Plastic… Here?

February’s Herefordshire Green Network Gathering was a lively upbeat discussion & workshop, with a focus on the growing and ever more complex issue of plastics in our environment.

Those who came along included representatives of communities and businesses from around the county including the Orcop Plastic Reduction Alliance, Hereford Community Clean Up, Sun Valley, Low Carbon Ledbury and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust local branches. There were also many of us for whom reducing plastics in our day-to-day lives is feeling increasingly urgent.

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, who is part of the Plastic Free Powys group, kindly made the trip across the border to encourage us to Refuse, then Reuse & Recycle. Powys is busy addressing the issue of plastics by challenging mindsets, and the Plastic Free Powys group has received a good amount of publicity for their supermarket days of action – buying vegetables and then good naturedly unwrapping and returning the single use plastic packaging to supermarket. Jane Denny of Herefordshire Council joined the discussions with information about Herefordshire’s ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign to reduce plastic litter, and agreed that reducing unnecessary plastic packaging at source is what is needed.

Plastics have grown into the fabric of everything we do – the way we eat, sleep, shop, play, communicate… It is a multisystem problem and will demand a systems approach to resolve it. With this in mind we separated off into ‘open space’ based table discussions about how we can address the issues of plastics throughout our culture: in our personal lives, in our communities, in the role of corporates and supermarkets, and at government and legislative level, nationally and globally.

Outcomes of the discussions for further possible action included:

  • Finding out more about the Courtauld Commitment 2025, and how we might get involved..
  • Banning recycling!
  • Working with local supermarkets to request a plastic free aisle (thanks Phil Hughes for this!)
  • Following the lead of Plastic Free Powys – but maybe going along to supermarkets with bundles of paperbags as a suggested alternative for shoppers
  • Supporting local and national water refill campaigns
  • Educating ourselves and our friends and families about the issue in order to begin to make changes in our habits.

Opportunities that emerged over the course of the evening that would be helpful in supporting these aims included:

  • Stop the Drop’s links with local businesses including BID and Old Market,
  • The benefit of relationship building with local supermarkets through litter picking – as in the work of groups such as Emma Jones’ Hereford Community Clean Up
  • Opportunities we might have to raise public awareness through activities at local events such as the Hereford River Carnival (4 – 5th May)
  • Links with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust community groups around the county


We also agreed that those of us who would like to get some local action going should meet and discuss next steps.

If you would like to be part of some local action on plastics, please email and once there are a few names on the list we’ll decide a time to meet – and where to start!

In the meantime check out the Plastic Free resources lists on the Herefordshire Green Network website, and send along your own additions.

Fairtrade Fortnight!

Millions of farmers and workers are still being unfairly treated despite working hard to provide the products we love. Unfairness in global trade is rooted in centuries of exploitation. Producers are fighting for a fair deal, supported by Fair-trade, earning their way out of poverty and transforming their communities.

For those of you in the north of the county, you might want to join in with Ludlow’s celebrations of Fairtrade Fortnight:

This year Ludlow Fair Trade Town Group is celebrating 15 years since being awarded Fairtrade status at the end of 2002. We’ll have events and activities throughout the year as well as in Fairtrade Fortnight.

Events and Activities in Ludlow:

Look out for Fairtrade displays in shops and cafes in Ludlow and choose Fairtrade products they supply.

Throughout the fortnight and beyond, St Laurence’s Church will host a Traidcraft stall of food and crafts

Saturday 3 March: 10 – 2 Traidcraft Big Brew, supporting Hidden Entrepreneurs’ Appeal, Wesley’s Café, Ludlow Methodist Church Broad Street. Also special fair trade food in Café.

Thursday 8 March: 10 – 2 Fairtrade Stall at Local Produce Market Castle Square

Thursday 8 March: 10 – 12 Schools day Methodist church

Saturday 10 March: 10 – 4 Traidcraft Spring Mini Fair Ludlow Mascall Centre – browse the new spring collection of handmade, original crafts and buy chocolate and Easter eggs ready for 1st April.  Download a poster here.

Sunday 11 March: Big Brew refreshments after the morning service in St Laurence’s Church, supporting Traidcraft Exchange Hidden Entrepreneurs’ Appeal.


And Ludlow Fair Trade Town Group will be supplying a Fairtrade football to a number of schools to help promote Fairtrade in schools.

Hay Ho Winter Walk

A wonderful outing for a late winter Sunday if you have time this weekend..

Tucked away in the Golden Valley is one of the largest early Norman castles in Britain, but have you heard of it? Snodhill Castle has been hidden in the hills, half-forgotten, for more than three centuries but thanks to the tireless efforts of the Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust it is hoped the castle will become well-known once more.

The site is not open to the public but we are delighted to announce that a guided walk and hard hat tour will be taking place in February. The trip is a collaboration between Hay Ho! Bus, the Trust and local walking holiday provider Drover Holidays. Places on the walk and tour are FREE but ticketed. In lieu of a charge for the walk you are very much encouraged to become a supporter of the Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust (£10 per annum) and/or make a donation to the Hay Ho! Bus fund.

The walk is scheduled for Sunday 25th February 2018 leaving Hereford on the 1015 bus and returning from Dorstone on the 1509 service. To reserve your place, please email Anna Heywood-Skinner on

If you can’t make the event, or would like to do some homework, you can find out about the fascinating archaeology, history and potential future of the castle on the Trust’s website –

For up-to-the-minute information about future events and scheduled led walks please check the Hay Ho! Facebook page.

