A new opportunity

Herefordshire Green Network are looking for an Administrator to work with us two days a week from January 2020.

To download the job description and person spec please click here.

Applications should be emailed to kate@hgnetwork.org including a covering letter and CV. The final date for applications is 5pm Friday 27th December 2019, and the interview date for successful applicants will be Wednesday 8th January 2020.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Severn Waste Services fund electric car for Wildlife Trust

Thanks to generous funding from Severn Waste Services, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has bought a new electric car for its staff who need to travel regularly to 55 nature reserves spread across the county, as well as to meetings.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Helen Stace commented: “The Trust has been working hard on ways to reduce its carbon footprint, so this donation is very timely. At our offices at Queenswood Country Park we have been working with partners New Leaf Sustainable Development to introduce sustainability measures. We have solar panels installed so we can charge the new car on site from the power these generate.”

Severn Waste Services have long been supportive of the Trust, and this donation is one of many made over the past decade. Jim Haywood Financial Director said: “The Trust do so much good work across the County and we are delighted to be able to support this brilliant, forward-looking initiative”.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust invited all the Herefordshire councillors to celebrate the launch of the all-electric BMW i3 at Queenswood, last week. Councillors were invited to take a spin in the car and given an update on some of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s current projects. Herefordshire Council has declared a climate emergency and is itself working towards a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Councillor Sebastian Bowen, HWT’s Helen Stace and Fernando Capelastegui, Director of Severn Waste Services

HGN people’s assembly signposts way forward

After the formal business of last week’s AGM, we held a people’s assembly to consider the question: What do members want / need from HGN over the next three years?

Putting the discussion in context, Kate Gathercole first explained that it is almost exactly ten years since a gathering of around 100 friends working in the Transition and wider green movement, met to establish a network in Herefordshire. Then, in 2016, HGN went from being a flat, members-run structure to having a steering group at the helm, with the aim of appealing to a wider audience in the county. 

As a result, the last three years have seen a professionalisation of HGN which has led to many brilliant projects and events – including The Great Collaboration which has enormous potential to help create a zero carbon Herefordshire – but it has also perhaps meant that the ‘organisation’ has lost contact with its members. So now seems a good time to ask again: who are we? And what do we want from our network?

Facilitated very ably by Kristina Jamieson – who has honed her skills through her engagement with Extinction Rebellion – the meeting split into four groups to discuss the question, using the guidelines and hand signals that XR people’s assemblies are based on. About half way through the allotted time, each group was encouraged to agree on three main points and then come back together and share them with the wider group. The collective response of the whole group to those points – again, communicated via hand signals – indicated which of them might be taken forward as priorities for the Network.

Group 1

  • HGN to act as an umbrella, for networking and communicating; spreading best practice; adding capacity, sharing ideas; help people get going;
  • Action / doing. Push forward what is happening with The Great Collaboration and make it pay dividends;
  • New things – help new ideas get going as people and new groups emerge; have ways to get people on the ground moving.

Group 2

  • Reaching out further, promoting higher profile throughout county. Two-way communication – not just sending out, having info coming in.
  • Supporting groups / businesses using expertise, eg. via HGN accreditation scheme.
  • Offering groups a simplified professional support to achieve their goals.

Group 3

  • It is important that we are collaborative and open, inclusive and non-political.
  • Official hosting of bureaucratic functions for members – practical support, shared learning.
  • Facilitating better ‘internal’ communications between members.

Group 4

  • Clarity helping people know what they can do and how to do it. Not just mitigation but also adaptation and resilience.
  • How do we work with and support the Council;
  • Support the network, and capture information and skills of members.

SUMMARY POINTS

The points that were most enthusiastically received were:

  • Doing things / action – for example, The Great Collaboration
  • Professional/practical support, using members’ expertise; helping people to get started
  • Members’ skills audit / directory
  • Strategic dialogue with Herefordshire Council
  • Communication – both internal (member to member) and external

NEXT STEPS

The new Steering Group will take these ideas and feed them into the job description for the new administrator, and the Great Collaboration project. The ideas will also be discussed at the next HGN Members’ Meeting, on Wednesday 22 January at 5.30pm. PLEASE put this date into your new 2020 diaries! We’d like to see and hear from as many of you as possible, to help steer the next dynamic phase of HGN.

Finally, many thanks to Kristina for steering us through the people’s assembly process so brilliantly, and to David Gillam for acting as note-taker.

Facilitator Kristina Jamieson explains how a people’s assembly works…

Hope springs with seasons greetings

If you are not sure about sending a paper-based Christmas card, but you want to send seasons greetings to your friends and loved ones, why not send them a Hope Spring Christmas eCard?  

eCards have a far smaller carbon footprint than traditional cards, which are made from paper and delivered by Royal Mail.

When you send a Hope Spring Christmas eCard, your donation goes towards funding clean water and sanitation projects in West Africa.  

So send a Hope Spring Christmas or Winter Solstice card this season: you will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to water poverty alleviation.

Click here for Hope Spring e-cards.

HGN’s AGM: good to go for 2020

There were 23 people at the HGN AGM last week (Wednesday 4 December), for the formal business followed by a lively people’s assembly discussion about what the network should prioritise over the next three, crucial years.

AGM BUSINESS

Chair’s report 2019 – Gareth Williams – Approved Gareth gave a brief summary of the achievements of HGN during the past year, which was greatly appreciated by those present. He was thanked by the meeting for his excellent chairmanship over the past three years. As his term as Chair has now ended, Kate Gathercole expressed the hope that a new role would be found for him within the network, so that we don’t lost his invaluable experience.

Treasurers report 2019 – David Gillam – Approved Income for the year was just over £14,000, mostly from grants and – for the first time this year – membership income. That means that, for the first time in HGN’s history, we have a surplus at the end of the year and are in a more stable financial position. In answer to a question from the ‘floor’, David confirmed that will we need to apply for more grants next year, as they are all project-based and short-term. There is a big lottery grant in process.

Election of Officers

Chair: Kate Gathercole and Nick Read were proposed by Gareth Williams and Beth Williamson as Co-Chairs; seconded by Jackie Jones and Beth Williams.

Vice Chair: Gordon Coppock (proposed by Kate Gathercole and seconded by David Gillam).

Treasurer: Wendy Ogden (proposed by Gordon Coppock, seconded by Temi Odurinde).

Secretary: Beth Williamson to continue.

Steering Group Gordon Coppock, Kate Gathercole, Temi Odurinde, Nick Read, Richard Urbanksi, Gareth Williams and Beth Williamson all agreed to continue as members of the Steering Group. After the meeting, Jackie Jones said she would value being involved, so she has also been co-opted. That takes us up to eight members, which means we have places for a maximum of two more over the course of the coming year. 

And that concluded the business part of the AGM. Now on to the more interesting stuff…

The Great Collaboration brings Herefordshire one step closer to a zero carbon future.

The first workshops of The Great Collaboration: Leading to a Zero Carbon Herefordshire are well under way with over 45 councillors engaged so far.

Herefordshire’s Green Networks new initiative, in collaboration with Herefordshire Association of Local Councils (HALC), is working with councillors across Herefordshire to identify opportunities arising from Herefordshire County Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.

Workshops focus on carbon cutting and community engagement across four key areas: energy generation, transport, building and agriculture.  Councillors have the opportunity to discuss these areas with experts and facilitators, swapping ideas and generating action plans that are unique to the challenges of their local area.

From local car share schemes and retrofitting buildings to community energy generation and tree planting projects, the solutions are out there, and our councillors are showing the ambition to make Zero Carbon Herefordshire a reality.

So far successful workshops have been held in Kington, Hereford and Bromyard with further workshops in Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye and Leominster planned for the New Year. If you would like to participate, or would like further information about the project, contact Connie Orbach: events@hgnetwork.org.

CORE STRATEGY FOR HOUSING

“We are what we build!”

A chance to explore housing issues in Herefordshire in anticipation of the Core Strategy review.

Two guest speakers from Herefordshire Council will report on the work they have been doing on self-build and addressing homelessness.

Please come and bring your thoughts and suggestions for input. The evening has been organised by Nancy Winfield from the Herefordshire Centre for Community Led Housing.

Join the discussions – 7.30pm, Wednesday 11th November, Left Bank Village, Hereford.

Building a greener generation

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has long been at the forefront of outdoor play with our long-running WildPlay programme bringing pond dipping, mud kitchens and camp fires to generations of children in communities across Herefordshire. 

However, in the last four generations, children have become increasingly, arguably dangerously, disconnected from nature. Recent national studies found that the average child spends just four hours a week outdoors – and this is not even in wild spaces. 

We have launched the Greener Generation appeal to raise £5,000 to deliver a new programme of environmental educational activities across the county. 

With the money we raise from this appeal we will run ten, full day activity sessions, open to children aged between five and eleven years on our Nature Reserves. An additional six sessions will be at festivals, county shows and large community events across the county.  The £5,000 we hope to raise will cover employing trained, professional staff to run the sessions and all the equipment the activities call for such as pond dipping nets, magnifying glasses and educational resources.

How you can help

Anything you can give towards this appeal would be very gratefully received, but, as a suggestion:

  • £17 could buy a pond dipping net to introduce children to the wonders of pond life!
  • £60 could buy a pair of junior binoculars which might just give a child the birding bug for life.
  • £300 could fund staff and volunteers to deliver a session at one of our nature reserves.

We have so far raised £2,320.46 of our £5,000 target – please help us to hit it so we can plan these sessions for Spring 2020!

Go to: https://www.herefordshirewt.org/greenergeneration

Hereford Civic Society – December meeting

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF CARBON DESCENT 

Leading by example and the opportunities for genuinely sustainable housing in Herefordshire

A presentation by Elly Deacon-Smith and Matt Hayes, who have recently set up on their own having worked for celebrated local architects Archetype, and are already recognised as leaders in the field of Passivhaus design.

Thursday 12 December; refreshments available from 7pm. At the Kindle Centre, next to ASDA, HR2 7JE.

Vision of community market garden for Hereford

Growing Local is gradually progressing its vision of a Community Market Garden for Hereford, and is holding its first PUBLIC MEETING about the scheme, in early January.

Growing Local would love to hear from HGN members, about any of the following:

• Do you believe this is the right development for Hereford? 

• Let us know if you might be interested in becoming a member of the scheme, for example by subscribing to receive weekly fruit and vegetables and/or offering volunteer time to the project. 

• Get in touch if you might be interested in driving the project forward in any way.  We need a dedicated team of people to make this happen! 

• Let us know if you have up to ten acres of land for sale or lease close to Hereford city that would be suitable for the scheme, or if you know of any landowners who might be able to help. 

• Please share with us your thoughts and ideas as we move forward, and of course come along to the public meeting on Wednesday 8 Jan, 7pm at the Kindle Centre, Hereford.

To discuss further please contact Pat on 07813 622890 or email info@growinglocal.org.uk

1 2 3 35