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The first Stoke St Gregory Environment Fair was held on Saturday 16th October 2021 at the Williams Hall. It was a great success.

Stoke Environment Group held their first ‘Envirofair’ at The Williams Hall in Stoke St Gregory on Saturday 16th October.  The Group, established five months ago, aims to raise awareness of the importance of nature and the environment within the community. The Group has almost eighty members, some of which have already been making a difference by clearing footpaths and permissive ways with the cooperation of local landowners.  This has proved highly popular within the community. In order to raise awareness of their work, and that of other environment and partner organisations, the Group held an Envirofair and invited the community along.  It proved to be highly popular. Plans for the Second Annual Envirofair are already under way.

The fantastic effort made by members of the Group was rewarded by the positive feedback from members of our community.  We are building a firm base and a clear vision so that we can carry out more projects that will have a positive impact on peoples’ wellbeing, whilst contributing to the work needed to tackle the impact of climate change.

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We welcomed a wide range of groups and organisations including the Somerset Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Somerset Waste Partnership, Coates English Willow, the School, Somerset Beekeepers, Somerset Wildlands, Dykes Farm, the Parish and Baptist churches, and Willow Set and clubs.  There was also a very interesting and informative presentation by Alasdair Cameron of Somerset Wildlands.  His inspirational leadership has made people think again about the benefits of re-wilding parts of our countryside.

Feedback was very positive, from the visitors and exhibitors:

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Rev Simon Bale – Athelney Benefice

    "I am so pleased the messages people left were 'of God'. The spiritual side to the climate emergency is so often overlooked or assumed to be understated, but I feel very strongly that making more of it can encourage broader action in general.

     I think the day was successful because it didn’t set out to do too much.  The stalls were relevant and local, the talk from Alasdair was very helpful.  The welcome was honest.

     Perhaps, one thing for future is to have some more child-focused activities?  Also, perhaps, more chance to gather in a workshop setting to discuss detailed issues?  But, that said, if we were to do the same as yesterday in the future, it would be very good again!"

Dawn Baker – Head Teacher Stoke St Gregory Primary School

"I'm so grateful for your help and for those brilliant willow backing boards.  They were simply incredible.  Thank you for the update and I appreciate the encouragement about our input for the day. The children were certainly proud of what they have done.

     In terms of feedback, in all honesty, I was really impressed with how everything worked. Your communication with us in school, all the way from the early planning stages to the actual event, was great.  Not too 'in my face' with constant messages, a mutual trust of knowing what the plan is and then being able to work to it and knowing exactly what we were doing. 

     I am more than open to us being involved in future events."

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Rachel Parish – Head, Willowset Pre School, Stoke St Gregory

    "It was a lovely first event, it was advertised well and supported by mainly the over 40s.

I think for younger families there will need to be something else to attract them but I’m not sure what that is in keeping with the event.

    It was good to be there and to showcase some of our efforts, recycling and keeping our village area clean.  Thank you for inviting the Willow Set." 

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Marilyn Clarke – Stoke St Gregory Resident

"Thanks to all concerned for yesterday‘s event.  What a great success.  It was really good to have the opportunity to see what everyone is doing and to feel encouraged that the small things we do individually really are part of a growing trend.  Very motivating!"

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An interesting and engaging display from Somerset Wildlife Trust

Stoke Footpath Group aroused a lot of interest with their prototype village footpath walk maps and directions.

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The hamper full of eco friendly household goods was won by Sara Sollis.

Somerset Beekeepers were on hand to answer questions and encourage newcomers. They hope to have live bees at next year's event.

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Climate Action Athelney brought along their amazing piece of kit that minces apples then presses the juice out using mains water pressure. The juice is available in local shops and the equipment is available for private hire.