Banbury Community Action Group

April Newsletter

Welcome to Banbury CAG’s April
Update and Newsan update on events happening, and projects underway at BCAG, as well as some additional information on things that are going on further afield, related to action on climate change and biodiversity loss.

Why not join in?  To get involved, just drop us an email, or get in touch via Facebook (contact details below).Seed Swap at the Bridge Street Community Garden YOUR INVITATION TO A REAL LIVE LOCAL EVENT!
April 24th and 25th:  11am – 2pm Banbury CAG are opening up the Bridge Street Community Garden for a community Seed Swap.  We hope you can come along!
(Actually, the gates are always open and visitors are always welcome to come and wander round, to sit and enjoy the Garden, or to pull a few weeds).   
On 24thand 25thApril, 11am to 2pm, there will be a variety of seeds at the Garden to take away, including PUMPKIN SEEDS.
It’s a free event and there’s no need to bring anything, other than yourself, or to take anything away, other than yourself.  You can also bring but not take; take but not bring; or indeed, bring and take. 
Are you a gardener? Do you already have a couple of half-packets of viable seeds left over from this season’s – or perhaps last year’s – sowings, that you are not going to use yourself?  Why not bring them along to Bridge Street and leave them for someone else to sow?  Who knows, you might see other seeds there that you fancy growing, to take as a swap.  It’s a great chance to re-home small gardening sundries, too.  So bring along any spare pots and trays, tools and trugs, and let them have an extended life with a new owner elsewhere.
The BCAG Seed Swap is part of the national Good to Grow celebrations.  Edible gardens across the nation will be celebrating what they do, and preparing for the growing season ahead.  It’s a chance to promote activities and encourage people to have a go and volunteer.  You can read more about Good to Grow here.  Good Food Oxford Pumpkin Festival Gets Growing
The BCAG Seed Swap event marks the start of Good Food Oxford’s “Oxfordshire Pumpkin Festival Gets Growing”, part of the lead up to the autumn Oxfordshire Pumpkin Festival. GFO have kindly donated towards our event.  This year’s Festival will be a celebration of edible pumpkins and squashes in all their glorious variety, with the battle against food waste at its core. Find out more abut it here.   

The actual Pumpkin Festival is, understandably, in the Autumn, but each pumpkin must start as a seed, and this year, GFO have generously donated the pumpkin seeds we will be giving away.  Take some pale oval seeds, sow them, and watch as they break open into seedlings; the seedlings grow into substantial plants; the sumptuous orange flowers open; the fruits set and begin to swell, and finally… But that’s half a year away, and there’s much time for gardening between now and then, with all the fun and benefits that grow-your-own brings.

Good Food Oxford is a network for a better food system in the county, working together for healthy, fair, sustainable and tasty food. BCAG is part of the Good Food Oxford network and benefits greatly from its support, and through the opportunities it provides for sharing knowledge, inspiration and ideas.  Thank you, GFO, for all this!Banbury Trees and Harvest @ HomeWe are delighted to have Banbury Trees with us again at the seed swap, with some trees to give away. Find them on Facebook here

Also with us at the event will be Harvest @ Home.  The mission of this recently formed organisation is to provide food security from the ground up, providing supplies and guidance to help people grow their own food.  Last growing year, they helped over 400 people facing food insecurity due to COVID, and this year they hope to help more.  Over 80% of those they supported had never grown anything before.
Harvest @ Home provide indoor and outdoor growing kits – anyone interested should sign up via this link.
If you are already an experienced grower and would like the opportunity to share your knowledge, Harvest @ Home always need more volunteers and gardening mentors.  To volunteer, sign up here.  
Any other questions? E-mail Emily and Nienke at or phone 01865 817676.Seeds of Hope from Age Friendly Banbury
Age Friendly Banbury partners are running a stall on the market on Thursday 22ndApril to help promote the wonderful work they do in funnelling energies to ensure the town is a great place in which to grow older.  With a focus on the older generations, their overarching vision is a ‘Banbury for all Ages’ – a friendly and more accessible town for all.
The stall will have free information packs to give way, so make sure you stop by, have a distanced word or two with the AFB team, and pick up one of their packs.  As an extra treat, packets of free seeds are included to help grow a bit of extra brightness as we move out from a year of restrictions.
Age Friendly Banbury is a partnership between local organisations that share an interest in making Banbury an age-friendly town.  It brings together older people, community leaders, local charities, businesses, and local councils.  Look here to find out more. Earth Day, 22 April and the Dasgupta Review
A healthy planet is not an option, but a necessity.
Sowing seeds of hope is a perfect thing to do to mark Earth Day.  Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now the largest civic observance in the world.  This year’s theme is Restore our Earth.  It’s up to each of us to work towards safeguarding our planet: yes, because we care about the natural world, but also, fundamentally, because we live on it.  We need a healthy Earth for the quality of our own lives.
Later in the day, after you’ve visited AFB’s stall on Banbury market (see above), why not pop down to your local sofa and celebrate Earth Day 2021 by attending a webinar with Catherine Weetman of Rethink Global, on ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’.   Put together by the United Nations Association – Climate and Oceans, the event will focus on the key messages of the Dasgupta Review.
The Dasgupta Review sets out how we should account for Nature in economics and decision-making: it charts a way for marrying economic success and the protection of the natural world, calling for changes in how we think and how we measure economic success.  There’s a bit more information about the Review at the end of this News, below.
While billed as a café-style conversation, it seems unlikely that the webinar will restrict itself to pleasantries; any talk of the weather will be on a deeper level than merely noting that it has been cool and dry for April.  It will surely be a thought-provoking session.  The expertise on offer is given for free, so why not register now, here, and round off Earth Day by determining to help ensure better stewardship of our precious home. Banbury Shed
Banbury Shed is a practical community space where people can come together to create, to learn, and to build community.  Open to all, the Shed is a community of people from all walks of life, with all manner of skills and and levels of knowledge, who share an interest in making and fixing things.   It is run by members for members and operates under the overall care of the RVS (Royal Voluntary Service).  
During lockdown, the Shed community has met online every Saturday morning for a virtual ‘shedinar’ on Zoom, sharing projects, ideas, advice and conversation.  
Punctuating the weekly general sessions (24thApril, 8th, 15th, 22ndMay), are special focus events including the upcoming:
17thApril Protecting yourself from hackers
1stMay    Knots – making a bellend (bring a 3-4m length of paracord/550 cord/ string to the session). 
29thMay   Ingenious repurposing, things of beauty.
All sessions run from 9.30-11.00am
To get more information go here.
And to book for the weekly shedinars go on Eventbrite here.Dasgupta Review
Here’s a bit of background on the Dasgupta Review mentioned in the News above.
In 2019, HM Treasury commissioned a global review on the economics of biodiversity, appointing Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta of the University of Cambridge, as lead.  The result of our finance ministry assessing the economic importance of nature in this manner, was published on 2nd February.  Its findings? That prosperity has come at a devastating cost to the natural world.  “Nature is our home.  Good economics demands we manage it better.”  
While humanity has, overall, flourished, particularly in recent decades, the ways in which mankind has achieved such success means that it has come at a ruinous and calamitous cost to Nature.  It is estimated that, at current rates of man’s demand on Nature (and this increases day on day), we require 1.6 Earth planets to maintain the sum of global living standards.  As the report concludes:
“Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them.”
Here is a useful summary supplied by HM Treasury, or you can find the entire Report here.
 Banbury CAG is a volunteer-led group organising community events to raise awareness of, and promote action on, environmental issues such as sustainable transport, climate action, biodiversity protection, waste reduction, and food and water issues.  BCAG runs the Bridge Street Community Garden and the Browning Road Orchard.  
We meet on the 1stTuesday of every month.  Our meetings are open to anyone who would like to be involved.  The next meeting is 4thMay and will be online (Zoom).  We will be providing updates on our active travel work, BATS, and our biodiversity projects, Biodiverse Banbury.
Our community projects are always looking for individuals, groups or businesses who may wish to participate or contribute..
Come and join in!Thanks to (in order) Markus Spiske, Engin Akyurt, Henry Perks, Sigmund, Yoksel Zok, Mrjn Photography, Zbynek Burivel, Will O  for the photos, all on Unsplash.  And Jemima Swain for the violet oil beetle eating a daisy.
Copyright © 2021 Banbury CAG, All rights reserved.

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