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Alastair Sawday speaks at CPRE Avonside Annual General Meeting

Friday, 04 December 2015 16:23

We were delighted to welcome Alastair Sawday to our CPRE Avonside Annual General Meeting one very windy evening in November.

Alastair arrived by bike, rather windswept, in time to have tea and chat with CPRE members and volunteers before the event. Alastair has recently been awarded ‘Green Hero’ by Bristol Green Capital 2015, and he was incredibly modest about how he could justify such a title! For those unfamiliar with his work, Championing sustainability has always been Alastair’s passion. He stood for parliament as a Green Party candidate, founded Avon Friends of the Earth and was vice-Chair of the Soil Association. His efforts to promote sustainability have led to his company being honoured with a Queen’s Award for Sustainability. It was also voted Independent Environmental Publisher of the Year – twice.

He gave an inspiring talk about his background as an environmental campaigner. From his environmental roots in anti-nuclear protesting, to the challenges of trying to embed environmental principles into his business and publishing practice. He is hugely encouraged by the activities of people who make a difference, but still feels that there is reluctance generally to embrace our collective challenges, such as climate change.

Alastair spoke of his admiration for the work of CPRE, from our efforts to challenge bland housing estates, to promoting a living countryside that is made up of people and communities, not just open land on which to build. He was also supportive of our work on local food, and encouraged us to try to persuade not just individuals but major institutions and buyers to change their buying habits.

Finally, his message was about the importance of being joined up in what we all do. We need to work together, with partners, to tackle the ultimate challenge: climate change.

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