Henley’s new Mayor joined nearly seventy residents of Henley and surrounding villages who gathered in the Town Hall last Thursday evening to participate in a public consultation event hosted by Greener Henley on how we can boost nature and halve Henley’s carbon footprint by 2030, and what help we need from our local councils to do this.
The consultation was designed to canvass the views of the local community on how we all rise to the challenges of the climate and nature emergency in our town. There was representation from a very wide section of the community including schools (including students from Gillotts and Shiplake College), councillors and business owners to sports clubs (ADVHQ) and community groups (Rotary).
The session began with a presentation by sustainability and communications expert Ed Hopkins, who explained how the triple planetary crises of global warming, biodiversity collapse and soil degradation are inextricably linked, and what the biggest areas of individual impact are in terms of cutting our carbon footprint. The event also welcomed Catriona Bass, Co-Founder of the Nature Recovery Network (West Oxfordshire) and Co-Founder of the Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project who spoke remotely about the amazing work by the community in Eynsham to restore nature and improve wildlife.
Kate Oldridge, Greener Henley volunteer and organiser, said: “This was the second public consultation event we have organised and we are rather taken aback that both events have been so popular they sold out days beforehand. We feel that community public engagement is becoming ever more crucial as this crisis accelerates, and it is a very effective tool in raising awareness and encouraging people to take action. The room was buzzing with energy and ideas about boosting nature and cutting the collective carbon footprint of our town. The evening was truly an example of how we can be stronger together in the face of this emergency. We are extremely grateful to the Mayor of Henley, Cllr Sarah Miller, for supporting this event.”
This event was a prelude to a week of green activities that has been organised by local environmental group, Greener Henley, as part of the national initiative, Great Big Green Week. This will kick off with the Great Big Green Fair, to be held in Market Place on Saturday 10 June, where lots of different parts of the community will be coming together to show how Henley is taking action to tackle climate change and protect nature. Information on all the events for Henley’s Great Big Green week is available here.
The presentation of the findings of the consultation will take place 5:30pm-7pm on Thursday 8 June in the Town Hall, and those results will be published shortly afterwards. Professor Richard Fortey and Ed Hopkins will be speaking at the event on 8 June, and places will be limited: please email Kate Oldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to volunteer for Greener Henley during Great Big Green Week.
Photos by Nemone Caldwell