Monday, 18 March 2019

Plastics Campaign Update March 2019

Richard had done a talk and activities with Year 4 at Rivelin. Shaun has been in touch with Amy Parker originally from Bristol, but now living in the Peak District. She has lots of experience with beach clean-up activities and a link to the producer of Plastic Ocean so might be able to provide additional contacts. The Plastic Ocean film screening with Festival of Debate has a 2 hour slot (starting at 2:30 at Theatre Deli as part of the One Planet Hub Day) so there will no be time for more than a short discussion/Q&A.

See for more details of the Festival of Debate event which takes place on Saturday May 11.

MPs’ plastics campaigning group  – 30 MPs attended the meeting at Westminster to launch a campaign to support plastics legislation.

Air Pollution - Campaign Update March 2019

Monitoring kits/School Streets campaign -Richard has been working on this with Rachel Hand (Sheffield Climate Alliance) and Graham Turbull (Clean Air Parents’ Network). They are working with schools including Greystones who are keen to act on air pollution monitoring and Rivelin (who are interested in plastics as well as air pollution).  As well as consulting with head teachers on school strategies to reduce local air pollution by restricting traffic at the start and end of the school day. Richard has done both lessons with Year 5 students and a Clear Air school assembly and is planning to do further ones.

We discussed Extinction Rebellion's planned action for blocking the traffic at 8am on Tuesday outside Sheffield station.

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - March 2019

Sheffield Friends of the Earth supported the action outside HSBC near Chesterfield Market on Sat 9th March. In addition we provided leaflets on fracking to Chesterfield Climate Alliance and Chesterfield Against Fracking who were highlighting the HSBC financing of igas at Misson Springs in North Notts and HSBC's financing of coal-fuelled power stations in Vietnam and other South-east Asian countries This last point has been particularly pointed out by Christian Aid who have a letter you can send to HSBC's CEO.

June provided an update on the other anti-fracking news:

At Woodsetts, the council withdrew objections to the traffic plans and there is an appeal  from INEOS in progress.

At Misson Springs, they are already drilling on site; there is both a protection camp in need of donations and an ongoing petition.

We are supporting transport for a Peak District action planned for Mam Tor on 9 June.

At Harthill, hedges have been cut down and plastic ribbons on remaining hedges used to stop nesting birds. See the adverts below for the Frack Free Festival

Other News - March 2019

High Storrs Eco Expo - Saturday, 23 March 2019 from 11:00-18:00; Shaun’s model will be on the stall and Richard’s talk is at 12:00.

Hope for the Future is a church group addressing climate change with MPs through identifying common ground and then working to change attitudes; they are running a training session.

Groundswell” is a series of one day regional FoE training events; Richard attending the one in Manchester; signing up is on line via FoE website.

Clear Air Day will be 20th June.

Donation in memory of Kenneth Slack – We received a donation of £300 from the family of Kenneth Hadfield Slack collected for Friends of the Earth in his memory. His daughter kindly sent us the Order of Service from his funeral on 7th March.   It is evident from the tributes from his children and grandchildren how much he loved the outdoors and shared that passion with those around him. We are very grateful for the donation which will be used to support all our local campaigns to protect the environment that he loved.

Next Meeting and AGM will take place on Monday 15 April at 7.30pm.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Climate Change Campaign - Schools Strike

The school students' strike for the climate received good coverage in the Sheffield Star – about 500 children and positive coverage. We distributed some leaflets and displayed our banner. Here are the Student Climate Network’s four key demands:
  1. The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice. 
  2. The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
  3. The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public.  
  4. The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.
The next strike is due to take place on 15th March

Air Pollution Campaign Update - February 2019

We have various new materials from national FoE including fracking and air pollution posters and leaflets.

Monitoring kits – Graham has a strategy for collecting monitoring data across the city and event to make the kits is planned provisionally for 10-12am on 10th March at The Diamond (so long as parts arrive in time). Discussed how best to engage people across the city in making and installing kits.

School talk & School Streets campaign – Rachel Hand from SCA met with Richard and Graham to discuss the campaign last week. Graham did the petition last year for School Streets and took to the Council but as Jack Scott currently suspended, meeting with council is on hold but Graham will follow up with Cllr Jack Scott’s PA who had organised the meeting. He is also working with a number of schools interested in School Streets campaign and sharing information and support with monitoring kit, offering talks etc.

Sheffield FoE have “Clean Air “lessons and an assembly that we can deliver to any schools that  request it. Greystones Primary have taken up this offer in March.

Charging Points - Last week there was a City council announcement of 20 rapid charge points for Ultra-Low emission taxis “which will help more taxi drivers make the switch to low-pollution vehicles.”

