Touching Ground

In a time of climate turbulence, in an age of stupid, in a culture of intolerance Touching Ground are offering a short course for anyone who would like an opportunity to explore our need for wisdom and reconnection…

Over the course of four weeks the course will generate a space for conversation and exchange… investigating our need for renewed connection with the land, and exploring our abiding sense of our selves as part of – not separate from – a rapidly changing ecosystem.

There are many in the environmental movement for whom the context of human use and abuse of the world’s resources has been a life’s work. Conversations will recognise the place of grief, loss, anger and fear in this context, both on a personal and on a group level.

These feelings will be explored alongside the reassurance and power of ritual connection and grounding.

The 4 week course is offered at a special introductory price of £40. Numbers will be limited to ensure a small group of people. The course will meet from 7.00 – 8.30pm on consecutive Thursday evenings between the 10th – 31st January 2019

For further details & to apply for a place contact or phone Cecibel on 01600 750567. Priority will be given to those who can book all four evenings.

An HGN visit Jesse…

In November 2018, 4 members of HGN visited Jesse Norman in his surgery to discuss climate related issues and concerns effecting his constituents in Herefordshire.

Gareth Williams (HGN Chair / MD Caplor Energy), Kate Gathercole (HGN Secretary / Associate of New Leaf Sustainable Development), Nick Read (Director Brightspace Foundation / Agricultural Chaplain for the county) and Will Edwards (White House Farm How Caple / The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association), spent 90 minutes in discussion with Jesse. 

Having gathered ideas from HGN members about issues they would like raised (click here to read them all) the four went along with a range of ideas, and some specific asks of Jesse for actions to take forwards.  

Will Edwards invited Jesse to develop his understanding about the carbon sequestration benefits of grass-fed livestock, replete with an example he had prepared earlier – a clod of turf from White House Farm, rich with worms and microbial action.

Nick Read’s engagement with Jesse ranged widely across the moral ethics of international and UK climate needs and policy, and the mismatch of policies from central government and the concerns of Herefordshire communities. Nick has broad connections across Herefordshire communities from Herefordshire Diocese and the NFU, and he chairs the Local Nature Partnership. He wanted to explore how Jesse might contribute to important parliamentary debates that would be taking place on future agricultural and environmental policy, and how HGN might provide relevant briefings to him.

Gareth Williams focused amongst other things on concerns raised by the newly formed HGN Youth Council about plastics in our environment, and Kate Gathercole picked up on the failure of government to provide meaningful visible leadership on climate issues.  

Specific outcomes included: 

  • Jesse Norman committed to Nick Read that he could help to organise some Westminster meetings on specific issues. Jesse indicated that meetings were most likely to take place if we were able to demonstrate the breadth of the groups and networks we represented.
  • Jesse appeared to take on board Will Edwards concerns around grass fed meat, and seemed supportive.
  • He acknowledged the need for two way communication with the Network, and offered to come and speak to the HGN in a public meeting to address our community’s concerns about a lack of Government leadership on climate. 
  • He was keen to hear about the youth group and perhaps engage directly with them
  • He agreed to support Gareth Williams with a piece specifically focused on energy issues.
  • He suggested that he would value meeting with HGN representatives every 6 months
  • We agreed that we will invite Jesse to send us two articles per year on what he understands the Government to be doing to address climate change.

If you would be interested in contributing to the next HGN meeting with Jesse Norman please get in touch. We will be scheduling a meeting for March 2019.  

Free Funding For Broken Gas Boiler Replacements 

Residents on limited incomes could benefit from new funding to replace broken gas boilers this winter.  Herefordshire Council are one of only a handful of Councils nationally who are able to access the Emergency Central Heating Offer (ECHO) – delivered via the council’s energy advice service Keep Herefordshire Warm.  

A broken boiler during the winter months can be a worrying and stressful experience. For those in poor health, old age and with limited cash, the prospect of cold related ill health is very real – and many worry of ending up in hospital.  With widespread reports of pressures on the NHS in the winter months due to cold conditions, Herefordshire Council are keen to do all they can to help householders stay warm and safe in their homes. 

Robert, from Hereford, contacted Keep Herefordshire Warm after his old gas boiler broke down, leaving him and his wife without heating and hot water. Robert cares for his wife, relying on pensions and with little spare cash, they faced the prospect of entering the colder months without effective heating. He had been unable to access funding earlier in the year. 

Robert was referred for emergency support. Less than two weeks after contact was made a new boiler and radiators were installed throughout the home.   

The Keep Herefordshire Warm scheme provides free and impartial energy advice to local residents through an advice line, home visits and community events. Residents are supported to access grants to repair and replace heating and improve insulation. 

