Karen Cannard on an exciting new platform for eco-projects

Have your say

If you have even the slightest interest in making Bury St Edmunds a real hub of sustainable activity, I would recommend you come along to the St John’s Fair Trade cafe on Monday, for the launch of the new community group Sustainable Bury.

Following the Transition Town model, the group will offer a new platform for unlocking the potential of our diverse community to become more self-sufficient in a whole host of exciting ways.

I have been privileged to have worked with similar groups over the last few years, which have had an immense impact on their communities. What often starts with relatively ‘easy-wins’ of growing your own vegetables, creating food co-ops and sharing resources, can soon develop into large scale projects.

Take Transition Tynesdale, for instance, who are working with project partners to build a hydro-electric plant, which will enable them to power a small community of local homes and sell energy back to the grid to support local projects.

Of course, any reward is only as great as the ambitions of those involved and our collective interest, skills and commitment to realise them. I really hope that Sustainable Bury will provide a fresh opportunity for all those who have been mulling over an eco-project to come together and collaborate with others to help achieve it. I am pleased to be a founding member.

So what personal ambitions do I have? Sadly, Bury doesn’t have a river that flows fast enough for a hydro-energy project but Grand Designs guru Kevin McCloud recently tempted me with the idea of community biofuel.

I also love the idea of ‘Swap Shops’, ‘Repair Parties’ and innovation competitions.

If you’d like to be part of a new Sustainable Bury, do find out more. Details of the launch are in this week’s Bury Free Press – see Page 16.