UK ‘doesn’t even know’ about island eco threats, say MPs

The UK has been accused by a Westminster committee of failing to protect endangered plants and creatures in its overseas territories. The Environmental Audit Committee said the UK was not taking proper responsibility for the 517 globally threatened species in its care. Its chairman, Joan Walley MP, said: “The UK government doesn’t even know precisely […]

Island’s eco warriors need a new chief. Salary: £43k

A new person is being sought to lead the team protecting St Helena’s environment. The post is being advertised with a £43,000 salary, plus allowances – but the job description makes it clear the role will be demanding. It says: “St Helena’s natural environment is unique and very fragile; it is also our greatest asset. […]

Expert says St Helena has ‘enough water’ – in the wrong place

Drought-stricken St Helena is not short of water, the island government’s consultant has insisted – despite homes on the island being close to losing their supply. UK expert Ed Connon said: “There is enough water on the island – but it’s not necessarily in the right places.” A major operation to move water to the […]

Bottoms up: Mike creates his own beer garden. With no beer…

A man walks into every bar in St Helena and says: “I’ll have 586 bottles of Windhoek Beer. No ice. And barman – serve them empty.” That may not have been quite how the conversation went. But the point is that Mike Durnford has used 24.5 crates’ worth of beer bottles in his garden, and […]

Stop taking baths, says Castle, as water shortage goes on

Warnings of prosecutions for wasting water have been issued by St Helena Government as a severe drought continues in the most populated parts of the island.   Privately, government sources say some islanders do not appear to understand how serious the situation has become – or that individuals can make a difference by saving even […]

Frigatebird chick is island’s first for a century

A frigatebird chick is being raised on Ascension Island for the first time in more than a century – and here it is, basking its downy feathers in the sun in this picture by Kenickie Simon Andrews. Its arrival in the world came nine years after the island was declared free of feral cats, which […]

St Helena gets top rating for environmental protection

An investigation has highlighted “legal neglect” of biodiversity in the UK’s overseas territories – but not on St Helena. The territory, which formally includes Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, is one of only three to have been singled out for praise in a report by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It […]

Secrecy leaves islands at risk of corruption, warns RSPB

A paragraph in this story has been toned down in response to a comment made privately to St Helena Online. The paragraph, about information being made available to legislative councillors, was capable of mis-interpretation.  Secretive decision-making by governments in St Helena and other British overseas territories leaves them vulnerable to corruption, MPs in London have […]

New homes add to pollution, says water chief

House-building on high ground in St Helena has contributed to a bad smell in Jamestown, the island’s director of water has reported. Martin Squibbs was responding to complaints about the condition of water in The Run, the historic water course that runs through Jamestown from Newbridge. He said: “The water is greenish, which means there is […]

After the dry spell, paper warns of climate swings

Sharp changes in St Helena’s climate are having an increasing impact on food crops on the island. The draft agriculture paper, Growing Forward, warns that swings in the weather could have several effects. They include: lower soil fertility more soil erosion a rise in some pests and diseases decline in wildlife habitat poorer water quality The […]