Environment

 

 

Allotment Policy Consultation

People are being invited to take part in a consultation aimed at maintaining key green spaces in County Durham. 

Allotment tenants, waiting list applicants and residents are all urged to have their say, as Durham County Council reviews allotment provision. This includes looking at how the activities on them should be managed.

The consultation will inform new policies clarifying what tenants will and will not be able to do on their allotments in the future.

If you would like to take part in the consultation and register your views please visit:www.durham.gov.uk/consultation Please feel free to share this information via your own networks as appropriate.

The consultation is open from Monday 4 February until Sunday 31 March.

Volunteers approach tree planting target

Volunteers working for Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT) planted 65 native trees at Thornley Wood as part of the regeneration of the site, taking them ever closer to their target for the area.

The team, part of DWT’s Heart of Durham Project, carried out the work during Durham County Council’s contribution to National Tree Week.

Thornley Wood is owned by Wolsingham Parish Council and since 2016 the Heart of Durham Project has been helping to restore the former quarry and fir plantation to a site where the local community can enjoy the wildlife and magnificent views over Weardale.

The work has been bringing about significant benefits. From a black impenetrable fir plantation, the site is gradually evolving with paths, hedges and an array of wildflowers emerging in the clearings in the summer months.

Many of these plants are flourishing because of the poor soil substrate, a legacy of the site’s other former use as a domestic tip.

So far 1,275 trees have been planted out of the 1,650 trees that were stipulated by the Forestry Commission for the site, leaving them with only 375 to go.

Thornley Wood has also received funding from the Wear Area Action Partnership fund to the value of £5,000, which has enabled Wolsingham Parish Council to create a hard standing car park, fencing and gate access. A further £2,000 from Tesco, from monies charged to shoppers for plastic carrier bags, across three stores in Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Darlington, has contributed to funding for hedging.

Durham Tree Health Event

Monday 4th March: Elemore Hall School, Outdoor Classroom, High Pittington, Durham DH6 1QD

This is a free event and we are working with a variety of stakeholders including the:  Durham Woodland Revival Project, York University and Fera.

Subjects will include a Tree Health update from the Forestry Commission, Plant Biology and susceptibility to Ash Dieback disease in the European Ash, Citizen Science and the Observatree Project and information on specific Tree Health grants available from the Forestry Commission.

A final agenda will be forwarded in due course.

To reserve a place please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., please state any dietary requirements as we will be providing lunch.

Welcome to the Land of Oak & Iron Newsletter

We have a busy events programme this winter, packed full of heritage to touch, see and hear about. There are also ideas for winter walks, photos to inspire a trip out and free training opportunities. Or curl up with our new book, Men of Iron, on sale soon at the Heritage Centre.

Woodland Trust - Deer Awareness Day, Newcastle Upon Tyne

 
As part of its work to encourage and inspire restoration and sustainable management of ancient woodland, the Woodland Trust is collaborating with the Deer Initiative to provide Deer Awareness events to woodland owners, forestry agents and woodland management professionals.

Hide opening will celebrate wildlife art

A transformed bird hide that has combined wildlife and art will be opened on Friday the 15th February.

The Northumbrian Water Bird Hide at Low Barns Nature Reserve near Witton-le-Wear has been the focus of a community art project which has seen schools, volunteers and local artists come together in a celebration of wildlife and the arts.

Daisy Arts, a local community arts organisation, worked with Durham Wildlife Trust in the summer of last year to create a series of workshops to engage local schools and volunteers to create art inspired from nature.

A spokesperson for Daisy Arts said: “It’s been lovely for us to be outdoors and get a sense of place at the Nature Reserve. All those we’ve worked alongside, from the different schools, groups and visitors to Low Barns, have been brilliant. They’ve shared their thoughts and feelings about the reserve. The Northumbrian Water Hide now has an array of colour across every wall and we hope it will be a delight to those that enter the space.”

The artwork has been designed with panels and will form the interior of The Northumbrian Water Bird Hide for all to enjoy. Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of Durham, will be opening the bird hide for people to view the artwork.

Jackie Holloway, from St John’s School and Sixth Form College in Bishop Auckland, said:

“Working with Daisy Arts and Durham Wildlife Trust staff, our young people were able to explore this wonderful nature reserve and develop their knowledge and understanding of its wealth of flora and fauna.

“We greatly value such opportunities for our young people to engage with external organisations and professional artists as the experiences inspire them, help them to widen their horizons and raise their aspirations.   Enrichment of this kind is essential if we want them to learn to appreciate the world around them and help protect it for the future.”

The project has been funded by Arts Council England and County Durham Community Foundation. 

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter January 2019

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

More Information

Environmental project opportunities

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have joined forces on a new Heritage Lottery funded project called Tees-Swale: naturally connected. We are currently in a 16 month development phase and we anticipate that delivery of the full 5 year project will begin in autumn 2020. The project is focused on habitat restoration in Teesdale and Swaledale.

However, we are also looking for community groups who may be interested in taking part in art workshops, outdoor adventure activities or hill farming experiences in Upper Teesdale and Swaledale, and those who feel they cannot enjoy and access the area. We are keen to engage with a wider audience than those who currently visit the area, especially from around Bishop Auckland, West Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe and Barnard Castle.

If you think your group may be interested please contact Alex, the Tees-Swale Access and Community Engagement Officer, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01388 528801.

If you would like to be kept up to date please join our Facebook group called Tees-Swale: naturally connected.

[Durham Community Woodlands] Your Making Local Woods Work December Update

Welcome to our December update

This is the 27th edition of Plunkett Foundation's Making Local Woods Work update, and our last for 2018. Season's greetings to you all!

In this month's newsletter we recognise the key role that volunteering plays in the success of running a woodland enterprise, and thank all those who give so generously of their time to ensure community projects thrive - we take our hats off to the volunteers!

Sustainable Food Cities Newsletter December 2018

Welcome to the Sustainable Food Cities newsletter. We are passionate about towns and cities taking a joined up approach to food and want to help public agencies, NGOs, businesses and communities to work together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live. If you have news, events or questions for discussion for the newsletter get in touch.

More Information

Environment Partnership Autumn Newsletter

Please find attached the latest Environment Partnership Newsletter. Our Edible Gilesgate project is featured this time.

Dr Liz Charles, Project Manager (Food)
Usual working days: Wednesday – Friday
Durham Community Action, 9 St Stephen’s Court, Low Willington, County Durham DL15 0BF
Direct line: 01388 742044 Main line: 01388 742040 Mobile: 07825 211746 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Energy Mapping..

Advice in County Durham recently pulled together information on the energy advice available in the county.

Please see attached, a mapping document describing the local energy advice services and their eligibility criteria.

If you notice anything we have missed, or your service provides energy advice, please feel free to send the information over to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added.

Big Energy Saving Network 

This year, Big Energy Saving Network (BESN) will be delivered by Citizens Advice. In the next few weeks they will begin the application process to select delivery partners. The Big Energy Saving Network is made up of local community groups and charities across Great Britain that can advise on energy saving in the home, switching energy suppliers, different energy tariffs and available support to help vulnerable households stay warm and lower energy bills.

Citizens Advice is looking for expressions of interest so that they can invite you to apply for funding. If you are interested in delivering BESN in 2018/19 please register your interest by completing this form.

If you have any issues completing this form please contact the delivery team by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit Big Energy Saving Network at: https://bigenergysavingnetwork.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network