WE PAY FOR FOOD AND WATER WHY NOT FOR AIR? Every one of us depends on oxygen without ever questioning where it comes from. Almost half the oxygen we breathe […]
The West Sussex Local Government Pension Fund is currently responsible for the pension benefits – and future benefits – of thousands of employees (WSCC employees, Local District Council employees, school teachers employed in West Sussex etc).
In 2019 it was known that the pension fund invested approximately £200 million in Fossil Fuel companies (we do not know the exact figure for 2020, although we do know that the share prices for BP, Shell etc have dropped significantly).
The divestment campaign was started in spring 2016 by Worthing Climate Action (WCAN), and asked the WSCC Pension Fund to divest all their funds from fossil fuel companies. In Nov 2017, following a petition, WCAN gave a detailed presentation to the WSCC Pension Committee, and presented strong arguments for divestment.
Various actions took place during 2018 and 2019 which culminated on 15th Feb 2020 with “The Valentine’s Day Divestment Demo” at the Chichester Council Offices (combined with Youth Strike day). This was supported by various environmental groups from around the county.
In early 2020 the CEO of Worthing Borough council wrote to Jeremy Hunt (Chair of WSCC Pensions Committee) asking them to divest. Read more
Our Horsham Climate Cafe on 5th September was an inspiring and informative talk about Wildlife Friendly Gardening. Every green space is critical for our wildlife, even your garden, as all our UK gardens form more space than all the UK nature reserves!
Carrie the founder of Sussex Green Living opened the event with a reminder that we humans are not at the top of a wildlife pyramid but are simply part of the web of all life. All the living things in an ecosystem depend on all the other things – living and non-living for continued survival – for food supplies and other needs. Humans, animals and plants depend on a complex system of food for survival. Stressing the importance of using bug hotels, bird boxes and bat boxes in our gardens, but be aware that bats need about 1,000 mosquito type insects per hour, so a pond is almost essential!
Joanne Knowles was our second speaker who is passionate about encouraging us all to seek out peat -free compost. Read more
How did it start?
Sarah Renfrey set up Fare Divide in 2018 with a vision to save perishable foodstuff from landfill by setting up community fridges in West Sussex to encourage healthier communities by forging partnerships with local food suppliers and make surplus food available to all without judgement or stigma.
What is Fare Divide?
The Keep Rookwood Green bio blitz on Saturday 15th August was an outstanding success which a stream of timed arrivals of families who went to record the wildlife. The council plan to build 1,100 new houses on Roowood Golf Course, which is located next to Horsham’s nature reserve, this area makes up 28% of Horsham’s large green space. This wildlife-rich natural world is vital for our wellbeing and survival, once built on it is lost and gone forever.
You can listen to the talk by Keep Rookwood Green and see their presentation here.
People are being encouraged to write to their councillors, sign the Keep Rookwood Green petition and carry out their own bio blitz on a day which suits you and any friends or family members. Use this map and log to plot your finds, take photos and share them in the social media with this hashtag #foundonrookwood. You can find Keep Rookwood Green social media details and the petition on this page. Read more
On Tuesday evening our Horsham Future Forum were inspired by a presentation about the new Guildford Community Hub which it is in the early stages of development. It consists of 12 different local organisations working together, their aim: education and engaging the wider population to drive behavioural change, and thereby try to reduce consumption emissions. Presented by Ben McCallan.
The Guildford Community Hub is built on a model called Space Generators, which has been operating for about 30 years. Space Generators focus on arts environmental community and sustainability projects / events using their network built up since 1992, when their campaign for the reuse of empty space began after the Rio Earth Summit. They tailor events or create a variety of modules to match vacant space in the interim period before development. Helping to provide space for local community use.
Currently there are Community Hubs being formed in Staines, Farnham, Elmbridge and two in Scotland. Could we develop a community hub in Horsham?
Join the Keep Rookwood Green Campaign on Saturday 15th August to become citizen scientists at this bio blitz, help carry out surveys to help record all living species in the area. You can book timed tickets for staggered visits through this Eventbrite link or learn more here www.KeepRookWoodGreen.org.
Watch the talk Keep Rookwood Green gave at our Horsham Future Forum meeting on Tuesday 16th June here.
There are 32 churches in Horsham Churches Together representing Christian denominations in Horsham and the surrounding villages. Horsham Churches Together looks to witness together, work together and influence together, and, in this way, desire to be an influence for good in the community. At present, church services continue to be live-streamed, some buildings are open for private prayer, and others for services. The church is more than the building and there are Christians everywhere making a difference at this time.
