Free Press to launch new green campaign focusing on environmental issues in Doncaster

From litter pickers to activists, the Doncaster Free Press will be working with the town’s green community through a new campaign.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17 June, 2019, 12:42
Emma Plant - activist.

The Community News Project has been set up by Facebook as a way of helping regional newspapers report underrepresented areas.

I’m the newly appointed Community News Reporter for the Doncaster Free Press and over the next two years I will be working across the town and helping to tell people's stories.

Ashley Granter - Mycologist.

First I will be focusing on the green community. I chose to focus on this area because environmental causes is front and centre in the media at the moment and I’m personally passionate about these issues.

The statistics can be frightening and overwhelming, but there are so many local people who are trying to make a difference in Doncaster – from businesses such as The Jam Horse, who use recyclable food containers, to eco warriors like Emma Plant who is part of the Extinction Rebellion group.

Many of their efforts go unnoticed and I want to highlight the positive environmental impact they’re having, not only on Doncaster but the world.

I also want to be a point of contact for environmental issues the Free Press could help out by covering.

Faye Panado - Upcycles clothes.

Since starting the new role a month ago I have worked with many interesting individuals.

One of those is Faye Panado, a talented seamstress from Bentley who is keen on upcycling to reduce the impact of ‘fast fashion’ – cheap, disposable, easily-available high street garments.

She had the idea to turn unwanted items into clothes for children.

Faye said: “I take clothes that would otherwise be going to landfill and turn them into something that can be passed down to children to wear.

Rachel Whittaker of the Jam Horse

“This stops the clothes from being thrown away.

“It’s a way of recycling clothes that would have had a negative effect on the environment.”

There are not only individuals who strive to make a difference in Doncaster. Groups such as Friends of Barnsley Park in Scawsby are campaigning to make green spaces cleaner.

Coun Kevin Rodgers said: “At the moment the park is antiquated and needs a refresh.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Councillor Kevin Rodgers (part of the friends of Barnsley Park group)

“There will be benches for parents to sit on and we are going to plant wildflower seeds to give the park a more appealing look.”

Meanwhile Ashley Granter is a mycologist from Auckley who is transforming the world of mushrooms and helping the environment.

He uses horseshoe fungus to grow strains of mushroom which can be turned into a material called mycelium that can be crafted into various shapes.

He said: “It could have a huge impact on the environment.

“Plastics last forever, they will outlive our lifespan.

“Whereas mycelium is compostable, it’s all natural and has no negative footprint on the planet.”

Doncaster’s green community is diverse, encompassing vegans, allotment owners, anti-fracking campaigners and litter pickers.

All of them are making great changes. I want to uncover more of these brilliant people and share their stories to inspire others.

In the future I’m looking forward to representing other groups in Doncaster such as the LGBTQI+ community.

I also want to work with the young people of Doncaster and the skills gap that is rapidly growing in our town.

Even though the Community News Project is brand new I have worked for the Free Press and its sister titles for the past 18 months as an apprentice.

During that time I covered many stories - everything from local events to the weekly business feature.

I’m local and am deeply invested in the town. I have lived here my whole life and love getting to know other people who call Doncaster home too.

If you have a story that you think I should cover please contact me on laura.andrew@jpimedia.co.uk via email.

There is also a Free Press environmental group on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1104958479691869 – an Instagram page at @greendoncaster and @doncaster_green on Twitter.