News November 2016

Mon 7th Nov, from 7pm
Kasteale, Haltwhistle
Our AGM isn't a formal meeting. Tea and coffee will be available from 7pm with time to say hello to people before getting down to more focussed discussions at 7.30. We'll review this year's activities and then we'll think about what to plan for next year. Do come and tell us which sustainability issues you think are important in our area and share any project ideas you have. Everyone welcome!
Any questions? 016977 47359

Project Update:
Verges, Bees and other insect pollinators

In July we organised a public meeting in Hexham which brought together experts from conservation organisations and verge managers. RoadLink, who manage the A69, declined our invitation to attend but, instead, invited us to their offices for a private meeting. Soon after that meeting, and just prior to the public meeting(!), RoadLink contacted STS saying that they would not be spraying weeds on the A69 verges in 2017. We have maintained a dialogue with RoadLink and, at their invitation, made specific suggestions regarding verge management between Hexham and Low Row.
This is an extract from their response:
Firstly, I think we all felt the joint meeting was very useful in gaining an understanding of the objectives of STS and Roadlink plus enabling us to explain the statutory requirements for management that Roadlink are obliged to meet. There was a clear agreement from Roadlink that we will consider the views of STS in detail and, over the winter period, put together a number of proposals for implementation during 2017/18. We have started to discuss ways of taking these ideas forward and will base our discussions on the comments and suggestions in your email.

Interested in visiting the only privately owned certified passivhaus in NE England? It's in Steel, near Bardon Mill. For info see only hurry, the free open days are from 11th to 13th Nov, but need to be booked immediately.

Late night Christmas shopping in Haltwhistle, 4 to 8pm, Friday 25th November
New attractions, including on-street craft stalls and storytelling sessions, promise to make this friendly annual event extra special. We're lucky to have so many independent retailers in Haltwhistle - shopping in the town is the only way to make sure it stays that way!
STS hopes to have a chestnut brazier - arrangements to be made at the Nov 7th meeting, please get in touch if you are able to help with this.
Street stalls for the night are still available, contact Julie:

Green Christmas at Greenhead, Sunday 11th Dec

Farmers' Market, Village Hall, 10am - 2pm
Craft fair, Greenhead Hotel, Function Room 10am -2.30pm
For food stalls contact
For craft tables contact

South Tyne Wildlife Group
Tues November 8th, 7.30pm, Comrades Club, Haltwhistle
Kevin O'Hara from Northumberland Wildlife Trust; "Otters"
£3.00 on the door, all welcome.

Go Local, an inspiring community veg growing project in Ovingham was the destination of one of our VEG events this summer. They are now recruiting a part-time volunteer coordinator, and I'm told that it's still worth getting in touch if you are interested after the official closing date, only be quick!
GO Local Food has raised a grant from Awards for All to develop new opportunities for volunteers - part of the grant is being used to employ a part time co ordinator (10 hours per week). An interest and knowledge of growing and an enjoyment of being outdoors is helpful! Also experience of organising and working with small groups.
For full details please contact us

Monetary Reform
On Thursday, 3rd November, local Positive Money groups around the UK are hitting the streets to spread the word about the case for monetary reform. The NE group will have a stall at Greys Monument in Newcastle to gather signatures on Positive Money's petition calling for an end to Quantitive Easing and demanding 'Money for people, not financial markets'.
To help at the event, or for more info contact Richard Shelly

The Sky's Limit
The Paris Agreement on climate change is set to be ratified in Morocco in early November. All countries signing undertake to cut carbon emissions, aiming to restrict the rise in average global temperatures to within 2°C of pre-industrial levels. Oil Change International, in collaboration with 14 other organisations worldwide, has calculated that oil and gas fields and coal mines already in production contain enough carbon to carry us past this two degree mark.
Their report The Sky's Limit spells out just how serious the situation is, if we're remotely serious about stopping runaway climate change we can't build any new fossil fuel infrastructure anywhere. The frontier of the fossil fuel industry, which has been expanding for three centuries, must be closed. Now. No gas. No coal. No oil.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government doesn't seem to have grasped this. In October he overturned the decision of Lancashire's planners and gave Cuadrilla a green light to frack on the Flyde.

Meanwhile campaigners against the development of a new open cast mine in Duridge Bay received Sajid's decision to hold a public enquiry to examine the Banks' application with hope. Northumberland support the application, this intervention by central government offers the possibility that the County Council's decision will be over-ruled and the application refused. For details:

And just this week the government gave the go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow. As the Green Party explains in a recent mailing: "If the Government is remotely serious about climate change, then it cannot build any new runways. Not Heathrow. Not Gatwick. Nowhere. Ministers claim that airport expansion is a necessity, but 70 percent of all UK flights are taken by just 15 percent of people. Building a third runway would only benefit a small wealthy elite, leaving the rest of us to pay the price of a worsening air quality crisis and climate breakdown." Caroline Lucas MP has tabled an Early Day Motion proposing the introduction of a frequent flyer levy to reduce the number of flights, obviate the need for any additional runways and reduce noise and air pollution. The Green Party is asking supporters to contact MPs about this. For background info see

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