News June 2017

STS Grow your own competition - closing date for entries is 20th June
Grow veg, fruit, edible flowers and herbs in containers in your front garden or yard.
Entry forms (here) or available from Jill Eastlake, Kasteale Cafe in Haltwhistle. Completed forms must be returned to Jill, by 20th June and judging will be by public vote from 3rd to 9th July. Prize winning categories:
  • Most original container
  • Most attractive display
  • Most appetising

There's also the STS Sustainability bowl to be won for most points in the veg classes at the Gilsland Show on 6th August.

The Vertical Veg talk organised by Transition Tynedale had to be cancelled as the speaker was unwell.
TT hope to re-schedule. I'll keep you posted.

Verges and pollinators.
Our verges and pollinators project has two strands - verge walks to survey the wildflowers on the sides of minor roads and raising awareness of the importance of verges as a relict habitat and resource for pollinators, with the aim of influencing verge management. So, we were delighted when, after a meeting with us last July, RoadLink, who manage the A69, agreed to trial 'no herbicides'. Here is an extract from their email: 'We have discussed your comments and decided that we will not be carrying out weed spraying along the verges of the A69 next year. This will be on a rolling trial basis until such time that it becomes uneconomical or unsafe to remove weeds / ragwort by other methods. We will continue to target spray filter drains / injurious weeds and other areas deemed necessary for safety reasons.' Please let me know if think this promise is being broken. Sue 016977 47359

Our first verge walk of the year, led by Lesley Silvera, is on Tuesday 6th June. Meet at 7pm at Cawfields car park. Grid ref: 694665
All welcome, no botanical knowledge required - Lesley is a patient teacher! There's no need to book, just turn up, but if you do have any questions call Lesley on 01434 607988

Further walks will be on Tues 11th July, Thorngrafton Common, and Tues 8th August, north of Caw Gap. Details next month.

Help needed to collect wildflower seeds

Plugging The Gaps is a new two-year programme being led by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project, which will be rolled out across the North Pennines AONB, aims to boost the number of rare wildflower meadows which have been in serious decline since the 1950s.

Dr Ruth Starr-Keddle, Project Officer with the AONB Partnership, is looking for communities to help restore this incredibly important habitat. We need volunteers to help us collect seeds of wildflowers and sow them into trays in September. There will be a series of training events this summer to teach volunteers about seed collection, propagation and meadow restoration. In addition, we need people to help us look after the growing plants over winter, either in their back gardens or allotments, although we would like to find an area of land to develop a wildflower nursery business.

As well as ensuring iconic meadow species such as great burnet, globeflower and wood crane's-bill remain in the North Pennines, the work done by Plugging The Gaps will also provide a food source for insects which are dependent on pollen. The new plug plants will be planted into meadows and roadside verges in order to link up with existing flower-rich sites and create an unbroken network of nectar within the North Pennines.

Throughout the project the AONB Partnership would like to work with various partners including smallholders, farmers, school and community groups.
Anyone who would like to get involved with the project can contact Ruth on 01388 528801 or email

Sign up to a month of Random Acts of Wildness - make time to connect with nature around you, or do something small yourself to help nature. Random Acts of Wildness are all about experiencing, learning about and helping your local wildlife. They can be simple, small, fun and exciting too. You can use our ideas as inspiration or get creative and make up your own.

29th June, Hope and help, A talk on the refugee crisis
A presentation on the impact of the refugee crisis on the UK, Europe and Asia. Find out what it has been like for refugees and the people most closely involved in this crisis from a volunteer with the Carlisle Refuge Action Group (CRAG). Gather at 6.30pm in the Brampton Community Centre for slide show at 7pm. Tea break at 7.50pm followed by Q and A.

Request for items for 400 young people now in Calais without shelter.
Survival blankets, Sleeping bags, Hats, Men's gloves, Walking shoes (size 40 to 44), coats, rain jackets, ponchos, jogging bottoms (size S/M), Warm and dark colour clothes.
David Harrop is going at Easter and will take donations.

Guided Walks
Northumberland National Park, the North Pennines AONB and RSPB Geltsdale have a program of guided walks and other activities throughout the summer months, many with conservation and biodiversity themes.

Haltwhistle's Wednesday walkers organise two fantastic festivals every year and are out walking in the local area every Wednesday, whatever the weather, with walks led by group members. New walkers are always welcome to join this friendly group and there's a choice of distances so don't worry if you're not super fit. Contact:

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


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