Important action – local wildlife corridors blocked

For a while during lockdown, grass verges were not being maintained by local parishes. Many people have commented as to how nice it has been to have long flowing grass and wildflowers. Crucially, we need to be doing this. As the climate warms, wildlife corridors allow nature to move to suitable new habitats. Wild flowers encourage insects and pollinators, vital to life on Earth. So if we inhibit wildlife corridors we are in serious trouble. We need to take radical action considering the situation we’re in. That means changing how we do things, changing how we live. What is more important: short, neat-looking grass or the health of our planet? For anyone who needs reminding, we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of the Earth and a climate crisis. We need to take positive action now! Glynis Hales of the newly formed Transition Swindon group and the[…]

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Penhill tree planting **Event postponed one week

**Update: Please note the change of date, from the 15th February to the 22nd. This is due to weather warnings. Saturday 22nd February 2020, 10:30am – 2:30pm. ‘WE NEED YOU!  Yes you!Penhill Naturehood, Penhill Street Reps, Swindon Junior Reps, Penhill Nature Reserve and SCAN invite volunteers to join them in a conservation event to plant 150 parkland species whips and 50 shrubs.No experience necessary, come along and join us in leaving a wildlife and woodland legacy for penhill.  Planting on the grass parkland that is situated between Minety Road and Ramsbury Avenue.  If you can attend, arrangements to meet are 10.30am at the pocket park on Ramsbury Avenue, Penhill (which isn’t far from the shops at the bottom of Ramsbury Hill).Beverages and bathroom facilities are to be located at the Chippenham close community centre, off of the bottom of ramsbury hill.Hope to see you soon.’ – Penhill Street Reps. ‘We[…]

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Central Swindon North Parish tree planting – Ferndale area, SN2

‘My name is Hakan and I am an allotment officer in Central Swindon North Parish Council.  I am proud to say that the parish is focusing on planting lots of trees, looking after our green spaces for future generations.  I have been asked to organise a tree planting session on Tuesday the 10th December 2019 around Cobden Road, Ferndale Road, Iffley Road and Wembley Street, SN2.  We have around 550 tree whips (60-80cm tall) of different species to plant. I have been asked to get as many people as I can with tree planting on the day.’ To get involved, please contact Hakan on 07741 849106 or by email. Please bring suitable clothing for all weathers, including boots. And please, if you can, bring a shovel. Children to be accompanied by a responsible adult(s), thanks. Here’s a list of the species that will be planted, with links for further info:10x[…]

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Peatmoor Community Woodland Open Morning

On Sunday 1 December the volunteers who look after Peatmoor Community Woodland in West Swindon are holding a visitor open morning between 10.30am and 1pm. The area is a rare example of a wet woodland which has been a carbon store for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. As a result, it is a biodiverse and ecologically important site preserved within an urban setting. Volunteers will be demonstrating the ancient art of coppicing – cutting down hazel trees in a fixed rotation to allow them to regenerate over the following seven years.  We’ll also be showing off the equally old technique of hedge laying whereby trees are partially cut and woven into a barrier. The trees will then continue to grow strongly to make the hedge stronger. Please come along to find out more about the history of the copse and see what volunteers have been doing over the last 31[…]

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Amnesty and the Climate Crisis

‘For nearly six decades Amnesty International members around the world have been holding governments to account for their violations of basic human rights. What began in 1961 as a campaign to free Prisoners of Conscience is now a global movement that works to protect people from a broad range of human rights abuses in order to create a safer, more just world for us all. A key priority now is to hold governments to account for their inaction over the climate emergency. The need to put people and their human rights at the centre of the climate debate is increasingly urgent. Whether it is floods, drought, rising sea levels or burning rainforest, the climate crisis threatens rights across the board: the right to food and water, health, housing and homes, livelihoods, culture and development and, of course, the right to life itself. It impacts upon each and every one of[…]

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Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities

By Ellie Stevens of The Centre for Sustainable Energy. ‘What happens to low-income households whose energy bills suddenly increase – for example because prices rise dramatically or they experience a change in circumstances such as an elderly relative living at home. And how can such households and their neighbourhoods be supported to become more ‘energy resilient’? These are questions we at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) are exploring through Powering Up!, a 3-year project funded by the Friends Provident Foundation. We’re working in three low-income communities – Druffyn in Newport, Penhill in Swindon and Hamp in Bridgwater. The project started with a six-month ethnographic study undertaken by Bradon Smith in partnership with Bath University, which involved in-depth interviews and a workshop with three residents in each community. So what did we learn during the research? Firstly, that energy reduction is not a priority for most people we spoke to[…]

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Protect Swindon and Highworth’s Woodland: Save Redlands Copse!

Phase 1: Submitting objections to the proposed planning development. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! Step one of our campaign is to get as many objections sent to the council as possible. You can send your objections to sbcdc@swindon.gov.uk . You will need to quote ‘S/RES/19/1371’ at the top of your email, along with the date, your name and address. Objections need to be in by the[…]

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Save Redlands Copse: Petition

Please sign and share the petition to save Redlands Copse. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! This is phase 2 of the campaign. Phase 1, raising objections to the development, completed on the 15th October 2019.

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Equality and the Environment – Swindon Equality Group

‘Equality matters in terms of health and happiness, but surprising new data reveals that it is also better for the environment – in the more equal rich countries, people on average consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon.’– Danny Dorling: Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Author of books on equality such as ‘The Equality Effect’. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Besides causing enormous suffering to people / communities / society (see the research published in ‘The Spirit Level’ book), the effects of inequalities on the environment are increasingly being realised. Check out this article, ‘The Rich, Poor and the Earth‘ by Danny Dorling, for an overview. Swindon Equality Group (SEG) are affiliated to the Equality Trust. They campaign locally to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing socio-economic inequality, of vital importance for[…]

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Earth Strike (global climate strike) in Swindon

Over 300 people congregated in Swindon to take part in the first global climate strike aka Earth Strike. Demonstrations taking place in an estimated 185 countries all over the world. People from all walks of life, young and old, came together to demand proper representation from governments, for vital legislation and action to address climate change. Many people feel that they have no choice but to rebel against governments whose actions are deemed to be inept and indicative of care for profit and power over people, animals and planet. These events were planned to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York on the 23rd September 2019, to pressure world leaders into taking appropriate steps to address climate change. The event in Swindon started in Regent Circus with speeches from organisers and local campaigners / activists. Then over 300 people set off down Princes Street, walking through town[…]

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