By Diana Scotcher on behalf of SLH
It was heart-warming to have such a great turnout for the SLH AGM using zoom on 23 February 2021 — a good mixture of our staunch supporters and new people. We have all got used to having meetings using zoom this year, but would still prefer it to have been in the usual SLH AGM venue — our local pub! Thank you to everyone who joined in.
What we did this year…
Sarah McClelland and Mel Godfrey reminded us of all the things that SLH had managed in the past year despite the restrictions of the pandemic. We are rightly proud to have adapted to all the new technologies that help us to communicate when we cannot meet face to face. We started on that learning curve in May 2020 by collaborating with Heatons Open Gardens to produce a stunning video of some of the gardens that would have normally opened up. The video has now been viewed over 23,000 times!
And then came the Heatons Climate Action Festival online in September 2020, a fantastic event for which we worked with lots of local businesses, community organisations as well as our team of supporters. You can catch up by finding the link to our You Tube channel here.
But we also did a few SLH activities outside, alone, in households or small socially distanced groups, including keeping our raised beds thriving, tending the fruit trees in the orchard and caring for our ancient hedge.
This year, lots of people have been out locally — on foot, bike, scooter and skates! We have collaborated with Walk Ride Heatons who want to make our local streets safe for all and especially for children. If this is something you want to find out more about, contact WRH at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the Twitter and Facebook pages.
What is SLH planning for this coming year?
First off, the SLH Sunflower Project. Bring colour to the Heatons in summer 2021 by getting a free delivery of sunflower seeds. Sign up here before March 31st to join in.
We are champing at the bit to get our local cycle rides going again! As soon as restrictions allow we will let you know the plans so you can sign up for the rides, led by our great team of ride leaders. We’ll also be getting people involved in caring for the hedge, planting and growing in the raised beds and we have just received a grant from Stockport Hydro Environmental Fund to train people to lead walks to be bat detectives. There are some legacies from the Heatons Climate Action Festival — for instance we are keen to work with our local businesses to find out more about what they are doing already to support the environment and fight climate change to create a sort of “green map” of the Heatons. Watch this space.
Paul Lowis was SLH Chair for the past 3 years but has recently moved out of the area. The team thank him for everything he has done for SLH. Sarah McClelland and Liz Wildman now take over as Co-Chairs. Diana Scotcher remains Secretary and Rory Alkin continues as Treasurer.
Invited speaker from Greenpeace, Matt Connor
Matt shared his experiences of being a volunteer for Greenpeace, and explained some of the campaigns that the organisation is promoting at the moment. The local Greenpeace team sounds busy with activities such as organising litter picks, protesting to the supermarkets against single-use plastics and encouraging more sustainable transport. In the Q & A, Matt responded to one question that the significant things we can all do as individuals to fight climate change was to reduce our meat consumption and use our cars less — sentiments we would agree with!