Guest Post by Dave Pratten, who lives in Swanage, is a Swanage Beach Buddy and a key member of Sustainable Swanage and Planet Purbeck.
One of the few positive outcomes from the pandemic has been the significant increase in people using our local waters for recreational purposes. Whether, you are a wild swimmer, paddle boarder, kayaker, surfer or sailor, we all want to be able to play in clean rivers and seas.
Sewage and agricultural pollution still plague our rivers and ocean. In 2019 there were over 200,000 discharges of untreated sewage into UK rivers and almost 2,000 discharges into UK coastal bathing waters during the May-September bathing season alone.
The sheer volume of sewage and run-off entering the water means the UK is ranked just 25th out of 30 EU countries for coastal water quality and only 14% of rivers meet good ecological status.
Purbeck waters are not immune. The Surfers Against Sewage Safer Sea Service reported 21 pollution alerts in the last from the Ulwell Stream in Swanage, where the Combined Sewage Overspill discharges into the stream 340m from the beach and 31 incidents from the three overflows on the main beach.
Sewage in seawater poses a significant health risk. In November 2021, Dorset Oysters recalled its products due to concerns over norovirus. Pete Miles, the company director said it was "harder and harder" to run his Poole-based business because of sewage water in the sea.
Guest Post by Harold Forbes, member of the Planet Purbeck Campaigns Team, Wareham area Men's shed and the author of "How to be a Humankind Superhero: A Manifesto for Individuals to Reclaim a Safe Climate".
As we ‘enjoyed’ our warmest ever New Year, many of us might have been looking forward with some trepidation as to what is going to happen to our climate.
Human action (mostly burning fossil fuels) has already caused an increase in global average temperatures of 10C over the pre-industrial level and we are noticing the effects of it more and more. The Australian wildfires at the start of 2021 were the most destructive ever: an area twice the size of Tasmania was affected, fully one-twelfth of the area of the continent that is not desert. The ‘heat dome’ that developed over north America during the summer brought unprecedented temperatures to northern latitudes and followed a similar heatwave over northern Europe that had seen Arctic Scandinavia experiencing periods as warm as southern Spain. Last year, Canadian fruit farmers saw their crops being ‘cooked’ on the branches and the wheat harvest is down by nearly half. Land-based glaciers continued to melt, raising sea levels and bringing coastal erosion: already 200 million people are affected by higher coastal flood levels. Tree dieback, marine heatwaves killing fish and sea life, increasingly intense weather events like droughts and floods have all been mainstream news items over the past few years. It is increasingly obvious that something is seriously wrong with our climate.
Given the importance of our environment to supporting human (and all other) life, you might have thought that the intelligent life-form that humans claim to be might have done something about it. In fact, our reaction has been to burn as many fossil fuels in the past 30 years as we had from the start of the industrial revolution to the start of the 1990’s. This will continue to warm our climate.
Every partial degree rise in the global average temperature has an increased impact on the damaging effects of climate change, increasing damage to human infrastructure and making food production more difficult. Once the increase reaches +1.5 0C, (which, on current trends could be by mid this century) the damage becomes very severe. Coral reefs, one of natures greatest beauties and nurseries to around a quarter of sea creatures, will essentially die out by this level; there are serious worries about the impact on krill, the main feedstuff for the Southern Ocean creatures and for mangrove swamps, the other main breeding ground. Effectively, the oceans face being emptied of wild fish. Limiting global temperature rises to 1.50C is currently the aspirational goal of global governments.
By +20C, the Arctic ice will melt completely in the summer months, something that has never happened in human history. The permafrost starts to irretrievably melt impacting the infrastructure of northern cities where 4m people live and releasing billions more tons CO2, making future heating quicker & inevitable. Antarctic & Greenland ice melts will raise seal level by 5m, impacting 1bn people and inundating major cities like Shanghai, Jakarta and Miami. Food production will become more difficult through major shifts in weather patterns. More species of wildlife will become extinct as shifting weather patterns deny them their food sources. Limiting global temperature increases to +20C over the course of this century remains the core of the Paris Agreement although the proposed cuts in emissions is not sufficient to achieve that and instead, we are presently heading for a plus 3 0C rise.
A rise of this magnitude would not necessarily be fatal for the survival of humanity but it would cause major disruptions to how it lives. Areas of the world would become uninhabitable due to heat stress and drought. The Amazon rainforest would likely fail and become a savannah, releasing yet more billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. It would almost certainly seem like the beginning of the apocalypse.
How do you think human societies will respond to these changes over the next couple of decades? Will we carry on pursuing economic growth at all costs because only by being ‘wealthy’ enough will we be able to but our way out of trouble? Or, will we realise that our economy as currently structured is rewarding a small proportion of people in order to destroy the future? There are alternative ways to organise our and power our activities. Will we find the political will to pursue them before it is too late?
Tapping your spoke to turn the Purbeck wheel – and how Poole dolphins can help too
Guest Post by Ian Curtis, support staff at the Environmental Change Institute, at Oxford University
“I know” she said. “But I want to be able to say that I was here”. The village hall was full. The first time for decades.
In fact, it was bursting at the seams. I had gone outside to let newcomers know they wouldn’t be able to get in. Down the side alley was the young mother. Gently rocking a pram she was looking in through the window. I went down to tell her too. I want to be able to say that I was here…. it was the inaugural village meeting on low carbon. Over 150 people had come to save the planet.
That was fifteen years ago this spring. Since then the county where I live now has over 150 green community groups. A very substantial local green economy is growing every year, community-owned solar is everywhere, and there are plenty of events, reports, conversations and media coverage. I’ve been lucky enough to watch and/or be involved with some of these initiatives and this article tries to come up with a few insights which might be of help to the fantastic people growing Planet Purbeck. Including why the Poole dolphins might have something so special to offer!
1: Make a Map!
We, humans, love maps. They are incredibly eye-catching. And they are an extraordinary multi-purpose resource. They provide a huge amount of information visually and very quickly. They tell a story. They’re easy to update. You can experiment with new ideas: where could we plant thousands of trees, have new housing, green transport, flood risk, where are our community groups? And maps join dots.
But most importantly maps get everybody to look at where they live. Indeed, that is the first thing we all do (“where’s my home?”). Then we pull back and engage with our collective shared place (and space) that is Purbeck. And maps are interactive, everybody can touch them, add to the map, whether it’s physical stickers and pins or online clicks. I can be one of the dots.
We made a big map, six feet by four feet. But it was a roll up, light and portable. So we took it everywhere. We hung it on walls. We laid it on the floor. It had tramlines so you could play snakes and ladders. Or business suits could be on their knees moving lorries, trains, cars and bicycles around new transport ideas. Using a satellite-style image made it look very real. There is immense creative energy among a group of people standing together sharing “that’s what we look like from above”.
What we really wanted also was a big 3-D one. Imagine a Purbeck model, with one of the world’s largest and most stunning natural harbours (perhaps you’ve got one?). A local company with us had a small town-based Lego one. They used it to show how water flows around us, including scary stuff like floods.
Whatever you make, make them beautiful. By local artists, crafts people, technicians, computer whizzkids: “This is us and we’re proud of Purbeck!”
2. Have a tool box
Touch, feel. Handle, pick up. Fiddle, move. Alongside our maps, one of our most successful resources was a box of things. These “things” are great ice breakers, especially for new groups and new audiences.
Most of the time – especially at events - you end up listening to somebody. Which is fine and important. But a tool box helps with talking and conversation. It also provides practical memories.
We were mostly low carbon so this defined most of our tools: low energy lightbulbs (quite revolutionary 15 years ago), bits of solar panels, smart meters, insulation, recycled products, thermal images. But we also had giant dice and a string of knickers.
