Exciting initiatives to combat climate change

Cutting carbon in Western Somerset

Reducing carbon emissions becomes more urgent every year. It’s something Forum 21 has been working on since it started in 1998. In 2008 we wrote the West Somerset Community Climate Change Strategy together with the District Council and Exmoor National Park. We then set up an action group to make sure the strategy wasn’t just put on a shelf and forgotten. The group  – now called the Low Carbon Partnership West Somerset and Exmoor – is still going strong. In 2013 it added the role of a SOG, a Strategic Overview Group of the Exmoor National Park, a move that means it now encompasses the whole of Exmoor in its remit.

Those who attend the group are WSC council members, the three local environmental groups and the Exmoor Trust, which represents Carbon Neutral Exmoor.  Our aim is to coordinate and initiate carbon saving activities in the area. Others are invited to meetings to inform us about their particular projects or actions that have energy saving implications.

An example of the Partnership’s work is looking at the Local Development Plan and its proposals for housing – will it be environmentally sustainable and energy efficient?

Exciting news on the Steam Coast Trail

We are excited about the prospect of the Steam Coast Trail which has just received over £600,000 from the Coastal Communities Challenge and will, among other things, provide coastal protection for one stretch of the Dunster to Blue Anchor route.

In the pipeline

There are some interesting developments in the pipeline. We’ve heard about the Holnicote Flood Demonstration project which is active on land south of Allerford. The Swansea tidal barrage is likely to hear the result of its planning application in the next couple of months. We hear that Government has licensed an area of the Bristol Channel for an experimental tidal turbine project. We shall report on all these things.

Two new initiatives from Forum 21

And there are two new initiatives from Forum 21. Our landlords’ and tenants’ project is getting off the ground this month, aiming to help private landlords improve the energy efficiency of their rented properties and making them warmer and cheaper to heat. And we are in the early stages of setting up a Community Energy project, working towards West Somerset producing its own power. Please contact Forum 21 if you would like to know more about either of these projects, on 01984 634 242 or mail@forum21.org.uk

March 2015