Chorlton's Big Green Happening 2016

Contributed by Alice Litchfield on 25.04.2016

An Article about the Chorlton Big Green Happening which took place on 23rd April 2016. Written by Alice Litchfield 

Chorlton’s Big Green Happening returned in 2016 for a successful community event encouraging people to adopt a green lifestyle. On Saturday 23rd April the day-time festival ran from 1-4pm attracting a large community gathering with stalls, food, and entertainment. It was an engaging and informative event with local stalls promoting a sustainable Manchester, whilst also having entertainment for younger children as a large number of families were in attendance.

The stalls this year ranged from food to ethical fashion to sustainable initiatives. One of these initiatives was The Carbon Co-op, this scheme is based in Greater Manchester and was established to help people change their homes to become efficient, low-carbon homes. It allows people to take practical action on Climate Change and control their home’s energy uses. They work alongside architects, local trades-people and the public, to implement innovative energy efficient solutions in homes. Their stall was informative providing plenty of information & take-away leaflets and allowed you to sign up to the initiative and visit homes that are already established under the scheme.

The stalls varied from working with people and their homes to the environmental protection stalls, such as the RSPB. The RSPB’s main aim was to inform the public about the work the charity does in the area and try and recruit volunteers to support their programme. Their main work in the area is based in Chorlton Water Park. At the park, they inform the public about their events and discovery backpacks, which contain duck food and information, for hire visitors to take around the reserve and connect with the wildlife. The festival allowed the stall to communicate with locals and ask them to sign up to volunteer and support their conservation work, engaging the local community to connect with wildlife.

Friends of Chorlton Meadows and Treestation were also in attendance, both working for the environment with unique opportunities. Treestation define themselves as a ‘society for the benefit of the community with a strong focus on sustainability’. Their aim is to make the best use of local wood that is produced through tree work that has to take place; they try and turn it into fuel and sawn timber but also making products for construction and landscaping. They aim to make sure wood is not wasted and is reused. Friends of Chorlton Meadows were encouraging people to go along to their events including walks in the local area and using cycle paths established in the area.

There were plenty of other stalls and activities including Manchester Honey, Paperlilac- a beautiful stall established by Sarah Heath where she makes prints using sources from ecological products and other local independent businesses. There was also music, a creative magician for young children, excellent food and beer stalls, eco clothing, clothes swap, plant stalls and healing areas including a gong bath.

Finally there was also interest in helping others and showcasing light on community help programmes such as the Barakah food aid. This stall encouraged people to donate food parcels or to volunteer their time to help others out. Overall the event was a great success with interesting activities for all ages and a great way to meet the people who work within the community and showing you how to get involved.

The whole approach was a laid back, informal atmosphere with plenty to interact with and informative leaflets to keep even the most eco family up to date and interested.

Follow the Big Happening on Twitter @greenhappening