Datchworth Climate Action Group

Stalls are usually the first Saturday of each month, held on Datchworth Turkey Farm.
Keep an eye on the Datchworth Community Facebook Page for updates.

News & Updates

Dec 2021
Thanks to everyone who came to support our festive local produce stall and help us make over £250 for the charity Four Paws. In January our Datchworth Climate Action stall will be raising money for the Woodland Trust, and rather than holding our stall on the first Saturday of the month, which is New Year’s Day, it will be on Saturday 8th January. Do come along to the Turkey Farm site, between 10am and noon to buy local veg, herbs, preserves, apple juice, bulbs in pots, and vegetable seeds. Alison will be joining us with her honey and bee products.
We would also like to give people the opportunity to donate any unwanted Christmas gifts for resale to fellow residents. Whatever the Covid restrictions as we are outdoors and can keep socially distanced, at the time of writing, we see no reason why our stall shouldn’t take place as usual on the 8th January.
We will have copies of our ‘top tips to reduce your carbon emissions’ available to help you with your green resolutions for the new year.
We wish you all Happy and Greener 2022!
Lynne Sampson and Lydia Somerville

March 2021
At our March stall we raised an amazing £575 for WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature. WWF does a huge range of work around the world, and so we have asked for our donation to be split between: sponsoring an elephant for a year; planting sea grass around the UK coast; paying for Tiger Rangers in Asia; buying land for the Masai in Kenya; and buying fire-fighting equipment for isolated communities in the Amazon.
Thank you all for your support once again.
To get in touch you can email lydiahsomerville@gmail.com or ring Lynne Sampson on 01438 816005.

About The Group

Several of us in Datchworth feel that frustratingly little real and significant action is being taken to address the enormous challenge of climate change, and yet we know we only have less than 10 years to significantly reduce our emissions and avoid unstoppable global heating. Covid 19 has brought us an opportunity to change things in a big way, and that opportunity is at risk of being lost. So, to get our voices heard, a few of us met on Datchworth Green at the end of August 2020 to find out if anyone else felt like we do. Apart from several car-horn toots of support from passing motorists, 24 adults and children gathered to share ideas as to how we could get things going in our village, including 2 of our Parish Councillors.

Here are a few of the ideas generated at this first event (in no particular order)
  • Organise community volunteering days (some local firms pay their staff to join in this sort of thing)
  • Encourage people to grow more of their own food perhaps through starting a Veg Club or holding workshops/’lessons’
  • A toy library/exchange to share
  • A library of things to share – we would need to find suitable and accessible storage space
  • Share surplus fruit and veg to encourage people to eat more local/build resilience (perhaps through a regular monthly “market” or swap shop or similar based around a gazebo in the first instance due to Covid restrictions indoors)
  • Start a car club (one person offered their car! to get this started)
  • Buy/hold/store a number of electric bikes to rent to villagers (might Parish Council help?)
  • Join in with Plastic Free July 2021 (you find 5 things to replace with alternative materials)
  • Create an art piece with litter collected in the village
  • Encourage bike use – help PC and school to come up with and implement ideas
  • Plant more trees (include landowners, farmers, and private gardens as well as public spaces
  • Help people use more home remedies in their First Aid kits
  • Hold a monthly Repair Shed where people could bring items for repair (bikes, as well) held outside due to Covid, maybe part of the monthly ‘market’ on the village green
  • Write articles in the parish magazine to raise awareness of the small things people can do, like replace one meal a week with a veggie option.
  • Encourage people to turn their engines off outside school and shop when waiting (..make and display our own signs?)
  • Install electric car charging facilities in the Village Hall, pub and sports car parks – Could PC support this?

We would love more village groups to join us, nominate a contact, or simply get involved. So far, our church contact is Jo Sampson, our PC contacts are Cllrs James Garrod and Charlie Groves, our Datchworth School PTA contact is Lexy Topping, our WI contact is Anne Charles.

Here are a couple of things you can do to start you on your low carbon journey
  • Join in with the regular village Litter Pick on the last Sunday of the month, and join us in the cafe on the green at noon afterwards
  • Write to Stephen McPartland, our MP and urge him to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which had its first reading in Parliament in August, and is due for its 2nd reading in March. All the info you need is here https://www.ceebill.uk/. The more local people he hears from the more likely he is to listen. Do encourage as many as possible to do this. 
  • Come along and visit our first initiative, the Local Produce Stall, on the first Saturday of every month at the Turkey Farm from 10am til noon. All money raised goes to green charities of one sort or another.

What can Datchworth do about climate change?
In an effort to reduce food miles we have set up a monthly Local Produce Stall to share fruit and vegetables grown in the village. Sharing all that is grown, produced, preserved or crafted from the soil right here around us, results in less transport, packaging and waste. The first stall in October was a great success. An impressive range of produce, grown without chemicals and mostly from within the parish, was swapped and exchanged for donations, and £133 was raised for the charity that runs the Tesoro Escondido Reserve in the Choco rainforest area of Equador.

Our second stall in November raised £204 for the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, who do such a grand job looking after our nature reserves and protecting valuable habitats closer to home. Our Local Produce Stall was attracting a growing number of enthusiastic supporters, many surprised at what we can conjure up locally to feed ourselves with, most of it from within the parish boundary itself, ….and most importantly, all free of plastic packaging and without the usual transportation emissions attached to its footprint. Did you realise, for example, that even in late autumn, Datchworth residents were able to swap pumpkins, kale, spinach, potatoes, leeks, jars of mincemeat, marmalade and apple chutney, quince paste or “membrillo”, dried lavender, eggs, chestnuts, oak tree saplings, border plants like geranium and verbena, parsley, chard, leeks and celery, pears, and cooking and eating apples? Lots of residents were now preserving, producing, growing or making things to bring along between 10am and noon, every first Saturday of the month.

Our Christmas stall in December included wreaths and festive decorations made from locally grown willow and evergreens. We now had a regular supply of Datchworth apple juice, and an urn, to warm ourselves with hot drinks. Our own local beekeeper, Alison Draper, joined in selling honey, candles and beeswax wraps, the low carbon alternative to clingfilm. Datchworth School PTA made cakes to raise money for school projects. We even had buskers providing locally made music! Money raised through our Local Produce Stall in December amounted to a whopping £350 for Mudlarks Café and Garden in Hertford, who provide outdoor gardening opportunities for those with learning difficulties.

January was a slimmed down affair, due to tighter Covid restrictions, but we still sent £127 off to Friends of the Earth. It was great to hear customer ideas on how we can develop this climate friendly community effort – a bike repair stall, maybe other repairs too, a recycle your clothing stall, top tips for how to reduce your carbon emissions, recipe ideas and much more. Every month we are ever more amazed at the resources people arrive with. Although fresh vegetables are less abundant in mid winter, we are sowing more seeds for the spring, and will be swapping seedlings for those wanting to increase their own supply of home grown food.

The Litter Group
It’s two years since we started our monthly litter pick around the edges of the parish. Apart from a rest in July and August, we have met regularly on the last Sunday of the month, helping to keep the hedgerows clear of rubbish. We are now a bunch of 12 residents, old and young. We choose our own starting point, and walk towards the crossroads to meet at noon in the Coffee Shop. The roadside verges coming into the village are the worst places for litter, as Ray continues to do a good job of keeping the village tidy. Sometimes we leave bags along the way to be picked up by car, and we separate recyclable materials from general rubbish, usually about half and half. We wear gloves and day glow tabards for safety. We are often encouraged or thanked by passers by, but sadly the amount to pick up never reduces. So do join us in 2021, and help us keep Datchworth litter free.