Penny Post Eco Podcast

Fortnightly 30 minute Eco Podcast for West Berks & surrounding areas. Spotlighting local green initiatives and local views on global issues, and showcasing the brilliant work that so many people are doing, in their own words.

Kindly sponsored by Sheepdrove Organic Farm on the Lambourn Downs and Sustain Insurance Brokers in Hungerford. 

Presented by Penny Locke, the shows can be heard live on 4legsradio.org at 11am on the first and third Friday of the month.

Sign up here to follow the podcast and receive email with link to each new show after it airs. 

All Episodes

Friday 17 May 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

In this episode we tackle the big issue of carbon emissions. Judy Hindley, from Citizens Climate Lobby that promotes an effective climate policy around carbon pricing, explains why they are screening the optimistic climate film 2040 in Marlborough. And Pat Watson explains how we can reduce our carbon footprints to acheive the important tipping point of the population. 

Useful links:

Friday 3 May 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

In this episode – Susan Millington from Newbury Friends of the Earth explains all about their exciting new Nature Corridor in Newbury between two Lockdown Woods.

And Rosie Kindersley (from 13 min 30sec) brings us up to date with life at Sheepdrove Organic Farm, including arable wild flower and wild honey bee species protection projects, spring crop drilling and what to do if you see a sheep on its back in a field.

Useful links:

Friday 19 April 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

In this episode – Penny gets a tour of the wonderful 7.4 acre Cold Ash Wildlife Allotment Garden with Ivor McArdle and Trevor Howard – a hidden gem between Thatcham and Hermitage. Listen to full interview (27 mins) here.

This is exciting time of year for swift lovers, as these amazing birds make their way back here to the UK to breed. Local bird guru Ailsa Claybourn (from 16 mins) explains the threats to this iconic species and what we can do to help swifts.

Useful links:

Friday 5 April 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny talks to Rosie Street (00:40), Berkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy Manager, about the current consultation process on this important strategy to improve habitat for wildlife and reduce species decline – and why it’s so important for local residents to get involved.

Rachel Hammond (11:30) from edge in Newbury, experts in food growing and urban landscapes, explains how rain gardens are extremely beneficial in our current flooding conditions.

Lastly, Penny finds out from Jonathan Evans (15:00) at SustainIB insurance brokers in Hungerford about how the insurance industry can help promote sustainable business outcomes.

Useful links:

Friday 15 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny and Rosie discuss the Wildlife Trust campaign against neonics used exclusively by farmers that grow beet sugar for British Sugar, despite the harm they cause bees and all pollinators. Rosie updates us about hedge laying, preparing sheep for lambing, bee walks and soil condition up at Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Penny also discusses the importance of getting the lowest carbon heat to be the lowest cost heat with Heat Pump Federation Director Bean Beanland – plus the capacity of the national grid and the challenge of inspiring our current primary school students – both boys and girls – to become the future workforce of skilled technicians we will need to install the new technology required for low carbon heating in our homes.

Useful links:

Friday 1 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Keith Fryer from FORT Builders Merchants busts some myths about timber as a construction material and explains how it reduces the carbon footprint of building. Penny discusses the potential of community food growing in Newbury with Rachel Hammond from edge.

Useful links:

Friday 16 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins discusses the government’s current climate target performance, the capacity of the Climate Change Committee and the courts to enforce the Climate Change Act of 2008 and the temptation to compare the UK’s performance with bigger countries like China. Next week is UK Hydrogen week, so we talk to Lee Busby from Fuel Cell Systems about hydrogen’s contribution to the UK’s net zero targets. We also hear about the environmental benefits of forest gardens, an urban food production system outlined by Rachel Hammond from edge.

Friday 2 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Rosie reiterates the importance of Riverford’s Get Fair About Farming campaign • tips on sustainable weddings and how to lower the carbon footprint of any event • Penny joins in West Berkshire’s first Mass Unwrap at Thatcham Co-op with Eco Friends West Berkshire • the team from West Berkshire Countryside Society lays a hedge on the boundary of Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Friday 19 January 2024

— LISTEN HERE —

Winter woodland management on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, the Warm Shops campaign recently launched by Newbury Friends of the Earth, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition and eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskin’s perspective on the Climate Change Act of 2008…how well is our government meeting the climate targets?

