HGN announcement re Coronavirus

As everything goes into stasis around Coronavirus, we need more than ever to be moving forwards with our work as a community around the climate crisis.

So, we will hold members meetings and workshops via the online video platform, Zoom – which can handle meetings of us to 500 if necessary! We already use this for some HGN meetings and it has proved a very effective way to reduce the carbon impact of getting together. It is great that we are all set up to use it in these unprecedented circumstances.

The instructions about how to set up Zoom on your computer are shown in a document on the HGN website (Resources/HGN Documents/General) https://hgnetwork.org/mdocuments-library/.

If you would like to try out Zoom away from the pressure of a formal meeting some members of HGN will be online to support an informal introductory session and chat on Wednesday 25th March between 4 – 4.30pm. If you would like to join this chat please follow the Zoom download instructions and sign in for this meeting just before it starts by clicking this link: https://zoom.us/j/612814422

In line with many of you, we will be exploring new ways of working with our own communities over the coming weeks. We are looking at how we can support those who are setting up good neighbour schemes in local areas and sharing learning about how we increase our resilience and local links.

Details of our upcoming Zoom meetings and workshops, along with information about community initiatives will be coming out regularly. If you would like to share details of what you or your group are doing, please send details to admin@hgnetwork.org in the usual way:

  • an easily transferable and readable style
  • formatted in Word / or in the body of an email – not a pdf or jpg please
  • no more than 100-300 words
  • accompanied by a photo or logo for uploading

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing lots of you online soon.

Merry Yuletide….

So this is our last blog of the year before the still quiet winter moment of the solstice and its associated christmasy spirits take over for a short while…

What a year we’ve had with HGN… some fabulous work from Rebecca Tully and Averil Clother – and from our ever resourceful and resilient Steering Group. We have been very glad to have access to funding and support from Awards for All, Herefordshire Community Foundation, Greggs and Wye Valley Brewery… and indeed from you – our members. The introduction of a voluntary membership fee for the first time in 2018 was a big step – and we are hugely grateful to all of you who have taken this up so readily, and already made your donations to support our ongoing work in the county.

Over 2018 we saw a dramatic increase in organisations choosing to work with this us, plus a 60% increase in subscribers to our regular mailings, and a 60% increase in social media followers … add to that the presence of Extinction Rebellion in Herefordshire and the dramatic work going on around the globe to raise the profile of climate issues and it feels as though we are in a time with some great positive potential – whatever else might be going on out there.

As a Network we also have some very positive news. Our new Administrator, Alice Waddington, will step into role on the 7th January. Alice is new to Herefordshire and will bring lots of energy and expertise to her role with HGN. We’re very much looking forward to working with her – and to you all meeting her…

So .. over the coming weeks if you find yourselves gathered with friends and neighbours around festive fires, or walking out amongst the dark wintery woods and hills of Herefordshire, perhaps you will be able to take a moment of reflection on the year that has been, and with that bring a feeling of hope to the prospect of the year ahead…

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.  

An Invitation…

At this turbulent time, filled with so many potentialities, what better than to join a room of Herefordshire green network friends and colleagues – to consider the year that has been, and to look forward at what lies ahead…

December’s HGN AGM is an opportunity to reflect on the year’s work… to hear the inspiring stories about what others around the county and region have been working on, and to plant the seeds of those creative plans and actions we look forward to over the coming year.

Join us at Gwynne House, Left Bank, Hereford, HR4 9DG from 5pm – 6.30pm. Then in the bar at De Koffie Pot for a shared HGN style green drink, mulling on the year that has been and concocting for the year to come. Perry Walker’s ‘Talk Shop’ will follow at 7.30pm over in Left Bank.

Click here for the meeting Agenda, Chair’s Report, Accounts and AGM Minutes from 2017.

Hope to see you there!

POSTPONED – h.Energy Bike Ride in Hereford this evening!


We’re very sorry to say that we need to postpone tonight’s ride. A combination of both rain AND wind would make this neither an easy nor sociable ride, which is what we were intending!

The open house we were cycling to is still very much open!  Hope to see you there.

As the evenings will be getting darker, We hope to run the ride on a Saturday morning in November and we’ll let you know.

In the meantime:

This is a map of the general route we would have taken if you’d like to try it out.

The aim of the ride was to ignite interest and highlight some of the many rides happening already – here is a list and please share your rides with the Green Network so we can add to the list!

Herefordshire Council rides information

Winter Rides Coming Up

Herefordshire Wheelers Easy Rides – and thank you so much to the Wheelers for supporting the planning for this ride.

Hope to see you at other h.Energy events over the weekend!



Make Do and Mend!

Come and join us for our next Make Do & Mend session on Saturday, September 15th 2018 at

The Kindle Centre, ASDA, Hereford, 10am – 2pm

Bike repairs – Clothes Swap –  Household Repairs – Food and more.

Practical activities to save energy and money every month.

Come & challenge Brian – one of our Repairer’s – can you bring him a household item that he’s never fixed before?!

The Kindle’s Knit & Stitch team will be on hand to help with clothing and textile repairs.

Do you have a ‘make do and mend’ skill you can share on any of the days?  Please get in touch with what you’re able to do and what you’d need from us – resources, fee etc.

Kid’s Kitchen will be there to cook with the kids and Growing Local will be preparing & sharing a community meal.

Here’s how the CLOTHES SWAP will work:

10-11am Drop off the clothes you don’t want & collect your tokens (max. 10 items per person).

11am-1pm Select the clothes you do want & exchange them for your tokens.

PLEASE NOTE – We will only accept clothes that are in good, clean condition. We will NOT accept shoes, socks, nightwear, babygros, underwear, hats, scarves, gloves.

The Clothes Swap normally has a good selection of children’s, men’s and women’s clothing, which will be sorted into separate sections.

Any queries about the Clothes Swap, contact Averil: averil@brightspacefoundation.org.uk.

A similar event is also scheduled for 13 October 2018 to celebrate h.Energy weekend!

To volunteer or find out more about these Make Do & Mend events, please contact Rebecca: Email: events@hgnetwork.org

Facebook event for updates and to let us know what you’re bringing:


Thanks to the Big Lottery funding for helping to make this possible and our lovely partners The Kindle Centre and Brightspace.

August: A Social Gathering

We have no formal gathering in August, but Russell of Innocent Pilgrim has invited us to his yurt for a cider and cheese tasting – hurrah!

Russell will be opening the yurt from 7pm for a meet-up, social and tour of the apple farm. He will take you through some popular cheese and cider pairings, and more plans afoot to pair cider with food.

Please let us know if you can make it, and where you’re coming from so we can share lifts.

If you don’t let us know we may assume no interest so please do say!

The easiest place to do this is on the Facebook event, but you can also email events@hgnetwork.org.

Look forward to seeing you!

September’s Gathering will be back at Left Bank in Hereford, we’ll be checking in with our plastics campaign and welcoming Emma from the Marine Conservation Society with resources and ideas…

And don’t forget the start of the Make Do and Mend Saturdays at The Kindle – please spread the news far and wide – see you there…


Multigenerational Wisdom

Doing something… Doing something of worth…  Doing nothing… But doing it together.

Wednesday’s Gathering:  We heard stories of school kids and 90+ year olds, villagers’ doors being knocked on in icy winter evenings, communal meals… heartwarming ideas of multigenerational involvement that we can use in our organisations to get more people involved.
Thanks to Liz and Christine for being a torrent of ideas… and for living those ideas wih young baby Finn who was a brililant workshop member!
How can we become more intergenerational in what we do?  We are social beings. Part of this is doing things together.
We were asked…  “Who are the people you naturally click with?” Who’s your typical group member now?”  useful questions to get understanding who comes through our ‘doors’, and why.
Some local perspectives were:  we need to understand our own areas.  Looking back at our histories… Some areas have people who have lived there for a long time and have a specific shared history with the place.  This is a different shared history than those who have moved as adults for example and we should try and understand both perspectives when planning our events and activities.
All agreed: food is so important! Conversations ‘happen’ over food.  “Not just talking – activity together”
Recommendations for more on  the topic:

And an Organisation: The Beth Johnson Foundation

And if you’d like to quiz her more, you can find Christine in the Hopes of Longtown community shop – along with a heap of great magazines to peruse including Permaculture.

Next Month:  we’ll be checking back in on the Plastic Action Here campaign and hearing about Plastic Free Waterways.  More soon.

h.Energy is ON – Still time to be part of it if you email events@hgnetwork.org.  Looking for and exceptional UPCYCLED home in Hereford, or a One Planet Wales development close to the border…?!  And all the electirc vehicles you can think of!  Get in touch events@hgnetwork.org

Our new HGN Administrator!

We are very happy to announce that we have appointed Averil Clother to take on the administration of the Herefordshire Green Network.

Many of you will know Averil from her work over the past 7 years with the Brightspace Foundation (formerly Bulmer Foundation). She has often played an important role in supporting the Network over this time, and it feels fitting that she should become the safe pair of hands to take the Network forward into a new phase.

Averil messaged to say that she is delighted to be taking on this role with HGN and that she is looking forward to meeting & talking with Network members in the very near future!

Averil will be working alongside Rebecca Tully (our dynamic HGN Events Coordinator) and members of the HGN Steering Group.

Kate Gathercole who has been coordinating the Herefordshire Green Network since it began in early 2010 will be stepping down on the 1st August. She will continue to support the Network by joining the HGN Steering Group for the coming few months.

Averil’s role with the Network is made possible by funding from Awards for All. You will have the opportunity to meet Averil at the next HGN Members Meeting on Wednesday 19th September (5 – 6.30pm) – but she will also be around at HGN events in the meantime.

Welcome Averil!

FREE TRAINING – Fundraising and Recruiting Volunteers

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had a few more people to carry out the great ideas, or a pot of money to do them with?

A couple of ways coming up that we can building our skills and resources…

Small Funds for Small Groups – a locally-focused workshop here in Herefordshire

10am to 1pm Monday 2nd July

The Kindle Centre, Hereford


  • Look at an example completed small grant application
  • Hear from Herefordshire Community Foundation about grants available right now
  • Identify grants that could help us make great activities for our h.Energy weekend
  • Work on the first step of our own applications – how we describe what we do, and the impact of it, so that a funder will listen!

Tea, coffee and pastries at the start!

You should leave with at least part of a funding bid written – well worth a morning’s reflection.

Places are free but limited – please book here and we’ll confirm your place by 22nd June.

If you’re raring to go now, here is a fund with a deadline in two weeks – if you’d like support completing it please email events@hgnetwork.org

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

July will see some free, live, online sessions with our events and publicity coordinator Rebecca who is also an experienced volunteer management trainer. All welcome!

Three lunchtimes: 17th, 18th and 19th July covering: recruiting volunteers, keeping them on board and making sure it’s all legal too.

Sign up here

If you’re not sure what an interactive online workshop might look like, Rebecca will be able to explain after the funding workshop face-to-face!  The beginning of the online sessions will also include an orientation.

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