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.

  • Grant available to install energy saving measures in borough's most inefficient homes

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    Residents in homes that are not connected to the gas network could be able to access a new grant to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

    The Home Upgrade Grant, secured by Cheshire West and Chester Council from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is available to eligible properties which are not heated by mains gas. Typically, the main heating source for these properties will be electric, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), oil or solid fuel.

    Households will need to apply for the funding and the measures installed could include such things as external and internal wall insulation, loft insulation, under-floor insulation, air source heat pumps, single glazed window and door upgrades, high heat retention electric storage heaters and solar panels.

    To be eligible to apply for the funding households must meet the following criteria.

    Have an annual combined household income of £30,000 (gross) or less per year (there is some flexibility on household income if there are children in the household) or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit (Universal Credit, Pension Credit Guarantee, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Related Job Seeker's Allowance, Tax Credits (Child/Working) and Income Support

    You must be a homeowner or private tenant (tenants must have their landlord's approval to apply)

    Your property's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is Band E, F or G. If your property does not have a current EPC, we can arrange one for you if you qualify for the scheme.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said:

    "With energy rates on the rise and the current cost of living crisis affecting so many of our residents, the Home upgrade Grant will be essential in helping households living in some of the most inefficient homes across the borough. The energy saving improvements will help to reduce households heating bills, providing warm, safe homes which can significantly improve residents' health and wellbeing.

    These improvements also play an important role in reducing emissions in the borough and will contribute to our target of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2045."

    Mr Parry, from Ellesmere Port who had external insulation installed at his home during the last round of funding, said:

    "I'm more than happy with the workmanship that has been carried out on my property. There have been a few chilly nights and you can feel the benefit due to the external cladding already. The workmen involved were very professional, clean and efficient. The property, apart from being a lot warmer is also now very quiet. I am sure there will be a lot of savings once the winter approaches."

    All energy efficiency measures are fully funded for homeowners. Eligible private tenants can apply with their landlord's approval. In the case of a tenanted property the landlord is required to make a minimum one-third contribution.

    The improvements must increase your home's EPC rating by at least two bands to qualify. For example, if your home is currently a band F or G it will need to reach band D, and if your property is currently band E it should reach band C.

    To apply for the grant online visit:

    Alternatively, residents can apply in person at the receptions desks at the Council office at Wyvern House in Winsford and at The Portal in Ellesmere Port or request an application form by calling: 0300 123 8 123.

    Residents who are worried about the cost of living and rise of energy bills can find some useful information from the Council and other local organisations on the Council's website:

  • Council Leader calls on water companies to address levels of raw sewage released into the borough's rivers

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has called on water companies operating in the borough to address the levels of raw sewage being released into its rivers. This comes in the same week as Chester Zoo has written an open letter to one of the water companies calling for action about sewage released into the River Dee.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said:

    "We fully agree with the view stated by Chester Zoo and agree that what appear to be frequent discharges of sewage into the River Dee are just not acceptable.

    Because we realise the importance of the issue, the Council itself has recently invested over £8 million in a new, one kilometre long rainwater drainage tunnel under Chester. This is to reduce flooding and untreated sewage discharges into the River Dee arising from the old, combined sewer system.

    This new drain can handle 1,000 litres of rainwater per second and serves an area of around 50,000m2 - which equates to around nine football pitches.

    The Council's contribution is just a small part of what is required, and we now call on the water companies themselves and the Government to follow suit and to address the situation."

  • Cycle hub at Chester Northgate scheme

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    22 August 2022

    Chester’s Northgate scheme is set to open in late autumn, the much-anticipated scheme is the biggest development in Chester for decades. Chester Northgate is not a new shopping centre; it is a development of open streets, a new central Exchange Square and Coachworks Arcade that will integrate seamlessly with the surrounding parts of the city centre; including a new: indoor market hall, six-screen Picturehouse cinema, cafés, bars and restaurants, multi-storey parking and office suites.

    Northgate will also provide parking for 100 cycles – 50 indoor and 50 outdoor, made up of both short and longer stay cycle parking options. The New Market Parking will include a 50-space cycle hub on the ground floor – the city centre’s first dedicated indoor cycle park. Work is underway to fit-out the secure cycle hub which will include a repair station and e-bike charging facilities, plus scooter parking places. This facility will also be in addition to the cycle lockers that were situated on Princess Street, these were relocated to the Frodsham Street car park when construction on Northgate commenced in summer 2020.

