Help the LWA Amend the Agricultural Bill

From local, organic food grower Pea Pod Veg‘s Abby Nicol…

“It’s time to amend the agriculture bill. Click on the link below to write to your MP and share the news far and wide. In the face of devastating climate change and widening inequality in society we need a agriculture bill that is progressive and serves everyone and looks to the future. We need to be able to shout about how the solutions exist and not feel embarrassed about calling for agroecology, organic farming, nature based farming, farming jobs, rights for rural workers and more. We need farmers 3 times a day, we must stand up for them and fight for a truly sustainable food system.”

So please take a moment to check out the Land Workers’ Alliance website and have your say before its too late.

Hastings Trust Legacy Archive

As the long-standing, local organisation The Hastings Trust draws to a close it’s now possible to view an online archive of the trust’s work. For over 30 years the trust worked with scores of local partners on hundreds of initiatives to improve the quality of life for people in Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea. The website is a record of that achievement and a resource for those who follow in it’s footsteps. Archive materials featuring 25 years of conservation, environmental improvements and regeneration work includes complete sets of newsletters and annual reviews plus a selection of photos, films, presentations and project documents that are free to download.

Visit the site.

Launch of Hastings Refill

Project aims to save people money and reduce plastic pollution

Saturday 22 September, 10am – 4pm, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings: Hastings Green Party and Transition Town Hastings [2] will be launching a new water bottle refill scheme for Hasting next Saturday (22 September) at the Ocean Symposium [3] at St Mary in the Castle.

Over fifty local businesses in Hastings have already signed up to the scheme.

Julia Hilton of Hastings Green party said: ‘The Hastings Refill scheme [4] is part of a nationwide initiative to reduce plastic pollution and save people money by encouraging them to carry and refill a water bottle rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles [5]. Wherever you see one of the blue ‘Free Tap Water Available Here’ stickers on display, you’ll know you’re welcome to ask for a free refill. Or you can download the app from https://www.refill.org.uk, which makes it quick, easy and free to find out where to refill on the go.’

Sarah Macbeth of Transition Town Hastings added: ‘We’ve all heard of the phrase; reduce, reuse, recycle. Often recycle is where the focus lies. But with this scheme, we’re going straight to the heart of the matter: reduce! According to recent research British households are failing to recycle as many as 16m plastic bottles every day – nearly half the total used [6]. By refilling bottles we can help reduce this waste while also taking away the need for recycling, itself a complicated process when it comes to plastics.’

Any café, restaurant or business with easy access to water can sign up to be part of the scheme, either using the online app at https://www.refill.org.uk or by emailing refillhastings@gmail.com.

NOTES

[1] https://hastings.greenparty.org.uk
[2] http://www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk
[3] The Ocean Symposium will run from 10am – 4.00 pm at St Mary’s in the Castle on Saturday 22 September. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ocean-symposium-2018-and-marine-exhibition-tickets-46801977976
[4] https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-scheme/refill-hastings

[5] https://www.refill.org.uk
[6] ‘British households fail to recycle a ‘staggering’ 16m plastic bottles a day’, Guardian, 15 October 2016,https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/british-households-fail-to-recycle-a-staggering-16m-plastic-bottles-a-day

Sustainability on Sea festival this September!

Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast are jointly coordinating a new festival all about sustainable practices in the local area.

Join us on Sept 21-30 for some inspiring events including nature walks, talks, demos, debates and tips on reducing plastic, a DIY solar workshop and more. We are also proud to promote events by local groups such as Sussex Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, OVESCO, Hastings Furniture Service and Pier to Eternity.

The aim is to promote a sustainable future encouraging positive behaviour change and supporting and promoting those who are playing their role towards this goal.

The festival finale event is a Big Green Fair on the Stade Open Space, Stade hall and Classroom on the Coast. The day will include talks, demos, art workshops, food workshops, bike checks, music, local information stalls and eco products for sale. Not to be missed!

See www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk for more details.

Cohousing Talk presentation

On May 11th Julian Howell gave a short talk about cohousing projects and a very clear ‘how to’ to help groups to get started. Julian Howell is a founder member of Sussex Cohousing a Brighton-based community in the making.

After the talk there was a lively discussion about what people were interested in doing locally.  There was an interest in finding ways to live together in a supportive and collaborative way or living with a deeper connection to nature by sharing land. We hope the conversation continues and cohousing projects or land sharing projects can be realised in and around Hastings, a town where good quality affordable housing is hard to find.


