Greener Greenhill’s mission is to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies through local action. Lindy Stone is one of the organisers:
“Each of the small things we can do add up to something bigger. When we’ve spoken to people, they’re often already doing things to help the climate and nature crisis, Greener Greenhill is about showing them they’re not alone.
“Greener Greenhill acts as a network, linking groups and individuals, promoting helpful things, looking at what others are doing and how the community can help or do similar. We want action embedded in community life.”
The idea came in lockdown
“I helped host a local Friends of the Earth online event about simple steps to combat climate change. It looked at three areas: workplace, individuals, community – and included expert speakers to share their advice.
“I followed this up with a similar event in person at Greenhill Library. There was a good turnout and afterwards people talked about doing some of the things in Greenhill.
“I’m an organiser, I took the lead, and contacted people in the area I thought might be interested. We spoke about how we could do it, how we could set something up and how it might work. We see ourselves as a network not a group. I’m doing a lot of that linking, it takes a lot of energy and will need something else to be more sustaining.”
Greenhill is often overlooked
“People don’t come through here, and perhaps see no reason to come. But they don’t know the range of business here. In terms of community, it’s a way to boost the profile of Greenhill, it exists, there are good things here, good people live here.
“For the community, it reinforces community spirit. Greenhill like to see their community mentioned, especially for good things like the environment and nature.
“We’re going for an Economic Recovery Fund bid to support local businesses to spend on things that would encourage more people to walk to their local shops rather than get their car out.”
It’s nice to do this locally
“I can look at those wildflowers we planted, look at kids enjoying their clean school grounds, look at those people who’ve got their bikes back on the road, or put up bird boxes. It seems so low key, but even the little things help, there’s a sense of satisfaction.
“It makes me not feel so hopeless and helpless.”
Lindy’s advice for other community-based climate and nature groups
- Find a group of people who like being together and doing things together, who are also motivated by taking action for the environment.
- Join other community organisations and businesses in the area or nearby. “Everything is connected,” says Lindy, “the climate and nature crisis have no set boundaries so why should we?”
- Seek advice from similar groups like ours, we’re happy to share advice and support on how to set up and take more community action.
- Find a hub – ours is a library, but this could be a school or church or another existing community group.
- Start with a clothes or toy swap, anything that can bring people together in that way.
- Look at the environment angle of what you’re doing and why. So for example a litter pick helps make the area you live look tidier and cleaner, but also removes microplastic from the ground.
- Shout about your achievements!
Greener Greenhill action
- A launch event at Greenhill Library in September 2021 with stalls and activities for local individuals and families to find out more.
- A community consultation and Google survey to get ideas from local people about ‘How we can make Greenhill greener.’
- A Bike MOT where local people competent in bike repair volunteered time to help others to make the most of their bikes in the area.
- Raised funds to write and print an 8-mile circular walk to encourage more people to explore Greenhill and the surrounding area.
- A recycling station at the library for hard to recycle items like toothpaste tubes and blister packs for medication.
- A nature friendly gardening session at the library to share advice and ideas on making gardens in Greenhill better for wildlife.
- A bird identification walk for 15 local people to find out more about birds living in the area.
- Worked with local charity The Terminus Initiative on a National Energy Action event to share practical ideas and guidance about how to save energy.
- A talk by Nick Parsons, a home energy consultant, about ways people living in Greenhill can cut energy bills, warm their homes and help the planet.
- We’ve started exploring options for local EV charging points.
- Working with Sheffield City Council, residents and a housing association to improve a grassed area of public land including planting trees and bulbs, and re-painting a large strip of railings.
- A School Spring Clean at Greenhill Primary, which involved a litter pick, tidying the garden and installing a compost bin for dinner staff to now use for food scraps.
With approximately 2,300 homes, Greenhill is located south of the city centre, and in the same ward as Beauchief, Chancet Wood, Lowedges, Jordanthorpe, Batemoor and Meadowhead.
The ‘heart’ of Greenhill includes a primary school, two churches and public library as well as a selection of shops and cafes. The original village is noted as a Conservation Area for its 18th and 19th century buildings.
Do you live in or near Greenhill?
There’s an active Facebook page where you can find out more about local events, not just the ones organised by Greener Greenhill. There’s also a printed newsletter, which can be found in the library and the two local churches.
There’s a page on Greenhill Library’s website about Greener Greenhill, including a handy list of local and national climate and nature crisis contacts.
There are regular articles about Greener Greenhill activity in Active8 – the free monthly community magazine for the area.
Thank you Lindy for sharing your story!
To find out more about Greener Greenhill, or to get involved, visit greenhill-library.org/gg
Or find Greener Greenhill on facebook here: greenergreenhill