Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley 28 April to 1 May 2023

The first Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley crammed 13 events into 4 days and was an ambitious schedule but turned out to be a huge success. From a repair cafe and farm walks to a talk by weather and climate scientist Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, attendees found the experiences inspiring and thought-provoking. 
 
“It was great to meet other people in the valley who are concerned about climate change and biodiversity loss,” says Pat Watson, one of the organisers. “We hope we can continue to support each other in creating habitats and putting up swift boxes – and share ideas about making the changes in our lifestyles that will make a difference to climate change. We invite anyone interested to contact us on ecoeastgarston@gmail.com.”

The weekend was kindly sponsored by Sporting Agenda, GreenFest, Penny Post, Attivo Financial Planners, The Five Bells and My Apple Juice. 

Here is a chance to watch some of the talks again:

Overview of climate change and what can be done about it. Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, eminent weather & climate scientist
Regenerative Food Growing Rachel Hammond, Landscape Architect 

The organisers would also like to thank the large group of individuals and organisations who supported the event including: 

-East Garston Eco Group
-Revd Julie Mintern, Ruth Honey, Deborah Philips and Paul Tame from Lambourn, Eastbury & East Garston Churches
-Lambourn Environmental Group
-Hungerford Environmental Action Team, including speaker John Downe
-East Garston Quakers
-Ed James, East Garston Village Hall
-James Shipman, Berks & S Bucks Bat Group
-Charlotte Hitchmough, Action for River Kennet
-Newbury & District Number 4 Bus
-Melanie Martin and others, Lambourn Growers
-Vanessa Lee, Maria Carver and others from East Garston Allotments

-Ruth Jordan, Priscilla’s Kitchen
-James Pryer for technical support
-Liz Brunskill, Farncombe Farm
-The Kindersleys, Sheepdrove Farm
-Karen Turvey, Hickson Hedgerows
-George Dowling, Manor House Farm
-Joanne Rabbitts, Lorne Hill Quilts
-Rachel Hammond, Edge Landscaping
-Ellie Bunn, WBC Waste Department
-Ken Neal,West Berks Green Exchange & West Berks Draughtbusters
-Mike Gilbert, Hungerford Repair Cafe
-Stuart Ward, Reading Repair Cafe

If you would like more information, please contact ecoeastgarston@gmail.com or follow facebook/lambournvalleyecocommunity

Friday 28 April

10am – 3.30pm Number 4 Bus Safari

Visit eco projects in East Garston, Eastbury and Lambourn on a schedule that fits into the Number 4 bus timetable. There will be refreshment and loo stops along the way. Please bring your own packed lunch and reusable coffee cup. All welcome to join at any leg of the journey (by any means of transport).

  • East Garston start 9.30 – 10am (to fit in with bus times from both directions). Recycling Q&A with Ellie Bunn, Waste Minimisation Officer from West Berkshire Council.
  • Eastbury arr 11.20am Nature Count, Coffee and Cake at Eastbury Church which has Bronze Eco Church status.
  • Lambourn arr 1.26pm at the Long Hedge bus stop (near Bockhampton), 10 minute walk to tree planting at footpath above Coppington Gardens (opposite Lambourn Surgery). Walk past Lambourn Growers where you can pick up a plant and arrive at Lambourn Church about 2.30pm for a Count on Nature interactive exhibition, have a go at identifying the trees in the churchyard, and contemplate nature in the churchyard. The Lambourn Friday market might also be still open.


6pm“If we sleepwalk through the next decade, the tragedy will be irreversible,” East Garston Church

Bishop of Oxford’s video eco message, introduced by Revd Julie Mintern. “Sustainability & how to achieve it” by Deborah Phillips, Oxford Diocese Environmental Deanery Lead, Eco Champion & Deanery Synod Rep, Eastbury church.

Free entry. Please RSVP to deborah.phillips@outlook.com 

 

 

7pm Pot Luck Vegetarian Supper, Bat Talk & Walk, East Garston Village Hall, RG17 7 EX

7pm Pot Luck Vegetarian Supper
Bring your own dish (with ingredients labelled) to share. Social club bar will be open.
Free entry. Please RSVP to ecoeastgarston@gmail.com.

8pm Bat Talk with James Shipman
Free entry but numbers are limited so please RSVP to ecoeastgarston@gmail.com. Donations welcome on the night.

8.30pm Bat Walk with James Shipman, leaving from East Garston Village Hall
Please wear sensible shoes, bring a torch and appropiate weather clothing.
Free entry but numbers are limited so please RSVP to ecoeastgarston@gmail.com. Donations welcome on the night.

Saturday 29 April

Eco Day in East Garston

Lots of free events and activities in East Garston Village Hall, RG17 7EX and the Quaker Meeting House opposite. Refreshments available from Priscilla’s Kitchen and East Garston Social Club bar. Number 4 bus can be taken to East Garston but if you need to drive please be aware that parking will be limited so if you know someone who lives in East Garston please ask if you can park in their driveway.

10am – 2pm Repair Cafe

Bring along your:
– electrical appliances, clothes (repairs and alteration advice), wooden items, upholstery, ceramics, toys, bikes etc to be mended (if we are busy we may have to limit to one item per person)
– tools/knives to be sharpened
– your scrap metal, tin cans & foil to be recycled

10am – 3pm Eco Displays & Activities

Meet people and chat throughout the day about electric vehicles, gardening advice, home energy & insulation, plant/seed table, wildlife gardening at East Garston Quaker Meeting House & upcycling craft activities.

10.30am – 3pm Energy & Biodiversity Talks, Quaker Meeting House

Talk schedule:

10.30am An introduction to Domestic Solar PV and battery storage Shaun Finch, Power Aid
11.10am Heating your home without costing the earth – John Downe HEAT (Hungerford Environmental Action Team)
11.50am Rain Gardens & how they benefit our rivers, Charlotte Hitchmough, ARK (Action for the River Kennet)
12.30pm Home Insulation – Ken Neal, West Berkshire Draughtbusters & West Berkshire Green Exchange
1.10pm Introduction to Wildflower Meadows & Scything demonstration – George Dolling, Head Gardener, Manor House Farm
1.50pm Climate Change Awareness and Meaningful Climate Action in the Lambourn Valley – Dr Pat Watson, East Garston Eco Group
2.30pm Regenerative Food Growing – Rachel Hammond, Edge Landscaping

 

3.30pm Sustainable cooking demonstration – Ruth Jordan, Priscilla’s Kitchen

Make your own butter and use the remaining buttermilk to make soda bread from local Wilton Mill stone ground flour with local wild garlic. All the veg soup: make an easy and delicious soup with whatever is in your fridge and in the garden.
Free entry. First come first served.

Sunday 30 April

Great Shefford Wildlife Habitat Morning

10am – 12pm Open Morning at Hickson Hedgerows Re-wilding, Great Shefford, RG17 7BT

Tour this eco area in the centre of Shefford which includes a small orchard, long grass, laid hedge, bug hotel, dead hedge wildlife habitat and bulbs. Please bring donations for the amazing Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue (featured on Countryfile last year) . They need any spare old towels, cat food (not fish varieties), bird food, hedgehog food and anything on their Amazon wish list.

Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Some parking is available at Spring Meadows. Please park responsibly and lift share if possible. There is a footpath to Manor House Farm.

12.15 – 1.15pm Conservation, Organic Gardening and Estate Management Walk and Talk, Manor House Farm, Great Shefford, RG17 7DZ. 

A wonderful opportunity to meet very knowledgable Head Gardener George Dolling and find out about their maintenance of wildflower meadows and water meadows along the River Lambourn for wildlife habitat.

Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Some parking is available on Church Street. Please park responsibly and lift share if possible. 

Attenborough Documentary, discussion with Sir Brian Hoskins & Mediterranean Supper

5 – 7pm Screening of David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet followed by expert-led discussion, East Garston Village Hall

This powerful documentary is David Attenborough’s witness statement and vision for the future.
The film will be followed by an expert-led discussion about how the issues effect the Lambourn Valley with weather and climate Professor Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS who has a wealth of experience including advisor to the IPCC and the UK’s Climate Change Committee. Please come with questions for him.

Free entry. Pre-booking recommended with ecoeastgarston@gmail.com. Please liftshare (see below) if possible. 

7pm Mediterranean SupperEast Garston Village Hall

Book your delicious two course buffet supper including falafel, pitta bread, Mediterranean slice, orzo, salads, olives, roast peppers and desert.

Tickets £15pp must be booked 
by 23 April with Ruth at Priscilla’s Kitchen on Priscillas.kitchen@btconnect.com Please state any dietary requirements.  Please bring a container to take home leftovers. Social Club bar will be open.

Bank Holiday Monday 1 May

Lambourn Eco Day

10.30am – 12pm Pasture for Life Farm Visit, Farncombe Farm, Lambourn RG17 7BN

Liz and John Brunskill have farmed Farncombe Farm as a conservation farm for nearly 20 years. Join them for a talk and short walk to meet traditional Hereford cattle and calves that are 100% grass fed, and learn about hedge planting and farming without chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Taste a pasture-for-life beef sausage. Coffee & cupcakes with donations to Lambourn RDA, information about Lambourn Environmental Group.

No booking required. No dogs please except guide dogs.

12.30pm Tour of Reedbed Water Filtration System and Ancient Woodland, Sheepdrove Organic Farm

Learn how Sheepdrove’s traditional reed bed wetland filters all the sewage on the farm and operates with no chemicals or machinery, relying entirely on gravity to create a flow of water through a series of different ecological habitats.

Free entry & parking. No booking required. Bring your own picnic. See here for directions. Please car share if possible.

3pm Introduction to Natural Burials, Sheepdrove Organic Farm

Learn about how a natural burial ground works and what benefits it offers your family and the environment.

Free entry & parking.No booking required.

Please park in the parking area at the Red Barn opposite Sheepdrove Natural Burial Wood on Sheepdrove Road. Please meet at the archway entrance to the Natural Burial Ground.

Address: Sheepdrove Natural Burial Wood, Red Barn, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, RG17 7UN
What3Words: chew.blissful.leaves

5 -6pm Celebration of green initiatives in the Lambourn Valley, Lambourn Church

Everyone is warmly invited to this closing event, especially those who have been involved in the weekend’s actvities.

There will be an illustrated talk by Dr Pat Watson from East Garston who has distilled climate facts and advice down to what applies to us here in the Lambourn Valley, a video screening of David Attenborough’s 7 minute address to COP26 and green financial information from Attivo Financial Planners.

Free entry. Please RSVP to ecoeastgarston@gmail.com. Seasonal nibbles and drinks including My Apple Juice elderflower cordial and locally pressed apple juice and Wessex Beer brewed at The Five Bells in Wickham.

And there’s more…

Wednesday 3 May

10am to 4pm Clothes Upcycling with Sandra,  Lorne Hill Farm, East Garston

Bring some old shirts and learn how to transform them into a pair of PJs! Duvet covers and dyed sheets are also great for all sorts of upcycling projects. See more details here.

Cost: £40 (includes a light lunch)
For more information or to book, please call Joanne on 01488 648736 or Sandra on 01635 522402.

Travel

The Number 4 Bus

The Number 4 bus runs from Monday to Saturday (but not Bank Holidays) from Newbury to Lambourn and stops in Great Shefford, East Garston, Eastbury and Lambourn.

Bustimes.org has the schedule for the next two weeks.

You can download the Newbury & District app on your phone. The best feature of the app is that you can track the bus on a map in real time so you know how long you have to wait at the busstop. The actual bus times on the app need double checking. You can contact the Newbury & District office on 01635 33855. For instance it says that bus will be running on Monday 1 May but unfortunately it won’t as it’s a Bank Holiday.

Unplanned changes (for example due to roadworks) are usually put on Twitter twitter.com/newburydistrict and Facebook facebook.com/newburyanddistrict, and it is hoped that this info will soon also show on the App, but this feature isn’t working at present. You can also check the busstop itself to see if there is any announcement of service changes.

Share a Lift

The Liftshare car sharing platform has been launched by West Berkshire Council as a pilot scheme for local residents in East Garston, Chaddleworth, Great Shefford and Hungerford.

The idea of liftsharing is reduce the number of car journeys and to save you money. So please consider using it if you can offer or need a lift to the Lambourn Valley for any of these events.

Sharing journeys using Liftshare is flexible and you only share with people who you choose to connect with – you remain in complete control.  Only residents with West Berkshire postcodes can sign up to the group so it’s very much a local initiative which will give residents the confidence to try it out.

Register for Liftshare here.

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