Get involved in tackling climate emergency


People still have the chance to have their say on North Somerset Council’s plans to tackle the climate emergency which include an ambitious rewilding programme across the district.

The council declared a climate emergency last year with the aim of North Somerset becoming a carbon neutral council and a carbon neutral area by 2030.

It is now consulting on its draft Climate Emergency Strategy and giving people the opportunity to sign up for future workshops to help develop the action plan.

The consultation runs until Friday 31 January. To find out more and have your say go to http://consult.n-somerset.gov.uk/consult.ti/climateemergency/consultationHome.

One of the projects included in the climate emergency action plan is a rewilding programme which involves creating more habitats in North Somerset to enable wildlife to flourish and increase biodiversity.

It also means managing sites in ways that are appropriate to their needs. This may involve restoring rare habitats such as limestone grassland or even felling trees that are diseased or are damaging structures.

Rewilding areas of the council’s 2.5 million square metres of verges, parks and open spaces where currently the grass is mown regularly will be done by planting 50,000 new trees and allowing the grass to grow taller.

Planting the 50,000 young trees, called “whips”, will be done in phases with planting of the initial 5,000 due to take place in February.

The council is currently consulting on its plans and seeking volunteers to help with rewilding projects such as planting the trees. Around 150 people have already expressed an interest in getting involved.

Residents, town and parish councils and community groups are being asked for their views on the suitability of the sites identified for rewilding and for their suggestions of any other potential locations in their area.

Consultation will run until Friday 24 January after which the sites for rewilding will be finalised. To have your say visit http://consult.n-somerset.gov.uk/consult.ti/rewilding/consultationHome.

“Thank you to everyone who has responded so far to both consultations and to all those who have offered to get involved with rewilding,” said Cllr Bridget Petty, the council’s executive member for climate emergency and the environment. “It’s important that we all work together to respond to climate change.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to make all this happen and we need your help. Keep an eye out for more details soon on our plans to start planting trees next month.”