Defra – making the most of packaging

July 22, 2009


Snowfall Before 2009 - Photo by Steve Keys

 Snowfall before 2009   –  photo Steve Keys

Defra has published  a new strategy for managing waste packaging: New Packaging Strategy, Making the most of packaging,

Defra writes that the new publication ‘ outlines packaging policy’s direction for the next decade. The Strategy’s overall aim is to minimise the environmental impact of packaging, without compromising its ability to protect the product and also sets out plans to improve the recycling of packaging waste.’

‘In 2008 the UK disposed of an estimated 10.7 million tonnes of packaging waste, of which around 65 % (Source NPWD) was recovered.  This is a significant achievement when compared to the fact that only 27% of packaging waste was recovered in 1998 (Source publication: e-Digest of Environmental Statistics, March 2006). However, more still needs to be done and Defra will continue working to:

  • minimise the amount of packaging used and so the amount of packaging waste, and
  • ensure that a high proportion of packaging materials are recovered and recycled

The management of packaging and packaging waste is enforced by EC directive 2004/12/EC which seeks to reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment by introducing recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste and by encouraging minimisation and reuse.

Loughborough University subscribes to several  online journals which cover packaging and the environemt,  such as  Packaging Magazine,    Paperboard Packaging,   Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management and Waste News etc,  which can be accessed via MetaLib.  [Athens username and password required for off campus access.]. 

The University Library also has a comprehensive collection of books on packaging design, graphic design and  aesthetics of packaging, innovation, sustainability,  structure  and environmental issues.

If you would like to learn more about UK packaging and waste mangement, please see the links below.

 Packaging & Packaging Waste – recycling and recovery targets

EU directive 2004/12/EC


The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP)

Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University



The E-Reference Library

July 14, 2009
Part of my library. Copyright: Hamzeh Karbasi
Part of my library. Copyright: Hamzeh Karbasi

There is a lot of debate currently about the respective merits of books in hard copy and electronic format but what cannot be questioned is the value of the electronic reference book. From your desktop you can now access the equivalent of  several shelves of reference works like the ones depicted in the photograph.  If you need to check the spelling of a word, you can consult the Oxford English Dictionary and find that you’ll be tempted to browse for a while to check how your word’s meaning has changed through time. If it is biographical information you are searching for, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography will provide the answer if  you need to find out about  a deceased British subject or a person who has influenced British history. Among the subject specific works you will discover many social science and humanities titles.  The Sage collection includes the encyclopedias of children, adolescents and the media; social science research methods and even murder.  Among the Oxford Digital Reference titles are works on decorative and performance arts, British and American literature; linguistics and economic history. Take a look at the Library’s e-Books webpage and find out exactly how many reference works are available to you.

SPORTDiscus with full text

June 8, 2009



Loughborough University Library now subscribes to SPORTDiscus with full text.

SPORTDiscus with full text is the most comprehensive, bibliographic database covering sport, physical fitness, exercise, sports medicine, sports science, physical education, kinesiology, coaching, training, sport administration, officiating, sport law & legislation, college & university sport, disabled persons, facility design & management, intramural & school sport, doping, health, health education, biomechanics, movement science, injury prevention rehabilitation, physical therapy, nutrition, exercise physiology, sport & exercise psychology, recreation, leisure studies, tourism, allied health, occupational health & therapy, public health and more.

For off-campus access either login to MetaLib via the Remote Working Portal or access the database with your Athens username and password. If you do not have your Athens username and password please contact Ask a Librarian.

Sport at Loughborough

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS).

New President of the Royal Geographical Society

June 2, 2009



Press release from the Royal Geographical Society [with IBG].

“Michael Palin CBE has been elected President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) at the Society’s Annual General Meeting….”



“Michael, who was elected unopposed for a three year term, takes over from Professor Sir Gordon Conway in this role as the Society’s figurehead and chair of its elected trustees.”

“Through his travels, Michael has become a great enthusiast and champion for geography and teaching people about the world around them. He has been an Honorary Vice President of the Society for some years.”

“Commenting on his appointment Michael Palin CBE, said: “To be asked to take over the Presidency of such an internationally acclaimed and respected body is an almost unbelievable honour and I am only too aware of the great and distinguished figures whose boots I will have to try and fill.”

If you would like to more more about the Royal Geographical Society, please see links below.

RGS Picture Library

RGS’s work

Geography Today

Loughborough University Library subscribes to over 480 geography related e-journals, which can be accessed via MetaLib   [ATHENS username and password required for off campus access]

Loughborough University Department of Geography

Diamonds in the landscape

May 8, 2009


 Great Gable

 Photograph: Great Gable View by Alan Cleaver

British national parks celebrate 60 years of protecting the British landscape, providing public access to the countryside, protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity, and helping local economies.  Earlier this year the go-ahead was given for a new national park in the South Downs to be established in 2010.

The new national park will join the 15 other areas of Britain designated as national parks such as  The Cairngorms,  Snowdonia  and Brtiain’s first national park created in the Peak District in 1951.

In 1947 the Hobhouse Committee on National Parks of England and Wales built on the work of the Addison Committee of 1931 and ‘conceived of the National Park …suited to British conditions, as a large, beautiful, and relatively wild area in which “for the nation’s benefit” and by appropriate “national decision and action” the landscape is preserved, access and facilties for open-air enjoyment are provided, wild life and fine or historic places and buildings are protected, and established agriculture is maintained and developed’   The Times, Saturday, July 19, 1947;pg. 5; Issue 50817; col B.

Threats to the national parks such as quarrying,  new roads, vandalism, military activity, building developers, removal of stone from limestone pavements, overgrazing of upland commons, congestion, erosion, etc means that Government has to be constantly reviewing  possible improvements in policy, funding and practice of all the agencies involved in maintaining Britain’s national parks and areas of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

It is estimated that over 110 million people visit  British national parks each year,  generating millions of pounds to local economies, illustrating the national importance of parks and recreation the the economy as a whole.    For more information on the role of tourism in the British economy Loughborough University Library subscribes to a number of e-journals such as National Parks ,  Parks & Recreation,  Park Science.   Authentication: Athens username and password required for off campus access.  

If you would like to find out more about Britain’s national parks, please see the links below….

Publications from the Association of National Parks Authorities

History of the National Parks

Command Papers (HM Government), available from The Stationery Office (TSO) (was HMSO until 1997):
‘Report of the National Parks Committee (England and Wales) (Hobhouse Report), Cmnd. 7121, 1947 ;  shelved at serial 328/COM on Level 2 of the Loughborough University Library

English national parks

Countryside Act 1968 

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 

Habitats Regulations 1994 

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 

Hedgerows Regulations 1997 

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2008

CPRE – Campaign to Protect Rural England

The National Trust growing spaces

February 19, 2009


The National Trust has launched a project which will create 1000 allotments for gardeners, on 40 existing National Trust properties.   The National Trust has carried out serveral allotement case-studies, one of which is a Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire, where the walled garden has been restored as a full working kitchen garden.

Batty Langley [1696-1751 ], architect and garden designer, observed in his book New Principles of Gardening, published in 1728, that ‘The End and Design of a good Garden is to be both Profitable and Delightful…’  .  A little after Langley’s time, in the 1760s  small parcels of land were available for rent  at a farthing per square meter [average agricultural wages ranged from from 6d to 1 shilling a day, and a farthing worth a quater of a penny]. Urban and rural areas alike relied heavily in the ancient common rights to access and make use of ‘common land’ , dating back to the Statute of Merton in 1235, which helped supplement meagre wages and home grown produce.   However the general Enclosure Acts of 1836, 1840 and 1845 robbed the people of access to the common land on which they grazed their stock, collect fuel etc.   A writer in the North Star and Leeds General Advertiser in November 1839 observed that …

