TDEG September 2020 Update

What a year so far!  In terms of the environment, during this pandemic we’ve seen lots of positives and lots of negatives too – from cleaner air, quiet roads and an increase in wildlife sightings, to extreme weather, excess plastic and an increase in litter, we’ve seen it all!

Let’s hope that businesses don’t simply revert to their old ways of doing things and use their experiences during this time to get their heads together, to think more ethically and sustainably, and come up with new, greener and more innovative practice.  What we need is a green recovery, a rapid reduction in the generation and use of high-carbon energy.  Home and flexible working, greener commuting and changing to greener energy use will be a start.

Locally, we can help by continuing to shop in our villages and support small businesses; recycle and reuse as much as we can; walk, cycle or use public transport instead of the car; and switch to green energy providers, where possible. Here’s to a brighter, greener future!

Our next General TDEG Meeting – 7pm, 23 September, (via Zoom)

Our next general meeting will include a presentation from Kate Harrison from the Ashton Hayes’ Going Carbon Neutral Project. Ashton Hayes is a small village in Cheshire, who began their environmental work in 2006, with the aim of becoming the first village in England to be carbon neutral. Organised entirely by volunteers, the whole village is now involved in many different schemes – including recycling and wildlife projects, a village shop, and a community energy  initiative. Kate has been involved in the project since the beginning and will talk about their successes and how they have engaged their local community in all their work. It should be a fascinating presentation.

After Kate’s presentation, TDEG’s various project groups will be able to discuss what we have learnt from Ashton Hayes’ work and how we might apply those lessons in our area. Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral web site – http://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/

The Zoom meeting details will be sent to everyone on our TDEG mailing list. Please contact info@tdeg.org.uk if you wish to be added to this mailing list, or register with us via our web site – https://tdeg.org.uk/join-us/

Steering Group

A Steering Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 9th September at 8pm, via Zoom. This meeting is open to all our members (and anyone else who joins our mailing list in time!) and provides an opportunity for us to get our heads together, take stock and plan strategically our next steps. You are very welcome to join us; all you need to do is to notify us by email at info@tdeg.org.uk.

Look out for regular reminders of this meeting on our Facebook page. You can view notes and minutes of past meetings on our website on the Meetings and Events Page.

News from our project groups…

Wildlife Group

1.  Swift Project – There were some great sightings of swifts soaring in our skies over the summer. The last birds departed at the beginning of August – on their long migration to Africa. Hopefully the younger birds will have seen some nest boxes they like the look of, and we will see some of our boxes in use next year. Later this month, we’ll be back in touch with Lester Hartman from Peak Boxes to complete the fixing of the two remaining swift boxes and also consider the owl and kestrel boxes we discussed earlier in the year.

2.  Wild Flower Project – Following our short presentation for Tideswell Parish Council, they are keen to work with us to increase biodiversity in the areas they manage around the village. Volunteers from the wildlife group assessed some of these sites on a walk around the village on 25 July. We identified three sites where a slightly different approach to maintenance would encourage a colourful and diverse range of local wild flowers for the benefit of insects and other wildlife. A report on these three sites will be considered by the Parish Council shortly. We hope that TDEG can support this work through engaging with local residents on the importance of this work, and encouraging children to become involved (perhaps by designing signs such as the one in the attached photo) to explain the project.

3.  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. Hedgehogs are known to roam a considerable distance at night – so forcing them out on to busy roads is not helping their survival. A known benefit is the creation of gaps in the fences or walls of garden boundaries – the creation of `hedgehog streets` to enable their nightly travels. This might be straightforward if your garden is bounded by fences – but our drystone walls can be more problematic. We have made contact with two local drystone wallers, and we are hoping to progress this idea over the next few months. (Photo attached of a hedgehog gap in a stone wall in the Cotswolds).

4.  Wildlife Sightings – Many thanks for all the wildlife sightings posted on our Facebook page and on the new web site. A summary of all your sightings for June-July 2020 is now available on the TDEG web site – https://tdeg.org.uk/wildlife-sightings-june-july-2020/.

Recycling Group

1. Crisp packets – One of the staff at Kay’s Hairdressers in Tideswell is now taking crisp packets to a recycling scheme.  This is great news!  We are also looking to reinstate the collection of packets from the Coop and the pubs – can any TDEG member help to coordinate this?

2.  Waterswallows Recycling Centre –

It’s good to see Waterswallows in Buxton open for business as usual again.  There’s no end to the materials they will recycle – take a look at this list, cropped from a photo of their information board at the centre.   See an image of the full Waterswallows information board on our Recycling Page.

Ethical Consumerism Group

I don’t know about you but I now find myself automatically considering the environmental impact of my purchases before I go shopping or press ‘buy’ on my computer!  This makes me stop and think: Do I really need this?  Is this company’s practice ethical and sustainable?  What will happen to the item I am replacing – can it be reused, given to charity, recycled in some way?  This doesn’t mean that I am ‘holier than thou’, but it does mean that I’m trying to become a more ethical consumer. 

Regrettably, we have all seen the negative side of lockdown on ethical business.  Whilst we all enjoyed the return of birdsong and quiet roads during the lockdown, we have also seen an excess of plastic packaging in our supermarkets, one-use coffee cups in our cafes and the use of throwaway PPE on a massive scale.   Many companies are having to balance environmental goals with basic survival.  Let’s hope that these companies get back on track soon, and find new, innovative ways of being more ethical and sustainable.

Tideswell’s ‘Choose to Reuse’ Clothes Sale-Swap – We were planning on holding this event during the summer, to follow the presentation by Ruth Strange from Ethical Consumer magazine about the environmental impact of the fashion industry, but due to coronavirus, it had to be postponed.  Once lockdown is fully lifted, we will book another date for this event – watch this space!

Keep a look out for latest information and tips on our Facebook Page, Tideswell Ethical Consumer Group.  Here are 8 tips on how to be an ethical consumer to keep you going:

  1. Take your reusable travel mug for refills at coffee shops. Many coffee shops will now, following Covid guidance, allow this rather than using single-use cups.
  2. Look around your house – do you have lots of plastic bottles and containers? Consider using, where you can, refillable bottles – for soap, shampoo, drinking water, cleaning products etc. 
  3. Use recycled paper in your kitchen and bathroom – and use washable dishcloths rather than paper towels where you can.
  4. Try to eat less meat; introduce some good vegetarian dishes to your family – delicious!
  5. Make your reusable bags easily accessible – leave them everywhere, so that you never buy new bags.
  6. Buy fewer clothes – and only from sustainable brands. Or buy secondhand.
  7. Don’t use straws unless you have to. And make sure they are reusable!
  8. Shop locally, and, if buying online, choose standard delivery – fast shipping is usually not the most ethical option.

Climate Action Group

The Climate Action Group has been busy ‘zooming’ and organizing events and meetings over the last couple of months.  Several members of the group have also enrolled with DCC for August courses on climate change and energy.  These members will report back on this training at our next meeting and the knowledge they will have acquired will, no doubt, be hugely beneficial to our group going forward.

1. Our mini action groups – Energy, Engagement and Empowerment, and Informing and Campaigning – have been working on a number of initiatives, including engaging young people in our locality through youth groups and education, and supporting the community in making energy-efficient improvements to their homes through the Green Homes Grant Scheme.  Plans are afoot to support schools in environmental and climate change education once they have settled back in after the summer break and months of lockdown.

2. XR High Peak – We very much look forward to hosting XR High Peak’s session on ‘Heading for extinction and what to do about it’, on Zoom, on Thursday 10th September at 7:00pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend this session; all you need to do is email us at info@tdeg.org.uk and we will send you the Zoom link.  Look out for a report on this, which will be added to the Climate Action Page following the session.

3. In the near future, we will be looking to produce a second newsletter on climate action, which will again be posted through every letterbox in the area.  More about this very soon!

Litter Picking Group

The Litter Picking Group is pleased to be taking part again this year in the ‘Great British Spring Clean’.  Litter pickers are asked to meet in the Pot Market on Sunday 13th September, meeting at the usual time of 2:00pm. 

Please revisit the website and check out our Facebook page regularly so you don’t miss the dates of future litter picking sessions and other litter picking news.  We supply litter pickers, bags and hi-viz vests, and we welcome all the help we can get – thank you!

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