We have launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Spacehive platform to raise funds to enhance the biodiversity at Powick Sports Ground and Callow End Playing Field.
The project would plant a variety of bulbs, flowering plants and trees which would increase the food supply for insects and small mammals which in turn would support bats and birds. We wish to encourage children to become aware and to value the nature around them. We intend to work with children’s groups in developing the project and explanatory signage will be installed to inform the public.
You may have heard of the recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on the state of the climate. It’s their sixth assessment report and it paints a familiar but worsening picture. One that demands action!
The full report, endorsed by nearly 200 governments worldwide, is a long read but here are five take-away points:
Changes in climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying. They are unprecedented in thousands of years.
Human activities are indisputably causing climate change. Making heatwaves, heavy rainfall and droughts more frequent and severe.
There is no going back from some changes in the system. However, some could be slowed and others stopped by limiting warming.
Climate change is already affecting every region. The changes we are experiencing will increase with further warming.
Unless there are immediate and large-scale greenhouse gas emission reductions, limiting warming to 1.5C will be beyond reach.
The first interview in this podcast clearly explains the situation and what is at stake. We would encourage you to listen to it as education about these issues is key.
You may be wondering what you can do? There are many great resources out there for those wishing to assess and alter their own impact, join groups taking action, and contacting your representatives etc. We covered many of these in our PACE pull-out last year, which is available as a PDF here – tinyurl.com/PACEPullOut
Please do also get in touch with our PACE (Powick Action on Climate Emergency) sub-group if you would like any further information, or to join us in making changes locally: firstname.lastname@example.org
A local community and Parish Council working together to bring change…
A Hampshire village has launched a scheme to replace all disposable cups in their village with a reusable mug that will be free for users with a simple £1 deposit.
The Overton cup will be available in all the shops and cafes along Overton’s high street, including the greengrocer, “who does a lovely soup from his leftover vegetables”, according to Alison Zarecky, chair of Sustainable Overton. Customers pay their deposit (plus another £1 if they want a lid, which are non-returnable) and then return the cup once it’s been used to any deposit point in the village.
As of last year, the UK was using about 2.5bn disposable cups a year, with a 2017 government report concluding that only one in 400 was being recycled. Reusable coffee cups were becoming more common, but with the risk unclear during the pandemic, many coffee outlets stopped accepting them. However, many health experts now believe that reusables are low risk.
But the Overton cup is just one of a number of initiatives being put into practice in the village. “The parish council declared a climate emergency in 2019,” said Zarecky. “And then we called for volunteers, and set up Sustainable Overton, and so many people came forward. It was really quite wonderful.”
They began thinking about what they could do, and established links with other groups around the country. They have set up a nappy library, thanks to a grant from Hampshire county council, and are establishing a community energy project. They also have a plastics team, and have trained up “energy champions” to help people to green their homes, including a thermal camera hire service so users can work out where their house is leaking energy.
“We’ve learned a lot from what other places have done,” says Zarecky. The cup scheme was inspired by a similar idea in Shrewsbury a couple of years ago, while Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, which has been working on a carbon neutral community since 2006, was “inspirational”.
But there were also questions that they could not immediately find answers to, and so they have produced toolkits for setting up a climate group. “It’s been a massive learning curve.”
The next step? To encourage more villages and towns to set up their own community energy groups. “In Hampshire we only generate about 1.8% of our own energy,” says Zarecky. “There’s a lot of roof space here.”
Even though they were unable to meet in person during the pandemic, more people have volunteered for the group in the last year than ever. “I think we know this is important and we want to do something meaningful about it.”
Article courtesy of The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/20/community-reusable-cup-scheme-unites-hampshire-village?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment, this year the title is Ecosystem Restoration and will see the launch of the UN’s Decade of Restoration.
An Ecosystem is a natural environment which includes plants, animals etc. that live and interact within that environment. An ecosystem can be a single pond, river, forest, desert or the ocean, they range in size vastly and most have been impacted by human activities in recent years. Ecosystem Restoration assists the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving those that are still intact. Healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, yield greater benefits such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, and larger stores of greenhouse gases etc.
Causes of Ecosystem Decline There are many causes for ecosystem degradation/damage. For instance, harmful policies such as subsidies for intensive farming or weak tenure laws that encourage deforestation. Lakes and coastlines can become polluted because of poor waste management or an industrial accident. Commercial pressures can leave towns and cities with too much asphalt and less green spaces.
Benefits of Ecosystem Restoration: Between now and 2030, the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate $9 trillion USD in ecosystem services.
Restoration could remove 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.Improved quality of life for a vast majority of the planet.
Potential Slowing down of climate change effects
The economic benefits of such interventions exceed nine times the cost of investment, whereas inaction is at least three times more costly than ecosystem restoration.
Here’s a link to the first PACE pull out, which was included with our Autumn Parish Council newsletter. This contains information and tips relating to the Climate Emergency we face. Please read, share, act.