Climate Emergency

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The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

  • Energy inefficient homes in west Cheshire could benefit from Green Homes Grant

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    1 December 2021

    Households across west Cheshire could benefit from funding to provide energy efficient measures for their homes this winter.

    Eligible residents are invited to apply to Cheshire West and Chester Council's Green Homes Grant scheme which can be used to install energy efficient measures such as wall, loft and under-floor insulation, and low carbon heating such as air source heat pumps and solar panels.

    To apply residents must meet both of the criteria below.

    • Have an annual combined household income of £30,000 (gross) or less, this includes households in receipt of qualifying welfare benefits.
    • Live in a property that is classed as inefficient with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G .

    Residents can apply online at: Alternatively, call: 0300 123 8123.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: "The Green Homes Grant provides an opportunity for households struggling to afford to heat their home and with low energy performance ratings to make improvements to their homes. For some people, this will be a real lifeline this winter, helping to reduce their bills and providing them with a warm home, helping keep them safe and healthy.

    "The additional benefit is that these improvements will also lower households' carbon emissions, something that contributes to the climate crisis. In west Cheshire, we are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045 and taking measures to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the borough will play a major part in achieving this."

    All measures offered to homeowners will be fully funded with no contribution required from residents, and installed by Council-appointed contractors.

    Private rental properties with an eligible tenant are also able to apply for the grant scheme. There is no cost to the tenant for any energy efficiency measures installed, but the landlord is required to contribute one third of the costs, with two thirds (to a maximum of £5,000), being provided by the grant.

    Funding has been secured by the Council from the Government's Green Homes Grant scheme, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of some of the country's least efficient homes, helping to reduce costly energy bills, whilst also lowering energy use and the carbon emissions of households.

  • Council supports Christmas travel into the city with half price Park & Ride fares

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    24 November 2021

    The Christmas countdown has started and Chester city centre is preparing for an influx of shoppers and visitors.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is encouraging visitors to give the Park & Ride a try.

    The frequent service helps visitors to enjoy everything the city has to offer this Christmas, quickly and easily, with fares now half price, at just £1, until 9 January 2022; while also reducing traffic queues and pollution.

    To help get festivities off to a good start, as well as subsiding low price fares, the Council has also extended the service every Thursday up to Christmas, for late night Christmas shopping.

    Families with children coming into the city can take advantage of free travel for under 16s, if they are accompanied by a fare paying adult.
    The three Park & Ride sites at Wrexham Road, Upton (Chester Zoo) and Boughton have a total of over 2,400 free parking spaces, a bus every 10 to 12 minutes and 12-minute journey times.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “If you’re thinking of coming into Chester this festive season, please use the Park & Ride. Why not take advantage of the late-night shopping, as every Thursday up to Christmas, the last bus back to the three Park & Ride sites will be around 9pm, rather than 7pm."

    “You’ll be doing your bit to cut Christmas congestion as queues build during the busy build up to the festive season. Recently, we’ve all become more aware of the climate emergency and the need to all play our part to reduce emissions, using the Park and Ride is the perfect way to do this."

    “You’ll also be travelling safely as all our buses are subject to a rigorous cleansing regime and face masks are available on board, if you choose to wear one. Our stylish and comfortable Park & Ride buses have USB charging, free wifi and premium seating. Jumping on the bus means no parking charges and travel into the city is now half price at just £1 for a return ticket until 9 January 2022.”

    More information, timetables and routes are available on the Council’s website, including where to park.

  • Celebrate the power of nature during National Tree Week

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    26 November 2021

    National Tree Week sees people around the country joining together to celebrate the beginning of the winter tree planting season.

    The celebration, which takes place between the 27 November and 5 December this year, highlights the importance of trees, both for the environment and for our health and wellbeing.

    New woodlands provide many benefits for communities, including playing their part to reduce flood risk by helping to increase water infiltration and reduce surface water run-off, delivering more home-grown timber, providing more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increasing people's access to nature.

    In west Cheshire, our local Community Forest, The Mersey Forest, planted over 81,000 trees last planting season thanks to the Trees for Climate programme, a multi-million pound national tree planting programme.

    This year, the team has already been out on site planting over 5,400 trees at a farm near to Frodsham and have plans to plant over 140 hectares across Cheshire and Merseyside by the end of March 2022.

    Get planting

    Planting more trees and hedgerows will make a big difference as we work together to tackle the climate and nature crises, but you might not know where to start.

    If you have land available that would be suitable to plant trees on, you can contact The Mersey Forest team for free advice and support.

    If you are interested in planting a tree in your garden, the team has a useful guide to help you plant and care for trees.

    Alternatively, sign up for the Tree Council’s free webinar on Monday 29 November, 6-7pm, to learn all about tree planting from their resident tree expert, Jon Stokes.

    Get out in nature

    Getting out in nature and amongst the trees has many health benefits and studies have found that spending time in the woods can boost immune function, reduce stress hormones, and cause you to physically relax.
    In west Cheshire, we’re lucky to have a great range of woodlands to enjoy on our doorstep, including Marbury Country Park in Northwich with its magnificent lime avenues and arboretum and Delamere Forest, with miles of walking and cycling trails.

    Get the kids involved

    Woodlands are great places for kids to play and learn more about nature, and natural play is great for children's development. Research has shown that natural play can boost cognitive abilities, increase physical fitness, reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder and even help improve grades in school.

    To get some ideas of the type of activities you could enjoy as a family, download The Mersey Forest’s Trees for Learning pack which has suggested activities for every season and for a range of ages, from early years through to children in key stage 2.

    If you decide to plant a tree this tree planting season, or have a favourite tree you would like to share, put the details on the ‘Your stories’ section of the Climate Emergency Inspire page. You might just inspire someone else to get planting.

  • Council's Junior Safety Officers project achieves national recognition

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    22 November 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Road Safety team has been applauded for its Junior Safety Officers (JSO) programme in the Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards.

    The Council’s Road Safety team provides a range of programmes to schools and colleges across the borough to help keep children and young people safe on our roads whilst increasing safe active travel.

    These programmes are also designed to have a positive impact on health and wellbeing whilst helping to cut air pollution, which in turn will aid towards the borough’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045 as part of the Council’s commitment to tackle the Climate Emergency.
    The JSO project was shortlisted for the ‘Best Project under £1000 for 2021’ category. The national Modeshift awards recognise those who work in education and community settings for all their hard work and contribution to the world of sustainable travel. It is designed to celebrate achievements of those who work together to achieve shared aims and objectives.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The JSO project is a partnership between the Council’s Road Safety Team, Cheshire Constabulary and the Safer Schools and Young People Partnership (SSYP) who work to promote road, community and personal safety to primary school children through elected year six pupils. These Junior Safety Officers are responsible for setting an example of good safety to the other pupils."

    “Well done to the Road Safety and all our Junior Safety Officers, I’m delighted they’ve been recognised for all their hard work across the borough.”

    Covid-19 had a big impact on how the team can deliver the programmes as it has not been possible to enter schools as freely. To keep the JSO initiative running the team explored new ways of delivering their programmes and messages.

    The launch of the JSO initiative usually involved a large presentation ceremony each September with the children being briefed on the programme and receiving their certificates in person. As it was no longer possible to hold this ceremony the Road Safety team organised and produced a video message to welcome the children and their adult helpers to their role which was distributed to the schools, followed by additional videos each month.

    Councillor Shore added: “We’ve overwhelmed by the positive response to the videos produced and the Council has been one of the few local authorities in the region who have been able to keep the JSO programme running by adopting this proactive and innovative approach.”

    The Road Safety team has been working with the Modeshift Stars programme in schools over the last two years and decided to enter this JSO scheme for a National Travel Award in October 2021 due to its success especially given the new way of delivering messages and the programme.

  • Healthy Conservation sessions in borough's parks to support residents' health and wellbeing

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    11 November 2021

    Residents across Cheshire West and Chester can benefit from taking part in Healthy Conservation sessions in parks and green spaces across the borough this winter.

    The sessions, as part of Cheshire’s Natural Health Service, provide participants with an introduction into conservation activities in community woodlands, parks and green spaces, whilst improving their physical activity and mental wellbeing.

