The latest news, stats and facts on key environmental issues. The latest news from Sussex Green Living.

Without Nature We Are Nothing

Without nature we are nothing. With that in mind, Sussex Green Living, Horsham Eco Churches and their supporters joined more than 60,000 people, representing 350 environmental groups on the Restore Nature Now march (led by Chris Packham) from Park Lane to Parliament Square in London on June 22.  It was a well organised family event, with amazing costumes, music, banners and speeches, chants led by children and echoed by adults.  Carrie Cort, CEO Sussex Green Living, said it was her first attendance at an event like that in London, she found it inspiring, empowering and motivating. She felt very honoured to walk with so many others and met people who had travelled from as far afield as Aberdeen, Abergavenny and the Lake District to join the march. Read more

Vote Wisely for the Planet

Vote Wisely for the Planet.  Sussex Green Living recently hosted the launch of Horsham MP Watch at the Sussex Green Hub. Pat Smith from Dorking introduced MP Watch to explain the nationwide service it provides for all residents.

The idea is that amongst all the spin, information, misinformation, and media stories, the conflicting reports can to some extent be unravelled and facts presented more clearly to inform people about what government advisors are saying, what candidates are saying, what they are doing, and what the MPs are actually voting for (or against).

MP Watch aims to provide unbiased information about MPs across all parties, so voters can be better informed.

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Confessions of a Reformed Lawn Addict

Confessions of a reformed Lawn Addict.  Oh, the swelling ambition with which I greeted my first lawn! (it was tiny). How I would nurture it!  Feed it. Weed it, ruthlessly. Mow it close, until its stripes looked like the No 1 Court at Wimbledon.

Reality was very different. Inconvenient patches of muddy brown forever reappeared, worsening as my mower’s wheels tore into the damp sward. Which remained stubbornly uneven and tufty. Meanwhile, pesky “weeds” as I called them, just kept coming back. Not only had I committed myself to a futile task, I was looking in the wrong direction altogether. Was it all worth it? Read more

Front cover of Bill Bryson novel, The Road to Little Dribbling

A Small Island

A Small Island.  I’m currently reading one of Bill Bryson’s funny books and he beautifully describes a little-known area near Heathrow airport which has somehow escaped development. The Staines Moor pocket of land has been untouched for over a thousand years and is the only green space for miles that Staines residents can enjoy. Heathrow has two runways and plans for a third are afoot. It’s already a most polluting airport, second only to Dubai in the world. I mention this because consultations are now well underway for Gatwick to become the same size.  It’s privately owned by Black Rock and Vinci, who also own airports in France and Portugal.  Their desire is to match Heathrow’s income by creating a new runway in place of its existing emergency one. Read more

Horsham Cloth Nappy Library: Changing Nappies Changing Lives

Horsham Cloth Nappy Library: Changing Nappies Changing Lives

We’re Lucy and Sarah, local mums who loved cloth nappies for our babies so much that we’re now running the Horsham Cloth Nappy Library to support other families! As one of our favourite nappy retailers says, “You can change the world, – one nappy change at a time.”

Most people now recognise the damage single use plastics cause, and we’re making changes.  Let’s now extend our thinking to other single-use products! Read more

Sussex Green Living and Envitia Horsham at the install of the Pollination Education Station in Horsham

Sussex is Really Buzzing

Getting Sussex Buzzing again!

Sussex is really buzzing in 2024 thanks to exciting new collaborations between Sussex Green Living and local businesses: a new way of combining practical solutions to current and future environmental issues with community outreach, fundraising and business wellbeing. The Pollination Education Stations and Green Business Network have been developed in collaboration with Billingshurst based agency PMW Communications as part of their generous gift of pro bono work with 30 local charities to celebrate their 30 years in business.

One week after Sussex Green Living launched these new endeavours at the Sussex Green Hub, the first Pollination Education Station (PES) has been installed. Horsham based business, Envitia Ltd, a digital and data services company based in Horsham, will focus on one charity each quarter and on Monday 4th March, as part of their fundraising and collaboration with Sussex Green Living, they set up their Pollination Education Station, a haven for pollinators, with a community herb bed and an information board.

Sussex Green Living’s new Pollination Education Station initiative

Sussex Green Living’s new Pollination Education Station initiative!  We are proud to announce the launch of our latest initiative, the Pollination Education Station and we are now calling on businesses, pubs, councils, schools, groups, and individuals across West Sussex to get involved.

The PollinA pollination education station outside the corporate offices of a business with educational plaque ation Education Station initiative is a response to the urgent need to address the declining population of pollinators in Britain, which are vital for food production and maintaining ecosystems.

