Saturday, 20 December 2014

Trustees gather at CPRE Hampshire strategy day

The executive team from countryside campaigning charity, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Hampshire) gathered near Basingstoke recently, to review the year and chew the cud over the charity’s plans for the next five years.

Sir James Harris, the 7th Earl of Malmesbury, who is president of CPRE Hampshire, joined in the discussions and break-out sessions with trustees and office staff, Chairman, Dee Haas and director, Michael Rescorle.

All ideas were welcome during the friendly, yet focused session, kindly facilitated by Ginny Smith, director of Lead Coach Ltd. The morning’s packed agenda covered the role of trustees and branch staff, ambitious plans for digital communications, an updated website and communications to members. The afternoon was given over to discussion and sharing best practice and ideas about how district groups work around the county. The day ended with a presentation from the director about fundraising plans and the need for enthusiastic and committed volunteers, who are needed for fundraising, campaigning, to  help out on social occasions and to support the branch office.


Dee Haas, Chairman of CPRE Hampshire said: “The Planning environment has changed dramatically over the last two to three years and we now recognise that our focus needs to change. With current threats coming from the dysfunctional National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Central Government housing targets, we see the need to be proactive as well as reacting to damaging planning applications as they come in. The countryside of Hampshire needs us more than ever and it needs us in good shape.”

Dee Haas thanked Mr and Mrs Bedford for the kind use of their home and a delicious lunch, and presented them with a Lilac plant. Ginny Smith received a bottle of wine as a thank you for her support.

To join others at CPRE Hampshire in standing up for the Hampshire countryside, visit www.cprehampshire.org.uk or telephone 01962 841897 for a membership pack.

-ends -

Notes to editors


*Pictured, left to right:-

Paul Richards, Monxton, Andover, Treasurer of CPRE Hampshire

Ginny Smith, Lead Coach Ltd

Janet Dornan, CPRE Hampshire administrator

Peter Bedford, North Hampshire District Group chairman

Becky French, CPRE Hampshire branch development officer (on maternity leave)

Peter Lindon, Petersfield, South Downs and Central District Group

John Cooper, chairman, Test Valley District Group

Edward Dawson, Odiham, North-east Hampshire District Group

Christopher Napier, Petersfield, South Downs & Central Group

Caroline Dibden, Hambledon, South Downs & Central Group

Sir James Malmesbury, President, CPRE Hampshire

Dee Haas, Ellisfield, CPRE Hampshire chairman

Robert Jamieson, South Downs & Central Group

Nicola Revolta, branch development officer (maternity cover), CPRE Hampshire

Michael Rescorle, Director, CPRE Hampshire.


CPRE Hampshire is a small, local charity that stands up for your countryside. We work to influence how we plan our communities to make them better places to live and work, to ensure the countryside is protected for all to enjoy for now and future generations.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

What a Waste of Space! Your chance to help the national campaign with CPRE

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (Hampshire) is asking the media and people throughout the county to give support to an interactive, national campaign run by the CPRE to help protect the countryside.

“Waste of Space” aims to identify derelict or abandoned sites, such as brownfield land, that is ripe for regeneration and could be used before even more green space is covered in concrete. The campaign includes sites occupied by badly designed development that make inefficient use of the space they occupy. CPRE has also written to Councillors in cities, boroughs and districts around Hampshire, asking for support.

CPRE is researching how much brownfield land is actually available using the #Wasteofspace campaign and will publish the results of its research this winter.

This is your chance to help by nominating sites in your area that could be suitable for housing development by:

-       Sending an email to wasteofspace@cpre.org.uk
-       Tweeting @CPRE with the hashtag #Wasteofspace
-       Posting to Facebook #Wasteofspace.

All that is needed is an image of the site (as simple as a quick snap of your smartphone) and an address of the site including postcode and street address. 

CPRE has seen a significant shift by the Government, which now advocates the use of brownfield land as a sustainable resource close to existing infrastructure and transport links, but is calling for prioritisation of ‘brownfield first’ before green countryside is sacrificed for building.

Dee Haas, chairman of CPRE Hampshire said: “More housing is needed in Hampshire and we support the Government's policy that brownfield land should be used for new homes. However, more needs to be done to use suitable sites rather than forcing development into our precious green spaces.”

