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Show the love for the environment

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 16.01.2017

Time: 09:47

I have a love for the environment and I am very passionate about looking to conserve it.

I am currently in sixth form studying my A-levels, looking to take a degree in Marine Conservation at University, and so by volunteering at PECT it allows me to work in an environment where people are doing their all to make a positive impact.

In wanting to work in conservation, it is important for me to get the message across to others about the negative impact that we are having. According to the Independent, 70% of Japan's biggest coral reef is dead due to the effects of global warming, said to have been caused by a mass coral bleaching last summer. This is mainly due to rising ocean temperatures - which is partially to do with us.

Climate change is one of the biggest issues that we are facing right now and its impact is happening a lot faster than what we wish to believe. Due to the increase in global temperature, the ice caps are melting, which in turn is creating a rise in sea level. The impact is even more widespread. When temperatures are too high the relationship between corals and their symbiotic microalgae becomes unstable – the algae is what makes corals bright and colourful and so when the relationship becomes unstable, the coral becomes ‘bleached’.

Pollution has a large effect on the ocean, for example; through untreated sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, industrial chemicals and plastics. Recently we have seen the implementation of the 5p plastic carrier bag charge and thus an increase in the use of reusable bags. This small change has in turn made a difference to the environment, seeing a dramatic drop in the volume of plastic bags entering our oceans. This isn’t to say the problem has stopped, or ever will just yet, but its a start and a way for us to go forward and develop further plans to hopefully result in no plastic bags entering our oceans.

Plastic has been in the ocean for many years and has reached a point where islands made up of plastic have developed. Unfortunately, many marine animals and mammals are susceptible to plastic entering their digestive systems, with carrier bags often being mistaken for jelly fish to certain marine life such as turtles. Further still, there is the potential of plastics entering our food chain if these marine animals continue to eat small plastics, potentially ending up in the food we eat.

Alongside the plastic are also dangerous fertilizers and pesticides which run into the oceans and water systems from agricultural fields – these can be damaging to the ocean as they then pollute it and the surrounding environments, working their way into the food chain again.

Ocean acidification is another continuing problem. As more carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere, it has an effect on the local environment but also adverse effects on the oceans. Recently, ocean acidification has emerged as another potentially serious threat to coral reefs as seawater absorbs some of the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, and it leads to the oceans becoming more acidic. In the last 200 years, the ocean acidity has increased by 30%. The acidic conditions dissolve coral skeletons and so make it more difficult for corals to grow.

There are several other environmental issues, but for now we need to focus on this issue and take further steps to reduce it. So why not start now and do your bit to help out and #Showthelove for the environment?

Here are some of the top things you should do:

1. Adopt energy saving habits
2. Change the way you think about transportation
3. Make every drop of water count
4. Switch to ‘green power’
5. Recycle

Hollie Nightingale is a volunteer at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT).


#Global warming

Update from WestRaven Big Local

Category: General

Date: 11.01.2017

Time: 11:55

Well, what a Christmas present we received at WestRaven Big Local Community Café & Garden! The contractors agreed a date to commence the refit of the shop units, and sure enough they arrived early on the 3rd of January 2017 to start the renovation.

After moving the last of the items we had stored in the building, we handed over the keys. The plan is a twelve-week program, so we should get the keys back by the end of March 2017. We are planning an opening event for Easter Monday 17th April 2017.

Over the last few months, WestRaven Big Local has been out and about in the community, helping raise awareness for local organisations. Just some of the activities we have arranged have included:

• Hosted Britain’s Best Breakfast at Hartwell Court for residents in aid of Carers Trust.
• Produced cakes for Ravensthorpe Primary School and Cross Keys Homes in aid of Macmillan coffee morning.
• Food demonstrations at the PECT Green Festival.
• Teamed up with Metal and the Women’s Institute to raise awareness of food waste.
• Cooked some festive rolls for Ravensthorpe Primary School’s Christmas Fare.
• In partnership with Sue Ryder, hosted a Winter Fete in Stafford Hall.
• Held our First Community ‘Meet and Eat’ in Stafford Hall with Christmas singers.  

Look out for the Community ‘Meet and Eats’ – they’re a great way to get involved in what’s happening in Westwood and Ravensthorpe. It is an ideal opportunity to meet residents and share a meal, chatting with others because being sociable is good for the soul and general well-being!

Kevin Earl is the Big Local Community Café Manager. For more information about WestRaven Big Local please see the Facebook page.

Table of food waste collected from local supermarket


Kevin cooking breakfast for residents of Hartwell Court



Season's Greetings from PECT

Category: General

Date: 23.12.2016

Time: 12:49

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at PECT!

This year sees the start of us working to our new strategy with a refreshed vision and mission for PECT. Our vision is for sustainable places and our mission takes us right back to why PECT was created – to protect and enhance the environment in Peterborough and beyond.

We think it is very important that what we do as a local charity is informed by people in Peterborough. So, we are speaking to people to find out exactly what they think is great about where they live, what they’d like to see changed and what they think PECT should be doing about it. This will directly inform our plans and our work, so look out for us asking for your views and seeing that turn into action!

Thank you to everyone that has supported PECT over the past year and, importantly, helped in the crucial work to protect and enhance the environment. We face many environmental challenges but by working together we can make real change happen.



If you go down to the woods today…

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 21.12.2016

Time: 10:31

At this time of year it can be incredibly tempting to crawl under the duvet and hibernate until spring. The long dark nights and freezing temperatures aren’t particularly conducive to getting active and getting outdoors!

However, there’s a group of volunteers who are really bringing to life the best, most enjoyable aspects of this season! Nestled deep in the local forests, they work together to revive heritage skills and traditional woodland management techniques – and in the process are conserving and protecting ancient sites for future generations to enjoy.

Formerly a PECT-run project called Woodland Heritage in Action, and now launched as a volunteer-run group called Nene Coppicing and Crafts, this social enterprise is thriving and is a great initiative to be part of.

Meeting regularly for event days and volunteer sessions, the group helps to manage the woodlands (with techniques such as coppicing), teaches traditional crafts such as willow weaving and wood carving, in addition to running walks and talks on wildlife and nature.

The group is aiming to become fully self-sufficient in future years through raising funds from enterprises such as producing charcoal and sustainably sourced firewood, and through selling locally-produced craft items.

In addition to the group’s fantastic impact on the local environment and wildlife, the sessions offer a therapeutic and relaxing environment combined with a social support network of friendly volunteers that is hard to beat!

If you’re intrigued, and want to get involved further, please do head to the website at www.nenecoppicingandcrafts.co.uk or find the group on Facebook (@NeneCoppicingandCrafts) and Twitter (@NeneCoppicing).

Laura Fanthorpe is Marketing and Communications Manager at PECT.



A New Year’s Resolution for Peterborough

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 16.12.2016

Time: 14:58

With only a countdown away until Christmas Day, everyone is now frantically stocking up on all their favourite festive treats ready to see the season through. It’s nearly that time of year where you can’t help but indulge in that last box of chocolates lying around the house, a time to eat turkey until you can no longer bear it, and a time to laugh, drink and be merry.

Nevertheless, as the New Year approaches, and the common thread of conversation seems to be about overindulgence, many will look ahead to set their New Year’s resolution.

The aim of a resolution is to address something in your life that you feel the need to change. According to research carried out by Linkfluence, the top UK resolutions for 2016 were to do more regular exercise, to eat healthier, drink less and learn something new.

Many people make a resolution for themselves, a resolution that they struggle to keep. But for 2017, why not do something different? Why not make your New Year’s Resolution about your community? The charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), is giving you the opportunity to do something good in your local area through its Forest For Peterborough project.

Help to plant one tree for every person living in Peterborough by becoming a volunteer for the project. Through giving up just a couple of hours of your time to help out, you can make this vision possible for Peterborough. Think of the benefits that you will gain from volunteering; this could be your chance to learn something new and do something active, all whilst helping out a fantastic local cause.

By giving your time, you are investing in the future of our city by making it a more sustainable place to live and work for years to come.

So why not make your 2017 a year to get active, get outdoors and help out your local charity by setting yourself the challenge of volunteering with PECT’s Forest For Peterborough project?

To see the 2017 planting dates please click here. If you are interested in volunteering with Forest For Peterborough, get in touch with Project Officer Simon Belham on simon.belham@pect.org.uk or call 07715 372432. Plus keep updated with the latest news and events on our Facebook page Forest for Peterborough.

Michaela Antony is the Digital Marketing Apprentice at PECT.