South Hams Climate Change and Biodiversity Newsletter November 2022

Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency

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November 2022

Reducing our Carbon Footprint and increasing Biodiversity

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. This is a place for us to update you on what we are doing at South Hams District Council and what things are going on around the district.

It will tell you what's going on nationally and things you, our residents and businesses can be doing to reduce your carbon footprint and manage your land to improve the environment and its biodiversity.

If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter, contact our Climate Change Specialist by email here.

Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest Expanded

tree planting

The Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest (PSDCF) is one of England’s newest Community Forests and a partnership project between Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council, National Trust and Woodland Trust.

The project aims to deliver 500 hectares of new woodland by March 2025 and is funded by 'Trees for Climate' until March 2025 as part of the Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 'Nature for Climate' fund which is being delivered by England’s Community Forests.

The boundary of the PSDCF has been extended further into South Hams offering potential support to many more landowners and communities to develop and undertake woodland creation (see the eligible area in full detail by clicking the link to this map). This support will cover numerous planting types, including large-scale woodland creation through to hedgerows, agroforestry, and other small-scale planting below one hectare.

The grant scheme has just started to welcome applications, with funding available until 2025 for woodland creation (including design, planning and planting advice, support for fencing, gates, paths as well as trees themselves), with ongoing funding to support the maintenance of the trees.

The PSDCF are also hosting two online events over the next week offering an opportunity to learn more about the funding that is available to eligible landowners within the project on Wednesday 9 November at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 12 November at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Anyone interested can register using the following link: Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest | Eventbrite

If you know of a landowner, farmer, Parish Council, school or community that may be interested, please encourage them to either register for the event, or contact the PSDCF team to arrange a discussion of their plans at

Devon Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy Public Consultation

electric car

Devon County Council is holding a public consultation to collect the views of the public, local businesses, and wider stakeholders on the Devon Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy.

The consultation will be open between 9 November to 16 December 2022.

How to take part

Complete the consultation questionnaire on the consultation

Attend the virtual consultation webinar to hear from project officers about the
details of the Devon Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy.

Public Webinar: 22 November 2022 at 6 p.m.

Businesses/Organisations Webinar: 6 December 2022 at 6 p.m.

To complete the questionnaire or register for a webinar, please visit the consultation webpage from 9 November at or contact them using the details below.


Write to: Transport Planning, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

Phone: 0345 155 1004

Bigbury Net Zero Home Energy Events


Following a successful bid to South Hams District Council's Climate Engagement Fund earlier this year, Bigbury Net Zero have begun a project around household energy conservation.

The aims of the project are to raise the awareness of householders about the physical locations of energy losses in the structure of their homes, through the use of a simple thermographic imaging camera on loan from South Hams District Council.

Bigbury Net Zero will be able to offer a thermographic survey to households in and around the Bigbury area to inform them where your heat loss is, so that you can reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

Current Scheduled Events

  • Wednesday 16 November, Bigbury Memorial Hall, 7.30 p.m.
  • Thursday 17 November, Ringmore W.I. Hall, 7.30 p.m
  • Wednesday 23 November, Kingston Reading Room, 7.30 p.m

More dates and locations to come soon. Contact Henry Wainright on for more information.

Events and Webinars


Winter Waders

Thursday 10 November, 6 p.m to 7 p.m

Devon Local Nature Partnership is hosting a free online webinar featuring a talk from a local bird enthusiast and member of RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and more, Grant Sherman.

Grant will introduce viewers to the impressive and charismatic wading birds that fly great distances to Devon over the winter. He will discuss where in Devon is best to visit these birds, how you can get there via public transport, what you will see and hear when you're there, as well as some interesting facts about some of his favourite species.

Some of Britain's winter waders include avocets, oystercatchers, lapwings and sanderlings.

Visiting these birds is a lovely activity to enjoy over the winter; why not join this webinar and find out more?

Click here to find out more and book your spot for the webinar.

Decarbonise Devon Launch

18 November 2022 from 11 a.m – 2 p.m at the Exeter Community Centre Ballroom, 17 St David's Hill, Exeter EX4 3RG.

Decarbonise Devon is being launched with funding from Devon County Council and the support of community energy organisations across the county.  It will offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for businesses in Devon that wish to implement energy-saving measures, with support from local experts through the whole process of developing and implementing a project.

Businesses are increasingly concerned about how they will manage rising energy costs, and many want to play their part in reducing carbon emissions as the UK moves towards net zero by 2050.  Reducing energy use by installing technologies such as solar panels, high-efficiency lighting, heating upgrades and insulation, is a very effective way to address both these concerns.

To find out more about the launch event and register, click the link below.


Sustainable South Hams Events

SSH Community Group Leaders' Monthly Gathering. Wednesday 9 November 10.30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This event is a chance to share experiences and inspiration, and to collaborate over exciting new projects in the South Hams. SSH is here to help you develop ideas, find partners and give you the support you need to make a difference in your community. This free event takes place at Heron Valley Cafe, Loddiswell, TQ7 4EA. Click here button for more information.

The Gentle Art of Volunteering. The Hillyfield, Harbourneford, South Brent, TQ10 9DU. 

The suggested price for this event is £15, but you are welcome to select a free ticket or offer a donation of what you feel able to pay.

Join SSH at The Hillyfield to discuss and share skills around making volunteering personal, enriching and fulfilling for all involved.

A unique and award-winning woodland farm on Dartmoor, The Hillyfield is seeking to become a viable woodland enterprise through sustainable principles of land management.

Owner Doug King Smith will tell us about his own journey as a volunteer and what it entails. Using The Hillyfield as an example, he’ll explain how the reciprocity of volunteering is empowering and transformative.

He will describe how volunteering is an exchange - it’s not just free labour. It can provide purpose, new skills, as well as being fundamental to achieving a dream or personal development. All you need is willingness and adaptability.

The second speaker, Ben Stollery, has discovered that he learns by doing. His focus is on how we have conversation using open ended questions, seeking to draw people out to a common ground.

How can we talk about our voluntary work - or even the climate emergency - in a way that others can hear and invites engagement?

Ben will host a facilitated discussion and skill-share on how to have constructive conversations about these things. By concentrating on our enthusiasm for and commitment to something we’re interested in, and in approaching people with a desire to establish common ground, we’ll develop our capacity to engage people effectively.

To find out more, including directions, accessibility and to sign up, click here.

Funding and Help

Climate Action Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is inviting applications for funding from the Climate Action Fund, which aims to support people and communities to work together to address climate change.

The Climate Action Fund is a ten-year programme with a total budget of £100million.

The funding is for community-led partnerships led by voluntary or community organisations, charities, schools or not-for-profit companies. It is expected to support a mix of different places, communities, themes and initiatives across the UK.

The fund is now open for funding applications for projects that:

  • show how creating a deeper connection with nature will lead to changing people’s behaviours and greater care for the environment.
  • show how by bringing nature back into the places we live and work, we can help communities to reduce or adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Projects can apply for up to £1.5million for a period of two to five years. Most of the funding is expected to go to projects that request between £300,000 and £500,000. If your project idea is still in development, you may request a grant from £50,000 up to £150,000 for a period of 12 to 18 months.

Focus of fund/the fund aims: For projects that use nature to encourage more community-led climate action and bring other important social and economic benefits.

Application deadline: Applications may be submitted at any time.

Find out more about the fund and how to apply by clicking here.

Community Garden Awards – The National Garden Scheme

This scheme provides grants of £500 to £5,000 for the creation of a garden or a similar project (such as an allotment) with a horticultural focus for the benefit of the local community.

Community groups, either a charity or Community Interest Company (CIC), can apply and each application must itemise the details of the costs they are planning to cover.

Eligible costs could include site preparation (including hire of small mechanical tools such as rotavators), hand tools, plants, trees, shrubs, containers and seating.

Applications will be accepted until 31 January 2023.

Community Garden Grants - National Garden Scheme (

Sources of funding for tree planting in Devon

As of publishing this newsletter, there are over 20 different sources of funding for tree planting in Devon.

The Devon Local Nature Partnership manage a great list of funding sources.

New Research and Publications

UNEP: Meeting global climate goals now requires ‘rapid transformation of societies’


A new report by the UN Environment Programme says that incremental change is “no longer an option” and that avoiding dangerous levels of warming will require a “wide-ranging, large-scale, rapid and systemic transformation”.

The report is the 13th edition in an annual series that provides an overview of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

The report has found that under policies in place today, the world is likely heading for 2.6C warming above pre-industrial levels

Read the full report here.

New efficiency achieved for dye-sensitized solar cells unlocks new potential for solar glazing


Scientists have achieved a new efficiency record for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) beyond 15% in direct sunlight and 30% in ambient light conditions, opening up new commercial possibilities for transparent solar panels.

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) convert light into electricity using photosensitizers adsorbed on the surface of nanocrystalline mesoporous titanium dioxide (TiO2) films.

They possess features including transparency and can be deployed on material needed for transparency, features such as glass facades, skylights and greenhouses.

The findings by the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at the Institute of Chemical Sciences & Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland could unlock new potential for power supply and battery replacements to power small electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

The research abstract can be viewed here.

A longer deep dive into the subject can be found here at Science Daily.

Environmental scientists explain why so many tree species going extinct is so bad for the planet

Oak tree

Environmental scientists have written a follow-up paper to their study published last year that warned that approximately one-third of tree species around the world are in danger of extinction.

The paper shows that loss of tree species leads to a lack of diversity in forests, which in turn makes forests more vulnerable to pests. Weaker forests are less able to sequester carbon, which is contributing to climate change around the globe.

The researchers have found that around 100 tree species have already gone extinct.

Click here to read more

Posted in HPC Climate Change.