Clare Taylor's Blog (21)


To quote the Royal Horticultural Society: "Soil plays a key role in the carbon cycle, can hold the water needed for plants to grow, and can help to prevent extreme water crises such as flood events or droughts. Most crucially for our species, it can feed us; perpetually, sustainably and healthily. But to maximise these benefits, we need to keep learning about it, and handle it with care and thought."

What lives in the soil is often little appreciated - bees…


Added by Clare Taylor on March 28, 2024 at 14:19 — No Comments

FINITE: The Climate of Change

On Friday evening we saw a very powerful and moving documentary about two groups of activists, learning about what they were fighting to protect, what it was costing them emotionally and in their lives to do so, and seeing how brave and determined they were.
They were two very different groups, one large group occupying a…

Added by Clare Taylor on February 25, 2024 at 12:48 — No Comments

Film for action: SEED: the untold story

We enjoyed a very beautiful film on 17 November as well as learning a great deal.


The wonderful imagery of seeds sprouting, of fields and forests, backgrounded the story of seeds, the importance of having many varieti

es of…


Added by Clare Taylor on December 1, 2023 at 13:27 — No Comments

Protecting our rivers

The latest film night in the Sustainable Hackney Films for Action series focused on river pollution and what individuals can do to make a difference. There is a lot we can actively do, beyond simply campaigning.


The well-attended event at St Paul’s West…


Added by Clare Taylor on September 23, 2023 at 13:00 — No Comments

London Lea report

A new report about our local river was published this month (February 2023), London Lea Catchment - Water Quality Monitoring and Community Recommendations, that makes interesting reading for anyone wanting to find out about what’s been happening to its quality and management. A ‘catchment’ is the area from which water drains into the river and includes surrounding land and…


Added by Clare Taylor on February 26, 2023 at 12:00 — No Comments

Check air pollution at your address

A new interactive tool - - is a free public service from Central Office of Public Interest (COPI). Every UK address is searchable, with  air pollution data pulled from a national 20m/sq resolution model created by Imperial College London (ICL). To ensure accuracy, COPI sourced and mapped real world pollution levels recorded at more than 19,500 council monitors in every major town and city across…


Added by Clare Taylor on May 6, 2022 at 10:01 — No Comments

A short film about our River Lea

This short film was made by Ian Phillips. To quote his description: : "A haven for wildlife and an essential wild space for the local people, the River Lea cuts through the urban sprawl of East London. But years of neglect have left it on the brink of ecological disaster. The local community have come together to highlight the plight of this vital resource, demanding action to improve the state of the river."…


Added by Clare Taylor on November 15, 2021 at 13:30 — No Comments

Taking long-term action on litter – make your voice heard

The government is running a consultation on extended producer responsibility for packaging. It includes responsibility for litter, and anyone may respond, including private individuals.

The principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR) is that the producer should pay the full costs of the waste they produce, and the purpose of the consultation is to find the best way of doing this. The previous system hasn’t been working well, and the new system will replace…


Added by Clare Taylor on April 29, 2021 at 13:38 — 1 Comment

The Time is Now

Next Tuesday, 30 June, The Time is Now mass lobby is asking for a green and fair recovery from the pandemic. It is asking for a recovery that puts people, climate and nature at its heart.

Last year we were all outside Parliament, waiting for our MPs to come down. This year we are asking for video conference meetings, we are writing, we are using social media.

The more voices they hear, the more importance they'll give to it.



Added by Clare Taylor on June 23, 2020 at 14:56 — No Comments

My personal lockdown discoveries and hopes

I learned many things during the lockdown. I was shielding, but fortunate enough to already belong to an organic veg box scheme. Amazingly, they managed to keep up deliveries, although the content became quite random – so I discovered many new recipes, learning to cook things I don’t really like and so don’t usually buy, using spices to adjust the taste so I could use everything I was sent. A survey by WRAP found that, since lockdown, people generally have been valuing food more, making…


Added by Clare Taylor on June 3, 2020 at 13:00 — No Comments

Scrubs for health workers

There is a shortage of scrubs and other items in Hackney.

