Ready, steady, grow! Our community garden programme for 2018


Hello everyone!

We are putting plans together for the new growing season in the Planet South Bank community garden, ‘The Nose’ at St Clements Church, and we would love you to be involved. We will be running regular gardening sessions from March to October this year. Our sessions are on alternate Sundays at 4pm. We start on 11 March with a spring clean of the garden, which is at the front of the church (access via Nunthorpe Road). Please see below for the dates.

This is a community garden so if you would like to grow some different things, contribute seeds or seedlings or have any ideas please bring them along to one of our sessions or get in touch. If you feel like doing a bit of gardening during the week or anytime outside of our planned sessions please feel free.

You don’t need to have previous experience to join the gardening group – we all muck in and help and learn together. It’s a sociable and fun activity and a great way to get out in the fresh air and meet new people, as well as doing something productive (that you can eventually take home to eat!). If you would like to receive regular updates, or plan to come along regularly, we recommend you join the gardening group email list so that we can send you updates and let you know if there are any changes to our plans.

Hope to see you soon!


11th March – Spring clean
We will be having a tidy up and preparing the soil for planting. Also fixing up our bug hotel.

25th March – Planting onions

8th April – Potatoes

22nd April -Lettuce, radishes, chard…

6th May – Runner beans

20th May – Plant out session Getting those seedlings in the ground.

3rd June – General session

17th June – Picnic – We will be picking some fruit and possibly having a bug hunt. As it’s summer there will also be weeding to do. (NB: this date coincides with the Bishopthorpe Road Street Party so may be subject to review)

1st July – General session

8th July – Open day
Join us for tea and cake.

22nd July – General session

5th August – Harvesting potatoes and runner beans.

19th August – General session

2nd September- General session

16th September – Picnic  Join us and bring something you grew at home.

30th September – General session

1st October – General session


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Packed out event leads to calls for action on plastics


What can we all do to reduce plastic pollution?

Public concern about the problem – brought into sharp focus by David Attenborough’s BBC documentary series Blue Planet II – was demonstrated by a high turn out for the first One Planet York ‘Mingle’ of 2018, which was on the issue of plastics.

The event, co-hosted by Planet South Bank and St Nicks Environment Centre, was held on Wednesday 17 January at Forty Five Vinyl Café in Micklegate, York. Over 50 people attended the event, many of whom had not previously attended previous One Planet York socials or ‘Mingles’ as the monthly get-togethers are called.

The evening was introduced by Paul McCabe of City of York Council, who spoke about One Planet York and its themes, one of which is an ambition to achieve zero waste.

Kate Lock, Chair of Planet South Bank, then outlined the current international, national and commercial context on policies and action on plastics. “The bad news is that, if we carry on behaving the way we are now, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea,” she said.

“The good news is that people are waking up to this and public concern is pushing policymakers and businesses to take action – although the pace is still way too slow.”

Read Kate’ round up on the National context (which has links to reports and further information).

Sam Taylor, Recycling Co-ordinator at St Nicks, explained the local context in York, which currently only recycles plastic bottles in the council’s kerbside collection. Many people are still depositing other types of plastic in the kerbside boxes, which are then contaminating the loads and could potentially cause them to be landfilled instead of recycled. Sam has written a blog on plastics recycling in York, explaining what can and can’t be recycled (and why), and she has also produced a very useful infographic guide (see previous post).

Councillor Andrew Waller, City of York Council Executive Member for the Environment, also attended the event and spoke about the challenges faced by the council with plastic waste, especially now that China is no longer taking UK recycling. 

Rich Hearn of Planet South Bank spoke about our plans – still at a very early stage – for working with the Bishy Road Traders and other local organisations to introduce free Terracycle drop boxes for certain products. St Nicks has some Terracycle boxes already (for some coffee pods, pens, and other items) so we hope to co-ordinate collection in York with them.

As well as Terracycle boxes, Planet South Bank also plans to conduct an audit of plastic use/products in local shops and cafes and will work with traders to reduce these and/or find alternatives.

Kate Lock drew attention to a recent amendment put to City of York Council by Green Party councillor Andy D’Agorne, proposing a ‘YorCup’ along the lines of the successful Freiburg Cup which can be returned and reused through a network of over 100 shops in the German city. John Mcgall of local company i am reusable demonstrated a green plastic cup the company has produced, sales of which also provide for hot drinks for the homeless.

Finally, Paul McCabe invited John King to read an “prose-press release” Plastic Weekend for the One Planet York event, which John had sent us after he composed it for a creative writing course exercise, which references the shocking Blue Planet II sequence with a whale calf poisoned by plastics.

After the speakers, the event turned to socialising and a chance to meet and talk to other people and exchange ideas. Some of the proposals included:

  • a cultural event (performance, music, poetry, etc) to raise awareness of the issue
  • a follow up public meeting/workshop to go over the issues in more detail and explore local solutions
  • setting up a Facebook or other such group where information about how to reduce your plastic use can be shared, especially with reference to shops/businesses that offer alternatives/no packaging
  • a large scale art/activism event to raise awareness

All the suggestions will be collated and captured by St Nicks and we will share them here in due course. In the short term, the Facebook event page can be used to post links and suggestions.



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Plastic recycling in York: at-a-glance guide

PlasticRecyclingGuide2017 (002)

Confused about what kinds of plastic can and can’t be recycled in York? We are pleased to share this handy at-a-glance guide from the team at St Nick’s, the environment centre in York, which makes it clear what you can put in your council-collected kerbside bins – and what to take elsewhere. At the moment it’s only types 1 and 2 – plastic bottles and plastic jars – that can go in the kerbside collection, but there are other options for some other types.

Planet South Bank has already posted this infographic on our Facebook page, where it’s had lots of shares, and we encourage York residents to spread the word. You can also read this great blog by Sam Taylor, Recycling Officer at St Nick’s, which explains more.

Next year, Planet South Bank will be looking at local initiatives to improve recycling and reduce plastic use and waste. Keep an eye on our social media – and make sure you follow the Planet South Bank blog by email to keep up with all the latest news!

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Planet South Bank aims to trial plastic waste options


On Saturday 21 October, following our Repair Cafe, Planet South Bank hosted a community recycling talk to explore some possible solutions for better disposing of plastic waste and ways to avoid single use plastics.

The event included guest speakers from Terracycle, which provides recycling initiatives that extend the lifespan of plastic items otherwise bound for landfill, and ‘I Am Reusable‘, a local online store that enables consumers to ditch single use plastic items in favour of those that are reusable and plastic free.

Why was this important to us? Currently, the only plastics that City of York Council can recycle at the kerbside are plastic bottles.  Despite many people’s best intentions  – i.e., filling their recycle boxes with all kinds of other plastics (margarine tubs, yoghurt pots and plastic trays and cartons are often thrown in) – anything that’s not a plastic bottle is only going to end up in landfill or contaminating the load.

The council is hedging its bets on a new incinerator (at Allerton Park; due to open in 2018) to provide a “solution”, opting to burn any household waste that is beyond its recycling capabilities. Not everyone is happy with this approach and the passing of planning permission for the incinerator in 2010 by City of York and North Yorks County Council was hugely controversial, generating petitions and protests. Given this unease, and the urgency of the plastic pollution problem, Planet South Bank and friends are planning to take their own action on dealing with plastic waste locally.

So far, we’ve spoken with and surveyed local traders on Bishopthorpe Road in York, not only to get some insight into their waste content but to see if we can garner their support for trialling solutions in the area. In the near future we hope to create a pilot scheme giving local people increased access to more diverse plastic recycling options, one of which is Terracycle’s Zero Waste box scheme.

We had a Skype call with Terracycle to discuss the huge range of plastic items they can recycle (reuse and upcycle) to lessen the need for the use of virgin plastic. Some of the recycling options are free, including: McVities biscuit wrappers, pens, cigarette butts and Garnier personal care products. In addition, Terracycle provides the means to recycle almost any other plastic item through a paid-for service.

Planet South Bank will be active in encouraging the implementation of the free recycling programmes, seeking locations to host community drop off sites (pen recycling in schools, etc). We’ll also be seeking other organisations and businesses to host the paid for waste boxes, providing the community with a place to better dispose of their waste. This will be done where a correlation exists between the products they sell/provide and the waste it then creates. We hope that those we approach will be receptive and see value in the initiative as a means of being ecologically responsible, whilst potentially attracting new custom from those who come to use the service.

‘I Am Reusable’,  from the Leeman Road area of York, also came along to the event and showcased some of their many non-plastic and alternative products. Their  message was simple: you as a consumer can buy better to cut your waste, and in some cases even your costs, by taking advantage of reusable cup use discounts at many coffee retailers. Take a look at their store and view a video of the presentation.

We look forward to keep you up-to-date with developments in the near future and we welcome any comments, questions or offers of help!

Rich Hearn


Why is plastic so detrimental to the environment?

  • Almost every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet in some form and half of the (+) 350 million tonnes of global annual plastic production will be used once, then thrown away, with only a small fraction being recycled.
  • Plastic harms wildlife, which can get caught in it (e.g. netting of plastic can holders) or eat it (from bottle tops to bits of plastic bags)
  • (+) 5 trillion tiny pieces of plastic are afloat in our oceans, broken down by UV rays, waves and salt, to create micro plastics. These have subsequently been filmed being eaten by plankton, representing the introduction of plastics in to the wider food chain: plastics absorb chemicals and toxins that are free-forming in the ocean, once consumed by (fish) they build up and are then eaten by humans.
  • Burning plastic in the open air releases hormonal disrupting, toxic, phthalates that have been proven to interfere with growth, early development in children, reproduction and the metabolism. (Emissions from modern incinerators are highly regulated and controlled.)


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Craft-y-Crawl: list and map of participating makers


Craft – y – Crawl Sunday 12th November 2017 12 midday – 4pm
List of participating venues (in alphabetical order) with map

A. Bishopthorpe Road , The Winning Post, YO23 1NZ
Kim Chambers – animal artist selling original artwork, prints and greeting cards,
including festive cards
Sophie and Carlos – brightly painted tin decorations – Christmas themes and Day of the Dead
Jane Milliner – cards including unicorns and Pegasus
Ed Clews – Music, film and pop culture illustration cards and prints. Plus fuzzy animal faces
Charlotte Dawson – copper and silver jewellery, experimentation with patina and incorporating found objects
Sylvia – hand knitted items including tea cosies, cushions and bags

B. 28 Charlton Street, YO23 1JN
Petra – Handmade jewellery – necklaces, earrings, bag charms, bracelets,
All individual items and very reasonably priced.
C. Cromwell Road, Bishophill, The Golden Ball, YO1 6DU
Nell – handmade unique cards, gifts, block prints and accessories. Plus birds, birds!
Vagaries of Mine – Folk art and literature inspired original art, cards and gifts
Smitten – Paper crafts and other curiosities
SkipArt aka Dan George – Unique paintings on reclaimed slates and wooden doors
Cat Tails of York aka Anna Harding – Original art, prints and cards
Winifred Taylor – Folk art inspired gifts and cards

D. 1 Norfolk Street, YO23 1JY
Naomi Whittaker– colourful handmade fused and stained glass.
From Christmas decorations to coasters to candle holders, plates and window panels.
Lots of glass to brighten up your home or give as gifts.

E. 86 Nunnery Lane YO23 1AJ
Mim Robson/Keeping it Crafty – Land and Nature art, colourful mandalas made from flowers and natural materials, large scale sand art, craft workshops including textile and paper crafts
Kayti Peschke – Caboodle magazine. A print magazine created to showcase the work of artists, makers and passionate individuals. Meet Editor and York local Kayti and grab a copy at a special discount rate.
Rachel Croft – Pen illustration with watercolour. Cards, lampshades and drawings.

F. 79 Russell Street, YO23 1NN
Sarah Penn and Madeline Evans – hand knitted accessories, scarves and shawls, hats and mittens made in natural yarns, including hand spun and dyed. Also fabric jewellery, cards and Christmas decorations and a live Spinning demonstration

G. 82 Scarcroft Road, YO23 1DD
Di Hennell – ‘My Material World’ Eclectic mix of gifts, using a variety of materials. Brooches, bracelets, notebooks, Christmas decorations, hangings and more.
Plus York Prints by Roger Inman.

H. 3 Scott Street, YO23 1NR
Pie Waller – Carved eraser stamps, daft badges, pompon bunting, special hyacinth bulbs.
Lu Mason – brooches and mobiles
Kate Akrill – Skullduggery Ceramic snowflakes and soap dishes
Joy Simpson – cards and prints

I. 10 Trafalgar Street, YO23 1HT
Isla Macneil “Ingenues” Children’s activities,workshops and costumes based on inspirational women. All handmade by Isla and a selection of local workers and manufacturers.

J. 33 Wentworth Road, YO24 1DG
Sally Stone -Hippystitch –jewellery and notebooks
Lucy Monkman Illustration, Colourful and contemporary, cards, stationery and prints
Alyson Cowen – What’s To Be Done With Her, handmade children’s clothing
Helen Batchelor – By Helen, Beautiful flowers from yarn and fabric

K. 35 Wentworth Road, YO24 1DG
Sue Dennis – cards
Ruth – flying birds and cards
Meredith – cards and prints

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Bikes to umbrellas: Repair Café fixed it!

Our Repair Café returned to Clements Hall in York on Saturday 21 October, and once again saw a wide range of items given a new lease of life.

In the hands of our skilled volunteer repairers, we managed to fix or part-fix a total of 27 items, including: 5 bikes, 3 laptops, hair straighteners, a sewing machine, an umbrella, an espresso maker steam head, a pair of curtains, various items of clothing and jewellery, as well as encouraging a visitor to refurbish a piano stool. Only five items proved unfixable.

We were pleased to welcome Ey-Up Cycling and Lance Bumstrong back to the bike crew, who were kept busy, as were Carwyn Edwards and Ben Weaver on electricals and electronics. Thanks also to new volunteers Matt Bibby and Peter Barclay, who also joined the techy team. Lyndall Nicoll did a sterling job on jewellery and Gill Cossham and Ruth Jennaway hand- and machine-stitched clothes and curtains. We couldn’t have managed without our team of general helpers who shared reception, café and triage duties: Imelda Havers, Rosie Baker, John and Bronwen Gray and John Bibby A very big thanks to all those that helped,  and not forgetting the bakers – most especially Liz Court, who provided a fantastic spread of cakes, biscuits and tarts, including allergy friendly ones.

Attendance was significantly down on last time (around 30): we think this was due to the timing (first day of half term) and also the event being on a Saturday morning (the previous repair café was on a Sunday afternoon). Ironically, we had chosen the date because it coincided with International Repair Café Week, and Saturday itself was  the official Repair Day! Still, it seems what really matters is timing it to suit people’s busy schedules, and Sundays tend to be better for this (and afternoons better than mornings).

We hope we can repeat the event in the Spring (March or early April).  We may also consider doing drop in clinics at other venues for specific items (jewellery or bikes, for example). In the meantime, we are keen to build up our bank of volunteers, so if you would like to help out another time, please email us. If you have a venue in the greater South Bank area of York that you would like to offer to host a repair café or drop in  clinic, please get in contact!



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Arty – or Crafty? Join the Crawl that puts makers on the map




Next month sees the return of our Craft-y-Crawl, a Sunday stroll round the streets of the greater South Bank area of York (including Bishy Road and the streets off it)
The event, on 12 November (12.00-4.00pm) offers a chance to visit local artists and craftspeople in their own homes, who will be displaying and selling a range of handmade items, including jewellery, prints, stained and fused glass, Mexican tin decorations, cards, eraser carved stamps, Christmas decorations and other exciting and unusual items!
As a participating artist/ craftsperson you can exhibit in your own home, pal up with a friend or two in your house or theirs, or book a table at The Winning Post pub on Bishopthorpe Road (this is a new initiative for this year).
To be part of the event, email giving your contact details and a description of your art/craft. Closing date for participants is Thursday 2 November (6.00pm). A £5 booking fee applies, to cover printing and advertising costs. This can be dropped off to the organiser, Pie Waller, at 3, Scott Street YO23 1NR (or contact Pie on 01904 639595 or mobile 07761 642160).
A map and list of participating addresses will be posted on the website and on our Facebook page before the event.


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