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.

  • Council launches first ‘School Street’ in the borough

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has launched a scheme to create a safer environment for children and ease pressures around schools during peak times.

    The Council is piloting the first of a new scheme - known as 'School Streets' - to create a safer environment for children, boost active travel, improve road safety and air quality.

    The first scheme will see Castle Drive and Windsor Drive (the road directly outside Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School in Whitby, Ellesmere Port), closed to vehicles during school opening and closing times. This is to create a safer environment for children going to and from school.

    No vehicles will be able to enter the restricted zones between the times of operation, unless they have been given an exemption.

    Residents who live on the school street have been given a permit to be displayed in their vehicles, which allows access to their homes during the restricted times.

    The scheme encourages children to use active travel to get to school by creating a safer environment for walking, wheeling and cycling, which aims to increase physical activity as well as reducing congestion and pollution.

    Parents or carers who are not able to walk, wheel or cycle to school can park their vehicle outside of the school street and complete the journey on foot.

    The scheme is to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff, as well as the parents and carers of pupils. It can help children get in and out of school safely, avoiding the congested school drop-off. Levels of active travel and air quality will be monitored during the pilot scheme.

    The Council would like to thank the school, as well as residents, parents and carers, for their cooperation and support of this scheme, which will be rolled out to other schools in the borough if successful.

    Find out more about school streets.

  • ‘Slow Mow May’ will balance grass cutting operations in the borough

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    The Council has announced it will support this year’s No Mow May campaign.

    After listening to feedback, following supporting the campaign last year, the Council will ensure there is a balanced approach, as not everyone agreed with leaving the grass uncut.

    National charity, Plantlife, launched the #NoMowMay campaign which encourages everyone to leave their mowers in their sheds for the month of May to allow pollen rich flowers for nature’s emerging insects.

    Wildflowers planted in west Cheshire

    Grass cutting operations will slow down during the month of May and teams will leave selected areas of grass to grow on some high-speed routes to help biodiversity.

    This means that wildflowers such as dandelions will continue to flower and provide important sources of nectar for insects. The campaign coincides with World Bee Day on Saturday 20 May which promotes the importance of pollinators like bees.

    As part of its Wildflower and Grasslands Strategy, which began last year, the Council is committed to planting wildflowers, with additional meadows being created across west Cheshire during 2023. Once this year’s phase of planting is complete, there will be 101 new mini meadows across the borough, the equivalent of four full size football pitches.

    Over the next three years more native wildflower meadows will be created which will then be the equivalent of 24 football pitches.

    The project is in partnership with Chester Zoo, who funded machinery to help prepare the soil via their Nature Recovery Corridor project.

    Park Friends groups are also getting involved. The Friends of Westminster Park in Chester have asked for large areas of the park to be left for nature. These areas will be monitored and maintained by the groups, in partnership with the Council.

    Residents may wish to take part in No Mow May in their own gardens to boost biodiversity in the borough. Whether it’s a small patch or a whole lawn, it can have an impact on plants, insects and animal life. May is a particular important month as the first nectar rich flowers begin to emerge.

    Road safety is a priority for the Council, so as always grass cutting will continue in areas such as road junctions and bends to avoid any potential road hazards. The grass on areas like football pitches, play areas and paths will also still be cut to ensure these areas can still be enjoyed.

    Regular grass cutting schedules will resume across the borough in June.

    More information on the Council’s wildflower strategy can be found on the Council website: Wildflower strategy

  • Council plays part in Wirral Country Park's 50th anniversary celebrations

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    The Wirral Way will mark the 50th anniversary of its official opening this year. The park was created on 2 October 1973 and was Britain's first designated country park.

    As part of the 50th anniversary Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with Wirral Council to help celebrate this 12-mile, linear park.

    Later this year, small events will take place along the route, including events at Hadlow Road Station, Parks Field, Lees Lane Ponds. The Council's Greenspace Officers and Health Rangers will deliver events such as Volunteer Days, Wellbeing Walks, Mindfulness activities and Forest School sessions. To celebrate this milestone, the Council plans to transform the entrance near to Hooton Station as part of a major widening and enhancement scheme.

