Saturday, 02 July 2022

Good things you can do this year

Good things you can do this year

YOU may have filled in your new calendar with all the important dates, family birthdays, anniversaries and your next dental appointment.

But it’s still looking a bit blank. Who knows what will happen this year, especially as we’ve ended the last year and begun this new one with more uncertainties about covid.

One thing we do know for sure is that 2022 is the year of the Queen’s platinum jubilee and to celebrate the 70th year since her succession, she has asked the nation to join in with the Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree-planting initiative across the UK.

Tree planting tends to be done in the winter months so up to March, then from October onwards.

Greener Henley’s trees group would be happy to advise and help with “Plant a tree for the jubilee” in your own garden or outdoor space — just email us at greenerhenley@gmail.com

Here are some different suggestions of environmental activities you could get involved with during the year:

January — Be one in a million. Last year, that was how many people took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch. All you have to do is count the number of birds you see in one hour in your garden, or from your balcony or at the park on the weekend of January 28 to 30. There’s more information at https://www.rspb.org.uk

February — More birds. During half term week the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust is offering families “Brilliant birds and where to find them” events at its environmental education centres in Sutton Courtenay, Maidenhead and Tring.

March — Consider all the endangered creatures both here and worldwide on March 3, International Wildlife Day. Is your garden hedgehog-friendly? Or how about supporting swifts, which have been added to the red list of endangered birds. Greener Henley’s wildlife group and swifts support group are looking for enthusiastic volunteers.

April — International Mother Earth Day on the 22nd is to promote living in harmony with nature. There will be many events nationally and globally. Perhaps we can do something special in Henley to mark this day. Please get in touch if you have ideas.

May — No Mow May last year was a success, helped by Henley Town Council’s parks staff who left some areas unmown to help pollinators. How many of you spotted the fox and cubs on the bank up Greys Road and on the corner of Peppard Lane? Hopefully, this year’s No Mow May will be bigger and better. Join in by leaving areas of your lawn unmown to give bees and other pollinators a chance. In the last two weeks of May there will be a bee count.

June — The 2nd and 3rd are bank holidays to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee. Have you thought about where to plant a tree to commemorate it?

The 8th is World Oceans Day. We are dependent on oceans for our rain, fresh water, oxygen supply, CO2 absorption, shipping and natural beauty.

However, the oceans are often polluted and over-exploited and coral reefs and other marine habitats are endangered, as are many other species of sea creatures. Make a change this month by cutting down on the amount of plastic in your home.

June 20 to 26 is Insect Week. The Royal Entomological Society backs this fun, educational week of insect-type activities.

July — The Big Butterfly Count will take place this month. Last year big changes to the butterfly population and habits were noted. What will we notice this year?

August — Hopefully, we’ll be harvesting food from our gardens. This year, why not try fermentation as a way of preserving?

September — Great Big Green Week runs from September 24 to October 2. Last year, it was good fun. If you and your community group would like to be involved this year, please get in touch early on and we can plan together.

October, November, December — How about a winter’s project for the dark nights by knitting yourself a unique patchwork cardigan from all the oddments of wool you have?

Not only is knitting good for your physical and mental health, you can also turn the heating down while wearing the finished garment, thus saving energy and money.

For more information on any of these initiatives, please check the relevant websites or email greenerhenley@gmail.com

If you don’t have access to a computer, please get in touch with me via the Henley Standard and I’ll gladly link you with someone who could help you join in.

Diana Barnett

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