Our Must-Read Books

If you have children you will know that it’s World Book Day every March 4th. This year Alison our Social Organiser hasn’t been able to arrange many socials and so she turned her focus to great reads.

She asked the team to share must read books with her and then took over the Friends of the Earth Twitter account for World Book Day. So here we have the groups must read book recommendations for those of you that might of missed it or don’t do twitter. 

Alison – here’s me & the one I’m reading at the moment. It’s about how immersion in nature is good for us mentally & physically. 

#WorldBookDay #nature @AlisonShearerK 


Here’s Peter’s long-time campaigner & previous group co-ordinator, with “The Transition Handbook, from oil dependency to local resilience” by Rob Hopkins. Vandana Shiva: “The uncertainty of our times is no reason to be certain about hopelessness.”

#WorldBookDay #change @PeterBenson2020


Here’s the book choice from our co-ordinator Helen “We have forgotten to use our imagination. The ability to simply ask What if?” Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement and the idea being out What If? Events. 

#WorldBookDay #transition #makechange #bethechange #ClimateAction @helentandy.


“To love a place is not enough, we must find ways to heal it.” We’re celebrating World Book Day by sharing our current favourites! “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer is the choice from Debbie @J_footprints 

#WorldBookDay #braidingsweetgrass #WorldBookDay2021 #Chester


“We can no longer afford the indulgence of feeling powerless.” Wise words on World Book Day. A tome about how to survive the climate crisis. Could come in v handy. Book choice by Martin  

 #WorldBookDay #WorldBookDay2021 #GreenRecovery #ClimateAction #ClimateEmergency #green @MickleMartin 


Here’s a book choice from our Kerry. “stop hammering on and on about the necessity of change & start focusing instead upon the desirability of change in terms of improved quality of life, greater security & more fulfilled ways of working & living.” 

#WorldBookDay #WorldBookDay 2021

‘Our Kerry’ = @KiriKiwi, one of the two leads on our nature campaigns.


“When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives…” The Hidden Life Of Trees – Peter Wohlleben, chosen by treasurer Hannah 

#WorldBookDay #trees 


We can only meet this challenge together, as part of a massive and organised global movement.” Thanks to Nala for this book choice on World Book Day. Our house IS on fire, we need a global team to put the fire out. 

#WorldBookDay #WorldBookDay2021 #ClimateAction #Green @aisfornala 


Martin Dorey’s latest book looks at what we recycle, what we bin, what we take to the tip, where it goes – & what it really does to our planet.

#WorldBookDay #rubbish @CampervanLiving 


Book choice from Simon “Into The Tangled Bank” by @LevParikian. “From creepy crawlies to the hills of Skye, discover the quirks, habits and foibles of how we as a nation experience nature.” Sounds great! 

#WorldBookDay #WorldBookDay2021 #NaturePhotography #green #books @simonjveardley 


Pete has another suggestion – sharing a bath. To prevent water waste! “I Count – Your Step By Step Guide To Climate Bliss”. A practical, whinge-free guide that tells you how to stop climate chaos.

“WorldBookDay #WorldBookDay2021 


Another book from Nala 

“We’ll stare down at the screens in our hands  

And smile at the photos. Didn’t we laugh.  

Strange voices will sing from street corners.  

Powerful men will mumble back into the backs  

Of the people they f**k. This is the end.” 

#WorldBookDay #poetry #grow 


For Alison’s final one she dressed as a ‘cat’

Homage to the book that spawned a genre of angry, important, environmental treatises. “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.  

“No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.” 

#WorldBookDay #Pesticides 

Finally a 2 for 1, here’s some book reviews by Alison and Nala


Wonderful Wildflowers

Although February is often one of our coldest and drizzliest months, if there is just enough warmth, we can still find some interesting and beautiful wildflowers popping their heads out of the ground for all to see. 

Early Spring Wildflower Spotter Guide

We’d love to create a #oneacremeadow across Chester and Cheshire West and you can help us achieve that whether you’ve got a whole field to plant or a pot on your doorstep. 

February is a great month to start planning your garden for the year ahead. Most plants and growth will have been weakened making it easier to see what space you have for wildflowers and easier to prepare the ground for your seed bed sowing in Spring.

Once your chosen area has been cleared, turn the soil and remove any remaining grasses, debris or other plants, break the soil up with a fork and leave it to settle so that any further weeds that germinate can be removed before sowing.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we do our bit to support wildflowers and the nature that depends on them.  In January 2021 the UK government granted an exemption on the ban to neonicotinoids (neonics) for sugar beet farmers. These impair a bees ability to navigate and reproduce, so with a third of bee populations already declining it’s not good news. 

f you’d like to find out more about our #oneacremeadow project go to our blog CLICK HERE or follow us on social media for updates on all our activities.

You can also register for a free activity pack on the national Friends of the Earth website: CLICK HERE

Is the Government’s 10 Point Plan enough?

