March 2021 Edition 2

Opening on Saturday 22 May

A warm welcome to our second newsletter. Progress on the Lewes Climate Hub is going well. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we’ve had to move the physical opening of the Hub at 2 Fisher Street, Lewes, to Saturday 22 May (make a note in your diary!).
In the meantime, we’re hosting and supporting a range of online talks and events over the next couple of months, with brilliant line-ups of speakers and experts.

Transition Town Lewes

Lewes Electric Car and Bike Shows 2021

In the latest of its online eco-living events, Transition Town Lewes is hosting two free events in April showcasing electric cars and electric bikes.

Online Electric Car Show, Thursday 15 April, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Hear from local car owners on the upsides and downsides of going electric with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Learn about both hybrid and fully electric options, budget and higher-end models, and the practicalities of charging and travelling longer distances. The event will also explore where electric vehicle (EV) innovation and low-carbon transport is likely to go next.
Free tickets can be booked here.


Online Electric Bike Show, Thursday 22 April, 7.30pm-8.30pm

There are many electric bikes to choose from. Getting first-hand insight from local owners is a great way to see what might work for you. As well as looking at new models, you’ll be able to hear from owners who have converted a conventional bike to electric. There’ll also be time to discuss how cargo bikes could help cut traffic and transform ‘last-mile’ delivery in towns like Lewes.
Free tickets can be booked here.

Extinction Rebellion Lewes

Talk: Climate Crisis: A Legacy of Racism and Colonialism

Saturday 17 April, 4pm-5.30pm, FREE

Extinction Rebellion Lewes is planning to hold a series of talks looking at what climate justice means and ways to address it. This first talk will explore the links between the climate emergency and the Global North’s historical and current exploitation of the Global South. Book your free places here

Swift Supporters

Talk: Swifts and Urban Biodiversity

7pm, Tuesday, 20 April, FREE

Lewes Swift Supporters have organised a Zoom talk by Edward Mayer, of Swift Conservation, on 20th April from 7.00 p.m., "Swifts and Supporting and Enhancing Urban Biodiversity". Free to all registered Lewes Swift Supporters - and membership of LSS is also free. Contact to join.

Lewes Climate Hub

Webinar: Our River and Water Health

Sunday April 25, 4pm-5.30pm, FREE

A discussion exploring what’s being done locally to maintain the health of our rivers and water sources - and what we can all do to help. Speakers include: Rachel Paget of The Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust; Mike Deacon, angler and pollution officer for the River Ouse; Aimee Felus, Programme Delivery Manager at The Aquifer Partnership; and Andy Dinsdale of plastic pollution activists Strandliners. Book your free places here.

Make Votes Matter

Webinar: Creating Fair Votes for Real Democracy

Monday 19th April 6.30pm

A webinar making the case for proportional representation and the need for electoral reform delivered by Make Votes Matter. This is a very topical subject in the light of the upcoming County Council elections here in East Sussex on 6 May. Book your free ticket here.

Online Hustings for County Council Elections

Details: last week in April, date to be confirmed

Your opportunity to put questions on climate change, the environment and other issues to local candidates standing for East Sussex County Council in the elections on 6 May. Date and time of the online hustings to be confirmed – check for details.

Biodiversity and Climate Crisis Summit:
On the road to COP26

Wednesday 2 Jun 2021, 5.30pm

Lewes Climate Hub has joined the Climate and Oceans Group of the United Nations Association. Membership also means we can take part on Wednesday 2 June in the UNA Climate & Oceans Group’s virtual summit Biodiversity and Climate Crisis: On the road to COP26
At the summit, we’ll be showcasing a range of local projects in and around Lewes to a global audience. Free tickets to the exhibition will be available from the link above.

Spotlight on… Wildflower Lewes

Wildflower Lewes is proud to be affiliated with Lewes Climate Hub. It has become clear that there is a biodiversity crash amongst invertebrates, including the pollinators on which around 35% of our food depends. In part, this is caused by the loss of natural habitats that support invertebrates with food and a home, which in turn feed other animals up the food chain. We have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s, and habitat loss is increasing with climate change, and other impacts of humans on the natural environment.

We aim to bring wildflowers into our urban setting, hosted by public and private green spaces, to provide habitat for a wide range of invertebrates and the other wildlife, like reptiles, birds and mammals, that are dependent on them.

