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You are helping to save the colour in our countryside

Louise Payton: Our countryside has changed colour in the past century. Now mostly green or perhaps yellow with rapeseed (and more recently brown with flood water), it used to be a profusion of reds, blues, whites, yellows and purples when wildflowers bloomed in all their splendour. Agricultural intensification has been the reason for this change in palette - 97% of our wildflower meadows have been converted, weed-killers have obliterated the huge variety of wild plants (weeds) that insects and farmland birds depend on, and mixed cropping (used to control insect pests and break-up disease cycles), have been replaced with inorganic fertilisers and repetitive monocultures.

21 February 2014 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 1

Using a chainsaw to crack a nut - part 2

Ben Raskin: What's the latest on the EU seed directive? Any hope that the EU Parliament might improve the bill seems unlikely. In particular the microbusiness exemptions have been totally removed with both committees apparently obsessed by linking commercial activity (however small) to control of variety, rather than the eventual market.

28 November 2013 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 3

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