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Green activists’ work in Brighton and Hove highlighted in Climate Connections
Naked cycling and beekeeping arguably should never mix but they have both formed part of green activists’ work in Brighton and Hove.
And they are both being celebrated as a two-year project to highlight environmental issues comes to an end in the city this weekend.
Climate Connections, funded with £180,000 from the Government’s development awareness fund, was designed to highlight environmental work carried out in the city.
Run with the help of Oxfam and based at the Peace and Environment Centre in Surrey Street, it has involved creating exhibitions of photography showcasing green projects, and hosting workshops to teach people about the projects’ work.
Green activists featured in the Climate Connections exhibitions have included Melanie Rees, the former headteacher of Cornerstones School in Hove (now The Lioncare School), who set up the Green Centre in Manor Hill, Brighton.
The centre is creating the Brighton Mile of Potatoes, inspired by Second World War Land Girls. Every potato planted in the city adds a foot to the mile. It also runs a horsedrawn rag and bone-style recycling collection service.
She said: “This project has helped people understand where their lives and their actions fit into the bigger picture environmentally.”
Another co-star in the exhibition is Duncan Blinkhorn, who organises the Naked Bike Ride, which is held on Sunday, and the Lewes Road Bike Train.
A third, Beth Tilston, teaches natural beekeeping and spent a year eating only food from within a 100-mile radius of Brighton.
She said: “My eyes were opened to how food connects us with the land, with people and with our climate.”
The latest scheme is an outdoor photography exhibition at Old Steine, featuring images of people from the city and Oxfam projects around the world. The pictures are staying in place until June 24.
Climate Connections’ final event, which includes “seed bombs” and bike repair, is taking place at the Brighthelm Centre tomorrow from noon to 4pm.
Scheme co-ordinator Paolo Boldrini said: “Climate change can be daunting for people and they switch off so instead of talking about destruction, we wanted to show positive actions people are taking.
“There’s recycling but what else do you think you can do?
“There are lots of simple steps people can take. By cycling more, for example, you’re using your car less and reducing your carbon footprint.”
For more information visit www.climateconnections.org.uk.