Participant feedback compiled by Sue Brown from St Oswald’s Church, Warton

In April 2023, Diana McIntyre led a composting workshop in St Oswald’s Church in Warton which was well attended. Diana is the Community Composting Coordinator at the Closing Loops project, and in the workshop she shared her enthusiasm for and knowledge about composting. Her presentation was engaging and encouraged participation. The event was thought provoking and timely and participants were enthusiastic.

All experience levels were catered for. The more experienced among us shared tips and past mistakes in our own composting efforts. Some were introduced to composting and left feeling confident to have a go.
Those of us who have a general waste heap in the garden or a plastic ‘dalek’ bin learnt that just chucking garden and kitchen waste together was not good enough. Diana explained how mixing the right combination of green and brown waste and then keeping air in the mix is necessary in the composting process. Those of us already composting could relate to problems with the heap becoming either too wet or too dry.

We learned what goes in the compost and what to keep out, and even discussed the problems of composting eggshells. A hot tip, when your oven is in use: Bake the shells, then crush them. Any worries we had about vermin were dispelled with the knowledge of what can or cannot be composted.

We learned about the value of worms in the garden, soil care and soil improvement with the aid of a wormery. How about starting a wormery at home? We discussed how organic gardening is beneficial to pollinating insects and spoke about alternative methods of pest control. 

Creating a community compost scheme in Warton village would have pros and cons. Currently residents can take garden waste to the nearby recycling centre, which is popular, using green wheelie bins, but their usage has dropped since they carry a charge, and most people in the village have gardens so they already have or could create their own compost at home.
There is a challenge to value garden waste and food scraps, compost them wisely either domestically or collectively, to create a valuable compost resource which can be returned to the soil within the village. Sharing composting knowledge and experience across the village will help this.

We felt inspired to (re)start again and produce good compost to use in the garden. Until we reach this point we can follow Diane Sammons, from the ‘For Peat’s Sake’ campaign, who gave a talk at the workshop on the necessity of not buying peat based compost and choosing alternatives.

St Oswald’s Church in Warton, located in the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, welcomes environmental speakers and events.

Anyone interested in finding out more about composting, hosting a composting workshop or starting a community composting scheme in their neighbourhood can get in touch with diana_cl@lessuk.org for more info.

 

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