News and recent activities
We held a very constructive Transition ‘meetup’ at the Bitter Suite pub on 11th January and it was great to see some new faces there. As we will be holding a film night and gin tasting event on 28th Feb (details a bit further on in this newsletter!), then perhaps a meet-up on Thurs 7th March would be an idea, so that we can follow up on anything raised at the film showing/discussion and make some plans for the year ahead.
Gemma Wall was one of the attendees. Gemma was appointed as the Waste Minimisation Officer for Staffs CC in September and has got of to a brilliant start at bringing about changes at all the recycling centres across Staffordshire and introducing some new initiatives.
There is a ‘Repaint’ scheme starting up where usable paint that is dropped off at the Centres can be taken by anyone for reuse. Staff will sort the paint brought in to ensure that it is in good condition still and then people will be free to take what they want. It costs SCC an awful lot of money each year to dispose of unwanted paint. A great resource for community groups too if needing to revamp premises or do arty projects.
Gemma is also putting together ‘home starter packs’ consisting of secondhand goods which are still in good condition and usable that might otherwise have been put into skips. The packs are then given out to people leaving prison or perhaps escaping domestic abuse.
Groups or individuals who might be able to rehome other items can register with the sites to be part of a scheme to pick up items left in the Katherine House containers (large blue shipping container at the Lichfield site). If Katherine House do not want certain items then they will leave them in there and if you can show that you are putting items to use to benefit others (could be something that gets repaired or upcycled and then used by a community centre for example). All ideas helping to cut down on waste.
It was great to meet Nicky Jones (and husband Will!) from Spark in Burntwood too. Nicky runs the Babybank scheme, amongst other things! We did do a Spotlight on the group in one of last year’s newsletters but we just wanted to share how much they are doing for the community and for families who really do need support. Hats off to Team Spark! Here is their current timetable of activities, just to show you what’s going on.
ReThink Food initiative for Staffordshire. A lady called Diana Smith is spearheading this group and has connected with a wide range of groups, individuals and businesses who are concerned about the current plight of our food system. Diana is keen to get an effective network of suppliers, producers, teachers and so on to benefit the whole county. Shropshire has a very successful food initiative in place and it is hoped that a Staffordshire one can be set up. If you are interested in being part of this network then please get in touch with Diana (firstname.lastname@example.org) and take a look at the Shropshire Good Food Partnership website for reference. We can contribute to this network here in Lichfield with projects like the ‘Growing Communities’ one which Nurture are running again this year.
Repair Café sessions have become increasingly busy and great to know that the word is spreading. If you know of somewhere where a poster could be located that you would be willing to keep an eye on/update then do get in touch.
Home insultation initiative just launched with Community Home Solutions and supported by Staffs County Council and Lichfield District Council. Further details can be found via https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Warmer-Homes/Staffordshire-Warmer-Homes.aspx or https://www.communityhomesolutions.co.uk/grant-funded-schemes.html
Stychbrook Leisure Centre proposals. Diane Harrison attended the planning meeting but found it most unsatisfactory. Inaccurate information about the form of heating to be used and a general dismissiveness of concerns about noise from the pitches and lack of joined up public transport plans. Diane will continue to follow up on areas of concern.
The Grace & May Home store at the Plant Plot garden centre has increased its range of liquid and powder refill items (shampoo, soap, washing up liquid, cleaning products, citric acid etc) and is open Saturdays and Sundays at the moment or look online for more information. They also have some Terracycle recycling bins and hope to increase the coverage of those soon.
Woodhouse Community Farm are preparing for the showing season so visitors might be lucky enough to see Bull Stewart, Cow Belle and calf Priscilla or bull calf Buster out for a walk. They hope to be showing their rare breed Irish Moilies at Staffordshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire and Three Counties Shows this year.
Lichfield Cathedral’s Lent Lectures will be a series based on the theme ‘Faithfully Political’, looking at issues that will dominate the narrative of a General Election, expected this year (homelessness, migration, law and order). The Climate Crisis, and it’s impact upon daily life will surely be one of these, and they are pleased to have Andy Atkins, Chair of ‘A Rocha (UK)’, coming to speak (7.15pm - Wednesday, 6th March) on how as people of faith can use our vote and place in the public square, to make changes that will address the existential crisis of Climate Change. The lecture will be followed by group discussion, and a chance for groups to ask questions.
