Environment Working Group
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What you can do
What we do
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WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU
Sustaining Food Conference, Sat 22nd October (run by Somerset Community Food)
Join us for an inspiring day of networking, workshops, stalls and wonderful shared food.
Our event is for those involved in food and growing projects across Somerset, e.g. community gardens, food banks, pantries and fridges, community cooking clubs etc. We are working through very challenging times, by joining together we can share good ideas, and support each other to keep going and sustain what we do.
We will have:
- hands-on cooking activities, help us prepare a healthy, tasty, seasonal communal lunch and share cooking tips
- A marketplace where projects and supporting organisations can share information
- Workshops and discussion on community gardening & wellbeing, food sharing schemes, energy saving food / cooking advice and more...
Please get in touch if you would like to offer a workshop or have a stall. BOOK TICKETS HERE
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
Bus routes & 'Bus Back Better'
The council is keen to promote public transport wherever possible to reduce carbon emissions. One ongoing project is to assess local interest in a public transport system to Castle Cary train station direct from the Wells area, possibly from other nearby towns also. We need to hear from you.
Look out for our survey when it's available and give us your feedback.
The Government's report, 'Bus Back Better' can be found HERE.
Wildlife Corridors & Community Wildlife Mapping
The Environment Working Group are developing their plans for contributing to the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) through the Community Wildlife Mapping.The EWG is also mapping areas to support the SCC focus on Active Travel and making great strides (sorry!); They are plotting routes from villages to towns - noting areas that need attention such as narrow/poor/no pavements, stiles, focal points etc. in an effort to support pedestrian routes and reduce carbon emissions. If you want to nominate a location in need of such attention, please get in touch!
The coordinating agency's website can be found below.
These maps are reproduced with permission of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, who are credited with their production. (Click on the map to find out more about the Wildlife Trusts' national nature mapping work.)
Working with Mendip DC and neighbouring parishes, advice can be offered on solar panels for groups of houses. Investigations are being made to lay photovoltaic panels along cycle paths. There is also an opportunity to set up community wind turbines in villages.
St Cuthbert Out produced power in the past from mills located along the rivers Axe and Sheppey as well as St Andrews Stream. Contact has been made with the owners of some of the historic mill sites to test the feasibility of installing micro hydro turbines to generate electricity.
Another means to reduce carbon emissions is to increase availability of multi user paths.The area is poorly served at the moment and the council is keen to increase the potential for commuters to cycle between towns.
Two pathways are under consideration: the Strawberry Line, which would form part of the Somerset Circle from Bristol and Bath down to Wells and Shepton Mallet if it were not broken in Mendip; and a new pathway from Wells to Glastonbury, again to help commuters travel safely and to reduce traffic from our overloaded roads.
Strategically placed bike charge points and maintenance hubs will support leisure and commuter cyclists.
As nearly half of all carbon emissions in Somerset are generated by fossil-fuelled road transport our environment group is encouraging the switch to electric vehicles by identifying local sites for public charge points.E-cars take longer to fuel up than fossil cars but they can be charged while unattended. Typically this happens at owners' homes but the growing public network enables users to top up while shopping, working or visiting local attractions.
This is particularly important for out-of-county visitors due to e-car range limits. It's why we have identified Wookey Hole Caves as a key site for a charge station. The more of its tens of thousands of visitors who go electric the less pollution they generate by getting here. But they need somewhere to recharge before the journey home!
Charge points in public places also help people with no private parking at home to go electric. Take up is rising rapidly with drivers switching for both economic and environmental reasons. E-cars are far cheaper to run than conventional cars but potential switchers can be deterred by gaps in the charge point network. Hence the group's work on identifying suitable local sites.
Electric Vehicle Chargepoints
You can find more on the Mendip AONB's position on Dark Night Skies here.
This overview of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dark Skies shows the 10 steps of their policy plan.
- Biodiversity and wildlife work includes monitoring Ash dieback, replanting land in Easton and Wookey Hole and incorporating planting and wildlife corridors along foot and cycle paths.
There are also parish maps that show environmental features.
Woodland Project at Easton Jubilee Playing Field: over the summer and winter of 2020, the Easton Wildlife Group and other local volunteers have been putting their plans for tree-planting into action. Please have a look at their write-up about the project on the Easton Village page.
"There are many aspects of daily living that have the power to impact the environment negatively. When taking into account every household, business, and service, these factors then have the power to increase environmental damage on a momentous, global scale.
Water waste is just one example of a damaging environmental factor, but it's an extremely significant one. It's very important for individuals, households, and businesses alike to understand the impact of water waste on the environment so that the world at large can work to a more sustainable future." (Global Water Waste)
Follow the link here to find out how to reduce your water waste.
Ideas and recipes for making your own hand-sanitiser, antibacterial ointment, moisturiser and the many wonder-uses of white wine vinegar.