We won a GOLD CPRE Sussex Countryside Award

We are delighted to announce that last night we were given a gold award at the Countyside Protection for Rural England (CPRE) Sussex Countryside Awards. CPRE honoured the county’s countryside heroes at its first ever virtual awards ceremony held on Zoom.

Last night’s ceremony began with a welcome from CPRE Sussex Chair, Professor Dan Osborn who then handed over to the competition judges, Lady Egremont, Dr Geoffrey Mead, Margaret Moore and Dr Tony Whitbread who made the virtual presentations. “The evening went really well,” says CPRE Sussex Director, Kia Trainor “We were obviously disappointed not to be able to see everyone in person, but the virtual setting really didn’t spoil the celebrations.”

“It was fantastic to see the faces of all the people who have been working so hard to make Sussex a better place to live and work and helping nature to thrive.”

A total of 27 CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards were made – 6 GOLD, 16 SILVER, 4 BRONZE and The Peter Brandon Award for ‘Empowering Communities’.

The Countryside Awards 2020 main winners are:
GOLD Winners:
The Eye Project (Worthing, West Sussex)
Sussex Green Living Network (Horsham, West Sussex)
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WSCT our weekly column – week one 14.10.20

Read the full article below.

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Fiona Harvey Tells us How far we’ve come

Fiona Harvey tells us how far we’ve come.
It’s all too easy for campaigners on a big issue to tire, and start to despair. You must know what we mean. You spend years leafleting, going to meetings, arguing with the most obdurate people you’ve ever met, ringing up radio phone-ins….and all the while juggling work, family, shopping and even finding a bit of me time. Then along comes Donald Trump and pulls the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. But don’t give up-really.
Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent for The Guardian can tell you why. Her article in the Guardian is a heartening summary of big wins for the good guys. Remember the Ozone Hole? It’s shrinking. Acid Rain? With certain exceptions, it’s no longer falling. And Lead in petrol? You’d have to be well into your forties even to remember that now. Actually we think that was one of the worst ever, and we will be coming back to it quite soon.

But for now gentle reader, sit down, and award yourself a well- earned cup of tea and a couple of biscuits (it’s afternoon as we write this). This is no time for complacency, as the after-dinner speakers say. The battle over climate change is far from won. Read Fiona’s piece here, and think what people in the past achieved. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

This Environmental Protection Network report (22nd April 2020) about Trump’s environment record – real life impacts on Public Health and the Environment April 22, 2020 also makes an interesting read. Read more

Confronting stories of despair

“Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”  Everyone who has worked on climate change, trying to nudge, to persuade and to inform has run up against that refrain in some form or another many times. Puzzled progressive scratch their heads. “Wasn’t there supposed to have been something called the Enlightenment? Weren’t facts and reason supposed to have won the day?”  But our facts bounce off like shells on strong armour. Our discoveries are dismissed as Fake News. And our reason is labelled conspiracy.  At least they think we’re clever.

As the sea levels rise and humanity divides itself into ever more hostile warring tribes, our side needs to cut through even more urgently.  Why don’t people understand? Why do they love the siren songs from the other side?  Such questions are no longer academic.

One man thinks he has some of the answer. Paul Hannam is a successful academic, businessman, best-selling author and psychologist. He specialises in teams and leadership. He sees the telling and reification of stories as essential to the way that humans see both themselves and the world. For Paul a story is like a deep psychological paradigm by which we perceive, interpret and act on the data which impinges on us at all times. And you won’t change anything unless you change that story. Read more

Churches unite to help fundraise for our recycling hub

PRESS RELEASE

SUSSEX GREEN LIVING THANK HORSHAM DISTRICT COMMUNITY AND LOCAL CHURCHES FOR THEIR RECYCLING EFFORTS AND ANNOUNCE OPENING OF NEW RECYCLING HUB

Joy Carter, “lead Womble” at Sussex Green Living has continued to co-ordinate the sorting and dispatch of “hard-to-recycle” types of waste accepted by TerraCycle during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent period and would like to encourage local residents to keep on recycling.

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the government’s restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus, our day-to-day lives have changed, and our priorities have shifted but it is not all bad news! Green issues remain a key topic, and Sussex Green Living, along with TerraCycle would like to remind everybody that recycling is as important now as ever before! By disposing of waste correctly or storing it to send to TerraCycle when things get back to normal, we can collect now and have an impact forever. Read more

Green Homes Grants explained

                   Green Homes Grant

For our Horsham Future Forum (HFF) meeting on the 29th of September, we were joined by Tom Bragg, from Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Open Eco Homes, to explain to us how the Green Homes grant works. The purpose of his talk was to go through the details of these grants to help people understand how to apply for them. Tom was also joined by Soren from Warmer Sussex, to provide his insight to people (learn more about Warmer Sussex and listen to Soren’s podcast here)

He started off with a poll asking the participants of the HFF about their intentions about applying for the grant, and what they might want to install. Only 28% of participants said Yes or Probably, with a much higher percentage, 68%, responding with a maybe, so hopefully the clarifications provided through Tom’s talk has encouraged people to apply. The installation that was the most popular was low carbon heating (such as heat pump or solar thermal) at 88%, followed by insulation (48%), draught proofing (28%) and windows and doors (20%). As this was a multiple option question, some people might have chosen more than one option.

