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.

  • Have yourself a sustainable Christmas

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    Gift giving tips

    • Choose a gift that that you know the person wants and that lasts, like a house plant.
    • Shop local – supporting small business helps boost your local economy, plus you’re more likely to find unique and well-crafted gifts. Saturday, 3 December, is Small Business Saturday – you can use their website to find your local businesses: Small Business Saturday UK.
    • Give a handmade gift – you could bake, sew or paint, get creative to add that personal touch to your gifts this year.
    • Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper - on average, Brits use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper. In fact, Defra estimates that enough wrapping paper is used each year to gift wrap the island of Guernsey. Sticky tape, ribbons and paper covered in glitter can't be recycled, so switch to an eco-friendly roll or, alternatively, use brown paper for a vintage look.
    • Try fabric wrapping – fabric can be reused year after year or, if you are gifting a scarf, you could use that to wrap up another gift.
    • Send Christmas e-cards – a staggering 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households each year, according to Imperial College researchers. So, what can we do to stop this figure escalating? Friends of the Earth explains: 'You can cut your resource use when it comes to Christmas cards – you can send e-cards instead. Try using a free design app like Canva if you want to get creative. If a card is needed, try to find ones made from recycled materials and not containing plastics such as glitter.'
    • Buy plantable Christmas cards - when the biodegradable paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds will grow and eventually the paper will decompose.


    Use handcrafted decorations

    Small businesses will make beautiful, handcrafted decorations, but you can get creative and make some yourself. There are plenty of ideas online, check out Pinterest for inspiration.

    Re-use Christmas tree decorations or go second-hand

    Unless your decorations are damaged or broken, do your best to reuse them each year – and it doesn't even have to be on your tree. You could use baubles as table decorations or place names, or you could use string to hang them on door handles. If you need new decorations, try second-hand shops to find some pre-loved styles.

    Christmas trees

    If you already own an artificial tree, continue to use it for as long as possible to reduce its environmental impact. In order, here are the most sustainable ways to enjoy a tree (according to Friends of the Earth).

    1. No tree at all – this is probably not an option for most people, but if you are short on space or decorate your home with other things instead, this might not be such a bad idea. You could even decorate a house plant with fairy lights for a modern take on the traditional tree.
    2. Rent a real Christmas tree.
    3. Purchase a pot grown living Christmas tree, you can reuse this year after year if you take good care of it.
    4. Cut Christmas tree - choose sustainably grown trees that carry the FSC label and remember to recycle your tree afterwards. The Council website has details of where your tree can be dropped off across the borough to be reused as mulch by our StreetCare service.
    5. Artificial tree – artificial trees have the most environmental impact, so you will need to use it for over 10 years for the impact to be comparable with a real tree option.

    Christmas dinner

    Switch to eco-friendly crackers

    Try creating your own crackers for a personalised touch to your Christmas décor this year. Use recycled Kraft brown paper or DIY Kraft crackers and fill with plastic-free surprises for a stylish, eco alternative.

    Introduce more plant-based foods

    If meat-free isn’t an option for you, perhaps you could make just small changes to your Christmas dinner menu. 'Go for a festive spread with mainly plant based ingredients and try to make sure any meat or dairy products you’re keen to have don’t come from intensive farms. When it comes to the vegetables, look out for products that have been grown nearby so you can cut down on transport emissions,' advises Friends of the Earth.

    Cut food waste

    Try and choose things that are light on packaging or buy loose items. Transform your leftovers to create new meals, save money and cut waste. If you have packaged food left over, that you no longer need, donate it to your local food bank.

    Re-wear your Christmas jumper

    Environmental charity Hubbub warns against buying new Christmas jumpers after finding that up to 95 per cent of them are made using plastic. The most common plastic fibre used is acrylic, which was found in three quarters of the jumpers tested. 'We'd urge people to swap, buy second-hand or re-wear, and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas,' says Hubbub. You can always clip a Christmas decoration to a favourite jumper for a homemade approach.


    Every effort has been made to that ensure the information used in all climate emergency articles is accurate. All information used to inform the articles has been taken from reputable sources and those sources are given at the end of each article.

    We are aware, however, that data will change over time and that some information across the internet and printed matters can be contradictory.

