Summary of the Annual Report for 2017/18
The Coordinating Group (CG) meets roughly quarterly. Our supporter base continues to grow steadily and currently stands at 461 (up from 450 last year). A newsletter is published every couple of months or so containing items of both national and local interest.
As at 31st Dec 17 the account balance was £8200, an increase of around £1200 over the year. The 2 FMs make up the majority of transactions, the main expenses being management, publicity and logistics costs. There were 2 major equipment purchases in 2017 for the FMs: a generator (£600) and horsebox (£700) and the 25 pop-ups we have acquired had to be cleaned and refurbished (£500). It is anticipated that the 2 markets should in future years generate sufficient surplus to enable other small sustainability projects to be supported.
Our 6 newsletters over the year have provided voting opportunities for online petitions and pledges. These have included: Zero Carbon Britain (writing to your MP), ‘Save the Paris Climate Deal’, ‘30 days wild’ by the Wildlife Trusts, Attitudes to Climate Change campaign by CAfS, the LED Pledge by 10:10 and the Plastic Free Cumbria, Plastic Free Supermarkets and Bottle Deposit campaigns by Surfers Against Sewage.
Farmers’ Markets (FMs)
Proceeds from our 2 markets in Brampton and Carlisle have been sufficient to sustain 3 part time posts (coordination, transport and publicity). The increased footfall in town on FM days provides economic benefits for businesses, stallholders and SB alike. The economic benefits of the markets are matched by the environmental benefits (low food miles, natural pesticides/fertilisers, minimum packaging etc) and social benefits (FMs are a convenient meeting-place where you can also talk to knowledgeable stallholders about food provenance).
We can accommodate up to 20 traders and the markets normally run whatever the weather, although we had to make an exception for the recent deep snow in Carlisle! In Jun 17 we initiated a ‘Give and Take’ stall. About 100 items are donated each month which anyone can take: anything left goes to the Charity shop. An important reason for the stall’s success is that everything is free which generates lots of goodwill!
Plastic Waste Campaign
Building on increased national awareness of the issue of plastic waste disposal we have joined the plastic waste campaign in partnership with other sustainability groups in Cumbria, led by Penrith Action for Community Transition (PACT). Some of the ideas we hope to progress were published in last month’s newsletter and thanks to those who have responded to the call for assistance. There will be plenty of opportunities to help this campaign over the coming months, particularly at litter pick events.
Surfers Against Sewage have created an accreditation scheme for plastic waste through https://www.sas.org.uk/plastic-free-communities/ which provides a useful yardstick for measuring progress as well as a mechanism to enable our efforts to be recognised nationally.
Travel Action Group (TAG)
TAG continue their excellent work on various projects including the Brampton 'Walkers are Welcome' scheme, publicising the Voluntary Social Car scheme, reviewing the 'bus buddy' scheme, supporting new routes for the Border Rambler bus service, distributing Greener Travel around Brampton leaflets and lobbying for Brampton bus shelters. The ‘waste not want not’ scheme also contained a cycling maintenance element, an activity that has always been popular in the past.
Waste Not Want Not
The ‘Waste not Want Not’ project successfully worked with Brampton Primary School through 2017 to deliver the following linked activities:
- Set up efficient re-cycling systems in the school linked with the garden design project at Brampton Community Centre (‘Take This Out’)
In Nov 33 people attended a workshop focused on community resilience called ‘Joining the dots, spotting the patterns...’ led by Christopher and Sheila Cooke of 3LM (https://3lm.network/ ). The group concluded that Brampton’s journey towards community resilience was no more than ‘average’ and concluded that more holistic thinking would be required to solve many of the ‘wicked problems’ identified during the evening. Resilient societies are those in which Profit, People, Purpose and the Planet (the 4 Ps) are integrated harmoniously. The evening provided much food for thought and plenty to build on for the future.
Brampton and Beyond Energy (BABE)
Since the public meeting in Irthington last year negotiations have been ongoing which BABE had been unable to publicise for reasons of confidentiality. Progress at the proposed site at Carlisle airport had been subject to a series of delays in 2017 and the Board eventually decided to seek an alternative location for the AD plant. In September a new site at Middle Farm near the Brampton sewage works was agreed and the project is now back on track with planning approval anticipated in June. More information may be found at www.babenergy.co.uk (the website site is working again if you tried before).
Brampton Food Network (BFN)
The Brampton Food Network has remained dormant over the last year. We believe that the potential for Brampton and Beyond Energy to spawn a food growing micro-enterprise using surplus heat from the AD plant represents a desirable way ahead for BFN but other potential options also remain open, at least in theory.
Fellfoot Forward Scheme Update
This North Pennines AONB project has started a funded 18 month development phase to define and cost 16 projects within 3 main groups: 1 Heritage uncovered, 2 Heritage Enhanced and 3 Heritage Harnessed. These projects will provide supporters with practical volunteering opportunities over the coming years. A summary of the planned programme is available on request.
Two Re-scheduled events (caused by the Beast from the East)
7 Apr (postponed from 3rd Mar) All day Fairtrade refreshments at Gladje The Scypen cafe , Slack House Farm, Near Gilsland (near Birdoswald Roman Fort) 10am to 5pm.
- Set up uniform re-cycling / second-hand uniform ‘shop’.
- Encouraged more bike use and ran bike maintenance courses.
- Set up a system for composting food waste from the school kitchen.
- Utilised Cumbria County Council’s ‘How To Run’ leaflets to organise a toy swap event.
24 Mar (postponed from 17 Mar) Cumbria BogLife Bolton Fell Moss public consultation drop in day, at Hethersgill Parish Hall, 10.30am to 4pm. See the article in today’s Cumberland News (16 Mar).
Have a good week-end!
Chair Sustainable Brampton