A little bit about how it started
In February 2019 Wiltshire Council acknowledged that there was a climate emergency and set themselves a target to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. In order to ensure that Wiltshire council was taking this commitment seriously a meeting of over 20 interest groups from across Wiltshire came together in January to make plans for an event to mark the first anniversary. The WCA was formed!
On 25th February 2020 we held our first demonstration outside County Hall in Trowbridge and this has led to an understanding that we are so much stronger when working together.
A bit about WCA's steering group
Soon after the first demonstration The Covid 19 lockdown started but this did not put us off. We spent the time putting together a draft constitution and recruited a steering group. The constitution and steering groups will be voted upon when we are able to have a proper meeting but for now, the steering groups is as follows:
Bill Jarvis - Convenor
Bill is a Civil Engineer and has a broad appreciation of developing new and innovative ideas that can deliver benefits to the community and the environment.
Over the last 8 years he has been involved in environmental actions, starting with the anti fracking movement, particularly Keep Wiltshire Frack Free and Preston New Road on the Fylde. He joined XR in October 2018 and was an outreach co-ordinator for XR Frome before, as a Wiltshire resident, being instrumental in organising the push by residents to get Wiltshire to acknowledge a Climate Emergency. Since then, with a small group of activists, he has been pressing the Council to action, attending many Council meeting, asking questions and meeting with their Climate Change team, pushing them to deliver their 2030 goals. At the end of 2019 he sparked the January meeting that set up WCA and the February anniversary protests.
Poppy Taylor – Youth Coordinator
Poppy joined WCA after taking part in the first workshop with Wiltshire Council back in August. She was inspired by the event but surprised by the lack of young participants and decided to join the steering group to help address this. Poppy first became involved in environmental activism during her Biology degree and has experience campaigning on issues such as single-use plastics and fast fashion. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainability and in her spare time, enjoys running a blog about sustainable living. She is particularly interested in inter-sectional issues and believes in giving marginalised groups - including young people - a voice on climate change.
Eva McHugh - Secretary
Eva started her journey into environmental activism with Extinction Rebellion Salisbury, taking part in various protests including the October Rebellion and local Student Strikes. After finding a strong sense of community and getting to meet other local, like-minded individuals Eva has decided to broaden her attention to include a more solution-based movement and is now co-chair of Salisbury Transition City. Eva was heavily involved with the planning and preparation of the action in Trowbridge on 25th February putting to good use her previous work experience in project planning.
Christian Lange - Treasurer
Christian retired from Wiltshire Police in 2016 having completed 25 years service. His last posting was as Area Inspector in charge of policing in the Amesbury Community Area. Christian now runs a sound, lighting and events company which he set up several years ago. He provided much of the infrastructure for the demonstration on 25th February on the anniversary of Wiltshire Council climate emergency declaration. Christian has always been interested in environmental issues but has only recently started to become an activist due to the increasing reality that authorities are ignoring the real and catastrophic dangers of climate change.
Andrew Nicholson - Committee Member
Moving to Wiltshire 20 years ago from Bath where I co-founded CycleBath and first proposed the Two Tunnels Greenway, I’ve worked with CPRE, CyclingUK and Campaign for Better Transport. I headed a 1990s anti-road campaign that pioneered fundraising, public support and legal challenge tactics. I’ve given expert Public Inquiry evidence including computer modelling. I’m now an experienced full-time transport, environment and climate activist.
I’m a Bradford-on-Avon XR supporter, specialising in using Freedom of Information (FOI) to get Wiltshire Council etc. to disclose intentions on climate, new roads and greenfield housing and commercial development; I’m leading a young peoples' public art project too. I’d like WCA to develop as umbrella for members to tackle Wiltshire and town councils, and central government, head-on where it matters for Climate Change: juggernaut policies that need determined, detailed challenges to reverse. I offer FOI and legal expertise, creativity and unwavering commitment."
