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WEALDEN District Council in East Sussex, has replaced diesel with hydrogenated vegetable oil in all of its waste collection and street cleansing vehicles operated by the council’s contractor Biffa. The sustainable replacement fuel HVO is cleaner and reduces carbon by up to 90% compared to regular diesel. The switch will also reduce other potentially harmful emissions including nitrous oxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide. Cllr Coleshill, Alliance for Wealden, and lead councillor for climate change, wellbeing and economy, said: “I am very pleased that the waste fleet will be moving to a sustainable alternative from diesel. The amount of carbon emissions that will be reduced from this one scheme alone is substantial.” Cllr Millward, Alliance for Wealden, lead councillor for housing & benefits and deputy leader of the council, said: “I think this is an innovation we should be proud of, we are making changes and heading in the right direction to achieve the council’s objective of becoming net zero.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023


A new energy saving initiative has launched in FROME, Somerset to help its residents reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. The Community Retrofit project will look at making changes to homes to make them more energy efficient, comfortable, cheaper to heat and healthier to live in. It will look at improving insulation, reducing draughts, or adding secondary or double glazing which can help tackle problems like damp, condensation, and mould which can harm a person's health and wellbeing. The project is part of the Green and Healthy Frome initiative, in partnership with Edventure Frome, Frome Medical Practice and Frome Town Council. The project is funded by The National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. Community Retrofit Lead, Sally Richards, said: “This is a brilliant initiative for those who would like to make their homes healthier and more energy efficient, but are not sure where to start. Signing up for a free assessment means that homeowners will have more information to make improvements.” Details about the Retrofit project can be found on the Frome town council website: www.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023


LEYBOURNE Parish Council in Kent, has secured a £120,000 grant from the Community Ownership Fund to purchase and preserve Leybourne Woods for the benefit of the local community, both current and for future generations. Kevin Wagstaff, Chairman of Leybourne Parish Council said: “This remarkable accomplishment would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the residents of Leybourne. We want to express our sincere appreciation to all who voted for the current council and those who passionately signed the petition, demonstrating the strength of our collective dedication to protecting our local environment. The successful bid and grant acquisition were the results of the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff and councillors who worked diligently to make a compelling case for the acquisition of Leybourne Woods. Their commitment to preserving this natural treasure for the community is truly commendable, and their hard work has paid off.”

 Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023



Eco social enterprise,, is stepping forward to assist councils and farmers in making the most of a newly established £2.5 million government fund. This initiative is aimed at planting thousands of trees across the nation to commemorate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. brings a fresh, accessible approach to local authorities, district and city councils and farmers, providing expert support for sustainable woodland creation. The organisation offers solutions tailored to individual sites, allowing clients to maximise their share of the grant ranging from £10,000 to £50,000. The organisation's end-to-end services include site mapping, ecological surveys, creation of detailed plans and tree species selection, The team is committed to ongoing site visitation and support for 50 years, reflecting an enduring dedication to the long-term success of each project. Michael Cunningham, Director of said: “We are thrilled to be part of this momentous initiative. Not only do we have the chance to enrich our environment, but we also get to support our local communities and farmers in the process.” For more information about visit

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023

NorthWealdWoods_Nov23.jpgPicture: David Jackman


NORTH WEALD BASSETT Parish Council in Essex announced the new North Weald Woodland has been officially opened to the public. More than 2,400 trees have been planted in the area, among them seven oak saplings given by local resident Roger Anthony. The saplings had grown in Mr Anthony’s garden from an old oak tree, which is believed to have once stood in the grounds of Bluemans Farm. The ‘North Weald Oaks’ join native species such as willow, poplar, hazel, alder, hawthorn, sweet chestnut and oak, all sourced by Essex County Council’s Senior Forestry and Woodland Officer. It is hoped these will enhance the biodiversity in this important location. The project includes information boards and seating, including a bench purchased with a donation from the now closed down North Weald Bassett Preservation Society. Another bench, along with an information board, recognises the efforts of the eco-warrior group of children at St Andrew's Primary School who attended the ceremony. Also attending the ribbon cutting were parish councillors and Epping Forest District Council vice-chairman Cllr Les Burrows. Visitors to Weald Common can still enjoy the popular walking area as the well-trodden pathways that cross the field have been retained.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023



A local residents’ group has been awarded money to help them restore a valued area of open space near their houses. The Kirkbie Green Community Group in KENDAL, Cumbria, have received a grant of £500 from the council’s dedicated biodiversity and nature recovery fund. The group, with support from Kendal Conservation Volunteers, plan to use the funding to plant wild flowers and ferns in Kirkbie Green, near the lakeland town’s Gooseholme Park. Previously the green had been used as a muddy short cut, but thanks to the group’s initiative access has been restricted to an adjacent tarmac footpath. The diversion will enable more plants to grow and allow the green to thrive as a biodiverse space. Chair of the council’s environment committee, Cllr Eamonn Hennessy said: “We are delighted to fund the work of this community group and see residents once again actively supporting nature recovery on their doorstep.” Local MP, Tim Farron joined the mayor and councillors presenting the cheques: “This is exactly what we need in our communities - spaces linking up green corridors and building sustainable environment for future generations.”

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023



ASHINGTON Town Council in Northumberland, wanted to celebrate climate progress stemming from carbon literacy, so it arranged training for its councillors and officers. Executive Officer, Sarah Eden completed the training in January 2023, as part of final trials for the Carbon Literacy Project's Town and Parish toolkit. The training was delivered by Save Our Shropshire to five councillors from Ashington, and two from neighbouring councils in Northumberland. The training has provided councillors with the knowledge to make informed, sustainable decisions and engage residents in climate action. https://saveourshropshire. org/parish-council-workshop. Leader, Cllr John Tully now feels equipped to champion eco-friendly changes, ensuring today's actions protect future generations. The council hopes leading by example will encourage similar training and sustainability efforts in other town and parish councils.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023



DUNSTABLE Town Council's Ranger Service has taken delivery of a fully electric sweeper as part of the council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and improving the sustainability of its maintenance operations to create a cleaner, greener, and more inviting urban environment for its residents and visitors. The Bedfordshire council is working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and the purchase of the sweeper will help to reduce the council’s carbon footprint. With a global focus on combating climate change and fostering ecological balance, the council is dedicated to being at the forefront of sustainable practices. Cllr Liz Jones, mayor of Dunstable, said: “The acquisition of the Electric Eco City Sweeper underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering a clean, healthy, and attractive environment for our residents and visitors.”

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023


 Picture: Somerset Bat Group


This summer saw the largest Big Bat Count to date take place in FROME, Somerset. Frome Town Council, the Wild Bunch and over 50 local volunteers in 10 teams took part in the community event and recorded a whopping 169 bats. Using equipment provided by Somerset Bat Group, who assisted the group with recording devices, the bat spotters headed out to various locations around the town. Soprano and Common Pipistrelle were the most commonly recorded species along with nearly as many Noctule species and a good number of Serotine, another larger bat species. Cllr Tanner who attended said: “The Big Bat Counts are a vital health check for the town and the fact that a record number of bats were spotted goes to show the town is providing an appealing environment for wildlife to exist and thrive.” Somerset Bat Group hope to run another Big Bat Count late in the summer 2024 and wish to say a big thank you to Wessex Water who allowed the group to survey on their site and volunteered to count bats themselves.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2023



This year’s list of Green Flag Award winners was announced in July. The award scheme is managed by Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and is the benchmark standard for the management of parks and green spaces across the UK

Among those receiving awards are:

  • Victoria Park in NEWBURY, Berkshire
  • WEYMOUTH Town Council in Dorset received two Green Flag Awards, one each for Greenhill Gardens and Sandsfoot Gardens
  • DUNSTABLE Town Council in Bedfordshire has retained Green Flag status for Grove House Gardens, Priory Gardens and Dunstable Cemetery, and has earned a fourth for Bennett Memorial Recreation Ground
  • CALNE Town Council in Wiltshire has received a Green Flag Award for Curzon Street Cemetery
  • CITY OF DONCASTER Council in South Yorkshire celebrated after seven parks across the city received prestigious Green Flag Awards: Campsall Country Park, Bentley Park, Hexthorpe Park, Elmfield Park, Sandall Park, Quarry Park and Cusworth Hall Park.
  • SHEPTON MALLET Town Council in Somerset has received a Green Flag Award for Collett Park
  • FARNHAM Town Council in Surrey earned three Green Flags for Gostrey Meadow, Badshot Lea Cemetery and West Street Cemetery.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



We have recently launched a campaign on our website and social media to remind drivers to switch off when their engines are idling. MARLBOROUGH is a busy town with A-roads meeting in the town centre. School and club entrances are close to houses and many people live or work next to busy roads and shopping or other commercial areas. The town is recognised as one of Wiltshire’s hot spots in terms of poor air quality, and areas within the town have been designated by Wiltshire Council as Air Quality Management Areas. Environmental groups have been campaigning for many years and more recently local residents have shared their concerns with us around this increasing environmental issue. In particular one resident contacted the town council with concerns about the number of drivers leaving engines running in stationary vehicles next to the pavement in the High Street and at sport clubs while waiting to collect children. Councillors agreed to help spread the word about the harmful effects of toxic exhaust emissions. Leaving your engine running while parked wastes fuel and money and increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air. Every minute, an idling car produces enough toxic exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons. Reducing emissions from idling vehicles can significantly contribute to a better environment for everyone – saving money and reducing noise, smells and toxic emissions. Our media campaign aims to raise awareness and seek the support of road users, engaging with local schools around idling at school drop-off and collection areas and also outside sports clubs and leisure facilities. We have produced two A4 posters and eight different social media GIFs, while our Facebook page contains a short video with the key points to help spread the message.

Richard Spencer-Williams, Clerk,
Marlborough Town Council, Wiltshire
Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



FIELDS IN TRUST ran a survey in August to gauge interest in a new fundraising campaign. The proposed Bark in the Park initiative will encourage people who walk their dogs regularly to embark on a challenge to walk 100km a month (or 30 minutes a day) and raise money to help protect parks by at the same time. The charity’s latest Green Space Index, launched in June, showed that urgent planning reform is needed to improve access to parks and green spaces. According to its research, more than six million people in Great Britain still don’t have a park or green space within a ten-minute walk from home, and 4,000 more green spaces are needed by 2033 just to prevent green space provision declining from its current level. As part of the Better Planning Coalition, Fields in Trust has been lobbying for change and campaigning for a specific amendment to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill to increase park and green space coverage.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



CALNE Town Council in Wiltshire has installed a borehole at its Beversbrook Sports and Community Facility to support healthy grass growth and high-quality football playing surfaces. The work was made possible through grant funding from Community First’s Landfill Communities Fund and the Football Foundation. The need for the borehole, and two water cannons, was identified by a feasibility study by ITurf carried out in 2020. The new equipment means that the pitches can be irrigated effectively and has created a dense sward that will hold grass coverage for longer into the winter. Sports and facilities manager Dan Martin said: “We are constantly striving to improve the facilities that we offer. This has enabled us to continue to improve playing surfaces for the wide range of football teams and community groups who use our facility.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



HERTFORD Town Council declared a climate emergency at a full meeting on 10 July, and pledged to act to protect human health and biodiversity to the maximum extent its powers allow. Councillors unanimously supported the view that all governments (national and local) have a duty to do all within their power to limit the negative impacts of climate breakdown. The council is already implementing a detailed environmental sustainability action plan and is committed to achieving operational carbon neutrality by 2030. Cllr Vicky Smith, chair of the council, said: “I am pleased that the council has acted quickly so soon after being elected to take this important decision. It will now ensure that it demonstrates leadership in setting a positive local example on what is achievable and will advocate and support others to do the same.” At the same meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to sign the Civility and Respect Pledge, confirming the positive and supportive behaviour expected of councillors and staff.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023 



WITHAM Town Council in Essex launched an educational scheme in July to encourage children to explore nature over the summer holidays, in an attempt to instil a love for wildlife and foster environmental consciousness. The Witham Wildlife Watcher scheme focused on different locations around the town. Children collected a record card from the information centre in the town hall and used this to spot and identify various forms of wildlife, accumulating stamps on their card as they went. After a few weeks they could redeem their stamps for stickers and small prizes, and also see their names and spots displayed on a notice board.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



ST ANDREWS Parish Council in Swindon has set up a new Climate Crisis Committee, which held its first meeting at Redhouse Community Centre on 3 July. Parishioners were invited to share their concerns and to help formulate a plan as to how the parish should proceed. Cllr Vera Tomlinson, council chair, said: “We feel we should take a second look at everything we do or purchase, to check if it complies with helping climate change and does not go towards destroying our planet.” The chair of the committee, Cllr Daniel Adams, added: “We started our green journey several years ago and since then we have started several projects to help fight climate change. Having this committee in place will allow us to focus more on this subject. We may be a small parish, but we can still play our part.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2023



BRADFORD ON AVON Town Council has planted 3,500 trees across the town thanks to a £96,000 grant from the Forestry Commission secured through Wiltshire Council. One of the first trees planted was a Kalyna (Guelder Rose) in Westbury Garden to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. In February and March, the town wardens were hard at work planting thousands of trees across the town. Two community tree planting events in Poulton Park called 'Plant Poulton Park' were also organised. These events allowed residents to play their part in the future of their local green space. At the first event over 70 people attended and planted 1,200 smaller trees (whips) to form a mini forest. The trees were planted following the Miyawaki method which allows trees to grow more quickly, improve biodiversity, and absorb more CO2.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2023




As part of its commitment to take action following its Climate Emergency declaration, SEAFORD Town Council in East Sussex has arranged for an additional water refill station to be installed in the East Martello Field. This station joins the five others that were installed in the town in 2021. The location is ideal in providing a perfect pit stop for walkers and people exercising in the area, as well as visitors to the many events held here. This will also help the town council work towards reducing throw-away plastic, in align with Seaford Town Council’s ‘Single Use Plastic policy 2021’. The work is anticipated to be completed by the end of July 2023.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2023




Cyngor Cymuned LLANENGAN’S innovative project has been realised. Two of the three solar benches (one solar and two hybrid) that were purchased from Croatia last year – an opportunity to offer renewable energy in the community – have been installed. They were financed by Llŷn AONB Development Sustainable Grant, the late Mrs Elisabeth Jones, Abersoch’s bequest, and the Council’s precept. The benches have been further developed so the design looks more like a proper’ bench. Cyngor Cymuned Llanengan is the first Community Council in Wales to purchase this new design. They are innovative because they are solar powered with multiple functions and offer an AC socket, Wi-Fi internet access, charging mobile phones and other smart devices, ambient LED light, charging e-bikes and scooters, puncture repair kits, pump, screwdriver, hexagon tolls and wrenches. Two bikes can be ‘parked’ on the hybrid benches. Sensors collect data of how much energy is produced, pressure, temperature, humidity, how many people sit on them and even heat the seats during the winter.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2023



BUCKINGHAM’S community joined together on 17 March to help plant the town’s first Tiny Forest as part of the Town Council’s efforts to tackle climate change. Residents were joined by Mayor Cllr Margaret Gately, Earthwatch Europe and Buckinghamshire Council to transform a plot the size of a small tennis court in Bourton Park. Around 600 native saplings from English oak and silver birch to hazel, hawthorn and goat willow were planted in the fast growing and dense forest. The space was finished off with a dense layer of mulch, an information board and two rustic wooden benches. Tiny Forests store carbon in trees, mitigate flooding and heat stress, attract wildlife, improve air quality and provide an accessible green space and outdoor classroom for local communities to connect with nature. The forest, which is funded through the Local Authority Treescapes Fund, will be the second Tiny Forest in Buckinghamshire after Princes Risborough’s Forest, which was planted in February this year. Cllr Margaret Gately, Buckingham Town Mayor, said: “It was great to be part of a team from our community. I look forward to seeing how it develops in the coming years.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2023



Introducing a new guide to help local councils protect precious green spaces and paths, Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the OPEN SPACES SOCIETY, Britain’s oldest conservation body, says: ‘Often town, parish and community councils (local councils) are unaware of all the extensive powers they have to deal with problems on open spaces and paths. ‘These powers are scattered in different and sometimes obscure pieces of legislation. This is why we have brought them together in one document: What local councils can do for public access to town and countryside. The guide explains the powers specifically conferred on local councils, and the powers which, although available to the public in general, are best exercised by the local council because it has the authority and more resources than most individuals and voluntary organisations.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2023




In November 2019, SEVENOAKS Town Council made Climate Change and Carbon Neutral initiatives a No 1 Priority. One of the practical actions agreed was to replace the Town Council vehicles when needed with electric vehicles. A second van has been branded, similar to the first to enable members of the public to see it more easily around the town. The new van is fully electric and covers 174 miles and will be used by the Town Wardens to carry out day to day tasks on the Town Council’s public open spaces. Sevenoaks Town Council has also arranged for publicly accessible vehicle charging points to be installed at its council offices site in Bradbourne Vale Road and at the new Bat & Ball Centre, and more potential installations are being researched.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2023



As part of a joint project with Berkshire Youth and the Town Council’s Green Spaces Working Group, children in NEWBURY were given the opportunity to build a bat box during the half term break. The workshop was held at the Waterside Centre, home of Berkshire Youth, and installed with the help of Sundog Hire and CA Cook & Co Tree Services, both giving their time and equipment free of charge for the project. It's good news for Newbury’s bat population, as 14 new roosting boxes have now been installed at Victoria Park. Each box was painted individually so they are all unique and the children will be able to visit the park and distinguish their own design. James Heasman, the Town Council’s Parks & Open Spaces Supervisor, guided the children through the process of making the boxes with all materials supplied by Newbury Town Council. The UK is home to 18 species of bat. All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them so once they are up.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2023



A new Reuse Shop was officially opened in HUDDERSFIELD on 1 February. Run by partner Revive, the shop on Upperhead Row marks a milestone in Kirklees Council’s resources and waste strategy. It will support the circular economy in the West Yorkshire district and will also raise funds for good causes. The shop had a soft launch late last year and is already popular. Donation containers at the council’s recycling centres have been collecting textiles, small electricals and other items for the last year, and residents have donated more than 97 tonnes of items to be sold on. Donations can now also be taken directly to the shop during opening hours. Revive’s prof ts are shared between its two member charities, SLATE and the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP). In addition to selling affordable household goods, the shop has created eight jobs and several volunteer opportunities. Cabinet member for environment Cllr Naheed Mather said: “We hope the shop will encourage more residents to embrace the circular economy and make it even easier to play their part to reduce, reuse, recycle.” Cllr Will Simpson added: “We are proud to have achieved this milestone. We know that worries about climate change are ever present and I welcome this new initiative towards our vision of a zero-waste future.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2023



YATE Town Council in Gloucestershire has installed its first fully renewable energy generator at the town’s Heritage Centre. It began investigating the replacement of gas boilers at the end of their life-cycle in 2021, and decided on air source heat pumps as the best option. In November 2022, when the centre’s boiler failed and could not be repaired, it immediately went ahead with a renewable energy replacement. The system works by capturing heat from outside and moving it indoors. Heat pumps are low maintenance and have a long service life, on average longer than 15 years compared with 10–15 for gas boilers. They are also more than 300 per cent more efficient, and the council believes that this will cut the building’s carbon footprint by thousands of kilograms of CO2 each year. It will also save money: using electricity from its green energy supply and the building’s underfloor heating system, the council estimates that it will save £1,600 each year compared with gas.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2023



ANGMERING Parish Council in West Sussex has received positive feedback from local residents after installing solar lighting in a local park last July. The council applied to the government’s Safer Streets Fund in early 2021 and was granted funding for 11 solar powered lights for Mayflower Park. The park is next to a school and has a BMX track and skate bowl, and is also a haven for dog walkers and wildlife. It serves as a cut-through to the local train station and so is used at all hours of the day and night. The area had no lighting at all, and it was felt that adding lighting would make it feel more secure. The initiative had been on the council’s wish list for many years, and it now feels that the new lighting is a great asset to the community.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2023



ASHINGTON Town Council has recently agreed a target of 1,500 trees to be planted in 2022/23 and has launched an interactive map where planting projects can be recorded. Working with Northumberland County Council, it is asking residents, schools, community groups and local businesses to help it achieve the target. Five planting schemes have recently been completed, adding 73 trees to the town’s stock including beech, horse chestnut, lime, Norwegian maple, oak and sycamore. In early February the total number of trees planted was 773, just over halfway to the target. Residents can register trees by completing a form on a dedicated page on the council’s website. Cllr Sophie Robinson, chair of the climate change committee, said: “We recognise that any council working alone can achieve little in facing climate change. It is important, however, that we make clear our intent to work positively with others towards schemes and solutions that are significant in addressing carbon neutrality and eliminating emissions. Everyone has a part to play, however small.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2023


CLLR Adrian Dite, deputy mayor of THAME in Oxfordshire, planted an oak sapling in early November to replace a willow uprooted by storms in December 2021. The tree, donated to the town council by the #Thame Trees project initiated by 21st Century Thame, commemorates the late monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II. It was nurtured locally by resident Mary Ann Evans. More trees were planted in late November and all will be added to The Queen’s Green Canopy map. Meanwhile the council organised a winter tidy-up of St Mary’s churchyard on 15 December. Volunteers, who were asked to bring rakes and secateurs, helped to gather up leaves and cut back ivy from trees and walls. They were rewarded with coffee and a light lunch.

Clerks & Councils Direct January 2023



IN celebration of National Tree Week, which in 2022 ran from 26 November to 4 December, NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire donated two saplings to Arnewood School, which were planted in the grounds by members of the school’s Young Leaders group. The trees, a maple and a silver birch, will be plotted on The Queen’s Green Canopy map in honour of her late Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Cllr Geoff Blunden, chairman of the council’s amenities committee, presented certificates to the students. He said: “Listening to the young people’s understanding of the importance of tree planting and the environmental benefits was very refreshing. I’m sure they will remember planting these trees in the years ahead.”

Clerks & Councils Direct January 2023




ASHINGTON Town Council in Northumberland set up a climate change committee some time ago and has undertaken initiatives such as tree-planting and more climate-conscious office working. Its latest project is a sustainable planting scheme on main roads into the town, working with a local garden designer and horticulturist, Sean Murray. The scheme is designed to have year-round interest, to be sustainable and to encourage pollinators. It will be planted up in late September, and plants in situ will be reused elsewhere in the town. Mr Murray said: “The planting will have interest throughout the year not only from flowers but from stems, leaves and seed heads with an emphasis on perfume, especially in the winter months. I hope it will be a green sanctuary for people to perhaps stop for a moment and feel uplifted and inspired by nature.” The council was keen to involve young people in the project and worked with pupils from three local schools, who created “Work in Progress” signs and posters that were put on display from mid-July. It awarded each school £500 to be used for their own sustainability projects, with cheques presented by assets and facilities manager Stephen Humphrey.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2022



ST ANDREWS Parish Council in Swindon. Wiltshire has begun the process of switching its fleet of vehicles to electric with the lease of a new Toyota City Proace Electric Icon van to be used by its grounds maintenance staff. According to clerk Emma Sylvester, the vehicle was chosen because it combines the carrying capabilities and versatility of a conventional van with the performance and efficiency of an all-electric powertrain. It runs without fossil fuels and produces no harmful CO2 emissions or NOx gases. It has a 75 kWh battery which delivers approximately 200 miles and a payload of up to 1,000kg, which makes it well equipped to meet the needs of staff. The council will be looking to change more of its grounds maintenance vehicles to electric when the current leases come to an end. Cllr Vera Tomlinson, council chairman, said: “It is wonderful news that we finally have our first electric vehicle. We are looking at other changes we can make to how we work, taking a further step in the right direction with our approach to climate change.”