  • Energy Saving Podcast - vampire devices

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    Listen to the latest Energy Saving Podcast by the Council’s Energy Saving specialist which focuses on items around the home that may be using up energy when on standby, also known as vampire devices.

    Community energy coach, Mark Thompson, discusses how to check if you have these sort of devices around your home and which can be the worst offenders.

    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:

    If you have your own energy saving tips add them to the 'your stories' section of the Climate Emergency Inspire hub.

  • Pupil-power launches Parent Parking Charters at two schools in the borough

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    Pupils at St Saviour's Catholic Primary School in Ellesmere Port and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Winsford, have both launched a new Parent Parking Charter to help alleviate parking problems outside their school gates and to encourage more active methods of travel for the school run.

    Pupils have worked with the Council's Road Safety Team, local Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) and teachers to develop the new charters, which will challenge the way people travel to school and ease problems caused by inappropriate parking.

    This project is in addition to both the cycle and pedestrian training that has taken place at the schools, to encourage parents and pupils to walk/cycle/scoot to school to improve their health at the same time as reducing the number of cars outside the school at pick up and drop off times.

    This road safety initiative sees parents, drivers and school visitors make a pledge to reduce congestion and conflict outside school as well as raising awareness of parking safely on surrounding local roads.

    St Joseph's School is asking parents and carers to park away from the school and walk part of their journey - it would take around 15 minutes to walk to school from the Grange playground, or the playground on Rosewood Drive.

    The school ran a competition to find a slogan for the parking charter banner that is now displayed at school. The winning slogan was 'Look out kids about'.

    St Saviours School is asking parents and carers to use the car park on Thelwall Road by the shops or Hope Farm and walk the remaining five to 10 minutes to school, particularly at peak times.

    The school also ran a competition to find a slogan for a parking charter banner. Their winning slogan was 'Show you care, park elsewhere'.

    Pupils and staff working with both Council and PCSOs looked at the issues outside schools and came up with rules and regulations to help improve the parking problems. The slogans from the competition really get the message across, so congratulations to all the winners and everyone who has worked on this parking charter.

    Parents or carers and visitors will be asked to sign a pledge to stick to all the rules set out in the new Parent Parking Charters. The aim is to see a safer environment outside the school gates for children and neighbours, and to encourage more active methods of travel to get to school.

  • COP27

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    What is COP27?

    COP stands for Conference of the Parties. It is a UN climate summit that is held every year, for governments to agree steps to limit global temperature rises.

    The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, will be the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference.

    Hosted by Egypt between 6 to 18 November 2022, the summit will be attended by nations across the world to discuss climate change and how countries plan to tackle it.

    Heads of State, ministers and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs will meet for the largest annual gathering on climate action.

    Why is COP27 happening?

    The world is warming because of fossil fuel emissions caused by humans.

    Extreme weather events linked to climate change - including heatwaves, floods and forest fires - are intensifying. The past decade was the warmest on record, and governments agree urgent collective action is needed.

    Why is COP27 so important?

    Research shows that with our current emission trajectory, the global temperature will increase by 3-4°C in the next 80 years.

    Global warming on this scale would cause irreversible global environmental damage, including floods and famine for billions of people annually.

    COP27 will build on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency - from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.

    COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the Paris Agreement, for people and the planet.

    The Paris Agreement is an international agreement to tackle climate change, which was agreed by leaders back in 2015 when 195 countries attended COP21 in Paris.

    The Paris agreement states that nations must:

    • Reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gasses produced and increase renewable types of energy like wind, solar and wave power
    • Keep global temperature increase "well below" 2C (3.6F) and to try to limit it to 1.5C
    • Review progress made on the agreement every five years
    • Provide financing to developing countries to mitigate climate change, strengthen resilience and enhance abilities to adapt to climate impacts.

    What will be discussed at COP27?

    COP27 will focus on three main areas:

    • Reducing emissions
    • Helping countries to prepare for and deal with climate change
    • Securing technical support and funding for developing countries for the above

    Some areas not fully resolved or covered at COP26 will be picked up:

    • Loss and damage finance - money to help countries recover from the effects of climate change, rather than just prepare for it
    • Establishment of a global carbon market - to price the effects of emissions into products and services globally
    • Strengthen the commitments to reduce coal use.