    Cheshire’s Natural Health Service, which is part-funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council and managed by The Mersey Forest, uses the Boroughs green spaces to help tackle health inequalities. The service, which has been running since 2017, has helped nearly 4,000 people locally connect with nature and in turn improve their health through activities such as group walking, mindfulness, horticulture therapy, healthy conservation and bushcraft.

    The Healthy Conservation sessions are open to all residents and participants will get to learn new skills, taking part in activities such as hedge and tree planting, pond maintenance and wild flower seeding.

    Alongside supporting residents health and wellbeing the sessions will also help to improve and protect the natural environment, an important part of the borough’s Climate Emergency Response Plan which sets out how the borough will become carbon neutral by 2045.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Poverty and Wellbeing, said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen how getting out in nature has incredible benefits for people’s health and wellbeing. These sessions provide residents with an opportunity to learn new skills whilst connecting with nature and others in their community.

    “One of the Council’s priorities is to help our residents live longer, healthier and happier lives something that is central to this programme of work. Through Cheshire’s Natural Health Service, we are able to use our own green spaces as health assets, empowering residents to take a preventative, self-care approach to their wellbeing, whilst enjoying and protecting the many beautiful green spaces we have in the borough.”

    Sessions are currently organised to take place at the following parks and green spaces.

    • Jubilee Field in Huntington, Chester
    • Whitby Park in Ellesmere Port
    • Sytchcroft Park in Neston
    • Saxons Lane, Northwich

    Full details on dates and times of sessions, including how to take part, are available on:

    Funding for the part of the programme has been secured through the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF), which provides funding to local authorities in England to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and support local public health.

  • Ghost whale at Grosvenor Museum highlights plight facing sea-life

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    The Ghost Whale at the Grosvenor Museum

    Staff at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester have worked with members of the public to build a ghost whale out of recycled material to highlight the climate crisis affecting nature and wildlife globally.

    The 2.5 metre long structure, which featured on ITV news recently, has been created from a willow frame and recycled materials such as milk bottles, paper and re-used bubble wrap, and is hung in the museum’s entrance for visitors to see.

    Members of the public have had their input into the project, with visitors attending a recent drop-in family activity writing their climate change pledges on to the recyclable plastic milk bottles collected by museum and Council staff.

    The climate change pledges made highlight the actions that people can take to do their bit to help the environment. Pledges included: ‘Always recycle our cans, plastic, paper’, ‘Turn lights off’ and ‘Buy less clothes, re-use and re-wear’.

    Lucy Ashdown, Interpretation Development Officer at the museum, explains how the team were inspired to build the whale: “The whale is formed mainly of white material giving it the appearance of a ghost. It was inspired by a recent Nature and Climate Change exhibition at the museum which explored how nature is affected by climate change and also by the UN’s climate change conference, COP26, which is highlighting the climate and nature emergencies facing the world.

    “Many unrecycled and unrecyclable plastics in our oceans are harming sea-life; if this continues, in time all we might have left of whales are their ghosts.”

    The museum team have also incorporated environmental messages into the displays in the museums Natural History Gallery, some of these show the harmful netting or plastic that is killing the birds that are featured in the gallery. To help visitors understand the extent of the problem, the birds and mammals in the gallery have also been labelled with a traffic light system – with red showing animals highly at risk and requiring urgent action; orange for at risk and green for not at risk.

    To find out more about the Grosvenor Museum’s exhibitions and opening times visit:

  • Go green at your local library

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    9 November 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s libraries have come up with an eco-friendly way for residents to help play their part in looking after their community and the environment. Litter picking kits are now available to borrow, for free, from all libraries in the borough.

    Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “Inspired by the amazing work carried out by local litter picking groups, our libraries have teamed up with StreetCare colleagues to make litter picking kits available for hire."

    “The adult and junior kits are made up of a litter picker, hi-vis vest and council litter bags. So, it’s now really easy for everyone to help clean up their local area, either as part of a larger group, a one-off event or as and when required around their neighbourhood"

    “With COP26 taking place this month, now is the ideal time to launch this project. Just ask a member of staff when you’re next in your local library and they’ll explain how it all works.”

