Letchworth’s Autumn Clean

October 10th was litter picking day in Letchworth! Plastic Free Letchworth had spread the word and asked “Can your household do a Surfer’s Against Sewage Mini-Clean of a space near your door?”. Six groups reported that they had taken up the challenge, and let us know about their litter picks which covered the following areas: The woods along Burnell Rise and Station Way; Part of Letchworth Greenway; Knap Close / Blackhorse Road /Works Road; West View to Hillbrow Park; Grange estate shops and central area; Grange rec and playing fields. It was a first outing for Letchworth’s new litter-picking equipment, … more

De-Mystifying The North Herts Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Housing

This Thursday 8th October North Herts District Council are holding an Extraordinary Council Meeting that will consider how the draft local plan for housing should be modified as a result of recently published ONS household projections for North Herts. The new projections show a slowing in population growth compared to the CLG 2014 based household projections that form the basis of the OAN in the draft local plan. Transition Town Letchworth has been participating in the local planning process making the case for sustainable developments and we are hoping that councillors will use the opportunity that the new population projections provide … more

Plastic Free July

Over the last few months we’ve had so much else to worry about that plastic pollution has taken a back seat. But the problem hasn’t gone away, so perhaps now is the time to take action again. As government advice on the places where we need to wear facemasks widens from public transport to inside shops, we need to reject disposable face mask options. Lots of local people are making masks out of scrap materials, and retailers are now selling washable, biodegradable masks, which do not cause unnecessary waste. As it is ‘Plastic Free July’ it would be a good … more

Bee Natures Friend

Aren’t bees amazing! They have been around, pollinating flowers for more than 120million years and are exceedingly good at it. One species even gives us honey. What’s not to like? In parts of South West China bees are now so scarce due to over-zealous use of pesticides, that the apple and pear orchards have to be pollinated by human hands—with paintbrushes! We need to look after our bees to stop their numbers declining further. The same goes for other pollinating insects. If they die out, so do we. The most obvious solutions are to use fewer pesticides, or none at … more

Make Do and Mend

Developing new skills, or remembering old ones, to make stuff we can’t go out and buy… As individuals we can help repair the climate by mending and repurposing items rather than sending them to waste. With shops and service industries closed it has been less easy to replace and repair our ‘stuff’ during this crisis. However, with more time on our hands we have had the opportunity to make and mend things. Fixing things can sometimes prove a challenge, with objects often designed to discourage this, it is amazing how hard it can be to change some watch batteries without … more

The joys of GIY – Grow It Yourself

The ongoing pandemic has made us think about food security. Over the coming months social distancing may require many of us to spend more time at home. Given that the timing aligns with the start of the growing season, why not use this time to help repair the climate by starting to grow some of your own food? One of the most exciting aspects of gardening, for me, is the watching and waiting and finally the appearance, of plants from seeds I have sown. It’s magic! The other is harvesting the crop—especially potatoes. Since I was about nine years old … more

Leaving the Car Behind

“Lots of people making a small change can make a significant contribution to repairing our climate”North Central Hertfordshire Growth and Transport plan puts improvements for car users as lower priority than walking, cycling and public transport, supporting local residents to switch to more sustainable transport. This month we are sharing some ideas on how each of us can follow the councils lead and start to reduce our reliance on the car.Shorter journeys, those of a mile or less, are the ones where it is often easiest to change transport mode. If you can plan in a little more time for these journeys they can often be made on foot. For slightly longer regular trips why … more

TTLs first online Transition Tuesday – A Summary of the Discussion

Our 12th May 2020 Transition Tuesday started with a short presentation reflecting on how changes to tackle COVID-19 could be a stepping stone to repairing our climate and the possible initiatives TTL could take forward, based on our recent blog. Attendees then discussed a number of potential project areas. Encouraging Increased Cycling Post-Lockdown The plans to bring forward cycling infrastructure in cities across the world, including London was reported. Extinction Rebellions’ request for people to chalk cycle lanes on the road and then ride them this coming weekend was explained. It was suggested that it would be worth getting a … more

What Climate Repair Lessons can we Learn from the COVID-19 crisis?

Can changes that have been introduced to tackle COVID-19 provide a stepping-stone to building a more resilient society / community? This paper introduces some ideas that will be discussed and built upon at Transition Town Letchworth’s Online Transition Tuesday planned for the 12 May 2020 (using zoom). The paper: Provides a wider reflection on COVID-19 and climate repair, Considers some of the threats and weaknesses to long term climate repair resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, Explores what topics Transition Town Letchworth, as a local organisation, can work on to build a more resilient local economy and the world that we … more

Lifestyle changes to limit Covid-19 also help to repair our climate

We are in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis. It is restricting us in all areas of life, and causes so much suffering. But we know it will pass, and afterwards we will re-orient ourselves. Other topics will re-emerge, one of which will certainly be climate change. How will we look back and reflect then? Here a few numbers on our carbon footprints, and what effect the current restrictions have on it. Taking into account UK production and import of goods, the average person in the UK produces 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per year. To gradually achieve … more