St Albans SustFest kicks off in style

The Grow Community-Sopwell team celebrate their SustFest22 Open Day

The Grow Community-Sopwell team celebrate their SustFest22 Open Day - Credit: SustFest22

The two-week St Albans SustFest got underway last weekend with hundreds of people attending events across the district.

Sunday's SustFest22 Harpenden Sustainability Market saw crowds enjoying live music, performances and vegan street food while browsing eco stalls from local sustainable businesses, charities and community groups.

Harpenden Town Mayor Lisa Scrivens making her #planetpledge at the Harpenden Sustainability Market.

Harpenden Town Mayor, Councillor Lisa Scrivens making her #planetpledge at the Harpenden Sustainability Market with Jill Watson, SustFest22 Working Group Chair. - Credit: SustFest22

Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr Lisa Scriven, said: “My family had a wonderful time at the Sustainability Market. We particularly enjoyed hearing the passionate stories behind the innovative sustainable products and charities. At the Sustainable St Albans stall, we made a #planetpledge to grow more insect-friendly plants. We’re looking forward to the next market on July 17.”

Harpenden Sustainability Market

Susheel Rao, Harpenden Sustainability Market volunteer; Jill Watson, SustFest22 Working Group Chair; Cllr Lisa Scrivens, Harpenden Town Mayor; Lesley Flowers, Sustainable St Albans trustee responsible for Harpenden Sustainability Market. - Credit: SustFest22

Other events over the opening weekend included Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day, RSPB’s Heron Watch in Verulamium Park and a repair fair where attendees could bring broken items along to be fixed by volunteers.

Harpenden Sustainability Market

Harpenden Sustainability Market had a wide range of eco stalls from local sustainable businesses, charities and community groups - Credit: SustFest22

Kate Swindells of Grow Community-Sopwell said: “It was so great to celebrate our community garden on Sunday. People were really keen to try growing food, whether a few herbs on their windowsill or by joining us regularly to plant and harvest together.”

Cllr Lisa Scrivens, Harpenden Town Mayor, and her family at the Harpenden Sustainability Market.

Cllr Lisa Scrivens, Harpenden Town Mayor, and her family enjoyed hearing the passionate stories behind the innovative sustainable products and charities at the Harpenden Sustainability Market. - Credit: SustFest22

The Sustainability Festival continues over the next fortnight with dozens of events for the public, many of them free.

Sustainable gift brand Tommy & Lottie and Nude Tin Can Gallery in Hatfield Road, St Albans, are holding a free drop-in Wildlife Awareness Day on Saturday (May 21) from 9am-5pm at the gallery. There will be a T&L pop-up shop, watercolour workshops for ages 12+ and a wildlife art exhibition, 'Journey to Extinction'.

Change the World through Music at the Harpenden Sustainability Market

Market attendees danced to live music and performances by Change the World through Music at the Harpenden Sustainability Market - Credit: SustFest22

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In the coming week, Age UK will hold a charity Fashion Show, All Saints Church in Harpenden will have a free Nature Detective morning, Food Smiles will run tours of their community gardens and Butterfly World 2.0 will ask residents to help count minibeasts in the Abbey Orchard. Other organisations holding events include Earthworks, Wilderhood Watch, St Albans Friends of the Earth, Eat Wholefoods, St Albans Library, Greenpeace, Ver Valley Society and many more.

Live music and performances by Change the World through Music at the Harpenden Sustainability Market

Live music and performances by Change the World through Music at the Harpenden Sustainability Market - Credit: Steve Collins

In addition, local faith groups, resident groups, scouts, girl-guiding and schools will have environmentally friendly activities for their members and students.

Harpenden Sustainability Market

Harpenden Sustainability Market had a wide range of eco stalls from local sustainable businesses, charities and community groups. - Credit: Steve Collins

The full Sustainability Festival event listings are at sustfest.org.

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22

Grow Community-Sopwell’s Open Day for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Volunteer Danielle at Harpenden’s Repair Fair fixed items for local residents

Volunteer Danielle at Harpenden’s Repair Fair fixed items for local residents - Credit: SustFest22

Volunteers Bob and Ben at Harpenden’s Repair Fair fixed items for local residents

Volunteers Bob and Ben at Harpenden’s Repair Fair fixed items for local residents - Credit: SustFest22

Katie Carr of Tommy and Lottie and Hatty of Nude Tin Can are having a Wildlife Awareness Day on 21st May.

Katie Carr of Tommy and Lottie and Hatty of Nude Tin Can are having a Wildlife Awareness Day on 21st May. - Credit: SustFest22