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News stories from 2001

Last updated: April 13, 2006.

Since newspapers are constantly rearranging their archives, many of the links on this page are now broken. If you're interested in a particular story and you can't reach it from the link here, try copying the name of the story and pasting it into your favourite search engine.

30 December 2001: Acid rain halved in 15 years: A new report by the National Expert Group on Transboundary Air Pollution shows drastic cuts in acid rain and parallel improvements in water quality.

30 December 2001: New strategy for Severn estuary: A strategy has been published to help ensure the Severn Estuary achieves sustainable development.

18 December 2001: River Lee restoration promise: The Irish Times asks if the Cork main drainage scheme will finally bring improvements for the River Lee.

5 November 2001: Thames rivers in good health: According to the Environment Agency, rivers in the Thames region are cleaner and healthier than ever.

16 October 2001: Northern European marine environment set for summit: Sweden's environment minister has offered to bring countries together in 2003 for an international summit to improve the marine environment of Northern Europe.

16 October 2001: US won't cool on warming: The Bush administration is unlikely to change direction on global warming.

10 October 2001: River Nore polluted by dumpers: The Nore in Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, is being ruined by illegal dumping. One local resident says: "You would not believe what people dump in the river. I do not want to be a moaner or be unkind to people but somebody has to take a stand and make the public aware of what is happening,"

09 October 2001: Countryside Agency slams Dibden Bay: Following outspoken condemnation of the Dibden Bay port scheme by English Nature and the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency has become the latest government watchdog to slam the outrageous new container port proposed for the River Test estuary in Southampton for its "serious and dramatic negative environmental impact". Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth has called on port developers ABP to drop the plan: "A lot of time and money would be saved if ABP withdrew its application."

07 October 2001: Floods on the cards again: The Environment Agency is warning that flooding will continue, despite more investment in flood defences. Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called for urgent action to prevent more floods to property.

07 October 2001: TV chefs blamed for endangering monkfish: Gourmets are being blamed for putting the monkfish in peril.

07 October 2001: Pilger puts war on trial: Journalist John Pilger continues to fight a personal battle against the warmongers: "Those who contribute to the current propaganda that says there is no other way but war might reflect that they too, are likely to end up with blood on their hands."

01 October 2001: Hardy heath threatened by homes: A plan to build homes on some of Dorset's disappearing heathland is being opposed by conservation bodies. Saving the heath will weaken the case for a bypass in the area that threatens a colony of Desmoulin's whorl snails.

01 October 2001: Tyne sees shipbuilding return: Ships are once more being built on the River Tyne.

29 September 2001: Water industry is worst polluter: The privatized water companies and Railtrack are Britain's worst polluters. Thames Water tops the Environment Agency's league table of offenders.

28 September 2001: Mallards rising: Numbers of mallards have trebled in the last 25 years.

28 September 2001: "Zero tolerance" over pollution: The Environment Agency is calling for tougher action on pollution... but tougher action from whom? Will it back up its own words with more determined action against polluters? According to government statistics, the number of prosecutions against polluters fell by 66% between 1990 and 1998. Read the same story in The Independent. Also check out the Friends of the Earth press release welcoming the news and their earlier release: Environment Agency - New tough watchdog or same old industry lapdog?

23 September 2001: Fancy a river cruise?: From the Yangtze to the Danube and the Mekong to the Rhine, the Telegraph's Tim Jepson compares trips on some of the world's great waterways (includes travel agent contact details and prices).

23 September 2001: Poverty, environmental degradation, and hatred cause terrorism - UN chief argues: Dr Klaus Toepfer, head of the UN Environment Programme, argues that the world must "expose the forces that create poverty, intolerance, hatred and environmental degradation that can lead to an unstable world." 

22 September 2001: £1.5 million for Norfolk flood defences: The government has agreed to pay for new defences in flood-threatened Norfolk.

21 September 2001: Time for foot and mouth recovery - says English Nature: The UK wildlife watchdog published its first assessment of the effects of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) on protected wildlife sites and the wider countryside today.

18 September 2001: Rats could boom on diet of shellfish: A Cambridge freshwater biologist claims rats have learned to dive for mussels in the River Nene, an evolutionary twist that threatens a national boom in the rat population.

17 September 2001: Galway bypass could involve destructive river crossing: Community group Hands Across the Corrib (HAC) continues to oppose a damaging crossing of the River Corrib by a new road in Galway.

17 September 2001: Severn bores ahead: Surfers and boaters are preparing for record-breaking tidal bores on the River Severn.

17 September 2001: Cockle fishing ban may be restored: The lifting of a four-year ban on cockle fishing in the Dee estuary has stripped the area bare in just one week.

17 September 2001: More flooding again this winter?: The Environment Agency is warning of an ongoing flood risk. More about the flood risk in Wales.

13 September 2001: Kittiwakes under threat: The familiar coastal bird is threatened by a shortage of food and an increase in predators.

12 September 2001: "Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice": In a statement issued today, the International Rivers Network has expressed its compassion and solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States and has called on the world's nations to "break the cycle of violence" with a nonviolent response to the atrocity.

12 September 2001: Environment Agency - New tough watchdog or same old industry lapdog?: Friends of the Earth tells the Environment Agency that it must take firmer action against polluters.

10 September 2001: Scottish river rights proposals face attack: People employed on fishing estates are preparing to fight new proposals that will give crofters rights to their rivers.

10 September 2001: Floods contaminate farms with lead: Last year's flooding in the Vale of York has produced dangerous levels of lead contamination.

10 September 2001: Human cost of floods ignored: Health experts say the true cost of last year's floods was more than simply physical and economic.

