APRIL 2021 NEWSLETTER
We are a community organisation committed to minimising our impact on the environment, promoting local food production and local businesses and building a stronger community through practical activities and campaigning.
This newsletter provides a snapshot of recent global and local sustainability issues and events affecting everyday life in Cumbria. I have included links to further information wherever possible.
THE CUMBRIA COAL MINE
If you are concerned about the new coking coal mine in West Cumbria you are encouraged to write to your MP and/or County Councillor, enlisting their support to help overturn the County Council’s original decision to give planning approval. The arguments for and against the mine are presented in this essay:
And this next link provides guidance on how best to write to Government representatives powerforpeople.org.uk/write-to-your-mp
A NEW SOCIAL COVENANT FOR POST-PANDEMIC BRITAIN?
There is a emerging movement that wishes to implement a new social covenant in the 21st Century for families, communities and the nation (the full article is at a-new-social-covenant). The relationships within and between these associations is what forms the covenant: a mutual commitment extending backwards and forwards in history to sustain our common life and pursue the common good. The 12 propositions forming this covenant are outlined here https://newsocialcovenant.co.uk/ which will enable you to make up your own mind.
Refill is the award-winning campaign ‘from City to Sea’ to help people live with less plastic. Anyone can download the free app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill (including all along Hadrian’s Wall in our area). Check out the new schemes section in the newly updated Refill website here https://www.refill.org.uk/
IS NET ZERO A DANGEROUS TRAP?
This thought provoking article (see link below) that I was sent provides a timely reminder that it is dangerous to become too fixated on the single goal of achieving net zero which helps to perpetuate a misplaced belief in technological salvation and diminishes the sense of urgency surrounding the need to curb emissions now. See:
Olivine is a naturally occurring mineral – it makes up some 25 per cent of the Earth’s crust – but it has the wonderful property, like trees, of being able to absorb CO2. If sand and stone was replaced with olivine every ton of olivine would remove a ton of CO2. Anyone can chip in. You can buy a two kilo bag of olivine for your back garden for around €5 – thereby capturing two kilos of CO2. What’s not to like about building a rock garden or a gravel path made from greensand?
ZERO CARBON CUMBRIA PARTNERSHIP AND SB ANNUAL MEETING
Just this week the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership (ZCCP) has appointed a community sustainability network coordinator (Helen Attewell) whose role over the next 5 years will be to facilitate community groups like ours in Cumbria, to help them work individually and collectively towards making Cumbria the first carbon-neutral county in the UK by 2037.
We will be inviting Helen to visit Brampton in July, after restrictions have lifted, to talk to our supporters about the ZCC partnership, her role in it and her aspirations for what we could achieve together. We intend to combine this talk with our AGM which was cancelled last year because I considered a virtual AGM to be most unsatisfactory.
THE BIG GIVE
Cumbria Action for Sustainability (https://cafs.org.uk/ has been chosen to take part in this year's The Big Green Give. It's aiming to raise £5,000 to inspire more people to get involved and take action to tackle climate change in the run up to COP26.
This #RacetoZero fundraising appeal launched yesterday (Earth Day) at midday and is running until 29th April. All donations will be matched, as long as they're made through the Big Green Give page here: https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/. Sustainable Brampton has already made a donation on your behalf.
CLIMATE CHANGE READING GROUP
In partnership with the Cumbria Library Service we are starting to set up a climate change reading group in Brampton to encourage further discussion and action as COP26 approaches and climate change increasingly affects our ways of living.
The first book to be circulated will probably be Mike Berners-Lee’s ‘There’s No Planet B’ as it offers good practical and data-driven advice on changing lifestyles. Meetings could be held in either the Library or the Community Centre once restrictions have eased.
If you are interested in participating in this group or have any suggestions do please let me know.
FELLFOOT FORWARD LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP
The Fellfoot Forward project ( see https://www.northpennines.org.uk/what_we_do/fellfoot-forward/ ) is rapidly gaining momentum with a host of environmental and cultural projects and activities underway and there are lots of opportunities for individuals to get directly involved as restrictions ease over the summer months. Their day by day activity may be viewed at www.facebook.com/groups/fellfoot/
ELECTRIC VEHICLE VIDEO
EVs have been much in the news. If you are considering switching to an electric vehicle you should take a look at this assessment video from CAfS to help your decision. See https://new-ev-video-series-from-cafs/
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HEAT PUMPS
Ground and air source heat pumps offer one of the most effective ways of reducing consumption of fossil fuel derived oil and gas for domestic heating. Having one will ‘future proof’ your home and add value as the UK begins to accelerate towards a net zero era.
They are generally much more expensive to install than traditional boilers but renewable heat incentive payments offered enable the capital cost to be paid back over about 10 years. David Hill is an experienced heat pump consultant who described the decision making and installation process in a seminar organised by CAfS. Anyone interested in this technology would benefit from watching his excellent and detailed presentation (from 35 mins to 63 mins) See: www.youtube.com/heat pumps
24 APR - BRAMPTON FARMERS MARKET TOMORROW!
Normal service is resuming at tomorrow’s Farmers’ Market with craft stallholders returning and we are re-starting the ever popular ‘Give and Take’ stall - bring items you think are worthy of a second home and anyone can take away whatever is on the stall – it’s all FREE. The forecast is good and we hope to see you there!
29 APR – CAFÉ SCI TALK ON NATURAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT
A Café Sci evening (by zoom) with Dr Jenny Garbe on the science behind the Eden Rivers Natural Flood Management programme. The session will open at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. Please pre-register beforehand by emailing email@example.com
1 MAY - FARMERS’ MARKET AT CARLISLE CATHEDRAL
Our monthly Farmers’ Market in Carlisle has now moved into a new home within the precinct of Carlisle Cathedral. This is an exciting new phase and it’s ideally placed next to the smart new Fratry coffee room. Why not check it out over the early Bank Holiday week-end?
27 MAY - CAFÉ SCI TALK ON THE IRISH SEA MARINE PROTECTED AREA BY GEORGIA DE JONG CLEYNDERT
More details to be circulated after this month’s talk. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the general Café Sci mailing list.
Please get in touch if anything you have read here interests you or if you have an item to include in the next mailing. My email address is email@example.com or you may call 016977 48833 at any time.
Tim Coombe Chair Sustainable Brampton