|Have you noticed how disappointing the town notice boards are at the moment? We’re so used to community boards around the town, and those in shops, halls and post-offices, pinned full of activity – community events, classes to attend, music, craft, dance, theatre, sports, workshops – all kinds of welcoming and exciting opportunities for meeting new friends, connecting with others, learning, enjoying. Those boards are looking very bare just now.If the flyers and posters on the physical noticeboards are seriously depleted, it’s good that at least online events are blossoming.
|National tree week, 26 November to 6 DecemberOxford Friends of the Earth has coordinated a drive to increase the number of trees in the county, leading to the County Council supporting a doubling of tree cover by 2045. Excellent – congratulations to them! OxFoE are now working with their partners in the Trees Collaborate group to plan next steps. The group – with Banbury Trees on board – is a CAG supported initiative, set up to provide a forum for those groups in the county working towards seeing more trees planted. Check out how they are planning to mark the awareness week within the current restrictions.Banbury Trees are looking to arrange their own specific tree planting opportunities too. They send this update, bearing lots of good news:Banbury Trees’ application to receive 950 saplings from the I Dig Trees scheme was successful.The saplings will be delivered early December, and we will look after them until we can plant them at a local park. Thank you to those caring for them in the meantime.Access to land has been granted. More details on this soon… We will monitor the coronavirus measures closely as the situation develops.We are hoping we will be able to arrange a few socially distanced community tree planting sessions at some point this winter, measures permitting. We have applied to other schemes to receive more free native saplings, and we are eagerly waiting to hear back. Thanks for everyone’s support. Keep safe! Banbury Trees Facebook group
|Banbury Trees autumn tree planting kit giveawayBut not everything has been cancelled, and it is wonderful that, despite the restrictions, Banbury Trees found a way of going ahead with promoting tree planting in the town. On 17 October, using our Bridge Street Community Garden as a base, they distributed over 50 tree planting kits representing 700 potential new trees.Each carefully assembled kit contained repurposed crates, pots, tags, netting, compost, willow cuttings, and a range of tree seeds, as well as a handout with instructions. Putting them together was a true community effort – congratulations to all involved! Banbury CAG provided funds to help cover the cost of materials, but with ingenuity, much of what was needed was sourced for free.The event was co-ordinated by Tila, who would like to send out this message of thanks:First and foremost, those at Banbury Trees without whom it would simply not have been possible. The invaluable logistical, practical, and advisory leadership of the core team was simply immeasurable.Banbury CAG for the grant to members for helping out. Bridge Street Community Garden for lending the space to store materials and subsequently run the collection point. All those including Tom’s Diner, Produce Warriors Limited, Pavement Coffee Co, XR Banbury, and Banbury Trees members, for donating over 60 plastic crates and/or over 700 TetraPaks.Community action group Harvest@Home for collecting a good number of the kits and distributing them to several families in the Oxfordshire area.Also to Harvest@Home, for collecting several surplus kilos of our tree seeds (mostly acorns and conkers) and distributing them to a group of boy scouts who will be planting them as part of an ongoing tree-planting project of their own. Miranda & Co for the layout of the beautiful step-by-step instructions handout.The primary schools who joined in the project. Over 121 potential trees will be planted by kids while learning about nature. All those individuals who donated materials, funds, seeds, and/or generally facilitated by providing free transportation, helped with assembling the kits, setting up/de-rigging, advertising, and/or simply were present and cheered us along. The ‘home team’ for spending several hours bagging and labelling hundreds of tree seeds. And, to Banburyshire info, Banbury info, Banburyshire wildlife group, Oxfordshire Trees For the Future, Tom’s Diner, Harvest @ Home, Banbury Woodcraft Folk, Banbury CAG, and XR Banbury for helping us get the word out about the event. An exciting extra outcome of the event is that Banbury Trees and Harvest@Home will be working together on future nature & community-related projects. Nice!
