Author Archives: MCHeath

Air Pollution in Basingstoke

NEW! 6th Jan 2018: We have started an online petition addressed to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Environment portfolio holder, stating that “We want cleaner air in Basingstoke”.  Link to petition is here.

We are aiming to have a presence at the next meeting of the Council’s Community, Environment and Partnerships Committee, on Wed 17th January 2018 at 6.30 pm – link to agenda page.

Basingstoke bypass on a winter morning, January 2018.

Sept 2017: Over the last few months BTN has been producing a report on the high levels of air pollution that exists in our town. In some parts of the town air pollution is already at illegal levels.

Along with Friends of the Earth we installed 14 air quality monitors all around the Town.  The results confirmed what the Council has already found – that in key areas air pollution is above legal levels.

Cars trying to join Basingstoke bypass on a winter morning, January 2018.

The Gazette has already reported on it.  See their report here. We have produced a report of our findings.  Our full report is here.

Overall we found 9 sites across Basingstoke where air quality levels might be below the legal limit. Whilst our results are not conclusive they do show that we, like other growing towns, have an air quality problem.

These are the results. The sites in red and orange are above legal limits for air pollution.

As part of Basingstoke Green Week we will be hosting a public meeting on air quality and what can be done about it. We and FoE will be there. We have invited local politicians to be there as well. The meeting will be on Thursday 21st Sept at Brookvale Hall 7pm.

 

 

Basingstoke Green Week 2016

Yes – the Basingstoke Green Week is back again.

Last year’s Green Week was a huge success.   Along with many other local groups we hosted loads of green themed events.  This year the Green Week is back and it’s bigger and better. And it’s longer! To squeeze in all the events it’s a ten day week.

The full programme oLogo Green Weekffers events and activities showcasing environmental living in Basingstoke and Deane. Most events are free – these include village markets, family fun days guided tours and cycle rides, advice and information days.  We even have a pop-up shop in Festival Place.

Our Green Week is all organised by volunteers and supporter by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Festival Place.

 

Whatever your age there is something for you. So join in, take part and enjoy.

Here are just some of the events.

Saturday 17th September

It all kicks off with Basingstoke Green Fair in Castle Square at 9pm.  There’s lot of stalls with local products, organic veg, and a chance to find out about local groups such the Energy Co-operative, Basingstoke Vegans, Incredible Edible, Natural Basingstoke and a lot, lot more.

That afternoon there is a chance to look behind the scenes at Chineham Energy Recovery Centre. This is where all Basingstoke’s waste goes to be incinerated. It is a real eye opener to see what happens to all the stuff we throw away.

Sunday 18th September

Start the day with a guided walk around Old Basing then finish that off with a plant-based BBQ and a beer at the Bounty Inn.

Monday 19th September

Work off the weekend excesses with a guided cycle ride around the countryside south of Basingstoke. Or you could visit the Swap Shop in Chineham or the learn how to repair furniture in Houndsmill.

Tuesday 20th September

Are you a local small business and want to know how you can increase profits reduce costs and become greener? Then pop along to the Carbon Management Workshop which will give you tips on how to cut your fuel, gas and electricity bills. You might also find out how to generate more revenue.

For lunch way not stop by at the Mug & Biscuit Café in South Ham

Tuesday and Wednesday 19th and 20th September

Want to find out more about saving energy and money? How to keep warm in the winter, how to give new life to old furniture? Well pop-in to our pop-up shop in Festival Place.

Heard about this revolutionary new technology called LED lighting? Come and learn more at the “Lighting Event” in Porchester Square.

Wednesday 21st September.

Mid-week blues? Lots happening today. A cycle ride to Oakley for morning coffee. Lantern making at the Ridgeway Centre and Herbs and Health in Kempshott should keep you busy.

Thursday 22nd September

The fun continues on Thursday morning by turning waste material into scarecrows in South Ham. There’s a Surplus Food lunch in Buckskin all made from locally grown surplus food.

That evening is the big get together with the Basingstoke Environment Groups’ Networking Evening. This is where all the people involved in making Basingstoke a more sustainable place to live at work meet up and learn about what each of us are up to.  It’s a great place for new comers to find out what’s going on. All welcome.

Friday 23rd September

Friday is practical day. Enough of the theory – let’s do something real! Two great workshops today. The Cycle Maintenance Course teaches you how to fix that old bike and how to make new ones work better.  In the afternoon the is the “Off-grid” Workshop.  Come and build your own off grid solar power electrical system- all materials provided – and get a free lunch.

Saturday 24th September

The big day. Lots of events in Buckskin, Sherborne, South Ham, Brookvale and Oakley. The biggest is Brookvale Sustainability Day.

Sunday 25th September

Did you know Basingstoke has its own Organic Farm? Well come along to the Northdown Orchard open day and learn at lot more about organic farming and enjoy an oven baked pizza.

Monday 26th September

Phew. The last day of a busy week (well 10 days). Did you know that by 2050 with current rates of growth there will be more human made plastic in our Oceans than fish! In conjunction with Café Sci with have a world leading expert coming to talk to us about our oceans and how we a dumping millions of tonnes of un-degradable plastic into them every year.