Friday 15 December 2023

Over-wintering livestock on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition, eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins’ initial impression of COP28, how to help get Louise Harris’s climate song We Tried to Number 1, and Lambourn Environmental Group‘s tree and hedge planting progress. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 1 December 2023

As the countries of the world convene at COP28 to discuss the climate crisis this week, we invite Sir Brian Hoskins, an eminent climate scientist from Reading University, to summarise the COP process for us and Penny talks to the organisers of the recent COP28 vigil in Newbury. We also hear about a socially equitable levy on carbon consumption proposed by the Citizen Climate Lobby. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 17 November 2023

Rosie explains how they provide food for birds on Sheepdrove Organic farm over the winter and Deborah Philips joins Penny in the studio to update us on the new eco status of St James Church in Eastbury and the work she has been doing with Climate Emergency UK to help audit the carbon action of councils across the UK and what it tells us about the performance of West Berkshire Council. — LISTEN HERE

Saturday 4 November 2023

Henry Oliver explains how our North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is responding to the 30 by 30 biodiversity protection target. And Steve Masters (13:43) outlines an exciting new solar community energy scheme he is proposing for West Berkshire. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 20 October 2023

Rosie explains why sheep are so vital for Sheepdrove’s wildflower pastures and organic farming system, and updates on their hedgerows and ponds; AONB director Henry Oliver (13:50) outlines the importance of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s new Nature Recovery Plan; Rachel Hammond (22:00) announces new free places on her Farm Start market gardening courses at Sheepdrove this November. — LISTEN HPenn

Useful links:

Friday 5 April 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny talks to Rosie Street (00:40), Berkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy Manager, about the current consultation process on this important strategy to improve habitat for wildlife and reduce species decline – and why it’s so important for local residents to get involved.

Rachel Hammond (11:30) from edge in Newbury, experts in food growing and urban landscapes, explains how rain gardens are extremely beneficial in our current flooding conditions.

Lastly, Penny finds out from Jonathan Evans (15:00) at SustainIB insurance brokers in Hungerford about how the insurance industry can help promote sustainable business outcomes.

Useful links:

Friday 15 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny and Rosie discuss the Wildlife Trust campaign against neonics used exclusively by farmers that grow beet sugar for British Sugar, despite the harm they cause bees and all pollinators. Rosie updates us about hedge laying, preparing sheep for lambing, bee walks and soil condition up at Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Penny also discusses the importance of getting the lowest carbon heat to be the lowest cost heat with Heat Pump Federation Director Bean Beanland – plus the capacity of the national grid and the challenge of inspiring our current primary school students – both boys and girls – to become the future workforce of skilled technicians we will need to install the new technology required for low carbon heating in our homes.

Useful links:

Friday 1 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Keith Fryer from FORT Builders Merchants busts some myths about timber as a construction material and explains how it reduces the carbon footprint of building. Penny discusses the potential of community food growing in Newbury with Rachel Hammond from edge.

Useful links:

Friday 16 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins discusses the government’s current climate target performance, the capacity of the Climate Change Committee and the courts to enforce the Climate Change Act of 2008 and the temptation to compare the UK’s performance with bigger countries like China. Next week is UK Hydrogen week, so we talk to Lee Busby from Fuel Cell Systems about hydrogen’s contribution to the UK’s net zero targets. We also hear about the environmental benefits of forest gardens, an urban food production system outlined by Rachel Hammond from edge.

Friday 2 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Rosie reiterates the importance of Riverford’s Get Fair About Farming campaign • tips on sustainable weddings and how to lower the carbon footprint of any event • Penny joins in West Berkshire’s first Mass Unwrap at Thatcham Co-op with Eco Friends West Berkshire • the team from West Berkshire Countryside Society lays a hedge on the boundary of Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Friday 19 January 2024

— LISTEN HERE —

Winter woodland management on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, the Warm Shops campaign recently launched by Newbury Friends of the Earth, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition and eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskin’s perspective on the Climate Change Act of 2008…how well is our government meeting the climate targets?

