In September, Carreen, Eileen and Sarah joined nearly 300 other NWR members from all over the UK for the annual NWR conference held this year in Newcastle. The intrepid Leeds trio enjoyed four days of organised activities, long chats, yummy food and lots of opportunities for exchanging ideas with other NWR members.
The conference provided low-cost accommodation, a programme of stimulating speakers, workshops, and optional excursions. Carreen’s favourite was the coach trip she took to learn about and walk near Hadrian’s Wall. Eileen, as a keen gardener, was entranced and dismayed by a workshop entitled ‘The invasion beneath our feet’. It was about the threat posed by Antipodean flatworms to native earthworms. She discovered that the invaders cause reductions in soil fertility, crop quantity and crop quality and are a risk to our food security. The workshop was led by an NWR member with a background in biological research who had taken part in a nationwide research project from her back garden. Sarah’s conference high light was a fascinating talk by Lucy Adlington, a clothes historian, based around her latest book, ‘The Dressmakers of Auschwitz’. It tells the true story of a group of mainly Jewish women and girls, inmates of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, who worked as dressmakers, producing high-quality garments for elite Nazi women.
Next year’s NWR conference will be in Nottingham in September 2023. (Dates to be confirmed).