Gill Battarbee, chair of Addingham Civic Society reports on Climate Action Addingham's (CAA) activities during Zero Waste Week

CLIMATE Action Addingham (CAA), led by the Addingham Parish Council and Civic Society, comprises a range of Addingham groups and organisations and all have pledged to do what they can to mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

March saw the first of four 2024 events - Zero Waste Week.

Between March 11 and 16 events and activities provided residents with opportunities to find out more about waste and what we can do about it.

Wharfedale Observer: Becky Davies-DownesBecky Davies-Downes (Image: submitted)

Stitching Sustainably opened the week’s events with a presentation by Charlotte Meek, founder of The Stitch Society and a workshop with Becky Davies-Downes, founder of the William & Tilda sewing business. These are both local businesses committed to building a sustainable economy.

Wharfedale Observer: Charlotte MeekCharlotte Meek (Image: submitted)

The evening about fabrics and sustainability was followed by an eye-opening presentation by Addingham Environment Group member, Ian Benson. Ian, now retired, spent 40 years in the Waste and Environment Control Industry and had facts, information and tips at the ready.

Wharfedale Observer: The pop up shopThe pop up shop (Image: submitted)

Thursday saw our regular Pop-up Refill Shop in action during the Mount Hermon Coffee Pot and again on Friday at Addingham Primary School ready for parents as they were collecting their children from school. This initiative is led by Civic Society and Environment Group volunteers who open the shop on a monthly basis, selling a carefully researched variety of eco-friendly laundry liquids, soaps etc.

Zero Waste Week coincided with National Science Week and Addingham Primary School had a whole range of activities taking place throughout the week.

Wharfedale Observer: Year 1 at Addingham Primary SchoolYear 1 at Addingham Primary School (Image: submitted)

Year 1 borrowed a wormery and found out how much food waste can be converted into useful garden compost.

Wharfedale Observer: Year 4 at Addingham Primary SchoolYear 4 at Addingham Primary School (Image: submitted)

Year 4 turned old t-shirts into bags and decorated them with second-hand buttons and beads. There’s quite a lot of learning involved in sewing on a button for the first time!

Elise and Natalie, recycling advisors from Bradford Council Recycling Department, provided Year 5 with a fascinating presentation about what happens to waste when it leaves Addingham.

Wharfedale Observer: Year 6 at Addingham Primary SchoolYear 6 at Addingham Primary School (Image: submitted)

Year 6 followed this theme when they “became” Addingham Parish Council for the afternoon and were posed with a fictitious scenario - a new rule - no waste may leave the village, what are you going to do about it? You would be reassured to hear imaginative, thoughtful and knowledgeable solutions during their feedback sessions.

Zero Waste Week was timed to coincide with the 2024 Big Plastic Count - all those who took part don’t forget to submit your data.

And there has to be a focus on biodiversity loss with native wild flower plug planting. Years 2 and 3 had a super, if muddy, day adding more native plants to their developing wild flower meadow in front of the school, thanks to the support of The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and our Addingham volunteers.

Wharfedale Observer: Plug plantingPlug planting (Image: submitted)

And to underpin the Zero Waste theme the wildflower plug plants are grown locally in the Dales and the plastic pots and trays are returned to the grower for re-use.

Many of the CAA groups have ongoing Zero Waste themes, such as St Peter’s Church's long-running 'pre-loved' stall at FOSPA teas, and the WI who, for example in February launched their push towards zero waste and reducing the use of plastic. Each month they hand out a recipe for making cleaning products as alternatives to commercial non-eco brands, often using ideas from the past and the days before plastics.

Zero Waste Week 2024 was rounded off with the annual Village Litter Pick, this year involving residents, Environment Group volunteers, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, supported with the loan of equipment from Bradford Council and tea and biscuits courtesy of the Parish Council.

It seems ironic that CAA Zero Waste Week coincided with the confirmation of the closure of Golden Butts Recycling Centre in Ilkley. Whilst understanding that the Council has to balance its books this closure does seem to fly in the face of so many of the Council’s own environmental policies as well as the efforts of residents.

But the good news is that there are now more local environmental groups than ever before and they are taking action.

Watch out for CAA’s next themed weeks: Wildlife Friendly Week June 22-29; Sustainable Water Week June 15-20 and Zero Carbon Week September 23-28.

All photographs courtesy of volunteers and Addingham Primary School