News July 2016

Visiting Edible Gardens
It's a busy month. We've two VEG project outings, on the first and last saturdays of the month, a verge walk and, on 20th July, the long-promised meeting with representatives from conservation organisations and road managers to discuss the Value of Verges. Organising this event in Hexham, albeit with the goodwill of Transition Tynedale and other local green groups, is a new departure for STS so please support us by using social media to promote this event and tell your friends! If you have difficulty getting to Hexham, or can offer anyone a lift from the Haltwhistle area, please get in touch
We'll also be celebrating the wool harvest with Hadrian's Wall Farmers' Market on Sunday 10th July.

The Value of Verges
Weds, July 20th, 7.30pm, The Community Centre, Gilesgate, Hexham.

Speakers from Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park,
North Pennines AONB & Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Prof John Richards - chair

Q&A discussion with panel.

All welcome.

On the Verge
Tues 12th July, 7pm: Thorngrafton Common.
Meet at road/ lane junction at western end of Haresby Lonnen.

Please join us for a short verge walk (1.5 miles there and back max) to survey the road verge for plants. Just turn up, no need to book and no experience required. We'll be on tarmac (most of the time) and aim to finish by 9pm. Any queries, please get in touch with Lesley Silvera, 01434607988. Tues 12th July: Thorngrafton Common.
Meet at road/ lane junction at western end of Haresby Lonnen. Grid ref: 790661

Visiting Edible Gardens.

On Sat, July 2nd we're heading to Hexham to see Transition Tynedale's community gardens and Edible Hexham projects and then to Ovingham to join members of 'Go Local', a Community Supported Agriculture initiative, for a picnic & tour of their veggie field.
Meet Sainsbury's Car Park, Haltwhistle, 10am. Please bring a finger food contribution to the picnic.

On Sat, July 30th it's off to the award winning Battlesteads Hotel in Wark where Kate Norris will tell us about growing for the restaurant and show us her garden and greenhouses. Then it's a look at Peter Samson's and Mike Gibson's allotment in the village and time for a cup of tea.
Meet Sainsbury's car park at 1.15pm. Refreshments provided.

V.E.G. events are free and everyone is welcome, just turn up at the meeting point or contact me, Sue 016977 47359, if you want to travel straight to the venue or need a pick-up elsewhere.

Wool on the Wall - Greenhead, Sunday 10th July, 10am until 4pm and entry is FREE.
  • Our sheep from Moor to Meadow - with live exhibits!
  • An amazing range of local British wool products to admire & buy.
  • Fleece sale
  • Spinning and Weaving interactive demonstrations,
  • Tour of British Fleece exhibition

Wool on the Wall is held in conjunction with Hardian's Wall Famers' Market at Greenhead and celebrates the local wool harvest. We aim to raise awareness of British Wool and the multitude of uses of this environmentally friendly, sustainable product. Wool on the Wall takes place in the function room of the Greenhead Hotel and on green spaces all around the village whilst the regular, monthly Farmers' Market is in the Village Hall.
Further info:

Train & Station news

Community involvement is an integral part of the new train operating franchise and Northern see their stations as looking outward to their communities - not just towards the tracks. The plan is for local communities to 'adopt' stations and Northern will support station-based activities by allowing the use of the station area, including waiting rooms, and by promoting the event or project with posters on their stations and in some trains.

Julie Gibbon of Tyne Valley Rail Users Group (and COGS) recommends seizing this opportunity and proposes forming a working group, led by the Haltwhistle Partnership and some its trustees, but also including people of all ages, and representing different interest groups, from the town and surrounding area.

Possible projects include:

  • An event at the station - perhaps some form of market, food festival, music
  • A photography competition, local theme, Northern provide 'weekend away' type of prize
  • We name a train and ask Guy Opperman to unveil it.
Julie suggests formulating a 5 year plan of ideas and events. Interested? Contact juliegibbon@btopenworld,com

The Campaign to Open Gilsland Station was pleased to receive Network Rail's report on the feasibility of opening a station in Gilsland. The conclusion was that it is technically feasible - but the price tag they suggest is not! Guy Opperman MP instructed Network Rail to return to the drawing board and find ways to slash the costs. COGS have an AGM at 6.30pm on Weds 13th July at Gilsland Village Hall. All welcome.

That result
The referendum question was simple and the main campaigners tried to turn it into a competition between fear and hate, but membership of the EU influences far more than economics and immigration. Individual decisions undoubtedly reflected a much more complex set of parameters.
The 'Red Alert' issued by Friends of the Earth warned, "The referendum result for Britain to leave the EU means that many vital European environmental protections will cease to apply. We cannot let the UK return to the days of 'the dirty man of Europe'. Protections for our birds and wildlife, our beaches and rivers, must not be sacrificed in the name of cutting away so-called EU 'red tape'."

Baroness Jenny Jones, the first Green Party peer, writing in the Guardian said, "Membership of the EU is not conducive to local democracy, small scale enterprise and economic self-reliance… For many of us, the referendum result was a rejection of power being taken into fewer and fewer hands. This crisis could be a fantastic opportunity to bring back control to a more localised level and assert more democratic control of our economy."
Although the referendum result undoubtedly threatens some of what has been achieved on the route to sustainability it also presents opportunities to press for positive change in an arena where access to influence is easier and legitimate. As activists and campaigners we must see the referendum result as a rallying cry.

Read Jenny Jones's article:
FOE press release:

Visiting London? Don't miss "The Hive".

The Hive at Kew is a unique structure, inspired by scientific research into the health of bees. Designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress the installation is made from thousands of pieces of aluminium which create a lattice effect and is fitted with hundreds of LED lights that glow and fade as a unique soundtrack hums and buzzes. These multi-sensory elements of the Hive are in fact responding to the real-time activity of bees in a beehive behind the scenes at Kew. The sound and light intensity within the space changes as the energy levels in the real beehive surge, giving visitors an insight into life inside a bee colony.

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