Hope you enjoy reading our latest update, including details of our next meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16th May.
Welcome to May’s Update – Spring has Sprung!
Spring has well and truly sprung with the new season’s natural delights all around us. As always we bring you local and national climate action news, events and activities including ideas for growing your own for sustainable eating and the range of CASaV and other local events for the Great Big Green week in June.
What’s Going On – general news and events
This month’s whole group CASaV meeting will be on Tuesday 16th May at The Globe Community Library, North Road, Stokesley 7.30 – 9pm. CASaV are members of the River Leven Catchment group working on cleaning the River Leven. Come and find out more about this work and our other activities including plans for Great Big Green Week in June.All are welcome – spread the word!
At our last meeting in April we had an informative presentation ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ from Charles Everson of North Yorkshire Rotters – https://climateactionstokesleyandvillages.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/north-yorkshire-rotters-presentation-180423.pdf.
Read all about it!
CASaV produces a monthly climate action column for the Darlington and Stockton Times, April’s focussed on reducing food waste. This month, edition published Friday 11th May, the focus is on the issue of phosphates in the River Leven, linking with our work with the River Leven Catchment Group.
No Mow May
No Mow May is Plantlife’s annual campaign calling all garden owners and green space managers not to mow during May – liberating your lawns and providing a space for nature.
We’ve lost nearly 97% of flower rich meadows since the 1970’s and with them gone are vital food needed by pollinators, like bees and butterflies.
A healthy lawn with some long grass and wildflowers benefits wildlife, tackles pollution and can even lock away carbon below ground – and best of all, to reap these benefits all you have to do is not mow your lawn in May!
With over 20 million gardens in the UK, even the smallest grassy patches add up to a significant proportion of our land which, if managed properly, can deliver enormous gains for nature, communities and the climate. This is why Plantlife is calling for people to get involved with #NoMowMay and let wild plants get a head start on the summer.
More info here: https://www.plantlife.org.uk/campaigns/nomowmay/#
Locally, on behalf of CASaV, Bridget Holstrom who chairs the Nature / Environment group made requests to Stokesley Town Council for four areas under their responsibility to remain uncut to increase biodiversity and provide food for vital pollinators. This was agreed by the council and a survey will be carried out to record any change to the biodiversity.
Great Big Green Week is coming – 10-18th June!
The Great Big Green Week is a yearly event across the country to celebrate community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. More information here: https://greatbiggreenweek.com/
There will be a number of CASAV events for Great Big Green Week organised by our different subgroups including Nature / Environment, Food and Waste as well as other organisations – more info here:
Keep the lights shining – Whitby Esk Energy tours for families 18th June
Sunday 18th June
Tours at 1-1:45pm, 2-2.45pm and 3-3.45pm
Can you get the water flowing to keep the lights shining?
Energy related activities for all the family to take part in whilst you visit our community-owned 50kW Archimedes screw hydroelectric turbine on the River Esk at Ruswarp.
More information here: https://whitbyeskenergy.org.uk/keep-the-lights-shining-whitby-esk-energy-tours-for-families/
This event is not only part of the Great Big Green Week but also part of Community Energy Fortnight more info here: https://www.communityenergyengland.org/pages/community-energy-fortnight
Community Earth Festival Esk Valley & East Cleveland 22nd April – 8th July
This grassroots festival started last month and continues until 8th July with a wide range of accessible events aiming to challenge people to look again at our relationship to the natural world. Events include practical workshops, nature recovery projects, creative performances, guided walks, talks and discussions. Full programme of events available here: https://www.eskvalleynews.co.uk/cef-programme
Get out and about for less (and sustainably!) until the end of June 2023
Compared with driving alone, taking public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45%, decreasing pollutants in the atmosphere and improving air quality. Across the country, bus companies have many fares capped at £2 maximum no matter how long the journey until the end of June 2023. For example you can travel Britain’s most scenic bus journey (in a 2018 survey) from York to Whitby across the glorious North Yorkshire moors on the Coastliner bus, more info here https://www.transdevbus.co.uk/coastliner/.
Other inspiration here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/best-scenic-prettiest-bus-journeys-in-england-qx99j96vt
Updates from the groups
United Nations launch two new initiatives towards achieving clean, affordable energy for all
Heartening global news! The UN-Energy partnership brings together some 30 organizations working on all aspects of energy and sustainable development. The UN-Energy Plan of Action Towards 2025 delivers on commitments made at a high-level meeting in September that laid out a global roadmap for energy access and transition by the end of the decade, while also contributing to net zero emissions by 2050.
An Energy Compact Action Network was also launched to match governments seeking support for their clean energy goals with governments and businesses that have already pledged over $600 billion in assistance.
