Cumbria Action for Sustainability
Brace yourself for a fantastic array of events and projects going on around Cumbria and the wider North West. Waste reduction seems to be a strong theme this time, with a new repair cafe and upcycling opportunities. There's also an update on CAfS' new fortnightly TV show (sort of!), and lots more. Read on! Jaki
Welcome on board to our #ReadyForRain film-maker
You might remember the article in a previous newsletter about recruiting a film-maker, to follow a house renovation in Appleby. Well, we've got an update to share with you...

First, here's a quick summary for our recent subscribers... We heard about an 1800s house in Appleby that's being completely renovated so that it's warm, damp free and resilient to any future flooding. The owners and construction team have very kindly agreed to let us film the works they'll be doing, so that we can share lots of know-how about upgrading traditionally-built homes like this one.

So many people here in Cumbria live in older, solid-wall properties and it can be a real challenge to heat them and keep them free of damp. That's why it's a dream come true for us to have the chance to show you the materials and building methods that work really well with these types of homes - and how to help them cope better with extreme weather like flooding and wind-driven rain.

We are able to bring in a professional film-maker to make fortnightly video diaries as the build goes along, thanks to funding from Historic England (alongside their support for the Appleby Heritage Action Zone) and the Big Lottery Fund (as part of our Rebuilding Together flood resilience project). We're excited to let you know that we've appointed Paul Johnson of Explainer HQ in Kendal.

Paul's fortnightly vlogs will get going once the building works start, which might even be next month (July). They'll be published on the CAfS YouTube channel, so subscribe now to be first to see them.

Paul's also making a series of how-to videos and a few short films looking back over the build at points along the way.

We'll keep you updated when the building works and videos get under way and we'll introduce the other people involved in the next newsletter. We're using #ReadyForRain on social media, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for other updates, too.

Who doesn't love a good property programme - it's really exciting to finally have our own!
Cumbria's newest Repair Cafe opens next weekend
Alston Moor is the latest part of the county to benefit from a repair cafe, with the first one next Saturday, 7 July.

These social events are popping up across the UK, with local volunteers sharing their skills to fix everyday goods for people in their communities.

Volunteers at the Alston cafe will be able to look at electricals, textiles, electronics, IT and software, as well as plumbing and mechanical goods, so bring along your items that need a free fix! Or just come for a chat over coffee and a cake. Drop in any time from 10am to 1pm.

CAfS is getting the new cafe up and running on behalf of Alston Moor Partnership, thanks to funding from Cumbria County Council and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation as part of the Alston Moor Greenprint.

A big thank you in advance to everyone who's come forward to help, and to Samuel Kings School for hosting this first event and opening up for us on a Saturday.

Future repair cafes will be held at different venues across Alston Moor, including Nenthead and Garrigill.

For details on more repair cafes around Cumbria, see the Events section below. If you know of others, let us know!
SLDC invites public views on climate change options
South Lakeland District Council wants to hear local people's ideas on how the community can all work together in the ongoing fight against climate change.

The council is holding a series of public meetings to explore new ways of tackling climate change.

Councillor Dyan Jones, portfolio holder for environment, said: “South Lakeland has already had its fair share of extreme weather and climate change is predicted to bring more storms and more flooding. By working with communities, businesses and local groups we are committed to finding ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“The big question is what can we do? So, if you have any good ideas or suggestions for how we can influence change, please come along to these meetings and have your say.”

  • Fri 6 July, Marchesi Centre, Windermere, 2-4pm
  • Tue 17 July, Coronation Hall, Ulverston, 7-9pm
  • Thu 26 July, Kendal Town Hall, 7-9pm 
Community energy celebrated during fortnight
It's Community Energy Fortnight so let's celebrate the impact of community energy here in the UK with some fascinating facts, shared by Regen:

  • There are 228 community energy organisations in England and Wales
  • They have 168 MW of electricity generation capacity
  • 33.5 MW of new capacity was added in 2017
  • They save 71,000 tCO2e
  • There has been a four-fold increase at the UK level and a seven-fold increase in England and Wales since 2014
  • The increase in total UK renewable electricity generation over the same period was two-fold
  • The new EU Renewables Directive has a strengthened binding target of 32% renewable energy by 2030 and strong definitions for ‘renewable energy communities’ and ‘self-consumption’

Involved in community energy? Get nominating!
Sustainability news...
Housing: New consultation phase for St Cuthbert's
The results of earlier consultation on the St Cuthbert's Garden Village development south of Carlisle have been published, including feedback on the scope of the sustainability appraisal.

Carlisle City Council has today opened further consultation on the 'Concept Proposals and Vision' report. The deadline to share your views is 10 August.

Details on the previous and current consultations are at, along with dates of drop-in events in July and August.
Waste: Sedbergh working towards Zero Waste town
A campaign has begun in Sedbergh to reduce single-use plastic as well as other waste sent to landfill, and is working with local residents and businesses towards making Sedbergh a Zero Waste town. Residents are now enjoying milk delivered in glass bottles, various businesses have agreed to offer free water bottle refills, a pop-up Repair Cafe is lined up for October (run by Simply Repair South Lakes) as well as a future screening of A Plastic Ocean. If you're local to Sedbergh and would like to help, email
Plastic: Booths tackling single-use plastics
We'd just like to share some good news reported in the Zero Waste Kendal newsletter. They've met with a representative from Booths Supermarket's head office, who outlined some major changes being rolled out to reduce single-use plastic.

Highlights include:
  • Phasing out all 10p plastic carrier bags. The 'bags for life' will still be available and will be made from 90% recycled plastic (as opposed to 30%)
  • Replacing plastic bags for loose fruit and veg with home-compostable starch bags, and selling reusable net bags
  • Promoting loose produce by offering discounts in some cases
  • The free hot drink offer for Booths card holders will only be available to those with a reusable cup or sitting in at the cafe. Bamboo cups are available to buy at a discounted rate for card holders.
  • Plastic in own-brand products will gradually be replaced with compostable material where possible

Well done to Booths!
Waste: Repair workshop to open upcycled goods shop
Simply Repair South Lakes plans to sell upcycled and vintage goods at their new shop above the Big Onion in Staveley Mill Yard.

The profits will go towards their free pop-up repair cafes and other events across the South Lakes.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for opening hours, which will vary according to volunteer availability. If you'd like to do a volunteer shift in the shop, please message them on Facebook.
How Low Can You Go?
Continuing our theme of holidays, here are a few simple tips for reducing waste while you travel:

* Use your own water bottle instead of buying bottled water (get the Refill app on your phone to find shops and other places that will give you free refills around the UK)

* If you're travelling to areas where tap water isn't drinkable, a LifeSaver bottle could be a good investment
Learn about the Divest Parliament movement and how you can help

Beautiful Recycling workshop | 14 Aug | Eden Arts, Penrith
Myriad Studio workshop with artist Helen Walsh to make art out of rubbish

Farmers' markets

  • Carlisle - Fri 6 Jul, 9.30am-4pm (normally first Sat of each month) Don't forget to bring your own containers for the Goodness and Grain plastic-free stall!
  • Brampton - Sat 30 Jun (last Sat of each month)
  • Kirkoswald Farmers' Market and Craft Fair - Sat 21 Jul, 10am-2pm (third Sat of each month), Kirkoswald Church Institute Hall

Repair cafes Bring along items that need fixed and volunteers will do their best to help. You might even learn a few skills along the way.

Beach/river cleans:

Further afield, but worth knowing about:

NW Transition Annual Gathering | 30 Jun, 10.30am-5pm | Northwich Methodist Outreach Centre

Part of the Electricity North West series of 'Community Connects' workshops

Routes to Retrofit | 12 Jul | 5.30-9pm | URBED, Manchester
Learn how to navigate the construction industry, make the most out of your budget, be a discerning customer and a good client. Cost: £99-£170. Ask about bursaries

Cafe Scientifique Talk Series, Newcastle University:

One Million Climate Jobs event - part of the People, Pits & Politics festival | 12 & 13 Jul | Durham

Introduction to Permaculture Design | Sat 11 & Sun 12 Aug | 9.30am-4.30pm | Dilston Physic Garden, Tyne Valley
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