Tree planting and green spaces
We have continued to help Nick Burton of Forest Harvest with the planting in Festival Gardens to increase biodiversity there and it was great to hear that the proposal by Staffs CC to build a slip road through the edge of the gardens as been shelved. There was quite an outcry by Lichfield residents! So if you are walking through the gardens during the coming months, please take notice of the willow planting and the new beds as they develop.
We are also pleased to have made links with Monks Walk Garden. They are keen to build up their volunteer base too so if you are happy to help then get in touch (details on the Transition website). These ‘secret’ gardens are behind the former Lichfield library building and to the left of the college. They are open to the public for wandering and sitting in!
If you are involved in any green spaces or conservation work then do let us know.
Engaging with the County, City and District Councils on Climate Emergency and NetZero
Very little to report on at the moment - slow progress on engagement and progress on strategies. Rest assured we will continue to keep up the pressure where we can but do encourage you all to join in however you can.
Learning opportunities and inspiration
There are so many resources available now about how nations, businesses and individuals can reduce their carbon emissions. Some bring a sense of hope that humans can make changes to their lifestyles to drastically reduce their impact whilst others demonstrate what an enormous task it will be, with time not on our side.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates breaks down the sources of emissions into a few broad categories – making things, plugging in, and getting around – and Gates knows how to frame issues in a way that everybody can understand and engage with, without dumbing down the material.
Nigel Topping’s initiative, The Race to Zero is another ‘biggie’ - a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. What’s not to like about that?
In terms of being proactive in your own community, there are many case studies to read about and learn from.
The Transition Towns Network has been very active during lockdown, with the What Next? Summit and various follow up training sessions. Their website is worth looking at, especially to find out what other towns are achieving. Liverpool and the Derbyshire towns New Mills and Belper are all doing a great range of initiatives. Climate Action Ilkley are also very innovative and active.
Here’s a sweet ‘feel good’ story for you about a young girl in Wales taking on the publishers of her favourite comics/magazines. Heartening to read that change can be made if you keep pestering. A similar success was achieved by the two young girls in 2019 with the plastic toys given out by the burger chains.
There are some very enlightening episodes in the 39 Ways to Save the Planet series on BBC Radio Four, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society. Covering such topics as carbon capture, disposing of harmful CFC gases and the importance of peat bogs. An easy listen at around 30 mins per episode and very informative.
If you are wondering how you can have an impact on the massive issue that is climate change then simply take a look at where your money is invested (ISAs and Pensions in particular but the right banks are important too). ESG or RI funds are the way to go – where analysis has been carried out to understand the Ethical/Environmental, Social and Governance credentials of the companies involved. (RI is responsible investments). Why not take a look at where your investments currently reside and see if you can move them to funds and institutions that will benefit and respect the planet? And check out what your bank/building society are up to and move to a more ethical one if they are not acting in a way that you want them to. If everyone ensured that their money was being used for the greater good then we would all feel that we have been able to make a contribution. The Good With Money website is an excellent resource and this newly published Good Investment Review provides a real insight.
Supporting businesses to become more sustainable
When Panel Warehouse MD, John Blaskey, wanted to make his business eco-friendly, he asked his staff to come up with ways they could reduce their footprint on the planet.
In a short space of time, they were looking at all areas of their business such as removing single use plastic, reducing unnecessary printing and coming up with many ideas which helped the efficiency, productivity and found new ways of doing things.
They have since started donating to a tree planting fund which will replace the trees they use for their office panels and are continuing to look at ways in which they can make a positive impact on the planet.
It goes to show that changes don’t need to be big or costly to be effective.
If you would like a free 30 min talk on sustainability for your business then contact Shobana on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Waste and Carbon Footprint
An issue that many of you will be fully aware of - if food waste was a country it would have 3rd highest emissions! Each day, the UK throws away 24 million slices of bread and 4.4 million potatoes. Shocking, isn’t it?
Rob Whitehouse is running the Waste Savvy programme for Staffordshire County Council, to help educate residents on the issues of food waste. He has held a number of webinars that are free to listen in on (via their Facebook page) and will also be at events throughout the summer to promote the work going on. Volunteers will go into schools to run sessions with the students so do get in touch with Rob if you know of schools that might be interested. Contact details are on the SCC page.