– Nala Rollo – Climate Action Chester & District.


Unsurprisingly, it isn’t just myself and Friends of the Earth that are thinking that the government’s climate plan might not be quite ambitious enough.

We’ve written our own 10 point plan which you can compare to the government’s HERE.

The Financial Times said “The government estimates the plan will save more than 180m tonnes of CO2 emissions during the 2023 to 2032 period, which is slightly more than half the UK’s annual emissions right now.”

This breakdown was not published until a full day after journalists and the media were given the official announcement, so it’s not a surprise to find it didn’t find its way into much of the coverage.

BBC News pointed out “new money announced in the package is a twenty fifth of the projected £100bn cost of high-speed rail, HS2”.

New Scientist stated “the plan’s most obvious shortcoming is money”.
Even the right leaning Telegraph said the plans are “dwarfed by figures pledged in other major European nations”.

There’s huge omissions in the plan too.

They have promised a strategy to protect peat without laws put in place to do so and without enough funding compared to what is needed.

My partner, who works for an agricultural bank, was telling me last night that farmers have been left with little to no information about post-Brexit subsidies.

Jet zero, as the government like to refer to it, (zero emissions from long haul planes) are over twenty years away, yet there’s no mention of The Citizens’ Assembly’s recommended frequent fliers tax.

There’s masses of confusion when it comes to the twenty seven billion pound roads programme’s emission calculations but general consensus is it will actually increase emissions and also encourages car dependence.

The government are even talking about bringing back the production of coal! Why any sensible government would look to do this is beyond me.

Most of what is in the plan has already been announced previously including the tree planting and offshore wind energy elements.

You can reach your own conclusions as to whether the government are meeting their targets already set.

Personally, I don’t think that they are.

I eagerly await advisers at the Climate Change Committee (CCC) releasing their recommendations for the sixth carbon budget on 9th December and the forthcoming energy white paper with baited breath.

Sustainable Winter Eco Fair – online programme

Well we are only days away from our next event, the team are sad it’s not in real life and miss all our Sustainable Chester Fair regulars, even so pleased to be supporting both local businesses and some new friends from further afield.

We have lots of ideas on having a sustainable festive season. We have festive food Saturday 12.30pm, then how to reduce waste this festive season – 5pm on Monday.

MAKES

Repair and recycle clothes.

Make your own home cleaning products.

Make lovely tulips from scrap fabric.

You can watch the sessions live or on catch up later.

SATURDAY

SHOP SHOP SHOP
November 28th – 9.45am or on catch up after.
Support local businesses, many of our fair regulars. SHOP LOCAL
click here
MAKE SESSION
Live Saturday 28th November 11.30am.
Or on catch up after
click here
SUSTAINABLE FESTIVE FOOD
Live 28th November – 12.30pm or watch on catch up after.
Click here
SHOP SHOP SHOP
Live 28th November 1.30pm or on catch up later.
Click here
MAKE SESSION
Live 28th November – 3.00pm or on catch up later
Click here
MAKE SESSION
Live 28th November – 4.00pm or on catch up later
Click here

MONDAY

Join us live Monday 30th November – 5.00pm – or on catch up later.
Join us for some festive tips on reducing waste.
Click here
Join us live Monday 30th November – 6.00pm – hear from some of our local community groups. Or on catch up later
Click here
Join us live Monday 30th November – 7.00pm- or on catch up later.
Stories from more of our community groups.
Click here

How to access the Crowdcast sessions

You can join Crowdcast sessions through your web browser – you don’t need to download any apps.

To watch a session, click on one of the links above to go to the session page on Crowdcast and click the green “Join” / “Save My Spot” / “Watch Replay” button.

Step 1

In the Join Event window, the simplest way to join us is to login using your Facebook, Twitter or Google account:

Step 2a

If you prefer to register by email, enter your email address and click the green arrow:

Step 2b

If you’ve not used Crowdcast before, you’ll need to accept Crowdcast’s terms of service and privacy policy on the next page, then click Join Event:

Step 3

You’ll then be asked to enter your name before joining the session:

Step 4

When you click Register, you’ll be taken into the session and have the option of taking a quick tutorial.

If you’ve used Crowdcast before, you’ll just need to click Email me a login link, then check your email for the link to access the session:

Step 3b

Monthly Litter Pick Update

We started our monthly litter picks in Chester earlier in the year with so much enthusiasm, only to have the onset of a global pandemic to scupper our plans somewhat.

Since lockdown kicked in we have been striving to keep going with regular litter picks, although due to ever changing lockdown rules and the need to maintain social distancing it has been a challenge.

We need to balance the needs of our community spaces which now have more litter than ever with all the extra PPE, with the safety of our volunteers.

As such we have decided to scale picks back until the new year until we can hopefully refocus our efforts.

Green & Fair Recovery – what’s going on next week and how to get involved.

