Staffordshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Thursday, 27 September 2018 08:42

Green Clean with the Reverse Vending Machine

CPRE's 'reverse vending machine' paid a visit to Stafford on 23 September 2018 to demonstrate how a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) might work in practice. Together with an active local group, Stafford Litter Heroes, we organised a Green Clean along the banks of the River Sow by Asda, which is something of a litter blackspot (thanks to the recent acquisition of waders and an inflatable canoe, Becki and Karen from Stafford Litter Heroes were also able to collect litter from the river). Bottles and cans can be fed into the machine, which prints out a receipt that (if we had a DRS) could be exchanged for a small amount of money. 

Despite there having been a previous litter pick in the area only a fortnight earlier, we collected 142 plastic bottles, 72 glass bottles and 173 cans - all recyclable - plus a large number of bags of general rubbish such as crisp packets. Other finds included a large wooden sign, traffic cones, prescription medicines and plastic ducks.

After 10 years of campaigning, the announcement earlier this year that England is to finally have a DRS was a huge environmental win for CPRE in its fight against littered bottles and cans in the countryside. Similar systems in countries such as Norway have been shown to boost recycling rates to as high as 97%. Yet our countryside, towns and roadside verges remain awash with empty bottles and cans, causing serious harm to habitats and wildlife. The Green Clean events that took place around England during September aimed to collect as much rubbish as possible, and to record the quantity and type of litter found to help make the case for a DRS.

Friday, 06 July 2018 10:54

Visit to BIFoR

Staff, volunteers and members of CPRE Staffordshire enjoyed a very interesting and informative visit to the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) near Norbury Junction on 6 July 2018.

Set in mature umanaged oak woodland with a hazel understorey, the BIFoR FACE (Free Air Carbon Enrichment) experiment is the only one of its kind in the northern hemisphere. The ten-year experiment is investigating how our forests will respond to future increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), including effects on forest growth and agricultural pests and diseases. The forest contains sites that receive elevated levels of CO2 , which are compared with those that have the monitoring equipment in place but do not receive extra CO2 , and control sites, all with a similar composition of trees.

CPRE's visit paved the way for royalty. A couple of weeks after our visit, Prince Charles (who is patron of the Woodland Heritage charity and a supporter of the new Action Oak campaign) unveiled a plaque at the site and was presented with a bottle filled with air from the forest at its predicted CO2 level in 2050.



Thursday, 07 June 2018 09:22

Planning Seminar 2018

Staff from CPRE's London office joined CPRE Staffordshire and members of other CPRE branches for a seminar on navigating the complexities of the planning system on 18 April 2018.


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