Nick Herbert backs Greening Campaign in Henfield

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert was in Henfield on Saturday (6 February) to lend his support at the launch of a local campaign to tackle climate change.

Henfield is the latest village in West Sussex to set up its own branch of the Greening Campaign which encourages people to work together as a community to reduce their carbon footprint.

Hundreds of local residents attended the launch at the Henfield Hall, where a range of stalls and activities were laid on by local clubs and organisations, including a special song performance by children from local playgroups.

There was also a display of posters drawn by pupils of St Peter's Primary School for a competition about the ‘9 challenges', a list of simple measures chosen by Henfield residents to reduce their impact on the environment.

Henfield has already shown that grassroots action on the environment can be effective.  It has been estimated that over a million plastic bags have been saved in the village since its ‘Fantastic No Plastic' campaign began in 2008. 

Villagers now hope to build on this success by meeting the objectives of the Greening Henfield campaign which would save over 1,650 tons of carbon emissions every year and cut around £350,000 from fuel bills.

Launch organiser Bill Shelton commented: "The launch party on Saturday was a great success and everyone involved with the Greening Henfield campaign was amazed by the fantastic support it received from the local community.  As well as being a chance for people to find out how they can get involved in the campaign with a few simple steps at home, it was also a fun and happy day, especially for the children who were taking part.

"Every home in Henfield will now receive a personal challenge card which they can place in their window once they've completed 5 of the 9 challenges.  If everyone takes part, Henfield will have made a big difference on climate change and residents will have saved money on their fuel bills."

Nick Herbert commented: "I'm a strong supporter of the Greening Campaign and I'm delighted that a new group has been set up in Henfield.  It was great to see so many people coming together on Saturday to support it.

"Sometimes the challenge of tackling climate change seems so immense that people don't know what they can do, or feel that they can't make a difference.  And a lot of the time it seems that we are being bullied into action that will be painful or difficult.  The Greening Campaign is great because we can all buy in voluntarily, feel that we are doing our bit and making a real difference, and act together as a community.  It's bottom-up action instead of top-down dictat."

Mr Herbert was joined at the launch event by West Sussex County Councillor for Henfield Lionel Barnard, Horsham District Councillors for Henfield Sheila Matthews and Keith Wilkins, Henfield Parish Council Chairman Peter Sheppard and Henfield Community Partnership Chairman Tony Jackson.

The Greening Campaign, founded in 2008 by Petersfield resident Terena Plowright who was at Saturday's launch, now has 162 active communities around the country, with more joining every week.

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Notes for Editors

1. The launch event was held at Henfield Hall, Coopers Way, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9DB from 10am to midday. A poster for the event is attached.

2. Greening Henfield is supported by a number of local groups and organisations, including Henfield BP Guild, Henfield Brownies, 1st Henfield Guides, the Scouts, The Henfield Joggers, Women's Institute, Henfield Lions, Henfield Growers Group, Henfield Theatre Company, St Peter's Primary School, Henfield Youth Club, Henfield Playgroups, Sussex Wildlife Trust, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and West Sussex County Council.

3. For more information on the Greening Campaign, visit http://www.greening-campaign.co.uk/index.html.

4. During an appearance on the BBC's Politics Show programme in December, Mr Herbert called for a positive agenda to protect the environment and tackle climate change. For more information, visit [link to follow]

5. On Wednesday 3 February, Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herbert gave a speech to the Conservative Party's ‘Lean and Green' conference setting out the ‘green' agenda for a new Conservative Government. For a copy of the speech, visit [link to follow].

6. The photograph shows (from left to right): Horsham District Councillor for Henfield Keith Wilkins; Greening Campaign founder and Director Terena Plowright; Nick Herbert MP; Rob Crawford Clarke; County Councillor for Henfield Lionel Barnard; Horsham District Councillor for Henfield Sheila Matthews; Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust Tony Whitbread.

Ed Barker