About New Leaf

What is New Leaf?

New Leaf is a not-for-profit co-operative & charity working in Herefordshire. We work with businesses, individuals, community groups, housing associations and statutory bodies around the county to help people to access the networks, finances and support they need to generate practical actions towards sustainability.

While the outcome of New Leaf’s work was originally measured in the ability of Herefordshire to achieve carbon reduction targets, our focus is increasingly on the development of holistic sustainable solutions that will maximise benefits to the local economy and community.
Tell me more …

Initiated by Herefordshire Environment Partnership back in 2010, New Leaf is an independent Community Benefit Society (BenCom). BenComs are incorporated industrial and provident societies that operate for the benefit of their community (In our case the “community” is the residents of Herefordshire). Any surplus created by BenComs are not distributed among members, or external shareholders, but reinvested to benefit the community

In common with all co-operatives, New Leaf is regulated by and reports to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

To read about some of New Leaf’s projects to date, click here.

Who are New Leaf?

For the past 6 years New Leaf has been a team of three dedicated colleagues developing many and varied projects in the county. Now New Leaf is growing… and we are gradually welcoming into the team a number of people who for the past 6 years have played important but more peripheral roles. All of those who work with New leaf are paid via funding for the specific projects they are involved with. All share the management and day-to-day running of the organisation.

Rob Garner’s career has been mostly in business, including 14 years as Group HR Director for HP Bulmer plc. More recently, Rob was instrumental in forming New Leaf in 2010. He formed New Leaf after over ten years’ association with the Bulmer Foundation in various capacities including trustee, Chief Executive and Strategic Associate. Rob has been Chair of Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership since 2009 and was designated as a “Green Leader” by Sustainability West Midlands in 2011. Rob has a key role with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust in the management of Queenswood & Bodenham Lake sites.

Kate Gathercole has a lifelong interest in sustainable development and environmental issues. Kate has enjoyed a wide range of work over the past 20 years including experience in health care, the creation and management of a local charity, welfare rights advice and counselling. Kate also sings in local folk bands and loves spending time in the woods and hills of beautiful Herefordshire. Kate is currently on a sabbatical from the day-to-day work of New Leaf, but continuing to support the Herefordshire Green Network, and to develop “Make Do & Mend” workshops with local communities in collaboration with Big Skill.

Stan Gyford is a newcomer to New Leaf, but has been working with Rob Garner for nearly three years to secure the future of Queenswood and Bodenham Lake under the management of New Leaf and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust He is by background a civil engineer but has worked at director level for both public and private sector organisations.He is looking forward to working with a group whose aims and style he feels will lead to real improvements in sustainability in Herefordshire. His particular interests are Queenswood and Bodenham lake, and the proposed solar PV project on the old landfill site at Stretton Sugwas. He sees Queenswood in particular as an ideal site to demonstrate to the public, practical examples of how retrofitting old buildings can lead to improvements in sustainability by reducing the use of energy and other resources such as water.

Jaime Jackson came to work with New Leaf because of our shared and mutual interests in projects that engage people, communities, and organisations to grow and survive by learning about natural models of sustainability, biodiversity, and process based biomimicry. Jaime’s current work for New Leaf aims to explore the gap, distance and separation from the natural heritage world that many people experience today- particularly in busy metropolis, by staging digital and traditional interventions in this gap and re-imagine or re‐connect these primordial connections with nature via modern tools. Jaime is a project manager for New Leaf, specialising in participatory practice and artist film-making, engaging communities in digital environmental projects.

Dave Prescott is a sustainability professional with 15 years’ experience at international and local levels on issues ranging from local economic development to human rights. He is the third director of New Leaf, helping to coordinate projects on renewable energy and energy saving, as well as h.Energy. Dave helped to establish Transition Hay-on-Wye and is a musician with Cherryshoes. He lives in Clifford, near Hay-on-Wye, with his wife and two young daughters.

Temi Odurinde is a sustainability practitioner, with interest in the role of small local businesses in sustainable development. He is also interested in using sustainability as a vehicle, for helping to alleviate water poverty in developing communities in Africa. He enjoys natural beekeeping; an interest he thinks could help promote biodiversity.

Bym Welthy and Peter Norton are also regular contributors to our team, and through specific project funding we have also regularly worked with a number of other professionals locally including, Amy Nicholass, Mary Burton, Ali Straker, Pete Linnell, Richard Priestley, Nick Sherwood, Shirley Garner,and Di Kamp. We also work in partnership with a wide range of organisations and receive extensive input from local volunteers including students and graduates.

What is New Leaf’s relationship with Herefordshire Council?

For five years (April 2011 – April 2016) we have had a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to deliver a number of activities for Herefordshire Council. Working primarily with the Energy and Environmental Management team (previously called the Waste and Sustainability team), these activities include:

Re-Energise Herefordshire – a Charter and accompanying action plan for the county to reduce its carbon emissions
h.Energy – an annual showcase of sustainable energy saving activity initiated by New Leaf in 2010
Work with local communities including the Herefordshire Green Network (an alliance of more than 40 environmental groups across the county) to raise awareness of energy saving opportunities and sustainable lifestyle choices.

What other income does New Leaf have?

Like most organisations in the voluntary sector we are increasingly dependent of a broad variety of sources for our revenue. We are developing new projects on a continuous basis and seeking funding to carry them out.

Over the past 6 years New Leaf has received project funding from a number of bodies, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Big Lottery, WRAP and CSE (the Centre for Sustainable Energy). All of our accounts are publicly available from the FCA website.

New Leaf Aims

The ambition of New Leaf is to achieve the long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability of Herefordshire.

New Leaf aims to

act as a catalyst for change
engage Herefordshire’s diverse communities in building and realising a shared and just vision of a sustainable future
establish effective and equitable structures and systems to realise that vision
build on the strengths and achievements of the county and its communities

Three parallel actions or challenges underpin the work of New Leaf:

Influencing public policy in favour of sustainable development
Raising public awareness of climate change, peak oil and broader sustainability issues
Encouraging and supporting individuals, organisations and communities in their own endeavours to devise and implement practical changes to make Herefordshire a more sustainable county

Underpinning our work are the three basic Permaculture values: earth care, people care, fair share. New Leaf’s approach to process is based in Appreciative Inquiry.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or if you are embarking on an initiative and would like some advice or support. We would also be happy to connect you up with others working in a similar way around the county, for your mutual benefit. Contact: hello@herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk

If you would like to link to our website from yours click here to access the relevant html to provide a small image with a link to our home page.

To read our most recent Newsletter and find out what we are currently up to, and to get an overview of recent activity in the county, please click here.