A brownfield site is defined as: ‘previously developed land, that is land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any fixed surface infrastructure.’

For further support and information please telephone CPRE Hampshire on 01962 841897 or visit www.cprehampshire.org.uk.  CPRE Hampshire is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Notes to editors
CPRE Hampshire is a small, local charity that stands up for your countryside. We work to influence how we plan our communities to make them better places to live and work, to ensure the countryside is protected for all to enjoy for now and future generations. Affiliated to national CPRE, which works to influence central Government policy, CPRE Hampshire is run by a dedicated part-time staff and volunteers who care about the countryside.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Marwell Zoo BioBlitz -13th September 2014 Results

An update from Owen Middleton to his previous article about a BioBlitz, or wildlife survey, at Marwell Zoo.


Conservation at Marwell Zoo is of top priority and considering it acts as a home to over 140 exotic species of mammal, from Pigmy Hippos to Amur Leopard, it is a great place to see how important international conservation is to promote global biodiversity. It is sometimes easy to forget about our smaller global inhabitants, the invertebrates. At Marwell, you can also see many exotic invertebrates from Hissing Cockroaches to a whole, intricate, colony of Leaf Cutter Ants. The display of these fascinating creatures is also vital for the promotion of our own local biodiversity from fungi to invertebrates to larger mammals.


A BioBlitz is an event that sees the integration of the public working alongside professional Ecologists in a day of capturing and identification our local wildlife in a specific area. On September 13th, Marwell Zoo hosted there first ever BioBlitz to discover the local biodiversity around different areas within the zoo. To conduct this event at a zoo was an extremely interesting idea as local biodiversity isn’t one that’s often considered at zoos whereas global biodiversity is most considered by the visiting public. This was a unique approach to the promotion of biodiversity on a local scale in comparison to the countless exotic animals already seen by the public.

After collecting data from a variety of habitats on several trips, including a freshwater pond, the Amphibian Arc and the Wildflower habitat, the data was taken by Marwell professionals and analysed over the coming weeks. It was eventually revealed that the hard efforts of the keen wildlife volunteers managed to identify and record 267 species from around the park. It can be seen from Figure 1 below that the range of species varied considerably, from the most diverse being flowering plants to the less common terrestrial mammals including field mice. The range of the animals collected and recorded looks to be extremely positive and shows great biodiversity within the park, alongside the diverse exotic animals displayed.

Figure 1 (Above): Local biodiversity at Marwell Zoo as collected on the 13th September 2014
(click for larger view)


Even though the results have been promising, it could prove in the future to be even greater. With improvements to the event, including more habitats searched, longer periods of searching at each area and searching at different times of the day, it could cause the identification of an even greater range of species that spans birds as well as plants, fungi and invertebrates. This being said, it is a strong data set to use and will be of great use to compare in future years to come to judge declines or (hopefully) increases in our local biodiversity.


Personally, I would recommend BioBlitz to anyone. It is a great way to get to know your local wildlife as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment towards a complete data set with actual results that will benefit the area of interest. Marwell Zoo is just one of many of these events that occur throughout the year and anybody with an interest in nature should aim to get involved.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Outstanding projects recognised at CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards

On Friday evening, 26th September 2014, teams from 19 shortlisted countryside projects gathered with more than 100 guests at the eighth annual CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Hampshire Countryside Awards ceremony at Itchen Abbas Village Hall, Winchester.
               
The prestigious awards, run by CPRE Hampshire in conjunction with Hampshire Fare and the Hampshire Enterprise Circle, celebrate the county’s diverse, living countryside. The principal supporters of the scheme, Steve’s Leaves, are pioneering farmers who grow and package tasty, nutritious baby leaves such as watercress, rocket and pea shoots. They employ nature friendly farming, where 10% of the land is dedicated to nature and the creation of habitats to encourage wildlife.

The Earl of Malmesbury, President of CPRE Hampshire introduced the ceremony and Steve Brine, MP for Winchester presented each of the four category winners with an engraved plaque.

In the Community and Voluntary category, supported by The Southern Co-operative, the winner was the Brook Meadow Conservation Group, Emsworth. Gemma Lacey, head of sustainability, explained what had impressed the judges most during their visit: “This award is in recognition of the group’s sustained work in energising their community, developing a working membership base and drawing in young people to support local conservation activity. Brook Meadow is very close to the town centre and is now a widely appreciated amenity giving people a respect and appreciation of ‘their’ countryside and offering a balance of conservation and recreation.”

Dee Haas CPRE Hants (L), Gemma Lacey of the Southern Co-operative with Brook Meadow team and Steve Brine MP





Anstey Junior School in Alton won the Young People category for its Community Growing Project. Dr Steve Rothwell of Steve’s Leaves, category sponsor said: “The judges were impressed with the commitment of all of the pupils in the school, which reflected their enthusiasm, understanding and the benefit they have gained from the project in learning how to grow vegetables and interacting with their neighbours. The children we met gave a superb presentation outlining the project, which was followed up with a knowledgeable guided tour and finished with a succinct summary. Throughout they were able to answer all of the questions put to them. The professionalism of the school was apparent throughout.”

The winner in the Rural Enterprise category, sponsored by Dutton Gregory Solicitors, was Blackwood Forest Holidays, a project established by Forest Holidays and the Forestry Commission in woodlands near Winchester. Matt Gilks, associate solicitor, said: “The project highlights the tension between the preservation and the enterprise imperatives which challenge all of us as we try to stand up for the countryside and preserve its inherent and irreplaceable beauty, but at the same time, endeavour to ensure there remain the conditions for sustainable economic development in the countryside for all those living and working in the locality as well as its visitors.”

Finally, the winning project in a new category introduced for 2014 - Green Buildings, supported by Radian, was awarded to the Avon Tyrrell Boat House in the New Forest. Jonathan Rickard, head of design and compliance, explained: “The boat house is a well-conceived, simple structure that uses locally sourced and natural materials, combined with a stunning green roof and well integrated renewable technology to power and provide hot water for this boat house, training and welfare facility forming part of the youth training centre at Avon Tyrrell. The building itself uses a robust and simple modern aesthetic appropriate for our times and a visual display provides users with a clear image of its impressive energy use and generation, further underpinning the building’s green credentials. It will surely inspire and motivate users and visitors alike.”

Steve Brine, MP said: “I am so lucky to live in the Hampshire countryside and pinch myself everyday that I represent this constituency. I know you are all proud to support CPRE Hampshire.”  

The following four projects were Highly Commended and received a signed certificate:
Community and VoluntaryRound About Café, Mansbridge, Southampton
Young People - The Woodland Walk, Kings Worthy Primary School
Rural Enterprise - Piecing Together the Hampshire Food Jigsaw, HC3S Hampshire County Council Catering Services
Green Buildings - Otterbourne Wildlife Lodge (The O.W.L.), Otterbourne Church of England Primary School

The Countryside Awards 2015 will be open for applications in the New Year.
- ends –
Notes to editors

1.         Photographs taken by Jason Allen Photography at the awards ceremony are available by emailing Keren Burney at Compege: kburney@compege.co.uk.
2.         For further information and photographs of all the winning and highly commended projects please contact CPRE Hampshire – info@cprehampshire.org.uk or 01962 841897.

3.         Steve’s Leaves is a brand of Vitacress Salads Ltd. Further information on Steve’s Leaves can be found on www.stevesleaves.co.uk. Make friends on Facebook and follow Steve’s Leaves @stevesleaves on Twitter.

4.         Useful websites:-


5.         CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Hampshire stands up for the Hampshire countryside. The charity’s office is based at St. Cross, Winchester. Its members strive to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the Hampshire countryside by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging biodiversity and the well-being of rural communities. Find the charity on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. www.cprehampshire.org.uk.

For media enquiries, please contact:                      
Keren Burney, Media and Communications              Tel:      01730 894123
Officer, CPRE Hampshire                                         Mobile: 07876 780065
                                                                                    Email:  kburney@compege.co.uk 

Michael Rescorle, Director,                                        Tel:      01962 841897
CPRE Hampshire                                                       Mobile: 07810 844112
                                                                                    Email:  director@cprehampshire.org.uk 
 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

BioBlitz at Marwell Wildlife! an article from Owen Middleton

Green Hampshire is delighted to host another article from a guest blogger;  Owen Middleton (left), 19, who is a Southampton University undergraduate Biologist with a keen interest in all aspects of Biological Sciences and a passion for ecology and conservation. As well as a wannabe acoustic guitarist and passionate martial artist, he also enjoys music reviews for the student union's The Edge Magazine.

Owen's article discusses a BioBlitz that took place in the grounds of Hampshire's wonderful Marwell Wildlife.  


Zoos are vital for promoting the vitality of biodiversity and conservation. But just how diverse is the local wildlife around our zoos?

 

 by Owen Middleton 

 

Marwell Wildlife is a large and fantastically diverse zoo located in Hampshire and acts as a home to over 140 exotic species within its vast 140-acre grounds. With its main focus being the promotion of biodiversity and actively supporting conservation efforts internationally, it is to be expected that the zoo would also consider the biodiversity of our own British wildlife.

The first trip: The first team of BioBlitzers re-emerge  
 from the wildflower habitat after identifying the first group of species.

On the 13th September 2014, the first ever Marwell Zoo BioBlitz was carried out to investigate exactly that. The fantastic day saw the integration of experienced entomologists, highly regarded ecologists as well as students and the public coming together in the hunt for flora and fauna to gain an accurate and reliable data set on the biodiversity of our natural wildlife using ecological surveys. The day’s main focus was on the identification of small (and normally unnoticed) invertebrates (down to species level) as well as the local flora. Nobody was disappointed with the range of critters we found.

The BioBlitz’ main efforts were contained to two key areas: the amphibian arc and the wildflower area, each hugely diverse and showed a range of similar as well as unique species. In the wildflower area, we saw a wide range of invertebrates from arachnids to centipedes and wasps (of which I admittedly had a foot on the nest of at one point, much to the wasps’ annoyance), as well as a range of fungi, including many species of rust fungi, and plants. The amphibian arc lived up to its name and we successfully located a common frog (Rana temporaria) as well countless species of arachnids, all identified by our on-site spider expert, and an elusive rodent which annoyingly escaped us before identification. The two sites bloomed in their own unique biodiversity and it was a fascinating insight into seeing where these different species thrived as well as how and why.

Rana temporaria: Ecologist John Poland managed
 to catch this frog in its home in the Amphibian Arc.

The freshwater pond survey was completed by Dr Naomi Ewald, a freshwater ecologist, and expert in the identification of macrofauna found in Britain’s freshwater habitats. This survey was conducted within the Education and Learning Centre and allowed members of the public to join in with the wonderful job of navigating a white tub full of freshwater plants in an attempt to identify perfectly camouflaged invertebrates. After close inspection, a healthy, large (and admittedly terrifying) Emperor dragonfly nymph (Anax imperator),  several other dragonfly nymph species, mayfly nymphs, river boatmen and other expected invertebrates were located, suggesting a healthy and successful artificial pond.

Emperor Dragonfly Nymph: Once you found the perfectly 
camouflaged emperor dragon fly nymph, 
you couldn’t help but be intimidated by its size.

The only downside, according to Naomi, was from the lack of beetles or freshwater snails seen in the pond. This could have possibly been due to the size of the pond causing ducks to avoid the area and therefore eggs that get attached to duck’s feet would not be transferred from a colonised freshwater habitat to the next. Either this, or there is something about the freshwater habitat that proves inhabitable for the freshwater snails. At present time, your guess is as good as mine.

After a hard day of bug capturing and plant identification, the teams returned to Marwell’s own Education and Learning Centre to begin cracking down on the large data set to determine the biodiversity of the park. Within the ELC, the public were able to get up close and personal with less-native species including the Giant Spiney Stick Insect (Eurycantha calcarata) and Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) as well as challenging themselves with some wildlife trivia exercises, including ‘Guess the Skull!’

Guess the Skull: Members of the public were 
encouraged to observe the skulls and 
identify the animal to which they belonged.

At the moment, the results of the BioBlitz are still being calculated and I will follow up this article with some results of the day when they are complete. I can safely say that it was a genuine pleasure to be a part of Marwell’s BioBlitz and to be able to witness how interested and eager all age ranges are in Britain’s wildlife is genuinely refreshing. The fact that these events stir interest in the welfare concerning how rich our local biodiversity is fundamental to the continued regulation of, not only international biodiversity and conservation of endangered species, but to the continued success of our own local wildlife.





Monday, 16 June 2014

Litter Bugs Me Competition and Weekend clean up at the Discovery Centre Gosport

A brilliant film by Malcolm Dent about the awards from the Litter Bugs Me campaign that took place recently in Gosport.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Solar Farms Planning Practice workshop

CPRE Hampshire is holding a Solar Farms Planning Practice Workshop on Thursday 12th June, at Easton Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Easton, Winchester SO21 1EN at 10.30am-12.30pm.

The workshop is intended to help people navigate through the planning process and falls into three parts:

(1) Background and policy (how we got to where we are),

(2) details of the planning application process and

(3) how to respond to an application.

The charge for members groups is £12.50, £15 for non-members. The price includes tea, coffee & biscuits. Spaces are limited to 25 participants.

If you would like to book a place, please email info@cprehampshire.org.uk or call Becky French on 01962 841897

-          End -


Notes to editors


CPRE Hampshire is a charity that stands up for our countryside.  We work to influence how we plan our communities to make them better places to live and work, to ensure the countryside is protected for all to enjoy for now and future generations.



For all media enquiries, please contact:

Keren Burney, Media & Communications Officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123 Mobile: 07876 780065

Email: kburney@compege.co.uk



For information on CPRE, please contact:

Michael Rescorle, Director, CPRE Hampshire

Tel: 01962 779185

Email:director@cprehampshire.org.uk

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Litter Bugs Me ! Campaign Update

About a dozen or more local schools and community groups have entered the Litter Bug art competition. After carrying out a litter pick in their own areas they have created Litter Bugs - these will be displayed along with photos at the Gosport Discovery Centre from 9th June after being judged by our Mayor at the Gosport Voluntary Action Volunteers Award Ceremony at the Town Hall on the 8th June. Businesses have kindly donated prizes for all the entrants.

Local businesses and others are undertaking clean ups of their own areas in support of the Big Clean Up Weekend.

On Saturday 7th June 11am we will be meeting at The Shack by the Hillhead end of Lee-on-the-Solent Promenade for the Sea themed Fancy Dress Beach Clean.

Lee Community Church have organised live music; stalls; bouncy castle; volleyball and a bbq from 12noon - 6pm by Olympia Amusements.

On Sunday 8th June 2pm we will be meeting at both Station Road and Newton C of E Primary School, Queens Road to clean up along Gosport's Old Railway Line.

Get involved and spread the word !

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Radian and CPRE Hampshire announce new award for green buildings


Have you been involved in a sustainable building? Are you currently working on a new green development? If so, we want to hear from you!  

The CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards scheme has announced a new category for 2014, ‘Green Buildings’, sponsored by Radian. They are inviting entries from local architects, developers, housing association and renewable energy companies who want to showcase their examples of good environmental practice in building design and construction.  

This growing, vibrant awards scheme is run by the Hampshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Hampshire), a charity that stands up for the Hampshire countryside. There are now four categories of entry:- Rural Enterprise, Youth, Community/Voluntary and Green Buildings.


Andrea Smith, Director of Development & New Business at Radian said: “Alongside developing housing for local people, we hold similar values to CPRE in our common goal of developing sustainable communities through community development as well as through bricks and mortar. Radian has a long standing connection with innovation and sustainability both in refurbished and new build properties, and so we are proud to be sponsors of this new award for ‘Green Buildings’.” 


The judges will be looking for buildings which maximise the use of eco-technologies, enhance the nature of rural settlements, projects that employ local craftsman, and structures that help people connect or reconnect with green spaces and/or the countryside. They are interested in larger developments which show creative use of brownfield land and/or regeneration of existing buildings and those that use density to maximise the use of available land.


This is your chance to showcase your building or development. Simply by entering you are rewarded for your efforts and receive some publicity for your company and future activities. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to an awards ceremony in September, with the opportunity for a free display stand and associated publicity.

