Events in 2012
Nuclear Power – Disaster or Saviour? (February)
We watched a short video which explained in simple terms how nuclear power is generated and then viewed some powerpoint slides about the challenges of energy security and climate change.
We listened to a series of interviews about some of the safety, economic and environmental issues relating to Nuclear Power and discussed what we had heard.
Both before and after the session people were asked to state where they stood on the subject of nuclear power, by putting coloured Post it notes on a scale.
The evening made us focus our minds on the climate change challenge which may have greater consequences for humankind than those posed by nuclear power generation.
Visit to the Urban Farm (April)
Nineteen of us enjoyed a visit to the Urban Farm in Wolverton and saw how a redundant piece of land has been transformed over a period of 3-4 years into a productive food growing area providing salads, fruit, vegetables and eggs to various outlets in the locality.
Thanks to the expertise of the staff, and the utilisation of the site’s polytunnels and greenhouses, produce was available for sale for 48 weeks in the previous year.
On returning to the Christian Foundation, Stephen Norrish, Director, told us about how the Urban Farm and the Foundation’s other environmental projects develop skills and provide meaningful and rewarding work for youngsters for whom traditional school has not worked effectively. Through the course of each year several hundred youngsters benefit from these projects.
Visit to the Linslade Waste Water Treatment works (May)
We enjoyed a morning learning what happens to the water that we use in our toilets, baths and sinks, before it ends up in the river!
The works at Linslade, which covers a large site close to the canal and river Ouzel, processes the waste water from businesses and around 35,000 homes in the Leighton Buzzard area. The water is subjected to several separate processes and completes the cycle through the plant in 24 hours. It is much improved, but not fit for drinking, by the end of this cycle.
We learned that not all the chemicals in the waste water entering the site can be removed completely by the water treatment process. There is a mechanism for ensuring that toxic chemicals are not allowed to escape into the river, but it is important for us to do our bit by taking care what we discard down the sink.
Conserve and Preserve (September)
Hazel Roberts and Laura Kos from successful local business Jammy Cow met with us in the kitchens at the Well to give us a demonstration of jam making, using frozen Jostaberries (larger than blackcurrants, with some gooseberry characteristics).
Jammy Cow uses locally grown produce in its jams and supplies local retailers such as Frosts.
We were able to sample the jams afterwards and purchase a range of their products.
Green Politics (November)
We enjoyed an evening with Tom Bulman hearing about his experiences standing as a Green Party candidate in recent years in local elections in the north of the city.
Tom explained that his motivation for initially offering to stand for the election was to provide voters with the opportunity to vote for a Green candidate. Canvassing on the doorsteps gave him the opportunity to talk to lots of people, but was very time-consuming.