Alton’s second Eco-Fair, run jointly by Alton Town Council and Alton Climate Action Network (ACAN), was held in the Public Gardens last Sunday.
It was opened by Alton town mayor Cllr Ben Hamlin, who stressed the need for everyone to do what they can to tackle the climate crisis for the sake of their grandchildren.
He was followed by Lillie Ewins, whose passionate plea for action at the first Eco-Fair two years ago moved her audience deeply. She has since helped to found, and led, Young ACAN, involving hundreds of local children and teenagers in the fight against climate catastrophe.
This time her theme was ‘Climate Anxiety’ and how the only cure was action. Jenny Griffiths of ACAN thanked Lillie for her “outstanding service” and presented her with a small gift.
The motto of this year’s fair was ‘Celebrating Earth-Friendly Living’. Some stalls focused on celebrating and cherishing wildlife, including church grounds, birds, bats, hawks and lichen.
Other stalls encouraged people to get out and enjoy the natural world, and gave advice on reducing carbon emissions – a solar-powered electric train set proved even Thomas the Tank Engine did not need fossil fuels.
The Re-Use Zone was a popular attraction. Many visitors were already doing their best to reduce and recycle, and here they found new ideas and contacts to help them further.
The mayor stressed the “vital and urgent importance” of action now to pass on a sustainable planet to the younger generations, who were well represented at the event.
A large marquee swarmed with insects thanks to a face-painting stall, and there was a sculpture and collage competition, a poetry workshop, story-telling and singing,
A spokesperson said: “Visitors loved the event and welcomed the opportunity to learn from it. Eventually even the sun came out!”