Tuesday, April 27

Jubilee Park tree trail

Havant Borough Tree Wardens have produced a leaflet about the trees of Jubilee park near Waterlooville. The tree trail leaflet is available to download from the HBTW web site and a printed version is available from local community centres and other public places.

The idea behind the leaflet is to create interest in trees in the park and local area. The leaflet includes a history of the park, FAQ about tree parts, a map indicating the location of different tree species, photographs and descriptions of each tree in the trail.

The national Tree Warden scheme will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in September this year.

Grainger head of sustainability wins compensation

It is well known that Grainger are responsible for the Newlands development of 2,000 homes, a part of the West of Waterlooville MDA. However it is less well known that Graingers head of sustainability had been sacked by the company for being green and doing his job! Tim Nicholson (the advisor) has recently won his battle with Grainger and was awarded a large sum of money by the courts. The exact amount is unclear, media reports vary from £50,000 to £750,000.

The first stage of his battle was to get the legal establishment to accept that being sacked for being green could actually be a court case. Having won that battle, he then had to prove his case.

This indicates that Grainger aren't as green as they would like people to think they are. It will be interesting to see how they market the West of Waterlooville MDA in the future.

The case also has implications for other employees who have green views and are discriminated against, in their jobs or work enviroment.

Sunday, April 25

Electric bikes

Time for another video or two. Here we have an Australian electric bike called the Stealth Fighter doing an impressive performance:

I'm not sure it is road legal in the UK though. Electric bikes are getting far more robust and powerful now, I think it must be about time that legislation in the UK started recognising these alternatives. Although the Stealth Fighter is designed for off road use, it does demonstrate that electric transport doesn't have to be flimsy. Another interesting vehicle is the Bike Board, which recently appeared on the Gadget Show.

Here's another video of the Stealth bike:

Friday, April 23

Hustings at Portsmouth University

Portsmouth Climate Action Network has organised a hustings for the 2010 elections at Portsmouth University on Weds 28th April. Eight candidates for Portsmouth North and Portsmouth South will be taking questions from the public about climate change and the environment.

Those attending are:

Portsmouth South
John Ferrett - Labour
Tim Dawes - Green Party
Flick Drummond - Conservative
Mike Hancock - Lib Dem

Portsmouth North
Iain Maclennan - Green
Sarah McCarthy-Fry - Labour
Penny Mordaunt - Conservative
Darren Sanders - Lib Dem

Time: 19:00 to 20:30
Date: Weds 28th April
Place: Park Building 2.01, University of Portsmouth

Wednesday, April 21

Cycle Hampshire '10 this Saturday

There will be a cycling event at Gunwharf Quays this Saturday to start Cycle Hampshire '10. You will be able to try out weird bikes and trikes. There will also mountain bike stunt riding by MAD and Cycle Experience.

Event Details:

Date: Sat 24th April
Time: 10am to 3pm
Location: Gunwharf Quays
Link: Cycle Hampshire

Tuesday, April 13

The Big Green Commuter Challenge 2010

This years Portsmouth City Council Big Green Commuter Challenge starts on 17th of May and finishes on the 23rd.

There are a lot of prizes to be won.

Organisations can win:
Commuter Challenge Shield

Individuals can win:
CycleWorld £150 voucher
FIRST, 1 month ticket (FirstWeek Hampshire)
Fitness First memberships
Gosport Ferry, 8 ten trip tickets to 1 person
Stagecoach, 1 month ticket (SouthHants Megarider)

Friday, April 9

Meon Valley Constituency Hustings

Went along to the election hustings organised by the RSPB last night. Not all candidates were present, although the main candidates were. Those present were George Hollingbery (Conservative), Liz Leffman (Liberal Democrat), Howard Linsley (Labour) and Steve Harris (UKIP).

So how did they do when presented with questions mainly about the environment??
Well the three candidates representing the three main parties did reasonably well although there were subtle differences which I thought were important. However IMO the UKIP candidate did quite badly. It was clear that the primary subject was the environment, yet Steve Harris I think managed to bring immigration and the EU into most of his answers.
I also believe that he was a skeptic about climate change, although none of the questions really challenged him a great deal regarding that issue.

What was more interesting were the responses from the two front runners. My impression was that Liz Leffman put into practice far more environmentally friendly actions in her life than George Hollingbery. Liz said she and her husband only owned one car and shared it, she used public transport etc. and would use the train to get to London if elected. She also uses the internet a lot to conduct business rather than arranging meetings and travelling a lot. George apparently flies to America (an unstated number of times) and judging by his 'surgery' that regularly appears in Waterlooville, drives a 4x4 Land Rover 'tank'.

My advise to George Hollingbery, is that he puts his money where his mouth is and starts analysing his own carbon footprint. Running a property business doesn't give him automatic rights to have a larger carbon footprint than other people!

If you are interested in posing questions to the candidates, there is another hustings on Weds 14th April, at Hart Plain Church, Cowplain at 7.30pm. All candidates will be at that one.

Not sure what constituency you are in?
Ordinance Survey have an online map system where you can enter your post code and see the constituency boundaries. The new constituency boundaries apply, so after entering your postcode you need to click on 'Show Layers' and then choose 'Proposed Westminster constituencies'.

Added: Also the BBC election pages have a postcode/constituency map facility that is easier to use.

Sunday, April 4

Sainburys withdraw planning application

Looking through the weekly planning applications for 11th to 17th March (link to PDF file), reveals that Sainsburys have currently withdrawn their application to build a supermarket at the Caetano site in Waterlooville.

However this is likely to be a short term easing of the situation. Sainsburys are unlikely to throw in the towel that easily and are probably revising their plans after a number of questions were raised about traffic and the location of the proposed petrol station on the old Sprint Print site.

Later this year they will probably be submitting new plans.

Friday, April 2

Energy Bags

About time we had a video. Here we have Prof. Seamus Garvey testing new technology for storing energy. Often known as Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), the idea in this case is to store compressed air underwater in deep sea locations. The system could store energy from wind turbines or other renewables. E.ON have donated 310,000 Euros of funding to the project.