National Chair Bernard Godding explains why he believes Every Action Counts

It was in the first years of my life in adult education that I started to include environmental aspects into the programme. It was probably the early part of 1972 when I was still a parish councillor that I heard about 'Plant a Tree in 73' and I became involved in the technical discussions about what to plant in our own village. This gave me the idea that I could do something through my recently acquired post, running the evening centre in the school where I had my day job. Marketing was and is everything so, since I recognised that I was going to be literally "ground breaking", I entitled the course 'Landcape with Trees'; seeking to appeal to the artistic part of the community quite as much as the civic and environmental interests.

We got a great line up of tutors but a disappointing response from the punters. However, the trees that the county grounds maintenance people prepared for us did go onto the school playing field, hopefully to provide shade for future generations. Unfortunately the drought of 1976 dashed many of these hopes: by that time I was enrolled on the Open University course Environmental Control and Public Health, and watched each day for the slightest sign of moisture in the guage I had to set up as part of my coursework, in the hope of finding rain that didn't come!

It was about this time that I first met and started to work directly for Andrew Fairbairn who has died this Autumn. He believed passionately in the arts and making them accessible. Indeed, he was a strong supporter of all forms of creativity and innovation, and Leicestershire played host to the Nuffield Resources for Learning Project which was then my specialism. It was only decades later that I discovered he had at the time been an ECA Vice President.

Why then am I supporting the ECA's involvement in Every Action Counts? Simply because I believe we have hesitated for too long. The evidence of climate change has been apparent for many years, and people have chosen to ignore (and make no mistake they still do) or acknowledge the problems, instead choosing to do nothing. When we pressed the case to DEFRA that only joint action would be enough to make any impact, we were in deadly earnest. Now as members of the Consortium we continue to press for resources to get the job done.

We owe it to our future.

To find out more about Every Action Counts please visit the Every Action Counts section of the site

Date Added: November 20th 2007