The local group for helping with this is at

For those who can sew, if you join (it's a private group, so you need to apply) there is a team liaising with the various hospitals and GP practices and allocating work to be done plus the fabric with which to do it. Don't worry if you're not…


Added by Clare Taylor on April 15, 2020 at 12:35 — No Comments

The slow drive for better air quality

At long last it’s starting to happen, but so, so slowly – general recognition of our right to breathe clean air and that we are not able to do so. Our air quality is illegal; our air quality is killing people – 40,000 early deaths every year. Here in London, which falls way down the air quality league table of European capital cities, the main contributor to pollution is transport.


The pressure started with Client Earth, whose UK offices are in Hackney, successfully taking…


Added by Clare Taylor on May 22, 2018 at 10:39 — No Comments

Air quality in the news

Air quality has been in the news again over the past few weeks, and for all the wrong reasons - again. Brixton Road in London breached its limit for nitrogen dioxide for the entire year at the end of January. The very slightly less bad news is that this first breach was a little later than previous years, when sites in London have breached limits in the first week.
Other news is that Friday, 9 February was the deadline for the UK to avoid legal action by the European Commission…

Added by Clare Taylor on February 11, 2018 at 18:25 — No Comments

Another legal challenge on air quality

ClientEarth, an environmental law organisation with a base in Hackney, are keeping after the Government to improve the UK's illegal air quality, launching a third legal challenge.

They are asking for the current inadequate plans to be supplemented to ensure they will achieve what's needed, and are asking for donations to help fight the case.

In addition, they are asking for signatures to a petition to end poisoned playgrounds, after revealing that more than 950 UK schools are…


Added by Clare Taylor on November 13, 2017 at 15:12 — No Comments

UK Government releases ‘weak’ air quality plans

The Government have now released their new air quality plans, and local law firm ClientEarth, who forced them to finally deliver the plans, are not impressed. Their website carries the following statement:

Reacting to today’s air quality plans from the UK Government, ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “We are continuing to study the government’s …


Added by Clare Taylor on May 5, 2017 at 15:09 — No Comments

The rise in three-weekly waste collections

An interesting article by Peter Jones on Isonomia on what's behind the rise in three-weekly collections: the cuts in council budgets and the decisions that have to be made about what's going to give.

Added by Clare Taylor on March 2, 2017 at 15:23 — No Comments

Confused about recycling? You’re not alone

I meet a lot of people in my work who ask me if they can recycle this or that, or which bin they should put something in, and are embarrassed to be asking. The general feeling is that we all ought to know. But, actually, recycling is very confusing.

Generally, the question isn’t really whether something can be recycled, but whether it will be collected for…


Added by Clare Taylor on January 10, 2017 at 10:51 — No Comments

Could do better, but progress being made

The statistics recently published on showed that last year nearly a quarter of all electricity generated in the UK (24.6%) came from renewable sources – more than from coal (which is just over a fifth). It’s the first time that renewables have overtaken coal. Good news to an extent, but it’s still not growing fast enough and the UK is looking likely to miss the 2020 energy target.


Figures have also been published for the first quarter of this year, showing growth…


Added by Clare Taylor on August 2, 2016 at 17:34 — No Comments

Quick clothes repair tips

For anyone looking for tips on how to repair things like ripped pockets, broken bra underwires and detached belt loops, WRAP have new webpages: 

Could save money and favourite clothes.

Added by Clare Taylor on June 14, 2016 at 14:31 — No Comments

What has the European Convention on Human Rights ever done for us?

A very clever satirical short sketch by Patrick Stewart and friends, well worth watching, on the Guardian website:

Added by Clare Taylor on April 28, 2016 at 14:30 — No Comments

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