The Future of our Food

May’s Monthly Gathering was packed last night as we explored and celebrated the future of small farming with the exquisite film In Our Hands.

Thanks for coming, thanks for bringing energy and ideas to the room and for your ‘what next’ thoughts. Thanks also to The Bookshop for hosting and for Holland for her fantastic food, all from local producers.

…which brings us to the first of three actions…

Eat Local Food!

Mentioned last night was Big Barn – it’s a perfect resource to find local food producers and outlets but it could definitely do with more info about our area! If you’re a producer – please add yourself – and encourage other outlets to mention you if they sell your stock!

If you know a great producer who’s not on there – get them to add themselves! It does have a cost – £40 a year but with more Herefordshire producers, we the network can embed this in our site and encourage others to do the same. If you are a small producer but sell at the Farmer’s Market – they can mention you there. Let’s fill that map with our amazing producers.

Get the Film Seen!

Next local opportunity will be Saturday July 14th at Leominster Community Centre. Email if you’d like to supply produce, or help make it happen.   It would also be great to have a good Green Network presence there so email if you’d like to volunteer.

Each of the stories in the film has their own website to explore… including a beautifully written grower’s blog from Ru Litherland… And you can read more about the huge international movement of small farmers mentioned in the film; we are in good company…

If you are a small farmer – consider joining the Landworker’s Alliance to be part of this global network pushing for better farming,

Take Local and National Action

Linking into the discussions about schools’ procurement… here is the People’s Food Policy that we could use as a starting point for developing something more local.  Also mentioned last night was Herefordshire Food Link – any more information or updates on that please get in touch and perhaps these things can work together and build what’s already been started…

Tell our decision makers – the benefits of small farms ahead of the discussion on a new bill in the Autumn.  Email to be part of group action around this.


Thanks again for coming – see you at June’s gathering (20th June) where we will be checking in with the Plastics Action Here team, the Divest Parliament team and we’ll have a workshop on Sociocracy too.



Queenswood Project Officer

There is an opportunity for a Project Officer employed by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Herefordshire New Leaf, with the aim of managing the Heritage Gateway project at Queenswood.

For more information about the role please click here. Please note that applications must be submitted by Monday 14th May.


We Need Your Produce! Local Film Showing

Hello local producers!  We’d like to showcase your wares!

We’re screening In Our Hands: Seeding Change at The Bookshop restaurant in Hereford and the chefs are standing by to pair the film with a great menu.

One of the key takeaway actions from the film is ‘buy more from local producers’! and we expect to have 50 people attend, so this is a good opportunity to share your great produce.

If you’d like your produce to be part of the menu, please email The Bookshop Chef Holland on with an idea of what you’ll have in the week of 16th May, and cost, before Friday 4th May.  Thanks!

The film is being shown as part of two events this month celebrating farming and land – the other is theatre/folk show Three Acres and a Cow.   Please do spread the word about both and we hope to see you there!

We look forward to a delicious menu.

Carnival: h.Energy Area 2018

The h.Energy Village at Hereford River Carnival

Here’s all you need to know about our festival within a festival!

This year we are back at the heart of the River Carnival action next door to the Music Pool Tent.  The h.Energy Village is a collaboration between Herefordshire Green Network, New Leaf and Hereford College of Art, along with HGN’s own Plastic Action Here team..

All day long you will find… great activities that are low in carbon and high in fun! Have a look at the image or scroll down for more info and links.

There is still time to sign up to help!

  • What you can do…
  • Join the Big River Clean Up on Saturday 28th April, 11am – 1pm.
  • Be part of our Plastic Action Here team – join activities in the Art Lab & the #PlasticActionHere Marquee, customise #PAH! paper bags for Carnival stall holders & the Left Bank Etsy Market, & sign people up for Plastic Action Herefordshire after the Carnival..
  • Be a Recycling Angel and help the public to recycle their waste at the h.Energy Village’s One&Only onsite Recycle Station
  • Put Up & Take Down – put your weight behind setting up Marquees and gazebos for our Village stalls & for the Carnival generally…
  • Look after our small h.Energy Village Café
    Or there’s more… check our sign up form here
  • Tell everyone about our other great events coming up – In Our Hands Film and Three Acres and a Cow Folk Theatre

Or just email to let us know what you can do…

ARTS LAB– bizarre & fantastic recycled plastic activities: life-drawing classes with plastic models… storytelling from a scaffolding bed… plastic weaving and magnetic art… biodegradable glitter wrestling & face-painting from Fairy Love, plastic sculpture seating.. and much more.

