Communities across Cumbria are gearing up for a host of events and activities to celebrate Great Big Green Week from the 8th – 16th June, centered around the theme of ‘Let’s Swap Together for Good.’ 

Twenty seven organisations have been successful in receiving additional funding from the Westmorland and Furness council locality boards towards the events, and many other groups across the county including schools, youth groups, musicians, artists, poets, mental health charities, churches and community groups are also doing their bit for climate and nature during the week. 

Helen Attewell, Coordinator of the Cumbria Sustainability Network said, ‘We know that the climate is changing and weather is becoming more unpredictable. However we also know that Cumbrian communities are resilient and care deeply about nature, and want to play their part in ensuring that future generations can continue to flourish here.  I’m so inspired by the range of ideas that have come forward in response to our call for action on climate.  It’s going to be a busy, but really fun week.’ 

Events listed on the Zero Carbon Cumbria website include litter picks, planting for pollinators, making bug houses, guided walks, workshops on energy saving, films and talks, as well as swap events – plant swaps, dried and tinned food swaps, clothes swaps and even story swaps.   

Cumbria Action for Sustainability have awarded over £7,300 worth of grants from the National Lottery Community Fund and Westmorland and Furness council, on behalf of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. 

Terri Prophet from Ormsgill Stronger Together in Barrow said, ‘We’re looking forward to taking part in Great Big Green Week and doing a Clothes Swap at the community centre. We have asked our local community to bring in any old, unwanted garments they no longer use or have grown out of, in exchange for someone else’s clothes they will use. We have also collected surplus clothes from Asda that have not sold in store – a much better solution for the community as well as the planet, rather than good clothes going off to landfill.’  

Suzanne Edgley from Ford Park in Ulverston said, ‘We plan to build on our Great Big Green Week successes last year and link with Mums of Ulverston to involve children in the planting of a community herb garden at Ford Park. This is an ideal opportunity to educate them on growing their own foods and how easy it is to grow herbs at home too. 

‘We will also be holding a ‘Let’s Swap’ event in the Williams Room swapping books, children’s toys, seeds, plants and small garden tools. Our team will be on hand for top tips for growing at home and we have invited Ulverston Repair Café to join us for the day so we can encourage people to repair and not replace. We have also invited local groups to join us’ 

 Sara Barnard, from Blue Jam Arts in Penrith said, ‘Great Big Green Week is a great opportunity to get people together to learn songs about nature and the environment. We will also garden together to continue to develop a wildlife friendly garden at BlueJam Arts, and plan to host a plastic-free picnic (as a challenge to encourage thinking about use of plastic), with a ‘books and plants swap’ table to encourage sharing our resources.’  

Full listings of events taking place can be found on the Zero Carbon Cumbria website: Great Big Green Week – Zero Carbon Cumbria – Carbon reduction action across the county. 

The Great Big Green Week is being organised by The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change, whose members include the National Trust, WWF, Women’s Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB.