South Hams Climate Change and Biodiversity Newsletter March 2021

Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency News Update

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March 2021

Reducing our Carbon Footprint and increasing Biodiversity

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. This is a place for us to update you on what we are doing at South Hams District Council and what things are going on around the District. It will tell you what's going on nationally and things, you, our residents and businesses, can be doing to reduce your carbon footprint and manage your land to improve the environment and its biodiversity.

If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter then contact our Climate Change Specialist by email here and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Council Updates

Lifestyle Spring Clean Week.

carbon savvy

We are excited to be coming together with Carbon Savvy, North Devon Council and Torridge District Council for a week-long campaign called Lifestyle Spring Clean week, from Friday 12 to Sunday 21 March.

This will be a chance for individuals to measure their carbon footprint with the Carbon Savvy calculator and learn about steps they can take to reduce it.

Carbon Savvy is a Devon-based group, whose unique approach to carbon footprints is to show that not only is carbon-saving easier than people think, it can actually increase happiness and wellbeing at the same time, as many things which improve your quality of life also contributes to doing your bit for the climate, as well as saving money in the long run.

With the launch of Carbon Savvy’s new quality of life calculator you will be invited to reflect on what you enjoy most in life, and take one or two actions towards that. (And… there’s an exciting prize draw too!)

It might sound a bit far-fetched that raising quality of life saves CO2, so how does it work?

Here are a couple of examples: Buying a toaster that lasts 15 years instead of one that lasts three years saves money and shopping time, plus it's nicer to use. It also has one fifth of the carbon footprint over its life.

Buying more seasonal, local, organic food makes your meals more delicious, nutritious and good for long term health. It also has a much smaller carbon footprint than industrially farmed and imported food. When you apply this to other areas of life, the combined result is big.

South Hams District Council Leader, Cllr Judy Pearce, said;

“On behalf of South Hams District Council, I am delighted to be working with Devon-based organisation Carbon Savvy on the Get to Net Zero programme.  Many people today are acutely aware of the urgent need to protect our environment, but few are aware of the great benefits this can bring for our communities, wildlife and indeed, happiness and wellbeing. 

"Carbon Savvy’s positive, uplifting advice shows what’s in it for me as well as the planet.  And it’s a way for every one of us to do our bit.  I invite everyone in South Hams to join the programme in March and get started on building a better future today.”

We hope you will all take part, stay tuned to our social media channels for further messaging about this event and do check out Carbon Savvy here to read more about the campaign 

Ivybridge Residents Design Woodlands Park (The Spinney)

tree planting

Thanks to feedback and ideas from over 300 local people, work is now underway to make Woodlands Park (The Spinney), Ivybridge an even more welcoming place for people and wildlife.

The improvement work, which has now started, includes enhancing the wildlife pond area, planting more trees, replacing timeworn benches, and providing an additional piece of play equipment for 6-11 year olds.

Ideas on what to do at the park were gathered via an online survey at the end of 2020. This information was used to form South Hams District Council’s plan to carry out improvements in a way that truly meets local needs.

The survey found that local people really like the size and openness of the park and that it feels safe and secure and is good for children and dog-walking. However, local people also highlighted that the play equipment was only suitable for very young children and that the pond area could be better.  As a result, these are key areas that are being targeted for the makeover.

What local people told South Hams District Council they want:

  • 93% would like to see improvements to the wildlife pond area
  • 85% would like to enhance the park for wildlife by leaving some areas of grass to grow longer
  • 78% want more seating
  • 78% support additional play equipment
  • 73% want more trees to be planted

Local residents will already have seen some improvements being made at the park. This includes work on the wildlife pond area, including the pond dipping area, which started this week. The plan to plant new trees has got underway, with a day scheduled later in the spring for volunteers to get involved with tree planting too. A further consultation will now be held to determine exactly what type of play equipment will be added to the park, with an aim to have this equipment ready for use in the summer/autumn.

The money for the improvement project has largely come from the section 106 agreement made with Persimmon Homes, the firm behind the local Harford Mews development. Further funding, specifically for tree planting, has come from the Langage Landscape Fund following the development of the energy centre near Plympton.

As part of the improvements programme, there’s also a one-off opportunity for local residents to purchase half price memorial benches or trees at the park. The cost for a bench is £800 (normally £1,800) to include installation, a commemorative plaque and a 10-year maintenance scheme. The cost for a tree is £140 (normally £280) to include purchase, planting, a commemorative plaque, and follow up maintenance. There is an opportunity for donors to get involved helping to plant the trees depending on future government restrictions.

Funding and Grant Updates


Apply for free or subsidised training under the Green Homes Grant skills training competition scheme

This fund is provided by the Government fro tradespeople who can apply for training in home energy retrofitting and low carbon heat insulation to help acquire the required accreditations for work under the Green Homes Grant. There are different deadlines depending on the training provider but the training will be available from early March to mid-May 2021. To find out more and apply, click here.

water saving

The Water-Saving Community Fund

South West Water are looking for projects - big and small - whether it’s rainwater flushing public loos, drought tolerant gardens, water butts in community allotments, educational displays in schools, or harnessing new technology to change behaviour towards water use. For more information, click here.

Webinar Highlights

low carbon ag

Low Carbon Agriculture 2021 - 9 to 10 March 2021

The online event is free to attend for farmers, landowners & related agri/rural business owners. All registrations will be verified. All other attendees will be required to pay £99+VAT to gain access to the online content only.

Low Carbon Agriculture 2021 is a vibrant new business event for farmers, landowners and industry operators. The event will explore ways to address climate change through the generation of renewable energy, the implementation of low carbon technology and best practice in both carbon and environmental land management.

To register, click here.


How to Create a Meadow - 25 March 2021

In this webinar, you will hear about a practical step-by-step guide to meadow creation, restoration and management with meadows specialist Matt Pitts who is Plantlife's meadows specialist. 

This talk will be a guide on how to restore, create and manage a wildflower meadow. The event is organised by Moor Meadows and is primarily for those who have a field or paddock and would like a meadow, plus those who already have one and would like to know a lot more.

You can find out about everything from key soil requirements for successful meadow restoration, to learning about positive indicator plants..

Click here to register.

Get Involved

This month there are three activities to get involved with, as well as the Lifestyle Spring Clean Week.

First up, the Government have an ongoing consultation which is seeking views on the policy design for the Clean Heat Grant. The consultation closes soon though, at 11:45pm on 5 March 2021.

Click here for more information.

white clover

Nature's Calendar

The Woodland Trust is currently running a citizen's science exercise called Nature's Calendar.

They would like to know what's happening near you, from emerging butterflies and baby birds to ripe berries. Your records will help scientists monitor the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife.

Click here to take part.

cop art

Creative Earth

There is an art competition for people aged 16 and under from across the UK called Creative Earth. This is run by UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in collaboration with WWF.

Young people under the age of 16 can enter the competition with to be in with a chance of having your artwork displayed at COP26 and show the rest of the world your vision for the future! the closing date is 5th April 2021.  To find out more click here.

You could even send your entries to us as well at and we will show case some of these on our social media channels in the run up to COP26 this November!

Community Corner


In future newsletters, we would like to dedicate a section of this newsletter for local stories and achievements from the Community regarding anything Climate Change and Biodiversity.

If you have anything you would like us to promote then please email us at

'Impact Tool' Community Carbon Footprinting Website Launched


An online data visualisation tool as just been launched which will allow any parish in England to look at their own carbon footprint on a territorial as well as a consumption basis, and compare with other parishes, their local authority, or the national average. The tool was developed in partnership between the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Exeter University.

The tool was part funded through CSE's charitable reserve, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, via the Midlands Energy Hub, and the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.

The aim of the tool is to give small communities data on their carbon emissions that is easy to interpret, easy to share, and which gives them a clear idea of their main ‘impact areas’ – those big segments where concerted, community based action could really make a dent in local emissions. The information is displayed visually via a series of charts. However, for those who do want to access the raw data, you can visit the Downloads page to do so.

To access the tool, click here.

New Research and Publications

The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review

dasgupta review

On 18 February 2021, The Dasgupta Review was published.

The Dasgupta Review is an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge).

The Review was commissioned in 2019 by HM Treasury and has been supported by an Advisory Panel drawn from public policy, science, economics, finance and business.

It presents the first large scale economic review for Biodiversity, and summarises that growth is only achievable when shared with Biodiversity as our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on nature. In this report the following recommendations are made in Chapter 21: Options for Change.

(i) Ensure that our demands on Nature do not exceed its supply,
and that we increase Nature’s supply relative to its current level.

(ii) Change our measures of economic success to guide us on a
more sustainable path.

(iii) Transform our institutions and systems – in particular our
finance and education systems – to enable these changes and
sustain them for future generations.

To read the report in full, or read abridged versions of it, click here.