Readers' Solutions

Suzie Cahn |
Tuesday, 16th May 2017
If you do a web image search for cob baths you might be surprised how many different designs you see. At our permaculture smallholding, Carraig Dúlra, we love upcycling unwanted waste and using natural building materials. We had been donated an old cast iron bath a few years ago and really wanted to make use of it. Around the farm there are a few... more
Huw Richards - Huws Nursery |
Thursday, 27th April 2017
You cannot beat the flavour of a fresh, homegrown tomato. These top tips are taken from Huw Richards Youtube channel, Huws Nursery. 1. Sow successionally. Sow half your seeds 3-4 weeks after the first batc, to get later plants, and therefore later fruit. This will extend your harvests. 2. When seedlings have two leaves, re-pot them into individual... more
Rachel Campbell |
Monday, 24th April 2017
City centres across the UK are the epicentre for many businesses. With each year that goes by, comes growing numbers of commuters making their way into the cities for work and as such, the amount of traffic both on the roads and on the tracks, is increasing.  Petrol and diesel that is used to fuel this growing number of traffic is contributing to... more
Niamhue Robins |
Thursday, 6th April 2017
The 'Six Thousand Flowers' project started from a feeling that I just needed to do something to help with the refugee crisis that has been unfolding across Europe. When speaking to an old friend of mine who volunteered full time at the Jungle refugee camp in Calais for many months, I found out that they were struggling to get a gardening project... more
Rozie Apps |
Wednesday, 29th March 2017
The researchers at NASA have put together a list of around 30 air-filtering plants for the home, filtering out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, and ammonia. Where do these chemicals come from and what do they do? Benzene Benzene is among the 20 most commonly used chemicals in the USA. It is mainly as a starting... more
Wade Muggleton |
Wednesday, 15th March 2017
Why do we Prune Fruit Trees? (Bearing in mind we don’t prune say an oak tree growing in a hedgerow) There are 4 main reason that we prune Fruit Trees: To get better quality Fruit, it is better to get 100 fully ripe, full sized apples, than 200 apples the size of a golf ball that never fully ripen. So it’s about quality, not necessarily quantity.... more
Malcolm Johnstone |
Thursday, 9th March 2017
Temporary IDP camps (internally displaced camps) built for those in Iraq, as well as many other conflict situations, are often more permanent than initially planned. Camps built in a few weeks for an influx of people are, years later, small towns with shops, schools and bustling social activity. These towns however, are not sustainable due to the... more
Andrew McMillion |
Wednesday, 8th March 2017
As anyone who has tried can confirm, overwintering kale in the far North is challenging. In what follows I relay historical research on traditional growing techniques published in Norwegian, as well as my application of the findings to growing kale in harsh conditions in Norway. In researching hardy kale most of the focus seems to be on finding... more
Babs Behan |
Wednesday, 8th February 2017
The Textile Industry is the second biggest polluter in the World, after agro-chemical farming for the Food Industry. Our water is being contaminated with heavy metals from industrial dye works, as textile producers and manufacturers use an astounding 8000 synthetic chemicals in their processes. There are 72 toxic chemicals in our water that come... more
Will Rolls |
Wednesday, 25th January 2017
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of winter. I live towards the north of England (where, I’m reliably informed, it’s ‘grim’) and by this time of year, I’m usually beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see the sun again. So I expect like me you’d much rather be thinking about holidays somewhere warm and sunny than what you should be doing with... more
Canal & River Trust |
Wednesday, 23rd November 2016
Bats are hugely important within our ecosystems and over the last century, their traditional roosting sites have been destroyed. They mostly roost on the edges of canals, rivers and in nearby woodlands. Bats eat a lot of insects, which helps protect us from diseases, and play a major role in the survival of owls. Bats also make essential flora... more
Thomas Henfrey and Gil Penha-Lopes |
Monday, 7th November 2016
Changing climatic conditions mean a need to plan for altered and often unpredictable future precipitation patterns. In some places rainfall will 
decrease; elsewhere drought will be more common and/or pronounced; other areas will experience erratic rainfall, storms or other extreme weather events. Applying the principle of ‘capture and store... more