We hope this newsletter finds you and your families safe and well. We are now around seven months into a global pandemic that has turned our world upside down. This is an update on Macctastic’s activities and other sustainability and environmental initiatives in and around Macclesfield. Many are making positive progress, despite the current restrictions required to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
As we grapple with the new normal, we have an opportunity to change direction, towards something new that is less harmful to the natural world, the environment and human health. We had some great ideas for change from our Silver Linings campaign, in which we invited people to share their experiences and the incidental positives of lockdown. These were some of the common themes:
- Eating locally produced food, from local veg boxes to allotments. This has also encouraged the exploration of new recipes whilst reducing food waste.
- The luxury of time provided opportunities to get creative, complete long put-off projects, and learn new skills.
- “Make do and mend” - the initial shopping restrictions we were faced with prompted various projects, some more small-scale, like repairing old headphones, creating handmade greeting cards, and darning socks, to the more adventurous: up-cycling a bathroom basin unit!
- Active travel - reduced traffic at the start of lockdown encouraged cycling and walking, as well as greater appreciation and exploration of local wildlife spots which were enjoying a reprieve from human footfall and noise.
We would love to know what you have seen or done during lockdown that you’d like to keep. Get in touch! We are looking to engage with individuals, other organisations and businesses alike to facilitate positive changes in our town.
Macclesfield’s Town Council has also put out a call for ideas on how to renew the town centre post lockdown. We have responded and are developing a number of possible projects. Further details can be found on our website; if you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch.
Macctastic is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers, with no formal income but with some expenses, such as insurance and web site hosting, which we try to keep to a minimum as much as we can.
If you like what we do and would be willing to support us, we would be very grateful for any amount you can spare. Please let us know if you would be willing to donate a one-off amount, or even a small monthly standing order. Thanks!
In the last newsletter, we announced the launch of our 20s plenty for Cheshire East campaign, put forward in conjunction with a number of like-minded local groups. There has been a great response since its launch, with valuable feedback received from the public and an excellent article featured in the Macclesfield Express.
The petition now has over 1000 signatures! The council vote will be on the 21st October, so please continue to circulate as widely as possible, and write to your local Cheshire East councillor to encourage them to vote in our favour. If you’d like to learn more about 20s plenty, visit the national campaign website, and Facebook page.
In response to COVID-19, Cheshire East has unfortunately done little to encourage cyclists and walkers. For the existing council plans please visit the Cheshire East website. Some of the proposals listed in ‘tranche 1’ have not come to fruition, however there is an invitation on this website to provide feedback for the remaining suggestions. Please do so if you can, as it will help to drive the schemes forward.
Climate Action Group
We have taken part in a project run by CAST (the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations), a global information hub run by the Universities of Cardiff, Manchester, York and East Anglia. They research and develop the social actions needed to produce a sustainable, low carbon society, whilst helping people to live differently, and better.
Macctastic has been featured as part of a free online workshop, released on the 14th September, showcasing what we, and other groups have been doing to facilitate change. If you are working with a local community or organisation, or even just trying to live sustainably day-to-day, you may come away with new ideas and fresh inspiration. You can find the webcasts here.
DEFRA (Dept. for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) is currently running a consultation on a proposed piece of legislation. The new law, if passed, would make it illegal for UK companies to use commodities from land which has been illegally converted from forests, in their own goods or services. This would offer increased protection to the world's forests, help to mitigate climate change and boost social justice. To learn more and add your views to this important issue, please follow this link.
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, Macctastic is now part of the East Cheshire Climate Alliance. The alliance continues to widen its reach – bringing in more groups from across Cheshire East such as Congleton sustainability and their hydro scheme, ADAPT Audlem. Our collective voice is being amplified, and we continue to work with, and pressurise Cheshire East Council to strengthen their Climate and Environment targets, trying to develop an effective strategy, whilst engaging councillors who understand our cause where we can.
Over the course of lockdown, Eco Youth met on Zoom regularly, but have had a bit of a break over the summer. They are hoping to meet together in person over the next few months if government guidelines allow. Keep an eye out for updates on their Facebook page YouthStrike4ClimateMacclesfield.
Image of School Climate Strikes, September 2019
We are looking for a volunteer to lead the Repair Cafe. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a brilliant Terracycle scheme run in Macclesfield by Kate Ellis. She started a public drop off for items when she found she wasn’t able to recycle her son’s food pouches in the normal waste bins, and it has since grown to become a big community scheme, saving huge amounts of waste from going to landfill. Since the start of lockdown, Kate has had over 410 Terracycle drop-offs, which is very impressive! More details can be found on our website, www.Macctastic.org or on our Facebook Discussion Group. Please message the Facebook page for details of how to drop off items with Kate.
Scoop and Scales - Shop Opening Soon!
Scoop and Scales membership has increased since the last newsletter and the group have run two successful pop-up shops in the Heritage Centre. It is now ready to go further - a permanent shop will be opening in Macclesfield Heritage Centre this Saturday, October 17th. The aim is to have a retail space that can stock a much wider range of products, be open on a regular basis and can become a hub for the environmental and ethical change in Macclesfield.
Photo courtesy of Scoop and Scales
To keep up to date with their progress, you can sign up to their mailing list via the website or follow them across the social media platforms.
Macclesfield Clean Team
A new community group has been set up by Clare Marchbanks, in response to the amount of litter found in her area. ANSA kindly supplied her with some equipment and she initially started to clean the streets on her own. She has now paired up with Anders Timms, Founder of the DAB group (Depression, Anxiety and Bi-Polar) and is organising a litter pick once a month on the second Saturday between 10:00 and 12:00.
Look out for upcoming dates on the Macctastic Facebook page. All equipment will be provided, and all are welcome so come along to help clean our streets!
For more information and dates for future litter picks, please contact email@example.com
We are a group of volunteers who meet at Christ Church every Saturday from 11:00-15:00 to work on improving the grounds around Christ Church in the hope of making it a nicer green space for Macclesfield residents to enjoy and attracting more wildlife to the area.
Image of Christ Church taken in June 2019 during Macclesfield Garden Festival
We are looking for more volunteers to help with the outdoor work, plus fundraising, photography and marketing, as well as donations of manure, plants and bricks. It is an informal drop-in group, and so don’t be discouraged if you don’t like gardening. You’re welcome to stop for a chat and you may even find yourself walking away with a bunch of freshly picked herbs! If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org