Thursday, July 25, 2024
Community UpdateGreenhamNewburyNewsSliderWash Common

First local climate change grants awarded by Newbury Town Council

Wash Common Scouts and Ladybirds Pre-School will receive the first ever Climate Change grants awarded by Newbury Town Council.

The Scout Group is buying a tract of unused woodland from the Falkland Cricket Club to build a new Scout Hall and they will become responsible for the maintenance of the woodland. The woodlands will be of great benefit in the education of the 160 young people in the Scout Group and to the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the other seven Scout Groups within the District who will visit the site to undertake Scouting within the woodland area.

In order to make the woodland safe for use by the Scouts and secure its future, a number of dead and diseased trees need to be removed. The Scout Group plan to replace these by planting 120 saplings provided by the Woodland Trust, selecting tree species that are disease resistant and resilient to climate change. The saplings will be planted in the ancient hedgerows, helping to secure the site and increasing the carbon capture of the woodland. As much dead wood as possible will be retained on site to benefit biodiversity. The grant of £2,200 from the Town Council will be used to pay for professional tree surgery services, and a range of equipment, including a battery powered, cordless strimmer.

Mr. Eugene Futcher, Wash Common Scouts Group said:

1st Wash Common Scout Group are delighted with the awarding of this climate emergency grant from Newbury Town Council. This is ideally timed as we have just completed the purchase of an area of woodland from our friends at Falkland Cricket Club. We will use this generous grant to improve the health, biodiversity, and climate resistance of our new woodland home, prior to the construction of our new sustainable HQ alongside the woods later this year. Many thanks the Town Council for your continued support.

The Council also agreed a grant of up to £2,500 to Ladybirds Pre-School for a base-line structural and energy survey to assess the carbon-reduction benefits of future thermal insulation of the building, including a new thermally efficient roof. Currently the pre-school is in a building which used to be a workshop and is over 30 years old.

It was not built to be used as a pre-school but over the years, adaptations, extensions, and improvements have been made. However, the building is very poorly insulated (both walls and roof) and as a result is cold in the winter, does not retain heat well and has a leaking roof. According to the pre-school, a new roof would very positively improve the impact environmentally, reducing heat escaping, reducing the need to heat the building as much and keep the inside dry. The success of the project will be measured by comparing the heating expenses prior to the new roof and following the new roof. The Council’s grant will assist the pre-school in obtaining energy surveys to procure a thermally efficient roof and demonstrate the improvements made by improving the insulation and roofing.

Charlotte Adcock,  Ladybirds Pre-School said:

Ladybirds pre-school are very grateful to Newbury Town Council for awarding the pre-school a grant of up to £2,500 to enable a baseline structural and energy saving survey to take place to establish the benefits of future thermal insulation to the building and a thermally efficient roof.  We consider the very essence of teaching Early Years is teaching children essential life skills that they will take forward with them to school and beyond. We want to be able to continue to provide this essential Early Years provision in a building that will stand the test of time and be as environmentally friendly as possible for future generations to gain benefit from.

Cllr Chris Foster, Chairman of the Council’s Climate Change Working Group, said how proud the Council is to make these grants:

We are showing our commitment to supporting organisations who will work with us to tackle issues relating to Climate Change and biodiversity. We will be hosting another Climate Change workshop on 17 April 2021 and hopefully this will inspire more people to bring forward suitable projects which we will be happy to support.

The Council also awarded grants to projects registered on The Good Exchange, the on-line charity matching platform. Grants totalling £4,701 were awarded to the following:

  • Home-Start West Berkshire, who are providing transport for isolated families in Covid-19
  • Newbury and West Berkshire Speakability towards running Speakability meetings and Speech Therapy during the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • West Berkshire Dementia Action Alliance to assist their Talking Speakers Project
  • The New Leaf Gardening Project promoted by Sport in Mind
  • Time to Talk West Berkshire who provide Counselling for Young People and need funding to meet increased demand. 

Woodland photo by Robert Laliberte Flickr CCL