Our Planet Events

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

** Climate emergency open mic **

Monday 13th May, 7.30pm

Pullman Room upstairs at The Harpenden Arms, AL5 2TR

Further details to follow.

Booking: The event is free, please book via MeetUp 


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

The most recent event “Permaculture and Community Growing”, 11th March 2019

Permaculture Guide, Nigel Crawley, was the first guest speaker at our fourth evening event.  Nigel described permaculture as 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 is a Certified Permaculture Designer and he runs Introduction to Permaculture workshops across the Chilterns and Vale of Aylesbury – see Nigel Crawley.  See here for information about a workshop in June.  Nigel is also involved in local community growing projects including the award winning Duckmore Lane Community Garden in Tring, which uses Permaculture Principles and includes a Forest Garden.  The garden has regularly gardening parties, see here for further information.

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Incredible Edible supports local food growing projects across the country.  Local co-ordinator Sahira described her role in supporting local projects and she encouraged anyone who would like to start an incredible edible garden and was aware of a piece of land that could be used for this to contact her.   Incredible Edible  has funding to support new projects!!

Next we heard from FoodSmiles site manager, Jayne.  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 is open to new members, and has open days coming up on 20th and 23rd March and 11th May – do visit the site for a tour on one of those days, 1.30-4pm.

There are two Incredible Edible sites in St Albans which are part of FoodSmiles, anyone can join growing sessions at these sites and also pick the produce – see Incredible Edible St Albans for dates.

Louise and Helen from Plot 31 then spoke about their Community Flower Garden and also their newest initiative, a Community Growing Project in Harpenden, which is open to all on Tuesdays – do get in touch with Louise find out more and get involved – Plot 31


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 was planted in Clarence Park in February 2019, by the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Cllr Rosemary Farmer.

Since the event in April 2018, Our Planet Our Future have continued with a series of evening meeting at The Harpenden Arms.  Further information about these event is below.


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

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

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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 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).

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

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Our Planet Our Future continues at The Harpenden Arms

The first event “Low Impact Christmas” 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.

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
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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.

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Thank you to our sponsors, supporters and volunteers