Guides turn Pagham into eco village

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A green army of Guides is set to turn Pagham into an eco-village.

The young women and their younger counterparts in the Brownies will sign up to launch the Greening Pagham campaign.

Details of the event have yet to be finalised, but Diane Rhodes, the 1st Pagham and Aldwick Guides’ leader, said her members would take part.

“The kids are genuinely interested in things like this.

“They are concerned about the future because they learn about it at school and we cover it in Guides and Scouts as well. Part of our ethos is to provide a service to the community and this is something we feel we should be involved in.

“We think it’s something the Guides and Brownies will enjoy doing. If you get the children on board, they will start telling people to take action and adults will listen to them.”

Mrs Rhodes was representing the Guides and Brownies in the Bognor Regis West division at a public meeting called by Pagham resident Joan Grant to explain the Greening campaign.

The spotlight at the meeting, held at Rose Green Junior School, fell on the school’s eco-warriors.

Four of the green champions – Thomas Orchard, 11, and Kate Christopher, Thea Huxley and Oliver Luxton, all ten – gave presentations at the meeting.

They spoke about the work which takes place at the Raleigh Road school with its cherished eco-school status.

This includes bird boxes, water butts, recycling ink cartridges, a gardening club and installing cistermisters to cut the amount of water in each flush.

Kate said: “We have made bird boxes and placed them around the grounds and placed cameras in them so we can see the birds and what they are doing.”

Mrs Grant told the small audience at last Thursday’s meeting the Greening Campaign was about people making small changes in their lives to add up to big community effort.

“Once you start down this avenue, it certainly changes the way you think,” she said.

“Our household has achieved an amazing 58 per cent reduction in fuel bills – a figure we thought would be impossible to achieve.”

The actions could include switching off standby buttons, using low-energy lightbulbs and using thick loft insulation.

Greening campaign founder Terena Plowright spoke about her inspiration for the initiative and how it had spread to more than 200 communities across England.

They included Westbourne, Oving and Parklands in Chichester.

It was important for those taking part to know others shared their aims for helping the environment and their budgets.

“It’s about reducing the cost of running our households and having a better lifestyle,” she said.

Dave Barton, of the Green Bognor Network, also spoke about its informal work.