South Shropshire Climate Action Group

Thank you to everyone for joining us at our Conference on 26th September.

Recordings of each part of the Conference are now available here

To get involved in the post-Conference activities, please sign up to one (or more!) of the working groups.

Creating a climate action plan for the Ludlow constituency

Are you concerned about the Climate and Ecological Emergency but not sure what you can do?

Are you part of an organisation that is acting, but want to find out what others are doing in this area?

Are you a member of a Parish, Town or County council and want to be part of a group drawing together a constituency-wide plan that enables joined up thinking?

If your answer is ‘yes!’ to any or all of these, then please join us –  it’s the first step of a process leading up to COP26 in Glasgow.

You can network, learn and be part of a transformative initiative that builds a real, grounded, structured outcome for our area.

What do we hope to achieve?

By Spring 2021, we aim to have created a Climate Action Plan for the Ludlow Constituency outlining how it is to get to Net Zero Carbon by 2030, including the scale of the activity and investment needed, along with a roadmap on how to achieve that.

We aim to…

SHARE IDEAS ACROSS PARISH, TOWN & COUNTY COUNCILS

… engaging all three layers of local governance to create a plan for the entire constituency.

FIND WAYS TO REACH ZERO CARBON BY 2030

… enable all three tiers of local government and all of us in our work, homes and lifestyles to co-ordinate our efforts.

SEND CLEAR REQUESTS TO NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

… defining those areas which require facilitation by the national government and to lay out clearly how those may be addressed.

REVERSE BIO-DIVERSITY LOSS IN OUR AREA

… enabling local government and local NGOs to co-ordinate the efforts to maximise the restoration of biodiversity to the area.

PLAY OUR PART IN COP 26 in GLASGOW

… defining those areas which can only be addressed by the international community and to lay out clearly what is required in time for COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference.

UTILISE LOCAL EXPERTISE CONSTRUCTIVELY

… enabling all those with an interest in preventing the climate and ecological emergency to find constructive roles they can play within the local area.

We are focusing on Three Key Themes

Experts in each area will host working groups to help translate the ideas from the Conference into practical action and put together a Climate Action Plan for the Ludlow Constituency.

Photograph by Rhian Pinches
Photograph by Rhian Pinches

Land & Biodiversity

Farmers are the wardens of our land. In their hands lies both great potential and great challenges – feeding a growing population whilst also restoring ecological health. Land use is crucial to achieve a net zero carbon future as the land represents a significant sink in which to store carbon.

Many Shropshire farmers are pioneering new methods of agricultural production and the industry as a whole has committed to achieve a net zero carbon future. How do we capture the lessons being learned and share best practice?

The climate crisis will test our food supply chains and there will be a need to build local food resilience and local food networks.

The aim of the Conference (and subsequent working group) is to introduce some of the things that are already happening locally, to challenge the status quo and to explore the potential for farmers and rural communities to respond to the climate and ecological emergency.

Photographs by Rhian Pinches, South Shropshire Farmer

Photograph by Rhian Pinches

Energy & Buildings

Our current buildings – homes, businesses and community buildings – are not fit for a carbon-zero purpose. We need to find new ways to make them so.  In addition we also need to be generating much more of our energy from renewable sources. We do not underestimate the difficulty of doing this, and know that others are finding ways forward. We want to learn from this work and think seriously about how we apply it to south Shropshire, and at what scale. 

We also recognise the huge potential it offers in stimulating new investment, creating warmer homes, improving health, lowering energy bills, generating our own power, creating local skilled jobs, as well as lowering carbon. 

Through this theme we will look at current best practice around retrofit, new build and renewable energy. This will include both our homes and businesses. We will consider and explore best practice around retrofit – finance, installers, projects, delivery models; and new build – performance gap, embodied energy, new homes as community makers. We will also look at energy generation at building, community and Constituency-level and consider technological developments around hydrogen, energy storage and smart grid applications such as peer-to-peer energy trading. 