In the PlasticActionHere Marquee
The Plastic Action Here team! Making and printing paper bags to give away, signing people up to local single use plastic action, and full of good advice and information about plastics & recycling… come and join in..
The Bean Café – a delicious bean burger bar.. with homemade cakes & lemonade too
New Leaf’s craftivism Cardboard Cut Out plastic action
Tilly & the Onion Project:
…And at 12.30 come and meet Richard Fishbourne of Bugs & Beasties and the Hereford Yazor Brook Restoration Project. Richard will talk about the essential part our local waterways play in the environmental health of the city, and the impact on habitats of plastic pollution.

On the Village Market
Bring your bike along for some free TLC, repair & maintenance with Dr Phil of the Herefordshire Green Network; get money saving advice from Money Saving Jane; have fun with recycled crafts & activities or get all the information you need about local environmental issues; buy plastic free sanitary towels and environmentally friendly household cleaning materials, plus craft made furnishings and craft beer!… Ooh and blow bubbles with a bike! Or fry an egg if you’d rather …

Plus our own One&Only recycling station– with Recycling Angels to offer recycling advice.

Electric vehicles & info, fire pits to keep you warm, and straw bales for seating…

Charge your phone with the help of Solar Kinetics.


In the gorgeous Oakwrights Cruck Frame, come to Wierdshire…

With critically acclaimed folk musicians, including Mark Stevenson, Jakey Boy Hughes, Martin Callingham and the infamous Vaginapocalypse.

Spring Greens 2018: Final Preparations

Calling all friends of Spring Greens.

Next weekend is the last work party before the fair. There is still much
to do at Court of Noke to get the site ready before we welcome the public on
the Early May Bank Holiday weekend.

If you are free on Saturday the 28th or Sunday the 29th of April and would
like to come along to Kington and help out with the final preparations you would be
most welcome. If you aren’t free on that weekend, but would like to assist
with Stewarding at the fair please do get in touch.

And there is still time to enter the yearly photography competition with the striking prize of the Rubbish Cup!


Building Better Opportunities

Marches Energy Agency is offering a new home visiting and intensive casework service as part of the Herefordshire Building Better Opportunities programme.

This will be in addition to the existing Keep Herefordshire Warm service.

Anyone aged 19 or over and not in paid employment can make use of the service.

Once signed up for BBO, participants can access support towards employment from the other BBO partners through a range of training, mentoring and volunteering opportunities.

MEA can help householders:

  • Manage fuel debts.
  • Access funding for insulation or a new heating system.
  • Reduce energy costs through tariff switching.
  • Understand heating controls and general energy use at home.
  • Read energy bills and take meter readings.

Funding will support projects in England that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

Contact Phil Newcombe

T: 01743 277118 / 07930 342832

Ecological Footprinting

Last Wednesday evening we handed over the running of the monthly HGN Gathering to Pete Linnell for a very insightful session on Ecological Footprinting. With some mind-bending facts, figures and data detective work, Pete took us through the opportunities to develop understanding about the effect our lifestyle choices are having on the world, both on an individual and a nation scale.

Ecological Footprinting is a tool to determine, for any human activity, the area of land required to permit that activity in a continuous and sustainable way. The amount of each type of land required will vary between activities and between persons, areas or nations. Estimates of global footprint impacts calculate a “fair share” based on global productive land available to the total population. Any person or nation whose activities use more than their “fair share” are denying critical resources to others elsewhere or especially in the future“.

Anyone interested to read more please follow this link to the full document of Pete’s talk (“Goals, Indicators, Footprints”) .

And if this inspires you to check where you are now against a quick carbon footprint calculator, this is one we all tried out in the session:  

For any more information, or feedback on the evening generally, please contact Pete:

Ecological Footprinting – the definitive list

After some problems with formatting on our last message, here is the way it should have looked .. which is altogether much easier to work with!


During Wednesday evening’s session we will be working through a couple of practicals; one very basic online example which almost everyone will be able to do without additional data, the other a much more detailed example using a spreadsheet. Not everyone will have time (or inclination) to collect all the data required for the latter, but the more people that do the better opportunity we will have to examine differences between peoples lifestyle impacts, and uncover any inbuilt flaws in the methodology. I especially invite anyone that believes they currently live a low impact or globally equitable lifestyle to have a go at the detail ! Information needed for detailed example. The calculator uses spending as a metric for ecological loads, so apart from the obvious (use of power and fuel) most of the data needed is asked for in annual spend. The tool distinguishes between new and subsequent user purchases. In addition it excludes spending or uses on business activity- it is ONLY about domestic consumption, so be ready to consider what proportion of your vehicle use for example is domestic and how much business. For the purpose of demonstrating the tool and its application ball park figures are acceptable, if you are able to give a considered estimate for each item that will suffice (ie you are not asked to produce every receipt- we are not HMRC!)

Unless stated otherwise all data are annual amounts.

Household income (all members)

Grid Energy use in kWh (from bills) separated by type.
Off grid electricity in kWh Solar PV or wind.
Bottle gas ( 1kg LPG= 12.77kWh)
Biomass- logs. 1 tonne = 3850 kWh
Coal (includes coal based fuels) 1kg = 8.05 kWh
Oil 1 litre = 10kWh
We can share the arithmatic on the night if you’d rather- just bring your quantities as you have them

Rent/ mortgage
Capital cost of RE and water plant (over 15 years)
If self built- cost of home construction (over 15 years)
Maintennace of dwelling
Goods and services for home maintenance
Water supply and other services.

Travel by amounts spent
Purchase of vehicles
O&M of vehicles (service, parts, tyres etc.)
Rail tickets
Public road travel by bus or taxi
Journeys on water

Travel by distance
Private use, petrol
Private use diesel
Private use 100% biodiesel

Food bought in
Meat and derivatives (exc. poultry)
Poultry and derivatives
Fish and fish products
Fruit and veg
All oils and fats
Dairy products
Grains, starches and starch products
Bread and other bakery products
Cocoa, chocolate and suger confectionry
Other food products (inc. sugar)
Soft drinks
Alcoholic drinks
Eating out and takeaway meals.

Food grown by you
Compost bought in
Non organic fertilisers bought in
Garden equipemnt purchased
Animal feed (only count that proportion used to produce food you eat)
Size of plot- include domestic buildings but not land used for business; in square meters.

Consumer goods
Tobacco (inc. vaping products)
Second hand clothes
Second hand footwaer.
Furniture, soft furnishings, carpets.
Second hand furnishings
Household textiles
White goods, appliances
Kithchen and table ware
Second hand kithchen and table wares.
Tools and domestic equipment
Second hand tools etc.
Medical products, appliances and equipment
Telephony hardware
PC, audio, TV etc.
Any other durable recreation and cultural goods
Other recreational equipment
Print media, books, stationry
Personal care
Any personal effects not already listed


Accommodation services
Financial services not already included
Other services not included
UK residents spend abroad (holidaymakers)

Savings during year

All fuel spend in year, vehicles and home

These last two are to be used to check sum the totals for error.



Looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday – and I reckon we might have to have a prize for anyone who comes along with all of this information ready at hand 🙂

Join us at 7.30pm in the Garden Room, Left Bank Village, Bridge Street, Hereford. 

HGN Members Meeting

A reminder that we are meeting on Wednesday 21st March, 5 – 6.30pm at Left Bank Village.

This meeting is an opportunity to meet others from around the county who are engaged in energy saving / awareness raising activities in their own communities. Find out what others are doing and share your own activities and ideas …

This evening’s meeting will also be an opportunity to meet Rebecca Tully, who will be working with the Herefordshire Green Network for the next 6 months (paid for by the rather wonderful Awards for All), supporting the development of events, workshops and social media outreach.

We will also be embarking on a discussion about the Network’s various forthcoming county events, including the h.Energy Village at the Hereford River Carnival (4 & 5 May), Spring Greens (5 & 6 May) … and a discussion about the shape of h.Energy 2018 .. shall we have a re-think for a new era… ?!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

A busy calendar…

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Herefordshire Green Network Calendar to keep up to date with details of activities around the county – and send along your own events for us to add too..

Over the next few weeks there is lots of variety to be found:

  • There are apple grafting courses at Applewood and in Cusop, a local community showcase in St James Hereford, storytelling in Putley…
  • The Woodland Trust are coming to Hereford on the 22nd February to support local action to save Drovers Wood from the Western Bypass developments.
  • Celebrations of International Womens’ Day in Hereford on 8th March look fabulous.
  • And on 20th March Richard Fishbourne from the Hereford City Branch of the Wildlife Trust will be offering a worm’s eye view of the garden…

All this and much more. Have a look:

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