Welcome to the Summer 2013 edition of the Kent Low Carbon Community Partnership!
A quick update to let you know about some exciting projects happening around Kent, a review of national news, recent funding initiatives and upcoming deadlines plus events taking place in the South East.
Highlights include: Sustainable Sheppey, the Community Generation Fund, and Climate Week 2014 dates.
If you have any good news about projects you are working on, or want to promote a community event you are running please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can include you in our next update. Deadline for submission is 1 October 2013.
A consortium of local government, public sector, private sector and charities made a successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably funding stream in summer 2012. The bid – Sustainable Sheppey - was successful and has brought £950k of Lottery funding to the Isle of Sheppey to help make people’s lives more sustainable. A wide range of projects are running including community renewable feasibility studies, community resilience, community allotments, sustainable homes and schools, green skills, and biodiesel production from used cooking oil. The projects will run over 3 years. A project co-ordinator – John Whittington – has recently started. John can be contacted on 01795 417593 or by email email@example.com
Coastal Communities 2150
Coastal Communities 2150 is a European-funded project aimed at raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities that climate change could bring to coastal towns, and develop a vision and action plan for the future. The project has now moved into the community engagement phase, and we’re looking to get your feedback on what you think might happen in your area as our climate continues to change.
If you live in one of our three project areas (Margate and Cliftonville, Romney Marsh and the Isle of Sheppey), look out for us at events in your area over the summer.
Open Spaces for Community Allotments in Southborough
Transition Tunbridge Wells has a new community allotment in Southborough and would like to welcome any local residents to join in grow food using organic methods, sharing their tools, knowledge, skills, and labour and taking home some of the produce.
If you want to join in or find out more, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skanska Project SOS Initiative
Do you have a community project that needs a bit of a helping hand? Wouldn't it be lovely to have a team of experts, ready to pick up tools and give you a helping hand for free! That’s what Project SOS is all about. Skanska, a world leading project development and construction group has launched Project SOS in Kent. The project aims to provide resources to a community, voluntary or self-help group project that: addresses a community need, provides a good long-term benefit to the community, supports cooperative values and principles, and is innovative in its approach.
The deadline for applications is the 5th of July. For full terms and condition and to submit your entry, visit the project website at http://projectsos.co.uk/. Kent Commissions Water Risk Assessment
Kent County Council has commissioned URS Infrastructure and Environment to identify risks and opportunities to businesses, communities, agriculture and the natural environment by assessing the impacts of changing land use, and changes in our climate and population on the water systems in Kent. The study will look at the consequences of these impacts for different groups and how they will vary across Kent. The work is being funded through the FUSION project, an EU Interreg IVA 2 Seas Program. For more information, please contact Alan.Turner@kent.gov.uk
Transition Town Hythe Planning Meeting Transition Town Hythe held a planning meeting on the 3rd of July to discuss, among other things, the next quarterly fair. They have also been asked to help renovate some allotments and bring them back to life, as well as a range of other projects, new and current, to make decisions about.
Need inspiration or want to know more about environment groups in Kent?
A database of local environmental groups and projects can be found on the Kent County Council Website. On the site are links to local project groups and case studies. We are looking to develop these pages and add more information the great environmental work being done in Kent.
If you have case studies or links that could be included on this website, please email email@example.com by August 16th 2013.
John Cook from the University of Queensland and Mark Richardson from the University of Reading co-ordinated a study of 4000 peer-reviewed scientific paper abstracts from the last 21 years and found that 97% of them support the position that we are seeing man-made climate change. Their report was published in the IOP journal Environmental Research letters. The myth-busting website http://www.skepticalscience.com/ was used to recruit 24 volunteers who reviewed the abstracts for the team, and the website assisted with the financing to make the study available to the public.
Climate Change Biodiversity Report Card for the UK
In May, a partnership led by Natural England under the Living with Environmental Change program published the first terrestrial biodiversity report card. It provides the most up-to-date overview of climate change impacts on biodiversity in the UK, looking at both observed changes and potential future changes. The project was also featured in a Channel 4 News program about the effects of climate change on England’s countryside and wildlife.
Under planning guidance changes announced by government in June, local opposition to planned development will override national energy targets. At the same time the benefits paid to communities and developers who allow wind farms will increase five-fold. This money could be used to reduce energy bills or to fund local initiatives. The number of approvals for wind farms has dropped from 70% of applications in 2008, to 35% in 2012.
The architects of a new carbon neutral village claim it will create the foundations for a new culture in sustainable living in the UK. Plans for a new eco village of 49 zero carbon code level 6 properties – of which 40 per cent will be affordable – in Leicestershire were submitted to Melton Mowbray Council in June. The plans include properties with between 1 and 5 bedrooms, as well as an odourless bio-waste digester, which will recycle green waste into methane and produce saleable fertiliser residue. The methane will be used to run a 375 kilovolt-amp generator to provide heat and electricity for the village.
The Land Trust, a charitable trust that sustainably manages open spaces in partnership with local communities across the country, has teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to create the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit to demonstrate innovative ways to secure the funding needed to manage parks and public spaces. This free, web based toolkit comes at a crucial time for our parks, with many facing an uncertain future. Parks are a discretionary service and therefore budget cuts to local authorities have caused many councils and park managers to make significant reductions in their services.
The Community Generation Fund (CGF) provides loans to social enterprises across the UK who have identified the development and ownership of renewable energy assets as a way to increase revenues to help them to continue to work with the communities they serve. The latest projects to receive funding include: Roseland Community Wind Farm, which will be the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK, and Awel Aman Tawe which aims to bring clean electricity, jobs and regeneration to villages near the Mynydd y Gwrhyd. There is a two-step application process for funding.
Founded in 1952, the Earnest Cook Trust is a leading UK educational charity that promotes hands-on learning activities for young people across its estates and by providing grants. The Trust operates two grant making programmes on a rolling yearly basis: Small grants (under £4,000) to support state schools and small registered charities or large grants (over £4,000) aimed at more comprehensive education programmes. Not-for-profit organisations wishing to encourage young people's interest either in the countryside and the environment, the arts or aiming to raise levels of literacy and numeracy are welcome to apply.
Rural Communities Energy Fund now open to applications
Rural communities across England that aspire to generate their own clean green power are being offered a helping hand with the launch of a £15 million Government fund. The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), which opened to applications last week, is specifically targeted at helping rural communities access the money they need to carry out feasibility studies into renewable energy projects, and fund the costs associated with applying for planning permission. From there it is hoped that projects will be able to attract private finance to pay for renewable energy kit and to get projects up and running. The fund can be used to support rural projects across the renewable and low carbon energy spectrum including wind, solar, biomass, heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, gas Combined Heat and Power and hydro power projects.
If you are planning on applying for the fund let us know so we can tell others about your experience. Alternatively if you would like support in developing your bid let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Abbot's Mill Project is a community interest company that aims to develop a hub of environmental excellence, incorporating an education centre about sustainability and renewable energy, a museum about the importance of the River Stour, a community café and a community forest garden in the heart of historic Canterbury in Kent. The projects main source of power will be a water wheel on the River Stour at the former Abbot’s Mill site in St Radigund’s Street.
This weekend (6th July) they will be on site to do some general tidying, refreshing of the woodchip path, clearing around the native tree hedge and watering if necessary. We might also be able to help the Canterbury Society with clearing rubbish from the river. If you would like to get involved and are able to join them between 1pm and 3pm this Saturday, please let them know by e-mailing email@example.com.
Commonwork at Bore Place – 21 July 2013
Commonwork is an organic dairy farm, a conference and study centre, with an education programme working towards a more just and sustainable world. Locally, Commonwork has aimed to make its home, Bore Place, free of fossil fuels. On the 21st of July, come down and visit the dairy farm from 11am-5pm to learn about their renewable energy installations, and take a guided tour around the Jacobean manor house and organic gardens. There will be local craft and produce stalls to browse and lots of activities for children of all ages! Take your time to enjoy a delicious local organic lunch and relax listening to live music with a cool drink.
Just turn up on the day and pay on the gate: £6 adults, £3 children and £3 concessions. There will be plenty of free parking, as well as a free shuttle bus running from Tonbridge train station.
The Pines Calyx, Europe’s first carbon negative conference and wedding venue opens its doors – 11 and 18 August 2013
Run by The Bay Trust, an environmental education charity, the Pines Calyx, Europe’s first carbon neutral conference and wedding venue is holding open days in August. Come and explore inside this extraordinary, award winning building. Constructed using the best of both ancient and modern sustainable design, the Pines Calyx is the perfect venue for your wedding, party or conference. The building will be open to the public on the 11th and 18th August, from 10am – 4pm.
You can just turn up on the day, or if you would like a guided tour from one of the team, please contact their office on 01304 851737 or via our website at http://pinescalyx.co.uk/
Climate Week 2014 – March 2014
Climate week 2014 dates have recently been announced as the 3-9th March 2014. Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone and anyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future. If you would like to register as a supporter for next year, host an event or want to stay in the loop, visit the official climate week website at http://www.climateweek.com/.
This partnership bulletin is produced by Kent County Council, on behalf of the Kent Low Carbon Community Partnership.
Please forward this bulletin to others who may find it of interest, or ask them to join the partnership by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org