Download Julian’s talk here:

About cohousing 2018 – Julian Howell


Sign up to the Hastings Cohousing discussion if you are interested in joining a conversation about cohousing in the Hastings area  – a closed group on Groups.io.


New Economics Foundation have recently published this guide to help groups looking to build community-led, affordable housing development in their area overcome one of their greatest obstacles: acquiring land.

 

New funds for our community garden

Great news. We were successful in our application for a Sustainability & New Economy Grant from Quakers UK.  We will receive £200 to help fund the development of our community garden at St Leonards Warrior Square station, specifically around the water collection.

There is no water supply close to the garden and we so for the past few years volunteers have been carrying buckets of water across the foot bridge to top up water needs over the spring and summer months. We’re really excited to be able to take control of the water supply by purchasing some large water butts for the north platform. These will allow volunteers to spend more time focusing on planning,  designing and planting.

Green space for Ore Community Land Trust

Ore Community Land Trust (OCLT) has a stated purpose of  “Seeking to acquire land in the Upper Ore Valley to save and enhance urban woodland and green space for community use and to protect animal habitat”.

OCLT was set up in 2009 and is now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This widens their scope as they are keen to take on other green spaces and woodland in the Ore Valley, although their primary aim is to bring Speckled Wood into community ownership.

The organisation’s recent AGM reported the following activities:

1) HBC is planning to transfer the green spaces in the Ore Valley over to OCLT.
2) OCLT are in the process of buying a container as a volunteer base in Speckled Wood. They need more volunteers to support this.
3) OCLT are working with TCV to organise some green gyms in Speckled Wood. The first one will be for women.

Read more in the Ore CLT Annual Report AGM 2017

Gardening And Your Health: How Working In The Dirt Can Have A Positive Impact

Gardening is a favorite pastime for many people, but it’s not just a hobby that yields pretty results; it’s also a great way to get in shape and improve your mental health at the same time.

Working in the sunshine, creating something beautiful that also has tangible rewards, and doing something physical after working in an office or other fairly inactive environment can have many benefits for your health, not the least of which is the fact that you get in a workout every time you go into the garden. Bending, kneeling, stretching, weeding, watering, planting, and reaping all take a measure of physical strength and endurance and allow you to work several muscle groups at once, which makes it a great activity for those living with arthritis or joint pain because you can customize your movements and only do as much as your body will let you.

Of course, having a garden also benefits the planet in many ways, so you really can’t go wrong. If you’ve never thought of yourself as someone with a green thumb, now may be the time to reconsider and get to planting. Here are some of the best benefits of having a garden and tending it.

You get to work outside

Working outside in the sunshine gives you a boost of vitamin D, which has been shown in studies to help with stress, depression and other mood disorders. Gardening allows for plenty of fresh air while giving you the option to work only as hard as you want, so it can be done by just about anyone, regardless of their abilities or mobility concerns.

You’ll eat healthier

If you choose to plant edibles in your garden, pick things you know you’ll eat so that nothing goes to waste. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and peppers are all great options that are relatively easy to grow depending on your climate, and you can harvest quite a few of them. Think about foods that you can grow nearly year-round, as well; beans, broccoli, turnips, and squash are great choices for a fall harvest.

If you’re interested in year-round crops, you might also consider building a solar greenhouse that will help you keep your plants healthy and abundant during all kinds of weather. Make sure you have the space in your yard and check with the city to see if you need a permit to build.

You can boost your mental health

Many people who garden report a positive boost in their mental health, especially people who spend a lot of time in an office setting or don’t get to work with their hands much. There’s something relaxing about working in the dirt and knowing which move comes next, spending time choosing the right plants and watching them grow under your care, and it can help boost your self-esteem, as well.

It can help your memory

Seniors who garden are more likely to battle the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive function disorders because the act of working outdoors and planting helps the brain stay active and vital. Not only that, but many studies have shown that people who work in the garden have a reduced risk of stroke.

Remember that gardening can include heavy lifting and other physical work, so ask for help if you need it. Always wear sunblock and wear light-colored layers of clothing in the summer to stay cool. Being prepared and careful will help you get the most benefits out of working in the dirt.

Maria Cannon © 2017

Hastings Greenway and sustainable transport film

Watch this film by Keith Rodway documenting an awareness-raising day for Hastings Greenway and sustainable transport in the town. It features interviews with key players in the campaign to build a safe route for cyclists and walkers from Ore to the town centre.