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Blewbury village

Sustainable Blewbury

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Food & farming

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Reduce, reuse, recycle

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Why we need Sustainable
    Blewbury

Blewbury’s water

Millbrook project

Orchard survey

Apple Day photo gallery

Permaculture project

  Permaculture photo gallery

  Permaculture diagram

  Permaculture tree info

Battery recycling/recharging

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Current CO2 level in the atmosphere
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Blewbury Collage

Sustainable Blewbury

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.


Blewbury Garden Market

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 looks like being a good one for fruit. Our food page explains how it works, and has full information for producers. Coordinated by Angela Hoy:angela

Apple juicing sessions

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. Please see our events page for full details.

apple juice

A Family Event: Explore your Churchyard: Saturday 19 September, 9.30 am to 1.00 pm, admission free

This is a joint event run by St. Michaels and Sustainable Blewbury. You and your children can explore the natural environment around St. Michaels. What sort of plants and animals will you find? Expert help will be on hand to assist with identification, and warm drinks and lunch will be provided (donations for the lunch will be welcome). There will be a short family-friendly service before lunch. You can arrive at any time!

For that Saturday only the Blewbury Garden Market will be at St. Michaels from 9.30
to 11.30 am, so you will have the opportunity of buying fresh produce (or selling your own surplus).


Recent news

Oxfordshire County Council cuts – two consulatations – URGENT

Oxfordshire County Council is currently running two public consultations: on bus services and on household waste recycling centres. Both could have serious effects, including reduction or even elimination of our bus services.

bus

Buses and Dial-a-Ride

The Supported Transport consultation on bus and Dial-a-Ride subsidies runs until 14 September. The Council says it needs to save more than £6 million per year on supported transport services. There are two options. One involves withdrawing all subsidies to bus services, the other making £2.6 million of cuts but trying to keep services, prioritising those used by the disabled or elderly. They also propose to end direct funding for Dial-a-Ride. Details of the proposals, and how to respond to the consultation, may be found here.

Complete withdrawal or a drastic reduction in our bus service is alarming – particularly for users dependent on buses for shopping, surgery trips, etc. From that perspective, the second option would clearly be preferable, though it’s not certain how deep the cuts would go. Both the 94 and 95 buses are listed as being at ‘medium’ risk.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

The consultation on proposed changes to HWRCs in Oxfordshire runs until 5 October. The Council says it needs to save £350k in savings from its waste management budget. They propose to reduce the number of HWRCs from seven to three or four, and to change the opening hours of the remaining sites. This is likely to be a very unpopular proposal, especially coming from a council that claims to lead the country in recycling.

Their news page is good for finding out more, including which sites are likely to be retained. The consultation itself may be found here, which gives more information and how to respond to the consultation.

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. 2015 may break the record again.

UK developments


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.

Edmunds footbridge  Edmunds footbridge
Edmunds footbridge
CO2 levels

Climate change

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 remained above 400 ppm through July.

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.


Click on these links to find out:

Our activity is organised around five main themes:
 

Travel and Transport

The travel and transport theme promotes public transport and encourages cycling and walking, with more cycleways and footpaths, in order to reduce car dependency.

Energy

The Blewbury Energy Initiative aims to reduce energy consumption in buildings and to encourage the use of renewable energy resources. The aim is to use much less coal, oil and gas to help the global environment.

Food and Farming

The food and farming theme supports and promotes local food production and marketing in order to reduce food miles, as well as encouraging fair trade.

Natural Environment and Heritage

The natural environment and heritage theme aims to raise awareness and promote protection of Blewbury's history, architecture and special characteristics – such as its springs and streams, trees, and village fabric.

Pentagram of themes

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The reduce, reuse, recycle theme aims to reduce the amount of waste, and to encourage reuse of items and recycling to recover raw materials. It promotes water saving, local recycling and household composting.