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4th – Social Evening at King Alfred’s Kitchen

A big thank you to Bernard and John for organising the long overdue Tapas evening at King Alfred’s Kitchen. The excellent service and attendance by our hosts Conrad and Heidi was warm and friendly. The Tapas dishes kept coming and the wine and beer blended into a really enjoyable evening and Bernard as usual contributed his unique brand of humour, all in all a most enjoyable evening which brought a taste of Spain into Shaftesbury on a cold winter’s night.

11th – Business Meeting and Guest Speaker

A brief business meeting confirmed that arrangements are being finalised for the “Kids Out” day at Longleat for over 100 children from both Yewstock and the new Combe House School. Members were reminded about the Queen’s Jubilee tree planting ceremony on the 29th of April at Shaftesbury school.
April’s Speaker Meeting at The Royal Chase Hotel was a very sobering topic of Climate Change, highlighting some very serious questions, which need to be considered by all. Our Guest was Chris Horwood of Climate Change Activists, who has kindly provided us with a summary of his presentation.

We must point out that the views below are not necessarily those of Shaftesbury Rotary Club but the words are very thought provoking: –

Our civilisation, and even the continued existence of the human race is under threat. The best description of that threat is set out in Sir David Attenborough’s “A Life On Our Planet”, on Netflix.

The threat comes from climate change. And it has already started; the effects are already biting. The website ( motto: we don’t march, we plant trees), was started in order to organise volunteers to fight climate change. The science of the problem and the best method of fighting it are recorded there, along with links to information collected by scientists. These are not doom merchants; these are the people working with the best information that our civilisation has discovered.

We know the problem and fortunately we know what to do about it. All we have to do is do it.

The effect of climate change will be a much-reduced food supply and an enormous number of climate refugees. Sir David Attenborough said that he thought there would be 500 million climate refugees by 2050. A more recent prediction is 750 million by 2030.

The problem is too much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. To fight it there is a two-pronged attack:
#1 stop burning fossil fuels
#2 draw down the carbon that is already there

The first of these, #1, is the province of governments. We could do it today. It would be painful, but we could do it. CoP26 failed to get the agreements needed to stop burning fossil fuels. It was not the fault of the developing nations. We failed to give them the money we promised to give and so they felt that they could not transition.

For #2, Sir David Attenborough says that planting trees is the best that an individual can do. Doing this as a group, working together is more efficient, much more productive and draws us together as community.

Not only will this help draw down carbon, but when politicians see that large numbers of voters want something, they naturally move in that direction. Politicians want to do what they see as right for the people.
Our MP came to the planting day in March. At the moment we are not using our votes to prioritise ecological issues. Most people do not yet recognise how severe the problem is. It transpires that it is up to the implementation of #2 to be a force in persuading governments to implement #1.

The tree planting group started at the Donhead St Andrew Fete 2021.
Advertisements were displayed on the day, resulting in two offers of land. Plant World of Gillingham donated 50 various saplings, Landford Trees gave 150 significant beech saplings and 25 sweet cherry whips, and a Rotarian gave over 100 chestnut saplings. So far this season 395 trees have been planted. This will draw down over 100,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide each year.

There is a suggestion for a Rotary Summer Sapling Planting Evening with wine and eats. The idea is that everyone plants at least one tree. It would be declared to Her Majesty’s Queen’s Green Canopy project, and participants would receive a copy of the certificate to proudly show to other friends. This would enable people to start a number of necessary conversations about climate change. It also fulfils the first of the “What can I do?” suggestions on the website.

We could then build on the success of this and encourage other Rotary groups to hold similar events. We need to spread this far and wide. 10% of the UK is woodland as opposed to 32% in Europe. To achieve the same level of woodland as our European neighbours we need to plant 6,000 million trees.

This is the solution. The problem is big, but the ability of Mankind is bigger.

A lot of people feel disempowered, feeling it’s all too big. The very natural reaction to that is to mentally turn away. It is a form of self-preservation: if you worry unduly about what you cannot change you will wear yourself into the ground. But this way WILL fight climate change.

So, is this hopeless? No, the house is on fire, but this shows you the emergency exit.

28th – Business Meeting and AGM at the Royal Chase Hotel, Shaftesbury

The April 22 Business meeting was combined with our annual AGM where Club Council members were confirmed and Committee reports were presented. We were pleased to confirm the vacant position of President Elect 22/23 as Paul Slimm, who was nominated and elected with a unanimous decision.

During the Business Meeting, Mike Farrow announced that Heerlen Rotary Club were keen to renew our regular twinning get together with Heerlen hosting Shaftesbury this time on the 9thSeptember to the 12th. All those interested were asked to register as soon as possible.

C&V Committee reported 2 dates to note, the 29thApril planting of the Rotary Jubilee Tree at Shaftesbury School and the 7thMay Youth Speaks District Final, with the area represented by Shaftesbury School and Juniors Blandford School.

With three weeks to go the Cycle Ride the committee asked members for their help in the organization and running of the ride. After the ride, the committee were aiming to entertain with music together with coffee and bacon baps, burgers etc.

Gold Hill Festival was well on track with Music and a well-known skateboarder organised for the day.

29th – Tree planting for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

On 29th April 2022 Shaftesbury Rotary planted a tree for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Shaftesbury School. Our President Tim Cook wanted to mark the occasion but also wanted to benefit the environment and leave a legacy for the future. Shaftesbury School’s Head Prefects, Jacob and Paige were on hand to help. The tree is a Dawyk Copper Purple Beech. The Queen and Prince Charles last year planted a Copper Beech themselves at Balmoral to start off the planting for the Jubilee Canopy.

Group photo, left to right Landscaper Angela Burwick, Paige and Jacob (Head Prefects), Donna London-Hill (Head Teacher) Tim Cook (President of Shaftesbury Rotary), Paul Whiteman (Rotarian).
Below, an image of the tree planting:


Click link above for details
May 19, 2024
Easter Fun Run, Park Walk, Sunday 7th April 2024
April 7, 2024
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