An environment group for Brightling?
An invitation from Andrew Wedmore
What can we do, locally, about the two “planetary emergencies”: the climate crisis, and the decline in bio-diversity? You can worry about it, or you can tell yourself that it’s not really a problem, or that someone else will solve it somehow – or you can take action.
For those who would like to take action, I propose coming together to form a “Brightling Environment Group” (provisional name). Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested.
I have had a little look around (on the Internet, naturally) to see what other villages and towns are doing. There are a number of local environment groups around: Wild about Burwash, for example. A Google search reveals a large number of “Wild about [insert town/village name]” organizations around the country. Mostly they seem to be focused on nature and conservation. Then there are BEG (Bexhill Environment Group) and REG (Rother Environment Group). These seem to focus on practical activities such as beach-cleaning and tree-planting, and occasional talks. And of course we have DACS (Darwell Area Conservation Society) also focused on nature conservation, education, and in particular the protection of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from inappropriate development.
Other groups have the specific aim of reducing or eliminating the local carbon footprint. In October 2021, Crowhurst launched the “Warmer Crowhurst” project, with a £40,000 grant to “investigate how Crowhurst residents can be provided with affordable, reliable, clean heat to help reduce carbon emissions in line with the parish’s net zero by 2030 ambitions.” And within the last month, Ouse Valley Climate Action has won a £2m National Lottery Grant aiming to make the region a national pioneer in tackling the climate change emergency. Included in this is the village of Barcombe (near Lewes), which says it is aiming to be the UK’s first net-zero village.
Poking around in this side of things, I find a quite bewildering array of advice, grants, support and projects that we might wish to study and perhaps copy. For example, here is Community Energy South: ““Community energy works by connecting people from all walks of life to deliver community-owned green energy, reduce energy use and help make it affordable for all. We are empowering people to set up community solar and heat projects, car sharing and EV charging schemes, as well as supporting energy efficiency initiatives and delivering trusted local energy awareness services for communities and vulnerable neighbours. By working with local authorities, we are providing the expertise on the ground to allow community groups to not only help tackle soaring energy costs, tackle the climate emergency and support the drive towards Net Zero. We are excited to be offering Community Energy Pathways to all local authorities in England as the next step in accelerating the growth of the community energy sector.”
There are plenty of possibilities. Do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation chat if you are remotely interested in any of this.