Start Sustainable Burnley?
Never one to pass up an opportunity to make a difference,
HRH The Prince of Wales got some of his charities together, and in
close partnership with the people of Burnley, set out to see what
could be done. Three years later, the area has developed strong
links with The Prince's Charities and Burnley has a new lease of
life. Check out this short video - The Prince's
Charities in Burnley: Working in Partnership -
to find out more. It's all rather
As part The Prince's Charities, of course, Start was keen
to get involved and see if we could add our simple, sustainable
living ideas to the mix. So when we were invited to do so in 2011,
we jumped at the chance.
Start is all about giving people simple, practical and fun
ideas to try for more sustainable living. In Burnley, we saw an
opportunity to work with the community to develop and promote
sustainable and environmentally-friendly living in a way that works
Start Sustainable Burnley was born.
But where to
The big challenge was always going to be choosing
something to start with, and making sure that it was something that
would interest to people so they'd want to join in. After meeting
with lots of locals and even more research, we decided to start
where we always start - with our "five pillars of sustainable
living". The pillars are; energy, water, travel & transport,
products & materials, and food & growing. And it's this
last pillar - food & growing - that everyone agreed would be
the best place to begin.
So what are the
Some of the plans are yet to be firmed up (these things do take
time!). But plenty is already well underway, with the launch of our
Pop-Up Farms project
in all 34 Burnley primary schools.
The brainchild of Dr Paul Clarke, the idea of a Pop-Up Farm
) is something that came out of his "plotting shed" - a space
he invented for developing new ideas. Well, while Paul was sitting
in his shed plotting, dreaming about farms and food, he was struck
by a brilliant idea. Let's not take the kids to the farm to learn
about food, let's bring the farm to them with a Pop-Up
schools will get a Pop-Up Farm, the key element of which is, of
course, a school 'Plotting Shed'. This is a special shed or space
in the school grounds, where the children, teachers, parents and
the wider community can come together to decide how they would like
to bring sustainable living to life in their school.
in hand, the schools will begin things like growing their own food,
learning about biodiversity, keeping bees, testing out energy,
water and waste saving ideas, planting orchards, and much
With this year's focus on food and growing, each school will also
contribute a recipe to a special cookbook, 'Start Cooking up the
Future'. This will be packed with quick and easy family meals based
on things you could grow in your garden, and is set to be launched
in the ASDA Burnley store in the next few months.
happened so far?
Knowing how much everyone (even Head Teachers) loves an
excuse to get out school, on 31st January
we invited the Head Teachers of all 34 primary schools to come
together for a big meet up at Burnley Football Club. It was a
perfect opportunity for everyone to learn more from Paul about
Pop-Up Farms and ask all the tough questions. We were delighted to
discover that, the Head Teachers were already keen to start
submitting recipes for the 'Start Cooking Up The Future'
To get Start Sustainable Burnley up and running, we need
lots of brilliant partners to work with. For the first project of
the scheme, Pop-Up Farms, we've teamed up with ASDA and Pop-Up Farm
Inc (more about these guys below*).
Our next step for Pop-Up Farms is to invite some of the
key people involved in the project to contribute and share their
story of the journey towards a more sustainable Burnley as it
unfolds. We hope you'll stay tuned.
And, what about our
next steps for the wider Start Sustainable Burnley scheme? What
brilliant ideas have we got bubbling away?
You'll just have to wait for
our next instalment of The Story of Start Sustainable
challenges us in unexpected ways and in unexpected places,
showing us how easy it is to make little changes that make a big
difference, so that we start to change our habits and behaviour and
tread more gently on the earth.
is one of Start's corporate partners and is focused on bringing
sustainability to communities throughout the UK.