Welcome to September’s blog which is all about sustainability. Look out from the 1st September our daily posts which will over the month will give you 30+ ways of how to be sustainable. Please do let us know your ideas as well as every little helps.
What does it mean to be sustainable? - There are many ways we can be sustainable in our lives.
Clean up and Clear out
We can litter pick to help keep our playgrounds, streets, green spaces clean and tidy. Don’t forget to recycle too which is a great way of being sustainable in the home.
Having a good clear out of the old toy box or shed? We can share things, so like Swap shop is coming up so why not grab that old appliance or toy that you don’t use anymore and let someone else use it? Plus pick up something that would be ‘new’ to you.
Homemade foods can taste amazing, but it helps us be sustainable as you can use the fruits off trees such as apples to make yummy apple pies or jams. In our 30 Day posts look out for some useful recipes that will help you be sustainable in the food department. When you’re out doing your food shopping or online make a list this way you only buy what you need, what a great way to reduce your food waste.
Check out this great list of things you can do with recycle materials such as an egg carton
Puzzle time – Check out a brand new Sustainable September word search on our activities page
Made via thewordsearch.com
There will be some sustainable activities taking place this September:
4th - Swap Shop 10 - 2pm
11th - AAG and Wapley Bushes Conservation Group on their ‘Honey and History’ walk Meets at St. Nix, 10.30am.
18th - Pop along to climate cafe in Chipping Sodbury. Find out more about the climate emergency and what steps you can take to lend a helping hand
25th - Join Gnorra and Gnorrman Gnome on their adventure in Abbotswood 1 – 4pm. Follow their adventure and see what British wildlife you discover with plenty of extra fun and games along the way
Please do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram!
Facebook and Twitter @AAGBlog001 page and Instagram follow AbbotsWood Action
Have a great Sustainable September and I will be back in October for a spooky theme! Enjoy Pen x
Well it’s officially the summer holidays now, August has arrived. But what can we get up to over the summer?
In Yate alone we have plenty going on check the wonderful schedule from Yate Shopping Centre.
See picture below.
Keep an eye on their facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/yateshoppingcentre/
The summer of sport still continues with the Olympics. Ever wondered what the Olympic Rings mean? Check out this very useful guide from the International Olympic website https://olympics.com/ioc/faq/olympic-rings-and-other-olympic-marks/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-olympic-rings
Also ever met an Olympian? Or done an Olympic sport? Let us know!
If you cant get away this summer alongside the great free activities in Yate. We have some great activities here that you can do in your own home and or garden
How about making your own bird feeder? https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/make-bird-feeder
Why not build your own den? https://www.noaandnani.co.uk/den-building-ideas-for-the-best-dens-ever-i43
And why not have a go at making your own ice lollies? https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/5-best-ice-lollies-kids
Of course we have all our wonderful printable and puzzle pages, so please check them out
If you are able to get away even to the beach check out this useful guide on what you can find.
Please do stay safe https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
And don’t forget you can get a free wristband from the RNLI “Parents or guardians are being invited to write their mobile phone number on a free paper wristband which is available at the lifeboat and lifeguard stations. If and when a child is unfortunate enough to become separated from the adults he or she is with, lifeguards can simply ring and reunite them.”
Don'f forget we are on Twitter so please do follow us @AAGBlog001 https://twitter.com/home
Tag us with #AAGBlogSummer with the fun you get up to.
Regardless of what you get up to this summer have a wonderful time and have fun. Will be back in September for Sustainable September and some more exciting activities
Stay safe, have fun Pen x
Welcome to July’s blog, I hope that you all enjoyed the 30 Days Wild in June and had lots of fun.
Not only did we have 30 days of Wild, but on the 21st June was the summer solstice which you can find all the history from the history channel here
So with it now being officially summer what can we get up to?
This is a summer of Sports
Football – Whilst the trophy went to Rome, what a wonderful Euro tournament with England making the final and of course it’s not long until the new football season begins, or having a football themed party? Check out these free printable(s) from Epson.
Cycling - The Tour De France has indeed begun too ending 18th July. Cycling is not just for the professionals, it can be a great form of exercise. Why not go for a bike ride this summer, but please check out this really helpful guide on keeping your bike safe from the Avon and Somerset Police. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/staying-safe-on-the-road/keeping-your-bike-secure/
Not sure where to go here is a guide for a route in the local area https://cycleplanner.betterbybike.info/leisure-rides/Chipping%20Sodbury%20and%20Yate%20Loop
Tokyo Olympics – Did you know that there are multiple sports in the Olympics? A full list can be found here https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/sports/ Let us know what your favourite sport or how many Olympic sports you have tried?
