Tree planting / conservation activities – updated 11/01/2020

Trees play a vital role in the health of our planet, helping deal with climate change. SCAN support Friends of the Earth campaigns to double the amount of tree cover in each region of the UK, and to make our towns and cities ten times greener. The UK is the second least wooded country in Europe (after Ireland). In Swindon, we need to create more green spaces. We currently have 8% tree cover. The more urban areas of Swindon fare worse. This compares to Bath 20%, Salisbury 19.8%, Newbury 22%, Abingdon 16.3%, Oxford 21.4%, Gloucester 13.6%, Cheltenham 12.8%, Bristol 18.6%. There are tree planting and other conservation activities planned around Swindon. Working together, we can all play a part in dealing with climate change and make the town a brighter, healthier place to live, where nature thrives. Volunteers needed! Events and activities from December 2019:– Peatmoor Community Woodland – Open[…]

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Save Redlands Copse update – Revision of plans and improper planning procedure

Developers for the proposed Redlands development, Backhouse, have notified SBC that they are to revise their plans for the development. This comes after high levels of objection from local people, both through the planning portal and petition. Planning procedures don’t appear to have been followed properly, as this letter from SBC’s consultant ecologist shows. A demonstration took place at the Planning Committee meeting on the 12th November 2019 to show objection to the development. It was covered in this article by the Swindon Advertiser. We are waiting to see when the proposed development will be on the Planning Committee meeting agenda. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed.

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Refill Swindon – stations list

Here ‘s the current list of businesses who support Refill in Swindon, complete with addresses, links and a handy search function. Thanks to local businesses for supporting this simple scheme to reduce single-use plastic bottles. Refill is growing, now international. Working together, we can reduce plastic pollution. We urgently need to. Search Please contact us if you would like to support Refill. It’s easy to do and makes a difference. © Refill

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Save Redlands Copse: Petition

Please sign and share the petition to save Redlands Copse. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! This is phase 2 of the campaign. Phase 1, raising objections to the development, completed on the 15th October 2019.

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Equality and the Environment – Swindon Equality Group

‘Equality matters in terms of health and happiness, but surprising new data reveals that it is also better for the environment – in the more equal rich countries, people on average consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon.’– Danny Dorling: Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Author of books on equality such as ‘The Equality Effect’. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Besides causing enormous suffering to people / communities / society (see the research published in ‘The Spirit Level’ book), the effects of inequalities on the environment are increasingly being realised. Check out this article, ‘The Rich, Poor and the Earth‘ by Danny Dorling, for an overview. Swindon Equality Group (SEG) are affiliated to the Equality Trust. They campaign locally to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing socio-economic inequality, of vital importance for[…]

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Eastcott Historical Tour Litter Pick

Sunday 6th October, 2-5pm. Swindon Climate Action Network and Eastcott Community Organisation organised this litter pick with a twist. The Eastcott area is steeped in history. Andy Binks, of Swindon Society and Swindon Heritage, provided us with some cultural and historical information as we restored some cleanliness and pride to the local area. Eastcott, like other areas of Swindon, has problems with litter. We covered a good area including the park by Savernake Street Social Hall, and alleyways that attract rubbish of all sorts, large and small. We finished the litter pick in Radnor Street Cemetery, resting place to 30,000 people! We looked around the old chapel in the centre of the cemetery, which has memories of Swindon’s past, especially the world wars. In the warmer months, Swindon Society put on tours of the cemeteries, including Radnor Street, where they share information on the lives of people buried in the[…]

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Earth Strike (global climate strike) in Swindon

Over 300 people congregated in Swindon to take part in the first global climate strike aka Earth Strike. Demonstrations taking place in an estimated 185 countries all over the world. People from all walks of life, young and old, came together to demand proper representation from governments, for vital legislation and action to address climate change. Many people feel that they have no choice but to rebel against governments whose actions are deemed to be inept and indicative of care for profit and power over people, animals and planet. These events were planned to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York on the 23rd September 2019, to pressure world leaders into taking appropriate steps to address climate change. The event in Swindon started in Regent Circus with speeches from organisers and local campaigners / activists. Then over 300 people set off down Princes Street, walking through town[…]

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BEIS climate emissions analysis

The government produces an annual analysis of climate change emissions, but the final report is not done until a year or two after the reporting year, so the latest full analysis available is for 2017 emissions. There has been some further progress in reductions particularly due to offshore wind coming onstream. The chart shows a very simple summary of the largest emissions sectors. The numbers are from table 5 in this report that explains further: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/776085/2017_Final_emissions_statistics_-_report.pdf The first thing to note is that this just accounts for emissions that happen in the UK, and does not count those that are accounted for overseas due to things we import – particularly meat/dairy, animal fodder and biomass (wood and palm oil etc), which have a major impact due to deforrestation, for example in South America. Most of the UK emissions come from burning fossil fuels, either for transport (27%), electricity generation (24%),[…]

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Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed. This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further: ‘Local Plan Review: Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come. A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[…]

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Effects of temperature rise on Swindon

The BBC recently produced a report on increasing temperatures in towns and cities with predictions up to 2100, and it included Swindon, see here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-985b9374-596e-4ae6-aa04-7fbcae4cb7ee . However it does not elaborate on what that would mean for us, so here are some thoughts. Seemingly small increases in average temperatures over a relatively short timescale would cause huge problems even for places like Swindon, which would not likely be directly affected by sea level rise. London, Bristol and all our coastal towns and cities would be directly affected by substantial sea level rise, causing displacement of people worse than after world war 2 and making Swindon a destination for refugees from these cities within the UK let alone from other countries that would feel the effects of global warming more directly. Increases in extreme weather, both heat in summer and cold in winter, would put pressure on our food supply and[…]

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