There has also been a lot of discussion on food programmes about buying local and why it matters that you know the provenance of your food. This piece from WWF magazine is a handy guide.
Each month, we want to focus on one of the community groups or enterprises. This month is the turn of:
Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC
Annamarie and Andy Stone took on the development of this fabulous community farm and have completely transformed it. They have restored the enormous (3.5 acre) walled garden and grow a huge range of fruit and vegetables there. They keep a small herd of Irish Moiled Cattle, Gloucester Old Spot and Black Pigs and 150 chickens for eggs.
The farm shop is open every Friday or Saturday 11-4 and Annamarie attends local markets to sell produce. There are plenty of homemade jams and chutneys available, as well as cuts of meat and homemade sausages, and a good range of fruit and veg too!
A number of community groups visit the Farm to make use of the outdoor space and to learn new skills, and regular events are held such as apple pressing/cider making and Heritage Open Days activities.
Do go along and support the farm if you can or become a ‘Friend’ to support them on a regular basis.
Woodhouse Farm, Fisherwick Wood Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8QG
Local recycling options
Wendy Nugent has been working on the list of places where items can be recycled around Lichfield. Do send your suggestions if you know of additions. See end of Blog for details.
Dates for your diary
We have been invited to take part in the Green Gathering, being held virtually on Sat 5th June, and then in person on Sat 4th September in Stafford.
Repair Café – It is hoped that this will be able to start up again towards the end of May or into June so keep your eyes/ears open for details!
17th May – Transition catchup on Zoom with feedback from LDC on climate strategy. 1.00pm. Get in touch if you would like the link sending through or check out the Events page on the Transition website.
We welcome your suggestions for newsletter content, for Transition group projects and events, for groups that should be listed on our website and for useful connections.
We look forward to engaging with you.
Thank you for reading.
Recycling Points in Lichfield
Aerosols – Recycling Centre
Batteries – Tesco Extra (bottom of escalator); Aldi; Recycling Centre
Bedding (clean animal and duvets) - Bromley Hayes Cattery, Kings Bromley - turn into Common Lane, first house on left
Belts - Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Blister packs (tablets)
Cat carriers - Bromley Hayes Cattery, Kings Bromley - turn into Common Lane, first house on left
Cat, dog and pet food – as above
Carrier bags – Tesco Extra, Morrison’s car park
CDs - Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Clothes – Co-op (Boley Park), Co-op (Curborough Road), Morrison’s car park, Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot), Lichfield City train station
Coat hangers – Tesco Extra
Contact lenses and lens packs – Boots Opticians
Crisp packets – St Chad’s Primary school (may be other groups eg Scouts)
DVDs - Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Handbags – Co-op (Curborough Road), Morrison’s Car Park, Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Hats - Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Ink cartridges – Tesco Extra (Bottom of Escalator); Recycling Centre
Lego – The Buddy Bag Foundation charity (www.buddybagfoundtaion.co.uk)
Lightbulbs – Tesco Extra (bottom of escalator); Recycling Centre
Makeup – Tesco Extra (by tills)
Pet accessories - Bromley Hayes Cattery
Printer cartridges – Tesco Extra (bottom of the escalator); Recycling Centre
Reading glasses – David Arthur Opticians, Lichfield (and no doubt others)
Shoes – Co-op (Boley Park), Morrison’s car park, Co-op (Curborough Road), Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot), Lichfield City train station
Teddies – Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
Towels – Bromley Hayes Cattery
Toothbrushes – Bore St. Dentist
Toothpaste – Bore St. Dentist
Toys - Cash4Clothes (The Plant Plot)
See also https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Waste-and-recycling/minirecyclingpoints.aspx?fbclid=IwAR07akj4jtZErYBtiuGvECBsrhtjAiy-wabepnIWTNgDm6EdPJXN7Wt7cAo for items not mentioned on this list.
Cash4Clothes – Open 10am-12pm, 1.30pm-4pm, Closed Wednesdays and Sundays
Charity shops are another option of course and many may collect unusual items so just ask!