Hello from the
Environment Team

Finally a full team photo! We may find it hard to be serious in a photo but we are serious about the environment here in South Somerset!

It has been another productive month at SSDC with a lot of work behind the scenes as we spring into a new financial year. Our NEW action plan for 2022/23 has been developed and highlights our continued commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Keep an eye out for its release across our socials and the South Somerset environment website!

Aside from this exciting new plan, we have new staff to welcome to our sister team, new events and as ever some cracking news! Read on to find out more.

Best eco wishes from the SSDC Environment Team x
SSDC Green News
Welcome to the team Lisa!

We would like to welcome our new Environmental Services (ES) Manager, Lisa Hand!

The ES Team provide a range of services including horticulture and grounds maintenance, management and development of parks and open spaces owned by the Council, as well as its customers, street cleaning and car park enforcement, and bereavement services. They also represent the Council’s interests in the Somerset Waste Partnership.

We (the Environment Team) work closely with our Environmental Services team, alongside all other service areas within the Council, to help embed our goals of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Lisa has recently joined us in this key role and brings with her a breadth of experience which will be invaluable to us in our work to continually improve services for our residents and businesses.
NEW EV charging points to be installed in Chard!

The first of a number of EV charging points are starting to be installed, first at Marketfield Car Park in Chard which will be ready for summer, along with the installation of more EV charging points at multiple SSDC car parks across South Somerset over the coming year.

These charging points are powered by wind generated mains electric and are compatible with all makes of EVs and will fully charge a 50Kw battery in 2-4 hours. These chargers can deliver enough electricity for up to 88 miles of travel in one hour, ideal for both shorter stops, such as shopping trips, and regular charges by residents.

Keep an eye out on the SSDC Facebook page for updates on the installation of these and future EV chargers!
REMINDER: Our new Biodiversity Toolkit has launched!

A reminder that our new South Somerset Community Biodiversity Toolkit is now available to download. Designed for use by community groups, local landowners, Parish and Town Councils, schools and youth groups it has been developed to allow our communities to take a lead in preserving and restoring biodiversity in their community!
It provides a structure for how local communities can better understand what they already have in terms of biodiverse habitats as well as how to plan for developing greater biodiversity in the future. It also provides a series of practical tips for managing your land for biodiversity.
We hope that you find the pack useful, and please share it more widely within your communities.
Click here to download the pack, and if you have any questions contact us via SSDCEnvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
Parish Environment Champions
Wildflower Meadow Creation

We are going out with our horticultural lead at SSDC to develop resource videos on how to create wildflower meadows!

These resources will be available via our Environment website in the coming weeks, but until then feel free to check out all the great things the champions have been up to here.
We are committed to working together to make a difference

A reminder that we are still looking to expand our Parish Environment Champion network!

Our Environment Champion network is made up of an expanding group of town and parish councillors and residents who are passionate about the environment and are willing to volunteer their time to share best practice and support within their local community.
For more information of how to get involved and to see a list of where our Champions are currently located click here
Future Environment Champion Events
Check out our events page on the South Somerset Environment Website for full details:
30 April 2022 - South Somerset Rivers: Restoration and Channel Management walk (SSDC) – Yeovil Country Park (10:30am – 12:30pm)

Join us for a leisurely walk at Dodham Brook, Yeovil Country Park and find out more from our Yeovil Rivers Community Trust (YRCT) representative about the work they have been undertaking at the site. YRCT are a local Community Trust specialising in the preservation and sustainability of the rivers in and around Yeovil. We are championing the work of our local community groups in preserving and restoring rivers across South Somerset and this will be a great opportunity to ask questions and find out more! Refreshments will be provided. Please contact us here if you would like to join.
4 May 2022 - Community Wildlife Mapping (Wildlife Trust) – Virtual (7:00pm-9:00pm)

Join Somerset Wildlife Trust for a special Somerset wide event. Come along to find out how your local community can utilise community mapping and get involved. Community wildlife mapping enables people to take note of the wildlife in their local area and use this information to then inform the actions they take locally for natures recovery. Join this informative evening to find out more about how community mapping can contribute to the nature recovery network and how communities are already putting this important tool to use. Sign up here.
26 May 2022 - Building Sustainable Communities (External) – Somerset County Cricket Ground, Taunton (6:00pm)

Having talked about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ for Building Sustainably, Bradfords Construction will be bringing their first event that focusses on the ‘how’! Join Bradford's and Trustmark for an evening of understanding how you can go about building sustainably. Speakers will cover green finance, upcoming legislation and grants, and a practical look at designing sustainability into construction projects. For architects, planners, trades, contractors and home occupiers. Sign up here.
In the Community
Ash Millennium Wood

The Ash Millennium Wood is a long-term project led by Ash Parish Council and the Friends of Millennium Wood (a volunteer led community group). Environment Champion, Mick Wooden has been involved since the start of the project and helps to manage the site.

