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Stonepillow charity, impact of local development on wildlife, and reusable cups

This coming week, I am looking forward to meeting a representative from UK Harvest and the Community Partnerships Team from West Sussex County Council to talk about how we can work together on a cooking workshop for those in need of basic cooking skills. UK Harvest have recently been established with an aim to re-distribute food that is still edible but is destined for landfill, to those in need. The target audience will be those that are disadvantaged and would benefit from this life skill. UK Harvest work from St Joseph’s in Hunston in conjunction with the homeless charity Stonepillow are located.

Today, I had discussions with Sarah Hughes, our much respected District Wildlife Officer, about her job in trying to protect wildlife and the environment in the ever increasing plots of developments. She is seeing a real increase in developers ripping out hedgerows and not abiding by environmental planning stipulations and is quite often a lone voice in environmental protection. It is possible that the land immediately north of Tuppenny Barn, currently arable fields, is being looked at for development. This would be quite devastating for our immediate wildlife corridor, not to mention the biodiversity of our site, something that has taken us 12 years to develop and nuture. They will soon be building around 190 houses North East of these fields, with access via the new development Parham Place onto the Main Road so we will be keeping a very close eye on any new possible planning applications for our immediate area.

Last week, I mentioned one of the two workshops we have for you this month. The second is on Saturday 27th Jan, creating a garden obelisk from chestnut and willow taught by the lovely Rebecca and Mark Ford of Two Circles Design. They are the co-ordinators of the Arundel Arts Trail as well as the annual Slindon pumpkin display. Come and enjoy a workshop to learn how to make an obelisk that is about 6′ high and can be used within your garden in many ways. More details can be found on our website and you will see an example of one of the obelisks. We also have one by the wildlife pond, one that I made at this workshop last year.

It is always good to hear about initiatives that aim to help the environment so as a coffee lover, I was pleased to hear that customers who bring reusable cups to Pret a Manger will be given a 50p discount on hot drinks after the company introduced the measure and said it was hoping to change people’s habits and reduce waste. The sandwich chain has been offering 25p discounts to customers using reusable cups since 2017, alongside Costa and Starbucks. Their CEO has stated that he hoped that doubling the discount from the current 25p, would make a difference, following other initiatives to reduce waste such as not using plastic cup stoppers in inner city Pret shops. Each year, the UK throws away an estimated 2.5bn coffee cups, almost 5,000 a minute. While these cups are recyclable, fewer than one in 400 of them are because of difficulties in separating their plastic and paper parts. A government report has also found that red tape in the waste industry often gets in the way of effective recycling. It comes amid rising concern about the problem of plastic waste in the oceans, harming and killing wildlife and entering the food chain, highlighted most recently in the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary series. It follows the introduction of a 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags, which is credited with driving down how many are used by 85%, and calls to bring in charges on items ranging from plastic drinks bottles to disposable coffee cups.

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