Climate Change & #showthelove

June 2021 update
Following on from last month’s tips on how to protect and grow green spaces for pollinators and increase biodiversity in the garden, we thought members might find the following information useful. Stowe Nine Churches has two churches and both churchyards are managed for wildlife, creating an interesting and diverse range of habitats.
In Northamptonshire, the BCN Wildlife Trust runs a Conservation Churchyard Award scheme to encourage individuals and communities to develop churchyards in a way that benefits wildlife and the people that visit them. Just like gardens, this can be achieved by including a few simple wildlife friendly features such as:
* adding bird boxes and bug hotels (children love bug hotels)
* planting shrubs that provide winter food for wildlife such as rose hips and hollies
* including a herb bed with plants such as marjoram and thyme which are loved by butterflies and bees
* planting bulbs (don’t forget to place your order via your WI secretary, see Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs article below!).
For those with space and time, churchyards can also be the perfect place to create a meadow. As part of its scheme, which is free, the Trust will send an adviser to meet with you and share ideas about wildlife in your churchyard and you have access to ongoing advice throughout the year. There is more information about the scheme at: https://www.wildlifebcn.org/advice-landowners/churchyards
Or contact BCN Wildlife Trust adviser, Lisa Rowley, Lisa.Rowley@wildlifebcn.org

May 2021 update
The recent NCFWI Mitigation survey rated protecting and growing green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity as the second highest priority for WI members in the county. In light of this and the start of warmer weather and the gardening season the following information provided by a Stowe Nine Churches WI member will hopefully prove helpful.

Wildlife and Gardens
Increased awareness of nature and the desire to improve habitats for wildlife may be one of the few positives to come from the last 12 months under this dreadful virus. The idea of a meadow is very appealing but can be quite a lot of work. However, major habitat improvements can also be achieved with more modest changes.
* Choose single rather than double flowered plants - much better for insects and pollinators (read why in this excellent article from the ‘laid back gardener’ https://laidbackgardener.blog/2017/04/20/double-flowers-bad-news-for-pollinators/.
* Stretch the seasons by including early and late flowering plants. Crocuses are a wonderful way to start the year and honesty (which is a magnet for the early butterflies) is fabulous from late March to April. For late summer, plants like rudbeckia (a favourite of the beautiful common blue butterfly) and michaelmass daisies (loved by the red admiral and, if you are lucky, the comma butterfly) help extend the summer nectar into early autumn.
* Include water and keep it topped up in dry spells - even a small bird bath can be a life saver - and watching the birds, insects, and even the occasional mammal, drinking and bathing always brings a smile.
* Find space for a small wood pile (or two) in a tucked away corner to just get on and do its own thing.

NCFWI 1st Climate Mitigation Survey 2021 - The survey results are in - click here
Our top three priorities in this year’s NCFWI Climate Mitigation survey are
1st Q4. Unleashing the power of renewable energy
2nd Q3. Protecting and growing green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity
3rd Q7. Reducing our consumption of resources and the energy used in processing fuels & materials
Our members demonstrated strong feelings through the massive support of the Show the Love campaign and also sharing their priorities for climate mitigation in our survey. These are clear indicators we recognise the crisis and are keen to continue, to be part of the solution, making a great platform for future initiatives. This is really positive, thank you.

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Northamptonshire members have risen to the challenge of the #showthelove campaign  Also look at their Facebook pages and https://www.facebook.com/NorthantsWI  
#showthelove
One Stowe IX Churches WI member brightened her up-cycled Christmas wreath with homemade shaped bird-food and her #showthelove green pom-poms.
21.02 Green heart bouquet
After Kate, a Climate Ambassador, spoke at Ravensthorpe WI, Ruth was inspired to make these wonderful willow hearts which she hung on the WI Silver Birch on the Village Green.
The hearts were made using willow (Salix viminalis) from Top Ardles Wood, a wood created by The Woodland Trust's Woods on your Doorstep millennium scheme. They planted a hazel and willow coppice section to retain views and for local produce. Having this resource on our doorstep it seems natural to make our green hearts for display. And where better than the WI tree planted in 1972 on the village green to mark Raventhorpe WIs golden jubilee.

Willow hearts on WI Silver Birch on The Green

21.02 Plaque on tree
21.02 WI notice on tree

Warkton Village WI talented members were busy making green hearts in different mediums (baking, knitting and using natural resources for wreaths).
#savethelove photos

In order to recognise the #showthelove campaign in February, Hunsbury Hill WI organised a competition, for members, to craft items linked to this in whatever medium they liked. Photos of the entries were sent to an independent judge by email and some of those are shown in the attached photograph. The winning entry was the Heart Purse which, in the judges words – “blew her away" seeing the bees on the zip side and the map of the world on the reverse with the words “Save The Planet”  
Congratulations to Carolyn Stone. Click here for image

There was a green heart February focus for Ashley Welland Valley WI this year as members came together, made hearts and shared these with their community. Photos show green hearts in the community shop window, which is run by volunteers. Kate Mawer, Climate Ambassador, gave an interactive talk enjoyed by all.

Wendy outside community shop

Shop window with green hearts display

Quinton WI celebrated Valentine's Day by making Green Hearts for the #showthelove resolution. These will be displayed on the WI Oak Tree on The Green for the whole month of February to highlight climate change.   @ The Climate Coalition

Tree on Green

Hearts made out of plastic and clay

Towcester Evening WI will celebrate Valentine's Day with Green Hearts as well as red hearts for the #showthelove project. They will be sharing their concerns about climate change by making green heart baskets (as in photos with paper or with felt) at their social on Monday via Zoom and chatting about the ways we can make a difference to our carbon footprint.
If you are walking past Wordsworth Close then look up at the top window of our President’s house.
21.02 Green hearts plus doll

Brigstock WI has truly raised the profile of Climate Change with their #showthelove campaign. See their wonderful photos from all around the village.For over 30 images look at their facebook page.
Six windows of green hearts

21.02 Green heart on street name

Harpole WI A lovely collection of ‘green hearts’ are now hanging on a tree at the bottom of the High Street. They drew a lot of attention and interest while we were hanging them. Well done ladies.
21.02 Green hearts on tree

Green heart s

Carbon footprint
Reduce your Carbon Footprint - A tip by one of our Climate Ambassadors
As we move into autumn we may be experiencing a draught or two around our houses. Perhaps we can all think about improving our doors, windows, letterboxes, fireplaces and loft hatches against the chills to come.
Draught proofing is one of the most effective ways to save energy and money at  home. So good for your pocket as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
The time is now
June 2019 Climate Change Lobby
Stowe Nine Churches WI members Sharon Henley and Lou Stockwin met, while socially distancing, to listen to the lively debate during the Time is Now Virtual Mass Lobby of Parliament on 30th June 2020.
As Daventry constituency residents they will be meeting their MP, along with others, on Thursday 2nd July.
The WI, as a member of the Climate Coalition, organise The Time is Now event to call on MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of the UK's recovery from coronavirus.
Nationally year 13 000 people have registered to take part and have the opportunity to meet MPs and update themselves on current priorities in relation to climate change.

Photos show a member on the Virtual Lobby

Member talking virtually to MPMembers joining the Virtual Lobby

"Cloudier" visited Daventry Country Park to show off her Climate Change scarf!
Cloudier