All the latest on NFWI campaigns and how you can get involved!

For more detailed info on Resolutions, please go to: Resolutions or, for Campaigns, please go to: Campaigns

Keep in touch with NFWI Public Affairs Team

If you are interested in public affairs and our national campaigns, then did you know that you can receive monthly updates direct from NFWI by signing up to their Public Affairs Digest by emailing publicaffairs@nfwi.org.uk with your name and email address.

 

Bee Update

Plan Bee – To Mow or Not to Mow? What’s best for the Bees?

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How about the best of both worlds? In the charity Plantlife’s survey last year they found that lawns that are mowed once a month attracted 10 times more bees than lawns mowed more often. That’s because by mowing less plants such as daises and clover can bloom for longer. Mowing just once every four weeks to a height of one or better still two inches is recommended. If you can, leave some small areas of long unmown grass as well to allow wild flowers such as ox-eye daisies and knapweed to flower. Head over to plantlife.org.uk to find out about taking part in their “Every Flower Counts” survey this year between May 23rd to 31st.


Fighting Climate Change- Rainfall Rescue Project

April Showers? Stuck indoors? Getting bored?

Here is something WI can get involved with.

The aim is to better understand wet, dry and normal periods in our history and help water companies plan for every eventuality that Climate Change might bring about.

The problem is that before 1961 there were actually thousands of rain gauges but the data has not been transferred from the original hand entered paper records to something digital so that we can use it.

The paper records have been scanned so all you have to do to help is enter the rainfall figures into a spreadsheet. It is all automated and can be quite therapeutic I have been entering a couple of sheets of figures a day.

Click on this link to register and start entering the data. https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/edh/rainfall-rescue


Tree things to do!

Many of you will be social distancing but that doesn’t mean you need to be stuck indoors all the time. It is good to get out in the fresh air and get a bit of exercise so long as we keep a good distance between ourselves and others.

Trees produce phytoncides which have been found to boost the immune system. Spending time in forests or woods is known as Shinrin Yoku in Japan (literally forest bath) and is encouraged by the Japanese Government as a way of reducing stress, improving your mood, reducing high blood pressure and accelerating recovery from illness.

We are lucky to have lots of woods, forests, parks and public gardens in Essex so why not make the most of them? You could even visit some of the trees we planted at Hylands Park, Compass Gardens, Earls Colne, Colne Engaine and Wakes Colne.

In total our members planted 2,242 this winter in response to the 10,000 Trees project a further 519 were donated to the Woodland Trust. Planting a tree is a practical way for us to help in the fight against climate change but as the tree planting season is coming to an end what else can you do?

You can, of course, continue donating to the Woodland Trust throughout the year but how about spending this spring and summer recording and cataloguing trees? If you have a tree in your garden start there then branch out into your community and enter the information about each tree on Treezilla. Treezilla aims to map all of Britain’s trees, recording vital data about tree disease and the environmental benefits that trees provide. www.treezilla.org/treezilla/map/ It is an ambitious project and they need all the help they can get.

Whatever you decide to do, stay safe.

Gay Leggett

Chair, Public Affairs Committee


 

Plan Bee Campaign 2020: Protect our Pollinators

Bees are important but they are on the brink of extinction. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats. Take a look at the plate of food on your dinner table, bees have played their part either pollinating the many vegetables and fruits we eat directly, or pollinating the food for the animals that we then consume. And that’s not all bees do for us – honey and wax are two other important products that come courtesy of bees. In 2009 the WI recognised the importance and risks and campaigned to save them. The SOS for Honey Bees campaign is as relevant today as many species of bee are still on the brink of extinction in parts of the UK. Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate due to pesticides, parasites, disease and habitat loss.

Plan Bee has launched!

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In 2020 we are encouraging members to become Bee friends and WIs to reach out into their communities to raise more awareness of the plight of bees and what the public can do to tip the balance in their favour. We have put together some ideas to inspire you to action and these can be found in our free Plan Bee. To get your copy, click on the link below or email publicaffairs@essexwi.org.uk.

Plan Bee

Many of you have donated bee friendly seeds towards this campaign. These have been sorted, packaged and labelled ready for you to hand out to the public. There is a small charge of £1 per packs of 10 to cover costs.

Numbers are limited so don’t wait too long to contact the WI Centre on 01245 382233 to order your seeds.


Fairtrade Founders

Were you aware that the WI were founding members of the Fairtrade movement?

Why not celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 at one of your meetings?

Fairtrade Fortnight is 24th February until 8th March and is an action-packed highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses and groups show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

Free resources are available at : https://shop.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade-fortnight-2020

Don’t forget to let us know what you get up to for Fairtrade Fortnight and email your pictures and copy to ewin@essexwi.org.uk


Resolution Resources For Your WI

Full links to the NFWI resolution resources can be found here Resolutions Page


Essex ‘MHM: Where To Find Help’ Guide Available

Our team at Essex WI are delighted to fully support the Mental Health Matters campaign with a guide designed to provide a comprehensive list of contacts whether you are someone in need of support, know someone who needs support, are a carer, or a WI member who wishes to campaign with us on this issue.

Mental Health Matters Where To Get Help

We hope you find this a helpful resource. If you feel we have missed out any useful contacts, then please do email us on: admin@essexwi.org.uk to let us know.


Great Food Debates II: Food Poverty Toolkit

Now available!

NFWI are asking WIs and Federations to organise debates on the topic of food poverty so that together we can collectively consider what steps need to be taken to ensure everyone had access to affordable, healthy food.

Our toolkit will help you organise your own debate, and includes background information, discussions point, and actions that your WI can take to help tackle the issue in your local area.

Download it here: NFWI Poverty Toolkit

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What is the role of supermarkets in food waste?

The latest research from environmental organisation, Feedback, about just how much farmers have to waste each year and the role that supermarkets play in this process, can be found here: Global Feedback Report


Resolution Resources For Your WI

Full links to the NFWI resolution resources can be found here Resolutions Page