Dr Nick Murry FIEMA - Committee Member
Nick works as a sustainability and climate change consultant and part-time university lecturer in environmental management. His professional experience includes advising organisations on sustainability strategy, helping them embed sustainability in their business and supply chains, and recently authoring a sustainability guide for local businesses. He has worked both in the UK and internationally, including as a consultant to the UN, EU, World Bank, various international institutions and NGOs.
Nick is a long-standing campaigner and advocate for the environment, and responsible for events such as Chippenham’s Sustainability Day and Sustainable Business Conference and for bringing the motion for Chippenham Town Council’s Climate Emergency declaration. He is also a Wiltshire Councillor and serves on its Environment Select Committee and Climate Emergency Task Group. He is a Trustee of Avon Needs Trees, Chair of the Chippenham Cycle Network Development Group and Chair of Zero Chippenham, a non-for-profit organisation helping to deliver climate change solutions locally.
Brig Oubridge - Committee Member
Brig has been an active campaigner on environmental and climate issues for over 40 years. He is a member of Salisbury Extinction Rebellion, Salisbury Transition City, and Salisbury Green Party. Brig was one of the group who helped establish the Wiltshire Climate Alliance, and organised and compered the outdoor part of the action on February 25th on the anniversary of Wiltshire Council's climate emergency declaration, for which he also produced the leaflets.
Graham Martin - Committee Member
Graham has been actively involved with WCA and Sustainable Devizes for a year but having studied geography for his first degree there has always been a close affinity for the environment. Army service afforded opportunities for close contact with the natural world when on exercise in Kenya, Brunei and Australia. Mid-career he trained in computing and on leaving the Army worked for a US tech corporation at senior management level.
Finding working for a large corporation a chastening experience for the last 4 years of working life he was an independent consultant. On retiring puzzled and frustrated by the lack of local government action and the indifference of communities to climate change led Graham to study for a MSc in Sustainability and Behaviour Change (ongoing) with the Centre of Alternative Technology. He hopes that his wide experience and recently gained sustainability knowledge can contribute to WCA.
Adam Walton - Committee Member
Adam has been active on environmental issues for over 40 years, having started a local branch of the Ecology Party (forerunner of the Green Party) as a teenager in the late1970s. He is one of the founders of Transition Community Corsham, and a founding director of Bath and West Community Energy. He is a retired management consultant with experience in strategy, planning and organisational change.
Carys Richards - Committee Member
Carys joined WCA in September 2020 when she moved back to Wiltshire after finishing her degree in Geography and Sustainable Development. She has always been concerned about environmental issues, but became involved in local activism after she saw the negative impact of local politics on her favourite green spaces.
Carys is particularly excited to help establish the youth group so that young people in Wiltshire know what is happening in their local environment, have a platform to act and can find support within a like-minded community. She is currently studying for an MSc in Environment, Politics and Society, and in her spare time is getting to re-discover her local walking routes and finding new ways to be a better activist.
Julian Jones - Committee Member
Julian has a science background and his career has been in electronic design and software engineering in the semiconductor industry. Originally from rural North Wiltshire, he worked in Swindon, Reading and Bristol. Sustainability has always seemed common sense to him and he has campaigned with Friends of the Earth local groups, raising awareness with public and politicians.
Julian has broad interests in energy buildings and planning, transport and cycling, food and agriculture, and how the economy can support sustainability and greater wellbeing for all into the future whilst urgently addressing the climate and nature emergencies we face. He is currently back in Swindon and coordinating the Swindon Climate Action Network.. SCAN is a network and liaises with other Swindon environmental groups, convening meetings with MPs and council and public events.
Tess Gorman - Committee Member
Tess joined WCA in January 2021 on her year out between graduating from university and starting her graduate job, after first hearing about the organisation through the youth group. She has always been passionate about protecting the environment and committed to making individual lifestyle changes to do so. But after being frustrated with the lack of action by those that hold power, she leveraged her time off to get involved in driving change in Wiltshire. Due to meeting various like-minded people and being able to recognise tangible change WCA is driving, Tess has decided to continue with her involvement, alongside starting her full-time job.