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  • Writer's pictureEveline Vouillemin

Positive Climate News - May 2024

This month's collection of positive climate news stories highlight amazing strides in renewable energy generation, encouraging conservation initiatives and one man's efforts to repurpose discarded vapes.

Letting grass grow long boosts butterfly numbers, UK study finds

In recent years the #NoMowMay campaign has grown in popularity, encouraging relaxed lawn maintenance during the month of May. Now an analysis of six years of butterfly sightings across 600 British gardens has provided the first scientific evidence that wilder lawns boost butterfly numbers.

The benefits of leaving areas of grass long were most pronounced in gardens within intensively farmed landscapes, with up to 93% more butterflies found, and a greater range of species. Gardens with long grass in urban areas showed an 18% boost to butterfly numbers.

Find out more on the Guardian website.

The climate action hubs driving local change

The Scottish government has announced £5.5m to expand a network of community led climate action hubs which are designed to encourage local action to tackle both climate change and nature loss.

The concept started more than two years ago with just two, in the north-east and Highlands and Islands. After an initial expansion last year, they're now being extended again to a network of 20.

The hubs support community actions from repair cafes to food gardens as well as climate assemblies in schools and climate literacy sessions for adults. Some provide energy generation and flood mitigation.

Find out more on the BBC website.

Forests to be 'left to nature' in biodiversity boost.

More than 8,000 hectares of land will be left to nature to help boost wildlife and biodiversity. The new forest management project by Forestry England will be carried out in four areas, including Castle Neroche in Somerset and Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

The project will include a number of activities, such as the possible reintroduction of lost wildlife including butterflies, rare plants and beavers, and the introduction of fungi to restore soil.

Find out more on the BBC website.

Kielder Forest in Northumberland

All-terrain scooter helps people enjoy national park.

A new all-terrain scooter is helping to make a national park more accessible to people with mobility issues. People visiting the Lake District can hire the aid, known as a tramper, from the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

Andy Cannon, president of the volunteer group Keswick Lions, which gave financial support to the project, said: "Trampers will help many more people to enjoy the breathtaking views we have in the Lake District and will increase involvement in outdoor activities with family and friends."

Find out more on the BBC website.

Renewables are meeting 95% of Portugal’s electricity needs.

According to the network operator REN, Portugal generated an ‘historic’ 95% of its electricity from renewables in April.

Renewable energy generation averaged just below that for the first four months of the year, covering 91% of the nation’s power needs.

Find out more on the Euronews website.

Turning old vapes into power banks for gigs

Mark Hopgood, a software engineer and musician from Sevenoaks, has turned disposable vapes into rechargeable power banks which he uses during live gigs. He uses the lithium-ion batteries recovered from discarded disposable vapes to make portable chargers.

Mr Hopgood's work on repurposing old vapes started while out for a walk in June 2023, when he found a large number of discarded vapes. He took the vapes home and began taking them apart to re-purpose the batteries, turning them into a power bank.

Find out more on the BBC website.

By Eveline Vouillemin ©

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