August update

July has been a very busy month and so was June ….. so lots to report, but also lots to look forward to as a result:

Let’s start with looking forward, eh …..?
So the News for August is:
L&OVe first ‘activity’ meeting! For those of you not going away on holiday, we hope you’ll a-LOAP with us!! we’ve organised our August meeting as (we hope?!) an activity meeting at Lewes Organic Allotment Project (LOAP). Meet at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 14 August at the top gate to LOAP (grid ref. TQ40023 11088) on the path up towards the Old Racecourse next to the track that goes up there. The idea is to work with LOAP for an hour or so and then settle down for a talk about the naturegain we’ve just experienced and start our L&OVe meeting either there on site or agree to repair to the nearest pub to meet instead. An agenda will be posted here in advance of the meeting.

MAPS! We will soon be getting maps of local naturegain. They’ll show us which areas provide our water; where are the areas of most importance for local climate regulation; where pollinators thrive; which areas nearby seem ‘natural’ – in other words, maps of ‘ecosystem services’ provided around Lewes. Here’s a sample of what the maps’ll look like – this one’s from County Durham
Access nature EcoServ eg

 Ground-truthing

Once we get the maps, probably in October, we’ll need people to evaluate how realistic they are …… so we’d love people to come forward to help go out and look at the areas and make some judgements as to whether the maps are accurate – of course, we’ll need to meet first to decide what people need to look for to make this assessment and we may need some analysis of all this – anyone interested in helping?!

Volunteers, please reply here.

Getting the messages out
The next thing we’ll need is people to go and take the messages from these maps to relevant local businesses, organisations and groups. Want to help?

Lewes arboretum and iTree survey
Interested in planting trees? Friends of Lewes has a Lewes Urban Arboretum project that has surveyed urban trees in Lewes and produced a really good and interesting report. FoL are moving forwards with plans to plant trees in Landport and around the Malling Brook trading estate. They’re also contemplating conducting an iTree survey to assess the ecosystem service value of our tree population and to provide the basis for a long-term management plan. Given that this is the type of thing that L&OVe is interested in trying to promote amongst other community groups and businesses and organisations, this is really great news. If anyone’s a member of FoL and wants to voice support for this initiative and generally spread the message, please do (and please let the L&OVe Committee know if you do!).

Ecosystem Knowledge Network Field Trip to L&OVe
On 18 September, we have a Field Trip by the Ecosystem Knowledge Network (EKN) coming to see what L&OVe have been doing and what our Chalking up the Benefits project has achieved. This means that we’ll potentially have a whole range of national experts and also people from other community projects involved with ecosystem services visiting us – a great opportunity for us to learn from others and hear what else is going on around the UK (more here). We’ll need volunteers to help plan the event and to help out on the day – anyone interested?

Call for Ecosystem Services, climate change and community Adaptation drop-in
One outcome from our recent Coastal Communities 2150 workshop (see below) was an active request from a Parish Councillor for the workshop to be adapted as a ‘drop-in session’ to be held at Rodmell Village Hall in the autumn, so that more people in the village would get the messages the workshop was putting across.
We’ll need help to do this ….. anyone interested?
Recently, L&OVe designed, planned and ran a workshop for the Coastal Communities 2150 project (CC2150). The workshop was called ‘Ecosystem Services, Climate Change and Community Adaptation’ and took the first steps in bringing representatives from the communities in Lewes, Newhaven, Seaford and Rural Parishes up the Lower Ouse valley together with professionals working on relevant issues to show what support is available for local communities wishing to start to take an active role in initiating Community plans to adapt to future climate change impacts. The workshop was a product of a team from L&OVe and from the CC2150 project; it was very well received by participants and a great success (more here).

Do we wish to get involved in the North street development?
Colin has received a request from Clive Wilding of Santon for interaction over biodiversity issues in relation to the proposed development of the North Street quarter. Getting involved in development projects was one of the things that L&OVe members were keen on (according to the survey completed in January) – does anyone want to work with Colin on this? (NB. Colin has NOT yet replied to the request from Santon).