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Tag: Our Environment

There is NO Planet B

Should Stinchcombe Parish Council declare a Climate Emergency?

A Parish Question

Our Parish Clerk recently had an email from the Carbon Neutral 2030 team at Stroud DC asking whether we’ve declared a climate emergency.  We haven’t, unlike a considerable number of town and parish councils in Stroud District. Even some very small parishes have taken this step e.g. Standish PC (population 250) way back in November 2019.

It could be seen as an empty gesture or jumping on the band wagon but has the potential to be so much more than that.  Declaring an emergency can be a catalyst for action but we need to have clear ideas on what to do.   A district council in Devon has put together a useful resources pack for town and parish councils.  What is striking is how many of the suggested actions link to things you’ve already told the parish council you’re concerned about:

Planning – objecting to proposals like that for a large development on Taits Hill Rd that would not be good for the climate or environment and supporting low carbon/Green projects

Footpaths – keeping our footpaths open and in good order to encourage walking

Highways – tackling issues like speeding, drainage, frequent burst water mains and footway/cycleway provision to our make roads safer for everyone

Stinchcombe would have plenty of support to build on its declaration and put climate action at the heart of village life.  Wotton Area Climate Action Network  is a lively, well-established group with lots of advice and events.  Transition Stroud provides a network for people and groups in Stroud District working towards a low carbon lifestyle.

So what do you think as residents? 

Please use the comments facility below to let the Parish Council know or contact the clerk.

Kath Hudson

No Mow May

No Mow May

A Plantlife Initiative

No Mow May is exactly what it sounds – not mowing your lawn during the month of May.  It is an initiative started by the charity Plantlife back in 2019.  In the UK it is supported by organisations as diverse as the National Trust ,  Yeo Valley Organic  and more locally Wotton Area CAN .  Already it has spread to the USA and Canada.

Why join in?

As Gardens Illustrated reported, there is strong evidence for rethinking our mowing habits:

  • 97% of British wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s
  •  many pollinating insects are in decline in the UK
  • on average each square kilometre lost 11 species of bee and hoverfly between 1980 and 2013

but…

Plantlife’s citizen science experiments show that mowing less can lead to a tenfold increase in the nectar available to pollinators and a much more interesting lawn.

Leave it longer for longer

There isn’t really anything special about May – ideally Plantlife would like us to mow only monthly all summer to give short grass plants like daisies and white clover chance to flower.  We should even let the odd patch go unmown to encourage plants such as oxeye daisy, field scabious and knapweed. 

In 2020, I enjoyed a purple carpet of self heal so I’m trying again this year.  Though I will cheat a bit by keeping a narrow strip round the edge short so the general effect is intentional not neglected.

Now for the science bit …

You can register for Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts survey  https://www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts/  which runs from 22nd to 31st May.  By doing so you help them calculate our National Nectar Score and monitor trends.  It’s fun for children and educational for anyone who, like me, is no botanist.

We can make a difference

There are 15 million gardens in the UK so a high take-up could make a substantial difference to pollinators

… and give us more time to do something we really enjoy!

Kath

Wottan Area CAN Logo

Wotton Area CAN

WOTTON AREA CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK – A little more about us…

Want to help protect & replenish our environment?…We are here to help.

Wotton Area Climate Action Network ( Wotton Area CAN) is a community-led group aiming to support residents & businesses in the Wotton area to reduce their carbon emissions. Our goal is to help our area become carbon neutral by 2030.

We like to keep people informed by interesting monthly on-line newsletters, Zoom meetings with expert speakers and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. We also have articles about our activities in the various local press outlets, from time to time.

We will restart our public events as soon as Covid-19 official guidance allows.

We do not discriminate against anyone for any reason and welcome involvement from all. We are under the ‘Transition Stroud‘ umbrella and network with other CAN groups in the district.

Our Focus

Our Focus areas, based on priorities from our local residents survey

  1. Land Use
  2. Reducing single use plastics
  3. Reducing waste
  4. Transport – reducing carbon emissions through alternative transport choices.
  5. Home energy use- using and sourcing efficiently
  6. Biodiversity – ensuring healthy ecosystems.

Other Groups

Other groups with whom we are closely involved within Stroud district:

The last two aimed at encouraging safe walking and/or cycling routes between settlements. We also have strong connections with the Woodland Trust who have generously provided trees for our various tree planting projects.

Our Ethos

The challenge of global warming and its threat to our environment is a vitally important issue for us all, which transcends politics. We are a peaceful, non-political group who care deeply about our community & environment , we collaborate with’ and help broaden the understanding of those living and working in our area & support them to reduce carbon emissions and protect and replenish our environment .

AS EVER, ALL ARE WELCOME.

Website:-  www.wottonareacan.org

Email:-   Wottonareacan@gmail.com

Litter Picking

A Litter picking challenge

For my “Kirby Challenge” at Wycliffe school, the aim is to do something that is a challenge to yourself personally. Amongst many other things, I decided to litter pick around the Village and country lanes surrounding my house.

I chose to do litter picking as I feel it contributes to the local community and makes it a cleaner space. Sadly, while taking walks days after doing the litter pick, I come across more rubbish that has been thrown from car windows. What was a clean space after my litter pick is now full of rubbish again.

The amount of litter currently on the roads and at the side of the road is just shocking. Not what I expected at all. I came back with more than double what I expected.

After litter picking the roads have looked cleaner and made me feel proud to have taken on something like this.

Rebecca

Thank you SO much Rebecca for sharing this story with the website. It is always good when members of the community contribute to the newsletter and well done on filling 11 black bin back by yourself. Richard

Woodland Walk Clean-up

A big thank you to all who participated in the Annual Litter Pick. If you missed the opportunity or simply wish to do some more, we shall be cleaning up one of the woodland areas beyond the Village Hall, * next Sunday 18th April, at the slightly earlier time of 10am, meeting up at the Village Hall.

The woodland in question had trunk protection placed around the saplings when planted. This has become an unsightly nuisance that needs removing as it is in some cases damaging the trees. We need a couple of agile, dextrous people who can get access to the trunks to remove the plastic and pile it where it can be accessed from proper paths. We also need people to bag up these piles – The springy plastic can be brittle and sharp – sharp enough to go through bin bags if not careful and there is a lot of plastic! We will then need to take the bags to the woodland gate.

Please respect social distancing when you arrive, once in the woodland things should be easier. Please bring your own gloves and wear shoes with good ankle support (the ground involved is very uneven).

Any questions , please ask.
Ian
07711567754

  • (if one were to be in the carpark at the village hall looking West the, woods beyond the ‘playing fields’ are the ones I’m on about. Behind the hedge between the two FP stiles (and two badger sets).)

Annual Litter Pick

2021 Annual Litter Pick

Spring has sprung, everything’s starting to look a lot greener and there’s hope of better times ahead – and it’s also time to start spring cleaning! Fortunately, Highways have recently done a good job of tidying up Taits Hill, but the rest of the hedges and verges in the village are in need of a bit of TLC – not least as we weren’t able to hold a litter pick last year.

This year’s litter pick will be on Sunday 11th April, starting at the Village Hall at 10.30am and all are welcome to come and join in. The more the merrier! 

Obviously, there will need to be some Covid precautions in place, so please be prepared to stand away from others when you arrive and while waiting to sort out areas. Pickers and high-vis jackets will be provided – all suitably and thoroughly sanitised of course – but please bring your own gloves.

See you on 11th!

Nola

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