CO2 in the atmosphere

June 2021: 418.9 ppm
June 2020: 416.6 ppm
Pre-industrial: 280 ppm
 SAFE LEVEL: ~350 ppm

From: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
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Blewbury Collage

Sustainable Blewbury

Sustainable Blewbury is concerned with climate change and other environmental issues. We must end our dependence on fossil fuels because of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We need to explore ways in which we as a village can adapt to a low carbon and more sustainable way of living, while maintaining a good quality of life. SB places the highest priority on raising awareness of climate change and communicating urgently how it affects all our lives.

Our Project page has more on Sustainable Blewbury’s origins, a list of our projects and who to contact for more information.
Note the carbon dioxide levels in the sidebar at the left.


Sustainable Blewbury Activities

Home heating group

For many of us, heating our homes is the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint. Lower-carbon solutions such as heat pumps are available, but each home is different, and it can be a challenge to find what’s most suitable and affordable in each case. We’ve formed a new group within Sustainable Blewbury to improve our own knowledge and help others to find out what could work for them.

Seven people came to the first (virtual) meeting of the group on 4th May, bringing a lively mix of knowledge and experience – we learned quickly that we all have unanswered questions and none of our homes are perfect! Ideas came forward about installing underfloor heating in old houses, insulation, air-source and ground-source heat pumps and more. We plan three main activities: (1) to arrange outside speakers with specific experience; (2) to collect information, especially personal practical experiences that complement the official and commercial literature; (3) to share the information and help anyone to find ways to make their heating more sustainable. Anyone is welcome to bring information, ideas and questions – no knowledge or commitment is required. Please contact Nevillte Hargreaves: neville@brokenwood.org

Blewbury Garden Market

Our weekly Saturday morning stall at the filling station (9.15 to 11.15 am) is off to a great start this year, with a big boost from the Blewbury Bread Company. The main interest is starting to shift from plants and seedlings to produce as the season progresses. We also have ample supplies of local honey and jam.

If you have surplus fruit, vegetable or flower seedlings, or preserves or especially(!) baked goods, bring them along at 9.00 am on a Saturday and we can try to sell them (You keep 90% of the price). For more information, please contact either Eric (850558 or 07935 232 296) or John (850372).

Our next Repair Cafe: 19 September 2021

We had hoped to hold our second Repair Cafe on July 4th, but the extended Covid restrictions have meant that we have had to postpone it until September 19th, when it will be part of National Great Big Green Week celebrating action on climate change all over the UK. So do put the date into your diaries!

A tree that will fit into your garden

Sustainable Blewbury has been planting shrubs and trees for years, including the permaculture site on Woodway Road, the community orchard in Tickers Folly field, and trees and shrubs to form a wildlife corridor along the track going east above the Chalk Pit. Awareness of climate change means that we are being encouraged to plant trees to help absorb the excess carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by our burning of fossil fuels. Globally we’re losing trees and wild areas at an alarming rate when we need more. We have now realised there are other places to plant trees – in gardens within the village. Blewbury has more than 800 gardens – so if we all planted one small tree (or shrub) that would mean 800 more trees! And as well as absorbing carbon dioxide these trees will attract birds and insects into your garden.

Tree Planting (in the right place)

Blewbury bus

We are involved in the HUGS “There is a tree that will fit into your garden” project and hope that you will find space in your garden for a small tree or shrub. (HUGS is Hagbournes and Upton Group for Sustainability). There has been an enormous push for us to plant trees, and people feel good doing it, so millions are being planted all over the UK. But we must hope they are in the right places.

Trees do absorb carbon dioxide, but small trees absorb less than larger ones and also less than large shrubs. So clearing mature shrubs or hedgerows to plant tiny young trees is in the short term the wrong thing to do. And it could set back meaningful action on climate change. This is because of what is called “mitigation deterrence” — promises of cheap and easy carbon dioxide removal in the near future make it less likely that time and money will be invested in reducing emissions now.

The scheme is simple

HUGS found a local nursery willing to supply young native bare-root trees suitable for our soil, about 30–40 cm tall. Last year the trees cost £1 each. They are small sticks to begin with, but they will grow and provide better shelter and food for wildlife in our gardens (and they will absorb carbon dioxide). People chose the trees they wanted from the list of small, medium and large trees and shrubs you can read on the HUGS website. For advice about planting, images and the ultimate height of each tree, see the Woodland Trust's tree guide.

SB’s involvement

You can order directly from the HUGS website if you want to, but I will also take orders and will deliver your trees to you when they arrive in November. There will be more publicity about this through the summer. We hope that as many people as possible will buy and plant a tree. Have a good look round your garden. Is there a possible spot for a small tree or even a small shrub?

