York Environment Week Hosts a Wider Range of Events Than Ever Before

This year’s York Environment Week (YEW) has engaged the people of York in a wide range of events celebrating and protecting our environment. In its fourth year, YEW has offered a bigger programme than ever before, featuring 60+ environment-focused activities across York – with more still to come.

YEW is an annual city-wide festival aimed at showcasing and celebrating the work of environment groups active in York. It offers groups and organisations the opportunity to work together to promote environmental activity. The programme is for anyone who cares about tackling climate change, increasing biodiversity and making the city more sustainable, offering opportunities to connect and get involved.

This year’s events have ranged from talks to film screenings to hands-on workshops. Highlights included the opportunity to learn about the connections between different parts of the living world in the Biodiversity Collage workshop; nature walks that invited participants to slow down and notice the wildlife on their doorsteps; and a series of interactive educational events run by the University of York. There were also events that made important links between the climate and ecological crisis and other issues, such as linking climate action to the trade union movement and exploring how the environmental movement can be made more inclusive. And the programme went beyond science and politics, exploring how the arts have an equally important role to play.

Many of these themes were brought together on Saturday 30 September at the People’s Assembly. This event, co-organised by Extinction Rebellion York and Yorkshire CND, invited citizens to get involved in participatory democracy. Around 100 people gathered to have their say on how York should respond to the climate and ecological emergency. They came up with suggestions for how to improve the city’s housing, transport and biodiversity, as well as how to hold local politicians to account.

Adam Myers, a member of the YEW 2023 organising team, said: “What has been a joy for me in York Environment Week has been the increase in diversity of events happening under that umbrella. The importance of diversity in healthy ecosystems is mirrored in the need for diversity in approaches to engagement with nature and solutions to the crisis we are living through.”

Even though the central week is over, there are still plenty of events to enjoy. On Tuesday 3 October, York Green Business Forum is providing a space for businesses to learn about how to make their activities more sustainable. And for those who have been inspired by the People’s Assembly, there’s a chance to engage with local politics at Friends of the Earth’s Q&A with Councillors Kent and Ravilious on Wednesday 4 October. The programme closes on 14 October with St Nicks Autumn Fayre, an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and celebrate nature’s harvest.