With support from the County Climate Action Fund, Lichfield Cathedral have purchased a touch screen dedicated to its environmental activities. Material is still being uploaded but do take a look when you’re next in the Cathedral.
Lichfield District Council are recruiting for this role – Policy & Strategy Team Leader: Environment & Communities. The closing date is today (26th January!) but whoever gets this position will be a crucial connection for us and many other groups around the District. Useful to see the remit of the role.
Transition - Ideas and projects for the coming year – ‘open garden’ dates for showing/skill sharing gardens with veg growing and/or wilding spaces; the Great Big Green Week in June – what could we do for that?; a group visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales; Fuse Festival 12th-14th July – have some activities and a ‘green’ presence there? Also form a Climate Choir to perform at it (currently being looked into).
Learning opportunities, inspiration and handy hints
The Resilient Garden by Tom Massey (copy available to borrow via Philippa). An excellent and very clear guide.
The concept of doughnut economics is being talked about a lot. But what is it?! Read about the concept here.
Not the End of the World by Hannah Ritchie. This is a data based discussion with a very positive slant. Hannah is well respected and has great positivity about what CAN be done.
The reports feeding back on the local ‘green conversations’ held around Staffordshire last year and which some of you attended.
Two handy articles about heat pumps here, something many of us will need to learn about in the next few years. Good to see that research is showing that they are effective. And this visualization is great at explaining how they work!
Countryfile on 4th Feb as Lawrence Oates of Burton Conservation Volunteers may be featured on there (if he hasn’t been cut from the filming!). He certainly deserves some recognition for the mazing and varied work that he has been involved in for the past 30 years across Staffordshire.
TED Countdown: A New Climate Vision – excellent range of talks and inspirational people.
Planet Critical: podcast journalist Rachel Donald interviews people confronting the climate crisis, revealing what is really going on and what needs to be done.
Sustainability Champions podcast – highlighting the people, ideas and innovations protecting and healing the planet.
Transition film night
Wednesday 28th February, 7.30-9.30pm Shenstone Library, Main Street, Shenstone
The Economics of Happiness: a short film.
"Localization is the best way to repair our ecosystems, our societies and ourselves."
Come and join us for an evening of thoughtful discussion on how making small changes locally can help with the bigger picture.
Hosted by Transition Lichfield and the Shenstone Library Environment Group, we will show this short film, followed up with discussion about some of projects happening around the District, with a positive slant to it all! And to keep us in the positive frame of mind, attendees can sample the delights of the locally produced, bee-inspired gins courtesy of The Apiarist! No ticket required but please book in so we can cater for the right number - email email@example.com.
There are lots of opportunities for people to help out with planting, maintenance, planning and so on with a range of projects going on. Please get in touch if you would like to be on our list of contacts so that we can get in touch and let us know if you have specific skills or interests. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book a place at the Lichfield session (8th Feb) of Future’s Thinking Consultation Events, organised by the Globe Foundation. The events are taking place across each Staffordshire district in Feb 2024, plus one online workshop, to enable people from all different backgrounds and sectors to take part and talk about climate change/environmental concerns. Link to book your local one here.
Findings from discussions will be brought together at a Staffordshire COP event, which is taking place at Staffordshire University on 15th March. Click here to book your place and/or stand or for further details on the project, partners, sponsors and other events please visit the Staffordshire COP website.
Are you worried about the climate emergency, and want to take some positive action? Join Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunties, Sisters, Daughters and allies (everyone welcome really!). We believe in the power of Mothers and caregivers to demand climate justice. We know that the least responsible for the climate crisis are also the most impacted. Please join us for this peaceful action.
Likely to be held at Speakers’ Corner, Lichfield 11-12pm but contact Clare Whitehouse to be kept up to date – email@example.com
Dates for your diary
27th – Shenstone Library Repair Café, 10-12.00.
26th to 28th - RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch
31st – Sausage Making Workshop, Woodhouse Community Farm, 2-5pm. Booking essential.
3rd - Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB
3rd - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10.00-12.00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd – Burton Conservation Volunteers. Washlands litter pick 9.30-12 noon, meet Washlands car park, Watson Street.
