Sustainability Festival

Sustainability Festival

Over the last year the Parish Council has been engaging with the local community to work out what we can do locally to tackle the challenge of Climate Change.

One of the main things our residents said they wanted was a range of talks, demonstrations, study visits or workshop sessions on a broad range of topics associated with Climate Change.

So, we have organised a week-long Sustainability Festival between 3 and 10 May.

All the events are free to attend but for most we would like people to register beforehand so that we have a reasonable idea of the number of attendees.

Take a look at the range of events below and book your places via the Eventbrite website. Some of the activities have limited space, so book early to avoid disappointment.

What’s Happening When?

Wednesday 3 May

The festival kicks off at 7pm with a short speech from Sir Jonathon Porritt.

Jonathon PorrittJonathon is renowned as an environmentalist and sustainability campaigner through his writing, media appearances and trust work for more than 50 years.

He set up the Forum for the Future, he has been a Director of Friends of the Earth, he was the chair of the Ecology party (now the Green Party) and he was appointed by Tony Blair as the Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission. He’s currently the President of The Conservation Volunteers and an Ambassador of the Blue Marine Foundation.

Then at 7.15pm there will a talk from Energy efficiency experts Severn Wye who will outline practical, affordable steps to reduce your home energy bills

The speaker is likely to be Severn Wye’s CEO Sandy Hore-Ruthven MBE. As a founding member of the Bristol Mayor’s ‘One City’ Board, Sandy initiated its plans to reach Net Zero by 2030 and worked with businesses, charities, communities, and local authorities to tackle a range of environmental issues.

Both these events take place in the Cotswold Suite at the Benefact Group’s new, highly sustainable HQ building on the Gloucester Business Park, 2000 Pioneer Avenue, GL3 4AW.

Thursday 4 May

Composting for beginners – everything you need to know about the different ways of composting your leftovers and garden waste.

Maggi BrownThis talk starts at 7pm and will be led by Maggi Brown on behalf of the Gloucestershire Master Composters, a local voluntary organisation that promotes home composting. Many local residents told us they were keen to learn how to make compost to enrich the soil in their gardens.

Maggi has been involved in horticulture for nearly 40 years. She joined the advisory team at Ryton Organic Gardens (now re-named Garden Organic) in the 1990’s where she rose through the ranks to become the Head of Education and wrote the first organic gardening book specifically for schools. Shei has also been involved with the Chelsea Flower Show and has run numerous courses for the Royal Horticultural Society.

The talk takes place at the Coopers Edge Community Centre in Typhoon Way, GL3 4DY.

Friday 5 May

Solar panel systems – benefits, costs and challenges.

Peter BoaitIf you are thinking about installing solar panels this is the event for you. Dr Peter Boait, the chair of the Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-op, will explain how the technology works, the issues to think about and the costs (and energy savings) you should expect to achieve. The Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-op installs community-funded photo voltaic (solar panel) systems. As well as chairing the Co-op Peter is also a visiting Research Fellow of the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University and has been involved in renewable energy projects since 2002.

The talk starts at 6.30pm and takes place at Pineholt Village Hall, at the end of Bird Road, GL3 3SN

Saturday 6 May

There will be a free Plant Swap session at Pineholt Village Hall between 10:30 and midday.

If you have any spare plants or seedlings just bring them along and swap them with your neighbours.

Sunday 7 May

A wildlife talk and a self-guided family walk around Hucclecote Meadows will start at 3pm.

richard LawrenceThe City Council’s Senior Countryside Ranger, Richard Lawrence, will introduce this self-guided walk around this Site of Special Scientific Interest. Bring the whole family and discover the wildlife that’s right on Hucclecote’s doorstep. Meet at the entrance to the Meadows, off Lobleys Drive, GL4 5YG (on the Abbeymead side of the M5).

An organisation that inspires people to support and volunteer to help their local Wildlife Trusts will also be in attendance.

Richard and his team are responsible for the management of 240 hectares of nature reserve, including Hucclecote Meadows SSSI, and the Horsbere Brook Nature Reserve – both of which are in Hucclecote Parish.

Monday 8 May

Between 10am and noon join our parish-wide litter picking session organised by the Hucclecote Wombles.

On this day the Coronation Festival organisers are encouraging people to volunteer for their community. Meet at Pineholt Village Hall and wear good shoes (and ideally gardening gloves). We will supply litter picking tongs and bags.

Later in the day at 3pm discover if Heat pumps are they right for you. Visit two local installations, find out the challenges, the costs, and the potential payback. The event will take place on Chosen Hill – one installation is a Ground Source Heat Pump, the other is an Air Source heat Pump. Limited to 10 people – register in advance and details of the locations will be forwarded to you nearer the time.

Tuesday 9 May

How can Hucclecote residents reduce their transport costs and greenhouse emissions?

Local bike shop Slam 69 will be at Pineholt Village Hall from 6pm to help residents check/service their bikes. The Police’s Crime Prevention team will also be there to provide free bike security marking.

David DrewThen at 7pm former Shadow Environment spokesman and passionate green travel campaigner David Drew will explore solutions like lift sharing schemes, grants to encourage people to cycle to work and ‘No Car’ days. Bring the family, dig out your bikes from the shed and (weather permitting) there’ll be a community bike ride afterwards.

David is currently a county councillor, and he was formerly the MP for Stroud. He has a keen interest in transportation issues, particularly public transport, and is a committed cyclist. He is an active member of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Wednesday 10 May

A beginner’s guide to growing veg and soft fruit

jan broadwayA talk and Q&A session organised by the Hucclecote Horticultural Society at Pineholt Village Hall. The session will start at 7pm be led by Jan Broadway, the chair of the Society.

Jan has been growing fruit and vegetables since moving to Gloucester and buying her first house in 1985. The lawn of her current house has been covered by raised beds and she has had an allotment at Saintbridge since 2015. She describes herself as a pale green organic gardener. Jan is also interested in the history of gardening, on which she has given talks and published articles.


How to book

Anyone can attend any of the events during the Festival, though some of the venues are quite small, in which case places may be limited. Some events probably won’t be suited to very young people. To secure your place(s) please Click Here or press the button below. 

You will need to key in a few details – name and contact details – and the website should then generate a ticket which you can store on your phone, or print out. We will not use your details for any marketing activities. For some events – like the Wildlife Talk and Family Walk on May 7, and the Litter Picking session on 8 May you don’t really need to register – just pitch up at the venue at the appointed time.

Lots of local environmental organisations are involved in the various events, and we are grateful for their support and the information they are providing.