Since its inception, an increasing number of trees, wildflowers and wildlife species have been recorded, and the site has recently achieved Green Flag status on the basis of its overall management for nature and recreation. A great community effort!

The creation of a Woodland and Meadow Management Plan has provided a clear approach to the management of the site. It aims to increase the diversity of wildlife by managing the woodland and open spaces, as well as improving accessibility for all. The group were recently successful in applying for an SSDC Community Grant to fund the installation of a new accessible gate to improve access to the site.

Visit our Community Projects page on our website here to read more about this and other projects. Or visit our Community Grants page to
Grants and Funding
Environment Grants

You can find all information on external grants and funding on the South Somerset Environment website. Please click here for details, along with details of some key ones below:

  • The Somerset Fund - grants of between £250 and £2,500 are available to community organisations in Somerset for services or activities that make their community stronger by providing places and spaces for people to get together. This can include community centres, Community Projects, Community Shops, Food Banks, Playing Fields, Sports Clubs, Village Halls etc. The deadline is 3rd June - click here.
  • The Environmental Grants Programme - grants of between £250-£1,000 are available to organisations and individuals for projects that have a positive impact on the environment, for example to fund a community tree planting initiative, conference attendance, expeditions, or research. The deadline is 30th June - click here.
  • Chatham House Sustainability Accelerator Micro Grants – Grants of £1,000 are available to individuals and groups for innovative projects that help accelerate solutions for a sustainable future. Project ideas (e.g. a digital tool or app, a physical product or an event) should lead to a tangible output that could help it to become a reality. The deadline is 30th April - click here.
  • The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund – a competitive funding scheme (up to £10million) for businesses, supporting projects for energy efficiency, power generation, heat generation, energy storage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and security of supply. Visit here.
  • QBE Foundation – Grants up to £25,000 are available to UK charities that are contributing to the creation of strong and resilient communities by addressing climate resilience and empowering marginalised groups in society. The deadline is 30th June – click here.
  • The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund - grants of £5,000 for small not-for-profit environmental organisations in the UK working in the areas of the countryside, education, environment, health and wellbeing, heritage and conservation. Apply here.
  • Somerset Food Resilience Grant – Grants of up to £2,000 for charities and community groups are provided to help Somerset communities that support or directly work to develop food resilience. The deadline is 31st May - click here.
  • Flood Mitigation Projects - We are looking for potential Natural Flood Management projects across South Somerset which could be submitted towards the Somerset River Authority 2023-24 funding. If you do have any potential ideas or projects please don’t hesitate to contact Joshua.bennett@southsomerset.gov.uk.
Green Business
The Great Green Directory

Do you own or know of a green business operating in South Somerset that you believe would be great to include in our Great Green Directory for the community?

Here at SSDC we have developed the Great Green Directory. This is a directory of local green businesses that are showcased on the South Somerset Environment website for use by residents in the area. It means your business is easy to find, benefits from additional advertisement and supports a more sustainable future.

If you would like to add your business please fill out this form.
Energy Crisis
Actions and advice

New energy tariffs came into force on 1 April, which could make the average household energy bill rise substantially. Visit our environment website here for energy saving tips!
Sustainable Retrofit

The Somerset Retrofit Accelerator Project is a partnership between the four district councils in Somerset, plus the Town Councils of Frome, Bruton and Glastonbury, Somerset Independence Plus and the centre for sustainable energy. The aim is to give Somerset residents access to retrofit home improvements to support the move
towards carbon neutrality.
Are you in the field of construction and think you or your staff would benefit from retrofit training?

30 FREE training places are being offered to those working in the construction industry, that believe they could benefit from upskilling in retrofit with the Green Register. Apply here before the project closes on 2 June.
Do you want to make your home more sustainable, but don't know where to start?

There's a limited number of discounted retrofit assessments to home owners that are wanting to share their retrofit journey with others. These assessments are available until 30 June, whilst stocks last. To find out more, click here.
Are you a retrofit pioneer and want to showcase your sustainable home?

