Minutes – April 2023



Notes of Meeting on Tuesday 18th April 2023

Swarland Club, Coast View, Swarland

  1. Present: Liz Clark, Carolyn Letts,Elaine Liddell, Barry Liddell, Jenny Lund, Kathryn Marsden, Jan Anderson, Greg Anderson, Lesley Long, Dave Francis.

2. Apologies/Welcome new members: Jenny was welcomed to the group as a new member. Apologies from Bryan and Suzanne Stanley; Rob and Val Payton; Louise Fletcher.

3. Actions from Previous meeting (21.03.23):
Bus Service – Neil Easton at Transport Manager for NCC confirmed at the end of March that the funding had finally arrived. He is now taking forward commissioning of the service as planned, but is not sure how long this will take. Carolyn will seek updates as we go on. Action: Carolyn Letts

Calendar of Events – this is now on the SNAC website and will be kept updated. Please send in information about upcoming events that may be of interest. People are also asked to keep encouraging followers on the SNAC Facebook page, for example through posts on Swarland Residents. Action: ALL

4. Updates from Project Leads:
Networking/Resources – Lesley has offered to develop and maintain a Resources page on the website. She will also put together a spreadsheet of useful contacts. (Note Lesley will be unable to attend several meetings over this summer). Action Lesley Long.

Footpaths – Jan continues to try to get access to Ordnance Survey Public Service mapping. SNAC received a request from a member regarding the path between Felton Lane End and the old A1 which had become overgrown, to clear it and to look into possible upgrading to make it more suitable for buggies/wheelchairs etc. The path has been recently mown however and vegetation cut back. People are deterred from walking from Swarland to use this path, which provides a link to Felton and the X15 bus route via a tunnel under the A1, because of busy traffic on Leamington Lane. It was suggested that creating a safe path could be something suitable for funding from Active Travel England (ATE) who indicate on their latest website update that they are interested in ‘creating footpaths in rural areas’, and also generally indicate a wish to improve safety for walkers and cyclists. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/200-million-to-improve-walking-and-cycling-routes-and-boost-local-economies Dave agreed to contact Tony Derbyshire at NCC to see whether they are applying for any funding from ATE for Northumberland. Dave is also planning to organise some group walks to familiarise people with local paths and to walk around the parish boundaries. Action: Dave Francis

Renewable Energy – Liz is setting up an event to enable people to find out more about renewable energy in homes. This will be on Saturday (morning) 24th June in Swarland Village Hall. Speakers will include Brian Watson, who has recently been appointed Domestic Carbon Reduction Officer for Community Action Northumberland, specifically in respect to off-gas-grid households. Brian is able to give impartial advice to householders. Three householders who have recent experience with installing renewable energy devices (e.g. solar panels, air source heat pumps) have also agreed to talk about their experiences (Barry/Elaine, Lesley, Alex Henderson). Volunteers will be needed to help with organisation on the day – Jan and Greg volunteered to do tea/coffee. It is proposed to invite anyone in the locality who wants to find out more, plus the climate action groups from Felton, Rothbury and Warkworth. SNAC to explore inviting NCC and local businesses who work with renewable energy to have stalls; it is also an opportunity to publicise SNAC. Talks will be followed by a Q&A panel and ways of taking this forward will be discussed at the end of the event. Action: Liz + volunteers.

Recycling ­–group to review and update information and decide where to go next with this. Action: Kathryn Marsden and Jan Anderson.

Carbon Footprint Survey – No further information available regarding this.

5. Feedback from Meetings and Events:
People, Planet, Pint – Informal ‘Sustainability meetup’ which meets in Newcastle at the Town Wall (pub) about once every two months. Part of a national network which also extends into Europe. Lesley attended last meeting: good meeting with like-minded people. Lesley also mentioned the ‘Magic Hat’ café, also in Newcastle, open Thursday to Sunday and serves dishes from food waste: see http://www.themagichatcafe.co.uk/cafe/

NCC Climate Action Meeting, Alnwick Garden – this consisted of a presentation from NCC, followed by group discussions around the topics of renewable energy, transport, and trees. The NCC Climate Action Plan is to be refreshed and will include methane emissions as well as carbon dioxide. It is hoped that slides and outcome of group discussions will be circulated; there was no feedback from the latter on the day.

Warkworth Green Matters Community Day – Good cross-section of people attending and a range of stalls presenting a variety of activities, plus coffee and nice cakes.

6. Networking: It has been suggested that we run a follow-up event to the Friends of the Earth (FoE) event held in Alnwick a few months back. Felton, Rothbury and Warkworth groups to be invited, plus any other groups within a fairly broad area (Lower Coquetdale). This would be an opportunity to learn from each other, to pursue collaborations, share resources and information and to have a louder voice. Possibly a half day event. Lesley has broached this with Alnwick FoE and received a positive response and is expecting to hear more from them shortly. Liz has had a contact from Aid Alliance who are expanding their range of activities to include climate issues. It was suggested that Aid Alliance could help with setting up some sort of umbrella structure to ensure liaison across the area. Proposed timing for the event will be Autumn this year. Action: Liz Clark

7. Carbon Literacy Training: Lesley has completed the training and produced a useful and comprehensive document summarising aims, rationale, process, and course content. It is thought that this will now be offered to parish councils. Jan to try to get clarification on this. Lesley’s document will be made available on the SNAC website. Action: Jan Anderson

8. Equipment:  A projector would be useful to have available and neither Swarland Village Hall or Jubilee Hall have one currently. It is unclear whether there is one at Swarland Club – Carolyn to contact Phil Eastlake to ask about this as one is used by the Swarland Moor Local Heritage Group that meets at the club. If none is available, SNAC to raise the possibility of buying a projector through Parish Council.  Action: Carolyn Letts.

9.SNAC Roles: These were agreed as follows:
Chair: Liz Clark
Vice Chair: Carolyn Letts
Secretary and Treasurer: Jan Anderson

10. Forthcoming Events:
Launch event, Climate Action Wansbeck, Saturday 22nd April.
Herbal Walk, Glantlees: organised by Lesley, 10.30-1.00 Sunday 7th May. Contact Lesley to book a place.
West Hazon Woods visit: Friday afternoon 19th May. About 12 places available, contact Liz if you would like to go (Liz is also providing tea and cake afterwards!).
Forestry England Forest Walk, Wednesday 31st May: Afternoon, places limited to 15, publicity via notices and Facebook. Carolyn requested volunteers to walk proposed route with her to see if it seems suitable. Kathryn and Liz volunteered. Action: Carolyn Letts, Liz Clark, Kathryn Marsden.
Forestry England, Open Meeting Storm Arwen Recovery plan, Saturday 3rd June, 10.00, SVH: Parish Council led event. Publicity via notices and Facebook. Need further discussion about opportunities for SNAC to be involved in documenting changes and subsequent regrowth. Suggested that Rob Simpson might be interested in photographing the changes. Swarland Moor Local Heritage Group should also be contacted.
Details of all events will be available on http://www.snac.online.

11. AOB:
CPRE Hedgerow survey – see https://www.cpre.org.uk/hedgelife-help-out/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=April23_CU_nonmembers&utm_content=Campaigns+Update+-+April+2023+(non+members)+06:50:04 1st-31st May. Link to be put on http://www.snac.online.
No Mow May – reminder to go on Swarland Residents Facebook.
Neighbourhood Plan – Dave indicated that the parish is going ahead with this and there should be opportunities to have climate issues considered as part of the plan.
Teeshirts! – Jan suggested SNAC tee-shirts. Enthusiastically agreed. Next steps to be agreed.

Date of Next Meeting: Tuesday 16th May, 7.00pm, Swarland Club.