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Low Carbon Oxford North news - November 2019

Welcome to our latest newsletter. (Please note: if the links in the table of contents are not working in your email, click 'view it in your browser' above right.) In this edition we cover:

LCON news Other Oxford news National and International news

Taking action

Diary dates

LCON news

It's National Tree Week - help us plant more trees in North Oxford

We are gearing up for National Tree Week (23 November - 1 December) and hope to see lots of you at our next tree planting event. We are delighted to have secured funding for 500 trees from the International Tree Foundation ( - now we need help to plant them!

When? Saturday 30 November, from 10am until about 1pm.
Where? Sunnymead Rec Ground (next to Cutteslowe Community Centre, Wren Road. Meet at the playground opposite Cutteslowe Community Centre, from where we’ll guide you to the site).

Please share with your family and friends – all ages are welcome, no experience necessary, and children are encouraged to help (please make sure any children are accompanied by a responsible adult; LCON cannot accept responsibility for unaccompanied children).

Turn up any time from 10am and we will guide you to the exact site. We will provide cake, hot drinks, trees and equipment. Julian Cooper, Oxford Direct Services’ Landscape and Countryside Supervisor, will be there to oversee the planting and provide advice and help. More information here

North Oxford Climate Change Eco Fair – find out how you can take action

Come along to FairPlay's Climate Change Eco Fair for the North Oxford community on Saturday 23 November, 11am to 2.30pm, at St Michael’s Church on Lonsdale Road. Over 25 stalls will provide advice on recycling, repair and upcycling, planting trees, solar panels, food waste and composting, house insulation, changing to green energy, reducing plastic waste, electric cars and bikes, local allotments, supporting poorer communities, campaigning, lobbying decision makers and more. 

E-Car Club test drive and Q&A

LCON will be at the Eco Fair at St Michael's Church on Saturday 23 November (see above) with the Summertown car club’s new electric Renault Zoe, from 11am to 2pm. We will be offering short rides in the car, which has an impressive 120-mile range, and answering your questions about what it is like to be in the car club. And especially for this event, E-Car are offering free sign-up and £10 driving credits. See you there!

Talking with friends and family about the Climate Emergency - workshop 23 November

This workshop is for people who want to build their confidence having difficult conversations about climate change with friends, family, or colleagues. 

The workshop, which runs from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, was created by Rosemary Randall, long-standing expert on climate psychology, and will be led by Rebecca Nestor, an experienced facilitator who has been trained by Rosemary. Find out more and register on Eventbrite. The workshop is part of the Eco-Fair at St Michael's church, which takes place between 11am and 2.30 pm (see above). Come to the fair and then join the workshop! 

News from CoHSAT (the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel)

CoHSAT was created following the "Roads are for People" event in November last year, at which Andrew Gilligan urged community groups in Oxford with an interest cycling, walking and public transport to come together to speak with one voice. A year on and coalition members met on 30 October to reflect on the past year and decide on strategy moving forward. This will be shared once agreed with members.  

Meanwhile, following publication of the county and city's radical 'Connecting Oxford' proposals and a meeting of all CoHSAT member groups, CoHSAT has submitted a combined response to the proposals which has been welcomed by both councils. A decision is expected by the County Council in December on whether to proceed with the plans in the light of consultation responses. 

CoHSAT continues to progress the five activities funded by the Low Carbon Hub (Broad Street traffic restrictions, New Inn Hall Street, travel to school, college parcel deliveries and a low-traffic neighbourhood in Florence Park), all of which have gained in significance since the publication of Connecting Oxford. You can find out more about these on the CoHSAT website. CoHSAT will be hosting a conference in February or March where we will be presenting the results of the activities. More soon.

Climate Cafe moves to monthly format

We are delighted to announce that our Climate Cafes will now take place monthly instead of quarterly. We hope this increased frequency will make it easier for you to take part when it suits you. The cafes will continue to be facilitated by Rebecca Nestor, now joined as co-facilitator by Alison Hill. They will run at the Bicycle Shed, 204 Banbury Road, at 3.30 on Sundays 24 November, 19 January, and 23 February. More dates will be added soon on the Climate Cafes Meetup page

If you would like a Climate Cafe for a group of friends or colleagues, do get in touch. Climate Cafes provide a supportive space in which to talk about how the climate crisis is affecting us - without pressure to act.

Seven ways to reduce carbon emissions - spread the word!

Oxford Together on Climate Change (a coalition of Oxfordshire organisations including LCON) and Rosehill Community Centre have launched a video with local residents featuring 7 simple things you can do in your day to day life to make a difference. Please share widely, and if you would like Oxford Together on Climate Change and the 7 simple actions to feature on an Oxford double-decker bus, you can vote for them in the 'Brand the Bus' competition run by Oxford Bus Company (entry no 22). Deadline 29 November.

Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly on climate concludes with a call to move faster towards net zero

The second weekend of the Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change took place on 19 and 20 October. Participants concluded with a call for fast action with 90% voting in favour of Oxford seeking to achieve net zero carbon sooner than the 2050 deadline set by Government. A report on the Citizens Assembly will be presented to the City Council in the coming months and, it is hoped, inform its future sustainability strategy. In the meantime, expert presentations to the Citizens Assembly are available to view through Oxford City’s website.

We were delighted to be invited to the last day of the citizens' assembly, to let assembly members know about the activities of the city’s climate community action groups and the options for further engagement on climate issues - such as Oxford Together on Climate Change, repair cafes, climate cafes, Wild Oxford work parties and many more. We are also working with other community groups and the City Council to hold a bigger public meeting following up the Citizens’ Assembly: watch this space. 

LCON members take part in XR’s October Rebellion

With over 1,700 people arrested and significant media coverage, Extinction Rebellion’s October Rebellion continued the momentum started a year ago. At the same time, the police approach of dismantling all infrastructure and, controversially, declaring a ban on the protests in London (an action since ruled unlawful by the High Court) made the rebels all the more determined to bring the climate emergency to the forefront of people’s minds. LCON’s Rebecca Nestor and Tina Leonard both took part in actions during the week. Tina participated in a 14 hour sit in outside the BBC, asking them to ‘tell the truth’ about the catastrophe: this was not covered by the BBC.  Tina says, "It was very disappointing that it took the unpopular action at Canning Town underground station to focus the BBC’s attention on the rebellion, especially as this action was widely condemned from within XR itself." Rebecca comments, "I went to London expecting to be using my professional training and facilitation skills to help run workshops and provide emotional support for activists. But because we had no infrastructure to do this, I ended up as an activist myself. I felt both privileged to be part of the Rebellion and desperately sad that we have not yet been able to persuade politicians, the media and large corporations to stop ignoring the climate emergency." XR is currently debriefing on October and starting to make plans for the future. We wish them well.

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is looking for more Retrofit Coordinators

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire partner RetrofitWorks, along with the Retrofit Academy, are running a subsidised training course on 2 and 3 December 2019 in Oxford, to train more Retrofit Coordinators. Deadline for registration is 14 November 2019. Please pass on to anyone who might be interested. Details are on the Low Carbon Hub website

Good-bye and thank you to Sam - and call for new trustees

Sam Daws stepped down as trustee in October due to work commitments.  We have been so grateful for his valuable contributions over the time he was with us as a trustee. He has contributed to our Climate Cafes, been active on our stalls in Jericho, and been immensely helpful on issues of governance. We will miss him. He will remain an active member of LCON and we will be seeking out his wise thoughts over the coming year.

We have vacancies for more trustees and would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining our friendly team. Trustees meet once a month and have the opportunity to get involved in, and shape, a range of issues to suit their interests, including energy, travel, trees, waste reduction and more (no expert knowledge necessary!).  Do get in touch with Alison Hill to find out more (email:

Other Oxford news

Teaching and the climate emergency – talk by Martin Evans 11 November, and new Kids Climate Action website

Should children be taught more about the climate emergency at school? Come along on 11 November to hear Martin Evans share his thoughts on how climate change can be taught in the A level geography curriculum, as well as changes to the wider A level curriculum. Martin is former Chair of the the A Level Content Advisory Board Geography panel and current Chair of the Conference of Heads of Geography in Higher Education. The talk is at 5pm, in the Lecture Theatre at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment on South Parks Road. No need to register, the event is free and open to the public. Details here.

And if you're interested in climate change teaching resources for primary school children, check out the new Kids Climate Action Network website, which contains a wealth of materials and information suitable for children, for use at school or at home. 

More trees!

Our 30 November tree planting morning (see above) is part of a much wider drive to double tree cover in Oxfordshire by 2045. Oxfordshire Friends of the Earth and partner organisations have launched Oxfordshire Trees for the Future (or OxTrees), a campaign and hub to encourage and enable tree planting across the county. Volunteer tree planters are welcome for various action days in November and December, to coincide with National Tree Week, which runs from 23 November to 1 December. OxTrees welcome anyone looking to get involved in any aspect of this work. Find out how here

And if you are unable to make these events, and/ or if you want to do some planting on your own patch, take a look at the guidance and resources which we have compiled on our website

Oxfam superstore opens at Oxford Business Park (Cowley)

Buying second-hand is one way we can all reduce our carbon footprint and do good. With Christmas rapidly approaching, why not visit Oxfam's new superstore? Located at the Oxford Business Park in Cowley, it sells a huge range of goods including clothes, handcrafted gifts, homeware and more - in fact "everything", according to one customer.

Fast Forward Oxfordshire

What could Oxford be like in 2040 if we've tackled climate change effectively? What do we have to do now to have the best chance for a safe future? Fast Forward Oxfordshire is a new publication from Oxford Friends of the Earth that explores how we can move ‘fast forward’ to a safe zero-carbon future. It covers Homes and settlements, Transport, Work, Energy, Food, and Nature, and outlines 20 policies that local and national government could implement now, along with six stories of life in 2040. Ideas include a new metro rail system that runs through Oxford, a meat tax and a home retrofitting co-operative.

CAG Oxfordshire are looking for new board members

Are you passionate about local solutions to climate change and interested in helping steer the largest local network of community environmental groups in the UK? CAG Oxfordshire are looking for people with some time, energy and skills to join their board. If you or someone you know might be interested, please check out the CAG Oxfordshire website and recruitment pack here and help us spread the word. Deadline 24 November.

National and International news

As ever, it’s a story of two steps forward, one step back: In a victory for environmental campaigners and local communities, the Government recently announced a moratorium on fracking, following new evidence of safety risks. But as environmental organisations were quick to point out, on the same day the government gave the go-ahead for the UK’s first deep coal mine in decades.

Meanwhile, we welcome news that a cross party group of MPs (from six select committees) have launched a national citizens' assembly on climate change - although, as campaigners have pointed out, there is already plenty of action that government needs to "get on with"

Back to action that we as individuals can take, a recent study suggests more and more people are choosing to fly less or not at all; a trend that could halve expected growth in passenger numbers. Whilst in itself this is not enough (passenger numbers rather than just growth need to start falling!), it shows that individual action and consumer demand can affect business trends. Airlines are starting to respond, with Flybe and KLM, for example, announcing plans to reduce flights. The campaign Flight Free UK is encouraging people not to fly in 2020 and hoping to get at least 100,000 people to sign a pledge to be flight free next year. You can find out more here and sign the pledge here.  

Finally, for those who are looking for further reasons to make low-carbon food choices, researchers from Oxford University have published a study exploring in some detail how healthy foods, in particular  fruit, vegetables, beans and wholegrains, tend to have lower environmental impact than unhealthy foods.

Taking action

And on that note, Christmas is round the corner and a great opportunity to put into practice a whole range of lifestyle changes that reduce our carbon (and wider environmental) impact. Take a look at these tips from the Carbon Trust (in particular don't buy unnecessary stuff!) and Friends of the Earth, including low carbon recipes, gift ideas and more. And you can check what can and can't be recycled in Oxford here.

If you're looking for ideas and inspiration, do come along to the Climate Change Eco Fair on 23 November at St Michael's on Lonsdale Road (11am-2.30pm) to find out about recycling, repair and upcycling, planting trees, solar panels, food waste and composting, house insulation, changing to green energy, reducing plastic waste, electric cars and bikes, local allotments, supporting poorer communities, campaigning, lobbying decision makers and more. We hope to see you there!

Diary dates

9 November: Free expert-led workshop on reducing carbon emissions in the home, covering how we use energy, appliances, insulation and more. Open to all. 10-11.30am at West Oxford Community Association (WOCA). Organised by Low Carbon West Oxford and partners. Book your place through Eventbrite.

9 November: Stock up on unpackaged staple foods and household liquids at The Good Fill pop up store, at St Michael's in Summertown (Lonsdale Road) from10am-1pm. 

11 November: Teaching, geography and the climate emergency. Lecture Theatre at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment off South Parks Road OX1 3QY. 5pm, all welcome. Details here

13 November: St Margaret’s and Summertown Neighbourhood Forum AGM. St Andrew’s Church, Linton Road. Cllr Tom Hayes will be talking on "Connecting Oxford - Managing Traffic & Travel”. 7.30pm, details here.

19 November: Peter Hitchens, journalist and cyclist speaking on ‘Cycling and the Media’, hosted by Cyclox. 7pm. Cyclox AGM at 8pm. St Michael’s at the Northgate.

23 November FairPlay North Oxford Climate Change Eco Fair, St Michael & All Angels Church, Lonsdale Rd, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7ES. 11am – 2.30pm. 

23 November: LCON Electric car trial and Q&A at the FairPlay North Oxford Climate Change Eco Fair, St Michael & All Angels Church, Lonsdale Rd, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7ES. 11am – 2pm. Details here

23 November: Workshop: Talking with friends and family about the Climate Emergency. St Michael & All Angels Church, Lonsdale Rd, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7ES. 2.30-4.30pm. Details and register on eventbrite

24 November LCON's Climate Cafe: 3.30 to 5pm, Bicycle Shed, 204-206 Banbury Road, Summertown. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.

24 November: Low Carbon West Oxford tree planting event, Oatlands Road Recreation Ground, 10am-4pm. Details here.

30 November: LCON tree planting morning in Sunnymead, from 10am. Meet at the playground opposite Cutteslowe Community Centre (31 Wren Road, Oxford OX2 7SX). For more information and to sign up, visit our Facebook page

1 December: Oxford Green Fair, Oxford Town Hall. 10.30am to 4.30pm. Details here.

19 January: LCON's Climate Cafe: 3.30 to 5pm, Bicycle Shed, 204-206 Banbury Road, Summertown. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.

23 February: LCON's Climate Cafe: 3.30 to 5pm, Bicycle Shed, 204-206 Banbury Road, Summertown. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page

Do you want to contribute or comment? Please get in touch, .
LCON website:
Twitter: @LowCON

Best wishes from
Alison, Brenda, Sarah, Rebecca, Tina
The LCON Board
Julia - Newsletter Editor

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