Category: Local Resources

Friendship Bench launched at Shipley Woodside Community Garden


SEAG is very pleased to announce the launch of our “Friendship Bench” at Shipley Woodside Community Garden, Hassock Lane South on Saturday 15th August 2020 10 am – 1 pm.

We are very grateful for the generous donations of two wooden seats, plant pots and funds to purchase the plants. Volunteers have made a planter to sit between the two seats to create the beautiful Friendship Bench. The two seats are adequately spaced to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Volunteers have worked hard to clear the area of turf, edged with wood and mulched with woodchip.

The Friendship Bench is in a perfect spot overlooking the sensory garden. On Wednesdays 1 – 4 pm and Saturdays 10 am – 1 pm when the garden is open, anybody is welcome to come in and enjoy the view. There will always be someone to greet you and show you around or to simply sit and talk.

The path to the Friendship Bench is well on the way to being wheelchair accessible and there is a small area for parking on site. We are carefully observing social distancing while we work on the garden so at the moment we can’t offer you a cuppa but we can offer you the chance to sit and chat if you would like to.

SEAG member and volunteer at the Community Garden, Nicky Godridge shares her vision for the Friendship Bench.

The idea began some time ago when I heard about a Friendship Bench on the local radio. I thought it was brilliant to know that there could be somewhere that anybody can go to and find somebody to chat with, the idea behind it being to reduce social isolation and improve mental wellbeing.

I looked at lots of places where a bench could be situated but the work involved in getting funding and generating interest seemed a bit of a mountain to climb, but when I suggested the idea to the other members, they all loved the idea and very soon we had the generous donations from members of the community who had heard about the vision and equally loved it, making the Friendship Bench become a reality.

Then came lockdown and for a few weeks the streets were empty and we had to halt volunteering at the Community Garden. After some time, it became possible for volunteering to start again with social distancing and other measures in place. We leave our gates open when we are on site and gradually more people paused from their daily exercise to have a look at what we were doing and chat.

I remember one conversation in particular, when a gentleman stopped just as I was closing the gate. He told me that he started work as a miner at Woodside as soon as he left school. We continued to have a lovely chat for about half an hour and I invited him to come back the next time he was walking nearby. I haven’t seen him again but now if he comes back we can offer him a seat and the chance to have another conversation.


SEAG joins the Naturehood Project from Earthwatch Europe

The first official Red List for UK mammals was released at the end of July 2020 by the British Mammal Society. It highlights 11 native species from a range of habitats that are at risk of extinction. Some readers may be suprised to read that the hedgehog is amongst those species listed as being at risk of extinction.

This prompted SEAG members to really think whether we could do more to help our wildlife and that is when we found out about Naturehood, a community science research project from Earthwatch Europe, working to reverse wildlife decline and supporting nature to flourish all over the country.

By signing up and using the platform to tell Naturehood about the wildlife you see and the actions you take in your own Naturespace, you will be contributing to their scientific research and helping improve the health of our natural spaces.

Not only that, you can use their resources and activities to take positive action for wildlife in your own Naturespace and become part of a like-minded community helping nature thrive.

SEAG have joined and set Shipley Woodside Community Garden as our Naturespace. We have also created a specific group for Shipley, Derbyshire so as well as joining Naturehood and having access to the national live feed, you can also become part of your local group and share your wildlife pictures, videos, posts, events etc in the area. If there isn’t a group for your local area, you can join your closest or create your own group.

SEAG have already completed the baseline survey for the Community Garden and over time will be completing more of the Naturehood surveys to see how our efforts are helping the wildlife.

Michaela Strachan on Naturehood

Introducing Little Green Folk Facebook Group


By Alison Faulkner, Co-founder of Little Green Folk based in Heanor, Derbyshire

Firstly, let me tell you about our page and why it was created. 

Over the last 8 or so years, my concerns for the environment have grown enormously; quite frankly I began to feel increasingly overwhelmed at the scale of the environmental problems we face now and will face in the future. The use of pesticides, habitat destruction, plastic waste in the oceans, global warming and changing weather patterns, are just some of the many issues we all face. 

