Anyone interested in the village of Freshford in England and also in Ireland who is concerned with our ability to sustain our present ability to live, and our children to thrive, into the future should be interested in this document. The conclusions are reprinted below.
I believe that Freshford Parish Council England has statistics that can be compared to those collected in Freshford Co. Kilkenny. I have mislaid my document with the summaries of the UK Freshford survey, but, I believe that there is a remarkable similarity.
The researchers from the University of Limerick chose Freshford Co. Kilkenny a small village typical of many in Ireland as such villages had been left out of national sustainable development research to date (in Ireland, and probably here). I suspect that the situdation in Ireland is similar to that in England. And likewise the probable effects on sustainability not only in Ireland but also in England are to be noted.
The question is what can we do?
The research document can be accessed here:
EXAMINING MATERIAL FLOWS IN FRESHFORD,
CONCLUSIONS (from that research)
The current trends of personal transport in the small settlement of Freshford indicate unsustainable patterns of resource use are facilitating the residents’ requirements. Contributing factors include the
location of services such as employment, shopping and recreational services and the transport modes with which these services are accessed. The implications of these findings, especially if mirrored in
other small settlements nationwide, represent a challenge for policymakers to combat the unsustainable patterns of personal transport emerging from small settlements like Freshford.
The title of the research:
EXAMINING MATERIAL FLOWS IN FRESHFORD, CO. KILKENNY: AN ANALYSIS OF HOUSEHOLD TRANSPORT CONSUMPTION
Pauline Ryan, Bernadette O’Regan and Richard Moles
This research proposes to advance the pursuit of sustainable development in small Irish settlements by means of exploring the link between materials consumption and sustainability in a small settlement setting. This initiative will facilitate a pattern of development and esource use promoting positive effects on our current supply of natural capital. Natural capital, defined as stocks of natural assets, facilitates our materials consumption, and a criterion for sustainability is now deemed to be non-declining natural capital, thus enabling material flows to be maintained indefinitely (Hinterberger et al. 1997, p2;
Bartelmus 1999, p159). The consumption component of personal transport has been accounted for in Freshford, Co. Kilkenny. Ecological footprint (EF) analysis was applied as a tool to indicate the sustainability of current transport patterns within the settlement. The results have indicated that reliance on the private car to facilitate the majority of journeys is the primary contributing factor to unsustainable transport patterns in the settlement.
When I have more time I will provide my views on this research and its relationship to Freshford in the UK. In the mean time apart from reviewing Irish research one might care to enjoy traditional Irish music at a neighbouring village pub: The Fox and Badger in Wellow, Somerset, BA2 8QG.
Irish music is on every Sunday night, and the food is very good and reasonably priced.