Wildlife Warden March newsletter

Spring is here! The emergence of life after the long dreary winter months is what makes this my favourite time of the year. It is always uplifting to see the first celandine flowers emerge, followed closely by pollinators, such as the early bumblebee. Soon, the swallows, swifts and house martins will be returning. 

The picture at the top is a patch of wood anemone growing beside the River Lemon. A group of up to 100 flowering stems could come from a single plant! Wood anemones, along with a number of other species, including bluebells, wild garlic and primroses, are indicators of ancient woodland. You can find useful information about ancient woodland on the Woodland Trust website.

Funding
We are very fortunate to have been awarded £7,500 in funding from the Devon Environment Foundation (who awarded us £5,000 a few months ago). This means that ACT is able to contract the coordinator (Flavio) for 20 hours per week instead of 9.5 hours.

Thank you to all of our funders: Devon Environment Foundation, the Nineveh Trust, Cllr Jackie Hook’s Locality Fund, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Teign Energy Communities Community Fund.

Training sessions
Now that the covid situation is improving, we are starting to offer training, in person, to small groups of Wildlife Wardens. The first two Wildflower Identification Sessions were held in Woodland at Deer Park Farm. I (Flavio) was fortunate to attend one of these and learnt about various fascinating plants, including toothwort (Lathraea squamaria), which is a parasite of hazel and is nationally scarce.

We plan to offer training in other areas, including aquatic invertebrate ID, planning and development, species and habitat surveys and leading volunteer groups. 

Audrey has been busy writing lots of training documents, which can be found on our website Projects and training – ACT Wildlife Wardens (actionclimateteignbridge.org)

Read the full newsletter

Wildlife Warden February Newsletter

Thanks to all wardens for the hard work you have put into the scheme during these difficult times. The scheme is constantly growing and moving in the right direction. We have created a subdomain on the ACT website for the Wildlife Warden Scheme. It is still in development, but it already contains lots of useful information: 

The picture at the top is my most recent wildlife sighting – a barnacle-looking gall found on bramble. It may not be the most beautiful sighting, but I found it fascinating. I believe they were created by Diastrophus rubi, which is a small parasitoid wasp. A gall can contain up to 200 larvae, each in an individual cell.

We have been finding out a lot about seagrass (eelgrass) habitats. There are two species of seagrass (Zostera noltei and Z.marina), which provide an important habitat for a wide range of species, and help to stabilise the seabed, clean surrounding seawater and absorb vast quantities of CO2.

Unfortunately, seagrass is critically endangered. It is threatened by high nutrient levels (mainly from fertilisers and animal waste), damage from anchors and propellers, disease, and destructive fishing practices. There is anecdotal evidence that seagrass probably existed in the Teign Estuary prior to the 1990s, but it is no longer present. Seagrass in the Exe Estuary has expanded in recent years and can be found near Dawlish Warren, Exmouth and Lympstone.

Read more here

February 2021 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now available covering next month’s members’ forum, help needed with our work with town & parish councils, the economics of biodiversity, the Interim Devon Plan, Bill Gates and his new book, TDC’s progress with the climate & ecological emergencies and the almost failed Green Homes Grant scheme.

If you are a signed up member and didn’t receive the newsletter on email let Paul know otherwise view the newsletter here.

January 2021 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now available introducing Flavio, our Wildlife Warden Coordinator, and providing information on Zero Carbon Britain from CAT in Wales, the CCC’s 6th Carbon Budget and Pathway, our articles in the Mid-Devon Advertiser and Greta Thunberg at 18, with her documentary “I am Greta”

If you are a signed up member and didn’t receive a copy let Paul know otherwise view the newsletter here.

October 2020 newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now available including information on a number of topics including the start of our Wildlife Warden scheme, the new Economy & Business group, Retrofitting and Teignbridge District Council’s Ecological Emergency declaration.

If you are a signed up member and didn’t receive a copy let Paul know otherwise view the newsletter here.

November 2019 Newletter

Action on Climate in Teignbridge’s November Newsletter.
ACT’s sub-groups have submitted a wide range of policies for the Teignbridge Local Plan Review. We have a web site.

Action on Climate in Teignbridge’s November Newsletter.

ACT members have been busy!

ACT‘s sub-groups have submitted a wide range of policies for the Teignbridge Local Plan Review – with Fuad and Jules making especially important inputs to the Built Environment areas, where the 2019 Amended Climate Act is changing carbon targets for the better. Our Group is now working closely with the Council on a range of different subjects and we are very happy to be forming this close relationship.

Sub-groups: If there is an ACT sub-group that you would like to join, then do let us know by clicking on update your preferences. We currently have these six sub-groups: Built Environment, Food, Farming and Forestry (3Fs), Ecology, Procurement, Public Engagement and Transport. If getting to meetings is difficult, don’t worry, we have several members who email comments when we send the agendas round – we really value your input!

ACT‘s new website is going to be up and running very soon! Enormous thanks to Jules for his hard work and expertise – we think it is going to be a great asset.

Dartmoor National Park: Nearly one third of our Teignbridge Parishes are within, or partly within, Dartmoor National Park. So, a group of us will be meeting their Chief Executive, Kevin Bishop, very soon to discuss the best ways of working together on the Dartmoor Climate and Ecological Emergency. We are also working with groups that have been formed on the Moor.

Councils who have declared a Climate Emergency – or who are thinking of it – are asking for advice and presentations to help them write Climate Action Plans. ACT has been putting together a Parish Pack, with a wide range of information, from Declaring a Climate Emergency to setting up a Community Fridge or a Community Garden. There is also an increasing demand for ACT’s interactive Climate Change talks around the District – with particular interest in what we can all do in our own lives. Get in touch if you or your Council would like more information.

Funding: We have gone from having just a few pounds in the pot to having £500! Cllr Richard Keeling (Chair of Teignbridge District Council) and Cllr Lorraine Evans have each given us £250 from their Councillors ‘pot’ that they can give to organisations that help their local communities. We’re very grateful!

Forthcoming Events:

Thursday 5th December: Now that we know who our candidates are, we’re inviting them all (Newton Abbot and Central Devon) to a Local Candidates Climate Change Question Time at Coombeshead Theatre. As soon as we have their responses, we will be sending out invitations to ACT members and members of local climate change organisations (not to the general public). When you book your place, you can also submit a question. We will select a representative set of questions that we can ask them on the night.

A Climate Forum for Councillors: this will be in the New Year and will be an opportunity for our District, Town and Parish Councillors to ‘get up to speed’ on climate issues. It will also be a great opportunity for everyone to share ideas and find out which are working best!

And finally:

We need to talk about Christmas…

In our imagination we see happy friends and families cuddled up together on the sofa, sharing a delicious meal or walking across a snowy hillside. No wonder we look forward to our mid-winter festival!

But the reality is different – with stressed parents dashing around trying to achieve this impossible dream, while avoiding borrowing too much more money; anxious grandparents trying to buy the right gift tokens for their grandchildren. Everyone doing their best to work out what everyone wants for the festive season.

So, what do we want for Christmas and the New Year? What better present could we give to our young people than hope for the future of their world?

So, why don’t we put more of our efforts into fighting climate change? Is it because advertising has ‘programmed’ us to shop? Is it because shopping gives us a quick ‘high’ – followed by some nasty doubts when we get home? Is it because we can make shopping decisions on our own – but to tackle climate change effectively, we need to work together?

Whatever the reason, could a simple Christmas with tiny, plastic-free presents and moderate amounts of local food make us happier?

Just think of the TIME we’d save – time to be together.

Think of the MONEY we’d save – no loans to repay.

Think how much less FOOD would be wasted – and how much less STUFF would be binned.

Less ships carrying plastics around the world, less intensive food production, less CO2 emissions.

Surely we could try!

September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the first of what will become a quarterly newsletter.

Firstly, and somewhat belatedly a massive THANK YOU to all who attended our Climate Summit meeting.  Especially for all the great suggestions you’ve given us, we’ve already used those in our work discussions the district council.  

So, what’s been happening since the Climate Summit meeting on 4th July 2019?

We’ve been busy setting up structures and starting lots of initiatives.  We’ve managed a lot, but now need more people to get actively involved and help us deliver some of the things you’ve told us are important.
The Coordination group have held regular meetings.  As a result, we have agreed to call our group – Action on Climate in Teignbridge (ACT for short).  We have formulated our group’s aims, working structure and responsibilities in our Terms of Reference document.  ACT’s mission is to assist, encourage and help Teignbridge District Council and town and parish councils, community groups and residents in the district to act together to realise the Carbon Zero target of 2025.
ACT’s Coordination group are positioning themselves to become the main point of contact between all other like minded groups, Town and Parish councils and individuals across Teignbridge.  Offering help and guidance and sharing best work practices. 
We have also formed the following specialist working groups: Built Environment, Transport, Food-Farming-Forestry, Ecology, Fundraising, Procurement and PR. Meetings of the Built Environment, the three F’s and Ecology have already taken place.  Meetings of both Transport and PR are planned.
Please contact me to find out more about what help we need.
ACT’s proposal to Teignbridge District Council, will be considered and voted on Tuesday the 24th September. You can read this and the council’s proposed plans under item 9 of the agenda for the full council meeting.
Our main activities over the next month or so will be; updating our web site, contacting groups and all Parish and Town councils across Teignbridge to become part of this community initiative.
We will also continue working on our legal structure and plan to hold an inaugural AGM in November. This will include the election of officers.
Reading this through prior to sending it out, it does seem slightly boring and matter of fact, but the people involved with these groups are quite inspiring, fun and very passionate. Although some might comment “I do need to get out more”
If you have any questions, ideas or would like to help please contact me.