Coalitions to support energy access and transition in Nigeria and in Santiago, Chile, were also announced, thus showcasing the Network’s potential.
More info here: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/05/1117532
Clouds on the horizon for Green Energy in the UK
Sadly, clean electricity plans in the UK may be stuck for years because of ‘negligence’ by governments over modernising network, say renewable energy developers.
Windfarms, solar arrays and battery projects are stuck in gridlock for up to 15 years as the UK’s electricity grid struggles to keep pace with the appetite for more clean energy – including a car factory being forced to wait until 2037.
The delays threaten to undermine decades of work to attract the investment needed to support the UK’s clean energy ambitions, and risks derailing Britain’s progress towards legally binding climate targets.
Earlier this week, MPs on the Commons environmental audit committee opened an inquiry into how to ease the backlog of solar projects waiting to connect to the grid that “could seriously jeopardise net zero Britain”.
More info here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/may/08/uk-green-energy-projects-in-limbo-as-grid-struggles-to-keep-pace
A good time to write to our MP to encourage action on this?
Growing your own in May in allotments, gardens, windowsills and counter tops
One of the most sustainable actions you can take to fight climate change is to grow more of your own food and May is a great month to work on this.
The RHS has monthly ideas and guidance for growing vegetables and fruit in your own garden, no matter how small. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/in-month/may
We appreciate that not everyone has a garden or access to an allotment but windowsills can still provide a harvest of fresh food. Ideas here: https://www.theenglishgarden.co.uk/expert-advice/gardeners-tips/windowsill-veg-plot/
Window sills full? Sprouting seeds and beans on your kitchen top is a great way to quickly get nutritious and sustainable food. Ideas here: https://www.thrive.org.uk/get-gardening/sprouting-seeds
Great Big Green Week recipe display
The Food Group are planning to a display of recipe books to encourage people to eat more sustainably at CASAV events during the Great Big Green Week.
Local organic veg boxes
Barbara Beveridge at Battersby Junction provides wonderful organic local veg boxes. She would welcome anyone who would like to volunteer to support her on her small holding at Battersby Junction. Wendy from the Food Group spend an enjoyable few hours with her recently. For more information email barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that every evening every week surplus food (which would otherwise go to waste) is collected from our local Co-op stores in Stokesley and Great Ayton and distributed to local charities and groups for those most in need?
Jenny Earle from the Food Group organises this fantastic work and a rota of volunteers collect and distribute the food.
One of the many organisations that receive and make good use of this surplus food is Nite Light CIC who made good use of the surplus food for their recent coronation lunch party. Nite Light is based in Middlesbrough preventing vulnerable people from going hungry. They have a number of activities including a free food market stall and ‘pay it forward’ schemes linking in with local businesses. More info here: https://nitelightcic.co.uk/
More volunteers to collect and distribute the surplus food are needed, even if you can only volunteer occasionally this is very useful for back up cover if one of the regular volunteers is unable to collect the food at short notice. Email us if you can spare an hour every now and then.
Yatton House Community Garden
Are you a Co-op member? If you are, remember you can still help fund the community garden that CASaV are helping develop with Yatton House, Brighten Up Great Ayton group and local Rotary groups. You can find out more and choose this local cause to support. If you are interested in joining a working party in the garden email Caryn [mailto:email@example.com].
Nature / Environment
No Mow May success
Chair of the Nature / Environment group Bridget Holstrom made a request to Stokesley Town Council for four areas that they are responsible for the upkeep of to be left unmown to provide nutrition for vital pollinators and also to enable a wider range of plants to establish and set seed. This was accepted by the council so look out for wider biodiversity in Stokesley!
Lots of interesting and inspiring events for Great Big Green Week and beyond
1. Biodiversity Event: Gardening for Wildlife 10th June
The event will be a guided walk around the garden highlighting the importance of the gardening for wildlife and the different elements in the garden. These include – native/non native plants, different levels, how to be insect friendly, providing winter habitats etc. Children are welcome to look under stones and in ponds etc.
There will be two sessions over the course of the day. 2pm – 4pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm and the evening session will include using a bat detector!
There will be a limited number of places (15 max) and must be booked in advance, details to follow. The address of the venue will be provided those that book.
Refreshments will be provided.
2. Nature Under Threat & How to Help Display at the Globe, Stokesley 10-18th June
There will be a display all week 10-18th June at the Globe Community Library on the current threats to nature locally and globally, the reasons for this and what we can do about as individuals.
Additional displays are being considered for the Hub at Hutton Rudby and at the Discovery Centre, Great Ayton.
3. Wild flower walk around Cod Beck Sunday 11th June
Meet at Cod Beck car park at 4pm for a 1-2 hour walk led by botany expert Helen Herring.
