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You are looking at an earlier version of the site that was archived on 23.02.17 and is no longer updated.

Welcome to the Virtual-Lancaster listings for local groups engaged in activities related to environmental sustainability.
This page includes organisations involved with environmental sustainability, eco-activism, sustainable transport, wildlife conservation, etc.

See also our Crop-Growing and Animal Husbandry groups section.

See our Animal Welfare / Interest / Protection groups section for all animal and wildlife welfare matters.

Tel: 01539 740430
BeachCare aims to improve the appearance, access and amenity of our coast and beaches.  Much of our work involves encouraging people to take part in litter picks.  We are also involved in raising awareness of marine litter issues, lobbying to improve the condition of the coast and campaigns to reduce the amount of litter at source

Offers an excellent choice of guided walks throughout the summer months looking at the wide variety of butterflies and moths to be found in our area. In addition the Cumbria and Cheshire Branches of Butterfly Conservation welcome all Lancashire members and their families and friends to attend any of the field trips they are planning.

see the Virtual-Lancaster Business Directory

Used to be called Transport 2000
The independent national body concerned with sustainable transport. It looks for answers to transport problems and aims to reduce the environmental and social impact of transport by encouraging less use of cars and more use of public transport, walking and cycling.

CPRE Lancashire — Campaign to Protect Rural England
We campaign for a beautiful and living countryside. We work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, and to ensure the countryside is protected for now and future generations.

Lancaster & District Conservation Volunteers
Set up in 1984 as an autonomous local group within the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (recently changed to The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)), we are now members of TCV's Community Network. We work to improve the quality of the local environment for community benefit. Some of our projects include tree planting and maintenance, fencing, drystone walling, hedge laying and footpath management.
Benefits of becoming a member include skills training, minibus pick-ups to and from work sites and working with a friendly group of volunteers of all ages.
Workdays are Sundays (usually fortnightly).
For further information telephone David & Liz Alexander (Project Organisers) 01524 412938 (evenings 7-9 pm).
See Virtual Lancaster's Events Calendar to keep up to date with our next work days' activities, or search our website for our current programme.

A Community Nature Reserve and a Community Green Space. In July 2013, a group was formed of members from the local community with the aim to renovate this nature reserve and sustain it in the future to allow the local community to use and enjoy this haven for wildlife and plants.

Lancaster having been a National Cycling Demonstration Town, there are so many cycling groups and organisations that they have their own section! Go to the cycling page

Formed to counter proposals to find a place somewhere in West Cumbria to dump High and Intermediate level radioactive waste. It will be close to the Lake District National Park, or even underneath it. Although it would create some jobs in the nuclear sector, it would threaten other parts of the local economy and our website provides you with a lot of information about the plans and
what you can do. We also have a facebook page.
Membership costs £1 - see website for details.

Housed in Lancaster Central Library, the Lancaster Seed Library is for local gardeners & growers to share & save seeds.

LESS: Promoting sustainable living
LESS is a Community Interest Company, set up in March 2007 to deliver practical projects supporting local people to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. We have lots of volunteering opportunities within the organisation, and work mainly in the areas of food growing and energy.
Current projects include:
Off the Ground: promoting local food growing including establishing community allotment site, and working with local schools, community groups and households to support people to grow their own food. This includes practical support as well as training.
Local food: producing a directory of local food and drink suppliers to support people to source local produce.
Home Energy Service: tackling affordable warmth and reducing carbon emissions across the district through energy efficiency measures. Through a team of specially trained volunteers, we offer:
   * Free independent advice on all aspects of home energy use including insulation, lighting, grants available and renewable options from our Energy Officer
   * Information on local suppliers and their ranges of products
   * Thermal imaging to help you spot where the heat is leaking out
   * Training in energy efficiency
   * Utility Bills Clinics—can help you save money through switching tariffs
LEAP Skerton: Helping to increase energy efficiency in homes in Skerton to help people reduce fuel costs and cut carbon emissions. This included energy appraisals and energy efficiency training for community organisations, home energy surveys and the creation of a demonstration ecohouse in a typical Victorian terrace.
Halton Carbon Positive!: Supporting carbon reduction activity in Halton funded through feed in tariffs from solar panels owned by LESS.
Thermal imaging Service: Providing thermal imaging for businesses, community organisations and householders to help identify where heat is lost and how to improve thermal performance and save energy.
For more information on any projects, volunteering opportunities or general matters of sustainability please email or visit or tel: 01524 66100

