Please complete our survey by 14th December to help us with our application for funding for 3 exciting projects. Here’s a bit more information about what’s happening...
Somerset County Council has launched the Climate Emergency Community Fund to support communities in Somerset to “do their bit” for the environment. Parishes are invited to bid for up to £75,000 for projects to reduce carbon emissions help make Somerset resilient to the effects of climate change.
The Chilthorne Green Steps group has come up with 3 project ideas for which the Parish Council have given their provisional approval. We have devised our survey in order to gauge the level of support within the community. It will strengthen our applications if we can demonstrate that people in our community support the projects. We also want to find out what people are already doing, what are their barriers to becoming more sustainable and what could be done to help them. We welcome any constructive comments and ideas you have.
Our 3 projects are:
1. Community engagement
Send out 12 monthly ‘Green Steps’ newsletters with ideas on ways we can help the environment and offer people the opportunity to share their successes and ideas. Monthly themes could include Energy, Water, Food, Waste and Travel. It could include wildlife gardening tips and a Kid’s corner activity section to engage children. One idea is to have a Carbon Totaliser where we can collate the carbon savings that people in the village have achieved through changes to their lifestyle.
Possible community engagement ideas (these are all open for discussion and will also take into account the results of the survey):
Seed and plant swaps
Apple Pressing Kit for the village and have apple day inviting everyone to bring their apples to juice.
Share excess garden produce
Repair Café – bring broken items and get help with fixing them. Could include bikes, electrical items, garden tools, small pieces of furniture, toys.
Freecycle/swap events; bring items to give away that you no longer want. A great way to keep stuff out of landfill that isn’t good enough or suitable for the charity shop.
Professional experts on nature and the environment coming to the village to give talks/deliver them on Zoom.
Film viewings of inspiring nature and environmental films. There are loads of amazing films out there about the solutions to environmental issues. If we can’t get together to watch them we can organise for you to watch them online at home.
Commission a Somerset artist to work with the community to paint inspiring nature murals in community spaces.
Biodiversity Survey throughout the village to find out what species live amongst us. This would be an exciting activity for children to be involved in, for example a moth trap showing all the different beautiful species. If we know which species are out there, we can find ways to help them even more by providing habitats and plants/ shrubs/ trees that benefit them.
Increase habitats for wildlife in gardens and along verges. This could include a “patchwork nature reserve” where everyone is encouraged to give space in their gardens to wildlife and a “Bee Mile” with flower planted around the village attract pollinators. A specific planting day inviting villagers and their children to help plant will bring the community together and benefit insects.
Print Chilthorne Green Steps reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic use and promote the work of the group.
Village cook book to get people thinking about ways that they can use more local ingredients. This would have recipes submitted by villagers.
Open eco home and garden event – an opportunity for people wanting to make their homes and gardens more environmentally friendly to see what other people have done and ask them questions.
Environmental books to give out and pass on once you’ve read them.
2. Chilthorne Domer Church School Garden Classroom, Allotment Plot and Forest School.
There is a gardening club at the school, run by Lara, but they want to take it further. The headmistress would like the children to spend more time outside with gardening incorporated more into the curriculum. Some of the children who go to this school have no access to a garden at home, so this is their only opportunity to experience the joys of gardening to improve mental and physical wellbeing. Currently there is an outdoor area that is used but not to its full potential.
We would like to create
· More raised vegetable beds and ornamental planters.
· A quiet wildlife garden for the children to use when they need some reflection time. It would include flower beds, a pond, arbour with climbing plants and a gate for safety from the pond.
· A forest school area with a fire pit and permanent circular wooden seating.
Opposite the school we have just acquired a large allotment plot. This will be for the schoolchildren to use and also for weekend and holiday gardening clubs for all children in the village and surrounding areas to access. This will teach the children how to grow fruit and veg, the best plants to help wildlife, learn about the seasons, cut flowers and the opportunity to enter local produce fairs and competitions. We would also need to be first aid trained, have DBS checks, insurance and Safeguarding training for this project to be safe for groups of children.
3. Solar Panels
Solar Panels on the Village Hall and/or the Recreation club and/or school roofs. We are currently liaising with each of these organisations
If you would like to get involved please complete the survey and we will be able to get in touch with you.