    The scheme is a result of funding made available through Section 106 secured as part of the planning permission granted to Stewart Milne for the redevelopment of the former Roften Works, and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) generated by the Stewart Milne housing Roften Road development.

    The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore, said:

    "The entrance to the Wirral Way is under review with hopes for a new access point being discussed which would allow much improved accessibility. It's intended to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wirral Way and the history of the space by revealing these designs.

    "The existing surfaced path network which links Cheshire and Wirral will be widened and improved wherever feasible, to enhance user experience for people sharing the space.

    "At the moment, works are being planned and designed, with actual proposed start dates and programme of works still to be decided, whilst ecological considerations have been reviewed via site surveys and assessments. More information will be shared as soon as detailed designs are progressed."

    For nearly 100 years, from the height of the Victorian era onwards, a busy railway linked Hooton, on the main Chester-to-Birkenhead line, to West Kirby. In 1962 the line was closed, and the track lay derelict. Captain Lawrence Beswick DSM campaigned for the site to be reused as a country park.

    In 1968 a draft scheme for the construction of Wirral Country Park was prepared by Cheshire County Council, stating 'The scheme would provide a country park of great worth'. Work began on the park in 1968 after investment from the Countryside Commission and Wirral Country Park was officially opened in October 1973 by Lord Leverhulme.

    Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan, added:

    "Wirral Country Park's 50th anniversary will give everyone an opportunity to celebrate one of our wonderful green spaces. This year Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral Council will jointly submit an application to obtain Heritage Green Flag status for the park, a first for the borough.

    "Parts of the park are locally designated Wildlife Sites and nationally protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest and there will be opportunity for people to learn about the park's biodiversity at events about bats, bees and birds in both borough's during the celebrations."

  • Growth Track 360 calls for electrification of North Wales Main Line between Warrington, Crewe, Chester and Holyhead to unlock full potential of HS2

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    Reacting to the announcement from UK Secretary of State for Transport of a two-year delay to completion of construction work on HS2 between Birmingham and Crewe, business and local authority leaders from North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 partnership have renewed their call for investment in the existing network to allow their cross-border region to take full advantage of the new railway.

    To this end, Growth Track 360 is campaigning for

    1. Complete modernisation of Chester station as the gateway for tourism and commerce to Cheshire and North Wales; and
    2. Electrification of the North Wales Main Line from Holyhead to Crewe and Warrington, allowing HS2 trains to run directly from London and Birmingham to Chester and beyond.

    Growth Track 360 Chair and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Louise Gittins, said:

    "HS2 is a vital component in our cross-border and all-party vision for connectivity in the twenty-first century, yet its potential contribution to decarbonised travel to and from Chester and North Wales continues to be underestimated, even by many of its most enthusiastic proponents. Growth Track 360 wants the North Wales Main Line electrified so that we can see faster, cleaner and more frequent passenger and freight trains in the medium term and be HS2-ready when the line reaches Crewe."

    Growth Track 360 Vice Chair and Leader of Flintshire Council, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:

    "North East Wales is currently missing-out on significant transport infrastructure investment and is being denied the opportunity to play its full part in unlocking the potential of the cross-border industrial and tourism sectors which we share with our neighbours in North West England. The prospect of electrification of the North Wales Main Line and through running of HS2 trains would provide us with an unrivalled opportunity to attract inward investment and give our young people the chance to enjoy well paid employment in their own communities."

    Ashley Rogers, GT360 Business Representative, Chief Executive of the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council, said:

    "Electrification of the existing main line to Chester and then Crewe would plug our cross-border region directly into HS2 vastly improving connectivity to the rest of the UK and helping to decarbonise business. Our world class manufacturing sector employs 63,000 people and the tourism sector attracts almost 80 million visitors a year. We are a regional powerhouse that deserves this crucial transport investment."

    Shadow Rail Minister, Tan Dhesi MP, on a prearranged visit to Chester meeting Growth Track 360 leaders, said:

    "Electrification of the North Wales Main Line should form a key component of a rolling programme of electrification for the railways across Britain. HS2 needs to be completed in full as soon as possible to equip the UK to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the transformation to a Net Zero Carbon economy."