Session after session has poured upon the country “Common field enclosure bills”  – ” Waste enclosure bills” … they only wish to destroy the poor man’s waste..[used for grazing and gathering wood and fuel] .Scarcely any evidence was heard upon the subject; hardly any compensation offered; the most reckless and unthinking depredations were committed….It has been asserted that this Bill will confer a benefit on the poor, whose lands are to be enclosed.  Now, on the contrary, it will add to the property of the rich without protecting the rights  of the poor…

Taken from: The Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser (Leeds, England), Saturday, November 9, 1839; Issue 104

Years later, in 1887, the Allotments and Cottage Gardens Compensation for Crops Act, and later the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 were passed,..

 ‘outlining that If the council of any borough, urban district, or parish are of opinion that there is a demand for allotments . . . in the borough, urban district, or parish, . the council shall provide a sufficient number of allotments, and shall let such allotments to persons . .  resident in the borough, district, or parish, and desiring to take the same..’

The twentieth century world wars and economic depressions resulted in periodic food shortages, promting both national and public interest to grow their own food.  Since then the interest in ‘grow your own’ has increased, reflected in televison programmes on gardening such as BBC comedy series of the 1970s The Good Life , and the BBC’s Gardener’s World.  There is now approximately 297,000 allotment plots in England and their popularity has risen greatly.

Loughborough University Library subscribes to a number of online agriculture, horticulture and garden history journals such as Garden History  Agriculture, ecosystems & environment,  Agriculture and Human Values,  Floriculture CropsHorticulture Week and  Scientia HorticulturaeGarden History Newsletter, all available via MetaLib and accessible off campus using Athens username and password or by logging in to the Remote Working Portal


If you would like to learn more about the recent development of allotments in the UK, please visit the web sites below.

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd (NSALG)

Landshare website

Batty Langley’s New Principles of Gardening

Poetry, Enclosure, and the Vernacular Landscape, 1700-1830  By Rachel Crawford

Allotments and Cottage Gardens Compensation for Crops Act 1887

Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908

Allotments Act 1950

Trends in Provision and Types of Allotment Site 1943 – 1996

Allotments 4 All

BBC Leicester Radio’s own allotment


November 21, 2008

The phrase ‘credit crunch”‘and the word ‘recession’ have been bandied about with a sense of foreboding for the past few months and so we thought that it would be useful to look in a bit more detail about the meaning of ‘recession’ in particular. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the economic sense, the noun ‘recession’ is:

“A temporary decline or setback in economic activity or prosperity”(1)

It was first used in 1929 by The Economist describing the economic situation in the United States at that time.  However, as you can discover from other reference books, using services such as Oxford Reference Online, there are more technical or detailed descriptions about when an economy officially enters a recession.  According to the Dictionary of Finance and Banking, it is:

“A slowdown or fall in economic growth rate. A recession is defined by the US National Bureau of Economic Research as a decline in gross domestic product in two successive quarters. A severe recession is called a depression. Recession is associated with falling levels of investment, rising unemployment, and (sometimes) falling prices.”(2)

The Handbook of International Financial Terms states that it is:

“A state of an economy when characterized by falling output and employment. Officially, in the UK, a recession exists after four successive quarters of negative growth in gross national product. Sometimes called a depression, especially when the economic downturn looks persistent.” (3)

However, perhaps the most apt description was provided by Harry S. Truman in Observer 13 April 1958:

“It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” (4)

1. OED Online, Oxford University Press, 2008,, Accessed 21st November, 2008
2. “recession”: A Dictionary of Finance and Banking. Ed Jonathan Law and John Smullen. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Loughborough University.  21 November 2008
3. “recession”: The Handbook of International Financial Terms. Peter Moles and Nicholas Terry. Oxford University Press 1997. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Loughborough University.  21 November 2008
4. “Truman, Harry S.”  The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Susan Ratcliffe. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Loughborough University.  21 November 2008