10 September 2001: Cleaned up river holds world fishing contest: The once-filthy River Seine in Paris is now so clean that it has hosted this year's world fishing championship.

06 September 2001: Tesco off its trolley?: The supermarket giant has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £37,517 for knowing and permitting trolleys to be dumped in the River Chelmer in Chelmsford, Essex.

06 September 2001: South West Water begin controversial sewage scheme: Controversial water company South West Water are building a new sewage outfall at Cornborough in North Devon, despite local complaints that it will pollute beaches.

06 September 2001: Wildlife groups fight for wetlands: The Environment Agency, WWF-UK, and the Wildlife Trusts are joining forces to save coastal wetlands.

05 September 2001: Jellyfish attack salmon farms: Killer jellyfish are wiping out fish stocks in the Scottish highlands.

05 September 2001: Sewage threatens salmon fishing: Plans by the Scottish Water Authority to use the River Doon as an emergency sewage dump are meeting opposition...

03 September 2001: Climate change brings new marsh birds to Britain: Warming climate is attracting new species, such as the Little Egret. More from The Independent.

02 September 2001: Marine Conservation Society prepares to clean up: Thousands of volunteers will be taking part in the annual MCS Beachwatch this year on 15-16 September -- a combination of beach clean and data collection about the types of rubbish that get washed up on our beaches. Read the results of Beachwatch 2000 or find out how to Adopt a Beach.

02 September 2001: Frogs control pests naturally at the Eden Project: Frogs and lizards do the work of toxic pesticides at Cornwall's top new tourist attraction, the Eden Project.

31 August 2001: EU to fund Scottish river study: European funding will fund research into cutting pollution in the River Ythan.

30 August 2001: Did rainmakers cause the Lynmouth flood?: A new BBC programme alleges that top-secret weather experiments caused the devastating Lynmouth flood in 1952.

29 August 2001: Campaign launched to highlight water shortages: Environmental broadcaster Julian Pettifer is working with development charities WaterAid and Tearfund to draw attention to global water problems.

29 August 2001: Major fish kill in Abvergavenny: Pollution has killed hundreds of fish in a tributary of the Pant Brook in the Trothy catchment.

25 August 2001: Scotts peat company accused of "filibustering" proposals to protect peatbogs : Friends of the Earth claims wildlife destruction caused by the Scotts company's peat extraction is "now worse than ever".

23 August 2001: Green slime threatens coastal waters: High levels of nutrient are producing blankets of green slime and devastating marine life, according to a new report by the WWF conservation organization More on this from The Independent.

21 August 2001: Dispute over Liffey damage: Dublin Corporation has rejected charges by the Friends of the Liffey that it reacted too slowly to the Liffey oil spill.

21 August 2001: Liffey spill could be more serious: Dublin environmental group the Friends of the Liffey have criticized the speed of response to last week's major oil spill. They are holding an emergency public meeting in Dublin on 21 August to discuss what they say is the "greatest ecological disaster to hit the Liffey in decades".

The Liffey oil spill. Picture reproduced by kind permission of Friends of the Liffey

20 August 2001: Global warming brings new seabirds to Britain: Climate change is bringing tropical birds never before seen in Britain.

20 August 2001: Navy sonar will be dolphin friendly: The UK navy is opting for a new kind of sonar promised to be less disruptive to dolphins and whales.

16 August 2001: Tanker spill threatens Liffey A major oil spill threatens wildlife in the Liffey. More from the Irish Times

16 August 2001: Council pollution hits spawning ground: The Irish Times reports that Little Brosna, a spawning and nursery river for trout and salmon in the north Tipperary-Offaly region, has been polluted by alum from a county council treatment plant.

14 August 2001: Action plan for Pen LLyn marine life: A new plan to protect Pen Llyn a'r Sarnau candidate Special Area of Conservation in Wales will be launched on 20th August.

14 August 2001: Inquiry into Camelford disaster: The government has announced that there will not be a full public inquiry into the water pollutionincident that poisoned 700 people at Camelford, Cornwall, in 1988. According to The Independent Campaigners have accused the government of a cover up. More stories on this from the Independent: Too little too late and At last, Camelford may discover the truth.

14 August 2001: Is there a solution to the world water crisis?: Scientists and policy experts gather at the Stockholm Water Symposium this week to find out.

9 August 2001: Surf contest highlights pollution: The long-running Cornish and Open Surfing contest begins today, sponsored by Surfers Against Sewage to draw attention to sea pollution.

9 August 2001: Waterford bypass could damage river?: A new river crossing currently proposed for the Waterford bypass would damage local rivers, campaigners believe. Impacts would include damage to the river Suir, a candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC). According to engineers, a habitat restoration project will be carried out to mitigate the damage to rare plants and an endangered mollusc. Read why local residents are not happy.

9 August 2001: New maps highlight coastal erosion: An improved coastal mapping technique may help tackle ever-increasing erosion.

9 August 2001: Cleaning chemical makes fish change sex: Japanese researchers have highlighted an endocrine disrupting chemical in cleaning products.

5 August 2001: Concerns over GM superfish: Fast-growing superfish developed at Southampton University could be on sale within three years.

5 August 2001: Hebrides hedgehog project threatens seabirds: A project to introduce hedgehog into the Hebrides is threatening seabirds with extinction.

2 August 2001: Warning: thunderstorms ahead!: The Environment Agency is reminding people who live next to rivers, and particularly small water courses and drains, of the risks that sudden summer thunderstorms can pose to their property...

2 August 2001: Grow more trees says government: Embattled British farmers are being encouraged to convert their land to forest.