Planet Purbeck is obviously much more than low carbon, so as well as above you can add a lot more variety. They can be simple too: seashells, leaves from local tree species, recipes, bug hotel, a list of local green suppliers, local books, mini-wormery, etc. Three particular suggestions:
Press cuttings: a powerful commentary from the real world (local and more widely). They’re up-to-date, dynamic, authentic, flexible – and cheap. And the vast majority of people haven’t seen them. We almost gave up printing our “literature”, flyers, etc. Not just to be green but because they just became out-of-date confetti. People engaged much more with press cuttings.
Multi-coloured strip of LED lights: Planet Purbeck will be successful because of the individual and shared efforts of thousands of people. It will not be about silver bullets but about joining dots and providing the energy to connect these dots. The modern cleantech of a strip of LEDs is a neat analogy.
Model of a brain: if you do nothing else with my scribbles, please remember this. Label one half: “LEFT - logical, analytical, methodical” and the other half: “RIGHT – creative, emotional, intuitive”. And on the back of your hand write “Two half brains make the whole world better”.
3: Use a Wheel
Quiz master, vicar, scientist, beer brewer, artist. Something really important happened at that low carbon village launch event in 2007. Unique contributors made it a unique occasion. And soon after there were more. Our local freelance journalist had the lead article on page 2 of the Guardian. The carpenter carved giant sunflowers for publicity at Glastonbury. We had street champions, solar geeks and bike repairers.
A lot of us joining green initiatives worry that we can’t make a difference, that we haven’t got much to offer. Our experience over the last 15 years has been exactly the opposite.
Because you can turn a wheel two ways. The ‘powerful’ push big heavy pedals. But everyone can tap a spoke. Our green challenges need solutions right across society and the economy – everywhere. We need accountants, artists, builders, farmers, lawyers, mechanics, shopkeepers, storytellers, teachers - and tea&cakemakers! We need people doing low carbon housing, healthy food, rewilding gardens, recycling, reducing pollution, repairing clothes, pond creation, tree planting, transport design. Planet Purbeck needs to keep inspiring people to find their special spoke – one or more - and join with willing others.
But there’s a second way that the wheel can help – the front wheel, if you like. Steerage of the process. Planet Purbeck’s strategic success will be enhanced by actively engaging with a conscious and purposeful process, taking the local society, environment and economy from A to B.
One version of such a process can be shown by these four quarters in a wheel: build awareness; create change opportunities; create supportive cultures; deploy solutions. Each of these quarters has several spokes which tie in with the above idea of different roles, skillsets and interests. For example, for any specific topic large scale or small scale (and by no means covering all the bases):
build awareness: campaigns, research, education, media, social media, local knowledge
create change opportunities: new ways of doing things, new techniques, new technologies, new markets and consumer choices, policies and regulations,
create supportive cultures: organisers, connectors, community groups, teams, art&creatives
deploy solutions: investment, grants, crowdfunding, logistics, manufacturing skills, supply chains, replication, scaling up and down
The nature of a specific project will affect the prominence and importance of different spokes. But the point of the process is to help make plans, maintain momentum and keep the wheel moving, with many revolutions.
4. Be honest about the Tough Mud
So, as I mentioned above, we’ve got 150-plus community groups on my patch. Probably nearly 5,000 events a year, 80,000 attendees – and more than 50,000 volunteer hours. A powerful green economy, brilliant scientists, greenish politicians. Not bad! But we’re still losing – badly.
This decade will be a rollercoaster, exhilarating and scary. In 2009, Sir John Beddington, the then Chief Scientist to the UK Government, suggested that by 2030 the world will be facing a "perfect storm" of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources. This week’s Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum has – for the first time - a top three of: climate action failure, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss. And locally, you will know about your own tough mud.
The people of Purbeck – and everywhere else – are not going to wake up one morning soon to find we’ve cracked it. Next year, in 2023, the world’s population will go past 8 billion. Nation states are stuck with today’s problems – even before Covid.
So, take a deep breath and accept you’re playing at least for the rest of this decade. And that’s probably just to half-time.
The exhilarating bit is “local” – like Purbeck - is powering along. Free from the shackles and inertia of nation states, communities across the UK and across the world are moving. Re-creators are teaming up with re-organisers. And from my experiences, solutions are as likely to come from kitchen table chats as from science lab benches.
5. Recruit the Poole Dolphins
An equally tough lesson from the tough mud is that while local might be a surging catalyst, “the few” are not going to cut it. Playing with less than half a team doesn’t win.
It is great to see that Planet Purbeck is buzzing with activity and supporters. But, with over 150 community groups on my patch, it still feels like we’re just scraping the surface. We need A LOT more people. Quickly. Secondly, think about the 4-quarters process on the wheel: you need as many as possible of these new recruits to be different from those who you already have. Extra skills, experiences, contacts, ideas.
The best way to recruit is through partners. Planet Purbeck already has a great group of these. But now think SCALE and DIFFERENT. Looking for big fish as an outsider, I’ve spotted two: Poole Community Group (Facebook 18,500) and Poole Town FC, aka Poole Dolphins (Twitter 13,700). [For comparison, Planet Purbeck is fb: 1,360 and tw: 200].
Lets take a look at the football fans. Madness? But I’m writing this on the day that Sir Jonathan Van Tam - aka “JVT” – has just stepped down from his pioneering COVID public engagement, where he was renowned (indeed, THE champion) for engaging people through his football analogies. There is also a tweet today entitled “Could mobilising football fans be a key climate action”. At COP26, the biggest new participant to attend was global sport. In the UK look at things like Planet Super League and Pledgeball.
What can football fans bring? Well, they live with some impressive insights on life: the unique role and opportunity of individuals within a team; performing at key moments, but also knowing when to pass the ball; coming back from losing; committed to crossing the white line again next week, regardless of what happened today; training, effort, injury, respect, anthems, cheering, pride, legacy, defeat, victory. The list goes on.
Above all, football is about hearts and minds. Every player, every fan, every official wants to because they’ve bought in emotionally. Why does this matter for the environment? Because, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “Successful movements are built on passion, they aren’t built on guilt.”
And if Arnie doesn’t get you going, try this from the Queen: “It is as important as ever to build communities and create harmony, and one of the most powerful ways of doing this is through sport … I have seen for myself how important sport is in bringing people together from all backgrounds, from all walks of life and from all age-groups. …. This sort of positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds.”
On your doorstep, think about the creative opportunity between Poole Town’s two-legged Dolphins and the tail-bearing ones in Poole Harbour. (Sustainable Wareham and Swanage & Wareham Rugby Club have already blown their kick-off whistle, with a batch of tree-planting this month – Note: press cutting!)
The real point for your recruitment champions is “go bold, go for big and different partners, go creatively”. You could get a surprise.
So, that’s it. Maps, a tool box, a wheel or two and Poole’s dolphins – some ideas that might help. And one more, if I may. What Planet Purbeck has started is something about people re-imagining how they live with their surroundings. It is about where you are now, where you have come from and where you are trying to get to. It’s a story and we need to tell more stories. About creativity, emotions and intuition as well as logic, analysis and method. And about a group of small green giants tapping their spokes to turn the wheel so that they can say “I was here”.
"Let’s be realistic"
Guest Post byRebecca Saville, who has a background in geography and town planning. She is currently reading for a PhD in Economics at SOAS, University of London and is also a member of the Planet Purbeck Campaigns Team.
Politicians and journalists habitually say, condescendingly, that environmental campaigners are unrealistic in our demands. The problem is not that we are unrealistic. The problem is that we have read the science and are operating with a different understanding of what is realistic.
The response to covid has demonstrated that what is politically and economically unrealistic can change in a few weeks. Two years ago demand for everyone to stay in their own homes for 23 hours a day was politically unthinkable; 18 months ago nearly everyone complied. In 2007 it was unthinkable that the government would give private banks support worth £1.162 trillion (£1,162,000,000,000, i.e. more than one million million); it was done by 2009. During the second world war businesses were left in private hands but subject to a degree of state direction that would have been unthinkable in 1938.
Scientific realism is not open to such adaptation. Change is happening on a geological scale, a scale that is difficult for us to comprehend. Geological speed is too slow for the human eye to detect the change sowe look to the people with the tools to detect the change, the scientists. In geological time, the fifth major extinction was 66 million years ago when three quarters of plants and animals, including the dinosaurs, were driven to extinction by climate change. Then climate change was caused by an asteroid. Today we are living through the sixth major extinction, an outcome of climate change caused by us. The faster the climate changes the more difficult it is for plants, animals and ourselves to adapt.
If we want to limit and slow climate change we have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions fast. Scientists inform us that carbon emissions need to be cut 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 to give us a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. If all the pledges made at COP26 are met, global emissions in 2030 will be 14% higher than those in 2010. Politicians and journalists tell us that, in terms of political realism, this was a success. To be realistic in scientific terms, it was a failure.
When political and economic realism collides with scientific realism there can be only one winner. Slowly but inexorably scientific realism will grind political realism to dust. Slowly but inexorably more species die. Stewardship of the natural world is not only a moral responsibility, it is in the interest of the vast majority of people. Responsible stewardship requires substantial and rapid action. It is the only realistic response if we want to protect the beauty of Purbeck.
Special Edition - Volunteering Opportunities and events Near You!
A GREEN PURBECK CHRISTMAS!
Why not make it Green this year! We've gathered lots of info on how to have a more planet-friendly Christmas, including local events, sustainable or hand-made gift ideas and recipes just for you!
Planet Purbeck's vision is a cleaner, greener future for everyone in our community! Our mission to create change can be achieved by supporting and amplifying all the local events which promote sustainable ideas.That's why we put together this newsletter; we wanted to provide you with a range of local activities and ideas to help you have a greener Christmas whilst making a positive impact on the environment!
There are so many events happening in and around Purbeck organised by local organisations - what takes your fancy?
Christmas at Swanage Library
Kiln Fired Clay Workshop Festive Tealights
Thursday 2nd December 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at Carey's Secret Garden
Be inspired by nature, in nature! During this workshop, under expert tuition, you will create your very own tealight holder and during the workshop, you will also glaze them. Your creations will then be taken away to be fired in a kiln oven and returned ready for collection from Carey’s Secret Garden two weeks later.
Dorset Diving Services Talk - In the Company of Seahorses
Date: Thursday 2nd December 5.45 pm
Seahorses are instantly recognisable and have been a part of our culture for millennia, yet we still know very little about these enigmatic creatures. Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher have spent hundreds of hours in British waters observing native seahorses, witnessing at first hand how they behave in the wild, and how they interact with the other plants and animals in their underwater realm. With stunning photography, In the Company of Seahorses paints a rich picture of a mysterious world amongst swaying seagrass and colourful seaweeds.
Saturday 4th December, 10.00 am - 3 pm at The Borough Gardens, Cornwall Road, Dorchester, DT1 1RG.
Still, in a safe outdoor environment and still FREE ENTRY everyone can come and enjoy this superb outdoor event with 35+ stalls of 100% vegan products. There will be many stalls from local businesses offering a variety of delicious hot and cold food, tea, coffee and yummy cakes, and other fine cuisines. Along with health and beauty care, ethical clothing, eco-friendly products, jewellery, information & advice and so much more!
We're excited to invite you to join us for a festive 'wild night in' on Thursday 9 December. Chief Executive Brian Bleese will be joined by a panel of special guests including our President, Dr George McGavin. You'll hear all about Dorset's wildlife species in winter, from insects to beavers, and what you can do to help your local wildlife in cold weather.
We hope you'll come and join us in the Corn Exchange, with stalls run by several of Wareham’s local community groups selling items from Cakes and Craft to Jewellery and Woodcraft and lots more besides. There will also be a tombola and a chance to win some great eco-friendly raffle prizes.
Saturday 18th December, 3:30 - 5:00 pm Durlston is hosting two fantastic events in the ‘run-up to Christmas’, with a unique showing of ‘The Snowman’ with a live score and encouraging audience participation.
Following at 8 pm – 9.30 pm will be ‘Candlelit Tales for the Longest Night’ - an evening of tales of enchantment and hauntings with a live musical accompaniment.
Set up a supermarket delivery, with food listed on the image below
Buy gifts, entrance vouchers, or Monkey Money to spend at the park. Call us on 01929 462537 (Mon-Fri, 9-4 pm) to do so.
All funds from adoptions, the GoFundMe campaign, and the donation option on our gift shop go into the Ape Rescue Trust, a 100% fund used solely for the rescue and care of the monkeys and apes at Monkey World, with no administrative costs removed.
Adoption Packs from Dorset Wildlife Trust
Looking for a great way to benefit wildlife with your Christmas gift shopping? Adopting a red squirrel, barn owl or seahorse will help safeguard their habitat for the future, while a gift membership will help fund vital conservation and advocacy work for all of Dorset's species. Online and postal options are available (please note, the post-cut-off date is 15 December).
Why not give the gift of learning a new experience from The Veterans Forge - A hidden gem in Corfe Castle! Here, Will Spicer recycles everything from copper boilers, tank tracks, bolts and gun barrels, and turns them into attractive flowers, benches, and memorial plaques.
Learn how to make copper roses, nails, hooks and pokers either on your own or with a loved one. Experience days are £80 10:00am - 4:00pm. For further info please contact Will email@example.com or call 07565405103.
Home-made gifts and recipes
How about trying to make Christmas Gifts, or experimenting with new planet-friendly festive recipes? Here's what some of our Planet Purbeck members have been creating and also, some of their favourite recipes!
Candles made re-using glass dessert dishes!
You can experiment with decorative additions, here we've made one decorated using freshly picked daisies from the garden!
Macrame decorations and coasters made using recycled organic cotton twine. Here are some quick and easy video's to get you started:
We've gathered lots of info on local volunteering opportunities and we wanted to share them with you!
Planet Purbeck's vision is a cleaner, greener future for everyone in our community! Our mission tocreate change can be achieved by supporting local environmental projects and amplifying all the efforts of our community. With that said, we cannot do it alone, we are stronger together!
That's why we put together this email; to provide you with a range of opportunities that will help you get stuck in whilst making a positive impact on the environment!
Volunteering and Apprenticeship Opportunities...
'Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to get us in the mood than giving back. With so many fantastic local groups around, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved, here are a selection...
RSPB Arne present - 'Pull a Pine'
Saturday 4th December 10:00am - 3.30pm (Last entry to site at 2:30pm)
Come and enjoy the festive fun and help save our Heathland this December. Spend the day pulling saplings and finding your perfect eco Xmas tree (or as many as you can fit in your car!). RSPB Arne Pull a Pine Tickets (adult members £12.50, non-members £15.50, children under 16 free): https://events.rspb.org.uk/events/909
RSPB Arne also presents - A Christmas Fair Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December
Spend the day walking around our beautiful reserve spotting the thousands of wetland birds on display. And whilst you’re here you can purchase your perfect eco Christmas tree (prices dependant on size). Enjoy live music, mulled cider and winter warming food, crafting for children and grownups and you can get all your Christmas shopping done at our Festive Fair.
No tickets are required, free entry for Members, normal car park charge for non-members.
National Trust's Slow the Flow project
The National Trust would like to build dams out of willow on two of the streams on East Common in Corfe. These dams will help to hold back and slow down the flow of water, in order to reduce the risk of flooding downstream. The dams have the added advantage of improving the habitat for rare species such as the Southern Damselfly.
The Blue Pool and surrounding Furzebrook Estate are designated an SSSI for its Lowland Heath habitat. Maintaining this important landscape comes with its challenges, none more so than keeping in check the highly invasive Rhododendron ponticum. Each year the Estates team tackle the vast amounts of well established Rhodie plants across the estate but with the resources available, it's a tall order! This is where you come in.....
Can you spare a day, half-day or even a few hours to help? Please get in touch for a rewarding day of cutting, burning and team building. For more information, please contactDavid@TheBluePool.co.uk
Dorset Wildlife Trust
They need local people to join our keen group of volunteers at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, Kimmeridge.
With increasing concerns about the climate and ecological emergency and marine litter, alongside a newly created network of protected areas in the sea, our work has never been more important. No expertise is needed, we provide training. Our aim is to enable Wild Seas Centre visitors to leave feeling empowered to make simple changes in their everyday lives that benefit the planet and help tackle the environmental issues of our day.
Countryside Worker and Countryside Ranger Apprenticeship
If you'd love a job outdoors gaining 18- or 26- months paid experience and achieving the new Level 2 Apprentice qualification alongside other vocational qualifications, then this apprenticeship is for you.
Level 2 recruitment will be taking place in February / March 2022. Please register on our Jobsite. We manage the scheme in partnership withKingston Maurward College and you will also be enrolled at the college.
Apprentice Rangers receive formal training in the use of brush cutters and first aid. Training will be given on various topics including rights of way law, interpretation and wildlife identification.
The Young People Volunteering Group will be launching on the 2nd January 2022. Meeting every Sunday from then, 10 am to 3 pm at Studland Bay.
Activities include removing invasive species and vegetation, habitat creation for rare species, litter picking, monitoring, and conservation work with tools. Meeting at the Discovery Centre. Dress appropriately, bring lunch, water and lots of energy!
Purbeck's nature needs champions to showcase its amazing diversity, stories and scarcity to a wide range of audiences: Programming & education - create educational materials, learning packs, activities & experiences. Engagement delivery - build awareness by delivering education, engagement & advocacy events for visitors, schools and communities. Creative communications - produce media content including articles & images.
Ecological Surveyor Volunteers
We need help in ensuring that key habitats and species are monitored to evidence the impact of beavers. Botany - Track habitat changes and monitor indicator species. Amphibian surveys (from March 2022) - Using search and sampling methods to establish the presence of newts, frogs and toads. Odonata surveys (from May 2022) - Survey dragonflies and damselflies across the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve.
Beaver Manager Volunteers
Where beavers can impact existing infrastructure, it is crucial to monitor, swiftly report and manage any conflicts as they arise. Regularly monitor allocated infrastructure, using walked routes and scheduled site visits. Work with designated private landowners on monitoring schedules. Learn about and support project staff with practical beaver management activities (e.g. dam removal). This role will form a crucial part of trialling and developing long-term beaver management capacity for Purbeck. It will not launch until beavers have arrived and settled in (est. 2022), but you can express your interest now.
If you have any questions about these volunteer roles or you would like to get involved, please email Gen Crisford, Engagement Officer for the Purbeck Beaver Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for a job? Aged 16-24? Claiming Universal Credit? The Kickstart scheme is a Government funding project to help young people get a paid, short term contract job with prospects.
Durlston Earlier in the year, Dorset Council employed Kickstart Assistant Countryside Rangers across the county. We can now offer some more eligible candidates a place within our Ranger Teams for a 6-month post. If you're interested and fit the above criteria, get a referral through your Job Centre and get in touch. Here's a video from the Durlston Kickstarters.
The Veterans Forge C.I.C Are looking to recruit 3 people aged between 18 and 24 for placement on the Kickstart scheme for 3 days a week. Skills you would gain during your time on the forge include Blacksmithing, First aid, Mounted abrasive discs, Fire Marshalling and much more.
If you'd like to get involved in Planet Purbeck projects, why not join our Land Use Team!
Land Use Team Monthly Meetings - last Tuesday of every month Next one: Tuesday 25 Jan 7:00 - 8:30 pmJoin Zoom Meeting Keep an eye on our Mighty Network page where events will be advertised and information shared; if you're not already a member you can joinhere.
If you'd like to read about upcoming local events and volunteering opportunities, you can view them on the Planet Purbeck Events page. Additionally, if are offering any of the above and would like us to share them with our members, pleaseget in touch.
Thanks for reading!
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I don't know about you, but with so many COP26 reports, opinions, and all of the analysis, it's been hard to decipher if it was a success or failure!? To help you decide, we wanted to share the best post-COP26 analysis we could find. It's wonderfully concise, and identifies practical actions we can all do!
Rob Waitt Planet Purbeck Founder
Was COP26 a success?
There were many announcements that came out of the conference in Glasgow but in terms of judging its success, the devil really is in the detail.
There’ve been highs and lows, some hail it as a success, others as a failure. It is perhaps best summarized by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres:
"The approved texts are a compromise. They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. They take important steps, but unfortunately, the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions."
COP26 laid bare the huge spread in national interests. As negotiations came to a close, pressure mounted to water down commitments on fossil fuels, and coal in particular, while the small island states made clear that anything above 1.5 degrees temperature spelt catastrophe for them.
Interpretation of success depends very much on your aims and perspective.
Below are some of the highs and lows of COP26 to help with the detail:
The maximum temperature rise of 1.5 degrees was recognised as the goal, with strong references to the science behind this.
Commitment to redouble efforts from wealthy nations on providing climate finance
Commitment to restate national targets annually, instead of every 5 years. This is designed to drive action in the 2020s
Much of the detail that needed to be agreed upon from the Paris Agreement of 2015 was achieved
133 countries committing to end and reverse deforestation by 2030
Over 100 governments pledged a 30 per cent reduction in methane by 2030
Commitments from 40 countries to phase out coal-fired power, the most carbon-intensive way of producing electricity
US / China Pledge to work together on climate in key areas, including methane
Finance sector commitment to align $130 trillion of investment to 1.5-degree goals
Nearly 5000 companies, cities, regions and universities commit to halving emissions by 2030 in Race to Zero
The end of the combustion engine is in sight, Glasgow Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans to end the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035 in leading markets and 2040 worldwide.
Public-private alignment on key breakthroughs in clean technologies in five key sectors of the economy – power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture
Lows; for many, COP26 was a failure, reasons for this include:
Even if all commitments are implemented, we will still see global warming of 2.4 degrees Celsius, which would be catastrophic
Many questions still remain on finance. Wealthy nations have not delivered what they have already committed to, and furthermore, there is a need for a huge amount more
Those countries already heavily affected by climate change continue to be frustrated at the slow pace of any plan to recompense them for the damage caused by climate change from those who caused it.
Campaigners have repeatedly expressed concern that commitments do not turn to action, and we need action now to have a chance of hitting 1.5 degrees.
So, was it a success? That will all depend on whether commitments made in Glasgow turn to action, and whether countries are prepared to commit to and deliver on much stronger targets in the next few years.
What can you do?
Why not write to your local politician to encourage them to urge your government to make stronger commitments to achieve 1.5 degrees. And there are lots more step ideas on your personal progress page on Giki Zero if you are keen to influence others too.
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Fundraising Art Auction Raised £3,895 Our Land Use team now has the funds to start some exciting new projects including planting hedgerows near Corfe and an orchard at Whitecliff. A BIG Thank You to everyone who donated work or placed bids at the auction and to Hester Viney for organising the event! Want to get involved? Join our next Land Use team meeting and find out how you can help. The meeting takes place on the last Tuesday of every month, 5-6.30pm on Zoom. Click below for the link or email Alexia Haysom (Land Use Coordinator) for more info.
Without the generosity of Talbot Village Trust, the Planet Purbeck festival would still be a dream... In this short clip, Nick explains what the trust does and how they came to provide vital support for Planet Purbeck.
Thank you Talbot Village Trust!
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