Plastics Campaign Update - February 2019

Sheffield FoE will screen “A Plastic Ocean” film with Festival of Debate on 11th May at Theatre Deli as part of the festival’s Environment Day. 2:30-4:30 for film + talk

Friends of the Earth are launching their Plastic Pollution Bill. Ask your MP to support it.  2 places are available for the FoE event on 25thFeb at the House of Commons. Anyone interested in going can contact Richard through

Gove has announced national plans to standardise recycling.

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - February 2019

Sharon Wilson a Texan anti-fracking activist addressed a meeting in Doncaster hosted by Friends of the Earth. She emphasised how important it was to stop fracking from happening in England. Unfortunately, many are reaping the consequences of the industry with many cases of ill-health and local environment being ruined.

Anybody want to join us in helping out with a stall in Barlborough on Sunday 5 May? (Richard will take materials and gazebo).

Sarah Swords is organising a minibus for an event in the Peak District National Park in June. Sheffield FoE will help to fund this.

29 March - 1 April “A Frack Free Fraction Festival” is planned (sign up to the SAF newsletter to get uptodate info;  Woodsetts Against Fracking is looking for expertise to help support their campaign.

On 9 March Chesterfield Climate Alliance are having a demonstration outside HSBC Bank in Chesterfield from 9 am as they fund fracking (related to Misson Springs in North Notts near South Yorks border). Sheffield FoE will look to support this event.

Stalls, Meetings and Talks - February 2019

Stall booked and Richard is giving a talk at the High Storrs School Eco Expo on Saturday, 23 March 2019 from 11:00-18:00. This looks like an exciting event with lots of interesting talks and stalls. See if you can get along. Help with the stall would be welcome. See and for more information.

Next Meeting - Mon 18 March at 7.30pm at the Red Deer

Monday, 21 January 2019

Air Pollution Update - January 2019

Graham Turnbull from Clean Air Parents' Network is co-ordinating a “School Streets” petition to get changes in policy to support time limited road closures for schools with poor air quality locally. He has support from some councillors and from the University of Sheffield’s landscape department and raised awareness with schools, some of which are already interested. He is also working with university colleagues who are supporting his plans for pollution monitoring with plans for building up to 250 sensors. A further step would be to develop an app so individuals can download results from their own area.

Actions: Graham to contact Sheffield Climate Alliance to link up his campaign and FoE campaigning with their activities/networks. Potential to help organise workshops to build pollution monitors in February before a larger event planned for Saturday 23 March. Richard will also share information with national FoE through Simon Bowen.

Plastics Update - January 2019

Richard had a successful meeting with Louise Haigh to ask her to support development of the MPs’ plastics group to campaign for legislation. She is happy to also support by asking a parliamentary question on plastics.

Demand for plastic-free products/shopping growing – “Unwrapped” on Crookes Road getting 50-70 customers a day (100 at the weekend).

Screening of “Plastic Ocean” planned for 11 May as a Festival of Debate event. Action: Shaun to check plans with Drew who is organising and inviting Simon Bowen; Richard to invite Louise Haigh.

Black Plastic pots – Shaun has suggested taking plastics that cannot be recycled back to the retailer to ask them if they can re-use/recycle, at least to raise awareness.

MoveGB -  A national gym has branded water bottles and have asked for endorsement. Action – to share information with Drew and Beatrice and potentially request advice from national FoE.

Fracking Update - January 2018

Sheffield Against Fracking is organising a meeting with local speakers on health impacts and the KM8 victory at Theatre Deli on 22 January (with apple crumble).

AGM was held by Sheffield Against Fracking in January,

Future events:

  • National gathering in London,  2 February. Full details on Facebook event page; further information is also in the SAF newsletter. 
  • Monthly meeting 5 Feb 7:30-9pm Central URC Church, 60 Norfolk St, Sheffield, S1 2JB.

Other News - January 2019

Beatrice signed a Brexit letter in the Yorkshire Post explaining that a non deal was bad for the environment.

Groundswell – events planned for Spring 2019 in Birmingham (8 June), Bristol (15 June), Cambridge (29 June), Darlington (18 May), London (27 April) and Manchester (1 June). Plan is for a full day of “basecamp” activities including talks. Individuals can sign up through FoE link for any of the events.

Booking forms available for Sharrow Festival Stall - Sat 6th July; we have agreed to delay making bookings until we can plan which festivals we target when we have more dates and know who is likely to be available.

Events listings for our group – potential to use Opus/Now then magazine.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Air Pollution Update - December 2018

A while back a FOI request was turned down by Sheffield City Council. National FOE is pursuing this and just keeping us informed.

The Clean Air Zone may not include private cars if required levels can be met without this although FoE’s policy is to continue to advocate their inclusion.

Client Earth – there is a potential contact which Richard will pick up who is interested in getting involved and potentially leading on air pollution.

Plastics Campaign Update - December 2018

Richard is meeting Louise Haigh in January as part of national campaign to get MPs on side and identify a group that could champion legislation (8 already signed up).

A Plastic Ocean - film screening with Festival of Debate and the Light Cinema is being planned and Louise could potentially be invited.