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