The Steyning 10:10 Climate Action Group is a local initiative aimed at cutting carbon emissions right here in Steyning and the surrounding villages. We’re running a ‘Greening Campaign’ to get the whole community thinking about what we can do – and taking action so that together we can make a real difference. It is aimed at everyone in Steyning, Bramber, Upper Beeding and the surrounding area.
Creating a positive, climate-friendly vision for 2030
It’s been 10 years since Greening Steyning was established. At our January 28th Climate Action meeting we looked back to celebrate all that’s been achieved and the past decade (here’s a link to Geoff’s ‘Looking back’ presentation). We also began a conversation on where we go from here. Here’s a link to Paul Hannam’s inspiring forward looking presentation ‘Our Town, Our World, Our Future’. We’re thinking big, as the next decade is going to be crucial if we’re to get on top of the climate crisis. As David Attenborough put it:
“It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.”
So how can we make our community one the greenest and happiest in the UK? Not by Greening Steyning acting alone. We need to work with others in the community and get their buy-in and support. The plan is to start out with a community visioning exercise to build a positive picture of what we want Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding to be like in 2030.
Climate Election Debate
Thanks to everyone who turned out for our special climate hustings debate on 27 November. We had a packed audience of over 300 at the Steyning Grammar School drama hall, including a big contingent of 6th formers. The debate was expertly chaired by Tony Whitbread, President of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. All five candidates from Arundel and South Downs constituency took part: Alison Bennett (Lib Dem), Andrew Griffith (Conservative), Bella Sankey (Labour), Isabel Thurston (Green), and Robert Wheal (Independent).
You can download a video of the event from YouTube. It comes in three parts, numbered sequentially. Here’s a press report that came out in the Shoreham Herald. And here’s some photos from the night on Facebook.
Mass Unwrap at the Coop
Steyning shoppers sent a strong message to their local supermarket on Saturday 9th Nov when we staged a ‘Mass Unwrap’ event to highlight the amount of unwanted and unnecessary plastic packaging they get when they shop there. Shoppers were encouraged to unwrap these and other pre-packed items and leave the plastic behind on a table outside. Over the course of the day, more than 500 plastic boxes and wrappers were collected, enough to fill several large bags.
The unwrap was part of our campaign to make Steyning, Bramber and Beeding ‘Plastic Free Communities’. As Ronnie Reed put it, “We’ve engaged with so many people over this and most are really concerned over the amount of plastic they take home after they’ve done their weekly shop.”
“The aim of the protest was to send a clear message to Coop headquarters, rather than staff of the local branch, that shoppers of all ages are unhappy with their unnecessary use of single use plastic,” said John Griffin from the Steyning and District Business Chamber. “Local staff have been super helpful, and besides letting us advertise the event inside the store were happy to take away all of the plastic we collected, and pass it on through the Coop’s recycling set up.”
Shoppers were asked to sign a petition saying “I urge Coop Food Stores to radically cut down on their use of plastic packaging, especially single use plastics.” Over 130 signatures were collected in just a few hours and this will be handed to the store manager to pass on to head office.
Climate Strike – largest demo in Steyning for decades
Five hundred people took to the streets of Steyning on Sept 20th to join global protests calling for urgent climate action. Led by local school children, and backed by residents of all ages, it was the largest demonstration in Steyning for nearly forty years, bringing the High Street to a standstill.
“Don’t burn our future!” “There is no planet B!” “Act now or swim later!” These were just some of the messages captured in a whole series of colourful handmade posters made by the local Woodcraft Folk group, who organised the strike jointly with Greening Steyning.
Woodcraft member, Ursula, age 13, who led the march and introduced the speakers, summed up her feelings: “I think the Steyning march was great and showed the power of the community when we come together. I also think that the diversity of ages was amazing and it just goes to show that it isn’t just the next generation that’s worried, it’s everyone.”
If you missed it, here’s the full press release on the Strike. For more photos and videos, take a look at the Climate Strike Facebook album. And here’s the text of the poem “They Already Know,” by Simon Zec, and the song “Greta’s Sailing,” both specially written for the event.
River Adur clean up walk
Volunteers from Steyning, Bramber & Beeding joined forces on Saturday 14th Sept to do a litter clean-up walk along the River Adur. It was the latest part of our campaign to make Steyning, Bramber and Beeding ‘Plastic Free Communities’. Armed with grabbers, bin bags and gloves, and with dogs and young children in tow, we set off from the Bramber footbridge and scoured the river bank all the way down to the A283 road bridge.
“The litter gods were with us”, said John Griffin, from the Steyning and District Business Chamber, and one of the Plastics Campaign coordinators. “When we got to the A283 we found the road was closed for bridge repairs. So we were able to switch focus and give the road verges a good going over. And there were enough people on hand to give Bramber Castle the treatment too.”
So how clean is our valley? “It turned out that the river bank was fairly free from litter this weekend, despite the spring high tide”, according to Sue Glover from the Steyning volunteer litter picking group. “There were some litter hot spots though where the story was very different – notably around bridges and car parks.”
Here’s a link to the article on the event that appeared in the Shoreham Herald.
Plastics Campaign kicks off
A new campaign is underway to make a serious dent in the use of plastics – especially single-use plastics – in Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding. We’re teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage for this and will be working over 2019 to become a ‘Plastic Free Community’. Our three Parish Councils are behind the idea, as is the local Business Chamber. We’ll also be working with schools, churches, local businesses and others. Take a look at the new section of the website for news of how you can get involved.
The launch of the campaign was at Steyning Farmers Market at 11.00am on Saturday 6th April. Here’s some photos of the event.
Horsham and West Sussex both agree to step up action on climate change
Our campaign to get local our local councils to declare a Climate Emergency has born fruit! Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council have both passed motions recently committing them to step up action on the climate, though stopping short of declaring a climate emergency.
There’s more details on the Climate Emergency page, including information on the South East Climate Alliance (SECA) – a brand new umbrella group we’ve helped form to coordinate efforts across the South East. Check out the new SECA website for latest information on the campaign: seclimatealliance.uk
Join us for Green Drinks
This is our regular get together to talk about matters green over a pint and a packet of crisps. It is the last Wednesday of most months. We have had some brilliant and inspiring speakers over the last few years. Doors open at 7.30pm, talks start at 8.00pm.
Check the Events page to find out the upcoming programme, and check details of the venue .Note we are moving out of Steyning Cricket Club from October 2019 – the new venue will be Steyning Football Club, just by the Grammar School entrance in Shooting Field.