The criteria are simple and the form is easy to fill out. It can be completed online via: http://www.cprehampshire.org.uk/awards/entryform2014.html. Buildings or projects must be within Hampshire. They must also have been completed within three years of the closing date of application (i.e. between August 2011 – August 2014).

Contact: 01962 841897 or email info@cprehampshire.org.uk for further information.

Notes to editors

1.         Full criteria for the Green Building award:

For business and organisations such as architects, developers, Parish Councils, Housing Associations, Renewable Energy companies.

Qualities we are seeking from Award winners could include:

·                Buildings which enhance the nature of rural settlements

·                Projects which show creative use of brownfield land and/or regeneration of existing buildings

·                Buildings that help people connect or reconnect with green spaces and/or the countryside

·                Conservation projects that respect the qualities of original fabric and design and /or local materials and distinctiveness

·                Projects that factor in density to maximise the use of available land

·                Buildings that maximise the use of eco-technologies to help reduce carbon footprint(s)

·                Employs local people or craftsman. 

2.         This is the first year that Radian has sponsored CPRE Hampshire. Radian is an award winning organisation, employing over 1000 staff, providing nearly 21,000 affordable homes in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, Sussex, and Wiltshire; and providing care and support to over 450 people across the South East, through Radian Support.

3.         The principal supporters of the scheme are Steve’s Leaves, a brand of Vitacress Salads Ltd. Steve’s Leaves are a bunch of pioneering farmers who grow tasty, nutritious baby leaves. We do something called nature friendly farming, where 10% of the land is dedicated to nature and the creation of habitats to encourage wildlife.  Further information can be found on www.stevesleaves.co.uk.   Make friends on facebook and follow Steve’s Leaves @stevesleaves on twitter.

4.         The awards were originally launched in 2007 by CPRE Hampshire, with the support of Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Ambassadors (now Hampshire Enterprise Circle).

5.         CPRE Hampshire is a small charity that stands up for your countryside. We work to influence how we plan our communities to make them better places to live and work, to ensure the countryside is protected for all to enjoy for now and future generations. Make friends on Facebook and follow us @CPRE_Hampshire on twitter.

6.         Affiliated to national CPRE, which works to influence central Government policy, CPRE Hampshire is run by a dedicated part-time staff and volunteers who care about the countryside.


For media enquiries, please contact:-

Keren Burney,

Media and Communications                           Tel:      01730 894123

officer, CPRE Hampshire.                             Mobile: 07876 780065

                                                                        Email: kburney@compege.co.uk 



Michael Rescorle, Director,                            Tel:      01962 841897

CPRE Hampshire                                           Mobile: 07753 303830

                                                                        Email:  director@cprehampshire.org.uk


Visit website at: http://www.cprehampshire.org.uk.



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The value of volunteering


A personal view from Green Hampshire’s Adam Manning in reply to a popular article by Tim Sykes on volunteering.

The beauty of nature has always been a wonderful source of inspiration to me. The enigmatic mystery of the night sky, the energizing vitality of a spring day or the sharp redness of a ladybird’s back. Lustrous greens, entwining tendrils, rough barks and the silver birch; the effulgent diversity of our natural world, its expansive vistas and rich minutiae. Our Earth is an endless fecundity of soaring exhilaration, soothing calmness and refreshment for the soul.

With the beauty of nature doing so much for me, I’ve always wanted to do something in return.  This became coupled with a growing awareness and concern about environmental challenges and the end result was a lot of motivation to get involved!

In my part of Southampton there is a pebble beach called Weston Shore.  When I was growing up, it was often the butt of some unkind jokes due to a perception of neglect and decay.  The shore presented itself as a good challenge to get stuck into and during the nineties, starting small, some friends and I began regular litter picks along the shore with the kind assistance of Southampton City Council.

This was a really satisfying activity and the litter picks slowly became more popular.  At the Council’s prompting, the Friends of Weston Shore group was formed. Litter is not only unsightly and diminishes the beauty of nature but is also a pressing environmental problem. Many of us have heard the news stories about litter being strewn across our oceans and ending up killing wildlife. A clean up is a great chance to get a grip on this challenge.

Taking part in a clear up on the shore gives a real sense of achievement.  To look back and see the area that you and your friends have been working on looking clean and resplendent is very rewarding.  Knowing that your work, the energy you have put in has lead to the place looking better is.. well, to me there are not many feelings as good as that!

Max from Green Hampshire with friend
There are other benefits as well of course.  This type of work is social and a good way to make new friends. You are also in the outdoors with fresh air and maybe (although it’s a bit of a risk in England) some sunshine.  I’ve often noticed that after a clean up, seagulls tend to congregate in the area your group has worked on; clearly they like it too.

Another group I’ve worked with is the Sholing Valley Study Centre.  Sholing Valleys includes Miller’s Pond which has now been designated as a Local Nature Reserve. It’s a lovely oasis of calm within Southampton and they hold regular conservation days.

Volunteers can enjoy taking part in the vital conservation work they carry out and learn new skills. There are also nature watches for younger volunteers and older participants can go on guided walks and take part in nature surveys.  Very kindly,they also provide a free lunch for their volunteers!
  
Green Hampshire at Sholing Valleys
The volunteers that run the centre and look after the area are friendly and welcoming and they were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for their endless energy and effort in looking after Miller’s Pond and its surrounding area. 

Being a volunteer has done so much for me – I hope it does for you too.  There are so many groups involved in this area and Green Hampshire’s goal is to spread the word about this to encourage volunteers to get stuck in and make a difference!

Miller's Pond - a Local Nature Reserve


Saturday, 5 April 2014

New category and new sponsors at launch of CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards 2014



The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Hampshire branch has launched its annual Countryside Awards.

This growing, vibrant awards scheme invites entries from projects that enhance the environment, such as recycling, conservation, access to the countryside and incorporating green credentials into business. Entry is via a simple, downloadable form at www.cprehampshire.org.uk.

The principal supporters of the scheme are Steve’s Leaves, a bunch of pioneering farmers who grow tasty, nutritious baby leaves. They do something called nature friendly farming, where 10% of the land is dedicated to nature and the creation of habitats to encourage wildlife.

Two new corporate sponsors have come on board in 2014. Radian supports a new category, ‘Green Buildings’, which will search for examples of good environmental practice in building design and construction. Andrea Smith, Director of Development & New Business at Radian said: “Alongside developing housing for local people, we hold similar values to CPRE in our common goal of developing sustainable communities through community development as well as through bricks and mortar. Radian has a long standing connection with innovation and sustainability both in refurbished and new build properties, and so we are proud to be sponsors of this new, ‘Green Buildings’.


Dee Haas of CPRE Hampshire, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Southampton, Ivan White, with staff from Radian and the Round About Cafe.
Dee Haas of CPRE Hampshire, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of 
Southampton, Ivan White, with staff from Radian and the Round About Cafe.

Dutton Gregory Solicitors is the new sponsor for the Rural Enterprise category which is designed to discover the best in private and public sector activities benefiting Hampshire’s rural environment. Matt Gilks of Dutton Gregory Solicitors said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Rural Enterprise category of the Award scheme this year. As a progressive law firm we work with our clients to consider the opportunities for promoting environmental enhancement and protection. I am excited Dutton Gregory can support a showcase of the most thriving and vibrant enterprises to benefit our beautiful Hampshire environment."

The Southern Cooperative continues to support the Community and Voluntary category, which recognises the valuable role that community and voluntary organisations play in protecting the environment.

The fourth award category is open to Youth entries, from schools, clubs, colleges and individuals.

The launch event was held at The Round About Cafe, a not-for-profit community cafe near Southampton, supported by Radian. Dee Haas, chairman of CPRE Hampshire said: “This is exactly the kind of rural enterprise we hope to discover, through the awards scheme. The cafe acts as a community hub, which trains volunteers and aims to establish a financially-sustainable business model. It provides healthy meals, freshly made on the premises. They are also developing a local food trail to support local businesses and to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Dee continued: “The Countryside Awards have become very successful. They are designed to celebrate the achievements of those working to maintain and enhance Hampshire’s environment. Year after year we see new and exciting projects from across the county and we would encourage anyone who is eligible to enter.”

To find out more about the categories and entry criteria, please visit www.cprehampshire.org.uk, or telephone 01962 841897. 
 
Notes to editors

1.         A copy of the guidance notes for the awards is available on request to CPRE.

2.         CPRE Hampshire is a small, local charity that stands up for your countryside. We work to influence how we plan our communities to make them better places to live and work, to ensure the countryside is protected for all to enjoy for now and future generations.

Affiliated to national CPRE, which works to influence central Government policy, CPRE Hampshire is run by a dedicated part-time staff and volunteers who care about the countryside.

3.         Steve’s Leaves is a brand of Vitacress Salads Ltd. Steve’s Leaves are a bunch of pioneering farmers who grow tasty, nutritious baby leaves. We do something called nature friendly farming, where 10% of the land is dedicated to nature and the creation of habitats to encourage wildlife.  Further information can be found on www.stevesleaves.co.uk.   Make friends on facebook and follow Steve’s Leaves @stevesleaves on twitter.

4.         The awards were originally launched in 2007 by CPRE Hampshire, with the support of Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Ambassadors (now Hampshire Enterprise Circle).

For all media enquiries, please contact:-

Keren Burney,
Media and Communications                           Tel:      01730 894123
officer, CPRE Hampshire.                             Mobile: 07876 780065
                                                                        Email: kburney@compege.co.uk 

Michael Rescorle, Director,                            Tel:      01962 841897
CPRE Hampshire                                           Mobile: 07753 303830
                                                                        Email:  director@cprehampshire.org.uk

Visit website at: http://www.cprehampshire.org.uk.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

EURO MP SUPPORTS LEE COMMUNITY FOR SEAFRONT CLEAN UP



On Saturday 5th April, Lee seafront will be the focus of a beach clean up, organised by Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Green Euro MP Keith Taylor.

Keith Taylor, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South East England said: “This event is really important in empowering the community to take action on litter and create an environment which encourages residents and visitors to deal with litter responsibly”.

“We are seeing the issue of discarded waste being addressed in the European Parliament, but activity such as the beach clean is equally as important in creating change. We know that litter on our beaches is both unsightly and dangerous to wildlife, so beach clean ups like this are tremendously important.”

April's event comes shortly after the European Parliament has called for action to slash plastic bag use by 80% across the EU by 2020. Single use plastic bags that are a symbol of today‟s "throw away society", is an item regularly washed into the sea via the shoreline and drains, releasing dangerous toxins and harming animals.

Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwatch Officer said: “Residents in Lee clearly care about their beach and coastline by cleaning and surveying litter on our beaches through our Beachwatch programme. Organised litter picks will help reduce the threat some of our best-loved marine wildlife are under from rubbish in our seas and on beaches which they can ingest or become entangled in. Litter on our beaches is also hazardous to people, so we all have a part to play in making sure rubbish stays off our beaches and out of our seas.”

The United Nations Environment Programme has stated that 80% of marine litter originates on land. Items such plastic bags, cigarette butts, and plastic bottles can find their way into the sea contributing to the millions of tons of litter that end up in the ocean worldwide each year.

Liz Allan of Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction said: “Litter is of great concern to local residents. Lee has a wonderful beach and we want it keep it nice for those who live here all year round and for visitors. We also want to ensure that our beach is not contributing to the waste that ends up in the ocean. We hope people will be able to give a couple of hours to come and join us.”

Keith will address Litteraction supporters at 11am before the beach clean begins, until 12.30pm.

NOTES

Keith Taylor MEP and Litteraction will be meeting outside Olympia Amusements (centre of the Promenade), 5 Marine Parade East, Lee-on-the-Solent, PO13 9LB at 11am. 

For more information about Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction events visit: www.litteraction.org.uk/lee-on-the-solent-litteraction 

On Monday 10 March, the EU Environment Committee backed a report by the European Commission that would require each government to take some form of legislative action to curb free handouts of plastic bags.



Office of the Green MEPs, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH phone: 0207250 8415 e-mail: keithtaylor@greenmeps.org.uk website: www.keithtaylormep.org.uk twitter: @GreenKeithMEP  
KEITH TAYLOR
Green Party
for the South East of England