January Newsletter 2020

Dear HISus Friends and Supporters,

A warm welcome to all our new newsletter subscribers – this update shares a typical HiSus medley of upcoming events and activities, ranging from urgent calls to action on local decision making to invitations to night-vision enabled wildlife watching over a glass of wine!

Firstly, it was fantastic to see so many people at this year’s sold-out Vegan Feast. The food was beautifully cooked for 40 guests by Julie Hurden, ably supported by a great team of volunteers. We struggled to chivvy diners home at the end of the evening – possibly a good sign? Tragic global events linked to the accelerating environmental crisis means that many of us are silently carrying a lot of grief and sadness, so it was heartening and inspiring to come together and share food with like-minded and engaged folk. Thank you to the local Co-op for once again oiling the community’s wheels with their generous donation of bubbly.

We’d like to thank the Parish Council for once again funding some of our larger upcoming activities and congratulations are due to the newly formed HI Trees Action Group who’ve been awarded £6,500 from SCDC’s Zero Carbon Communities Grant to help recreate the green gateway to the villages, destroyed by the A14 expansion. Over 1000 trees will be planted to recreate and expand lost woodland.

Upcoming events:

Have a say in the development of our villages via the Local Plan: Mon 10th Feb, 7:30pm – 9pm at St Andrew’s Centre. Concerned about what’s happening all around us here in the Cambridge area? About the impacts of growth and development on climate change, wildlife, sustainable transport? About getting more eco-homes in the right places at affordable prices for our younger and older people? The two Councils (SCDC and Cambridge City) are collaborating in making a joint Local Plan - and are at the very first stage, wanting to get input from everyone *young and old, about what really matters. They are urging us to get involved now in creating “the most important document most people have never heard of”. The six-week consultation asks for our views on how we’ll live, work and play in Greater Cambridge in the coming decades. Join HiSus for an evening session to hear from Pippa Heylings, an active HISus member and local District Councillor. Pippa will have the official Powerpoint presentation from the Planning Department and will be able to tell us all about what the Local Plan will try to do, for the first time ever, around climate change and biodiversity. We’ll then use the rest of the session to chat the Plan through and give our input into the consultation. We really can make a difference, we need your voice to be heard. You can find out more at: www.scambs.gov.uk/your-ideas-our-future-get-involved-now/ *Giving young people a voice in the Plan. If there’s a young person in your family who’d like to input into the Local Plan consultation, then they can do so at a meeting organised by HIYEC (Histon & Impington Youth Eco Council) on Saturday 8th Feb, 2.30pm – 4:30pm at the Rec’s Community Room. They’ll be able to contribute in various ways including drawing, writing and film. For more information on the above, or to get involved with HIYEC in other ways, email: histonimpingtonyouthecocouncil@gmail.com or accompany your young person to the Plan meeting.

'Show the love' on Valentine’s Day: Fri 14th Feb, 3pm – 4:30pm The Green                    

Join us on the Green to show your love for the planet by writing a pledge that’ll make up a simple artistic creation to be displayed on the Green. Pledges can promise either small changes or huge ones! If you can't join us in person you can send us your pledges by email before Thursday 13th February, to contact@hisustainability.uk in the format of: I [YOUR NAME] pledge to [YOUR PLEDGE] for the love of [WHO OR WHAT YOU ARE DOING IT FOR] 

Janet Street-Sorter Live: Sat 29th Feb, 9:30am – 12pm Rampton Village Hall

Our recycling guru, will be making a rare 'in person' appearance at Rampton’s ‘2020 Vision for the Future’ eco morning. 

HISus Social with a screening of the 2018 film ‘Woman at War’: Thurs 26th March, 7:45pm for 8pm start.

Nicole and Pete's, 1 Merrington Place, Impington Bring a tipple and nestle down to enjoy this brilliant Icelandic drama/comedy about a woman intent on some very direct action. It scores 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and is 101mins long. Free.

Trip to Amey Recycling Centre in Waterbeach: Wed 1st April, 10am-12pm

Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste after it is has been collected from your home? If so, then book yourself a free place on a Journey through Waste following the path of your waste and recycling from its collection to processing and beyond on HI Sustainability's second special visit to the Waterbeach Waste Management Park on the A10 near Waterbeach, CB25 9PQ. The visit will include a short presentation by Amey's Education Officer, Jon Crisp followed by a guided minibus tour of the site.  There will be plenty of opportunity to get the answers to all your rubbish-related questions.   Places are limited to 15. No children under 6 are allowed on site due to Health and Safety rules.   Please book your place at https://forms.gle/t888id6ywsudFJix7. Once you've booked, you'll see a link which allows you to offer or arrange lifts with others going on the trip. Any problems, email Siobhan on siobhan.mellon@gmail.com.

HISus at The Cambridge Literary Festival: Sun 19th April, 11am – 1pm at the David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, Cambridge. CB23QZ

Apparently the grassroots environmental activity in our village is inspiring others and to that end, we’ve been invited to take part as panellists in the Literary Festival’s session ‘Being Part of the Solution – How Cambridge Residents are Taking on the  Climate Crisis’. Helena Perry will represent the group. More details re the Festival at https://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com/

Mental Health Awareness Week: May 18-24th May                                

Last year we organised the very popular Wellbeing Trail, inviting the community to savour and increase their awareness of our precious local green spaces by filling them with music, art, cooking etc. We are finalising our 2020 plans. Keep your eyes peeled for some sessions to nourish the body and soul in the great outdoors.

The Histon Swish II (clothes swap party): Sat 3rd Oct, 11am clothes drop off for a midday start, ends at 1:30pm. St Andrew’s Centre, Histon.

The first Histon Swish was hugely popular so we’re doing it again! These sociable swaps divert clothes from landfill whilst bringing the sharing and circular economy to life in our little corner of the universe.

Further upcoming events awaiting details include: - After dark wildlife spotting in May                                                                                                                            - Eco-advice stalls at the Bird in Hand in the Orchard and at The Feast                                                                          - H&I Carbon Footprinting Day. September workshops will support people to use a new footprint calculator and explore  ways to reduce their impact both at home and work Thanks, hope to see you at some of the above. Please do let us know of events you are planning and we can share them here too. Nicole, HISus Steering Committee If you would like to actively volunteer at any of the events listed above and/or would like to join the Steering Committee then please email contact@hisustainability.uk. Upcoming Steering Committee  meeting dates are: 17th Feb, 16th March and 20th April, 8pm in a pub. Check out our website www.hisustainability.uk for updates about HISus activities. HISus has a closed Facebook group @hisimpsg that you can join.

November Newsletter 2019

Hi all,

We’re back and winter is creeping up faster and faster. The nights are drawing in, and this is the best season to cosy up with some 2nd hand jumpers. 

We had some good-ish news last week, - that a UK citizens’ assembly for the climate will be randomly selected, let’s hope that some of us in this fabulous community get selected! 

Meanwhile here in Histon & Impington, Cambridgeshire Climate Emergency and the parish council's climate emergency working group held a workshop on 2 November to look at how we can respond as a community.  Ably facilitated by Swedish initiative Climate View, around 30 people, mostly locals but some from further afield, explored the important and challenging issue of how to move away from heating our homes with gas.  A follow-up workshop is being planned. 

Update: Swish

On Saturday 5th October, the St Andrew's Centre was nearly overrun by an excited group of around 175 women, men and children who'd come to HISus' Swish (or clothes swap), many for the first time. Thousands of items were dropped off at the hall which meant that wardrobes were refreshed, unwanted items didn't become waste, carbon and resources were saved ... and all for free! Children from Histon and Impington Youth Eco-Council (HIYEC) did a fabulous job running a children's section that re-homed lots of outgrown Halloween costumes. A large quantity of clothes left at the end were gratefully received by Emmaus and other local charity shops. £344 was raised in donations from a delighted number of visitors who were immediately keen to know when the next one would be. HISus think this event went fantastically, and we'll be looking at hosting another on Sat 3rd Oct 2020 (date tbc). Thank you to Cambridge Carbon Footprint for loan of the new SCDC funded Swish Kit. If you would like to organise a Swish, please contact nicole@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org.

Thank you to the huge team of volunteers who lent us amazing support on the day and congratulations to HIYEC for organising an activity that tackles pollution and climate change whilst also bringing the H&I community together.

Healthy Streets action

On Wednesday 16th October, Healthy Streets HI held another fantastic pop-up lollipop event, making our streets safer for children getting to school. There was lots of positive feedback, and it’s great to see so many people wanting this to be a more permanent feature. Whilst this wasn’t a HISus event, we wholly support it, and if you want to get involved, please email HealthyStreets.HI@gmail.com

Social - 17th October 

The last social went well, with lots of drinks and nibbles shared over discussions about sustainability. If you've never been to a social before, it's a chance to meet like minded people, share ideas and strengthen our green community. The next Hi Sus social will be at our Christmas Event. Come and join us for festive drinks, nibbles, activities and ideas for a Green Christmas- (details below)

We need a treasurer!

We are looking for a volunteer to take over as treasurer of HiSus. As you'd imagine the role is essentially keeping a record of income and outgoings and reporting this to the committee so we can plan the budget, and at the AGM.  You'll probably need around a couple of hours each month and to come to our monthly committee meetings, (tend to be 3rd Monday of the month in the Red Lion, but this could change). A full handover will be given. Please contact Siobhan or anyone else on the committee if interested.

Siobhan.mellon@gmail.com  07531 627188

Upcoming Events: Eco Fun Fest 

Saturday 16th November 2pm - 4pm St Andrews Centre, Histon

Lots of fun activities to help save the planet. Many of our young people groups including brownies and woodcraft folk have stalls to raise awareness of Climate issues and what you can do to help. Please come along and support our young people.

Please see poster attached for more info!

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…. Social and Beeswax Wrap Making Session

Saturday 14th December 2pm - 4pm, Histon Baptist Church

Come and join us to find ways of making your Christmas, greener. Festive drinks and nibbles, a chance to chat about sustainability at Christmas. You can learn how to make reusable Christmas crackers (suggested donation of £1 for 2 crackers you can BYO fillers, pick from our collection or add them later at home), bring along your presents and use our recycled gift wrapping station to wrap your gifts without using sellotape, and learn how to make re-usable beeswax wraps at home! These are a great alternative to cling film that really brightens up your fridge! They are much cheaper to make than to buy, and they are a fantastic gift! 

Beeswax wraps making sessions cost £6, which includes materials and instructions to make a sample size wrap in the session, and then one full size wrap at home! Tickets can be bought in advance here and we will also be selling the kits on the day. 

Please see poster attached for more info!

Save the dates: 

Wednesday 20th November HISus Committee Meeting 

These usually take place monthly, please check the website for our new regular day - come and join us to share ideas

Saturday 14th December - Green Christmas Social & Beeswax Wrap Making Session

Sat 18th January Vegan Fest 

HITrees - next committee meeting on Thursday 28th November at 7.30pm at Holiday Inn.

If you'd like to be involved in the replanting or just stay informed, check out their fb group:


Don’t forget you can book your tickets for the Beeswax Wrap Workshops by clicking this link - limited places available!

Follow us on instagram! @HISustainability 

Find us on Facebook here

Our next Newsletter will be out after Christmas :)

Merry Christmas, From the HI Sustainability Steering Committee 

September Newsletter 2019


We are getting back up to speed after a regenerative break over the summer, and there is plenty in store for the next few months with interest, energy levels and urgency about climate issues stronger than ever. The Parish Council Declared a climate emergency at their last  full council meeting on 16th September. They have now formed a Climate Emergency Working Party and we hope very much to be able to support them in what they plan to do.

Here are some dates for your diary:

  • HIYEC (Histon and Impington Youth Eco Council) are having an open meeting on Saturday 28th September 3.00-4.30pm Homefield Park Sheltered Accommodation Community Room, so if you live with a young eco-warrior bring them along to join in the fun.
  • We are VERY excited about Histon and Impington's first SWISH (Clothes Swapping party) which will be in St Andrews Centre Saturday 5th October, 11am-1.15pm. Everyone is invited to Histon’s first Swish. 30% of our clothes are never worn so why not swap them for something new to you? The clothing industry accounts for around 10% of global greenhouse emissions and is the world's second biggest industrial polluter, so swapping is a brilliant way to help cut your footprint. Women's, men's and children's clothes and accessories must be in good, clean condition. You can bring and take as much as you like, entry is free but donations to Histon and Impington Sustainability Group to cover the cost of running the event will be welcomed. There will be homemade cake, teas etc to enjoy whilst your clothes are being sorted between 11-11:45am. The Cambridge Community Wardrobe Swish Kit will be launched at the event, thanks to generous funding from South Cambridge District Council's Community Chest Grant. The Swish Kit can be borrowed by local groups interested in hosting their own clothes swapping parties - come and talk to us if you are curious. Any queries about Histon's first Swish, please email:nicole@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

  • We are having a Social on Wednesday 17th October 8pm at 43 Saffron Rd. Bring a drink or a nibble to share and catch up with other members or get involved with our future plans.
  • The young people of our village are putting together an Eco Fun Fest – Help the Village to Help the Planet. Saturday 16th November – 2.00pm to 4.00pm – St Andrews Centre, Histon. Fun, interesting and free activities and ideas for everyone, led by H&I young people. Including ​making your own beeswax wraps, the great H & I recycling challenge. If you know of a HI youth group which would like to get involved or you have a great idea and/or would like to support a project group, please contact: Sue Free (suefree25@gmail.com) or Lara Brettell (07970955034 / larabrettell@hotmail.com)
  • If you're buzzing with inspiration from the Eco Fun Fest, join us for a Beeswax Wrap making session in December (date and venue TBC). Ideal for Christmas presents, learn different methods to make your very own beeswax wraps - a great alternative to cling film that really brightens up your fridge! They are much cheaper to make than to buy, and they are a fantastic gift! 
  • December Social (date and venue tbc). Share your ideas on how to have a green Christmas!

We've got much more in the pipeline and now have a core group meeting on the third Monday of ever month (usually in the Red Lion) Feel free to pop along to meet us, help us run events or get your eco idea on the agenda!

Hope to see you at an event soon, 


July Newsletter 2019

Hi All,

New Members Night

Whether you’re a new member or not, join us in a week on Wednesday 10th July in the upstairs room and St Andrew’s Centre on the High Street. We’ll be enjoying tea and cake, looking back over the last year of activities we’ve put on and thinking about the coming year. You’ll get a full introduction to your steering committee and a chance to join in at whatever level suits you. We’d welcome some new people to help us run the Sustainability Group. We all only do whatever interests us with as much commitment as we’re comfortable with. Hopefully see you there!