Of course it would be remiss of me not to add tennis – Wimbledon. https://www.wimbledon.com/
Apart from the odd rain, strawberries and cream make a lovely tea. Why not have a go at making this cake? https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/strawberry-cream-tea-cake
For those who are not too sporty, we have plenty of other activities that you can do as well.
Here are some free downloads from Epson for you to enjoy, which include animals, photo frames and some puzzles. Click on Printables for more.
Also for those of you who enjoyed the getting out with the wild themes please do take a look at these activities here from Wildlife’s Trusts Wildlife Watch page https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/activities
I hope you have a great summer and I will back in August with another summer focused theme
Thanks for reading and please do send us feedback as we love to know what you think
As we hit halfway through the year it’s a good time as any to take some time out and look after ourselves.
This month we have an exciting event of 30 days Wild!
We also are letting you know what’s on your doorstep in terms of support and wellbeing, and there is also a bit of colouring – yes us adults we can do this too.
What does this mean? Well according to good old Google © it means “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”
How can we achieve this? First up it is looking after our health both mental and physical. Mentally we can do things to help ourselves, - talking is one of the greatest things that we can do and if you are on the end of a friend or family member who needs to talk then listening is the other greatest gift we can do. But sometimes we do need some extra help. So don’t forget – here in Abbotswood we have Take 5. This is a referral scheme please contact Alex for more details.
Our partners Southern Brooks has a lots of wonderful resources so take a look here https://southernbrooks.org.uk/wellbeing/ and have some great workshops coming up so please do check them out. Don’t forget NHS has a section https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/five-steps-to-mental-wellbeing/.
If you are struggling in any way then please do not hesitate in seeking help.
30 Days Wild
A great way of looking after ourselves is being at one with nature. In the words of Chief Scout Bear Grylls “Nature is a great healer” and its true, getting out and about can really help physically and mentally.
So this month we have 30 days of Wild coming up. On the 19th June we will be holding our very own event, so please keep checking our website for further details. Also each day on Facebook and Twitter we will be posting a Wild Nature theme every day, so don’t forget to follow us there and see what exciting Wild Adventures you can do this June.
How else to help ourselves?
Taking a few minutes a day can help us in all sorts of ways.
To do this find five or if you can ten minutes to meditate there are tons of free apps and meditation online such as this one provided by Calm.
Or even colouring can help us take a moment out of our day, as I said at the beginning its for all ages
Here at just colour https://www.justcolor.net/ you can find lots to do, but I have found a nature one to with our wild theme enjoy.
Hope you have enjoyed this months blog and please do take part in the 30 Days Wild.
Welcome to the second of my monthly blogs, I hope that this finds you well and safe. So let’s grab a brew and settle in to the May edition of the Official Abbotswood Action Group Blog.
How to be at one with The Force this May? The Force is very much finding balance, so this month I have for you a little music, a little challenge and a word search for you all to enjoy.
For me May begins with a bit of music, Scottish band Runrig do a wonderful song called May Morning, which for us Riggies (supporters of the band) is a bit of a ritual when it comes to 1st May. Never heard it? Check it out on YouTube.
Why this song? As we know the lighter evenings are here, hopefully alongside the warmer weather too. But for me it’s about coming out of the winter and enjoying spring and then summer by getting out and about which brings me on to our little challenge.
A Fond Farewell...
Before I delve in to our little challenge, I would like to take this opportunity to send deepest sympathies to the Queen and the Royal Family.
HRH Prince Philip, The Duke Of Edinburgh was passionate about all sorts of things from wildlife to the Royal Navy and of course volunteering. Not only that but he has left a wonderful legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award which has and will continue to change lives up and down the country.
If you have never done or even heard of the Duke of Edinburgh Award before. It is split into sections – Volunteering, Physical, Skills and then an expedition at the end. If you are aged between 14 & 25 and interested in doing this please do check out the Yate options click link or if you run a group then check out the same links for options on how to run the award scheme.
With the award in mind, don’t forget you can do all these elements without having to do the award itself and regardless of your age. This month we are challenging you all to take part in getting out and about.
With the lighter evenings and hopefully sunnier days I love getting out and about and doing virtual walks/runs. That's the inspiration for the 'BE AT ONE WITH THE FORCE THIS MAY' challenge.
All you need to do is go out one day or evening and go as far as you can. Simply log by sending us photos or if you have a tracking app on your phone or device then please do send us a screen shot of your achievements. In return we'll send you your challenge certificate.