    There will also be themed days on issues including gender, agriculture and biodiversity.

    How can I follow events at COP27?

    Media interest will be heavy throughout the event’s two-week schedule and daily updates will follow in the press and from news broadcasters.

    For more information about the COP27 conference visit: COP27: Delivering for people and the planet | United Nations

  • Choose a more sustainable diet during World Vegan Month

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    World Vegan Month is celebrated during November and is a good opportunity to consider the impact your diet has on the planet.

    Animal-based products don’t have to be completely off the menu to make a difference. Introducing more plant-based meals into your weekly diet can help to lower your carbon footprint and your impact on the planet. And choosing to buy the meat you do purchase from a local farmer can significantly reduce any linked emissions.

    Below is a list of some great free resources with plant-based recipe ideas.

    There are lots of changes we can make to help make our diets more sustainable and, in turn, help to play our part to address the climate crisis. Here are some ideas to try this month.

    • Choose sustainable foods – the best way to know if your ingredients are sustainable is to get to know the people who produce them. Try shopping with local suppliers or look for certifications and stamps of approval, such as Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Fairtrade products, LEAF Marque, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Soil Association, Organic Farmers and Growers UK
    • Eat healthily and minimise processed foods – the more processed a food is, the greater its environmental impact – because of emissions created through the process and because it often loses nutritional quality, meaning more food has to be produced overall, just to deliver minimum nutritional requirements.
    • Ensure balance and variety – our bodies need a variety of nutrients and a good, balanced diet can include many things, such as wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, and less sugar, oils and fat. Try to eat different grains, vegetables and animals to achieve as much balance as possible. The planet will also benefit from a variety of food being cultivated.
    • Eat seasonal produce – by eating produce that is in season you’ll be eating fresher, tastier and better value food. Visit the Eat Seasonably website to find out more. Where possible grow your own produce.
    • Shop locally – use local suppliers of produce to help cut down the miles your food has travelled from field to plate. Try shopping in one of our local markets for a wide selection of local produce.
    • Cut down on your food waste – make sure you store your food correctly and use it before it goes off. The Love Food Hate Waste website has lots of tips and recipes to help you use up your leftovers.

    The Council’s Land Action Plan has a focus on producing sustainable food and encouraging dietary change, in line with national recommendations to free up land for habitat creation and other uses by reducing intake of carbon intensive foods such as beef, lamb and dairy. Encourage locally sourced (or British), seasonal agricultural produce, including meat and dairy, including through public procurement.

  • Borough scoops more North West in Bloom accolades

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    Following on from last year's success, North West in Bloom judges have awarded even more top accolades for locations and projects in Cheshire West and Chester.

    The Council's whole borough entry including Chester in the Large City category scooped a Silver Gilt, as well as the 2022 Award for Commercial Effort.

    The Local Authority Large Parks Gold Medal was awarded to Marbury Park and in the Small Park category Alexandra Park in Chester, also received a Gold. A first-time entry for Rivacre County Park also secured a Silver Gilt in the Small Park category.

    This is the result of the hard work of many 'Friends of' groups and volunteers across the borough being recognised by the North West in Bloom judges who visited the area during the summer.

    Other award winners included towns, villages, schools, farms, a food hub, a station and a cemetery. Hadlow Station received both a Level 5 Outstanding Award and a 2022 Heritage Award.

    The Council's Director of Environment and Communities, Maria Byrne said:

    "I'm delighted the Council was able to support so many wonderful entries for this year's North West in Bloom competition and I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks and warmest congratulations to all the volunteers and groups involved in improving their community and bringing people together to make a positive change to the place they live, work or spend their leisure time.

    We were very proud of what we were able to show the judges and the results reflect the hard work of everyone involved in this year’s entries. This is a wonderful way to recognise the achievements of organisations and community groups across west Cheshire. Together, we can ensure our borough continues to thrive, long into the future and the results can be built upon to further improve our natural environment."