Many people are unaware of the risks that living in a cold home present to their health.  The risk of a stroke or heart attack rises, and other conditions such as colds and flu can become more likely. Just putting on another jumper or relying on one heater isn’t enough for many people. 

Keep Herefordshire Warm Project manager Oliver Rothwell said; 

“We often take calls from people concerned about neighbours or friends who are struggling – either with a crisis like a broken boiler, or often because they are facing daily decisions about whether to heat or eat. Many people struggle on with broken or intermittent systems, unaware that they could be eligible for help.  With the new Emergency Central Heating Offer and home visit support available, we hope to be in a position to help”. 

As well as funding for energy efficiency measures, the service can offer advice on energy tariffs and discounts, suppliers, and how to better use energy at home.  

The Keep Herefordshire Warm team can be contacted on Freephone 0800 677 1432 or through email at  Advice is free and impartial to all residents, and covers a wide range of energy topics.  Funding is subject to eligibility criteria, and residents hoping to access funding will need to provide personal information such as their household income or the benefits they receive as part of an assessment. 

XR in Herefordshire

Just over four weeks ago Extinction Rebellion (XR) in the UK was only known to a few hundred people. The Declaration of Rebellion was originally planned as a symbolic action – with perhaps thirty participants – to demand the UK government act in accordance with the climate and ecological emergency we all face. Instead, on 31st October around 1,500 people turned up and took part in spontaneous mass civil disobedience.

As this generated huge national and even international publicity, news of XR began to spread and with it, our ideas connected with thousands of people. Local groups came together and organised autonomously to take action, and around the UK local people are calling on their local Councils to declare a state of Climate Emergency.

Here in Herefordshire we’ve gone from a dedicated team of 5 people a few weeks ago to a march with songs and theatre on the 1st December that saw 500 people attend.

And now local groups are starting to form around the county to bring the XR message to our communities in Herefordshire.

So this is a message to anyone living in the North Herefordshire region who would like to help convince Bill Wiggins to take urgent action and ensure Herefordshire follows in the footsteps of Bristol, London and the Forest of Dean by declaring a Climate Emergency. Please contact Christina:

And if you would like to come along and see what XR look like in action, join a ‘Singing Emergency’ in Church Street Hereford on Wednesday 19th December, at 6pm – more details here. 

Or click here for a link to the Extinction Rebellion Herefordshire facebook page for general updates for anyone interested to find out more.

A Herefordshire Environmental Educators Forum  

Do you run environmental workshops with young people?

You are warmly invited to meet other environmental workshop providers at Pembridge Primary school on Thursday 6th December from 6.00pm-7.30 pm.

We will be sharing the work that we all do including: exploring the potential for collaborations, considering the possibility of creating an online directory, discussing the formation of a Little Green Schoolbook and sharing our collective wisdom.

The idea of networking like this comes from connections made by the Spring Greens Fair Schools’ Days as well as the wider Herefordshire Green Network. Please get in touch to let us know if you can make it:

Richie Cotterill- Spring Greens Fair and School Days 07777661252 or 01544 231236

Beth Williamson- The Green Schools Project Coordinator- 07729008775



Saturday December 1st

Meet on Castle Green at 11am for a Respectful, Peaceful, Inclusive day of action to launch Extinction Rebellion Hereford.

Please note that Extinction Rebellion is a totally Non-Violent Movement working with Determined Love for all life on Earth.


– Wonder at the joy of our stunning world and everything we want to protect

– Mourning for what has already been lost and what will soon be lost

– Determination to change the course of climate destabilisation and mass extinction for the better

Aims of the Rally:

– To launch Extinction Rebellion Hereford

– To raise awareness that time is rapidly running out to avoid climate catastrophe and to slow the rate of species extinctions ….. this is a ‘wake-up’ call

– To portray a true representation of our predicament and to put Jesse Norman on notice that his constituents know what is happening and demand government action

– To get people on our side and grow our numbers because for this movement to succeed we need MASS participation

The Declaration

Ben has sent the Extinction Rebellion Declaration to Jesse Norman to put him on notice that change must happen. Jesse has been asked to respond with his perspective on the Declaration’s demands.
During the day people will sign copies of it which we will gather together when we get to the Shire Hall and later given to Jesse Norman.
Please see attachment for the Declaration wording.

Set up for the theatrical aspect of the day:
Dress code…
Children and some adults dressed as animals / trees / ‘life’ / cheerful / colourful / celebratory of life please…painted faces encouraged
Face paining will be possible on Castle Green…early attendance encouraged
Some adults completely in black as ‘mourners’ please…bring candles in jars if possible

4 or 6 adults totally in black with black net headdresses will be carrying a coffin representing our Earth and all life upon it.