Further walks and explorations of nature are planned this summer e.g. a walk around Bank Foot, Ingelby Greenhow led by Anne Press and a bird watching event.
20s Plenty for Stokesley – survey results
20’s plenty is the national scheme backed by United Nations, aiming to introduce 20mph as the norm wherever people and vehicles meet.
The local subgroup ’20’s Plenty for Stokesley’ recently carried out a survey and these results were published in The Loop:
A total of 264 completed the survey
250 agree with a new 20mph limit through Stokesley
14 disagree (comments suggest agreement in part by most of the 14 signatories)
1 person agreed and disagreed
Over 70 comments were offered
Many signatories agree that numerous villages in the area should have a 20mph speed limit considered too.
You can contact the group here: Stokesley@20splentyforus.org.uk
Locally the 20s Plenty for North Yorkshire has been campaigning to encourage local councils to introduce maximum 20 mph zones in the centre of towns and villages and in particular where pedestrians are most vulnerable e.g. outside schools and where there is a high footfall. At these lower speeds not only can road deaths and injuries be substantially reduced but also climate changing exhaust gases can be lessened. Currently 141 town/parish councils in North Yorkshire support 20’s Plenty.
20’s Plenty North Yorkshire groups aim for North Yorkshire County Council to budget for new 20mph signage all around our county. If you agree with this idea please complete and share the petition.
Sign here : https://us11.list-manage.com/survey?u=7fbc10142193f88b5449266f7&id=b0a4ff73aa&e=5ef9639452
Stokesley and Villages Repair Cafes
A big thank you to all of you who continue to make our Repair Cafes such a success – repair experts, reception and refreshment volunteers and of course all of you who bring along your household items in need of repair.
Our next two Repair Cafes take place on Saturday 20th May at Swainby Village Hall 10-12 and following that on Saturday 10th June in the in the Stokesley Globe Community Library 10-12 as part of the Great Big Green Week to which we have sent a tentative invite to our local MP!
This now monthly event alternates between Swainby and Stokesley and continues to be well attended with 100s of household items repaired / returned to functional use which might have otherwise gone to waste in landfill or incineration, saving the owners the cost of buying replacements as well as reducing the environmental impact of using up resources and the energy in manufacturing.
The Repair Cafes gives us a great opportunity to share the climate action message with people who aren’t aware of CASAV and many have signed up to our mailing list, joined us on Facebook and volunteered for future Repair Cafes.
Remember, bring your household items in need of repair e.g. electrical appliances, mechanical equipment, furniture, clothing, crockery, laptops, smartphones, etc – to the Repair Cafe and extend the life of your items, learn repair skills, prevent landfill waste and help fight climate change!
We are always on the lookout for more volunteers so please get in touch if you are interested or want more information.
Further details here on our website.
Upcycling Day Challenge 24th June
To mark Global Upcycling Day on June 24th Anne Mannix is preparing an ‘Upcycling Challenge’ competition for individuals and groups to design the most inventive way of repurposing items and materials into something useful which would have otherwise gone to recycling or to waste. There will be a number of categories, including most imaginative and most practical across different age ranges and the winners will receive prizes!
Recycling is the process of destroying waste and repurposing it to make something new from it, e.g. scrap metal is melted, processed, and then used to make a new item which is useful but still requires energy which contributes to climate change. Upcycling is more climate friendly in that it uses waste in its current state to create something new, such as a flower vase made from an empty bottle of wine. The benefit of upcycling is that you can give a raw material a second life without spending a lot of money on recycling, and you can also meet a current need with what you make.
The Upcycling Challenge will be launched this month, so look out for updates. If you have any ideas or a group who would like to take part please contact us by email.
Refill – reducing use of single use plastics
The Refill App (https://www.refill.org.uk/) allows you tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill containers for drinks, food and household cleaning substances as well as getting free tap water for your reusable bottle. Anne Mannix and other CASAV members have been out and about encouraging local businesses to sign up to the refill scheme and appear on the app and there are now almost 20 locations where you can refill your own containers, saving packaging and costs.
If you know any local businesses which would like to join the scheme, please get in touch.
If you have any news or any event / activity you would like promoting on this monthly update please email Kate firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of May.
Kate will also be helping promote activities via Facebook and Instagram so let her know if there is anything that you would like shared via our Facebook group or Instagram page if you are not a Facebook / Instagram user.
Hope to see you at the CASAV whole group monthly meeting on Tuesday 16th May
on behalf of the Climate Action Stokesley and Villages Steering Group Steering group:
Bridget Holmstrom, Caryn Loftus, Jack Turton, Ron Kirk and Simon Gibbon