Green Sparks

Green Sparks was started by Lynda and Abigail from Spark Bridge and Marion from Bouth. They are keen to work with anyone in the local area who is interested in environmental issues and community-based solutions.

Use greensparks.sparkbridge@gmail.com to join the mailing list or to contact Green Sparks for more information.

Green Sparks in 2022

Here at Green Sparks we are optimistic about 2022; there’s so much to be done, but all across our local communities people have demonstrated their commitment to working together when it comes to tackling climate change.

When we launched Green Sparks in September, we were just a small group of friends who wanted to learn more and do more about sustainable choices, reducing our carbon footprints, and actively caring for our environment. We were sure there were lots of other people around with similar ideas, working hard to do the same, and we wanted to connect with them.

We are delighted that in such a short amount of time Green Sparks has become a dynamic community network that people can use to share ideas and resources and to support one another to make a difference.

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather for our December litter pick and to those who came along to the meeting afterwards. Although we all wish it wasn’t necessary, there will be more litter picks next year.

We’re planning a couple of Green Sparks events for the spring, following up on ideas already shared with us:

  • one focussing on a sustainable approach to gardening
  • and another about repairing broken items and improving recycling to help reduce waste.

Dates have not been finalised yet, but we will get them out to you as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you have got ‘green’ activities you’d like us to promote through our network, please get in touch.

If you’d like to join our email list for news of what’s coming up, please contact us at: greensparks.sparkbridge@gmail.com.

Green Sparks afternoon

We were delighted to meet so many of you at the Green Sparks afternoon, at Spark Bridge village hall on Saturday 18 September 2021. About 50 people from around the Crake and Rusland Valleys came along to share their ideas about how we can encourage sustainability, lower our carbon footprints, protect our environment and care for the natural world.

Tree of Ideas

Lots of you shared your feedback and aspirations on the Tree of Ideas. There isn’t room to include all of them here, but this is a summary of the themes raised.

People really do care!

Lots of individuals are already working hard to do ‘their bit’ but there’s even more we can do if we work together. Most also welcomed the social aspect of doing this.

Water quality, pollution and the impact on wildlife are really important issues for many in our area. The River Crake is hugely valued; we want to ensure it is maintained in good health.

People want to know more about gardening for the good of the planet: growing your own, using low impact products and techniques, sharing knowledge and resources to help cut waste.

Developing the Community Swap Shop idea or similar schemes.

People are keen to find out more ways to recycle and reuse resources.

Litter picking was one of the most frequently raised issues.

We want to protect and improve biodiversity in our gardens, wayside verges, hedgerows and in the green spaces around us.

We want to work together to reduce our individual and community carbon footprint

So, what’s next? These are some of our ideas

Grow a network of people in our area who want to work together at a local level, to tackle the issues of climate change, sustainability and nature recovery.

Use the Green sparks email list to share ideas and resources and publicise what is going on.

Use the Green Sparks email list to help promote an active exchange of ideas. We can call out for volunteers, or like-minded people, who can work together to focus on particular issues and get things done. People on the list can email in their suggestions or plans and we will circulate them.

We will look into setting up a Facebook page to enable easier communication.

Establish an information and resource bank to support people on our email list to share information about relevant websites and articles.

Organise future events – the chance to get together to work out how we make a difference locally.

Support local community action such as litter picking, bio-diversity mapping, community swap shops, the orchard project.

Ideas you might be interested in

Precious plastic – A how-to guide to setting up community-based plastic recycling.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability – Practical ideas for individuals and communities CafS services offered include free phone consultations about retrofitting older houses to improve energy efficiency.

COP26 Coalition – Free online debates and presentations focussing on the global challenge of tackling climate change.

Fleeces for gardeners – using sheep’s wool as mulch to improve soil; a natural way to use a product that all too often is going to waste because there isn’t a market. One member of the network has already made links with a local farmer. Is anyone else interested?

The Orchard Project – Before lockdown work was underway to create a database of local orchards and map the orchards in our community. The contact is Mandy Lane mandy.lane@ruslandhorizonstrust.org

Colton Parish Council has litter picking equipment to lend to people in the Colton area who are organising a community litter pick. SLDC can also help with litter picking equipment.

A really big thank you to everyone

The Green Sparks Event at Spark Bridge event would not have been possible without the contribution and support of lots of individuals and organisations including: