As we head towards the summer solstice (the longest day) on 21st June it feels like the world has been waking up around us again. I’ve been celebrating as colour and critters return to my walk to work and my afternoons at the allotment. Birds are busy and insects are buzzing. And whilst wild activity has picked up, it’s important to be mindful that the homes of these wonderful creatures are under more and more pressure.
We’re so fortunate here in Southmead to have green spaces, and at the Greenway Centre we embraced No Mow May. In fact, between March and the end of the summer we’ve stopped mowing the edge of the field all the way from the Badock’s Wood kissing gate to the apple trees by the car park.
No Mow May is a national campaign to encourage plants to grow and flower to give food and shelter to a variety of wildlife. I’ve taken a break from my desk each week to wander the grounds and see what’s popped up, counting different plant species – so far, we’ve got 21! Our plan is do this each year and as things flower and set seed, we hope the diversity of plants, flowers and insects will grow. We’ll be carrying on with Let It Bloom June! Small actions can make a big difference when it comes to supporting nature and taking action for the climate.
Speaking of which, I’m really pleased to let everyone know that Southmead Development Trust has been chosen to co-produce a Community Climate Action Plan with Southmead residents. Coordinated by Bristol Green Capital Partnership and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, The Community Climate Action Project is pioneering bold and fair community-led climate action.
Initially through a series of workshops and mentoring sessions we will learn how to put together this type of plan. We’ll be alongside five other Bristol-based community organisations: Knowle West Media Centre, Hillfields Community Garden, Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol Charities, and Bricks Bristol. They’ll also be producing a plan with their communities, and we are all part of the second group in Bristol to make plans, so all of ours will join those made last year in the first phase of the project.
I’m excited that community-led climate action is being championed in Bristol. It means that residents can share their priorities and ideas for what’s needed in their community as the people who know their communities best. Tackling the climate and ecological crisis shouldn’t make the challenges we already face worse. It can and should improve people’s quality of life. A climate action plan can help us to tackle other local priorities too.
Over summer and autumn I’ll be catching up with Southmead residents to discover what we find important and what ideas we all have for the future, so keep a look out for ways to be involved. My first stop will be at Southmead Festival where I’ll be working with our Community Development Manager Lucille on the Southmead Yearly Update. We’ll have a survey and activities so you can share your thoughts. Find us in Conversation Corner – I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve got to say! If you’d like to find out more about the project, then do get in touch with me.
tel: 0117 950 3335
More info on our website: HERE