  • Council to give Whitby residents a say on the hydrogen village proposals

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council is setting out further details of its plans to support residents of Whitby, Ellesmere Port, to have a democratic voice on the proposals for a hydrogen village trial in their area.

    The proposal by Cadent, the gas network provider, following a Government competition, plans to trial a change in domestic heating from natural gas to hydrogen, starting in 2025. Electric heating alternatives will also be available, alongside support for energy efficiency measures. Whitby in Ellesmere Port, alongside Redcar in the North East, will be considered by the Government for the trial.

    At a well-attended public meeting on 28 February, hosted by the Council in Ellesmere Port Civic Hall, commitments were made to listen and record the views of local residents.

    In a written statement to the meeting, the Government committed that: "Strong community engagement and support is vital for the success of a project like this. That is why evidence of substantial local support, validated by an independent external source such as a local council, is one of our key assessment criteria in selecting a location. We will not go ahead with a trial in an area where there is not strong local support."

    As well as measures to engage local residents and validate the integrity of information on local residents' views, the Council announced that it will conduct a poll of local residents later this summer. The process will need to be non-statutory and non-binding on Government, but will meet best practice in transparency and integrity. In response to requests made at the public event, the process, including the question to be asked, will be subject to consultation with residents.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council, said: "We have heard residents loud and clear in their request to clearly and transparently establish the degree of local support for the Hydrogen Village proposal. The results of the poll will be fed back to Government before a decision is made later this year. While it cannot be legally binding, we expect the Government to respect the outcome."

    The proposed timetable is as follows.

    • Mid/late May - Publication of a consultation document on the procedures for the vote
    • June - Feedback results from consultation on the format of the poll
    • July - Vote to be conducted, with postal returns by a specified date, and counting of the results
    • August - Outcome of poll, feedback to residents and Government
    • From autumn - Government decision expected on whether the trial will proceed

    In the meantime, residents will be supported to have full information about the implications of the trial for their households, the environment and the local community. The Council understands that Cadent's engineers will continue to provide house-by-house assessments and advice, and residents are encouraged to visit the Hydrogen Experience Centre on McGarva Way.

    The Council will continue to press for all residents' questions about the proposal to be answered. A new online resource has being established by the Council to share FAQs and further information about how residents' views will be collected and provided to the Government.

    View the Whitby Hydrogen Village proposal page on the Council's Climate Emergency Hub.

  • Pruning workshops organised to help communities care for local orchards

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    The Council's Total Environment team have run pruning workshops this winter to support community groups looking after orchards across the borough.

    The Council are supporting woodland creation across the borough, including community orchards, as part of their Land Action Plan.

    To ensure trees remain healthy and provide lots of fruit a number of pruning workshops were organised, providing people with the skills to help look after these community assets. Watch the video below to find out more.

    Funding is still available for landowners with land suitable for creating an orchard or woodland on their land. Get in touch now for support to help you get planting next winter. Contact:

    To express an interest in attending future pruning workshops contact:

  • Energy saving podcast - damp and condensation

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    Listen to the latest Energy Saving Podcast by the Council’s energy saving specialist, focusing on damp and condensation.

    Community energy coach, Mark Thompson, discusses how to deal with damp and condensation in your home and gives great tips on saving energy.

    Mark has developed a website providing useful, practical advice and tips to help people to reduce the amount of energy they are using in the home. The site aims to help people understand energy better and give them the confidence and knowledge to take the right actions for their individual circumstances. Visit: link)

    If you have your own energy saving tips, add them to the 'Your Stories' section of the Climate Emergency Inspire hub!

    Get in touch if there are any other topics you want to hear about:

  • Can an hour change the world?

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    At 8.30pm on Saturday, 25 March people from around the globe will be switching off their lights for Earth Hour, to show symbolic support for the planet and to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting it.

    Could you join millions around the world and help us create the Biggest Hour for Earth. How? By giving an hour to our one home, finding 60 minutes to do something - anything - positive for our planet. It could be as simple as inviting your friends for dinner and cooking up a meal using a sustainable recipe, picking up trash at your nearby park, or building your knowledge by watching a nature documentary.

