Our Planet Events

Our Planet Our Future continues… with FREE evening events and videos.

** Permaculture and Community Growing **

Monday 11th March, 7.30pm

Pullman Room upstairs at The Harpenden Arms, AL5 2TR

Book your tickets and join us for an inspiring evening with our expert speaker Nigel Crawley. Nigel is a Certified Permaculture Designer and runs Introduction to Permaculture workshops across the Chilterns and Vale of Aylesbury. He is involved in local community growing projects including the award winning Tring Community Food Garden.

We will also have additional short talks from local community growing projects  Incredible Edible,  FoodSmiles and Plot 31

** What is permaculture?
Permaculture is a framework for creating low-maintenance, nature-friendly lifestyles. It’s about observing how nature works and applying these principles to our own projects. Anything from design of a food garden up to a whole way of life design.

** Nigel Crawley – Permaculture Guide
Nigel is a Certified Permaculture Designer and runs Introduction to Permaculture workshops across the Chilterns and Vale of Aylesbury. He is involved in local community growing projects including the award winning Tring Community Food Garden.

Nigel’s Permaculture journey began when he discovered a small forest garden whilst studying for a renewable energy masters degree at The Centre for Alternative Technology’s Graduate School for the Environment in Wales.

Following the masters he went on to successfully complete a two week Permaculture Design Course at The Sustainability Centre in Hampshire UK.

 ** Incredible Edible supports local food growing projects, we’ll hear from local co-ordinator Sahira who has also set up an Incredible Edible project – Incredible Edible

** FoodSmiles, FoodSmiles is a Community Benefit Society, based in St Albans District, which aims to encourage people to grow and eat more sustainable local food through building a community of food-growers. FoodSmiles has sites in Harpenden and St Albans, and also manages two Incredible Edible projects in St Albans FoodSmiles

** Plot31, a Community Flower Garden, soon to launch a Community Growing Project in Harpenden – Plot 31

There will be opportunities for questions, discussion, and networking.

Booking: The event is free, please book via MeetUp 


harpendenarmsAbout the venue

Pullman Room upstairs at The Harpenden Arms, 188 High Street, Harpenden, AL5 2TR.   

Booking: These events are free, please book via MeetUp 

We are grateful to The Harpenden Arms for their support for these events.

See the recent post about The Harpenden Arms written by Becky Alexander in the Herts Advertiser


About Our Planet Our Future

It was originally a festival of ideas about sustainability, featuring local speakers presenting interesting and sometimes novel perspectives about moving towards a more sustainable life and lower carbon economy.

The original event was held at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden on 21st April 2018.  We are delighted to make videos of those talks available for you to watch at your convenience.   Which one will you watch first?  Videos of the talks are available here and also our You Tube channel here.

We also had an art installation on the day, with three trees sponsored by Ayletts, upon which delegates wrote their sustainability pledges on parcel labels. These trees are now being planted across the District. The first of the trees, a Silver Birch, was planted in Leyton Green by Harpenden Town Mayor, Cllr David Heritage on Tuesday 6th November 2018.  The second of the trees, a crab apple, was planted in the William Bell Playground by Sandridge Parish Councillor, Cllr John Hale on Wednesday 19th December 2018.  The third tree will be planted in Clarence Park in February 2019.

The first event, Low Impact Christmas, took place on 20th November 2018.  Over 40 people gathered at The Harpenden Arms for an evening of talks, discussion and inspiration.  Photos and a summary of the ideas discussed at the event are below; ideas can also be downloaded here.

The second event, Low Carbon Lifestyle, took place on 14th January 2019.  Carolina discussed the opportunities and challenges to living a low carbon lifestyle. Carolina’s inspiring motto is “No one can do everything and we can all do something. “Photos of the event, including the pledges made by participants (see below).

The third event, Our Chalk Rivers in Crisis, took place on 11th February 2019.


Past Events: Our Planet Our Future continues at The Harpenden Arms

The third event “Our Chalk Rivers in Crisis” 11th February 2019

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feargal Sharkey, the punk-star turned fisheries chairman and environmental activist, was guest speaker at the third Our Planet Our Future continues event at The Harpenden Arms on 11th February 2019.