2 August 2001: Anger as Wylfa set to reopen: Environmentalists are furious at plans to reopen the Welsh nuclear power station.

1 August 2001: Water buffalo roam in the fens: A new scrub control project in the fens is using four water buffalo from western Asia. More on this from The Independent.

1 August 2001: Flooded families furious at "save water" pleas: Residents in Kent who suffered flooding last year are outraged by calls for them to save water.

30 July 2001: Water companies survive price caps: Reuters: OFWAT reports that water companies are surviving regulatory price cuts despite industry protests last April.

28 July 2001: Wildlife protection versus port traffic: Associated British Ports is challenging English Nature over protected wildlife in three major shipping estuaries.

28 July 2001: Newts dig in to stop Manchester Airport: Plans to extend a runway at controversial Manchester Airport may be scuppered by colonies of Great Crested Newts.

28 July 2001: Weedkillers kill off turtle doves: The Independent reports that turtle dove populations are plummeting due to intensive farming and pesticides.

27 July 2001: Roscommon council pioneers new pollution system: Roscommon is pioneering a new catchment-based initiative to cut water pollution.

27 July 2001: Corncrakes saved by ghetto blasters?: BirdWatch Ireland has appealed for ghetto blasters to help it trap and tag endangered corncrakes.

27 July 2001: Pollution jeopardises fish stocks: The Irish Times reports that ecosystems in the Boyne, Liffey and Suir river catchments are at risk from pollution, which may threaten salmon and trout populations.

27 July 2001: Goodbye to Darren the catfish: A 40lb catfish accidentally released into a trout stream is thought to have swum out to sea. More from BBC News.

24 July 2001: "Hoover" boat sets sail: Thanks to Thames 21, a public-private partnership which encourages volunteers to care for London's waterways, a new boat is now sucking up rubbish from London's canals.

20 July 2001: Kyoto Protocol becomes useless compromise: World leaders have hailed an international agreement to water down the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Back in 1997, climate scientists stated that it would take perhaps "30 Kyotos" (30 times the original proposal) to cut global warming to size (Science magazine, 19 December 1997, p.2048). Four years later, we have commitment to only a "fraction of a Kyoto"... and the world seems as far away from controlling global warming as ever.

24 July 2001: Cargo ship spills cooking oil on Welsh coast: 12 miles of the Welsh coast has been polluted by a ship spill.

21 July 2001: Shannon expansion is good news for watersports fans: As of yesterday, it is possible to take a boat from Limerick to Killaloe. The Irish Times celebrates an expansion of the Shannon.

21 July 2001: Limerick drainage scheme provides marina--but causes subsidence: Property owners near Limerick's brand-new marina are considering court action after a new sewage pipe has damaged their premises.

20 July 2001: Planning changes are bad for the environment and democracy: Government plans, announced today, to speed up the planning process for large infrastructure projects are "bad for democracy and bad for the environment" says Friends of the Earth.

20 July 2001: 90% likelihood of catastrophic climate change: According to the Independent: "New estimates suggest that there is a nine out of ten chance that the Earth will warm by between 1.7C and 4.9C by 2100, generating serious disturbances to the climate and a rise in sea levels."

20 July 2001: Swans are up for another year: The annual Thames "swan upping" census has just been completed. More on this story from BBC News.

17 July 2001: Scottish member calls for seal cull: A Scottish Tory MEP has called for seals to be culled to save fish stocks.

14 July 2001: £750 million regeneration package for Clyde: Glasgow's river has won the lottery... or has it? How much of the huge regeneration package will be spent on cleaning up the river itself?

12 July 2001: Hastings bypasses will not be built: Controversial roads around Hastings have been scrapped, protecting Combe Haven valley and Pevensey Levels, both sites of special scientific interest, and the Brede Valley part of the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty.

12 July 2001: Global warming is getting worse: The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming is accelerating. More from The Independent.

12 July 2001: Save fish stocks by varying your diet: WWF is trying to persuade consumers to help conserve fish by varying the species they eat.

12 July 2001: Drinking water is getting better: Environment minister Michael Meacher claims investments in water treatment are paying off in improved drinking water quality.

06 July 2001: Stop that dolphin!: An animal charity is asking people to look out for a sick dolphin in the River Thames...

06 July 2001: Canada Geese "should be culled and eaten": An article in The Field suggests it is time to cull Britain's burgeoning Canada Goose population...

5 July 2001: Kildare dump could contaminate water: Locals are opposing a new dump that they believe could pollute the River Barrow and the Grand Canal.

05 July 2001: Climate change causing serious problems for UK Rivers: The Environment Agency is warning that floods and droughts are now being caused by climate change. Read the Environment Agency's press release (if you can be bothered to wait for their painfully slow new website to load it...)

05 July 2001: Government publishes Ilisu Dam report: But according to Friends of the Earth, the government's new environmental impact assessment fails to address popular concerns about the highly destructive Turkish dam project.

02 July 2001: RSPB pushes for peat phase out: The RSPB wants peat to be phased out of horticultural use within the decade.

02 July 2001: River surveyed by air to beat foot and mouth: The Welsh Dee will be surveyed by helicopter to reduce foot and mouth risks.

01 July 2001: UK government to drop support for Ilisu dam?: A report in the Observer suggests support for the controversial dam is now weakening... but will Tony Blair override human rights concerns in the interests of supporting big business?

01 July 2001: 80 alien species threaten British wildlife: A rash of invasive species is placing native plants and animals under threat, a new survey reports.

29 June 2001: 1000+ fish killed in Welsh Aeron: More than 1000 fish have died in a pollution incident in the River Aeron near Aberaeron in Ceredigion.

