After two months of preparation, we are kicking off the New Estates Eco-Streets project this month.
This project, funded by the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy through Alton Town Council, will build on the experiences and insights gained during the initial Eco Streets project in Whitedown, Alton, which ran for a year until July 2023. See the Eco-Streets End of Project Presentation on ACAN’s You Tube Channel
After the learning with Eco Streets Whitedown over the last year, focal areas of the project will be nature and creativity: involving people, both children and adults, in creative approaches (e.g. poetry or songwriting workshops, painting, theatre) provides a more emotive access to the topic of the climate crisis; while topics centred around nature, like wildlife gardening, helping hedgehogs and swifts, or the ever popular litter-picking, provide good entry points to engage people with topics addressing the wider climate crisis.
The Eco Streets Whitedown project has shown that the lack of action is not due to a lack of knowledge about the climate crisis nor due to unawareness about the urgency of the situation. The reason for the lack of action rather seems to be a lack of emotional involvement. While there is still a need to better understand the role of emotions in decision-making and behaviour, a large-scale emotional reconnection with the natural world is an obvious necessity if we want to successfully work for transformative behaviour changes.
We will try to help initiate this reconnection by delivering several outreach events at two of Alton’s new estates, Hop Field Place and Ackender Hill, during September and October, including outdoor evening talks on bats, hedgehogs and foxes, a neighbourhood picnic, and litter picks. We also plan to assist residents with the purchase and installation of swift boxes and to create more wildlife verges like the successful verge we planted in Bolle Road as part of the original Eco Streets project.
We hope to establish a good personal relationship with as many residents as possible. Besides assisting residents of the New Estates to do their bit for the wildlife around them as well as and inspiring them to take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle in general, we also aim to promote ACAN’s many offers to people who may not have been in Alton for a long time and may not yet be aware of ACAN’s many groups and opportunities to get active for the climate.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @ecostreetsalton for updates on all events
We will also continue our monthly Cuppa for the Climate in the ACAN Eco-Cafe at 16 Market Square on the second Thursday of each month. We will meet at 4pm on 14th of September to talk about the role of art and creativity within the climate movement.