Show the Love. WI Centre, Hatfield Peverel
10am-1pm Friday 21st June 2024
WI Centre, Whitelands, Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel CM3 2AG

Chair: Lord Deben, former Chair, Committee on Climate Change
10.00am Welcome Chair Lord Deben
10.10am Keynote address Chair
10.30am Government Net Zero policies title tbc Mystery MP tbc
10.50am Media and political narratives on net zero Jess Ralston, Head of Energy, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU)
11.10am Climate Voters: leveraging the power of the climate majority Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Head of Policy, Greenpeace UK
11.30am Questions and Panel Discussion
11.50am Summary Chair
12 noon Tea/coffee and exhibition viewing, including:

  • WI Craftism: Green Hearts and so much more – Gill Hathaway Elsenham WI, FEWI Climate Ambassador
    Please bring your Craftism, especially Green Hearts, to display for the day, the best will feature on Essex WI News front cover!
  • Climate and environment book display and swap – Nikki Saunders, Hadleigh Afternoon WI, FEWI Climate Ambassador
  • Please bring your climate and biodiversity books to recommend or swap. We will have some of our favourite books available for you to borrow and pass on.
  • WI Members electric vehicle display, find out what they are really like!

1.00pm Close.

This event has been organised by Jill Bruce, Lead Climate Ambassador, FEWI

The Hot Debate 7
Can we control the climate crisis?
7.00-9.15pm Thursday 12th October 2023
6pm-6.50pm Exhibition of innovative products and materials
for retrofit and building
Main Hall, Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3LL
Chair: Lord Deben, former Chair, Committee on Climate Change
Registration free online through Eventbrite to attend or watch online

Lord Deben, till recently the outspoken Chair of the influential Committee on Climate Change will chair and speak at this exciting event. Hear more about how locally generated community renewable energy can cut our bills and carbon footprint, in our homes, schools and on our farms Find out what Colchester Institute is doing both with new, green courses and improved infrastructure. What can be done about the Rivenhall incinerator and the proposed pylons? Please come and ask your questions.

18.00 Exhibition Innovators in low carbon housing, building and retrofit materials and products
19.00 Keynote speech Lord Deben, former Chair, Committee on Climate Change
19.15 Hedingham Schools investment for a better future Issi Kent-Jackson, Year 11, Hedingham School – Eco Council Chair
19.20 Climate change – the global picture and implications for the UK – Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme, ECIU
19.35 Green Skills: Essential Skills Alison Andreas, Principal and Chief Executive, Colchester Institute
19.50 Greening the Agricultural Sector – renewable energy, net zero and land use Jonathan Scurlock, FRSA, Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change National Farmers’ Union
20.05 Community energy -good energy doing good Tom Day, Head of Energy and Low Carbon
Programme, Environment and Climate Action. Climate, Environment and Customer Service Essex County Council
20.20 The Rivenhall incinerator; Greed and Greenwashing  Nick Unsworth, Chair, PAIN (Parishes against incinerators)
Essex County Council Title tbc – Speaker from ECC tbc
20.35 Achieving Net Zero Sir Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, Chair, Liaison Committee
20.50 Questions and panel discussion All speakers
21.15 Summary and Close Chair

Event organised by Chappel and Wakes Colne WI
as part of the Federation of Essex WIs and the Climate Coalition

Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife in Essex 16 June 2023

Our Great Big Green Week meeting in June on this year’s WI resolution was a great success. WI Centre was full, and with many more delegates joining on line. All the speakers were excellent – we would strongly recommend inviting them to speak at your meetings.

Lucy from Essex County Council (ECC) showed us that as our summers become hotter and drier there will be increasing uncertainty over our water supply, with agriculture, industry, leisure and our increasing number of homes putting pressure on supplies. Nearly a third of our rivers are of poor quality for biodiversity,

Helena from ECC said species are being lost through loss of habitat, but Andy of Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust showed removal of barriers such as weirs can help wildlife. All Essex rivers are polluted with chemicals, some the ‘forever” chemicals that are harmful to human health. 

Darren, Essex Wildlife Trust, described how our milder winters mean that algae now  overwinter on our salt marshes, killing off the plants that once held the marsh in place, causing coastal erosion.

Both Andy and Darren encouraged us to become River Champions, monitoring the health of our local rivers with their help and guidance. For more details go to

From Manningtree Mermaids, Rose showed us how we can keep our rivers safe and clean while Anna spoke passionately about how to check the water is safe and clean for open water swimming..

If you were there and would like to see the presentations again, or missed it and wish you hadn’t, the presentations are available on YouTube via this link

Show The Love at FEWI in February 2023

Show The Love at FEWI in February 2021

The Climate Crisis in Essex

Show the Love 2021

We very much hope you will join us to hear our inspiring speakers at this year’s Show the Love Zoom meeting.

This is a great opportunity for us all, not just to learn more about the climate crisis and what we can do to help, but to make it clear to our MPs that we expect them to take immediate and effective action to protect the natural world, and our, and our children’s, futures. We can all make the difference, just by being there.

7pm-8.30pm Thursday 11th February

Alex Burghart MP from Brentwood will chair our first session. He is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Boris Johnson, and can really influence him, so that session will be “The UK’s Path to Net Zero”, looking at which policies we need the Government to put in place now to protect the world for our children now and throughout their lifetimes. Speakers are Jenny Hill from The Committee on Climate Change and Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace.

10.30am-12 midday Friday 12th February

Kemi Badenoch MP for Saffron Walden will chair our second session. She is a junior Minister working with Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so her session will cover “Green Finance, Spending and Resilient Growth”. Gareth Redmond-Hill, Head of Climate Change, WWF, will put forward the WWF plan to protect biodiversity and cut emissions.

2pm-3.30pm Friday 12th February

James Cleverly MP, Braintree, will chair our third session. He is Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, so his session will discuss “The Role of the UK in a Global Crisis”, looking at whether, and how, we should spend overseas aid, and how the climate crisis will affect the migration we are already seeing from that area. Neil Thorns, Chair, Climate Coalition and Director, CAFOD will speak on the role of the UK.

You don’t need to live in Brentwood, Saffron Walden or Braintree to take part. All are welcome, please invite your friends and family, and you are most welcome to join every session. All sessions are free, please register, either by emailing for more information, or through Eventbrite,  by searching for Show the Love on 11th and 12th February.

10,000 Trees Planted To Combat Climate Change

Tree Planting: Autumn ’19 – Spring ’20 – all WIs are invited to get involved and plant trees

10,000 trees is just over one tree per member!!

Why your action is needed

As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees also provide cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.

But despite these immense benefits to society our trees are under threat

Trees in Essex are removed because they are dangerous or dying or because they make pavements unnavigable through slippery leaves or heave. Sometimes they are cut down because they block the light, restrict access, cause subsidence, block the drains or are simply in the way of new building development and infrastructure.

In addition, The Woodland Trust has warned that poor planting rates, woodland losses and weak protection of ancient woods means that we are highly likely to be in a state of net deforestation if we don’t take action now.

Get Involved!

The best time to plant a tree is between November and March. Whether as an individual member or as a WI everyone can get involved. You could: –

  • Sign up to an organised tree planting event – SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS OF OUR ONE(S)
  • Request a copy of the 10,000 Trees Ideas and Advice guide
  • Plant a Tree in the garden
  • Donate a Tree in your local park
  • Plant Trees in your Community
  • Invite your MP to Plant a Tree

Email  for more information about the tree planting events and to get your copy of the guide.

You are invited!

Come along and plant some trees at a volunteer event run by Chelmsford City District Council especially for Essex WIs.

  • The invitation is open to every WI member in Essex – friends and family are welcome too.
  • Everything is provided and there is no cost to take part. Just wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

There are four sessions. Each runs from 10.30 am – 1.30pm (venues tbc but likely to include Hylands, Admirals Park and South Woodham Ferrers ):

treeFri 15th Nov ’19

Fri 6th Dec ’19

Fri 17th Jan ’20

Fri 28th Feb ’20

You can come to just one or all but places are limited to around 40 people at each session so you need to sign up at Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Climate Change

By showing our MPs how much we care about climate change we give them a mandate to press for change.

In February members make green hearts to demonstrate how much they care about the people, places and things they want to protect from Climate Change.

The Earth’s atmosphere is warming, and having a big impact. The hotter weather, the storms and increase in flooding is caused by climate change. The seasons are changing and upsetting plant growth, affecting Bee populations and wildlife habitats. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels for energy, farming, and by destroying forests. To protect the future, man-made greenhouse gas emissions must be cut drastically. Fossil fuels must be replaced by renewable energy and we must use less energy and be more efficient in the energy that we do use.

In support of The Climate Coalition the NFWI recruit and train members as voluntary Climate Ambassadors who lobby local government, co-ordinate local Climate Coalition events and facilitate our engagement in climate campaigns.

Below we hear from Jill Bruce who is a Climate Ambassador and Climate Change Speaker in Essex.

It’s one day out of our lives!

“When NFWI invited us to the Climate Coalition rally in Westminster in 2015, I and my WI friends thought “it’s one day out of our lives, let’s go along”. We met a marine biologist there from my constituency with similar concerns and we decided to take action together.

Our MP, Bernard Jenkin, had agreed to meet us there but we were so far away from the Houses of Parliament, on Lambeth Bridge, he couldn’t reach us, so we arranged to meet at a later date in Colchester. Alongside the survey results from NFWI, showing that of 1000 WI members, 74% were concerned about climate change I gathered information from the Royal Society in preparation and practiced what I would say to him. The appointment went well, I found Bernard to be well informed on climate change issues but he snatched the WI results from my hand. MPs really care how we vote! He shook our hands when we left saying “very good lobbying” and readily agreed to our request for a public meeting, suggesting speakers, a venue and a sponsor.

The meeting, chaired by Bernard Jenkin, was a great success, we learnt a lot about Climate Change and made some useful contacts. There were speakers from Essex Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, a Buildings Engineer and a Professor from Essex University.

In the following two years we held two more successful public meetings with Bernard Jenkin’s support. The 2017 one was held in February as part of the “Show the Love” campaign. I also worked directly with Bernard’s local policy forum last year to hold a fourth public meeting in October at the University of Essex called Tackling Climate Change -The Hot Debate, which Bernard again chaired. The aim was to have expert speakers on Energy, Transport, Housing and Food each putting forward sensible policies with questions and a panel discussion. At the end the audience voted on their preferred policies. We were very fortunate to have Representatives from Greenpeace,10:10, Sustainable Energy Association, Number 10’s policy forum and NFWI Public Affairs attended. I subsequently persuaded Mr. Jenkins to write to the relative parliament ministers regarding the issues raised. Another Climate Change meeting is planned for 2018.

Thanks to all I’ve learnt along the way, I’ve become a WI speaker on Climate Change, and had my first booking to speak to a local WI in August 2017. I now have 6 bookings for 2018, so what I thought would be “one day out of my life” has become a very interesting permanent feature!

You really need to be well informed when you meet your MP to be able to compete with big business lobbyists. Make sure of your facts to be able to counter their arguments. As volunteers, with the backing of thousands of WI members we have a strong voice but we have to keep up the campaign pressure. Out of sight seems to truly be out of mind, so we try to do something for every Climate Coalition week of action and Show the Love campaign. Knowing that others around the country are also raising the issues with their MP gives us confidence that we are pushing climate change higher in their priorities.”

Jill Bruce

WI Climate Ambassador, FEWI

Chappel and Wakes Colne WI




Last year 500 members requested the community pack and over 130 WIs sent in photos from their community events. NFWI want to build on this and make 2018 even bigger! A community pack with exciting ways you can take part and new craft and baking templates and green heart stickers will be ready by November.

Please email to receive the community pack and stickers when they are ready, and specify whether you want to receive them via post or email.