    The 50 outdoor cycle spaces will be incorporated into the central Exchange Square, along Princess Street and Hunter Street. These will be mainly hoop type stands and with ten push-in type stands with side brackets incorporated into the square’s stone landscaping.

    We are grateful to the Chester Cycling Campaign for their support in designing the cycle hub and advice on the types of cycle parking stands used around the scheme.

    For more information on Northgate visit:

  • Get ready for back to school with free family cycling training

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    15 August 2022

    Cheshire West and Chester Council's Road Safety team has again arranged free training for families in the borough looking to take up cycling or improve their skills.

    Bikeability Family is a training package to help people living in the same household cycle together. The training will enable families to plan enjoyable group rides, switch from driving to cycling the school run, commute, or help other family members develop their cycling skills and grow their confidence.

    All training is provided by fully qualified instructors and compliment training currently available through the borough's schools through Bikeability. Trainees will need to have a bicycle of their own and family sessions are for up to six people, one trainee must be an adult. Training can be tailored for your family and where you live.

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

    "The health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors cycling are well known and these Bikeability courses will develop skills and confidence while having fun along the way. Whether you and your family are relative novices to cycling or you all ride already but would like advice on specific routes, for example to school or work your instructor will tailor the session to meet your needs"

    For more information and to book please visit:

    Bikeability cycle training
  • How to stay cool whilst saving energy

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    18 July 2022

    As weather patterns are changing and the summers are getting hotter, we can find ourselves turning to fans and air conditioning to keep cool. These can use lots of energy, and add to our household bills. The good news is that there are many things we can do to keep temperatures cool, without using lots of energy.

    Here are some simple tips to reduce the temperature, help you save energy, and keep your household bills down over the summer.

    Keep doors and curtains closed

    Keeping the sun out, keeps the heat out. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler. Shutting doors and curtains stops the flow of hot, humid air from heating your home, as well as blocking sunlight, which helps keep temperatures cooler throughout the day.

    Know when opening windows will cool down your house

    Although opening windows sounds like a quick and easy solution to cool down your house, it can have the opposite effect. If you open windows during hot periods of the day, the indoor temperature will rise to the temperature outdoors. But, having your windows open in the morning and evening will bring cool air in, cooling the indoor temperature.

    Drink plenty of cool drinks

    Having frozen or refrigerated drinks is an easy way to reduce your body temperature. It will keep you feeling refreshed, and make the heat more bearable on hot days. Regular intake of fluids can help to prevent dehydration, which can increase body heat.

    Remember to keep smoothies and fruit juices to a minimum, due to their high sugar content. And limiting alcohol, which can cause dehydration, is another helpful tip.

    Take a quick cool shower

    Taking a quick cool shower can be instantly refreshing, and many people feel reenergised after them.

    Alternatively, use a bowl of cold water and a face cloth to dab your neck and face throughout the day. Or, try freezing a water bottle and using it as a cooling pad when you're really hot.

    Dress appropriately

    Wear loose, breathable clothing, such as cotton - you can move in this fabric more freely, and it can be layered in the cooler evenings. If you're heading out in the day, remember to take a hat to help you keep cool, and prevent burning.

    Use your fan more efficiently

    If the heat gets so hot that you feel you need to turn a fan on, these tips will help you get the most out of it.

    • Put the fan on the ground, tilted upwards. It is cooler lower down, so you’ll get the best effect.
    • Place a bowl of ice in front of the fan - the ice will cool the air as it gets blown across the room.
    • Fans don’t cool a room; they just circulate the air. So, be sure to turn the fan off whenever you aren’t in the room.
    • Power it with renewables if you can. This will really help keep your carbon footprint down.

    Get the most out of your air conditioning

    If you're in an air-conditioned building, make sure you're using the air conditioning effectively by closing the windows, so the cool air produced remains in the room. Air conditioners use a lot of energy, so make sure you turn it off when you aren’t using the room it is cooling. Keeping the windows and curtains closed in that room will also help to keep the room cool for as long as possible.

    Keep cool when out driving

    If you're driving slowly, as you would through a town or built-up area, opening windows will keep you cool. It's also good to do this when you're first moving off - it will help to lose the worst of the heat. But, when you're going faster, such as on a motorway, the wind resistance created by an open window can use more fuel than running the car's air conditioning. When parked up, try to pick a shady spot or pop a windscreen sun shade on your dashboard to reflect the sun’s heat, and pull down any window sun shades.

    Hopefully, these tips will provide some relief during hot periods this summer. Remember to take breaks throughout the day and get outside, in the shade when you can, to enjoy any outdoor breeze there may be.

    During heat waves and hot periods, remember to check on more vulnerable members of your family, friends and neighbours, such as babies, children and older people, to make sure they are comfortable and well hydrated. Visit the NHS website for more tips on how to cope in hot weather.

    You can find some helpful information on HSE's website, relating to temperature, heat stress, managing workplace temperature, and thermal comfort.

    Also, the UK Health Security agency has issued a poster, which shows how you can Beat the heat, at a glance.

    Information sources:

    Every effort has been made to ensure the information used in all climate emergency articles is accurate. 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. If you have any questions or comments about this article, please submit them below.

  • Museum event will share cookery tips from the past to help balance household budgets

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    8 July 2022Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Archives and Local Studies team is presenting ‘Seasons Eatings’, a growing and cooking event, at Grosvenor Museum on 9 July as part of Festival for the Future.

    They will be joined by a representative of the North-West National Allotment Society, John Irwin, who will offer tips, tricks, and expert advice on how to grow ingredients - all while on a budget.

    Resident archivist-foodies will show attendees how to make a ‘herb pie’ – a historic recipe which uses seasonal and sustainable ingredients, while sharing how locals through the ages managed to grow, store, and cook food that was produced locally.

    This recipe was put to page by Elizabeth Raffald all the way back in 1769 in her ‘Experienced English Housekeeper’. Raffald cut her teeth as a housekeeper at Cheshire’s own Arley Hall, before starting her own café in a shop co-owned by her florist and gardener husband, John, who sold seeds and plants alongside her.

    Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “If you fancy learning how to do your own version of farm-to-table all by yourself, come join the Cheshire Archives team on Saturday, 9 July, from 11am to 12 noon at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. No need to book or register in advance, and all are welcome.”

    “Elizabeth Raffald went on to publish her own cookbooks which were hugely popular, allowing her to set up further inns and businesses. You might call her the 18th century’s answer to Mary Berry. This is going to be a very useful and interesting event.”

    Carrying on this tradition of pairing together growing and eating, John Irwin will give advice on low-cost ways that you can grow the ingredients of this dish, which includes some of the more-neglected parts of common vegetables. Lucky attendees will even be able to get their hands on some free seeds and young plants to grow their own crops.

    This event is part of West Cheshire Museums’ Festival for the Future, a month-long celebration of sustainability and climate action.


    Images from Baker Family collection – they show members of the family working on the gardens and preserving plums.

    Extracts from 1884 publication.

  • Plastic Free July 2022

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    29 June 2022

    Plastic Free July is a global movement that empowers people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

    In 2021, an estimated 140 million people worldwide participated in Plastic Free July from 190 countries. By taking part and making small changes, collectively we can all make a massive difference in our communities.

    You can choose to refuse single-use plastics in July and beyond. Here are some simple ways to make a change.

    1. Bring your own re-useable bag –
    Keep a handy re-useable bag with you when you head to the shops, so you don’t need to purchase a plastic bag. You can also invest in a few re-usable fresh produce bags to put your loose fruit and vegetables in, or simply buy them loose rather than putting them in a small plastic bag that will be thrown away once you’re home.

    2. Use re-usable bottles or mugs – There are so many varieties of re-usable bottles and mugs to suit every situation, need and budget. Remember to take yours with you when you’re out and about, so you don’t have to accept a disposable coffee cup or buy bottled drinks.

    3. Ditch the cling film – This is another single-use product that ends up in landfill and in our oceans and wider environment, causing harm to nature. The good news is that there are lots of alternatives, such as re-usable containers with lids, lunchboxes, bees wax or plant-based wraps, cotton sandwich wraps, or silicon bowl covers that you can use time and time again.

    4. Reduce the single-use plastic packaging you’re buying – If you’re going on holiday, go plastic free and pack soap, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant bars instead of the plastic miniatures. They last longer, so better value for money, and don’t count as a liquid, so there’s no limit for people travelling with carry-on luggage.

    5. Re-use glass jars – Glass jars can be a great way of storing loose products such as rice, pasta, lentils, or dried fruit (or anything that fits in the container).

    6. Research products you use regularly – Sometimes, single-use plastics lurk in unexpected places, such as in tea bags, wet wipes, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products. If you find they do contain plastic, aim to switch some of these items for plastic free alternatives.

