September 2014

Reel Green Pop-up Cinema

On Sunday October 19th the Reel Green Pop-up Cinema returns to Haltwhistle. A day of free screenings of sustainability-themed films, including premieres of two, Halti-made, specially commissioned shorts.
Full program available very soon.
Plus great local food and real ale!

Campaign to Open Gilsland Station (C.O.G.S.)
C.O.G.S. received a fantastic boost earlier this month when Hexham MP Guy Opperman, supported by Rory Stewart MP for Penrith and the Borders held a debate in Parliament on Transport in Northumberland in which they fully supported the opening of Gilsland Station. Guy invited Claire Perry, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Transport, to visit Northumberland and take the Tyne Valley line to Haltwhistle and then travel by car to Gilsland Station 'so that she can see this wonderful project and what is proposed'.
Looking to the future, Claire replied, 'I would love to take a train to Gilsland station and cycle the whole length of Hadrian's wall'
To make this a possibility for the Under-Secretary - and everyone else - we need to persuade our county councils to fund the project. The more people who get behind this initiative the more likely it is to become a reality. To confirm your support please visit the website and sign up to COGS newsletter.

Pollinators & Verges

During the summer we have had three evening verge walks. In June we were in Thorngrafton with Lizzie Maddison. In July 17 of us ambled up the redundant section of the A69 in Greenhead and in August we were in Kellah, these later two walks were with Lesley Silvera. A big thanks to both walk leaders for sharing their enthusiasm and expertise. Our informal surveys confirmed the botanical diversity of the verges we visited - underlining their importance as a habitat and food source for pollinators. In Thorngrafton and Kellah a strip of grass adjacent to the road was mown - and mown by mid June in Thorngrafton - but the remainder of the verge was left and here the flowers were able to mature and seed. The management of verges in these rural areas meets the Highways Department's number one priority of clear visibility for traffic, yet is compatible with maintaining floral diversity. Reports from members raise concerns about maintenance practices along the A69 and within built-up areas. Now, with a clearer idea of what wild flowers we might expect to see in our verges, we are in a better position to question management practices with the relevant authorities where we see evidence of herbicide use and excessive mowing. If you've anything to report or would like to know more about this project please email me, or call Jo 01434 320837

Slow Food
Slow Food, the antidote to mass-produced, globally-branded fast food, celebrates the tradition, culture and taste of local, small-scale and artisan food production. It is an international grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries. Slow Foodies link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

Cumbria's Slow Food HQ is at Kirklinton Hall and owners Christopher and Ilona Boyle are staging 'A Taste of North Cumbria' on Sunday 21st September from 12 noon to 5pm in the superb setting of the ruined hall. The Boyles, and sponsors AGA, welcome you to this unique event where you will meet local producers and hear their stories. You will be invited to enjoy Aga cooked nibbles, sip on some English wines or try a tipple of locally produced gin! Entrance is free with tea, coffee cakes and ice cream for sale.
Kirklinton Hall is just off the A6071 between Brampton & Longtown
More info

Join Avaaz Global Action on Climate Change

1. Sign the petition:
To local, national & international leaders.
Scientists warn us that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love. We call on you to keep global temperature rise under the unacceptably dangerous level of 2 degrees C, by phasing out carbon pollution to zero. To achieve this, you must urgently forge realistic global, national and local agreements, to rapidly shift our societies and economies to 100% clean energy by 2050. Do this fairly, with support to the most vulnerable among us. Our world is worth saving and now is our moment to act. But to change everything we need everyone. Join us.

2. March:
On Sunday, September 21st, just days before a landmark climate summit at the UN, ordinary people all around the world will take part in People's Climate Marches. World leaders don't believe enough of us care about climate change, that's why they're still not yet rising to the challenge of saving our planet. But on September 21st, we have an unprecedented chance to prove them wrong, with the largest climate mobilisation in history.
In Newcastle the march begins at Princess Square at 1:30pm and will reach the Civic Centre to present the petition (see above) to the region's politicians at 2:00pm. For details please email: or call Richard Hopkins on 07904 023 061
LOCATION - Princess Square, outside upper level entrance to Newcastle Central Library.
TIME - 13.30 21st Sept. for the start of the March to the Civic Centre to deliver the petition. CHILDREN'S EVENT just before the march - assemble Princess Sq at 13:00; make banners (materials provided); join the march and show off your amazing banners on Northumberland Street for a photo to be shown in NEW YORK.

Wool on the Wall demonstrates Sustainability

"Sustainability" is often hard to define and hard to achieve, particularly in rural areas like ours. We were pleased with the results when STS worked with the Greenhead farmers' market to run the second Wool on the Wall festival, as that one day saw a considerable amount of money put into the local economy! The "Sheep to Shawl" Challenge undertaken by the Fibre Fridays group of spinners from Gilsland village hall attracted even more people to the event than had come in 2012 (and many people came back because that event had been very enjoyable). The sum of £3,500 was taken by stallholders in the back room of the Greenhead Hotel alone! The Market was exceptionally busy, the tearoom was bursting at the seams and the hotel was run off its feet serving Sunday dinners. Most of the money circulating in the village that day will remain in the local economy in one way or another. And we shall be able to plan with confidence our next festival to celebrate the local wool crop in two years' time.
The village halls, STS and the market have all been awarded grants of various kinds in the past, and may need to ask for more for new initiatives in the future, but these "community projects" have shown how they can generate not only enjoyable and worthy activity in the villages, but useful economic activity.

South Tyne Sustainability aims to reduce the impact of the community of Haltwhistle and surrounding villages on our environment. This will help individuals, families and our community save money and resources and ensure a more sustainable future for us all.

To join STS contact Sue Seymour, 016977 47359