News December 2021

STS meeting report
A small group of STS stalwarts enjoyed each others company and some great food featuring local ingredients at our get together in October. Here's a round up of current activities, future plans and ideas.

Sustainability advice/ info day - Feb or March 2022
We find it difficult to get specific advice about the best measures, in terms of carbon reduction and cost effectiveness, that we, as residents of a northern rural town, can take. We want to tackle this and propose to organise an info day to plug some of these gaps. We could also look at the Climate Action Plan for the Haltwhistle district. This was drawn up as part of NCC's Pilot Community Climate Champions project with local people supplying the project information and NCC putting it into their document and presenting it back to us as our document. It would be good to discuss this and truly make it our document. There is a meeting to plan the day at 2pm on Tuesday 14th Dec at the Haltwhistle partnership office. All welcome.

Plastics recycling - Our two info sessions in the Market Square were well received.
Collection points/groups for clean, label- and top-free HDPE No 2 plastic are now established at:

  • The doorway of Haltwhistle Film Project
  • Haltwhistle Scouts
  • Julie's drive in Bardon Mill
  • Halton Lea Gate
  • Sue is happy to collect around Greenhead, Gilsland, Longbyre

We're keen to establish more - do get in touch if you can help.

Verge Walks - a popular and successful ongoing project. Next spring we need to remind NCC to put out 'No Mowing' signs on the handful of verges they've agreed are of special conservation value.

Seed Swap - and all things garden. The Haltwhistle's Plant Fair returns next spring - May 21st - and we'll have our seed swap and STS info stall again. The new community allotment project, Haltwhistle Growing Together, is planning an Open Gardens the very next day Sun May 22nd, so we can look forward to a great gardened focussed weekend. For Plant Fair bookings contact Penny Pearce, and for info about Haltwhistle Growing Together it's Abigail Cheverst,

Haltwhistle's Community Renewable Energy Group, which grew out of the heat from mine water feasibility study, is meeting regularly but, although several exciting projects are under discussion and funding bids submitted, there are no concrete proposals to share at present.

HISS - Haltwhistle Is Something Special
This project, working with TVCRP and supported by Northern, Cross Country and TVCRP, aims to celebrate the community and culture of our area with a series of poster exhibitions in a Station Waiting Room.
About three years ago, just as we started researching material on dog breeds associated with the area (there's Border terriers, Border Collies, Trail hounds, Dandie Dinmonts...), a major refurbishment of both Waiting Rooms commenced. Now the Waiting Rooms are looking newly resplendent in their livery and the project has been resurrected with plans for the first exhibition to grace the walls of the Waiting Room on Platform 1 in the coming months. With a nod to our twin town friends - you could get on a train or three and go for a visit - we'll include a mention of their dogs too. We're also wanting to feature a montage of our area's best loved pooches - for your dog to be up there please send a photo to Please include a note of your name and the village/parish where the dog lives.

We've already started thinking about the next exhibition and want to tie it in with the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall. We going to focus on reiving and defensible houses - bastles and castles. If you are interested in contributing to the research and writing about community or twin town aspects of the project please contact the TVCRP secretary as above.

Tree planting - a very embryonic idea but a possible collaboration with Haltwhistle Growing Together. Might be an idea to think about spots around the town - and parishes - where trees could be planted, possibly fruit trees... Could be a mapping project in the first instance... Potential for grants with the Queen's Green canopy initiative next year.... If your interest is sparked, get in touch!

Zero Waste Shop - this exciting project is in abeyance at present but far from dead. A possible premises has been identified but not yet secured... If you are a potential director or volunteer please contact Julie,

Wool in Cumbria.
Although these aren't mass markets for raw fleece it seems that Cumbrian entrepreneurs are setting the standard for innovation with this wonderful natural fibre:

The Wool Clip is a Cumbrian Co-operative producing original and creative craftwork using British wool and promoting traditional woollen skills.

Farm-made wool and bracken based composts. 100% peat free.

Proud to be producing British Wool Breed Carpets in Britain. We make beautiful 100% wool carpets from the rare and distinctive sheep found on the Cumbrian fells.

The UK's only British sheep's wool insulation. Therma fleece is suitable for traditional building and modern construction.

Haltwhistle Growing Together
For information on this new project and details of events - there'll be a free workshop on offer every month

Co-op supermarket plastic recycling update
I finally heard back from the co-op about their soft plastics recycling - it sounds like a well thought out and effective initiative:
"The soft plastics collected in our stores are returned to our depots, from where they are collected by our recycling partner, Jayplas. The plastics are currently being recycled into bin bags to be used in the collection bins in our stores."

Make yours a Green Christmas

Don't worry about queues of container bedecked ships waiting to dock, nor about the shortage of HGV drivers to move all that stuff around the UK.
  • Visit Christmas craft markets to buy locally produced, hand-crafted, upcycled and recycled gifts - or even make or bake yourself!
  • Visit Farmers' markets - there'll be additional speciality producers at this time of year
  • Shop and eat local - favour local independent businesses and ensure your £s remain in the local economy
  • And should you be wanting a free range, bronze Christmas turkey reared on a soy-free diet and traditionally prepared - give me a shout!

Worth a look:
Amateur gardener grows a whole fruit salad on one tree!

Ecosystems, not tree planting campaigns, capture and store carbon

Tools and resources to inspire and guide everyone who'd like to improve the resilience of local economies and build community for a better future. Features Transition Tynedale

Brampton Café Sci on Thursday 25th November 2021, 7.30pm, online and live at Brampton Community Centre
'Listening to farmers: the value of culture, community, and knowledge in the management of the upland environment.' with Owen Morgan

Owen's work investigates the knowledge held by hill farmers and the relationship this has to conservation policy and conservation practitioners.

Tickets cost £4.00 per person in advance (plus £0.15 ticket fee + £0.20p processing), or £5.00 on the door. FREE for students and under 18s.

In Our Element - with local poet Linda France

A poet's enquiry into climate change. Is the climate crisis asking for radical system change and a change of hearts and minds? Does it reflect a crisis of the imagination, of consciousness, of global ethics? How might extracting, consuming, travelling and working less benefit our well-being as well as simply bringing down carbon emissions? Across ten episodes, poet Linda France talks to activists, engineers, conservationists, academics, thinkers, poets and musicians around the world to hear their take on these questions.

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