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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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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Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed. This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further: ‘Local Plan Review: Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come. A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[…]

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Time is Now event banner

The Time Is Now – collective lobbying event at Parliament

The climate crisis has become more prolific in the news recently aided by the Extinction Rebellion protests. These were followed by the publication of the UK Committee on Climate Change report – which proposed net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and the UN’s assessment of how quickly we are losing natural ecosystems on which we all depend. You can read more in these articles by the Committee on Climate Change and the UN. According to both sources, ‘transformative changes’ are urgently needed. Those changes are possible but we need everyone to play their part, including governments around the world. So here’s one thing we can all do: ask our MP to support the proposals of the Committee on Climate Change for a zero carbon UK. On 26th June some of us will be going to Westminster to meet our MPs. Do join us! You can register through the[…]

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Time is Now event banner

Net zero by 2050 – template letter to send MPs

For South Swindon residents, MP is Robert Buckland.robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk29 B Wood St, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4AN.01793 533393. For North Swindon residents, MP is Justin Tomlinson.justin.tomlinson.mp@parliament.ukFirst Floor, Customer Service Hub, Orbital Shopping Park, Thamesdown Drive, Swindon, SN25 4AN.01793 533 393. Dear [Insert MP’s name], I am writing to express my support for the greenhouse gas emissions target proposed by the Committee on Climate Change, of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is based on the International Panel on Climate Change 2018 report. You can read more detail at the following link:https://www.theccc.org.uk/2019/05/02/phase-out-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-2050-to-end-uk-contribution-to-global-warming/ The UK has achieved much since the Climate Change Act of 2008. However climate science is now showing that the carbon budgets set in 2008 are not ambitious enough. Indeed unless decisive action is taken now, it is likely that we will fail to meet commitments under the 2008 Act. So, I ask you as my local MP[…]

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Litter Picks around Swindon

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** Litter picks are important for many reasons.  Waste, a large amount of it plastic, negatively affects local communities.  It is a blot on the landscape and, often, unhygienic.  It causes suffering for wildlife, such as birds who get caught up in it.  I have seen several examples of this locally including a swan who had partially swallowed some fishing line with a syringe attached, and pigeons with deformities from getting tangled in waste.  Picking up litter helps challenge the normalised culture of littering.  It is shown in practise to reduce the amount of litter that is dropped.  Hence it forms part of our campaign to educate and work together in order to reduce plastic pollution. We started the Plastic Free Swindon campaign for Plastic Free July in 2018 with a joint litter picker in Pinehurst with RSPCA North Wiltshire.  This was[…]

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Plastic Pollution Action Plan placard

Plastic Pollution Bill – template letter

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** You are welcome to use this template as a guide to write to your MP: Dear [Insert MP’s name] The impacts of plastic usage / pollution with regards to climate change and loss of biodiversity are being increasingly understood and are extremely concerning. I refer you to the detailed report by the Center For Environmental Law – https://www.ciel.org/plasticandclimate/. We urgently need legislation to stem the tide of plastic pollution and to control the use of hazardous chemicals often used in plastics. Plastic is being found in increasing levels in animals, waterways, land, food and humans. Toxic, unnatural chemicals persist in our environment, such as hormone disruptors and mutagens. They are responsible for disease and suffering. The government’s actions to tackle plastic straws, cotton buds and wet wipes is welcome. However those actions are greatly insufficient, allowing plastic pollution and chemical toxicity[…]

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Refill Swindon launched with a bang!

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** On the 2nd September 2018, Refill Swindon launched at the Eastcott community centre Repair Café. With the help of Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kevin Parry, the scheme was officially welcomed to the town, encouraging a spike in interest as people got involved and spread the blue logo further across Swindon. Cllr Parry said “I’m fully supportive of this campaign and I was delighted to launch it. Anything we can do as a town to reduce plastic waste has got to be a positive step and it’ s really good I think to see small and national businesses coming out to support it. The less plastic we use, the less litter we’re going to create and that has to be a positive impact on the town centre.” Refill Swindon Coordinator, Hollie Snyder, with Cllr Kevin Parry cutting the ribbon to welcome the scheme[…]

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Swindon Street Reps Supporting Plastic Free Swindon

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** Swindon Street Reps are a group of volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in their local community. Started in 2015 by Swindon Borough Council Housing as a way of engaging tenants and residents in better communication with the council, the role evolved into a more active and diverse range of activities. One of the first and on going activities Street Reps engaged in was community litter picks. Litter is a real issue on the estates, especially off the main roads where it may be missed by clean up crews. Litter causes many issues to the environmental well being of both people and wildlife, plastic especially as it doesn’t break down. Street Reps sought to tackle this by running ‘litter pick parties’ where a group would focus on a few streets at a time and clean the area. They would[…]

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