The young people of Histon and Impington are revolting!

A group of pupils from HIJS have been regularly attending the Youth Climate Strike marches in Cambridge. After some of them decided to attend the all child-led council that organise the strikes in Cambridge, it got them thinking about setting up a local child-led group. In just a few months they have set themselves up as HIYEC (Histon and Impington Youth Eco-Council), had several meetings and are making big plans. They have designed a poster- 11 ways to be greener (see above),

They had a stall making wildflower seed-bombs at the Bird in Hand Breakfast in the Orchard

Are doing a litter pick following the Feast Fair on the green; will be attending and speaking at the South Cambs District Council Climate and Environment Committee meeting have plans for many more activities too.

If you know a young person who would like to become involved, send them along to the next meeting Homefield Sheltered Housing Community Room 3-4.30pm Saturday 20th July (all children must be accompanied by an adult) or send an email to: histonimpingtonyouthecocouncil@gmail.com


It was great to run a stall at the Bird in Hand Breakfast and the Feast. A chance to reflect on all the things we’ve done over the last year, a rare opportunity for Janet Street-Sorter to get out and really nice to meet some of you in person. For those new sign ups, this will be your first newsletter- welcome! Hopefully you will find or start something to get involved with this year.

HI Trees

Several Sustainability Group members are involved in a new group in the village called HI Trees. The group plan to replace some of the trees that were cut down due to the expansion of the A14. These trees will merge with those planted adjacent to the A14 by Highways England to create an extended woodland habitat and natural barrier. Village children will be involved all the way from funding applications to planting the trees and they’ve already created the group logo below.

If you'd like to be involved in the replanting or just stay informed, check out their fb group:


Wellbeing Trail

In spite of the weather we had a wonderful time at our biggest event yet, the Wellbeing Trail. 17 activities on 8 sites. The idea was to introduce locals to the lesser known public access green spaces on the doorstep and to appreciate their beauty. It was amazing how many people were unaware that these spaces are there for them, hopefully now they will be even better used, valued and appreciated. Thanks again to all the groups and performers that made it a very special day!

Following on from the Trail, Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination have been working with some children from the Early Years Centre, to produce a beautiful art- map of Homefield Park. It manages to encapsulate beautifully some of the more magical and spiritual benefits of this special place. We will have copies to give away at our forthcoming events.


We’re planning Histon’s first Swish on Saturday 5th October 11am at St Andrew’s Centre. Sharing and swapping are super sociable ways of reducing both your waste and carbon footprints and are becoming very popular throughout Cambridgeshire. Simply drop off clothes, accessories and shoes you no longer want and choose some ‘new to you’ ones that you do! 

War on Plastic

Finally, there has been lots going on nationwide and in the media recently, but I think one programme deserves a special mention. If you haven’t seen it yet, the BBC War on Plastic Programme is definitely worth a watch. It highlights some of the more complex issues connected to our plastic consumption and could really provide us with some ideas for ways of tackling some of our over consumption of plastics locally.


Our plastic free options locally are looking increasingly good. Daily Bread now has Zero Waste section, where for a 10% discount you can refill your pasta, pulses, oats and more.


We also have Full Circle, out local Zero Waste outlet that come and operate a pop-up shop from 10 School Hill (at the back of the Florists) every Saturday morning. They currently stock cleaning products and toiletries, and have recently successfully completed a crowd funding campaign to kit out and operate a complete Zero Waste shop, stocking food and more. Read more about them below: or pop in for a chat one Saturday morning.

We often say "We're here to help you help the planet". The way we choose our items is based on a tick list of criteria (plastic-free, reusable, circular, carbon neutral, locally made, organic, ethical, cruelty-free, animal product-free, refillable, etc.). All of our products do not fill all of these ideals but the goal is always to offer products that have a low impact on the planet compared to the conventional options.

 We offer refillable cleaning products which is a fully circular system for us. We refill 200 litre drums which then refill our 20 litre drums that we bring to the market so we have no containers going to waste or recycling. Everything is reused.

We also act as a TerraCycle UK collection point for crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and dental items. Through this scheme we not only prevent waste going to landfill but we also earn points that get converted to donations for Cambridge Carbon Footprint.  

When we started the business in October we had the ultimate goal of selling packaging-free food. We built the foundations of the business and then the help of a successful CrowdFunder has meant that we are now incredibly close to launching food. We will be bringing this service to Histon at the HI Street Shop hopefully by the end of this month. The pop-up for our non-food items is returning this coming Saturday 6th July from 9:30 to 12:30 and every Saturday thereafter with refillable food to be added as soon as it's ready.

The work we do goes beyond selling zero waste products. The three founders are scientists (ecology, engineering and bioinformatics) and we give talks about the Plastic Crisis, Zero Waste and Conscious Consumerism, organise events such as our Zero Waste Hackathon, offer advice to event organisers and groups and most recently we were part of a focus group advising our local MP in preparation for the parliamentary debate on sustainable packaging following a popular e-petition.  


This is our last newsletter of the summer before we all turn our focus inward on replenishing and recouping ourselves over August. Our next newsletter will be out in September. We very much hope to see some of you next Wednesday- feel free to communicate by responding to this email if you’d like to come but can’t and have some ideas to share or energy to contribute.

In the mean time you can check us out on our NEW Instagram account @hisustainabilitygroup

All the best from the Steering Committee.

May Newsletter 2019


Wow! Environmentally it’s been quite a month since the last newsletter. Take one IPCC report giving us 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change, whizz that up with equal parts Swedish teenager Greta, national treasure David plus a large pinch of  Extinction Rebellion and we have ourselves a UK Parliament declaring a climate emergency A few days later, the Climate Change Committee published it’s report on how to get to zero by 2050. For individuals, recommendations included eating less red meat and dairy, shifting to greener modes of transport (including electric vehicles) and that houses should be built or retrofitted with low carbon heating.

Locally, bluebells and cow parsley have sprung up on the ‘no mow’ verge along Park Lane, an artivism protest at tree felling on the B1049 roundabout during nesting season attracted a lot of media attention and the florists in the old Les Ward were joined by H&I’s very own zero waste pop-up shop ‘Full Circle’. They’ll be there every Saturday and expanding to packaging free foodstuffs soon. The HISus trip to the Recycling Centre at Waterbeach was well attended and very interesting with visitors getting to see the MRF (Materials Recycling Facility), the MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment facility), the huge compost heap and the landfill. If you’d like to go on this trip in the future, let us know and we’ll arrange another. Let's not forget Janet Street Sorter who shared her bedroom tips this month!

Students at the Junior school have attended the Youth Strikes 4 Climate and also attended the Inter-school Youth Climate Council- which meets regularly in Cambridge to organise the strikes (next one on Friday May 24th). Local students are just launching HIYEC- Histon and Impington Youth Eco-Council, (a Youth branch of this group, organised and run by the pupils themselves) and are keen to meet monthly, work with the wider inter-school council and inspire the local schools to be more active in their environmental education and involvement in taking action. They would like to involve many more interested local students. If you know a young person who would like to become involved please reply to this email with the best way to contact them and we'll pass it on to the Youth Eco-Council. 

HISus’ activities for May are looking awesome. Thank you to the huge number of partners that have joined us to deliver 17 activities in 8 local green spaces next Saturday as part of our Wellbeing Trail. On Wednesday 15th, reps from Extinction Rebellion are joining us at St Andrew’s Hall for a talk and Q&A. In June we hope to organise an open meeting to plan practical projects in the village that might see us becoming a model village accelerating its response to the climate crisis. And on that note, residents are invited to get their thinking caps on as funds are available to support this ambition.

