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 Environment Portfolio Holder
Welcome to another jam packed edition of Get SuSSed.

Our popular Great Parish Tree Giveaway is also live and we strongly encourage parishes to apply for trees for this coming planting season.

Another positive step forward is our work with Engie, a leading energy and services company focused on three key activities: production and supply of low carbon energy, services and regeneration. We appointed them earlier this year to carry out an energy audit on our top ten energy use buildings. We have now received the final report which sets out a roadmap to carbon neutrality by 2030 and are now considering our next steps to implement some of their recommendations.

Finally, I would like to give a warm welcome to the team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) who will be regularly contributing to Get SuSSed to share their wealth of knowledge and experience of helping people change the way they think and act on energy. It's really great to have their input.

Best Eco Wishes
Sarah
SSDC Green Initiatives
SSDC Partners with ZWINGS
to launch pay as you go E-Scooter trial in Yeovil
Britain’s leading micro-mobility operator, Zwings, has partnered with South Somerset District Council to launch a fleet of pay as you go e-scooters in Yeovil on 22 October 2020 for 12 months.

This scheme will be run under the official e-scooter trials initiative, authorised by the Department for Transport (DfT). Private use e-scooters remain illegal on UK roads, however these trials are allowing the DfT to review how authorised rental e-scooters are used in a controlled and monitored environment. Read more here

At the launch yesterday at Goldenstones Leisure Centre Yeovil were..

Pictured left to right - Joe Lewin CEO of ZWINGS, Richard McKeirnan Traffic Control Avon and Somerset Police, Yeovil Mayor Cllr David Ricardo, SSDC Portfolio Holder for Environment Cllr Sarah Dyke, Cllr Adam Dance and SSDC Case Officer Environment Cara Naden.
ENGIE to help deliver zero carbon for South Somerset District Council
South Somerset District Council has contracted ENGIE to develop a net zero carbon roadmap. This move follows SSDC’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in May 2019 and publication of an environment strategy that sets out immediate actions and long-term goals for achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions.
ENGIE was selected to produce the roadmap for achieving zero carbon for SSDC’s 10 largest energy-consuming sites following a rigorous selection process involving 29 bidders.
 
ENGIE carried out energy audits and carbon assessments and developed a carbon reduction waterfall to identity priority areas where the greatest reductions can be achieved. This will map out a path to enable SSDC to achieve optimum carbon savings in the most efficient and cost-effective ways. Read more here
SSDC Electric Vehicle trials
Our colleagues at Lufton are trialling electric vehicles to test their viability within the fleet. The team at Lufton have invited other services across the organisation to go along and test drive the Renault Kango vans to see if they could also work for them.
Fleet services will be trialling other models of electric vehicles in the near future, to find the best fit as part of their bid to help reduce SSDC's carbon footprint.
Urban Tree Challenge
We have heard that our Urban Tree Challenge application for Martock, at Bracey Park has been successful. This project will see 400 trees planted consisting of a mix of Hazel, Holly, Yew, Pedunculate Oak, Small-leaved Lime and Juniper. We are just finalising the funds and the hope is to have the trees planted this planting season. We've also submitted applications for Yeovil and Chard and hope to bring you good news on those next month.
It's seed gathering time!
Gather seeds, fruits, and nuts that can be nurtured to grow the trees of the future. When you're next out on your walk, collect any tree nuts and seeds you see which haven’t already been nibbled by the local wildlife! Take what you need and leave the rest for them. Check out The Tree Council's advice and tips on growing viable seeds
Our colleague Martin recently visited Ham Hill to meet Paul the ranger and learn about planting seeds.

Click on the image to watch Paul making planters, as well as what to plant and how to!
South Somerset District Council support Forest School – Get in touch to get your school involved.
Forest School Day is an annual event held on 9th October, but SSDC promotes outdoor and Forest School learning all year round, helping school children to celebrate, connect, share and celebrate everything that is great and wonderful about Forest School.
 
Community Heritage Officer Becky Russell said “It’s great to get children out in the fresh air, it improves their physical and mental wellbeing and they have a great time. A child told me only last week ‘forest school is like playtime all morning’, but in that time, the children and teachers learnt to identify trees by their leaves, nuts and berries, and make their own paint from berries they’d gathered, followed by creating some lovely pictures with their berry paint, learning through play”
 
Our Environment Team are working up a schools and communities pack to give a range of ideas for enhancing outdoor learning. Watch this space for more details.
 
To talk to the Countryside team about sessions at the Country Parks email countryside@southsomerset.gov.uk
SSDC Community Grant Successes!
Last month we reminded you of our SSDC Community Grant Scheme and how we can help with local community and environment projects. We have had a fantastic response and since June have received over 30 enquiries. Applications have been varied, from parishes wishing to improve their rights of way network to applications for air source heat pumps, outdoor activity areas, wildlife ponds, tree planting and eco-friendly benches.

Here are some fantastic eco projects that have been helped by SSDC Community Grants already
Reintroducing Ratty – Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Fern Animal Sanctuary applied for an SSDC community grant of £950 towards a £2,950 project to reintroduce water voles to the sanctuary.

Curry Wood Community Trust Land Purchase

SSDC awarded £12,500 to Curry Woods Conservation Trust, towards the £61,000 purchase of approximately 4 hectares of land from Somerset County Council. The land is made up of mature ancient woodland and arable land in the Parish of Curry Rivel.

