Chloe Clarke Sustainability Officer
Chloe Clarke works as a Sustainability Officer for Adur & Worthing Councils. She works across the Councils and with the wider community to tackle climate change and protect the natural environment. She develops partnerships and projects with external organisations and helps drive delivery of SustainableAW. Chloe says:
“I'm really pleased to be working as the Sustainability Officer in this growing team. I'll be working on all things sustainability, including reducing plastics, increasing active travel and supporting the establishment of an Adur and Worthing Food Partnership. It's great to feel like I'm doing something positive towards the climate and nature emergency that is upon us, including helping with the Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly. With a degree in Ecology and Conservation, my passion is around biodiversity and the natural environment so I'm excited to connect up with the great work already being done on this locally.”
You can read Chloe's current blog posts on this page below:
“It's so important to conserve water, not just now in periods of drought, but always.”
I'm looking out at my garden, full of crispy plants in pots, and thinking about how we'll need to tend gardens with less and less water in the future, so choosing plants to suit our changing climate will be paramount.
The hosepipe ban comes into force on Friday 12th August 2022 for us here in Adur and Worthing, so I'll be watering the plants with recycled water from the house.
I'd seen some top tips for water saving from the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust (OART) social media posts, so thought I'd share these here too - see also OART website.
Image below: credit, courtesy & © copyright the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust (OART)
Use water wisely
It's so important to conserve water, not just now in periods of drought, but always. Energy is needed to filter, heat and pump water to your home, so reducing your water use also reduces your carbon footprint. Using less water keeps more in our ecosystems too.
Wildlife is really under stress right now due to water shortages everywhere. I noticed huge numbers of fish in the River Adur recently looking like they were gasping for air. I checked with our friends at OART and they said they'd been inundated with calls about dying fish in rivers and streams across the area.
The water is too warm, there are also high levels of nutrients in the water creating conditions which leave the fish without enough oxygen. Many rivers and streams are totally drying up too - find out more in this article:
For more information on saving water generally, take a look at these websites:
Find out more actions you can take in your garden, along with other climate focused information on our website
The importance of wetlands
This week we finally submitted our bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a development phase grant to restore a wetland habitat at New Salts Farm (between Shoreham and Lancing).
I've been working closely with Pete and Alistair from OART on this. OART is the lead partner, along with Adur District Council, so we'll be delivering the project along with a number of other key partners, if we're successful with the funding. More news on the project coming soon! It feels really exciting - so fingers and toes crossed that we get the funding! If you'd like to know more about the project, you can sign up to receive updates via the newsletter:
Photo: Wetland habitat at New Salts Farm (credit, courtesy & © copyright the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust (OART)
Wetlands are so important, not only for the amazing wildlife that they can support but also by storing rain like a sponge, and by buffering us from the sea they can protect us from floods and storms. Wetlands can also protect us from droughts and reduce air temperatures by up to 10 degrees Celsius. A recent report by the WWT showed that living near wetlands can also improve our wellbeing. Find out more about the report:
- Urban wetlands could improve wellbeing in deprived UK areas - on the Guardian website
- Britain's wetlands are the key to saving us from drought, wildfires and even floods - on the Guardian website
“We're likely to see much drier summers and much wetter winters, with an increase in frequency and intensity of storms.”
Chloe Clarke works as a Sustainability Officer for Adur & Worthing Councils. Please check out her blog that looks at the worrying rise in temperatures…
What do you make of the hot weather? Some call it a heatwave, some call it summer. Whatever you call it, predictions are that summers are likely to get much hotter and drier. Are you coping okay with the 30°C heat? How about if it was 40°C? That's the average temperature that we might regularly expect in the future in Adur and Worthing, according to the latest scientific research.
France, Spain and Portugal are all experiencing extreme temperatures, and as a result, there are many wildfires. Northern Italy has declared a state of emergency amidst the worst drought there for 70 years.
Places across the globe are already experiencing temperatures of more than 50°C - temperatures are becoming too hot for the human body to handle. Food production is affected with crops failing and livestock dying.
Heat-related illness can affect pets, too and is likely to become more common as global temperatures rise.