Possible pallbearers so far are , Bella and Bryony.

Other mourners will walk with the coffin bearers in solemn dignity.
Children and other adults will be joyful.

There will be flags, banners and placards available but please make your own too. Please make them pertinent to the theme. If you use the extinction rebellion sign of an hour-glass inside a circle representing the Earth, please remember to keep the hour-glass upright 🙂

Bring cameras. John will be videoing but the more photos the better. Send them in to the Hereford Times and maybe we could get a page of lovely photos. Send them to the FB page too….. XR Hereford

We are all crew and need people to take on these roles please:

– EVERYONE please be aware of safety. We will have children with us who will be enjoying themselves rather than thinking about staying safe. We will have older people and less able people too. Please care for each-other and the other people using the town with respect. We are all in this together and we need love for all, to help us through. Thank you.

– People happy to talk to the public, explain what we are doing and why, invite them to join us, invite them to sign the Declaration that will be handed in at the Shire Hall. It would be good to also have a sheet of paper to collect email address of people wanting to join this list please…..please ask them to write clearly! If we can’t read it we lose that contact and we need to grow this movement as fast as possible..thanks.

– People to hand out leaflets

– A couple of people with a donation bucket asking for funds as we’re going to need money as this movement grows. If possible please make your bucket attractive…maybe decorate it with pictures of wild-life that we don’t want to lose.

Running order

Speeches on Castle Green
– Rick Guest will open the rally
– Rumy Salmon
– Ben Salmon
– Someone yet to be asked
– Cathy Monkley
– Richard Priestley
Speeches will be less than 5 mins each.

We might do a practice ‘die-in’.

During this time on Castle Green there will be face-painting and we get the chance to sign the Declaration .

Then we march and sing through Cathedral Close to stay and sing a while outside the Cathedral.

Then we’ll proceed down Broad St. into High Town.

At some point there will be a ‘die-in’ during which The Declaration will be read. The pallbearers will be still, with the other mourners gathered around them. Around them will be all the other adults and the children. There will be a double drum beat, or a bell and all except the mourners will fall to the ground and stay still.

The exact details of when and where the ‘die-in’ happens will be dictated a bit by the circumstances on the day. We might even do it in a couple of different places.

Then we sing and march our way to The Shire Hall to end the rally.

At the Shire Hall there will be a couple more short speeches probably from
– Pat Ronan from ‘Wye Ruin It’
– Rob Palgrave and
– Diana Toynbee both from The Green Party
and the signed Declaration sheets will be gathered together to be handed in to Jesse Norman.

Going with the flow!

This is a guide only and may be subject to alterations as weather / people / circumstances dictate but the rally will happen at the stated time and place provided Castle Green is not 3 foot under water!

Immediately After The Event

Please join us at De Koffie Pot, The Left Bank for a gathering to celebrate what we’ve done, decide what was good, what we won’t do again and what we need to learn for next time. A general de-brief and rally-goers friendship making session! This will give us a chance to set a date for our next meet-up.

Important Singing and Die-in Rehearsal

If you can, please join us on Friday 30th Nov to practice the songs and the bit of theatre.
Meet at ‘Clear Space’ which is above The Friends Meeting House in Broad St, in good time to start at 7pm. We have until 8:30pm to get in good voice and all excited about the following day.


There are so many people to thank already and I am bound to miss people out who I am not aware of so please forgive me for that, but I’d like to thank:
Everyone for coming last night
Everyone who made that possible by looking after things at home
Nat for letting us have the room
Melodie and Friends of The Earth for funding
Rick, Toni, Ben, Nada, Petra, Paddy and David for doing so much organising
John for offering to video the rally
Kate for offering to bring clip-boards
Carrie for letting us borrow the coffin
Oscar and Sam for their enthusiasm about getting more young people involved
Bella for sourcing flag material
Everyone involved with banner, placard and flag production
Everyone who is happy to speak
Ben at The Rocket for being the leaflet distribution centre
Everyone who has taken leaflets around the shops and everyone who has agreed to put one up
Everyone who has invited family, friends or neighbours
Everyone who has talked about the rally / the issues with anyone
David England for that wonder picture ‘No Pomp’ on fb
And…everyone I’ve missed…thank you all.


Please continue to invite people to join us in the family friendly event…Ta

Onwards to our better world

Seed Swap 2019

Next year’s Seed Swap has been confirmed for:

Saturday 2nd February 2019, 10am – 2pm, at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford.


