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

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

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 […]

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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Never too Small to Make a Difference

SchoolEducation has always formed a big part of the Sussex Green Living mission. In fact, it is where Carrie Cort started out, as a network of families learning about nature, the environment and ways that everyone can live a more sustainable life.

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Sorting recycling at The Chapel

Community Collaboration at its Best

During the first lockdown in 2020 many people felt isolated. Sussex Green Living (SGL) thought it was important to connect people and to continue its work improving the environment. SGL’s Carrie Cort organised weekly online Horsham Climate Café events. Some of these attracted over 150 people, both local and from further afield. One of the aims of the café was to introduce people ‘virtually’ from the same villages and this is when the seed of Billingshurst environmental group BilliGreen was planted.


The group was started by Mela Davidson and Melanie Holliker who both wanted to create a network that boosted the local community and had a positive impact on the local environment.


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Car share

Car Sharing in Horsham

Car shareI recently completed a Carbon Literacy course with the Scottish Community Climate Action Network (SCCAN) who produce some excellent teaching resources. They focus on actions we can all take and as a result and based on a Scottish idea, I made an enquiry about the possibility of a formal car-sharing scheme at Horsham Rugby Club.

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South Downs

The Big Picture

South Downs

South Downs painting by local artist John Thompson

Scotland seems to be ahead of the game in looking at the big picture, using the joined-up thinking that needs to happen now to address the current crises in resources, economy, nature and climate.

Last month’s Film at the Horsham Green Film Festival was made in Scotland: ‘Riverwoods’. This wonderful film opened with shots of Alaska’s bountiful nature, then moved across the same latitude to Scotland with its acres of treeless uplands, a legacy of the clearances of the traditional small mixed farms to make way for large scale sheep grazing.

But why are there no sheep at Knepp’s rewilding project? Read more

Money Saving Energy

Saving Energy can Save Money AND Protect the Planet

Money Saving Energy

Around 21% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes. With the increase in energy prices that we have seen, making your home more energy efficient will lower your energy bills. Good for the planet and your pocket!

Many organisations talk about energy saving tips, but they often require a big financial outlay with buying a new boiler or retrofitting your house. These are great ideas and will have a big impact on your energy consumption, but if you can’t afford these right now, here are some lifestyle tips you can make that won’t cost you a thing. Read more


The Humble Bumble (first published in West Sussex County Times)

BeeWhen I was invited to write an article on my experience with bumble bees, this title came to mind.  I like to think it’s part of Christopher Bollas’s  ‘unthought known’ territory – something you’ve carried around in your mind without ever really realising it.  And as it turns out, the phrase is rather apt:  Darwin referred to them as the ‘hum bee’ – because they ‘hummed’.

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Smal tortoiseshell butterflies on Echinachea flower

Sustainable Flowers & Floristry (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Smal tortoiseshell butterflies on Echinachea flower

Flowers are a precious part of our life-events, but are we aware of the significant environmental and human costs of the demand for cheap flowers at all times of the year?

Until the 1970s, bought flowers came from British farms, while today, most are grown commercially in Holland, Columbia, Ecuador and Kenya, routed through Dutch auctions. The flower industry has a massive carbon footprint, from heating greenhouses to refrigerated transport, a vast chemical footprint from pesticides, herbicides and preservatives, some banned in the UK, polluting soil and water, poisoning pollinators, impacting flower workers and their communities, many producers are not Fairtrade.

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Eco Float

World Environment Day (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Eco Float2022 marks 50 years since the conference which led to the designation of 5th June as World Environment Day. ‘Only One Earth’ was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference and half a century later, do we doubt that this planet is our only home, whose finite resources are running out?

World Environment Day 2022 will be held again with this same theme, ‘Only One Earth’, to highlight again the need to live sustainably in harmony with our ecology by bringing transformative changes through policies and our own choices, moving towards lifestyles more in line with the natural cycles of Nature.

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The Wool Revival (first published in West Sussex County Times)

SheepDon’t we all love to see spring lambs in wildflower meadows, and sheep in green fields?

In total contrast, who wants to see a factory producing acrylic?  A synthetic produced mainly in India and China, it’s made from chemicals so dangerous that special regulations have had to be made to prevent explosions at the factories manufacturing it.

Acrylic seems to have replaced real wool in much of our clothing.  However it is not biodegradeable so minute harmful particles of it are becoming increasingly present in our oceans, in foodstuffs and in human and animal bodies. There is now even some suspicion that there may be carcinogenic risks associated with wearing acrylic next to our skin.

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Billingshurst Dairy

The Green Thing (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Billingshurst Dairy

Image Credit: Billingshurst Dairy

Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she could bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologised and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”  She was right in that my generation didn’t have ‘the green thing’.

Back then, we returned glass milk, lemonade and beer bottles to the shop, and were sometimes given a few pence in return. The shop sent them all back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so the same bottles were used over and over again.

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Lily's cottage stall

For all our sakes – Stop using Peat (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Peat-free Compost

No doubt you have heard that for a healthy planet, we should use peat-free compost, but do you know why, or what exactly is peat?

Peat is soil made up of organic matter that has only partially rotted down. The lack of oxygen and the acidic nature of waterlogged peat bogs prevent bacteria and fungi from breaking down the dead plant material.  It is formed over millions of years, at a rate of only 1mm thickness per year, but we are currently extracting it at a rate much, much faster than that!  By ‘mining’ peat we are both damaging the ecology and adding to climate change.

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WSCC Billingshurst Recycling Centre

We are delighted to report that a second reuse shop has opened in Billingshurst. The first being Horsham *


Biffa have a opened a small Reuse shop at the Billingshurst Recycling Centre to save bric a brac, homeware, bikes (sold as seen) and furniture, including garden furniture, from going to waste. Items can be donated at this site as well as there being a shop outlet for patrons to purchase items which have been donated.

The goal is to take items that could potentially go to waste and give them a new lease of life at affordable prices, reducing the amount of household goods that end up wasted whilst allowing people to buy affordable, good quality furniture, garden items and homeware without getting into debt.

This venture has been soft launched by Biffa and has not been actively promoted to residents at this stage. Read more

Fashion to Die For ! (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Last month London Fashion week was held.  There’ll be another in June.

Fast fashion is absolutely one of THE most polluting and damaging industries on the planet, second only to oil, and here in the little UK we are actually one of the worst countries in world for creating most waste clothing.  The dying process alone uses huge amounts water that is sorely needed for food crops, and is often discharged into rivers without being cleaned up – much like our raw sewage is now being discharged into Sussex rivers.

Yes, we can donate clothes, but increasingly it is becoming like plastic rubbish- often “recycled” by transporting it to another, poorer country where it lies in a heap, unusable, partly because the cheap mixed fibres are unrecyclable.  Natural pure fibres like linen, bamboo, hemp, wool and cotton can be re-used more easily (as can unblended clothes made only from polyester.) Read more