied by a responsible adult
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, Glen Road, Baildon, BD17 5EA Glen Road, Baildon, BD17 5EA
Follow us on Facebook, phone 07933 355 753, or visit http://www.friendsofbrackenhall.org.uk/ for updates
NB Bracken Hall is open every Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
The world’s largest ever field trial demonstrates widely used insecticides harm both honeybees and wild bees, increasing calls for a ban
Widely used insecticides damage the survival of honeybee colonies, the world’s largest ever field trial has shown for the first time, as well as harming wild bees.
The farm-based research, along with a second new study, also suggests widespread contamination of entire landscapes and a toxic “cocktail effect” from multiple pesticides.
The landmark work provides the most important evidence yet for regulators around the world considering action against neonicotinoids, including in the EU where a total ban is poised to be implemented this autumn. The insecticides are currently banned on flowering crops in the EU.
Neonicotinoids represent a quarter of the multi-billion dollar pesticide market but have been repeatedly linked to serious harm in bees in lab-based studies. Bees and other pollinators are vital to food production but are in decline, in part due to loss of habitats and disease. But there had been few realistic field studies to date to address the role of the insecticides and only occasional evidence for colony-level harm in wild bees.
The new research took place at 33 large farmland sites spread across the UK, Germany and Hungary. Honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees living by insecticide-treated fields of oil seed rape were compared with those in fields where insecticides were not used in the year of the study.
The survival of honeybee colonies was reduced by exposure to the insecticides in the UK and Hungary, but not in Germany, where the bees foraged far less on oil seed rape and had lower levels of disease. The reproductive success of the wild bees was cut as the insecticide exposure increased in all three countries.
“We showed significant negative effects at critical life cycle stages,” said Prof Richard Pywell, from the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), and part of the research team. “If the bees are foraging a lot on oil seed rape, they are clearly at risk. This is a large and important piece of evidence, but it is not the only evidence regulators will look at.”
Scientists not involved in the research backed the conclusions. “Together, the two studies make strong contributions to the growing scientific consensus about the harms of neonicotinoid pesticides to bees,” said Prof James Nieh, at the University of California San Diego. Addressing the differences between countries, Prof Jeremy Kerr, at the University of Ottawa in Canada, said: “Neonicotinoid applications are a kind of reproductive roulette for bees. Depending on local environmental characteristics, they can materially reduce survival prospects.”
The $3m cost of the research was met by Syngenta and Bayer, the companies that sell the two neonicotinoids tested, as part of a voluntary commitment to increase the available field data. But the companies were not involved in the designing, conducting or reporting of the study.
It found that the bees in Germany got just 15% of their food from the oil seed rape fields, compared to 40-50% in the UK and Hungary. “Clearly the bees in Germany are feeding on other flower resources in the landscape and are less exposed to neonics,” said Pywell.
The scientists also discovered that the wild bees were exposed to a neonicotinoid that was not even used in the trial and concluded the harm caused may result from “persistent residues in arable systems due to their widespread and often very frequent use”.
However, both Bayer and Syngenta expressed doubt about the “simplistic” interpretation of complex and “inconsistent” results. “We do not share CEH’s interpretation and remain confident that neonicotinoids are safe when used responsibly” said Richard Schmuck, director of environmental safety at Bayer CropScience.
Peter Campbell, from Syngenta, said: “The negative and positive results reported by CEH could easily be random, ie not real.” He said even taking the results at face value “demonstrates that neonics can be used safely or even with benefit to bees under certain circumstances, such as reported in Germany.”
But CEH’s Pywell said: “We stand by our peer-reviewed paper. We undertook the statistical analysis and reported the findings as we saw them and those are underpinned by the data. We are absolutely independent.”
The second new study published in Science, carried out on corn farms in Canada, also found crops were not the main source of neonicotinoids to which bees were exposed. Instead, the contaminated pollen came from wildflowers, as has been shown recently in the UK.
“This indicates that neonicotinoids, which are water soluble, spill over from fields into the surrounding environment, where they are taken up by other plants that are very attractive to bees,” said Nadia Tsvetkov, at York University in Canada and who led the research.
“The detection of the potential long-term persistence of neonicotinoids in the soil by both studies raises the spectre of a reprise of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” said Prof Robert Paxton at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany.
The Canadian research also found that the presence of realistic levels of a fungicide made the neonicotinoids twice as toxic to bees. “The effect of neonicotinoids on honey bees quickly turns from bad to worse when you add the fungicide boscalid to the mix,” said Prof Valérie Fournier, at Laval University in Canada and also part of the team. Pesticides are not tested in combination by regulators and Kerr said: “This study shows that mixtures matter.”
What are the fundamental principles behind organic gardening? We know about not using toxic chemicals, but in truth there is more, much more, to creating a resilient and healthy natural growing space.
Garden Organic is pleased to announce the publication of a new booklet which neatly summarises the five organic gardening principles. Feed the soil, encourage wildlife, use resources responsibly, avoid harmful chemicals and keep your growing area healthy. Based on over 60 years of research, the easy to read Principles explains the thinking behind each of the above.
The booklet aims to help you your own growing methods, so that you can progress along the journey towards becoming truly organic. Based on the original Organic Gardening Guidelines, it has helpful Do’s and Don’ts, plus new sections and beautiful illustrations. “This should be a best-seller,” writes one member. “It is packed with important information.”
The Principles of Organic Gardening can be downloaded free of charge from gardenorganic.org.uk/principles. Alternatively, we can send you a copy by post, all we ask is a suggested donation of £2.50 to cover postage and package. You can do this here, selecting ‘Donation for Principles of Organic Gardening’ from the drop down options.
Study shows almost all farms could significantly cut chemical use while producing as much food, in a major challenge to the billion-dollar pesticide industry. Virtually all farms could significantly cut their pesticide use while still producing as much food, according to a major new study. Click ‘Read more’ for the full article from the Guardian newsletter.
For decades, Glyphosate, a toxic pesticide, has been sprayed on the fields where our fruit, vegetables and grains grow. Our parks and neighbourhoods are likely being sprayed with it, and almost every other European tested had this toxic poison in their urine.  Studies show that it is probably carcinogenic. 
And we have the chance to take it off the market since EU countries will be coming together to discuss whether to allow or ban Glyphosate. However, it’s the most commonly used pesticide worldwide, and Monsanto is one of its biggest producers, earning millions from it yearly. So they are are lobbying hard to keep it on the market.
But today we’re launching our own offense, with a European Citizens’ Initiative. It is the most powerful tool we have as European citizens to address the European Commission. If we collect 1,000,000 signatures, the Commission is legally bound to listen to our demands. Without it, they could fall on deaf ears. To have real impact we need the signatures by this summer, when the most important discussions will start. That means collecting over 5,800 signatures every single day. Starting right now.
Last year, the European Commission was meant to relicense the use of glyphosate for 15 years, but it fell under huge pressure from hundreds of thousands of Europeans (WeMove community included)! Due to public pressure the Commission could only agree on a temporary measure extending the licence for 18 months. This is now the final stretch.
If we succeed, we will be opting for our health and the health of the generations to come. But not only. If we succeed, this can be the start of a revolutionary change to the way we do farming, that could have a positive impact on our planet for centuries. But Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer make their millions from the current way we do farming — toxic pesticides, GMOs, green deserts. We know they are doing everything in their power to protect their interests, so we are doing the same.
This is no regular petition, so we are partnering with a massive European coalition to launch the initiative and reach the required signatures.  We need all 1,000,000 signatures by this summer so we can impact the proposal the Commission adopts towards this toxic pesticide. But that requires every single one of us from the WeMove community to play our part if we want to be rid of this poison. Today is the first day of the campaign. Will you be part of a massive push to get the word out?
With your signature, we can demonstrate the public opposition to Glyphosate, and keep up the pressure on EU member states to vote against its re-authorisation this year.
Martin (Berlin/London), Jörg (Lübeck), Mika (Bordeaux), Olga (Bologne), David (Brussels) and the whole WeMove.EU team
PS – For a signature to count towards an European Citizens’ Initiative, you need to provide a bit more information than for a normal WeMove petition. The information fields required are not set by WeMove.EU, but are determined by which member state you are signing the ECI for. The extra information that is being asked of you is a legal requirement for your signature to be considered valid. WeMove will not store or use this extra information. Please sign!
 Circle of Organising Partners: Campact | Corporate Europe Observatory| The Danish Society for Nature Conservation | GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) | Greenpeace | Health and Environment Alliance | PAN Europe | Skiftet | WeMove.EU |
WeMove.EU is a citizens’ movement, campaigning for a better Europe; for a European Union committed to social and economic justice, environmental sustainability and citizen-led democracy. We are people from all walks of life, who call Europe our home whether we were born in Europe or elsewhere. To unsubscribe from WeMove.EU, please click here.
WeMove.EU is funded by donations from our community across Europe. Can you chip in with a few euros a month and help make sure we can move fast to win the campaigns that matter to all of us? Donate
A question which has intrigued those on both sides of the organic fence. Instinctively, organic growers feel that their produce – grown without chemicals and using natural fertilisers – must be safer and more nutritious. We look at research which has been published in the past year, which reveals the difference between organic and conventional produce.
The Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) are planning their 2016 open event. The event is free and is an opportunity for those interested in pesticide residues in food to learn more about the work of the committee and its role in the national food testing programme.
The event will be held on Wednesday 19 October at theNational Railway Museum, York.
The theme for this year’s open event is past, present and future of pesticides in food, there will be talks from:
Dr Paul Brantom, Chairman of PRiF, introducing the work of the committee and explaining how the committee check results against safety and legal requirements.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will explain how foods are selected for the programme and how this has changed over time, including information on the latest results and the current testing programme.
Dr Sadat NawazandMike Dickinson from Fera Science Ltd will explain how samples are tested for a wide range of pesticides at low levels, including safeguards on the quality of results.
Chris Wallwork from Agrii Ltd who gives technical advice to farmers and Christian Maltby from Barfoots of Botley, one of the UK’s leading vegetable growers, will give seperare talks explaining how UK farmers adapt to meet the requirements of the law, their customers and the consumer.
We would be very grateful if you could pass information about the event to anyone you think may be interested using, any social media tools that may be available
Gardeners are the natural stewards and protectors of our Earth, and how we garden has never been so important.
Biodynamic gardening methods provides a much needed catalyst for regeneration, which revitalizes soils, nurtures bees, provide safe havens for wildlife, and keep our precious bio-diversity alive.
The aim of biodynamics is to maximize the inherent vitality of our soils and gardens through its use of herbal compost and spray preparations, by harnessing the subtle cosmic forces of nature, building natural resilience with open pollinated seed, and by creating a garden full of harmonious life, which becomes self-sustaining .
Want to discover more? Packed with hands on practical advice, workshops and captivating lectures, our conference devotes itself to biodynamic approach to gardening, and how to take your organic gardening to a new level of holistic health.