    7. Plastic free ice cream – This summer, opt for a cone rather than a plastic tub and spoon, so there’s no plastic waste to throw away. Many ice cream shops also sell gluten free cones if you ask, which means more people can take the plastic free option.

    8. Visit a refill shop or buy in bulk – There are several refill shops across the borough (Just Footprints in Chester and Frodsham, and Weigh of the World in Northwich), where you can choose just the right amount of food, cosmetics or cleaning products as you need, and bring your own containers to take them home in. Another option is to try buying in bulk to cut down on the packaging you throw away.

    9. Make your own snacks and condiments – By making your own snacks, such as biscuits, cakes, breadsticks and flapjacks, you can avoid a lot of the single-use plastics these come wrapped in when purchased from shops. The Love Food Hate Waste website has some good recipes to choose from.

    10. Buy milk in re-useable glass bottles if possible – Find out where your local dairy is, and switch to buying your milk in glass bottles. There is nothing quite like finding fresh milk on your doorstep in the morning.

    Click here for resources and ideas to help you to reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work, school, and even in your local café. Share these tips to encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to take part in Plastic Free July.

    More information

    Become a plastic free Cheshire business

  • Energy saving measures installed at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School

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    Several energy saving measures have been installed at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School this year as part of £5.8 million of funding secured from the first round of the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

    The school’s head teacher, Mrs Vile, and a member of the schools eco committee join Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and the Council’s Energy Sector Specialist, George Ablett, to explain about the systems installed and the benefits to the school.

    Watch the video below

  • Festival for the Future – The Big Sustainability Festival

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    14 June 2022

    During July, each of the four museums – Grosvenor Museum; Stretton Watermill, Lion Salt Works Museum and Weaver Hall Museum - will host a touring ‘eco’ exhibition designed by West Cheshire Museums. Featuring historic items from its collection the exhibition will tell a compelling eco story, showing how people in the past led very sustainable lives. Virtual reality technology will show what the future might look like if humanity continues its disposable ‘one-use’ lifestyle.

    Each venue will feature ‘Earth Giants’ created by students from Cheshire College in conjunction with Chester artist, Russell Kirk. The aim is to show that big issues, like climate change, requires ‘Big Thinking’.

    Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD

    On 9 July, between 10.30am – 9pm an action-packed programme of events will include:

    30-minute free talks on environmental issues such as Zero Waste on a Budget (Eco Communities) ‘Fork to Plate’ (Cheshire Archives); An Introduction to the Chester Hydro Hub (Hydro Hub); and a fascinating talk by Sick to Death

    Clothes swap workshop -the latest in a highly successful series run by West Cheshire Museums

    Fun and free Open Mic night staged by Eco Communities from 7- 9pm, where members of the public are encouraged to give short, creative responses to climate change. Booking is required by phoning the museum on 01244 972197 or at

    Prize-giving for West Cheshire Libraries’ and West Cheshire Museums’ School Competition, where through drawing, painting, writing, poetry and collage pupils gave their feedback on the pressing question: ‘What will the world look like in 25 years’ time?’

    Also, on 9 July (10.30am to 4pm) just around the corner from the Grosvenor Museum at St Mary’s Centre (St Mary’s Hill, Chester, CH1 2DW) - there is a thought-provoking artisan fair, featuring a range of small businesses providing among other things, alternatives to 'single use' items and beautiful items created from materials that would otherwise go into landfill. 

    Lion Salt Works Museum, Ollershaw Lane, Northwich CW9 6ES

    On 23 July, between 10.30am to 5pm, in addition to the arrival of the ‘Earth Giants’, the day will feature a series of action-packed events.

    Locally based, professional performers - Barnton Circus - will entertain with exciting outdoor ‘climate change’ aerial acrobatic performances, inspired by the Museum’s Collections. Visitors, young and old, will also have a chance to master circus skills at workshops taking place throughout the day. In addition, everyone will have the opportunity to see the West Cheshire Museums’ touring eco story exhibition.

    There will be an artisan fair, featuring small businesses selling alternatives to ‘single use’ items and goods that have been creatively recycled, visitors can take part in the free events on a drop-in basis. Visitors are also encouraged to bring along plants from their garden to trade and so increase biodiversity. There is no requirement to pay to see the museum’s collection to take part in all the free activities. Parking is free and there is a free industrially themed play area on site, as well as a beautiful butterfly garden. Visitors can also enjoy the café and Gift shop.

