News August 2020

All things verge
Our second verge walk took place on a soggy July evening. We visited the roadside at Markham on the minor road that loops around from and back to the Military Road passing Great Chesters, Walltown Farm and the Roman Army Museum. We found Common Spotted and Northern Marsh Orchids and were heartened to see that the verge had not been cut although the council had failed to put out the 'Protected Verge' signs that were in evidence last year. The following morning, enthused with her new knowledge, one of the walk participants noted over 25 wildflower species on a patch of land on her regular dog walk. Lesley is going to take a look. The verge at Markham was brought to our notice by a local resident - do get in touch if you'd like us to look at a verge near you.

Get Cumbria Buzzing
Cumbria has an innovative project 'Get Cumbria Buzzing' which involves creating 115 hectares of wildflower meadows around the county, including along the sides of major roads, by a variety of means including planting nursery-raised plug plants into verges. Mark and Vicky from Haltwhistle Film Project have created an award winning animated video to promote the initiative:

However it doesn't seem that Cumbria's approach to verge management is consistent across the county. A resident just over the county border has reported that Cumbrian Highways have mown down orchids and wild chives in flower in the verge just outside her farm entrance. I know it may seem ineffective and frustrating but, and I speak as a parish councillor, do contact your parish and county councils if you see unnecessary and inappropriately timed verge cutting. Councils generally want to please their voters so make sure they know what sort of highway management you want - those who like a manicured appearance don't hesitate to complain about 'untidiness'! Do suggest verge management in line with Plant Life's recommended practice:

Plant Life is the major charity campaigning on road verges and one of their officers, Trevor Dines, has posted a short video about the three acre meadow he has transformed into a wildflower and pollinator haven:

Summer with Greta

Greta Thunberg, who has just won the €1 million inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, has spoken about the highs and lows of her last year - on sabbatical from school! Her eloquence and humility astounded me. Here's the link and blurb from the BBC:
Everywhere she goes, cameras click, people ask for autographs and selfies and tell her how wonderful she is. But what's it really like to become the world's most famous campaigner on climate change when you're still a teenager? The activist Greta Thunberg wrote a revelatory extended essay for Swedish Radio, which was featured on Sommar i P1, a legendary series which has been wildly popular in Sweden for over six decades. She describes her journey to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly, observing the effects of climate change first-hand, her encounters with both powerful and ordinary people and a terrifying trip in a yacht across the Atlantic. This Swedish Radio production is introduced by Justin Rowlatt, the BBC's chief environment correspondent, and Greta's essay is interspersed with excerpts of her favourite music.

Wellbeing for future generations
Democracy and capitalism favour short-term thinking and projects which bring benefits within the office holder's elected term or immediately satisfy a market demand. That this can often be to the detriment of future generations has been largely ignored. In 2015 Wales led the way in establishing a 'Commissioner for Future Generations' who is charged with scrutinising public policy with regard to intergenerational injustice. The current incumbent is Sophie Howe and her intervention led to the decision to scrap plans for an M4 relief road. She has urged developers to look instead at improving public transport and active travel provision as means of relieving congestion on the M4. Now there are moves to bring this idea, with added teeth, into national legislation. The Big Issue founder, Lord Bird, is campaigning for 'The Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill' which will require the UK Government to:
  • Work to prevent problems, including the climate crisis and poverty, from happening, and not just deal in emergencies
  • Give current and future generations a voice in decision-making, and protect them from global threats
  • Deliver a new, sustainable vision for the nation that prioritises our environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing.

Lord Bird's campaign

Imagining the future of Haltwhistle and its surrounding parishes together

Haltwhistle and its surrounding parishes have been selected to take part in a pilot project to enable local people to be more involved in the process of change and development in the communities where they live and work. If you live or work in Haltwhistle or one of its 10 surrounding parishes we invite you to engage with the project and share your views. Please feel free to share this information and link, with anyone you think might like to contribute. If you know anyone who would like to take part but is unable to access the online form please contact me, Julie Gibbon and I will arrange to gather the information in an alternative way.

Below you will find a note from the project team and a link to an initial survey. If you are willing to continue taking part in the project, you can give your email address at the end of the survey and further activities will follow over the coming weeks. You may, of course, opt out at any time. Please note that all responses will be read by the project team from the Royal College of Art and Design and any information that is shared with us will be summarised and unattributable to individuals.

We do hope you will join us in taking part as the more opinions gathered the more robust the outcome and the more likely we are in the future to be able to influence what happens in our communities whether it be how we access services, how we travel around, what facilities exist or what our streets look like.

With very best wishes,
Julie Gibbon, on behalf of Haltwhistle Partnership, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP), Hadrian's Wall Partnership.

Dear Resident,
The covid19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of our interconnected world - from the importance of our local communities to global trade, insecure jobs and our natural environment.

In response to this and wider challenges about the future, designers from the Royal College of Art together with partners from councils, civil society and charities, would like your help so that we can understand your beliefs, feelings and knowledge about your town.

We would love to hear your thoughts on:
  • How you can build your community together
  • How you get around town
  • Your ideas about the future

Share your ideas at

British Wool for British Insulation and Carpeting
Wool is an extremely useful and versatile commodity so sheep have been bred over thousands of years to grow and retain their fleece. This selection for wool growth has made it essential to shear sheep every year. However synthetic fibres have, in recent decades, provided alternatives to many of wool's uses. This year Covid-19 has disrupted the already depressed market and wool prices are at an all time low. The income farmers in the north realise from selling their flock's fleeces falls far short of the cost of shearing.
38 degrees are campaigning for the mandatory use of British Wool products in the new home insulation scheme and for carpeting in any public financed building projects.

Photo competition.
Nature and water themed photos featuring the Tyne, or it's tributaries, for the Tyne Rivers Trust 2021 calendar - closing date 7th August


Local pasture-fed beef
Next delivery date for fresh beef - Aug 8th Order now!

Moss Peteral is now regularly offering
a choice of boxes of fresh beef.
Free local delivery.

Our White Galloway cattle are born here and grow at a natural pace
grazing on our upland pastures in the National Park.
The beef is hung for at least 21 days
and cut by an artisan butcher

See our website for details and to sign up to our newsletter
or call Sue 016977 47359 or 07935 259 416

Get in touch
Any questions, comments or contributions to this monthly e-newsletter?
Please contact 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