We all appreciate our lovely surroundings but are aware of our negative impact on the environment. We are keen to do what we can to reduce our impact and believe that we can make a difference by working together as a community to:
We do NOT want to be just a debating group; we want to make things happen.
If you want to save money and join our bulk oil-buying group then contact Bruce Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We organise regular litter-picking/ditch-clearing sessions around the village - if you want to help, contact us or just consult the Calendar for dates and turn up.
We have worked with the Parish Council to set up recycling bins for crisp packets and biscuit/cake/cracker wrappers.
via Penny Rogers on tel: 01761 470589 or email@example.com
Have a look at our practical ideas for action!
Check our lists of Priston birds and plants - email us if you have any to add!
A reminder that the Big Butterfly Count started on Friday 14th July 2023 and will run until Sunday 6th August, so there's still time to get counting.
Go to https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/ where you can download an ID chart. You need spend only 15 minutes watching out for and recording the butterflies in your garden (or anywhere), then you enter your count on the website. You can make as many counts as you like throughout the fortnight. (It’s good to choose a warm sunny day when butterflies like to fly.)
The information collected will help in assessment of the health of the UK environment. If you are disappointed by a lack of butterflies in your garden, you could try planting more butterfly-friendly plants. Gardeners’ World magazine gives useful lists of plants liked by butterflies and their caterpillars. Go to https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/10-plants-for-butterflies/
Anecdotally several people have reported seeing some unusual butterflies this year out and about amongst the thistles and the ragwort. Unloved by humans but loved by butterflies.
Two dates for your diary - part of the Festival of Nature:
Households can receive funding and support to install a range of energy saving and low carbon technologies including solar panels, loft, underfloor and wall insulation, air source heat pump central heating systems and LED lighting.
To be eligible for the scheme applicants must live in the B&NES area and:
Interested residents will need to complete the short registration form which can be accessed on the council’s Energy at Home website.
Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE) is also promoting Bright Green Homes through a drop-in information session at the Hive Community Centre in Peasedown St John on Thursday 20 Jun. Visitors will be able to find out more about Bright Green Homes funding and other schemes to promote energy efficiency.
You can find wider information about other types of help and support on the B&NES Community Wellbeing Hub website or by calling 0300 247 0050.
We're planting more trees in Priston and would love your help! 750 whips (tiny trees the size of a stick) have been ordered from BANES for delivery at the end of January. We're using them to restore a number of hedges in the fields between Priston and Timsbury. Come along, plant some trees and be proactive in the fight against climate change.
The first planting session will take place on Saturday 4th February from 9 am (weather permitting). Free coffee and cake in the village hall afterwards. Meet at the standing stone and please bring a spade and gloves.
There will be a second planting session on Saturday 11th February, again starting at 9 am (weather permitting) to add more whips to the land at Village Farm and also to finish the planting in the fields between Priston and Timsbury. Meet at the triangle of grass at the bottom of Watery (Priston) Lane at 9 am on Saturday 11th and we will divide the group between the sites. Free coffee and cake for all volunteers!
Your help is very much appreciated – a couple of hours of your time will have a positive effect on our environment for decades to come.
This is happening on 27-29 January. All information you need to identify the birds is on the RSPB website, though there are lots of apps to help you! Meanwhile, don’t forget to make sure feeders are topped up and cleaned regularly and there is fresh water in your bird baths. https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/
‘The Darkness Manifesto: How light pollution threatens the ancient rhythms of life’ seems an interesting book. It is about the importance of darkness for many creatures. It is yet another sobering reminder of the terrible impacts modern life is having on nature, this time through light pollution. Priston seems to do quite well in being dark at night, but there are a few very bright outdoor/security lights around, and some very err, ‘illuminated’ houses. Care is needed in this respect.
The book was discussed on BBC Radio 4, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001g2xg
Following on from the previous notice, the Campaign to Protect Rural England is running its citizen science project again, Star Count 2023. We can take part during 17 to 24 February. All the information is here:
Watch out for calls for volunteers to plant 1000 whips in Priston. They will be available from the week beginning 30 January. Once we have a firm date we’ll send out details by email, whatsapp, facebook… As we know from last year, the more people who volunteer, the quicker we’ll get this important job done!
This year, we shall be litter picking on the following dates: Saturday 25 February, Saturday 29 April, Saturday 2 September, Saturday 2 December - 10am at village green
A reminder about this year's Big Butterfly Count. Some time on a warm, sunny day up until Sunday 7 August just take 15 minutes to count the butterflies in your garden (or anywhere else you choose). You can do as many counts as you like. All the information you need, including how to identify butterflies, is at the Big Butterfly Count website.
This is the time of year when we are most likely to see glow worms. If you would like to record your sightings, you can do so at the UK Glow worm Survey.
As a small gesture towards greater sustainability and all that PAGE is doing in Priston, the Village Loop will from now on run a spin-off to help recycle “stuff”. The guidelines are simple – and flexible!
I hope everyone enjoyed the village party on Saturday. So good to see people together again!
It's that time of year when the apples are ripening. A reminder that John Wybrow is very happy for villagers to pick fruit in the orchard at the front of his house. I suggest you knock on John's front door to let him know you are picking fruit, but if he is not around fell free to pick his fruit.
And Peter and I have the apple scratter and press. If you would like to use it, just ask (01761 470589 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Calling all wildlife lovers! Lay down your mowers!
Here’s a great way to help our insect population and keep the food chain for birds and small wild animals thriving – and we don’t have to do anything! The charity Plantlife is promoting the fact that, when it comes to providing vital nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects, every flower counts. And our lawns can help provide that feast. The more wild flowers we have in our lawns the more nectar will be produced to support the insects that are vital to our very existence.
So leave the mower in the shed during May – whether you normally mow your garden lawn, the church yard or a roadside verge. You will reap the benefits when you see more bees on the resulting clover and butterflies skimming over bright flowers such as speedwell and self-heal. At the end of the month you can take part in the Every Flower Counts survey from 22 to 31 May and record what is flowering in amongst the grass.
To celebrate No Mow May we’d love for every family in Priston, especially those on half term from 31 May, to spot what bugs and beasts, flora and fungi may be lurking in their garden.
[The Priston Web adds: if you have a smartphone you may find these free apps useful for identifying what you find:
When you start mowing again, you might want to raise the cutting blade so that you keep the grass slightly longer throughout the year. This will help support the lawn during dry periods. If you use a lawn company to maintain your lawn, you might want to ask them how their system is affecting the growth of wild flowers and life cycles of insects.
I hope you are well. I think things are looking up. January is over and people are being vaccinated. And, to help us appreciate our surroundings, we can do a flower count as part of the National Trust's research about spring flowers and how they are affected by a changing climate.
If you go to the National Trust SW Flower Count web-page, you will find a very simple survey form. Enjoy looking at your garden!
Here's an annual event that we can still take part in!
Just spend an hour on Friday, Saturday or Sunday 29-31 Jan recording the birds in your garden and log your results on the RSPB website. It's all quite simple. You don't need to be an expert on birds, the website gives loads of information about how to identify them. And there are other projects for children as well.
So, charge up your bird feeders and enjoy an hour of just looking. (Don't forget to make sure the birds have water too, especially on very cold days and during the dry summer months.)
That time of year, and a bumper crop of apples. If anyone wants to use the apple crusher and press, kindly left to the village by John, please get in touch with Peter (07843 274264). There's potential for many gallons of cider and juice.
Thanks to everyone who has been taking their empty crisp packets to the box in the village hall car park over the last year or so. We had got into a good routine - it felt as though we were doing SOMETHING about waste plastic.
Unfortunately, the company that runs the scheme on behalf of Walkers Crisps, terracycle, has decided that the amount we collect does not merit a collection point.
I’ve tried all I can to get them to reinstate the collection point, but have been unsuccessful.
All I can suggest is that you now take your empty packets to the nearest collection points (if you are going there anyway). They seem to change so it’s best to check on their interactive map of collection points.
Failing that, writing to Walkers to get them to change to paper packaging is an option – or, more difficult, not eating crisps!!!
Before the pandemic reached the UK, .......
PAGE (Priston Action Group for the Environment) had an initiative to plant trees in and around Priston, starting with a target of 220, roughly one for each villager .... or was it 2020???
We can’t do anything during lockdown, and anyway it is a bit late in the year for planting trees, but we can plan ahead for the 2020/21 planting season.
You don’t need acres of land to participate (but if you do have an area that might be suitable for a small or even large copse, we’d love to hear from you). Our initial goal is to get more native trees, including fruit trees, and native hedging planted in gardens. If you don’t have any available space, you could still participate by helping to plant trees at organised plantings, or contribute some money towards buying small trees.
please get in touch with one of us and we’ll put together a plan for next winter
In the mean time, if you have planted any native trees, fruit trees or native hedging this year already, take a photo and send it to one of us along with a description. We are hoping to keep a record of all the trees planted this year as a celebration of our community working to improve our environment.
Thanks for getting involved!
The PAGE Team
Planting a tree is one of the greatest acts of kindness.
The sapling that goes in the ground today
can only start the work of repairing the world
and is a gift of love and care for the generations of tomorrow.
Four dates for your 2020 calendar
We meet at 10.00am on the Village Green, when we’ll decide where to work – just for an hour – and then retreat to the Village cafe. If you can’t make the planned day but do some litter picking the week before, thank you! And let me know and we’ll make sure not to go over the same ground. Many thanks to everyone who has done any litter picking around the village – whether as part of one of these groups or just out on a walk.
By the way, anyone can report cases of fly tipping around the village by contacting BANES, just email email@example.com or phone 01225 39 40 41.