South Hams Climate Change and Biodiversity Newsletter June 2022

Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency

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June 2022

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, contact our Climate Change Specialist by email here and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Get involved

bike week

Bike Week 2022 - 
6 to 12 June

These last few years have seen a lot of change in cycling; many people took up cycling or rediscovered it, dusting off that old bike sitting in the shed to get out there again. Some did it for exercise, some for commuting to work, to go to the shops or even just to be able to see friends and family. The bike can give everyone freedom, to choose how to travel and how to live their lives better and healthier. 

The facts (Source: Cycling UK)

  1.  Cycling to work can mean you have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease – your health can be better if you travel by bike 
  2.  A switch of one journey per day reduces a person’s carbon footprint by approximately 0.5 tonnes over a year – your climate can better by if you travel by bike 
  3.  If all cycle journeys increased from the current level of 2% to 25% by 2050, the collective benefit would be £248bn – your pocket can be better off if you travel by bike 

What can you do during Bike Week?

  • Organise a ride – if you would like to put on an event, all you need to know is on our Register an event page - with lots of information and materials to help make your event a success
  • Encourage your workplace to take part in Bike Week – all you need to know is on our Workplaces page 
  • Try something new – check out our Inspiration page, full of ideas and routes to explore this bike week 
  • Celebrate cycling – With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee just before Bike Week, why not keep the celebrations going? Take your street party to some new streets by bike and don’t forget to share your photos with us using the Bike Week hashtag: #BikeWeekUK 

For further information click here.

plymouth uni

Research Festival 2022 – Throughout June

The annual Research Festival, held at Plymouth University, returns for the fifth year to celebrate collaboration across academia, policy and industry, responding to the theme: a systems-thinking approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Are coastal communities receiving the research and investment they need? 

How do we make Landscapes healthy

What role do the arts have in achieving greater research impact? 

Research Festival 2022 invites you to attend a mixed-delivery programme of in person, online or hybrid events so you can join them from wherever you are.

Net zero carbon: from policy to action Friday 24 June, 9:30 a.m - 4:15 p.m

Join us to hear about the role of universities in taking a systems-thinking approach to reaching net zero, the latest overview of UK policy, and explore clean growth opportunities in the South West. Hear from keynotes including Michael Lewis CEO of E.ON and Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE from University of Bath.

View full programme and register

Making landscapes healthy Monday 27 June, 9:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m Farming is at the heart of the South West and a critical cornerstone to the region’s economy. Gain insight into the University’s cutting-edge research in the agriculture sector and hear from local agricultural and environmental leaders including Sir Harry Studholme, former chair of the UK Forestry Commission.

View full programme and register

Perspectives on complexity Wednesday 29 June, 2 p.m - 6 p.m Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute, Professor Will Blake, chairs this thought-provoking event exploring transdisciplinary research and challenges perceptions of how to approach research. Co-hosted with Schumacher College, with opening keynote from Deep Ecology Research Fellow, Dr Stephan Harding & Senior Lecturer, Dr Andy Letcher.

View full programme and register

There are many more events scheduled for the Plymouth University Research Festival. For the full programme, click here.

tree planting

Place-making Informed by Nature Connection - 23 June 11 a.m to 12 p.m

Join the online talk 'Place-making Informed by Nature Connection' with Professor Miles Richardson, lead for the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby and Green Minds.

The Nature Connection Handbook has recently been produced by the University of Derby, featuring Green Minds Plymouth as a case study.

Green Minds is an Urban Innovative Actions (ERDF) funded partnership programme applying the nature connection pathways to inform place-making, promote health and wellbeing and support pro-environmental behaviour.

To register for this event, click here.

Sustainable South Hams - Invitation to join the network

Sustainable South Hams is a newly formed community network organisation developed and run by volunteers already working in climate and nature groups in the South Hams. Our priority is to link parish sustainability groups in order to share skills, knowledge and inspiration. The interactive parish map on our website ( is being updated now for a relaunch of the website in July.

Please complete and submit the group form below to either update your information on the current website or to add a new group to the South Hams map.

We will soon be sending out an invitation to their groups to add a project to the website. By supporting practical projects, we can increase public awareness, engagement and eventually behavioural change around climate change. We achieve this through monthly members meetings, networking introductions and project visits.

For more information contact us at

South Hams District Council is providing financial support for this year's focus project to collate the contact details and promote the activities of all the parish-based community groups working to reduce our district carbon footprint and rebuild our natural environment. Together we can make a difference in time.

Contact Sustainable South Hams

Tony Lyle - Sustainable Malborough & South Huish

Jane Nichols - Sustainable South Brent

Simon Oldridge - Sustainable Staverton

Louise Wainwright - Bigbury Net Zero

Available Funding

South Hams District Council Climate Infrastructure Fund - Deadline 9 June

We have launched an expression of interest round for a fund to support and boost investment in the development of infrastructure-related projects to help the district reduce its carbon emissions. It is part of the council’s efforts to become Net Zero by 2050.

For this fund, we are looking to fund projects that add to or improve a community function to help people transition to more sustainable ways of living such as alternative transport options and community sharing schemes. Projects must take place within the South Hams District Council area.

​Projects will need to produce measurable outputs, for example, like increased uptake in a low carbon/sustainable service, surveys demonstrating a change in behaviour in travel, the delivery of new infrastructure or help to enable or facilitate new infrastructure, producing feasibility studies, market assessments, proof of concept, prototyping/testing (with results).

Between £1,000 and £25,000 can be requested from the Climate Infrastructure Fund which has a total budget of £100,000. Projects with match funding or that lever in additional funds will be looked upon favourably. All funds must be spent before May 2023.

Eligible organisations include charities, community organisations, CICs, not-for-profit companies, educational establishments (projects must benefit the community) and statutory bodies. Refer to the website for the full list.

To apply click the link: South Hams Climate Infrastructure Fund

Energy Redress Scheme - Deadline 5 p.m 6 June

A total of £27 million is available as grants to charities and community energy groups that support households most at risk from cold homes and high energy bills across England, Scotland and Wales. Projects should also focus on enabling a just transition to national net zero carbon emissions targets and reducing the impact of climate change associated with energy consumption.

Charities can apply for grants to deliver energy related projects through four different funding streams. As part of phase two, funding is now also open to community energy groups –  including community interest companies, co-operative societies and community benefit societies – who can apply to two of the funding streams: the Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund and Innovation Fund.

  • The Main Fund contains £18 million - aimed at projects seeking grants between £50,000 and £2 million that will support households in vulnerable situations.
  • The Small Project Fund contains £1 million – aimed at projects seeking grants between £20,000 to £49,999 that will support households in vulnerable situations.
  • The Innovation Fund contains £4 million – aimed at projects that will develop innovative products or services to benefit households. Applicants can apply for grants between £50,000 to £1 million.
  • The Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund contains £4 million – aimed at projects that empower householders to reduce their carbon emissions and engage positively with the transition to net zero. The fund awards grants between £50,000 to £1 million.

To apply, click the link below 

Great Western Railway Community Fund - Deadline 27 June

GWR is calling for ideas and bids of all shapes and sizes for the year ahead. They must show a link to the railway and address an area of social need or provide a community benefit.  Schemes should reach completion by end of March 2023.

If you have an idea, GWR wants to hear from you.

Each proposal will be treated on its own merits and consideration of the benefit it would bring to the community.

Please click here for further guidance notes and to submit your application. All proposals must be submitted by Monday 27 June.

Sources of funding for tree planting in Devon

As of publishing this newsletter, there are over 20 different sources of funding for tree planting in Devon.

The Devon Local Nature Partnership manage a list of funding sources which is available here:

New Research and Publications

Pollution caused 1 in 6 deaths globally for five years, study says


According to new findings published in the Lancet Planetary Health Journal, one in six deaths worldwide stemmed from poor air quality, unsafe water and toxic chemical pollution, amounting to 9 million people each year.

The findings continue to highlight that the triad of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss are the key global environmental issues of our time.

These issues are intricately linked and solutions to each will benefit the others. To read the report in full, click here.

Warming temperatures are eroding our ability to sleep.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in three American adults don’t get enough sleep. 

Previous studies have put some of the blame for our sleep problems on technology, stress and noise and light pollution.

However, findings published in the science journal One Earth found that warming temperatures have already eroded 45 hours of sleep per person per year, by influencing people to fall asleep later and wake up earlier.

This research was made possible through an enormous data set made possible from 10 billion sleep observations pulled from 7 million sleep records (including data from fitness wristbands and wearable technology) from 47,000 individuals across 68 countries and comparing this with meteorological and climate data.

Domestic Cooling

As people grapple with this new reality, its likely that increasing reliance on air conditioning will occur, which introduces quite the paradox, as methods for cooling, such as air conditioning units, can end up worsening the problem they’re trying to solve if they draw on fossil fuels, or leak much more potent heat, trapping gases through refrigerants.

As we move into warmer summer months, it's important to remember some of the more natural ways of cooling your home without mechanical ventilation, such as;

  • Cross Ventilation - Any room with openings on opposite sides can be cross-ventilated if the openings are large enough to allow for air flow into a room from one side and out the other and remove hot air, especially at night
  • Vegetation and other landscaping - reducing the amount of hard surfaces around your home can be just as crucial. Surfaces like paving and concrete can absorb heat during the day and release it overnight, which can create a warm environment around your house in the summer all day and all night.
    Garden planting and landscaping can cool a breeze before it enters your home. Rows of leafy trees or tall, dense shrubs can funnel air to open windows, their shade and transpiration (the release of water from plant leaves) cools the air as it moves through.
  • Window shading and glazing. Solar radiation passing through windows can contribute massively to heat gain in hot, humid climates. Window shading or glazing film technology can minimise heat gain while transmitting daylight, which reduces electrical lighting needs.

To read the research in more detail, click here.