Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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The Environment in your Pocket 2007

The Environment in your Pocket 2007

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (412/07) issued by The Government News Network on 9 November 2007

The eleventh edition of The Environment in your Pocket is published today by Defra. It is the annual booklet that makes readily accessible environmental trends and statistics on climate change, air quality, water quality, land use, waste and recycling wildlife and other environmental issues.

It includes several environmental indicators of sustainable development, and contains also a section looking at pressures on the environment - such as energy use, transport, pollution incidents and household consumption - and at spending to mitigate the effects of some pressures. The Environment in your Pocket 2007 also includes a section summarising some key results from Defra's recent Survey of Public Attitudes and Behaviours towards the Environment.

Examples of trends reported in the booklet include:

* When asked about various actions that could be seen a potentially wasteful, almost a quarter of people said that they always or very often "keep the tap running when brushing their teeth", 18 per cent always or very often "leave the TV on standby overnight", 12 per cent "fill a kettle with more water than they'll use" and 11 per cent always or very often "leave their mobile phone charger switched on when not in use";

* The long term central England temperature record shows that eight out of the ten years warmest years have occurred since 1990 and that the period from May to September 2006 was warmer that any equivalent period since the central England record began in 1659;

* In England and Wales in 2006, 2.3 million properties were estimated to be in an area at risk of flooding; for just over half a million of those the risk was considered to be significant;

* Total greenhouse gas emissions from the UK food chain are estimated to have been 116 million tonnes (CO2 equivalent) in 2004; over three-quarters of the emissions came from the food production and agriculture stages, the remainder came from net trade and household food use;

* Total emissions of particulates (PM10) to the air fell by 57 per cent (almost 200 thousand tonnes) between 1980 and 2005;

* In 2005/6 in the UK, the amount of household waste per person that was not recycled or composted was at its lowest level since estimates were first made in 1983/4 and just over a quarter of all household waste was recycled or composted;

* In 2004, 35 per cent of fish stocks around the UK were at full reproductive capacity and being harvested sustainably;

* In 2006, all but 2 of the 561 coastal bathing waters in the UK met the mandatory standards of the European Bathing Water Directive compared with two thirds of waters in 1988; over three quarters met the tougher guideline standards - one of the requirements for Blue Flag status - in 2006;

* Radioactive emissions to air in the UK fell by around 83 per cent between 1985 and 2005 and emissions to water fell by 87 per cent. At the same time, electricity production from nuclear sources increased by 40 per cent;

* The area of woodland in the UK has increased since the early 20th Century - approximately 5 per cent of the UK was covered by woodland in 1924: in 2006 almost 12 per cent of the UK was wooded;

* Since the mid-1970s, farmland and woodland bird populations have seen a significant decrease of over 50 and 30 per cent respectively, although both populations appear to have stabilised since the mid-1990s; seabird populations have risen by around a third in the same period and stabilised since the mid-1980s.

The Environment in your Pocket 2007 is not just for the pocket but is also available in a larger version and published online - linked to more detailed information on the topics it covers - at:


1. The Environment in your Pocket 2007 is available free from Defra Publications, Admail 6000, London, SW1A 2XX (Tel: 08459 556000, email: Product code 12811 (pocket-sized A6 version) and 12811A (A4 version).

2. The 2007 edition is the eleventh annual edition of the booklet and it presents around 55 of the key data sets from the e-Digest of Environmental Statistics. It focuses on providing trends over time, including on performance against quantified targets and commitments set at the national and international level.

3. As a National Statistics publication, it seeks to be as objective as possible, presenting a balanced picture. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They are produced free from any political interference.

4. The e-Digest of Environmental Statistics continues to be Defra's reference site for environmental data. The e-Digest can be accessed on the Defra internet site at:

5. Details of the government's indicators of sustainable development can be accessed on the Sustainable Development website at:

6. Detailed results from Defra's 2007 Survey of Public Attitudes and Behaviours towards the Environment are on the Defra website at:

Public enquiries 08459 335577;

Press notices are available on our website

Defra's aim is sustainable development

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