Group hoping to paint Market Drayton green with new climate initiative
Market Drayton's first climate change group is meeting next week with the hopes of turning the town greener and more eco-friendly.
People from across the north Shropshire town will gather for the group's first meeting on Monday, January 10 to get the ball rolling.
The group, currently named the Market Drayton Climate Action Group, is hoping to enact actual change in the town by improving people's daily habits, sharing knowledge and lobbying politicians and officials.
Nancy Stewart, who is an organiser of the group, said there are always empty promises and lots of talk surrounding climate change, but they want to see real action.
The group began after the town's Go Green Festival in October, organised by Eric Davis, and has attracted town councillors, Shropshire councillors and people wanting to improve the town.
"I have been wanting to have a group in Market Drayton for some time so the Go Green Festival was actually really timely," Nancy explained.
"And from that, a number of people said yes to being involved and getting something started, which is great.
"Everything is really up to the group on Monday, nothing is decided in terms of aims or even our name yet. It's just about growing as a group and hearing the concerns of Market Drayton people who come together to share that."
Nancy said she was disappointed there wasn't already a similar group in the town and she couldn't wait to get started.
"I am really excited for this," she said. "In August last year there was a national climate day organised by a big charity, and you could look online for events near you.
"There was nothing going on at all in Shropshire and especially nothing in Market Drayton. The nearest one was Audlem and it was great, they brought together lots of different groups to enact change.
"So I just wished at the time we had something like that in Market Drayton, now we are finally setting something up. We want to be able to have local places where can come with questions and get information."
Nancy, who has lived in Market Drayton for more than 40 years, is looking forward to getting started and is hopeful to have some young people already on board.
"Our meeting on Monday is already full to capacity but we will sharing the outcomes and encourage people to get involved," she added.
Recently, McDonald's opened the UK's first low carbon emissions site from the fast food chain in Market Drayton.
With the eyes of the whole country on the town, the group is hoping to get momentum going and start improving its town.
"We initially had a small meeting of four of us to launch the initiative but from there it will be really open in terms of what our aims and objectives will be," Nancy explained.
"We have been talking about the possibility of having three levels to the group. On a person to person level.
"The first would be simply raising awareness and helping people to understand issues and relating things to our own life, and the small changes people can do to reduce emissions and just sharing information and holding awareness campaigns.
"Then we thought there is another level needed where the town council and we as a community could work together on the initiative.
"Then also we could join with other groups as there is some forming in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Wem and across North Shropshire, and there is a need to work with our new MP.
"We even have some young people involved at this early stage, which is great. And we are talking about raising awareness and community educating by working with schools and other places."
Nancy and the group members are hoping to make big changes through small actions in the town.
She added: "There is always a lot of talk about the climate emergency, even at COP26, there was lots of promises but we have to turn that into action. So our group wants to look at that.
"We haven't firmly decided on a name yet but we are looking at the Market Drayton Climate Action Group because we want to actually take action.
"We want to look at what we can do locally, in our own lives and beyond."