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Priston Action Group for the Environment

WHAT's NEWJoin our mailing list HEREPriston birds and plants
What is  PAGE?
Our aspirations:
We all appreciate our lovely surroundings but are aware of our negative impact on the environment. We are keen to do what we can to reduce our impact and believe that we can make a difference by working together as a community to:
  •  reduce waste
  • save energy and other resources
Strength through numbers:  we do NOT want to be just a debating group; we want to make things happen.
If you want to save money and join our bulk oil-buying group then contact Peter Brookes by email or on 470589.
We organise regular litter-picking/ditch-clearing sessions around the village - if you want to help, contact us or just consult the Calendar for dates and turn up.

Contact us:
via  Penny Rogers on tel: 01761 470589 or

Have a look at our practical ideas for action !
Check our lists of Priston birds and plants - email us if you have any to add!NEW

Read our Privacy Policy.


January 2018

Big Garden Bird Watch

It's that time of year again. Enjoy an hour some time during 27, 28 and 29 January watching the birds in your garden. The RSPB website has all the info on identifying birds and how to record them for the survey. It's all very simple.

If you don't see any birds, it's still worth sending in the result. And if you don't want to do it in your garden, you can go to a park. By the way, the survey is now also asking for information about other animals that you see.

January 2017

Big Garden Bird Watch


Just a reminder that the RSPB is coordinating the big garden bird watch of 28-30 January. This website gives you all the details of how to take part, including charts to identify birds, and how to submit results. It only takes an hour - you can do it any time over the weekend.

PS Don't forget to leave out fresh water for the birds in your garden, as well as food!

September 2016

Apple time

There seems to be a bumper crop of apples this year. If you would like to turn yours into delicious apple juice, you can do so with John Marsden’s apple crusher and press which Peter and I have set up in our garden. Give us a ring/email to arrange a time (470589, pennyjrogers@outlook.com).

Once again, John Wybrow has kindly said that villagers can pick apples from the orchard at the front of his house. The grass is long, but don’t let that stop you – there are all sorts of varieties there.

Tree planting
The nation-wide group of Conservation Volunteers has over 1,250 FREE community tree packs for distribution to community groups. All the tree varieties are native UK species and are available in packs of 50, ready for delivery from November.

If anyone can think of somewhere in or near Priston to plant trees, we could get up a group to do the digging. Details are at http://www.tcv.org.uk/community/i-dig-trees/.

Cam Valley Wildlife Group
Below is the list of events run by the CVWG for October:

Wednesday 12 October 2016
Botany drinks (for those missing the summer botany walks!) at Somerset Wagon, Chilcompton. 7pm

Wednesday 19 October 2016
Talk by Nigel Phillips on Wildlife of the Somerset seas
Coffee & cake from 7.30pm, talk at 8pm. Non-members: £3
At SWALLOW– Old Engine House, Old Pit Road, Midsomer Norton, BA3 4BQ

If you need any more information about CVWG events, phone Judy on 07460 278311 or email judy@swallowcharity.org.

Bath Natural History Society
Bath NATS has a full programme of events for people interested in the wildlife around them. See http://www.bathnats.org.uk/ for full details.

April 2016

Penny Rogers has compiled a list of Priston birds and plants, from contributions provided by villagers.
We are lucky to live in a village where we have a chance to see such a diverse range of plants and birds, although many species are at risk.
Please do email us if you have any comments /suggestions regarding the lists.
STOP PRESS - 4 MAY - Butterflies, moths and caterpillars now added!

February 2016 - Bird Boxes

OwainJones and John Arnold have got together to make bird boxes for small garden birds like tits and sparrows. If you would like one for your garden or know of a good place for one, please tell Owain. (There's no charge.)

Conditions for classic small-bird box:
  • 3-5 metres off ground
  • Quiet location
  • North-east to south-east facing
  • Cat safe
  • Not obscured by close vegetation
  • Staging perches nearby are good (e.g. a branch)
  • Not near bird feeders
  • Not too close to another box
January 2016 - Garden Birdwatch

A reminder about the garden birdwatch - on this weekend, 30 and 31 January. Just spend an hour counting birds and record the numbers on the RSPB website. For information on how to take part, including help on identifying birds, go to

Litter picking forays 2016

We shall be litter picking on the following dates:
  • Saturday 6 February
  • Saturday 16 April
  • Saturday 10 September
  • Saturday 5 December

Meet at 10.00am on the Village Green, when we’ll decide where to work. If you have noticed blocked ditches or traffic signs that need clearing we can target them as well as the litter. We’ll just work for an hour and then retreat to the Village Café. (In case of rain, we may decide to do stuff in the following week on a dry day!)

December 2014

On Saturday 13 December we had a successful working party of twelve to clear the runnel along the side of Priston Hill. This is in line with our response to the Parish Council’s request to help keep the ditches along the lanes around Priston clear so that we might prevent flooding. We have agreed to combine this, and keeping road signs visible, with our litter picking forays. Doug, chair of the Parish Council, has stressed that we do only light work. If there are serious blockages, we should notify Christine Hunt, parish clerk, who will contact BANES highways department.

Jul 2014

On leaving Priston, John Marsden has very kindly left the village his fruit crusher and press on long-term loan. It is a well made piece of kit and you can make great apple juice with it very easily. If you would like to use it during the autumn when you have so many apples you don't know what to do with them, just let us know and we'll show you how to use it.

If anyone has any ideas about things we can do for the environment, as individuals or in a group, please email or
phone me and I can pass on details. If you would like to be on the PAGE mailing list, again let me know.
Penny or Peter, tel 470589 or email penny.rogers.brp@btinternet.com

   Thur 29 Nov 2012    6.30pm    Talk on Renewable Energy Futures

PAGE has arranged for two experts from Bristol-based  Solarsense to provide a talk on renewable energt options for domestic heating  including domestic air-source heat pumps and biomass systems., in the light of the Government's consultation process on Renewable Heat Incentives.
All welcome - free of charge.
Please contact Penny Rogers (01761 470589) for more info.

Jul 2012 - Butterfly count

Why not take part in the national butterfly count which runs from 14 July to 5 August. See details here

For the future, we hope some of you can make litter-pick around Priston on Saturday 22 September. Meet at 9.30am at village hall. We could then meet back in the village cafe at 10.30 and have a chat about ideas for new projects. Everyone welcome!
Nov 2011 - PAGE litter pick

Sat 26 Nov 2011 - Meet at the Village Green for a litter pick in the lanes around Priston..  Drinks in the Rong O' Bells afterwards..  The oil buying group is still going strong and growing. If anyone else wants to join, contact Peter Brookes by email or on 470589.  

Oct 2011 - Photovoltaic panels in Priston

[Note: since this article was provided there has been a review of feed-in tariffs - see info here]

About a year ago four households in Priston took the plunge and had PV panels fitted, with another following more recently. You probably think they don’t exactly improve the aesthetics of the village roofscape, but I think they represent an exciting example of how energy will be generated in the future, and of course they produce a fair bit of electricity from a renewable source, encourage you to watch how you use energy generally … and they look like being a much better investment than most pension funds or savings accounts. A few details:
•    We each spent somewhere between £3,500 and £4,000 per ‘kilowatt peak’ (kWp) of generating capacity (per 4 or 5 panels) in getting them installed.
•    The systems are generating at least 10% more than was originally estimated by the installer, giving an income of around £400 per kWp per year. This income is guaranteed by the Government for 25 years with RPI based increases.
•    On top of this, by using the electricity as it is generated we are cutting electricity bills by at least £100¬¬–£150 a year. For example, you can use the immersion heater to heat water (when the sun shines) instead of the boiler and so save oil.

Any down sides, you might ask … the quarterly payments are pretty slow to arrive, taking about 10 weeks from submission of a meter reading, and advertisers’ claims that the panels generate even if the day is overcast are true but only just, giving around 10% compared to full sun. Prices of the systems are lower now – perhaps £3,000 per kWp is achievable now – so in hindsight perhaps we should have waited!

If you want to get the current high ‘feed-in tariff’ you will need to get the system in and registered before 31 March 2012. Give me a call on 01761 470589 if you want to hear more about our experience and see the installation.

 Peter Brookes

(see the next item for more info)

Generate your own electricity and MAKE MONEY

Is anybody up for considering jointly procuring solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and installing them/getting them installed and taking advantage of the new guaranteed inflation linked feed in tarriffs coming in shortly?

If  you have an unshaded roof facing South or a few degees either side at 30 -40 degees slope (or a protected spot elsewhwere) then it may well work for you.  
Broadly you might expect to pay £10-12K for an installation, and The Guardian calculates one could expect to get up to £1,000 each year tax-free  from energy savings and payments for the electricity you feed in to the National Grid.  Although the economics will vary according to local factors this is a very significant return compared with alternative financial and other investments one can make.

For more information see:
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can save energy and make money, please contact Peter Brookes by email or on 470589.  

Other current PAGE initiatives

  • Buying local lamb together 
  • Wildife gardening
  • Sourcing and buying firewood together
  • Community energy-producing schemes
  • Ground source heating talk
  • We have started a ‘mini' Community Agriculture scheme on Church Farm: four households have got together to keep hens to produce eggs. So far, all’s going well!
  • People have expressed an interest in planting more apple trees in the village. There is also the possibility of harvesting apples that would otherwise not get picked, perhaps turning some of them into juice.
  • The latest joint oil order has been delivered.
If you are interested in further information on any of the above, phone Peter on 470589 .
Useful Links!
Other  Groups EnvolveGozeroEcolerne, Green Futures, Bristol Green Pages, Green BathBRLSI, Not Stupid campaignRepRap
Energy: WindBetter Generation, Energy Saving Trust, Eco kettles , Intelliplugs, Low Energy Light Bulbs, Campaign for Dark Skies, North Hoyle Wind Farm , Fusion energy
Green Electricity Green tariffs, Greenelectricity.orgUswitch , Energylinx, Ecotricity
Solar Heating NavitronSolar Home Energy
Global warming: Al Gore, Climate Challenge, Carbon Calculator, Big Green Challenge
Food: Locally-sourced food initiatives, Bath Farmers' Market, Somerset Local Food Direct(see article),Mumfords Vineyard, Avalon VineyardReduce food waste, Guide to Farmers' Markets
Community Agriculture Stroud Community AgricultureCommunity Supported Agriculture, CSA Questionnaire results
Transport: BusTimetableSustrans , Lift sharing: using 2CarShare.com and Freewheelers
Exchange: Bathfreecycle
Ethical shopping: Spirit of Nature, Bath Fair Trade, Plastic bag-free Modbury, The Dangers of Plastic Bags
Social Eco-festival, Conversation cafésVoluntary simplicity
Housing BANES housing extension plans
Recycling: Sofa Project, BANES recycling, Recycling FAQ
Radon Glencoe Radon Consortium, UKRadon website
Transition NetworkNEW Transition Network, Transition Bath, Transition Frome, Transition Peasedown St John