The Zero Carbon Communities Grant Fund is for projects that will help Histon & Impington move to zero carbon! This fund has just been approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council Cabinet and will provide grants of between £1,000 and £15,000 for projects which help reduce carbon emissions and engage communities. It will be launched in the next few weeks.  More information at: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/fund-to-help-communities-shift-towards-zero-carbon-approved/.  

Upcoming events:

Wellbeing Trail                                                                                                                                      Sat 11th May, 11am-3pm in various locations

Doctors in Scotland prescribe time in nature for their patients because they know that being outdoors amongst wildlife, trees and natural beauty is vital to our mental and physical wellbeing. For the first ever local Wellbeing Trail, HISus have teamed up with some brilliant local partners to lure families away from their screens and off their sofas with a huge number of free activities over eight locations that'll feature an extraordinary acoustic bug tent, storytelling, bio-blitzes, arts workshops, live music, teddy bear picnics, giant bubbles, a chance to try slacklining and heaps more

Cambridgeshire has quite poor biodiversity levels and fewer trees than much of the rest of the UK. With space around the city under incredible pressure, it’s important to get the public out into the remaining green spaces we do have – people tend to protect what they love. In preparing for this event, HISus have loved hearing stories and memories from the young and old about what our precious green pockets mean to them - places to think, to move, to breathe deeply, to steal a kiss, make camps and play games.

All are welcome and the events are free. People are encouraged to walk or cycle the trail where possible. A map and further details are available at www.hisustainability.uk or you can pick one up in some of their local shops, the library etc. Please do spread the word.

Talk and Q&A with Extinction Rebellion
Wed 15th May 7:30pm - 9pm
St Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon

The Histon and Impington Sustainability Group have invited some XR representatives to come and speak to us about the campaign and plans for the future. There will be plenty of time for questions and conversations. Everybody is welcome, a free event.

Save the dates:

Planning for a zero carbon H&I (exact date tbc for end June/early July)

HISus Social evening of 13th July. Details in the next newsletter

Histon and Impington’s first Swish (clothes swap party)
Sat 5th Oct, 11am 
St Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon
Sharing and swapping are super sociable ways of reducing both your waste and carbon footprints and are becoming very popular throughout Cambridgeshire. Simply drop off clothes, accessories and shoes you no longer want and choose some ‘new to you’ ones that you do! More details to follow.

March Newsletter 2019

Next HISustainability Social event

All are invited to the next Histon and Impington Sustainability Social on Wednesday 17th April at 8pm at Nicole and Pete's, 1 Merrington Place, Impington CB24 9AL. Catch up on local environmental news, share some of your ideas, meet some great people and enjoy a drink or two:
Please bring a bottle and nibbles if possible.                                                     

The challenge of tackling littering

There’s a group called Litteraiti whose mission is to reduce litter globally by geotagging litter and pinpointing problem areas. They highlight the most commonly found brands and types of litter so that they can work with companies to reduce waste. You can downloaded the Litterati app onto your phone and take photos of the litter you’ve picked up and upload it to their website. You can also sign up to their pledge to pick up 5 pieces of litter a day. If you are interested, their website is https://www.litterati.org. They would like people too to sign the pledge to pick up 5 pieces of litter a day: https://www.5thingsclear.com/pledgeThis ties in with another village initiative run by Cedric Foster who organises regular litter picking events.  

Can cities grow their own food?

There’s an exhibition opening 9 Feb running to 18 May at Roca London Gallery (http://www.rocalondongallery.com/en/activities). A smorgasbord of growing ideas to prove that cities could produce significant amounts of food and indeed some already are.  The show includes models and illustration of a Floating Farm in Rotterdam, an insect breeding centre for roundabouts in Stockholm (alternative protein source), a World Food Building in Sweden that will grow vegetables in a skyscraper format, on a zero carbon basis and our own growing underground micro leaves plant in Clapham. There will be domestic scale hydroponics units growing food in the exhibition space and a 22nd century dolls house full of clever machines that help you grow food in your home and then recycle the waste - from the Eglu in which you can farm and collect your own chickens’n'eggs to Florafelt, a vertical veg growing system for your walls. This show focuses on the architectural interventions that can and are being constructed in cities now to make all this possible.  

Family Foraging and Wild Cooking Workshop

We have brought in a specialist to guide us in a Family Foraging and Wild Cooking Workshop on 23rd March. Under her guidance we'll be gathering plants and then cooking up a shared meal with some "food theatre" together, all in the peaceful setting of the Community Orchard. This event is now fully booked and was offered to members only. Another good reason to be a member! We look forward to reporting what we found and ate in our next newsletter! 

Update on new village communication channel which we’ll use to promote the group’s activities:

Being a more sustainable community includes encouraging people to shop local and leave their cars at home, and this is at the heart of the ongoing project to develop a strong online communications hub for the village. The website, to be known as The Hub, will be linked with a regular e-newsletter service available free of charge to everyone who signs up. There is a holding page at hihub.info which gives more details of the plans. The team of volunteers behind the project is now fundraising to make it happen and crowdfunding will be part of this. The Kickstarter website will host the crowdfunding from the end of March. This will give residents the chance to show their support for this important step-change in village-wide communications. Keep an eye open for details of the crowdfunding launch, and a donation of anything you can afford will take this project closer to delivery.  

Trip to Amey Recycling Centre, Wednesday 10 April, 10:00 – 12:00

Join other members of HI Sustainability on a midweek visit to Amey Recycling Centre where Education Officer Jon Crisp will explain what happens to the contents of our blue and green bins and take us on a tour of the site. Places limited to 16. Please book your place here:


We’re hoping to go in as few cars as possible so please use the form to say if you would be happy to lift share. If you’ve any queries, email Siobhan on Siobhan.mellon@gmail.com.

New constitution

The HI Sustainability Group has now got a Constitution and an account at Cambridge Building Society. Having a constitution will allow us to raise funds for more ambitious projects. It also ensures that we take decisions democratically, and do everything responsibly and legally. Our official aims are:

To raise local awareness of sustainability and environment issues including climate change, and take action on sustainability and environment issues including helping local individuals, voluntary sector groups and businesses mitigate their impact on climate change by reducing carbon emissions. 

If you’d like to become a voting member of HI Sustainability Group, which will mean you can vote at the AGM, then let us know and we’ll add you to the list. Membership is free of charge and open to anyone over the age of 16 who supports our aims. If you’re interested in getting more involved, than do get in touch as we are always looking for good ideas and people to help turn them into reality!

Celebrating Our Green Spaces, Saturday 11 May, 11:00 – 15:00

We are really excited to be taking part in the H&I Wellbeing Week with a trail around some of our lovely green spaces. Getting some fresh air and exercise and tuning into nature are really good for wellbeing and the trail will take you to some of the less known places like South Road playground and Doctor’s Close Pocket Park as well as the ever popular Community Orchard, Histon Woods and Homefield Park. There will be activities at each station along the trail including a jelly picnic, a trail in the woods, a tree ID walk and a BYO barbecue.

So put the date in your diary and we’ll have more details including a good-looking trail leaflet out soon. If you’re free on the day and would be happy to help out, then we could make good use of your time so please do get in touch about this too. 

A new zero waste business called Full Circle 

Full Circle (web site: www.fullcircleshop.co.uk) is a zero waste outlet aimed at helping consumers embrace a low impact lifestyle by offering environmentally friendly products without unnecessary packaging. All their products are cruelty-free and use minimal packaging, sometimes 'naked'! They are currently based at Cambridge market but are in the process of taking on an industrial unit. They are passionate about reducing unnecessary plastic use, single-use items, waste and resource use, tackling climate change, increasing biodiversity and building bioregional economies.

The next stages of their expansion includes broadening their range to include dry wholefoods, spices and liquid products such as oils and vinegars and to kit out an electric van as a mobile shop with scheduled stopping points around South Cambridgeshire. To fund this development they are launching a crowd funder on 3rd March which will run for 6 weeks. They also plan to host events around South Cambridgeshire such as talks, film screenings, and clothes swaps.             

A Vegan Feast!

On Saturday 26th January, the St Andrews Church hall in Histon was transformed into a sustainability wonderland, filled with local residents coming together to enjoy new exciting vegan dishes created by Julie Shakespeare. Organised by Histon & Impington Sustainability group and supported by the Histon Coop & Mauro Boero olive oil, the Vegan Feast was an exciting chance for locals to meet different people from around the village, and expand their knowledge of vegan cooking and eating.

The evening began with a glass of bubbles and some beautifully prepared canapes. This was followed by a wide range of surprising vegan main dishes, including pesto lasagne, lentil & quinoa Wellington and Moroccan vegetable tagine. One attendee even said they “had no idea you could do so many things with mushrooms!” The evening didn’t end there, as the non-cheesecake with mixed berries, Bakewell tart, and chocolate raspberry torte cake all went down a storm.

“There was a lot of choice and more than enough to go around” is a review by another happy attendee, particularly with the raspberry “chocolate” and cappuccino cups accompanying the tea & coffee to finish the evening.

It was a fantastic evening sampling an array of delicious vegan dishes and an opportunity to learn about this low-carbon way of eating. Julie even kindly sent out her recipes after the event so the attendees could recreate the dishes at home!

Veganism is a really good way to decrease one’s carbon footprint, and by showcasing her talents, one guest said “Julie showed me that I could be much more adventurous.”


Join the organising group?

HI Sustainability has a small organising group who take it in turns to compile the newsletter and meet roughly every two months to organise events. If you would like to get involved then get in touch by emailing contact@hisustainability.uk, or talking to Helena, Nicole, Ruth, Siobhan, Liz or Pippa at one of our events. And finally, please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in HI Sustainability. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list email contact@hisustainability.uk with Subscribe in the subject line.

All best wishes, Ruth on behalf of the organising group.


January Newsletter 2019

A happy 2019 to you! We have two events in the same week this month – our next Social is on Wednesday 23rd Jan and is on the theme of Upcycling, Recycling and Re-using, quickly followed by the eagerly awaited Vegan Feast on Saturday 26th Jan – see details below

Upcycle/recycle/re-use – Wednesday 23 January, 7.45pm-9.30pm. St Audrey’s Community Room, St Audrey’s Close, Histon. Free event

Trying to de-clutter? Hate waste? Wanting a good home for precious but unwanted items? Or simply trying to do your bit to conserve the earth’s scarce resources? The good news is you have choices, and at this social gathering you can find out:

  • how Histon’s Salvation Army shop decides what donations to resell, and what happens to the rest
  • what South Cambs does with our rubbish and how we can help ensure it gets recycled
  • what we could do with unwanted clothes and fabrics that we treasure, but no longer need

Come along, bring a friend, drink tea and coffee (or bring a bottle if you fancy a glass of wine) and meet Flory (Salvation Army shop manager); Jon (Amey’s waste education officer); and Diana and Dimitra (fabric upcyclers). But most importantly, come and meet others who simply want to do their bit to make Histon and Impington a more sustainable community.  

Vegan Feast – Saturday 26 January, 7pm – 10pm

St Andrews Centre, Bell Hill, Histon

Tickets £20, book at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd_IpEB4q1CPz0nxmXxP49wJ4FL7AP8YOGT_WNI306n1fzLOg/viewform (be quick - tickets almost sold out)

Have you ever wondered what vegans eat? Here’s a chance to find out first hand. If you haven’t already purchased a ticket to attend the Vegan Feast on January 26th there are a few places left. If you are curious about trying a vegan lifestyle, whether it be for veganuary or beyond, there has never been a better time to do so. Our restaurants and grocery stores are full of vegan friendly products and ready-made meals. There are excellent vegan cook books and even a Vegan Great British Bake Off episode to inspire you. 
Did you know that by being vegan for just one month you save 33,000 gallons of water; 1,200lbs grain; 900 sq ft forest, 600lbs of Co2 and the lives of 30 animals. (thevegancalculator.com) Vegan food is fun. You can have your cake, even your cheesecake, and eat it. It’s a healthy, respectful lifestyle that leaves you with a clear conscience and a smaller footprint on the planet. 
If you would like any information please feel free to contact the Vegan Feast chef, Julie Hurden at julie.hurden@mail.com

We are also planning a midweek visit to see what happens to our rubbish at the Amey Waste Management Park in Waterbeach. At the time of sending this out, a date had not yet been confirmed, but we’ll let you keep you posted.

Other events in the village:

Help toast the trees and wake them from their winter slumber at the annual HICOP Wassail on Saturday 26 January 4:20pm-5:30pm in the Community Orchard, (between the footpath which runs behind Somerset Road/Manor Park and the busway). Free to all with refreshments on sale.

 Join the organising group?

HI Sustainability has a small organising group who take it in turns to compile the newsletter and meet roughly every two months to organise events. If you would like to get involved then get in touch by emailing contact@hisustainability.uk, or talking to Helena, Nicole, Ruth, Siobhan, Liz or Pippa at one of our events.

And finally, please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in HI Sustainability. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list email contact@hisustainability.uk with Subscribe in the subject line.

All best wishes

 Siobhan (on behalf of the organising group)

November Newsletter 2018

Since the last newsletter the IPCC report has been published - at its core was a stark warning that we need to transform our energy production and consumption within 10 years if we are to keep global warming to a 1.5c rise. WWF also published its research revealing a 60% decline in animal (vertebrate) populations over the last 50 years. Desperate and sad news that's hard to assimilate and can leave us feeling overwhelmed. 

However, all things green and environmental are buzzing locally with more and more Histon and Impingtoners seeking out others who think globally and like to act locally. Outside Tesco for the last three weekends, local people have been vividly expressing how much they cherish our local green spaces - this should help shape our Neighbourhood Plan. Janet Street Sorter, the village's very own recycling guru has burst onto the local Facebook scene, keen to answer even the trickiest of blue/black/green bin questions. Local shops and pubs have registered with the national Refill scheme and there are exciting plans afoot (not cow, sheep, chicken or pig!) for a vegan feast early in the year. Next Saturday Cambridge is hosting the city's first ever Sustainable Fashion Festival - there's a pop-up market, giant clothes swapping party, a talk and more. Please read on for details of all the events and initiatives mentioned.

Putting Our Local Green Spaces on the map

There was such outrage and distress at the ripping out of our trees by the A14. It touched something very deep inside so many of us. It stripped away green, dappled, wildlife-filled walking and running routes, the symbolic green gateway to our village. This act made us realise how vulnerable we are as a village unless we take action to shape our own development. The Neighbourhood Plan gives communities the right to name and create Local Green Spaces both within and around their village. Not that it's easy to get the Planning Inspector to approve them. There needs to be an evidence base proving the special characteristics that the space has, such as wildlife, special trees, view etc. There also needs to be evidence of "wide community value" of our Local Green Spaces for pleasure, community connectedness, physical and mental health - all in all, Nature's Contribution to our lives. At the moment, Histon and Impington has no Local Green Spaces created. Can you believe that? It does have the Village Green protected and formal play areas such as the Rec but no informal, play and walking areas or wild areas that are protected. This is our chance to change that. This is not about stopping development. This is about shaping the kind of development we want in and around our village. It must go hand in hand with access to open, green spaces. Look at the map (attached) to see the Local Green Spaces we are proposing. You can add your support by commenting on the Neighbourhood Plan (http://hiplan.net/from page 65 onwards) until 16th November. 

Here are some of the wonderful things that people have been sharing with us:

"It's my Gruffalo Walk and we find footprints but we've never seen the Gruffalo. We saw the Snake's House but no snake. We saw a real fox there. There's big puddle-jumping on the walk. Please save it" (5 year old)

"We moved to Histon for the green spaces and the peacefulness it brings. It brings the community closer and creates a pleasant atmosphere"

"We moved here 18 years ago when my husband fell ill and we needed somewhere nice to walk and heal" (elderly lady)

The Sustainability Group will be running a trail around our green spaces as part of Mental health Week in May, hoping to help you discover places and aspects of spaces you may not have known, but don't leave it till then, be sure to follow the link below to express what these spaces mean to you! The consultation closes on 16th Nov https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MNDMVLJ 

The Refill Campaign

The King Bill, The Boot, St Andrews Centre, The Geographer, Histon Opticians, The Rose and Crown and other local shops are all taking part in the National Refill Campaign: https://refill.org.uk/   where you see the poster displayed you can ask for your bottle to be filled with tap water for free. There is a free App you can download for your phone which shows you all the refill stations near you anywhere in the country. The aim is to reduce single use plastics.

Cambridge’s first Sustainable Fashion Festival                                                                                                              Sat 17th Nov, 11-4:30pm, St Barnabas Church, Mill Rd, Cambridge. CB1 2BD

Clothing accounts for around 12% of global greenhouse emissions and is the world’s second largest industrial polluter. People often think of fashion as a frivolous affair, but carefully choosing what we wear could make a big difference to tackling the climate crisis and other environmental problems. Fast fashions 'race to the bottom' is too often leading to the exploitation of workers and natural systems. In Kazakhstan for example, virtually the entire Aral Sea that was once full of fish and supported a thriving fishing community has all but disappeared to satisfy cotton’s thirst for water.

But here’s the good news. Cambridge Carbon Footprint, along with sustainable clothing pioneers Mamoq and AmaElla are organising Cambridge’s first Sustainable Fashion Festival and it’s set to be amazing. Explore clothes that grow with you, natural luxury wear and vintage clothes in a pop-up market with some unique Christmas gifts. Join in with a big womenswear clothes swap party and pop along to a sewing themed Repair Café where sewers will be on hand to repair your worn, torn and broken clothes and bags (maybe let out your waistband for Christmas!) Sewers will be on hand to teach you basic sewing a repair skills too.

"Buy less, choose well, make it last", is the motto for the day and finding your style can be a big step towards having a more eco-friendly wardrobe. Stylist Roberta Style Lee is running workshops on finding your style, creating a capsule wardrobe and choosing clothes that suit your colour and body shape. The panel discussion ‘Fashion the Future’ should be inspiring. Full details at: http://circularcambridge.org/fashion/

All is free, apart from the styling workshops, bookable for £5 via the website. You can turn up with your sewing repairs but it’s best to book them in too – again via the website. See you there.

Our Local Recycling Expert

This week our very own Janet Street-Sorter arrived on our Facebook page, and has been moonlighting on HI People. This is your chance to pose any recycling questions you have to an expert. If you are not on Facebook, please feel free to email questions to this address and we'll pass them onto her- although the response may not be as speedy, she'll definitely be able to answer all your questions.


Our next newsletter will be coming out after Christmas, when we’ll share the details of the vegan feast, a visit to the recycling centre, a single-use plastic up-cycling art workshop, a green spaces treasure trail and a recycling pilot that H&I are going to be taking part in. Wising you a plastic-free festive season filled with more love and less stuff! Thank you.

The HISustainability Steering Committee


Hello All, 

This newsletter comes to you at the end of a summer that saw blackberries ripening as early as June and is ending with a beluga whale in the Thames! On a sober note, it feels like we need to step-up and really get on with addressing the ecological limits that are being breached. Good then that H&I has some great ways to get involved, alongside some pretty nice people too :0)

If you know others that might be interested in finding out more, then please direct them to our website at www.hisustainability.uk/ or they can email contact@hisustainability.uk to ask to receive our newsletter.

HICOP's Apple Juicing Day, Sat 29th Sept, 10:30 - 13:30hrs in the Community Orchard Bring along any surplus apples for squeezing into juice using hand presses. Free to all, children esp welcome! Please bring along your own clean bottles. 

Local Open Eco Home at Macfarlane Close, Impington. 30th Sept and 6th Oct  Hosts Shaun and Fran were determined to improve their problematic 1960s house for family wellbeing and health as well as for comfort and environmental reasons. They have kindly invited the public into their home to see what they've done:  Insulation: Underfloor, cavity wall, under-barge board and loft (floor and ceiling) Thermal store for hot water, fed from 'direct feed' solar thermal and high efficiency boiler 4 kW solar PV array Leaf electric car (charged from the PV occasionally when array at peak power) Mechanical ventilation and heat recovery Open Eco Homes is organised by Cambridge Carbon Footprint. Tours are free, booking is essential.      

The Verge Project - an update by Katharine Holliday The Verge Project is intended to help the villages' biodiversity by leaving 4 verges uncut during the summer months when wildflowers and grasses are in bloom, and collecting the cuttings after the annual cut at the end of September to avoid the soil becoming too fertilised (wildflowers prefer "poor" soil). We're now in the second year, and the scheme is proving to be a great success! When I went out earlier in the year to check up on the verges I saw a huge variety of plants including common mallow, wild parsnip, birds foot trefoil, poppies, thistles, yarrow, knapweed, red and white deadnettle, ground ivy and lesser celandine. There were also a lot of bees, butterflies, snails, spiders, grasshoppers, slugs and other insects putting these plants to good use. If we continue to collect the cuttings after each autumn mowing the verges will continue to thrive. And whilst it only seems like yesterday since we were last out there with our rakes, it is almost time to do it again! I have put together a Doodle poll of possible dates and times (morning or afternoon) to group together to rake up the cuttings. Each session should last around 90 minutes (it gets quite tiring after that!) but even if you can spare only 30 minutes that would be a real help. I am looking to run 4 sessions, and will choose the sessions which have the most volunteers available. If you are able to complete the poll (link below) as soon as possible, I would be really grateful. I will decide on the dates on Saturday 29 September so that I can email everyone to confirm plans in good time prior to the first suggested date on 6 October. https://doodle.com/poll/xmvd789yfuprvreh

H&I Sustainability Social, Thursday 11th October 7.15-9.30pm Venue: 4 Winders Lane, Histon, CB24 9EZ Celebrate our green spaces! Come and meet some like-minded people, hear about the wild places on your doorstep and what goes on in them. Bring a bottle, non- members very welcome. Consultation on Local Green Space in the new Neighbourhood Plan The Neighbourhood Plan is nearly ready and from Monday 1st October there will be a period of six weeks for the pre-submission consultation. The Parish Council has been working alongside residents for three years to draft this Neighbourhood Plan which will shape the future development of Histon and Impington. Within this vision, the Plan presents a series of policies which aim to enhance residents access to and enjoyment of public open space and the Local Green Spaces within and around the village. Green spaces are vital for mental and physical health and well-being, community, cohesion,  nature observation and study, village  identity, education and recreation, as well as for their biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as  flood alleviation.  Histon & Impington has an extreme shortfall of such spaces relative to the South Cambridgeshire District Council minimum standards. In this context it is especially important, therefore, to protect the few remaining open spaces within the village boundary and to increase the protection of the most valuable open green spaces around the village. The Neighbourhood Plan provides a mechanism for doing that by (i) establishing new Local Green Spaces and (ii) highlighting other areas that are valuable for nature. The Plan also proposes a network of pathways to connect these spaces and allow for residents to enjoy them fully. The Plan is ambitious and will require evidence of community value of such spaces. Please take part in the consultation and add your voice. The consultation will be open until Friday 16th November. Follow this link to find out more: https://histonandimpingtonplan.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/the-neighbourhood-plan-is-nearly-ready/ The HI Sustainability Group will be consulted and we will also be chatting about the Plan at our next Sustainability Social. See you there!

'How to Influence Decision Makers' H&I Sustainability Workshop with Peter Gilheany, Director at Forster Communications. Tues 16th Oct, 8-9:30pm Venue:1 Merrington Place, Impington, CB24 9AL Forster Communications is a renowned social change communications agency having run campaigns for hundreds of organisations including WWF, the Dept of Health and Amnesty International. This session will explore how to have an impact and get your message across to both local and national decision makers. All welcome.

Thermal Imaging Training, Tues 30th Oct, St Barnabas', Mill Rd, Cambridge. CB1 2BD The first training session of the year to help you make your home cosy for winter whilst reducing your bills and carbon footprint. These free training sessions help you to learn how to use the camera and then offer you one to borrow for your own home. Run by local charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint, booking is essential. 

Visit to the Amey recycling plant in Waterbeach Seeing how waste and resources are managed at this huge facility can really open your eyes to the challenges and opportunities of dealing with what we place in our bins. It's a great way to discover how we can recycle more. H&I Sustainability Group are organising a free visit to the recycling centre on a morning in February (date to be arranged, details in due course) Contact Siobhan.mellon@gmail.com who will try to fix a convenient date. 

Better communications = a more sustainable community At the first HI Sustainability meeting earlier this year, it was recognised that efforts to develop more sustainable habits and practices throughout Histon and Impington are being limited by the communication channels available to spread the word. As a result, a group of residents has got together to take a fresh look at the way people in the village find out what's on, what's happening, and what's new in the village. The idea being explored is for a village website that will feed a weekly email round-up (and possibly an app) sharing news, information and opportunities of interest to local residents and businesses. Importantly, this would be a complement to, and NOT a replacement for, any of the communications already serving the village, such as the Network Year Book; Facebook groups; and HisImp News. It is envisaged that the online 'hub' could include: A village news service, including parish council announcements and consultations Features about village life and people 'What's On' details with an events calendar Advertising of village-based jobs Advertising for volunteers and helpers Listings of community organisations, clubs, societies and facilities Listings and advertising for local traders Please have your say on this by taking part in an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HIcomms 

Leading the way on Recycling and Single-Use Plastics Last year, we held the talk on marine plastics, From the HI Street to the High Seas , and agreed that we should aim at reducing single-use plastics within the community, and improving our recycling rates. We identified the problem of everyone's confusion about what goes in which bin and what actually gets recycled. In July, South Cambs District Council unanimously approved Pippa's motion on the reduction of single-use plastics. Since then, the Council has moved quickly and shown that it can eliminate single-use plastic within its office building at little or no cost. It has stopped the sale and provision of all new plastic cutlery, plastic cups and plastic bottles in the cafeteria and by water dispensers and vending machines around the building. We hope to roll this out across the district to apply to all partners and retailers involved in Council events. This is all part of a wider programme aimed at improving recycling rates as part of the shared South Cambs and Cambridge City service. It turns out that our confusion about what goes where is affecting not only our recycling rates but also costing money. We are putting some recyclable material in our black bins and we are putting some non-recyclable materials in our blue bin. Every time a blue bin has more than 10% contaminate (either uncleaned recyclable material or non-recyclable products) the Council loses money which should be used for key services. The Council and the Waterbeach Recycling Centre have agreed to work with two villages to be early adopters in a pilot programme to improve recycling rates by raising awareness and providing clear information about what goes where. The two villages are Cottenham and Histon and Impington and in both villages it will be the local sustainability groups which will help to drive the awareness campaign. This will include leaflet dropping to houses with information about what goes in which bin; putting up posters; posting on social media; talking to schools and whatever else we can come up with. We will be measuring the effectiveness of the campaign by monitoring black and blue bin weight and the recycling value of blue bin contents. Data is traceable from the dustbin lorries that collect from our village. This pilot programme will be conducted over the next few months between October and December. We need as much help as possible. As soon as we have all the materials from the Council and the Waterbeach Recycling Centre, we will ask you to help!

Thank you, see you at the social if not before? Thurs 11th Oct. 


Hi Everyone

Welcome to the 2nd newsletter from the H & I Sustainability Group, bringing you news and upcoming events from Histon, Impington and nearby.  This month we invite you to come and say hello at HICOP’s much loved annual Bird in the Hand Breakfast on Saturday, and to join us at our next sizzlingly-good Sustainability Social, but first, looking back.



Great progress is being made with the village’s Hedgehog Super Highway.   Many of you responded to the survey local Brownies designed and have seen their posters encouraging us to make our gardens accessible and wildlife-friendly.  The survey put respondents in touch with the Hedgehog Gardens Histon, Impington and Orchard Park group who visited gardens to make perfect hedgehog-sized holes in fences using a special drill piece (donated by Edd Stonham). You can see hedgehog-accessible gardens and homes where residents have promised to do all they can marked on the latest hedgehog-friendly map below.


Ways you can help

  • The ground is very dry and hard so feeding and providing fresh water would really help. Wet or dried cat/dog food is good (not fish flavoured, apparently!) Scotsdales and others sell a popular 'Spike' food
  • Leave areas of your garden a little wild and untidy. Great for hiding and attracting bugs that hedgehogs feed on. Avoid slug pellets as the hedgehog may feed on slugs
  • If you have a pond, please ensure there are easy ways for hedgehogs to clamber out
  • If you would like help getting a hole cut in your fence (or with digging a shallow trench if a hole is not suitable) then please contact Nicole and Pete on 07979 523584 to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit

The Hedgehog Gardens group have an excellent website where you can find out more, and they will be at the Bird in the Hand Breakfast so do come along and talk hedgehogs with them there.

Green Spaces

A Local Green Space and Pathways group has been doing sterling work mapping these so as to secure maximum protection for them through the developing  Neighbourhood Plan.   If you’d like to know more, contact  Pippa.


Orchard Park held a very successful Mini BioBlitz on 18 June, with young and old, novices and experts, investigating flora and fauna on their Wildflower Bank in the best traditions of Citizen Science.  Get in touch with Siobhan if you’d like to help set up a BioBlitz in Histon and Impington.

Film Night

And finally,  a full house watched then talked  The Economics of Happiness last Friday, after first viewing a delightful short, Wear and Share, introduced by local film makers Emily and her dad.  (We also enjoyed yummy refreshments especially the vegan cheesecake!) We’ll be organising another film night soon - if you can offer to host, or have a  sustainability-related film to recommend, contact Helena.  


Saturday 30 June: Bird in the Hand Breakfast

09:30 - 12:00, HI Community Orchard, behind Somerset Rd, Histon

Find out more about your local wildlife and enjoy a hearty breakfast at this free event with the RSPB annual bird-ringing demo; live moths caught the night before with a light trap; stalls from the Wildife Trust, and the Hedgehog Gardens group, and Phil and Wayne’s famous cooked breakfasts (including bacon and sausage rolls, croissants and pastries, and vegetarian options).  Just turn up - no need to book. Note there is a charge for breakfasts.

Wednesday 11 July: HI Sustainability Social

20:00 - 22:00, HI Community Orchard (wet weather location TBA if necessary)

Bring a bottle and meet some like-minded people. A chance to catch up about exciting projects and hatch some new ideas. All welcome, feel free to bring new people. Any questions, contact Helena.  

Next month, we hope to have a date for another Repair Cafe in the village.  If you’d like to be involved - as a repairer, or general helper, please get in touch with Siobhan.  

That’s all for now.  Have a great month, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Siobhan and the HI Sustainability Group steering group


Welcome to the Histon and Impington Sustainability Group!

Thanks very much for becoming a member.

This is the first of your regular monthly mailings, letting you know what’s on in your area, updates from projects in the village and opportunities to develop ideas together.

As well as monthly mailings we aim to run

  • 4 social events a year- hosted by a different member each time
  • 4 (or more) events a year, including film screenings, visiting speakers and other events

Upcoming events (Related events that may be of interest in grey):

  • Thursday 24th Planning Committee Meeting, Recreation Centre 7pm.

 2 large planning applications for housing in Impington are being considered. Have your say. Details here: http://www.hisimp.net/wp/planning-committee-meeting-thursday-24th-may/

  • Wednesday 30th May 2018. Public consultation Histon Road Improvements 4-7pm Saint Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon. Come and have a look at the proposals for improving Histon Rd. Details are more consulation dates here: greatercambridge.org.uk/HistonRoadConsultation.
  • Wednesday 6th June. Public Consultation Event On the New Primary School and Pre-School, 15pm to 7.00pm at Histon and Impington Infant School.

  • Wednesday 22nd Short Films Nibbles and a Chat

Screening of award-winning film “Wear and Share” (see recent Cambridge News article) followed by discussion with the director. Followed by screening of The Economy of Happiness.  Places are limited for this event. Please email: pippahey@gmail.com  to reserve your place.  

  • Wednesday 11th HI Sustainability Social The Community Orchard (wet weather plan TBA if necessary) Bring a bottle to the Community Orchard and meet some like-minded people. A chance to catch up about exiting projects and hatch some new ideas!

Would you like to be a member of the steering committee? Let us know if you would like to help shape the direction and focus of the group by replying to this email.

We need your input!

We have just launched our website, which is very much a work in progress. www.HISustainability.uk Let us know if you think there is something that can be improved, and if you think there is a local group doing great work that should be included please put us in touch with them!

On there you will find our aspirational list of action- things that we would like to address that affect us in the village (https://www.hisustainability.uk/what-next.php). This is an ongoing document to help us focus our energies and avoid duplication of work. Please have a look at this and see if you can see anything missing.

Most importantly we need to work on our “catchphrase” which should tell people what we are about and help them decide if they want to be involved. Some suggestions are:

Local Sustainable Action

Increasing Our Happiness with Local Sustainable Action  

The Journey to Wellbeing: Our Community Action for Sustainability

Please let us know any further suggestions or which of the above we should run with!


Update from: The High Street and Beyond

The vision is to have a Sustainable High Street…

This means a thriving heart of the village, as well as businesses working together on many green issues including reducing waste, carbon dependency and maybe even moving towards a local circular economy

To start with our focus has been on the visual aspect of the High Street. Trying to make it a more inviting space. You may have noticed a troughs and baskets of greenery punctuating the concrete. There are now railing baskets at the StAC (kindly donated by an anonymous donor) at Barker’s Bakery and The Post Office and there are another 6 troughs or baskets in the pipeline! These have been funded by the Parish Council and the shops themselves and many will be maintained and planted by local landscape designer Erika Hunt. The planters are made locally at Cottenham Sawmills and then fitted out with an experimental- rather Heath Robinson style self-watering system. The reservoirs inside are empty 5 and 20 litre containers donated by Daily Bread and local people. Getting flowers onto the High Street has been surprisingly slow and difficult task to realise, but we hope that all our hard work will result in something that will look good for many seasons and years, not just this summer. The hard work of Cedric Foster, Erika Hunt and Paul Jones has made this possible. A huge thanks also to those who gave up their time to help fit them out yesterday (Sunday 20th May). If you are available to help install them on Monday 4th June we would welcome your help. Please email: helena.perry@gmail.com

Commandeering the 2 sad and empty windows of Barclays Bank, which are in prime position on the High Street has been another mission. Finally, with some persuasion the bank allowed us to put up local children’s artwork to transform these grubby panes into a public gallery space, the display changes once a month. If you are interested in helping with this (it takes about 20mins once a month) please email helena.perry@gmail.com and let me know!

Trying to keep the High Street busy and buzzing is also high up the priority list. Empty Shops don’t help with this so we approached the new landlord of the Tesco’s site, (which includes the empty Les Ward shop). The new owner has plans to update and improve the whole arcade, but plans take time to be drawn up and approved, so we asked if we could use the building in the meantime. We were delighted that he has been very obliging. We are now planning to utilise the space as a mixed-use venue. Perfect for pop up events, a regular art/creative space and even somewhere for small business to stretch their feelers. If you know someone who could use this space please get them to email me, or better still get them to request to join the Facebook group “Les Ward Takeover” for all the latest updates. Our first step with this project is THE BIG CLEAN! Which happened today. Many thanks to all who turned out, I am deeply impressed by the quantities of elbow grease!

Finally, one of the hardest challenges has been forming a Histon and Impington Trader’s Group. We invited all the shop- keepers from our surprisingly numerous small and independent businesses to meet to think about how they could work together to increase their clout, support each other and work as a team to draw people to the High Street. This has been a real challenge for some shops, sometimes involving laying aside old rivalries and pre-conceptions. We were hoping for radical action and have been pushing the excellent “Totally Locally” scheme, designed for exactly this purpose (more details here: http://totallylocally.org/stuff/). Whilst we have had a few modest successes, changes on this scale are slow, and often small businesses are so busy with their own shop they haven’t got the time to step back and think big. It is also a lot of work and pavement pounding for us (Tim Ewbank and myself).  The good news is that at each meeting we have had more shops attend and they do all want to meet again. You can really help us by asking about Totally Locally in the shops, encouraging them to work together, and of course supporting them by shopping locally.

We have a few other aspirations for our High Street, (those above are the highlights) and would love to hear any of your ideas, especially if you are able to help realise them!


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Have a great month and look forward to seeing some of you at our next event in June.