Over the past 4 years Lightfoot has worked with Bishop’s Castle Community College during the summer and autumn in the Enrichment Programme on experience of Woodlands, taking groups into forest settings and teaching them about the diversity and sustainable management using a number of different methods. This year we are deeply challenged by COVID but we are working with the College to devise a programme that we can present in the autumn of 2020 or January 2021.
We envisage working within walking distance of the school on Friday afternoons in the Enrichment Programme. There will be drama workshops, drawing and observing activities, a visit to a local sawmill, building of dens, learning how to fell and log small trees, planting trees and walks with local representatives from the National Trust, Forestry Commission and Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The work, organised by Lightfoot volunteers, continues to be funded by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Shropshire Hills (AONB) and by Lightfoot.
The Energy Diaries are an activity for primary school children to discover what the energy uses are in their homes. They are designed to help busy families to cut down their energy use and were devised by Lightfoot and presented in a number of local schools from 2005 to 2008. These are currently being revised and re-designed by Lightfoot with a view to presenting them on-line on the Lightfoot website, with a printable version for teachers. We are working with the Marches Climate Teachers network who were hoping to organise a schools’ conference in mid-June supported by Herefordshire Council but delayed now by COVID. They are also developing ideas to understand the energy needs of individual schools, so the family energy diaries discussed here work well in association with this group. We have an ongoing list of schools and contacts in the South Shropshire area. Some of these will be asked to pilot the new diaries, and all will be contacted when we have the activity up and running. Watch this space!
Community Action for transport, food, energy efficiency and biodiversity
In 2019 to 2020 Lightfoot worked on a Powys Transition Low Carbon Communities grant supporting Community Action on transport, food, energy efficiency in the home and biodiversity in the Welsh borders. Lightfoot’s Local Area Action Plan (LEAP) encouraged and helped implement the following areas: Decarbonising transport (Llandrindod Wells), local food and sustainability (Knighton), energy efficiency in the home (Newtown), the biodiversity of verges (Presteigne). As this work was solely in Wales, we would like to extend the work into South Shropshire.
Biodiversity of verges is already active around BC and in the wider area under the RSVP (Reclaim Shropshire Verges Project). The availability of electric charging points in the area is increasing and plans are afoot to widen accessibility, along with plans for car sharing. A Marches Grow Local group has been formed following some sharing of the splendid work of Tamar Grow Local, and a survey has been designed and circulated by the Middle Marches Community Land Trust. Lightfoot continues to offer energy surveys with its experienced surveyors and energy experts, and would like to work on means of delivering these for free. Work continues with the Marches Energy Agency and others on reducing fuel poverty and encouraging sustainable forms of energy where possible.