SENS newsletter: December 2022

Important dates

SENS AGM: Thursday 23rd February 2023, 7 – 8.30 pm at the Institute.
After a short, formal agenda there’ll be drinks/snacks and a chat about what SENS should focus on in 2023, and which projects SENS can support locally.

As always, if there’s anything you’d like added to the website, have items for the next newsletter, or would like to get involved in any of the current activities, we’d love to hear from you!


1. Take action on Cumbria Coal Mine
2. Tetra Pak Recycling
3. Do you have a project in need of funding and support?
4. Clean River Kent Campaign
5. Community Ebikes
6. Staveley Woodlands update
7. Staveley Mill Yard Hydro scheme update
8. Partner news
9. Other items

1. Take action on Cumbria Coal Mine

Sad news for the environment this week with the government approving the decision for the new coal mine to go ahead.
Local people in Cumbria deserve more sustainable job prospects than a mine which is going to be shut down again in 2049. It’s producing coal that UK steel manufacturers don’t want.
No UK steel maker has asked for this coal mine to be given permission or signed up to buy this coal.Take action and tell Michael Gove that we want a judicial review.

South Lakes Against Climate Change (SLACC) has created a new CrowdJustice page, and they would really appreciate it if you could spread the news and encourage others to make a donation, however small.

2. Tetra Pak Recycling

There is currently no recycling of Tetra Pak in Staveley – despite how much of it we produce. Tetra Pak is the most popular in the industry used in the production of cartons so it’s likely you use these in your home.

Are you interested in being part of a rota to take Tetra Pak recyclables to Carnforth?

We’d love to hear from you.

3. Do you have a project in need of funding and support?

There is a small pot of funding available to support a local project. Keen volunteers would be needed to lead the project and report back to SENS.

If you have an idea that fits SENS’ mission and the resources to make it happen, let us know.

4. Clean River Kent Campaign

Did you see us at Kendal Mountain Festival? We enjoyed chatting with those who visited the Trash Free Trails stand and had a fantastic turnout of paddlers and bank-side supporters for the river Kent clean-up.

You can watch a video about the clean-up here. You can also read a short Country Diary about the event in the Guardian here.

This has become an annual event involving a number of different groups. We’ll try to give a bit more notice next year, so that as many as possible can join in.

Want to help clean up the river? Well you’re in luck! We’re hugely grateful to have received £500 from British Canoeing with help from Lakeland Canoe Club which will include supporting a second river clean-up on 2nd April 2023. We’ll need people on the river banks as well as in kayaks so if you’d like to get involved, get in touch either by emailing or send a message to the Clean River Kent Facebook page.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the 2022 Water Quality Report from Surfers Against Sewage. It contains loads of information and is well presented, with ideas for local action. There is a lot to be done!

We’ll have our own water quality results from the summer for the Kent coming out soon – so keep your eyes peeled for these.

Finally, we’ve been in touch with an excellent charity – Stormwater Shepherds UK. Their UK office is based in Preston and we’re hoping to meet up after Christmas to exchange ideas and advice about how to investigate and control pollution from run-off into the River Kent.

Dates for your diary:
Next CRKC meeting: Tuesday 21st February, 5 – 7 pm
Open Event to plan Summer 2023 programme: Tuesday 7th March, 5 – 7 pm
River clean-up: Sunday 2nd April, timings TBC

5. Community Ebikes

Huge thanks to Staveley Brownies for letting us display one of our awesome ebikes at their coffee morning. See the photos below. Our winner of the raffle was Julie Johnson!

Our try-out day was a really useful exercise. Thanks to those who came along, and to Mark Kidd for getting the new cycle racks installed in time for the event.

If you’d like to try out an ebikes, or if you have a raffle in Staveley coming up and would like a gift voucher as a prize, please get in touch. We’ve also got gift vouchers available for Christmas!

Email us at:

6. Staveley Woodlands update

Well done to all of those that have helped out with the Staveley Woodland project. A message from Danni, Cumbria Wildlife Trust below:

Hi there our wonderful tree growing community!

It is time for a little update from the ever growing Staveley Woodlands. After a full season with the newly planted trees tucked into their final home on the hillside overlooking Staveley it is wonderful to see that the majority of them are doing so well. It hasn’t all been plain sailing.

Shortly after being planted the saplings faced quite a long drought but with the marvellous local community pitching in we managed to keep them all healthy by watering the hundreds of trees manually. Drought overcome then came an invasion of cows! but again the fantastic local community were keeping a look out for the new trees and most of them survived the attack of the herbivores unscathed.

On our last conservation work party in Staveley Woodlands we spent time replacing the tree tubes for bigger ones as a lot of the trees had had a big growth spurt through summer. We were very excited to see such a great deal of progress.

We are now delighted to say that the field where the planting was done is open to walk through with a new gate opposite Craggy Wood parking area and two new pinch stiles leading you through to Dorothy Farrers Spring Wood. The area does not yet have any signage or directional markers. Feel free to enjoy the field and the woodlands but please don’t go out through any large vehicle gates as these take you off our land. Soon there will be new gates, signage and a small bridge installed on the right of way (see the map below).

The woodland has really started to take shape and the progress this year has been incredible. All this was made possible by you. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped support Staveley Woodlands and the new tree planting.

And the work hasn’t stopped. Over the next few months we will start tree planting again for this year. If you want to join in please look out for upcoming dates on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust website or in our What’s On Guide.

All best wishes and big thanks,


7. Staveley Mill Yard Hydro scheme update

Thanks to Alasdair Muir for the following update…

For some time, Staveley Community Energy Company CIC has been poking around the old hydro turbine under Wilf’s Cafe. It was running quite nicely until Storm Desmond put it out of commission, and has stayed so ever since. Although a small turbine, it has the potential to generate year-round with the benefit of already being in existence, just a ‘bit rusty’.

In November we received a feasibility report from Ellergreen Hydro (Burneside) paid for by the Community Energy Cumbria Fund (Killington). It appears that resurrecting the existing turbine is very possible, albeit with a new generator and control system which have both been specified in the report. Further investigation is required, particularly to mitigate the problem of river debris reducing flow and to ensure fish are kept out of the turbine itself.

An outline energy yield calculation has been provided along with estimated annual income; resulting ‘payback’ on the scheme makes good reading so far. Much left to do.

The next steps, early next year, include further site survey and budget costing/designs for the debris barrier. We’ll also investigate ways to fund the capital works.

The ultimate goal is to get the turbine running again in a way that reduces maintenance requirements and provides long-term generation income which can be used in the community for a variety of other projects. Watch this space!

8. Partner news and events

  • Free webinars – Climate Solutions for Cumbrian Landscapes
    Join one or all of these free webinars provided by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) which explore how Cumbria’s landscape can play a key role in the fight against climate change and the journey towards net zero. The next 3 online events will delve into the themes of hedgerows, rivers, and peatlands – all welcome!
  • Warm spaces at The Institute, Staveley. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 1st November, 11 am – 3 pm. There will be hot drinks and lunch available at no charge. In this time of higher energy bills, visit The Institute to stay warm, chat with friends, meet new people, discover what’s going on, and maybe use one of the Community iPads. Drop in any Tuesday or Thursday to share ideas about how the space could be used going forward.
  • The next community orchard work party will be held on Saturday 28th January 10 am – 12 pm with a bonfire and brush clearance.
  • Staveley Repair Café will be back in February. Get in touch if you have something you’ll be bringing along or if you’re an ace fixer of any sort – volunteers are always welcome.
  • There will be an apple grafting workshop with SLOG on Saturday 18th March 2023.

9. Other items

  • Read previous newsletters.
  • Climate Emergency UK have create Council Climate Action Scorecards – these are an assessment and score of every UK councils’ written Climate Action Plans. Read more about the project here.
  • Have you seen the Zero Carbon Britain Innovation Hub? The site has loads of resources to help communities act on the climate and biodiversity emergency, including free webinars, resources, etc.
  • An article in WeLoveCycling digital magazine about the Staveley Community Ebike share scheme and the wider benefits of such schemes.
  • Sign the petition to ‘bin the ban’ on onshore wind!
  • Rent a Christmas tree with Lake District Eco Christmas trees! *Sold out for 2022, book yours for 2023*
  • An emotive film from Greenpeace about communities helping each other during the Cost of Living Crisis.

Let us know if you’ve got anything to add to the next newsletter or for the website by emailing us:

This newsletter goes to all SENS supporters, but if you have friends or neighbours who’d like to receive the newsletter, we’d be delighted to include them. Please contact:

Previous SENS newsletters can be viewed here.

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