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Natalie Leal

Freelance Journalist and Author

Academia and allotments: the students growing their own food

Academia and allotments: the students growing their own food

Thanks to a growing awareness of sustainability issues, students around the country are swapping evenings on cheap beer for afternoons spent growing their own fruit and veg. Natalie Leal looks at the rise of edible campus initiatives

As students head off to university this autumn many will be able to dig up some campus-grown potatoes or pick an apple on the way to their halls of residence thanks to a recent rise in edible campus init

A Scenic September Stroll in Storrington

1. Park up in the lay-by beside the Roman Catholic Church at the end of School Lane. Follow the public footpath up Kithurst Lane.

When you reach a fork in the road with private driveways on either side, follow the public footpath through the narrow alley in between.

This would be easy to miss were it not for a hand-made wooden sign someone has helpfully put up to direct people.

Walk along the narrow footpath through the hedgerows until you reach a stile on your left.

Climb the stile and foll

A south downs walk to savour this weekend

1. From the Whiteways car park, standing with the cafe to your left, take the bridleway past the metal gate and head into the woods. You soon enter Houghton Forest, a Forestry Commission woodland of mainly beech trees with the odd patch of conifer.

Whitewalls and Houghton Forest is a popular spot for ramblers, families, bikers and dog walkers and the wide, well surfaced paths and bridleways make it accessible even in those wet autumn and winter months.

When you reach a fork in the path keep le

Australian government to launch digital transformation strategy

The Australian government is to launch a new digital transformation strategy at the beginning of 2019, setting out a roadmap designed to make the country a world leader in digital government by 2025.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast last week, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said the strategy will include milestones and timescales to keep the country on track to realising its digital ambitions.

”I’m going to make sure that this strategy,

Australian government was aware ‘robodebt’ programme unlawful, emails reveal – Government & civil service news

Civil servants administering a controversial welfare debt recovery system run by Australia’s Department of Social Services (DSS) received advice that their operations were unlawful, a string of newly released emails has revealed.

The confidential email exchange, released to a Senate inquiry into the matter on Thursday, occurred between top officials working for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

On 19 November – the same day the government announced it was scaling back the ‘robodebt’ progra

Award-winning film 'I, Daniel Blake' to be shown for free in Bognor

A hard-hitting film about an unemployed carpenter struggling to navigate his way through the benefits system will be shown for free in Bognor Regis.

“I, Daniel Blake”, directed by Ken Loach was released in 2016 but was only available at a handful of cinemas across the country. It tells the story of a middle-aged carpenter from Newcastle trying to claim state benefits after an injury leaves him unable to work.

The film production company have now made it available to communities that missed out

A weekend walk on the Sussex/Hampshire border

1. Park up in the lay-by next to the Walderton village sign and then walk back out to the main road and turn right. Walk along the narrow pavement until the road curves around to the right and a smaller road peels off to the left. Turn down this quieter road walking past the houses and continue straight ahead following the twists and turns of the lane through the woodland.

This road is extremely quiet with only the odd car, cyclist or horse going past. Continue walking for approximately one mil

Calculated risks: the pathfinding role of government finance chiefs - Global Government Forum

Finance staff are playing an ever bigger role in strategic decision-making – helping to spot the financial risks in new policies or reforms. At the Global Government Finance Summit, Natalie Leal heard national leaders from around the world debate how to equip workforces for this crucial task

“Over the years, the role of the chief financial officer has really switched from being an accountant to being a strategic advisor,” said Christine Walker, Assistant Comptroller General for financial manage

Click and collect service for freshly-grown produce

Shoppers will soon be able to “click and collect” their weekly shop straight from Sussex farmers as a new scheme launches in Worthing.

Farmdrop is a global online marketplace which aims to cut out the middleman by putting customers directly in touch with nearby farmers.

Chief executive Ben Pugh said: “Our format is for people to do good honest local food shopping – for them to be able to source local groceries at a sensible price.”

Game-changer Mr Pugh, 35, from London, came up with the idea

Daily Must Reads, January 5, 2015

1. Selfies on a stick, and the social-content challenge for the media (David Carr / New York Times)

2. Netflix cracks down on VPN and proxy “pirates” (via Torrent Freak)

3. When reporting on data remember that those who don’t count aren’t counted (Natalie Leal / Online Journalism Blog)

4. The trait all media owners need (Hint: Omidyar, Hughes & Williams don’t have it) (Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily)

5. The virtues of Vice: How punk magazine was transformed into media giant (Jane Martinson / Guardi

'Devastating' Tory Attacks On Disabled People Cannot Go Unchallenged, Says Comedian

Comedian and actress, Francesca Martinez, is calling on the government to assess the full impact of cuts on disabled people.

Comedian and actress, Francesca Martinez, is launching a new petition calling on the government to assess the full impact of cuts to support and social care for disabled people.

People with long-term illness and disabilities have faced a number of changes to multiple benefits and support services during the government’s welfare reform programme over the past five years.

Downsizing for climate change: The tiny homes movement is growing in size | Natalie Leal

On a one acre plot in Bristol a collection of tiny houses will soon be springing up. This looks set to be the site of the UK’s first tiny homes community and as well as the self-sufficient homes there will be shared electric cars, allotments, an eco-launderette and a co-working space. This way of living could help to reduce climate change and potentially create a happier, more social community, co-founder of the Tiny House Community Bristol, Rachel Butler told local news site, Bristol 24/7.


Economic ventilators: how to build a stimulus package - Global Government Forum

The governments of locked-down nations agree on the need for vast cash injections to keep their halted economies ticking over – but European states are taking a very different approach from the USA. Natalie Leal explains their contrasting strategies

Since COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, it’s taken just four months for it to bring many of the world’s biggest economies to a virtual standstill, causing what Bpifrance executive director Nicolas Dufourcq has called a “financial heart attack”. Acros
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