It seems that Bude is always ahead of the curve when it comes to talking about the climate, with its many innovative community projects. So, it was not surprising to hear that the Bude Climate Partnership was to run a Community Jury on Climate Change in the autumn of 2023. Storylines were delighted to witness some of this process and we are now working on producing a series of digital stories that share some of the Jury members experiences. Community Juries are a really exciting concept and it’s been fascinating to hear about it first-hand.
A Community Jury involves bringing together a group that are representative of a community* to make important decisions about the future of their community. Encompassing ages from 16-86 years and diverse in terms of genders, backgrounds and opinions, the Bude Community Jury met for an intensive 30 hours to consider a very important question relevant to their community. That question was… How do we respond to a changing climate, including sea level rise, to support our community to thrive?
To help answer this question, over a series of 5 days, community members witnessed presentations from lead experts in fields such as sea level rise, emissions, and climate adaptation. They also heard from inspiring local change makers and the Budehaven School Mini-Jury which ran alongside the Community Jury. Through sensitive facilitation by Shared Future, the group were guided through discussions and activities, supporting them to work as a forum and have their say on the direction their community might take in the face of a changing climate. At the end of the process, they came up with a set of recommendations that would hopefully represent the democratic voice of Bude /Stratton. So, NO pressure then!!!
Recording Jury members’ experiences
We could easily have chosen any one of the people who’d been through this intensive process, but our task was to choose 6 participants to share their experiences. This past month we have thoroughly enjoyed sitting down with each of these to capture in-depth and honest accounts of the process and how it has impacted their viewpoints, personal lives and actions going forward.
Everyone we spoke to was open and happy to share their experiences. It was very clear that none of them had any regrets about being part of the process, even if at the very start of it most of them had felt anxious and out of their comfort zone. The reasons for wanting to be part of the jury were fascinating in themselves. A couple were already involved in work around climate, horticulture and conservation, others just felt it was time to give back in some way to their community. The overarching reason most of them gave was their love of Bude and their desire to make changes in the face of climate change.
As with all experiences, everyone comes away with their own unique perspective and feelings, and it was striking to hear some of these. One thing that was clear was how privileged people felt to be part of the process and get to know other jury members from a broad section of society. Indeed many Jury members are now getting involved in relevant community projects and deciding how best to harness the power and motivation of this unique group.
A big thank you to those who shared so openly with us and for their hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with everyone (and their pets who certainly had their own opinions to share and featured loudly on the recordings!). We’re now busy editing away, so watch this space!
Intrigued to learn more?
If you want to learn more about the Bude Area Community Jury on Climate Change then there’s lots of information on their website. The recommendations were recently revealed at a ground-breaking community launch and can be seen here. These recommendations will now be taken to statutory bodies such as Cornwall Council and even further to the governmental departments which determine policy. The Community Jury was funded by the Climate Action Fund of The National Lottery Community Fund.
*In August 2023, every household in the Bude / Stratton area and the 10 surrounding parishes received an invitation to be part of the Community Jury. Of the 8,500 residents, 170+ people registered an interest and eventually 40 people were selected to represent the demographic makeup of the wider Bude area.