.. & don’t forget to check the Herefordshire Green Network Calendar for other forthcoming events over the coming week.. as usual there is plenty going on.
And if your organisation would like to share your own calendar events with others from the HGN network, or share HGN events with your own groups, just get in touch – we can make it happen!

Hereford Bypass?

For those of you following the Hereford Bypass campaign, here is the latest update from WyeRuinIt:

Hereford urgently needs better buses, better support for cycling and walking, 20mph speed limits, and safe routes to school. The council intend to delay these much-needed improvements until the Hereford Bypass is built in 2025.

Traffic congestion and air pollution in Hereford is a problem NOW. It will get worse as more houses are built. A £200m bypass, which you acknowledge will ‘not on its own reduce congestion,’ is not the answer. We need lower cost, proven solutions now, not in 7 years time.

Please scrap plans to develop the Hereford Bypass before any sustainable measures have been tried.

A campaign is now available on 38degrees:


There are protests this week at Drover Wood, and coloured signs are going up to show where the road will go….

And on Wednesday 28th February at Left Bank Village, the bypass will be the topic of the Big Green Conversation hosted by Herefordshire Green Party, 7.30 – 9pm.

Ecological Footprinting

a photo of hiking boots

On Wednesday March 21st we are handing the HGN Gathering over to Pete Linnell who will run a session on ecological foot printing:

“Personal, Planetary, Political”

Whoever you vote for, whatever creed you live by, what really matters is the consequences of the choices you make.

The evening will outline a broad range of sustainability goals and critique a selection of indicator tools intended to test for achieving them. This examination will help us understand what effect our lives are having here and now and on everyone in the future, and include a nod to bleeding-edge policymaking and practice from other jurisdictions.

There will be a practical session on ecological foot printing (this is big picture stuff – NOT just carbon) – more on this before the 21st!

And Pete will also share some thoughts about existing policies in Wales and potential for adopting them in England.


Put the date in your diaries! Wednesday 21st March, 7.30pm – in our new home for our HGN Gatherings, the unexpectedly lovely Garden Room at Left Bank Village, Hereford, HR4 9DG.

Plastic Detox

We’re disappointed to let you know that the Marine Conservation Society are double booked and unable to attend our Gathering on plastic pollution, this Wednesday 21st February at 7.30pm.

However… we still have input from the fabulous Plastic Free Powys! and representatives of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust City Branch will come along, plus representatives from Herefordshire’s local Stop the Drop campaign.

This means our evening discussions will be less focused on plastic in our waterways, and more focussed on what we can all do locally, each time we shop / wash / write .. etc etc.

On the HGN website we are developing a list of local resources and ideas. Have a look at the list by clicking here, and come along on Wednesday with your own thoughts and ideas…

And we’ll talk about how we put our Herefordshire plastic detox aspirations into action!

Film Night Tonight!

As the county readies itself for another round of the increasingly phenomenal Borderlines Film Festival, two fabulous films from Herefordshire Green Network groups are clashing for your attention this evening:

At 6pm at De Koffie Pot, Hereford: The Bentley Effect This award winning film describes the successful (“eureka”) blockade of the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. Meg Nielsen who was part of the blockade will be in Hereford to talk after this Herefordshire Greenpeace film showing.

And at 8pm at the Market Theatre, Ledbury:  Demain / Tomorrow – a fundraising film shown by the Size of Herefordshire. A feel-good film, lively and bright in its delivery, Demain/Tomorrow asks “will this be tomorrow’s world?” Come and be uplifted. Tickets available here.

So … here’s hoping you manage to read your Friday Review on Friday this week – or you’ll have missed them!

Plastic Free Here?

Huge thanks to all of you who have sent along resources and ideas for our Plastic Free Here page. Click here to have a look at it yourselves…

And we’re hoping to see lots of you for some Plastic Detox at the Herefordshire Green Network Gathering on Wednesday evening. We’ll be exploring issues of plastic pollution in our waterways – and what we can start to do to change this story.

With panelists from the Marine Conservation Society, the City Branch of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, and the fabulous Plastic Free Powys!

Come with your questions, thoughts and ideas, and lets see what we can get happening here in Herefordshire.


Wednesday 21st February, 7.30pm, at De Koffie Pot, Hereford, HR4 9DG

A busy calendar…

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Herefordshire Green Network Calendar to keep up to date with details of activities around the county – and send along your own events for us to add too..

Over the next few weeks there is lots of variety to be found:

  • There are apple grafting courses at Applewood and in Cusop, a local community showcase in St James Hereford, storytelling in Putley…
  • The Woodland Trust are coming to Hereford on the 22nd February to support local action to save Drovers Wood from the Western Bypass developments.
  • Celebrations of International Womens’ Day in Hereford on 8th March look fabulous.
  • And on 20th March Richard Fishbourne from the Hereford City Branch of the Wildlife Trust will be offering a worm’s eye view of the garden…

All this and much more. Have a look:

Work with HGN

We have had some fabulously exciting applications for the HGN Event Coordinator role, who we will be shortlisting and interviewing over the coming fortnight.

If you are intending to apply, please remember that the deadline for applications is Monday 19th February at

To see the job description again, click on the HGN Events Coordiantor document via this link.

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