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Stratford's Great Big Green Week will see launch of new Repair Café

By Jenny Loynds

THE climate crisis is here. We are seeing increasing evidence of our changing climate in recent heatwaves, drought, wildfires and flooding, both here and across the globe. At the same time, our natural world on which we depend is suffering from biodiversity loss, habitat destruction and water and air pollution at unprecedented rates. In the face of these twin crises, rapid change is needed at every level, from governments to individuals.

Let’s take a look at what our government is doing. Last October, they published their net zero strategy, setting out plans for the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But this report falls far short of what is required, in multiple ways – the targets are too late, the carbon budgets are out of date and fail to include our imported emissions, and the plans set out only address 33 per cent of our emissions. Shockingly, there is little in the strategy to tackle insulating Britain’s homes and weak policies for dealing with emissions from agriculture and land use.

Photo: iStock. (59510920)
Photo: iStock. (59510920)

To cap it all, the net zero strategy has been deemed unlawful by the High Court for failing to demonstrate how the policies set out will achieve the legally binding carbon budgets.

The government must now come back with concrete proposals in a matter of months.

The lack of ambition is staggering. A rapid transition to clean energy and a restoration of our natural world brings huge opportunities to grow jobs, improve our health, secure our food systems and set us on a path to a more sustainable future. Yet nowhere are governments and big business stepping up to the task at the scale that is required. In fact, we continue to subsidise fossil fuel extraction and refuse planning permission for clean energy installations such as solar farms and onshore wind.

What can individuals and communities do in the face of such ineffective leadership on such an important issue? In recent weeks, as the cost-of-living crisis has deepened, we have started to see a shift in public attitudes. People are coming together to take action in the vacuum left by a missing government, whether it be strikers demanding inflation-busting pay rises or people signing up to the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. And in September, people and local organisations across the country are coming together to celebrate community action to tackle climate change and protect nature, in this year’s Great Big Green Week.

Across the Stratford-upon-Avon area, between 24th September and 2nd October, there will be a whole host of events and activities for everyone to get involved in – including volunteering taster sessions with Heart of England Forest, sustainable living talks, solar farm tours, planet-friendly gardening advice and a Green New Deal discussion forum. There will also be the launch of Stratford’s new Repair Café, and an update from Stratford District Council on its climate action plan.

This year’s Great Big Green Week has been organised by over 20 local organisations and is supported by Warwickshire County Council’s community fund, Stratford Town Council and Stratford Town Trust. It’s your opportunity to learn more about the climate and nature crisis, contribute to local decision making and join local groups working to make a difference. For a list of all events and activities, and to sign up for ticketed events, go to www.greatbiggreenweek.com/green-week-events/great-big-green-week-stratford-upon-avon.

At Stratford Climate Action we know the value of community action. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such huge challenges. Coming together and sharing experiences, ideas and knowledge helps us all to feel more confident in tackling the climate crisis. Our Great Big Green Week is coming soon – get involved, join in.


Saturday, 24th September

10am-4pm: Sustainable Shakespeare Fun Day, Halls Croft, SBT

Sunday, 25th September

10am-noon: Foraging walk with Little Bird Herbals, Greenway.

10.30am-12.30pm: Welcombe Hills walk with SBT.

Monday, 26th September

7.30pm-9pm: Nature and the Imagination: saving the planet one thought at a time. A talk by award-winning author Mark Cocker, Crowne Plaza hotel.

Tuesday, 27th September

10am-noon: Foraging walk with Little Bird Herbals, Greenway.

4pm-5.30pm: Seed saving and propagating plants, Team Springboard, Foundation House.

6.30pm-7.30pm: Riverside walk, meet at Stratford Marina, Bridgefoot, Stratford Town Trust.

Wednesday, 28th September

11am-12.30pm: Going green with Stratford Time Bank, Quaker Meeting House.

1pm-4pm: Act on Energy advice drop-in, Esquires Coffee.

Thursday, 29th September

7pm-8pm: Intro to sustainable living, Zero store, Rother Street.

Friday, 30th September

3.30pm: Solar farm visit, Heart of England Community Energy, location TBC.

Saturday, 1st October

9am: Great Big Moth Count, St James’ Church, Alveston.

10am-noon: Climate Justice talk by Eco Church, Methodist Church.

10am-2pm: Repair Cafe launch, Foundation House.

10.30am-12.30pm: Litter Pick, Rubbish Friends, Foundation House.

2.30pm-3.30pm: Greener Gardening -– SUA in Bloom, Methodist Church.

3.45pm-5pm: Stratford District Council’s Climate Action Plan update, Methodist Church.

Sunday, 2nd October

1pm-4pm: Great Big Green Week Celebration, Net Lifeways centre.

Wednesday, 5th October

7pm-9pm: What do we mean by a Green New Deal? Stratford Climate Action (online).


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