26 June 2001: Otters become city slickers: Otters have been spotted in the middle of Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Doncaster - all areas where they've never been seen before - thanks to cleaner inland waterways. Same story from The Independent.

24 June 2001: Undemocratic planning laws will go ahead: Reformed planning laws allowing the government to push through controversial projects by decree will go ahead, Whitehall sources have revealed. Read what Friends of the Earth have to say about it.

18 June 2001: New report lists areas most at risk from fish-farming: FoE Scotland has drawn up a list of priority areas where it says fish farming licences need to be reviewed.

18 June 2001: Salmon farming inquiry demanded: Scottish Natural Heritage has called for an investigation into the damage iNetworkp://">Public inquiries... without the public: The Government risks major protests over plans to curtail public rights at public inquiries into controversial developments.

15 June 2001: Global blackout on June 21st?: Americans are organizing a protest against George Bush's climate policy with calls for a voluntary blackout...

14 June 2001: No agreement on climate: The world's leading polluter, George W. Bush, gets a rough ride in Europe...

12 June 2001: 80% of Europeans support Kyoto protocol without Americans: Bush or no Bush... Europe is prepared to go it alone to fight climate change.

12 June 2001: Election was crass - says Porritt: Jonathan Porritt lambasts both major parties for their treatment of environment issues.

11 June 2001: New survey maps Welsh coast: The Countryside Council for Wales has mapped around 1,000 miles - 60 per cent - of the Welsh coast in a project to map out plants, animals and habitats.

08 June 2001: Global warming is real, Academy tells Bush: A new report from the US National Academy of Sciences should leave President George W. Bush in no doubt that global warming is real.

07 June 2001: Wales gets new atlas of water quality: The British Geological Survey has announced a new atlas of geochemical stream quality.

07 June 2001: Water companies seek government talks on regulation: Water companies aim to meet the new government as quickly as possible to avert a crisis in water industry investment.

05 June 2001: 55 beaches win awards: The new Blue Flag awards are out... but the real news is that most UK beaches are still too dirty to qualify for them.

05 June 2001: Environment Agency to appear at Mersey Basin festival: The EA are appearing at this year's Mersey Basin festival on 9-10 June.

2 June 2001: Limerick wetlands to be protected?: A new plan aims to protect the Westfields area against pollution from Limerick docks.

2 June 2001: Zebra mussels threaten Lough Derg: Zebra have helped to clean Ireland's Lough Derg, but they are also an invasive alien species...

1 June 2001: European Commission warns Ireland on fish farming: Ireland is under pressure to assess the impact of fish-farming on biodiversity.

01 June 2001: Fish try to escape from acid-polluted river: Fish have attempted to leap from the River Almond in Newbridge, Scotland, to escape pollution.

01 June 2001: Atlantic salmon heads for extinction: Stocks of wild Atlantic salmon have been halved in 20 years, reports The Independent.

01 June 2001: Health checks for foot and mouth sites: The government is planning a new initiative to check the health effects of foot and mouth disposal sites.

31 May 2001: How green is my party?: Friends of the Earth compares election manifestos and finds the Greens and Lib Dems score well, Labour scores "indifferently", and the Conservatives score "woefully".

29 May 2001: New toll tunnel for Shannon?: Roadbuilders plan a destructive new tunnel crossing of the river Shannon by 2006.

29 May 2001: Major incident in Cynon river kills 700 fish: The Environment Agency is investigating how at least 700 fish came to die this weekend.

28 May 2001: Mass fish kill in Larne river: Northern Ireland's river Larne is reeling from its second massive fish kill in four years.

25 May 2001: New Boyle canal opens to boats: A new canal on the Boyle is expected to increase pleasure trips on the Shannon system.

25 May 2001: Water warning over foot and mouth sites: The government's leading BSE adviser says he would not drink tapwater from near foot and mouth disposal sites.

23 May 2001: World bans dangerous chemicals: Forty years after Silent Spring, 120 nations have agreed to ban a dozen more chemical nasties.

21 May 2001: Britain fails to meet water quality targets - again!: A new EU report shows inland waters in Britain are still too dirty to swim in.

21 May 2001: Environment Agency plans new sea defences for South Wales: Environment Agency Wales is investigating possible options to improve the protection of the Caldicot Levels in South East Wales against sea flooding.

21 May 2001: Artificial reef could boost fish stocks?: granite waste is to be dumped off the Scottish coast in an attempt to boost stocks of fish and other marine life.

19 May 2001: Goodbye to MAFF?: Labour has promised to abolish MAFF, much criticized for its handling of the foot-and-mouth crisis, if voters return it to power in June.

17 May 2001: Nuclear plant leaks acid?: Sizewell B power station was closed this week after leaking boric acid.

15 May 2001: Bottlenosed dolphins threatened by pollution: The Independent reports: "A colony of dolphins in Scotland which represents almost half of Britain's dolphin population is facing extinction because of pollution".

15 May 2001: Docks can't shake smell of rotting fish: Rosyth docks in Fife are trying a new bacteriological technique to remove the smell of rotting fish.

11 May 2001: 2000 more fish for the Dee: The Environment Agency has released more fish into the Welsh Dee.

8 May 2001: Canned food contaminated with endocrine disruptors: According to Friends of the Earth, "most canned food" is contaminated with a chemical that disrupts hormones.

8 May 2001: EPA must save bogland, say campaigners: The Irish EPA is to decide the fate of one of the most important bogs within the next two weeks.

8 May 2001: Decline in Shannon water quality threatens fish: The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board identifies falling water quality as the most serious threat facing Shannon fisheries.

7 May 2001: Tourists at risk from Dounreay radiation: Contamination on a beach near the Dounreay nuclear power station may be putting tourists at risk.

4 May 2001: Effluent kills fish stocks: Fish on a tributary of Lough Arrow, recently replenished with an EU grant of £350,000, have been wiped out by a farm spill.

4 May 2001: Time for change at the Fisheries Board: John O'Connor is overseeing major changes as chief executive of the Irish Central Fisheries Board.

3 May 2001: New Liffey bridge proves controversial: A new bridge planned for Dublin's river Liffey is proving unpopular with locals.

3 May 2001: Thames cleanup continues with discovery of rare fish: The twaite chad has returned to the Thames after more than 100 years absence.

01 May 2001: Wessex Water fined for sewage pollution: The Wessex Water Company has been fined £2425 for discharging raw sewage into the River Avon in Wiltshire.

02 May 2001: Balfour Beatty protest over Ilisu dam: Friends of the Earth has mounted a shareholder action against the UK construction company.

02 May 2001: Bottled water users are wasting money and harming the environment: according to conservation group WWF. Same story from Ananova

01 May 2001: Fishermen return to North Sea: Fishermen are back in the North Sea after the end of the cod fishing ban... but, asks the Independent, will the action, to save fish stocks, be enough?

29 April 2001: MPs to investigate GM fish: Government-funded programmes to develop genetically modified fish which are sterile and fast-growing are to be investigated by MPs, according to the Independent on Sunday.

29 April 2001: Foot and mouth waste pumped out to sea: MAFF and the Environment Agency have allowed diluted (but contaminated) foot and mouth waste to be pumped into the Sea off Cumbria.

27 April 2001: Suspect foot and mouth carcasses dumped in river: The Environment Agency has had to rescue 11 carcasses dumped in the Thames.

27 April 2001: More foot and mouth carcasses dug up: 1500 sheep buried in Powys, Wales will be dug up after contaminating a water supply. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth reveals that landfill sites are not being used for disposal.

27 April 2001: Edinburgh sewage upgrade should improve Almond and Forth: Upgrades to Edinburgh's long-sea outflow pipe are welcome... but no real substitute for properly treating sewage before it is discharged.

27 April 2001: Tay pollution illustrates dangers of disposing of oil: A minor pollution incident in the Tay in Perthshire shows the dangers of pouring oil into drains, according to SEPA (the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency).

25 April 2001: Environment Agency seeks views on management of Somerset Levels: THE future management of flooding on the Somerset Levels and Moors is under the spotlight as the Environment Agency invites the public to have its say on a range of options to improve current practice.

24 April 2001: £2000 fine for Welsh pollution: A farmer has been fined for polluting the Afon Taf with effluent.

24 April 2001: Major oil pollution in Channel?: A Maltese tanker has created a nine-mile slick off the Kent coast.

23 April 2001: 600 km anti-dam march ends in New Delhi: Supporters of the Narmada Bachao Andalan (NBA) have completed their week-long mega-walk, the latest stage in their 14-year campaign against the Sardar Sarovar dam.

20 April 2001: Salmon caught on candid cameras: The Environment Agency is installing cameras to monitor nummbers of salmon as they swim through fish passes.

20 April 2001: WWF announces major new river survey: The conservation organization WWF has published the first results of its major new water and wetlands survey. Check out the BBC News summary of the UK's worst rivers, the same story from The Independent, and WWF's press release Europe's rivers ready for revival. Read why water quality in Scotland's lochs is not properly monitored. Download lots more information from WWF's Water and Wetland Index mini-website.

20 April 2001: Foot and mouth risk to groundwater?: The carcasses of animals killed for prevention of foot and mouth (a non-fatal disease) could pollute groundwater supplies and put people at risk from BSE (a fatal disease) for years to come. Friends of the Earth has accused the Environment Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) of being unwilling to discuss what is happening.

15 April 2001: Scottish Dee to be protected: The Dee is to be designated an 'area of outstanding natural importance' to protect endangered pearl mussels.

14 April 2001: Heaviest rainfall 'since Tudor times': BBC weather forecaster Phil Eden believes this is the wettest period since the early 18th century.

14 April 2001: Divers explore Corrib ferry wreck from 1828: Divers have begun surveying the wreck of the Anach Cuain, which claimed 19 lives in 1828.

13 April 2001: Environment Agency advise many fisheries open for easter bank holiday: Continuing restrictions on foot-and-mouth aside, rivers are open for fishy business this Easter.

12 April 2001: Liffey open for Easter fishing: Now Ireland's a nice spot for some fishing...

12 April 2001: Lindane lurking in Easter treats: Friends of the Earth and other environmental groups step up the pressure on lindane, the toxic, carginogenic pesticide found in disturbingly high quantities in many brands of chocolate.

11 April 2001: Foot and mouth disinfectant mats: are they any use?: Agriculture Minister Nick Brown admits the mats are "rather more symbolic than real". Meanwhile, the Environment Agency cautions against the risk of disinfectant pollution.

09 April 2001: Aberfan flood embankment almost complete: The Environment Agency has almost finished flood protection work at Aberfan, Wales.

09 April 2001: Galway researchers win peat award: Three researchers from NUI Galway have won an international award for their work on peat conservation.

08 April 2001: Legal battle to save peat bogs: English Nature is facing a legal challenge from peat manufacturer the Scotts Company (owner of Fisons, Levington, Miracle-Gro, and RoseClear) over plans to protect three sites in the north of England as internationally important habitats. Scotts claims the bogs are too degraded to qualify under EU rules and is apparently happy to continue degrading them. We say: stop using peat in your garden.

08 April 2001: MPs demand fish inquiry: MPs have demanded to know why Britain and Europe have spent £3 million on genetically modified fish research.

05 April 2001: Dundrum bypass will mean new Slang crossing: The Dundrum bypass, long planned for South County Dublin, will mean construction of a new bridge over the river Slang.

05 April 2001: Bush receives 60,000 protest emails: George W. Bush is now receiving 10,000 protest emails a day from Friends of the Earth supporters alone. Click our banner below to send a protest now.

03 April 2001: Foot and mouth carcasses must be dug up: Cattle buried against the advice of the Environment Agency, and now polluting a stream in County Durham, must be dug up.

02 April 2001: Environment Agency says let sleeping frogs lie: Environment Agency wildlife specialists have asked people not to move frogs or frog spawn from ponds and pools this spring, even if the pool looks overcrowded.

02 April 2001: Greenpeace mounts North Sea oil protest: A JET oil exploration rig became the target of a brief Greenpeace action today. More from Greenpeace

01 April 2001: Britain funds GM fish: The British government and the European Commission are funding genetically modified fish to the tune of £3 million.

31 March 2001: Foot and mouth burials "will not affect water": ...according to government committee SEAC.

30 March 2001: President George W Bush, polluter of the free world: Bush feels the full force of international condemnation for reneging on the Kyoto protocol for controlling climate change. Also read: Bush rats on climate treaty: from Friends of the Earth.

29 March 2001: Hastings bypass temporarily shelved?: In a sensible attempt to stall a pre-election row over the environment, the Government has deferred giving the go-ahead for the Hastings bypass.

29 March 2001: Foot and mouth is a good thing: writes environmental campaigner George Monbiot.

28 March 2001: Damaging roads get the go-ahead: The Labour government, which claimed to put the environment "at the heart" of its policies, has given the go-ahead to more damaging road schemes. But the Conservatives have also proposed a damaging policy of new roads and cuts in fuel tax.

27 March 2001: Cork sewage scheme will improve River Lee: 13 million gallons of raw sewage and wastewater flow into the River Lee in Cork every day... but a new project is about to change that.

26 March 2001: Sellafield pollution increase angers Norway: A new report shows a six-fold increase in radioactivity on the Norwegian cost since 1996, caused by the UK's nuclear reprocessing plant.

25 March 2001: Fish farms use unsafe chemicals: The Food Standards Agency is to introduce controls on fish farms, accused of using "mutant chemicals" that may present risks to human health.

24 March 2001: Wettest Britain since 1766 - say the Met Office.

23 March 2001: Two thirds of planet faces water shortages: A new report by Tearfund predicts several billion "water refugees" by 2025 as people flee regions of water shortage.

21 March 2001: British tour operators are damaging the Mediterranean coast: British tour operators have a major role to play in coastal protection, according to a new survey by WWF.

21 March 2001: Environment Agency publishes Welsh flooding report: A new report from the EA analyzes the causes, impacts, and responses to last year's devastating floods.

21 March 2001: Environment Agency launches blueprint for water future: The EA has launched a new strategy for the management of water resources, which it says "provides for the reasonable needs of industry, agriculture and public water supply while safeguarding the environment".

21 March 2001: Ilisu Dam: Balfour Beatty faces major challenge from shareholders: Friends of the Earth is launching a major shareholder challenge this May.

21 March 2001: Fisheries board opposes housing developments: In a move to protect the Castlebar river, the North Western Regional Fisheries Board will oppose major housing developments until sewage facilities in Castlebar are upgraded.

21 March 2001: Three Irish cities attacked for sewage pollution: Based on data from December 1998, the European Commission has listed Dublin among the cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants with inadequate treatment. Cork and Dundalk were named as cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants without waste water treatment.

19 March 2001: Britain once more "the dirty man of Europe": The European Commission has named and shamed member states who continue to dump raw sewage from cities into rivers. Britain tops the list, with 33 large British towns/cities. More from the European Commission. See also The Independent: UK rejects dirty water charges by Brussels.

19 March 2001: 2 million prepare to fight Hastings bypass: The Hastings Alliance, boasting a combined membership of 2 million people, launched today.

19 March 2001: Plaid Cymru call for delay on Gower dredging: A decision on continuing Gower dredging should be postponed, say Plaid Cymru. More from Gower Save our Sands.

19 March 2001: Scottish fishermen protest in haddock row: Fishermen are demanding compensation for "tying up" their boats.

15 March 2001: Watchdog warns of flood costs: A new report from the National Audit Office warns about the ever-increasing costs of flood defence. 

14 March 2001: Trees felled for 15 million flood-relief scheme: A new scheme in Kilkenny has provoked outrage among local residents: "People are going to wake up in a year or even less and say `My God, what has happened?'".

14 March 2001: Ancient Welsh nuclear plant could reopen after "bodged repair": Greenpeace has attacked proposals to reopen Wylfa nuclear plant, with apparent disregard for public safety. More from Greenpeace

14 March 2001: Balfour Beatty told: drop Ilisu Dam: On the International Day of Action Against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life, campaigners from the Ilisu Dam Campaign and Friends of the Earth have held a mass protest outside the offices of construction company Balfour Beatty. 

14 March 2001: House committee recommends investment in waterways: The House of Commons Environment, Transport, and Regional Affairs Committee has recommended making better use of inland waterways.

13 March 2001: Stream book wins green Booker: Brian Clarke's fictional account of the death of a chalk-stream river has won a prestigious book award.

