Sustainable Woodstock

We aim to raise public awareness among the residents of Woodstock and beyond on the climate emergency, energy conservation, sustainable travel, waste reduction, recycling, bio-diversity, sustainable economics and respect for the planet. 
We are working with local councils, Woodstock Town Council, local schools and churches, Blenheim Palace, local businesses, the Farmers Market and the Woodstock trade association, Wake Up to Woodstock


Sustainable Woodstock Noticeboard and other information

Woodstock's Local Plan.
If you're a Woodstock resident you can hardly be unaware that the West Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan proposes a number of new development sites around the town.  Sustainable Woodstock welcomes new faces and new families.  We want to see new neighbours who want to join in with our community;  that will take pleasure in their built and natural environments;  that feel safe and secure;  that are able to live and learn;  that can move about the community with ease and with confidence.

There could between 600 and 1100 new homes built over the next fifteen years.  We need to get it right.  The developers, Blenheim Estates, The County and District Councils, our own Woodstock Town Council and the community at large all need to get it right.  So Blenheim and the Town Council have come together and appointed Community First Oxfordshire (CFO), an independent local government and planning charity, to carry out a "Woodstock Community and Infrastructure Delivery Plan".  CFO are engaging with the local community at all levels to draw up a blue print of what the town needs in terms design (how the new developments should look and feel); physical infrastructure (the public realm, buildings and utilities);  the social infrastructure (ensuring integration and social cohesion); and the need for collaborative projects which can be taken forward by the community at large.

Sustainability can, and must, be built into many of these key elements.  Some are quick wins, easy to achieve at low cost and are uncontraversial.  Others may not be so readily accepted and will require debate and compromise on all sides.

To that end, Sustainable Woodstock submitted a formal representation to Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) and you can read it here.
CFO's initial response has been encouraging but it is early days.  Watch this space.  We will keep you posted.

Living Between Hurricanes

A film by director Michael Chanan.  When the eye of Hurricane Irma passed along the north coast of Cuba in September 2017 it devastated homes, industry, public buildings and agriculture.  The Cuban Civil Defence infrastructure is well rehearsed in these situations and quickly evacuated people to safety, restored power, water and cleared wreckage with very little loss of life compared to neighbouring countries.  In this excellent documentary Chanan tells the story of the effects of climate change on Cuba and examines the links between the ecology, economic development, tourism and social and political history.

One solution has been the development in Cuba of eco-tourism.  The community of Las Terrazas seeks to match the needs of local housing, food production and energy with the tourism demands.  Agriculture has been re-thought to apply local technical knowledge to resist the weather.

You can watch the film for free at www.livingbetweenhurricanes.org .  The film lasts just over an hour and can be viewed in three parts.  Part One: Hurricanes and History.  Part Two: Caibarien.  The Rise and Fall of a Port.  Part Three: Sustainable Futures.  Why not watch it all. It's good.  But note:  When you open the website click on "Watch the whole film".  If you click on the video image you just get the trailer!

From The Guardian:  20th November 2019:  Bill McKibben
The climate science is clear: it's now or never to avert catastrophe.
Disastrous global heating will soon become irrevocable – but despite politicians’ inaction millions are taking to the streets to fight the planet’s fever.  Read more at:-
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/20/climate-crisis-its-now-or-never-to-avert-catastrophe

From The Guardian: 20th November 2019:  Damian Carrington
Fossil fuel production on track for double the safe climate limit.
‘We’re in a deep hole over the climate crisis and we need to stop digging,’ warn experts.  Read more at:-
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/20/fossil-fuel-production-on-track-for-double-the-safe-climate-limit

"Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute", says IMF. 
UK has biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, finds commission.  Read more here on our Climate Change page

How much waste do we generate worldwide every year?

and how much do we recycle?  5%?, 10%?, 25%?  FIND THE ANSWERS HERE.

Tom Sinclair, Associate Professor in philosophy at Oxford University, presents devastating forecast for the planet without urgent action on climate change.  Well worth listening to, but not for the faint hearted.  Watch on YouTube at https://www.tinyurl.com/xrscience .    

If schools fail to address the global emergency, students will see education as increasingly irrelevant, says Fiona Carnie of TES, an education business supporting teachers, school staff and schools.  https://www.tes.com/news/8-things-schools-can-do-tackle-climate-crisis  

Launch of 'Cosy Homes Oxfordshire'  read more here......

 Like jokes, sometimes the old ones are the best!
Now that our Sustainable Woodstock Chair, Hilary Brown, is enthusiastically producing a first rate monthly newsletter (copied on the Home page), this noticeboard page will now be used to provide older items of long term news interest.
So browse through and read whatever takes your fancy:-

Sustainable Woodstock is Ten Years Old

So what have we done since the group was set up at the end of 2008?  

