The first thing to know is that we’re actually Greening Steyning, Bramber & Upper Beeding, but that’s quite a mouthful!
Who are we?
We are an active and enthusiastic local group working to create a sustainable, low-carbon future for Steyning, Bramber, Upper Beeding and the surrounding area. Our aim is to get the whole community thinking about what we can do to tackle climate change – and taking action so that together we can make a real difference.
Why we were set up
Our origins date back to 2010 when a group of local people came together to share their concerns about the need for action on the climate. Back then the evidence was already mounting that unless we act quickly to cut carbon emissions, humanity will face terrible problems in the years to come due to global warming, sea level rise, famine, and related knock-on effects. We felt it was time for ordinary people to step in and show that we’re
ready to take action to defend our children’s futures.
Since then, the evidence has become overwhelming. We are facing a climate emergency combined with a growing ecological crisis involving widespread species loss and habitat destruction. As the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and many others expert bodies point out, unless we act decisively, we are heading for disaster. It’s now or never.
The original name for the group was the ‘Steyning 10:10 Climate Action Group’. When we launched a Greening Campaign in 2011 we took on ‘Greening Steyning, Bramber and Beeding’ as a more descriptive name. As that’s a bit of a mouthful, we often use ‘Greening Steyning’ as shorthand.
To find out more about how we got started and what we’ve achieved so far, see the Short History of Greening Steyning (coming soon).
What we do
We use a whole range of approaches to raise awareness of climate issues and encourage people to take action. For example, we:
Meet regularly and host monthly Green Drinks talks with inspiring speakers.
Provide practical information on how individuals and families can cut their carbon emissions.
Run campaigns on specific green issues, such as the current one to make Steyning, Bramber and Beeding a ‘Plastic Free’ Community.
Work with our local Parish Councils, schools, and local businesses to spread the climate message and encourage them to take action.
Encourage people to ‘Vote for Climate Action’. We are not party political but we host hustings debates before elections so people can meet the candidates and hear what they have to say on green issues.
Organise rallies, such as the Sept 2019 Climate March, and lobby local and central government to take action on the climate.
Put on stalls at local fêtes and street fairs to promote green issues.
Work with local schools to help support their efforts to involve and educate the next generation of green activists.
Set up field trips to visit interesting local sites, such as the Ford Recycling Facility and the Knepp Estate rewilding project.
Keep people up to speed with what’s happening via a regular email newsletter and through social media.
In June 2020, we launched an ambitious new initiative – the 2030 Project. This aims to create a shared vision for what we want our community to look like by 2030, and then to work with others to make it happen. Find out more about it here.
Who is involved?
Greening Steyning is run entirely on volunteer power. We are made up of people of all ages from across the community, and everybody is welcome to join in. You can do this by signing up to our email newsletter and coming along to any of our events or talks.
We work hard to create links with other local Parish Councils, schools, churches and other community organisations. Our philosophy is that we can achieve much more if we work together.
How we are organised
Greening Steyning is an informal voluntary organisation, an ‘unincorporated association’ in legal terms. We are very open and democratic and are always looking for new suggestions on how we be most effective. We hold periodic Planning Meetings to share ideas and spark discussion on where to focus our efforts.
We are run by a Steering Group made up of members who’ve volunteered to step up to take on an active organising role. We are looking to strengthen this as the 2030 Project gets underway. If you would like to get involved in this, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]
There are just three formal positions at present:
Co-Chairs: Geoff Barnard and Paul Hannam
Treasurer: John Cole
Constitution and policies
Here are links to some of the key documents and policies which explain how we work, all of which were updated in autumn 2020: