Category Archives: Evening Class

Evening Classes

The evening classes are all up and running, in Ledbury, Hereford and Kington. All three groups are quite different. The Ledbury group is organised by the Workers Education Association and meets in a very comfortable and well equipped church hall, in Kington we are just a very small group meeting in a large room in a pub, and in Hereford we have the biggest group meeting in the smallest venue, the Rocket Café. All the promotion and publicity are over, which is the bit I don’t much like. Presenting my material and meeting and hearing the ideas and views of the diverse range of people who come along to these classes is the bit I love. Hopefully out of these classes may come practical projects to increase our community response to problems like climate change and peak oil, such as new community owned renewable energy projects like the Leominster Solar Roof I wrote about on this blog in December. Also we should all learn about some of the utterly amazing and positive things that are going on in all countries on Earth, which seldom get mentioned in the media, and which can give us inspiration, hope and renewed enthusiasm and commitment to engage in the struggle to help create a better future. It’s early days and it’ll be really exciting to see how the three groups evolve over the next seven weeks.
Meanwhile several people have been in touch about the possibility of me running these classes in other locations starting in September. So far the most likely look like being Malvern, Monmouth and Shrewsbury. If you live in any of these places, or elsewhere and are interested in me running these classes, or giving one-off talks in your area, do please get in touch via this website.

Environmental Study Day

Workers Education Association – Environmental Study Day:

Speaker – Richard Priestley

Saturday 19th March – 10:00 to 16:00 at The Market Theatre, Ledbury (

A course designed for people interested in the global situation, which will hopefully enable you to see paths to a better future. The focus will be global and local, and cover many fields: energy, transport, agriculture and governance. In the afternoon there will be a screening of the film In Transition: from Oil Dependence to Local Resilience directed by Emma Goude, followed by discussion about the Transition movement and wider issues. Suitable for adults and 16+. Tickets £15: phone 01531-633345 or 01584-540624

Giving Talks

A couple of nights ago I gave a talk and slide show at the Talbot Hotel in Leominster, Herefordshire. It was organised by Leominster Civic Society and I was called in at the last minute because their planned speaker was suddenly unavailable. I put together a talk about the Herefordshire Local Development Framework document and how we could improve it by learning from some inspirational examples of global best practice in terms of Co2 reduction and a diverse range of other benefits. Throughout the document Herefordshire Council use the term “Sustainable Economic Growth” without ever properly defining it. Many of the places I have written about in this blog over the last year have made dramatic Co2 reductions while seeing rapid economic growth as they develop various forms of renewable energy. Gussing in Austria made a 93% Co2 reduction while creating a thousand new jobs; not bad for a small town of 4,000 people. There is much for Herefordshire to learn.
What I love about these evenings is the opportunity to present the examples that inspire me that a better, more ecologically sustainable and socially just future is possible, but also the many points that arise out of the discussion that always follow these talks. I hear about new ideas, projects, technologies and developments to use in future talks. I have had criticism that just talking doesn’t change anything. This week I heard otherwise: Last year I showed a slide and talked about carbon negative cements such as Novacem and Calera and someone in the group who’d not heard of this before was about to write a document where he now specified that the contractors were to source the lowest carbon cements available, which they have now done. Result!
Also after the Leominster talk there was a lot of networking going on about how some innovative and ecologically restorative land use ideas might be practically developed by a couple of members who owned land. Exciting stuff.
I’ve a few more talks in my diary, but am always open to giving more, so do contact me via this website if you’d like me come to talk to your group, be it a Council, Transition Town, Friends of the Earth group, school, college, Chamber of Trade etc