Cumbria Action for Sustainability

Events seem to be the theme this month... there's a free workshop you might benefit from; a garden-themed lecture for our AGM; and some fascinating sustainability events around Cumbria and in neighbouring Hexham... not to mention a general election on Thursday. Phew. Jaki
National garden & climate expert gives our AGM talk
Changes in our climate are affecting something very close to a lot of people's heart - their gardens and veg patches.

For our AGM guest lecture on Monday 3 July, a national expert will tell us how the changes are being felt in gardens, what gardeners can do to adapt, and how clever garden management can even help prevent damaging climate change.

We're really thrilled to welcome Dr Ross Cameron as our speaker , co-author of the Royal Horticultural Society report Gardening in a Changing Climate. The report featured widely in the media when it was published this spring. Ross is a s enior lecturer at the University of Sheffield, and his research centres on green infrastructure and climate change mitigation. (As an interesting aside, he's supervising PhD projects on using green walls and roofs to improve the thermal performance of buildings.)

We'll also hear from Cumbria-based expert Chris Braithwaite, from the National Trust, on how a changing climate is affecting gardens here. Chris is gardener in charge at the Trust's Acorn Bank property near Penrith.

With their in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience to draw on, it promises to be a fascinating evening for keen gardeners and growers, as well as anyone interested in climate change. 

We very much hope the talk will attract people who wouldn't normally come across our events. Please tell any gardeners and veg growers you know about the event. You can download the flyer below to send to them, or if you're feeling particularly heroic you could print out a copy and display it somewhere that gardeners in your area might see it.

If you'd like to attend o ur formal AGM meeting at 6pm, before the public talks, please book separately by emailing

For more details about the speakers and the event, and to book your place, click the booking button below.

* We're keen to know whether childcare issues are preventing anyone from attending our events. Please email to let us know.
Training in fuel poverty & flood vulnerability tool
If you work with communities in Cumbria, a free workshop coming up could be very useful to you. 

You'll learn how to use a new online tool called Climate Just, which shows you where in the county you'll find communities most vulnerable to fuel poverty, extreme weather and flooding. You can explore where they are, why they're vulnerable and what can be done to help.

Many organisations have been using the tool to plan local projects and create service/emergency plans. It’s particularly useful for anyone working for councils, housing associations, NHS, voluntary organisations, fire and rescue, and social care.
There are workshops in Carlisle and Kendal:

Carlisle: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
University of Cumbria

Kendal: Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This training is funded by the Big Lottery and delivered by CLASP and CAfS.

Urbed awarded research contract
We mentioned in the last newsletter that we were seeking a contractor to carry out research into the environmental cost of flood recovery, and we're delighted to have appointed Urbed.

They are an extremely professional and knowledgeable organisation with substantial experience of research, report writing and public events on the theme of refurbishment.

Urbed will coordinate an exploratory workshop on current practice in Cumbria next month, with further research into existing and best practice elsewhere. We're very much looking forward to hearing the outcomes, and you'll be able to learn about their findings at a public event, hopefully in September. The research is part of our Rebuilding Together project, funded by the Big Lottery.

* Our last newsletter also highlighted a new job vacancy with CAfS for a Low Carbon Communities Project Manager. The selection process is ongoing and we'll let you know the outcome next time.

CAfS calls for rejection of Trump's climate deal exit
President Donald Trump's announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate deal has attracted criticism from world leaders and a lot of comment in the media in recent days.

It's interesting to see that Trump's abandonment of the agreement has in fact led to renewed expressions of support for it among other nations. Could it be that having a negative force to actively pull against will galvanise global efforts? This weekend, the Indian prime minister has said that his country will go "above and beyond" the Paris deal.

Closer to home, we at CAfS call on all political parties to publicly reject this action by Donald Trump and to affirm that, if elected, they would negotiate for a stronger deal at COP22 - one that genuinely keeps global average temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.

Under the current international climate deal, even if all the signatory countries were to implement their non-binding promises, the result would still be catastrophic climate change. Trump’s withdrawal has the potential to be disastrous, but only if we allow it to be. We hope to see strong action from politicians, mass movements of people rejecting Trump’s actions and a re-consideration of the UK’s relationship with a US government that puts climate change impacts at the bottom of its priority list.
In brief...
Grants to use digital tech to enhance the environment
Individuals and teams of young people aged 17 to 24 can apply for grants of up to £10,000 to use digital technology to make a positive impact on the environment. The 'Environment Now' scheme is funded by O2 and the National Lottery, and is part of Our Bright Future', a programme that also offers mentoring, work experience and insight days with industry professionals. 
Freegle seeks a volunteer moderator
The Penrith & Eden Freegle group is looking for someone to help their small team with running the online group. It's an online role that can be done at home or on the move, and involves checking messages a few times a day on a rota, to make sure Freeglers' posts meet the guidelines. Contact Chris Cant for details: 01931 713240 or

How Low Can You Go?
Our tip this time is short, but possibly one of the most important actions we can all take. Whoever gets your vote on Thursday, make sure they know that climate change is an issue that matters to you. When it comes to how low we can all go in the coming years, the general election is an unmissable opportunity to put climate change high on the agenda. 
Repair Cafes - If you’ve got something that needs fixing, bring it along: 
Restoration site visit & workshops | St Oswald's Church, Grasmere
16 & 17 June, 9am-4.30pm
Hard-hat tour of refurbishment works, including cement mortar removal, mixing hot lime mortar and lime pointing. Talks and demonstrations.
  • Vivienne Westwood: Exploring and Challenging Ideas on Sustainable Leadership, Climate and Social Change Tue 20 June, 5.30-7pm
  • Paul Rose: The very wet side of sustainability: Changing the world - one dive at a time! | Tue 4 July, 5.30-7pm
Vertical Veg | Wed 20 June, 7pm |  Trinity Methodist Church, Hexham
Mark Ridsdill Smith talk on growing veg in tight outdoor spaces (new date)
Tue 4 July | Keswick St John Church | Led by author Pamela Mason
SusKes and the church jointly host a day of events exploring the problems with the way we eat now and what we could do to change it. There's a daytime workshop, an evening talk and a shared meal in between.

Know of a sustainability event? Tell us & we'll include it next time.
Donations match-fund boost for CAfS 
Just a few weeks to go until the deadline for matched donations to CAfS via LocalGiving. If you'd like to support our work, a donation now will go even further. Thank you to everyone who's donated so far!
Cumbria Action for Sustainability
01768 210276 | |
Company Number: 6492907 Registered Charity Number: 1123155