Former teacher leads call for Belper to be eco-champ

A FORMER teacher is urging people to become involved in turning Belper into a 'transition town'.

Marion McCartney, 57, of Whatstandwell, who used to teacher at Belper School, describes the project as a 'positive local response to climate change' and says it is about encouraging sustainable living.

A transition town sees people adapting their lifestyles to be more environmentally aware. Previous projects have included old and young communities coming together to plant vegetable gardens, and people getting together to find ways of saving money on utility bills. It is more than recycling paper, bottled and plastic, she said.

Mrs McCartney, who taught English at the school for almost 30 years, said: "It is about responding to climate change. Transition towns are spreading all over the place and I thought Belper would be an ideal place to see if other people are interested in getting it off the ground.

"Instead of worrying about the future the idea is to be positive about it. Seeing it as a challenge and a opportunity, rather than something that's frightening.

She added: "In Matlock eight houses got together and bought solar panels to save energy and money. Belper is the ideal place because there is so much going on."

A small group of committed people is needed to get the project off the ground. A meeting will then be held on a date to be fixed for those interested.

Matlock and Buxton already have transition town groups operating. The transition network was formed in April 2007.

Anyone who wants to become involved in the project should email here.