4th – Burton Conservation Volunteers. Milford training locals to manage 2 community woods.
6th - Lichfield Wildlife Group, talk by Nicola Lynes on Transforming the Trent Valley legacy. Wade Street Church Hall, Frog Lane, Lichfield WS13 6HL. 7.45pm. £3:50.
7th – Lichfield Science & Engineering Society talk “The Scale of Human Impact During the Anthropocene” Prof Colin Waters. Lichfield Garrick Studio, 8pm. £8 non-members.
8th – Futures Thinking Workshop, Lichfield Guildhall, 1-3pm
17th – Build your own nestbox with SinCH. 1.45-3.30pm Great Haywood Memorial Hall, Great Haywood.
Come along to assemble a bird box from a kit provided by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. £6 per box. Email email@example.com to book (places limited to 20)
17th – Lichfield Repair & Share Café, 2-5pm, Curborough Community Centre, WS13 7NY.
24th – Shenstone Library Repair Café, 10-12.00.
28th – Transition/Shenstone Group film night and gin tasting. Shenstone Library, Main Street, Shenstone. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you intend to come in case plans changed and you need to be notified.
2nd – Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB
2nd – Burton Conservation Volunteers. Washlands litter pick 9.30-12 noon, meet Washlands car park, Watson Street.
3rd - Burton Conservation Volunteers. Milford - training locals to manage 2 community woods.
5th - Lichfield Wildlife Group, talk by Joan Lockley, West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue. Wade Street Church Hall, Frog Lane, Lichfield WS13 6HL. 7.45pm. £3:50.
6th – Lichfield Cathedral Lent Lecture, Andy Atkins of A Rocha, 7.15pm
7th – Transition Meet-up, 7.00pm Bitter Suite pub.
9th – Mother’s Rebellion gathering, 11-12, Speakers’ Corner Lichfield
9th – Great Imagining, Chase Leisure Centre, 10-4pm.
15th – Staffordshire COP, Staffordshire University, 10-3pm
If you have walked past the Three Tree Triangle wild area at Festival Gardens then you may have noticed something new! A mound of soil with a tree trunk protruding! What's that going to be then, I hear you say?
Well, we have been planning on making a 'living creature' of some sort for a while and have finally got round to starting one! The mound will be planted up and various bits added to make a 'creature' of some sort. We won't spoil the surprise but keep your eyes peeled as the project progresses.
Nurture Community CIC worked so hard in 2023 to pull off a great project which involved people of all ages and backgrounds getting their hands dirty and growing veg! Here is some detail, taken from their final report.
Managed by Nurture CIC, with support from Community Partners (Brand Remarkable, Worship Food and Emma Cooper Artist), the project aimed to support local community groups to grow food crops which can be used in cooking classes and for educational purposes. Recipe sharing was encouraged with the production of a cookery book and online resource. This was funded by Tesco Groundworks and Transition Lichfield after a grant was obtained from Staffs CC Climate Change Fund.
The project supported groups from all generations, bringing isolated communities together to build intergenerational connections and friendships. Sessions were tailored around planting, creating and cooking. Beginning in June 2023 and concluding in October 2023, there were eight weeks of sessions with a weekly theme, with 16 sessions across two groups in total.
Session 1: Design, Sow and Grow Week
Session 2: Allocate Equipment Week
Session 3: Plant Week
Session 4: Create Recipes Week
Session 5: Cooking Week
Session 6: Vegetable Print Week
148 beneficiaries were impacted over the course of the project, including staff (from the care home and youth club) who were given new skills and activity ideas for their ongoing community support.
This pilot project involved two groups with differing outcomes. The Spires (Care Home) group exceeded expectations by cultivating crops, incorporating them into their menu, through discussions with the residents and chef, and starting a gardening club in late June. The unexpected positive aspect was the level of community involvement, driven by residents' interests and expertise, that continued outside the time of the face-to-face contact of the project and has developed further since the project was completed.
The project improved residents' moods and inspired participation in various community initiatives, including the Crop Club. It boosted their confidence and facilitated skills sharing with staff. Other team members, such as the chef and grounds staff, also contributed, which was an expected benefit.
