Garden tours, litter picks, virtual talks and beer – all part of the Great Big Green Week in Bedford

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Over 27 events will be taking place in Bedford next week as part of a nationwide campaign to highlight the need for urgent action on climate and nature.

Starting this Saturday (18 September), the Great Big Green Week will see thousands of people across the UK organising a variety of events and activities aimed at engaging local people with the environment in different ways as well as highlighting the work that groups are doing.

From garden tours at the Panacea Museum (home of Bedford’s very own Garden of Eden) to free talks, seed swaps, litter picks and beer tastings, there are many ways that Bedfordians can get involved and find out more about making a difference to our environment.

Discover the fascinating history of Bedford’s very own Garden of Eden at the Panacea Museum

The full programme of events is on the website, including online virtual talks by campaigners and authors on subjects as varied as reducing food waste to becoming carbon-free and what would happen if the world stopped shopping.

Local businesses are involved in the events too, with Beerfly running a tasting event on 23 September, featuring a tap takeover from DEYA, a Cotswolds brewery determined to lower their carbon footprint.

“We chose DEYA due to the fact that they are at the forefront of sustainability within the brewing industry and are constantly trying to lower their carbon footprint,” explained Beefly owner, Tim Edwards.

Tickets are £20 and include a 1/3rd of each of the six beers and a snack from CaRumbar. You can book your place here.

Vegan Fair and Makers’ Market

The finale of Bedford’s Great Big Green Week sees a weekend of events in Harpur Square.

On Saturday 25 September, Green Earth Café – formerly Made in Bedford at Number 13 – rolls out its first Green Earth Vegan Fair, a celebration of cruelty-free, vegan living, with food, skincare and cosmetics plus eco products and vintage clothing.

“We’ll have stalls selling amazing vegan products from homewares and accessories to doughnuts, vegan hotdogs and pizzas,” said organiser, Bambi Sinclair.

There will also be interactive stalls offering eco-friendly glitter face paint and henna, plus there will be a collaboration between Caution Vintage clothing and The Moonstruck where customers will be able to have their vintage purchases personalised with a hand-painted design of their choice.

Green Earth Café is the first fully vegan, eco café in the heart of Bedford. With a focus on great tasting vegan food made with local market produce, locally roasted coffee, homemade bread and cakes, the café keeps its carbon footprint to a minimum, recycling and composting all waste.

Green Earth Café sits alongside the popular Made in Bedford shop, where local artists and makers have an opportunity to sell their work.

Drawing the Great Big Green Week to a close is the Made in Bedford September Makers’ Market in Harpur Square with unique products designed and made by local creatives. The perfect eco alternative to buying imported goods.

“If we work together we can make a change”

Coordinator for the week in Bedford, Cory Walker, said: “We’ve seen how climate change can affect us directly.

“We need to confront it now and we need our MP to lead the way. We have produced a schedule of over 27 events, a mixture of both virtual and face to face, running throughout the week and we want to encourage others to get involved where possible in taking action on tackling this important issue.”

Cllr Lucy Bywater
Cllr Lucy Bywater (Green Party)

Lucy Bywater, Chair of Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum, said she was encouraged by growing interest in the environment and people wanting to play their part.

“The challenges of climate change and destruction of the natural world are already upon us,” said Lucy, who is also a Green Pary councillor for Castle Ward.

“But there’s a lot we can do to turn this situation around as individuals, but especially if we work together. November’s COP26 climate conference, hosted by the UK, is the most crucial time to be raising awareness about the very real challenges we face and the ambitious solutions we need from governments globally.”

To find out more about the week’s events and to take part, visit the website at greatbiggreenweekbedford.co.uk.

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