Future Biogas, a green energy company, has announced plans to build 25 new anaerobic digestion plants across the country by 2028. Each will require some 60,000 tonnes of feedstock every year and local farmers will be offered 15 year contracts to grow maize, rye and grass. There are currently ten existing plants taking in a total of 500,000 tonnes of crop each year. These plants produce biogas which is used to generate electricity whilst they offer opportunities for local farmers.
Asian Hornet Invasion
Asian hornets have been spotted in this country, posing a significant threat to bees. They are no more harmful to humans than a wasp but each can eat up to 50 honey bees a day, bringing a fear that an invasion might cost £7.6 million in damage each year. There have been 17 sightings to date, the latest in Dorset in late 2019, and scientists have urged anyone who spots these pests to notify a specific website’s hornet map.
Jays Plant Oaks
Two fields adjacent to a wood in Cambridgeshire have been left to rewild for 59 and 24 years. The former now resembles a mature woodland with 390 trees per ha, 52% of them oaks. The younger has become a young wood with 132 trees per ha, 57% of them oaks. Research has shown that the likeliest origin of the oaks is acorns buried by jays as a cache of winter food.
Duke of Burgundy Butterfly
The Duke of Burgundy butterfly is rare having declined by 84% since the 1970s, its range mostly confined to central southern England. However, a new colony has been discovered on a 60 acre chalk down in Dorset and is thought to be the largest in the UK. Although many species of butterfly are in serious decline, others have increased in number and range in recent warm summers.