Furthermore, the project uncovered neglected Mexican tomatoes in the garden, motivating families of residents to join in sessions like vegetable printing. This intergenerational connection enhanced the overall project narrative, addressing residents' self-esteem and mental health while positively impacting the community.
For Fun Club Hub CIO (the youth group), additional sessions at Beacon Park allowed the leaders to actively engage in community projects. Parents also became involved, highlighting an unexpected intergenerational aspect, taking it beyond the youth's ages (mostly between the school ages of Years 7-9.) They consistently supported the project's direction, including a Saint Foye cleanup at Beacon Park and discussions about finding a community space.
Peapods and herbs were grown for members to take home, and the neglected Saint Foye space was revitalized through collaboration with Lichfield Parks, leading to a volunteer cleanup event. Both of these were unexpected, valued additions to the project. Additional dates have been pencilled in to continue the clean-up in the latter months of 2023.
There were lots of lessons learned...
- Intergenerational projects are vital but challenging due to scheduling constraints, including timeframes, lunch breaks, and visitor availability for both those over 60 years of age, and those who are of school age.
- It’s essential to respect existing routines and engagement patterns, which helped to spark curiosity among participants in intergenerational activities.
- Make the project relevant to participants by linking it to their favourite foods, creating a literal relationship between planting and enjoyment.
- Consider health considerations, especially in cases of dementia, and provide physical prompts, like hard copy pictures, to assist with memory to support their participation.
- This project challenged our, and staffs, assumptions about care home residents' interests and autonomy, empowering them to express their food preferences and choices.
- Plan for at least two, possibly three, facilitators for more direct 1:1 support, especially when residents may have difficulty writing or marking.
- The project team had underestimated the level of interest from participants from all age groups, many engaged with the project through social media, or internal word of mouth, and became invested in its success as it developed. This meant participation numbers grew over the length of the project term.
A website was created by our partners, and used throughout the project:
It's not often we get surprises at Transition Lichfield but an email came through from a local domestic cleaning company (Sparkle18 Ltd) saying that they wanted to make a donation to us, to use for an environmental project so in return, we are linking to them in this blog to help spread the word about the Lichfield cleaning offer they have. Find out more here:
We will of course keep everyone up to date on how the donation has been spent. Thanks again Sparkle!
News and recent activities
Repair Café and International Repair Day
The recent Lichfield repair session co-incided with International Repair Day and the launch of a campaign to get the Right to Repair brought into UK law. You can read more about the campaign here and contact our MP about it – shocking to read that the UK will be number one in the world for the amount of electrical waste we produce per person! What a sad accolade!
The session proved very popular with around 40 items brought along and the clothing upcycling workshop was well received, so thanks to Debbie from Missfit Creations for hosting that. Maybe Lichfieldians are bucking the trend?
“Welcome to Lichfield” Signs
Litter Legends have taken on responsibility for improving and maintaining the areas around the ‘Welcome to Lichfield’ signs that can be found on the main routes into the City. Volunteers will be planting up new or existing troughs with bulbs and plants and keeping on top of their maintenance. Well done to them!
Start ‘em young!
Nurture Community CIC’s ‘Growing Communities’ project has proved a great success! Members of Fun Club Hub youth group have loved raising and tending their veg and flowers (as have the slightly older residents of Barchester Care Home who had a wonderful crop of courgettes!). Recipes are going to be shared in a cookery book shortly, that will be sold to raise funds to expand the growing project for next year.
Spark in Burntwood are doing a great job of encouraging children and their families to embrace recycling. A lovely picture of a ‘recycling’ toy being enjoyed!
Stychbrook Leisure Centre proposals
Take a look here to see images of what the proposed leisure centre might look like. We will be keeping a close eye on the planning process via Lichfield District Council.
Climate Scorecards for Councils
Check out how well our Council has done on climate action since they declared a climate emergency in 2019, compared to other UK councils.
The Apiarist Lichfield Distillery
The beekeeping/honey gin/whiskey/rum producer from Stonnall are opening their lovely local distillery in November. Follow them on social media to find out more - @theapiaristco.
Chris Baines’ talk on Second Nature attracted an audience of 70 and there are lots of follow on activities planned. Last year the Cathedral entered the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ and the Diocesan Churchyard Award schemes. This year saw it leaping forward to “thriving” in the former and “Gold” in the latter, with plenty of encouraging comments. Preparations continue for an application for Gold Eco Church in January.
