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What Is Planet Shaftesbury?

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We are local people and groups who share a concern about climate breakdown and the ecological emergency.  We all feel driven to respond in our own way. Coming together we make up a network willing to share skills and experience. Planet Shaftesbury stands with anyone who cares about our planet. We seek changes that will contribute to nature's recovery and enable us to adopt more sustainable lifestyles for ourselves and across the Shaftesbury area. 

We are not a membership organisation.  Anyone who shares any part of our concerns is welcome. Our activities provide a catalyst for making productive connections. Our meetings support collaboration. This website and our newsletter provide continuity of support to the network. 

Artwork by Phyllis Wolff

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How it all began

Planet Shaftesbury formed over winter 2018/19, after the idea for an umbrella environmental and climate concerns group came about in the previous autumn. Following a very well attended talk in Shaftesbury Friends Meeting House from Extinction Rebellion (XR), it was clear that local people had concerns about the climate and ecological crisis. Not everyone felt drawn to the type of action that XR were planning, be that because travelling to London wasn’t feasible, or because they didn’t feel like XRs use of non-violent civil disobedience to highlight demands on the government was right for them. So while the Shaftesbury Extinction Rebellion group formed and started joining in actions aiming for climate justice, Planet Shaftesbury also formed to support people wanting to respond to their concern by encouraging positive changes locally. During 2019 Shaftesbury Town Council agreed to support us in kind by letting us use the Town Hall free of charge for our monthly meetings.

How does the organisation work?

Planet Shaftesbury has a flat organisation structure with minimal hierarchy. There is no organising group or committee. Circles or subgroups of people with a common interest can form as they want to in order to work together. We started with just a few guiding principles:

  • help others to join in

  • demonstrate mutual respect

  • enjoy yourself

  • set realistic goals for what's achievable in short/medium/long term

During our first year we had two special meetings, open to all, to review how this was working for us. (Blog articles: first meeting, second meeting). Each meeting highlighted scope for changes that have improved our combined effectiveness.

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