Sustainable Woodstock

We aim to raise public awareness among the residents of Woodstock and beyond on the issues of climate change, energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, bio-diversity, sustainable economics and respect for the planet. 
We are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, local schools and churches, Blenheim Palace and the Farmers Market and the Woodstock trade association, Wake Up to Woodstock


Welcome to Sustainable Woodstock's
Home and News Page

To learn more about Sustainable Woodstock go to "About Us" page or click here

Go direct to the Sustainable Woodstock Noticeboard

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Natural History Society and to commemorate this milestone they have planted a beautiful Mountain Ash tree in Sustainable Woodstock's Community Woodland. 
More pictures here......

So what will BREXIT mean for Climate Change and Sustainability?

Sustainable Woodstock makes no excuse for this lengthy assessment based on expert commentary from leading professional and investigative journalists

The UK government won praise six months ago for taking a leading role in the Paris climate change conference which, for the first time, reached a legally binding agreement on cutting carbon emissions.  With the Bexit vote the UK’s future participation is called into question.  But more seriously the Leave campaign’s victory provides succour to those groups who oppose climate change action.  It could conceivably delay the ratification of the Paris agreement beyond the date of the US election and, God forbid that Trump should win that particular race, a change of President in the US could scupper the agreement altogether.  Jonathan Grant, director of sustainability at PwC said, “[the referendum outcome] is a major setback for the type pf collaboration needed to tackle global environmental issues such as climate change.  The UK government has been a champion of climate action at home, within the EU, and in Paris.  This leadership is now at risk, with many supporters of Brexit also opposed to climate policies such as carbon taxes and efficiency standards.”


The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual progress report said that emissions from electricity generation were falling fast but pollution from transport was rising and action on cutting carbon emissions from homes has gone backwards.  National carbon emissions have fallen by over 4.5% per year since 2012 but almost entirely due to increasing use of renewable sources of energy generation.  There has been virtually no reductions in the rest of the economy and the rate of installing insulation in homes has reduced by 90% and the government has scrapped plans to make all new homes zero carbon.  The UK has no policies in place to meet more than half of the carbon emissions cuts required by law by 2030.  The danger following Brexit is that without EU pressure the government will be even less inclined to adopt low carbon policies.  The government’s abandonment of research and development into Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS) will seriously jeopardise the UK reaching its 2050 carbon targets (see the positive news from Iceland on CCS here)


GreenpeaceUK Executive Director John Sauven added, “Many of the laws that make our drinking and bathing water safe, our air cleaner, our fishing industry more sustainable and our climate safer now hang by a thread …… There is a very real fear that Cameron’s successor will come from the school that supports a bonfire of anti-pollution protections.”  Friends of the Earth said the group could “no longer rely on the EU to protect our nature and habitats,” adding that clean beaches, air quality and protection of bees from pesticides were among issues put at risk by potential loss of EU legislation.

Greenpeace analysys also believe that rules governing restrictions on the amount of fracking could also be lifted.


So far as food is concerned it is likely that with a weaker pound food prices will rise.  30% of our food is imported from the EU and the UK’s food production is heavily dependent on migrant labour.  Some 38% of food manufacturing (the UK’s biggest manufacturing industry,; bigger than cars or aerospace) is foreign born labour and there won’t be much fresh fruit and veg without foreign pickers.


Sustainable Woodstock Bulletin Board

connects those with woodlands offering woodfuel with those offering their labour in exchange for woodfuel.  Sustainable Woodstock's Community Woodland has recently invited Logs4Labour to help manage its small semi-mature section of the wood.  Pictures and read more ....

If you read no other Climate Change news, read this:-
Applauding Themselves to Death:  Why the UN climate talks have wasted 23 years, and how this can change. 
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 11th March 2015
click here


Guardian Media Group is divesting its more than £800m investment portfolio in fossil fuels.
It is the largest fund globally to make such a commitment.


New fixed price boiler scheme launched  
A new ‘fixed price’ scheme offering a top quality gas boiler is now open to all West Oxfordshire households.   The new scheme not only supplies a high-rated energy-efficient boiler for £2,700, but includes installation by a qualified heating engineer   It is arranged by Green Homes Together, a community interest company backed by West Oxfordshire District Council.   Read more here ....


The 9 rules of best-before dates
See the article in The Guardian about when to freeze and when to chuck out food.


Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK
Oxford is the least affordable city in the whole of the UK (including London) for buying or renting property


Community Energy Update
The latest from the Centre for Sustainable Energy:

You may be eligible for a
free replacement high energy efficient central heating boiler.
Read more here.  Of course there are strings and Sustainable Woodstock is not endorsing this product and offer but if you consider it ccarefully and perhpas take independent advise it might work for you
School increases recycling with help from Council collections
Burford School has become the first secondary school in West Oxfordshire to receive waste and recycling collections from West Oxfordshire District Council.   For the first time, the school has recycling boxes in every classroom and designated bins for food waste for use in the school kitchen.  Read the press release here

Oxfordshire Waste Partnership newsletter
With OWP soon to be closing down, view the penultimate newsletter from what has been a real driving force for waste action across the county:

Latest IPCC report – explained!

The UN's got another big report out on climate change. Confused? Don't be. Here's a summary


The IPCC report  - and vulnerable people
The new International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, published this week, is clear.  the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are already being hardest hit by climate change and will in the future; climate change that is caused predominately by burning fossil fuels.
Their press release is here:
A more detailed summary is here
The ever-excellent Climate Progress site has an excellent report:
You might want to check this one out while you’re there:
“out of all 10,855 climate studies published in peer-review journals during 2013, only two of them explicitly rejected anthropogenic global warming”: that’s 0.02%......  99.98% in favour
It is very clear from this work just how far climate change will increasingly harm the most vulnerable people. FoE have extracted some useful quotes:
Extreme weather – “climate-change-related risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding, are already moderate and high with 1°C additional warming. Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.”
Food – “climate change has negatively affected wheat and maize yields for many regions and in the global aggregate” whilst further climate change brings “risk of food insecurity and the breakdown of food systems linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes, particularly for poorer populations in urban and rural settings”.
Water – further climate change brings “risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”
Health – “Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change.”
Fisheries – “Risk of loss of marine and coastal ecosystems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem goods, functions, and services they provide for coastal livelihoods, especially for fishing communities in the tropics and the Arctic”
The environmental injustice angle becomes more clear when we look at the causes. Research published last year found that 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of polluting greenhouse gases; all but seven of these are oil and gas industries.
FoE have prepared a briefing on the 10 key environmental injustices that have been identified by the IPCC Working Group 2 report.
Some of this is taken from a FoE blog on ‘Time to get Angry’
It is time to ask: why do the bosses of the fossil fuel companies get honoured by the establishment rather than face justice for their role in worsening climate change?

Work with BBOWT

Your local wildlife trust (BBOWT) are looking for enthusiastic individuals who have a keen interest in wildlife to recruit new members to the trust in your local area. We are looking for people across the three counties; Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. BBOWT members are the lifeblood of our organisation, providing almost 50% of our annual income. It is thanks to our members that we are able to keep doing the work we do to protect local wildlife!

We find this is a perfect position for someone looking to earn some extra cash in the evenings and weekends whilst promoting something they believe in. The job description is attached, please contact me if you have any questions or would like an application form.

Adela Moore, Membership Recruitment Manager (Door to Door), Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, 01865 775476 ext. 228

Bonus - the evolution of the bicycle in 67 seconds</

Planned Obsolesence - The Light Bulb Conspiracy
Sit down, get yourself a cup of coffee and watch this amazing full length documentary on the birth and expansion of the policy of "planned obsolesence" throughout the western world.  It is truly jaw dropping.  By the end you might feel just a bit pessimistic about the task facing us to convince the world to become just a bit more sustainable. But watch it anyway.  It's very well produced with some real vintage film clips.  And it's really funny in places too!   Running time is 52 minutes
At Last! A climate change report from the "sceptics" that shows that we were right all along. Climate change IS the result of human activity.

Less than eight years of landfill space left, warn council leaders

Sustainable Transport Vital as Oil Reserves run out. Sir David King, former govt Chief Scientific Adviser warns

Last 304 Months above 20th Century Average. Greenland glacier retreats One Mile in Two days! Read the Guardian report by John Vidal

Read about Midland Felt Roofing's new energy efficient premises in Woodstock

"Can Ecological Agriculture Feed Nine Billion People?" Prof. Jules Pretty's article on sustainable agriculture.

"Grow, grow, grow your own" by Anna Shepard from New Statesman12.07.2010, click here to read about the "One Pot Pledge" and other food issues.

"Six Degrees - Our Life on a Hotter Planet" Mark Lynas' seminal book "Six Degrees - Our Life on a Hotter Planet" sets out, chapter by chapter, the consequences of one degree of global warming, then two degrees, then three and so on to the worst case scenario, six degrees. Sustainable Woodstock has summarised each chapter from the survivable "one degree" to the devastation that will occur with six degrees of warming. Click here to read the summary, but better still read the book.

Ever wanted to know what the main sources of emisssions are? Read on ... click here

To read a review of Lord Nicholas Stern's Oxford lecture click here

"Western Lifestyles are Unsustainable" says world's top climate expert. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that western society must undergo a radical value shift - click here for the full article as it appeared in The Observer Sunday 29th November

Is there a cover up by the International Energy Authority in cahoots with western governments over the true state of the world's oil reserves. Many international experts believe so. Click here to read about "Peak oil; fields of plenty or are we scraping the barrel?" as it appeared in the Observer on Sunday 29th November

Do you support low carbon energy generation from nuclear? Some environmentalist do and other don't. But there is one aspect of nuclear that is often forgotten and that's the impact of Uranium mining in Africa. Click here to read an excellent report by John Vidal of The Guardian on how the UK's nuclear ambitions could ruin the Kalahari landscape