    But we know what you’re thinking…what difference will an hour make? Can an hour really change the world?

    It may not seem like much, but that’s exactly the point - it’s only an hour. It’s an invitation for anyone, anywhere to set aside a little bit of time and find any way to make a positive impact. It’s a reminder that acting for the environment is easy - we just have to make an effort.

    Now where the magic happens is when you and others like you in Asia and Africa, North and South America, Oceania and Europe - supporters in over 190 countries and territories - all give an hour for our one home. This hour could inspire millions of other people to act, and make millions more take notice. This hour could place an unmissable spotlight on our planet, the issues we’re facing, and the need to work together to shape a brighter future. This hour could inspire the world to make all other hours count.

    So…can an hour change the world? It’s a start, and it’s up to us.

    Let us know what you're doing across the borough for Earth Hour. Add your story to the 'Your Story' section of the Climate Emergency Inspire hub.

  • Neighbourhood Pride environmental schemes announced

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced a large number of environmental projects, initiated by local councillors, will make a difference to communities across the borough.

    The Council introduced the Neighbourhood Pride Scheme (NPS) specifically for councillors to propose small to medium environmental improvement projects within their wards.

    Last year, all ward members were allocated a share of £450K to spend on environmental projects in their ward. This equated to each member having £6,400 to utilise for projects, with money having to be allocated to a project and spent within the financial year, by the end of March 2023.

    Council officers liaised with councillors to identify environmental projects within their ward and a grand total of 246 costed and feasible projects have now been approved. Work has already started on some projects helping to improve the environment in neighbourhoods across Cheshire West and Chester.

    Examples of projects include:

    • Supporting town and parish councils to purchase equipment to help maintain their areas.
    • Installation of new benches
    • Installation of Smiley SIDs (Speed Indicator Devices)
    • Pond restoration
    • Grass verge reinstatement
    • Footpath resurfacing

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “I’m delighted to announce that hundreds of schemes will take be taking place in the coming weeks to show the environment some love in communities across the borough. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make all the difference – from transforming a village pond, to ensuring a footpath is resurfaced for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors.

    “Our Your Streets team will be working with local ward members, volunteers and community groups to make these projects happen. I’m looking forward to seeing all the end results.”

  • More wonderful wildflowers in warmer months ahead

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    Spring is almost here and Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Wildflower and Grasslands Strategy, that saw the creation of beautiful native wildflower meadows across the borough will continue to be delivered this year.

    There were over 130 mini wildflower meadows, which means around 32,000 square metres of wildlife habitat was created.

    The Council’s Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan said: “After dark and cold January, this really gives us all something to look forward to in the warmer months. Last year’s displays were incredibly beautiful, as well as giving pollinators, like bees, a much-needed boost.

    “We received many marvellous compliments and comments from residents, who saw the meadows in their communities and appreciated the hard work of the teams who created them.

    “In one area, near to the A41, where previously there had been no wildlife, we were pleased to see a family of voles had settled in, thanks to the wildflower planting.”

    Councillors worked with their communities to decide on the locations for the native wildflower meadows and officers from StreetCare and the Your Streets teams created them.

    Training was also given to seven parish council and ‘Friends of’ groups to create and sustainably manage wildflowers in their wards.

    As part of the project the Council also entered into a partnership with Chester Zoo and various other environmental bodies to help deliver the Zoo’s Nature Recovery Corridor project.

    A successful funding application to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund via the partnership with Chester Zoo resulted in the Council receiving £50,000 for machinery to help deliver its Wildflower and Grasslands strategy. This enabled the purchase of a tractor and stone burier for seed sowing.

    Councillor Bryan added: “Phase two of the project is on the way and will see even more meadows appearing in all parts of the borough. I’m really looking forward to seeing bigger, even better results for our Wildflower and Grasslands Strategy this summer.”

    All existing and phase two meadows are now being data mapped into a Geographic Information System and later this year the information will be available on the Council’s website.

    A video is also available on the Council’s YouTube channel.