|TED Countdown TEDx eventTechnology. Entertainment. Design. One of the most stimulating of recent locally-organised virtual events was the TEDx event co-hosted by Banbury CAG on 10 October. This was part of the global TED Countdown initiative to look at ways to address the climate and ecological emergency.The well-attended event revolved around a tailored selection from over 50 TED videos produced for the national event, these being augmented by interviews from local people active in addressing issues related to the main theme. Time was also given over to small breakout groups and the opportunity for discussion.At the end of the day, participants made their own personal pledges to take action in their daily lives to do their bit towards combatting climate change.Action for you!If you missed the TEDx event, why not take a few minutes to check out some ideas on how you can make your own personal moves to a more sustainable way of living? Find the suggested areas on the Count us in website – it’s a great upbeat, feel-good site with straightforward, clear and practical advice about what each of us can do right away. Why wait for 1 January when each day is precious and the climate and the environment don’t go by the human calendar? Let us know what target you’ve set for yourself, to help inspire others!Join in! Be pleased to learn too, that the TED Countdown conversation goes on. If you would like to join the weekly TED circles virtual discussions, you would be made most welcome. They are held every Wednesday from 19:50 to 21:00. Register for the virtual discussions.More information on the TED global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas to action. Photo by Karsten Wurth
|Climate change action – wise up: make yourself heardThe Climate Coalition’s Green Recovery Plan brings together numerous organisations from across the UK, all dedicated to action against climate change, and all backing this programme of action to put the UK on track to net-zero emissions.It’s less than a year until the UN Climate Summit COP26 climate conference, to be held in Glasgow, next November. The Summit will be a critical moment for international agreement on climate action. The UK needs to invest in solutions to climate change at home in order to have credibility at the Summit: the Coalition’s 10 Point Plan sets out ways forward.The Climate Coalition also run The Time is Now campaign which points out that our best chance of building a stronger economy goes hand in hand with tackling climate change. Their Declaration is addressed directly to the Prime Minister, sending a crystal clear message asking him to lead towards a healthier, greener, fairer future. We can build back better together if we:Unleash a clean energy revolution that boosts jobs across the UK, making our transport, power and housing fit for the future.Protect, restore and expand our green and wild spaces, allowing nature to thrive, taking carbon from the air, and boosting the nation’s health.Leave no one behind by increasing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change at home and abroad.Action for you!The more support the Declaration has, the greater weight it will carry. This is an excellent opportunity for us as individuals to do something towards tackling this pressing issue. Please consider lending your support and sign up to the DeclarationPhoto by Markus Spiske
|Climate change action – another way to have a voiceThe Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is a new Private Member’s Bill, put forward for debate in Parliament in September. Presented by a coalition of groups, it seeks to set an emergency path for the UK to follow in order that we play our fair and proper role in both limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C, and in actively conserving the natural world. Action for you!For the Bill to be passed, it needs to be backed by a majority of MPs. Supporters of the Bill are therefore urging citizens – you and me included – to contact their MP NOW asking them to give it their support (that’s Victoria Prentis for Banbury and North Oxfordshire). The alliance has put together guidance to help with this action. Ms Prentis has not yet added her support, so it is vital that she hears the message from her constituents that we believe she should.The reasoning behind the bill is in the name – emergency action is needed. Those behind it – an array of scientists, lawyers and activists – see that current official plans are far too weak and way too limited to counter the climate emergency. The Government has set a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050: we need to be far more ambitious in order to limit global temperature increase. The health of planet Earth needs to be taken more seriously. Find full details about the Bill on the CEE Bill website.If passed, in summary the Bill would ensure that:The UK plays its fair and proper role in limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C, by taking into account our entire carbon footprint (including all of the emissions linked to the production and transport of goods that we ultimately consume in the UK)We don’t depend on negative emissions technologies to save the day – that’s an excuse for inaction. We focus on nature too, protecting and conserving habitats in the UK and internationally as part of our supply chainsCitizens are central to deciding how to move forward through the formation of a powerful Citizens’ Assembly Photo by Markus Spiske
|What’s on…There’s plenty more going on (virtually) in our area alone, of interest to those concerned with Climate Change Action. Here’s a selection of (mostly local) events, all of which are sure to be stimulating and thought-provoking, and well worth attending. (What a shame 18th Nov has proven to be such a popular date!)Supporting youth climate action17 November, 5-6.30pmRepresentatives from schools, charity, business and youth activists discuss how we can support all young people to take environmental action.Saving to save the planet 18 November, 7.30pmAbingdon Carbon Cutters discuss the carbon footprint of money, and whether it’s better for the planet to save or spend.What’s the harm in flying?19 November, 7.30–9pmHow does flying affect my personal carbon footprint? Why do people currently fly and where do they go? If we have to cut back, how can we do this fairly? Low Carbon Oxford North are hosting a webinar with Dr Sally Cairns from the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds to consider such questions. Find out more and register on eventbrite.Wild Oxfordshire: virtual community groups conference18 & 25 November, 2 December A webinar series showcasing Oxfordshire’s grassroots nature recovery, designed to inspire and assist communities to take their own action.Food poverty: an online discussion18, 20, 24, 26 NovemberA free online training session from Good Food Oxford for volunteers and professionals working with people experiencing food poverty in Oxfordshire. Four dates to choose from.Britain talks climate18 November, 10.30am–noonClimate Outreach shares key findings and recommendations, an interactive online toolkit and downloadable materials for engaging the British public on climate change. Note that if you can’t actually attend, you can register and they will send you the recording.Advanced OxfordWed, 25 November 2020, 10:00–11:30 GMTAdvanced Oxford is launching its research on Oxfordshire’s innovative green economy, green growth and recovery.Could community owned land help us feed Oxfordshire?Wed, 9 December 2020, 19:00–20:00 GMTThe affordability and access to agricultural land is a huge barrier to creating sustainable food systems. This webinar looks at the issue of land in Oxfordshire and explores how community-owned and cooperative models could enable farmers and growers to meet the county’s food needs.
|Get in touch!We welcome correspondence and feedback from our readers: do get in touch via email or social media.Banbury CAG is looking to join forces with all those interested in improving provision for cyclists in the town, to look at ways of making cycling safer and more appealing. Please do get in touch if this appeals to you.Our next online meeting is 1 December: everyone welcome, just let us know via email!Photo by Roman Koester