As part of this project we are looking for home owners in Somerset who have made sustainable changes to their home and would be interested in sharing their knowledge and experience with others in a series of online events. If you would like to take part, please fill out a form here.
Green Titbits
“Build it and they will come” – Pond Creation

Introducing water into your garden or land is a great way to support and connect with wildlife, this can be done through large ponds, mini ponds (like an old ceramic sink) or a shallow ditch. The best time to do this work is in early spring (now) or in autumn.

Although the above links do suggest using plastic liners for larger ponds these ponds can be created using methods that are more strenuous. Using Bentonite clay the additive is mixed with the soil (after it is prepared by removing all debris, stones, etc.), then compacted this will expand when meeting water creating an impermeable layer. Per square meter you can use between 9 to 20kg this is dependent on the type of soil present, proximity to root systems.

If you have Facebook please do follow the link to the Wildlife ponds UK forum, this will give you lots of insight and the ability to ask questions. We have also developed our own Parish Environment- Spring Resources pack which looks at pond creation along with other spring activities.
Callout to all Somerset farmers, landowners and residents that own fruit trees!

As a county, we are widely known for our incredible apple orchards, amongst various other fruit trees. The opportunity to support climate action by simply monitoring when these trees flower has arisen, and we would love for you to take part!

The University of Reading is currently undertaking this study to identify the changes and trends that climate change has on fruit tree flowering dates, as part of a PhD project titled ‘Mitigating the risks to pollination services caused by climate change’.

Getting involved is simple and should take no longer than a few minutes per contribution! If you would like to take part, please click here.
Upcoming Awareness Days
World Fair Trade Day 14 May 2022

Following on from Fair Trade Fortnight earlier this spring, World Fairtrade Day is a globally recognised event that celebrates Fair Trade's contribution to tackling issues such as climate change and poverty.

You can join the celebration by supporting your local Fair Trade shop or online brands or by raising your hands for climate justice like in the photo shown! By writing "Climate Justice Now! #LetsDoItFair" on your palm, and posting a selfie on social media, you can help raise awareness.

To find out more visit the World Fair Trade Day website.
Water Saving Week 23-27 May 2022

Waterwise are hosting Water Saving Week once again, to highlight the issues surrounding water usage and promote how we can better monitor our water consumption.

Minimising our water usage is particularly important as the UK has less available water per person than most other European countries and London is currently drier than Istanbul! This increasing pressure on our water supply is caused by a number of factors, including climate change and population increase. Click here for more water-saving tips!
No Mow May 2022

This one is pretty simple, just don't mow your lawn! Changing your mowing routine and allowing plants to flower can create enough nectar for ten times more bees and pollinators! You're also more likely to spot a greater variety of flowers popping up in your garden.

You can find out more on the Plantlife website.
Walk to School Week 16-20 May 2022

As part of National Walking Month, Walk to School Week is a five day challenge aimed at primary school children, to highlight the importance of walking to school for both their health and the environment.

To find out more or order classroom packs for the five day challenge, click here.
Beat The Street 4 May - 1 June

Following on from Walk to School Week is the release of a NEW active travel game in Yeovil. Beat the Street is is a free, fun initiative to see how far you can walk, cycle, run, scoot and roll in just 4 weeks. There are great challenges to enjoy and prizes up for grabs!

For more details on how to get involved click here.
Recommended Reading & Ones to Watch
The Simpler Life- Channel 4

This series, available to catch up on All 4, follows a group of people who travel to Devon to throw themselves into the Amish community for one summer. The programme explores our dependency on modern technology and whether we can transition to a 'simpler life', and more importantly what impact this has on mental health.
A Spotter's Guide To Countryside Mysteries by John Wright

This illustrated Guide is brought to you by John Wright and is the perfect companion for countryside walks. It covers the peculiarities that can be found out and about from mysterious fungi to intriguing hollow-ways.
Everyday Ways To Save Our Planet by Laura Tobin

This book is a family-friendly guide full of insightful ideas on how to be more sustainable at home. Filled with over 200 sustainable swaps, and a mix of pictures and fascinating facts, it is sure to have something for everyone.
Your new eco-friendly search engine: ECOSIA!

Ecosia is a search engine that has been developed to help support the planting of trees around the world. It works by adding an extension to your current browser, and as your searches generate income, Ecosia use that income to plant trees in over 9000 planting sites globally. To date they have planted close to 150 million trees! To download the extension, click here.
Visit our South Somerset Environment Website

Stay in the know about all things environment in South Somerset.
Pop in and have a look around!

If you enjoy Get SuSSed and would like to share it, you'll find the link on our website here. Just copy and paste the link into your social media or within some text on your website. Or just forward the email to friends.

You can also find all back issues of Get SuSSed here.

You can get in touch about Get SuSSed at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk