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

To read Hilary's monthly news digest read on below:-
 or  Go direct to the Sustainable Woodstock Noticeboard for more info

Sustainable Woodstock News 
September 2018

Hi Everyone,
Hope you’ve all had a good summer and you managed to enjoy the long days with plenty of sunshine. The sunshine this summer resulted in records being broken for clean solar energy generation which is great news for us all.  A decade ago, solar energy provided virtually nothing, however, this summer solar briefly overtook gas as the UK's main energy source ....but where will it go from here when the government’s Feed in Tariff for new installations comes to an end in March?  
In this issue, we’ve focused on a few areas including trying to encourage local businesses to offer water refills to prevent tons of waste plastic bottles entering our streams, verges, seas, etc. We’re appealing for seeds and tools and we've updates on our plastic campaign, our community’s young orchard, a brief look at our butterfly population and a reminder that National Recycle Week is this month. We’ve also included a link to The Key from CAG (Community Action Groups) in Oxfordshire that can keep us all up to date with activities, etc around the county.
Hilary Brown        Chair of Sustainable Woodstock.

Sustainable Woodstock are a voluntary community group and our aim is to raise awareness and champion environmental issues in our community and local businesses. Working together, we believe we can support projects and campaigns to tackle these issues with a greater likelihood of success. We are interested in raising awareness on issues such as climate change, energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, bio-diversity, sustainable economics and respect for our planet and believe that local action is influencing change on national and international issues.

Can you help by collecting seeds of
bee-friendly plants? 

We plan to enhance the orchard grassland with a range of locally collected native flowering plants that are known to be benefit bees, moths and butterflies, for example birdsfoot trefoil, black knapweed and scabious.Whatever comes up is likely to diversify the area over time and make it a viable habitat for a greater number of bees, butterflies and insects of all kinds. We also plan experimenting with pre-germinating and planting seedlings as plugs.

If you plan to collect seed, please try to keep seed of different species separate, place in a re-used envelope, secure and label with species and locality of collection. 

Call/text David Rees on 07801337382 or email
if you have seed to offer. If you would like to know more or get involved in some other way, lets talk.                                                                                       
David Rees, Sustainable Woodstock

Why an Orchard?

    Woodstock's Community Orchard

Woodstock's Community Orchard will not only support our wildlife by growing organic fruit trees, but will also hopefully become an important community resource. We plan for the orchard to become a space to relax, play and learn, and should become a communal asset for the whole town. It will offer a place for quiet contemplation and hopefully a centre for local festivities, such as wassailing, as well as a great opportunity to come together and share new skills and stories.

The trees are nurtured and managed by Sustainable Woodstock Steering Group with the help of community volunteers.... we'd love you to join us whenever you feel ....get in touch. 
Would you like to sponsor a tree ? 
You could dedicate to a loved one or sponsor amongst friends, colleagues, etc
How to Pay?
Costs £30 (single payment)
1) BACS payment.  2) Cheque   For details contact as below. 

Single-Use Plastics Update

We've visited half of our local businesses and groups over the summer and we are happy to report (but not entirely surprised) that almost all are not only on board but enthusiastic about the campaign in Woodstock. Most of us want to start trying to do things differently but where there are some problems with suppliers or non-action from main offices, most have agreed to challenge and keep us up to date. Some are exceptionally good and have a clear ethos about where we should be in future. We'll be publishing results in the near future and mentioning those who have performed particularly well in our community. Let's share our ideas and good practices. 

I've had problems getting my tupperware containers filled with some products in our local Sainsbury's but they promise me they are looking into this.  Do you have any stories to tell how you have tried?

Water, Water

  Will Woodstock's businesses be offering free water bottle top ups so we stop swamping the planet with single-use plastic bottles? How about putting a sign in your window such as this one in Crickhowell, Breconshire. By the way, their recently opened zero waste shop was having a very positive effect on the town. View their website by CLICKING HERE.

Did you also know that Eynsham has a Zero Waste shop (The Market Garden) opening at the end of Sept (see Eynsham's site by  

Perhaps there are some entrepreneurs out there willing to consider opening a zero waste shop in Woodstock? 

So Long and Good Luck to Sophie, Nigel and their boys

Although Sophie Rogers joined the Sustainable Woodstock group recently,  her enthusiasm and passion will be greatly missed in Woodstock. We want to say thanks to Sophie and Nigel for offering their support to Sustainable Woodstock and hope all of you have fun and successful life together in Kiwiland. 

Sophie and Nigel worked with organic fruit and vegetables that are much more carbon efficient than non-organic with many more benefits. Organic methods enrich the soil while protecting the land, rivers and sea from pollution. They may seem too expensive for some of us  but try and support this important market where you can so the prices can come down. 

Cherish the Natural world because you’re part of it and you depend on it"....
David Attenborough

  Thanks to Margaret Price who completed a butterfly survey for us in our Community Woodland. We're very interested in biodiversity and hope to support much more wildlife than in our surrounding fields. These fields usually have a single crop where fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides are part of its lifecycle. So what did Margaret identify in one hour on a sunny July afternoon?

12  Meadow Brown, 10  Brown Argus, 11  Marbled Whites, 18  Ringlets, 4    Large Skippers, 1    Green veined White, 4    Gatekeepers, 2    Large Whites,
5    Common Blues, 1    Essex Skipper, 2    Small Skippers, 3    Small Whites

She "loved the diversity of habitat" and commented on the "lack of nectaring plants". She offered wise words on other related matters too ….and so we plan to add to the biodiversity  in the next years.   Thanks Margaret.

Solar Energy

The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) ends April 2019

How will this affect us and this important industry? 
A decade ago, solar energy provided virtually nothing, however, this year solar briefly overtook gas as the UK's main energy source and the recent heatwave helped break records ....but where will it go from here when the tariff comes to an end for new installations?  
For those keen to go green at home by getting solar PV installed then it’s probably best to sign up before the end of March 2019 as it’s still unclear what the alternative to the FiT scheme will be from April 2019. 

Installation costs have come down dramatically and efficiency has improved greatly over the decade too..... so  if you're unsure how solar works contact your local solar installer and I'm sure they will be happy to discuss. 

Find Solar PV and Solar Thermal installers in Woodstock by

Solar power has wide-ranging benefits for our planet, especially when it comes to our environment. From reducing greenhouse gases, improving our air quality and conserving our precious water, solar energy can help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and lower energy prices for years to come.

Surplus Tools?
Can you donate any?

We shall try to raise funds by applying for grants, etc. but as Woodstock’s Community Woodland/Orchard is for the community we thought we’d ask you first. It’s always satisfying to find a good home for tools no longer used or are surplus. If you have tools that you think might be of use in gardens, woodland or orchards and still in good order, please get in touch by CLICKING HERE.

Last year volunteers helped Sustainable Woodstock maintain our Community Woodland but we soon realised we were lacking tools. We’re a not-for-profit group, have virtually no income except from the lovely canvas bags we sell and we’re all volunteers.

"Build it and they will come"
Community Orchard Summer Update 

Biodiversity in action.........

Our Orchard has been home to many wildflowers this summer and the warm summer also gave us a greater number of butterflies and moths that so love the untouched grassland. 

Before the summer really got underway, we mulched the trees (donated by Agrivert and delivered by Blenheim Estates) and we then checked for pests. Blenheim Estates kindly loaned us a water container which helped save our trees this summer.

Thanks to the volunteers who've had a busy summer ensuring we did not lose any during the hot and long drought. We're still watering now 2-3 times a week to ensure we don't lose them and I'm happy to report that they are looking good.