As we begin to re-build after the devastating effects of Coronavirus, we face a crossroads: do we go back to an economy that left us with widening gaps between rich and poor, huge health inequalities and hurtling towards climate and ecological breakdown?

Now is a crucial moment to ensure the correct spending is dedicated towards a green and fair recovery from the pandemic. While we know that it’s unlikely that we’ll get everything we ask for, this as an opportunity to show the strength of our network, build support for a green and fair recovery plan and attract more people to join our Climate Action group.

We’ve been organising a week of action from 5-11 October to engage communities in the campaign for a green and fair recovery from COVID-19.

Our plans for this week are having to adapt and evolve as the current situation around us changes. We will still by lobbying MPs during this week, as although the ‘budget’ has been cancelled for this year, the spending review is still going ahead.

While it’s not been formally announced yet, we are now expecting it to be a 1 year spending review, rather than 4. Where budgets set tax plans for the year, spending reviews look at what budgets departments get, and how they can spend them. So we still need to put as much pressure as possible on MPs for the spending review, and to drive home the message that whether it’s now, or later, the rebuild from coronavirus must be a green and fair one.

As part of our week of action, we were going been to make and erect a signpost in our community where passersby could leave their ideas. Given the escalating risk of coronavirus and the increased need for social distancing and local lockdowns this action will now be taking place online and on social media.

Follow us on Facebook – twitter and Instagram to view our campaign as it develops ?

We will have more news in the next few days as our plans start to finalise and we launch our social media outlets for Climate Action Chester & District.

Facebook page – Friends of the Earth Chester and District

Twitter – @chesterfoe

Instragram – chesteranddistrictfoe

By our fantastic Craftivist Judith

Green and Fair Recovery Action Week: 5th to 11th October

This autumn the UK government will be setting the national budget for the next four years. It’s a crucial moment to ensure the correct spending is dedicated towards a green and fair recovery from the pandemic.

We will be taking part on a week of action for a Green and Fair Recovery between 5th and 11th October. We will be hosting a series of actions across Cheshire West, hopefully with allies outside our group, we will lobbying our Cheshire West MPs, Chris Matheson, Justin Madders, Esther McVey, Edwards Timpson and Mike Amesbury for support to publicly back a green and fair recovery.

We have two planning events:

Wednesday 9th September – join us

Wednesday 16th September – join us

These are online events and you must book to receive the link.

Then keep the evening of Wednesday 7th October free for our week of action online event.

If you have any ideas for this week of action, or would like to be involved please contact Martin or Nala on foe.chester@gmail.com

They’re excited to hear from you.

Help us to create plots #LeftForNature to build a #OneAcreMeadow

We have been campaigning to protect pollinators for years, but the region could still be doing more.

While we are still waiting to see the Wildflower & Biodiversity strategy from the Council we have decided to do something positive ourselves. So we came up with the idea of the One Acre Meadow.

This project needs your help.

We want to create an acre in Cheshire West made up of lots of small plots, gardens or areas that residents ask the council to stop mowing.

As part of the campaign the group are using painted signs with #LeftForNature to note areas residents do not want to be mown to allow the wildflowers to thrive.  

Meadows provide shelter and food for insects, hedgehogs, birds and bees who are important pollinators for our food chain. 

Not only that, British wildflowers are under threat too, but after the experience of lockdown many people are seeking green, natural spaces.  

So, by getting involved in creating a one acre meadow you’re actually doing something good for your own wellbeing, making our surroundings more attractive, giving nature a helping hand and saving British wildflowers at the same time.’

It doesn’t matter what size of space you have – it all makes a difference!  

To add you to the map we need your postcode, the size of your patch and if it’s already full of wildflowers a photo.

We have lots of supporters all ready and some of you have allocated us plots, let’s see how long it takes.

If you have an area of council land near you that you think should be left for nature – email us at foe.chester@gmail.com

See one of our signs, please take a photo tag us @ChesterFoe and add #LeftForNature #OneAcreMeadow

Our next event – “CLOUDS Gathering” – an arts event with a difference, to make a difference.

We are helping Eco Communities host a second Virtual Event this month to raise awareness of climate change through a very different medium.

This next event is the idea of Friends of The Earth’s Alison Knott, supported by Helen Tandy, a Director of Eco Communities and Co-ordinator of Friends of the Earth Chester and District.

Each event will engage with the climate crisis to some degree, and/or celebrate the natural world. We aim to bring people together through the arts to consider environmental issues, and to link current environmental activists with a different way of raising awareness.

SATURDAY 27th JUNE

5pm – Opener
6pm – Play – From Little Acorns Grow
7pm – Stories & Poems
8pm – Open Screen

SUNDAY 28th JUNE

1.30pm – Tai Chi Panda
2.00pm Children’s Storytime
3.00 – 4.30pm – Activism with a difference
5.00pm – Singing Workshop
6.00pm – Meet The Makers
7.00pm – Book Reading