Our latest update includes news about our next TDEG meeting, and all the action from our project groups.
As we write this, we’re in the middle of another month long national lock down. It is challenging to keep a small community group going in these circumstances – but this is a minor thing in comparison to all the other difficulties people are facing. So we will continue to do our best!
TDEG Meeting – Helping Nature’s Recovery – 7pm Wednesday, 9 December
Our next whole group meeting will focus on the ecological crisis. If you saw David Attenborough’s recent BBC documentary “Extinction – the Facts”, you will already know the challenges and you will have heard his call to “Act now”. It is not just species extinctions in far away places which are an issue. The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. Some of our most iconic animals and birds are under threat. But this will also affect food production, flood management, and contribute to global warming, as well as reducing our opportunity to enjoy nature for our health and well-being. So what can we do locally to make a difference? Dave Savage, from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, will be talking to us about some of their exciting projects, from rewilding to beaver reintroductions in Derbyshire, as well as ways we can all make a difference in our local area.
TDEG Steering Group Meeting – 8pm, Wednesday, 2 December
News from our Project Groups…..
We held two meetings on Zoom 7 October and 4 November. Our energy is focused in three main areas (do get in touch at the usual email – firstname.lastname@example.org , if you are interested in getting involved in any of these activities!):
- Reducing carbon in the local community : We are preparing ideas for the best way to address this in the community, for the community’s benefit. The plan is to target available grants. An ambitious project is forming which will require a dedicated team
- Youth voice engagement: We hope to establish a Youth Forum in the local area. We are approaching various youth organisations and individuals to see who might be interested in this idea. The initial meeting is on 9 November to explore the way forward. We are fortunate to have connected with someone who has established youth forums before and look forward to hearing their experience, suggestions and advice.
- Education support: We are exploring ways to support and engage with local schools and colleges. Sensitive to the current pressures and constraints, we are hopeful a teacher at Tideswell’s Bishop Pursglove School is willing to become a link teacher. A contact has already been established at Lady Manners School. We await a reply from Hope Valley College.
A positive consequence of individual engagement within the group is an increased number of connections with other like-minded groups across the region. A sharing of skills and experience is developing.
Litter Picking Group
We had a great turnout and wonderful weather for the TDEG contribution to the Great British September Clean (postponed from the usual Spring Clean) on Sunday 13 September. Two separate groups tackled litter left along roads and green spaces around Litton and Tideswell.
Following our litter picking day on 13 September, there has been little opportunity to get another date fixed, mainly due to Covid restrictions, and now national lockdown. Last year’s thinking was to have a monthly litter pick in the months of November, December, January and February, when the roadside edges are more open and litter more in evidence. Obviously, this year has been different, due to Covid restrictions.
We are currently exploring the options of a litter pick day in either November or December, socially distanced of course, and with people going out in twos, and no prior gathering. Watch our group Facebook page for more information.
- The “Did You Know” monthly contribution to the Village Voice has been reinstated, and last month featured information about Christmas cards.
- Our recycling leaflet has been updated and 30 copies have gone to the Tideswell & District Community Association for inclusion in the village welcome pack.
- There is still interest in crisp packet recycling in the village but as yet there is no reliable outlet locally for the packets. So for now we are sign posting to the excellent facilities set up by Buxton Transition group and their collection boxes at Morrisons, Sainsburys and Iceland supermarket stores for those difficult-to-recycle items.
- Bird boxes: Following the fixing of swift boxes in the spring, we now hope to fix further owl and kestrel boxes this autumn (working again with Peak Boxes from Hathersage).
- Tideswell & District Sports Association – We are working with the TDSA to consider ways of improving biodiversity on the sports fields and woodland surrounding Bishop Pursglove school. This includes changes to grassland management, shrub planting, and fixing of bird boxes. We hope to continue to work in partnership with the sports association, as they consider how to get more local people enjoying their whole site for informal recreation and enjoying nature.
- Wild Flower Project – We are working with Tideswell Parish Council to increase biodiversity in the areas they manage around the village. We have identified three sites (roadside verges and parks) where a slightly different approach to grass maintenance would encourage a colourful and diverse range of local wild flowers for the benefit of insects and other wildlife. We also hope to work with local schools and youth groups to design signs to explain the aims of this project.
- Badger Cull Campaign – Working with other wildlife groups in the area, we encouraged our members to write to their MPs to try to prevent the cull coming to Derbyshire. Following the government decision to proceed, we have also sent letters to Derbyshire Dales District Council and the Peak District National Park Authority to encourage them to prevent the cull on their own land. We are delighted that this was successful.
- Hedgehog Streets – Following a discussion on our group Facebook page, it’s clear that hedgehogs are a real favourite with local people and many are keen to do more to help them. We know we have several `hedgehog hotspots` around the village – but nationally their numbers are in severe decline. Over the coming year we hope to develop a project to create `highways` through our garden fences and stone walls, in order to help hedgehogs roam safely.
6. Advice on Planning Applications – We are developing some general comments on climate action and biodiversity for major planning applications in our area. TDEG isn’t really constituted to take a formal position on objecting to or supporting individual applications. But we can comment generally on the need for sustainable development which takes account of climate mitigation and adaptation, and enhances and protects biodiversity.
7. Wildlife sightings – a summary of all our wildlife sightings, posted on our Facebook page or our web site, was produced for the autumn. Slow worms, rare orchids, fascinating fungi and a French vulture are some of the sights we have seen in our local area this quarter. Read it here.