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Ketton hosts Green Festival in glorious sunshine

Ketton Green Festival took place in glorious sunshine on Sunday, as part of the Great Big Green Week, the UK’s biggest celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.

On such a hot day, the river activities proved to be hugely popular, with visitors of all ages enjoying finding out about the tiny creatures that live in the River Chater. The animals found included mayfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs, cased caddisfly larvae, freshwater shrimps, leeches (not the kind that can attach onto us!) and young bullhead fish. One surprise catch was a lamprey, an ancient type of parasitic fish with a sucker-like mouth. Young helpers also tested the nitrate and phosphate levels in the river water. Unfortunately, nitrogen was a bit high and phosphate was found to be double the level it should be. So, although the river dipping did find quite a few invertebrates that need unpolluted water to survive, which is a promising sign, the event highlighted the need to keep an eye on the health of the Chater.

Away from the river, the Festival offered a wide range of activities and information. Continuing on the theme of water, members of Ketton Climate Action handed out items donated by Anglian Water, all designed to help conserve water in the home and to reduce pollution. Visitors to the Festival felt that the dish scrapers would be most effective at reducing pollution and that the shower timers would be the most useful for saving water, especially if there were teenagers in the family!

The Ketton Green Spaces Group, Ketton Seed Swap and the Ketton Horticultural Society were all busy providing advice on gardening, home composting and improving soil quality, also providing free plants and seedlings for people to take home.

One of the information stands attracting the most interest was the Earth Build Project, a new and exciting research initiative which is aiming to construct the UKs first 3D printed prototype living space from the earth on which it stands. Collaborators in the project include academics at the universities of Cardiff and Loughborough, a leading firm of London architects and an Italian 3D printer design company. Visitors were amazed to learn that the project is aiming to build its first prototypes locally, at Cuckoo Farm in Ketton.

Elsewhere, local experts from Renbrac Renewables and Orangehouse Renewables were on hand to provide practical advice on renewable energy solutions, Ketton Darby and Joan Club promoted reuse and recycling with their Bring and Buy sale and 1st Ketton Scouts helped to keep children entertained with a series of challenging games.

David Lewis from Ketton Climate Action commented: “By staging the Festival, we aim to promote discussion about how we can all make a contribution to protecting nature and fighting climate change. It was encouraging to see lots of people coming up with creative suggestions for action at a local level. We are grateful to everyone who helped to make the event possible, especially Ketton Parish Council, Ketton Methodist Church, Katie Field from the East Mercia Rivers Trust and Eliot Deag from the Grantham Angling Association Fly Fishing Section.”

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