Here are a few examples of some great Sustainable Community Projects.
In Stafford Borough
As well as the wonderful community action under way in Penkside, Derrington and Holmcroft, there are many more examples of Stafford Borough communities and organisations taking action to reduce their environmental impact, tackle climate change and seek more sustainable options.
Many of these are ‘showcased’ in the annual Green Awards and provide excellent exemplars for others to follow.
You can read about more great projects on the Stafford Area Save Your Energy website.
Within Staffordshire, a leading example of practical sustainable community engagement is the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group.
Based around two villages to the east of Lichfield, the initiative began in 2007, starting with a drive to switch to low-energy light bulbs. Since then it has flourished, providing 'Energy Health Checks' for numerous households, helping community buildings improve their energy efficiency and install renewables, setting up local food markets and staging the annual Big Green Fair - and more!
Another case study is the 'Eco-house' in Anglesey, Burton upon Trent which involved the creation of an exemplar property in the ward of Anglesey, by East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC), in a co-operative venture with Trent and Dove Housing. The property showcased the latest technologies and best practice in energy efficiency, and was open for the public to visit and enjoy between November 2011 and August 2012. Trent and Dove leased the property free of charge to ESBC who installed many energy efficiency measures throughout the property, including the following measures:
- Photovoltaic panels
- Solar thermal heating panels
- Insulating wall paper
- Light reflective paint
- Rain water harvesting
- An 'exemplar garden'
The property also exhibited some of the home fire safety measures which the Fire and Rescue Service recommend are installed in all homes, from the most effective types of smoke detectors, to flame resistant furnishings. There was also useful advice around the house on how to avoid accidental fires in homes.
The exemplar property is now closed to the public and the house has been handed back to Trent and Dove Housing. However, a mobile display based on the information, advice, equipment and installations used in the house, is being created and this will tour venues around the Borough to support and promote energy efficiency.
In Neighbouring Counties
There has been environmental campaigning and action in Shrewsbury and across Shropshire for many years. Much has been spearheaded by Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth who produced the ‘Shrewsbury Recycling Guide’ in 1988. Today this has grown to become an extensive and excellent 'Shrewsbury Green Guide'.
View the guide to find out about sustainable community projects such as: ‘Bishop’s Castle Wasteless Society’, ‘Cleobury Country Environment Forum’, ‘Ludlow 21’, ‘Oswestry Agenda 21’, and ‘Stretton Climate Care’, and enjoy browsing the extensive and positive pages of information on all sorts of enterprises - mainly local - that are making an extra effort to be green.
In rural Cheshire, the community of Ashton Hayes has cut its carbon emissions by an estimated 23% since the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral project was launched in 2006.
Now that's a great achievement, and shows just what can be done by working together and making changes in our lifestyles.
Low Carbon Communities Challenge Evaluation Report, July 2012
The Low Carbon Communities Challenge (LCCC) was a £10 million, two year programme to provide financial and advisory support to 22 ‘test bed' sustainable communities.
Its aim was to fund, and learn from, community-scale approaches aiming to deliver low carbon technologies and engagement activities. It was funded and supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and other agencies with a deliberate focus on organisations with a track record of taking action on energy and low carbon issues on a community scale.
It offered capital infrastructure funding for carbon emissions reduction and free advice and support. Projects were also required to deliver local engagement and behavioural change activities. The average LCCC award was £450,000, of which a minimum of 90 per cent was allocated for expenditure on capital measures.
Although SBC did submit an application to extend its sustainable communities program, unfortunately it was unsuccessful. Just eighteen projects were chosen from hundreds of applications, including in Kirklees, Totnes, West Oxford and Ashton Hayes in Cheshire. The projects have been evaluated and the project outcomes are summarised here. It is hoped that the exercise has delivered practical sustainability measures and provided real learning opportunities and examples of good practice.
The document is available online at Low Carbon Communities Challenge Evaluation Report (pdf 1.40mb).
Low Carbon Community Network
The Low Carbon Communities Network was formed to link, network and support the rapidly growing movement of climate change groups that are forming at a local and community level. It aims to create a network of sustainable communities that offers mutual support, materials and infrastructure to make them more effective and efficient in collective action and lobbying for a low carbon future. Many sustainable community groups have signed up to this Network.