Monday, 18 June 2018

Plastics Campaign Update - June 2018

FoE have been developing their own plastics campaign and produced sign up/petition sheets and stickers, posters, flyers etc.  We discussed their stall suggestions and could run a competition for ideas to reduce plastic waste as well as collecting contact details for future campaigning on July stalls. ACTION: Shaun to order campaign materials to be sent to Richard for 7th July and confirm the stickers are plastic free.

Beach Clean
A beach clean is being organised by The Deep under the Humber Bridge in Hull on 22 September. If enough people are interested then we could organise to travel by train or maybe car sharing. ACTION: Shaun to ask for further information about arrangements and equipment being provided. Please let us know if you are interested in going.

Film Screening
There is an opportunity to show the film “Plastic Ocean”. ACTION: Shaun to check availability/licensing with national FoE

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - June 2018

Some of the main fracking issues discussed at the meeting were:

  • Since the decision to allow exploration at Harthill, there has been a new application at Woodsetts.  
  • There is an event for Marsh Lane planned which includes activities for children and campaign awareness raising rather than a demonstration. Meeting at Fox & Hounds pub from 2-5 on Saturday 23 June. 
  • We discussed strategy and the waste water contamination issue.
  • FoE is joining up with 360 Degrees for potential joint action (potential week of action to target MPs in late July)
  • Richard has done a Radio Sheffield interview on fracking and activism.  
  • FFSY are holing a Regional Strategy meeting on 30 June. See Frack Free South Yorkshire website.

Other News - June 2018

History of Activism. We shared information about Beatrice’s video project and Shaun passed on suggestions for what we could do to celebrate our successes - e.g. Big Ask Campaign and solar panels.

BaseCamp. Richard gave some feedback on the main messages. Plenty on all major campaigning issues: fracking, air pollution, bees, plastics etc. Links between social justice and environmental justice were emphasised (and the rich have a much bigger carbon footprint than the poor); need to give strong messages e.g.  awareness we have “a climate emergency”

The Sharrow Festival  - focus on Fracking and Plastics. We still need people to sign up for 7th July this year -

Stannington Carnival is on the 14th July. We still need people to sign up here

Grange Landfill. We had an email request which we aren't able to help with. It was passed on to Simon at the Leeds office to see if he is able to help.

Next Meeting:  Mon 16 July at 7.30pm; Chair – Richard; Notes – Liddy.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Fracking Update - May 2018

June provided an update on the local council response to the proposed changes in planning regulations to make it much easier to get planning permission for fracking – locally there is significant disquiet. The new Lord Mayor is also a Green councillor and has taken an active interest in local campaigns and has visited Tinker Lane. The newly elected Mayor for the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis also needs to be lobbied to ensure he is aware it is a local priority although there is still uncertainty about his tenure at the moment. Yorkshire Post has published an article on the expert opinion on the need for buffer zones whilst the national government has not made any decisions about buffer zones.

Several events in May including one at Misson Springs (highlighting threat to owls) and event at Clumber Park this weekend. Harthill is still awaiting a decision post-enquiry.

Museums Sheffield – Richard reported on a radio interview he has been invited to give on his contribution to the exhibition so there will be an opportunity to raise anti-fracking

June is planning to start a newsletter to share information about all the anti-fracking events which we can share via FoE email list and our Facebook page.

Richard has met with the local Labour Party chair and identified some appropriate GMB contacts to try and mobilise Labour activism against fracking

Events coming up in June include
  • 9 June - Anti-Fracking stall at Peace in the Park
  • 19 June - Marsh Lane enquiry starts and the Eckington group is organising a peaceful protest at 9am (Chesterfield Town Hall)
  • 23 June – Day of action at the Fox & Hounds – more details to follow.
  • Share June’s newsletter when available 
  • Check the FoE petition can be accessed from the local group website. 
  • As previous agreed Sheffield FoE will support the Misson Springs Protection Camp campaign where we can.

Plastics Campaign - May 2018

Bert gave a report back from the plastics meeting which discussed the idea for a local campaign with a specific aim/message. Charlotte is planning to start by talking to café owners about sourcing non-plastic items to replace single use plastic. The impact could be evaluated and successful local business could be given an award for reduced plastic use. Need to consider council involvement.

  • Sheffield Friends of the Earth are financially contributing to the Plastics Free Project start up and will assist with future fund-raising efforts.
  • We could also support some fundraising/awareness raising activities.

