Springwatch, Solar and Poo
Lichfield’s annual celebration of all things green will open its doors at 10.00am on Saturday
the 10th of May in the Lichfield Guildhall on Bore Street.
Entrance is free with something for everyone: face painting and animal trails for the kids;
street entertainers and Morris Dancers for the kid in all of us; lots of stalls with a myriad of
things to see and buy from local environment groups, food producers and craftspeople.
Also worth coming for is a series of great guest speakers starting at 11am when Mike
Kinghan of Southern Staffordshire Community Energy will enlighten on the benefits of
community-owned energy. Caroline Allen of Earth Life Community will entertain the kids with a
range of fun filled activities adding life and colour to the world at 12pm, followed by Martin
Doyle of the Little House Company who will certainly not take the pee in demonstrating
the pong free merits of composting toilets at 1pm. Hot on the heels of appearances on
Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Gardener’s World, WildlifeKate will give an inspiring talk on
‘Creating Spring Watch in your Garden’ at 2pm, with local beekeeper Dave Murcott rounding
off the day at 3pm with insights into the art of nurturing this vital part of the food chain. Looking after our bees has never been more important with the UK honeybee colonies suffering one the worst declines in Europe in recent years.
The Green Cafe will re-energise with delicious drinks and treats.
Anthony Walters, Chair of co-organisers, Low Carbon Lichfield said “Lichfield has the worst carbon footprint of any city district in the West Midlands; and with the global impact of the human race on the climate, there has never been a better time to think about what we can
do for the environment. Why not come along and have a lot of fun doing your bit for the environment in Lichfield?”
7.30pm, Thursday 13 March, The Lichfield Room, Wade Street Church, Lichfield, WS13 6HL
Members and non-members alike are all welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be available.
There will be a presentation on the opportunities that present themselves for LoCaL’s attention in the coming year, plus following the formal business of the meeting, we are fortunate to have (at around 8pm) Chris Crean from Birmingham Friends of the Earth to speak to us about FoE’s view of the environmental priorities to be addressed in the area.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Our Big Green Fair was held in the Guildhall, Lichfield on 4 May in conjunction with Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group. With a variety of stalls selling ethical and local goodies, energy-saving advice, and renewable microtechnology, as well as music and morris dancing, talks from Penney Poyser and Wildlife Kate, workshops, face-painting and much more, it attracted an estimated 2,500 people, helped by the kind weather on what turned out to be a sunny bank holiday weekend.
Our public debate on wind turbines held in October in Wade Street Church, proved to be a very successful event.
Held jointly with Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group, it was chaired by Michael Fabricant MP and featured speakers from the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England CPRE), the University of Keele, Sustainable Hockerton, and Say No and Protest (SNAP). There was much lively debate as you might imagine!
Our wind factsheet dispels some of the myths about wind turbines.
A rough poll was taken as people came in and exited, and this showed that a greater percentage were in favour of a wind farm in Lichfield District following the debate than before. We are the first to admit, however, that it wasn’t a rigorously-controlled survey.
Eight of us went off yesterday to see what happens after the dustcart empties our blue wheelie bins. Yes, we went by car, but we managed to squeeze into two vehicles to save on emissions. Lichfield recyclable waste is taken to a waste recycling plant run by Biffa at Aldridge. The people there were very welcoming and took us round to see what happens. We had to wear headsets to hear what the guide was saying, as it’s a huge building and some parts are quite noisy. We also had to wear high-visibility vests, hard hats, and goggles – we felt like the Village People! After arriving, everything is tipped into a hopper and fed onto the first of a series of conveyor belts. Most of the different materials, like steel, aluminium, glass and paper are separated out by machinery, but there is an element of manual labour in sorting the different types of plastics. Apparently, in Lichfield we can put any type of plastic packaging in the recycling bin, even when the manufacturer has labelled it as “not recyclable”. We heard about some of the odd things that turn up, like a dead snake, and artificial Christmas trees complete with baubles and lights; and the disruption that video cassettes can cause when the tape unwinds and gets round the machinery (so best not to put those in your bin!). The plant is operational 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. At the end, the different products are baled and sold on. We learnt that the white plastic milk bottles are chipped and re-processed back into milk bottles, and this is all done within another Biffa plant; and most of the paper is sold to China for use as cardboard packaging.
All-in-all it was very interesting and informative, and it was nice to see some new people on the trip, as well as familiar faces.