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Devon Climate Emergency | February 2023

Welcome To Our February Newsletter!

Positive Climate NewsThere are many actions already taking place across Devon that are successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing the Devon Carbon Plan. Here are our picks for the month!

You can see more positive actions and stay updated throughout the month by visiting the Taking Action page on our website.

EuroSWAC Project Uses Sea Water To Air Condition Buildings In Brixham

Brixham Laboratory

The EuroSWAC project, aiming to enhance Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) technology within the Channel area, is funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme. In Devon, the project has been investigating the potential for using sea water to air condition buildings at Brixham Laboratory.

This technology could provide a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning system using seawater from the English Channel – a plentiful renewable energy source.

Anyone with an interest in SWAC technology can attend EuroSWAC’s free final UK workshop in Brixham, 9:30am on Friday 10th February 2023. Find out more and register your interest here.

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Plastic Free Directory Launching In Plymouth

Plastic Free Directory logoA new Plastic Free Directory will showcase Plymouth people, businesses and organisations working to reduce their plastic use.

Those who value sustainability will be able to see a list of local organisations who are reducing single use plastics. The Directory will be split into Businesses, Tourism & Hospitality; Education; and Community Organisations, Volunteers and Charities.

Reducing plastic use will reduce the amount of waste plastic entering the ocean. The breakdown of marine plastics is a source of greenhouse gases, as the exposure to solar radiation causes degradation.

If you’re an organisation doing your bit to reduce plastic use in Plymouth, sign up for the directory here.

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£64.5 Million Allocated To Level Up Green Technology, Transport And Health Care In The South West

GWR trains in a stationThe Government’s Levelling Up fund is providing £64.5 million to grow the South West and create jobs, boost the economy and open up more equal opportunities.

£15.6 million will be used in the research of green technology at the proposed Appledore Clean Maritime Innovation Centre. Another £13.5 million will be used to create a new railway station at Okehampton with EV charging points and cycling facilities.

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New Study To Identify Net-Zero Skills Gaps In South West

Builder inspecting a window


A new study commissioned by the South West Net Zero Hub will identify gaps in the current provision of net-zero skills and training in order to shape future policy and delivery.

Gemserv will be producing a South West wide report, and will also have funding from the Heart of the South West LEP to produce an area-specific report for Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay.

The four key themes of the study are retrofit and heat pumps, solar PV, offshore wind, and low-carbon transport.



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Government Support For Proposals To Make A382 Link Road UK’s First Carbon Negative Highway

A382 link road development siteDevon County Council successfully bid for £3.7 million to decarbonise the construction and maintenance of the A382 link road development near Newton Abbott.

The project is one of only seven across the UK to receive a share of the Live Labs 2 £30 million funding pot, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and organised by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT).

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Sustain: Food For The Planet - Grant Opportunity

WheatSustain have launched a small grants programme to support communities with making food in their area better for people and planet. Grants of up to £5,000 are on offer to local food partnerships, local authorities and community and campaign groups in the UK.

Eligible activities could include:

  • supporting groups and communities that are marginalised to campaign for food climate justice and tackling racial injustice in the food system
  • encouraging climate-friendly food in public institutions and council settings
  • supporting sustainable farming systems through planning policy
  • tackling unfair and unhelpful pricing and advertising of the most climate-damaging foods

The application deadline is Friday 10th February.

Find Out More And Apply

Devon Climate Emergency Updates

Update On The Adaptation Plan

An illustration of people talking while walking a dogEnvironmental consultants RSK continue to work with the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) on the development of an Adaptation Plan.

The Adaptation Plan is intended to help communities across the Southwest to better understand the risks their area might face in future, as climate change increasingly affects the UK. It will also help them to adapt to these changes, by identifying the parties responsible for ensuring community safety.

Building on workshops which took place in November, adaptation options and actions to respond to the identified climate impacts are being finalised. Priority actions for regional collaboration will also be decided upon.

A final draft of the Adaptation Plan is expected to be completed over the next two months, and is set to be published for a public consultation in the spring.

Dates for the DiaryFind out about upcoming events across Devon below.

People planting treesTree Planting Events with Moor Trees; Across Devon; Until the end of March

Moor Trees is an independent charity dedicated to restoring native woodland on Dartmoor and in South Devon. Some upcoming events are:

  • Tree planting at Forder House, South Brent; Sunday 5th February, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Nursery Maintenance at Broadley Tree Nursery; Tuesday 7th February, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Nursery Maintenance at Dartington Tree Nursery; Wednesday 8th February, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Tree planting at Bala Brook Retreat Centre, South Brent; Sunday 12th February, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Nursery Maintenance at Broadley Tree Nursery; Tuesday 14th February, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Other seasonal events include weekly volunteering for all ages and abilities, equipment and hot drinks/cake provided. There is also a free minibus service to and from Plymouth on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Find Out More

Tree saplingsFree Tree Hubs; Across Devon; Until March

As part of the Saving Devon's Treescapes project, the Devon Wildlife Trust are giving away free trees for people to plant in their gardens. The Tree Hubs aim to combat the threat to trees from Ash Dieback, which is estimated to kill at least 90% of Devon’s ash trees in the coming years.

You will be able to collect between 1-5 free trees along with protection and a free planting and aftercare guide. The trees will all be cell grown UK broadleaf species and will need to be planted within a few days of collection.

Free Tree Hubs in February include:

  • Braunton, Saturday 4th February, from 10:00am
  • Hemyock, Sunday 5th February, from 10:00am
  • Cheriton Fitzpaine, Saturday 11th February, from 10:00am
  • Croyde, Saturday 11th February, from 10:00am
  • Kingsteignton, Saturday 11th February, from 11:00am
  • Newton Poppleford, Saturday 11th February, from 10:00am
Find Out More

SETsquared workshopPractical Workshop Towards Net Zero for Your BusinessA choice of five locations: Exeter (city centre), Exeter (Science Park), Plymouth, Barnstaple or Exmouth; Wednesday 8th February, 8:30pm – 1:30pm

SETsquared will guide Devon SMEs on building a personalised action plan towards reducing their carbon footprint, gaining a better understanding of what's involved and how to measure progress, getting familiar with net-zero jargon and more.

Tickets for this free workshop are limited to one person per organisation.

Find Out More And Register

VegetablesPositive Action for Local Food Resilience; Daily Bowl, Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3SB; Wednesday 15th February, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

This discussion-based workshop by Exeter Connect will feature local speakers and discuss:

  • How can our excellent locally grown produce be made more available to communities in Exeter?
  • How can we cut down on local farm waste?
  • How can we do this as a community-led initiative?

Tickets are £5 per person and include a bowl of dahl and buckwheat mini-loaf.

Find Out More And Book Tickets

Carbon Literacy Workshop posterCarbon Literacy Training with Torbay Climate Action and the Carbon Literacy Project; Paignton Library and Information Centre, Great Western Road, Paignton, TQ4 5AG; Saturday 18th February, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Torbay Climate Action has teamed up with the Carbon Literacy Project to offer an official Carbon Literacy course. The course will help you to understand the basic facts about climate change and how emissions are contributing to it, cutting through the conflicting messages available around the climate crisis to enable positive change.

You'll finish the day with a Carbon Literacy Certificate and an action plan to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tickets are available for £22.50.

Find Out More And Book Tickets

Holsworthy Beekeepers logoHolsworthy Beekeepers Spring Convention 2023; Holsworthy Memorial Hall, North Road, Holsworthy, EX22 6DJ; Saturday 25th February, 10:00am – 4:00pm

The theme of this convention is "Climate Change and Pollinators: What is the impact and how do we cope?". It will feature a selection of experts with decades of experience and include a Ploughman's Lunch and Pudding.

Tickets are £20 for adults, £6 for children, and £18 for Holsworthy members. Advance booking is essential.

Find Out More And Book Tickets

Pictures of BristolGW4 living labs: Scope 3 and the road to Net Zero; Bristol Marriott Hotel, City Centre, Bristol, BS1 3AD; Tuesday 28th February, 10:00am – 3:00pm

This GW4 Climate Alliance workshop builds on the living labs project with the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter on tackling hard-to-decarbonise areas in South West England and South Wales. GW4 are keen to involve partners who share their interest in sustainability but bring a different perspective.

You will have the opportunity to shape the workshop discussion topics, which are centred on:

  • Priorities for reducing Scope 3 emissions (e.g., green procurement, co-benefits, just transitions, carbon accounting, active mobility)
  • Living labs to co-design, test and implement solutions (e.g., campus/urban living labs, community engagement, education for sustainable development)
  • Funding proposals for net zero/living labs projects (community-building funding and larger scale – see Eventbrite for details)

Other participants include representatives from local authorities, business, civil society organisations, funders, academia, university professional services and students.

GW4 will cover the cost of travel & subsistence for participants who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Find Out More And Register

Event submission information

Devon Climate Emergency
County Hall, Topsham Road
Exeter, Devon EX2 4QD  | media enquiries | contact


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