Sustainable Blewbury is concerned with climate change and other environmental issues, including the depletion of natural resources. We believe that we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels because of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We need to explore ways in which we as a village can adapt to a lower-carbon and more sustainable way of living, while maintaining a good quality of life.
SB places the highest priority on raising awareness of climate change and communicating urgently how it affects all our lives. Our Blewbury Energy Initiative website includes information on the scientific background to climate impacts, renewable energy and measures we can all take to help lower our own carbon footprints.
Our forthcoming events
Blewbury Garden Market: Saturday mornings from 9.30 – 11.30, Garage forecourt
We are now open (for our 6th year!) every Saturday morning from 9.30 – 11.30 until mid-October, once again with many thanks to Balan for his very generous hospitality. We sell an ever-changing range, both traditional and unusual. Please bring surplus seedlings, produce, bread, cakes and preserves for sale at 9.15. This year is going to be a good one for soft fruits – we have lots of clean jam jars if you need any! Our food page explains how it works, and has full information for producers. Coordinated by Angela Hoy:.
Apple juicing sessions: Sunday 30 August to November
We’re expecting a good apple harvest this year, and will be running our annual sessions to make delicious apple juice from the many trees in the village. They start on Sunday, 30th August and will continue at fortnightly intervals until November. More details soon.
Explore your Churchyard: Saturday 19 September, 9.30 am to 1.00 pm
Explore the natural environment around St. Michaels. What sort of plants and animals will you find? Help will be on hand to assist with identification, and lunch will be provided (donations welcome). FREE ADMISSION. Sponsored by Sustainable Blewbury and St. Michaels. More details soon.
Village Produce Association Annual Show – Saturday 11 July: Watch this space for more information.
New on our websites
Mike Edmunds memorial exhibition
On 21 June 2015, on Blewbury’s Open Gardens day, we presented an exhibition showing Blewbury Village Society Environment Group and Sustainable Blewbury projects inspired by Mike’s ideas and leadership over 22 years. The posters we showed can be viewed and downloaded as a pdf file here.
A week later the Watery Lane footbridge, now called the Mike Edmunds footbridge, was rebuilt as Mike had wanted using timber. It's much more sympathetic to the surroundings. Oxfordshire County Council was asked to do this by Lydia Inglis and Mike. The photos show the transformation.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere goes up and down during the year, peaking in the northern hemisphere spring. In 2013 carbon dioxide in the atmosphere briefly surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in millions of years. In 2014, April was the first full month ever recorded with CO2 levels above 400 ppm, May was even higher and the level remained above 400 ppm through June.
In 2015 it had already surpassed 400 ppm in February and rose to nearly 404 ppm in May. The figure at right shows the situation in the middle of June – note the significantly higher levels compared to 2014. It looks like it will remain above 400 ppm through July and into August.
On the Blewbury Energy Initiative website we have an explanation of what’s meant by our global carbon budget, how much of it is left, and why that means not burning all known resources of fossil fuels if we want to limit climate change.
Newsletter 13, April 2015
Contents: (click here to read the newsletter)
- Editorial – Mike Edmunds
- Climate Change Briefs – Mike Edmunds and Eric Eisenhandler
- Green Deal? Or Green lottery? – Eric Eisenhandler
- Blewbury School: Eco-School and Eco-Council – Jo Lakeland
- Blewbury Garden Market – the background – Angela Hoy
- Heritage Lottery Fund award for the Blewbury Wagon – Peter Cockrell
- Bee alert Blewbury – Debs Furness
- Low Carbon Hub shortlisted for prestigious Ashden Awards – Jo Lakeland
- Sustainable Blewbury beer mats
Climate (See our global warming page)
- Depending on exactly how the data were analysed, 2014 was either the warmest year on record or tied with 2010 and 2005. The 15 warmest years have all been since 1998.
- The government’s Green
Deal was aimed to be its flagship policy for
improving the energy efficiency of homes, in order to reduce carbon emissions
and the use of fossil fuels. We explain how it works, and some of the problems
that have led to extremely poor take-up of Green Deal finance. See the
grants page for our evaluation.
The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund provides grants to cover a wide range of measures. it ran out rapidly when first introduced in June 201 but resumed in December (the funding for solid-wall insulation ran out within one day!). A new release of funding was announced on 16 March 2015 but the solid-wall money was gone within 10 days.
- The government’s much-delayed Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic properties now running. It covers solar thermal hot water, biomass boilers and stoves, and air-source and ground-source heat pumps. Note that systems installed from July 2009 are eligible. See our Energy Initiative’s domestic grants page for more information.
Click on these links to find out:
Our activity is organised around five main themes: