Butterfly Bush


The bees and butterflies love this semi wild shrub which is so common in urban areas, this one was spotted near The Chare, which is a low rise block of flats in Newcastle.

Other names Buddelia

Often confused with Lilac


Textile Recycling

I went to the clothing bank by the Nuns Moor Centre on Studley Terrace.

I could put clothes and shoes in the British Heart Foundation Bank and support
research into heart disease, and subsidise animal experiments.

If I have been affected by heart disease, I may feel the British Heart Foundation is justified in funding experiments on animals.

Alternatively I could put sheets, towels, clothes and shoes in the Islamic Relief bank and support

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2 banks, neither very large.

In fact Newcastle and other councils in the North east are doing a lot of recycling at the reclamation yards, aka The Incinerator, The Tip, The Dump, due to the UK Government Landfill Tax, which places punitive tax on councils sending waste to landfill.
Non contaminated textiles are recycled as wadding, used in insulation or sent to Scandinavia to be burned for fuel. But it doesn’t go far enough, as I will explain soon.

The UK Economy

Here in the UK the economy is only expanding in two areas, as far as I can see looking around the local area, I see MoneyLenders, such as Pay Day loans, Gambling, and Property.
I read that the weak pound since the Brexit vote is fuelling a demand for exports. However I cannot see what we could be exporting, as manufacturing in the UK is not a strong nowadays, other than our key products, biscuits aka cookies, carrots, potato products, and offshore industry products such as cabling, wind turbines etc, and cars (mainly Nissan).
Everywhere I look I see buildings being demolished and new ones constructed. The construction industry does provide employment, but at a huge environmental cost. Raw materials for construction have to come from somewhere, that somewhere being Mining and Quarrying, and although there is some recycling going on, mainly demolished buildings are at best used for aggregate for yet another construction project… new roads! Construction is one of the most environmentally damaging of industries, yet who would dare to suggest we slow down the construction industry?

I have given up taking photos of new buildings or buildings being demolished because the novelty wore off. Its ubiquitous. Its everywhere. Everywhere a Crane, a Building site, a hard hat.

The massive environmental cost of the construction industry. The massive cost of the car industry. The massive cost of shipping. Shipping is massively polluting… cruise ships being the notorious worst offenders, yet in the UK we are reliant on imported foods, except for oats, dairy potatoes and carrots. Except for in late summer, when did you last eat any food that wasn’t made from imported ingredients?

Chasing Coral

Climate Change and Coral.

I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Chasing Coral”.
Strangely classified under “Controversial”.
I can only assume as it included the theme of global warming, which some people seem to believe is “controversial”?
A camera crew goes to great length to actually film, evidence, in actual footage, coral bleaching.
I encourage you to watch this film and decide if it is controversial.
There is a psychological phenomenon known as
cognitive dissonance, in which a person who holds two opposing beliefs will become very uncomfortable, and try to make themselves feel better.
For example, animal lovers who eat meat, will not wish to acknowledge that factory farming exists and that they might end up eating factory farmed food.
In the same way, people who do love their country, town or city, yet have a lifestyle which harms the planet, maybe they have shares in a power company or drive a highly polluting vehicle for sport, they will try to justify this by saying climate change is either not real, or is a natural (non man made) event part of long lasting historical climate fluctuations.

As ocean temperatures worldwide rise, the coral reefs are dying due to water temperature rising.

As the coral reefs die, whole ecosystems become homeless. The fish which depend on the coral die. The human communities which depend on the fish become destitute.

Plastic Pollution

I found this post in my draft folder. I wrote it a while ago and maybe  for some reason didn’t want to publish it at the time. So apologies if it seems a bit out of date.

The has been some news recently about the harmful effects of plastic fleece. The kind that clothing is made from. Fleece jackets and so on. Also microfibre cloth. I remember when fleece  clothing was thought of as being an environmental “good” because it was  a way of recycling used plastic bottles. But apparently when plastic fleece, and microfibre clothes are washed, fibres get washed away and end up polluting the ocean. I also remember having a few viscose jumpers which basically rotted away after being washed a few times, I did not think that the fibres would have ended up polluting the ocean.
Over the last few years companies in Europe have been improving the way products are packaged, and there is  less packaging than at the packaging peak, however there is still a long way to go.

Old New Mills

Old Cottage on New Mills Newcastle

An old photo from
Newcastle Libraries Flickr archive showing the site of now New Mills, off Barrack Road, in its industrial past… I would say early 20th century or late 19th century.

Apparently the large building behind the “cottage” is the Todd’s Nook school, which was demolished in the 1990’s after a period as an Adult Education centre.

There used to be a pub on New Mills,  called The Darnell, or maybe The New Darnell? The Darnell was also  demolished in the 1990s and a block of low rise 5 bedroomed flats was built.

And this one shows an actual Mill, one of the original at New Mills.

Also from  Newcastle Libraries Flickr archive

In the industrial period mills like these  were used to grind grain into flour and powered by either running water from rivers, or from wind , when powered by wind they would have sails, which turned in the wind and drove the wheels of the mill. Mills were also used to make many things, workers in mills made all manner of products, cloth, rope, foodstuffs, various metals, anything mass produced before electricity was widely adopted by industry.The air looks very dirty in these photos, not just because  the photos are old, but because of the massive scale of the  industry in the local area