Return of the Seed Swap

seedSwap2022 1

 

Saturday 19 February saw the return of our annual seed swap at St Andrew’s Church. It was great to see old friends and lots of new people come along despite the storms we had just experienced. Numbers were better than ever as people started to think about the growing season ahead. Was this because of the increase in interest in gardening since the pandemic began or just a delight in getting out and seeing people in person?

 

On offer this year were a range of seeds many of which were saved from last year’s crops. We encouraged those picking up seeds to grow a few extra plants to bring to the plant swap planned for 14 May. We also had a bring and take table of garden tools which was well supplied. Only a few children came along but they were offered the chance to make seed bombs of wild flower seeds.

 

We were delighted to welcome back Paul Jupp from Meadow in my Garden and thank him for his support of the event over several years.

 

All in all, we had a very enjoyable morning and look forward to our next event.

Devizes Sustainability Consultation Survey 2021

A copy of our Devizes Sustainability Consultation Survey report is available to download here

 

In support of the Town Council’s adoption of a “Statement of Intent to Create a Sustainable Community” the town's Sustainability Working Group (SWG) determined that it was necessary to consult with the community to determine their sustainability priorities. A questionnaire was developed with input from Sustainable Devizes with the intention that the priorities identified will form a frame for the development of a vision for the Devizes Area into the next decade.

 

The questions were grouped under 5 themes:

 

● Mobility and active travel (AT) ● Biodiversity ● Built environment ● Energy ● Waste

 

 

The top 5 priorities selected were:

 

1. Reducing single use plastic (Waste)

 

2. Improve cycling and walking infrastructure (Mobility and active travel)

 

3. More re-wilding (Biodiversity)

 

4. Reduce traffic in the town (Mobility and active travel)

 

5. Tree planting (Biodiversity)

 

A in-depth analysis and report of data is available on the link above.

Coming to terms with having no car

For some time, I have been thinking about how I could manage without a car in order to reduce my carbon footprint but living outside the urban area it is not as easy as I would like. However, this year I have been forced to confront the issue because I am not able to drive until I have successful cataract treatment.

Some of the issues facing those unable to drive are simple ones, others are more difficult. Moving to public transport requires a different mindset. Timing trips and planning ahead become important. It is necessary to anticipate longer journey times, difficult connections and to realise that spur of the moment activities are impractical. It is difficult to attend evening and Sunday meetings. Everything takes much longer.

Nevertheless, the 101 bus service has been a lifeline. It will divert to pick me up to go into Devizes or Pewsey (handy for the station) but I can’t use it before mid-morning and there is no evening service. The drivers are friendly and helpful and passengers often know each other which makes journeys pleasant. It is of little help to anyone needing to get to work so most of the passengers are retired people. It doesn’t connect well with train services either and it no longer goes into the station which must be difficult for disabled passengers.

Bus Route 101

My alternative route into Devizes is via the 49 bus: I have a 15 minute walk up the lane to the stop and would not like to do it in the dark but I appreciate it during daylight. It doesn’t operate late enough for evening return journeys in any case.

It’s a circular problem, people don’t use public transport because it isn’t convenient and unless you have a bus pass or rail card, is expensive especially if you have a car too. But unless people use the service there is no incentive to improve it.

We need to decide what public transport is intended to achieve. It allows those who don’t drive for whatever reason to get about. Being able to get about easily facilitates social interaction and reduces isolation. Better public transport could take cars off the road and reduce pollution and carbon emissions. As we become more aware of climate change this is an important consideration.

I’m still in the position of thinking I may be able to drive again so haven’t yet come to terms with a permanent reliance on public transport or lifts from family and friends. Maybe I’ll decide not to do so. In the meantime, I am grateful that the 101 is available.