Firstly he explained about the scheme, and secondly discussed all the energy saving measures that you could decide from to implement in your house. The main points to remember are:
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Biscuit wrapper recycling

Parishes and Schools recycle more single-use plastics

School recyclingHere’s What You Can Do.

In partnership with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials, Sussex Green Living is now working with over fourteen parishes and schools to divert billions of waste resources from landfills.

Why is Recycling Single-Use Plastic Important?

Plastics are extremely durable and cheap to manufacture, making them almost impossible to overlook for manufacturers when it comes to product design and packaging. But their durability comes at the cost of slow degradation rates in the wild; upwards of 300 to 1000 years.

With about 380 tonnes of it being produced every year, by the time the plastic we have disposed of today begins to degrade the quantity in landfills, oceans and everywhere else will have become totally unmanageable. That is, unless, we can turn the tides.

Bisphenol A has been observed to disrupt physiological levels of sex hormones, negatively affect thyroid hormone gene expression in humans, and cause other detrimental effects. In marine life, issues with plastic entanglement and ingestion have been observed at a broad scale. Read more

Food and community resilience

On Tuesday the 15th of September, we had a very interesting talk from Adam Stark from The Food Resilience Project in Cootham. Adam teaches religion and philosophy at the Weald School, and is a self-published writer as well as an environmental campaigner, along a list of other accomplishments. The evening started with a movie trailer shown by Carrie Cort, called “The Need To Grow”, a stark environmental documentary film emphasising that “we need to stop playing games and start saving the planet” because to “not take care of our planet [is] no longer an option”. With that setting the stage for the importance and difficulty of maintaining our food systems in the face of the global and climatic changes we are seeing, we moved into hearing about Adam’s initiative. Read more

Wildlife friendly gardening

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

Support the Weald Oil Walk

Broadford Bridge, Nr Billingshurst

Did the World announce there is a climate emergency? Yes by 26th August 2020 1,767 jurisdictions in 30 countries had declared a climate emergency. Populations covered by jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency amount to over 820 million citizens, with 60 million of these living in the United Kingdom. This means in Britain now over 90 per cent of the population lives in areas that have declared a climate emergency, over 450 councils all together. So why are the councils in Surrey and Sussex still allowing licences for profit making companies to drill for fossil fuel? It is insane. Learn what is happening locally with an update from the Weald Action Group:

1. The Weald Action Group are doing a Weald Oil Walk in September aiming to raise money in view of the Judicial Review being led by Sarah Finch from Surrey following Surrey CC adopting a Climate Emergency and then permitting the drilling company UKOG to undertake production at their Horse Hill site (well a bit waterlogged currently). To learn more about the walk contact jillsutcliffe1@gmail.com.

2. Balcombe – application for Extended Well Test coming forward again to WSCC Planning Committee. It was due to be considered on March 24th but that meeting was held later and the Planning Officer Chris Bartlett recommended REFUSAL. Out for consultation until Sept 28th. Read more

Talks about food waste and local food

Next Tuesday at 7pm the Horsham Future Forum will be listening to a talk about The Food Resilience Project at Cootham presented by Adam Stark. You can book FREE tickets to this or any other Horsham Future Forum, Youth Eco Forum and Horsham Climate Cafe events using our Eventbrite page here.
Last Tuesday’s Horsham Future Forum attendees learnt about the important work of the  Community Fridges and plans for Horsham Community Fridge, learn all about it……

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?

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Help keep Rookwood green

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 pageRead more

Reducing energy, saving money and the planet

  • Over the last 10 years the UK has made some good progress reducing the carbon emissions associated with the generation of electricity. However – over the same timeframe – very little progress has been in reducing the emissions associated with heating our homes (ie “space heating” the heating of our home spaces). This is mostly due to our reliance on gas boilers in the home.
  • There are a number of options that can reduce the emissions related to space heating, not least improvements in home insulation (reducing wasted heat that “leaks” out of your home). But which insulation – wall, floor or roof ? And when you have optimised the insulation, which non-gas technology should you consider – solar, heat pumps (air source or ground source), or is there something new just around the corner ?
  • Warmer Sussex offer impartial advice (via a Retrofit Coordinator) to give you a plan/road map to reducing the emissions related to the space heating of your home. You will receive a bespoke Whole House Plan which looks at what has been done before, and what can be improved now. The Retrofit Coordinator considers the property, the clients budget, and any future plans they have (eg updating kitchen) when developing the strategy for the property. The insulation and ventilation will be considered first before starting to tackle heating/renewable.

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Guildford Community Hub unites community

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?

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Help Keep Rookwood Green!

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.

