December 2014

We held our AGM in November and galloped through the 'official business'. There are two headlines:
firstly we're solvent - we were successful with a couple of grant applications and held raffles at our fairs - and secondly committee members are happy to continue their roles for another year.

We then considered possible activities for the coming year.

  • Verges and pollinators:
    We launched this project this year with a couple of exhibitions and three verge walks. Lesley Silvera, who led two of the walks for us, has kindly agreed to continue working with us and will lead further wildflower identification walks/verge surveys next year. Lesley is also linking us with the North Pennines 'Nectar Works' project and, together with the AONB, we hope to discuss verge management with Northumberland's Highways department. Also next year, but before the flowers and pollinators are to be seen, we're planning a joint meeting with South Tynedale Wildlife Group on bees and other insect pollinators.
  • Sustainable housing, homes and architecture
    We've come across several interesting films on sustainable housing and community building. There are also some interesting individual and group initiatives in the locality. There's material for a season combining film screenings with local visits and/or speakers.
  • Visit Edible Gardens (VEG)
    This is an idea we've pinched from a sustainability project in Penrith. As the name suggests the project involves group visits to bountiful gardens to pick grower's brains and exchange experiences of growing veg in the soil here and with the challenges of our Tynedale climate. There is potential to link a project like this with 'Wor Space', Haltwhistle's Community Garden and local gardening clubs.
  • Exhibition of local sustainability initiatives
    We'd like to celebrate the green things - from renewable energy projects, to bottle greenhouses and wool insulated community buildings - in every parish of South Tynedale. No definite plans but definitely on the 'to do' list.
  • Shepherds, Shearers and Wool Workers.
    The vast majority of wool produced in Tynedale is sold through the British Wool Marketing Board but, as we saw at Wool on the Wall, there is a growing demand for fleeces from hand spinners and weavers. These craft workers have specific requirements, but pay significantly more than the Board, for a fleece that meets their needs. Working with appropriate industry partners we would like to help farmers to market some of their wool harvest to local craftspeople. Wool on the Wall will return in 2016.

So, no shortage of ideas! Watch this space for details of activities and events as they are arranged - and please get in touch if you'd like to help organise any of the above, or have any suggestions of your own.
Sue Seymour 016977 47359

South Tynedale Wildlife Group
Comrades Club, at 7.30 on Dec 9th

In Search of Bustards and Lions -
a wildlife tour of Gujarat and Rajasthan (NW India)
with Gordon Beakes.
All welcome

Calling all knitters!!
There are charity knitting afternoons
each Thursday from 1.30 to 4.00pm in the Greenhead Tea Room
The group has a quantity of wool and needs
help to make squares for blankets, vests and beanies.
Anyone interested please pop along and join in.
Can't knit? Then they will show you how.
No cost, just drop in and join in.

Underground Coal Gasification

There is a new discussion group to track progress and share information on the development of Underground Coal Gassification (UCG) in the north of England and south of Scotland. To join the group -!forum/ucg-discussion

Positive Money

Most people, including many MPs, believe that only the state can create money but banks routinely create money when issuing loans. On 20th Nov, as a result of petitioning by Positive Money, Parliament held a back-bench debate “Money Creation and Society”. This marked the first time in 170 years, since the Bank Charter Act in 1844, that the topic has been fully discussed in Parliament. Our MP, Guy Opperman, attended a part of this debate but his question implied that he thought creating competition within the banking sector would sort the problems. Positive money is calling for reforms of a fundamental nature.

Money is at the root of high debt, inequality and unaffordable house prices. Positive money is a movement for a money and banking system that works for society and not against it. Positive Money campaigns for the power to create money to be used in the public interest, in a democratic, transparent and accountable way, rather than by the same banks that caused the financial crisis.

Stop the Corporate Power Grab

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership threatens democracy, our public services and the environment.
Join nearly a million citizens by signing the EU-wide petition here:

Behind closed doors, the EU is drawing up a dangerous new trade deal called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). For the first time on a grand scale, corporations would be able to sue governments if they make public policy decisions that could harm their future profits. Regulations that currently protect people, public services and the environment could be removed.

Ice Cream Sale!
I rather over ordered on ice cream for the Pop-up cinema. I have a couple of boxes of 12 tubs (mixed flavours) of the delightful Doddingtons Ice Cream. £15 for 12 tubs. Tel: 016977 47359

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