Welcome to our April issue of Get SuSSed. We're really excited to share all our eco news with you and showcase the brilliant work happening across the district as we work towards our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. We'll be sharing news of some exciting SSDC and local green projects, plus some great learning webinars and funding opportunities.

Now that we are allowed to meet in an open space under the rule of six we were able to have our first face-to-face team meeting in months! The team met at Ham Hill with Environment Portfolio Holder Cllr Sarah Dyke and reflected on this challenging year, one like no other, and how far we've come and overcome to deliver sustainable solutions for our communities and as an organisation.

The last year's environment achievements will all be captured in the SSDC End of Year Report which will be published soon. Don't worry, we're not resting on our laurels, we're looking forward to exciting future projects and opportunities which we will share with you all here in due course. We're committed with your help, to continue at pace to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner!

PS. We forgot to take a team photo, so here is an older pre-lockdown one we took at a previous meeting at beautiful Ham Hill!

Best Eco wishes
The Environment Team x
SSDC Green Initiatives
Recycle More is coming to South Somerset!
We're working with Somerset Waste Partnership to bring Recycle More to all 78,000 South Somerset households at the end of June.

This means we'll be able to literally Recycle More, like plastic pots, tubs and trays, food and drink cartons, small household batteries, and even small electrical items. Because we'll be able to recycle more during the weeks in between, it will mean 3 weekly big bin collections, as in theory if we recycle more there's less space needed in the big bin.

Nothing changes until you receive your BRIGHT BLUE BAG, a new recycling container that will be delivered to all households before the first Recycle More collection. You can read more about it here. Or check out the video below and get ready for Recycle More
Get a good recycling system in place

Tips and Tricks for home recycling - It can be so confusing! But it's a lot easier if you create a good system at home. Check out this WHICH guide on 'How to Recycle' which also shows ways to adapt our consumption so that we're not purchasing unrecyclable products and packaging.

Despite our best efforts to recycle as much as we can, there are still some difficult to recycle items. For items not yet included in Recycle More, there are still ways we can recycle them.

Check out TerraCycle who recycle crisp packets, coffee capsules, pens, plastic gloves and much more. These waste plastics undergo extrusion and pelletisation to be moulded into new recycled plastic products.
Recycle More
Presentation Recording

Earlier this month we held a Recycle More session with our Parish Environment Champions where Mickey Green, Mark Ford and Beth Prince from Somerset Waste Partnership told us all about the new ways we'll be able to Recycle More from June. Many of our Parish Environment Champions are getting a blue bag early to test it out, so they can share their findings with fellow parish residents and instill knowledge, confidence and reassurance when the change comes.

Why not check out the recording below to watch the presentation along with Q&A's .
Help influence producers to clean up their act
It's fantastic that we will soon be able to Recycle More, but equally, we should strive to reduce our plastic use as much as we can, and also help influence major waste sector reforms. Now we can all have our say by taking part in government consultations.

A Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, where consumers will be incentivised to take their empty drinks containers to return points hosted by retailers. Every year across the UK, consumers go through an estimated 14 billion plastic drinks bottles, nine billion drinks cans and five billion glass bottles. The scheme would cover England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a separate scheme already under development in Scotland. Consultation closes 04 June 2021.
Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging, where manufacturers will pay the full costs of managing and recycling their packaging waste, with higher fees being levied if packaging is harder to reuse or recycle. In 2019, approximately 11.7 million tonnes of packaging was placed on the UK market. We must ensure that more of this recyclable or reusable. The scheme is being developed on a UK-wide basis. Closes 04 June 2021
DfT e-scooter trial launched in Crewkerne and Chard

Last month South Somerset District Council, in collaboration with micromobility operator Zwings’ expanded the Department for Transport South Somerset rental e-scooter operation into Chard and Crewkerne. This scheme, which is part of the government’s wider project plan for improving sustainable transport options across the UK, has proved very popular in the month since launch.