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2022


A new environmental scheme is using plants and artificial salt marshes to clean oils, diesel and chemicals from water collected from road gullies. LEICESTERSHIRE County Council has set up a “living water” operation at one of its depots to treat the water it collects from drains. Tankers collect the water and take it to the depot where it is placed into bays. A weir system drains it through straw which acts as a natural filter, removing a high percentage of oils, hydrocarbons, salts and silt. The water is then passed through three engineered ponds where salt marsh plants and the bacteria and micro-organisms that live in them remove the remaining pollutants. The clean water then flows into a brook feeding into the River Soar. Any remaining solid waste such as stones, sand, metals and plastics is removed and recycled.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2022

WEYMOUTH Town Council in Dorset urged people to enjoy picnics in its parks and open spaces rather than BBQs during this summer’s extremely hot and dry weather conditions. It joined partner organisations to support the wildfire prevention campaign #BringAPicnicNotABBQ.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2022

WALBERTON Parish Council in West Sussex made contingency plans to acquire a temporary holding tank to house endangered fish as the village pond dried up for only the second time in 50 years. Water levels had been falling since June. Longer term, it will consider dredging and replanting the pond to ensure its sustainability

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2022

THE Friends of Ballard Water Meadow plan to host their annual National Meadow Day event on 2 July at Ballard Meadow and Woodland, in association with NEW MILTON Town Council. The event promises guided walks, butterfly walks, stream dipping and the opportunity to explore wildlife in this meadow and woodland environment. This is to be followed on 3 July by a free music event featuring the Blue Tides Band, plus a trophy presentation for the winners of the Hampshire town’s Best Dressed Window Competition.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2022

 UCKFIELD Town Council in East Sussex held the town’s first ECO Expo on 30 April. The exhibition at the Civic Centre brought together agencies and organisations working on alternative technologies, and residents were able to speak to experts on subjects ranging from electric cars to skincare.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2022


NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire has planted 50 trees so far this year around the town, with species including hawthorn, beech, crab apple and flowering cherry. All the trees will be recorded on the Queen’s Green Canopy Map. Pupils from Ashley Infants School helped plant a hawthorn at the refurbished playpark on Ashley Recreation Ground and were presented with certificates of achievement by Cllr Geoff Blunden, chairman of the amenities committee. He said: “I am pleased that Oliver and Grace were able to plant this tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project and in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. I hope they see it grow to maturity in the coming years and remember this special day.” The council also organised a best dressed window display competition in partnership with the Lions Club and local businesses, with winners announced at a special afternoon of music event at the Recreation Ground on 3 June.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2022


BACK in March, Cllr Bob Pinfield, chairman of COOKHILL Parish Council in Worcestershire, and vice chair Cllr Anne Sumner got together with volunteers from Cookhill Allotments to plant 100 trees for the Jubilee and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. The trees were planted on council land to create an avenue along an existing footpath and around the edge of the field. They were supplied by The Conservation Volunteers under their “I Dig Trees” initiative and comprised a mix of native woodland species. The council has big plans for the meadow, with further trees due to be planted in the autumn. A small orchard in the centre, with wildflowers to attract bees, will complete the scheme.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2022


FILLONGLEY Parish Council planted three large oak trees as part of the QGC initiative, with the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, coming to the village to unveil a commemorative plaque. Soon after this, resident Jo Hooke was awarded a place on the Parish Roll of Honour for fundraising and coordinating the renovation of the war memorial and researching all those whose names are recorded on it. Councillors then visited the village school to present all the children of the parish with a commemorative Jubilee mug. On the Jubilee weekend itself the council hosted a beacon, bonfire and fireworks party, with local groups providing a bar and a BBQ. The event was attended by around 650 people. Cllr William Antrobus, the council vice chair, provided the site and machinery and built the beacon. It was lit by 94-year-old resident Pat Kerby, who farmed in the parish as his father and grandfather had done before him and as his son and grandson do now, according to parish clerk Heather Badham.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2022


MALDON in Essex took a nostalgic look back to Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and to her two visits to the town, in May 1971 and October 2010. To mark the Platinum Jubilee, the town council formed a working party to organise celebrations. These included a church service of thanksgiving followed by an afternoon tea for local volunteers and the planting of seven trees across the parish as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project. There was also a schools art competition, bunting was distributed to High Street shops and the Moot Hall was decorated in appropriate style.

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