News article

TRACC News – January 2021

Want help BT go zero carbon?

Come and join TRACC especially if you have expert knowledge, or simply want to do your bit to help in any way you can.

Contact Martin Drew

Tel: 07787966995

Rural Community Energy Fund Webinar on Rural Transport

Martin attended the webinar 15/12/2020.  RCEF is government initiative that provides funds and support for rural communities wanting to set up renewable projects in their area. It is run by regional Local Energy Hubs split by Local Enterprise Partnerships. Main Speaker Bob Sherman from Harbury EV gave a presentation on their pioneering milestones in developing renewable energy and electric vehicles.

The e-Wheels initiative provides a voluntary transport service using car club EVs for members of the community; a network of solar PV and battery storage systems on several private households and community buildings; the installation of renewable technologies (solar PV panels and battery storage) on public buildings including the village hall and primary school.

The next project is a feasibility study funded (£40000) by RCEF.  Harbury Future Energy (HFE) and e-Wheels comprises a community EV charging station providing rapid and fast charging facilities in the village powered as much as possible by on-site renewable energy (wind and solar) with battery storage and mains grid back up. One direct benefit of this would be to enable the e-Wheels community EV fleet to operate on a renewable electricity supply.

It will also provide a local EV charging outlet for those residents who do not have access to off-street parking, or who need a faster charge than may be possible from home, or who live in rented properties. The project sits well with the Harbury village community’s mission to improve local air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Completed in summer 2020 the results of the feasibility study are to be presented to Residents to gather feedback and to confirm local intentions to proceed with the Harbury Future Energy initiative

People’s Inquiry on Climate Change (PIOCC)

TRACC members met (5/1/2021) with Emma Royston a member of WDC’s People’s Inquiry on Climate Change and a BT resident. Emma had been tasked to find the level of interest and Climate Change initiatives in BT with a view to reviewing and supporting future activities. We gave Emma an overview of o TRACC’s set up, first projects and CC intelligence gathering via developing connections with other parishes such a Harbury, Barford & Coventry etc to learn from their experience.

We stressed the difficulty engaging residents to get them motivated to join TRACC and take part in CC schemes. It was agreed that TRACC’s top priority must be to develop an effective resident communications strategy. In reality full implementation of the strategy will have to be after the pandemic/social distance subsides. Emma will relay her findings to PIOCC. Inquiry finishes February 2021 Best of all, Emma is now the latest TRACC recruit

Junior TRACC name and logo design competition

The competition was organised by TRACC member Kay Haycock and supported by Head teacher Mrs. C Kilbey, Head Teacher at BT CE Primary School. Kay proposed a competition for the youngsters to think up a name and design a logo for a children’s version of TRACC, (Tachbrook Residents Action on Climate Change). It was agreed that this is a terrific way to get youngsters involved and to convince their parents to adopt a green lifestyle.

There was, unfortunately, only one entry, probably because Covid and Christmas preoccupied families. 8 year old Harriet Lankfer produced a really scary picture and a superb name, “The Can Doers”.  It could be used for any children (or adults?) project and it would acknowledge all the effort Harriet has gone to. Young Harriet deserves a prize and I’m sure one will be coming her way.

TRACC Master Planner

Kay Haycock has also developed an Excel Planning template to keep track of all TRACC’s activities and documents. It’s a great asset to help manage everything that going on especially as activities will increase as we prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 being held in Glasgow at the beginning of November.

Low Carbon Warwickshire News (LCWN)

The Canalside community is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project based near Radford Semele and was founded 14 years ago. The Soil Association defines a CSA as a partnership between farmers and consumers where the responsibilities and rewards of farming are shared. Consumers commit to supporting the farm by providing a fair income for the growers. In return consumers receive a weekly box of fresh, organic produce from the farm and have the opportunity to get involved in its growing & cultivation. The key emphasis is always on the health, fertility and sustainability of the land.

By 2018, Canalside Community was able to buy most of its own land and is now raising money to purchase an additional two and a quarter acres for a new orchard. It is a time of change for the farm, as it also seeks a new main grower – someone to lead the task of producing vegetables to feed nearly two hundred families every week of the year, with the help of the land team and volunteers. The community is better able to bridge this transition period because it has the support of Five Acre Farm – another, younger community farm at Ryton, which was formed, in turn, with the support of Canalside.

Re-wilding verges

Warwickshire’s highway and ecology teams have been working with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to develop an approach to verge maintenance that is sustainable, affordable and adheres to the principles set out in the Plantlife guidance (See link below)

The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust through their Dunsmore Living Landscape project part funded a verge conservation trial. The trial, which commenced in December 2019, involves Yellow Rattle being seeded on selected highway verges. Yellow Rattle is an annual grassland plant strongly advocated in the Plantlife guidance, which suppresses grass growth and encourages other wildflower species to flourish. This reduces the need for mowing and attracts pollinating insects.

The complexities in having different maintenance regimes on so many small unconnected sites across the county and the concern for public safety means WCC is concentrating on the official trial sites for the time being. We will be evaluating the trial in the coming months with a view to engaging with district, borough and parish Councils for their views and participation shortly after.

This is an exciting bio diversity project that, if the trials prove successful, we will be carrying out in BT. It also reflects plans for setting up a wildlife hub in Country Park to educate/inform, implement and sustain wildlife diversity.