A Pollination Education Station is an eco-luxury destination for essential winged friends, such as solitary bees and butterflies. Each station is a purpose-built structure made from repurposed materials and provides a safe haven for pollinators to shelter, breed, and rest during their vital pollination missions. Each station comes with an educational plaque, creating awareness about the vital role of pollinators and offering suggestions for personal action. Plus a wooden ‘sponsored by’ sign.  Read more

Community Composting Revolution

Community Composting Revolution

Nicky Scott, otherwise known as Mr Compost, is based in Devon and for many years has been the driving force in Community Composting across the county. This is his story.

When I started a very small community composting project on our allotments in Chagford, on Dartmoor, I had no idea how it was going to grow.  Initially, I was frustrated, firstly by people on our allotments having choking bonfires all the time. The smoke would roll down the hill and invade our house; not ideal when you have babies asleep inside.

Secondly, in those days we had ‘bulky household skips’ brought to our car park every month, for people to dispose of stuff the refuse collection couldn’t take. I soon realised a huge amount of garden clippings, hedge prunings, woody waste, grass cuttings and so on was being dumped so I called Devon County Council to suggest that they dedicate a skip just for garden stuff to stop it going to landfill and then we could use it on the allotments. To my enormous surprise they thought it was a great idea! Read more

Transition Horsham’s Annual Seed Swap

Transition Horsham’s Annual Seed Swap 

It’s spring!  Well, nearly …we have some snowdrops out and it’s just glorious to see them.  It is at least the promise that spring is on the way, and it’s not just us humans who appreciate the flowers-the insects also appreciate the life-giving nectar in these early blossoms.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll be thinking of what seeds you’ll plant this year too, and Sussex Green Hub’s next meeting on 24th February can help you with that, as Transition Horsham will be hosting their annual Seed Swap. Read more

Keep Lancing Lovely – Ten Years Cleaning Sussex Beaches

Keep Lancing Lovely – Ten Years Cleaning Sussex Beaches. Down here on the coast, we’re lucky to have organisations like Keep Lancing Lovely: a tireless network of volunteers who clear the beaches of all sorts of mess and rubbish, enjoying themselves and keeping fit while they do it, as we found on the sunny Tuesday morning we spent with Wendy Peters, Graham, Rosina and Angela, the KLL team who were combing the shingles of Lancing beach for wood, glass, cigarette butts, vapes and  plastic litter of all sizes.

Give Dry A Try in 2024

Give Dry a Try in 2024

We started our ‘Give Dry a Try’ campaign in January – but not for the reason you might be thinking – though that’s an excellent idea as well!

From January 27th, the Sussex Green Hub our once a month event is encouraging all to ‘Give Dry a Try ‘ by offering concentrated water-free household cleaning and personal hygiene products, which can then have water added at home.

The photo to the left is one of our volunteers Marilyn showing the bottle she has been refilling for five years, she is now ditching liquid refills and switching to give ‘Dry a Try’!

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Solutions for Sustainable Heating: Navigating Heat Pumps

Solutions for Sustainable Heating: Navigating Heat Pumps. Heat pumps shown outside a domestic propertySolutions for Sustainable Heating: Navigating Heat Pumps -With too much heat in the summer and not enough in the winter, Sussex Green Living is delighted to showcase Option Energy Solutions who we met at the Amberley Eco-Day last Summer. They won a Highly Commended National award in June 2023 for their Domestic Air Source Heat Pump work, and our author Michael, as an award-winning heat pump installer, is well placed to bring some clarity to the conversation around heat pumps.  He tells us:  Read more

Sunday Musings – It’s Time to Fix the Bugs

Sunday Musings – It’s Time to Fix the Bugs.  Last Summer, I went to Pulborough to join ‘Our Amazing Planet’, a service for children at St. Mary’s Parish Church, which I found very moving, when three small children in a beautiful calm space shyly declared their gratitude for nature. Read more

Shipley Community Hub: At the Heart of a Village

Shipley Community Hub: At the Heart of a Village.  A group that started off due to a request for a local Bridge Club has grown into a real community centre!  Thanks to a single person,making one small suggestion, the wonderful Shipley Community Hub now sits at the heart of the village.

It offers not only somewhere for playing bridge but encompasses all sorts  to join in with!  They host monthly talks with themes that cover a wide range of subjects from bees to space missions. 

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wind farm green energy south coast england

Rampion Wind Farm Providing Green Energy Since 2018

Wind Farm, South Coast EnglandRecently, as a milestone birthday treat, I took a boat trip out to the Rampion Wind Farm which lies 13 kilometres from the shoreline on the South Coast and covers a total area of 72sq. kilometres.

