APRIL MEETING - THE GREENEST IN THE LEAGUE
FIFA recently described Forest Green Rovers as the greenest football club in the world. Helen Taylor, CEO of Forest Green Rovers will tell us how and why they achieved this accolade. Recent promotion to League Two means the club can spread their sustainability message to an even larger audience.
Monday 16th April, 7.00 for 7.30pm
The Quaker Meeting House, 1 Whiteheads Lane, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1JU
MAY MEETING - WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR WASTE AND WHAT CAN WE RECYCLE?
On what we expect to be a very popular topic, Jess Thimbleby Community Engagement Officer, Waste Education Team at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and part of the Slim Bins project, will be telling us about recycling and that vexed and much discussed issue of what happens to our waste and what we can and can't recycle.
Monday 21st May, 7.00 for 7.30pm
The Quaker Meeting House, 1 Whiteheads Lane, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1JU
ENERGY GROUP - DOUBLE-ENERGY BOOK-KEEPING
“Zero carbon by 2050”. That’s Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon's goal, our headline, our aim. But how will we know? We need to measure how much greenhouse gas the town and community area is emitting, now and every year. We need to see how we are doing.
So CFBoA’s Energy group has produced a questionnaire, which we’ll be sending out soon. It just asks how much energy you’ve used in the last year – electricity, gas, oil, solid fuel and vehicle fuel. It’s the same for any size of household or business, and the info can be found on your bills.
If you prefer, there’s an electronic version that works out the carbon in front of you – total CO2e, carbon dioxide equivalent, the standard measure of greenhouse gas.
And why? If enough local households and businesses provide our energy-use data, CFBoA can see whether figures estimated by energy companies and the government are accurate. We can compare their top-down estimates with our bottom-up measurements. Double-energy book-keeping!
It’s a sort of carbon accounting. But that’s another story… and this is not the whole story.
SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND DRINK GROUP (SFADG) UPDATE
This month the SFADG had a productive meeting with Wiltshire Councillor, Jim Lynch, and the Community Engagement Manager for the Area Board, Peter Dunford. Many issues were discussed and it was agreed that a positive link should be maintained in the future.
Increased availability of local food
Woolley Grange Hotel Market Garden Plans: In an exciting development, a new veg box/ basket scheme based in the walled garden of Woollley Grange Hotel will be launched in June.
More local food availability is also being planned by the Lamb Yard Events team, with new weekly markets, starting this summer. Another new scheme will make it possible to order exactly what you want online each week from local producers, then collect once a week from Lamb Yard. Details are presently being finalised.
'Shocking' decline in birds across Europe as a result of pesticide use, say scientists
The consquences of our food choices on the wider environment is brought starkly to the forefront again by a study in France, reported by The Independent in March. The article
refers also to the situation in the UK as being just as alarming.
We have many local producers who have taken agri-chemicals out of their food production. Not all are registered as organic, due to the expense, so chat to producers or find out from your usual outlet how the food you enjoy has been produced.
BIODIVERSITY GROUP UPDATE
The latest edition of Wiltshire Life has an article on Swifts in Bradford on Avon and other localities written by Nick Upton who was invited to film some of our swift projects.
There are a few spaces on our joint Fritillary Meadow visit with the Preservation Trust on Friday 27th April, leaving at 9.30am and returning by 2pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to book a place.
A little owl nest box has been made for Westwood Manor. It is to be placed on an apple tree near to where the owl used to nest. A barn owl nest box is to be placed on a tree in Widbrook Wood, now managed by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The next nest box making workshop is on Sunday 29th April at Avonleigh 9am - 12 noon. Refreshments will be provided.
Tree preservation orders
: Trees within a conservation area are protected as long as they are a certain size (trunk diameter of 7.5cms at 1,5m above the ground). To find out if a tree has a preservation order contact your local planning office or check on their online mapping system. Trees with TPOs need permission for any work to be done to them.
Please note it is now bird nesting season
, it is illegal to disturb nesting birds. Visit the RSPB website
for more information.
GO-OP – A NEW APPROACH TO OFFERING RAIL SERVICES
Alex Laurie, Operations Director of GO-OP, was the invited speaker at the Annual General Meeting of the West Wiltshire Rail Users Group held in Bradford on Avon on Thursday 22nd March. GO-OP is a social enterprise or, more specifically, a public transport cooperative, whose stated mission, according to its website, ‘is to reduce the social and environmental impacts of travel by providing mutually-owned, high-quality and inclusive public transport services that encourage people to choose more sustainable options.’
Further, according to GO-OP’s website: ‘GO-OP’s ambition is to be the first co-operatively owned train operating company in the UK. However our ambitions go beyond just being an operator of timetabled train services on the National Rail Network. GO-OP will also support the development of car clubs, bus links and travel hubs to enable communities to access sustainable transport options.’
The cooperative’s first project is a train service from Taunton to Nuneaton, via Castle Cary, Bruton, Frome, Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham, Chippenham, Swindon, Wantage, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa and Coventry. Using the existing rail network, such a scheme would provide a service not presently available, linking the West Country and the South and East Midlands.
Planning and preparation is well advanced and, on the morning of the day that Alex Laurie spoke to WWRUG, he’d held an encouraging meeting with Great Western Railway whose cooperation GO-OP would require, particularly on the busy Swindon-Chippenham section of the mainline.
GO-OP are sourcing new locomotives and rolling stock and plan to train their own drivers. A phased introduction is envisaged utilising bimode engines which can be diesel or, when available, electrically powered.
The cooperative expects to lose money for the first two or three years of operation but thereafter to make a profit, and certainly by 2022.
Individuals are invited to become GO-OP members and will be offered shares in the hope that the cooperative might raise £2.8 million by the end of this year. There is confidence that passenger numbers will steadily increase as the service beds in, presently redundant stations are reopened and others improved.
GO-Op would appear to be an exciting and credible alternative to the various rail companies currently organised on a franchise system.
Why not join the cooperative as a member? Check out their website at www.go-op.coop
RETURN THE PLASTIC
On Saturday 7th April, campaigners in Bradford on Avon, Frome and Warminster returned own-brand non-recyclable plastic packaging to Morrisons and Sainsbury's, to highlight the problem of single-use plastic. There are plans to do the same on the first Saturday of each month until more action is taken to reduce plastic waste.
Hear more on BBC Wiltshire
at 1 hour 9 mins and again at 2 hours 10 mins into the programme. You can also join the Plastic-Free Bradford on Avon
Facebook group for updates on the campaign.
AIRBNB FOR CARS?
At the last monthly meeting, we watched a short film about electric cars followed by a discussion about the sustainability of all sorts of personal motorised transport. A suggestion arose that a lot of members own cars that sit for most of the time unused; and would it be possible to form a type of Airbnb for cars. Well it appears it might well be possible... More
Would you welcome such a scheme or similar in the CFBoA community area? Contact email@example.com with your thoughts.
SILVER ECO CHURCH AWARD FOR HOLY TRINITY
It’s great to hear that Holy Trinity Church has been awarded the Silver Eco Church Award - another step on the road to our community area being carbon neutral by 2050. The award covers the five key areas of church life:
- Worship and teaching
- Management of church buildings
- Management of church land
- Community and global engagement
Congratulations to all concerned. Onward to Gold!
Our photo shows the Swift boxes being installed in the belfry last year.
CALLS TO ACTION
Here are some ways you can do your bit in the campaign against climate change.
- Add your name to the Parliament petition to stop the incineration of any waste which could be recycled here.
- Watch this inspirational video and switch to Ecosia to support more tree-planting projects while you search the web.
- Sign this petition to replace small plastic bags for loose food products with brown paper bags.
- Respond to the call for evidence for the 'Tackling the plastic problem' consultation by 18th May.
- Request and plant a pack of bee-friendly seeds here.
- Sign the Campaign for Better Transport's letter calling for a fund for rail reopenings.
- Sign this petition to make crisp packets recyclable.
- Donate to Friends of the Earth by switching to a renewable energy supplier. More
SMALL STEPS TOWARDS CARBON NEUTRALITY
Having a spring clean? Trying to declutter but not sure what to do with that pile of unwanted household items? Rehoming your goods contributes to the circular economy
and maximises their use before eventually being recycled or sent to landfill.
You may already be a member of the local Freegle or Freecycle groups but you could also try Trash Nothing
which captures all the local recycling group in one app. Visit Freecycle and Freegle Tips
for more details.
Local selling sites
on Facebook provide free alternatives to eBay and Gumtree. All you need to do is add a photo of the item, write a brief description and set a price or offer for free.
If you've had an upgrade recently, you could consider donating your old computer to Computer Aid International
, an organisation providing access to technology and education across the world.