Our changing climate
We're likely to see much drier summers and much wetter winters, with an increase in frequency and intensity of storms. This changing pattern in rainfall and storms in our local area makes us vulnerable to an increased year-round risk of more frequent river, surface and coastal flooding. See:
Key targets for tackling climate change:
- Global target: to limit global heating by 1.5°C which in turn will limit the most damaging impacts of climate change.
- UK target: The UK is aiming to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 with a further target to cut carbon emissions by 78 per cent before 2035.
- Adur & Worthing Councils' target: Adur & Worthing Councils have pledged to be carbon neutral for the emissions it controls by 2030. See: Carbon reduction
- Area-wide target (all of Adur and Worthing): We've signed up to the UK 100 pledge for the area of Adur and Worthing to reach Net Zero carbon by 2045 - find out more on the UK100 website.
Find out more about actions the councils, businesses and residents are taking locally, see Climate action.
Cross-party support for Net Zero
I've just attended a webinar hosted by UK100, a national network of Local Authorities leading the way in taking ambitious action on climate, clean air and clean energy. At the event they launched the:
It felt positive listening to a range of speakers, from across the political parties, that all showed continued support for taking action to reach Net Zero. Surrounding myself with information about climate change and nature's decline can often be overwhelming, so it's a welcome relief to hear about the progress happening up and down the country.
Public support for climate action
They shared YouGov Polling, which highlighted the continued strong support from the public for Net Zero, including investing in renewable energy.
Chris Skidmore MP, Chair of the Environment All Party Parliamentary Group said:
“The public want their next Prime Minister to prioritise climate, nature and the Environment. The latest polling demonstrates, the public overwhelmingly supports climate action, particularly amidst a cost-of-living crisis. Communities also want to see more support for their local and regional leaders to deliver it.”
"It's vital that politicians of all parties continue not only to work together to protect Net Zero but build on the positive progress that's already been made to make people's lives better through a clean energy economy”
They also shared that for every £1 invested in local Net Zero, energy costs are slashed by almost £2, and communities reap the rewards of more than £14 worth of wider social benefits.
Businesses share the benefits of taking climate action
The UK's leading business groups have also called on the leadership hopefuls to deliver solutions to the climate and nature crises.
Scientists push for climate action
This week, Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor for the government, and other leading UK scientists gave an emergency briefing on climate change to MPs. The presentation is available online - the slides contain data on global temperature, sea levels and extreme weather.
Video: Sir Patrick Vallance briefs MPs on climate science on YouTube
So, although there is still a very long way to go and the Climate Change Committee highlighted that in their recent progress report to the Government, the fact that the public, businesses, local authorities, other public sector organisations and scientists are taking action on climate and calling on more to be done, is definitely a reason to feel hopeful.
Chloe Clarke works as a Sustainability Officer for Adur & Worthing Councils.
The team and I were recently invited to take part in a brilliant community event organised by Transition Town Worthing (TTW). They brought together more than 60 people from across the community to gather and share knowledge and ideas about what sustainability projects and initiatives were already going on, or should be, so that a Sustainable Worthing Map can be created.
Transition Town Worthing is the driving force behind this idea, supported by funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Sussex Community Foundation Rampion Fund. This money will be put to good use, helping them to firstly hold this event and then to actually create the physical map and online interactive tool that will continually evolve as projects and plans come on board.
It was held in the lovely Coast Cafe on Worthing seafront, which is such a great place to hold a meeting like that, with sea views, tasty food and sunshine and sea breeze streaming in.
Pauline Cory, Director of TTW, kicked off the event and said:
“We hope that the map will become a very useful guide and signposting resource for anyone who wants to find out how to reduce their carbon footprint and what's already going on locally to help support them in their journey. This, in turn, should help to create a more sustainable and resilient community.
“When it comes to building and maintaining a sustainable community, you need a network to underpin it, like mycelium. Thankfully we already have that in Worthing. It's taken many years to build and many of you are a key part of that network”
The key themes were:
- Waste/Recycling etc
- Energy conservation/production
- Water - harvesting, rain gardens, surface water flood prevention
The information gathered will be brought together with ideas and recommendations put forward at other local climate engagement events, including the A&W Climate Assembly and the community-led Zero2030 Climate Conference, which was co-developed by Transition Town Worthing, Worthing Climate Action Network and Adur & Worthing Councils.
We just wanted to say a massive well done to Pauline and everyone else involved and those that went along to the event too.
Transition Town Worthing
TTW is a strong local network of like-minded groups and individuals, all working together to support the local economy, reduce our environmental impact and build community resilience.
It is responsible for Worthing Repair Cafe, a number of community gardens and allotments, an annual Seed swap event, Eco Open Houses events and supports the work of Plastic Free Worthing. Find out more about all these brilliant initiatives on their website or Facebook pages.
TTW is also supporting the newly emerging CREW - Climate Resilience cEntre Worthing. This is a really exciting project and the team behind it are working really hard to try to open a Climate Hub in the centre of Worthing as soon as they can secure suitable premises. This would bring Worthing into the growing national network of places with Climate Emergency Centres, where people can meet up, plan, educate, train and adapt to the challenges of our changing climate. Find out more about the national network of Climate Emergency Centres:
Save the date for the Green Dreams Festival!
TTW is one of the founding partners behind the Green Dreams Festival, which is a collaborative event led by community based groups from Adur and Worthing. Showcasing local green space initiatives, food producers and creatives, this is a great opportunity to learn more about what's going on in your local area.
This year's festival will be taking place at on Sunday 25th September 2022.
I've always been fascinated by farms, how we farm the land and the way we produce our food.
I was lucky enough to go on a tour of Applesham Farm with the farmer, Hugh Passmore. Set in the South Downs National Park, the landscape is a patchwork of fields amongst rolling Downland. What a special place to farm!
Hugh talked us through the environmental management practices that they've been doing on the farm for some time now, and it's clearly having a positive impact. Hugh is one of the Directors of the Arun to Adur Farmers Group.
Applesham Farm is hosting Open Farm Day on Sunday 3rd July 2022 from 10am to 4pm. It is a mixed arable, beef and sheep farm that neighbours Lancing College and Coombes Farm.
It looks set to be a lovely day with sheep shearing demonstrations and trailer rides around the farm to see livestock, crops and wildlife.
You can see the animals and machinery up close too and get a chance to ask the farmer questions. There will be food and drink available and stands from a variety of organisations. There's plenty of parking or you could walk or cycle along the Coombes Road to get there.
You can read more about Applesham Farm by reading this blog by Sussex Wildlife Trust:
Arun to Adur Farmers Group
Formed in 2015, the group is made up of 38 farming members farming a total of almost 11,000 hectares around the communities of Adur, Worthing, Arun and Steyning. Situated between the River Arun and River Adur, the group covers the nationally important chalk downland habitat between the two rivers and the river valley floodplains.
They are a very active group committed to improving the farmed environment at a landscape-scale, while continuing to produce food. The group provides the farmers with the opportunity to share ideas and learn from neighbours with similar soil types, helping them experiment and evolve good farming practices to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
The group has selected a range of high priority wildlife species for targeted conservation. These include the Water Vole, the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Grey Partridge, Lapwing and Corn Bunting (pictured below) and uncommon and rare arable flowers such as Cornflower.
They work with a range of organisations including the South Downs National Park Authority, Southern Water, and Sussex Wildlife Trust. They are already delivering a range of environmental projects to increase farmland wildlife and biodiversity and improve soil health and water quality. They engage with the local community through initiatives like Open Farm Sunday, they also host school visits and share Meet the Farmer information via QR codes on signposts along the South Downs Way.
“Given the climate and biodiversity emergency, we can and wish to play our full part in working with the wider community to deliver high quality projects to improve the environment and help mitigate against climate change. Arun to Adur Farmers Group.”
Adur & Worthing Councils' involvement
Adur and Worthing Councils is now a member of the farming group, following the purchase of three parcels of land: New Salts Farm, Pad Farm and Shepherds Mead (also called Cissbury Fields), which are within the Arun to Adur area.
Find out more about our involvement in landscape scale habitat restoration in the most recent latest issue of our online magazine:
You can find out a bit more in our:
Or in this landscape scale habitat restoration in Adur video on our YouTube channel:
The Circular Space
This week I had the chance to visit The Circular Space with a few of my colleagues. It's a brilliant new community reuse hub that has recently opened in Shoreham.
People can access craft materials, take part in activities and learn new skills and is run by Over The Moon. We caught up with Sarah, Debs, Emily and Gill (pictured) to find out more.