Learning opportunities, inspiration and handy hints
Did you know that the UK can actually produce enough energy from solar and wind?
A national citizens assembly on biodiversity loss was held in Ireland– very impressive event and report.
Boyan Slat was scuba diving off the Greek coast when the epiphany came. Surrounded by marine life and more than a few plastic bags, the then 16-year-old remembers thinking: “Why can’t we just clean this up?” A decade later, and after dropping out of his aerospace engineering degree to start non-profit the Ocean Cleanup, Slat is dedicated to confronting our polluted seas.
The Right to Grow movement (using council owned land to grow food) has had a positive outcome in Hull.
We can highly recommend signing up to the Guardian’s ‘Down to Earth’ weekly email. Some excellent coverage of a wide range of issues - positive stories as well as areas of concern.
Sunday 22nd Oct edition of the Sunday Times Home section has a ‘complete guide to retrofitting’ feature. Good to see big papers like that covering the topic. (Pam has a copy if anyone has difficulty accessing it online).
Some positivity for a change – TED talk from a data scientist, explaining that the current generation of young people might turn out to be the first sustainable one.
The True Cost – a film we may have highlighted before but worth a watch to learn more about the ‘true cost’ of our clothing.
If you have a little spare cash to invest in something that benefits others then take a look at Shared Interest and Lendwithcare. Both offer a way to ensure that your funds are helping people in other parts of the world who might just need a little financial boost.
Podcasts on Spotify (and may be on other platforms!): ‘Outrage & Optimism’ and ‘Sustainability Champions’.
Crafters – don’t forget to check out the Craft Barn at Chasewater before you buy any new materials! They have a vast selection of fabric, wools as well as general crafting equipment and materials at the fraction of the cost of other suppliers, and all profits go to Saxon Hill Special School. Open Wed, Fri and Sat 10-2pm.
Two sisters on a mission to help people live more sustainably. Launched in May 2020 with the aim of bringing greener options to the public. Their newly established shop has a wonderful array of eco products including beauty, stationery, kids items, vegan and homeware. They also have a range of household cleaning and laundry refills and a gift box range.
They have Terracycle recycling options – you can drop off Pringles tubes and bread and cheese packaging.
Online as well as the shop and they plant trees with every online order received.
Find them at The Plant Plot Garden Centre, Stafford Road, Lichfield, WS13 8JA. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays or online at www.gracenandmayhome.co.uk.
We will try and make the 2nd Thursday of each month an informal ‘meetup’ date from Jan 2024 where updates and ideas can be shared. We will hold them at 7pm at the Bitter Suite pub but other venues may be an option from time to time or the meeting might be replaced with an event such as a speaker or film showing.
The last one for 2023 will be 9th November (December too busy for everyone!) and then back into the swing on 11th January.
Green Conversations – 29th November
An initiative to provide an opportunity for organisations, community groups and members of the public to discuss issues relating to nature, the environment, sustainability and to network with other likeminded people. Organised by Support Staffordshire, Transforming the Trent Valley, Lichfield Re:Cycle and the City Council – book via Eventbrite.
Repair & Share Cafes
The 4th Nov session at Burntwood will include a craft session with Nurture Community CIC – making Christmas decorations which will be used on the community Christmas tree in Lichfield Cathedral and at the Garrick Theatre.
Back at Lichfield, the November 18th session will have a calligraphy/lettering expert there to teach some new writing skills and you can try your hand at willow weaving with Ellen Spry, and make a Christmas ring or star. All FREE!. And don’t forget to bring your Christmas lights or electronic decorations along to get checked over before the festive season begins.
And January will see a furniture upcycling/advice session so watch out for details on this.
Curborough Brooks – proposed housing development
Have your say on this development application. 2,900 houses plus 2 primary schools and 1 secondary school. It will have a massive impact on Lichfield. There are a number of events taking place so that the community can input:
Drop-In Hub 4pm - 8pm at Lichfield City Football Club, Brownsfield Road off Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, WS13 6AY
Wednesday 1 November | Thursday 2 November
Drop-In Hub 11am - 3pm at Lichfield City Football Club,
Friday 27 October | Friday 3 November
Drop-In Hub 11am - 5pm at Lichfield City Football Club
Monday 30 October | Tuesday 31 October
Drop-In Hub 10am - 1pm at The Hub at St Mary’s, Market Square, Lichfield, WS13 6LG
Saturday 28 October | Saturday 4 November
Website – www.curboroughbrooks.co.uk
Global Day of Action - SAVE THE DATE: 9th DECEMBER
Message from Friends of the Earth – “From 30 Nov to 12 Dec, world leaders will be gathering for the Conference of Parties (COP), hosted and presided over by the United Arab Emirates. We don't expect the COP processes to provide the solutions, but we still need to tackle the climate catastrophe. So, the Day of Action will be a vital moment to build the strength of our movement across the UK and the globe. “
And on the subject of COP28, there are a couple of useful articles looking at the man tasked with leading on it, despite him being an oil company executive and the controversial venue of the talks – the UAE.
Dates for your diary
You can also check out the Events listing on the Transition website.
25th – Lichfield Cathedral Gaia Earth exhibit, 7pm. A Vigil – an hour of prayer and reflection, followed by 30 minutes of silence. More detail from email@example.com. ‘Gaia’ installation there until 5th Nov.
28th - Lichfield Wildlife Group’s fungal foray 2:00 - 4:00 in St Michael's churchyard. The event will be led by Beverley Rhodes, a most knowledgeable mycologist. £2:00 per person
29th - Dovehouse Garden Working Party, 11-1pm. Meet at the site. Growing spaces available so contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
29th – Forest Harvest, Yoxall, DE13 8PG. Samhain Halloween Gathering, 11-3pm. More details and to book here.
Oct and Nov - Consultation re Curborough Brooks housing development
4th Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB with craft activity
4th - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10.00-12.00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. email@example.com
4th – Lichfield Cathedral Artisan Market, 10-3pm. Explore a range stands by local craftspeople and producers - from food and drink to unique, handmade gifts. Held underneath the stunning Gaia artwork.
7th – Lichfield Wildlife Group talk ‘The Wildlife of Chasewater’ by Graham Evans. (Graham will be leading a walk at Chasewater on Saturday 6th of January at 10:00, meet in the car park). Wade Street Church Hall, Frog Lane, Lichfield WS13 6HL. £3:50.
9th - Transition Meetup. 7pm, Bitter Suite pub, St John St, Lichfield. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you intend to come in case plans changed and you need to be notified.
16th – Friends of Lichfield City Station meetup, 7.30pm Bitter Suite pub.
18th – Lichfield Repair & Share Café, 2-5pm, Curborough Community Centre, WS13 7NY. FREE calligraphy and willow workshops on offer.
18th – Forest Harvest, Yoxall, DE13 8PG. Crafty Christmas Workshop run by Little Trees, 2-4pm. Book here.
25th – Vintage & Craft Fair, 11am – 3pm. Burntwood and Hammerwich Labour Party event, Burntwood Memorial Hall. £1 entry. Pop up Repair Café at this event!
26th – Dovehouse Garden Working Party, 11-1pm. Meet at the site. Growing spaces available so contact email@example.com if interested.
29th – Lichfield ‘Green Conversation’ session, 10-12.30, The Guildhall, Lichfield. Join in the conversation about all aspects of Lichfield District’s green ambitions.
Woodhouse Farm in Whittington will be taking Christmas orders for meats, pies etc so keep your eye out for that or go along to the Whittington Market to pick up some items. Check out their Facebook page.
Save the Date!
9th Dec – the Global Day of Action being organised by the Climate Justice Coalition during the COP28 meetings.
Now is the time to look around you and see what you can forage! The Sweet Chestnut trees are weighed down by their spiky 'seeds' this year - such an abundance! Go and gather some and see what you can do with them - roast them, make soup, grind down to flour...
And there are raspberries galore at the Three Tree Triangle site on Festival Gardens. Help yourselves!
A recent addition to the site is a painted rock, created at the Lichfield Arts Fuse Festival in July by attendees. Beautiful colours and designs!
News and recent activities
The ‘Welcome’ stones at the Three Tree Triangle area of Festival Gardens have been restored, following the ‘removal’ of a couple of the letters by light fingered passersby! Let’s hope that they remain in-situ!
And we received a lovely message from a lady who said how much she loved the Three Tree Triangle wild area and sent this photo of a visiting butterfly.
So are we ‘just a bunch of tree huggers’?
There has been a lot of discussion in the press recently about citizens who are concerned about global warming and the loss of biodiversity and the use of the term ‘tree hugger’ as a derogatory term. Just read how it came about and you will understand why there would be such anger. What a sad origin story.
Planting and Growing and Wilding
Huge thanks to Louise and friends of Lichfield Kindness Rocks for creating the lovely ‘Welcome’ stones for Three Tree Triangle. Don’t they look great? And we have added slate signs to Tamworth St plot to explain what is happening there too.
Summer Solstice Evening at Forest Harvest, Yoxall
A most enjoyable evening of being in nature, picnicing, chatting, wood whittling and folk singing was had and will certainly be repeated! Thank you to Nick Burton for hosting us and showing us around your amazing achievements at Forest Harvest and to the Edwards family for the entertainment.
Friends of Lichfield City Station
A new group has been established to ensure that the station gets some TLC. The first meeting was held on 17th July and there was a lot of enthusiasm for projects to improve on what is currently there – more planters for flowers and herbs, artwork, more regular litter picking, music, local school involvement etc. Inspiration was taken from the Wylde Green station group who achieved a lot since they set up 2 or so years ago. If you are interested in supporting the group then there will be a meet up at the station on Mon 14th August, 7pm to have a look round at what needs dealing with, followed by a drink at the Bitter Suite. Contact Kathy Maskell if you want to get involved firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CO2 Bubble
Just a reminder that this representation of a tonne of CO2 will be visiting Lichfield on 2nd August – Beacon Park – from 10am and there will be lots of family fun activities happening alongside in the park. This 10-meter installation that helps people visualize how their daily activities can impact carbon emissions. Staff from the county council climate change team will provide advice and tips to help residents reduce their carbon footprint. Full details can be found here. It is certainly a good talking point! Transition will have a stand there and we would appreciate some help on the day – get in touch with Pam via email@example.com if you can help.
The Apiarist Gin
Keep an eye out for the grand opening (hopefully late August) of a small distillery run by our local beekeeping/honey making/gin and whiskey making business in Lichfield city centre! We will definitely be arranging a group visit!
Learning opportunities, inspiration and handy hints
BBC i-Player :
– “Reporting from the Climate Frontlines”. The BBC's science editor David Shukman tells his story about following climate change across the world.
- “Electric Cars – what they really mean for you” (from Tues 25th July). A look at the current issues relating to driving an EV and the various infrastructure challenges.
Staffs Wildlife Trust have released a report about the positive impact that nature has on wellbeing.
Copper Consultancy produce some excellent research reports about public attitudes towards various environmental topics. Their latest is about attitudes to nuclear power. Read it here.
Find out and Feedback
A ‘Right to Grow’ initiative - should we follow Shropshire’s lead and do this in Lichfield District? Take a look at what they have been doing and then give us your feedback.
Have you watched the animation showing the proposed redevelopment plans for the Birmingham Road site in Lichfield (check their Instagram feed if you have access – not found it on their website yet…)? A lot to fit in in a very short timescale and not much detail on the ‘sustainability’ aspects of it. The same goes for the proposed Stychbrook Park Leisure Centre. Start here on the LDC website…
Community Speed Watch - Volunteers Still Wanted!
Full training will be given and we can agree when we operate so we can fit it around other commitments. Training happens quite regularly at venues around the county. If you’d like to find out more, without committing yourself to anything, please get in touch. Simon Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions being hosted by LDC to help people with issues relating to the cost of living crisis – benefits, housing, council tax, recycling advice, volunteering, mental health support etc.
27 July in the reception of Lichfield District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield between 9.30am and 11.30am
3 August in Burntwood Leisure Centre café area between 9.30am and 11.30. Full details here.
Transforming the Trent Valley (TTTV) are running an ‘green’ networking day on 26th July (possibly too short notice for this newsletter) - 1-4pm, Rugeley Community Centre, Burnthill Lane, Rugeley WS15 2HX for Staffordshire groups to discuss their projects and ideas with one another but please report back if you did make it!
Transition Lichfield would like to run some events for the autumn, to encourage green discussions amongst local residents – a film night or games night of some sort – if anyone would be interested in helping organise?
School Uniform – a message from LCC
Lichfield Back to School Bank is back for 2023! Last year we recycled and reused more than 100kg of school uniform and supported more than 60 families with the cost of school uniform just as the energy price hike began to bite. This year we’re hoping to do even more good with the support of Lichfield City Council who are helping to deliver the project this summer.
We’re again asking for any laundered school uniform which is no longer needed, or has been grown out of, to be donated to the Back to School Bank so that we can distribute as much as possible to families ahead of the new term. Collection points are already in operation in Tesco Extra and the City Council offices at Donegal House, with plans for another 3 more to make donating unwanted uniform as easy as possible. We’ll then be holding four distribution events where families can come along and collect preloved uniform free of charge before the new term starts in September. If you have any preloved school uniform that’s no longer needed, please do consider dropping it off at Tesco or Donegal House so that we can reuse it and help drive down some of the carbon cost of uniform."
Woodhouse Farm, Whittington
Just a little plug for them….
The Farm is a brilliant venue for all kinds of gatherings, parties and events:
Weddings; Birthday Parties for adults, children and young people; Anniversary parties; End of Term parties; Rainbows and Brownies gatherings; Choir Practices; Club Meetings; Music Events; Afternoon Teas; Treasure Hunts; BBQs, Hog Roasts, Picnics and much more....
You can self-cater or they can do it for you, including the appropriate licensing.
“We pride ourselves on our flexibility and our ability to create a lovely atmosphere in a rural setting for your special event. Our volunteer activities now include a new Events Group, so get in touch if you'd like to help out” said Annamarie.
If you're interested in holding an event please email email@example.com
They also run a veg box scheme - the 2023-2024 CSA scheme is well under way. Try Before You Buy! If you are interested in becoming a member but are concerned about the commitment, we suggest you have a 4 week trial. The trial costs £13 a week and a one-off payment of £52 is payable in advance. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your 4 week trial.
Dates for your diary
You can also check out the Events listing on the Transition website.
30th – 10.30am, Lichfield Re:Cycle community bike ride. Meet at Melbourne Café on Bird St, Lichfield
30th – 11-1pm, Dovehouse Gardens volunteering/open day. Just turn up! Dovehouse Fields.
No Repair Cafes during August.
2nd – Staffs CC CO2 Bubble and LDC Fun Day at Beacon Park, 10-00 until 4pm.
9th - walk looking at the TTTV work on the Burton Washlands and the cattle grazing project, led by Lawrence Oates, mobile 07432 608931
Throughout August - Exhibition of Art and poetry in the Shenstone library coffee shop. Open during library opening hours.
2nd - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10.00-12.00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. email@example.com
2nd – Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB
5th – Transition Meetup at the Bitter Suite pub, 7pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
9th – Sandfields Pumping Station – the Musical! The story of Sandfields History in words and music performed in a sea shanty style by the Lichfield Lighthouse Company. Tickets: £10 This is a fundraising event in aid of the RLNI and Sandfields pumping station. Booking is via Eventbrite.
16th – Lichfield Repair & Share Café, 2-5pm, Curborough Community Centre, WS13 7NY
22nd – Climate Expo, 10-4pm Keele Hall, Keele University with Chris Packham as the keynote speaker. Orgnaised by the Globe Foundation, Uttoxeter. Book your free ticket here.
4th – Chris Baines of SWT will be speaking about Nature Recovery Networks. To be held at the Cathedral. More details to follow.
7th - Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB
7th - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10.00-12.00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. email@example.com
21st - Lichfield Repair & Share Café, 2-5pm, Curborough Community Centre, WS13 7NY
28th - Lichfield Wildlife Group’s fungal foray 2:00 - 4:00 in St Michael's churchyard. The event will be led by Beverley Rhodes, a most knowledgeable mycologist. £2:00 per per person
We are so grateful to Louise from Lichfield Kindness Rocks who created this 'Welcome' for us out of gorgeous painted pebbles at our Three Tree Triangle site at Festival Gardens! Don't they look fabulous?! Thank you Louise!