News and recent activities
Congratulations to Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC!
Winners of the Rural Vision Community Food and Local Supply Award at the recent Rural Community Business Awards (organised by Plunkett Foundation in London). Great news! Your commitment and hard work has paid off Annamarie, Andy and your team!
LDC Appoint a Climate Change Officer
Neil Young (no, not that one!) has been appointed as the Council’s long-awaited lead officer on all things climate. We will ensure that good communication is established with him and hope to set up a face-to-face meeting soon.
All LDC decisions will now require climate change and biodiversity to be considered and documented, a move we had campaigned on for some time. They are also carrying out a feasibility study for the provision of EV chargers on LDC and LCC land so watch out for any consultations or updates.
Day of Action for Climate Justice – 12th November
A group of just 6 local people attended the march in Birmingham (as far as we are aware) but better than nothing! The marchers made a lot of noise through the very busy city centre and hopefully raised the profile of climate action.
Learning opportunities, inspiration and handy hints
Energy Prices and Renewable Energy
Who understands where the ‘renewable energy’ element comes from in their tariff?!
This Which? Guide to understanding green energy tariffs provides some background and then an explanation of the ‘REGO’ certificates which are referred to. Not as simple as you might imagine!
Amazing stuff happening in this school, educating children on growing and cooking food. If only all schools could do this type of thing!
Much of the focus of the COP27 talks was on financial support for developing nations and those already struggling with the impact of climate change. Fjii is one of those countries. They have detailed climate change plans in place which involve moving whole villages due to sea level rises! Read about it here.
All the following are short films with an environmental slant and an important reminder of the individual’s power to affect change.
Eve is the intimate story of a nine-year old girl living in one of the oldest off-grid communities in the UK, Tinker’s Bubble. A fledgling climate activist, we follow her as she navigates her way back into traditional schooling after a moving off-grid and proudly standing up for what she believes in: the environment.
A family reconnects with the Amazon as Covid threatens their village. While millions of people around the world go into lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis, a family in the Ecuadorian Amazon opts to move deeper into the relative safety of the jungle. As they reconnect with dormant ancestral knowledge, away from the distractions of modern life, their affinity with nature begins to flourish. As news spreads that Ecuador might lift lockdown soon, will the family stay?
The Wolf Dividing Norway
Few things create a more heated debate in Norway than the wolf. For decades it has split up political parties, families and communities. It divides the big city and the rural parts of Norway, sheep farmers against conservationists. Norway has also received sharp criticism from environmental organisations across the world for how it handles its tiny population of critically endangered wolves. In this documentary, we take a deep dive into the conflict that this debate has created.
Sam and the Plant Next Door
Sam, 11, is always being told not to worry about the nuclear power plant rising next door, but for him there is lots to think about. Hinkley Point C will be Britain’s largest nuclear plant, and it’s only two miles away. Most of his classmates expect to work at the plant but Sam is determined to escape that fate. His dream is to protect the surrounding marine life. Like the fish, he feels unappreciated by the adults.
Lady of the Gobi
On Mongolia’s coal mining highway, Maikhuu dreams of a better life and financial security for her family. The more she drives her truck up and down this perilous highway the more she realises she is working for the very industry that is destroying Mongolians’ land-based livelihoods and forcing many into the highway industry. The road is riddled with accidents, toxic pollution, poor hygiene and corruption, and she is left wondering if the financial gain is worth the cost.
Ethical and Sustainable Christmas
We are all aware of how much waste there is at Christmas, whether that be buying gifts for the sake of it, buying too much food or the amount of paper/card that is used just to wrap a gift or send a Christmas greeting. There are lots of resources and ideas out there to help you have a more sustainable Christmas.
The December edition of CityLife Magazine has a useful article on ideas for gifts and our own ‘resource’ on the Transition website provides some of the facts about waste at Christmas.
