Dear <<First Name>>
Apologies for such a huge newsletter this month, but there's so much happening, including details of two opportunities to invest in clean energy.
JULY MONTHLY MEETING "Why Save Seeds?"
Monday 15th July 7.30 p.m.
Quaker Meeting House, Whiteheads Lane, BA15 1JU
Our speaker will be Karen Skeates, a ‘Seed Guardian’ for Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Karen is a seed-saving enthusiast and has an interest in genetic diversity and food security. Telling the stories and histories of some special varieties of garden vegetables Karen will illustrate what can be accomplished by seed-saving and will give practical tips.
Preserving seed diversity globally is a key tool for adapting to a changing climate and Rachel Berger, consultant and former Climate Change Policy Advisor at Practical Action, will explain the importance of seed-saving by small scale farmers in an international context and give some examples of Practical Action's work in this area.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Monday, August 19th 7.00 for prompt 7.30 start
Scout Hut, St Margarets Hill BA15 1DP
The meeting starts with the Annual Meeting of the Community Interest Company and paid up CIC members will receive full details in due course at the beginning of August. This will last about 20 minutes. Roni Ross from BOACA (Bradford on Avon Community Agriculture) will then tell us about their exciting work and their plans for the future.
There will then be plenty of time for socialising - please bring drink and cold food to share. There is some parking at the Scout Hut if needed.
PETITION TO CHARGE FOR PLASTIC BAGS IN ENGLAND
- PLEASE SIGN
Following the showing of "Plastic Shores" at our June meeting, the decision was taken to launch a petition to urge England to follow Wales, Ireland and now Scotland and make a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags. The petition reads:
"Plastic carrier bags create litter and pollution as well as using valuable resources such as oil and water in their production, releasing damaging carbon emissions. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have introduced a charge of 5p for plastic bags and as a result have reduced their use by up to 90%. We, the undersigned, urge the government in England to do the same and for any proceeds from a charge for bags to be donated to environmental charities."
We already have over 200 signatures and almost everyone we ask seems to support the idea. Copies are available to sign at Christine's Sustainable Supermarket and Made in Bradford on Avon. We do urge you to visit one of those shops and sign it as soon as possible. We will obviously have copies at meetings as well. Once we have a good number of signatures (at least 1000) we will present it to our MP and hope he can take the idea forward. If anyone would like copies of the petition to gather more signatures please email email@example.com.
CFB will be participating in the Arts Festival which starts at the weekend. Between July 6th and 13th we have arranged a photography exhibition entitled "Clean British Energy" which will be upstairs at the Fat Fowl, Silver Street. This consists of 12 inspiring photographs that were the winners in a national photographic competition organised by Friends of the Earth. Well worth a visit.
On Saturday July 13th we are reviving the game of "Hippos and Hosepipes" which is all about water saving and which was much enjoyed at the Arts Festival a few years ago. This will be part of the activities accompanying "Noyes Fludde" and you can find us in the garden at the Tithe Barn workshops between 1pm and 5pm. Do come along and have a game but even better, if you have a bit of spare time PLEASE offer to HELP with the game. We are really short of helpers and more would be extremely welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can offer even half an hour.
MEMBERS NEEDED FOR THE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT GROUP (CIG)
This has been a happy group with seven regular members but sadly we have lost almost half of these in one go - two are moving away and one (temporary loss only) is having a baby. It is at the heart of CFB as, among other things, it organises the monthly meetings and a presence at outside events. It is a fun group to belong to - our last meeting was held in a sunny garden with glasses of Prosecco (well they aren't all quite like that but you get the gist) and we should emphasise that just because you are a member of the group there is absolutely no obligation to help, or even be present at, each and every event we organise. Meetings are held about 4 - 5 times a year as needed and can be day or evenings to suit members. If you would like to talk further about what is involved please ring 07507 782523 or email email@example.com
OPPORTUNITIES TO BUY LOCAL VEG
BOACA (the BoA Community Agriculture group) have lush salad and other veg for sale on the field (on the Bath Road, next to Frankleigh House) and they are truly delicious. They have been grown following the principles of organic gardening and the owners of the field for the past 15 years have never used chemicals on this land.
The BoACA growers are at the field every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They would be happy for CFB members to come along and pick their own vegetables from a variety that they have excess of according to what is ready, for example chard, spinach, kale, cucumbers, salad leaves and courgettes are growing well now. Please come with a bag or bowl and make a donation. If you would like more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, JJ at Avonleigh (just off the Corsham Road) is putting up a notice in the corridor between Christine's and Wrap, to let people know what veggies he has for sale each week.
BOACA's VEG BOX SCHEME
A reminder that BoACA will soon be launching its seasonal, local and fresh vegetable boxes. There are two box sizes available, small for £8 and standard for £12. Vegetables will be harvested from our field every Wednesday and you can pick up your box weekly or fortnightly from BoACA at 78 Bath Road, or from The Swan Hotel in the centre of town. Please contact Nicky Couch to order a box or if you have any questions - tel: 07980 692883 or email: email@example.com.
FROM THE BIODIVERSITY GROUP
Wildflowers at Bearfield Recreation Ground - some weeding out of couch grass is needed if you walk that way and can spare 5 mins of your time. If enough of us do some then the wildflowers will have a greater chance of flowering next year. Thank you.
Shay Parsons and Ros Edwards are both representing CFB on various aspects of the Town's Neighbourhood Plan and the group is beginning work on the policy-making stage. There is a topic group dealing with Climate Change, although obviously it isn't a discrete subject as it feeds into every other topic area in the Plan. However, we would like to know if anyone has experience of local power generation schemes as we're interested in exploring the possibility for this in BoA. If you have, please contact Shay on firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. Thank you.
ELECTRIC CAR NEWS
Shay also writes: "Sitting on my drive is a small black Renault Zoe (photo right). It looks exactly like a normal small black car, apart from the cable leading to a new box on the side of my garage. Yes, my electric car is finally here and currently being recharged from our solar panels. I've only done around 200 miles in it so it's still very new but so far it's great. It looks like it will take 4 hours to charge from empty, and I estimate I should get 80 miles from one charge, and possibly more. It's lovely to drive, very smooth and quiet apart from a spaceship-like drone below 20mph to warn pedestrians. I'll be doing a 62 mile journey next week to a venue which I know has a ZeroCarbonWorld charging point, so I should also be able to get back! If anyone wants to see it or would like more information, let me know email@example.com as I'm rather keen to show it off..."
FOOD GROUP NEWS
The next Sustainable Food & Drink Group meeting is on Tuesday 9th July at 7.30pm. upstairs at the Town Club. All welcome.
Have you seen the Local Food Map that we have developed with A Local Life? You can see where local food is produced and sold, and outlets can identify local producers easily. The first poster was recently presented to the Town Management Committee and is in the Town Council Office window. Businesses are still being added before a final print out for this year. We will progress to the next stage of printing free fold up leaflets and updating the BoA Local Food website subject to adequate sponsorship. To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The strawberries and herbs in the Incredible Edible planter we adopted with Country Gate Gardens in Lamb Yard are there for you to share. Thanks go to local businesses for both giving some sponsorship and helping with the maintenance and watering (especially appreciated now with summer here!).
We are visiting BoACA on Tuesday 30th July at 6.30pm to hear about and see the amazing progress over the last year. All welcome and please share lifts if possible. Bradford on Avon Community Agriculture Co-operative 78 Bath Road, Bradford on Avon, BA15 2PB.
where people live
A new group has just formed in town and is really excited about launching it's 20's Plenty Campaign for Bradford on Avon. The plan is to reduce the speed limit to 20mph for the whole town, greenbelt to greenbelt, not just in the historic centre. The benefits include a reduction in pollution and noise and a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, things close to CFB's heart. Towns that have already adopted the 20mph limit have reported that 20mph limits are safer. Hit by a car at 40mph, only 10% of pedestrians would survive. Hit by a car at 30mph around 50% would survive. Hit by a car at 20mph, about 90% would survive.
We're the 200th group in a movement that is gaining momentum nationally. We will begin our campaign in earnest in the autumn and hope to be able to come along and speak to CFB in the near future. In the meantime please feel free to contact us if you would like to become involved.
Our core group is currently made up of residents in the Trowbridge Road area, and so we're looking for representatives from other parts of the town.
Contact us at www.bradford-on-avon.20splentyforus.org.uk or for more information check out the impressive central website at www.20splentyforus.org.uk
In March 2011, the government called for collaborative action towards a new catchment based approach to protect and improve England's water environment. Communities within the catchments have contributed their thoughts and concerns through media such as poetry, photos and film. "River Story" is a film capturing the relationship of communities with the catchment of the Bristol Avon. It was premiered on a pouring wet day at Millennium Square, Bristol during the Festival of Nature. In 2012, Rowena Quantrill was interviewed for the film (again in pouring rain) on behalf of CFB, giving thoughts on our wish to see the river producing clean, renewable energy and on the sad effect of drought followed by floods on our nesting swans. The film can be seen here.
DEFRA & BATH UNIVERSITY RESEARCH
A couple of years ago a small group from CFB took part in some DEFRA funded research into "Piloting digital storytelling and action research as an approach to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy and behaviour change". The research was conducted by the University of Bath; it has now been published and makes interesting reading. You can read the final report here.
ANIMAL WELFARE PETITION
More than 20,000 members of Care2 have written to the European Parliament asking that animal welfare be considered in trade agreements. Foreign trade agreements have historically treated animals as commodities and not accounted for their welfare. It's time we put the needs of these sentient beings above agricultural profits. Will you help us gather more support by asking your friends to sign the petition too?
1. Help with questionnaire and win £50 (maybe)
CFB has received the following: "I’m a researcher at Aberystwyth University and I’m looking for adults willing to take part in a survey about the motivations of people who take action to combat climate change. I thought this might be of interest to members of Climate friendly Bradford on Avon."
See the questionnaire here. Participants can choose to submit their email address to be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of five £50 vouchers (type to be chosen by winners).
2. 'Green' Job opportunity
Local 'green' business, Green Gauge Building Energy are looking for a building services engineer. For a full job description see their website.
3. Invest in clean energy.
a) Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is joining forces with Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) to install a solar array near Cricklade, enhancing the area with a variety of environmental improvements at the same time. You can invest in the project with a minimum of £500 and expect a return of around 6% - 7%. The offer is open from 16th July until September 15th. and you can find more details on the WWT website from 16th July and on the BWCE website.
b) Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
A project to power 107,000 homes using a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay is under development. The first of its kind in the UK, the scheme intends to generate up to 250MW of renewable power by harnessing the tides to drive large turbines. It will provide large scale, predictable clean energy but unlike wind and solar will be completely independent of weather conditions making it the only renewable capable of supplying the grid’s base load. Friends of the Earth back this technology and preliminary studies indicate that The Severn estuary alone could provide up to 7,000MW of power, roughly equivalent to six nuclear power stations. For more information visit their website. The offer closes on 16th July.
Would you like to demonstrate your commitment to CFB's work and
become a paid-up member? It will only cost a one-off payment of £5.
You can find out more and download an application form here.
Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon Community Interest Company no. 07093166