GREEN-MINDED Swindonians learned how to make their lifestyle more environmentally-friendly as the Eco Fest returned.

Visitors enjoyed an interesting of array of eco-friendly activities, live music, talks and stalls along Old Town’s Savernake Street. The hall was packed with people browsing stalls selling local produce, serving up vegan food, and promoting local organisations like Renew Men’s Shed, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, and Bee Roads.

Simon Smith from the Swindon Climate Action Network co-organised the event with Caroline Davies-Khan from the Eastcott Community Organisation. Simon said: “This year we saw a bit of a different audience who weren’t lifelong environmentalists, but wanted to know how they could make changes to their lives which could benefit the planet, which is exactly who we want to reach out to. This event is our biggest by far.”

Caroline said: “The Eco Fest grows every year and we try to make it different each time. The theme was Your Eco Lifestyle and it’s great to see so many people want to make a difference.”

Artist Lisa Lane taught visitors young and old how to recycle rubbish to make colourful collages. She said: “I’ve been making art for 10 years and like to get involved in events like this around Swindon. I had quite a few children making arts and crafts at my stall, which was nice, they were really creative.

“You create something out of nothing in a way, using old cereal packets, sweet wrappers, tissue paper, and anything else you can get your hands on, all mixed with paint and other materials to make new art.”

Lydiard Park Academy student Lewis Caple, 11, tried his hand at it. He said: “I enjoy art lessons at school and doing model work. I used the wrappers to create a nice texture with a tree as the centrepiece.”

Millie Carmichael and Glynnis Hales dressed as bees to highlight the plight of insects affected by pesticides and climate change. Glynnis said: “We gave away seeds and plants encourage people to look after their gardens and attract wildlife.It’s not just bees being affected - hundreds of other species of insects are at risk.

“People want to do something good for the environment so we advise them on how doing lots of little things on a local level can make a big difference.