This impressive feat of engineering has been providing green energy since 2018 to around 350,000 homes – around half the homes in West Sussex.
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From the Path to the Shop: Natural Community Food Production

From the Path to the Shop: Natural community food production.  With all the worry about climate change and food production, it feels important to get to know one another to develop good practices for improving soil fertility and the production of local organic food. Read more

community renewable energy symbol

Embracing the Green Circular Economy: A Step Towards Sustainable Prosperity

community renewable energy symbol

Embracing the Green Circular Economy: A Step Towards Sustainable Prosperity.  As we begin to understand the challenges of the future, it becomes increasingly evident that the old story of using consumers (us!) to fuel economic growth by buying stuff they don’t need is of course incompatible with the limitations of living on a small island with finite resources.

Amidst multiple challenges, inspiring local projects are emerging that offer sustainable paths forward. One such project is Community Energy Horsham, which embodies the principles of the green circular economy and paves the way for a more prosperous and resilient future.

Community Energy Horsham is a community-funded renewable energy project which aims to harness the power of solar energy, reducing the community’s carbon footprint and promoting clean, sustainable energy generation. By encouraging local investment and involvement, Community Energy Horsham empowers residents, strengthens community ties and provides opportunities for individuals to participate actively in the transition to a greener economy.

This initiative aligns perfectly with the principles of Kate Raworth’s ‘Doughnut Economy which emphasizes the importance of renewable energy, and using only what we need. By generating clean energy locally, Community Energy Horsham reduces reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to a healthier environment for all.

How Our Pets Are Shaping Wild Bird Communities

Our pets bring immense joy and companionship into our lives, but have you ever wondered about their impact on the natural world? As it turns out, our furry friends can have unexpected consequences on the delicate balance of nature. From ground-nesting birds to fledglings in trees, our pets play a significant role in shaping the lives of wild creatures.

A staggering 96% of all flesh on the planet comprises humans and their domestic animals. This statistic highlights the dominance of farming and of our pets in our global ecosystem. With only 4% wild mammals, it becomes crucial for us to play a responsible role in mitigating the effects of our pets and livestock  on wildlife. Read more

Beginnings and Endings

It has been a great joy being part of the Sussex Green Living community over the years and it has led me into many unusual situations!  For example, last week I found myself decorating a cardboard coffin with butterflies and meadows, to be used as a funeral director’s window display in Horsham during Great Big Green Week.  

In our culture we tend to celebrate beginnings, but not the end of a cycle and death may be shrouded in mystery with discussion around it often avoided.  Now we have a new question to consider in amongst all the choices…What is the best way of leaving our planet in a good state when it’s our turn to go?

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Change is in the Air

The UK’s flying insects have declined by 60% in 20 years. The decline in insects affects all the major groups, not just flying and in the next few decades, as many as 40% of the world’s species could become extinct, including bees, ants and butterflies. Clive Cobie asks the question, ‘”is change in the air?”

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Everything, Everywhere. All at once. 

HDC candidates who have signed the SECA ABCD pledge ahead of the May 2023 Local Elections

In 1992 the world’s governments signed both climate and biodiversity conventions.  That was the time in history when the world, already after significant delay and procrastination, understood our predicament and agreed to do something about it.  Since then, no number of conventions, plans, targets, ambitions, or “COPs” (Conference of Parties signing the convention) has made any difference at all to global trends in climate breakdown and nature loss!

This is what failure looks like – 30 years of high ambition and low delivery.

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Sussex Green Living – Spreading like Wildflowers!

This month’s Sussex Green Ideas webinar focused on the OnePlanet technology platform which is designed to enable users to understand how health, environment, community development and economy are interconnected, and support pathways to action.

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Introducing North Horsham Community Land Trust

The North Horsham Community Land Trust (CLT) was very pleased to attend the Sussex Green Hub at the end of January to explain to residents who we are and what we are aiming to achieve.

NHCLT was formed following an initiative by North Horsham Parish Council in January 2020. We are a community led, not-for-profit organisation, run by local people for local people with the aim of providing local homes to rent for people who live and/or work in North Horsham Parish and its environs.  As a co-operative and Community Benefit Society we operate under the guidance of Action in rural Sussex (AirS) and the National Community Land Trust Network.

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Sussex Green Living Achievements 2022

Ashington Youth Club

Well what a year 2022 was for Sussex Green Living. As we reflect on the last year and plan for the future and 2023, we thought it was worth taking a moment to share some of our achievements…

Demand for Sussex Green Living environmental education services in schools and public events has never been higher, so much so that requests for our help vastly outstripped the grants we had been awarded to be able to deliver the work in schools.

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