Our 2022 annual general meeting takes place at the Mackenzie Hall on Thursday 31 March at 7.30pm. After the formal business we have two excellent talks lined up, from local speakers bringing varied perspectives on climate change.

Matt Dunwell is concerned that current land management practices are responsible for the loss of organic matter in soils, leading globally to the spread of deserts – a critical factor in the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He believes a change in approach using agro-ecological practices can bring rapid improvement, cooling the planet as we get to grips with lowering carbon dioxide in the long term. Whilst acknowledging the dire predicament of sustaining living systems in a rapidly heating world, he thinks our single focus on carbon dioxide emissions has distracted us from the importance of the hydrological cycle and its role in cooling and reclothing the planet. This work offers relatively quick results, and is an unreported good news story.

Freyja Sears and Matt Dunn will be describing their journey designing and establishing a low impact, off-grid smallholding on the outskirts of Tintern. This is a local example of small-scale, sustainable, land-based living as part of the Welsh government’s One Planet Development policy, covering food, energy, waste, biodiversity, ecological footprint-tracking and zero-carbon building-design. Freyja and Matt’s project addresses pretty much all of the factors of 21st century living that contribute to climate change, and it will be fascinating to learn more about how they tackle them. We also look forward to arranging a visit to their smallholding later in the year.

The meeting is open to all, PGP members and non-members alike. This will be an ideal opportunity for members to catch up with payment of their subscriptions, still only £5 per household per annum, and of course new members will be very welcome to join on the night. In a break with tradition, tea, coffee and cake will NOT be served, because of the high incidence of Covid currently circulating.