Come along and swap seeds, plants and tips. Even if you have nothing to swap, you can still join in and take home some seeds or plants. Newbies are always very welcome at this friendly event, and we look forward to seeing familiar faces.


For the first time there will be seed potatoes for sale – 18 varieties available, at a modest 15p per tuber. Great opportunity to buy all your Seed Potatoes!


·       Tools for Self Reliance charity – they collect old tools (so bring yours along), and also sell a wide range of their refurbished tools;

·       Tool sharpening service;

·       Cottage Herbery;

·       Composting advice;

·       Bees/Honey/Jam and more…


Free Talk at 11.30 by Kevin Alviti on Unusual Vegetables.

Kev is a knowledgeable and highly entertaining speaker. He is a seasoned, multi-skilled homesteader and blogger.

There’ll also be lots of advice and opinion on offer too…

For more information:

Email:, phone: 07880 730880

Facebook: Seed Swap Herefordshire

Help to build the Wellbeing Garden at Queenswood…

Queenswood Country Park have two new exciting projects which they’d like some help with!

They are looking for people to help create a Wellbeing Garden that will showcase wildlife-friendly and sustainable gardening techniques, as well as our ‘Buzz about Queenswood’ project, which will create habitats for pollinating insects.

You’ll be able to take part in a range of gardening and habitat creation activities, with no previous experience needed. Hopefully you’ll enjoy being outdoors in a place of natural beauty, learning new skills and forming relationships with others in a friendly environment.

All travel and parking expenses will be reimbursed. There’s also a woodstove heated yurt to keep you warm and sheltered whatever the weather!

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can either turn up at 10am on Mondays, meeting outside Queenswood Visitor Centre, or contact Katrina on 01432 530088 or David on 01432 372404 for more information.

Funding for your activities…?

community energy image
While Averil and Rebecca capably continue the day to day administration of HGN, the HGN Steering Group are in the process of putting together another round of funding applications to secure a bit more future for HGN and our work in the county – and we need your help…
The last major round of HGN funding was from Awards for All, and was aimed at providing some core development for HGN – including providing workshops to address needs you had all highlighted.
Now that we have a better level of organisational infrastructure in place, we’d like to make the focus of this next bid much more about support for your own work in local communities around Herefordshire.
…. Please could you answer a couple of questions for us:
  1. What do you see as the most pressing issues for your organisation or group?
  2. What are the most urgent issues affecting your community?
  3. What is the current focus of your organisation or group’s work?
  4. What would you like HGN to do in order to help you achieve your aims?
  5. What help do you need in order to work effectively with the issues affecting your community?
We would love to hear from a broad range of you in order to get a sense of what would genuinely be most useful as a next step for HGN.
We also have a few ideas for you:
  • In an HGN Steering Group meeting last week we wondered whether you might like support to develop your own community car share clubs, or community renewable energy / heat… ?
  • In discussions with other members of the HGN team we have wondered about developing the Repair Café / ‘Make Do and Mend’ model in Herefordshire as a way of bringing your local community together – the regular focus on repair, up-cycling and local food would provide a platform for deeper discussions within your community about environmental and energy issues. Would you be interested in receiving support to develop these activities in your area… ?
  • … Or do you have other very different ideas about what you would like funding to support.
…. Please let us know asap so that we can get this funding bid together soon … Ideally we would like to hear from you over the next 2 weeks.
Thank you 🙂

Joined Up Doing…

A message from Creating a Happier Healthier Herefordshire:

“There is no more money!”Richard Humphries (Senior Fellow The King’s Fund; Visiting Professor University of Worcester; SCIE Associate. NED of NHS Trust & Housing & Care 21) Hereford College January 2018.


Dear Friend & Colleague

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”(Margaret Mead)

We all know Herefordshire is a great place with great people doing great stuff! Did you know there are over 30 initiatives aiming to help the County? Some are funded permanently, some for only a year, others aren’t funded at all.

How can we work together better to create change?As previously for CHHH 1&2, held in Spring & Summer 2018, invitations have been extended to organisations, initiatives and networks working across Herefordshire. Our shared challenges: rurality and isolation, ageing and changing population, funding shortages and poverty, social responsibility and justice.

Develop a shared understanding of what is going on! There will be updates & presentations from involved organisations including ideas from each for a vision of HHH 2030.

We hope to

  • Connect and update on local developments.
  • Enable future conversation and collaborative working towards positive community change
Join us on 12th September 19.15 for 19.30 – 21.30 at Left Bank Garden Room, Hereford.

Please confirm your attendance and/ or interest in being added to the CHHH database to: Perry Walker (FRSA, Talk Shop UK Herefordshire), email:

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