News: March 2020

Packaging | Call for compost | Tree guards | Water, water everywhere

Here are a few quick updates on what we’re up to…if you’re on Facebook, please join our group and get involved in the conversations.

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Easy ways to reduce your packaging footprint

More than three-quarters of us are trying to reduce the amount of packaging we use.

We look at simple ways to reduce your plastic packaging ‘footprint’ – things you can do easily, each week, that make a small (but important!) difference.

The first priority is to use less – reduce, avoiding the plastic in the first place. You could swap to another brand with less packaging, buy from a shop with zero-packaging options – or not buy the product at all.

The second priority is to reuse things, instead of throwing them away. We can take our own container – whether that’s a coffee cup, water bottle or bag-for-life. New shops are popping up locally, offering refills and bulk-buy options.

Finally, if we can’t reduce or reuse, we need to recycle. This is important, enabling recycling into new plastic instead of going to landfill, incineration, or – worse – ending up in our fields, in rivers, oceans and our food chain.

Carry a reusable bottle, cup, fork and spoon. Some coffee shops give discounts if you bring your own cup, and the Refill app shows where you can top up your water bottle for free.

Opt for products with less packaging. Say ‘no’ to fruit in trays and wrappers, and teabags that come in individual (plastic) wrappers.

Shop from bulk ‘zero-packaging’ stores, use your own containers and avoid using the plastic veg bags.

To store food, natural fabric coated with beeswax can replace cling-film. You can buy online or make your own, search for ‘beeswax wraps’ on our website for downloadable instructions.

For household cleaning products, you can get refills of Ecover and Suma from many of those local stores including the Two Dales Community Refill Station in Reeth (find them on Facebook).

A longer article on our website has more tips, and a list of local stores offering refills and zero-packaging options. If you have more tips, let us know – every little helps!   

Read the longer article on our website

Call for compost!

Incredible Edible Swaledale aims to grow free local vegetables for all, on un-used bits of ground. Our Reeth project is now underway at the Medical Centre and we really need decent soil or compost to build our raised beds high enough to grow root vegetables like carrots and parsnips and keep them above rabbit height!  If you can spare some, please contact us:

Tree Guard 'Litter Pick' - Sat 4 April

Tree Guards are receiving a lot of attention just now. Over-used in the past, they still have a role if used wisely. But there are many redundant ones littering our countryside. Please join us at 10am on 4th April to clear a section of Rowleth Wood where there are several hundred spent tree guards. We’re meeting in the parking bay between Low Row and Isles Bridge. You can register your interest by emailing More info will be provided nearer the time.

Ahead of our first Tree Guard ‘litter pick’, this blog digs into the pros and cons of plastic tree guards – read more on our website.


Core Group Meeting

Our next meeting is Thursday 2 April, 7:30 pm, venue TBC – please email us for more info.

Water, water, everywhere

There’s no doubt that February has been a wet month for the northern Dales. For some this is no more than inconvenience, with muddy paths, flooded roads and grey skies becoming an accepted part of the daily grind. For others, particularly those who suffered during the 2019 flooding, it is a desperately anxious time spent obsessively watching forecasts, monitoring river levels, and stockpiling sandbags in the hope of averting disaster again.

It has undoubtedly been a grim start to the year, but can this watery onslaught be attributed to climate change? This isn’t a simple question to answer.  Read more in our blog

Hope to see you at the Tree Guard litter pick!

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