Country Life Today: The incredible difference buying British can make, a heroic rescue and the raccoon dogs invading England

Today we find out just how much better buying British can be; witness the heroics of the painter and decorator who saved Bambi's life; discover an unusual invader and bring good news on cheap, clean energy.

How buying British can have a truly extraordinary impact on the environment

We’ve long known it: buying locally-produced food is far better for the environment. But work done by researchers Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek has detailed exactly how big that difference can be. Speaking to Country Life, Oxford University’s Mr Poore detailed how British and European beef generated around half the amount of CO2-equivalent per kg of meat. And it’s not just meat: 1kg of chocolate can be produced in a manner that’s entirely carbon-neutral, or can produce 7kg of greenhouse gases — the same as driving a car for 30 miles.

Joseph Poore's suggested food label

Joseph Poore’s suggested packaging label to show the environmental impact of a food. Credit: Joseph Poore / University of Oxford

With that in mind, Mr Poore has suggested a new food label to show the environmental impact of food to consumers as they make their choices in the shops, modelled on the ‘traffic light’ system already in place.

‘We want people to source their red meat locally from farmers who have well-grazed swards that act as a good carbon sink,’ says Guy Smith of the NFU. Mr Poore’s clever labelling scheme could help them do exactly that.

Read full story (Country Life)


Hero of the Day: Marc Headon, deer saviour extraordinaire

‘Just saved this baby’s life’, said decorator Marc Headon after his moment of fame. ‘No biggie.’


Stat of the Day

4,000,000,000

The number of trees being planted in Ethiopia to battle global warming — a huge commitment from a country which was 35% forest 100 years ago, and just 13% forest today.

Lalibela, Ethiopia. One day, all this will be trees…

This will ‘transform our degraded environments for healthy lives and functional ecosystems,’ said prime minister Abiy Ahmed as he planted the first seedling — no doubt it sounded a little grander and more poetic before getting lost in translation.

Read the full story (The Times – subscription required)


‘Escaped raccoon dogs’ are ‘causing chaos’ in sleepy English villages

Raccoon dog peeks through a window, clearly on the lookout for people to terrorise. Credit: Alamy

Britain went briefly mad googling ‘what is a raccoon dog’ after an apparent escape of several of the creatures in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire. One couple apparently spent a couple of hours trying to fend it off with a plank of wood in the early hours.

And you thought that the worst thing you’d find in your garden this summer would be a caterpillar

Read full story (Worksop Today)


Clean fuel=cheap fuel

A wind farm in Cumbria — yes, it might spoil the view a bit. But it's damn sight better than an uninhabitable planet for your grandchildren to inherit.

A wind farm in Cumbria — yes, it might spoil the view a bit. But it’s damn sight better than an uninhabitable planet for your grandchildren to inherit.

‘Electricity generated by onshore wind and solar photovoltaic technologies will in the next year be consistently cheaper than from any fossil fuel source,’ says a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Despite falling oil prices, stick with your plans to order that electric car next time you need a change.

Read full story (Reuters)


And finally… thought for the day

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”

Robert Louis Stevenson