    The results

    • Large City - Silver Gilt and 2022 Award for Commercial Effort (Chester city centre)
    • North West in Bloom with the RHS Chester City Centre / Cheshire West and Chester Council
    • Local Authority Parks large - Gold Medal Award
    • North West in Bloom with the RHS - Marbury Park
    • Local Authority Parks small - Gold Medal Award
    • North West in Bloom with the RHS - Alexandra Park, Hoole
    • Local Authority Park Small - Silver Gilt Medal Award
    • North West in Bloom with the RHS - Alexandra Park, Chester
    • Local Authority Park Small - Silver Medal Awards
    • North West in Bloom with the RHS - Grosvenor Park, Chester
    • The following entries were also supported by the Council:
    • Capenhurst and Ledsham Villages in Bloom (Gold Award) Village Category Cambridge Road Primary School (2022 Award Schools Category)
    • Cambridge Road Primary School (Community champions and Young Champions Award 2022)
    • Friends of Hadlow Road Station (In Your Neighbourhood, Level 5 Outstanding)
    • Friends of Hadlow Road Station (2022 Heritage Award)
    • Ellesmere Port in Bloom, Silver Award (Large Town Category)
    • Friends of Mount Farm Way Pond (In Your Neighbourhood, Level 4 Thriving)
    • Overleigh Cemetery, Chester (In Your Neighbourhood, Level 4 Thriving)
    • Acton Bridge Community Association (In Your Neighbourhood, Level 4 Thriving)
    • Cheshire Food Hub Garden, Northwich (In Your Neighbourhood, Level 5 Outstanding)
  • Hive of activity at Hillside Wood to save bee colony

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    A colony of bees has been saved when their oak tree home was blown down in strong winds blocking a path through Hillside Wood in Rivacre Valley Country Park.

    With the assistance of a local beekeeping expert and the Council’s tree contractor, Mancoed, the colony of bees was successfully encouraged out of their natural nest that was made inside a hollow area of the tree.

    An entry gap was cut above the bees' nest to allow the honeycomb containing the eggs, some of the workers bees and most importantly, the queen, to be brought out and placed onto a frame in a temporary-built hive for transit.

    Once this part was complete the remaining bees were encouraged into the box by a number of methods. Worker bees then started to fan and produce pheromones at the entrance to the temporary hive, confirming that the queen had been brought out with the honeycomb and was safely inside the temporary hive.

    The Council’s Director of Environment and Communities, Maria Byrne said:

    "I’m delighted to report it has been confirmed that bees at all stages of their life cycle are now safely re -housed and thriving in a larger hive just outside Chester. After the winter, they will continue their important role of pollination."

    Honeybees in the UK do not migrate to find warmer weather like other winged animals, they prefer to stay close to home and rarely leave the hive during the winter months.

    The honeybee is the only bee to maintain a colony throughout the winter. The colony reduces its size in autumn and relies on its stores of honey to last it through the winter months when it is too cold for foraging or there is no food source available.

  • Council joins national fight against "zombie batteries" in bid to tackle recycling and waste fires

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    26 October 2022

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting the new national 'Take Charge' campaign, which urges consumers to recycle dead batteries and to never throw batteries away alongside general rubbish.

    Consumers across the UK are being urged to "join the fight against Zombie batteries" in a bid to tackle the growing number of fires caused by carelessly discarded dead batteries.

    Dead batteries thrown away with other waste and recycling, which the campaign refers to as "zombie batteries", are likely to be crushed or punctured once the waste is collected and processed.

    Some battery types in particular, like lithium-ion (Li-ion) and nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH), can ignite or even explode when they're damaged. Once this happens, the batteries can quickly set fire to other materials present in the waste, like paper, leading to serious incidents that put lives at risk.

    Although safe to use normally, powerful lithium-ion batteries are typically the most dangerous if they are not recycled properly. These batteries are often found in products like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, radio-controlled toys, Bluetooth devices, shavers, electric toothbrushes, power tools, scooters and even e-cigarettes.

    The recycling and waste management trade body, the Environmental Services Association (ESA), which launched the campaign, conducts an annual survey of its members to record the proportion of fires occurring at recycling and waste facilities that are known or thought to have been started by lithium-ion batteries in particular.

    Recent data collected by the ESA shows that, between April 2019 and March 2020, lithium-ion batteries alone were thought to be responsible for more than 250 fires at its members' facilities during the year - or well over a third (38 per cent) of all fires.

    Members of the ESA hope that by encouraging the public to recycle batteries responsibly, it will reduce the number of "zombie batteries" present in general waste and recycling, thereby reducing the number of fires in future.

    Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler, said: "Unfortunately, the majority of batteries thrown away in the UK at the moment are not recycled properly. Fires caused by carelessly discarded batteries endanger lives; cause millions of pounds of damage and disrupt waste services. We urge consumers to please recycle batteries responsibly by using a widely available local battery recycling services."

    Consumers can find out more about the dangers of Zombie Batteries by visiting the campaign website:

    Take Charge
  • Countdown to a green 'Quitmas' in Cheshire West and Chester

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    Stoptober may be drawing to a close but help to stop smoking and cut the cost is available for residents in Cheshire West and Chester all year round.

    For people looking to save money for Christmas, now is a good time to cut back on smoking and save hundreds of pounds for the festive season, while reducing the cost to the environment at the same time.

    For more information about the Cheshire West and Chester stop smoking service and how to access support visit: or call 0300 777 0033. For more information about the Cheshire West and Chester stop smoking service and how to access support visit: or call 0300 777 0033.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council and its health and wellbeing provider Brio Leisure have been supporting this year's Stoptober campaign, which sees thousands of smokers giving quitting a try each year.

    Ruth Armstrong, Lead for Brio’s stop smoking service Go SmokeFree, said: “If you smoke 20 a day and try to quit, in a month you would save £381.90– by Christmas that would be £687.42! Make it a countdown to Quitmas this year and start your new year smokefree.

    “We know that quitting is a lot easier said than done but just giving it a try is a big achievement, and every quit attempt will save you that bit more money.

    “If you’ve tried to stop before, do not let that put you off trying again, and there’s a team on your doorstep who are here to help.

    “People who come to the Go SmokeFree programme at Brio talk about how much better off it makes them, and not just financially of course – there are loads of physical and emotional benefits too.

    “The team will help you every step of every journey that you try to become smoke free – we understand your challenges and have helped people through; we’re here to listen and give you the best tools you need to make your best attempt.”

    As well as the more obvious financial and health costs, smoking also costs the environment.

    A recent review into tobacco and the environment by public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) looked at the global impact of the smoking industry, including tobacco cultivation, drying, manufacturing, packaging and shipping.

    This highlighted the high levels of natural resources used in all parts of the process, as well as the pollution, deforestation and reduction of soil quality caused by tobacco cultivation. It also looked at the impact of cigarette butt littering, with smoking-related litter making up six tonnes of discarded street litter in Cheshire West every year.

    For more information about the Cheshire West and Chester stop smoking service and how to access support visit: or call 0300 777 0033.

  • Vivo services help keep west Cheshire clean and tidy

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    Litter pickers are available at a number of different Vivo Care Choices buildings across west Cheshire so people accessing its services, as well as the local community, can all do their bit for the environment.

    Vivo, now an in-house service at Cheshire West and Chester Council, provides a range of services for people with learning disabilities and autism, along with older people.

    Litter pickers are now available at the following Vivo buildings.

    • Water Tower Gardens, Chester
    • Meadowbank Lodge, Winsford
    • Neston Community Youth Centre

    The equipment has been provided by Eco Communities as part its Plastic Free Cheshire project and all people need to do to get involved is follow these instructions.

    • Borrow the kit from one of the locations
    • Go for a walk and fill the bag
    • Recycle what you can
    • Leave your bag at the agreed location
    • Take a photo and log your findings
    • Return the equipment

    Since Vivo buildings have been acting as litter picking hubs, people accessing services have regularly been out and about in the community, doing their bit for the environment.

    It builds on the work that the Green team has done over the last couple of years, taking part in environmental projects to help develop allotments and green spaces across west Cheshire.

    Along with Vivo buildings, litter pickers can be found at the Countess of Chester Country Park, Grosvenor Park and many other locations, adding to the litter pickers that are available in libraries across the borough.

    Lynn, who uses Vivo’s services and has helped with the project, added: “When we pick the rubbish up, it’s important because it keeps the park clean and is good for the environment. It was good exercise too.”

    The Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan encourages residents to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045. The Plastic Free Cheshire project is just one way of taking action to help achieve this.

    Visit: to find out what action we can all take to tackle the Climate Emergency.

    For more information about Vivo and the range of services it provides, visit: