Education and Public Affairs Events and Competitions

Red Alert!

What a fantastic evening we had at the Federation Quiz at the County Showground. The room looked wonderful with the     tables awash with red – and messages highlighting the  issues around the climate crisis as well as what we can do to make a positive difference.

The winners, who will hold the Knighton Challenge Shield,  were Rolleston-on-Dove WI

Sue Fraser, Liz Murphy, Diane Johns and Ann Cook.

The runners-up who will hold the Val Smith Memorial Trophy were Great Haywood WI

Jenny Fletcher, Christine Hill, Tracey Nixon and Catherine      Lancaster.

The winners of the Best Dressed Table were Brocton WI (A)

Lorna Francis, Margaret Booth, Jenny Bennett and                Mary Richards.

Congratulations to those Teams and well done to everyone who took part. 

Many thanks to all the volunteers who ensured that it was a fun evening

The Future of Trees & Leaves 

We know that the Climate Emergency is said to be the greatest threat to the planet and we are looking to science as the way to avert disaster. But did you know that important science is happening right here in Staffordshire to help with the understanding of how trees will react to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) near Norbury Junction is a world-leading centre on how climate change and new invasive pests and diseases will have on forests, a major source of carbon capture and storage.

Ladies from Women’s Institutes across Staffordshire were given a guided tour of the facility this month by Deanne Brettle, a member of the Birmingham University’s Team that runs the facility and their experiments which are conducted at Mill Haft. Mature trees are subjected to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and data is collected from every aspect of the forest environment  – photosynthesis, tree growth, leaf litter, soil microbes, plants, fungi, insects and wildlife. In fact everything  is monitored and scrutinised – under controlled conditions which is some feat given that it is in a natural forest. 

The visit was organised by the Staffordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Education & Public Affairs Committee. Chairman Karen Sulway summed up the visit as a fascinating insight into the complex subject of how trees and their leaves will evolve and impact on other facets of the environment. It brought home to the group how everything is intertwined and how every action has many effects.  

The BIFoR facility opened in 2017 and will operate for 10 years. Early indications show that trees can adapt to increased carbon dioxide, at least in the short term.