    You can also find all essential books about climate change in a new, dedicated reading list, available via the Libraries’ catalogue

    Libraries have also added inspirational titles on sustainability and easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

    Libraries and Streetcare staff will be attending the Sustainable Cheshire Winter Fair on Saturday 13 November at Rowton Hall, Chester. Anyone attending (the event is free but ticket-only) is welcome to come along and have a chat about the Litter Picking Kit initiative.

    If you’d like to organise a larger litter picking event, please contact
    For information about other services and activities provided by Cheshire West Libraries go to

  • Council gives huge boost to community projects through the Cheshire West Crowd

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    9 November 2021

    Nearly £200,000 has been pledged by Cheshire West and Chester Council to community projects taking part in the Cheshire West Crowd.
    The Cheshire West Crowd, which is being run by the Council in partnership with Spacehive, is an exciting new digital crowdfunding initiative, providing an opportunity for community-led ideas to be created so the borough can become more vibrant, resilient and connected.

    A total of 20 community projects have been supported by the Council through various funding pots, covering areas like mental health support, the Climate Emergency and much more. Details of the funding made available by the Council can be found on the Cheshire West Crowd.
    A number of projects, such as Crossroads Community Hub’s Greenway Grocer, Chapter Mental Health’s Christmas meal and Incredible Edible Westminster Park, have now reached their crowdfunding targets, while others are still counting on support.

    Residents, businesses, foundations and anyone else interested can donate to community projects through the Cheshire West Crowd and any pledge, no matter how big or small, could make a real difference to these initiatives.

    Check out the community projects on the Cheshire West Crowd

    Rev Andy Glover, Minister of Hoole Baptist Church, Lead Partner of Crossroads Community Hub, said: “The Hub began helping provide emergency food parcels to those specifically impacted by the pandemic and we’re now excited to have the opportunity to provide affordable food, alongside emergency food, through the Greenway Grocer project."

    “It’s always been our desire to provide food to feed bodies and communities and fill hearts with hope through the work of the Hub.
    “With the amazing support from Cheshire West and Chester Council through the Cheshire West Crowd platform on Spacehive, we can really begin to fulfil this dream.”

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: “Inspiring projects on the Cheshire West Crowd pitched to the Council and we’re delighted to have been able to support so many of them."

    “These projects will no doubt make a real difference to our communities and it’s great to see some of them have already reached their targets."

    “For those projects still crowdfunding, it’d be fantastic to see residents, businesses and funders get behind them through the Cheshire West Crowd."

    “This platform is an innovative way for projects to raise funds and the whole community to come together."

    “We’ll be developing the Cheshire West Crowd further in the coming months and there will be more funding rounds in the future so I’d encourage anyone with ideas to get involved.”

    If you’re interested in putting forward an idea, the next deadline is Wednesday 23 March.

    Fill in a short online form

    Organisations wanting to explore supporting multiple local projects can contact:

  • Join the conversation - using land to mitigate the Climate Emergency

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    2 November 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is asking residents to share their thoughts and ideas on a draft Land Action Plan which has been produced for the borough. Responses to the plan will help to shape how the Council works with partners and residents to reduce emissions from land use, which currently stand at 340,000 tons of CO2 per year in the borough.

    The Land Action Plan: for the Climate and Nature Emergencies responds to the climate and nature emergencies facing communities worldwide, including here in west Cheshire, and focuses on land use, adaption and climate repair, a key theme of the borough’s Climate Emergency Response Plan. Setting out a vision for land in west Cheshire, the plan includes 68 actions that will help to restore and protect nature, which will both help tackle the climate crisis and provide many benefits for our communities.

    Cllr Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: “We’re asking residents to join the conversation and share their views and ideas on the plans for land use. The next steps we take will play an essential role in mitigating and adapting to climate change."

    “This consultation follows on from the one we carried out in 2020 to inform the Climate Emergency Response Plan. This is your opportunity to comment on proposals such as carbon sequestration, water management, heat management and many other ways that the Council would work with stakeholders throughout the borough to influence land use to deliver climate and nature recovery.”

    Earlier in the year, the Council ran an engagement exercise on the Local Plan, which asked people to share their ideas on what the Local Plan could do to address climate change, to protect and enhance the natural and built environment and to highlight land that is important to protect. This Land Action Plan consultation provides an opportunity to look at land use in the borough in more detail.

    The Land Action Plan consultation launched on Monday, 1 November. The consultation describes the current status of land use in the borough, shares data and good practice, and asks for feedback on proposed actions for the plan. A summary version of the Plan has been produced to supplement the full version.

    How to get involved:

    The six-week consultation period is open until Sunday 12 December. Residents can give their views by taking part online. The consultation is available to view on the Participate Now site.

    Comments can also be sent in via the following methods.

    • Email:
    • Postal address: Land Action Plan Consultation, Climate Change Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE

    View the plan

    View the summary of the draft Land Action Plan
    View the full draft of the Land Action Plan

  • Council shows commitment to tackling Climate Emergency ahead of COP26

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    25 October 2021

    As part of the journey to becoming a carbon neutral organisation and supporting the borough to reach net zero emissions, Cheshire West and Chester Council has made two pledges to show their commitment to tackling the Climate Emergency ahead of COP26 taking place at the end of this week.

    The Council is already a member of UK100, a network of UK local authorities who have pledged to play their part in the global effort to avoid the worst impact of climate change by switching to 100 per cent clean energy. Building on this commitment, the Council has now signed up to the UK100 Net Zero pledge, which states that the Council will bring the organisation’s emissions to net zero by 2030. As part of this pledge, the Council will also work with residents and businesses in the area to bring the borough’s emissions to net zero by 2045, five years earlier than the Government’s national target.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “We are thrilled to sign up to the UK100 network’s Net Zero Pledge and join local authorities nationally to commit to reducing our carbon emissions.

    “COP26 is a unique opportunity to change how we tackle the climate crisis. It is focused on collaborative working and our Climate Emergency response plan is clear that we need to work together, as a borough and alongside other local authorities and the Government. As one of the UK’s highest emitting local authorities, we feel a real responsibility to take action now to contribute our fair share to keeping global temperature rise to below 1.5°C, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainable, prosperous and healthy communities.

    “By working together with our UK100 partners, we can make our collective voice stronger than ever, showcase achievements in the borough and ensure that Cheshire West and Chester is at the heart of the green industrial revolution.”

    Locally, the Council has joined other businesses and individuals to take part in Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) Green Pledges campaign, with a set of actions pledged to help the Council to achieve its carbon neutral targets.

    The 10 pledges align with the Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan and Carbon Management Plan.
    1. Flying – The Council will continue to minimise personal and business air flights
    2. Car emissions – The Council will continue to reduce business mileage and change to electric and renewably fuelled vehicles
    3. Consumption – The Council will proactively attempt to reduce its resource consumption
    4. Reuse and recycle – The Council will support residents to increase reuse and recycling of resources
    5. 100 per cent renewable energy – The Council will move towards using 100 per cent renewable energy sources
    6. Low Carbon Industry - The Council will ensure its resources contribute to achieving a rapid transition to decarbonised industry
    7. Eat healthy, eat local – The Council will promote the role of local food producers, to reduce transport emissions associated with imported food, and promote healthy eating and lifestyles in line with the Council’s Healthy Weight pledge
    8. Food waste – The Council will seek to reduce food waste
    9. Protecting our trees – The Council will continue to commit to planting and maintaining more trees
    10. Single Use Plastics – The Council will continue to work to reduce the use of single use plastics.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: “These 10 pledges set out some of the steps that we are taking locally, as a Council to become a carbon neutral organisation, and show our commitment to playing our part in the national and global effort to tackle climate change.

    “We want to lead from the front on this agenda and inspire other organisations and individuals across the borough to join us in taking steps to reducing their carbon footprint and, in turn, creating healthier, more resilient communities that embrace and protect the local environment.”

    Groups and individuals can sign up to CWVA’s Green Pledges campaign online.

    Share what you are doing to tackle the Climate Emergency on the Council’s Climate Emergency Inspire page