To do this we hope to create 6 or so working groups to consider each area, and then to bring this work together as an Energy & Buildings theme to create a compelling vision. We also hope to see some really practical project ideas emerge – both big and small – that we can subsequently develop.

Transport

Fossil-fuelled single-owner cars are obviously damaging to our carbon output and to our air quality while the spread of roads and massive transport white elephants like HS2 and the 3rd runway at Heathrow, are damaging not only to our climate, but to our biosphere at a point when maintaining the species diversity of an ancient woodland is our gift to future generations.

The role of the TRANSPORT thread and the working group that grows out of it will be to explore the many ways that people can retain the independence of easy transport in ways that are regenerative and keep us within the necessarily tight carbon budgets that will keep us safe.

Transport is also an important public health issue. Health experts recommend that rates of walking and cycling must go up as a contribution to reducing heart diseases, obesity and diabetes. This in turn requires a huge improvement in road safety which can be achieved if we follow the advice of the World Health Organisation and adopt 20mph as the speed limit on streets where cars, people and bikes mix.

Most trips are relatively short. In 2017, 24% of trips were under 1 mile, and 68% under 5 miles. Even in Shropshire there is huge potential to shift car trips to walk, cycle and bus.

The Convenors and their teams have put together a collection of useful resources on each Theme. Find out more by clicking the button below.

Working Group Leads

Nick Read

Leading Land & Biodiversity 

Nick Read

Nick Read is an Anglican Priest and an Agricultural Chaplain with Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy. He combines chaplaincy with being Director of the Brightspace Foundation, a charity focused on supporting Herefordshire’s future sustainable development. He has a degree in Agricultural Science, a Masters’ Degree in Forestry, an OBE for services to agriculture and is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society.

Former roles include: Research Fellow with the Technical Change Centre, looking at technology transfer in the biosciences; national Food Policy & Research Adviser for the NFU; Co-founder and Director of the Rural Stress Information Network, a charity supporting farming families suffering from stress, and Chair of the West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum.

He is currently Co-Chair of the Herefordshire Green Network, Chair of the Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership and he is also Chair of Farm Herefordshire which consists of 12 organisations working collaboratively to improve soil and water management within the county.

Leading Transport

Professor John Whitelegg

John Whitelegg has worked in sustainable transport for 30 years including periods as a professor at Roskilde University in Denmark, Essen University in Germany, Lancaster and York universities in the UK. For 3 years he worked as a member of staff of a German state ministry of transport, North Rhine Westphalia. This ministry was responsible for transport planning for 16 million people, a large rural area and some of Germany’s largest cities e.g. Cologne and Dusseldorf. He is currently a Visiting Professor, School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University (UK), editor of the journal “World Transport Policy and Practice and a Board member of “Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities” in California. 

He is the Foundation for Integrated Transport Fellow for transport and climate change.

He has written 10 books on sustainable transport topics and the most recent is “Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future

Simon Ross

Leading Energy & Buildings

Simon Ross

Simon Ross is the Director of Marches Energy Agency, a Shropshire-based energy charity, and has been for 6 years.

The charity is dedicated to supporting people to be warmer and more comfortable at home, to lowering energy bills, using energy more efficiently and in generating their own energy.

Our honest broker support is practical and flexible as we seek the best outcomes for fuel poor householders. Partnership working is crucial to our delivery, especially with Local Authorities, installers, health and third sector organisations, and community groups.

Dr Alison Weeks

Leading Energy & Buildings 

Alison Weeks

Alison Weeks is an environmental scientist working to help to reverse and mitigate the effects of the Climate and Ecological Crisis. Her area of activity is mainly within the communities of south Shropshire and the Marches. She is a Director of Lightfoot, a charity which promotes energy efficiency and generation in homes, public buildings and businesses. She works with local schools in to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on the environment and our lives: specifically addressing the diversity and sustainability of natural woodlands. She has worked since the mid1980s as an oceanographer at UK universities, both teaching and research. Her early work was about physical processes in shelf seas, and then included biological processes in the upper ocean, relating to climate studies.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.

Our email address is [email protected]

We look forward to hearing from you.