Air pollution - May 2018

Shaun had responded to the Green Journeys press release. As a result of this Hallam FM contacted us and Beatrice gave an interview for the main news bulletin which went out at drive time.

Richard shared the latest council ideas for air pollution and transport -

Events and Stalls - May 2018

BaseCamp is from 1-3 June.
If you are not free for the weekend, you can go for a day.

We are planning to have both anti-fracking and Plastics campaigning materials on the stalls.

1. The Sharrow Festival is on 7th July this year. Set up is from 10am and we ask for any vehicles to be off site by 12pm, midday, when the public comes along, the stage on the top field is programmed until 6pm and the bottom field until 8pm. They will not allow vehicle access to the site once the festival has started. Richard and Alan are co-ordinating

Sign up here

2. Stannington Carnival is on the 14th July.  We need people from about 10:30 to set up (for official start at 11:30) and until 5pm (no vehicles allowed on site between 11 and 5). Please select one or more time slots and try to make sure we have at least 2 people in each slot.

Sign up here

Monday, 16 April 2018

AGM - Annual General Meeting

Coordinator's Report
At the 2017-2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM), Shaun highlighted our activities and successes over the past year. See below for the report.

Election of Officers
The election of officers for 2018-2019 are:
  • Coordinator – Shaun re-elected.
  • Website and Facebook - Shaun re-elected.
  • Treasurer – Liddy re-elected.
  • Richard was elected as Local Group Chair.
  • National FoE had asked who was managing the Twitter account and Miriam offered to take on social media activity until a more local lead could be identified.  
Liddy presented the accounts. If you would like a copy then please get in touch. see the contacts page.

Campaign priorities for 2018-2019
Air pollution has been less a priority with less steer from FoE nationally but there will be a national Day of Action later in the year we could support with a “one-off” event.

Plastics campaigning could be done in collaboration with Plastics Free Project which has 1000+ members and in developing a positive and focused campaign. Next steps would include supporting businesses to reduce plastics use and Charlotte’s group have many ideas for specifically targeting local cafes to help them to reduce their use of plastic e.g. straws or takeaway containers. There is for the local group potential to support strategy development and look for whether FoE nationally will have useful resources.

2017 - 2018 Yearly Review
April 2017 - April 2018 has been a busy year for the group. Here is a list of the highlights from the year. 

  • John stepped down as the coordinator and Shaun took on the role. Shaun continued with the roles of updating the website and facebook.
  • Liddy agreed to continue as our treasurer.
Air Pollution
  • Had articles published in The Star (front page) and the Yorkshire Post.
  • Contacted by Sky News for an interview.
  • Pollution monitoring with the University of Sheffield.
  • Contacted MPs and councillors about air pollution.
  • Organised the Festival of Debate Air pollution: The Silent Killer Debate.
  • Took part in the Midland Mainline electrification stunt.

  • Organised an anti-fracking rally in city centre (October).
  • Worked with national Friends of the Earth to put on the “Robin Hood vs The Frackers” street theatre.
  • Worked with other local and regional anti-fracking groups.
  • Anti-fracking articles were published in The Star.
  • Organised a Skip Fossil Fuel stunt outside Weston Park Museum.
  • Looked into the issues with treating fracking water at the Ecclesfield water treatment plan.
  • Organised an anti-fracking benefit Burns Night which raised nearly £1,000.
  • Had a networking lunch with Jessica Ernst who has been responsible for a long running legal campaign in Canada.
  • Organised two training workshops regarding legal issues at fracking protests.
  • Richard gave a presentation on fracking to Fulwood Labour Party.

  • Took part in a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival in the Winter Gardens.
Other Campaigns
  • Worked with Museums Sheffield for a history of activism project.
  • Took part in Zero Carbon Yorkshire – CAT.
  • Ran a stall at the Peace and Craft Fair.
  • Attended Base Camp Conference.
  • Advertised free films on-line.
  • Organised a stall at the Light Cinema on the Moor
  • Held our AGM.
  • Beatrice - talked to scouts about environmental issues.
  • Tamara attended the Sheffield Renewables AGM.
  • Air pollution and fracking articles in the local media.
  • Media training.
  • Watched the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power".
  • Christmas meal and social.
Other Things
  • Created an on-line shop selling eco-friendly clothes.
  • Updated Facebook and our website.
  • Respond to letters and requests from the public.
  • Group development work.
2018 - 2019
Hopefully the new year of campaigning will see many more people getting involved and we’ll achieve many more success stories. Our success is 100% a result of the volunteers giving up a bit of their time to make a difference.

Anti-Fracking Campaign - April 2018 Update

Robin Hood event – this generated good media coverage and some useful conversations despite relatively low numbers at some of the street theatre.

Richard gave an update on the Ecclesfield water treatment inquiry.

Other activities include:

  • Meeting at start of inquiry on 24 April Riverside House, Main St, Rotherham at 9am; 
  • The Marsh Lane Public Enquiry will be 19-29 June and a “peaceful show of strength” planned on first day at Market Hall, Assembly Rooms, Soresby St, Chesterfield, S40 1AR; 
  • Regional Anti-Fracking Strategy meeting of anti-fracking groups at Weslyn Centre in Maltby on 12 May

Other News - April 2018

Green City Strategy
The strategy adopted by Council now online. See the link here. On first reading, seems fairly conservative and there may be missed opportunities. It is also difficult to read on-line so we will try and get some paper copies from Council.

This is on 1-3 June this year and members can book through national FoE website – Focus this year is around  hat is needed to avert temperatures rising to the “1.5 degrees” threshold.

The Sharrow Festival takes place on 7 July – volunteers are needed to set up and man the stall from 10:30am to 6pm. Please sign up up to one or more time slots here.

We are also running a stall at the Stannington Carnival on Saturday 14 July. Again, if you can help out from 10.30 to 5pm then please sign up to one or more time slots here

Request for speaker
The Life-Style Movement are holding their annual Conference at the Bamford Quaker Community from Friday 21st September to Sunday 23rd and have asked for someone from Sheffield FoE to speak at the Conference on the theme 'Making our Consumption more Sustainable' – Charlotte has agreed to speak..

Friday, 30 March 2018

Robin Hood vs The Frackers - Save Sherwood Forest

Countryside around Sheffield is at risk from chemicals giant INEOS who even want to carry out fracking surveys inside ancient Sherwood Forest, home to the legend of Robin Hood. If Sherwood is not safe from fracking, nowhere is safe.

Friends of the Earth, working alongside local communities and actors portraying Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws, put on a series of family-friendly events in Sheffield from 19 - 24 March to tell people more about the threats to our countryside from fracking. Beside street theatre there were also kids' activities, music, speeches and performances. 

Robin Hood and his merry band protecting Sherwood Forest from Fracking. Picture: Shaun Rumbelow

We were expecting Saturday to be the busiest day so many local campaign groups ran stalls to distribute information leaflets and get post cards signed opposing fracking. If you haven't yet signed the petition then you can do so here

The Sheffield Friends of the Earth stall handing out information and collecting
signatures for the Save Sherwood Forest petition. Picture: Shaun Rumbelow

The week of events finished with a stunning lantern lit giant puppet show where Robin Hood defeated the frackers and saved Sherwood Forest.

The giant puppet show - Robin Hood taking on the frackers.  Picture: Shaun Rumbelow
Evening street theatre. Picture: Shaun Rumbelow
The week of events were widely publicised in the local media. The article/video from The Star is here. The video from Sheffield Live is here. The Shef News article is here.

Monday, 19 March 2018

March 2018 General Meeting

Most of the March meeting was dedicated to planning the "Robin Hood vs The Frackers" event. Other fracking events were covered and you'll hear more about these in the coming weeks.

Sheffield Friends of the Earth has shares in Sheffield Renewables so Tamara went to their AGM to represent our group. Tamara gave positive feedback about Sheffield Renewables and explained their future plans for solar power in Sheffield.

Base Camp takes place from 1-3 June. To find out more and book tickets see link here

We are booking a stall at Sharrow Festival on Saturday 7th July. Please get in touch if you can help out for an hour or two (contact

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Robin Hood Sheffield Lantern Show and Street Theatre

Countryside around Sheffield is at risk from chemicals giant INEOS who even want to carry out fracking surveys inside ancient Sherwood Forest, home to the legend of Robin Hood. If Sherwood is not safe from fracking, nowhere is safe.

Friends of the Earth, working alongside local communities and actors portraying Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws, are putting on family-friendly events in Sheffield to tell people more about the threats to our countryside from fracking – it’s a great show!

Join us on Saturday 24th March 12-4pm in the Peace Gardens for street fair with Robin Hood v Fracking street theatre, kids' activities, music, speeches and performance. Culminating in a stunning lantern lit giant puppet show 7-8pm

Come and bring friends and family, and encourage kids to dress up! If you can’t make it, please spread the word.

