The news about global warming and the decline in insect and bird life is consistently depressing. There are things we can do, but it’s hard to act alone – you always seem to be fighting back the feeling of futility.
It’s also hard to put right the harm we’ve done to our ecology because you can’t just turn a switch. At St Anne’s Church Baslow, we’ve been working hard to create pollen rich, wildflower areas in our churchyard. Last year we let the grass grow.
In September we strimmed and raked it, scarified, mowed and sowed wildflower seeds. This year there is virtually nothing to show except a few yellow rattle plants. It will take belief and persistence to create conditions where life can be restored, but how do we cultivate that belief and persistence?
We’ve also been organising a Repair Café where volunteers use their skills to fix broken things and prevent them being thrown away and replaced. Their skill and dedication is inspiring, but it’s just the start. The critical and bigger question at the heart of the Repair Café is how we learn to live joyfully while consuming less. How do we join together to achieve that?
Switching from fossil fuels by investing in electric vehicles, solar panels and heat pumps involves complex judgements about cost and benefit, which are often counter-intuitive and requires detailed knowledge. How can we share practical experience and information to make it easier to get this right?
Baslow is an excellent place to address these questions. We are a rural community, intimately connected with the natural and agricultural landscapes. Our community contains people who have worked the land for generations, as well as people with professional and technical experience in engineering, project management, marketing and education.
We have examples of community-led organisations like the Hope Valley Climate Change Network who we can learn from. If we share our skills and experience then together we can ‘think global and act local’. This matters.
At the recent Parish Meeting we discussed the idea of developing a Baslow Environmental Group to explore these things. The notion received warm support and the next step will be to organise some public meetings. If you are interested and would like to be involved or updated please make contact with Graham Duncan, Associate Priest at St Anne’s Church: email@example.com