We are blessed with a wide range of independent businesses in Lichfield District and we should all be supporting them when we can – none of this Black Friday rubbish! Harriet’s Plants, Woodhouse Farm, Apiarist Gin and Mercia Food Hub are businesses that are part of our Transition network so check them out first and buy products or vouchers from them if you can. Or alternatively, the many local organisations such as the Sandfields Waterworks Trust and the Canal’s Trust would always appreciated a donation.
Lichfield Wildlife Group have some ideas and tips on their Facebook page.
A new shop has opened on Tudor Row – Artisan Upcyclers - whose products are all made from recycled items – re-worked leather, teapots and cups turned into things, decorated bottles and jars. Go and check them out.
And of course, the Ethical Consumer website is full of facts about what you are buying and how ethical it is.
Earth Vigil for the Planet
Join this event organised by the Tamworth XR Group, at Speaker’s Corner, Sat 17th Dec from 5pm. “ Whatever the weather, we will sit in silence and hold the Earth in our hearts. By being visible to passers-by, we are speaking up about the climate and ecological crisis which needs our urgent attention. People are invited to just turn up and join us, sitting in silence for 30 minutes or say hello to one of our outreach people. Bring a fold up chair, cushion or yoga mat and dress appropriately for the weather. As it will be dark it would be good to bring a candle in a jar and a small poster or placard ideally hung around the neck. These vigils can be very powerful and moving, both for those taking part and those who witness them. In coming together in this way, sending our compassion to the planet, we trust that there will be an effect, in helping us feel more connected to the planet and the choices we make, and for some, in more spiritual ways. Whether of different faiths or philosophies, or no particular belief whatsoever, all are welcome.
Green spaces work
As usual, just a request for those of you who enjoy working outdoors to let us know if you would like to help on any of the wilding spaces or develop new areas. Boley Park area seems depleted of wildflower/planted areas and could do with something starting there. Could you help? There will be a ‘Growing Communities’ project starting in the new year, lead by the Nurture Community CIC group.
The paediatrician who heads up the WASUP group (plastic waste reduction) has been trying to get his local health authority (Walsall) to help with the safe disposal of asthma inhalers – surprisingly, a highly polluting item! You can read more about the problem here but if someone would be interested in taking up this campaign with our local health authority then please go ahead but keep us in the loop!
Dates for your diary
3rd Dec – Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road
3rd Dec – NCT Cloth Nappy Library. People can come along and ask questions about using cloth nappies or hire a kit (contains a mixture of nappies). It is £10 to hire a kit (+£50 refundable deposit) which allows people to try out cloth nappies without the initial upfront expense. 10:00-12:00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. firstname.lastname@example.org
6th Dec – Lichfield Wildlife Group - Talk on Mapping Staffordshire's Biodiversity from Rory Middleton and Victoria Edwards of Staffordshire Ecological Record. Wade Street Church, 7.30pm for 7.45pm start.
10th Dec - Whittington Traditional Christmas Market, 10-4pm
11th Dec – Festival Gardens wilding area working party, 10.30 -12. Meet at the site.
17th Dec – Earth Vigil for the Planet, Speaker’s Corner, Dam St, Lichfield. 5pm.
7th Jan - Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road
7th Jan - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10:00-12:00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. email@example.com
21st Jan – Lichfield Repair & Share Café, 2-5pm, Curborough Community Centre with an additional craft workshop, making flowers and foliage from recycled drinks cans, for use in an art installation at Shugborough in the Spring.
Transition won’t be holding regular meet ups for the group as such but will try and connect via events being held by Transition groups such as Forest Harvest so keep your eye out for invites!
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.
Bat boxes being erected and general maintenance
We carried out a survey of plants on the patch of grass down Tamworth Street and despite it being late October, we recorded over 40 species! We will do another survey in the Spring and see what else is lurking. This grass would normally just be mown every few weeks so it is great to see that there are a lot of well established plants there.
More bulbs have been planted and a bed prepared that will be planted up with plants to attract a wide range of creatures as well as looking lovely for humans! If you would like to help with long term maintenance of this then do get in touch. Helpers always appreciated!