The Department for Transport e-scooter trials were established as part of their COVID-response, as well as to inform future policy and gauge how this new mode of travel can be safely integrated into the UK’s transport ecosystem. E-scooter operators Zwings, who are fully funding the trial, took the opportunity to help with this research with a trial in Yeovil. Chard and Crewkerne were also selected as trial locations to ensure the benefits of e-scooters were extended beyond the major metropolitan areas for which such transport innovation is typically reserved, as well as to help meet the Council’s climate emergency pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. You can read our full press release here.
Check Out The 'New Blue' e-scooters in Yeovil, Crewkerne and Chard

Responding to public and rider feedback and high demand, our partners in the Department of Transport e-scooter trial, micro-mobility operators @Zwings, are launching their Generation 2.0 e-scooter in Yeovil. Riders will now find new sky-blue coloured e-scooter vehicles that come with a host of technological and safety advancements and to compliment this, all existing e-scooters in operation including those in Crewkerne and Chard will get a makeover, and have the new distinctive Zwings sky-blue applied. This will make it much easier to differentiate between the legal DfT trail Zwings e-scooters and privately owned ones, which are illegal to ride in public.
Our Street Scene Team has switched to electric!

Our Street Scene team now has a new electric Goupil vehicle to carry out removal of litter in difficult to access areas around in Yeovil Town Centre.
The little Goupil (yet to be named!) has a high power traction battery and on-board battery charger giving the vehicle a range of up to 60 miles on a single 8 hour charge. We met with Dave Gillingham (pictured) who told us he is impressed with how the Goupil is performing despite the extra litter generated by more people going outdoors, it can fill up very quickly but as things level out it should be perfect for keeping the streets and public areas of Yeovil in ship shape.

As existing vehicles are gradually stood down, SSDC will explore ways of replacing them with more sustainable vehicles wherever possible.
Last Chance To Take Part! Electric Vehicle Share Scheme Survey

It's your last chance to have your say on a potential Electric Vehicle and e-bike sharing scheme. Please do take a couple of minutes to complete the survey here with Co-Cars. Your input is really valuable to evaluate the viability of such a scheme based on public interest. 

Great British Spring Clean
28 May to 13 June 2021

This spring, we're supporting Keep Britain Tidy and our community of #Litterheroes on our #MillionMileMission to clear litter from our streets, parks and beaches.

What is good for our environment is good for our mental and physical health too. Find out what you can do to join in. Pledge to pick and join the Keep Britain Tidy Litter Heroes Facebook Group, a community of active volunteers driving the litter-picking movement across the country!

And for more inspiration, listen to Steve Bachshall and other litter heroes in this video.

Need Kit? Borrow from SSDC!

We are lending litter picking kits in a covid safe way.

Kit can be collected from our Lufton Depot in Artillery Road Yeovil.

Remember to follow covid safety guidelines according to the government roadmap out of lockdown, where as of 29th March, outdoor gatherings of up to six people (the rule of six) or two households is allowed. In line with this guidance, we are happy to once again to support litter picking activity in small groups of up to six volunteers, or two households and continue to follow the existing hygiene and social distancing measures.

If you'd like to do your bit to keep South Somerset beautiful and clean please contact Nathan Turnbull via email nathan.turnbull@southsomerset.gov.uk to request kit and arrange a covid safe collection.
New CPRE #2minute litter picking stations at Yeovil Country Park

Next time you visit Yeovil Country Park lookout for the new CPRE sponsored #2minutelitterpick station, situated just outside the cafe. If you can do a two-minute litter pick or a little more, it's always much appreciated by our rangers. If it wasn't for the army of litter pickers helping to keep the park in tip-top condition they would be chasing their tails.

A BIG thank you to The Countryside Charity CPRE for funding this litter pick station!

Love Where You Live! Join the #2minutelitterpicking Facebook page here and find out about all the other great work and initiative CPRE do here

Stop Press! There is now a CPRE sponsored station at Chard Reservoir and another coming to Ham Hill soon! Let's get wombling!
New Ham Hill Secret Stories GET THE APP!

Who doesn't love to explore Ham Hill Country Park? Well now you can explore it's wonders with digital help through an app.

SSDC’s countryside rangers from Ham Hill have partnered up with Ordnance Survey to launch a digital trail through a free to download OS ‘Secret Stories’ app. The trail is called ‘Ham Hill’s Pits of Perils and Rampaging Romans tour’.
The app allows you to discover more of Ham Hill’s spooky nightlife, fantastic fossils and buried treasures along a trail that is approximately 1.3 miles long. It is packed full of activities and takes around 11/2 half hours to complete. And of course you'll be connecting to nature along the way!

You can explore the Deep Quarry and learn about its inhabitants, create your own hibernation shelters in the hazel forests, and find out about the war scars and ancient dwellings which are still visible on Ham Hill today. The stories along the trail are told in a similar way to Horrible Histories, which make them fun and engaging for children and adults alike.

Ranger Edd Chilcott said “This is the first time we have trialled a digital app at Ham Hill and we would love some feedback on what people think of it. If you download and use the app, please let us know what you think and complete our short questionnaire. There is a chance to win a £5 Ninesprings Café Voucher for surveys submitted by Friday 28th May.”
If you have an Apple device, simply download the app via the App Store.
If you have an Android device, download the app via the Google Play Store.
And don't forget to follow Ham Hill Country Park on Social media. There's always loads going on!

Grants and Funding
SSDC Community Grants helps more local environment projects

In the past year, we have awarded over £29k towards local environment projects. Since we last updated you in October we have awarded four more grants for local community environment projects.

Martock Remembrance Wood - Awarded £1,000
Martock Parish Council are creating a memorial woodland on the 22-acre recreation ground in Martock. The woodland will commemorate those local people who lost their lives in World War 1 and will encompass a fenced off memorial copse of 59 semi-mature trees and 4 larger native oaks near the entrance to the ground from Bower Hinton. At the same time, the Council is planting an additional 300 native trees and shrubs at the southern end of the recreation ground, where the grass will also be uncut to encourage rough grass, wildflowers and local wildlife. 

Purchase of part of Kirkham Field, Somerton - Awarded £12,500

SSDC Area North Committee has awarded £12,500 to Kirkham Street Field Community Trust towards the £185,000 purchase of part of Kirkham Street field. The aim of the project is to preserve the field as an amenity green space located within the town, including its environmental benefits, as well as provide facilities for informal recreation and other leisure-time occupation in the interests of social welfare with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the community of Somerton. The Trust is actively considering the possible purchase of approximately a third of the field at the moment, as this is deemed affordable within the time constraints and as being enough initially to provide the key elements of a community park. Find out more about the plans here

Marston Magna rights of way improvements - Awarded £1,000

During lockdown, it was noticeable how much the footpaths in Marston Magna have been enjoyed. Marston Magna Parish Council delivered door to door ‘Circular Walks in Marston Magna’ and a number of people commented how useful this was but also expressed concern about the poor state of the stiles and footpath. The Marston Magna volunteer group is now working on this project and will use this community grant to improve the village’s footpath network, and SSDC has awarded £1000 to help fund the project.

Wayford allotment fencing project - Awarded £270

Wayford parish has approximately 1 acre of statutory allotment land that fell into disuse in the 1960s and since has been used for grass grazing by the neighbouring farmer keeping it in good order. Due to residents' interest, The Parish Council is now reinstating the allotments and has fenced the area with their community grant.
The aim is to improve community facilities, and encourage outdoor physical activity as well as develop a group of interested allotment gardeners. It will also allow more diversification of habitats as there will be a wider range of plants which will encourage a varied insect population. Finally, as home grown produce from an allotment has a lower transport mileage, it will have a lower carbon footprint.  This project was completed over the Easter bank holiday weekend and already 3 excited tenants are ready to occupy the plots!
If your community has a great environment project, you could get support towards it, through a SSDC Community Grant. Just visit the South Somerset District Council website here and tell us all about it.
BO GRANT - JOsh send link

Government Rural Community Energy Grants

The government Rural Community Energy Fund is a £10 million fund offering grants up to £100,000 for feasibility and pre-planning development work in communities in England with a population of under 10,000. The Fund is designed to enable community renewable energy projects to become investment ready. A wide range of organisations can apply and applications may be made at any time. To find out more visit the government website
Community Group Growing Grant

Somerset Community Foundation has launched a Growing Grant for community groups in Somerset. It's live and open for applications until 26th May 2021.

