JANUARY 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 global and local sustainability issues and events affecting everyday lives in Cumbria. I have included links to further information wherever possible.
CUMBRIA COAL MINE
There is a tension between the UK government granting a licence for an undersea mine in Cumbria and chairing COP26, the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow which they need to lead by example if they are to achieve a global commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2050. See www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cumbria-coal-mine.
If you agree with us that mining shouldn’t be allowed to proceed you may sign the ‘Stop the Coal Mine in Cumbria’ petition here petitions/no-new-coal-mine-in-cumbria.
SAVE THE BEES
Environment secretary George Eustice is allowing a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam to treat sugar beet seed this year in an effort to protect the crop from a virus. The government knows the clear harm that neonicotinoid pesticides cause to bees and other pollinators and just three years ago supported restrictions on them across the European Union. If you wish to express your concern you are invited to sign the petition by change.org here stop-uk-farmers-using-bee-killing-pesticide.
THE HARMONY PROJECT
A free ‘Harmony Project education resource hub’ has been developed by the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) (https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/) building on HRH Prince Charles’s original concept that he described in his book ‘Harmony’ which was published in 2010. See www.amazon.co.uk/Harmony-New-Way-Looking-World).
The resource hub provides educators with the information and tools needed to put Harmony into practice in the classroom. Preliminary discussions are under way with Brampton and Shankhill Primary Schools to examine how these ideas might be developed further locally.
RECORD YEAR FOR RENEWABLES
2020 was a record year for renewable energy generation as reported in Positive News here https://www.positive.news/ . Positive News is a free subscription service that does what it says on the tin.
LOCAL ELECTRICITY BILL
Progress in 2020 on the ‘Power for People’ campaign for the Local Electricity Bill has gathered cross-party support from 247 MPs, 319 local councils and 371 other organisations (including Sustainable Brampton).
If made law, the Local Electricity Bill would create a dramatic reform to the UK's energy system by empowering smaller-scale renewable energy generators to sell electricity to local people. You would then be able to purchase your electricity from a community energy supplier and your money would be put to good use in your community - improved local services and facilities, energy efficiency projects and more clean energy generation.
The Brampton and Beyond Energy (BABE) Board is busy revising its vision for the long discussed community Anaerobic Digestion project that would ideally benefit from this Bill once it has been passed. See powerforpeople.org.uk
FUTURE FARMING POLICY – ANOTHER WAY
Chair and CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust, organic farmer Patrick Holden comments that Defra are sitting on the fence of the land sparing vs land sharing debate and argues that harmonised sustainability metrics are needed. Future farming and food policy will have a serious impact on the UK’s commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. You can read his article at https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/another-way
NEW ALLOTMENTS PLANNED FOR BRAMPTON
Irthing Vale Cricket Club are planning to create an allotment and plant trees at their ground in Cotehill Park at the back of the Dacre Road Housing Estate? Sustainable Brampton have supported this campaign. See https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/ for more details. Please let me know if you would be interested in helping make this happen.
In addition to the normal Farmers’ market in Brampton on the last Saturday each month (currently limited to food and flower stalls until restrictions are lifted) there is also a growing market every Wednesday morning, almost like the old days! Supporting local food supply chains improves sustainability and strengthens community resilience so do check it out!
ELECTRIC BICYCLE CHARGING POINTS
We are looking for a volunteer willing to coordinate the identification of potential electric bike charging points over the rural parts of Carlisle District. This would involve an online search for potential charging points such as bike shops, cafes, hotels, B&Bs, etc. Bike charging simply requires access to an ordinary electrical socket, preferably outdoors.
A composite map will be made for the whole of Cumbria and maintained by the ‘Bike Mayor of Cumbria Group’ https://www.facebook.com/groupsf or use on their website. ‘Charge my Street’ are putting car charging units into towns which could be extended to include bike charging units. All offers to Dianne at email@example.com.
GROWING TREES FROM SEED
The Tree Council (www.treecouncil.org.uk ) can tell you everything you need to know about collecting seeds and turn them into healthy young trees. Anyone can grow trees from seed with a few simple pieces of equipment and it’s a great way to put something back into your environment. See Growing trees from seed - The Tree Council .
ZERO CARBON CUMBRIA
The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership (ZCCP) involves nearly 70 organisations spanning the public, private and third sectors with the aim of delivering a coordinated partnership emission reduction programme to bring about a zero-carbon Cumbria in a way that is influenced by, and led by, communities, including Sustainable Brampton.
Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) has been awarded £2.5 million from the National Lottery's Climate Action Fund, on behalf of the wider partnership, for the five-year Zero Carbon Cumbria project. See
It’s an ambitious and inspiring challenge that will touch many aspects of life in Cumbria to bring down the county’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. Part of this work is an exciting five-year programme of community activity to help people reduce their carbon footprint, particularly from food, waste and the goods we buy.
The Cumbria Sustainability Network (which includes Sustainable Brampton) will be meeting in February to identify suitable projects. Please let me know if you would like to become involved in any way.
FELLFOOT FORWARD LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP SCHEME
Farmers and landowners in northeast Cumbria are to be offered extra support to manage land for carbon storage and reduce emissions as part of CAfS' work on the Fellfoot Forward Landscape Partnership Scheme.
As part of Fellfoot Forward CAfS are also creating a training programme for managers of community buildings in the area and amplifying the voice of young people. https://cafs.org.uk/2020/12/16/fellfoot-forward-marks-achievements-and-exciting-year-ahead/
Sign up to the Fellfoot Forward newsletter to be kept informed and get involved. Volunteers are always warmly welcomed.
WARWICK BRIDGE CORN MILL
If you ever wondered what we do with leftover bread, our sister bakery in Edinburgh turns it into breadcrumbs for us. Zero waste - just another community benefit!
If you'd like some just select it on the online shop with your order. From this week the Corn Mill will have a stall at the new mid-week market in Brampton, held every Wednesday from 9am.
You can use the online shop and choose where to collect from 3 locations on Thursdays and Saturdays.
PREVENTION OF WINTER DAMP AND CONDENSATION
CAfS have produced this short information video on preventing winter damp and condensation in the home. https://www.youtube.com/
PERSONAL AIR QUALITY MONITORS
This excellent Café Sci talk last night was about the science of low cost commercial personal air monitors and their value when living in a polluted atmosphere. If you missed it but would like to see this presentation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
REUSE FOR UNWANTED FURNITURE AND WORKING ELECTRICALS
British Heart Foundation offers a free collection service for unwanted sofas, beds, tables, chairs, TVs, Hi-Fi, white goods, small electrical items and game consoles. Call 01228 371559 or book online at www.bhf.org.uk/collection
REFUELLING IN NEWCASTLETON
As the first privately owned petrol station to open in the Scottish Borders for more than 25 years, every litre of fuel sold earns one penny for the community of Newcastleton. So when travel restrictions ease do visit Newcastleton (a Scottish Borders treasure) and fill up there over the summer and support their community at the same time!
30 JAN - BRAMPTON FARMERS MARKET
Brampton’s monthly market will be open tomorrow morning for food and flowers only. Please support your local market but you are requested to wear a mask this month. See https://www.facebook.com/events/
Carlisle’s farmers’ markets have sadly been cancelled until covid restrictions have been lifted.
25 FEB – THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLES, ENERGY STORAGE AND RELATED DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
A Café Sci evening with Brian Richardson who will present “The Future of Renewables, Energy Storage and related disruptive technologies” by zoom. All sessions begin at 7.30pm. Please pre-register beforehand to email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call 016977 48833 at any time.
Tim Coombe Chair Sustainable Brampton