Join us on Saturday to say “No to fracking in Sherwood Forest, no to fracking anywhere”. !!

If you happen to be near the University of Sheffield Students' Union on Friday then look out for the Robin Hood troupe highlighting the dangers of fracking. Starts around 12.30 until mid afternoon.

Don't forget that there is a workshop at Victoria Hall Methodist Church from 6pm on Friday for those who want to join in and make a big lantern for Saturday's main event. Come anytime before 8pm if you just want to make your own.

12-4 pm in the Peace Gardens for street fair with Robin Hood v Fracking street theatre, kids' activities, music, speeches and performance. Help is required running stalls during this time. Just turn up.

The week of Robin Hood vs The Frackers events come to an end with the stunning lantern lit giant puppet show 7-8 pm

For more details see links below:

Monday, 19 February 2018

Anti-Fracking Training

Anti-Fracking training - "Know your Rights" on Saturday 3rd March from 10.00 am to 2.00pm at The Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby, Rotherham S66 8JD

Green and Black Cross will be running a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop which aims to give anti-fracking campaigners the knowledge to combat repressive police tactics commonly used against protesters.

Topics covered:
  1. Our Key Messages: The most important thing you can take with you on a protest.
  2. Police Tactics and Private Security: Who are these police liaison teams and what is their role
  3. Stop and Search: Understand the limits of what the police can search for and learn how to resist information gathering techniques used by officers.
  4. What happens when I’m arrested?: Your first arrest is always going to be difficult experience. We take you through the process and your rights in custody, to prepare you for the experience should it arise.
  5. Laws commonly used against protesters: We’ll put you in the shoes of a police officer on the hunt to make some arrests.
There are 30 free places which are open to anti-fracking campaigners. Please contact Richard Souter by email with the 4 key pieces of information specified below:
  1. Your name.
  2. Contact phone number for last minute updates/changes.
  3. The anti-fracking group you belong to.
  4. The name of the course: "Know your Rights".
Refreshments will be available but participants should bring their own lunch.

Anti-Fracking training “Legal Observer” on Saturday 10th March training from 10.00 am to 5.00pm at St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RQ

Green and Black Cross will be running a “Legal Observers” workshop which is an essential part of the support provided at protests. Whether handing out key advice on bust cards, or finding witnesses for arrests, legal observers help to ensure that people protesting against fracking don’t face the legal system alone.

Topics covered:
  1. Police tactics
  2. Stop & Search law & procedure
  3. Arrestee support
  4. Police ranks & command structure
  5. How to provide good witnesses and nail inappropriate policing
  6. How to get more involved with GBC
There are 30 free places which are open to anti-fracking campaigners. Please contact Richard Souter by email with the 4 key pieces of information specified below:
  1. Your name.
  2. Contact phone number for last minute updates/changes.
  3. The anti-fracking group you belong to.
  4. The name of the course: "Legal Observers".
Refreshments will be available but participants should bring their own lunch.

Air Pollution Update February 2018

Shaun mentioned that the future Friends of the Earth campaign is likely to focus on idling cars but we are awaiting strategy from Friends of the Earth.

Richard shared materials from Healthy Air Leeds campaign.

The big solutions to tackle air pollution in Sheffield at the moment are:
£1.9m will be invested to retrofit 117 buses across the Sheffield network with emission reduction technology. Once upgraded, the buses will produce less NOx emissions per kilometre than many types of modern car. The retrofit will reduce NOx emissions of buses to Euro VI standard, complying with standards set out in the council’s Clean Air Strategy. Upgrade work will be prioritised on the bus routes that travel through the worst pollution corridors – particularly First’s routes 51, 52a, 75/76, 81/82, 95 and 97/98, plus the Stagecoach routes 7 and 25. These buses travel around 7.8 million kilometres each year (4.8m miles) and so this prioritisation will significantly improve air quality across the city. For more details see:

Hydrogen Vans
Amey has two hydrogen powered vans at its depot at Olive Grove. It is gearing up to run another 15 electric vehicles to replace the current diesel vehicles. Hydrogen for the vehicles will be provided by ITM Power from their hydrogen station based at Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield – one of only a handful of hydrogen refueling stations outside of London. The hydrogen used is produced on site using renewable energy from a wind turbine. For more details see

Ofo Bikes
The Ofo bikes have been a huge success in Sheffield and hundrens more bikes are due soon. For more details see