The A Rocha UK Eco Church Scheme has been adopted by a number of churches in Horsham Churches Together and we are delighted to have churches who have achieved the Bronze and Silver Awards, and are now going for the Gold Award. The actions and achievements impact on the churches and congregations, the wider communities they serve, and God’s planet. The slides from Karen’s presentation are attached and we would be very happy to answer any further questions – just email . Read more
On Tuesday 16th June our weekly Horsham Future Forum and Youth Eco Forum attendees listened to an excellent talk by Peter Simpson, Trustee of the Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve and Sally Sanderson, Chair of Friends of Horsham Park. Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve, Friends of Horsham Park and the Horsham Society have formed Keep Rookwood Green Alliance and are campaigning to retain Rookwood Golf Course as a public green space.
Those of us on this week’s Zoom call were shocked to learn of the ecological damage and the 29% loss of Horsham’s large green space that will occur if 1,100 houses are built on Rookwood Golf Course. The decision will be finalised before August and there is a short window of opportunity in which we can influence Horsham District Councillors. The more of us that make our views known known, the greater the chance that we will be heard and that we can Keep Rookwood Green!
Here are some ways that you can get involved: Read more
Inspiring environmental art competition appeals for children and young people to get involved over holidays and the summer term. Thanks to a grant from The Boltini Trust, Sussex Green Living and the South Downs National Park Trust, which is the official charity of South Downs National Park, have developed this “Clean Up & Create” a Bright New Future competition for 5-16 year olds in Sussex and Hampshire.
Julie Fawcett, Chair of the South Downs National Park Trust, said “A key focus for the South Downs National Park Trust is to engage young people with this amazing natural asset on their doorstep with all its beautiful landscapes and wildlife.
“This competition offers a great way for children to get creative and think about ways we can conserve and enhance our environment in the years ahead. Young people are the future custodians of national gems such as the South Downs and this is a fantastic way to inspire them”
The aim is to encourage young people to design some artwork with a powerful message to raise awareness of the environment and represent the theme of a bright new future they want for the world.
There are two categories to choose from in each age group: Read more
Horsham Climate Cafe – the value of nature All of us are experiencing the uncertainty the current pandemic has brought with it, alongside the forced physical disconnect from one another […]
Saturday 9th May the weekly virtual Horsham Climate Cafe focused on The Value of Nature, bringing attendees a special message from Nicola Peel who is locked down in a cloud forest in Los Cedros Biological Reserve in the Choco region of Ecuador full of yet to be discovered plant and animals. Plants which will provide cures to diseases, trees which give us oxygen to breath, things we take for granted. The debate is gold and copper mining for new phones or medicine and oxygen?
During this Climate Cafe session Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria also gave an informal talk about the deep connection indigenous people have to nature, their stewardship of the land and water and how they are adapting to climate change.
You can see Nicola’s video message at the bottom of this page. Learn here about Nicola’s lockdown location, one of the most biologically diverse and endemic habitats on Earth in her latest email:
After finishing my work in the Ecuadorian Amazon I was about to have a week to myself on the coast. This was not to be. Like so many of us due to the unforeseen events our lives have changed.
I had returned to Quito and was staying with a friend when I heard that due to Corona Virus all borders were closed, flights to be cancelled and no more buses. I got out of the city on the last bus to Chontal and headed up to the Los Cedros Reserve. http://reservaloscedros.org/
On Saturday 2nd May Dr Tony Whitbread spoke at the Horsham Climate Cafe to around 100 people using Zoom video conferencing. He spoke about positive impacts of covid on human attitute to nature and signs of the natural world recovering. This event was chaired and facilitated by Helen Whittington, Carrie Cort, Chloe Harrison and Vivaine Doussy. You can hear a podcast of his talk, see the global reach of this event and the Q&A here.
Tony shares his thought provoking insight with us here…..Nature seems to be blossoming while us humans are locked up indoors. We’ve heard about goats taking over gardens in Llandudno in Wales and fallow dear wandering round parts of London. There are elephants on the streets of Thailand, elephant seals in Argentinian suburbs and the penguins are taking back the streets in South Africa! There seem to be more butterflies and the birds seem to be singing louder. Is nature really recovering while we are locked up, is it the good weather, or is it just that we are taking the time to pay attention and notice what has been there all along?
What is the Impact of Covid-19 on Nature? This was the burning question for all those who joined the Horsham Climate Café’s sixth (since lockdown) weekly Zoom meeting, which took place on Saturday 2nd May.
113 people booked from from all over the world including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Uganda and South Africa (including 37 South East Climate Alliance members). They tuned in to hear special guest, Dr Tony Whitbread, President of Sussex Wildlife Trust, give an inspiring talk about how nature is blossoming with less human activity. He highlighted:
– the speed at which animals all round the world have expanded their ranges in to towns and cities
– the bluer skies and reduction in air pollution
– that people have slowed down and are noticing and valuing the beauty of the natural world
His insights prompted questions such as what can we do to engage our children in protecting the planet, should “ecocide” be unlawful, and perhaps the most pressing issue right now: how can we ensure the “nature recovery” continues post-lockdown?