Category Archives: Uncategorized

Local Energy Advice Programme (LEAP) provides residents with a free home visit

Tamar Energy Community and West Devon Borough Council are getting behind a new pilot project to help local residents save energy and money in their homes.

The Local Energy Advice Programme (LEAP) provides residents with a free home visit from a trained energy adviser who provides advice and support to make the home as energy efficient as possible.

More information here

Sweet Chestnut Blight – Alert from the Forestry Commission

There has been an outbreak of sweet chestnut blight in the South West and there are four 5km zones that are subject to movement restrictions.
Sweet chestnut blight is caused by a fungus called Cryphonectria parasitica, which gets into the trees through wounds or graft sites. Although oak trees suffer very little damage if they are infected by the fungus, they can spread it, so restrictions on movements of oak material are also required as a precaution.
Sweet chestnut blight was found in Devon in December 2016, initially south of Exeter.  We wrote to our Devon contacts in January to inform them and again last week to let them know about two restricted zones; you may have seen articles in the forestry or local media about this. As a result of related survey and tracing work, we have now identified another zone in Devon and one in Dorset where restrictions are required. We are now writing to all our South West contacts to let you know what we are doing to manage the outbreak and to inform you about the movement restrictions.

Read more here …
Managing the outbreak
The Government is committed to doing all it can to prevent plant pests and diseases crossing our borders, and although we cannot eliminate all risks, we have stringent plans to deal with threats, and take prompt action when they are detected. To this end we work collaboratively with the international community, industry, NGOs, landowners and the public to reduce the risks of pests and diseases entering the country and to mitigate the impact of newly established ones.

C. parasitica is a quarantine organism, so the Government’s Chief Plant Health Officer has activated our contingency plan for such an event, in compliance with our obligations under the UK’s Protected Zone status for this disease. We and our colleagues in the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) moved quickly to implement the contingency plan, and in particular we have taken the following measures.

  • We have conducted an intensive survey of sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) trees within a 1km radius of each site with a confirmed infection.
  • We have also carried out a targeted survey of sweet chestnut trees within 5km of each site.
  • We are tracing and inspecting sweet chestnut trees at other planting sites that used stock from the same planting years.

Movement Restrictions
UK plant health authorities have introduced a prohibition on the movement of sweet chestnut and oak material within four specific zones in Devon and Dorset. A prohibition on two zones in Devon came into force on Friday 24 February 2017. Two more will come into force on Thursday 9 March 2017, one in Devon and one in Dorset. The exact boundaries of all of these zones are shown in notices and maps on the Forestry Commission and Gov.uk websites (please scroll to the end of each notice for the relevant map). The zones will remain in place until further notice and will be kept under review.
This prohibition is implemented by Plant Health (Sweet Chestnut Blight) (England) Order 178/2017. It makes it illegal to move sweet chestnut material including plants, logs, branches, foliage and firewood out of, or within, zones covering a 5 kilometre (3.2 mile) radius of the affected sites where sweet chestnut blight has been found. The same restrictions apply to oak within 1 kilometre (0.62 mile) of the same sites. Exceptions to this movement prohibition include oak or sweet chestnut material entering and exiting the zones without stopping. For example, the delivery of plants, logs or firewood which start and end their journeys outside the zones is permitted.
Exceptions may also be granted in certain circumstances by the Forestry Commission (southwest.fce@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0300 067 4960), in the case of woodland sites, or by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Plant Health & Seeds Inspectorate, for horticultural requests (01904 405138 or by emailing planthealth.info@apha.gsi.gov.uk).
The Forestry Commission and APHA are working closely together to carry out tracing activity and inspecting sweet chestnut trees at other sites which may lead to more zones being established. Further advice will follow should this be necessary.

Further information and a symptoms factsheet and pest alert are available on our website to help you know what to look for when inspecting your trees.
Best wishes,
Mark Prior
Area Director | South West England
Forestry Commission
Bullers Hill, Kennford, Nr Exeter, Devon, EX6 7XR
( Switchboard: 0300 067 4960
mark.prior@forestry.gsi.gov.uk | www.forestry.gov.uk

December’s Green Drinks is at the movies … I, Daniel Blake …

 

Please join us at The Wharf on Tuesday next week, the 13th December, for drinks from 19:00, to watch the film together (for those interested) – the film starts at 20:00 and lasts 1h40 mins. The Wharf has also agreed to open the bar afterwards for us for half an hour so we can have a post film discussion.


If you’re able to join us, don’t forget to buy a ticket.
More about the film here.
You can download a poster here.

Unlocking the Power of Community – Energy Fair 2016

Unlocking the Power of Community is the theme for our annual energy fair on Saturday October 15th which will take place in Local Matters community space in Elbow Lane, Tavistock, from 10:00 until 15:00.

This is very apt as we work to complete our Community Solar Project to put community owned solar panels on a number of roofs across the area. These solar roofs enable our host sites to reduce their energy costs and be renewable generators. Any surplus is used to support fuel poverty and energy advice locally.

The local community has come together to raise £110,000 to finance part of the project and we’ll be launching a community share offer later in the year.

Our energy fair will be bringing together local leading local renewable energy suppliers, retrofit specialists and community energy and environmental groups from across Devon and Cornwall including New Generation Energy, The Fell Partnership, Mike Wye (natural building products), Sungift and ZLC Energy and The Utility Warehouse.

Please come along, find out more about what we’re doing at Local Matters, talk to our exhibitors and learn about Tamar Energy Community’s first community financed project.

Call or email us for more information. Email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com or call 07969 569 444.

 

Help Save Our Wood – Just 12 days left!

Claire and Doug King-Smith have spent 6 years looking after a small ancient woodland on the edge of Dartmoor. Managing it for community and environmental benefit. Their work is now under threat from planners who, despite expert support from the Forestry Commission and huge community backing, have made decisions which threaten the sustainable management of our woods.

 Bishop James Jones, the chair of the Independent Panel on Forestry to the Government said:

‘Thank you for sharing with me the story of Hillyfield.
I am inspired by the initiative and the energy of the project and equally appalled by the opposition that you have encountered which demonstrates how those in authority lose sight of the very values that they should be encouraging and protecting. They should be working with you and not against you. And especially in the current climate when public resources will be increasingly hard to find, those in authority should be championing local initiatives such as yours that mobilise the release of the wealth of time, energy and voluntary labour in local communities.’

Their story has made it to the National Press with an article in the Guardian, several magazines, and many blogs. You can watch their 3-minute video here to find out more The Hillyfield Appeal – Help Small Woods Thrive.

The Hillyfield Appeal – Help Small Woods Thrive

The Hillyfield is a beautiful Dartmoor Woodland. We need £35,000. Help us to stand up for a vibrant woodland culture on Dartmoor in COURT!

View on www.crowdfunder….


Alternatively you might like to read some of the recent articles 
Here on our Press page. 

If we do not stand up to the planners at a Public Inquiry we will no longer be able to look after the land, or make a viable business from the wood we have had to fell due to disease… furthermore, due to the planning implications of the case, it will have a negative impact on the future viability of woodland regeneration projects throughout the UK.

BUT it is not too late! 

There are 2 days left for us to reach our goal so we can engage a legal team to represent us in court and stand up for sustainable woodland regeneration and a vibrant culture of wood on Dartmoor.

Here is how you can help:

1) Please chip in, and enjoy one of the rewards on the crowd-funder http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thehillyfield/ 

2) Spread the word like a forest fire in june. We need you to tell your friends on our behalf, to share this on social media pages and groups. Our website has videos, and images to share, and twitter is trending with #savehillyfield 

And if you would like to visit the woods yourselves, maybe JOIN US For a wonderful event we will be hosting, a thank-you celebration on the 28th of August. Enjoy music with Martha Tilston, Nathan Ball, story-telling with Martin Shaw & others, and Dartmoor Skies inspecting the planets. This will be a fundraiser and details are on our crowd-fund page here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thehillyfield/

We need to raise £35,000 minimum to cover the legal fees for a Public Inquiry. 

So far we have managed to raise just over 86% at £30,218 from 555 backers. We have just 2 days to raise the rest, so if you can help chip in please do!

There are also many crowd fund gifts you might enjoy including original artworks, music, wooden products, workshops and more.

A great way of helping is by spreading the word and sending the link out to your network which would be hugely appreciated. Every share makes a difference, so please look at the messages below and help spread it far and wide.


Much love and we hope you enjoy the videos!

Doug and Claire 

(Toryn and Oscar)  

and for a bit of fun…. the whole story in a song by Sam Alty Where do Bears Do it? #SaveHillyfield

Facebook Share: 

Want to Help Save this Wood? Please join me & add your support now. Visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thehillyfield/ & stop planners from threatening this woodland project.

Twitter Share:

Please RT: I support @thehillyfield appeal. Help Save this woodland! Watch https://youtu.be/WQwlCeN2CrQ  http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thehillyfield #savehillyfield  

the linhay, old hazard, totnes, tq9 7LN

tel 07976589927

http://www.thehillyfield.co.uk 

 

Local Matters

Announcing Local Matters – our new community space in Elbow Lane, Tavistock.

Fifteen of us met on the 10th May in our new community space to plan and prepare ready to open by the end of June 2016
As well as being HQ for Transition Tavistock and Tamar Energy Community we’ll be offering displays information and advice on
- Energy
- Tasty Tavy and Roots to Transition … and local growing
- Totally Locally Tavistock … and wider area
- Climate Matters
- Town information
- Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat project … and bat detectors
- Guest spots
- Space to chat and share ideas …

The community space will offer:
~ A relaxed atmosphere to browse and discuss local challenges, opportunities and ideas
~ Space for our meetings and for occasional events

Local Matters will be open from 11:00 to 15:00 Monday to Saturday (at other times on request).
If you’d like to get involved, have skills to offer, would enjoy volunteering for a couple of hours a week please let us know. Email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com or call 07969-569-444.

You can find us in Elbow Lane, Tavistock on the ground floor at the back of the building behind Tavistock Enterprise Hub (TEH). Elbow Lane is between Clinton cards and Continental Fruits in Brook Street.

Here’s a map: