Climate Change

At the MCA meeting in late 2018 the new chairman’s proposal that confronting climate change should be a priority was endorsed by the new committee, also as a possible way to attract younger members.  A number of measures were discussed, including using the Wellbeing Fair in March 2019 to kick-start the formation of a Climate Action Menston group; encouraging Kirklands Trust to introduce charging points for electric vehicles; and to learn from the experience of other local groups by attending the inaugural meeting of Yorkshire Low Carbon Communities.

The inaugural meeting of the so-called “Climate of Collaboration” group duly took place at Otley Core Resource Centre on 19th March 2019 and Jonathan Gadd and Goodith White attended on behalf of Menston. Other communities represented were Ilkley, Harrogate, Addingham, Knaresborough, Kirkstall and a representative from Friends of the Earth.  Experiences were shared  on strategic planning (e.g. setting up climate emergency campaigns), focussing on low carbon energy, transport and reduction of waste.  Further meetings have taken place and members keep in touch on the Slack instant messaging system.

Climate Action Menston has gone from strength to strength with over 30 people from across the village community actively involved in tackling environmental issues. The vicar has spearheaded a campaign to get commitment from local businesses, some 400 trees were planted on a private plot of land behind God’s Acre Cemetery (thanks to Emma Dalton’s coordination), and young students from St Mary’s School are campaigning to cut down on plastic waste.  Just to mention a few successes!  Please click on this link for further details of CAM and how you can get involved in future events:

It was intended to consolidate this success in the 2020 Wellbeing Fair to coincide with World Earth Day but unfortunately this had to be cancelled, like so many other events in April due to the virus. However MCA has worked with the primary school this year to encourage writing about climate change.  Examples of the children’s’ work have been included in Menston News and displayed in Menston Community Library.  The library has also joined in our awareness campaign by dedicating a special section of books to climate change and the environment.  At the time of writing we eagerly look forward to the library re-opening!

One positive to draw from the virus has been the government announcement of more money for charging points and our hopes have been raised that we shall achieve a couple of these at Kirklands all being well.