Leisler’s bats in English bat box

This video from Derbyshire in England says about itself:

Leisler’s bats emerge from bat box

16 May 2015

In 2008 we erected a bat box carved from a piece of log at one of our schemes. A maternity colony of Leisler’s bats has moved in and in May 2015 we set up a camera and screen so that members could watch them emerge. We recorded the video & uploaded it so you can watch too!

Morphogenesis of the fetal membranes and placentation in the Indian molossid bat, Chaerephon plicata: here.

British artist Jeff Perks interviewed

This video from the USA says about itself:

Voice of Art – Iraq Veterans Against the War, Pt. 1

29 June 2012

Meet the artists: members Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Chicago chapter. Hear their stories of service and struggle. Learn why they now protest the wars they once participated in.

And this video is the sequel.

By Len Phelan in Britain:

Saturday 30th August 2014

Artist JEFF PERKS tells Len Phelan why his stimulating and unabashedly political new show at the Stockport Art Gallery is not ‘a comfy sofa’

IT’S not often that you’ll see a retrospective which packs as political a punch as the one which opens in a few weeks at the Stockport Art Gallery.

Political Furniture, Not A Comfy Sofa is a must-see exhibition of work by the Derbyshire-based artist Jeff Perks, which wittily and provocatively views the world from an unavowedly socialist perspective. These striking, polemical images and constructions are beautifully crafted.

A filmmaker, painter, printmaker, publisher and sculptor, Perks has had his work on show at the Whitechapel Gallery’s Art For Society exhibition, Race Against Time for the TUC at Congress House and he produced the graphics for Michael Rosen’s enormously popular poem on the history of the slave trade.

Perks is also credited with recently producing the largest lino cut ever made, part of his We Will Not Walk Away From Iraq show at Battersea Arts Centre, a sardonic swipe at Tony Blair’s declaration of intent.

At six feet tall and 21 feet long The Training Ground tells the history and horrors of the British army’s involvement in Ireland and it’ll be on show in Stockport along with prints on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and ceramic sculptures which deal with the politics of everyday life in a humorous and original way.

Explaining the exhibition’s title, Perks is at pains to point out that the retrospective is designed to make us think about why the world is the way it is.

“The painter Henri Matisse described his own work as ‘a comfy sofa for the bourgeoisie to relax in’,” he says. “This exhibition is definitely not a ‘comfy sofa.’

“The work will inevitably be called anti-politician. It is, and against all those men who too quickly rush to solve the problems of our nuclear world by military action,” he stresses. And he’s clear too about the committed nature of his work, citing Pablo Picasso’s declaration that he had never looked on painting as an art “for mere pleasure or amusement.”

Perks left school aged 15 with only two qualifications in art and woodwork, which maybe accounts for his use of so much reclaimed material in his three-dimensional work. “Wherever possible the materials I use are either reclaimed industrial wood or steel or from trees uprooted from storms — this helps to maintain the existing native woodlands and landscape,” he says.

“Their shape both inspires me and defines the resulting sculpture.”

After what seems like a hugely active artistic life, embracing work in advertising, publishing and TV — where he made programmes about artists, cartooning, punk and women comics — Perks sees the Stockport show as a return to his first loves of painting and sculpture.

“You could say my life has come full circle and that at last I’ve put my two O-levels to good use,” he says.

Political Furniture, Not A Comfy Sofa runs from September 20 until October 20 at the Stockport Art Gallery, Wellington Road South, Stockport. Free. The exhibition will be opened by poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen on September 19, details: here.

British taxpayer-funded grouse shooting causes flooding

This is a Red Grouse video.

By Peter Lazenby in England:

Campaigners stage protest over moorland burning

Saturday 22nd February 2014

Environmentalists say taxpayer-funded torching of grouse moors increases flooding in valleys

Environmental campaigners picketed the headquarters of government-backed Natural England in Sheffield yesterday to protest against taxpayers’ cash being used to fund the burning of moorland.

The campaigners — armed with symbolic mops, buckets and placards demanding: “Don’t fund flooding” — warned that burning moorland to make it suitable for grouse-rearing and shooting contributed to the flooding which has devastated valleys beneath the moors.

Some protesters were from the West Yorkshire Pennine town of Hebden Bridge, which in June 2012 was devastated by floods after water poured down roads and tracks from moorland above the town.

The campaigners said that moorland burning above the community contributed to the fast run-off of water during heavy rain.

Following the floods locals launched a Ban the Burn campaign.

Supporter Jim Peterken said: “Millions of pounds of public money is currently paid out as ‘stewardship’ to grouse-moor owners who are burning on blanket bog.

“As well as being detrimental to a designated priority habitat, this form of moorland management decreases the ability of the peat to store the water, and the bare ground increases run-off.

“The general public may be interested in the issue that our hard-earned public tax is being paid to rich landowners to flood us.”

The campaigners pointed out that grouse moor owners are being paid millions of pounds through the environmental stewardship scheme to protect the uplands.

Recent research by South West Water showed that restoring blanket bogs can reduce flood risk downstream.

Police were called to yesterday’s demonstration.

Protester Sue Turner added: “Management at Natural England told staff not to report to work because of the protest. They completely over-reacted.”

The protesters handed in a letter telling Natural England that action on reducing run-off from the uplands is urgent to minimise flood risk downstream.

It said burning on blanket bog should be banned and that stewardship funding should promote the restoration of blanket bog, not their degradation.

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