First off, we established our local profile through our Sustainable Woodstock long life shopping bags. Ditching the plastic bags habit has been a long term project for Sustainable Woodstock and so now we are working to become a “Single Use Plastic Free Town”.

And In 2009 ...............
we acquired a free lease to plant a Community Woodland of 1600 native trees.  It is now maturing and is a haven for wildlife.  In 2017 we extended it with 80 fruit trees of local varieties, so we now have a Community Woodland and Orchard.

And Early in 2012 ................... .....a hardy band of Sus Woo volunteers braved the winter weather to offer a heat loss service to local householders.  We had the loan of a thermal imaging camera and presented them with pictures showing where their homes were leaking energy (and money!).  

Still on the energy conservation theme, we formed a consortium with other sustainability groups and established a “preferred installer” service for residents wanting to generate their own electricity from roof mounted photo-voltaic panels.  Those taking up the offer still enjoy a valuable government incentive payment for the energy they generate.

And For several years........................  .....we held “Swap Shops” at the Community Centre where residents brought items they no longer wanted and others for whom the item was just what they had been looking out for, took them away.  By so doing many kilogrammes of items that would otherwise have ended up at the refuse tip were found a useful second life

Other News

 
Local Climate Emergency Action 



Sitting in Woodstock we are hardly at the sharp end of climate change right now but millions, around the globe, are. On 20th September, from Cornwall to Scotland, including Oxford, schoolchildren and students engaged with climate strike events and they were supported by parents, grandparents, campaigners and workers. And why..... to demand urgent action on tackling greenhouse gases that are driving up global temperatures. You may already know why it's a good idea to support these strikes and are wondering why Greta Thunberg, when she's simply asking governments to "listen to the scientists", has generated some disturbing enemies...... especially in the US.   Spend just a few minutes reading
 Stephen Buranyi's Guardian article on Greta and think upon why these political and economical  giants, like the US, are so enraged. 

In September, a few of us visited Charlbury for a Extinction Rebellion presentation (XR in short) in Charlbury given by Prof. Tom Sinclair (philosophy, Oxford) and English teacher, Megan Murray-Pepper. A packed audience of 130 people and not one spare seat … and all keen to hear balanced information produced by independent experts on the “climate emergency and what to do about it”. It was a tough message to hear followed by an hour long Q&A session where interesting views were exchanged and views respected. We strongly recommend that you find an XR presentation so you have all the facts. It seems that while voting, lobbying and petitions have made some difference, a greater change has to happen right now. Experts believe that governments around the world need to start by telling "the truth" about the climate emergency and need to start acting NOWI hope you can find some time in your busy schedules to find out more.

There are ongoing presentations in Oxfordshire (see poster below) and we think it would be good idea if Woodstock Town Council hosted a presenta
tion in the very near future. A collective audience is best so you can listen and exchange views but if you really can’t make a talk then view the presentation by Tom Sinclair on YouTube at (Please Note: It's NOT suitable for young children).

Thanks
Oxfordshire Museum, King's Arms & The Woodstock Bookshop

for Offering Water Refills.

Helping us kick the plastic

Join the Refill Revolution!

Refill is an award-winning campaign to prevent plastic pollution at source by making it easier to reuse and refill your bottle instead of buying a new one.

If you are a Woodstock business and wish to offer refills go online https://refill.org.uk . If you're feeling inspired, download the Refill app and make refilling the new normal!

Producing bottled water creates 500 times more CO2 than tap water. That’s why Refill Oxford has created a network of Refill stations where you can fill up your water bottle for free to reduce plastic pollution. Look out for a business with Refill stickers. There are now over 14 thousand Refill stations all over the UK and if Woodstock restaurants, schools, cafes or pubs would like to sign up to be a Refill station and help reduce plastic pollution just email refill.oxford@gmail.com and they'll do the rest.

Refill Oxford is part of City to Sea’s national campaign to promote the use of free tap water to reduce plastic waste. In Oxford, there is a network of nearly 150 Refill stations in places such as cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, bus stations, hospitals, community centres and hairdressers all over the city. So now you can refill your water bottles whenever you need to, rather than buying a new plastic bottle. 

Save money, stay hydrated and prevent plastic pollution at source by using the free Refill App on the go, OR look for the Refill droplet in shop windows. This will dramatically reduce the use of the billions of single-use plastic water bottles bought in the UK every year. 

 
Engine's Running - Stop Now

We all have a right to breathe clean air.
 
Recently but not during the recent high temperatures......3 out of 4 cars outside of school were running their engines for air-con. Most seemed young enough and seemingly healthy enough to get out of the car and wait in the shade. How many too in car parks.... keep their engines running for air con or heating. It's polluting even when you can't see the gases and particles. It is really damaging our lungs and health.  Please remind your families. 

"We all have a right to breathe clean air. However, across the UK illegal and here in Oxford harmful levels of air pollution are damaging people’s health and their quality of life and cutting lives short."  It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Allotment Plots Now Available in Woodstock. 

Gardening is good for your health and your wellbeing and can be good for your social life too. And of course can provide you and your family with fresh fruit and vegetables over the year. You can choose to garden organically and avoid ingesting chemicals that are likely to be present on shop bought fruit and vegetables. 

Woodstock Allotment Association

The waiting list for new applications is now open to people living in Woodstock. The rents are reasonable, water is available on site and all plot holders are made members of the National Allotment Society where items such as seeds, etc. can be bought at discounted rates.  If you are interested you can apply to the Town Hall or directly to raykinch@btinternet.com


Plastics Free Woodstock? 
Email us
for your Plastics Free Community Business Toolkit 
Bags.
Did you know that 50% of us are still asking for bags at the Coop  
 ..... shame on us.
Events in Woodstock
Try to ensure your events are single-use plastic free 

Let's see if we can reward your business with a Plastic Free Champion certificate. We'll soon be visiting or revisiting your businesses, schools, etc to see how many changes have been made .... sharing problems and good news. What changes have you made to reduce your use of single-use plastic?

Extinction Rebellion XR What does it Mean? 
Climate Change - the Facts

The public are waking up to the scale of the climate change crisis and pressure is now growing on politicians to act. Thanks to all those climate change activists who have sent their own time trying to speed up effective change that will make a difference to all our futures. If you think you don't understand climate change, how it affects us all and what we should all do now, then watch the recent David Attenburgh programme Climate Change - the Facts. Set aside, just an hour of your time to watch this programme that shows the result of inaction but what actions we can do to ensure that we and future generations have a future. 

The Time to act is NOW
https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/news-archive/2018/how-to-combat-climate-change

Invest in Green Energy?

If you're looking for investments
you may be interested in the Community Energy Fund. 

Low Carbon Hub wants to strengthen and grow community owned energy in Oxfordshire. Energy that's good for people, and good for the planet. Join almost a thousand like-minded investors and put your money to work tackling climate change.
- Earn up to 5% interest on your investment* - capped at 4% for the first four years of investment
- Help fund more solar panels on schools and organisations across                     Oxfordshire
- Keep money in the local economy through community ownership
- Tackle the global issue of climate change on a local level
- 100% of our surpluses support further local action on climate change
* INVESTMENTS CAN GO UP OR DOWN - TAKE ADVISE
 

Sponsor a Tree in our Community Orchard? 
Over 50% now sponsored. You can sponsor a tree as a group, with friends, colleagues. You will receive a certificate and can dedicate if you wish. 
How to Pay?
Costs £30 (single payment)
1) BACS payment.  
2) Cheque   
For details contact as below. 
Questions ? Call 01993 811975 or email
  sustainablewoodstockuk@gmail.com

Even Older News!

Keep Woodstock in Bloom 
and Keep those Bees and Insects Happy

 
Last year the Bloom volunteers kept Woodstock's flowers blooming through a record long hot summer. It cannot be as hot and dry as that again can it?
All residents of Woodstock are welcome to join them by contacting Robert Edwards on
wredwards6@gmail.com or 811616. Some water, some plant bulbs and some dead-head the annuals without which Woodstock would not look like Woodstock.  
Let's Brighten the Place Up
 
Thanks to the many in Woodstock who, last summer, gathered wildflower seeds for the Community Woodland and Orchard and Wildlife Haven.
Hopefully, we will help to increase biodiversity but why should we care? 
We are surrounded by greenery here in Woodstock but most of the agriculture is sprayed with herbicides and pesticides throughout the growing season which destroys much of our local eco-systems. It's become clear that we depend on biodiversity to survive. Life as we know it is only made possible due to the complex interactions between the different lifeforms that live on earth. We rely on certain plants and animals for the food we eat, while trees and other plants produce the oxygen we need to breathe and remove harmful pollutants from the air. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play.

Home Delivery?

People frequently ask about doorstep deliveries of milk and other goodies.  You could try Milk and More who support local British farmers and producers. Perhaps you've been thinking  about vegetable boxes or meat delivery and this link may give you some ideas. 
Logs4Labour
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 ....
 

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 http://t.co/PUJ0TPoe9w

 
 
 
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.

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

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