Have a twitter account? Tag your distance with the hashtag #AAGBlogChallenge For this Be at One with the Force this May Challenge you do not have to go far at all, sometimes I do 5K or even 2K for a little time out, so enjoy and do what you can and please follow current COVID guidelines.
Some Extra Fun And Games...
Over the next few months look out for new skills to learn, and of course any time you can drop in or email us for plenty of volunteering opportunities.
Tweet Tweet - We are on Twitter –. Not only will there be an instant link to this blog, but there will be more exciting posts and updates as we go on through the year, so feel free to Tweet us at https://twitter.com/AAGBlog001. Keep an eye out for any hashtags in our activities and blog posts. And please do tag us on Twitter so we can see what great activities you have been up to.
It would be very remiss of me not to mention Star Wars with May 4th being 'May 4th be with you' or should I say 'May the Force be with you'. If you are on Instagram this account will be taken over by a little Stormtrooper so do check out the Stormtroopers adventures click here (from 1st May)
As a little something extra this month I have designed a word search based on the award part of this blog. Please have a go! With thanks to https://thewordsearch.com Don’t forget to feedback as we love to hear what you have been up to as well as what you think of this blog.
Thanks for reading and see you next month for our blog which will focus on wellbeing.
Take care and stay safe Pen x
Hi everyone welcome to the new monthly blog. To start us off is Easter which is on Sunday 4th April which in the words of the Easter bunny is soon going to hop around!
Now Easter isn’t all about the chocolate (I know I gave up chocolate for lent too) but don’t worry this blog will cover chocolatey goodness. But deep down it’s about having a special day and for some there is the religious focus of the resurrection of Jesus.
Like most holidays and special days there are lots of different choices out there and to be fair it’s not easy to know what to get or what to do. Especially with this year where we can’t do absolutely everything we want or would normally do. But have no fear, I am here to take you on the Easter journey and give you some ideas for making this Easter extra special.
‘Easter on a budget’ it does not matter what budget you have. The ideas I have included in this blog you can tailor to your budget, plus I have added in some little freebie downloads and recipes which you can use for Easter or even tailor to any special day. Preparation is key, but the hardest part I find is deciding what to do, with so many choices out there it can be a little daunting. Within this blog I have come up with some examples of what you can do to make it special.
One way is to break Easter up in to manageable chunks, maybe go with the flow of the day. For example I have broken it down in to these areas breakfast, Easter treats and of course fitting in an Easter themed treasure hunt. Now to keep to your budget and in preparation write a list before you go out in to the supermarkets, decide what you are having so that you keep to your budget. Or even just use what you have already.
Easter is special regardless of what you spend on it and that’s what matters.
Eggs – no not the chocolatey kind just yet, but ordinary eggs. Get your colouring pencils out or any pen/pencil will do for this. Simply boil the egg to your requirements (here is a recipe should you need it) and voila we have an Easter themed breakfast. Or simply download an Easter picture and pop it near everyone’s favourite breakfast and colour it in and use them as placemats. Fancy chocolate at this time? Sure why not make a cup of hot chocolate and toast some hot cross buns.
Check out the this fab set of free Easter colouring links from Crayola click here to help make breakfast Easter special.
Making Easter treats can be fun for all the family. I personally love making Easter nests, don’t tell the Easter bunny but it’s not all about rabbits, Easter is often associated with chicks. Here is a recipe for Easter nests click here, now you can use cornflakes or even Weetabix just replace the shredded wheat for your cereal of choice. Why not make this extra fun and have a little picnic by making some sandwiches and nests which will make for a great fun lunch.
Of course this year we can’t go out to a pre-planned hunt, but there are lots of wonderful ideas out there, so I have put together an idea but just tailor it to you and your family that way you will have a lot more fun. Great hiding places can be found inside and outside even pots of daffodils can come in handy. Click here for the idea.
The key to any special day is just to enjoy it, hopefully the sun will be shining and we can all enjoy a bit of sunshine on Easter Sunday and the bank holiday. Have fun that’s the main thing and take photos, I would love to see your colouring, egg designs, rabbit masks or whatever you do!
That’s all for now readers, which leaves me with one last thing to say which is to wish you all a very Happy Easter and thank you for reading.
Until the next post – Have fun, stay safe and take care Pen x
Just like Pen said, we'd love to see what fun you've been up to! Email us your photos or visit us on Facebook. Any photos submitted will be shared in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
There's a new blog in town!
Hi everyone we have some fantastic news, dropping right here on our website is a brand new monthly blog. You've all seen our Sustainable September blog... We've decided it's time to go big and bring you posts all year round!
Hopping shortly on to our website will be the fantastic new post ‘Easter on a budget’.
Make note of the date Monday 29th March and get ready to read all about it!
A message from the author...
Hi everybody, my name is Pen and I have been entrusted in bringing you The Official Abbotswood Action Group Blog. Each month I will be bringing you a wide range of subjects that will cover all sorts, from seasonal such as my first post ‘Easter on a Budget’ to things we can do in and around our community. I can’t wait for this to go live, but most importantly after each post please let us know what you think as this blog is very much for you and our wonderful community. So until my first post goes live stay safe and take care.
Another short and sweet one for you... We're loving the community tips so do keep them coming!
What better way to save money than eat the same vegetable twice? And no... not just eat onions more than once in your life... we literally mean eat the same onion twice!
Like many of us, the lockdown boredom got to Alex and Jo and a few too many hours were spent on youtube… They learnt a few new tricks though, including how to regrow veggies on the windowsill to keep eating again and again. In their experience leeks and spring onions work best. The regrown leek and spring onions went into their homemade green tomato chutney... check back for the recipe!
Here's the video that got them growing...
Alex and Jo experimented with this quite a bit during lockdown. They found the best way for leeks and spring onions was to keep a fairly chunky base back and pop it in water in the windowsill. Watch the roots develop and then when you've got a reasonable size green regrowth remove from the water and pot up in fresh compost, making sure not to cover the whole thing. If you're able to you can eventually transplant them into the garden to keep merrily growing until you're ready to harvest.
Maybe we should start a competition going, who can eat one vegetable the most times? You might start getting deja vu though...
See you next time!
We asked for blackberry recipes and that's what we got! Our community worker happens to enjoy some time in the kitchen so has had great fun with this particular challenge. Keep an eye out for more of her blackberry recipes on the way. Over to you Alex...
Super Simple Fruit Compote
Fruit compotes are a great way to use up leftover fruits. Soft fruits like berries are ideal! Compotes are super simple and easy to adapt the recipe to what you have in the house...
Mix and match flavourings
For this mini-jar I used frozen foraged blackberries, a drop of orange juice, honey and mint from the garden.
1. Add the fruit to a pan over a medium heat. Allow the fruit to soften completely, stirring occasionally. Depending on the water content of the fruit you may like to add a splash of water or juice to help get things going.
2. Your mixture should gradually turn to an almost jam-like consistency, give it a taste and add whichever flavours you fancy! Some berries can be quite sharp so you may want to add something to sweeten it up a little. You won't need much to make a difference. Taste again and play with flavours until you're happy.
3. That's it. Enjoy! Fruit compote can be used as an alternative as jam but will only last for a few days in the fridge as it doesn't have all the preservatives in it. Don't waste any of this yummy concoction, only make what you need!
We had family coming over and wanted a little treat with a cup of tea. However, post lockdown people might be feeling a little wary of their waist lines... So I made wholemeal honey scones as an alternative to cake! This fruit compote is a tasty alternative to sugar filled jam and counts towards your five a day. If you were really pushing the boat you could swap the clotted cream for greek yoghurt but sometimes clotted cream is the right and only answer!
Jo topped the scones... I would have done it the right way and put compote first, OBVIOUSLY!
Check back tomorrow for more!
Tips, tips, community tips!!! These are making us very happy... Got to love it when the community get involved.
We're keeping things short and simple today, with this top tip from Ryan. As many of us do, Ryan's family had 2 cars. Recently they've made the decision get rid of the second car, making the effort to cycle when possible and using the moped when needs must. Great job team, keep up the good work!
We know this can be a big step and that's OK. We've all got to start somewhere, even baby steps are a step in the right direction. We're all human, perfection is practically impossible, just do the best that you can with what's right for you.
Some tips for getting started...
Did you know that 1 in 4 car journeys are less than a mile... A mile can be easily walked in 20 minutes, even at a beginner's pace. It's been recommended that we try to fit 30 minutes of moderate activity into our day - that can include walking. If you cut out a 1 mile car journey and replace it with a walk, the walk there and back again counts as you daily exercise!
Why not try a car share? If you've got a colleague who lives nearby, why not take it into turns to drive and share the commute... Admittedly, you may have to wait until covid regulations ease before giving this one a go.
Plan a bike ride for your family day out! Most of us like some quality time with loved ones at the weekend. Leave the motor behind, pump up your bike tyres and you're away! This could be just a little spin around the local area or off on a day long jolly. Bristol, Bath and surrounding areas have great cycle tracks to explore with more than a few pit stops selling tasty treats along the way.
See you tomorrow!
Our current author is our AAG Committee member Pen Bailey. If you would like to be a guest blogger please do contact us here at AAG