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Unanimous Support for Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Biodiversity Project

Derbyshire Dales district councillors have voted unanimously to increase biodiversity in the road verges and open spaces the authority manages - 12 pilot areas have been identified.

DDDC were approached by 5 community groups and organisations to take part in the Council’s wildflower verge project:

  • Rewilding Hathersage
  • Wilder Wirksworth
  • Bradwell Wildflower Project
  • Doveridge Parish Council
  • Hartington Parish Council

​​​​​The groups have informally adopted the verges in their area and are working in partnership with the council to manage them for wildflowers and pollinators. Each of the pilots sites are being surveyed this summer as part of the monitoring, to see how the verges develop over the next three years.

Wilder Wirksworth have adopted a verge at the entrance to a housing estate close to the centre of town. They collected native plants growing in their garden such as: primroses, red campion and ox eye daisy and planted these into the verge. The group plan to sow locally sourced yellow rattle seed in late summer which is a semi parasitic on grass, to reduce the vigour of the grasses allow the wildflowers to more successfully compete with the grass.

Rewilding Hathersage have taken on two verges and are waiting to see what wildflowers appear this year before they look at adding local wildflower seeds or plants.

Doveridge Parish Council are keen to increase the number of wildflowers on an area of open space at a junction between two roads. This year a strip of vegetation around a pond was allowed to grow long and in the autumn they plan to create a wildflower area. The eagle eyed parish councillor’s also spotted a number of bee orchids growing in a road verge at the edge of the village and the council was able to quickly respond by just cutting the roadside edge of the verge avoiding the orchids.

Bradwell Wildflower Project

A group of local residents have adopted five verges, three managed by DDDC and two by the parish council. The community planted 500 planted grown from locally sourced seed within the verges. They also involved the village school and the children who compared the number of flowers in short mown grass to the areas allowed to grow long, as part of No Mow May campaign.

Hartington Wildflower Project

The group are trying different techniques on the five areas they are managing to see what works best. From leaving the vegetation to grow long in council’s owned car park, to scarifying and sowing in the churchyard and rotating and introducing plants on another site.

Scotland's largest net zero housing project, Cost of UK’s climate targets, and more...

National/International News in Brief (July 2021)

  • Scotland's largest net zero housing project in Edinburgh approved. The 444-home Western Villages will focus on active travel, electric car charging points, car club spaces and public transport links

  • The UK’s climate targets will cost the government less over the next 30 years than the price of battling the Covid-19 pandemic if it acts quickly, according to the UK’s fiscal watchdog.

  • The craft brewery in Sydney using algae to cut emissions

  • Danish air force acquires two electric planes– a world first for a military force.

Climate Change Committee ('CCC') Publishes Progress Report to Parliament 2021

On June 24th, the Climate Change Committee ('CCC'), the Government's own climate advisers, published their Progress Report to Parliament 2021.

This year’s dual report, “Progress in reducing emissions” and “Progress in adapting to climate change,” provides a comprehensive overview of the UK Government’s progress to date on reducing emissions, offering more than 200 policy recommendations.

The Committee gives credit to the government for its historic climate promises but states they have been too slow to deliver on these pledges. 

It urges the Government to sustain the record decrease in UK emission brought about by the lockdown by implementing a strong Net Zero and Adaptation Strategy, including:

  • implementing a Net Zero Test to ensure that all Government policy, including planning decisions, is compatible with UK climate targets.
  • producing an ambitious Heat and Buildings Strategy that works for consumers urgently
  • delivering on delayed plans for surface transport, aviation, hydrogen, biomass and food
  • restoring 100% of upland peat by 2045, including through a ban on rotational burning.
  • building a strong emergency resilience capability for the UK against climate shocks, learning from the COVID-19 response.

You can view the reports here.

Our Community Orchard is 10 Years Old

On 25th June, to mark 10 years of planting fruit trees to create a dispersed community orchard for the town, Transition Buxton installed signs to mark some of the larger clusters of trees. The fruit is there for anyone to enjoy.

The sign unveiled on 25th June at Cote Heath Park is one of five kindly donated by Buxton Civic Association, and unveiled by Cllr Jean Todd, Central Ward & Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and Community Safety, and Cllr Keith Savage, Cote Heath Ward. Planting started in 2011 and since then over 80 fruit trees, have been planted in public places around the town and at several schools.

They want to thank the Borough Council for their active support regarding suitable locations. However, they are always on the lookout for more places to plant even just a few trees. Orchard trees can be sponsored by individuals for a £25 donation.

For more details:

July Conversations | The Owl Hoot Podcast

The Owl Hoot, produced by Caroline Norbury, is podcast and blog. Each fortnightly podcast episode features a guest who contributes in some way to protecting the planet.

Podcast available in July:

  • Nick Milestone
    Engineering Director at Sigmat and chairman of the Timber Research and Development Trade Association (TRADA)

    Nick discusses how the inclusion of sustainably produced timber within the construction industry can result in net zero buildings by reducing the use of energy-intensive cement.

  • Melissa Bruntlett
    Co-author of two books - Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality & Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives. Melissa advocates for sustainable transport to inspire happier and healthier cities. 

Blog posts will focus on sustainable forestry and cycling.