Friday, 28 January 2011

DEFRA's forest sell off plans

This can have serious long term plans if not managed properly and stringently over the coming years and into the next generations. Hopefully the Secretary of State is being well advised and can put sufficient resources to ensure a suitable long term plans. If not, and as a worst case scenario, we could end up like the Amazon rain forest losing hectares by the day.

See link for more details

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sunsets from Dollis Brook

Went on an evening winter walk in our neighborhood, Dollis Brook Open Space, recently. I didn't plan to take any photos until...

The colors in the photos above look very much like the colors in a piece of commercial art I saw recently. 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Beauty in engineering

Beyond the galvanised fence is the continuation of the Northern Line towards High Barnet...the last stop. The near perfect symmetry and wonderful landscape in perspective made me pause for a moment. 

Location: on a recent walk through Dollis Brook Open Space, Totteridge/Whetstone, north London.

If only we could just get beyond that fence. Watch out for that southbound train!

Friday, 14 January 2011

EDF Energy London Eye

Originally known as the Millennium Wheel in 1999, the London Eye will have its fourth name in its 11-year history. At the end of January 2011 it will officially be known as the EDF Energy London Eye. This follows previous naming rights: British Airways London Eye in 2000 and Merlin Entertainments London Eye in 2009. Who's going to be supplying electricity to the EDF London Eye at the end of the month - you guessed it - EDF Energy. All part of a 3-year sponsorship deal made with owner Merlin Entertainments worth approximately £8 million annually. 

9am Friday 7th January 2011

Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’), Europe’s leading attractions operator confirmed today that it has agreed a three year partnership for its premier attraction – the London Eye - with leading energy company, EDF Energy.

The partnership will give EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of lowcarbon electricity, naming rights to the London Eye for the period of the contract and will allow both parties to maximise opportunities through joint marketing activity.  The new partnership branding for the EDF Energy London Eye will be revealed later in January when the attraction reopens after its annual two week maintenance period.

A global icon, the London Eye provides a unique and very high profile international platform in the year leading up to 2012 and beyond. EDF Energy is a tier one sponsor and the first sustainability partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the link with the London Eye will optimise the organisation’s visibility in the Capital.     

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

UK Landscape Awards 2010

A landscape for Europe

The UK Landscape Award was created by the European Landscape Conventionand helps to implement it in the UK. The winner will become the UK's entry to the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe (COE) which will be decided by the COE in March 2011. The Award has only been run once before; this is the first time that it has taken place in the UK.

The winner: Durham Heritage Coast

'A Coastline waiting to be explored.....

From Sunderland to Hartlepool, the Durham Heritage Coast has emerged from its industrial past to an area worthy of Heritage Coast status with one of the finest coastlines in England.  

The coastal path that runs along much of the coast leads you through a wonderful mosaic of great natural, historical and geological interest with dramatic views along the coastline and out across the North Sea, an area rich in shallow bays and headlands with yellow Magnesian Limestone cliffs.'

Baxter Park, Dundee

Durham Heritage Coast
Gold Route, Sheffield
Heather and Hillforts Project
Lough Neagh Regeneration Project
Mersey Basin Campaign

Science creates rain in desert

Man has further exerted their control over nature by producing rain in the deserts of Abu Dhabi. Much needed water to counter drought patterns or influencing the changing of established habitats by trying to 'play God'? Is this a turning point for man? However you see it, this is where we're at with science and nature. It is important that the technology is used sensibly and responsibly with respect for established habitats and the environment . 

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Scientists working for the ruler of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates say they've used weather technology to create rain in the desert. Most of the artificially created storms were at the height of the summer in July and August when there is historically no rain at all, Britain's Daily Mail reported Monday.

Scientists working for United Arab Emirates President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan have been using giant ionizers, metal antennas on steel poles, to generate fields of negatively charged particles. The particles attract tiny specks of dust ever-present in the atmosphere in desert regions, and are carried up from the particle emitter by rising air over the hot desert. Once the dust particles reach the right height for cloud formation, the charged particles attract water molecules present in the air, which then start to condense around them. If there is sufficient moisture in the air, it induces billions of droplets to form that can create clouds and rain, the researchers say.

The founder of the Swiss company in charge of the project, Metro Systems International, says they've had success creating rainstorms in Abu Dhabi's eastern Al Ain region. "We have achieved a number of rainfalls," Helmut Fluhrer says. Some scientists are viewing the results with caution because Abu Dhabi is a coastal state and can experience natural summer rainfall when air picks up moisture from the warm ocean before dropping it on land.

Read more:

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Caveman Restaurant

Some recent reading over the holidays lead me to Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe (1900–1996). Disappointedly I realized that I never saw any of his work in person until then I read the listing of ‘The Caveman Restaurant, Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27’ as one of his earlier landscape projects. Excitedly I remembered that I did visit the restaurant at Cheddar about 6/7 years ago not knowing that he designed it.   It was during a visit to some family friends to Weston-Super-Mare that we decided to visit the caves at Cheddar Gorge. It was a great trip. Jellicoe's design appealed to me at the time as it was well constructed into the cliff features of the gorge just on the outside and entrance to the cave . According to Tom Turner ‘the setting and design of the restaurant suggest a gateway to the underworld’.

As time goes on I would like to one day visit ALL of his design projects as he is truly one of the finest practitioners of landscape architecture. Some travelling may be in order as many of his works are overseas.

See below for some photos of the caves and The Caveman Restaurant, both interior and exterior. I have quite a few photos from the pre-digital camera age so these taken from the internet will have to suffice. 

Note: the original roof ‘fish pond glass roof’ was replaced with a solid roof due to leakage.