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UK Guardian - Environmental News

Latest environmental news, opinion and analysis from the Guardian.

The Guardian

  • ‘The cycling boom is fantastic – but I miss having London to myself’
    When bicycle courier Emily Chappell first rode through the capital 10 years ago, she discovered a side of the city hidden from other road users. With cyclists in central London forecast to soon outnumber drivers, she looks at how the streets, and her part in them, have changed

    I was shocked to realise last week that I’m approaching the 10-year anniversary of the day I started cycling in London, as a nervous first-time commuter with a lopsided backpack and a Transport for London cycling map stuffed down my top. As many do, I very quickly fell in love with the city as seen from the saddle of a bike, revelling in the curious sense of ownership that comes from knowing where things are, rather than just how to get there using the tube map.

    For many others, that love affair is just about to begin. Last week TfL released figures predicting that, on present trends, there will be more bicycles than cars entering central London during rush hour in the next few years. The number of rush-hour drivers fell from 137,000 in 2000 to 64,000 in 2014, while the number of cyclists trebled, from 12,000 to 36,000.

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  • Bitter battle to save King Lear’s green valley from the developers
    A court ruling has backed Dover council’s decision to allow builders into an area of outstanding natural beauty

    Conservationists and historians are digging in for a last-ditch defence of a sliver of “sacrosanct” ancient Kentish meadow and woods, protected in law but set to be the location for a large housing and leisure development.

    The fight for the Farthingloe valley, a long, narrow green strip that extends to the western outskirts of Dover, has been especially bitter. The valley is within the Kent Downs area of outstanding natural beauty and makes up much of the rural hinterland behind the 300ft Shakespeare Cliff, the most westerly of the chalk cliffs at Dover. The cliff is owned by Dover district council and the National Trust owns a portion of land. The valley may have provided some inspiration for a scene in King Lear, which gave rise to the cliff’s name, coined in the 18th century.

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  • Brazil’s sprawling favelas bear the brunt of Zika
    Efforts to stamp out the mosquito that carries the virus are undermined by poverty in the most vulnerable areas

    With rubber gloves, a plastic container full of larvicide and the official badge of Rio de Janeiro’s epidemic control department, Gilberto de Souza gains permission to enter the home of a stranger in the Vila Canoas favela, in one of the latest missions against the Zika virus.

    As the bemused residents look on, he goes room to room inspecting every sink, flower vase and empty bottle, shining his torch behind fridges and washing machines, checking every corner for possible mosquito breeding areas.

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  • New York investigates radioactive leak in groundwater near city

    Governor Andrew Cuomo orders review following detection of ‘alarming levels of radioactivity’ at nuclear power plant 40 miles north of Manhattan

    Radioactive material has leaked into the groundwater below a nuclear power plant north of New York City, prompting a state investigation on Saturday and condemnation from governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Cuomo ordered an investigation into “alarming levels of radioactivity” found at three monitoring wells at the Indian Point energy center in Buchanan, New York, about 40 miles north of Manhattan.

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