We put together the following article for the Reeth gazette, June 2019 edition:
Sustainable Swaledale – already growing
We are a small and growing community group aiming to make Swaledale and Arkengarthdale an environmentally sustainable place to live, work and visit. People are finding our Facebook page, and we’re creating a websitewww.SustainableSwaledale.orgto help you to find out what’s happening and join in. Please ‘like’ or link to us to help spread the word. New people are joining our meetings, and we now have a regular date of the first Thursday each month, starting with Thursday 6 June, 7pm at the Punch Bowl, Low Row.
Incredible Edible is a global movement to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for anyone to pick and eat, in public and otherwise unused spaces. We’re starting Incredible Edible Swaledale, hoping to involve people in planting, looking after and most importantly eating beautiful fresh food that’s grown right on our door steps.
Our first small but neglected space is opposite the telephone box in Gunnerside – you will see it planted up and rabbit proofed! Signs will tell you about the plants and when to pick them, and there may be space for you to add extra edible plants if you have some spare.
Please get in touch if you know of a small piece of land that could grow edibles near you, and/or if you want to get involved. We would love to have a least one communal garden in all the Swaledale villages. As many of you will know, freshly picked fruit, vegetables and herbs taste amazing!
Our ‘quick tips’ for more sustainable living…#1: Kitchen Cupboard Cleaning Products
Smelly trainers or walking boots? Bicarb of soda is a great natural deodoriser. Wrap a generous amount in newspaper and stuff inside your shoes, or sprinkle directly onto the soles. (Dry tea bags work equally well for this).
Stains or soap scum on your sink or countertops? Mix equal parts of water and vinegar (white or cider) in a spray bottle and spritz away. And don’t worry, the smell dissipates when dry!
Hardwood furniture need a polish? Mix 1 tbsp olive oil with ½ tbsp lemon juice and get shining.
‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is a great mantra for making your lifestyle more sustainable. ‘Reduce’ sounds easy enough, but what are the options for reuse and recycling in Swaledale?
A new recycling facility is being trialled on Reeth Green, to recycle paper and card, cans and plastics, and reduce incineration.
Recycling centres for residents are at Keld YHA, in the carpark at Muker, the Dales Centre at Reeth, and at Grinton YHA (a good bet if the Reeth one is overflowing). All of these take CLEAN paper/card, plastic and glass bottles, food/drink tins and cans. The Muker site also accepts mixed textiles and clothes. There is a small site at Arkengarthdale (not mentioned on the council website!) Tinfoil and cartons can go into your green box for collection. For more info, see the ‘What can I recycle’ page on the Richmondshire DC website https://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/recycling/what-can-i-recycle/.
For stuff that might be useful to someone else, try posting the item on the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Buy, Sell and Swap Facebook page; on Freecycle (www.freecycle.org, there is a Richmondshire group); Gumtree (www.gumtree.com); or Facebook Marketplace (www.facebook.com/marketplace). For furniture that could have a new lease of life – ‘frade’ (www.frade.co.uk) is a Tees Valley-based charity that may arrange collection of bulky items (call 01642 608791).
If you have other suggestions, why not post them on our Sustainable Swaledale Facebook page?