9 March 2001: Salmon return to North Yorkshire river: The Environment Agency reports that salmon have returned to Cod Beck, near Thirsk, for "the first time in living memory". Yippee!

8 March 2001: Euro environmental targets too vague say ministers: European environmental ministers have criticized the lack of clear targets and timetables in the EU's new environment programme.

8 March 2001: Atlantic salmon could disappear from Northern Ireland's rivers: Fishing and pollution are taking their toll on the salmon, says a major report into the state of the province's fisheries. See also Atlantic Salmon Trust.

7 March 2001: Welsh coarse fishing season on canals removed: The Environment Agency says the removal of the closed fishing season will not affect wildlife protection.

7 March 2001: Government fails to address greenfield housing - floodplains still under threat: A new report from CPRE shows greenfields (and floodplains) are still at risk.

6 March 2001: EU Ministers urged to stand up for public health, not the chemical industry: Friends of the Earth has called on European Ministers to ban unsafe chemicals.

3 March 2001: Foot and mouth: Agency advises fishermen: The Environment Agency has reminded fishermen to keep away from farmland during the foot and mouth outbreak. See also News Wales for the same story and the EA's general foot and mouth page

3 March 2001: UK moves towards integrated coastal management: The UK government is supporting European plans for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, which aims to relieve pressure on coastal areas.

2 March 2001: Water companies lose right to discharge: A High Court test case against Severn Trent water may have ended the automatic right of water companies to discharge surface water into rivers and canals.

1 March 2001: Ha'penny Bridge closed for repairs: Dublin's famous bridge over the Liffey is closed until July for a major refurbishment.

1 March 2001: Meacher calls for curbs on toxic chemicals: Environment minister Michael Meacher says tougher European controls are needed on chemicals including pesticides, solvents and flame retardants. 

24 February 2001: Northern Ireland's poor response to river pollution: BBC News reports that: "Northern Ireland's Department of Environment has been accused of being extraordinarily slow, fragmented and lacking cohesion when dealing with river pollution."

24 February 2001: Public must help to save the environment: Dr David Bellamy has called for greater public participation in environmental protection.

24 February 2001: Devon slurry spill kills 80,000 fish: Three miles of Bradiford Water at Muddiford, near Barnstaple, in north Devon and a fish farm have suffered the effects of a major slurry spill. More from The Independent.

22 February 2001: Welsh River Dee restocked: The Environment Agency has released another 1800 fish into the Dee.

21 February 2001: Plastic litter exposes wildlife to toxins: according to the Marine Conservation Society's latest Beachwatch survey.

20 February 2001: Trolleys plague Welsh rivers: According to BBC News, "The largest ever scheme to remove abandoned supermarket trolleys from Welsh rivers has been getting under way."

19 February 2001: "Most of the earth's people will be on the losing side" says IPCC: The latest UN IPCC report on climate change makes grim reading with the harshest warnings yet about global warming. Read the story in BBC News and The Independent. Read the region by region impacts. Check out our comprehensive new students' guide to climate change.

19 February 2001: Humans have changed half the Earth: According to a shocking new satellite study.

19 February 2001: Friends of the Earth launches new "safer chemicals" campaign: targetting high-street chemist, Boots. Read FoE's press release "Mum's army battle's risky chemicals".

18 February 2001: Anti-nuclear flotilla sets sail: A convoy of yachts and ships has sailed from Sydney to intercept a British ship carrying nuclear waste from France to Japan.

16 February 2001: Poultry firm fined £19,000 for polluting Welsh river: The Marshall Food Group has been fined for polluting the River Dee with chicken remains. The Environment Agency commented: "All companies must accept responsibility for the systems they operate or face prosecution for any pollution incidents they cause." Hear hear!

16 February 2001: North West Water fined for sewage offence: NWW has been fined £4000 for pumping "untreated sewage" into Shap Beck. The company was previously fined £3,000 in 1994 for discharging sewage effluent into the beck.

15 February 2001: Tammy completes 1470 mile environmental swim: The UK Rivers Network sends congratulations to marathon swimmer Tammy Van Wisse, who has finished a three-month, mega-swim to highlight pollution and other environmental problems in Australia's Murray Darling River. Read more about the issues in

14 February 2001: Hastings bypass gets the go-ahead: The Government looks set to break promises about not building destructive roads with a new plan to build the Hastings bypass across Combe Haven, a wildlife-rich marshy river valley SSSI. More from The Independent and The Guardian.

12 February 2001: Water voles get ready for Valentine's day: Special efforts are being made to mate dwindling water voles this year.

09 February 2001: Clyde is "in filthiest state for years": A Glasgow scientist claims the River Clyde is regularly awash with sewage and debris.

09 February 2001: Global warming could kill tens of thousands: The Independent comments on a new government report warning "that climate changes over the next 50 years will cause death and destruction on a major scale in Britain unless preventive action is taken now." Also check out our handy guide to resources on climate change.

09 February 2001: River book shortlisted for top award: The Stream, by Brian Clarke, a fictional tale of the death of an English chalk-stream river, has been shortlisted for a top science book award.

06 February 2001: Blackwater flooding solutions have uncertain environmental impacts: A proposed £30 million flood relief scheme for Ireland's River Blackwater could solve chronic flooding problems, but "may have implications for the river's natural life", according to engineers.

06 February 2001: New Shannon crossing options unveiled: Tunnel and bridge crossings for the River Shannon at Limerick have been put on public display.

02 February 2001: Global warming could cost world £208 billion a year: In a new report for the UN Environment Programme, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies has estimated climate change could trigger worldwide losses totalling hundreds of billions of pounds a year. Read another account of this story here.