The space is light and bright and packed full of reuse treasures. Oh, the lovely beads! It's all about creative reuse and community connection and there is a lot going on already. There are three parts to it:
- the Scrap Space
- the Activity Space
- and the Garden Space
Find out more:
Anyone can become a member of The Scrap Space to access low cost reclaimed resources for play, art, craft, theatre and DIY. The resources are all good quality and many are brand-new having been passed to them via retailers needing to get rid of stock. Lots of people are already members - passing secondary school pupils, art students from uni, artists, local residents and many more folk from far and wide that are in-the-know about how great scrap stores can be!
Local schools, nurseries, Brownies and other groups are also already members and benefitting from the free or low-cost materials that they can get crafty with. The next time I get asked to make a costume for school, or asked if we have any spare buttons to make a big collage with ... I'll be off to the scrap store, or even better, get the school to become a member too!
It will help people save money and reduce the amount of stuff they buy, but it also brings a wellbeing benefit too. There is a huge range of art, craft and gardening activities going on for all ages from preschool to adult, with some being taught by local practitioners and some being less formal social sessions.
To find out more and book a creative session visit:
You can also donate your household and business waste to be redistributed for creative reuse - although they're full to the brim currently, so do check first.
Repair cafes in Shoreham and Worthing
One of the 18 recommendations put forward by the Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly included a call for more repair cafes and hubs for recycling. So we're so pleased that Emily and the team have worked hard to get The Circular Space up and running and that both Shoreham and Worthing repair cafes are back in full swing after being closed due to COVID.
The Circular Space hosts the Adur Repair Cafe: which is on the first Saturday of each month.
Please book a repair slot:
Transition Town Worthing hosts an excellent Repair Cafe: which is on the last Saturday of the month from 10am to 4pm, at the Friends/Quaker Meeting House, 34 Mill Road, Worthing, BN11 5DR.
At the TTW Repair Café, their talented team of volunteers can help you to repair your clothes, toys, bicycles, laptops, computers, small household electrical/electronic items, small items of furniture and knife/scissor sharpening. They also offer PAT testing & refills.
Please book a repair slot:
For local residents that have ever walked up the river Adur or driven along the A283 towards Steyning, you will be aware of the Cement Works.
A derelict site with its tall chimney, shattered windows and a large chalk bowl that has been carved out of the landscape.
Photo: Shoreham Cement Works (credit, courtesy & copyright South Downs National Park Authority)
I have often wondered what on earth could and should become of that huge site - but now the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is putting forward some ideas and would like people to have their say.
They have launched a consultation on the Area Action Plan (APP) for Shoreham Cement Works which closes on 2nd August 2022.
The plan has been prepared by the SDNPA as the local planning authority for the site - the site itself is privately owned. The purpose of the AAP is to guide the development of this exceptional site and help deliver an exemplar mixed use development of regional, or indeed, national importance.
Details of the consultation and how to respond can be found here:
A video on the consultation can be viewed below:
Or you can watch the video on the Vimeo website.
I saw SDNPA had a major housing development approved in Lewes recently, with sustainability at its heart. New walking and cycle routes, protected and enhanced habitats and all homes (100 are affordable) being net zero carbon and highly water efficient. Sounds pretty good to me!
The first Community Composting scheme in Worthing has started in Victoria Park. The scheme now has over 40 households and two local businesses contributing their compostable vegetable waste.
The scheme has been set up by Rita Garner (photo below) as part of the Park Volunteer Gardening Group. Well done Rita and everyone involved in making this happen!
This comes hot off the heels of the first scheme launched in Shoreham. Community Composting was put forward as a recommendation by local residents taking part in the Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly as one way of tackling food waste. So it is amazing to see that there are now two schemes up and running!
The Worthing scheme has been funded by Worthing Borough Council's Community Infrastructure Levy. There has also been support from the Council's Park Ranger, alongside advice and guidance from Community Works and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership.
Even if we had a food waste collection scheme, this takes out waste and makes it into something useful that is used right near home.
The compost they produce will be used in the raised beds in the park and any left over can be shared by scheme members for their pots. The bins were built off site with pre-used wood. They are designed so that any planks that need replacing can be easily done without having to buy a whole new bin.
If you'd like to join the scheme, or find out how it was set up, please contact:
Page last updated: 12 August 2022