Cycle COP26: Join the ride of our life

A hardy and committed group of cyclists (plus support vehicle/s) are firming up on route and accommodation details for their journey up the Nations to the global COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November – approximately a nine- to ten-day cycle ride.
The plan is to arrive in Glasgow on 1st November and stay to 4th November. Stopovers along the route are being organised. However, participants will have to make their own accommodation arrangements in Glasgow and there will be limited capacity to ferry cycles back.
If you’re interested in joining the ride, please email with your mobile number to join the Cycle Cop26 Telegram group and be kept informed of plans. There is also talk of a ‘practice’ cycle ride to Cornwall for the G7 meeting in Carbis Bay 11-13th June!

Town Council agrees nature-friendly allotments policy

Lewes Community Allotment, courtesy of Common Cause
Lewes Town Council owns over 240 allotments across the town, including Highdown, Landport, Malling, Haredean and Paddock Road. Their new Allotments Service Policy for Tenants, agreed at a council meeting in March, prioritises environmental concerns. This includes encouraging eco-friendly practices on council-owned allotments, and prohibiting the use of harmful pesticides, including slug pellets, herbicides and non-organic fertilisers. Peat is forbidden because its extraction destroys precious peat bogs that bind up carbon and are crucial in reducing climate change.

Transition Town Lewes

Warm your home!

Reducing home energy use can cut a big chunk from our personal carbon emissions, says Ann Link of Transition Town Lewes. In fact, home energy accounts for about 16% of each person’s total carbon footprint. So if we all take steps to make our homes more energy efficient, we can all do our bit to get Lewes District to its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Useful webinars
There have been a number of local talks recently exploring practical ways to make your home more eco-friendly
In February, Transition Town Lewes held a series of webinars featuring local homeowners showing what they’ve done to heat and power their homes using clean energy – as well as ways to make homes more energy efficient (and therefore often cheaper to run). Catch the whole series here

Warmer Sussex, the home energy efficiency service, has produced online webinars offering a beginner’s guide to retrofitting your home and also a deeper look at home insulation. Watch the sessions and sign up for future webinars.
Warmer Sussex also offers trustworthy advice on home energy and insulation.
Free Warm Home Check service
If you cannot easily afford to make changes, try the county council's Warm Home check service, which can provide free advice and grants to help with the cost of work. As with all home improvements, avoid cowboys who call door-to-door.

Spotlight on… Cycle Lewes

Cycle Lewes has been campaigning for safer space for cycling and more investment in cycling infrastructure for over 10 years. We think it’s a pleasant way to make short journeys, it’s healthy, reduces emissions, improves air quality and congestion on our roads. It can be fun and very social – it’s easier to hop off your bike and say hello to others.
Every journey that is transferred to cycling creates more space for those that need to use a car, especially those living in rural areas of our District where public transport is limited.
Measures we’re campaigning for
The lockdown has shown us that when there is less traffic, and it feels safer to cycle then people do cycle! This is despite some of the myths that the British don’t cycle because of the weather or hills (unlike our continental cousins in, for example, the Netherlands and Denmark to name a few places).
An electric bike made for four! These are commonplace in the Netherlands and this one attracted a lot of interest in Lewes recently

Railway Land Wildlife Trust

Green Careers for All!

The Railway Land Wildlife Trust’s ‘Green Careers for All’ video project aims to inspire young people to pursue ‘green’ careers that will help tackle the climate and ecological emergencies we face. Despite the seriousness of our situation globally, there are many rapidly growing local opportunities for young people to be part of the solution, while developing fulfilling careers that allow them to follow their passions and grow their range of skills.
We’ve put together engaging video interviews with a wide range of green professionals engaged in land and water based sectors, renewable energy, business, and communication sectors. Due to the initial success of these videos with secondary schools, we will be releasing a publicly accessible version in early April, which we hope are relevant and inspiring to all young people 12-25+ years old who care and want to be part of creating a positive future for planet and people.
See the video on Instagram here

Get your County Council candidate to sign the SECA pledge!

The South East Climate Alliance is urging all candidates in local elections on 6 May sign up to four commitments if they are elected - to Aim higher, Build partnerships, Communicate, and Divest from fossil fuels. The campaign is designed to get climate change onto the local election agenda across the whole of the South East. Learn how you can get your electoral candidates in Lewes to sign up here.

Lewes Living Streets and Cycle Lewes

Low Traffic Lewes project proposal

Lewes Living Streets and Cycle Lewes have joined forces to put together a project proposal to help make Lewes a low-traffic town, with a focus on reducing traffic along Lewes High Street. The proposals are still at an early stage – and are seeking the bulk of the funding required to determine and draw up ‘shovel ready’ traffic/transport solutions – but you can read the full proposal here.
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