Welcome to Get SuSSed, the newsletter where we keep you in the know on all things linked to our Environment Strategy.
Hello from Councillor Sarah Dyke
Our Portfolio Holder for Environment
Welcome to our November edition of Get SuSSed.

Despite these uncertain times we are committed to the delivery of our Environment Strategy.

November has been both busy and exciting as we bed in the successful and popular E Scooter trial in Yeovil and fine tune the operation so it works best for the community. We've also teamed up with the Yeovil Rivers Community Trust to enhance the Dodham Brook at Yeovil Country Park to improve habitat for wildlife. Our popular Great Parish Tree Giveaway is well underway and we've extend the end date to enable more Parishes to apply for free trees, so I encourage you to apply if you have scope for tree planting in your Parish.

We've held our first ever Parish Environment Champion virtual events, which have been a great success and well attended. Our ambition is that these events will grow as more champions get involved and interlink to form a network of like minded people implementing sustainable projects across the district.

We also held our a seminar for local businesses to raise awareness of the circular economy research and initiatives that promote environmental sustainability alongside business growth. 

Finally, I would like to wish you all a safe, healthy and very happy December. May all your Christmas eco wishes come true,

Sarah x
SSDC Green Initiatives
Yeovil E-Scooter trial - Hello Yeovil!
Thanks for the love!
Hello Yeovil! Since last month's launch of the Department for Transport 12 month trial of pay-as-you-go e-scooters in Yeovil we have seen a record breaking response from the public using 35 E Scooters spread across 20 locations around the town.

3181 journeys made by 2132 users
8498 miles travelled
Average journey 2.67 miles
175 riders used the code 'safescooting15'
120 NHS and emergency workers used the lock down FREE ride offer
Usage of the E Scooters in Yeovil is reported higher than similar rental services in major capital cities across the UK and some parts of the world. Take up of the scheme is such that our original estimate of the reduction of car use in Yeovil over the next year has increased from 10% to 15%.

If you or someone you know is an NHS or emergency worker, read more here to find out how to sign up for 15 minutes free lock down scoot before 2nd December.
SSDC encourages businesses to adopt a Circular Economy approach
As part of our Economic Development Strategy we are encouraging businesses to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

One of the ways we're doing this is to make businesses aware of the circular economy process. Based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. Most business processes are linear i.e they make, use and dispose of products whereas the circular economy process is make, use and reuse, and so eliminates all waste from the system.
 
There is a significant scale of opportunity from the circular economy in South Somerset. Research by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) estimates that agricultural food waste in the UK is worth approximately £1.2 billion per annum or 7% of annual agricultural output. Equating this to South Somerset suggests that on this factor alone there could be a market saving of £14 million per annum.
 
The scope for the greatest potential in South Somerset has been identified in the food and drink and agricultural production sectors. 
To get local businesses engaged and thinking about the way they do business we held an online seminar, Chaired by Cllr Sarah Dyke to raise awareness of the circular economy research and initiatives that promote environmental sustainability alongside business growth. We were delighted to welcome speaker Richard Clothier, who spoke of how the system works at Wykes Farm Cheese and the positive environment and financial and environment impact it can have.
You can watch our Circular Economy Seminar here and find out more about sustainable business.
Going forward we will be setting up a group of interested businesses to network and share ideas as well as running more specific workshops such as recyclable packaging with economies of scale. We'll also be working with Exeter University to design and test circular solutions for food/agricultural systems. If you would like to get involved with this or find out more please contact econdev@southsomerset.gov.uk
SSDC Great Green Directory

We have plans to create our own Great Green Directory which will be a reference for recommended sustainable products and services from eco friendly businesses.

If you are an eco-friendly business or can recommend sustainable products and services please let us know at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
Great Parish Tree Giveaway - FREE Trees still available
The recent Great Parish Tree Giveaway has received a brilliant take up already but it's not too late for your Parish to get free trees!
 
The scheme has extended its application deadline to Monday 30 November.

All Parishes and town councils have received an email invitation to apply. So check your inbox if you haven't seen it. Applications will be on a first come first served basis, so get in touch today to avoid disappointment.
Community Grants for trees and environment projects
If you have a larger tree project that needs more support, for example it might include land preparation or fencing, then there is help available within the SSDC Community Grant Scheme. SSDC encourage you to put forward your community's application for a grant towards the cost of a community tree project where you live. We can also offer support with other environment initiatives. Find out more here
Yeovil Rivers Community Trust Dodham Brook Project

The Yeovil Rivers Community Trust (YRCT) have teamed up with South Somerset District Council to enhance Dodham Brook in Ninesprings Yeovil. The scheme will rejuvenate the brook which runs from Goldenstones Leisure Centre through Ninesprings and on to the Yeo Leisure Park where it joins the river Yeo. The work will provide better habitat for endangered water voles and create an improved environment for many other species that live in and around the brook.
Read the full story here
Pictured left : Yeovil Rivers Community Trust volunteers.


