On Saturday 1 October, Deal market hosted a stall with nothing for sale, but with much food for thought. Marketgoers were invited to experience a display laying bare the urgency of the climate crisis, and campaigners were overwhelmed by the huge amount of positive response and appreciation from passers-by.
Great Big Green Week in Dover district
A soil-filled wheelbarrow at the stall’s entrance referred to its contents as the “living skin which so many of us take for granted”. Plastic containers combined as stark sculptures speaking of plastic’s toxic effect on human health, wildlife of seas and land, biodiversity and soil quality. Suspended footprints highlighted small steps ordinary folks are taking more and more to reduce pollution and rein in climate breakdown. The ‘Green Barrows’ climate action display team gave a lively performance too!
The stall marked the end of ‘Great Big Green Week’ and was hosted by East Kent Climate Action and Deal With It-Transition Deal. The previous weekend had seen a well-attended community beach clean around Deal pier, and a community forage for all the family by Lucia Stuart from Deal’s Wild Kitchen.
Much support for national Climate Coalition initiative just days after Truss government’s #AttackOnNature
Elsewhere in Dover district, Transition Dover were giving out climate change action packs to young people on Saturday 24 September at Dover’s urban fete run by Dover Big Local. Again, there were very many positive, enthusiastic responses from the public despite the wet weather. Another event during the climate coalition’s week of community action took place at the East Kent Ploughing Match in Little Mongeham on Wednesday 28 September, where supporters of Nature Friendly Farming Network were handing out copies of ‘A Practical Guide to Farming for Climate’, and working with East Kent Wildlife Group and their rehomed nine-year-old barn owl, Haze, to sign people up for boxes for owls, tawny or barn.
Numbers of owls have fallen sadly in recent decades. Again, the response from the East Kent public was very, very positive – including when campaigners helped people find how to sign the RSPB petition online asking the Conservative government to stop and reverse its attack on nature. Along with the Wildlife Trusts, CPRE and many other charities and organisations, RSPB denounced the dumping of 100s of environmental protections on 23 September 2022.
The sixth mass extinction event that we are living through, as Sir David Attenborough points out, which has seen some bird species in UK halved over the last 40 years, and the climate crisis with its many knock-on effects, including on food security, health and potential for conflict, are clearly issues that the East Kent public care about deeply and are wised up about. These are issues on which many would like to see much less deceptive greenwash and much more genuine investment: for example, in free home insulation to cut energy consumption and bills.