Towards a climate resilient Somerset
We are committed to tackling climate change and are working towards a carbon neutral Somerset by 2030. But we can’t do it alone and we need everyone in Somerset to do their bit. Find out what you can do to help protect Somerset against the effects of climate change, at home, at school, at work and more. Let’s build a climate resilient Somerset together.
County Council’s climate fund helps Dulverton traders go green
Traders in the Exmoor market town of Dulverton have launched a new initiative with bags of…...
12 Nov 2021
Project is a real boost for town’s economy
A vital scheme to link Taunton’s Firepool development and new station car park to the town’s…...
Individuals and communities
Read about everyday changes you can make to help prevent global warming. Including how to calculate your personal carbon footprint, change how you travel and information on waste and recycling.Read more
We are asking everyone who runs a business in Somerset to consider ways in which their business can help tackle climate change. Find out how to calculate your business carbon footprint, read our Carbon Audit Toolkit for Businesses and find other useful resources. You can also read about some of the businesses that benefited from the Carbon Reduction Grants for Business Scheme.Read more
Climate Emergency Community Fund
Somerset County Council’s £1 million Climate Emergency Community Fund launched in 2020 to encourage community projects that share the Council’s vision of working towards a climate resilient Somerset. The funding is supporting projects which not only aim to reduce carbon emissions but also help to reduce waste, raise community awareness of climate change and enhance the natural environment.
The projects below are among 44 that have been awarded grant funding.
Good Vibe Veg
This innovative project has already begun supplying vegetables to a local farm shop and to local people, reaping the benefits of ‘low carbon miles’ local produce. Reducing our carbon footprint is not just about tackling the threat posed by climate change, it’s also about making the environment a better place – for people and for nature. With a real emphasis on ‘local food’, this model of small-scale, sustainable agriculture allows farmers and growers to make a reasonable living by growing quality, fresh, healthy food for and with their local community.
Pedal for the Planet
Pedal for the Planet aims to encourage the local community to get cycling more often and more safely – for healthier people and a healthier planet! This innovative, community and volunteer led project for Muchelney and Kingsbury Episcopi Parishes on the Somerset Levels has already put on a fantastic programme of cycling workshops and activities for all ages and abilities. And as well as repairing bikes, the scheme offers beginners’ bike safety and care workshops, providing local people with sustainable and eco-friendly transport.
Quote from a parent who attended the Road Skills Course
“My son absolutely loved it and we were so pleased that he could learn some new skills in a safe environment as the roads can be quite dangerous. It’s really important to us that the kids enjoy cycling, not just because it’s fun and keeps them healthy but it’s one way that we easily cut our carbon footprint.”
Chedzoy Fair Share Project
Chedzoy is a small parish on the outskirts of Bridgwater in Somerset. The parish is on low-lying ground and is susceptible to soil erosion from winds and localised flooding. The village’s communal areas are greatly underutilised, and the project aims to use these areas to create richly different habitats for both wildlife and people, with easy access gates, resting areas, information boards, downloadable walking guides and plant labels to inspire the community to observe, think, and learn about the environment and create change.
Wiveliscombe Community Swimming Pool
‘Wivey Pool’ was built in 1927 and is one of the oldest pools in Somerset. It’s an open air, heated swimming pool, open between May and September each year and is run for the community, by the community. The addition of this new 10 kW solar panel array will significantly reduce the pool’s electricity bills, saving at least 10.5 tons of carbon emissions a year.
Baltonsborough Parish Council Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points
The community has grabbed the opportunity to ‘go green’ with the funding going towards Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points, solar panels and additional energy saving measures. On top of all that, the playing field will benefit from a new hedge, seeding of wildflowers and a new mowing regime. The photo shows Councillor Mary Phillips making great use of the new EV charging points.
Ottherhead Hydro-Electricity Turbine Project
A new hydro-electric turbine will provide clean power to a Forest School near Taunton, replacing a noisy and polluting diesel generator at the site which is part of the Otterhead Estate. Work is now underway and once complete the new turbine will deliver significant savings and provide a useful teaching tool by restoring an important heritage feature – water was originally used at Otterhead to power a mill. The new sustainable power source will also allow the Coach House building to be used to host a much wider range of community events, such as meetings, performances and celebrations.
Stogumber Outdoor Learning Shelter
Built on the Beacon Field, opposite the Village Hall and Stogumber Primary School, the shelter is ideally situated to be used and enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the parish. The newly-erected shelter is available for the whole community to use in all weather for a wide range of environmentally-inspired and educational activities. Made from resilient, natural materials and sustainable timber, the shelter requires minimal upkeep and no additional energy input post construction. The shelter acts as a hub to be used by the whole community for small groups to learn about the ecology, biodiversity and carbon capture as well as offering an inspirational outdoor space to respond to nature through creative arts. It’s part of the village’s commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change through experience and education, with the aim of encouraging behavioural and lifestyle changes.
West Buckland Village Hall solar energy system
West Buckland Village Hall is a thriving community space used by many groups. The Hall was heavily reliant on old technology and running costs were high. West Buckland Parish Council is committed to keeping the carbon footprint of the Hall as low as is possible to help tackle climate change. The recent installation of solar panels and battery storage has reduced the Hall’s carbon footprint, keeping costs at an affordable level to ensure that the community can continue to make full use of this valuable resource. The addition of energy efficient lighting will also see a reduction in energy use. The new battery storage system further enhances the savings to be made, ensuring electricity is stored for use in non-generating periods.
Buckland Dinham Village Hall
Buckland Dinham Parish Council has led on this project to make the village hall more environmentally friendly by installing solar panels on the roof with battery storage, to provide renewable energy and help keep the carbon footprint of the hall as low as possible. Built in 1880, the Village Hall is an essential resource in Buckland Dinham with extensive day time and evening use, hosting events for the village and surrounding communities. By installing the new solar panels and battery storage, it is envisaged that the majority of the hall’s electricity needs will be met, providing a significant shift towards carbon neutrality.
Dulverton traders go plastic free
Traders in the Exmoor market town of Dulverton have unveiled new jute and paper bags for their customers in a bid to become more eco-friendly and move away from using plastic bags.
The bags feature Dulverton’s new branding including the logo with an artistic impression of an Exmoor stag forming the letter D.
This means the initiative will not only benefit the environment, but it will raise the profile of the town’s shops and businesses too.
Use the circles or arrows above to scroll through some of the projects that have been awarded grant funding.
More news and events
Green Homes Grant Scheme
Residents across Somerset can benefit from free energy efficiency improvements worth up to £10,000 thanks to receiving a share of a multi-million pound Government-funded programme, led by West of England Combined Authority, working with E.ON and Happy Energy Solutions.
Sign up to Hot Poets and cut through the climate change doom and despair!
Hot Poets is a brand new Arts Council England funded project run by Tongue Fu, writer and Fu founder, Chris Redmond and poet and participation artist Liv Torc.
Exmoor - Climate Action
Exmoor National Park Authority members have agreed an action plan to work towards the Authority being carbon neutral by 2030 and are working with the UK’s 15 National Parks on coordinated action to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
E-scooters - have you jumped on board?
Have you noticed e-scooters hanging around on street corners in some Somerset towns? Wonder what they are doing there? They are waiting for you to jump on board!
Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset District Councils are running e-scooters trials in chosen towns around Somerset. Zipp Mobility e-scooters can be found in Taunton and Minehead – find full details about the scheme and how to use them here.
Zwings e-scooters can be found in Yeovil, Chard and Crewkerne.
The e-scooters will be available until March 2022 and are part of a Department of Transport trial to investigate if e-scooters are a viable option to help reduce car journeys. The e-scooters in this trial may be used on roads, cycle lanes and cycle tracks in the trial areas only, they are not permitted on pedestrian pathways.
Use the circles or arrows above to scroll through the local and national news.
Do you have a climate emergency story to share?
We want you to show us what your community is doing to help tackle the climate emergency. Please get in touch with the team using the email below. We’d love to share your stories on our website and social media channels.
Contact the Team