Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Shining a Light - Hurrah for Hayfield (and neighbours)!

A few days ago, Pennie Roberts gave us an update on the achievements of High Peak Scrub Hub, which she leads and which has a core representation of Sustainable Hayfield's Reduce, Re-use and Recycle group members amongst its participants. And what story it is!

The Hub, set up and coordinated by Pennie, and providing aprons, face masks and mask extenders, scrub hats, headbands and laundry bags primarily for carers and exposed professionals working in community settings – now has over 70 people on its database, aged 18 - 85, mainly sewing but also volunteer drivers and 2 bike couriers. Sewers come from across High Peak including Hayfield, New Mills, Chinley, Chisworth, Tideswell, and Buxton and includes the retired head seamstress from Chatsworth House. The Hub liaises with the Glossop Scrub Hub to ensure best use of resources.

High Peak Scrub Hub’s sewers had, as of a few days ago, sewn 3188 items. Yes, that’s 3188! These include 1154 face masks and 826 laundry bags. they contributed 100 sets of scrubs to the Christies hospital appeal for 1500 sets and 300 laundry bags to Salford Royal’s appeal for 6000. This is a magnificent achievement, and reflects great credit on everyone involved with this wholly voluntary and largely informal effort, started just a few weeks ago.

Apart from the 2 hospitals its items have been distributed to community settings across the High Peak. It has supplied to 20 care homes, residents at Primrose Court, 3 schools including Hayfield Primary School, community carers, nurses and volunteers. It's provided scrubs for GPs and podiatrists. It is distributing cotton face masks to the community free of charge through the Village Store, Hayfield News and New Mills Food Bank. The Hub is also in touch with High Peak and New Mills CVss.

At least 50% of the material used has been repurposed from other cotton items, so avoiding recycling or landfill. The Hub's sewers have dug deep into their stashes of material, supplemented by some judicious purchasing. A problem with the supply of elastic worldwide did not stop the Hub’s intrepid team who altered designs and adapted their sewing to ensure items continued to be produced.

If anyone knows of a need for face masks in particular please get in contact. High Peak Scrub Hub is at highpeakscrubhub@gmail.com. Pennie is on 01663 747132. Any other potential contacts are welcome: just let the Hub know who's in need.

The whole Scrub Hub enterprise and its achievements just shows what can be done quickly, by like-minded people starting out with no resources other than their own skills and passion to assist. We are all most grateful and extend congratulations to everyone involved!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Annual Plant Swap - At a Distance!

Each year Sustainable Hayfield’s Food Group organises a ‘plant and seedling swap’ for a couple of hours at the Library garden. There, gardeners can bring their surplus seedlings and take away those they’d like that others have donated, all for free!

This year, as many of us have turned to our gardens as a means of coping during these difficult times, we wanted to try and continue to run the plant swap. So, we are proceeding with the plant (vegetables, herbs and flowers) swap in an alternative, non-contact way but which we hope maintains the mutual help ethos which has underpinned the event.

From next Monday, May 4th, there will be a plant swap station set up in the library garden, in front of the building, where you will be able to drop off and pick up spare plants. We aim to keep the plant swap station in place for about 4 weeks, as gardeners amongst us continue to plant seeds and bring their surpluses for distribution. We will try and update what is available through the Sustainable Hayfield Facebook page.

So, when you’re on your daily exercise walk, do consider going past the library and seeing what’s there and dropping off what you can spare. And don’t worry if you are new to gardening and don’t have any plants to swap, we are happy for you to just take some spare plants and have a go at gardening!

To help the plant swap run smoothly, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Please label the plants that you are dropping off, as there won’t be anyone there to do it for you. A pot of spare labels will be provided;
  • Please ensure your seedlings/plants are well-watered just before you bring them. We’ll be able to water them subsequently, but at intervals;
  • When visiting the plant swap station, please observe social distancing rules. We’ve spread the ‘event’ over four weeks to ensure there’s plenty of time in which to visit and no need for any congregations of people. If, by chance, there are two or more people already present, you can decide to come back another time.

We hope you’ll support this activity. It’s another way of showing we do things of shared interest, and mutual support, even in these troubling times. And attached is a sample of the sort of fare you might see – or bring!

Thanks very much - and happy gardening!

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Spring Newsletter

Our Spring 2020 newsletter is ready for download, shortened and shaped by these extraordinary times.

We hope, even so, it's of interest to you and may provoke thoughts and actions geared to improving our well-being, and that of all around us. if you've thoughts about what we might include in future newsletters, do please let us know.

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 WHAT’S TO LEARN?
  • OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH....
  • SUSTAINABLE HAYFIELD EVENTS
  • TRANSPORT TREATS
  • IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
  • THOUGHTS FOR OUR TIMES?
  • SOLAR SUNRISE?
  • TAILPIECE
  • OUR COMMITTEE

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Looking Up In These Downcast Times

Many of our lives are being circumscribed, with 'social distancing', and exhortations to stay at home. How can we most easily make the best of these strange times, helping ourselves, our community and beyond? Here's a few suggestions:

Keeping In Touch

  • make an effort to talk with your neighbour (over the wall, or the 'phone) - a human voice can be such a comfort;
  • ask if help's needed with some shopping;
  • if you're already part of a community group, whose meetings have been cancelled, consider buddying up with another member, and share your experiences;
  • Jocelyne Underwoood, Sustainable Hayfield supporter, has asked about organised schemes for supporting the most vulnerable. The two already running are:
    • New Mills and District Volunteer Centre, a well-established community volunteer service, running several schemes. Details are displayed prominently on Hayfield Parish Council website;
    • High Peak Council for Voluntary Service, a coordinating body for many local groups, and able to give advice. They're on 01663 735350 and at hello@highpeakcvs.org.uk. Please recognise there will be a delay on getting a response.

Tending The Garden

Many of us know the soothing effects of gardening. Why not reconsider your plot by:

  • redesigning some feature, if only in your head/on paper to begin with;
  • getting some seed (flowers or veg) and nurturing a new area;
  • consider opening up more space for wildlife in your garden, perhaps linking with neighbours. There's wildlife gardening ideas from Springwatch here.
  • using your surplus imaginatively, for community benefit. Sustainable Hayfield supporter Trevor Williams has been planting out native English bluebells and snowdrops around the 'old school field' for a few years. And now's the time to split up your snowdrop clumps and further beautify the area. Subdivide your snowdrop clumps and join Trevor on the slopes near the Scout Hut on Saturday at 11.00.a.m. to augment planting there.

Supporting Local Businesses

Businesses - such a key part of our community - are facing huge, and immediate, threats. Let's help by:

  • shopping local wherever we can;
  • supporting them by paying for appointments (hairdressers, physio etc.) which may have to be unavoidably cancelled, helping their cash flow and building loyalty.

Helping the Poorest

Who, as ever, will be the hardest hit by local, and global, dislocation:

  • keep giving to the Food Banks, and, if you can, give a little more. Donations are already down, as demand grows;
  • give, as birthday/other presents, virtual gifts via www.oxfam.org.uk or www.practicalaction.org.
  • we recently held a very successful sewing event for Dress A Girl Around the World. But there's still surplus material and dresses which are either cut out or partially finished. If you'd like, in the current situation, to do some sewing at home, and help restore dignity to children abroad at risk of sexual exploitation, please contact Pennie Roberts, Sustainable Hayfield Committee member on 07749 710127 or iampennieroberts@gmail.com. Material and instructions can be provided and left in a suitable place for completion.

Loving Your Home

One of the paradoxes of the current crisis is that the environment is benefitting through less pollution. Can we sustain these improvements close to home by;

    doing what you know makes sense, by switching your energy supplier to a green supplier. It's so easy.
  • ensuring that more time at home doesn't always mean excessive use of electronic appliances, and more expense. Remember to disconnect appliances (TVs, phones etc) at night (no red lights);
  • reducing your food waste with these tips from Love Food Hate Waste.
  • chilling out, economically - set your fridge to the right temperature to save energy.

