Coronavirus: UK faces cardboard shortage due to crisis

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The UK could be hit by a national cardboard shortage as more and more local councils suspend their regular recycling collections owing to pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the industry’s trade body has warned. The Recycling Association said it has huge concerns about a looming European and even worldwide shortage of fibre – used…

Show with the flow: elevation maps reveal world rivers

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These maps of rivers around the world were created by Esri UK, a mapping and spatial analytics company, from detailed elevation data collected using remote sensing techniques. The information was taken from Esri’s Living Atlas, one of the world’s largest collections of geographic information. By eliminating any vegetation or infrastructure, the maps show each river’s…

UK wildlife enjoys humans’ lockdown but concerns raised over conservation

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Moles are daring to clamber above ground to hunt for worms, oystercatchers are nesting on deserted beaches, and overlooked plants such as ivy-leaved toadflax are gaining new friends. The shutdown of modern life as we know it is liberating British wildlife to enjoy newly depopulated landscapes. But conservationists say the impact is not all positive,…

Coronavirus UK lockdown causes big drop in air pollution

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The nationwide shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak has led to big drops in air pollution across the UK’s major cities, new data analysis shows. Levels of toxic pollutants were likely to fall even further, scientists said, as traffic remained off the roads but prevailing westerly winds from the Atlantic returned. Current easterly winds are…

Country diary: singing in the green rain

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A blackbird in the sycamore faces into what the poet-novelist Mary Webb might call “green rain”, this spring drizzle suspended in the trees that feels so enchanted it is “hung poised, forgetting how to fall”. We are at the unfastening. Each bud, each syrinx, each wing undoing, freeing itself from the windings of isolation. Earth-queen…