Many news articles have been written; which both confuse and exasperate people, who truly have great concerns about the health of the Planet and of the ways the human race is causing so much damage. We try to do the right thing but are unsure if what we do is correct. Recycling household waste for example holds a lot of conflicting information. By talking to people in general it becomes very clear that a great number of people are ‘unclear’ about what can and can’t be put into our recycling bins.  Milk bottle tops left on/off, labels removed or left on? Can window envelopes be put in or do I have to rip it up first? You get the gist. No wonder there is such confusion, as County Councils up and down the country vary greatly with regards to the items they can/can’t recycle. Myself, having gone to Norfolk for a self -catering holiday a few years ago, found their local council system totally different to our own local council. Glass mixed in with the rest of the household waste! Different coloured bins to what I was used to! Whatever next!

Clearly we need a universal system for the entire country don’t we? So that no matter whereabouts you are in the country, you can do your best for the recycling issues we face. 

Having several conversations with my very good friend Gill, we decided that we could do something and become pro-active rather than just chatting about all that is wrong in the World over a cup of tea. We do realise that we are NOT World leaders nor do we have much clout with the ‘industrial giants’; however, what we do have is a love for all the beauty and wonder of this magical place we call home…. The Earth.

So in January 2019, Gill and I created a Facebook page we called ‘Little Green Folk’. We opened it up for folk similar to us, who want to do something positive instead of waiting for the ‘Big Wigs’ around the globe to implement change; which takes time, too much time.

Our Facebook page is full of information and discussions, helpful tips and ideas; for people like us who thought ‘well what can WE do’. So instead of feeling helpless, we can all do our bit of good for the environment AND ourselves. Small changes which gradually lead to huge positive change if enough people are on board. Individually we may be weak but together we are strong! Earth lovers unite! Our small ways can make big change. 

So far there are 146 members of ‘Little Green Folk’. We would love you to join us and start making some small changes. We’ll try to give advice and ideas on where to start. We are a friendly bunch, there is no pressure and we encourage others to begin small and for each person to do what feels right in their own circumstances. We aim to make ‘being green’ not something which will necessarily cost you more. Greener products are popping up all around us and some are quite costly, so please don’t let that put you off if you are on a tight budget. In fact there are many cheaper ways to be kinder to the Planet and this is something that we encourage at ‘Little Green Folk’. We can all be greener. Sometimes we may just need to step out of our comfort zone and truly question the things we buy. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope that you will join us.



Categories: Local Resources

Refill Campaign – find water on the go

Refill is an award-winning campaign designed to help you reduce your plastic pollution, by making it easy to refill your reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one.

With the Refill app, it’s easy for you to find your nearest Refill Station on the go! Their aim is to have a Refill Station on every high street and through social change, they hope to make it the norm to carry a reusable bottle, so you’ll never have to buy a plastic bottle again.

Locally, Shipley Country Park is a registered Refill station and the park appears on their app! You can refill your bottles with free tap water while the toilets are open.

Refill list the following 5 reasons to join the Refill Revolution.

1. Prevent plastic pollution at source

If everyone in the UK refilled just once a week, we’d prevent more than 340 million plastic bottles at source every year. 

2. Save Money

Refilling your reusable bottle is an easy way to save money, because bottled water costs between 500-1000 times more than water from the tap! 

3. Help combat climate change

It’s been estimated that plastic production and the incineration of plastic waste give rise globally to approximately 400 million tonnes of CO2 a year with bottled water being 900 times more carbon intensive than drinking tap water.  

It takes over 8 litres of water to produce a single bottle, making it an incredibly inefficient use of resources, and that’s even before we’ve thought about flying it halfway across the world! 

4. Water quality

In the UK, we’re lucky to have some of the highest quality drinking water in the world.

However, many people still drink bottled water because they believe it not only tastes better but is better and safer than tap water. In reality, tap water is often more tightly regulated.

Shockingly, a recent global study of bottled water brands found tiny plastic particles (microplastics) in over 90 per cent of samples. 

5. Protect the environment

An appalling 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every single day in the UK. Many of these are making their way into our oceans. Plastic bottles now make up one-third of all plastic pollution in the sea and there are now over 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK.  

The impact on our wildlife is becoming catastrophic – 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic pollution annually. 

You can find out more about the Refill campaign here where you can also subscribe to their latest news and events and download the app.

Categories: Local Resources
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