Local events, positive climate news and dates for the diary.

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Devon Climate Emergency | March 2023

Welcome To Our March 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.

Funding Obtained To Expand Future Farming Resilience Programme

Wheat fieldDEFRA funding obtained by Devon County Council will expand the Future Farming Resilience programme to cover Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly.

The initiative helps farmers, land managers and their families with the transition from Basic Payments to the new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMS). ELMS encourages sustainable farming practices and actions to increase and support biodiversity.

Read More

Bin-It 123 Services Boost Mid Devon Recycling Rates

Bin-It 123 and Mid Devon District Council logosDuring the first three months of Bin-It 123 services, Mid Devon’s recycling rates have increased to 56.56%, as compared to 52.02% during the same period in 2021/22. The amount of household non-recyclable waste has also decreased by 14.46%.

The service was introduced to increase recycling and reduce waste. Food waste is now collected every week, while recyclable waste is collected every two weeks, and non-recyclable waste is collected every three weeks.

Read More

Largest UK Wildflower Grassland To Be Sown In North Devon


The National Trust has announced that the largest ever UK wildflower grassland will be sown across 70 miles of fields in Arlington and Woolacombe over the coming decade.

1.3 tonnes of seed have already been planted. The project aims to create 25,000 hectares of priority habitat by 2025.

The wildflower grassland will boost biodiversity and improve habitats for a variety of species including voles, pollinators and bats. As well as being great for biodiversity, natural grassland stores carbon in the soil and vegetation.

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'Design, differently' Programme Designs For The Planet

Paintbrushes in a jarThe 'Design, differently' programme looks to support communities and Councils to use design skills to solve local challenges and issues as a result of the wider effects of climate change.

The first cohort used design thinking and problem-solving to support a network of community designers working towards similar goals. The second cohort paired community organisations with councils to create regenerative solutions to emerging issues as a response to the climate crisis.

Cohort Three begins this month.

Read More

Applications For Ashden Awards 2023 Now Open

Winner awardThe Ashden Awards are for existing initiatives that demonstrate innovative ways to benefit the environment, boost green skills, tackle inequality and empower communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.

Each UK award category has a £10,000 prize:

  • Ashden Award for Energy Innovation
  • Ashden Award for Skills in Sustainable Land Management
  • Ashden Award for Community Nature Adaptation

Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, social enterprises and community groups are all eligible. Work must be currently available to clients, customers or beneficiaries.

The application deadlines is Wednesday 8th March.

Read More And Apply

Draft Plan Consultation Launches For Walking And Cycling Improvements In Exeter

Man leaning on a bicycleA new draft Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is now open for public consultation.

Exeter City Council and Devon County Council have developed the LCWIP to cover 22 cycle routes and five city centre walking routes.

With the aim of creating a comprehensive active travel network, proposed measures include traffic-free cycle routes, advisory cycle routes on quiet roads, and junction and pavement improvements.

The consultation to inform the final LCWIP will be open until the end of March.

Read More And Have Your Say

Funding Available To Help Teignbridge Businesses Reduce Emissions

Plant growing from moneyBusinesses in Teignbridge can apply for a decarbonisation grant to help them reduce emissions and lower energy costs within their workplaces.

Green Business Grants will use funding from the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Companies, charities and not-for-profit organisations can apply for grants ranging from £3,000 – £25,000 to pay for things like LED lighting, low energy heating systems, heat pumps, double/triple glazed windows and doors or thermal insulations.

Funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis and must be spent by Friday 31st March.

Read More

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.

The CIG is currently reviewing and commenting on a complete draft of the Plan. A final draft will then be produced over the next two months, and is set to be published for a public consultation in the spring.

Update On The Devon Carbon Plan

Woman with a bookDevon Climate Emergency continue to meet with existing groups and partnerships who have been identified as well placed to monitor progress on priority actions in the Devon Carbon Plan.

Groups we have met with so far include the Devon Low Carbon Energy and Transport Technology Innovator project board (DELETTI) who are delivering electric vehicle charging across the county; the Cosy Devon board, who work on energy efficiency improvements to homes, and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, to name but a few.

It is expected that the groups identified will report back on progress in Devon towards specific priority actions in the Plan on a quarterly basis, including issues stalling action. These issues can then be taken to the Response Group so they can be resolved.

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

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.

The final Free Tree Hub will be:

  • Ottery St Mary, Saturday 4th March, from 10:00am
Find Out More

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 the concrete car park near New Barton Farm, Wembury; Sunday 5th March, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Nursery Maintenance at Broadley Tree Nursery; Tuesday 7th March, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Nursery Maintenance at Dartington Tree Nursery; Wednesday 8th March, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Tree planting at Higher Norris Farm, North Huish, South Brent; Sunday 12th March, 11:00am – 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

South West Net Zero Hub logoLocal Energy Advice Demonstrator Pre-Launch Webinar; Online; Tuesday 7th March, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

The South West Net Zero Hub is working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the four other local Net Zero Hubs to develop the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator Programme. The programme will fund innovative projects piloting new approaches to providing local in-person energy advice. It is expected to launch later this month.

This webinar is for organisations that may be interested in bidding to deliver a pilot project that provides innovative in-person energy advice to consumers in their local areas. Local authorities and not-for-profit organisations including community groups are eligible to apply.

The programme will provide funding of up to £2 million to individual projects that can be delivered over the 2023-4 and 2024-5 financial years.

Find Out More And Register

BRIC project event informationSocial Innovation for Climate Resilience; Crowne Plaza Plymouth, an IHG Hotel, Armada Way, PL1 2HJ; Wednesday 15th March, 9:30am – 5:00pm

This conference with the Building Resilience in Communities (BRIC) project will explore the role of social innovation when building resilience to flooding and climate change. You'll hear about the cross-border collaboration that has resulted in the creation of a social innovation resilience model developed by the project over the last two years.

The event is aimed at:

  • Flood risk management authorities
  • Water companies
  • Environment Agency
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA)
  • Local Councillors
  • Politicians
  • People and organisations interested in flooding and climate resilience
  • Local communities at risk of flooding
Find Out More And Register

A beryl bikeConnect Plymouth Launch Event; The Piazza, Armada Way, Plymouth; Tuesday 21st March, 8:00am – 6:00pm

This event marks the launch of Connect Plymouth, the city's new sustainable transport initiative. Plymouth will have a fleet of 500 electric bikes available for hire by the minute when fully operational, 300 publicly accessible electric vehicle charging points and an electric car club.

Go along to try out the e-bikes for free, sit in one of the electric car club vehicles and find out more about the plans for a network of electric vehicle charge points across the city.

Find Out More

Next Steps headerLow Carbon Devon Next Steps - The Art of the PossibleUniversity of Plymouth; Thursday 23rd March, 9:00am – 12:30pm

As the ERDF-funded Low Carbon Devon project draws to a close, join an interactive event exploring what’s next and highlighting opportunities for climate-positive business support.

  • Hear from partners of the project with opportunities to share
  • Learn about a new support network being created by like-minded enterprises
  • Build relationships to take positive action on climate change
  • Take part in activities to explore the art of the possible

Join others from enterprises across sectors. Open to all.

Let’s keep the momentum going. Collaborate to drive net zero action.

Register Your Interest

Community Energy GatheringCommunity Energy Spring Gathering 2023; Dartington Hall, Totnes, TQ9 6EL; Friday 24th – Saturday 25th March

This open space event is open to any member of a community energy or climate action group, or those interested in getting involved.

The one and a half day residential will take place at the beautiful Dartington Estate and include walks, talks, fantastic food and collaborative discussion themed around community energy.

Previous years have covered topics such as local supply and distribution, project economics, rooftop PV lease busting, fuel poverty and energy advice services and managing your assets effectively.

Tickets vary in price. A Day Conference ticket only is £32 (+VAT).

Find Out More And Book Tickets

Event submission information

Devon Climate Emergency
County Hall, Topsham Road
Exeter, Devon EX2 4QD

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