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Shropshire Climate Action Conference

9am – 5pm,  30th May 2020
Ludlow Racecourse

Thank you for your interest. Clearly we can’t go ahead in the current circumstances. Please watch this space and we’ll be back as soon as we can.

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 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 at the conference –  it’s the first step in a 4-month 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 October 2020, we aim to have created a Climate Action Plan for the Ludlow Constituency outlining how it is to get to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 (or earlier if at all possible), including the scale of the activity and investment needed, along with a roadmap on how to achieve that.

The conference aims to…


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


… enabling  all three tiers of local government to co-ordinate their efforts to reach net carbon zero at the earliest opportunity


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


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


… 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


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

The Conference will Focus on Four Key Themes

Experts in each area will deliver talks throughout the day aimed at creating a broad outline of the challenges and possibilities in each area.

Farming, Food & Biodiversity

Farmers are the wardens of our land. In our hands lies great potential for restoring the vast spread of thriving species, while sequestering carbon and providing the basis of life.

The impact of industrial/chemical farming on the biosphere is beyond doubt now. Nitrogen and Phosphates are destroying our rivers and seas while endless monocultures are strip-mining the soil and rendering vast tracts of land barren. At the same time, the oncoming climate crisis will ultimately lead to deep food insecurity and it is necessary that we build local food resilience networks to ensure that people can – and do – eat good, healthy food, locally grown.

In the FFB thread and the PA that arises from it we will explore the needs and potential of farmers and other landowners and the ways that rural communities can once again be generative places of self-sufficiency



Our current housing stock is not fit for a carbon-zero purpose.  We need to find new ways to make our old housing stock much more energy efficient, particularly in the light of the appalling figures of *actual*  insulation levels as opposed to those promised by the construction industry.  The role of the Housing topic, and the Assembly that arises out of it, is three-fold 

– to investigate the scale of the renovation needed in south Shropshire, it’s likely cost and the ways it could be done (and the jobs it would create, and the £:£ input/output of this) 
– to look at ways we can ensure that any new building is maximally energy efficient.  
– to investigate how housing and the broader design of the built environment can be part of the flow of the landscape to ensure maximal biodiversity along with larger efforts to minimise embodied carbon budgets both in construction and afterwards in use – village layouts, re-design of towns… 



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 Assembly 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.

Energy Generation & Use Reduction

We all know that fossil fuels have to be phased out and we must both reduce our power consumption and find ways to generate energy from alternative methods, and then how to distribute it in ways that minimise loss.

Thus, the role of the POWER group and the Assembly that arises out of it will be to investigate the local ways that Shropshire can generate and manage its own power – mini and micro generation options, the many ways of reducing power use in ways that are regenerative not only of the atmosphere, but of the entire biosphere.

Conference Speakers

Leading the Transport Section

Professor John Whitelegg

John is a Visiting Professor in the School of the Built Environment at Liverpool John Moores University (UK). In addition to a PhD in geography he has a law degree (LLB).

He is the editor of the journal, World Transport Policy and Practice (now in its 25th year of publication. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the US organisation, based in California – Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities Research & Policy Institute, a nonprofit corporation.

He has worked on sustainable transport projects in India, China, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Slovenia and on the same subjects with the European Parliament and European Commission. He is the technical author of the world’s first technical standard on reducing demand for private motorised transport and published by the British Standards Institution. He is a member of the World Health Organisation expert group on physical activity which has produced a global strategy for improving health (reducing non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes and obesity) that gives strong support to walking, cycling, spatial planning and urban design.

John has written 12 books. His most recent book is Mobility: A new urban design and transport planning philosophy for a sustainable future. In this book he strongly advocates a “joined-up” approach to achieving 3 zeroes, all of which need the same set of measures and interventions: Zero carbon, Zero death and injury in the road traffic environment, Zero air pollution

John lives in Shrewsbury and is a trustee of the Shrewsbury Civic Society

Leading the Housing Section

Emily Partridge

Emily is a qualified architect with over five years’ experience in practice. She is driven by a passion for environmentally sustainable and socially conscious design and has particular experience in community engagement.

Emily joined Architype in 2014 having worked for a number of practices across the UK where she worked on projects ranging from individual family homes to large-scale public buildings in the healthcare and education sectors.

Since joining Architype, Emily has been involved in the refurbishment of a local hospice, a variety of school projects as well as a county-wide education masterplan. She is currently Project Architect for a Passivhaus community centre for the Gellideg Foundation, a charitable organisation based on the Gellideg estate in Merthyr Tydfil.

Leading the Farming Section

Nick Read

Nick Read was formerly a Research Fellow at the Technical Change Centre, national Food Policy & Research Adviser with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and then a Senior Technical Adviser with the NFU before becoming ordained in the Church of England. He currently combines a role as Agricultural Chaplain with Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy with Director of the Brightspace Foundation, a sustainable development charity focussed on Herefordshire.

He chairs Farm Herefordshire, a collaborative approach between 12 organisations looking at effective soil and water management, the Herefordshire Local Nature Partnership and is co-Chair of Hereford Green Network (HGN) and Vice Chair of the Marches Nature Partnership. He is the lead on land use for HGN’s The Great Collaboration working with towns and parishes that have declared a climate change emergency to achieve practical action on the ground.

Leading the Energy Section

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.