Jo LakelandSingle-use plastics

In normal times, we have a substantial programme of activities in and around the village. Getting involved is fun and can make a very positive contribution to village life and the local environment. If you’d like to get involved, or to receive our free Newsletter, email us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk or phone John Ogden at 01235 850372


Young villagers on single-use plastics – a short video

Have a look at this amazingly slick short video, made by Max and Charlie: our youngest film-makers?


Cleve board

Newsletter 45 – May/June 2021

Our latest Sustainable Blewbury Newsletter is available here.

SB activities: Home heating group; Blewbury Garden Market; New Cleve information board; Great British Spring Clean; Our next repair cafe: 19 Sept.; A tree that will fit in your garden.
Short items: Huge electric car-charging hub to open in Oxford; Is the UK doing enough to adapt to extreme wether?; Growing resistance to the sovereignty of Big Oil; We must protect our peat bogs from reckless planting of trees; What's up with the Gulf Stream?; Sing2G7!; After G7, what next?
Articles: Ban on halogen light bulbs and fluorescent tubes; Creating a wildflower area in our garden – a diary


Blewbury Climate Action (BCA)

BCA logo

BCA is a group formed by Sustainable Blewbury at the request of Blewbury Parish Council.
Our aim can be summarised as: ‘acting locally in a global climate emergency’ and this heads every page on our BCA blog.

We can see with our own eyes that our climate is changing, and scientists from all over the world agree that the world is facing a climate emergency. But governments are failing to properly and seriously address the crisis, so we must tell politicians that we expect them to do better for ourselves and future generations, and we ourselves must also do what we can to help.

It is naturally more difficult to get going on your own, and also to know what to do that’s most effective, so the BCA group was created to provide unbiased information and to help people do things large or small that will make a difference to the global climate emergency.

Subscribe to our blog: blewburyclimateaction.com, or follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/BlewburyClimateAction


Blewbury bus

Blewbury buses: Revised timetable for 94/94S

We have been hoping since 2016 for reinstatement of earlier and later 94 weekday buses and a Saturday service. And this is what has changed from 4th January! It could reduce the carbon footprint of the villages and will give village residents without cars much improved access to both Didcot and the Harwell Campus.

The revised service runs linearly from Didcot through East Hagbourne, Blewbury, Upton, Chilton to Harwell Campus and back again, but unfortunately West Hagbourne’s only stop will be at the Horse and Harrow. A pdf copy of the timetable can be downloaded from the Thames Travel (TT) website at thames-travel.co.uk/routes/94. There will be no changes to the 94S buses on school days.

It is important to remember that in July 2016 when Oxfordshire County Council decided to withdraw all funding for local bus services we could have lost all our buses had TT not managed to keep the 94 service running by transferring some pupils that they had previously taken to school on a dedicated coach service onto the 94/94S instead. The requirement to carry school children continues to provide a significant portion of the revenue for the service. This commitment to getting children to and from school on time (using a single bus for both the 94 and 94S route) determines the availability of the single vehicle that provides both the 94 and 94S service.*

It means that the first direct bus to Harwell Campus does not arrive there until 9.32 am. If you need to get to Harwell Campus before then you have to take a bus in the opposite direction to Didcot Parkway and transfer to the X32 service.

* Children from eight villages (Blewbury, Upton, the Hagbournes, Astons and Moretons) are transported to and from
   St. Birinus and Didcot Girls School on the 94S bus.

Please also try the Friday morning minibus to Wallingford run by the Downland Villages Transport Group (DVTG) – it’s great for doing errands or just having a quick break in Wallingford on market day. If you haven't already signed up or need more information, contact dvtgbus@gmail.com, or ring 01235 851763. You can buy tickets at Blewbury Post Office or Savages.


Click on these links to find out:

CAG logo

Our activity is organised around five main themes:
 

Travel and Transport

The travel and transport theme promotes public transport and encourages cycling and walking, with more cycleways and footpaths, in order to reduce car dependency.

Energy

The Blewbury Energy Initiative aims to reduce energy consumption in buildings, encourage the use of renewable energy resources and use much less coal, oil and gas.

Food and Farming

The food and farming theme supports and promotes local food production and marketing in order to reduce food miles, as well as encouraging fair trade.

Natural Environment & Heritage

The natural environment and heritage theme is to promote protection of Blewbury's history, architecture and special characteristics – such as its springs and streams, trees, and village fabric.

Pentagram of themes

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The reduce, reuse, recycle theme aims to reduce the amount of waste, and to encourage reuse of items and recycling to recover raw materials. It promotes water saving, local recycling and household composting.