Chloe Clarke Sustainability Officer
Chloe Clarke has just started at the Councils as the Sustainability Officer. She will be working across the Councils and communities to address the Climate Emergency and ecological crises. She'll be developing partnerships and projects with external organisations and helping deliver SustainableAW and a new Adur & Worthing Climate Plan. 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:
This week I've had a few meetings about the areas of land that were purchased by the councils for habitat restoration. Adur District Council acquired two areas of farmland, 45 acre Pad Farm and 70 acre New Salts Farm (New Salts Farm is still awaiting final completion) whilst Worthing Borough Council acquired land just below Cissbury Ring in the South Downs National Park, 100 acre Shepherds Mead.
As well as exploring habitat restoration at these sites, we're also talking about how they might connect up with other green spaces ('green infrastructure') including parks, local nature reserves, Downland, open space, verges and even gardens - part of a nature corridor for this area and beyond.
The fabulous Knepp Estate has created this lovely video which demonstrates the vision of how connecting habitats by creating green corridors can and should be at the heart of nature restoration.
Video: Vision for nature connectivity in the UK
A Nature Recovery Network is included within the Environment Bill, which will hopefully become law in the Autumn so it's good for us to be thinking about how the green spaces across this area will fit into a Local Nature Recovery Strategy, see: Nature Recovery Network - on the GOV.UK website.
Ensuring our local green spaces are protected, enhanced, promoted and accessible for all the community, was a recommendation from the Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly.
If you're keen to get involved and find out more about the nature on your doorstep, I see there are lots of lovely local events popping up now, including:
- EPIC project in Sompting: has a range of dates for the diary in May, with sessions on habitat creation, photography, wildflowers, Bird ID and amphibian and reptile surveys. For further details and to book see: Epic Sompting on Facebook
- Friends of Shoreham Beach: have got a number of events happening in May, including a flower walk and a beach clean, with other events planned for June and beyond. For further details and to book see: Friends of Shoreham Beach on Facebook
Finally, have you ever taken part in #30DaysWild? It's the Wildlife Trusts' initiative to get people outside into nature every day in June. I'd really recommend it as although I thought I was fairly in touch with nature, having this prompt to get you out and about and reconnecting with it every day, helps you to see and appreciate even the smallest bits of nature in our lives. Take a look at their website or social media to sign up for a pack for individuals, families, schools, nurseries, care homes and businesses:
Photo: Shoreham Beach
I met with the waste team this week to talk about Hotbin Composters. They've got a number of Hotbin Composters available and are looking for households that want to get involved in a trial to reduce their food waste. Are you interested? We're particularly looking for households in the Worthing area as already have a number of households in Adur.
We would supply you with a Hotbin Composter, these usually cost around £200 so in return for trialling the bin, we'd love you to record your experience, weigh how much food waste is going in the composter (and therefore not in your black bin) and maybe record a video diary or vlog and share how it's going on social media?
Increasing levels of composting across Adur and Worthing was one of the recommendations put forward by the A&W Climate Assembly.
Reducing your food waste is a great way to help you reduce your carbon footprint - you can find out more about your carbon footprint in this short video on the BBC website.
This week the Government has brought forward a new, more ambitious target to cut carbon emissions by 2035. A very welcome announcement. The key now will be putting in place the policies and investment needed to achieve this target. Find out more on the BBC News website.
If you're interested in finding out more about the trial, or taking part, please get in touch with:
Please note: All hotbins have now been allocated to households and the trial is underway.
Photo: A Hotbin Composter in a user's garden (Credit: Hotbin)
This week I've been plotting out how best to connect and collaborate with community groups, businesses and organisations to see if they have actions they want to put forward into the shared SustainableAW action plan. This was launched at the end of 2019 to help tackle climate change and protect our natural environment. At the moment, the plan only contains actions that the council is delivering, but it has always been the intention to make this a shared plan with the wider community of Adur and Worthing.
So over the next few months I'll be meeting with lots of different people to hear what they're working on to see if they want to put forward actions into the plan. These will go alongside actions that were suggested at the community-led Zero2030 conference (on the FutureLogic website).
Adur & Worthing Councils are committed to addressing the nature and climate emergency. Because of this we have greater impact by working together. This plan is shared with our local community and business partners. These are our key action areas as part of our long term vision for a sustainable Adur and Worthing:
Whilst scrolling on Twitter, I came across a brilliant partnership project that has just been announced between the Shoreham Port and the Sussex Dolphin Project (previously called the Brighton Dolphin Project) to restore and rewild key areas of the Port. This is exactly the sort of project that we'd love to see within the SustainableAW plan.
The project aims to work with the local community on sustainability and conservation issues. It will deliver an education programme focused on the importance of coastal/marine ecosystems and open access to coastal habitats within the Port. Highlights include:
- Rejuvenation of wild banks and green spaces within Shoreham Port to increase biodiversity, working with local community groups and conservation organisations.
- A Marine rewilding programme with relevant species and habitats.
- Expert and public forums to discuss, improve and showcase the project.
Image: credit courtesy Shoreham Port and Sussex Dolphin Project
I love the sound of this project and I know the A&W Climate Assembly members will too. Increasing biodiversity in our green spaces was a very important theme for them and this was reflected in multiple recommendations, including the support for kelp restoration, rewilding green spaces and increasing local community food growing. #AWClimateAssembly.
Get in touch:
If you are a community organisation, group, business or public sector organisation and you'd like to join up with us to help tackle climate change and protect our natural environment, please do get in touch:
This week there's been some excellent news that trawling is no longer allowed over a large area of the seabed off Sussex thanks to a new byelaw. This is a major win for the #HelpOurKelp campaign and the reintroduction of kelp forest to the Sussex coast.
See the video below of Sean Ashworth, Sussex IFCA, react to the trawling ban and future restoration of kelp on the Sussex coastline: (Credit: Big Wave TV)
The Near Shore Trawling Byelaw, which will exclude trawling from 304 square kilometres of seabed off the Sussex coast, has just this week been confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). I have definitely had a real spring in my step as a result - it's so good to have some positive news!
The byelaw saw overwhelming support, demonstrated by almost 2,500 people who responded to the Help Our Kelp campaign. As soon as I heard about this scheme a few years back I knew it was a real gem, so I have been following it closely and with great anticipation.
More recently at the A&W Climate Assembly, I listened to discussions between members about the restoration of a kelp forest. Most people were really excited about the prospect of something like this happening in our local area and there was majority support for the recommendation.
Climate Assembly Recommendation 1: Support the restoration of natural kelp - promoting the positives and managing the negative effects on the environment and the local community
Earlier in the week, it was great to go along to a Sussex Wildlife Trust webinar to hear all about the Help Our Kelp project and learn lots about the ecology and all round amazing-ness of kelp. It took me right back to my days as a BSc undergraduate studying Ecology and Conservation! You can catch up with that webinar via the Sussex Wildlife Trust's YouTube channel:
The project has been led by a partnership between Sussex Wildlife Trust, Sussex IFCA, Blue Marine Foundation and BigWave TV.
Adur & Worthing Councils are part of a wider stakeholder group that will help support this project as it grows and develops over the coming months and years. I for one can't wait to see the kelp flourish and our seas and coasts be all the richer as a result.
To find out more about the campaign, watch the excellent Help Our Kelp video which is narrated by Sir David Attenborough (below) or visit the Sussex Wildlife Trust's website (Help our Kelp).
This week I met up with A&W Climate Assembly Members. It was great to reconnect with them all and reflect back on the recommendations they created - find out more about the Climate Assembly recommendations on our website.
Three of the eighteen recommendations focussed on waste and resources, looking to promote the 5 Rs to refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle alongside promotion and ongoing support for initiatives like Repair Cafes and composting.
Shoreham and Worthing both have Repair Cafes, but these have been dormant since the arrival of Covid. We really hope to help the cafes with trying to secure a more permanent space and to recruit more volunteers to help run the cafes to maximum effect.
The Repair Cafes help you to repair clothes, toys, bicycles, laptops, computers, small household electrical/electronic items, small items of furniture and knife/scissor sharpening. They also offer PAT testing, a refill service and other useful advice around energy and recycling. Wouldn't it be fab to have a Repair Cafe on every high street?
Photos: Repair Cafe (credit/copyright Adur Repair Cafe)
Did you hear the good news this week about the 'Right to repair' law that will come in this summer? Find out more about the 'Right to repair' on the BBC News page.
I used to do quite a bit around tackling food and plastic waste in my previous job and remember Brighton's 'Resource Goddess', Cat Fletcher, saying to me “There's no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place” and it really made me stop and think.
Pretty much everything we buy can be used again, repaired, or turned into something else. It's about changing our mindset and habits of just throwing it away, getting a new one or upgrading. That's not to say I don't do this, because I do, but I'm so much more aware of just not buying as much 'stuff', utilising what I've got, shopping more second hand and always passing on things we've outgrown. But I want to do much more - composting, recycling everything that isn't collected in the blue bins, and making creative things out of stuff that I've already got. Most of that comes down to time ... I just need more time!
Locally, we've got our own Resource Goddess. Emily has been running Over the Moon, a not-for-profit arts organisation that runs creative reuse and craft projects in Adur. They've also run large-scale events, including REclaim - a creative community recycling 3-day festival, plus they run the Adur Repair Cafe (on hold due to Covid).
Now Emily is looking to progress that to the next stage and has set up a crowdfunding campaign to open The Scrap Space, a place where they plan to bring a scrap store and creative community activity space to West Sussex.
What is a scrap store? A place to donate clean, safe, reusable commercial and personal waste to be redistributed to individuals and organisations for creative reuse. A place full of lovely things that might have otherwise been thrown away.
There will be creative activity sessions, education, DIY, theatre and packs of materials and craft kits for individuals, groups and schools to use. You can find out all the details on The Scrap Space crowdfunding webpage.
Video: The Scrap Space
Please take a look at the video and importantly donate what you can and share with your friends, family and neighbours. This will be a great asset for our community and a step towards helping to shift our mindset from being a place that wastes stuff to a place that values resources and uses them creatively.
Good luck Emily!
Photos: Scrap space lovely things - buttons, threads, cut out letters and wool (credit /copyright The Scrap Space)
If a Council buys a 70 acre plot + 45 acres + 100 acres, how much land would that Council bought? 215 acres? That is correct! Sorry, the homeschooling has affected my head! But silly sums aside, the news that Adur & Worthing Councils have acquired a third piece of land with a view to restoring natural habitat, is something quite extraordinary.
Having declared a climate emergency in July 2019, the Councils are putting their money where their mouth is and have made this impressive commitment to acquire land with a long-term aim to restore ecologically important habitats, to increase biodiversity, mitigate flood risk, boost carbon storage and ensure the land will be there for the enjoyment of future generations.
Adur District Council acquired two areas of farmland, Pad Farm (45 acres) and New Salts Farm (70 acres); and Worthing Borough Council acquired land just below Cissbury Ring in the South Downs National Park, Shepherds Mead (100 acres).
You can find out a bit more in our SpringForward podcast - Tales from the Riverbank.
Photo: Pad Farm, one of the areas recently acquired by Adur District Council
This week I've been busy getting the Adur & Worthing Climate Assembly Recommendations Report designed. The Executive Summary and Full Report are now available on our website. Seven of the eighteen recommendations put forward are in some way connected to boosting biodiversity in our local area as this was felt to be such an important issue.
Next week, I'm excited to be meeting up online with some of the Climate Assembly members. I'm going to listen to what they’d like to see happen next and how they'd like to be involved. I'm also going to share with them all that's been going on since they presented the recommendations to the Joint Strategic Committee in January.
As well as the three natural habitat projects, our brilliant colleagues in the Parks & Foreshore Team have been doing lots in our local parks and green spaces, with hundreds of trees being planted, areas left to rewild, wildflower corridors being sown imminently and a whole range of improvements to Brooklands Park. This includes the creation of an amazing partnership project between the Friends of Brooklands Park, Food Pioneers and Creative Waves that will see a corner of the park turned into a learning wildlife haven. Lovely!
Also this week, I went to a fascinating online event run by Sussex Local Nature Partnership. It was all about nature-based solutions to carbon capture and sequestration. So what does that mean?
Investing in nature could help tackle the climate crisis. Our habitats on land (green carbon - eg plants, trees and soil) and in and around our oceans (blue carbon - eg sea grass, ocean sediments and salt marsh) all play a role in removing human-made carbon emissions and storing them. But in order for the habitats to play this important role, we need to protect and restore them.
The Wildlife Trusts have published a report, Let Nature Help - how nature's recovery is essential for tackling the climate crisis.
“It is now clear that we cannot tackle the climate crisis without tackling the nature crisis - the two are inseparable. The climate crisis is driving nature's decline while the loss of wildlife and habitats leaves us ill-equipped to reduce our emissions and adapt to change. It makes no sense to continue destroying natural habitats when they could help us - nature's fantastic ability to trap carbon safely and provide other important benefits is proven.” - The Wildlife Trusts
And finally, this week over 50 nature organisations signed an open letter to the Prime Minister to lead the way globally on commitments to nature by putting nature promises into law ahead of hosting global talks.
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Page last updated: 28 May 2021