Queenswood goes green with new solar panels

Queenswood Country Park & Arboretum has teamed up with local firm Caplor Energy to install solar panels to generate green energy.

New solar panels on the office at Queenswood Country Park

Solar PV electricity generating panels have been installed on the yard buildings, soon to be followed by a small solar thermal hot water system on the back of the Old Tannery building which houses the Visitor Centre and shop. This new technology will produce free electricity and hot water, reducing the site’s carbon footprint and also helping to reduce running costs.

This is the first major phase of exciting renewable technology plans for Queenswood led by managing partners New Leaf Sustainable Development and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. Since taking on the site three years ago, the team have been making other ‘green’ improvements including water-saving taps, low energy hand-driers, composting and a free water bottle filler to discourage single-use plastic bottles. New recycling bins also arrived this month while the Visitor Centre now stocks a range of eco-friendly products.

Queenswood’s Sustainability lead, Wendy Cotton said: “We are grateful for support from Caplor Energy and hope to have exciting news about further improvements for the site very soon. We want to showcase low impact, sustainable technology and lifestyles at Queenswood to make us as ‘green’ a site as possible while continuing to offer better facilities for visitors.

We’ve been lucky to have all of these improvements externally funded or supported and ultimately, the solar upgrades will help to keep running costs down on site too, so we can continue to invest in other areas such as the woodland playground.”

Gareth Williams, MD at Caplor energy says: “we are very proud to have supported numerous local community based projects over the years.  Queenswood project is hugely inspiring and such an asset to the county, we are very pleased to be working with the team on their renewable journey.”

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: ReclaimOurEarth@outlook.com

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.

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!

Small Funds – Resources, and Review

http://artofagency.com/infographic-theory-of-change/#XKSH

Thank you for joining us at this month’s HGN Gathering.  A summary of our discussions, and some of the actions we left with is below!  December dates to remember are 5th: members meet and AGM, 8th – Make Do at the Kindle, and 19th – Big Green Xmas Drinks.  Please tell us what you’d like out of future HGN events here.

Using the example of our own ‘Get Active’ project, we looked at how organisations can be clear on what they want to achieve, clear on their activities and measure their successes simply.

Some summary slides are here:

All links are now available in the ‘money’ section of the new resources section – please take a look at these and all the other categories, more being added all the time!
https://hgnetwork.org/directory/wpbdp_category/money/

Herefordshire Community Foundation
Two suggestions for developing a Theory of Change

If you’d like to do more with Rebecca on the subject of funding for small groups or engagement – you can contact her through her website here. www.rebeccatully.org.uk

Extinction Rebellion

We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species becoming extinct each day. Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or of science with impunity. If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is bleak.
When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship.
Join XR Hereford on a non-violent demonstration through Hereford on Saturday December 1st. Meet at 11 am on Castle Green Hereford.

Tell us what you want….

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. We’d like to make the focus of this next bid much more about support for your own work in local communities around Herefordshire.
So …. 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 week.
Thank you 🙂

FREE workshop on community led housing

Herefordshire Centre for Community Led Housing are offering you an opportunity to get to grips with legal frameworks and governance for community-led housing.  Learn what works best for different kinds of fundraising, and about the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing land.

This is a free workshop led by Anthony Collins Solicitors.  21st November 10am – 3.30pm includes lunch at Canon Frome Court, Ledbury, HR8 2TD.

Please phone Nancy on 07999 925545 to book or email as below.

Nancy Winfield
Project Development Manager
Herefordshire Centre for Community-Led Housing

hcclh.pm@gmail.com/ 07999925545/ www.hcclh.org.uk

Thank you Averil!

This week we say thank you – goodbye – and hopefully keep in touch! to Averil, who has been an exceptional administrator, networker and strategiser for HGN in the last six months. Averil will be heading to Herefordshire Wildlife Trust so we hope to work closely together in the future. And she’ll also be volunteering to make the increasingly popular clothes swap happen in our partnership events with the Kindle Centre.

We’ll also say goodbye to Rebecca at the end of November – please come and take advantage of her last gathering and training session on 21st November. We hope to keep working alongside Rebecca too in some way.

Still time to get in touch about taking on a role supporting the work of our network – applications open til November 30th.

November Gathering: Funds & Publicity

November’s HGN Gathering will focus on finding funds and designing your message.

Left Bank, Bridge Street, Hereford

Wednesday 21st November 7.30pm. 

As our current ‘Get Active’ project comes to an end, this is a chance to share what we’ve achieved and for members to benefit from some strong skill-sharing – also an idea of the services you can expect from the network as we clarify our membership.

You can find out more about becoming an HGN member here

We will be:

  • Sharing lots of info from Herefordshire Community Foundation about local funding available
  • Rebecca will be running some ‘Small Funds for Small Groups’ activities from her ‘VolunteersYeah’ training session
  • …and Martin Driscoll of Worcestershire Litfest will talk us through ways to use the dark pubclity arts to our advantage as environmental groups!

Come and join us to find out more about achieving the aims you have within your organisation or community group.  Please share and invite people by using the flier image, this link or on Facebook. Thank you!

Please let us know if you are coming to the gathering here – and which topic you are most interested in, so that we can tailor the evening accordingly.

 

Hereford Community Land Trust

OPEN MEETING: UPDATE AND Q&A WITH HCLT BOARD

7 – 9.15pm Thursday 29th November

Garden Room, Left Bank, Bridge Street, Hereford, HR4 9DG

Arrive from 6.30 for finger buffet, refreshments and social gathering

Dear All HCLT Members and Friends,

The last few months since the launch of the Building Momentum project in June have been very busy on all fronts, with significant progress made in several important ways.

We would like to share this with you, answer your questions, outline the continuing work programme, seek your active support and contributions, and request your formal approval for crucial next-steps towards getting community-led housing built in and around Hereford.

So, please would you put Thursday 29th November 7-9pm in your diary and to help us plan please let us know whether you can or can’t attend by clicking on this link: https://doodle.com/poll/w3wv6saknii3z28f

These are some of the key items we intend to cover, and would be glad to have your feedback on this with any suggestions.

Ø  VOTE YOUR APPROVAL for action on two specific sites

Ø  UNVEIL the brand-new HCLT website

Ø  FORTHCOMING EVENTS under the Building Momentum project

Ø  FOLLOW-ON FUNDING from Homes England

Ø  WORKING TEAMS Updates

Ø  HCCLH Developing relationship with this and other local organisations

Ø  NOMINATIONS to strengthen HCLT Board 

Ø  VOLUNTEERS for specific roles eg. social media / marketing

We hope you will be able to join us and please circulate this invitation to anyone you feel could be interested.

Again, please use the link: https://doodle.com/poll/w3wv6saknii3z28f

Best wishes

Nick Sherwood

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