Welcome to our August issue of Get SuSSed, with all the latest eco news from SSDC and across the district, plus learning resources, funding opportunities and recommended reads, competitions and more!
Hello from Councillor Sarah Dyke our Portfolio Holder for Environment

I hope you're all enjoying the summer and getting out and about and close to nature.

It was great to meet with the SSDC environment team recently at the new facilities at Yeovil Recreation Centre. The site is transforming into a haven for wildlife thanks to recent changes to land management – you can find out more on this below. Our meeting was to begin a review of our Environment Strategy, and with many of our projects now actioned or ongoing (see more on the South Somerset Environment website), we are committed to keep driving it forward, so we have the best chance of reaching our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. We’ll keep you updated as it progresses and will be consulting when the time is right.

Before I go, I want to let you know I will be at the Shepton Beauchamp Climate Event on 11th September (read on for more info) where I'm showcasing SSDC's environment work and will taking your questions. Do come along and say hello!

Best Eco Wishes
Sarah x
SSDC Green News
New South Somerset Environment Website

Stay in the know about all things environment in South Somerset at our brand new website www.southsomersetenvironment.co.uk

Our new website is live, so do visit to find out what we're doing to deliver our environment strategy and reach net zero carbon by 2030. You'll also find a wealth of information about grants, community projects, energy, waste, recycling, and much more. Pop in and have a look around!
SSDC showcases sustainability and sport in harmony

Yeovil Recreation Centre (YRC) has been transformed into an environmental haven, by using a mix of sustainable land management styles to encourage wildlife to flourish within its formal sports environment.
SSDC have demonstrated that recreational and sporting facilities can go hand in hand with nature conservation and environmental sustainability, as well as showing that with the right design, even small areas of green space can provide great benefits. To read the full case study visit our South Somerset Environment website here.
Key highlights at the site include:
  • 2,500 appropriate trees planted, including individual trees, areas of copse and linear hedgerow planting between sports pitches.
  • Areas of wildflower planting on marginal banks around the site and ‘No Mow’ areas on amenity grass, using a reduced cutting regime to encourage wildflowers.
  • Creation of a ‘bug hotel’ located within the golf course.
  • The use of natural seaweed liquid fertilisers instead of conventional chemical fertilisers.
This scheme is just one of a number of green initiatives being led by SSDC as part of our overarching Environment Strategy.
BBQ ban at Ham Hill to protect the heritage site

From this summer, barbeques are not allowed at Ham Hill due to the high fire risk and damage they cause at the Iron Age hillfort and wildlife. The decision comes after more and more barbeques are being used throughout the country park on sensitive grassland and near tinder dry meadows and woodlands, damaging the fragile plants and wildflowers and putting the site at risk of a large fire. Read more here
Blooming Marvellous Yeovil!

On 23rd July judges from the Royal Horticulture Society visited Yeovil to see the numerous floral displays, wildflower areas, community projects allotments, trees, and loads more!

We'll find out the In Bloom competition results later in the year, but right now, let's enjoy all the wonders that have been created by our amazing Environment Services team, communities, volunteers, and friends. Thank you to them all for providing food for our pollinators! Click on the video below to see a showcase of Yeovil in Bloom.
Parish Environment Champions
Parish Environment Champions Wildflower Seminar

Calling all Parish environment Champions, here's a date for your diary. We are holding an online Wildflower Seminar via zoom on 29th September from 7 - 8.30 pm. Come along and hear from Plantlife expert Dr Katy Petty, our horticultural lead from SSDC and Stoford and Barwick Parish Environment Champion Jem Langworthy, who will tell us how he created space to go wild in his Parish. Expect an invitation via email soon where you can express your interest, and come along and learn how you can find space to go wild in your Parish.
The Levels SCOP26+ Climate Forum 6th Nov 21
Parish Councils are invited to attend the Levels Climate Forum on 6th November 1pm - 6pm during the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

SCOP26+ (Somerset Coalition of Parishes) is a free event that will bring together parish representatives to discuss practical measures that will better prepare the county for a rapidly changing climate.  To register your interest in attending, or for more information, contact SCOP26+ organiser mo.fletcher@somertontowncouncil.gov.uk

If you are a Town/Parish Council or community group in South Somerset planning an event for COP26 31st Oct - Nov 12th please let us know! ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
Let's Talk and Tackle Climate Change

Visit the new forum on the South Somerset Environment Website, a space where we can interact, share knowledge, ideas, case studies, and photos or ask questions.

If you have a story to share, want to start a conversation about a project you're involved in or get started, or anything related to climate and ecological action then please share. Head on over and start or join a conversation.
Get to know other Parish Environment Champions

We would like to help you get to know other environment champions across the district. If you're interested, let us know and we’ll link you up. Just email ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
In Our Community
Green Recovery fund secures the future of YRCT's Dodham Brook project

The Yeovil Rivers Community Trust has received a grant from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for phase 3 of the Dodham Brook Restoration Project of £193,600!

With the continued aim to rehabilitate a heavily modified urban water body in Yeovil, Phase 3 focuses on works in the concrete flood channel that poses the most significant barrier to connectivity for wildlife.
You can learn more about the project here.
Much loved Yeovil Country Park Volunteer retires

The team at Yeovil Country Park (YCP) recently said a huge ‘Thank you & Happy Retirement’ to the amazing friend & volunteer, Robin (pictured in the pale coat). At 90 years young, Robin has been a stalwart volunteer at YCP for 16 years so he definitely deserves to put his feet up! Robin, we salute you - and everyone is really glad you are staying on as a valued member of the Friends of Yeovil Country Park. Read the full story on www.visitsouthsomerset.com
Great British Beach Clean
Be a Beachwatch volunteer!

Here in South Somerset, we're so lucky to be a short distance from the coast.
The Marine Conservation Society Great British Beach Clean is asking us to be Beachwatch volunteers, which includes litter picking and recording types of litter to track the common items found back to the source, enabling them to campaign for change. There are beach clean ups taking place throughout the week commencing 17th September with some happening before. Find out how and where you can join in here or organise your own! And don't forget our rivers and waterways lead to the coast, so if you want to stay local, you can do your bit near you. You can borrow litter picking kits from SSDC. Please contact Nathan.turnbull@southsomerset.gov.uk.
Grants and Funding
New Website Grants Page

You can find all information on grants and funding on the new South Somerset Environment website.

Please click here for details. Some key ones this month are listed below:

Environment Business Grants - Businesses in Somerset can apply for a carbon reduction grant of between £500 and £1,000 to help improve their carbon footprint. The grant must be ‘match funded’ by the business applying for the grant on a 50:50 basis. The grant is being made available by the five councils in Somerset as part of the Climate Emergency Strategy. For details and to apply, visit: here.

The Tree Foundation UK – Tree Planting Programme - Funding up to £6,000 is available to support grassroots community projects across the UK that engage local people in tree planting. UK community-based organisations can apply, including registered charities, community, and voluntary groups and schools. For further details visit here.

The D’oyle Carte charitable trust – Funding of up to £5,000 for UK registered charities working to improve and protect the environment (including conservation of the countryside and woodlands). For more information visit here.

Woodland Trust – Offering free trees to schools and community groups to plant over the winter 2021/22 as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. For details and to apply, visit here. 

Together for Our Planet grants - advance notice of a new £2.5 million National Lottery Community Fund grants programme, which will open for applications on Wednesday 1 September 2021. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available to locally based UK charitable organisations and social enterprises, including CICs, for small-scale projects that address climate change in their area. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 18 November 2021. Details here.

Somerset County Council - has allocated £500,000 for town and parish councils to help support the safe reopening of parish/community facilities including improving the energy efficiency, low carbon heating and insulation of the buildings. Find out more about the Parish Communities fund here.
FREE Trees, Grants & expert Advice

Reimagining the levels planted over 20,000 trees and shrubs, including almost a mile of hedgerow across Somerset in 20/2021!  This season they hope to double this and need YOUR HELP.

Once again, they are partnering with the Somerset Rivers Authority, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAG SW) and the Woodland Trust to ‘Plant Trees to Slow the Flow’ to counteract the damaging effects of sudden and prolonged flooding. Applicants are welcome from across Somerset and landowners will be assessed on their proximity to watercourses.  They are also keen to help community plantings in schools, recreation grounds and village halls etc. that are not linked to water management. If you know of a plot of land that could benefit from tree planting, get in touch here.
Green Business
Carbon Audit Toolkit for South Somerset Businesses

As part of the Climate Resilient Somerset initiative, SSDC are asking everyone who runs a business in South Somerset to consider ways in which their business can help tackle climate change. Reducing the amount of energy that a business uses leads to a lower carbon footprint with less carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions will help South Somerset to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
In order to help businesses to get involved in assessing their energy use and energy reduction SCC have produced a Carbon Audit Toolkit for Businesses. As part of this initiative, there are currently small grants available to help businesses implement energy saving schemes. These grants range from £500 to £1000 - so would be ideal for either introducing smaller energy savings schemes to the workplace or to supplement a larger scheme or a range of schemes.
For more information and to find out about applying for a match-funded carbon reduction grant, visit here. Note, the deadline for applying is the end of September 2021.
Local Eco-Friendly Business? Get listed in the SSDC Great Green Directory

A one-stop shop where South Somerset residents can go to find local, trusted, sustainable and environmentally friendly businesses, organisations and community groups to help make eco and ethical choices when choosing products and services. 

You can apply here via our updated form on Citizen Space.
Global Green News
Global IPPC Report warns of 1.5C warming sooner than thought

Ahead of COP26 in November, the IPCC has released their most comprehensive climate report to date, confirming beyond any reasonable doubt that climate change from human activity is a fact. Although the latest report may seem worrying, it also included some prospects for hope!
To quote the report, the bad news was familiar: we are seeing “more intense and more frequent” weather extremes. We are close to 1.5C of warming and will reach it by mid-century. But the good news is that there is “much more certainty that if we get to net zero CO2 its contributions to further warming are also likely to stop”. At net zero, “the temperature change should even start to slowly go into reverse.” That is, we can halt and even reverse some of the devastating effects.
Click here to view the report.
Green Titbits
Back to school the eco way

It's that time of year again when the kids are going back to school and parents are frantically getting all their uniform and kit together. If that's you, before you head out and buy new, is there a way you can do things more sustainably? Check out these great eco-tips for going back to school here.
Shepton Beauchamp Family Eco Event

There's fun to be had at the Family Fun Climate Emergency Event on Saturday 11 September from 12 noon at Cowleaze Meadow off Love Lane, Shepton Beauchamp, TA19 0LS. The Village Climate Emergency Working Group and Events Team will be hosting live music, children's activities, local produce BBQ and Bar as well as welcoming representatives from Somerset Wildlife Trust, Wessex Water and Somerset Waste Partnership.
In addition, our Portfolio Holder for Environment Councillor Sarah Dyke will also be manning a stand to showcase the environment work happening at SSDC. Pop along and say hello!
Yeovil Rivers Community Trust
Green Walk

Saturday 11th September at 10.30 am! Meeting at Ninesprings Country Park on the cycle path by the swimming pool. Lots of walking and talking about wildlife, environment, green issues. You'll also see the progress of the YRCT project on Dodham Brook, then walk through Barwick House grounds and on to Barwick Church and heading back by the Jack the Treacle Eater path, and Summer House woods which is about 3 miles long. Express your interest here or just turn up and enjoy!

It’s easy to get involved, just look for the organic logo or why not think about growing your own! The Soil Association says that switching just one item in your shop to organic will help contribute to changing our food system, buying more organic food means more organic farms and fewer pesticides which is better for our wildlife and means more farm animals are raised under higher welfare standards. We have some wonderful organic food producers here in South Somerset. Check out those near you in the South Somerset Food and Drink Directory here.

If you are an organic producer make sure you get listed free in the SSDC Great Green Directory. Apply here
Recommended Viewing Listening and Reading
Guy Martin - The world's fastest electric car
Channel 4

Guy Martin explores the world of electric vehicles and converts a classic VW Beetle to electric to attempt a speed record. This shows that even existing cars can be electric and super fast! Watch here
One to listen to - The Climate Question

Stories on why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that. The programme isn’t questioning whether Climate Change is happening, it’s about finding the best ways to respond to it.
No Logo - a book by Naomi Klein

As global corporations compete for our hearts and wallets enticing us to buy their products and even wear them - a new generation has begun to battle consumerism. In this provocative, well-written study, we learn how the Nike swoosh has changed from an athletic status symbol to a metaphor for sweatshop labor, how teenaged McDonald's workers are risking their jobs to join the Teamsters, and how "culture jammers" utilize spray paint, computer-hacking acumen, and anti-propagandist wordplay to undercut the slogans and meanings of billboard ads. Available from all good book sellers. ISBN: 9780008485139
How is climate change affecting where you live?

Do please share examples of positive action and change, from eco venues and businesses to community projects, highlighting evidence of climate and biodiversity changes. We want to build a picture of what's happening in South Somerset, and would really appreciate you getting in touch to tell us more. You can initially make contact via our ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk or via the forum on the South Somerset Environment website here.

If you are an eco-friendly business or community group, please send your details to our Great Green Directory to help others choose eco-solutions.
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You can get in touch about Get SuSSed at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk