The next SNAC meeting is on February 21st at 7pm at Swarland Club, Coast View.
Council’s Recycling Plans
The government is consulting on changes to increase the amount of household waste being recycled. All councils will have to introduce a weekly food waste collection service and increase the range of materials they collect.
Northumberland County Council is currently running three pilot schemes – a weekly food waste collection scheme, a smaller pilot of home composting and a monthly kerbside glass collection scheme. These pilots will help shape the new services, but no changes are likely before 2024/25 at the earliest.
In the meantime, check out http://www.snac.online to find out about all the recycling opportunities near you.
Find out about Rights of Way
Swarland Moor Heritage Group’s next meeting is about ‘The Evolution of the Rights of Way network and how missing routes can be found and retrieved‘. The meeting is on February 14th at 7.30 in Swarland Club.
Peat restoration gets a boost
Peat is hugely important to the environment – acting as a carbon store, wildlife habitat and flood controller, but it must remain wet to provide these ecosystem services. Unfortunately, for centuries peat and its vegetation have been cultivated, drained and degraded. When dry, peat emits carbon dioxide and is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas. It is therefore critical to keep peat bogs wet.
The Northumberland Peat Partnership (NPP) has recently received funding to enable it to increase its efforts to protect the county’s peat with a new dedicated peat team.
The team of eight people is working across 10 sites in the county and will help land-managers and farmers fund, map, survey, plan and coordinate the restoration of degraded peatlands.
New Solar Farms approved
Northumberland County Council have recently approved two new solar farms, near Blyth and Bedlington. The farms will generate enough clean, renewable power to supply around 30,00 homes. The developers are also investing about £350,000 in local community projects around the sites.
New Climate Change Action Plan
Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council has recently approved a Climate Change Action Plan. SNAC will be key in helping the PC to deliver many of its actions on raising climate awareness, encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint and helping to manage land to protect nature. Find out more here.
Farm Walk at Glantlees Farm
SNAC members recently had the opportunity for a guided walk around Glantlees Farm, led by Judy Fortescue. Judy illustrated some of the ways that she is increasing biodiversity on her organic farm. Inspite of the ‘adverse’ weather conditions, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about regenerative farming. Judy also provided members of the group with planting trays, acorns and horse chestnuts to take away and grow.
NCC Free Tree Giveaway
Northumberland County Council are repeating their free tree giveaway this year. Local residents, schools and community groups can get a free tree or tree pack to plant to help tackle climate change. Species are available for small, medium and large sized gardens, as well as smaller shrubs for those with more limited space. For more information visit Free Tree Giveaway
Farmers get funding to improve habitats
40 projects in the Northumberland National Park are being funded to help support nature recovery, mitigate the effects of climate change and support nature-friendly farming. One project will increase the number and variety of flowers and grasses, creating a valuable resource for bees and wildlife usually locally harvested seeds.
Big Plastic Count Results
The results of the Big Plastic Count carried out by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastics have now been published. They show that UK households throw away 96 billion pieces of plastic every year and only 12% of it is recycled in the UK. The other 88% is burnt, buried, or dumped overseas.
Greenpeace has started a petition asking Government to reduce single use plastic by 50% by 2025, ban all waste exports, ban new incinerators and roll out a deposit return scheme. You can find out more and add your name to the petition here
Jubilee Tree Planted in Vyner Park
Members of SNAC and the Parish Council planted a Whitebeam tree (Sorbus aria Majestica) in Vyner Park to mark the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The tree was funded by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund.
A climate friendly alternative to oil-fired boilers ?
As we move towards net zero, the installation of new fossil fuel boilers is being phased out affecting more than 1.5m homes in the UK which currently rely on them. Households are being encouraged to consider electric heat pumps but these can be costly to install especially in older, rural properties. An alternative is emerging – it’s called hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) and produces up to 90% less CO2. Importantly existing boilers can be adapted for around £500. However, HVO is currently classed as a transport fuel and so the industry is lobbying government to reclassify it as a domestic heating oil which would reduce the tax on it.
Find out more here