Our May/June newsletter

Join us for Great Big Green Week events – and save the date for our CRKC election hustings.

A field of golden buttercups

Hi there

As usual, we have plenty to update you on! Read on to find out how our projects are progressing, from improving Staveley’s green spaces to our Clean River Kent Campaign (CRKC) water testing. We’ve also got some events coming up for Great Big Green Week.

Pop our upcoming meetings in your diary – all welcome:

  • CRKC meeting at the Staveley Institute on Monday 15th July, 4.30-6.30pm.
  • Sustainable Staveley meeting at the Staveley Institute on Tuesday 16th July, 4.30- 6.30pm.

If you’ve got something interesting to tell us, or you’d like to get more involved with our work, contact us at senstaveley@gmail.com (or come along to one of the meetings above!).

The SENS team


We’ve had a refresh!

Have you visited our website recently? We’ve spruced it up and added lots of new information, including events and opportunities pages – take a look to see how you can get involved with our work. 

We’ve also added a donate page, with various ways to show your support. If you’d like to help protect and conserve Staveley’s natural environment, donating to support our work is a great place to start.

Many thanks to the team at Designworks in Kendal and to our freelance digital support, Helen, for the new look and content. 

Our Climate & Nature Partnership funding

In our last newsletter, we mentioned that we’d been awarded a grant from the Climate and Nature Partnership Fund, in partnership with Staveley With Ings Parish Council. The funding is provided by Westmorland & Furness council to support some of the top priorities in the community plan. It will allow us to continue with curre

nt projects and take new ones forward. We’ve updated the projects page on our website to reflect the new funding and, as you’ll see, we have lots of exciting things in the pipeline!

One of the projects we’ve made progress on is the Green Gateway – a plan to improve the entrance to the village when entering from the Windermere direction. The idea is to create a more welcoming feel and add plants that will help to support wildlife, to boost biodiversity. Read more about progress we’ve made on our other projects. 

The entrance to Staveley from the Windermere side, showing a sign with a box planter and plants underneath.

If you’d like to help add and improve green spaces around the village, take a look at our opportunities page. We’re currently have two roles that might take your fancy – creating green spaces and safeguarding green spaces

Upcoming events

Great Big Green Week

Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. Here’s what’s coming up:

River Kent Clean-Up
Sunday 9 June

CRKC & Lakeland Canoe Club invite you to help clean up the river Kent. Come on foot or bring a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. 

Find out more

Conservation Day at Staveley Woodlands Nature Reserve
Tuesday 11 June 
10am-3pm (meet at 9.45am)

Cumbria Wildlife Trust are delivering this practical conservation day, where you’ll help with tasks like path maintenance, coppicing, walling, installing new features or tree planting.

Find out more

Conservation Day at Staveley Woodlands Nature Reserve
Tuesday 11 June 
10am-3pm (meet at 9.45am)

Cumbria Wildlife Trust are delivering this practical conservation day, where you’ll help with tasks like path maintenance, coppicing, walling, installing new features or tree planting.

Find out more

Pop-Up Skills and Repair Cafe
Wednesday 12 June

Visit our repair café to fix your broken items with the help of our amazing volunteer repairers! Electrical items, textiles, soft toys and bikes are all welcome. 

Find out more

Signed trail in the woods
All week 

Take a stroll through Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood on a signed trail with lots of information about the woodland. 

A small group of people working in a damson orchard, cutting down a tree.

Damson orchard clear-up
Monday 15 April

Come and join us in the evening sunshine (hopefully!) for a spring session up at the Elf Howe damson orchard, where we’ll work to prep the area to get a great haul of fruit this year. Find out more.

Community Ebikes

A person with an ebike looking at a view of a sunny landscape near Staveley

With one year of the Staveley Community Ebikes scheme under our belts, we’ve learned a lot and we’re ready to make some changes!

Cumbria Action for Sustainability has awarded the scheme a grant, which will allow us to trial new approaches and hopefully encourage more people to use the bikes more often. 

One thing we’ve already done is simplify the booking process, with a one-off £20 registration fee, then three different tariffs depending on how you want to use the bikes. Check out the new tariffs and book yourself an Ebike adventure. 

We’re changing some parts to allow for fast pick-up and drop-off, and we’re adding a trailer to our Ebikes fleet, so you can take little ones out with you or carry larger loads, like shopping. 

More updates on the scheme here, including info about ‘buddy’ bike sessions with qualified cycling instructor, Jenny Lyons.

Clean River Kent Campaign

Some people taking part in water testing, standing by the side o the river Kent.Photo: Water testing on the Kent

We’ve recently worked on a vision and action plan for CRKC to help guide our work over the next few years (and beyond) – have a read and please get in touch if you’d like to help us achieve our goals. 

We’ve also got some positive updates from our various projects below, but first – save the date! We’re hosting some election hustings in Kendal on Wednesday 12 June, 7-9pm. More details to follow, please keep an eye on your emails. 

11 May MST testing update

Dr Isabel Douterelo, our research partner from the University of Sheffield, came to Staveley and Kendal on 11 May to collect the first set of samples with us.

We’re testing the E. coli in the river Kent to see whether they are of human origin (via wastewater treatment works or off-mains sewage treatment, such as septic tanks) or whether they come from another animal, like cows or sheep. We’re also analysing the chemistry of the river water. 

The results will be published by Dr Douterelo in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

FreshWater Watch Nutrient Testing

We’re now more than halfway through this project and expect to take the final samples in September. We’re watching the results as we go and comparing these with information about water quality from other sources, including the Environment Agency. 

The levels of nutrients vary through the seasons – for example, nitrates tend to be higher when it’s wet and phosphates when it’s dry – so it’s important to complete a full 12-month cycle.

We’re asking our volunteers to sample between 7-10 June, if possible, to take part in the Great UK WaterBlitz. This is an initiative from FreshWater Watch, who hope to build a picture of water quality across the UK.

Update & next steps from our septic tank talk

On 30 April, we hosted a well-attended and very informative talk with Paul Usher, Technical Manager at Hutchinson Solutions. Paul covered the whole range of off-mains sewage treatment, including cess pits, package treatment plants and reed beds, as well as septic tanks. 

We’re now considering our next steps, such as promoting an advice service for people who aren’t sure how to meet the rules and regulations around off-mains sewage. The South Cumbria Rivers Trust have done a similar project in Windermere and are pulling together their results.

We’ll arrange to meet up with them to see what CRKC can learn from this, and how we can best inform and support people with off-mains sewage treatment living around the river Kent.

Some thank yous!

Finally, thank you so much to: 

  • Burneside Parish Council, who sent us £500 towards CRKC costs. 
  • The Crook B4RN project, who sent us £500 towards CRKC & SENS costs, donated from excess funds left over after the project finished. 


Support SENS

We’re a volunteer-led organisation that relies on grants and contributions. Here’s how to support our work

Know someone who’d like to receive the SENS newsletter? Contact us at senstaveley@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!