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Thirty climate-tolerant trees have been planted at the Mentmore Recreation Ground by DUNSTABLE Town Council. Council officers joined the grounds team, Mayor Liz Jones, councillors Richard Attwell and Nicholas Kotarski, local volunteers and Central Bedfordshire councillors Eugene Ghent and Nigel Young in planting the final phase of a tree and hedge planting project. Over the past two years, in collaboration with Central Bedfordshire Council’s sustainability team, Earthwatch Europe and The Woodland Trust, the town council has made different initiatives a reality. That has included the Queen’s Green Canopy for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, establishing a tiny forest, a native hedgerow, and planting a further 30 trees.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024




Pupils from Oakfield Academy and Critchill School have worked with the Bee Friendly Trust to prepare a number of planters with pollinator-friendly plants. The planters were installed ahead of FROME Town Council’s 18-month Safer School Streets trial in April. Also included as part of the scheme are ‘walking buses’ with Mojo Moves, Dr Bike cycle repair clinics and BMX stunt shows. Ten-year-old Jacob, a Year 5 pupil at the Somerset town’s Oakfield Academy, said: “It was fun getting the planters ready and it’ll be great to see the bees and other insects enjoying what we made with the Bee Friendly Trust. “I completed my Bikeability training to get ready for the trial and I’m looking forward to riding my bike to school without so many cars.” The planters created by the Bee Friendly Trust with Oakfield and Critchill children were placed along Oakfield Road as part of traffic-calming measures.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024





Oaks, limes, walnut, cherries and other trees have been planted across BUCKINGHAM thanks to funding from the Local Authority Treescapes Fund as part of the town council’s commitment to offset carbon emissions by planting more trees in the parish. The fund provided £4,349, following a successful joint application by the town council and Buckinghamshire County Council to plant hundreds of new trees, expanding on established woodlands, gapping up hedgerows and replacing dead or dying trees. The council’s environment committee chair, Fran Davies, said: “Town council staff, councillors and other volunteers set about planting 229 whips and 24 larger trees and thanks go to our incredible green spaces team, the Forestry Commission and Buckinghamshire Council.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024



One of the stalls at the
Love Your Weymouth Festival


More than 120 people braved the wet weather to visit the first Love Your WEYMOUTH Festival. As well as talks on topics from climate change, to how to reuse, recycle and repair items, there were 16 exhibitors from environmental support organisations. They all shared their knowledge and networked with festival goers and stallholders to see what can be done to help reduce the impact of climate change in Dorset. Tips on reducing food waste were shared, as well as energy saving ideas.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024



Last year’s Great Big Green Meet Up


Event submissions are flowing in for FROME’S Great Big Green Week, part of a national celebration of biodiversity, sustainability and caring for the planet, which runs 8-16 June. Events can be for any age, free or ticketed, indoor or outdoor, and organised by any individual, group or organisation. The only criteria is that the event has an environmental, biodiversity or climate-friendly theme. The Somerset town has been part of Great Big Green Week since 2021 and the programme has featured a range of events, including a river festival, planet-friendly family picnic, walks, talks, workshops, clothes swaps and bike rides. Cllr Fiona Barrows said: “This week is always so uplifting and focuses on the small things we can all do for a greener world.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024




Neil Hooper, chair, Purton Parish Council


Small changes are making a ‘bug’ impact at PURTON in Wiltshire. The parish council has installed 25 bird boxes, 25 bug houses, 25 bat boxes, utilising the services of a local community group, giving much needed experience and support to adults with learning difficulties. Clerk Debbie Lawrence said: “We have already seen the benefits of the bird boxes with nesting fast approaching and the ‘splatterings’ of noticeable activity. We are currently awaiting the building of hedgehog homes.” The latest project, having seen a ‘bug hotel’ advertised for sale, was to use its own grounds team to make some. “This is not just another bug house but an 11-storey bug hotel,” said Debbie. “Most of the materials were salvaged and sourced locally with minor cost for each hotel. Our head groundsman worked his magic and produced something that was beyond our expectations and a welcomed sight throughout our village and of huge benefit to the bug community. We now have three installed. “Our plan is to create more. It is an amazing addition to our carbon neutral plan, something for all to view and offering a hop, flutter and jump for our bug community.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024



More than 1,000 children in ROSSINGTON, South Yorkshire, have been educated about a targeted recycling project in their village as part of the local authority’s efforts to improve its levels of recycled materials. In partnership with waste partner Suez recycling and recovery UK, City of Doncaster Council launched a pilot campaign to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste in blue bins, which currently costs the council more than £300,000 a year. All five primary schools in Rossington – St Joseph’s, Grange Lane, St Michael’s, Pheasant Bank and Torndale Infants – were visited as part of the council’s delivery of educational messages about waste and recycling. A bin tagging scheme is being rolled out to other areas of Doncaster with bin crews leaving tags on any bins that have the wrong items in them.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024

 KNODISHALL Parish Council has replanted trees in the Scattered Orchard that were destroyed in a fire on the Suffolk common in the summer of 2022. Nine extra trees were also planted with Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape paying for all the trees and protection.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024


LUDLOW Town Council has joined a water refill scheme, aimed at reducing single-use plastic waste and promoting sustainable practices. As part of the initiative, the council has invited businesses across Shropshire to join the movement. Refill is a nationwide campaign dedicated to advertising locations where water bottles can be filled free. Businesses will display a sticker to show they are part of the scheme.

 Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024


Access to public transport from the Cambridgeshire village of HAIL WESTON is becoming easier, thanks to new lighting on the Sustran 12 route between St Neots and Grafham Water The parish council was awarded funding from Cambridgeshire County Council as part of their Local Highway Improvement Complex application to provide solar lighting for walkers and cyclists in the winter months, not hindering highway traffic or wildlife. The lighting uses ‘green energy’, via a ‘solareye’ product, which is bat friendly and enables all year-round use of the mile-long cycle path.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2024




BROSELEY Town Council, in Shropshire, has invested £55,000 to convert 55 of its street lights to low-energy LED units. The project will also include replacing the concrete columns with galvanised steel ones. Acting town clerk Jenna Munday said: “Having declared a climate emergency, we are upgrading our street lighting to LEDs to support carbon reduction and cost savings in the longer term. “This work is an important part of our plan to reduce energy consumption, carbon usage, and ongoing street lighting maintenance costs.” She said using LEDs would be more energy efficient and reduce energy consumption, the lights would last longer and reduced the likelihood of faults, minimise light pollution into homes and gardens by directing light on to the road and pavement and they are programmable, so they can be dimmed when appropriate. The new lights can be dimmed, according to use from midnight until 5.30am.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024

Town Mayor Cllr Andy Taylor and Deputy Mayor Cllr Caroline Bagnall with Cllr Ian West



Town or parish councils, residents’ groups, environmental groups or voluntary organisations or schools in part of East Sussex can seek funding for fruit trees to create community orchards. It comes after WEALDEN District Council was awarded a £27,756 grant to support tree planting initiatives as part of National Tree Week. The fund will support the purchase of trees, protection measures, establishment costs and commemorative signage.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024



The Friends of Noble’s Rest have received £500 from KENDAL Town Council’s dedicated biodiversity and nature recovery fund. The money will be used to fund an educational noticeboard, to help residents and visitors learn about wildflowers and to provide two semi-mature trees to replace trees that have died. A damson tree will be planted in the community damson orchard in the corner of Town View Field, and an oak will provide shade and scenic value in the park. Mayor of Kendal, Cllr Julia Dunlop said: “It’s fantastic to have such a committed and enthusiastic group of volunteers caring for this oasis in Kendal. Noble’s Rest is a joy to visit in any season, and the work carried out by the Friends of Noble’s Rest is invaluable.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024

The Mayor of Kendal, Cllr Julia Dunlop presents a cheque to the Friends of Noble’s Rest



Community members, schools, volunteers, and local organisations came together in Buckingham in a collaborative effort to enhance the beauty of the town and promote environmental sustainability. BUCKINGHAM Town Council’s community bulb planting events took place across the parish and saw participants of all ages help plant 3,300 woodland bulbs in areas around Lace Hill, Railway Walk and Bourton Park. The events were led by Buckingham Town Council with the assistance of Lace Hill Academy, Railway Walk Conservation Group, town councillors and office staff, residents and tree wardens. Environment committee chair Cllr Fran Davies said: “It is so important to look after our pollinators, especially in the springtime when flowers can be few and far between and this initiative enhances our green spaces, adding colour after winter.” The council also replaced summer planters and baskets in the town centre with winter themed displays, coming into flower ready for the spring.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024



BILLINGSHURST Parish Council, West Sussex, has acquired its first vehicle and gone green at the same time. The new all-electric vehicle was delivered by Epowertrucks to environmental operatives employed by the council. With a top speed of 50mph and able to last for 30-40 miles on a single charge, it was considered ideal to enable the team get around the parish, collecting litter and undertaking minor works in parks and play areas and tending to street furniture.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024

Neil Holt with Cllr Doug Waller and Colin Ellis and the new council vehicle



Aerial summer visitors to Cumbria have been given new homes thanks to a collaboration between KENDAL Town Council, a community-led group and Lidl supermarket. Nestling under the eaves of the new store in Beezon Road are six swift boxes, awaiting the return of the ‘air’ B ’n’ B in May. Lidl have also installed three boxes for sparrows, and a bat box. Ros Taylor, of Kendal Swifts, said: “When we saw that Lidl were intending to do extensive refurbishment of the building, we saw an opportunity for the builders to include swift boxes.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024

Cllr Doug Rathbone at the Lidl store



NEW MILTON Town Council celebrated National Tree Week by planting trees for local residents. The scheme encourages community participation and contribution to enhance the Hampshire town’s green canopy, while remembering loved ones, special anniversaries, or just for the love of trees. The space next to the play park at Doe Copse Way was chosen by Mary Lunnon and Lynne Ball, who paid for silver birch trees in memory of their husbands. More than 100 trees were planted by the council’s estates team, including hawthorn, crab apple, flowering and wild cherry.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024



The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Nigel Foot lent a helping hand as NEWBURY Town Council’s green spaces working group, together with the HSS Sewa (Hindu Swayamesvak Sangh) charity, planted more than 60 trees at Hutton Close in the Berkshire town. Sewa Day celebrates acts of kindness, without the expectations of any rewards and the Newbury planting was part funded by the proceeds of a coffee morning at the Town Hall. Forty more trees will be planted at allotment sites.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2024



Climate Emergency UK released the full results of the Council Climate Action Scorecards on 18 October. The scorecards include 91 questions across seven sections: transport, buildings and heating, governance and fi nance, planning and land use, biodiversity, collaboration and engagement, and waste reduction and food. These cover actions that councils have control or influence over, which have a big impact on carbon emissions and biodiversity loss (with some council types having fewer questions due to their differing powers). All councils, single tier, district, county and combined authority were assessed. The results show that the average score across all councils is 32%. Only 41 councils nationwide received 50% or more and only one single tier organisation was in the top ten – Bath & North East Somerset Council. Climate Emergency UK is a not-for-profit cooperative that has been working with councils and residents since 2019 to share best practice about what councils can do to tackle the climate and ecological emergency and to encourage effective action. The data used to create the scorecards is compiled from three main sources: volunteer research of publicly available information, national data from the UK and devolved governments and national organisations and Freedom of Information requests sent to councils. The Scorecard website – – enables you to filter the scores by various factors to see which council scored best. Filters include current political control of a council, how urban or rural the council is, whether a council is district, unitary, borough, county etc., and by each question and section. This will help councils to learn from each other about specific climate action they could take.

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2024



NEWBURY Town Council has reduced its carbon footprint by 44% since it declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. The Council is well ahead of its target to be carbon neutral by 2030. Cllr David Harman, Chair of the Climate Emergency Working Group said: “I am delighted with our progress towards our aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030. These results have been independently verified by Carbon Footprint Ltd. “We will continue to drive down our carbon footprint by installing further solar panels on the Town Hall roof. We will also achieve carbon credits through our agreement with Newbury Cricket Club, following our grant aid for their solar panels. Those panels are proving to be of tremendous benefit to the Club and to Loose Ends who run a drop-in centre from the Cricket Club, serving food to the homeless and vulnerable.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2024


OXFORDSHIRE County Council (OCC) is planning to plant thousands of trees on public land across Oxfordshire. They are seeking help to take care of the young trees, which need daily watering and regular weeding in spring and summer to help them establish and thrive. Volunteers can find their nearest community tree, get some advice, or just let the Tree Service know that a tree is being cared for by getting in touch with them at tree. Help with tree planting in Thame is also being supported by the #Thametrees project, which is part of 21st Century Thame.

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2024



An oak tree was planted at the new Sidney Road Town Green in Ludlow, Shropshire, as a poignant memorial to the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic to mark National Tree Week (25 November– 3 December). In addition, LUDLOW Town Council has applied to the Shropshire Council community tree scheme to acquire 40 native trees. These trees will be planted across the town, further enhancing the natural surroundings and promoting biodiversity. By investing in the preservation and expansion of native trees, the council aims to create a greener and more sustainable environment for future generations. National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration and encourages the conservation sector, volunteer groups and tree lovers to plant thousands of trees to mark the start of the tree planting season. For more information about National Tree Week see: www.

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2024

 Pictured are Tish Dockerty, DLF Supervisor Mark Hilton, Cllr Diane Lyle and Deputy Town Clerk Kate Adams





KENDAL Town Council has acquired two open spaces that it plans to use for enhancing the local environment and the wellbeing of the community. The first piece of land, off Vicarage Drive, has been earmarked for footpath improvements and an educational biodiversity project. A second piece of land, at Mintsfeet, by the River Kent, will be part of a footpath and cycleway network associated with the Environment Agency's flood defence works.


Pictured are Cllr Eamonn Hennessy (left) and Giles Archibald (right) at the Vicarage Drive open space


Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2024



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 <

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