Glastonbury ask: 'Love The Farm, Leave No Trace'

Michael Eavis pegs down his pledge

Glastonbury ask: 'Love The Farm, Leave No Trace'

13 March 2008

The festival's founder has asked fans to buy into his dream of keeping Glastonbury at the forefront of environmental awareness.

He showed off the biodegradable pegs that he hopes will save the lives of cows on his farms, many of which have in the past perished after swallowing metal pegs left behind.

And he challenged Glastonbury goers to help respect the land he has spent his life cultivating, with the slogan 'Love The Farm - Leave No Trace'.

Inviting journalists onto Worthy Farm, Michael laid out a series of measures designed to protect the area and the wider envirnonment.

Generators using biodiesel fuels are to be significantly increased, wood is to be sourced from forest certified sources, all traders will be instructed to use wooden cutlery, compostable material and energy saving lightbulbs, while 15,000 recycling bins will be laid out.

Fans arriving will be given 10 biodegradable tent pegs to save the hooves and stomachs of cows returning from their festival break and cotton bags will be handed out to carry programmes, instead of the traditional plastic.

More than 100 Green Police will patrol the site to discourage harmful activity, including urinating in streams, while wildlife sanctuaries are being created to protect birds and animals over the festival period.

There will also be even more of a push to promote public transport. Last year almost a third (47,500) of people arrived and left by buses and trains, with many more adhering to the festival's car share scheme.

A statement made by Michael Eavis on Glastonbury's website read:

"Glastonbury Festival was founded in 1970, long before people began to become concerned about climate change. Yet even then all the milk and the cider and the straw came from the farm. We were “green” then, and we are just as green now.
 
These days, of course, everyone has woken up to the fact that we really have to do something about protecting the environment and reducing our impact on it. But, as a Festival, we’ve been highlighting new – and sometimes unpopular – ideas about the issue for as long as I can remember. Different ways of looking at and doing things, which we always hoped people would take notice of.
 
Glastonbury Festival has always been the first to host “alternative” solutions to environmental concerns, and over time, we’ve watched as those “alternatives” have become mainstream.
 
In fact, to me, one of the greatest benefits of Glastonbury Festival has been in giving people the chance to “open their eyes” and see something better, even if it is only for one weekend in the year.
 
We hope that we can continue to lead the way by making Glastonbury as green and as sustainable as we are able to, given the restrictions of the site, and also by spreading the word to Festival goers about what will really make a difference to the environment.
 
And, as always, the work begins at home here at Worthy Farm.
 
My family have farmed this land for generations – since the 1860s when they walked here with their cows from Dorset to set up at Park Farm – and looking after the fields and the hedges and the livestock has always been our number one concern.
 
I’m really excited about today's launch of the biodegradable tent pegs. First because they’re guaranteed to disintegrate naturally in the soil, and this will reduce the risk of injury to the cows, who can die if they eat bits of metal tent peg that have been turned into spears by the harvesters.
 
Second, because it’s a new idea that will grow and spread into other areas. Who would have thought that we could have tent pegs that don’t cause lasting environmental damage on sale in a High Street shop? It’s another important step towards changing our attitudes.
 
Our big campaign this year is ‘Love The Farm… Leave No Trace’ because, for me, that’s what life here is all about.
 
We have to work as hard as we can on the practical things: today, we are releasing a whole list of environmental issues that we are addressing on site, from encouraging people to travel by public transport right through to great new initiatives on recycling and more efficient ways of powering the festival activities.
 
Our aim is to get 40,000 people travelling to Glastonbury by coach and train this year – nearly a third of all Festival goers. If we can get people to think about how they are using their cars for the rest of the year too we’ll have taken another step forward.
 
Today, just as much as in 1970, we have to work hard on our message. Glastonbury Festival is a Midsummer celebration of life and joy, but we must not lose sight of our undertaking to achieve the best possible balance of nature and resources.

Michael Eavis
Worthy Farm
March 2008

 

 

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