 

 

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Learn about Horsham’s eco churches

On Tuesday 7th July 2020 our Horsham Future Forum meeting talk was presented by Rosemary Couchman and Karen Park from Horsham Churches Together – focusing on eco churches.

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 admin@horshamct.org.uk. Read more

Planning environmentally friendly celebrations

On Saturday 4th July the Horsham Climate Cafe session focused on life celebrations, and how to make them more pocket and planet-friendly. Christenings, weddings, anniversaries and funerals needn’t cost the Earth, in more than one way! Presented by Jeanie Francis, a Billingshurst-based OneSpirit Interfaith minister/celebrant who over the last 25 years has developed a passion for creating personal, environmentally friendly special occasions that celebrate milestones in life.

Whether you are planning a celebration of new life or loosing a loved one, with a little thinking ‘out-side the box’ (excuse the pun) a personal and unique occasion, honouring a specific religion, mixed religion or no religion can be planned.

This is what one couple said recently about their son’s baby naming ceremony: “With a deep love of nature but with no particular religious faith we felt unsure how to celebrate the arrival of our son, Adam. With Jean’s imaginative guidance we created a beautiful ceremony which took place in our cottage garden beneath the willow tree. Everyone wrote wishes for Adam on cotton flags and tied them to the willow tree. Jean suggested we ask special friends to be guardians to Adam for Male Youth, Wisdom, Creativity and Spirituality. A day full of truly wonderful memories thank you Jean”. Read more

Safer cycling, healthier people, less air pollution & less C02

Our Horsham Future Forum talk on Tuesday 30th June was presented by Peter Silburn the Secretary of the Horsham District Cycling Forum (HDCF). He shared the HDCF’s ideas for changes to create safer walking and cycling in Horsham town, including their future vision for a low traffic neighbourhood. You can watch Peter’s presentation below.
How can you help?
Write to the councillors below showing your support for improving the road networks to provide safer walking and cycling in the town or indeed in your own area if you do not live in Horsham. If campaigning for your village or town forward your letter to the relevant councillors.  If writing about Horsham please focus on the Albion Way cycle lane and any personal requests you might have, sending it to the councillors below. HDCF have provided some pointers to include:

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Parishes and Schools Keep Joining in on Our Single-Use Recycling Scheme

In partnership with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials, Sussex Green Living is now working with over twelve parishes and schools to divert billions of waste resources from landfills.

Why is Recycling Single-Use Plastic Important?

Plastics are extremely durable and cheap to manufacture, making them almost impossible to overlook for manufacturers when it comes to product design and packaging. But their durability comes at the cost of slow degradation rates in the wild; upwards of 300 to 1000 years.

With about 380 tonnes of it being produced every year, by the time the plastic we have disposed of today begins to degrade the quantity in landfills, oceans and everywhere else will have become totally unmanageable. That is, unless, we can turn the tides.

Bisphenol A has been observed to disrupt physiological levels of sex hormones, negatively affect thyroid hormone gene expression in humans, and cause other detrimental effects. In marine life, issues with plastic entanglement and ingestion have been observed at a broad scale.

The Differences in Plastic Recycling Types

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E.Y.E.’s 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit

*** UNDER A WEEK TO GO…***

…to the online launch of E.Y.E.’s 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit, on the 2nd July at 10:00.

The social distancing has led to the postponement of the 13th Worthing and Adur Eco-Summit gathering. I know that your participation in the event was booked into your calendar, and that you might take an interest in our virtual event. As always we look forward to your involvement and support with our future events.

EYE have taken the initiative to collate and post a selection of workshops, to keep our keen eco-learners busy. Kindly provided by some of our supporters who were able to do so, in these challenging times we currently find ourselves in.

The 1st Virtual EYE Eco-Summit will be available via YouTube. Read more

Life celebrations with your pocket & planet in mind

Naming ceremony in a garden

Saturday 4th July the Horsham Climate Cafe session will be focusing on life celebrations, and how to make them more pocket and planet-friendly. Christenings, weddings, anniversaries and funerals needn’t cost the Earth (in more than one way!). Presented by Jeanie Francis, a Billingshurst-based OneSpirit Interfaith minister/celebrant and ‘silverpreneur’ who over the last 25 years she has developed a passion for creating personal, environmentally friendly special occasions that celebrate milestones in life.

Whether you are planning a celebration of new life or loosing a loved one, with a little thinking ‘out-side the box’ (excuse the pun) a personal and unique occasion, honouring a specific religion, mixed religion or no religion can be planned.

This is what one couple said recently about their son’s baby naming ceremony: “With a deep love of nature but with no particular religious faith we felt unsure how to celebrate the arrival of our son, Adam. With Jean’s imaginative guidance we created a beautiful ceremony which took place in our cottage garden beneath the willow tree. Everyone wrote wishes for Adam on cotton flags and tied them to the willow tree. Jean suggested we ask special friends to be guardians to Adam for Male Youth, Wisdom, Creativity and Spirituality. A day full of truly wonderful memories thank you Jean”. Read more