Aug 2019


Earley - Old English 'Earnley = eagle wood'

Aug 2019
Issue 52

Is reality finally kicking in? In spite of the leader (Donald Trump) of one of the biggest polluters on the planet (the US) insisting global warming/climate change is fake news, it is becoming generally accepted that the scientists have it right. bear on iceWeather has always varied over time, but it is becoming far more unpredictable: witness the top 10 warmest years on record in the UK have all occurred since 2002 (analysis from the Met Office). The Met Office also confirmed that the UK's hottest temperature ever - 38.7°C (101.7°F) - was recorded on 25th July.

There seem to be phases in the environmental anxieties we suffer, but we have finally arrived at global warming and subsequent climate change. Young people are urging for action, insisting that governments should take steps to prevent this calamitous event, and there are signs that some politicians are listening. Visionary changes to human activity are needed on a planet-wide scale, but hard to imagine this happening in a hurry, but it can occur locally (get up-to-date with how our local leaders are coming to grips with it.

Changing the subject, we have good news and sad news. Firstly, the sad news is that Peter Soul died on May 15th. Peter, after discussions with the Earley Environmental Group and Maiden Erlegh Residents Assn., in 2010 founded EASI (Earley Adopt-a-Street Initiative) together with Brian Hackett. By enlisting the help of local volunteers, and spurred on by Peter's e-mails and great enthusiasm, they labour to keep Earley free of litter. We send our condolences to Peter's wife Jo and family.

The good news is that members of the Earley Environmental Group have won two awards and are nominated for another.


Items of Interest

Wokingham Council moves to address Climate Emergency

Plant Trees

Awards to the Group

Chalfont Woods

News from Beyond Earley

Earley Garden Surveys: Butterflies

Forthcoming Events

Bits and Pieces


Wokingham Council moves to address Climate Emergency

The Council has appointed Councillor Gregor Murray as Executive member for Climate Emergency and has opened a Facebook page to "share ideas of Environmental initiatives that the council could undertake in order to 1) reduce our carbon footprint or 2) offset our carbon emissions" - so do make your suggestions!

WBC Councillor

Councillor Gregor Murray, Executive Member for Climate Emergency, talking with demonstrators before the Council meeting
photo: Harry Atkinson.

During the Council meeting on 18th July, in response to a Question (ref. 25.3 in Agenda) from Councillor Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey, Councillor Murray announced that the Council will be seeking to install ethically manufactured solar panels and potentially other alternative energy generating devices onto the roofs of the Borough's schools, leisure centres, libraries and some other suitable Council owned properties, starting during the next school year.

Later in the meeting, after a long debate and with cross-party support, the Council adopted 'amended Motion 417' (ref. 29.2 in Agenda) declaring a climate emergency.

'Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) believes the world is now in a climate emergency. More concerted and urgent action is needed at local, national and international level to protect our planet for future generations. As such, this Council commits to playing as full a role as possible - leading by example as well as by exhortation - in achieving a carbon neutral Wokingham Borough by 2030*'.

The Executive Member for Climate Change will set up a cross-party working group on the climate crisis to investigate and propose further recommendations to help achieve a carbon neutral Borough, reporting back within six months.

The working group will invite, consult and involve as wide a participation from our local community as possible, in order to create a broad consensus of how we contribute to the fight against the climate crisis.'

*The date 2030 was in the original motion but was omitted from the draft minutes. I am assured this was a clerical error.

Draft Minutes are available online and include a link to a YouTube recording of the meeting - the climate emergency debate starts after 2 hours and fifteen minutes and lasts about half an hour.

John Booth


What you can do. Trees absorb carbon emissions. We need more!
Sign up now - petition the government
Woodland Trust: Over the next 10 years aim to plant 64 million trees.

Encouraging environmental awareness in the young

Earley Environmental Junior Group, led by Charlotte Alchin, John Muir Awardmeet monthly at the reserve. In April, nine families received their John Muir* Discover Award at a presentation hosted at the Earley Town Council Chambers. They have been working to achieve the award for 12 months and with help from the Ranger Team, discovered much about the fauna and flora in the reserve.
*John Muir, born Scotland, emigrated to America . Engineer, naturalist, philosopher, writer, botanist, geologist, environmentalist.

Notice boards - telling the story of Lower Earley Meadows, and the River Loddon.
NoticeboardDerek Davis, a member of the Earley Environmental Group, was a recipient of the July Mayor's Roll of Honour. He dismantled two important historical notice boards of artistic merit in Lower Earley Meadows, refurbished them and re-erected them, using all his carpentry and metal skills to restore them to their former glory. You can see more on this story in the December 2018 Newsletter.

Another possible award

The Earley Environmental Group Wednesday Volunteers, who help to look after the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve and other parts of the town, have been nominated for a Pride of Reading Award. The group, which is organised by Earley Town Council, have been nominated for the Volunteers of the Year Award.
There's more on the Volunteers work on our website.

Chalfont Woods saved (for now)

Plans have been abandoned for the moment to develop Chalfont Woods, a valuable green space at the edge of Chalfont Park, much to the relief of local residents who opposed it. This is not a permanent decision, as the Council has only agreed to exclude the site from current plans, so it is still under threat. Do your bit for green spaces in Earley and sign the Protecting Chalfont Woods petition to make the protection permanent.

NEWS FROM BEYOND EARLEY: Peter Wadhams, a leading British scientist, warns the "decaying" of the Greenland ice sheet risks pushing up the sea level and threatens coastal cities around the world. The melting has moved from low altitude edges to include its surface at the centre. "It's coming down more or less like Niagara Falls, down through holes all over the ice sheet". The World Met organisation said July equalled the record for the hottest month in history.

Painted Lady

Photo by and (c)2008 Derek Ramsey

Warm weather may be good news for some butterflies: in 2018 the Common Blue increased by 104% compared with the previous year, thanks to warm weather. It may also be a record year for the Painted Lady so keep a look-out.


June: Gillian: Holly Blue, Painted Lady (June 26), Red Admiral, Speckled Wood
Margaret: Comma, Holly Blue, Painted Lady (June 20), Small Tortoiseshell
July: Gillian: Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small White, Speckled Wood, Gate Keeper
Margaret: Holly Blue, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Ringlet, Gate Keeper

LOCAL FORTHCOMING EVENTS April 2019 - September 2019

Friday September 6th 7pm Bat walk & talk. Rose-Ann Movsovic will give a short talk followed by a walk to see these wonderful mammals. Meet at the Interpretation Centre, Instow Road. 30 spaces only so pre-booking required.

Tuesday October 15th 10am - lunchtime Autumn litter pick. Meet at the Waterside Centre on Thames Valley Park Drive at 10am.

November Meeting To be decided. Watch the Events section for more details


Monday December 16th 7pm to 10pm Christmas party. Interpretation Centre, Instow Road. Open to all EEG members. Come along - bring some food to share (please let us know what you are bringing, so we can balance the fare), we'll provide mulled wine.

Bits and pieces

The EEG 2020 Calendar is now available, price £5. It features photographs taken locally, by local residents, and makes an ideal Christmas present. You can get a copy at any EEG meeting, or contact the website. Then get out your camera, and take some pictures to feature in next year's!

Don't forget. We're on Facebook now!
The Earley Environmental Group now has a Facebook presence. We will be using this in addition to the main website, the Yahoo Group and the Newsletter as a way of keeping everyone up to date with our activities and to let you know about upcoming events. Members are also welcome to post news stories or any photographs relevant to the group. If you are a Facebook user, please do join up - just search for 'Earley Environmental Group' and we should pop up. Look forward to seeing you on there. Mel Orros

EASI (Earley Adopt-a-Street Initiative) would like more volunteers. Help keep your street clear of litter. Everything provided. Phone Brian Hackett on 0118 986 1115 or email.

Can you offer active help to EEG? If so, phone 0118 962 0004 or go to the website. We would welcome more member involvement. If you have no expertise and would like to get involved, you may be able to give practical help, or maybe you have graphic design skills, computer skills, any other skills to offer. At the moment 'the few' help to keep EEG going.

EEG committee members can be found on the EEG website, or phone 0118 962 0004

For Wildlife Survey Forms, go to the EEG website or phone Earley Town Council on 0118 986 8995

Comments or contributions to the newsletter to: the Editor or 2 Reeds Avenue, Earley, RG6 5SR. We would welcome short contributions from members to the newsletter.

If you know someone who would like to join EEG, membership forms are available from Earley Town Council, 0118 986 8995, or you can join on the website - just click on Join Here at the bottom of the home page. Please inform Liz if you intend to change e-mail or address at 50 Kenton Rd, Earley RG6 7LG, or send her an e-mail.

Erlegh Elfins: A pre-school playgroup on Thursdays at the Interpretation Centre in Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with a focus on outdoor play and exploration of the natural environment. The children have opportunities to explore the nature reserve, and Head Ranger Grahame Hawker or members of his team are on hand to share their extensive knowledge of the habitats, creatures and work that occur within the reserve.
For more information, please email or phone Charlotte on 07771 605825. There is a limit on numbers to ensure safe play, so please make contact to give your name and details of your child. Child-minders are welcome. Adults are responsible for the children they bring with them, so a ratio of 2:1 is recommended. A charge of £1.50 per child applies.

Thanks to ORACLE Corporation for reproducing our newsletter on recycled paper. Oracle is the world's second largest software company, situated at Thames Valley Business Park in Earley. Oracle UK adheres to the ISO14001 Environment Standard which confirms Oracle has considered and acted upon its environmental impact. As part of Oracle’s corporate social responsibility they support a number of local groups, including us. They have given us valuable support in reproducing the hard copies of our newsletter in colour, as well as printing posters and membership leaflets for us to distribute to libraries, schools etc. 

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