02 February 2001: Antarctic glacier melting faster than ever: British scientists report that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is now melting faster than it is forming, but cannot confirm global warming is to blame. 30 January 2001: Wetlands events send wake-up call for world's fresh water: WWF, the conservation organization, and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands have warned that unless more is done to protect vital wetlands, water shortages will be more severe in at least 60 countries by 2050, and flooding-related disasters could increase substantially. 

30 January 2001: £35,000 fine for Welsh abbatoir: Oriel Jones & Son Limited, of Llanybydder, has been fined for three pollution offences by the Environment Agency.

30 January 2001: Welsh Water tests new financing: Water regulator OFWAT will rule this week on whether not-for-profit company Glas Cymru can acquire Welsh Water.

30 January 2001: Climate change "wiped out civilization before": Scientists from Yale University suggest climate change wiped out the ancient Mexican Mayan civilization.

28 January 2001: Safeguarding our water: The latest issue of Scientific American magazine contains three excellent articles on the world's pressing water problems. "Even in the century ahead, impressive gains in technological capabilities to find, transport and conserve freshwater may not be able to accommodate increasing demand, particularly in the developing world."

26 January 2001: Britain could suffer "El Nino" type storms: Global warming could produce climate variability similiar to El Nino in the UK.

25 January 2001: European Commission takes legal action against Ireland over water pollution: Ireland faces a trip to the European Court over its failure to implement the EC Dangerous Substances and Nitrates directives to cut water pollution.

25 January 2001: Emergency cod-fishing ban in North Sea: The EU has agreed an emergency ban on cod fishing to prevent a complete collapse of stocks and to give the fish time to reproduce.

25 January 2001: Dublin canal scheme gets go-ahead: A 38.2 hectare (94.4 acre) site in Dublin's Grand Canal Basin is to be redeveloped as part of the Dublin Docklands development.

24 January 2001: EU sets green targets for next decade: European Commissioners are setting tough environmental targets for the next decade and cracking down on EU Member States who have failed to implement environmental legislation.

23 January 2001: Wales steps up fight against Ilisu dam: Welsh MPs and campaigners fight on for the Kurds.

22 January 2001: Bucks river returns from the dead: Virtually dead after years of neglect and drought, the river Misbourne in Buckinghamshire has been magically revived by recent floods.

22 January 2001: Global warming could be "twice as bad" as predicted: Latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggest a climate catastrophe. Experts warn of weather impacts, environmentalists urge action, while other scientists express continued doubts. Read how Climate change exceeds predictions and why most scientists now believe the human cause of climate change is beyond doubt. Also read Geoffrey Lean in the Independent, the same story in The Guardian, and for background, check out the BBC News Climate Change page.

22 January 2001: Crematoria polluting rivers could close: A toughening of pollution rules due to European legislation is good news for inland waterways, but bad news for crematorium operators.

20 January 2001: Prince of Wales highlights plight of the albatross in an article in the January 2001 edition of The Field.

19 January 2001: Dibden Bay - protecting it for nature is a must: English Nature says environmental protection must take priority over new Southampton port.

18 January 2001: 150 anglers in salmon protest: 150 anglers have protested about a new salmon tagging team at the Laune River near Killarney, Co Kerry.

15 January 2001: Dibden Bay: the new environmental battleground: article from The Independent.

15 January 2001: Save the eel!: The Environment Agency is drawing up plans to save declining populations of the eel in British rivers.

14 January 2001: Salmon seasons begins... without salmon: The Scottish salmon season has begun... with almost no fish left to catch.

13 January 2001: Cod ban could "destroy half British fishing fleet": New restrictions to protect cod in the North Sea could devastate the fishing industry, say industry groups.

12 January 2001: Conservationists fight salmon law: Fishermen and conservation groups attack the Scottish Salmon Conservation Bill as "missing the point".

12 January 2001: Prince supports fishing ban: The Prince of Wales has lent his support to fish conservation measures proposed by fishermen in Cornwall.

12 January 2001: Flooded councils oppose rate rise: Councils hit by severe flooding are insisting John Prescott, and not council tax payers, must pay for better flood defences.

12 January 2001: Prince attacks overfishing: The Prince of Wales has attacked intensive fishing methods that threaten marine life, including the albatross. Another version of this story from Ananova

10 January 2001: £50 million sewage plant for Cork: Cork, Ireland, is to get a new sewage plant which, according to the Irish Times, "holds out the prospect of a clean River Lee after years of pollution which reduced it in some parts almost to an open sewer."

10 January 2001: Norwegians attack Sellafield: Norwegian environment minister will fight British nuclear power plant for increasing radiation in Scandinavian waters.

09 January 2001: Chinese learn pollution lessons from Killarney: Techniques used to address water pollution in Killarney are being studied with interest by the Chinese.

09 January 2001: Lottery lake polluted by petrol A £28 million lottery-funded recreation park in Llanelli, Wales, has been polluted by petrol, killing 3000 fish.

08 January 2001: Water industry fights environmental protection with talk of higher prices and supply cuts: Government moves to improve environmental protection of waterways could lead to higher water bills and increased shortages, say water companies.

08 January 2001: Environment Agency reports systematic improvements in UK environment: A new report by the Environment Agency reports encouraging improvements in river quality, but continued degradation of habitats and the ever-increasing threats of climate change.

06 January 2001: Salmon "farmed to death: The high environmental price of fish farming.

06 January 2001: Floods cost farmers £500 million: The National Farmers' Union estimates severe weather has cost farmers half a billion pounds.

01 January 2001: Scotland salmon fishing could be banned: A new bill to preserve fish stocks could ban salmon fishing in Scotland.

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