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Published on 15 May 2023
Three rural communities in South Warwickshire will be holding climate engagement events next month, uniting with residents to take local action on climate change.
Marston Sicca Parish Council, Henley-in-Arden & Beaudesert Joint Parish Council and Alcester Town Council have all declared a climate emergency and formed working groups to agree and plan initiatives to tackle climate change together with their community.
Each event will be unique to the parish and led by the local Council with support from the South Warwickshire Climate Engagement Programme (SWCEP), which sees Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils engage with the public to support and influence local decision making on climate change.
Marston Sicca is the first to hold an event, with the "Great Big Green Day" taking place on Saturday 10 June from 10am to 4pm at Meon Vale Village Hall.
Debbie Woodliffe, Parish Clerk to Marston Sicca said, "We are taking the opportunity to utilise the Parish Council assets in the context of biodiversity and climate change. Local environmental charities Hedgehog Friendly Town, Forest of Hearts and Woodland Trust will be walking and talking our residents through maintaining a forest, preserving insect and wildlife species and natural habitats. Our residents will learn the why but also the how.
"The working group has also lined up speakers on waste, recycling and fashion; we want to show how the impact of small changes at local level can add up to a big change. "
Henley-in-Arden & Beaudesert Joint Parish Council (JPC) declared a climate emergency in November 2022. The JPC has formed a working group to liaise with residents, businesses and climate groups. Actions include working with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to look at natural flood defences and Solar4Schools, a project to help schools acquire solar panels whilst also providing education to students about renewable energy.
A pop-up stall hosted by the SWCEP will be outside John H Cranmer & Co., 147 High Street, Henley-in-Arden on Saturday 17 June from 9am. This will give local people the opportunity to feed in their hopes, needs, and barriers around topics relating to the District Councils' Climate Change Action Plan to ensure that rural perspectives are considered when the plan is updated.
Parish Clerk, Ray Evans said, "We are delighted to be hosting a pilot event in Henley-in-Arden, to help build momentum towards community level climate action."
Alcester Town Council's Climate Emergency Action Group formed in June 2022. It promotes the Alcester Repair Café and Alcester Community Fridge and is looking at areas in which the Council itself can make changes. Locally, examining ways to improve transport and reduce waste are high on the agenda.
A Climate CAFÉ (Climate Action for Everyone) is planned for the residents of Alcester on Saturday 24 June at the Eric Payne Community Centre from 1.30pm to 5pm, where residents are invited to help create an action plan for the town. A childcare facility will be offered to encourage those who might not otherwise be able to attend.
Vanessa Lowe, Clerk to Alcester Town Council said, "Climate action can seem pretty daunting especially when looked at from a global perspective. We want to give our residents confidence and knowledge to take manageable and enjoyable steps to help in the battle to save our precious planet. We also want to communicate co-benefits for residents' health and wellbeing, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cost of energy bills."
Local community representatives from South Warwickshire's rural town and parish councils or community groups who are interested in working with the programme should make contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in September.
In 2022, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils were one of only five UK local councils to successfully secure 'project group' funding under the Local Climate Engagement Programme to equip local councils to engage with the public to support decision making on climate change. The Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon Districts LCE Project Group is funded by Forum for the Future.
The first phase of the project was a training programme which has now been completed. The training was delivered by Involve together with Climate Outreach. One aim of the training programme is to build capacity within the two District Councils and partners, including WALC, to help plan for the delivery of a new engagement infrastructure.
Parish Councils are currently working with the programme to map out current climate action and resources in their local community so future public participation can build on the unique and various qualities of our rural communities.
Other events will be happening across Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Districts for Great Big Green Week which takes place 10 - 18 June. It is the UK's third annual celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.
Stratford Town's Climate Coalition of over 20 local environmental groups, organisations, businesses and charities are coming together to create a week of activities for all the family. With talks, walks, bike rides, litter picks, mini-foresters Taster Events, green trails and much more, they aim to encourage communities and individuals to play their part in tackling climate change.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575