GOING GREEN – May 2024

By Diana Barnett

What do three professors, a bishop, an elephant and a mermaid all have in common? Answer – they will all be playing a part in Henley’s Great Big Green Week! From the 8th to 16th June you will be able to participate in a choice of 18 different events happening in Henley. Here’s a snapshot of some of them:

On Saturday 8th we’re kicking off our first ever Nature Discovery Day on Mill and Marsh Meadows with some fantastic activities organised to help us get to know our nature neighbours. Not only will we have guided wildflower walks, butterfly sweeps, pond dipping, tree trails and bug hunts but also we have real
experts on tap to tell you what you have found, including a moth specialist, a spider professor and Linda Seward who will explain how to take good photographs of the wildlife you see.

Come and have a look around the interesting stalls about our local wildlife and habitats. Learn how to record the wildlife you find. Talk to Thames 21 about the state of our river. The Nature Squared stall will have free plants for anyone signing up to N2. Badgers, bats, butterflies, Gillotts Eco Club – it will all be there and more. It’s a free event from 10am to 2pm, so why not bring your family and a picnic and enjoy our beautiful wildlife.

Each year Greener Henley organises an Environmental Science Challenge for Schools and this year the subject was Pollution. We are really delighted that we have the opportunity to display the students’ work in the Kirkham Gallery at the River & Rowing Museum. What is particularly exciting is that our exhibition
is being displayed alongside The Beautiful Blue exhibition curated by artist Vickie Amiralis. This is a waterside arts and ecology project involving communities with links to the river. The Exhibition is running from the 24th May until 16th June – so please come along and enjoy this wonderful mélange.

Do you like poetry? If you’d like to try your hand at writing a poem for Great Big Green Week the subject this year is ‘Tread Lightly on the Earth’. No longer than 19 lines, has to be in by the 30th May and chosen poems will be read out at the Poetry Reading in the Library on Tuesday 4th from 6 pm.

But if reading is more your thing, why not join in Henley’s Big Green Read. We have recommended 8 great books you might like to encourage your book club or reading mates to consider. We’d love to hear what you think about them – perhaps we can start a big Henley conversation – “where shall we go from here?”

For the 4th year running we have hidden items in 10 of our local shop windows. The WI have cleverly handcrafted some native flowers and next to them is a letter. Find all 10 letters and work out the word. Enter the Treasure Hunt competition at the Information Centre and see if you are the lucky one who gets
the prize.

We have two special film showings this week. Sunday 9th at 2pm, the Picturehouse is screening Elephant Mother about a brave Thai woman rescuing abused elephants from the Thai tourist industry. The other film on Wednesday evening is a preview of Wilding – the film about the book and Knepp Estate. Both films will be followed by panel discussions talking about issues raised.

Another event on the 9th is an evening talk at the Town Hall: Our Moral Obligation? Faith, Climate and Displacement. This is where you will find the Bishop, along with two climate scientists and Dr Krish Kandiah.

And back by public demand after the over-subscribed talk he gave at Café Scientifique, Professor Chris Merchant of Reading University Earth and Oceans Sciences Department, will give his excellent talk. “In Our Hands: Our Climate Future” at the Town Hall on Monday 10th June from 7 – 9 pm.

“Greening your business – how the green agenda can help your business thrive.” Greener Henley’s Business Group are hosting a networking and workshop event for local businesses – from sole traders, small firms or medium-sized enterprises at the River & Rowing Museum on Thursday 13th June 5.30pm -7.30pm.

Lots more events and information are on our website: https://greenerhenley.org.uk

We hope to see many of you during the week. Come up and say hallo!

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