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Monthly meeting next week

Our next monthly meeting takes place on Wednesday evening at the The Hop & Vine. Join us to find out how you can get involved in upcoming group activities.

When: Wednesday 9 November at 7.30pm
Where: The Hop & Vine pub, Fiveways, 300 Ditchling Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6JG.

Click here for map and directions. Bus routes 26 and 46 stop close by the venue. 

Contact Monica if you have any questions.

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Thanks to everyone who took part in the demonstration outside Barclays Bank on North Street as part of our fracking campaign. We were joined by members of the Green Party, Brighton Climate Action Network and SERA – the Labour Party’s environmental campaign affiliate SERA too.

Fracking company Third Energy – funded by Barclays – have recently given approval to frack in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. We had a great turn out and talked to lots of the bank’s customers about the dangers of fracking.

A big thank you everyone who heard about the demo on Sussex Radio and came along.

We’d like to also thank Glad Rags for the kind donation of fancy dress outfits for the event, and for our air quality stunt earlier in the month. Alongside a costume hire service Glad Rags also run educational workshops on things like recycled fashion and core sewing skills.

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Brighton and Hove Friends of The Earth held a demonstration to highlight the fact that air pollution is not just a problem in London but one that communities face all over the country. 

The Clock Tower in Brighton is one of the most heavily polluted places within the city.  While, pollution levels have fallen over recent years, they are still above legal limits.  We’re convinced that more could be done more quickly to tackle this danger.

The justice-themed demo coincided with ClientEarth’s challenge to the Government over air quality targets. The UK Government agreed to implement the EU Clean Air Directive but is dragging its feet, and has failed to meet its own agreed targets to improve air quality in Britain. 

ClientEarth, a group of environmental lawyers, is back in the High Court taking action against the UK Government to force it to implement the realistic targets it accepted.

Everyone is at risk from bad air everywhere.  It’s not just a problem in London. The Clock Tower is one of several places within the city where people are exposed to illegal levels of toxic air pollution.  While the Government has a key role to play in committing more resources, the Council should be acting faster too.

Chris Todd, Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth

DSC_0222Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth volunteers Dave (that’s him in the picture), Carol, Zoe and Hazel enjoyed a sunny Sunday on 14th August at St. Anne´s Wells popular ´Rural Day´ festival in Hove.

This was the second time the group has help at stall at the popular festival. We had plenty of conversations  with visitors about national issues like helping bees and stopping fracking.  We also spoke to lots of people about local issues, such as air pollution. Plenty of membership forms were taken away and we look forward to welcoming yet more new faces to our group!

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An excellent day at The Open Market in central Brighton on May 19. There was an enthusiastic atmosphere with people, stalls and activities representing a range of cultures, faiths and backgrounds.
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Our stall attracted lots of interest with The Bee Cause resources being centre of attention as usual. Many thanks to Maire, Tom, Dave and John for helping and also thanks to Mohammed for organising the day and for his contagious good will and enthusiasm.
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If you want to get involved in helping to protect our bees why not try out our fantastic new bee count app and help us survey bee species, plant your own bee world or order a bee saver kit.

 

Save Pondtail Wood

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Photos courtesy of Chris Todd

Local people came out in force recently [16 May], along with members of Sussex Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth, to protest against the felling of trees in Pondtail Wood on Muddleswood Road (opposite Singing Hills Golf Club). With no licence or planning permission the felling and introduction of rubble to create acres of hard standing has decimated the ancient woodland.

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Pondtail Wood was bought earlier this year and the owner immediately started to fell the trees of this Planted Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) within the South Downs National Park, which without a licence (from the Forestry Commission) is illegal.  He has also been burning the trees on site, removing the topsoil and bringing in tonnes of aggregates and compacting them into acres of hard standing.
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Local people have raised concerns since mid-March and Mid Sussex District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority finally served a ‘Temporary Stop Notice’ on May 10, but this appears to have been too late to have prevented the destruction and in any case only applies to the importation of aggregate and creation of the hardstanding.

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South Downs National Park woodland is under threat if it cannot be protected. Local people want to see the destruction stopped and the woodland repaired and replanted.  They also want to see the full force of the law used to fine the owner and to send a strong message out that people cannot trash ancient woodland with impunity.

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We can all help by raising our concerns with our local media, with Mid Sussex District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority (please do drop them an email or a letter!), and check out the resources below for more information and ways to get involved.
Further information:
  • Save Pondtail Wood Facebook page
  • Blog from Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive Sussex Wildlife Trust
  • News footage including drone shots revealing the extent of the damage
  • Video of felling continuing despite the owner apparently not having a felling licence

 

 

Representatives from local voluntary and wildlife groups braved the cold weather to demonstrate outside the Council’s policy and resources committee meeting as the saga of cuts to our rangers continues.

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The labour administration has recognised the value of the services provided by city rangers to our people and city by recommending that instead of cutting 6 of the 9 rangers that only 2 of the posts be cut.

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Voluntary groups working to promote and preserve our urban green spaces have welcomed this shift in thinking, and are pleased that our politicians have recognised the important role that rangers play in improving the health and wellbeing of the public, as well as maintaining our vital urban parks and green spaces.

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The campaign however continues as groups vow to fight on to save all 9 of the ranger posts, and will be working hard to influence the final decision due to be taken at a full Council meeting on February 25th. When groups first started to fight the cuts only 3 ranger posts were proposed, this has now increased to 7, but in order to properly maintain, improve and preserve our natural and open spaces we all believe that “9 is fine!”