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Gloucestershire Business News

Hucclecote goes green with new sustainability festival

Hucclecote is holding the county's first week-long Festival of Sustainability next week with a focus on all things sustainable and green. The festival will be formally launched on Wednesday 3 May by Sir Jonathan Porritt, one of the UK's most respected environmental campaigners, and concludes on Wednesday 8 May.

The launch will take place at Benefact House, the Gloucester Business Park headquarters of the Benefact Group, one of the event's key sponsors. The recently completed HQ is one of the most sustainable buildings in Gloucestershire.

Organised by the local parish council, and with support from several local businesses and voluntary organisations, the festival includes a range of talks, walks, workshops, study visits and demonstrations to help people work out what they can do to address the challenge of climate change. All the events are free to attend.

The topics covered include the pros and cons of solar panels and heat pumps, tips on growing your own vegetables and composting, guidance on how to save hundreds of pounds a year on home energy bills and a session on how to reduce your travel costs (and your carbon footprint).

There will also be a litter-picking volunteering event on Monday 8 May.

Festival speakers also include former Stroud MP and Shadow Environment spokesman David Drew, Dr Peter Boait, the chair of the Gloucestershire Community Energy Co-op, and Sandy Hore-Ruthven MBE, chief executive of the Severn Wye Energy Agency.

Gloucester's senior countryside ranger Richard Lawrence will introduce a wildlife family walk at the Hucclecote Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest, Maggi Brown - an expert who has run courses for the Royal Horticultural Society - will present a masterclass on composting, and the chair of the local Horticultural Society, Jan Broadway, will provide practical advice with her talk on 'A beginners guide to growing veg and soft fruit'.

The festival is one of the key elements of the Hucclecote Climate Change Action Plan. The Plan was drawn up last year following a community engagement exercise. This revealed that residents wanted independent guidance on how to tackle the challenges resulting from climate change.

Ted Stevens, vice chair of Hucclecote Parish Council and chair of the Climate Change Action Group, said: "Our residents said they were keen to learn from experts so they could figure out what they could each do to help tackle climate change. They also asked for simple guidance and tips that they could take on board. So, in addition to organising the various festival events, we have also produced a very practical 'Green Guide' that shows how they can save money, protect wildlife, and reduce their carbon footprint."

Chris Pitt impact director at the Benefact Group explains: "As a Group, we're committed to making a positive social and environmental impact and we're hugely supportive of the community around our office at the Gloucester Business Park. Since moving to Benefact House, we've worked with the parish council to improve the local environment including volunteering to improve the local green spaces and supporting wildflower planting. The festival is a great initiative from Hucclecote Parish Council, and we're delighted to be able to support an interested and motivated community."

Sir Jonathan is expected to call on parish councils nationwide to organise similar initiatives to mobilise their residents to do more to protect the environment and tackle climate change.

To reserve a free place at any of the events go to the Festival event page. 

The full programme of events is available on the Hucclecote Parish Council website and the 'Hucclecote Green Guide'  has been produced for residents and can be downloaded from Parish Council's website.


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