Let's make the best of the challenges we face - together! Thank you, and take care.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Suspensions, Cancellations and Postponements

With regret, I'm advising that, given government advice about 'social distancing' and linked matters, we have decided that:

  • The operation of the Terracycle recycling scheme for 'unrecyclable' plastic is being suspended forthwith, with boxes withdrawn from local shops etc., until such time it is judged appropriate to resume collections. When you consider all items will have been touched by others' hands, and sometimes their mouths, and that children at the primary school and adult helpers, some with underlying health conditions, separate these out for despatch, this is the only sensible thing to do in the current circumstances. But we hope the suspension will not last too long, and we, as ever, thank you for your support for this enterprise which diverts substantial sums of plastic from landfill and raises funds for the school. We'll advise when the service resumes;
  • The Village Spring Clean and Litter Pick event, Saturday March 28th, is similarly postponed, for related reasons. This has usually benefitted from the voluntary involvement of dozens of supporters and other villagers and does great service in sprucing up the village, with a good part of the waste collected being separated out and diverted from landfill. Again, this is greatly regretted but the organisers considered we could not proceed with such an organised event, involving many hands, at this time. There is nothing, of course, to stop individuals actively recovering litter from your immediate locality and popping it in your bin, from which we'd all benefit.

These are strange and sober times. These notices will, for many of you, be very similar to messages you've received from elsewhere. It does feel, for many of us, our habitual pattern of activities is shrinking. All the more important, therefore, that at a very local level, we do things we can to sustain our local community life. Making, and keeping in, contact, with older, and 'self-isolating', neighbours and other villagers, assisting where we can with shopping etc., continuing to support local businesses and the like are the more important in these straitened times. In doing what we can, we - again - all benefit.

May you enjoy good times these coming weeks and more.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Two new invitations and two reminders...

1. You know the value of tree planting as one means of offsetting carbon emissions and locking in carbon...…but did you know that, short to medium term, little old sphagnum moss is many times more effective, especially on peat soils? Now we've the chance to do something practical and increase the sphagnum cover on our moorlands, by planting sphagnum plugs in association with the National Trust! (Read more: Scattering moss can restore key carbon sink.)

Next Sunday, 8th March, the National Trust has invited us to join them for a day's planting on high moorland near the Snake summit. A number of folk have already signed up, but more would be very welcome! Could this be you and yours, outdoorsy types as so many of you are? National Trust rangers suggest meeting up at Birchen Clough Car Park (A57) at 9.30a.m.

The 'planting party' will be out all day, returning to vehicles no later than 4.00p.m. You need to be prepared for a day on the moors, so...walking boots, gloves, hats, outdoor/waterproofs and lots of layers, with plenty of food and (warm) drink. A couple of Land Rovers will transport people to the planting site, which will also require about 30 minutes' uphill walking, but there may also be need for some car sharing, depending on how many people join in. For now, can you please:

  • let me know if you'd like to attend, and;
  • indicate whether you need or can offer a lift from the village to Birchen Clough car park. I hope I'll hear from some of you!

2. In quite different vein, you may know Derbyshire County Council is proposing to close a number of its old peoples' care homes, to include Goyt Valley House in New Mills, where a number of former village rs live. The reasons given are some homes' underoccupancy and their need for extensive refurbishment to meet current standards. Nothing is known about what will happen to current residents, except that they will be relocated - somewhere. Opposition to these proposals, on which DCC is consulting, is growing. If you'd like to take part in the consultation, making your views known, go to http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/care-home-review. or, if you want your MP to do something about it, go to https://www.change.org/p/robert-largan-mp-stop-derbyshire-county-council-closing-goyt-valley-house-residential-adult-care-home

3. A reminder that, this Wednesday, 4th March, there's a Dress A Girl Around the World sewing evening at The Threadmill (just past the primary school down Swallow House Lane from 7.30p.m. It aims to use old or unwanted materials to make dresses and shorts for children in poor countries who have none, or insufficient. Particularly for girls, a lack of suitable clothing is a matter of personal and family shame and makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse. These evenings help make suitable clothing which is then despatched via the Dress A Girl Around the World charity to where it’s needed.

Can you help? Experienced and novice sewers are welcome plus anyone who can help with cutting out, ironing, making coffee etc. Cash donations are also welcome towards sewing supplies. We've material from previous sessions but please bring along any cotton you would like upcycled into shorts and dresses for children who have none. It needs to be pure cotton and not too flimsy. There’s no need to book, just turn up …and enjoy! If you’ve any questions, contact Pennie Roberts on iampennieroberts@gmail.com or at 01663 747132. Thanks!

