Monthly local group feature

Our grassroots network is made up of incredible local groups. Each month, we'll showcase a few of these and tell you about their recent successes.

19 Nov 2020

We'd love to feature your group next month. If you have a story to share with us you can fill out our handy form below or get in touch localgroups@foe.co.uk. Help us to celebrate your work, share your advice, or get tips to make your group even stronger.

Streets for People

Portsmouth Friends of the Earth have been giving a lesson in community engagement recently. At the end of October the group held a planting event in North End – an area which our recent report identified as one of the most green-space deprived neighbourhoods in England. It looks like the group were, naturally, well ahead of us in identifying this though.

Their community consultation at the end of 2018 and a subsequent report had already found that Portsmouth locals 'most of all...want streets that are people-friendly, not car-dominated. They want more trees and green spaces'. A follow-up street survey just before lockdown identified Derby Road as the place residents most wanted to see planting done.

So despite the rain the group got to work with greening a corner of their community in dire need of it, after listening to those who will benefit most from their work. The latest lockdown has halted the plans, but hopefully not for long.

Portsmouth locals most of all...want streets that are people-friendly, not car-dominated. They want more trees and green spaces

Online activity

Here’s a quick roundup of just some of the recent and upcoming online activity from our groups. 

Young Manchester Friends of the Earth recently held a webinar on environmental racism as part of their Climate Conversations programme. The programme is aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity in the environmental movement. The webinar had over 40, mostly young, participants and also featured the Dean of Manchester. 

Meanwhile, Reading Friends of the Earth held two sessions as part of the Reading Climate Festival, and Lambeth Friends of the Earth have an upcoming event exploring the ways in which climate justice, movements against racism, and COVID-19 are connected. It aims to 'find hope and inspiration for social justice in 2021 and beyond'.

find hope and inspiration for social justice in 2021 and beyond

Getting in on the act

Local groups have been lobbying their councils successfully for years, so it’s always nice to see Climate Action groups follow their lead and get in on the act. Wigan & Leigh Climate Action deserve some serious celebration in this regard.

Last month their council adopted one of the most progressive climate strategies in the country, featuring a commitment to reduce emissions 13% year on year for instance. This was done in close consultation with the group, who are a little over a year old. It’s fair to say the support given to Climate Action groups wouldn’t be what it is if not for the expertise of our local groups, so this is the kind of success we can all share a stake in.

Remember to register as a Climate Action group if you’d like to get involved in our Climate Action campaign.

Shout outs

Two last things to celebrate. Firstly, a shout out to East Dorset Friends of the Earth who are working really collaboratively with the new Christchurch Climate Action group set up in the area. Both groups have established a solid relationship to get the most from their communities and in turn pressure their council.

And finally, here's another chance to celebrate Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth. The date for Banks Mining to appeal the recent Druridge Bay rejection has passed, which means the project is well and truly dead. We've celebrated the Alnwick group and their dedicated campaigning on Druridge Bay here before, but there's no reason not to do it one more time. Let's take all the strength we can from these victories so we can push on for more.

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