A local organisation dedicated to the protection and improvement of local green spaces, particularly (but not exclusively) around the Fairfield area of Lancaster.
Subgroups of the Fairfield Association include:
FAUNA (Fairfield Association Urban Nature Area), a nature reserve on a 16 acre site in Lancaster, between Abraham Heights and the Lancaster Canal.
Flora Fields 34 acres of biodiversity
Fairfield Millennium Green and Community Orchard
The Aldcliffe Road Triangle - Turning a neglected plot of canalside land into a pleasant green space for the benefit of the community

With nearby Garstang having the honour of being the world's—yes the world's—first Fairtrade town and Lancaster University being recently awarded a Fairtrade status, Lancaster is proving how people power can prevail.
The Lancaster and Morecambe District Fairtrade Group has an exhaustive directory listing cafés and retail outlets supplying Fairtrade products in Lancaster, Morecambe and District.
With increasingly horrific stories about the abuse, penury and even danger suffered by farmers and labourers in other parts of the world to produce cheap foods, drinks and flowers, think before you bite into that surprisingly cheap banana—and learn what the real cost is.
Contact: Ruth Self
tel: +44 (0)1524 36201
email: info[at]
For more details about Fairtrade and national Fairtrade suppliers, see the Fairtrade Foundation website.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury said (presumably thinking about the enslaved child workers on the Ivory Coast), 'If the chocolate isn't Fairtrade, don't buy it.'

We are a project set up to enable people with learning difficulties and support needs to create Lancaster & Districts's first 2-acre forest garden. We welcome volunteers. Our land is donated by GB Antiques. We are based at Lancaster Leisure Park. See background here. Visit us on facebook

Lancaster Morecambe Freegle is part of an online re-use network called FREEGLE formed in the UK as a friendly local alternative.
Freegle means Free Giving, Locally, Easily. There are already millions of people in the UK who offer unwanted household items for reuse by others, rather than dumping them.
The new Freegle site is open to everyone who wants to do their bit for the planet - just visit
Find us locally at

Campaign against hydraulic fracturing to extract shale oil gas (a process known as 'fracking'). See also
For local group email:

When and where?
North Lancs. FoE meets at 7.30 pm, on the 3rd Wed of every odd-numbered month. (Jan, March etc.). We meet in the Gregson Centre, 33 Moorgate, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 3PY. It's a relaxed meeting, as much social as business, where we can catch up and also talk about current campaigns, actions etc. You're sure to receive a warm welcome if you'd like to join us for the evening. We meet for about 1½ hours. The Gregson provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee and an excellent food menu. Please contact Paul to confirm the meeting and also if you'd like to meet up beforehand.
About this group
Friends of the Earth local volunteer groups work to improve the environment locally, nationally and internationally.
We're helping to:
 Connect more people with the environment.
 Persuade politicians, businesses and others
 to see things differently.
Contact details:
Paul Martyn, 4 Sylvester Street, Lancaster LA1 5DG
Tel.: Paul Martyn 01524 62146
Email form

Includes 'Bulky Matters'
Old Grand Garage, Thornton Road, Morecambe, LA4 5PB
Tel: 01524 426622
Recycling, Re-Use and Training Projects
In an increasingly disposable society, where thousand-pound kitchens are chucked out for the crime of being 'last season', it’s both refreshing and scary to see how many perfectly salvageable goods have been recycled and redistributed by this Morecambe based group.
They recruit hundreds of local volunteers by offering practical training opportunities in Domestic Appliance Repair, Warehousing and Distribution, First Aid, Health and Safety, Electrical Appliance Repair, Cycle Maintenance & Repair and Furniture Restoration & Repair and DIY. They have taken more than 150 trainees on New Deal placements and offered placements for over 120 people completing Community Punishment Orders, delivered safe cycling and cycle maintenance training to over 1000 young people and to date over 100 people have left Furniture Matters to go into full or part-time work and many more into higher education.
Funding: A registered charity; Lancaster Council, the Heritage fund and National lottery amongst others sponsor them.