4. Last, a reminder too of the 'Ecobricks training workshop' on Saturday 7th March 11-3p.m. at Hayfield Village Hall. Ecobricks are a way of capturing non-recyclable plastic and turning it into building blocks, which we can all make! In 2019 20,000 kg of plastic was 'ecobricked', with millions of pieces of plastic put to good use in local building around the world. Have a look at www.ecobricks.org. for how they're used. It will amaze you!

A certified ecobricks trainer, will help us get started with this great initiative, so we can add ourselves to the list of places working to remove plastic from our environment. School age children as well as adults can attend. There'll be a presentation and discussion as well as practical activity. Lunch will be a 'bring and share' event. It should be informative, interesting and fun! If you’re interested in this event, please email iampennieroberts@gmail.com. Meantime, please save any plastic bottles you have plus any plastic that can't go into your brown bin. Bottles and plastic must be free of food contamination.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Four of Different Kinds...

Here's notice of four different forthcoming events, which we hope will interest you:

* First off, our Food group is hosting a thoughtful/lively discussion, led by Chris Walsh, co-founder of the Kindling Trust, on ‘What makes a sustainable food system’ on Wednesday February 26th, at 7.30p.m.,St Matthew’s Church Hall. Chris will talk about the many projects the Trust has helped set up, including co-operative organic veg. enterprises, an urban horticulture hub, training programmes in organic growing, new farmer incubation, volunteering opportunities on local farms, community gardening and social prescribing.

For 12 years, the Kindling Trust has worked for a just and ecologically sustainable society. Alongside local communities, farmers, activists and policy makers, it uses food as a catalyst for environmental and social change. Their work challenges the dominant model of industrial production and widespread food inequality.

Chris will share his thoughts on how we can all play a role in creating a local food economy that both supports community gardeners and local farmers to make our communities more resilient. This is a free event, and should be both practical and inspiring. There'll be plenty of time for questions and discussion....we hope we'll see you there! A poster's attached.

* Second, exactly a week on, our Reuse and Recycling Group is holding another Dress A Girl Around the World sewing evening at The Threadmill (just past the primary school down Swallow House Lane on Wednesday 4th March, from 7.30p.m. Its purpose isto use old or unwanted materials to make dresses and shorts for children in poor countries who have none, or insufficient. Particularly for girls, a lack of suitable clothing is a matter of personal and family shame and makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse. These evenings help make suitable clothing which is then despatched via the Dress A Girl Around the World charity to where it’s needed.

We’ve run these events before and they’ve been very successful. Experienced and novice sewers are welcome plus anyone who can help with cutting out, ironing, making coffee etc. Cash donations are also welcome towards sewing supplies. We've material from previous sessions but please bring along any cotton you would like upcycled into shorts and dresses for children who have none. It needs to be pure cotton and not too flimsy. There’s no need to book, just turn up on the night…and enjoy! If you’ve any questions, do contact Pennie Roberts on iampennieroberts@gmail.com. or at 01663 747132.

* Third, just a few days later, we’re running, with Transition New Mills, an ‘Ecobricks training workshop’ on Saturday 7th March 11-3p.m. at Hayfield Village Hall. Ecobricks are a way of capturing non-recyclable plastic and turning it into building blocks, which we can all make! In 2019 20,000 kg of plastic was 'ecobricked', with millions of pieces of plastic put to good use in local building around the world. England topped the list of ecobricking countries! Have a look at www.ecobricks.org. for how they're used. It will amaze you!

Josanne McLean, a certified ecobricks trainer, will help us get started with this great initiative, so we can add ourselves to the list of places working to remove plastic from our environment. School age children as well as adults can attend. There'll be a presentation and discussion as well as practical activity. Lunch will be a 'bring and share' event. It should be informative, interesting and fun!

If you’re interested in this event, please email iampennieroberts@gmail.com. Meantime, please save any plastic bottles you have plus any plastic that can't go into your brown bin. Bottles and plastic must be free of food contamination. Again, a poster's attached. Thank you!

* Last, but definitely not least, we - with the Civic Trust and the Parish Council - have set the date for this year's Great Village Clean Up. It's Saturday March 28th, from 10.00a.m. until around 2.00p.m. Each year, dozens of villagers turn out for an hour or two to spruce up the village in an organised way, removing impressive sums of discarded rubbish, and we hope for the same again this year. There will be a good deal more publicity nearer the date but, for now, please make a date in your diaries.

You can feel that spring is on the way...….thanks for your continuing support.