Nature Matters is an electronic magazine and website covering topical news items on wildlife and the environment. It started life 15 years ago and today its membership includes academics, people employed by wildlife charities and others employed in 'green' industries, from across the world.

Mike Armitage, Nature Matters' editor, was born in Wales and moved to Blackpool to study Photography. After graduating, he freelanced and did commissions for Kodak, Commercial Union, the RSPB and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW).

A black and white image of an abandoned old Jaguar car, taken using ultra fast film stock and hand tinted was published in Kodak's acclaimed 'Exposure' publication and got him his first commission. He was also awarded a Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society. Since then he has built a solid book of editorial clients working with titles such as Birds, Rural Wales and Home and Country magazines. Most of the photography used in the publication is taken by the editor.



Record year for wind energy – Government releases official figures


RenewableUK is highlighting new Government statistics which show that wind generated 15% of the UK’s entire electricity demand in 2017 – the highest annual amount ever - up from 11% in 2016. Renewables overall provided 29.4% - up from 25%.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s “UK Energy Statistics Report” reveals for the first time that onshore wind generated 8.5% (up from 6% in 2016) and offshore wind provided 6.2% (up from 5%), due to increased capacity and higher wind speeds. The report noted that “falls in the amount of electricity generated by coal and gas were offset by renewables, primarily wind generation”. These are the first official Government figures on energy production for 2017, in which wind generated enough electricity to power 12.7 million UK homes.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “These official figures confirm that it’s been another record-breaking year for wind energy, which generated 15% of the UK’s electricity in 2017. The move to a smart, renewables-led energy system is well underway.

“The cost of new offshore wind halved in 2017 and onshore wind is already the cheapest of any new power source in the UK. So it’s vital that new onshore wind should be allowed to compete in the market for the sake of consumers.”

The Government also published figures today showing that in the final quarter of 2017, wind reached 18.5% of the UK’s electricity.

Ivory Trade Ban

UK Government takes lead


The UK government has committed to an ivory trade ban – and it will be one of the toughest in the world.

The UK is now playing a crucial role as a global leader in helping to combat the elephant poaching crisis.

No date has yet been set for the introduction of the legislation but WWF is urging the UK government to implement this ban without delay.

Press Release from Fauna & Flora International


It can take ten to fifty years for a sea turtle hatchling to reach maturity?

It can take ten to fifty years for a sea turtle hatchling to reach maturity. This means it takes time to see changes to sea turtle population numbers, and to help them recover.

Poachers targeting turtles for their eggs, meat and shells has resulted in a drastic drop in numbers – but FFI has come up with a long-term solution to tackle this problem.

Now FFI are turning poachers into protectors.

With a national campaign to change behaviour, FFI is galvanising support for sea turtles, and even turning poachers into guardians. In countries of extreme poverty like Nicaragua, this is what it takes to create a lasting change.

This work has been so effective that poaching on several beaches has dropped from all eggs being taken to zero. And best of all, both people and animals are winning.

Plastic Pollution

British river has highest recorded microplastic pollution ever

The Telegraph

Researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered that a British river has the worst microplastic pollution in the world with levels even greater than areas of huge human population densities like South Korea and Hong Kong.

A team of scientists examined river sediments from 40 sites, both urban and rural across Greater Manchester and found microplastics everywhere including remote parts of Saddleworth Moor in the South Pennines. At 517,000 particles per sq metre, the River Tame at Denton had the highest levels of microplastics recorded anywhere in the world.

BADGER CULL - Deadline for Consultation is 15 April 2018

Cull may be rolled out across country

The Telegraph

The controversial badger cull may be rolled out across the whole of England under proposals announced by Michael Gove yesterday.

The cull began in pilot areas in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in October 2013 in an attempt to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis, which devastates cattle stock, and it now takes place in 20 areas.

In a letter to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Gove said emerging evidence from two of the zones indicate that incidence of the disease is decreasing and that “further steps” now need to be considered because “none of us wants to be culling badgers forever”.

It comes days after Labour said badger culling should be banned, as well as figures in December revealing that nearly 20,000 badgers had been shot in the previous three months, more than the tally from the previous four years.

The consultation, which runs until April 15, also considers whether to allow badger culling even in parts of the country deemed to be at low risk from bovine TB.

A government-approved badger cull has led to almost 4,000 badgers being shot in the past three years. The controversial measure is said to significantly reduce tuberculosis in cows.

Where? Trials began in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in October 2013 and were repeated the following year before being rolled out to Dorset. Farmers have called for the culls to be extended, citing what they described as a “desperate situation”.

The case for: The Conservatives have said they will do "whatever it takes" to tackle bovine TB, which has been described as "the greatest threat to our beef and dairy industry, endangering our food security". Supporters insist that the issue is not the badgers themselves but the disease. They include the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis.

The case against: Campaigners claim the cull policy is “expensive, cruel and ineffective” and that the vast majority of those killed are TB-free. Opponents include animal rights activists and celebrities such as Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed and Brian May.


Jaguar launches first all electric car

Jaguar launches the I-Pace SUV.

With prices starting from £63,495, it doesn’t come cheap.

But that gets you the 298-mile battery that charges to 80% in 40 minutes and its twin 394bhp motors propel it from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds.

Jaguar said,"We have torn up the rule book to create the newest member of the Pace family, the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.

"With zero tailpipe emissions, no CO2 and no particulates, it moves us dramatically closer to our vision of a clean, safe and sustainable future."


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A selection of recent Nature Matters issues

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PG Tips ditches plastics from its teabags

I started a petition in the summer of 2017 on the 38 Degrees 'Campaign by You' pages. It was widely publicised by the media, gained over 232,000 signatures and was instrumental in persuaded the UK's largest teabag manufacturer, PG Tips (owned by Unilever) to remove plastics from their teabags.

I now want to call on all the other major teabag manufacturers - Taylors (Yorkshire Tea), Twinings, Typhoo - to follow suit.

With your support, I intend to press the other leading UK teabag manufacturers to make a positive difference to the environment by removing plastics from their teabags, too.

This campaign has already shown that the public wants to see biodegradable teabags that do not contribute to the massive plastic waste problem.