We put together the following article for the Reeth gazette, May 2019 edition:
Inspired by some of the eloquent editorials and ‘calls to action’ in recent issues of the Gazette, a few folksmet up recently to talk about some of the challenges facing rural communities, and possible solutions. We’re keen to get some real projects going, and wanted to let everyone know what we’re thinking about, and how to join in. We’re calling it Sustainable Swaledale, and we’ve set up a page on Facebook – please join us.
We probably all share a vision of living in a thriving community, with affordable public transport and infrastructure (including broadband and mobile phone signals); low-carbon energy to power homes, businesses and vehicles; locally grown food; a good range of local businesses and shops (which means localised money and jobs); healthcare, sports and leisure activities and so on. And, of course, with beautiful countryside and friendly neighbours.
More of us are becoming aware of the growing problems of pollution and waste, impacting public health through poor air quality and destroying the very natural systems we depend on for pure air, clean water and healthy soils. Recent reports on climate change and the School Strike for Climate movement remind us that we’re not reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions as fast as needed; and that governments worldwide have not yet put policies in place to meet the pledges they made in Paris in 2015.
We recognise that many existing groups share some or all of these concerns, so we feel a good first step would be to connect with the various groups, businesses, schools and so on, finding out about complementary aims and existing programmes. Please do get in touch via our Sustainable Swaledale Facebook pageto let us know what you’re doing, or thinking about. We’re aiming to have a ‘multiplier effect’, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel!
We look forward to hearing from everyone…