Want to know more?

Details of times and dates of all events are here  Green Week Programme Final August 2016.

Do please come along to as many events as you can. We are always short of volunteers so if you want to help out at any event contact us or the organizers.

Thanks – and please share with friends.

 

 

 

Green Week – We want your Feedback!

A great big thank you to all those who helped organise this – particularly Serena, Malc and Lucy.  It wouldn’t have happened without these wonderful people.

Now – we need your feedback!  What did you enjoy most about Green Week?  Which activities did you go to?  Were they well attended?  Which didn’t you go to, and why not?  We are planning next year’s Green Week and we want to offer more of what you would like to see to make our Borough greener and encourage people towards the transition to a greener lifestyle all round.

Email info@basingstoketransition.org

To remind yourself of the 23 amazing events see Green Week Programme

Bullington Cross Wind Farm

windfarm_rainbow

On 8 April 2013, EDF Energy submitted its planning application for the proposed Bullington Cross wind farm. The proposal would involve constructing 14 wind turbines, with a combined generation capacity of 28MW. Averaged out over a year, the turbines would generate enough zero-carbon energy to supply 13,000 homes.

We need as many supporting comments as possible to be posted on the Council planning websites  Basingstoke Council, Test Valley Council, Winchester Council. It’s best to add your comments to all three sites if you can. But if you can only do one then pick Test Valley. Continue reading

Springtime birdwatch


Photo by Barry Stalker

It feels like spring is finally here, now that the sun has appeared for more than three consecutive days; it almost makes one feel like bursting into song, or at least a spot of poetry…

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz
I wonder where the birdies is?
The little birds be on the wing
But that’s absurd! The wing be on the bird!

A fair amount of birds seem to be in my garden (and neighbouring areas), judging by the chorus coming through my open window; even the nearby traffic can’t drown it out and the appearance of my sun-seeking moggy does nothing to put them off. Continue reading

Just what is a Transition Initiative, anyway?

A vision of transition

It’s a question that gets asked a lot. What is this Transition thing all about? What exactly is it that you guys do? Who’s in charge? Do you really expect to make a difference? And – most importantly – why should I care?

The one-line answer is that a Transition Initiative is “a place where there’s a community-led process that helps that town/village/city/neighbourhood become stronger and happier”.

The concept of a ‘Transition Town’ was first created by a guy called Rob Hopkins and some of his friends in the town of Totnes in Devon. Rob was a permaculture teacher, and had become fascinated with the response of communities facing a decline in the supply of energy, due to peak oil. Out of Totnes the Transition Network grew, and there are now Transition Initiatives in the shape of cities, villages, counties, islands, institutions, sports teams, and many more. Continue reading

Community Orchard – War Memorial Park

communityorchard

Last weekend, after a couple of weather-related false starts, a group of volunteers completed work on the new community orchard that has been planted in War Memorial Park, right in the centre of Basingstoke. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the work of the dedicated people at Incredible Edible North Hampshire. The orchard is sure to become a source of enjoyment for many people in the community in the years to come.

The trees may have been successfully planted in the ground, but this project doesn’t stop here. Right from the start, this orchard has been planned to act as an educational aid and as an inspiration to as many people as possible. Continue reading

My story: Andy Molloy describes his journey from corporate engineer to community eco-activist

Andy Molloy

I am a mechanical engineer and I have maintained an enthusiastic interest for machines and mechanisms from an early age.

Whether dismantling clocks or building steam engines and high-performance internal combustion engines, I’ve always had a curiosity about how things work.

But more than that I was keen to discover why one solution is more appropriate at a given time than any other. Continue reading

Cafe Sci: What happens when the oil runs out?

oil-age-two-halves

The local Café Scientifique group have invited yet another highly respected speaker to provide a fascinating insight into one of the biggest technical challenges we face as a society. If the last few events are anything to go by, this will be a great opportunity to learn more about issues around oil dependence and get answers to any questions you might have about peak oil.

“Across the world, 30 billion barrels of crude-oil are produced each year, not only for fuel but to make practically all products ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Nearly all of our food also depends entirely on oil. However, world oil production is set to decline within 5 years. If we continue as we are, Western-civilization will collapse, and our salvation requires a re-adaptation of how we live, from the global to the local; to a world of small communities far less dependent on transportation. Technology will not save us, unless we cut our energy use and particularly our demand for oil.” Continue reading

Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Spring is in the air, and Basingstoke is coming alive. Next saturday, gatherings of people all around the world will be celebrating Earth Hour – 60 minutes from 8.30pm to 9.30pm when lightbulbs will be dimmed, electrical appliances switched off, and time will be set aside to think about how we can take action on climate change, together.

To celebrate Earth Hour 2013, the Smart Future Centre team is inviting people from all over the Basingstoke area to switch off together with good food and good company. Bring a friendly smile and a dish to share with your neighbours for the ‘Do It In the Dark’ Pot Luck Supper. Continue reading