Chester Zoo Wildlife Connections and Champions

Wildlife Connections is a project led by Chester Zoo. Its aim is to create safe spaces for our local wildlife.

You can get involved by;

  • making small wildlife friendly changes to your garden or local green space,
  • recording the wildlife you see
  • becoming a Wildlife Champion and teaching others how to take action for wildlife.

If you want to join the Wildlife Champions course then there are still spaces available for November 2022.

Bijou by Tamzyn

Bijou by Tamzyn creates totally unique nature-inspired copper jewellery.
Every piece of my jewellery is designed & created by hand using a no-heat method of jewellery making, called wire wrapping, which originates from Egypt.
Sourcing partly-recycled copper wire and ethically sourced gems, each & every piece is of a high quality.

All materials used are eco-friendly and ethically sourced, from stripping & polishing recycled copper wire to sourcing quality gems.
Finding treasures from nature and making it into wearable art. Bijou by Tamzyn is strongly inspired by the earth’s natural shapes and spirals, forming unique one-of-a-kind pieces.

@bijoubytamzyn (facebook & instagram)

Lief Reclaimed

A small Welsh business focussed on reclaiming natural, luxury and unique textiles and giving them a new lease of life! Anna makes luxurious cashmere handwarmers, scarves, and other garments and accessories. It was was born from a great passion for reclaiming unwanted quality fabrics and material and to create beautiful, unique long lasting luxury accessories and home décor and protecting the Earth.

Anna’s vision has remained the same since Lief began; to save unwanted quality materials from their usual fate of landfill and to carefully and skilfully re-love them into a unique collection of creations that bring a little joy in life and that all have a special story.

Each item is personally handmade in Anna’s Conwy workshop. Beautifully handmade, reclaimed cashmere, leather, wool (and more) accessories for luxury but thoughtfully sustainable style.

Pips Artisan Vegan Cheese

Cath began Pips around 5 years ago with a desire to introduce delicious, no compromise alternatives to dairy to a lacking market place. We make small batch artisan produce, cashew based cheeses, and butter we challenge you to be able to tell us not dairy .. but it’s not .. it’s so much better! Hand cut, and hand hand wrapped with love in vegan waxed paper and fully compostable not plastic film, we keep our environmental impact as tiny as we can, and steer way clear of palm oil in all our products! We can’t wait for you to try them!

The Tipsy Badger

The Tipsy Badger (which is also the name of our narrowboat) comprises of Corinne and Fosta.

We are both Vegan, and care deeply about the welfare of animals and the planet, which is reflected in our work. We make fun and quirky bags and accessories, some hand painted!

All materials used in making our bags and accessories are upcycled or for the small amount that have to be purchased new, only natural materials are bought.
All art materials are vegan.

We have lived on our solar powered boat since 2014 and love being out in nature.


Urban Tricycles

Urban Tricycles brought a huge range of the tricycles they make to our Festival in Grosvenor Park in 2021 and the Green Expo earlier this year.

An award winning British Manufacturer of Tricycles, Carts and Branded Bicycles based in Chester and London. We have been designing and building award – winning Trikes, Bikes and carts for some of the world’s biggest brands across the globe for the last decade.

At Urban Tricycles, we have a real passion for combining our extensive knowledge, creativity & innovation with a range of awesome bespoke tricycles & bicycles. Founder Mike Wheelhouse and his team have many years’ experience in design & building tricycles to suit your requirements. Over the years, we have established ourselves with some major clients including the likes of Coca Cola, Adidas, Unilever, Moet Chandon, Carlsberg, Chester Zoo to name but a few.

They have made tricycles for some huge organisations but locally in Chester you will see their handy work in Hoole, via Hoole Food Markets delivery tricycle. Look out for Eco Communities litter pick bike trailer from Urban Tricycles.

The Co-op

It was fantastic to have the Co-Op is supporting this years Great Big Green Week.

Co-op supports Great Big Green Week – 24 September 2022 to 2 October 2022

The Co-op is committed to sustainability and has a 10 Point Climate Plan and aim to be net zero by 2040.

As a business, we are being sustainable by:

  • Being a pioneer of Fairtrade in the UK
  • We have one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe as our head office.
  • We source responsibly.
  • We have soft plastic recycling bins in all our stores (see below)

We also trade ethically; have a range of plant-based foods; we work with climate and sustainable development expert ClimateCare and Bells Whiskey to support the restoration of Scottish peatlands; we have compostable carrier bags; we are using less plastic on food packaging and making packaging easier to recycle; using only 100% renewable power

We are offering green funerals through our Funeralcare business; providing green power for businesses through Co-op Power and co-creating the food sharing app Caboodle with Microsoft to reduce food waste in all supermarket stores.

We also work closely with our communities, with 1000 Member Pioneers throughout the UK. Member Pioneers talk about sustainability within their communities as well as many other campaigns we are passionate about.

Litter Litter Everywhere

Helen Tandy, Director, Eco Communities

What’s been going on in the world of litter since last week’s blog. The results of our litter survey are in. Then Tuesday is the day Helen C and I meet at The Yellow Pig Cafe for lunch. On the way I was behind a couple talking about litter. The side of the road was already starting to gather dried leaves and with that a small amount of litter. The conversation went along the lines of what do we pay our council tax for, and that it was disgusting. Yet our survey shows something different. Perhaps we have a divide between the eco supporters that read our newsletters and those that are outside the eco world. In our survey not one person put the blame of litter at the door of the council. Unless it’s based around unemptied council bins I quite agree. Even then I would like to think that if a bin was over flowing people would just take the litter home or find another bin. That was not true when it came to Greyhound Retail Park last Saturday, see below.

Our litter spotting got us into the press this week. My tweet on litter at Greyhound Retail Park was picked up by Cheshire Live.

I still haven’t found out more on who to contact about litter bins in the area if anyone has any ideas let us know.

When it comes to trade waste a seperate twitter storm was around Northgate Street, Chester in the last couple of days.

Cllr Richard Beecham came to the rescue on an issue that was not of the Councils making, as it was trade waste. The huge storm of discussions went on for some time. Then we had a nice mention from Andy as below.

What is the solution to our inability to keep our streets clear or litter and stop our bins overflowing?

Retail Parks are not generally the responsibility of the Council to clear. Who is at fault? The take away businesses which encourage all the litter or those that left the litter at the side of the bin/car/floor?

Trade Waste – this is a cost to the business and so perhaps they need some help understanding how to cut waste.

Even our litter picks ad litter pick hubs cant save the problem of litter but…….

Who wants to get our litter picking again?

  • You can join us on Sunday – we have a family event on at Edgars Field. INFO
  • Do you want to do more solo of group litter picks? Register with us as a Litter Pick Hero – FORM LINK

Finally, after all that depressing litter news, why not watch this little poem to make you smile…..

The Amazing Benefits to the Planet of Organic Produce

Helen Chambers, Director Eco Communities

I have been learning more about organic farming this week and have to say I didn’t realise what a positive impact is has on so many areas. With a massive 72% of land in the UK (excluding woodland) being agricultural it feels so important we have more of it for organic farming.

Top 3 benefits:

  • Increased biodiversity – organic farms have on average 50% more plants, insects and wildlife
  • Reduces climate change – the improved soil quality means that it has more nutrients and stores more carbon
  • Protects the waterways – too much fertiliser used in traditional farming leads to run off which can create ‘dead zones’ in rivers and estuaries.

I started looking into organic farming whilst researching what we can do about the increased droughts and floods we are currently experiencing. I was looking on Giki around Organic cotton and how switching from regular to organic cotton can make a big impact. This is because Organic farmers use natural methods like composting to create healthy soil. The healthy soil then acts like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer during droughts!

Cotton takes a massive amount of water resource, with the average cotton t-shirt needing 3,000 litres to produce. The clothing industry was blamed in 2014 for the Aral Sea drying up, once the worlds forth largest lake, due to the amount of water diverted to produce cotton. A lot of organic cotton farmers rely on rain to water their cotton, instead of having to extract water from the ground and so protecting our much needed water resources.

With the current cost of living crisis it may not be front of peoples minds to start switching to organic but if you do have the option to start looking at switching one or two of your common items for organic it could have a big impact. Here are some suggestions to take a look at:

Learn more about the benefits of Organic Milk and Diary

Try this step in Giki around Organic Clothing

See if Riverford can deliver an organic veg box to you .

#LoveParksWeek – is our love of litter picking over?

Helen Tandy, Director, Eco Communities

As love parks week comes to a close it felt like a fitting time to get our next litter pick hub out and into Countess of Chester Country Park . We have a long history of linking events into the park and have regularly done group litter picks with the Friends of the Countess of Chester Park team. With Morag and Andy now feeling like friends, and them doing such fantastic work, we really want to help them keep the park lovely for everyone.

Today they had a fantastic event with lots of families looking for bugs with Record and activities with Chester Zoo. Helen C and I couldn’t stay long, just a quick visit and a chat, but I luckily managed a cup of tea with Morag.

We feel it’s important that anyone can do a litter pick and are conscious that for groups and families to purchase equipment is expensive. We created our Litter Pick Hub project to make litter picking accessible to anyone that can get to a hub to borrow the equipment.

So Countess of Chester Country Park is our newest hub, under the watch of the Friends of the Countess of Chester Park team but available with the code to anyone that has registered with us at any time.

The hub will be installed near the Ranger Cabin. All we ask is that you use the equipment, put the litter picker and hoop back afterwards and ensure the bin is locked again. Then your bags can be left at the side of the bins near the ranger cabin for council collection. Don’t try to force it into the bin at the side is absolutely fine. The white bags are council issue and they know any rubbish is from a litter pick.

If you manage to get hold of a pair of gloves from the bin- get in quick before they all go. These are yours to keep and wash. We don’t need these back.

We are still working with The Welsh Dee Trust on litter picks but the numbers have been really low in comparison to pre covid, the activity on the many Wombles and Litter Pick Facebook Groups has also been quiet.

We are trying to work out what’s changed. Has the public fallen out with litter picks? Help us to understand more by registering your thoughts on our poll below…

Why not get out litter picking again…here are some great reasons to do it.

Free Saturday 5th August? – find us at the The Summer Gathering at Bear Bakery where they have lots of lovely stalls, pop up bar and of course Eco Communities. We have a stall but are really just going to eat lovely bakes. We have a competition for the most (by weight) litter collected.

The Summer Gathering is from 10am -4pm. The litter pick is as and when between 1pm and 4pm, all equipment provided.

If you can’t make is tomorrow register to use one our hubs soon – tell yourself you will do a litter pick within the next week while the weather is nice…