Feargal showed the audience images of our local chalk streams explaining that since the 1980s, many streams have dried up in part, and where they do run, they are polluted by sewerage works and surface water run-off. They are running out of water because of intensive water abstraction at their sources. Hertfordshire residents use on average more than 160L of water per day, but our rivers and streams can only support usage of around 110L. In Germany and Scandinavia, better use of grey water systems means householders only need to use around 80-90L per day.

The packed audience at The Harpenden Arms learnt how are chalk streams are – all of world’s 200 chalk streams are in England and they were all formed 79 million years ago!

Feargal lobbies the Environment Agency and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, he Environment Agency and local water companies in his role as chair of Amwell Magna Fishery to improve the ecological status of the UK’s rivers – in 2018 the proportion of rivers in England meeting ‘Good’ ecological status had dropped to just 14% (from 24% in 2016 and 36% in 2012).  He encouraged the audience:

  • use less water and
  • lobby their water companies and Defra to protect chalk streams.

In particular we were asked to write to Defra by 12th March 2019 responding to their consultation Improving our management of water in the environment; the link to respond is here.

You can see Feargal’s presentation here and also read more about Feargal’s mission here in a Guardian article from December 2018.

Our second speaker, John Pritchard, chair of the Ver Valley Society, then described the work that the Ver Valley Society does to protect the lower stretch of the River Ver (the upper part having dried up).   John’s presentation can be viewed here.  John encourage the audience to:

  • reduce their water consumption
  • respond by 12th March 2019 to the current Defra consultation Improving our management of water in the environment; the link to respond is here.
  • respond to the forthcoming Affinity Water consultation on their Water Resources Draft Management Plan which will be issued in March 2019
  • … and to join the Ver Valley Society, or join their monthly working parties or become Ver Valley Society River Bailiffs watching the Ver.

Our Planet Our Future continues at The Harpenden Arms

The second event “Low Carbon Lifestyle” 14th January 2019

Our guest speaker was “Low carbon Woman”, Carolina Karlstrom. She is a mother, partner, blogger, entrepreneur, hobby-poet, sister and daughter – wanting to make positive change in the world.

Carolina has extensive experience from the clean energy/sustainability sector.  She is an inspirational blogger, writing guest blogs for https://www.edie.net/ and The Planet Mark. Aiming to show how individual passion can create change, she leads the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) network in London, this is a grassroots network of change makers raising awareness, connecting people and inspiring to action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Carolina loves walking in nature – in fact her MSc thesis was all about walking!

Carolina’s blog is lowcarbonwoman.com
www.jadeadvisory.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Our Planet Our Future continues at The Harpenden Arms

The first event “Low Impact Christmas” 20th November 2018.

Our speakers were:

  • Tania from The Refill Pantry – getting rid of packaging
  • Amanda from Plastic Free St Albans – making Christmas plastic free
  • Heather from The Green Kitchen – ideas for a greener Christmas
  • Susheel from Sustainable St Albans – giving low impact gifts

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See our Low Impact Festivities page here for ideas for gifts, celebrations and how to enjoy your festival LOW-IMPACT style!


Our Planet Our Future Speakers and their videos

Through generous funding from the Harpenden Trust, we can provide video of the talks for those who were unable to attend the live event here and also our You Tube channel here.


The Art Installation & Tree Plantings

We also had an art installation on the day, with three trees sponsored by Ayletts, upon which delegates wrote their sustainability pledges on parcel labels. These trees are being planted across the District.

The first of the trees, a Silver Birch, was planted in Leyton Green by Harpenden Town Mayor, Cllr David Heritage on Tuesday 6th November 2018. 

The second of the trees, a crab apple, was planted in the William Bell Playground by Sandridge Parish Councillor, Cllr John Hale on Wednesday 19th December 2019.

The third tree, a copper beech, was planted in Clarence Park, by St Albans Mayor, Cllr Rosemary Farmer, on Wednesday 6th February 2019.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Thank you to our sponsors, supporters and volunteers