News and recent activities
Lichfield District Council Consultation - Housing
Work has started on a new set of guidelines for housing development in the Lichfield District to ensure that future homes meet residents’ expectations for design, quality, beauty and sustainability. Workshops took place on 7th and 8th March, chaired by BDP, a build design consultancy, and representatives from Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council and you can now contribute your views via a Community Survey, which will run until 17th April. Link should be available via the LDC website (not available at time of going to press).
You can check out this New Scientist article about the Future Homes Standard for 2025 here and see how different designs fare.
Three Tree Triangle, Festival Gardens
The space is coming along nicely and has had a small pond added to it, and a hidden beetle home! Great Tits are nesting in one of the boxes and lots of bulbs/plants popping up for Spring!
City Nature Challenge 2023
CNC is a global citizen science project with over 450 cities across the world asking citizens to record the plants and animals they see, using the free iNaturalist app. or website, over 4 days. Your records will contribute to conservation locally, nationally and globally. You can record in your garden, waste ground, woods and meadows etc.
Lichfield Wildlife Group is running two training sessions to help you get familiar with iNaturalist so you can take part.
Thursday 20th April, 2pm – 4pm, College Hall, Lichfield Cathedral. Free refreshments.
Let us know you are coming (01543 257812 P_L_norbury@hotmail.com) or just turn up on the day.
Saturday 22nd April 2pm – 4pm, Beacon Park Discovery Hub (behind the bowling greens). Booking required. 01543 257812 or P_L_Norbury@hotmail.com
Everyone is welcome. It would be helpful if you could download the iNaturalist app. on your smartphone before the session from your usual app store.
The “Art of Inclusion” Project
Nurture Community CIC started this workshop-based project in February, with funding support from We Love Lichfield. It aims to connect and create a collective outcome of art that represents the Lichfield District Community. It will conclude in June, having worked with around 500 people from 20 groups. Collectively this artwork will be exhibited within an installation at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre in June and Fuse Festival in July.
During the workshop the participants have a choice of art materials that encourages them to explore – not only in terms of materials but in terms of ‘self’ and the art of making everyone feel seen and included for who they are. Truly inclusive.
Further details can be found here.
Tackling Climate Change
Well done Stafford Borough Council for being the first council in the West Midlands region to produce a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Our own Council has a section of its website about climate change, if you haven’t seen this yet.
Learning opportunities, inspiration and handy hints
The People’s Plan for Nature Report, published mid-March, is certainly worth a read. It sets out the UK public’s recommendations for reversing massive declines in Britain’s nature. A hundred people were invited to come together, in a citizens’ assembly, to agree on a plan for how to renew and protect nature.
Have you checked out the LDC website recently? There is a lot of detail about nature, green spaces and biodiversity in the district.
Fancy a local walk but fed up with the same routes? Take a look at the maps here!
A small group of ‘members’ will be meeting up at 7pm on 17th April to discuss the future direction of Transition locally. All welcome! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance and details of venue.
Spark in Burntwood needs your support
There are loads of things going on at Spark!
Community Fridge: Spark's community fridge is accessible Term time Mon-Fri 9am- 5pm. Unlike food banks, the fridges are available for anyone to use. They are there to donate and take food, share recipes and save things going to waste. A simple solution to wasting less food through the sharing of good quality food.
Spark Baby and Children's Bank - Provides good condition second hand items to families in need. We also have donations of re-useable sanitary wear thanks to Lichfield Soroptomists.
Toy Library at Burntwood Library – 11.15am on Thursdays
Join as a member for a small fee and borrow toy packs each week. Saving money and swapping and reusing toys over again. Good for your pocket and for the environment. babybank@Sparkburntwood.org for more info.
Would you like to be involved in making our environment and spaces greener and filled with nature? We are looking for volunteers who would like to use and help tend our community garden at Spark. At the moment we are meeting on Friday afternoons. In the garden we have water recycling, composting and growing areas and particularly want the garden to be a space for the community and children to engage with nature.
The Slow Food Network
A heartfelt update….you might want to consider joining them?
“Another month, another crisis….. Tomato or Turnip? Empty vegetable aisles in the supermarkets have been hitting the headlines as conventional, transnational supply chains show their fragility once more. Yes, there is good ministerial advice that we should eat our indigenous seasonal vegetables, but it misses the point. We don't actually grow enough of them to feed us.
There will always be a need to import food in the near future. As a nation we have - because of our colonial history - always taken food from far and wide and it to our shores. But that fact shouldn’t obscure why we still need to reset our food system here at home.
We have to create a food and farming system which allows our existing farmers to produce good food, with a grants system which provides support for farming which enhances rather than harms nature and ultimately becomes net zero. It’s something which Slow Food campaigns on week in, week out.
There needs to be a way to get land back into cultivation, and a means for new entrants without land to be able to rent it at an affordable price. (Farmland is now more than £10,000 an acre - making it near impossible for the next generation to farm).
Vitally, we need retailers to pay farmers a fair price for the food they produce - currently they get as little as 1-3% of the shelf price.
But aren’t we already suffering from the soaring price of food? Absolutely, but that rising cost is not being shared with the people who need it most, the producers, vast numbers of whom are in debt and earn the equivalent of below the minimum wage.
We as consumers have a part to play. By eating everything we buy, and celebrating the richness from these shores where and when we can.
Some of this requires education, some of this is about accessibility. Slow Food tackles these issues. Like running food hubs, providing school and community education. Or supporting schools and communities to produce food on a small scale themselves with our grants for community growing. Elsewhere, we work on social media, connecting with people who may not have otherwise have seen our messages, explaining what is good just now, and telling the stories of those who produce it.
Good, clean and fair food - shared with love around the table. It’s a simple concept, but utterly complex in its issues - issues that we fight for, day in, day out. Whether that is the corridors of our national parliaments, with the FSA, supermarket boardrooms, or working with other NGOs, we are there.
Everyone deserves something good to eat today. And those who produce it need a just reward too. We won't rest until both become a reality.”
Find further information here. And for your local food network supplier, check out Ruth Redgate’s site, the Mercia Farmers Market. Local collections each week.
There must be lots of groups around Lichfield who own equipment/resources that other groups might want to make use of on occasion. For example, Transition Lichfield have items that we use for events – x2 fold up tables, x2 chairs, lightweight display boards, a 3x3 gazebo, and of course the 2 polar bears with face cutouts! And it all has to be stored in members’ homes! No point everyone having the same items when they often only get used a couple of times a year.
We could create a list of items and contact info and put it on our website perhaps. Would that be useful? Feedback please and perhaps a volunteer to make that happen!
Grace Cares is a not-for-profit organisation which has been set up to support older people and care workers across the UK. They collect, donate and sell pre-loved care equipment to enhance people’s quality of life, support care workers and older people in need via community groups and grants.
Get in touch if you are in need of equipment or have items to donate. 01543 326819 email@example.com
Dates for your diary
You can also check out the Events listing on the Transition website.
1st April - Burntwood Repair & Share Café, 10-1pm, St Joseph’s RC Church, Cannock Road, WS7 0BB
1st April - NCT Cloth Nappy Library. 10.00-12.00am, Lichfield District Children's Centre WS13 7PH. firstname.lastname@example.org
1st April – 10-4pm Churchyard Nature Day, St Michael’s Church, Greenhill, Lichfield
8th April – 10-1pm, Watercolour Florals with Bryony Halstead, Forest Harvest, Yoxall. Booking required.
15th Apr – 2-5pm, Lichfield Repair & Share Café, Curborough Community Centre, WS13 7NY
17th April – 7pm, Transition meet-up, Venue TBC. Email email@example.com
20th April, 2pm – 4pm, City Nature Challenge training. College Hall, Lichfield Cathedral. Free refreshments. 01543 257812 P_L_norbury@hotmail.com or just turn up on the day.
21st April – XR and other groups gathering, surrounding the Houses of Parliament – details here
22nd April 2pm – 4pm, City Nature Challenge training. Beacon Park Discovery Hub (behind the bowling greens). Booking required. 01543 257812 or P_L_Norbury@hotmail.com
22nd April – Earth Day – details about the campaign can be found here
29th April - 10.00-12.00 Transition visit to Woodhouse Farm and Garden, Fisherwick Wood Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8QG. Free drink and cake, and opportunity to shop at the farm shop.
29th April - 10.00am Piggott’s Bottom Bluebell Wood Walk, Upper Longdon with Lichfield Wildlife Group
6th May – NO REPAIR CAFÉ AT BURNTWOOD DUE TO CORONATION!
13th May - 10-3pm ‘Be Proud of Your Community’ Day, various locations around North Lichfield. A joint clean up exercise with LDC, Bromford Housing, local police and Litter Legends.
20th May – 2-5pm, Lichfield Repair & Share Café on tour, in conjunction with WFEG! Thomas Spencer Hall, Church Lane, Whittington with an ‘Art of Inclusion’ session by Nurture Community CIC
Save the dates!
17th June – 2-5pm. Thrift Fest at Lichfield Repair & Share Café