WHITCHURCH is going in the 'right direction' according to one of the organisers of a new group focused on sustainability and the environment.

Our House is a new group formed off the back of the recent work of the town's popular Blackberry Fair.

This year's fair was due to take place earlier this month, but Covid-19 restrictions made running the event impossible.

In recent years though the event has had an increased focus on sustainability and wanting to continue that good work, Our House was formed.

Group member Steve Chapman explained the reasons behind the formation of the group.

"Our House is a spur from Blackberry Fair," he said. "With Sustainability at the fair's core we felt it was time to get our story out there incorporating direct action with raising awareness.

"We met up with folk in town who were keen to tackle the use of single use plastics; hence Our House was born – being a metaphor for you, me and the world as our home.

"One of those present was involved with Surfers against Sewage which has a certifiable scheme encouraging people to sign up to reducing the use of plastics in business, schools, etc.

"We were looking into this and about to launch things and had already purchased an old caravan which we used at Blackberry Fair 2019 imaginatively decorating it as a whale.

"Sadly coronavirus put paid to our plans and has since kept everything at bay for the time being.

"Some of us have now started a regular litter pick around the fringes of town and hope this will in time re-energise and ignite enthusiasm in the group."

Despite the disappointment of being unable to run the Blackberry Fair, Steve says that the appearance of new, 'sustainability-friendly' shops on the high street is a positive sign.

"I'm really impressed that Whitchurch now has three retail businesses – Moo and Boom, Landfill Angels and Refill Your Boots – who've set up with sustainability right at the heart of their story and working ethos," added Steve. "It's just to be hoped people support them.

"It's just this kind of story that inspires and could, with support, engage people away from just being a novelty.

"It's much needed positive direct action in our community."