Thursday, 9 July 2020

Summer Newsletter

Our summer newsletter is ready for download. We hope you find it of interest. Given 'lockdown', it's encouraging to see how much has been happening.

We'd draw your attention to local interest there is in having some regular 'litter picks' around the village (see page 5). If you'd be interested in joining in what might be, say, monthly activity, do email me at sustainablehayfielduk@gmail.com.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Forthcoming Talk - The Role of the Community in the Electrification of the UK

It’s Community Energy Fortnight 13th-28th June. And what better way of recognising it than by sharing details of the revolutionary changes which have occurred, are underway, and are yet to come, in how we source and use electricity, already dominant in the UK. You need to know!

Our Energy group Chair, Richard Noakes, who’s worked in the electricity market for the last 10 years, has kindly agreed to give a Zoom presentation and take questions, next Thursday, 25th June at 7.00p.m. on the subject of ‘The Role of The Community in the Electrification of the UK’. He’ll be charting some of the key changes in the market, past and future, and what it means for us.

Think how much we rely on continuing electricity supply, at home, at work, in our leisure activities. Extended – or repeated large-scale- outages would compromise almost all of what we do.

But there’s revolution afoot in the electricity market, which will affect almost all of us. It’s clear that coal as a UK power source has almost disappeared, and many questions are being asked of gas, all with government backing. Petrol and diesel cars will no longer be produced in just over 10 years’ time, and our homes will increasingly have EV charging points, and heat pumps in place of gas boilers.

But that’s not all. Already, there are trials charging us for electricity on tariffs changing by the half hour, using smart meters being installed. One supplier has recently been paying customers to use electricity, to secure continued operation of its renewable supply (the best deal was at 4.00a.m.!). And increasingly, we’ll be getting much of our supply from, and paying our bills to, a local energy provider, maybe one controlled by the local community. The world is changing...

Why not join us - from your lounge or kitchen - to hear of the revolution that’s under way? Content will be pitched at the non-scientists amongst us. The event will last about an hour. To register your interest, email Shayfieldenergygroup@gmail.com and shortly after, you’ll be sent a ‘Zoom link’ which you just need to click on shortly before 7.00p.m. on 25th June, to join the audience. As someone says, “simples!”

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Good News - They're Back!

We're delighted to advise that, starting this Saturday, Village Greens will be resuming their 'pitch' outside The Pack Horse, from 10.00-12.00noon. Because market conditions are still problematic, they will have their usual pre-ordered boxes of their delicious fruit and veg for you to collect, but will not, for the first couple weeks, be bringing anything extra to sell, after which they hope to resume that service too, gradually, if all goes well.

Village Greens are contacting all their regular customers to advise of this, and will continue to deliver to self isolating and vulnerable customers on Saturday morning. But for others, it will be a question of turning up at The Pack Horse and collecting the orders you've placed. And, apparently, large numbers of those of us who've been contacted are looking forward to the social dimension of picking up our box, and 'having a chat' (but still with social distances observed and certainly no hugging!), as are Sharon and Rod. Or, if you wish, you can drive up alongside and they'll put your box in your car for you. Village Greens, of course, are on 01457 865256.

We're sure you're as pleased as we are with this news. Regrettably, Grains are not yet in a position to resume their service but we hope to keep you informed of developments there. See you Saturday?

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.