Monthly Archives: August 2020

Berkeley Vale Climate Action Network

by Jenny Cotterill

We held our inaugural Berkeley ValeCAN  meeting in January 2020 and having made tentative plans to engage local people with our aims, lockdown got in the way. Keeping in touch on zoom during the early months of the year, our small group decided to plan an event to reach out to our neighbours in Berkeley in a safe, socially distanced way. 

On August 1st, in Berkeley Square, we set up a small stall decorated with pictures made by children from Slimbridge Primary depicting eco-friendly activities and an option-board asking people to sticker their most serious environmental concerns from six chosen areas. We also had a collection of potted purple basil plants to give away.

It proved a really successful day, most people we approached were happy to talk to us and others crossed the road in order to do so. Single use plastic (being fuelled by added Anti-Covid masks/gloves) was the greatest  concern, followed by wishing to retain & improve local shopping. This will inform our approach to future events.

We all thoroughly enjoyed chatting to people about their environmental worries and how to start finding ways of overcoming them including joining our local group. Even better, our contact list doubled.

We are now planning to hold another stall near Slimbridge school to catch the parents as they collect their children which we hope will be equally if not more successful.

Building a Network of Local Climate Action Groups across Stroud District

by Fred Barker

Transition Stroud (TS) has been working to encourage, enable and support the setting up of community-based Climate Action Groups (CAGs) across the District. These groups have a key part to play in mobilising their local communities to reduce carbon emissions and build community resilience.

During 2019, TS organised ‘start-up’ workshops in Stroud, Dursley and Berkeley. These led to the creation of new groups, including in Dursley and Berkeley Vale. Since then, it has supported initial meetings of a range of new groups, including in Coaley, Cainscross, Minchinhampton, Stroud Town and, most recently, Brimscombe and Thrupp.

Overall, there are around 18 groups in various stages of development, covering approximately half of the District’s 52 parishes. Some are community led, some Parish Council led. Some cover a single parish, some a small cluster of parishes. This online map shows the location of groups, their geographic coverage, and how to contact them. (Click on the dot and information comes up).

TS is now planning online events to encourage new groups to form in other parts of Stroud District. If you would like to help set up a new group in your parish, please get in touch (see the e-mail address below).

TS is also committed to developing and supporting a network of local CAGs across the District. As part of this, we have convened six meetings of a district-wide CAN (Climate Action Network) Forum for representatives of local groups – since lockdown these meetings have successfully moved online. The Forum enables the sharing of information, experience and learning, and encourages collaborative working.

At recent Forum meetings we’ve focused on how local groups can emerge from lockdown. In June, we discussed ideas for practical local projects on local food growing, domestic energy efficiency, reducing the use of petrol/diesel cars; and developing local skills for community resilience. In July, we heard presentations on the District Council’s ‘Recover, Reset, and Renew’ strategy, and on Horsley CAN’s Action Plan about how to respond to the local opportunities and threats arising from the pandemic.

For further information about the network of local climate action groups contact

Fred Barker,

Transition Stroud

24 August 2020