    On 30 July, the Big Sustainability Festival will have a spectacular free finale with two indoor, foot-stomping ‘eco’ ceilidh from 4pm- 6pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm This event will be suitable for the whole family - even those with no experience of Scottish country dancing will soon want to join in. Booking is required by calling the museum on 01606 275066.

    Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, 162 London Road, Northwich CW9 8AB

    On 23 July, between 10.30am – 5pm, Northwich’s Weaver Hall Museum will host a series of diverse eco events. There will be an artisan craft fair as well as a Clothes Swap Event and an upcycling clothes workshop. The festival’s huge ‘Earth Giants’, made by Cheshire College students, will also make an appearance during the day to remind everyone that climate change requires ‘big thinking’. Visitors are encouraged to ‘make a day of it’ and visit the nearby Lion Salt Works Museum and all its eco activities - just 2.1 miles away. A walking trail between the two museums will be available. Free parking is also available on site.

    Stretton Water Mill, Stretton, Malpas SY14 7JA

    On 16 July, between 10.30am – 5pm, the beautiful rural setting of the mill will be overrun with action, colour and sound. Free events include:

    Family-friendly eco-storytelling and workshops with environmental specialist, Creeping Toad

    Biodiversity workshops, where people can learn how to protect the wildlife in their gardens, including making their own birdseed.

    Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and a rug and enjoy the beauty of the Mill.

    Free parking is available on site.

    Round-up of events

    Grosvenor Museum 9 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 9pm

    Stretton Water Mill 16 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 5pm

    Lion Salt Works Museum 23 July 2022

    Saturday 10.30am - 5pm

    Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse 23 July 2022

    Saturday 10:30am - 5pm

    Lion Salt Works Museum - The Big Sustainability Festival Finale 30 July 2022

    Saturday 4 - 6pm

    7.30pm - 1.30am

    For more information, click here.

  • Clean Air Day 2022

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    Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution is taking place on Thursday 16 June 2022.

    Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to our health, no matter who you are or where you live.

    It can harm every organ in your body and can shorten lives, contribute towards chronic illness and put us more at risk of Covid-19.

    On Clean Air Day there are simple steps we can all take to cut down on the pollution we cause and use our voices to fight for a cleaner air future.

    This year’s campaign is focusing on walking which has positive benefits for your health and the planet.

    There are some simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your community and protect yourself from the effects of pollution.

    • Leave the car at home – walk, cycle or take public transport if you can, especially for those short distance trips
    • Use quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot to avoid polluted main roads
    • Work from home more often, if this option is available to you
    • Cycle, walk or scoot the school run – it will set a good example to your children and provides you both with an opportunity to be active
    • Create awareness by speaking to someone about air pollution and its impact on health

    If driving is essential

    • Consider going electric – if you don’t have an electric car consider hiring one, using an electric taxi or renting an electric scooter
    • Don’t idle – turn off your engine whenever your vehicle is stationary, and it is safe to do so. Read our anti-idling myth busting webpage.
    • Try parking further away from your work/school and walking some of your journey

    At home

    • Avoid using wood burning stoves and open fires – if it is essential, only burn dry, well-seasoned or ‘ready-to-burn’ labelled wood or smokeless fuel
    • Avoid burning household and garden waste – take it to your local household recycling centre.

    Free electric vehicle charging

    As part of this year’s Clean Air Day campaign the Council is offering free charging on the following electric vehicle (EV) charge points from 6pm on Wednesday 15 June 2022 to 8am on Friday 17 June 2022.

    The EV charge points at the following locations will be offering free charging. Each car park has two double-socket ‘fast’ chargers, enabling four EVs to charge at once.

    • Bishop Street car park - Chester
    • Brook Street car park - Chester
    • Shrewsbury Road car park - Ellesmere Port
    • Moor Lane car park - Frodsham
    • Chester Road car park - Neston
    • Park Street car park – Northwich

    The Council has also installed two rapid 50 kilowatt EVCPs and a fast charger outside the boat museum in Ellesmere Port. Being close to the M53 and Stanlow, the rapid chargers are well suited to quick top-ups by passing trades, taxi drivers and the general public. These will also be free of charge for Clean Air Day.

    Details and locations of all these chargers, as well as the wider networks of EVCPs can be viewed on Zap Map.

    Free family cycling training

    The Council’s road safety team are currently offering free family cycle training to help all members of the family to develop their cycle skills and improve their confidence. For more information visit the Bike Right website.

    More information

    Learn more about Clean Air Day and organisations that can help you switch to more sustainable modes of transport.