Looking back on 2023 and fowards to 2024

Wishing all SinCH members a happy New Year!

New Year is always a good time to reflect on the past year. SinCH has continued to go from strength to strength and there have been many great local highlights.

There have also been lots of Positive News from the wider world, which so often gets drowned out by the legion of upsetting and depressing news stories.

Looking back on 2023

With invaluable help from our Events Group volunteers we have managed to keep up a full programme of events throughout 2023 . The “hot spot” topics at the Coffee Mornings have proved very popular – from Vintage Clothing to Chase Young Farmers talking about sustainable farming practices to Domestic Energy Assessment, and much more.

In February 2023 we started our monthly programme of Green Drinks Socials with a film Ancient Futures which explored a ‘saner’ way of life. On 5th February 2024 we will kick off the new programme with the second film in the series The Economics of Happinesswhich focusses on how economies and supply chains might be relocalised.

Talking of which, our best attended Green Drinks social was in March – A talk by Joy about her Joy of Flowers business which grows flowers locally and sustainably.

In April we launched SinCH’s new Carbon Footprint web page which deals with how best to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we consume, please check it out if you haven’t had chance and please let us have some feedback.

We have also had a great number of Green Walks in 2023 – highlights including the a special evening guided walk through Shugborough, tying in with No Mow May. In June we had a ranger-led evening walk through Mottey Meadows near Wheaton Aston.

We were also able to gain the knowledge of local experts on the August Bee Safari and the autumn walk at Brocton Coppice looking at the ancient trees, decay processes and some of the insects involved . Many thanks to Ron and Jon for being our guides.

Looking foward to 2024

Nature-based activities will have an even higher profile in 2024 with a greater emphasis on nature walks, including a Bat Walk and the return of the ever popular Fungi-Foray.

We will also be re-running Bee Safari and the Brocton Coppice event in 2024.

Our first Coffee Morning of the year (17th January) will include a hot spot on bird song, linked to the Big Garden Birdwatch. We are also planning a Make your own Nest Box event on Sat 17th February to celebrate National Nestbox Week.

Throughout 2023 SinCH volunteers were helping deliver the Parish Council’s Green Infrastructure Plan which is about supporting and enhancing areas of green space in order to Help Nature Thrive. A steering group has been working on an action plan and starting to engage with local residents within key Nature Corridors. Work is now starting on the ground and this will form an important part of SinCH’s activities in 2024.

Lots of other event ideas are being worked through so watch out for further news updates.

Bee Safari in August

Positive news

It was great to welcome two new committee members, Julie and Ellie, at the AGM in October and a great night was had by all listening to Andy Honman about his work connecting young people to nature.

We closed the year with an Xmas social evening which included demos from Liz and Anne-Marie on how to make upcycled table decorations and paper trees. At our final coffee morning we shared some Positive News stories amongts ourselves including:

  • Improvements in solar panel technology and battery storage.
  • Local Grants available for retrofitting homes.
  • Single use plastics are now banned from use at takeaway businesses.
  • Carbon literacy training for Staffordshire businesses now available at SBEN.
  • A new local Rethinking Food group is being formed in Stafford – more details to follow.
  • The Xmas Tree Festival at St Michael’s church raised £760.
  • We can make a difference by choosing where we bank and where we spend our money – some examples given are here and here.

Please check out more good 2023 news stories at Positive News.

SinCH is above all a network of like-minded people who want to live more sustainably, strengthen their community and have some fun along the way – thanks you for all of your support in 2023 and here’s to a positive 2024!

A closer connection to nature – overwintering hornets at Brocton Coppice

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