One of the first ever Community Action Groups in our network – Sustainable Woodstock, is this month celebrating 10 years of community led action on sustainability. Sustainable Woodstock was founded in 2009, and since then has made the town of Woodstock greener and healthier in a number of ways.
They began by establishing their local profile through Sustainable Woodstock long life shopping bags, ditching the plastic bags habit has been a long term project for Sustainable Woodstock and now they are working to make Woodstock a “Single Use Plastic Free Town”. In 2009, they acquired a free lease to plant a Community Woodland of 1600 native trees, this is now maturing and is a haven for wildlife, and in 2017 it was extended with 80 fruit trees of local varieties, so there is now a Community Woodland and Orchard. In 2012 a hardy band of SusWoo volunteers braved the winter weather to offer a heat loss service to local householders. They loaned a thermal imaging camera and presented homeowners with pictures showing where their homes were leaking energy (and money!). Following this SusWoo formed a consortium with other sustainability groups and established a “preferred installer” service for residents wanting to generate their own electricity from roof mounted photo-voltaic panels. Those taking up the offer still enjoy a valuable government incentive payment for the energy they generate.
Sustainable Woodstock have also held many awareness raising and waste reducing events over the years, including a number of “Swap Shops” where residents brought items they no longer wanted and others for whom the item was just what they had been looking out for, took them away. By so doing many kilograms of items that would otherwise have ended up at the refuse tip were found a useful second life.
This is just one story of what community action looks like and there are many more. But we want to congratulate Sustainable Woodstock on running their group for so many years, and having such a positive impact on people and the environment in their community. Here’s to another 10 years!