News June 2015

We've two events this month, and again both are early in the month so read on now!
On Friday 5th there is the last of our Scale of Sustainability screenings, with a chance to see and hear about community living at Burnlaw, and on Tuesday 9th we have the first of this year's botanising verge walks. We intend to build up a picture of the botanical composition of local road verges and, armed with this evidence, lobby the council to ensure that road verge management is pollinator-friendly. I see there was a letter in this week's Hexham Courant alleging that the Bridge End roundabout in Hexham had already been cut, removing a beautiful display of cowslips.
See full details of both these events below.

It was nice to see so many familiar faces at our table at the Haltwhistle Plant Festival in May and it was even more heartening to sign up a dozen new supporters, quite a few of whom went away with packets of 'swapped' seeds. We intend to repeat the seed swap next year, so please save any surplus from this season's sowings.
The following evening a spellbound audience saw a trio of films on the Scale of Sustainability theme in The Shed at Whistle Art Stop. The first two were two contrasting pieces both made by students in the North East. Brass Suite used music and images, to great effect, to explore the industrial heritage and cultural legacy of the Durham Coalfield whilst we had to listen carefully to The Source of Resilience to follow the complex and interwoven ideas presented.
But we all sat in awed silence at the gigantisms of Manufactured Landscapes, what are we doing to this earth?

Last Scale of Sustainability screening - all welcome, free event.
7pm Friday June 5th at Burnlaw, Whitfield NE47 8HF

We the Tiny House People (2012)
Director: Kirsten Dirksen

This film explores the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in all sorts of places - from riverboats to pigeon coops!

After the film we'll have a chance to meet members of the Burnlaw community over a cup of tea, and see alternative living spaces.

Burnlaw Community is a small, loose knit community informed by Baha'i, Buddist, environmental and co-operative thinking. Residents live separately but together farm their land and run the Burnlaw centre.

If you need, or can offer, a lift to this event please contact me, Sue 016977 47359, and I'll try and match drivers and passengers.

On the Verge
Please join us for one or all three of our short verge walks (1.5 miles there and back max) to survey road verges for plants near Haltwhistle. All three walks this year will be led by Lesley Silvera and Libby Scott. Just turn up, no need to book. We’ll be on tarmac (most of the time) and aim to finish by 9pm.

Tues 9th June: North of The Wall.
7pm - Meet at 1st road junction north of Caw Gap.
We’ll walk along to Ventnor’s Hall.
Turn north off the Military Road (B6318) between
The Twice Brewed Inn and the Milecastle Inn, signed to Edges Green and proceed north, through Caw Gap, to the road junction.
Grid ref: NY 727675 Nearest postcode NE49 9PL

Tues 7th July: Ward Way.
7pm - Meet in Allen Banks car park. Short drive to start. Grid ref: 798641
Tues 4th August: Haresby Lonnen.
7pm - Meet at road/lane junction at western end of Haresby Lonnen, near Thorngrafton.
Grid ref: 790661.

Reducing Food Waste
On 21st May the French Parliament unanimously voted in a new law forcing supermarkets to donate unsold but edible food to charities.
FareShare, the major UK charity campaigning on the issue of food waste which already works with retailers on a voluntary basis to redistribute surplus food, applauded this move but pointed out that the majority of waste occurs higher up the food supply chain. However, even before this legislation takes effect, France, with some government funding, redistributes 20 times more surplus food than the UK.
FareShare says the UK Government can play a significant role in ensuring that food redistribution is seen as an important piece of the puzzle to reduce food waste overall.
We need our Government to support food redistribution so that surplus food can be more easily accessed at all points in the supply chain. FareShare’s ambition is to match the French achievement in reducing food waste.

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.