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Polytunnels, Apples and Puppies! 
Did you know that there are really great Good News stories going on in the world?

Whilst we may be bombarded with doom and gloom, to the extent that many of us have just switched off, there is actually a significant amount of stuff going on at all levels from governments to grass roots - all of us moving forward together. There are 100's if not 1000's of climate action and environmental groups working away, improving lives every day and becoming more and more connected. Governments and organisations are proceeding apace too across the world. 

For instance, September saw wind and solar power 73% of all electricity demands in South Australia. Investment in coal fired power is reducing and the largest wind and solar utility in the US – NextEra Energy – has just overtaken the world’s largest oil company - ExxonMobil - in market value. Closer to home, the first all electric buses now carry passengers from Edinburgh to Dundee for only £7.50! Even our own Highland Council has impressive plans, which you can hear about at our SCCAN Regional meeting on the 5th Dec. Change is accelerating a pace and perhaps this brings us some glimmer of hope.

All of this good news, may just help to counteract the horrendous situations that climate change is creating across the world - one third of Bangladesh flooded - The Amazon wild fires already twice as bad as the whole season last year - California wild fires are breaking records. It's just unbearable.

But nothing stops us beavering away! We've had a great response already to our Sutherland Orchard Project and the Ardgay Primary School poly tunnel is at present being built despite the current Covid restrictions.

To find out more and/or get involved please keep a close eye on our web site - www.planetsutherland.com.

And, you can sign up here to make sure you get our newsletters and updates on our projects, and  don't forget to Forward to a friend, Thanks.
Upcoming Events

Highlands & Islands Events


Sat 5th Dec, 10-1pm - Save the Date - SCCAN Highlands & Island Regional Event.


We are delighted to be jointly running this event with SCCAN (The Scottish Communities Climate Action Network). Our speakers have been confirmed as Keith Masson from The Highland Council Climate Change Working Group, Pam Candae from Carbon Conversations and Billy Jones from Free Wheel Coaching. We'll hear about what the Highland Council are doing themselves and their plans to help communities and learn about improving our own resilience and how we can help improve our Carbon Conversations.


If you'd like to pre-book on the SCCAN Regional Event, please fill in this form. thanks.

 

Mon 2nd Dec, Highland Council Climate Change Working Group Conference.


Look out for news on a great all day conference with many interesting speakers.
 

Highland Good Food Conversation Conference - 11th Jan, 18th Jan, 25th Jan, 1st Feb & 8th Feb : 1-5pm.


Read more about the Highland Good Food Conversation and listen to the regular podcasts here https://highlandgoodfood.scot/podcast/
 

Top Picks Events in October from our friends.


There's a very interesting event looking at Disability & Climate Justice being run by Stop Climate Chaos on 22nd October. 

Living Lighter are running a workshop on Planet Friendly Food Choices, also on the 22nd Oct. 

The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) are running a seminar series looking at updated SOLAR technology. It's already started, but the next 2 events are on the 11th Nov and 9th Dec.

And thanks to Transition Black Isle for highlighting the Ethical Consumer week running from 24-30th October. Full details are here.
Project News

Lairg Primary School Polytunnel


We are delighted with the outcomes of the Lairg Primary School Polytunnel restoration. Before the covid restrictions set in, the volunteer team worked incredibly hard to remove a dead peach tree and to obsessively remove every scrap of ground elder. Ready to start growing, of course we were frustrated when everything then halted. However as soon as restrictions eased, new soil was added and dwarf green beans, purple kale, romanesco cauliflowers, melons, tomatoes, lettuce, rainbow chard, novel courgettes, peppers and squash plants were planted out; we'd started these seedlings at home. 
With support and guidance the children are now responsible for maintaining the health of the crops and harvesting them. They’ve also been enjoying steamed beans and chard prepared by the school cook. As well as the obvious learning opportunities, the resource has helped keep classes of children distanced from each other in accordance with guidance on Covid 19 safety.
Lesley has expressed her sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the project and we certainly are delighted to have made such a worthwhile contribution to school life! 
Thanks are due to the Lesley for a donation from the school gardening fund, to Lairg Community Council for approval of funding from their small grants fund, to local residents for the donation of plants, to the fire-brigade for filling up the watering container and to Lairg Learning Centre for pallets to hold the container. A true community venture! 
 

Gledfield Polytunnel


Thanks very much again are due to the Ann Duchess of Westminster Charity for funding a poly tunnel in Gledfield Primary in Ardgay. It's a crazy thing to try and achieve, but here we are building the tunnel during the October holidays whilst the pupils and staff are all on holidays. We had hoped to have some great community days whilst building the tunnel. Picnics, kids, parents and grannies all having some good craic & learning about climate change. However, with the present Covid restrictions, we are building the tunnel in phases with 2 households of volunteers at a time. We'll get the main structure built just now, but will probably have to wait til the spring to deal with the polythene which needs warmer weather. Watch out for Gledfield Polytunnel - The Movie - Part 1 ! 
 

Laptop Re-boot, Stage 1

Whilst we may not be able to connect your type-writer to the internet, it's highly likely that we can reboot that old lap top. Many of us give up on an old machine because it's just tooooooo sl-ooo-----wwww. However with simplifying what's installed, it's frequently possible to restore the machine for email and internet use at least. So before you go out and spend your well earned pennies on a bright shiny new machine, please do get in touch. 

Thanks to  Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash for the photo.

Apple Tree & Fruit Bushes Project - Survey closes end Oct.


If you haven't done so already, please do pop over to the web site and fill in our Sutherland Orchard survey form. I promise, if won't take long!

We've already had a fantastic response including many helpful and fully appreciated comments and several communities wanting to join the project.

The next steps will be to contact everyone at the start of November and pull together a project team to work out the scale of the project, and the costs and effort involved. If you're keen to run such a project, please do get in touch.
News From Our Friends
The Rusty Coo, Lairg are now doing regular Highland Wholefoods orders where you can save on postage and pick up your items locally. Contact Heather via therustycoo@gmail.com or pop in for more info.

Have your say on Highland Council Draft Food Growing Strategy Document - Please respond by 23rd Nov.

Check out the Transition Black Isle October News here and find links to videos on the best ways to compost.

Listen to the latest podcast from The Highland Good Food Conversation - Is Local Dairy Possible in the Highlands.

If you'd like a mention here with your eco projects, please just let us know.
What Can I Do Now?
Have a Plastic Free Halloween
Use up all the pumpkin cut outs for yummy soup or pie
Join us and develop your climate projects
Puppies!!

And finally, what the heck have puppies got to do with climate change? Well, there is quite alot we can do with our furry friends to reduce carbon paw prints - more on that later. 

But in the mean time, here is a lovely puppy piccy, simply to make you smile! 


Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash
Thanks for getting to the end!
Join us here to #buildbackbetter. We're a welcoming, collaborative group and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for local projects.
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