7.30pm: Green Drinks - Sustainable Thornbury
Sustainable Thornbury (and CATS, or Climate Action Thornbury and Surroundings, which is part of Sustainable Thornbury) holds Green Drinks at Hawkes House on the first Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm (Covid permitting of course).
Join us to chat about environmental matters, and work out how to make Thornbury and surrounding villages more sustainable. For enquiries, please email below.
Sustainable Thornbury is a local community group, covering Thornbury and the surrounding villages.
We want to make our area more able to look after itself and be more resilient in the face of environmental challenges such as climate change and reducing resources such as oil and gas.
Amongst other things we have tackled waste, energy and food production as well as running two Ecofairs over the last few years. Our aim is to promote the well-being of everyone living and working in the area, by promoting greater local self-reliance and a more cooperative and inclusive community.
We are now embarking on a long term project to make the area more energy efficient locally by reducing energy needs and increasing energy production.
Meetings are held regularly (approximately monthly) depending on current activities.
Sustainable Thornbury is open to anyone who lives or works in the area and who supports our aims. New members are always welcome.
For more information visit www.sustainablethornbury.org or email .
As we move into May the days start to get gently warmer and spring starts to fully take hold of the natural word.
Birds such as Thrushes, Robins, Wrens, Tits and Blackbirds to name a few are busy searching the Orchard for food to fed their growing families.
Even more wildflowers start to bloom in the already beautiful meadow and solitary bees are seen more often on warm sunny days either exploring or emerging from the Bee Bank. Bee flies and other parasitoids are looking to lay their eggs in the nests of solitary bees.
It is a great time for a quiet visit to observe all that is going on.
However, beyond all of this explosion of nature perhaps the highlight in May is the blossom, which is now at its peak in the Orchard.
The Cherry flowers early and has been out all through April and in future years, as they mature, so will the pears we planted earlier this year, but it is in May that the full orchestra of all the blossoms is in full harmony and splendour.
Even some of the trees that were planted just a few months ago are in flower.
The rare and unknown cider trees which had been overshadowed and neglected are now in full bloom after their restorative winter pruning and at last with the benefit of full sunlight.
The new quince tree has a lovely different flower and the tree we asked the Council to save from fireblight in lockdown to give it a chance of life is flowering and looking healthy again. In the picture the fireblight tree has it branches tied down to make a better shape. This is a technique we learnt from our tutor during winter/restorative pruning training.
Well done to everyone who put so much work in during lockdown 2020 to prune the fireblight affected trees and to all those who helped with Winter pruning more recently which led to the construction of the dead hedge so popular with our Orchard birds.
Do come visit and enjoy our month of blossoms!
If you want to volunteer with us do contact us on our e-mail .
There is more information about our group and associated activities on our website.
Image of a moth at the Meadow kindly supplied by John Mills
Sustainable Thornbury Orchard Group looks after Morton Bridge Wild Flower Meadow and the adjacent orchard, on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council.
The RHS Award winning Meadow was seeded in late October 2016; it was conceived to encourage our own native flowers and the various pollinators (Bees, Bugs and Butterflies) that depend upon them.
In the last two years yellow cowslips have produced an early, much-needed source of nectar for bees and other insects.
John Mills has been taking extensive photographs of the bees, butterflies and other insects which have benefitted from the newly created meadow habitat.
2020 was a particularly challenging year; not only did the volunteers have to contend Covid, but the Orchard suffered an outbreak of fire blight, a serious disease which can affect apples, pears, and some other members of the Rosaceae family. Thanks to swift, expert treatment the fire blight was eradicated, although the team will have to continue monitoring all the trees very carefully in future.
Image of a dock bug at the Meadow kindly supplied by John Mills
The wet weather in Spring 2021 made it difficult for Yellow Rattle seeds to germinate so after scything the Meadow the team reseeded small patches to regenerate this important wild flower. Plug plants of Scabious were also added, and large clumps of Snowdrops were divided so they could be replanted to increase coverage under the trees.
Thornbury Orchard Group have been planting trees for the Queens Platinum Jubilee and by the end of March will have planted about 70 trees or shrubs to help increase biodiversity and enhance the local environment for our community!
Do come and see the meadow and orchard. They are situated on the streamside walk, opposite the Anchor Inn, on the northern side of Morton Bridge. The meadow flowers are in bloom from April until end of August/September, when the meadow is scythed, and the trees are of interest throughout the year.
We are keen to encourage others with their own local wild-flower and community orchard projects. If you would like some advice, to volunteer with the Thornbury project, or just to be kept informed, please see our web page or e-mail or and we will reply to you.
Climate Action Thornbury and Surroundings (CATS) was set up as a separate subgroup of Sustainable Thornbury in the wake of the IPCC report released in October 2018 that said the world had 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe.
The group believes that Thornbury and the surrounding villages need to become carbon neutral by 2030. While this is well in advance of the UK Government's commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050, the group believes that there is no time to lose in getting started and that for our community a 2030 target is achievable.
The group will build on previous successes of Sustainable Thornbury and will step up the level of activity to a whole new order of magnitude.
We are taking a holistic approach and is creating action groups to work on:
In addition to the action groups above we will have people looking at:
We are currently contributing to the campaign to save Vilner Lane Wood and we also want to campaign to local developers to create meaningful wildlife spaces in their developments and also to incorporate renewable energy systems into new buildings.
With the group still being new, it is a great time to become involved. Whatever your skills or particular interests we will find a way for you to help us.
Come along to the Sustainable Thornbury Green Drinks the first Wednesday of each month (except in January when it will be the second) from 7-9pm at Hawkes House.
The photo from our launch is courtesy of Stephen Bingham.