Global Link DEC, YMCA, New Road, Lancaster, LANCS, LA1 1EZ
Tel (typetalk): +44 (0)1524 36201
Fax: +44 (0)1524 36201
Email form
Open to the public from 12:00 until 17:30 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment.
Global Link is a Development Education Centre (DEC) based in Lancaster in the UK. They run workshops, exhibitions, training, a resource centre and library and organise events in schools, colleges and the wider community on global citizenship issues such as human rights, diversity, refugees, fair trade and sustainable development. The website has a vast range of resources on subjects such as the slave trade in Lancaster and a fair trade directory.
They accept volunteers who assist in many ways, including the running of their many projects and exhibitions. Their most recent (Nov 2007) being 'Trucking with Climate Change'. They are famous for their in-truck exhibition experiences, this last also incorporating an interactive 'Climate Change Game'. They have a new Climate Change game apparently that fills a room and can be played by 30 people!

Green Lancaster is part of Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) and undertakes a number of environmental projects in partnership with the Facilities department at Lancaster University. The initiative was launched in the autumn of 2006 to better streamline environmental initiatives and actions across the university and to involve students in environmental projects both on campus and in the local community. A core part of the work is delivered through volunteer projects.
• To help staff and students make sustainable transport choices through providing information on cycling and walking and to run regular cycle sales and Dr Bike sessions on campus.
• To reduce the volume of re-usable items sent to landfill through the Exodus re-use project.
• To help the university with its Carbon reduction strategy.
• To engage students in a wide range of practical environmental projects, both on and off campus. This includes growing vegetables, tree planting and helping local community groups.
Contact the Green Lancaster team on:

Telephone: 01524 380169
Address: 4 Rossmoyne Road, Lancaster LA1 4SN
Lancaster and District Green Party is one of the most successful local Green Party groups in England with a total of 12 councillors. They have been very influential, succeeding in getting many new initiatives debated and implemented, and in blocking decisions which they believe would be harmful to the community and are currently actively opposed to the controversial Centros Miller development along the canal and the proposed supermarket in Scotforth amongst others.
Their website is filled to the brim with local issues and campaigns from endangered otters to environmental theatre performances.
They want people from all walks of life to join and to give a little or a lot from delivering their newsletters to becoming a Green councillor.
On a national basis the Green Party's main policies revolve around publicly funded education, free healthcare at the point of use, cheaper more accessible public transport, healthy local food resulting in stronger rural economies, clean green energy and a society that cares about animal rights and considers real progress being government as the servant, not the master.

Newground provides environmental and community services to a wide range of clients.
...for people — community projects, youth inclusion and education services.
...for places — landscape design, build and maintenance.
...for business — legislation updates, environmental consultancy and training.
We started working in Lancashire as one of the original Groundwork trusts in 1983, delivering environmental and community programmes that regenerated local communities and improved the lives of the people that lived there. In 2007 the three Groundwork Trusts in East Lancashire merged to form Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, so that we could increase the impact of the work we delivered.
In June 2013, Groundwork Pennine Lancashire became a member of the Together Housing Group, a leading provider of quality affordable and modern homes for rent across the North of England. The group's shared vision is 'to make a better future, together'.
On 27th September 2013, Groundwork Pennine Lancashire became Newground, to reflect both our growth geographically and the increased range of services that we offer.
Sustainability is at the core of everything that we do; it isn't an initiative or strategy — it's how we do business. The staff members that make up our three divisions are the foundation of our sustainable values and are committed to the continuous improvement of our performance.
As a social business, our profits are reinvested to build sustainable communities.
Contact details:
Newground, Bob Watts Building, 193 Bolton Road, Blackburn, Lancashire BB2 3GE
Tel.: 01254 265163
Email form

Contact: David Whitaker, Stirzakers Farm, Bayhorse
Lancaster LA2 0HS
Tel: 01524 751276
Mob: 07734134919
Hedgerows help to define the uniqueness of the British countryside and are an important wildlife habitat.
They require sympathetic management if we are to preserve them for future generations.
The National Hedge Laying Society is dedicated to improving the understanding of hedgerows and improving the standards of hedgerow management throughout the UK.

Bill Hogarth MBE Memorial Apprenticeship Trust
Contact: The Bill Hogarth MBE Memorial Apprenticeship Trust, c/o 93 Silverdale Road, Redmayne, Carnforth, LA5 9TD
Our aims:
1. To train apprentice coppice workers in coppice skills.
2. To promote the management of broadleaved woodland using environmentally sustainable methods which encourage bio-diversity.
3. To support the coppice industry in its endeavour to provide an economically viable use for our native woodland resource.
4. To raise public awareness of the coppice industry and provide enhanced opportunities for people to get involved.

