Vinquoy Cairn...…’Shifting Landscapes’ From ‘Emergence’ Magazine……Glyphosate…...A Faray Reminder….

by Bernie Bell - 10:22 on 25 March 2023

Vinquoy Cairn……

‘Oh to be in Eday, now that Spring is here’….


Vinquoy is a special place, among special places…..



Shifting Landscapes: Photography

Pre-order Emergence Magazine, Volume 4


“Every place, every landscape, is a site of memory and a site of oblivion or erasure.” —Lauret E. Savoy

Our fourth volume, Shifting Landscapes, faces the ongoing transformations of this liminal time, when the world we have known is coming undone and new configurations are still taking shape. Below you will find a glimpse of the photography featured in this print edition, which brings different regions of our changing world into focus. 

Two contributors depict threatened landscapes, at the US-Mexico border and in Eastern Europe. The cover and opening aerial spreads from photographer Gheorghe Popa lay bare a Romanian village drowned by mine-poisoned water. While portraits of saguaros in the Sonoran Desert, from Tucson-based photographer Bear Guerra, reflect the personhood of these beings that have been bulldozed to make way for the wall.

The volume features two new commissions: Russel Albert Daniels, a documentary photographer of Diné and Ho-Chunk descent, traces the history of creation and conquest across the American sandhills and prairies; and author and photographer Arati Kumar-Rao returns to West Bengal, where she has been witnessing ecological degradation for years, to capture the life-giving benevolence and devastating waywardness of the Ganga in photos and words.

Also within these pages, Kenya-based photographer Sarah Waiswa documents the people and landscape around the Lothagam Pillar Site, where the very beginnings of human migration have been revealed, and British experimental photographer Stephen Gill spies birds caught between perch and flight. 

These stories offer a window into the depths and histories of the changes enveloping us—and urge us to confront our role in these changes. 

Orders will ship in late spring. Pre-order now for promotion specials.




I received the following email from ‘Wild Justice’…. https://wildjustice.org.uk/ ….

Good morning! This newsletter is primarily about our glyphosate work. We have some new results. But also we ask you to sign a petition to get it over the 10,000 signature mark and trigger a government response.

Glyphosate: glyphosate is a controversial but much-used herbibicide. This time last year over 120 of you participated in a study which involved buying a test kit, collecting some urine and sending it off to Germany for analysis. We published the results on a blog -  our results (thanks to you) represent a significant number of UK samples - click here.  

The range of glyphosate levels was from ‘below detectable levels’ to 3.4ng/ml with a median value of 0.9ng/ml, a mean of 1.15ng/ml and 84% of participants had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine.

Last summer we asked the original participants whether they would repeat the process in September/October/November and 59 participants came forward.  Actually a few more than that came forward but postal losses meant that some test kits didn't make the return journey from Germany to the UK.

The 59 second test results ranged from ‘below detectable levels’ to 2.1ng/ml with a median value of 0.71ng/ml, a mean of 0.92ng/ml and 64% of participants had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine. Because we had 59 repeat tests from the same individuals we can be sure that the the lower results in September/October/November represent a real drop in those participants' glyphosate levels - that's interesting. We're not sure we would have predicted that in advance.

Also interesting was the fact that individuals with higher urine glyphosate levels in Spring also tended to have higher levels in Autumn - the rankings of glyphosate levels across the 59 participants were similar in the two periods. That has implications for future studies.

We related the urine glyphosate levels to demographic and lifestyle attributes but didn't find any correlates with age, gender, diet etc. However, there was a hint of an association with land use - participants from more urban areas tended, a little, to have higher glyphosate levels. This is worthy of further investigation.

We'll have to have a think about next steps, but we owe a big thanks to all participants (many of whom covered the costs of the tests themselves even though we were happy to reimburse them).  For more details, with graphs and maps, of what we found see our blog - click here.

A petition: sometimes we ask you to consider signing petitions to make decision-makers pay attention to particular issues. We've run three Westminster Parliament petitions ourselves (on banning driven grouse shooting (2019, click here), England Badger culls (2020, click here) and Woodcock shooting seasons (2022, click here). All passed 100,000 signatures and all were debated in the Westminster parliament.

Today, we're asking you to consider signing a petition set up by Emily Attlee: Overturn the decision to allow use of neonicotinoid pesticides on sugar crops - click here. The petition has been running for nearly two months and is stuck a little below 9,000 signatures. If it reaches 10,000 signatures then government, in this case Defra, will have to respond. The use of neonicotinoid pesticides is highly controversial and we feel that Defra should have to justify its actions (even if the decision is made for this year).  So, we're asking you to sign the petition to help trigger that government response. Thank you.

If you like what we do and would like to make a general donation which will be used across our range of work, then please consider donating through PayPal, bank transfer or a cheque in the post - see details here. Thank you for all your donations.

That's it for now. We couldn't do any of this without you.    

Thank you,

Wild Justice (Directors: Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay).”


A Faray Reminder….

In a previous Newsletter ‘Wild Justice’ asked about the state of SSSI’s in Scotland – here’s a reminder about the SSSI status of Faray, which OIC plans to develop as a windfarm…..


‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’ – Joni Mitchell.


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/04/14/books-do-furnish-a-room/


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