Drinking water for Gainsborough Play Park, Milborne Port

An application by Milborne Port Parish Council has been approved for £684 to pay 50% of the costs for the provision of drinking water at the Gainsborough Play Park in Milborne Port. 
Installation of solar panels at Barrington FC

Barrington Football club applied for £800 of a £9,500 project to install solar panels at their ground. This project was completed in August and the remainder of the costs were funded by the Parish Council and the Football Club’s own funds.

You can read their full stories and find out more about how the Community Grant Scheme can benefit your local projects here

SSDC Parish Environment Champions
The Great Parish Tree Giveaway is live!
The Great Parish Tree Giveaway is now open for applications. All Parish Environment Champions were contacted earlier this week inviting them to apply so do check your inbox if you haven't seen it. Applications will be on a first come first served basis so do submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
£1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund launched 
We recently emailed all our Parish environment Champions about the Government £1 billion of grant funding towards capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within public sector non-domestic buildings.

The scheme allows public sector bodies to apply for a grant to finance up to 100% of the costs of capital energy-saving projects that meet the scheme criteria.

They will be accepting applications on a rolling basis with the final deadline for applications being Monday 11 January.
This is a great opportunity for parish/town councils to push forward on decarbonising their estate and an opportunity to create a plan using experts within the industry. Read more here
Beware Green Homes Voucher scam
We have been made aware of scam websites representing the Green Home Vouchers scheme. Please don't engage with them and make sure you always communicate through the official government website and make sure suppliers are Trustmark and HIES accredited.
Somerset County Council
Somerset County Council Draft Climate Emergency Strategy


Somerset’s Climate Emergency Strategy has now been published which you can view here together with the ‘have your say’ feedback report.
This strategy does not replace our own SSDC Environment Strategy and we’ll continue to deliver what we set out in our own plans last October and the other Somerset local authorities will continue with theirs.
We will work in parallel with the Somerset Climate Emergency Strategy and all five councils will work together to deliver county-wide solutions to reach our shared goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

National Campaigns
National Tree Week
The UK's Largest Annual Tree Celebration

Join communities around the country planting trees during The Tree Council’s National Tree Week 28 November – 6 December.

Get involved…

Around the country, volunteer Tree Wardens and other community tree groups will be holding tree planting events to celebrate National Tree Week: The UK’s largest annual tree celebration! Check here to use the calendar map tab to find out what is happening in your local area or to add your own tree event.
Eco Enterprises & Ideas We Love
Centre for Sustainable Energy teams up with Get SuSSed

We want to give a big warm welcome to The Centre for Sustainable Energy a Bristol-based sustainable energy charity, working to combat fuel poverty and improve the energy efficiency of homes across Somerset. They will be regularly contributing to Get SuSsed to keep us all up to date with the latest energy news and initiatives.
This month they're telling us about their Safe & Warm Somerset project which offers free, practical advice to homeowners, tenants and landlords, to help make homes warmer and cheaper to heat and to reduce the risk of ill health and hospital admissions.

The project is run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Established in 1979, CSE’s vision is for a world where sustainability is second nature, carbon emissions have been cut to safe levels and fuel poverty has been replaced by energy justice.

CSE provides free energy advice via its advice line and more in-depth case work for those that need it through its Fuel Poverty and Energy Advisors like Deb Geraghty, who covers the South Somerset area. She provides energy efficiency advice and supports home owners and landlords to apply for home improvement grants for things like insulation and repairing, replacing or installing new central heating systems. Deb helps clients to understand their bills, manage their fuel debt and apply for discounts and entitlements. She also deals with disputes with energy suppliers and advises on switching companies to get the best tariffs. 

Deb says: “People can be afraid to turn on the heating because of the expense,” she says, “or the property may not be efficient enough to keep them warm and their homes free of mould and damp. 
In this day and age, this shouldn’t be happening to friends and neighbours in our communities and I’m glad I’m able to help change people’s situations for the better. Everyone deserves a home which is warm, comfortable and affordable to heat.”

Get in touch with CSE today and one of its advisors will see how they can help.

Call 0800 082 2234 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
Submit the form on CSE’s website: www.cse.org.uk/contact-us 
Refer someone for support using the online form: www.cse.org.uk/referral

For more information about the Centre for Sustainable Energy and its work visit https://www.cse.org.uk/
Safe and Warm Somerset is funded and supported by: Warm Homes Fund, Energy Redress Scheme, Somerset Community Foundation, the four Somerset district councils, Somerset Independence Plus and South Somerset Citizens Advice.
Trees for Water funding available

Local environmental group Reimagining the Levels, in partnership with Somerset Rivers Authority, Farmers and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest, and the Woodland Trust, have funding, expertise and materials available for small plantings of trees and hedges that will aid water management.
Landowners and Parish Councils with small areas of land that would not ordinarily attract funding can apply.
Reimagining the Levels seek volunteers

Reimagining the Levels, in partnership with Somerset Rivers Authority, the Woodland Trust and Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SW), are preparing for a busy tree-planting season and would like to recruit volunteers to help out. Our aim is to plant trees and hedgerows on small(ish) pockets of land that will ‘slow the flow’ of water and contribute to water and flood management. We are also working with community groups planting woodlands and orchards. Find out more about how to get involved here
Green Titbits
Recommended Viewing -
Kiss the ground

Kiss the Ground is a full-length documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on an alternative approach to farming called “regenerative agriculture” that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. "There's so much bad news about our planet. It's so overwhelming," Harrelson says, as Kiss The Ground's trailer opens. "The truth is, I have given up. This is the story of a simple solution, a way to heal our planet. This solution is right under our feet and it's as old as dirt.


You can find out how to watch the move and view the trailer here
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