Giles Barwell gave a short introduction to the meeting and made the following points:
- Sustainable Harwell attended the Harwell school Fair In Dec to promote the Group. This was very successful and 25 new people joined. Our thanks to Janet Spence and Sue Greatbanks for organising this.
- Group officers were out and about during Dec and Jan meeting local politicians and councillors, attending Hustings and the January meeting of The Vale of the White Horse Climate Emergency Advisory Committee
- The Group responded to the Government consultation on Future Housing Standards (See below for more details)
- At a national level focus on sustainability continues to build. There is significant responsibility in the UK’s hosting of the next major international meeting on Climate Change in Glasgow this Autumn and there have been lots of programmes and announcements, including from Microsoft and the BBC programme on population growth.
- Our thanks to Penny Marsh for researching visits to local re-cycling centres. It was decided that people who would like to go on these should sign up individually for visits this year. If people are interested in a tour of the waste recycling facilities book up directly by sending an email to email@example.com. The Waste Team have three dates 24 Aug, 6 Oct, 2 Dec for Ardley for the black bin and
another three dates, 11 June, 9 Sept, 17 November for the Severn Trent Green Power Anaerobic Digestion plant at Wallingford for the Food Bin. There is a maximum of 15 people on each tour and they start at 10am.
In order to keep focussed on action we worked at tables to agree action plans for each of the following projects the Group is working on in Harwell.
- Building new cycle routes and footpaths;
- Planting more trees in public places;
- Lobbying for new-build houses to be more sustainable;
- Setting up a recycling scheme for items that aren’t currently able to be recycled
The following is a quick summary of the main points for each project:
Building new cycle routes and footpaths
If you would like to be involved with this activity drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to the next meeting.
The cycling and walking table suggested the following actions and points:
- A survey to go out to Harwell Village residents has been produced to find out their feelings about cycling and what they feel would encourage them to cycle more.
- The survey will begin on 22nd February 2020 and will be confined to the village. We will primarily be doing the survey by an emailed link to various networks in the village asking them to click to a Survey Monkey page.
- If the timing works we also hope to advertise the link in the Harwell Parish newsletter. In addition, we are planning some door-to-door work to try to make sure it is as representative as possible.
- If the survey proves informative we may expand it to the Harwell Parish element of Great Western Park.
- We have informed Harwell Parish Council, The Vale of the White Horse and Oxfordshire County Council about the survey.
- We expect to share the results widely with the community when they are ready.
- The results of survey will guide and focus future activity within the group.
Planting more trees in public places
Penny Kinloch has kindly volunteered to lead this project and will be co-ordinating the work. If you would like to be involved with this activity please let Penny know by dropping her an email at email@example.com and we will pass it onto her.
The tree-planting table suggested the following actions and points:
- The replanting of the furthest field in the Rec will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting. There was a plan printed in the Harwell Newsletter outlining the proposed layout and people have been invited to give their views on it. Your opinions can be heard at the meeting in April. The Parish Council clerk Stephanie will be asked to ask the Groundsmen to leave areas of the Rec unmown. Penny will do this.
- Martin has made a fantastic comprehensive map of the Parish’s common land to identify which areas we can start planting up. As we hoped, it looks like the Holloway is an ideal candidate. Martin has also found a document about conservation and public rights of way from Oxford County Council. Martin will send Penny the link to the form so she can make enquiries. Janice is going to check with the local farmers that they are happy for us to plant hedgerows on either side of the Holloway on the public ground.
- Penny has researched grants and funding for trees. The Woodland Trust supply packs of trees. 420 per pack which would plant 85-100 metres of double row hedge. We can apply for 4 packs. There are different types of suitable packs available – Hedgerow, Year-round Colour, Wildwood (good for wildlife) (more detail can be found in the attached word document). The next delivery of trees would be in November 2020. Steven will give Penny the grid reference for the Holloway which is required for the grant application. (DONE). The Tree Council can fund projects between £300-£1000 giving successful applicants 80% of planting costs. We need to apply for this funding early 2020 – i.e. NOW. They require the involvement of children under 16 so we should engage with Harwell Primary School and the Scouting group. Janice is going to contact Harwell Primary School and the Scouting group to explore if they would like to become involved. Penny will apply for the grants/packs.
- Baggs Tree Field (c. 17 acres) (on the left-hand side halfway up the Winnaway). The Trustees of the Alms Houses in the village who manage the renting of the field are happy in principle to plant more trees around the edge of the field. We have also discussed raising an income to plant out a larger area of the field as part of a community project. This is a fast-moving area as tree-planting moves up the agenda to tackle climate change and improve biodiversity. It’s suggested we could approach local companies e.g. up at the Site for sponsorship/donations; as well as explore options for raising income from carbon credits for planting trees etc. These funds could then be paid to the Alms House trust for use of the field. Giles to research this.
Lobbying for new-build houses to be more sustainable;
Alan Spence who leads this group sent his apologies as he was unable to make the meeting. David Marsh led the discussion at the group in his absence. If you would like to be involved with this activity please let Alan know by dropping him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass it onto him.
The new-build houses table suggested the following actions and points:
- Respond to individual planning applications in Harwell as individuals and as a group
- Continue Lobbying/email Vale councillors and climate emergency committee to urge retrospective action to ensure Valley Park is more sustainable
- The project officers and Alan responded to the government consultation re new housing standards. Our response was sent and acknowledged on 27th Jan 2020. Details of our response in this post.
- We hope to secure a speaker who will talk about the sustainability opportunities on offer when building new homes in Oxfordshire at the June meeting
Setting up a recycling scheme for items that aren’t currently able to be recycled;
We are hoping someone will volunteer to co-ordinate activity on this project. If you would like to be involved with this activity drop us an email at email@example.com. This table did not function at the Feb meeting. So actions from Dec meeting are presented below.
The recycling table suggested the following actions:
- The recycling table suggested the following actions and points:
- Vale doesn’t currently recycle video tape, cassettes, CD/DVD cases, garden/flower pots, plastic/metal hangers, plastic toys, plastic trims, mouldings etc. See Vale website: List and PDF available.
- Lobby government to limit the different types of plastic that are used
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste can be re-cycled at dentists in Abingdon
- Terracycle. Contact and explore what they could do in Harwell. – Action Giles (Done)
- Contact and arrange visits to re-cycling plants
- Mobilise primary school e.g set a scheme to encourage next generation
- Publicity – Harwell News, Community Facebook page, Sustainable Harwell website, Shops
- Scouts – tie it in with Duke of Edinburgh scheme
- Recycling champions in each household
- Work with Garden Centres for re-cycling flower pots
Next meeting at Harwell Village Hall on Wed 1st April 2020
2020 Main Group meeting dates for you diary: Additional Project meetings will be communicated separately.
- Weds 1st April
- Weds 3rd June
- Weds 7th Oct
- Weds 2nd Dec