Cumbria Action for Sustainability
Welcome to our last newsletter of 2017!

It's been a mixed year for tackling climate change, hasn't it... We started out in January with the inauguration of President Trump in the US, and a subsequent shift in stance on climate change. In some ways, though, having something to push against has inspired other nations to do more. We saw some progress in Bonn this year at the UN climate talks, moving the agreements made in Paris in 2015 towards actions.

Meanwhile, in the wider sustainability arena, the issue of single-use plastic has been in the headlines as never before, with the new A Plastic Ocean film and the Blue Planet 2 series highlighting plastic pollution in the oceans. Perhaps we'll look back on 2017 as the turning point on tackling this global problem.

Here in Cumbria, 2017 heralded the official launch of the new hydro power scheme at Killington Reservoir, directly reducing the county's carbon footprint, and lots of progress made on the nearby Broad Raine hydro, too. A new Zero Waste Kendal group was born this year, adding to all the community activity on sustainability around the county.

Here at CAfS, 2017 was a busy year (what else is new!). To mention just a few things, we had the first full year of two major projects: Rebuilding Together and the Alston Moor Greenprint (more on those below). We also had a bumper Green Build Festival, passing on inspiration and know-how to hundreds of people, along with all our support for community energy and domestic energy.

So, looking back on it all, I'm concluding that the glass is half full on the sustainability front, and I look forward to a new year of making a difference - something we can all do in one way or another. Our best wishes to you all for the festive season and 2018, and thank you for your support for CAfS. Jaki
Free training in tool showing who's at risk of fuel poverty & extreme weather
If you couldn't make it to the free workshops on the new Climate Just tool during the summer, the good news is you'll have another chance in February.

This online tool can help you identify people who are most socially vulnerable to fuel poverty, extreme weather and flooding. You can explore where they are, why they are vulnerable, and what can be done to help.

It's particularly useful if you work for a local authority, housing association, NHS, health and social care providers, fire and rescue services, and the voluntary sector.

Organisations have been using it when developing service plans, emergency plans, needs assessments and local development plans. It can also be helpful for guiding building works and community engagement.

The Climate Just tool is based on extensive research from the University of Manchester and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It’s online and free to use by all at

The free training, run by CLASP, will show you how Climate Just could help you in your own work and how to use the tool. You'll also learn more about the research behind it.

The workshop is on Wednesday 7 February from 9.30am to 12.30pm at Lakes College, Workington. If it is oversubscribed, those working in the public sector, social or third sector will have priority.
Flood resilience work features in latest CAfS film
Rebuilding Together
Join Emma from CAfS for a few minutes, and she'll tell you about all the work CAfS has done in the past year to help make Cumbria more resilient to flooding.

It's all gone on during the first year of the Rebuilding Together project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
A project driven by love of Alston Moor
Alston Moor
In the last email, we looked back over the first year of the Alston Moor Greenprint, our three-year project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to map out a greener future for this special part of Cumbria.

In the poetic spirit of the festive season, we thought you might enjoy the Greenprint project manager Roe Baker's thoughts about the Moor, which were among those shared in the Alston Ark art installation.

I love Alston Moor for the people - the individuals and collectives, the independent thinkers, the doers, the makers, the creatives, the kindness.
I love the sense of home and belonging, being part of
I love that the birds fly beneath you
That you can see a storm coming
That the hares box
That when you get to the last 3 weeks of winter and you can’t take any more, when the daffodils are in bloom in Hexham while we are still in darkness and mud, that suddenly spring comes.
The curlews' straight path and the lapwings' acrobatics
Star-filled skies, full moons, leaping stoats, a wandering badger, the owls… night being as accessible as day.
In brief...
Grants for Carlisle area home owners
Just a reminder for home owners in Carlisle and district - there are grants available to put in new heating or repairs, energy-efficiency measures and work to rectify hazards. Safe and Warm grants can be up to £7,500 and you can apply if a member of your household has a health condition, is a carer, aged over 50 or on a low income. For more information visit, email or call 01228 817111.
Help us reach 100 on YouTube!
One of our New Year's Resolutions is to make more use of video in 2018, and you can help us! If you're a YouTube user, would you please subscribe to our channel? We need to reach the golden 100 subscribers to unlock some useful features, including having a user-friendly web address for our YouTube channel. Thank you very much indeed.

Climate news...
World leaders pledge to tackle ocean plastic
A resolution to tackle ocean plastic has been signed at the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya this month. Unfortunately the resolution doesn't include fixed targets or deadlines but has been welcomed as a "tipping point".
UK to lose its main route for plastic recycling
China, which takes in two-thirds of the UK's waste plastic, has announced it will restrict imports of foreign waste from January. While most of the media comment has been about the need to find another outlet for recycling our plastic waste, it must surely also be a driver to reduce the amount of it we generate in the first place.
How Low Can You Go?
Still got a few Christmas presents to sort? How about making something for a loved one instead of buying. Whether it's something you've cooked, baked or crafted, your gift could help tackle these sad facts shared by Do Nation:

1. 20% of gifts are left unwanted, unloved, or unused, costing us £2.4bn each year
2. 50,000 trees are felled each year for wrapping paper in the UK alone

Farmers' markets | Lots across Cumbria! Google for your nearest one.

Beach cleans by Cumbria Wildlife Trust | Various dates & locations in Dec & Jan

Solway beach clean-ups | 30 Dec, 10am-noon | Meet beside minor road to Crosscanonby village, signposted Mile Fortlet 21. More info from John Gorrill

PACT Next 10 Years | 13 Jan, 1pm | Penrith Action for Community Transition planning day
Know of a sustainability event?  Tell us  & we'll include it next time.
Cumbria Action for Sustainability
01768 210276 | |
Company Number: 6492907 Registered Charity Number: 1123155