Individual teachers or entire geography departments can apply for grants of between 150 [pounds sterling] and 1000 [pounds sterling] from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and HSBC Holdings, from their annual Awards for Secondary Geography. The grants, totalling 4000[pounds sterling], are aimed at enabling geography teachers to develop imaginative or innovative teaching materials, field trips or teaching methods. For details on how to apply (applications must be in by 16 July), contact Clare Grimes on 0171 591 3007.
In 1961, domestic water consumption in Britain was 85 litres per head per day; by 1997 it had increased to 160 litres. In spring 1998, four-fifths of dependent children in Britain lived in a family with two parents, compared with nine-tenths in 1972. These are just two of the fascinating facts in the 1999 edition of Social Trends, the annual publication from the Office for National Statistics, which this year includes a special article bringing together data on drugs, Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain. For more information, call the Office for National Statistics on 0171 533 6262.
PROTECT RARE WATER PLANTS
An independent team of scientists has been brought in by the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Authority to tackle problems caused by the proliferation of rare water plants on Hickling Broad, a site protected by European legislation. The team will assess the proposed solution to what has been dubbed "the Hickling Broad conundrum" -- how to successfully cut and remove the top part of water plants while enabling boating and sailing to continue without any adverse effects on wildlife.
YORKSHIRE LIMESTONE SAVED
In something of an unusual move, ARC, one of Britain's largest minerals extraction companies, has voluntarily relinquished its rights to quarry scientifically-important limestone pavement at two sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The distinctive rock formations at Ribblehead and Helwith Bridge, which have been carved over many thousands of years of geological activity by the action of glaciers and the corrosive powers of rainwater, will not be mined.