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The rare white-letter hairstreak butterfly was spotted in Scotland for the first time since 1884. Ian Kirk / Wikipedia

By Lucy Goodchild van Hilten

A towering elm tree stands 30 meters (approximately 98 feet) tall, somewhere near the border between England and Scotland, defying the fate that so many of its cousins met when Dutch elm disease ravaged the species in the 1970s. One of relatively few elm trees left, it is a haven for wildlife. Look closely and you can see the erratic fluttering of a small brown butterfly, with a W-shaped white streak across its wing.

This butterfly is making history: It's crossed the border into Scotland, where it has settled happily in a native wych elm tree and been sighted in the country for the first time in 133 years. The white-letter hairstreakSatyrium w-album—has been squeezed slowly out of its habitat over the last 40 years, but now it seems to be getting a helping hand from an unexpected source: climate change.

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A worker at the New Preston Road fracking site in Northwest England, where fracking is likely to start Saturday. Danny Lawson / PA Images via Getty Images

An anti-fracking campaigner has lost a last-ditch legal effort to stop the first fracking in the UK in seven years, The Guardian reported Friday.

Lancashire resident Robert Dennett had won a temporary injunction last week to stop shale natural gas company Cuadrilla from fracking in a well near Blackpool in northwest England. At a hearing Thursday, his lawyers argued that Lancashire County Council had not adequately planned for an emergency at the site on Preston New Road. But on Friday, a high court judge ruled that the council's planning was adequate and that fracking could go ahead.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Anti-fracking protesters Rich Loizou (L) Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe-Blevins (R) stand outside Preston Crown Court where they are set to be sentenced for public nuisance on Sept. 25 in Preston, England. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Environmental activists were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their anti-fracking demonstrations in northwest England.

Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, were given 16 months in prison. Richard Loizou, 31, was given 15 months. The three were found guilty of public nuisance offense by a jury in August, The Guardian reported. A fourth protester, Julian Brock, 47, received a 12-month suspended custodial sentence. He pleaded guilty for the same offense at a separate hearing.

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A Co-op grocery store location in Shoreditch, London. The Co-op Group / CC BY 2.0

Since 2015, all large stores in England have been required by law to charge five pence for single-use plastic bags in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution.

Now, major UK supermarket chain the Co-op is taking that one step further by phasing out plastic bags entirely and replacing them with compostable alternatives, becoming the first supermarket in the UK to do so, The Guardian reported.

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An ambulance crashed into a fallen tree from Storm Ali in Newcastle on Sept. 19. Owen Humphreys / PA Images via Getty Images

Storm Ali, the first named storm of the UK storm season, killed two and sent several to the hospital as winds of more than 100 miles per hour walloped Ireland, Scotland and Northern England Wednesday, The Guardian reported.

More than 250,000 homes and businesses in Ireland lost power and 30,000 lost power in southwest Scotland.

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The Walney Extension. Ørsted UK

The world's largest offshore wind farm opened in the Irish Sea on Thursday, covering an area of 145 square kilometers (55 square miles).

The 659-megawatt Walney Extension, located approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Cumbria, England, consists of 87 turbines and is capable of generating enough renewable energy to power almost 600,000 UK homes.

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Japatino / Getty Images

Local governments in England and Wales have said that only about a third of the plastic food containers recycled by their constituents are actually able to be processed in recycling facilities, BBC News reported Saturday.

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Drone photograph of the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road, taken Feb. 25. Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Cuadrilla Resources—a UK-based energy company set to horizontally frack Britain for the first time after two earthquakes halted its initial drilling attempt in 2011—is giving cash payments to residents living near its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

Cuadrilla said that households within one kilometer of the site will each receive approximately £2,070 ($2,700) and those within one to 1.5 kilometers will receive approximately £150 ($197) as part of its £100,000 community benefit payment for the well it is drilling.

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Paris smog. Damián Bakarcic / Flickr

The movement to ban the internal combustion engine is growing.

The European cities of Paris, Oxford, as well as the whole of the Netherlands, have recently announced separate proposals to phase out cars powered by fossil fuels.

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Flooding in Carlisle, England. Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

With flood risks and damage from extreme events increasing across Europe, homeowners in areas of greatest risk are still not taking enough measures to protect themselves.

Researchers reported in the journal Risk Analysis their efforts to discover how to motivate people to keep themselves safe and protect their property from flood damage.

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Minke whale stranding near Havergate Island in Suffolk. MCGA.

By Simon Evans

Last Saturday, two dead whales washed up on the coast of Suffolk, in eastern England, and a third was spotted floating at sea.

What happened next illustrates how news can spread and evolve into misinformation, when reported by journalists rushing to publish before confirming basic facts or sourcing their own quotes.

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