Friday 15 December 2023

Over-wintering livestock on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition, eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins’ initial impression of COP28, how to help get Louise Harris’s climate song We Tried to Number 1, and Lambourn Environmental Group‘s tree and hedge planting progress. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 1 December 2023

As the countries of the world convene at COP28 to discuss the climate crisis this week, we invite Sir Brian Hoskins, an eminent climate scientist from Reading University, to summarise the COP process for us and Penny talks to the organisers of the recent COP28 vigil in Newbury. We also hear about a socially equitable levy on carbon consumption proposed by the Citizen Climate Lobby. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 17 November 2023

Rosie explains how they provide food for birds on Sheepdrove Organic farm over the winter and Deborah Philips joins Penny in the studio to update us on the new eco status of St James Church in Eastbury and the work she has been doing with Climate Emergency UK to help audit the carbon action of councils across the UK and what it tells us about the performance of West Berkshire Council. — LISTEN HERE

Saturday 4 November 2023

Henry Oliver explains how our North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is responding to the 30 by 30 biodiversity protection target. And Steve Masters (13:43) outlines an exciting new solar community energy scheme he is proposing for West Berkshire. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 20 October 2023

Rosie explains why sheep are so vital for Sheepdrove’s wildflower pastures and organic farming system, and updates on their hedgerows and ponds; AONB director Henry Oliver (13:50) outlines the importance of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s new Nature Recovery Plan; Rachel Hammond (22:00) announces new free places on her Farm Start market gardening courses at Sheepdrove this November. — LISTEN HPenn

Useful links:

Friday 5 April 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny talks to Rosie Street (00:40), Berkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy Manager, about the current consultation process on this important strategy to improve habitat for wildlife and reduce species decline – and why it’s so important for local residents to get involved.

Rachel Hammond (11:30) from edge in Newbury, experts in food growing and urban landscapes, explains how rain gardens are extremely beneficial in our current flooding conditions.

Lastly, Penny finds out from Jonathan Evans (15:00) at SustainIB insurance brokers in Hungerford about how the insurance industry can help promote sustainable business outcomes.

Useful links:

Friday 15 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Penny and Rosie discuss the Wildlife Trust campaign against neonics used exclusively by farmers that grow beet sugar for British Sugar, despite the harm they cause bees and all pollinators. Rosie updates us about hedge laying, preparing sheep for lambing, bee walks and soil condition up at Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Penny also discusses the importance of getting the lowest carbon heat to be the lowest cost heat with Heat Pump Federation Director Bean Beanland – plus the capacity of the national grid and the challenge of inspiring our current primary school students – both boys and girls – to become the future workforce of skilled technicians we will need to install the new technology required for low carbon heating in our homes.

Useful links:

Friday 1 March 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Keith Fryer from FORT Builders Merchants busts some myths about timber as a construction material and explains how it reduces the carbon footprint of building. Penny discusses the potential of community food growing in Newbury with Rachel Hammond from edge.

Useful links:

Friday 16 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins discusses the government’s current climate target performance, the capacity of the Climate Change Committee and the courts to enforce the Climate Change Act of 2008 and the temptation to compare the UK’s performance with bigger countries like China. Next week is UK Hydrogen week, so we talk to Lee Busby from Fuel Cell Systems about hydrogen’s contribution to the UK’s net zero targets. We also hear about the environmental benefits of forest gardens, an urban food production system outlined by Rachel Hammond from edge.

Friday 2 February 2024

—- LISTEN HERE —-

Rosie reiterates the importance of Riverford’s Get Fair About Farming campaign • tips on sustainable weddings and how to lower the carbon footprint of any event • Penny joins in West Berkshire’s first Mass Unwrap at Thatcham Co-op with Eco Friends West Berkshire • the team from West Berkshire Countryside Society lays a hedge on the boundary of Sheepdrove Organic Farm.

Friday 19 January 2024

— LISTEN HERE —

Winter woodland management on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, the Warm Shops campaign recently launched by Newbury Friends of the Earth, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition and eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskin’s perspective on the Climate Change Act of 2008…how well is our government meeting the climate targets?

Friday 15 December 2023

Over-wintering livestock on Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Riverford’s Get Fair about Farming petition, eminent climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins’ initial impression of COP28, how to help get Louise Harris’s climate song We Tried to Number 1, and Lambourn Environmental Group‘s tree and hedge planting progress. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 1 December 2023

As the countries of the world convene at COP28 to discuss the climate crisis this week, we invite Sir Brian Hoskins, an eminent climate scientist from Reading University, to summarise the COP process for us and Penny talks to the organisers of the recent COP28 vigil in Newbury. We also hear about a socially equitable levy on carbon consumption proposed by the Citizen Climate Lobby. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 17 November 2023

Rosie explains how they provide food for birds on Sheepdrove Organic farm over the winter and Deborah Philips joins Penny in the studio to update us on the new eco status of St James Church in Eastbury and the work she has been doing with Climate Emergency UK to help audit the carbon action of councils across the UK and what it tells us about the performance of West Berkshire Council. — LISTEN HERE

Saturday 4 November 2023

Henry Oliver explains how our North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is responding to the 30 by 30 biodiversity protection target. And Steve Masters (13:43) outlines an exciting new solar community energy scheme he is proposing for West Berkshire. — LISTEN HERE

Friday 20 October 2023

Rosie explains why sheep are so vital for Sheepdrove’s wildflower pastures and organic farming system, and updates on their hedgerows and ponds; AONB director Henry Oliver (13:50) outlines the importance of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s new Nature Recovery Plan; Rachel Hammond (22:00) announces new free places on her Farm Start market gardening courses at Sheepdrove this November. — LISTEN HPenn

September 2023

This month’s show features food growng and harvesting and trying to make the most of what we grow locally so we don’t have to transport and import so much food from further afield. 

Rosie explains what the start of the farming year is like, where their grain harvest goes, the benefits of companion cropping and a Farm Start market gardening course being run at the farm. And Penny catches up with some local producers at the monthly Hungerford Food and Artisan Market including Richard Paget from My Apple Juice in Hungerford, Simon Cooper from Great British Mead in Wantage, Jonathon Allcorne from Tudor Thatch Honey in Wickham, Wendy Maxwell (right) from Shalbourne Community Growers and also Luke Breedon from Slate Hill Charcoal in Baydon about ways his biochar can be used in the kitchen and garden. 

Plus exciting plans for the upcoming Green Weekend in Eastbury and East Garston on 13 – 15 October.

August 2023

This month Rosie is excited about Sheepdrove’s first ever brush harvest of wildflower seeds and stresses the importance of nature recovery programmes and the North Wessex Downs AONB annual forum at Sheepdrove in October. Penny gets an introduction to clean energy heat pumps for your home from John Downe from Hungerford Environmental Action Team (this is the gov.uk link to find a heat pump installer near you).

Penny also explores the benefits of native breeds of bee with Jonathan Allchorne (right) from Tudor Thatch Honey in Wickham, and finds out how to pick blackberries and hazelnuts and why to pick nettle seeds with Newbury forager Verity Murricane.

July 2023

Rosie chats to Penny about the latest news from the farm including their recent gold eco awards, bee walks, the importance of over-wintering stubble and a new food growing course in September.

Penny also visits Slate Hill Charcoal in Baydon to find out from Luke Breedon (right) how biochar captures carbon (from 25 mins), and swift guru Alisa Clayburn explains what we can be doing this month to help our declining swift population (from 40 mins).

Listen to the show here:

June 2023

Rosie Kindersley reports on the progress of the dew ponds and wildflower meadows at Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Penny gets a tour of Leverton Walled Gardens near Hungerford by Catherine Hill (right) who grows local, seasonal cut flowers. 

And forager Verity Murricane from The Rats Whiskers Natural Infusions in Newbury explains how to enjoy the wild food that grows, often unnoticed, along our footpaths, in our meadows and gardens.

Listen to the show here:

May 2023

Rosie Kindersley explains what is happening at Sheepdrove Farm including the creation of a new dew pond as another important body of water on the downs, new circular public walking routes around the farm, and how they maintain their many kilometres of verges as important wildlife habitat. Penny also talks to Plantlife botanist Matt Pitts about why our chalk downland produces such a diversity of plantlife and to environmental management expert Michelle Miles who has created the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, with the support of Sheepdrove, to help wedding suppliers become more sustainable and couples to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint of their weddings.

We will also be looking at a few common wild plants you can eat this month.

Can you identify the birdsong? It is a physically brown nondescript bird that likes to perch on the highest point of the hedgerow and sing. Like all farmland birds, they need a mix of open grassland and arable land. Thanks to Simon Elliott on xeno-canto for the recording.

Listen to the show here:

April 2023

In the very first Sheepdrove Eco Show, Penny talks to Rosie Kindersley about what is happening this month on the Sheepdrove farm. Penny also talks to Gill Perkins from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust about how we can help these wonderful pollinators, Ian Dunn from Plantlife about why their No Mow May scheme is so valuable in helping lock carbon in the soil of our gardens and Marcus Gilleard from the National Trust about how wildlife friendly agricultural methods can benefit farmers. Penny also reports directly from the Big One climate event at Westminster on Friday 21 April.

Listen to the show here:

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Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale