One Planet Living Festival: 15th June

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One Planet Abingdon (OPA) is hosting an event in June to celebrate Abingdon’s culture and community by bringing everyone together.

The environment group is collaborating with other community organisations and charities to stage the One Planet Living Festival on Saturday, June 15th, from 10am to 5pm in the Market Place. The festival will feature a range of eco traders, information on sustainable living, and activities and performances for all ages.

OPA co-founder Michelle Charlesworth expressed her excitement: “It has been my vision since the conception of One Planet that we would come together as a community. This collaboration is the realization of that vision, showcasing our rich culture and community. We can enjoy one another’s tradition, music, and stories, truly connecting as we continue our journey to a one planet living town.”

OPA is partnering with Evoking Belonging, the Abingdon Events Partnership, and Abingdon Town Council to bring this festival to the town. Local businesses such as Taiwil Fashions, Planted Plates, and Tribe Zero will host stalls promoting the ten principles aimed at creating a better world. Abingdon’s Morris Dancers and local artists will perform, representing the diverse cultures of Abingdon.

Dianne Regisford of Evoking Belonging highlighted the importance of social cohesion: “As more African-Caribbean and other ethnic origin families come to live in Abingdon, the social, cultural, and racial dynamics of the town change. To ensure a vibrant, socially cohesive, and economically buoyant town, it’s imperative to create strategies and opportunities for all to thrive. This is a social justice vision of belonging for all.”

OPA, launched in 2021 in response to Abingdon Town Council’s climate and ecological emergency declaration, runs the Climate Emergency Centre (CEC) under the County Hall Museum. The CEC provides refreshments for visitors while exploring the implications of transitioning to zero carbon living, a target set by the national government. The volunteer-led organisation welcomes anyone concerned about the environment to get involved.

The One Planet Living principles are: Health and happiness, Equity and local economy, Culture and community, Land and nature, Sustainable water, Local and sustainable food, Travel and transport, Materials and products, Zero waste, and Zero carbon energy.

For more information or to help with OPA activities, including the festival, visit http://www.oneplanetabingdon.org/ or visit the CEC, open from 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Sunday.

Evoking Belonging addresses the increasingly diverse population of Abingdon. Its founder, Dianne Regisford, was recently elected to Oxford Town Council representing the Green Party.

Go wild this June for BBOWT

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Do one wild thing every day for a month this summer, as the UK’s biggest free nature challenge returns for its 10th anniversary from June 1st to 30th.

Could you do one thing to connect with nature every day for a month and feel happier and healthier as a result? That is the 30 Days Wild challenge being laid down by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).

This June promises to be a bumper 30 Days Wild – people of all ages and abilities are urged to participate and BBOWT are offering free herb seeds and an inspirational guide to everyone who signs up to do one wild thing every day during the month. There are also special packs for schools, businesses and care homes.

Estelle Bailey, Chief Executive of BBOWT, said: “With wildlife in crisis across the UK, it seems fair to ask – are we still a nation of nature lovers? I believe the answer is a resounding yes. This year is the 10th anniversary of both 30 Days Wild and my own time with Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. Over those 10 years I’ve had the privilege of seeing our communities’ commitment to restoring nature where they live and enjoying all it has to offer. While our first year of running 30 Days Wild saw just over five hundred people sign up across our three countries, last year more than four thousand took on the challenge, which is brilliant.

“This momentum comes as no great surprise – connecting with nature is so important for our sanity and general wellbeing. My top tips to enjoy 30 Days Wild: Sit, walk, run, lay on the grass, look up, look down, fix on something, don’t be afraid to touch or smell it. Smile at the sun, throw your arms out in the rain, get wet, walk barefoot on grass and bare earth, have a cuddle with a tree – be in the moment.”

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, 30 Days Wild encourages individuals, families, schools, and businesses to connect with nature on a daily basis during what many argue is the best month for wildlife spotting. It could be going on a snail safari, eating your breakfast outdoors or closing your eyes to listen for bird song, to more adventurous endeavours such as outdoor yoga or forest bathing. This year’s participants will receive a special 10th anniversary park, designed to make their 30 days even more fun.

The 10th anniversary marks a real milestone for The Wildlife Trusts’ flagship 30 Days Wild initiative. The nature challenge has grown from 12,000 participants nationally in its first year to over half a million last year alone. 30 Days Wild has helped people to get outside, enjoy and connect with nature as part of their everyday lives.

Research has consistently highlighted the positive impact of nature on well-being. A study found a significant increase in people’s health, happiness, and connection to nature through participating in 30 Days Wild. People reported feeling more relaxed, reduced stress levels, and a greater motivation to protect wildlife which lasted long after the campaign ended.

So why not get in touch with your wild side this summer? Sign up today and receive a free pack in the post, plus lots of inspiration for activities: bbowt.org.uk/30-days-wild