In three thirds: wishing seasonal greetings and a happy and healthy New YearPart 1Long winter nights give time to reflect on the many insights 2020 has given us on how we live our lives, how we relate to others, our freedoms taken for granted, what and who we value. With the winter solstice now behind us though, we can look forward to the energy of lighter evenings.So what will 2021 be bringing? What should we be planning and preparing for over this subdued festive period? Here’s a seasonally themed list of suggestions:
On the first day of Christmas:The Browning Road Community Orchard has appreciated the attention given to the young fruit trees over the year: pruning and mulching. Soon enough the trees will be inspiring passers through with the beauty of spring blossom. Come September/October the site will be the setting for the annual Orchard Day: a great community get-together and celebration, with apple pressing at its heart. Details will be posted on the BCAG Facebook page.Over the remaining dormant months, the very active Banbury Trees group will be organising planting of the saplings they have grown and those they have worked hard to successfully source. See what they are about on their Facebook page.
On the second day of Christmas:While acknowledging that the wise thing to do is to treat every year, month, week, day, as the right moment for ensuring peace and trust, the UN has declared 2121 as The International Year of Peace and Trust. Peace is a joint responsibility of mankind; the UN resolution asks the entire world community to mobilise efforts to actively engage in the pursuit of peace. Recent late Springs have witnessed the annual Banbury Friendship festival. The event is a celebration of friendship, and the cultural diversity that exists in this part of north Oxfordshire: it’s a wonderful opportunity for building trust and fostering peace. Let’s hope that we will have the chance to enjoy such an occasion again this coming May.
On the third day of Christmas:So to the first of many years outside the EU: a tad over half who voted are ecstatic; a touch under half of voters are despondent. Whichever way you voted, now is the time to ensure that new legislation put in place serves to protect our environment, biodiversity, and share of the planet, in a fair and equitable way. There’ll be many opportunities for speaking up and letting national and local government know what we want the UKs new priorities to be.Responses to consultations; letters to our MP. Watch in our BCAG Newsletter for information on ways to participate and actively engage, and join or follow the many organisations taking the lead in trying to safeguard the environment. To name a few, there’s us at BCAG, CPRE, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, XR – they all have Oxfordshire (or even Banbury) based branches doing sterling work to hold those that govern to account.
On the fourth day of Christmas:Postponed from October, the UN biodiversity summit has been rescheduled for the two weeks 17th May onwards, 2021. Nearly two hundred countries will come together in China to negotiate the text of a new global treaty on biological diversity. A key national commitment in the UK is the Nature Recovery Network, a major element within the Government’s 25-year Environmental Plan. Defra and Natural England take the lead in the strategy which seeks to restore and enhance England’s wildlife-rich places. The aim is to expand, improve and connect these places in order to help combat biodiversity loss, climate change, and our own wellbeing. TVERC (Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre) has been leading a project with Wild Oxfordshire and BBOWT, to identify a Nature Recovery Network for Oxfordshire. Take a look at how this meshes in with the Banbury landscape.