Beaminster Area ECO Group
Thinking globally, acting locally
Newsletter 35 : November 2021
Greetings to all our members and friends
Message to the Global Climate Conference
Our 2021 General Assembly, held on 4 November in the pavilion at Beaminster, was our first face-to-face event for two years. Some members sent apology because they were still shielding. But we achieved our quorum of 20 people, and had a very
lively and talkative event. The first part of the meeting was a presentation about the Global Climate Conference COP26, which is currently unfolding in Glasgow, followed by an intense discussion on the wording of a message to be sent by the ECO Group to the world leaders meeting at COP26. Passionate views were expressed,
including by young people attending our Assembly. The wording was agreed and we have sent off the message. We invite all members to read the text and ponder how they can themselves contribute to the great global challenge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reversing the loss of wildlife.
Ӝ Message from Beaminster Area ECO Group to COP26 leaders Ӝ
We are ready …
We, representing 150 households in parishes of West Dorset, United Kingdom, send greetings to the assembled governments at COP26.
We look to you for bold collective leadership at this critical juncture in the history of human civilisation. We insist on the urgent setting of a clear path for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the elimination of fossil fuels, the creation of renewable energy, more sustainable use of the world’s resources, and reversal ofthe disastrous loss of wildlife.
We know that this process will make severe demands on the courage of political leaders, the resourcefulness of commerce and industry, the world’s financial resources and the adaptability and collective endeavour of people everywhere.
We believe that this great global transition must be pursued in a manner compatible with social justice, in order to alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged people
everywhere, to sustain communities where they are based and avoid the need for mass dislocation and migration.
Our young people have made it clear to us that they wish to be involved in designing, approving and contributing to the global plan to tackle climate change.
Living in a favoured region in a developed country which has contributed heavily to the causes of climate change, we recognise that we have an obligation to contribute to this great global transition.
We are ready to ‘live more lightly on the land’, to make the personal and collective changes which are needed in order to meet the global challenge, and to play our part in the pursuit of social justice everywhere.
Mark Kibblewhite, President Michael Dower, Secretary
5 November 2021
The second-half of the meeting was the formal General Assembly, the first to be held for exactly two years. The outgoing Committee delivered reports on activities during the two years, and on the Group’s finances which are very healthy. These reports were circulated to all members before the meeting, so no detail is offered here.
We then moved on to discussion of potential future activities. Those present accepted the proposal that our future work should be increasingly based on key themes, with a team of people focused on each theme. A starting list of themes might be : engagement of the local population; understanding and seeking to mitigate climate change; the saving and renewable production of energy; reversing the loss of wildlife; and animating a local food chain. We hope in this way to move into a higher gear of activity, with expansion of membership, the consolidation of local groups, wider relationship with parish councils and more involvement of young people. This concept will be reflected in invitations that will be extended to the members after an early meeting of the new Committee
The Committee elected in November 2019 had served for two years, with some turnover and some co-options. Approaching this year’s election, two members – Philip Golding and Raymond Gray – decided not to seek re-election. This left five places available for new Committee members. We wished to strengthen the links to groups of members in villages outside Beaminster, and also to bring in new skills. We are happy to have continuity of the three Officers and of 5 members of the former committee; and to have attracted 5 new members, including four based in the villages.
So, the new Committee is as follows – all resident in Beaminster except where shown Chairman Mark Kibblewhite, Secretary Michael Dower, Treasurer Robin Amswych Committee Members Jenny Beck (Drimpton), Roberta M. Bee, Alyson Black, Deborah Childs (Corscombe), Sheila Hawkins (Broadwindsor), Jim Holden, Alex Mills, Gillian Perrott, June Ruffle (Broadwindsor) and Paul Rychnovsky.
The five new members are :
Alex Mills, who recently moved to Beaminster : he is a botanist and ecologist, working for Natural England
Sheila Hawkins, Secretary of the Broadwindsor
Group Parish Community Land Trust, which is
currently in the planning stage of a project to build affordable houses in the village.
June Ruffle, living in Broadwindsor : she has installed solar panels and an air source heat pump at her home, and uses her own electricity to charge her electric car. She opened her home to visitors during the Dorset Greener Homes campaign in early October
June Ruffle’s air source heat pump
Jim Holden, retired engineer, committee member of the Beaminster Society and representative of that society on the committee of the Beaminster Earth Alliance
Deborah Childs, member of Corscombe & Halstock Parish Council. She is leading the first group of householders in Corscombe to use the Green Living Handbook published by Sustainable Dorset – see the article below. She is also organising the tree planting project in Corscombe during this winter, with trees supplied through the ECO Group.
Green Living in Corscombe – Deborah Childs
Becoming a member of Corscombe and Halstock Parish Council last November gave me the motivation to start seriously thinking about what more I could do to try and combat the climate emergency. When I heard about the Dorset Green Living initiative, I felt that this would be a great way to start. Initially, I felt rather nervous about approaching people to join a group, but needn’t have worried and soon had
eight households keen to get going. We all met on 2 September, supported by Gill Perrott, who led the pioneer group of households in Beaminster earlier this year : she kindly came along to talk us through the process.
Even in the first meeting we were able to share some important tips on how we can reduce our carbon footprints. We have agreed to meet monthly for hour-and-a-half sessions. In the second meeting, we discussed “Eat Better, Spend less” and agreed that it would be good to shop local. Not far from us is Liberty Farm, which sells organic milk locally. My husband and I produce honey, which is sold through Nick Tett, the butcher in Beamister. We will try to persuade Go Go Eco, the mobile grocer based in Bridport, to include Corscombe in its rounds
The Parish Council endorses our action and will reimburse any expenses such as printing costs, though we aim to keep them to a minimum. Our progress will be recorded on the village website, with other interested parties being encouraged to set up new groups.
Editor’s note : if you would like to explore the Green Living idea with a group of households in your village or neighbourhood, please feel free to seek advice from Gill Perrott – 01308 862646, email@example.com . She has spare copies of the Green Living Handbook, and will be happy to advise you about the process.
We are now approaching our fourth winter season of tree planting. On the supply side, we have about 200 trees waiting in
our tree nurseries; have again requested
500 trees from The Conservation
Volunteers; and expect a further generous gift from Groves Nurseries. We continue to welcome any trees which you have grown and would like to give to us. We are about to lay the groundwork for future years by planting sweet chestnuts, horse chestnuts, seeds and saplings in the tree nursery.
Sweet chestnuts from Edmundcombe Coppice
On the demand side, we are delighted that two parish councils – Netherbury, and Corscombe & Halstock – have picked up the idea pursued last winter by South Perrott Parish Council, of planting trees in both private gardens and public land in the
parish. We have received an ambitious order from Corscombe, and await the same from Netherbury. We are in touch with other parish councils who may place orders, and we look forward to receiving requests from people who would like trees for their gardens, fields or woodlands. We will welcome proposals for sites which might be planted, and also offers of voluntary help to plant and maintain trees.
Tree planting is recognised by the United Nations and many governments as one of the prime means for reducing carbon emissions and (indeed) capturing carbon from the air. It can also be a powerful aid to reversing the loss of wildlife.
It is good to hear from Rose Rychnovsky that Beaminster School is about to receive a delivery of hedgerow trees from the Woodland Trust, which will be used to fill gaps in the hedge that separates Beaminster Memorial Playing Field from the School.
Dorset Rights of Way Improvement Plan
In mid-October, we became belatedly aware of the public consultation launched by Dorset Council to gain views on the possible contents of a new Dorset Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The closing date for the public consultation was 31 October, so we decided to submit an urgent response. The focus in the questionnaire was on gaps which could be filled in the network of rights of way. Our response was focused on gaps in the network of rights of way in and around Beaminster. We proposed the following new links in the network :
Ash and Bridport down minor roads less dangerous than the A3066.
The next step in preparing the new Improvement Plan is that Dorset Council will prepare a draft Plan, drawing upon the many proposals contained in the responses to the consultation. This will be submitted to public consultation in February or March 2022. That will be the opportunity for people throughout our area to offer further comments.
ECO Group Committee – Robin Amswych, Jenny Beck, Roberta M. Bee, Alyson Black, Deborah Childs, Michael Dower, Sheila Hawkins, Jim Holden, Mark Kibblewhite, Alex Mills, Gillian Perrott, June Ruffle and Paul Rychnovsky.
Contact Michael Dower tel 01308 863515 firstname.lastname@example.org 4