It's proven that Community food-growing spaces and food-growing can contribute to, and benefit the environment and improve the quality of life for local residents.

If you have an existing community growing group or you're about to start one, you can apply for up to £5000 to develop your community food growing space. Don't miss out! Check out the full criteria and more info here.

Additionally, the charity has a new Somerset Community Food’s website, which shows a map of local growing groups already in operation - Somerset Food Projects Map | Somerset Community Food
Green Learning
Somerset Wildlife Trust
FREE Wilder Somerset Event

Somerset is considered a green county, but Somerset Wildlife Trust say just 10% is in good natural or semi-natural condition for wildlife, and that we need to radically change that, and create more space for nature across the county.

To do this, they need more people to be involved in nature’s recovery in Somerset. They're hosting their Wilder Somerset virtual event on 19 May, and are looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible so they can find out how they can make a difference - and how the things we all do, even the small things, add up to make a difference, whether that is in our homes or in our communities.

If you're interested in this FREE event or wish to find out more visit Somerset Wildlife Trust here
Global News
Leaders Summit on Climate

To mark Earth Day, on 22 April US President Biden hosted a two-day event - The Summit on Climate where 40 world leaders were invited. The event objective was to accelerate actions to address the climate crisis, including emissions reductions, finance, innovation and job creation, and resilience and adaptation.

The event was live-streamed for public viewing and you'll find a recording below.
Green Titbits
Have You Got Young Trees Near You? Could you give them a drink?

Did you know 10% of newly planted trees don't make it to maturity? In many cases, this is because they're not getting enough water. It's been very dry of late so any help you can give to any young trees near you would make all the difference. Why not adopt one and give it a name! Save your grey water and give it to the trees. Get the kids involved and they can watch it grow up as they do too.
#Love a tree
Leave Room To Go Wild!

It's that time of year when we're getting the garden up together, but don't tidy up too much! This is a great opportunity to create natural living spaces for wildlife - from building a bug hotel to creating a garden pond, here are some ideas for things you can do yourself in your garden to help nature thrive. The Wildlife Trust have lots of ideas.
Help Swifts-Build them a box

The beautiful amazing swifts will be back to visit in 2 or 3 weeks' time, so give them a great welcome by putting up swift boxes.

If you're handy with a hammer and nails you can build one - you can find instructions here on the RSPB website, you can even become a Swift Champion!

If DIY is not your thing there are plenty available to buy online.

Lure them in! There are no guarantees swifts will find your box, but you can increase the chances if you play taped calls of other swifts via a loudspeaker during the breeding season (May-July). They can be bought from Swift Conservation. If you're successful, swifts are sensitive to disturbance and protected by law, so just watch from the ground or install a nestbox camera before the breeding season starts.
Recommended Viewing and Reading
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World

Climate activist Greta Thunberg takes a year off school to explore the science of global warming and challenge world leaders, calling for action on climate change. Available on BBC i-player.
Ade Adepitan travels to the frontline of climate change. He discovers how life is being affected even now and scours the globe for potential solutions.

Available to watch now on BBC i-player
Tell us how climate change is affecting where you live
If you can relate to some of the issues featured in these programmes where you live, then let us know. 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
If you are a business or community group please send in your details to our Great Green Directory to help others chose eco-solutions.
The Uninhabitable Earth
A Story of the Future

Highly recommended by our Natural Environment Officer Josh.

This book is unflinchingly frank and unapologetically apocalyptic, author and journalist David Wallace-Wells’ transformative book blows a hole in the polite rhetoric of climate change. Covering everything from the probability of worldwide drought and famine to the risk of total economic ruin, it’s an urgent manifesto for a wholesale environmental revolution, from everyday behaviours to government policy and international cooperation.

Available from all good booksellers.
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If you have any questions, a story to tell, news, views or ideas please get in touch with us at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk