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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
Herefordshire Council will have a public consultation on the Western “bypass” routes and other Hereford Transport Package measures between 6 February and 20 March 2018.
The public exhibition will be available to view on 6,7,8 February, between 11am and 8pm, in the pod next to The Coffee Corner at Old Market. And/or go to an evening session on Tuesday 13 February from 6pm to 9pm at Whitecross High School. The exhibition will move to Hereford Library on Friday 16 February where it will remain until Tuesday 20 March. The exhibition can be viewed during normal library opening hours and staff will be available to answer questions on Saturday 24 February and Saturday 10 March between 11am and 2pm. The exhibition and film showing the route corridors will be available to view at Herefordshire.gov.uk/HTP from Tuesday 6 February.
Click here for a document with information and thoughts from Herefordshire Transport Alliance and Wye Ruin It? about why they think a new bypass for Hereford won’t solve current traffic problems. Find them on Facebook for more news: Herefordshire Transport Alliance & Wye Ruin It
Please do respond to the consultation, and also send the Council any other comments or suggestions you may have.
For several years, Marcher Apple Network (MAN) has run a grafting course; it has been a superb day of training in grafting skills. Participants took four grafted trees away; reports mention these babies are growing vigorously. And we’re running another on this year! Tom Adams, who is a very experienced horticulturalist https://www.tomtheappleman.co.uk/ with many years of growing and tending fruit trees, will provide guidance. If you’re interested in joining the fun, and learning too, do please book early for this. There are about twelve places.
You should bring with you a pair of secateurs whilst other course materials will be provided. (You are welcome to bring your own grafting tools and graft wood if you wish). Yes, and please think where those four (yes, four!) trees you graft will be planted next winter. The course will be held on 18th February from 10.00 to 15:00 at Cusop Village Hall, HR3 5RW, Grid reference SO 23340 42362 via http://gridreferencefinder.com/ with a light lunch taken at a local pub or café in Hay-on-Wye. (Lunch is not included in the course fee).
The course fee is £30.00 for members of Marcher Apple Network and £40.00 for non-members. Please phone Daniela on 01568-750282 to confirm a place or email email@example.com
We have a small amount of money set aside to put together some HGN workshops and activities over the coming year – what shall we do with it! How would you like us to ‘get active’?
Does your group need support with fundraising and social media?
Or do you need something more soul supporting… many of us have been actively working on environmental issues for decades now. How do we manage to keep going in the face of such monumental changes all around us… do we need a workshop on grief … or emotional stamina?
Or shall we just do something? Plant trees, set up a community fridge, have a big community celebration?
The final date for all of those wonderful ideas you have about how to spend some money here now with our HGN groups is midnight on Monday 5th February.
4 wonderful members of HGN went along to the session at HVOSS a couple of weeks ago to learn all about the imminent changes to the law on data protection, and how it might effect us and our groups.
There is more information here for those of you who are interested to find out more for your own email lists: http://www.bhcommunityworks.org.uk/voluntary-sector/resources/data-protection/
Or email kate for the powerpoint shown at HVOSS.
Join the Spring Greens 10th Year Celebration: THE NEXT GENERATION, IT’S THEIR FUTURE
5th & 6th May 10am – 6pm daily at Court of Noke, nr.Pembridge, HR6 9HW
Showcasing Inspiring, Enjoyable & Healthy Solutions to the Difficult Social, environmental & Economic Issues which Confront Us Regionally, Nationally & Globally
A Family Friendly Event Exploring Innovative Skills & Ideas, Activities & Experimentation in Sustainable Lifestyles & Livelihoods
GET INVOLVED; Bring a Stall, Exhibition, Activity or Performance
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07777 661252
Thanks to all of you who came along to the HGN film showing at The Courtyard on Thursday night – and especially those who stayed and contributed to a very interesting discussion afterwards.
It seems the film offered a thought provoking but only fleetingly uplifting view of the challenges we face. We currently have the extraordinary opportunity to “change by design or change by disaster” .. how will we use it?
In recognition that we need new stories to help us bridge the gulf between here and ‘de-growth’ our discussions explored the successes of the Island of Lewis, and the potential for more community energy in Herefordshire.
Toni Fagan highlighted the need to safeguard and retrofit local community assets such as our village halls and churches, and Gordon Coppock mentioned a couple of potential funders for these local projects – the M&S Energy Fund and Power to Change funding, both of which are currently closed for applications but there is lots of useful advice for communities here.
We also discussed possible help with neighbourhood plans to address issues with footpath and cycleways in our towns and villages, and Wendy Cotton mentioned that CSE in Bristol are currently able to offer support and advice to communities. Click here for more information.
Our next HGN film showing at The Courtyard on 12th April at 8pm will be An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power …another “necessary essay from the sharp end of the global warming crisis”…
In the meantime lets keep developing our new stories of hope and change at the muddy green grassroots of Herefordshire.
Herefordshire Council are looking for individuals or groups “who make a positive difference to other people or the community as a whole, possibly with small things that usually go unnoticed”.
HGN groups do amazing things – here’s a chance to celebrate what you all get up to in your communities.
Nominations can be made via this link: http://socsi.in/HfdsCouncil_flZFI …