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Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability Network

The informal network has recently been set up for those with an interest in climate change issues.
Links to climate change and sustainability
Interested in the Science? Try these links
UK Gov - Defra - Climate change

May 6th, 2008 (Postponed from May 5th) Astronomy Evening
On a wonderful cloudless Tuesday night, members of the Sustainability Network enjoyed a fascinating evening of astronomy, thanks to Wim Amir.
Wim, an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, has recently bought a 50cm reflector telescope (see picture).
Wim explained some of the basics of astronomy and then demonstrated what could be observed.

The group were able to see Saturn complete with rings viewed at 140x magnification, as well as Mars looking distinctly red, the Pole star which could be seen to be a binary star, together with several far distant galaxies.

Thanks to Wim for a fascinating evening of hands on astronomy, and Tracey for entertaining us (great cakes!)

Do your own audit

Follow the story of a migrating Osprey from Africa to Scotland
(via Heathrow!)
Osprey's also pass through Chichester Harbour on their migration

Launch Sat April 19th - report
Despite rather dismal weather over sixty people came. If you weren't there you can still join in.
Go to the 'Act on CO2' website
and do your own audit.

The plan is to make an assessment of the Carbon Dioxide emissions for which our community is responsible, and then help people to make their own reductions. Everybody needs to play their part.
You can assess your carbon footprint on line.    
Progress will be displayed on a giant indicator designed with help from the children at Chidham School.  
It was a good turnout on a less than Spring like day. Diana Beale and John Wyatt covered the 'what' 'why' and 'how' of the audit  
The timetable for the audit programme is
April to July 2008 - the Audit
August to October 2008 - Collate the data
November to February 2009 - Feedback to Households
March 09 to Mar 2010 - Practical Help
Wild Life Film Night - Chidham School Hall
Friday 29th Feb
The School hall was packed with close to a hundred people - and Sarah Chadwick (Cunliffe), Director of Big Wave Productions treated us to clips from some of the award winning films produced for televison and film by her wildlife film company. These included films still in production.

Sarah (left) with Diana Beale  
Sarah explained some of the secrets of making these films, and some of the difficulties. A highlight was clips from a documentary following the magical 20 year journey of a loggerhead turtle, due for completion by the end of the year. There was also stunning film of Whalesharks. I can't wait to see the film on Manta rays, graceful giants, and with the largest and most developed brain of any fish. Thjere was a poignant moment with clips from Death on the Amazon, about the death of Peter Blake, murdered by pirates on the amazon. The evening ended with clips from Sarah's favourite documentary about rescuing Orang-utans in Borneo.
If you would like to be on the Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability e mail list, or for more info e mail the postmaster. Link to Save the Orangutang
Feb 2008: Greening Campaign

West Sussex County Council have selected Chidham and Hambrook to be one of five villages to participate in a Greening campaign. The Greening campaign is a response to the threat of global warming. It is an innovative idea to help motivate people to reduce their energy consumption and therefore lower their personal and community carbon footprint.

From Left to right: Carla Allen, Siobhan Walker of WSCC,Terena Plowright (Greening Campaign Leader), Maggie Haynes, Emma Livett (Chi DC), Richard Weavis (Hartings Greening Campaign)

In the first stage of the campaign, households in the Greening Campaign area will be given a card that lists simple ways to save energy in the home.  They would make a pledge to undertake a number of these measures, and then display the card in their front window to show their commitment to the campaign.  see more about the Greening Campaign
Feb 21st
About 35 people turned up on Thursday morning to make Bat Boxes in St Wilfrid's Hall. Dave Molloy, a Chichester Harbour Conservancy Ranger, showed us how.

C&H Sustainability Network

Another great event
'Solar Power Information Evening'
Wed 14th Nov  at Cobnor House,
30 people gathered at Cobnor House for presentations about Solar Power. Clearly this is a technology making great strides from a relatively low base, and with the current and expected rise in fuel prices, something all homeowners should look into. It could make a radical difference to monthly heating bills, as well as reduce the nations carbon footprint. As with any home improvement investment getting the best advice from experienced and reputable suppliers is crucial. This is an investment with a high capital cost, but one with the potential to pay you back for many years to come.

Diana Beale chaired the evening
Thirty people attended
Many thanks for interesting and informative presentations from Mike Mckeown of Worcester Bosch and Tom Cartwright of Greenheart Installations giving a fascinating explanation of solar power systems and related technologies, as well as really useful background information. Follow the links for more information about these companies. Thanks also to Worcester Bosch for sponsoring refreshments for the evening, and to Diana Beale for welcoming us all into her home.
My arty photo of a high efficiency solar glass tube panel. From left to right - John Wyatt, Douglas Pattison and Tom Cartwright of Greenheart installations, Mick McKeown of Worcester Bosch, Dave Ball (Dave Ball Plumbing and Heating) and Diana Beale.

Farmers' markets certified as the real thing -

Sat 10th Nov - Chidham & Hambrook Local Produce & Craft Fair photos and report

Sept 12th - The Great Chidham Bat Hunt!
There was a great turnout of eager bat hunters on Wednesday night for a bat hunt (walk) organised by the Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability Network.
Around 65 people gathered at St Mary's Church at 7pm for a wander through the lanes of Chidham in the dusk . 
The Bat Hunt juggernaut made it's way down Chidham lane to Belfrey Cottage (of course there are going to be bats in the Belfrey!) and then along Steels Lane to Harbour Way and then down Cot lane to Chidmere.

Ed Rowsell, our new Conservation Officer at the Harbour Conservancy, was our guide and with the use of bat detectors and bat recorders we were able to hear the bat activity and detect at least four different kinds of bats. 
Thanks to Ed Rowsell for leading the tour, to Diana Beale for arranging it, and to Jackie Russell for allowing 65 different kinds of human beings into Chidmere looking for bats flying over the lake.
Diana Beale and Ed Rowsell
Brown long eared bat photographed by Steve Tanner

Can you spot the bat?

You have to be ever so quiet, and look very very carefully!
Aug 07: New carton recycling scheme for Chichester District     

Saturday 28th July -
The Big Yellow Eco Bus meets Chidfest

Report on the visit to Roll Royce (by our very special correspondent)

Weds June 20th 7pm: MidSummer Guided Tour of Cobnor Estate
We met at Cobnor House for a magical midsummer guided tour of Cobnor Estate. We were given a wonderful view of the diversity of life and habitat on the Cobnor peninsular, an insight into some of the history of this beautiful area, and what needs to be done to maintain it for the generations to come.
Yes, the sheep did seem to be paying attention.
Our thanks to Diana Beale

June 18, 2007: Drawing up an Energy Strategy for the village - First Meeting: Notes (PDF)

Green & ethical phone company 19/6/07
I thought that the wider group might like to be aware that the Phone Co-operative www.thephonecoop - a green & ethical phone company that has its own sustainability fund & donates some of its profits to the Centre of Technology, has now taken on residential lines so you can transfer from BT.  Their rental line service is maintained on their behalf by BT Openreach so there's no change in the quality of service & they provide all the same call features such as 1571 & 1471.  More importantly they handle all issues themselves regarding line faults, new lines etc.
As BT are charging customers £1 a month for their 1571 service if you are not using them for at least 2 chargeable calls per month along with a charge for customers who fail to pay by direct debit & a charge from £5 - £7.50 for all late bills - it might be worth looking at the Phone Co-op.  They charge £11.90 a month for line rental with BT being £12.50. Line rental switches can be done free of charge up till 31 August & can be done online or by calling 0845 4589000.  They also offer a good broadband service.  I have used their service for about 3 years & have had no complaints.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy meeting: Cobnor House at 8pm on Monday June 18th
At the end of the consultation meeting held earlier this year several people indicated that "energy" was an area they were interested in. Sorry that it has taken us a while to get moving on this, but we are meeting shortly to look at the best way of taking things forward re energy efficiency and renewable energy.  If you would like to play a part in this, then do come to a meeting to be held at Cobnor House at 8pm on Monday June 18th ... and please let Diana know if you intend to come.  We intend to stay focussed on actions rather than be a "talk-shop", and to finish before 9.30pm!
Transport group May 15th
Clare Smith, Nicky Clark, Nicky Bell, John Keynes, Sue Bramwell Smith, Stephen Johnson and Diana Beale (part time) got together at Clare's house to discuss what we could do locally on transport issues.
Main problem areas were vehicles speeding through the village, how to reduce car journeys, and make the village more friendly to cyclists and walkers. It was felt that better information and publicity about public transport would also help. One difficulty was taking bikes on trains. It was agreed that there was no need for traffic to exceed 30mph in the village. The School was to be congratulated on the walking bus project. Stephen Johnson thought it would be difficult to get lower speed limits without a residents campaign. The campaign on speeding by Steve Clark was very much welcomed. Better facilities for cycles - cycle lanes, smoother surfaces, and more cyclists on the road - would have the effect of slowing traffic down, something of a chicken and egg situation.
The group plan to meet again on July 3rd
Bike Week - Can you Get Involved?

Bike Week, the UK's annual ‘celebration of cycling', takes place on the 16th - 24th June this year. Bike Week includes the Bike2Work promotion that encourages car owners to try commuting by bike.
West Sussex Sustainability Forum is keen to encourage all organisations in West Sussex to get involved in Bike Week and Bike2Work week and promote cycling within their organisations.

Tuppenny Barn Open Evening - Wednesday 23rd May
In fact quite a few people turned up after I had taken the photo, so there must have been about twenty people who enjoyed the open evening at Tuppenny
Barn to see first hand the workings of a Soil Association Organic smallholding.
Thanks very much to Maggie Haynes for a very interesting evening.

A Spring walk and El Nino
A floral extravaganza with wonderful photograpy

From Robin Yeld of the Country Diary Team: see the photos

Look out for an article by Sue Gilson in the Chichester Observer about the Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability Group. Sue came down to Tuppeny Barn (Maggie's organic farm in Southbourne, to interview Maggie Haynes, Diana Beale and Stephen Johnson about community action on climate change inititiated by the Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability Group.
from left to right: Stephen (trainee reporter) Diana Beale, Maggie Haynes, and Sue Gilson (reporter for the Chichester Observer)
Chichester District Council launches revised Local Biodiversity Action Plan - Residents encouraged to get involved in protecting their local wildlife - CDC news
Information from West Sussex County Council
Feedback from the meeting : The next steps

We've had a lot of positive responses from the meeting and from the feedback forms, and as a result we (the Chidham and Hambrook sustainability group) are considering setting up teams to look at some of the different areas.
These are not set in stone but currently we're looking at food, energy (building-related renewable energy and energy efficiency), school, church and possibly waste.
If there is sufficient interest in other areas, these too will be considered. We feel that it is important for now to ensure we get some early actions agreed (alongside some longer-term plans). The groups will be open to all those who are interested and are not intended to be exclusive or rigid in their make-up.

We hope to be able to send you an outline of the planned approach in the next 2 weeks as well as all the possible ideas compiled from the workshop group. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or comments, please contact Diana Beale at or the Impetus team (Dave, Julie and Flo) via

Wed 28th Feb 2007
Around 70 people, interested in seeing what we can do as a community about our environment and 'Global Warming' attended the Village Sustainability
Consultation Meeting at St Wilfrid's
Following the selection of Chidham as one of three villages in West Sussex to be part of a project to help rural communities reduce their impact on the environment and climate change, St Wilfrid's was packed for a Consultation Meeting initiated by the ChidHam Sustainability Network and Impetus Consulting

After an introduction form Dave Barton and Julie Robinson of Impetus Consulting, and Diana Beale and Robin Yeld, the meeting split up into groups to discuss the areas of concern where it was felt that, as a Community, we could make a difference. These areas were Transport, Renewable Energy, Food, Waste, and Domestic Energy Use.

Travel and Transport

Domestic Energy Use

Local Food


Renewable Energy

The group that discussed Travel and Transport felt that there should be better provision for cycles eg cycle lanes, and that car speeds should be reduced to improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians. Improvements were needed to public transport to recognise that many people lived away from the main public transport routes. Also the provision of specialist services should be looked at so that these were available locally and thus car journeys could be reduced. The idea of a walking bus was raised. Linda Aplin said that Chidham School was in the process of seeking funding to get such a scheme off the ground. The Domestic Energy group felt that more information about products and their performance was needed. eg Low energy bulbs. Also information about local sources and prices would be helpful. The suggestion was made that the community might be able to buy these in bulk, and thus bring the priice down. The group also felt it was important to improve standards of insulation and draft proofing. Ground source heating could make a contribution to reducing the impact of some domestic energy requirements. people should not forget the implest and quickest way of tak9ng action which was to put on warmer clothes and turn the heating down.
The Waste group felt that more garden waste could be composted. Every garden should have a compost heap. Otherwise the council could improve arrangements for the disposal of garden waste. Food waste could be composted with proper precautions against vermin, or put in a wormery. We could all use consumer power to persuade manufacturers to use less packaging. Shops could be pressed to retain unwanted packaging materials. Litter is not a global warming problem, but is an indicator of peoples concern or otherwise for the environment, and this was very much a topic where local community action could and was making a difference. Renewable energy was a diverse and rapidly developing area. The group felt that we badly needed reliable information about the different systems so that anyone investing their money in these products could be sure that they would work as claimed. There were doubts about the domestic application of wind power and solar photovoltaic systems, and the grants available. Ground source heat exchange systems had a part to play, but were better suited to larger projects. For this reason it might make sense for the community to cooperate on certain projects. Biofuels were an attractive possibility, but again more information was needed. The possibility of such a fuel being sold from a local garage was mentioned.
The Food group felt there was a demand for locally produced fruit and vegetables. These could be better advertised on the website. The possibility of a local market, possibly at the school could be investigated. There was a possibility that a local farmer would sell fruit and veg from his farm on Saturday mornings.

Areas of interest to group members :
Efficient use of energy, materials, water. Sources of information and suppliers. Ground Source Heat Exchange systems (Heat pumps). Community action, education and advice on environmental matters, global warming, waste and litter minimisation, bio-diversity and habitat, woodland and green spaces.
Chidham moves to being a ' Low Impact Village Environment'
Chidham has been selected as one of three villages in West Sussex to be part of the LIVE 'Low impact village environment' project. Impetus Consulting, based in Bognor, have won funding from the Pilkington Energy Efficiency Trust to assist selected communities to promote the issues of climate change and saving energy - in effect a 'green makeover' .

Jan 2007 Meeting notes
Dave Barton and Julie Robinson came to the meeting to tell us about the LIVE! project (Low Impact Village Environment) which their environmental consulting group is involved in, with funding from the Pilkington energy efficiency Trust. Chidham, along with South Harting and Angmering, has been chosen to have a "green make-over" with their help .... to look at how to reduce out "carbon footprint" as a village. More info on Impetus from
The next big step is to have a get-together for as many interested people in the village as possible - we're looking at this taking place at St Wilfreds hall on Wed Feb 28th in the evening.  There will be presentations (Impetus can do much of this), pooling of ideas, small groups looking at particular areas (e.g. local food, transport, energy efficiency in the home...) .... generally setting our priorities for what we can achieve this year with the help of LIVE!
Next Tuesday, Feb 6th, at 7.45pm there will be a short and very focussed (!) meeting in the pub for those wanting to plan the consultation evening on 28th - doing poster, publicity etc
Then, on Tues Feb 20th at 8pm , Robin Yeld is hosting the next meeting of the network at his house, Manor Cottage, Cot Lane (first house North of the Old House at Home) - focussing on final planning for the 28th - do come if you can.

September meeting report
The September meeting of the Chidham and Hambrook Sustainability Group
was to discuss Ground Source Heating. However we had a quick round of
points raised by each person present. The first general point was what
to call the group as sustainability although informative is not a great
word. We vowed to think of an alternative before the next meeting. Each
person present was asked to flag up a subject that they were interested

They were:

A minimal car use week would be a great idea to get people thinking
about the alternatives to the car.

To work towards Chichester DC gaining Green Council status. Many
initiatives would be needed and targets would have to be met. It was
felt that as well as focusing on the community the wider and bigger
picture should not be forgotten.

An initiative to highlight the pollution and the costs incurred by
leaving things turned on, heating, lights and electrical items on
standby, such as TVs and phone chargers.

More practical advice on composting, vastly simplifying the present
advice on what and what not to compost.

A wish was to try and find a source of factual and accurate information
on energy saving products, particularly when it comes to cost benefits.

Improving the personal community through improving the environmental
status of the community.

A wish to look carefully into micro-generation of power and how it
could apply to the village

To look into the idea of appointing 'Green Doctors' to help people with
practical advice on green issues

Ground Source Heat Exchange systems
John Wyatt then gave a talk about a heat pump installation that was
installed 18 months ago in a property that comprised of a Tudor
building fitted with radiators and a barn with underfloor heating.

  The principal is that the pump makes it possible to harvest the solar
energy that is stored in our soil. The soil in this area will remain at
around 9° -12°c all year round, and this heat can be extracted and
concentrated to heat a house and provide hot water. The pump works in a
similar fashion to a refrigerator and can be reversed to cool a house
in summer. The energy in the soil is extracted via a large coil of
black pipe buried in a metre deep trench. The liquid (antifreeze)
contained in the pipe is pumped out from the pump very cold and it is
heated up by the heat stored in the soil. This heat is returned to the
pump, extracted into a collector thus cooling the liquid which returns
to the soil again. Energy is needed to power the pump, and most people
would use electricity from the national grid, but alternatives could be
wind or water power. Typically for every 1Kw of energy input you can
get 3-4 Kw out in heat.

  The heat is constant and gradual and stays on all the time, day and
night, unlike oil or gas systems that use large amounts of energy to
push the heat up very rapidly, and when off the house cools very

  The installation described cost £11000, the household is saving £1500
per year on a fuel bill of £2200. The estimated life span of the unit
is 25 years with no servicing required, giving as pay-back time of
around 5 years at todays fuel prices.

  Larger installations are more costs efficient i.e.. groups of houses
or institutions such as care homes or schools.

  A meeting to discuss further the possible applications for  heat pump
installations in the village will be announced shortly.

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