Check out th YRCT website for more info on other Yeovil waterway projects and find out how to get involved.
Recognition for Yeovil in Bloom
Earlier this month Yeovil in Bloom received official recognition from the Royal Horticultural Society for this summer's floral displays around the town.

As well as these official RHS awards they also received many positive comments and letters from members of the public saying how the displays had lifted people's spirits when out and about in the town. The power of flowers as they say. This means so much to the team who put their heart and soul into bringing beautiful floral displays to the residents and visitors of Yeovil year on year and who were not going to let a global pandemic make this year any different.
Yeovil In Bloom received the RHS 'Inspiring Others' certificate and two recognition certificates - one for Yeovil town floral displays and the second for St John's Church yard. Also receiving awards for their outstanding contributions were Milford Allotments and the Brookie Bridge project.
Congratulations team
Yeovil in Bloom. You are all blooming marvelous!
SSDC Parish Environment Champions
SSDC Parish Environment Champions first collaboration events
This month we held our first ever webinar events with our Parish Environment Champions.
The first of many to bring together Champions from across the district to share knowledge, as well as getting to know one another!

If you are a Parish Environment Champion and haven't been to one yet, check your inbox for invitations and we'll look forward to seeing you next time.

Our first event on 11 Nov was on Nature Recovery with guest speakers Simon Clark of the Somerset Wildlife Trust and Kate Towers and Carrie Skinner from Reimagining the Levels who talked about the Trees for Water Project.

On 18 November we held an energy webinar and were joined by Mark Tyler of the Centre of Sustainable Energy who talked about fuel poverty and helping those in the community who are vulnerable and what help is available.

Parish Environment Champion and member of One Planet Bruton Jane Durney also gave an inspirational talk about the brilliant initiatives happening in the Bruton area. From Solar Street projects bringing lower cost Solar PV installations to the community to a pop up preloved clothes shop, FreeCycle weekends and Sustainability Sundays.

You can view the recorded session by clicking on the icon below.
We want these to be the first of many collaborative events with Parish Environment Champions as we continue to share knowledge and build a network of like minded people who are passionate about the environment.

We want to know what topics you would like to share or find out more about. Get in touch at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk
Somerset County Council
Grant scheme to help businesses save money and the environment
THE Covid-19 pandemic means Somerset’s economy is facing unprecedented challenges and the county’s five local authorities are doing what they can to help businesses get the support they need.
 
Meanwhile the climate emergency remains, and a new grant has been launched which will help businesses save money and help the environment at the same time.
Find out more here
Campaigns
Save money,carbon and keep warm this winter

Switching to green energy is one of the easiest and most impactful things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. With Big Clean Switch’s free energy comparison service, you can compare deals from the UK’s best green energy suppliers and switch to a great value tariff in minutes.

Compare green energy suppliers here
National Tree Week
28 Nov - 6 Dec
The UK’s largest annual tree celebration

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year, because we can't be together they are hosting these tree-mendous free webinars during National Tree Week. Check them out and sign up here
#treelyconnected
Eco Enterprises & Ideas We Love
Christmas Eco Gift idea!

Somerset Waste partnership have a great deal on composters right now.

Grab a bargain composting bin for as little as £10 with SWP special offer
Get a 220-litre for £10 and 330L for £12.50. Save again with the buy-one-get-one-half-price deal for two of the same size. Save once more by buying two and then sharing the delivery of £9.99 per order with a neighbour or friend? Buy your bins now at Somerset Waste Partnership *While stocks last!

Keep up to date with all SWP's latest news in their SORTED newsletter, visit their website and scroll to the bottom of the home page to sign up.
Advice from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.. Are you eligible for Government Warm Homes Discount?

The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is a government scheme whereby all major energy suppliers are required to give an annual rebate to customers on low incomes.

A £140 rebate is available to a core group of customers whose supplier is part of the scheme and are in receipt of the guaranteed element of Pension Credit. 

To find out more click here or call The Centre for Sustainable Energy Home Energy Team on 0800 082 2234
Wessex Water Recovery Fund for community projects

If you know of a local charity or community group that requires support, there may be help through the Wessex Water Recovery Fund.

The Wessex Water Recovery Fund aims to strengthen communities throughout the south west with an emphasis on supporting local rather than national projects.

The fund will prioritise those worst affected by Covid-19 and Priority will be given to groups that are working to:

  • support people in financially difficult circumstances
  • help build stronger communities
  • support the green recovery with new initiatives
  • restore and protect nature and wildlife for community health and wellbeing.

To find out more visit their website here
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We want you to feel part of Get SuSSed and get involved. If you have any questions, an environment story to tell, news, views or ideas please get in touch at ssdcenvironment@southsomerset.gov.uk