The Fleece Inn, Bretfordton, is partnering with the National Trust to become temporarily known as the Green Man between 26 September and 2 October. It will host a series of green-themed activities to mark the Great Big Green Week – a nationwide celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.
The Fleece Inn owner Nigel Smith said: “Talking about climate change is often avoided because it is a complex and serious topic, and this week-long initiative is not only about getting people to start talking more often about it, but to take something away that they can do in their own life to make a positive difference to the environment.
“We’re excited to be working with a prestigious organisation such as the National Trust on this as we look to share our hopes, fears and ideas for what should be done to protect our green and pleasant land.”
A series of events
On 26 September, the community is invited to discuss climate change over a bowl of chips, while the following day at 7pm, Purity Brewing, Shakespeare Distillery and Tom Cumberland will reveal how they are creating low-carbon drinks.
A talk on how to retrofit older houses in an environmentally-friendly way will be given by TV presenter Charlie Luxton and the National Trust at 7pm on 28 September, and the following day will see folk music, poetry and comedy at the pub.
There will also be a three-hour long community celebration on the week culminating on 1 October, where visitors can meet local people helping to tackle climate change.
Helen Peters, chief executive of Shakespeare’s England, which aims to attract tourism to south Warwickshire, added: “Ongoing efforts are being made to help our members play their part in making our region a leading green tourism destination – and this week of action by the Fleece Inn is a great way of helping to inspire others to play their part in becoming more sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint.
“Some businesses have already taken steps that will provide long-term support to the environment, such as restaurants using vegetable produce they have grown themselves through to other attractions launching ‘no mowing’ zones, and it’s important that these seeds of green enthusiasm are sown in as many places now in order to have a meaningful impact.”
National Trust climate campaigns manager Joel Silver said one of the most powerful things that could be done in combating climate change was talking about it, which was the idea behind the Green Man’s initiative.
“The climate crisis can feel overwhelming, but the small actions we take as individuals, and the conversations we have with each other, can help achieve big changes and show governments and businesses what kind of action is needed,” he added.
It’s been a big month for the Fleece Inn. On Saturday 24 September, the pub hosted a Nigel Night, where hundreds of people called Nigel travelled from as far as Texas and Zimbabwe to celebrate the name.
It is the second time operator Nigel Smith has staged the event in a bid to stop the UK running out of Nigels, after the name became officially extinct according to birth records in 2016 and 2020.
Some 372 Nigels turned up – just shy of the record-breaking 432 who joined in 2019. “However,” said Smith, “we are not downhearted. It was a great night, it was a great party and we will be making a further record attempt in 2025.”
Looking to the 2025 meetup, Smith had his sights set on bringing in Nigels from across Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“One continent at a time, we will conquer,” he said.