They say it's just a drop in the ocean
As if that's a reason to stop
But maybe the've forgotten the ocean
is entirely dependent on drops (Harry and Chris)
We are so please to share our Silver Eco Church award 🥈
The RSPB, The World Wild Fund for Nature and the National Trust have come together out of concern for new proposals to remove EU law in regard to nature.
On Saturday 21st October we met to discuss the People’s Plan for Nature. This comprises of answering three questions about the future of nature in the UK. What we love about it, what it needs to thrive and examples of people and communities that are helping nature to thrive.
We contributed by sharing about our love of hedgehogs, squirrels, trees, wide open spaces, and nature that you can go out and get lost in and not being able to predict what you will see. The colours in autumn, the sound of bird song and the flowers in spring. The way that animals migrate, on land, sea and sky and the importance of species that have been reintroduced including red kites, storks, cranes, and bison.
We discussed the need to have more support for farmers to work alongside or using nature, and then need for more government regulations from housing, building, sewage and reserving more space for nature. We need to use nature-based solutions to flooding, heating, generating power and transport. We discussed the need for open areas in or cities rather than a concrete jungle, opening back up rivers that have been put into underground tunnels (maybe we could have kingfishers and salmon in Sheffield city centre!). We discussed having more space for allotments and community gardens, reducing the cost of living for many as well as a chance to work together. More public awareness as well as more time in for nature in school curriculums, not simply teaching about climate change but giving children time to spend outdoors and learning about the trees, plants, and animals. More public transport and electric cars, but also encouraging people to think before jumping in their cars about more local places, and more infrastructure to make cycling possible and safe. And children able to play outside in safe places again.
We agreed that large organisations such as the RSPB, WWF, Natural England and the Woodland Trust all play important roles in making space for nature. However, there are many local groups too such as the Rivlin Valley Conservation Group, Action for Stannington, Friends of Loxley Valley. The forest school at Stannington Infant School. Community orchards at Low Bradfield and Ponderosa Park and the community garden at Malin Bridge, the work of Eco Church and how Christ Church Stannington have worked to get a silver award. Places such as Wild Ennerdale in the lake district have shown how upland farming can work with the land scape and Heely City Farm are part of the Rare Breed Survival Trust.
All these things and much more have now been fed back to the People’s Assembly for Nature who will combine everyone’s answers from all across the UK to form a document that is so big that it cannot be ignored. This will go to the government and will contain the actual thoughts of the people of the UK. Hopefully, they will respond appropriately.
Many things claim to be recyclable but often can’t go in your brown bin. So what are you meant to do with them? https://nomorebindays.co.uk is a website that will tell you where your local collection points are for all your recycling needs! Hopefully you can really reduce what goes in your black bin and look to recycle as much as possible.
We are also working towards increasing the wildlife in the churchyard so please visit the churchyard.
In January we completed our third annual Big Garden Birdwatch. The results for this were very positive, a total of 63 birds were spotted in the hour and the diversity of species has increased from our initial count. We hope this trend continues!
Over the summer we planted four new trees. Two rowan trees have replaced two ash trees that had ash dieback and so needed to be taken out so as to stop the spread of the disease. The stumps of these have been left as standing dead wood and are already full of wildlife! We chose rowan trees as these will be smaller and so allow more light to reach the meadow area, as well as the blossom and fruits providing food for the insects and birds. They also increase the diversity of the tree species in the churchyard.
The third is an English oak. It was planted as part of the Queens Green Canopy in celebration of Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee. An oak was chosen for its symbolism, increased diversity in the churchyard and that oaks provide and environment which can be used by the highest number of different species of insect, fungi, mammal and bird life in the UK.
The forth tree is a yew tree. We already have a yew in the churchyard, planted for the millennium. However, by adding another yew we are able to provide shelter and food for more birds, insects and mammals who already use the millennium tree.
What is Eco Church?
This is an award scheme by A Rocha UK. Practically is is a huge survey including the worship and teaching, church buildings, land, community and global engagement, and lifestyle of the church and church members. The more eco friendly we are in each of these areas the more points we gain, we are already at a gold level in our teaching and worship and land use (though we are still looking to improve these all the time!)
You can help by looking at your own lifestyle, do you bank with an ethical bank? Or use food which is LOAF (Locally grown, Organic, Animal friendly, Fairtrade)? You can measure you’re own carbon footprint here or undertake an environmental lifestyle audit here. Or you can simply remember to switch out the lights or reduce, re-use, recycle as much as possible. As Harry and Chris say at the top, it may only be a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is entirely dependent on drops.
We would love you to cycle, walk or lift share if you are coming up to church (have you seen our new bike racks?)
If you want to know more, have ideas or want to help then please do get in contact with Peggy