Campaign group formed in response the city council's decision to deal exclusively on the Canal Corridor Development with clone town developers Centros Miller, without any tendering process and in opposition to the results of the consultation by the Real Planning for Lancaster team.

showing all local recycling centres and the materials they accept.

The main objective of the Trust is the restoration of the canal back to Kendal. In addition the Trust supports the development of the canal as a public amenity whilst at the same time seeking to protect the essential character of the canal. As a result of the efforts of the Trust many of the original structures have been protected, further losses of cruising waterway have been successfully resisted, notably in Preston, and improvements have been made to the towpath by erecting interpretative panels at various sites along the canal.

Lancaster City Council is required to focus on a wide area of environmental concerns. On their website can be found links to a range of different forums with tips, resources and links.

A not-for-profit local company that is building 41 eco-homes with shared communal facilities and land on a 6 acre brown-field site at Forge Bank, Halton, in the Lune Valley, three miles from Lancaster. The homes and flats are being built to the highest Passivhaus standards of insulation and will be one of, if not the, largest such project in Europe. Recycled materials are being used wherever possible and a lot of edgy sustainable energy tech is being built in. Due for completion in Autumn 2012.
To find out more, visit the website to see how you can become part of this scheme.

is a local group of individuals and organisations from the voluntary, community, public, private and faith sectors who work together in a positive way to promote sustainable activity in Lancaster district.
The Sustainability Partnership is also a partner in the Lancaster District Local Strategic Partnership (LDLSP) and works hard to deliver priorities around climate change set out in the LDLSP Sustainable Community Strategy.
The Wildlife Directory: Volunteering and conservation opportunities in Lancaster district. Seeking to protect and enhance local wildlife and landscapes, encourage the participation of conservation volunteers, and develop a directory of wildlife and environmental resources. or on 01524 582061.
The Recycling Forum aims to engage with local residents, organisations, businesses and visitors to promote recycling, re-use and waste minimisation. We are a group of committed individuals who meet on a regular basis in Morecambe and Lancaster to encourage recycling and waste reduction. The forum is open to everyone who agrees with our aims and objectives.
The Recycling Forum has compiled the local Recycling Directory aka The Little Book of Sustainable Living.
Whatever stuff you need to get rid of, that'll tell you the sustainable way to do it.
The Recycling Forum is one of the Topic Groups of the Lancaster District Sustainability Partnership.
If you want to get involved in the Forum, for example, attending meetings, helping at events or assisting in the development of the next Recycling Directory please contact the Secretary of the Recycling Forum, Jill Wesolowski at:
Please note that if you wish to attend a meeting but you are not on the Recycling Forum Committee you are required to join the Forum and advise of your attendance 7 days in advance.)
An online Recycling Directory is also available to help stop you panicking in a sea of different coloured glass and boxes or ring the local recycling helpline on 0800 0929705.
If you would like your recycling project or ideas to be included in it then contact Jill Wesolowski at Lancaster City Council on
The Sustainable Transport Forum is currently in abeyance. For more information please contact: Tel: 01524 582636
The Sustainable Energy Forum is the most recently formed group and seeks to promote a cost efficient and environmentally friendly way of life. An active group, responsible for setting up LESS (see above).
For more information please contact Alasdair Monteith
Tel: 01524582061
The forums meet regularly in Lancaster and Morecambe. For more info email:

Part of Lancaster University.

Lancaster Resource Centre aka The Basement
78a Penny Street, LA1 1XN
Open every Wednesday from 4-7pm.


Middlewood Centre Ecological Trust
Middle Wood, Backsbottom Farm, Roeburndale West, Lancaster, LA2 9LL.
Tel: 015242 21880
Middlewood Trust runs a study centre established to run environmental courses that would address the growing concern about long term damage to the environment.
Ecological buildings, low impact dwellings, alternative energy systems, and woodland crafts provide the basis for human and environmentally friendly living systems which form the main core of the courses. The residents and Middlewood Charitable Trust use these resources as a focus for sustainable development and through education help to create a future with a future. Permaculture principles and ethics act as the background for this project.
Middlewood Trust is located at Backsbottom Farm, a beautiful valley following the River Roeburn. It is a small organic hill farm, with species rich meadows, moorland, and an extensive area of native woodland and is privately owned by Dr. Rod Everett who founded this charity.
Take a virtual tour of Middlewood.

aims to enhance and protect the fields which lie between Barton Road and the cycle track which runs between Gressingham Drive and Bowerham Road in Lancaster.

See our page on recycling services

Transition City Lancaster's Arts group are holding Sewing Cafes at Lancaster library (back meetings room) from 2-5pm every Monday afternoon. This is a skills swap group: bring your sewing or textile project and finish it with the support of a friendly group or come and be inspired to start something new. No charge.

78a Penny Street, Lancaster LA1 4XN
Tel: 01524 63021
"Founded in 1976, Single Step is a non-profit making workers' co-operative. All workers equally responsible for running the shop and all receive the same pay. All the decisions are made by consensus. Single Step tries to follow ethical and environmental principles in the way it runs:
All products are vegetarian and most are vegan
None of the products are tested on animals
We try to keep our prices as low as possible
We stock many fairtrade products
We sell environmentally friendly products
We recycle and re-use as much as possible
We provide a 10% discount for senior citizens
We sell a wide range of organic products and try to keep our shop GM-free
Healthy eating is important to us. We focus on wholefoods and avoid unnecessary additives
We buy local produce and purchase many products in bulk, reducing costs and packaging
None of our fresh fruit or veg is air freighted
We sell tampons & sanitary towels at cost price and condoms at a discounted rate"
Upstairs is the Whale Tail Vegetarian Cafe, and below is the Basement - the Lancaster Resource Centre.

Want to get rid of an old blender but don’t want to chuck it away? Need a blender but short of cash / want to help recycle?
Then Lancaster Swapshop is for you. An eclectic and fascinating virtual cash free car boot blend of wants and offers guaranteed to empty / fill your house. And all for free!
‘There’s no such thing as junk, only stuff that hasn't found the right Person’
Such is the philosophy of Lancaster Swapshop, similar to but with more of an exchange philosophy, the exchange nine times out of ten being a bottle of organic red wine or chocolate in exchange for all manner of household objects. Everyone’s a winner!
You get a weekly email with a list of items offered and wanted.
To join, send an e-mail to

Thwaite Brow Woods Conservation Project
Contact name: Mr M D Harrington, 18 Whin Avenue, Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth, LA5 8HJ
Tel: 01524 735 587

The Transition Initiative is a grass roots community response to the reality of climate change and fuel shortages.
This is a transition from an economy with a high dependence on fossil fuels to a sustainable resilient way of life here in Lancaster. For more info on Peak Oil click here
We are working on an ‘Energy Descent Action Plan’ for the next 10 to 20 years.
Our vision is to inspire the creation of new groups and connect the many existing groups.
Transition City Lancaster is part of the Transition Network which has information on what’s happening nationally and internationally. Click here for details of the many TCL local events and groups.

The North West Transport Activists Roundtable (NW TAR) is one of eight regional roundtables run under the auspices of the Campaign for Better Transport (formerly Transport 2000). We are an umbrella organisation whose purpose is to promote sustainable transport and sustainable land use to government, sub-regional bodies and local authorities. We operate mainly by engaging in transport and planning policy work and by serving on a number of regional and sub-regional bodies, but we also hold about three open meetings a year.
Contact details:
• NWTAR, c/o Greater Manchester Transport Resource Unit, St Thomas Centre, Ardwick Green North, Manchester M12 6FZ
• Tel.: 0162 277 1014
• Email: nwtaremail[at]

TSLM, PO Box 146, Morecambe LA4 6WR.
Group set up to campaign against the construction of a Heysham-M6 road link via the Northern route (aka the Northern Bypass) and to seek alternative solutions to transport problems). Join Stop the Heysham-M6 Link Road on Facebook
TSLM was officially wound up at the AGM on 15/1/14. A new group is to be formed to monitor the construction process of the bypass and to attempt to hold the County Council to its promises and claims for the new construction contract, awarded to Tory donors Costain at local taxpayers expense.

Local group is the North Lancashire Naturalists' Group. Contact: John Holding (Secretary). Tel: 01524 852482.
Activites include indoor evening meetings at the Unitarian Church Hall, Scotforth, Lancaster and Outdoor Meetings, and Working parties (weather permitting).




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