News

Metford Road Community Orchard Open Day

Metford Road Community Orchard is a small organic orchard based on permaculture principles. It will be open on Saturday 17th June, 12noon – 5pm, as part of North Bristol Get Growing Summer Open Days.

With a stream at the bottom and numerous ponds, the orchard is teeming with wildlife in the summer. It has a compost loo and custom built gazebo-style oak shelter. There will be guided tours, tea and biscuits/cakes, produce and plant sales. Access is through the gate by no 37 Metford Road, Redland BS6 7LA. Turn left at allotments to reach the orchard. As the site is on a steep slope sturdy shoes are required.

Posted in Events

Community Tent at the May Fair

Sustainable Redland will be hosting a stall at the Redland May Fair on Redland Green again this year, on Monday 1st May. We will also be helping clear up at the end of the Fair. It would be great to see some of our supporters there, and better still if you would like to volunteer and lend a hand with either.

Because of our help clearing up after last year’s Fair, we have been offered a free stall this year. Several local community groups organise their own stall, but it is not so easy for smaller groups to run one on their own. So this year we have offered to share our space with other groups. So far, we have had five other groups who have expressed interest in using the space to promote their work. It is a chance for a community group to show what they do and potentially sign up new members. By sharing the space, and the time needed to look after the stall, even the smallest group can participate in one of the most popular Redland events of the year.

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Electric car charging

How to spend £7.5 million…

Vassili Papastavrou

In January 2016, it was announced that Bristol was one of four major cities to receive a grant (in our case £7.5m) to promote the use of electric cars and other ultra-low emission vehicles. To me this seems a huge sum of money and I feel it should be spent carefully.

I have now had a Nissan LEAF electric car for six months so I took an interest in this announcement and tried unsuccessfully to find out how the money will be spent. And to have an input on behalf of Sustainable Redland. Our LEAF does about 80 miles on a charge and has already been superseded.

2017 will be the year of the electric car with several manufacturers promising 200 miles or more on a charge. Whilst not a complete solution, electric cars can play a role in reducing CO2 emissions, improving urban air quality and in decreasing reliance on oil, which all too often seems to fuel conflict.

In my six months of ownership, I’ve discovered that the car works fine but the charging infrastructure (especially in Bristol) doesn’t. Most of Bristol is terraced houses or flats and so residents are unable to get an electric car off the road to charge from a domestic socket. Public charging points are in car parks and who in their right mind is going to pay repeated parking fees when they only live around the corner?

Another problem is the variety of cards and mobile phone apps that are needed, often with different subscriptions. Frankly, it is a nightmare.

One year later, we still don’t know how Bristol will spend its £7.5m. Or whether there will be a genuine consultation about some of the basic principles. If Bristol really wants to make life easier for electric cars, some of the money needs to be spent on public charging points. Amsterdam can do it, so why not Bristol? And even in small French villages there are now electric charging points in public spaces.

This electric car charging point is in Cahagnes, Normandy (population 1,319)

And the card problem? Also to be sorted in Normandy with the installation of contactless payments using a credit card just as you would pay for any other purchase.

Rural France and Amsterdam first – Bristol next?

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Whiteladies Markets Xmas 2016

whiteladies_winter_200x156Whiteladies Road Farmers and Fair Trading Market will be held as normal during the 2016 Christmas Holiday period, so there will be Markets on Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th December, and on New Year’s Eve, Saturday 31st December.

 

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Thermal Imaging Surveys

cheeseAfter successful pilot surveys last winter, the CHEESE project is again offering surveys in BS6/7 from November 2016 – March 2017. CHEESE is a non-profit scheme led by local community volunteers that can show you where your house leaks energy and money by using thermal imaging. They can then suggest remedies, many of which are low-cost. You will also be helping Bristol satisfy its climate change obligations.

The CHEESE project is also looking for enthusiastic people to train as thermal
imaging ‘Energy Tracer’ surveyors.

For more information and to apply go to www.cheeseproject.co.uk.

 

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MakeyourhomeEco Courses

BCRenergy-logo-322x73Fed up with a cold, draughty home?

Want to save energy  and master practical issues like managing bills, controlling heating, choosing appliances in time for winter?

Don’t know where to start an energy saving project that will meet your needs?

Making a home energy jigsaw

Making a home energy jigsaw

Come to a taster session to explore how this short, informal course can help you start saving energy right away.

Making sense of insulation

Making sense of insulation

In collaboration with BCR Energy Group, local experts MakeyourhomeEco will run the six session course locally for both home owners and tenants.  It puts you in control of energy use at home and helps you to implement low cost measures around your own priorities and to develop your own project for your current or future home.  It will cover practical issues to control heating and electricity use, choose appliances and understand the jargon to speak to installers or get support and grants.  It’s designed around the participants and features games and hands on activities, plus a series of worksheets that focus you on your own situation.  There will also be single 2-hour sessions for students.

£5.00 for the first (taster) workshop on either Tues. evening Oct 4th (19.00-21.00) or Weds morning Oct. 12th (10.00-12.00), refunded if you sign up.

The full courses will take place over the following 6-8 weeks. Cost £85 (£40 low income) for 6 x 2 hour sessions, including all materials.

Please contact info.bcrenergy@gmail.com to pre-register your interest.

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Bright Green Future

Bright Green Future is a national programme designed to help young people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to make a difference. It is aimed at those aged 14-17 who are interested in the environment and are looking for a new challenge.

If you are, or know of, someone who might like to take part, find out more on the Bright Green Future website. The deadline to apply is Sunday 17 July.

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Happy Birthday – the Market is 10 years old

Help celebrate the 10th Birthday of the Whiteladies Road Farmers Market on Saturday 25th June. As well as the usual lovely fruit, veg, bread, meat, cakes etc. there will be music for most of the morning. Come along at 12 noon for a piece of birthday cake, or meet the Lord Mayor at 1.30pm and pick up any last-minute bargains.

whiteladies_year_front_400x400

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Vacancies at the Redland Club

Andrew and Michele have been running the Redland Club (at the corner of Burlington Road and Exeter Buildings) for 7 years. It has become a very popular venue for tango dance classes and for all the other activities that happen there on a regular basis – pilates, yoga, table tennis, meditation, tutoring, kids’ parties etc.

They are now looking for two people to help with some of the tasks:

Caretaker – someone to pop in to the club for about an hour most week-day evenings and some week-ends to tidy and lock up the premises.

Tango West Helper – helping out at Tango West dance events: a once a month Sunday afternoon/evening; a once a month Saturday evening;  some occasional special one-off special events.

If you are interested, contact us and we will pass on your details so that you can get the full information about the vacancies.

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CHEESE thermal imaging energy surveys – April 2016 update

We are pleased to say that the CHEESE Project (see our previous post), conceived to assist people in making their homes more energy efficient, won the Bristol Green Volunteer award for 2015.  This is a great tribute to director Mike Andrews, to Jeremy Birch who developed the Heatview website and crucial imaging-related software, and to the volunteers who have trained as energy surveyors.

BCR Energy Group have now completed 20 subsidised  energy surveys in the Bishopston, Cotham and Redland area, with Bristol Green Capital funding provided through the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership.  Surveys will continue next winter and will also be extended to neighbouring areas.  If you live in the area, you can sign up to a survey by emailing info.bcrenergy@gmail.com.  More information about the CHEESE Project can be found at www.cheeseproject.co.uk.

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