Covid-safe #SustFest successfully raises awareness of the climate crisis

Highfield Park 25th anniversary litter pick.

Highfield Park 25th anniversary litter pick. - Credit: #SustFest

The 2021 St Albans Sustainability Festival will have a lasting impact on the district, organisers have claimed.

The fortnight of 170 events included food waste sessions with local chefs demonstrating recipes from the ‘Love Your Leftovers’ cookbook, a talk by Delicious and Real on eating parts others throw away and Herts WasteAware explaining what happens to your food waste once the lorries remove it.

Breeze into cycling with novice women cyclists

Breeze into cycling with novice women cyclists - Credit: #SustFest

Festival chair Jill Watson said: “Local people’s events were incredibly successful in raising awareness to ensure that we all keep climate and environmental issues in mind and continue to take actions to reduce our carbon footprint – both individually and in local policy making going forward.”

Mayfly spotted on the Ver Valley Society walk

Mayfly spotted on the Ver Valley Society walk - Credit: #SustFest

Harpenden resident Nuri Wyeth, who attended the climate change talk given by Professor Kate Jeffery, said: “Her message really hit home. I knew a bit about the climate crisis, but her words gave me the push I needed to think about changes I could actually make to lower my own carbon footprint.

Rainbows ‘Bee’ craft activities

Rainbows ‘Bee’ craft activities - Credit: #SustFest

"I signed up to the St Albans Count Us In campaign and I’ve now changed my energy tariff to a green energy company. A talk on recycling also made me really understand that we have to cut packaging – I will be buying more fruit and veg from the markets now.” 

Girl with the Harpenden Scavenger trail map

Girl with the Harpenden Scavenger trail map - Credit: #SustFest


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Many outdoor activities offered socially distanced outdoor activities; the Ver Valley Society’s walks showcased the annual spectacle of mayflies swarming above the River Ver, RSPB St Albans evening walk spotted a yellowhammer, red fox and a barn owl, Breeze cycling for novices, and Herts Middlesex Butterfly Conservation walk identified butterflies in Heartwood Forest. 

Butterfly Walk at Heartwood Forest

Butterfly Walk at Heartwood Forest - Credit: #SustFest

Children enjoyed wildlife events including bug hunting with All Saints Church, pond dipping in the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Garden in Verulamium Park and the Harpenden Scavenger Trail. Thousands of school pupils, Woodcraft Folk, Scouting, and Girlguiding members organised activities including Crabtree Junior’s Nearly New Clothes sale, and rewilding at Beaumont School.  

Barn owl spotted on the RSPB evening walk,

Barn owl spotted on the RSPB evening walk, - Credit: #SustFest

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St Albans Quakers bric-a-brac sale raised £148 for a bee charity.

Plants at Quakers Bric-a-Brac sale.

Plants at Quakers Bric-a-Brac sale. - Credit: #SustFest

Naomi Randles from the group said: “Holding the event was very valuable for the members of our Quaker Meeting as many of them had not been back to the Meeting House or spoken with others live since March 2020.”

Revd James Brown Exploring Wonders Great and Small at All Saints Church, Harpenden.

Revd James Brown Exploring Wonders Great and Small at All Saints Church, Harpenden. - Credit: #SustFest

Find out more about the St Albans Count Us In campaign at https://sustfest.org 

Exploring Herts Middlesex Wildlife Trust Garden.

Exploring Herts Middlesex Wildlife Trust Garden. - Credit: #SustFest

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans explaining bug hotels. 

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans explaining bug hotels. - Credit: #SustFest


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