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Rob Edwards
Edinburgh, Scotland
I'm a freelance environmental journalist.
Recent Activity
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from The Guardian, 2 November 2016 In 1992, when the first submarine armed with Trident nuclear missiles arrived on the Clyde near Glasgow, John Ainslie was in a canoe. Along with a flotilla of other protesters, he was buzzing the huge dark boat as it cut through the cold water. He had just been appointed as the coordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), and he was arrested by the Ministry of Defence... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 23 October 2016 Warm tributes from across the political divide have been paid to John Ainslie, the veteran co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), who died on Friday after a long battle with cancer. The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Greens, socialists, trade unionists, journalists and fellow campaigners were among the many who hailed him as a quiet and unassuming legend of the peace movement.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 24 July 2016 The Scottish Government is promising that it will abide by European Union (EU) environmental law protecting wildlife and preventing pollution despite Brexit. The cabinet secretary for the environment, Roseanna Cunningham, is pledging not to weaken a raft of Brussels legal measures regarded as crucial for conserving plants and animals and keeping air, water and land clean and healthy. Her promise comes on the eve of a summit with environmental... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 03 July 2016 The Cairngorm ski resort near Aviemore has come under fierce fire for breaching planning permission during construction work high on the much-prized mountain. The Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA) has reprimanded the ski company for creating an access track and re-engineering a slope without consent. The works were part of a scheme to replace the Shieling ski tow in Coire Cas. The company, Natural Retreats, was ordered to apply... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 12 June 2016 Plans to dig out large amounts of Scotland’s precious peat from a landowner’s estate near Edinburgh look set to go ahead despite widespread opposition from conservationists and government. A loophole in the law is likely to allow peat to be extracted from Auchencorth Moss on the Penicuik Estate in breach of local and national planning policy. Peat is a vital store of carbon, and is meant to be protected... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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comment, 5 May 2016 Many of the stories that I used to post here for free, I now post on The Ferret, a new investigative journalism co-operative with which I am involved. That means that after three free views, you have to subscribe for £3 a month in order to see more. The Ferret is a much-needed bid to try and find a sustainable future for investigative journalism, which is suffering with the decline of... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 17 April 2016 It’s a fishy tale involving a Highland laird who boasts connections to Jane Austen and the Queen, his palatial pile on the River Dee and a syrupy TV documentary that goofed. Andrew and Nicola Bradford were lauded as an “extraordinary couple” in a programme broadcast on ITV3 last Sunday because of the way they manage Kincardine Castle and their 3,000-acre estate in Aberdeenshire. But the programme went too far... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 10 April 2016 A local complaint to the European Commission over the poor regulation of the disposal of dead fish from salmon farms has forced the Scottish Government to rewrite the rules. For years the caged salmon industry has been allowed to dump diseased fish in landfill sites because of a loophole in public health law. But ministers have now had to close the loophole and oblige fish farm companies to dispose... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 27 March 2016 A new campaign to ban landowners from mass shooting grouse on sporting estates was backed by over 10,000 people last week, including TV naturalists, conservationists and animal welfare groups. The move comes in the wake of mounting concern about the illegal poisoning or shooting of birds of prey, and large-scale culls of mountain hares. Raptors and hares are killed in order to protect grouse so that there are more... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 27 March 2016 Sainsbury’s has been accused of breaking a promise not to sell salmon from farms infested with lice in breach of guideline limits. The angling group, Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS), has attacked the supermarket chain for continuing to market caged salmon from the north west coast of Scotland that could harm wild fish. Salmon farms have long had a problem with sea lice, tiny natural parasites that eat... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 20 March 2016 The Queen has been urged to step in and stop her estate in Scotland from killing hundreds of mountain hares in the wake of new evidence of mass culls in the Cairngorms. Delnadamph, which is part of Her Majesty’s Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, has been accused of working with neighbouring estates to shoot large numbers of hares. Two culls involving three estates were witnessed towards the end of February,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 20 March 2016 Westminster has admitted mistakenly depriving Scottish councils of powers to force businesses to clean up litter, the Sunday Herald can reveal. The Home Office in London has confessed it made a legislative “error” when it repealed sections of an environmental protection act without realising that they applied to Scotland. As a result local authorities north of the border no longer have legal authority to issue notices requiring companies to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 13 March 2016 A government move to allow scallop dredging in one of Scotland’s most precious bays will wreck the seabed, damage wildlife and could be illegal, environmental groups have warned. Scottish ministers have agreed to allow fishing boats to dredge almost a third of Luce Bay on the far southwestern tip of Galloway for four months every year. The bay is legally protected as a conservation area because of its endangered... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 06 March 2016 An electronic music festival planned for next weekend in the middle of an ancient Caledonian pine forest in the Cairngorms has still to be granted a licence because of concerns it could harm rare birds. Over 500 tickets for ‘Groove Cairngorm’ at Badaguish in Glenmore forest at the foot of the Cairngorm ski slope have already been sold. But Highland Council is still considering how to protect the forest’s... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 28 February 2016 A major upgrade of a top-secret system for targeting Trident warheads has sparked fears that UK nuclear weapons are effectively under the control of the US. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has completed an eight-year overhaul of the high-security computer software used to determine which cities and military facilities across the world would be hit by nuclear bombs in the event of war. Details of the upgrade are “classified”.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 28 February 2016 The Foreign Office in Westminster is demanding to vet Scottish Government dealings with other countries on human rights, according to correspondence seen by the Sunday Herald. The UK foreign minister, James Duddridge, has asked the Scottish international development minister, Humza Yousaf, to clear all his letters to foreign governments before raising concerns about human rights infringements and other matters. The move has infuriated Yousaf. “It beggars belief that the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 21 February 2016 The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has come under fierce fire for removing radiation warning signs from the nuclear convoys that regularly trundle Scotland’s roads. The well-known trefoil symbol indicating hazardous radioactivity is no longer used on lorries transporting plutonium or highly enriched uranium for bombs. According to the MoD, this is so it can maintain its policy “to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons.” The move... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 21 February 2016 The Royal Navy’s new nuclear-powered submarines have been plagued by 69 safety incidents and “near misses” over the last four years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has disclosed. The Astute class of submarines based at Faslane on the Clyde has seen reported reactor incidents at sea or on shore almost double from 12 in 2014 to 21 in 2015. Though the MoD insists that the incidents are all minor,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 14 February 2016 A dozen SNP MPs have backed a Green motion urging the Westminster parliament to withdraw its multi-million pound pension funds from fossil fuel companies to help tackle climate pollution. This is despite a recent statement by the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, suggesting that she is opposed to the growing global movement to pull investments worth some £2.3 trillion from coal, oil and gas companies. More that 50 protests are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 7 February 2016 Two sporting estates are taking the government’s wildlife agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), to court after it said that birds of prey had been illegally killed or trapped on their land. Last week SNH named Raeshaw estate, south east of Edinburgh, and Burnfoot estate, west of Stirling, as sites where raptors protected under law such as peregrines, red kites and buzzards had been persecuted. Based on evidence from Police... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 07 February 2016 Hen harriers have been virtually wiped out by sporting estates across northeast Scotland, according to a new scientific study. The number of breeding pairs in the Cairngorms National Park, Aberdeenshire and East Moray has plummeted from 28 in the 1990s to just one in 2014 because of “illegal persecution and grouse management practices”, nine experts from the Northeast Scotland Raptor Study Group have concluded. Their conclusions are backed by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 7 February 2016 Toxic pesticides blamed for harming bees are still being used across large swathes of farmland in Scotland, according to the latest government monitoring. Farmers have treated potatoes, wheat, barley and oats on more than 22,000 hectares of land with the three most dangerous nicotine-based chemicals known as neonicotinoids. The revelation has prompted wildlife groups to step up their campaign for Scottish ministers to ban the pesticides permanently to protect... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 17 January 2016 Police in Scotland are investigating a threat of physical violence against a campaigner who is battling the American hard right in her bid to ban Donald Trump from the UK. Suzanne Kelly, a 54-year-old New Yorker who has made her home in Aberdeen, has complained to Police Scotland about an email warning her not to leave the UK and suggesting that she could end up picking cotton. Kelly started... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 12 January 2016 Scotland's police force has been accused of harassing peace campaigners who followed a nuclear bomb convoy by road around Glasgow and Stirling on Saturday afternoon. An SNP MSP is to complain to the chief constable of Police Scotland after activists from the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND) were pulled over near Stirling, and their car was subjected to a detailed roadworthiness check. Students filming the convoy from a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 10 January 2016 The record-breaking rainfall and devastating floods that have drenched Scotland over the last few weeks are the “new normal” – and they could force communities to abandon built-up areas and move to higher ground. Experts canvassed by the Sunday Herald warn that we will have to get used to more winters like this one, as climate pollution from vehicles and industry warms the globe and wreaks havoc with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at Rob Edwards