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“This year might have been dominated by the battle against the Coronavirus and its impacts, but we cannot forget the long-term existential threat that the climate crisis poses.
“During lockdown, we had a taste of how a greener world might feel, when we enjoyed cleaner air, less congested roads and local green spaces a lot more.
“I’ve been working to battle the climate emergency since I was elected. We were one of the first city regions to declare a climate emergency, have plans to be net zero carbon a whole decade before national targets and a greener city region is at the heart of my plans to Build Back Better.
“The Community Environment Fund will help local groups to improve their environment at a local level. We all have our part to play – from individuals to multinational businesses – in tackling the climate crisis. Only by us all working together will we defeat climate change.”
“The success of the Year of the Environment, with thousands of people attending hundreds of events and activities, is testament to how much people care about their local environment, and how important it is to their lives.
“Through this Fund we can build on that enthusiasm and demonstrate how acting locally can make a real difference to a global problem.”
“The scale of the challenge that faces us in dealing with the climate emergency can seem overwhelming but the beauty of these community projects is that they can make a real and immediate difference to people’s lives.
“We look forward to hearing the great ideas of charities, non-profit organisations, schools and community groups about the projects that will make a difference to the environment and to the wellbeing of the people who live here.”
The fund is available to a wide range of not-for-profit groups, including charities, schools or college, faith groups, residents’ associations or ‘friends of’ groups.
It has been set up to aid a green recovery by assisting organisations to expand their good work and to support communities to engage in a range of environmental activities.
More information on the Community Environment Fund and how to apply to it is available on the website here.
The types of community projects the Fund could potentially support include initiatives like those below, celebrated as part of last year’s LCR Year of the Environment, including:
The Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust is working in the Upper Mersey Estuary, around the new Mersey Gateway Bridge. This is a unique environment characterised by intertidal habitats and the associated wildlife. The charity has taken on the long-term environmental monitoring of the area near the impacted site. From this we can find out if and how the estuary has changed over the years and ensure that we add value to the natural environment by, for example, grazing the saltmarsh.
This does not just support wildlife but is a great feature for local people as well. Another example of this is our fish pass camera in the Mersey at Woolston Weir.
Green Up Northwood
Faiths4Change are continuing their work in Northwood, Kirkby, to create positive community action around reducing waste. Running a Pop Up Hub, at Northwood Community Centre, on the first Saturday of every month. Every month they run the Clothes Boutique where people can donate unwanted clothes, books and toys and take home some they love, all absolutely free! They also offer access to sewing machines in their Repair Clinic and craft activities for kids and adults. The Men Can Cook group to run a Community Cafe providing a delicious home-cooked lunch as well as tea, coffee and cake.
The project is part of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s Community Fund and is part of our drive to get people talking about Rubbish!
Grow Speke is a community garden in South Liverpool, created on land that was previously derelict and a hot spot for fly tipping and anti-social behaviour.
The project is managed by Groundwork in partnership with South Liverpool Homes. With support from local volunteers the land has been transformed. It now has a polytunnel, raised beds, toilet and changing facilities, beehives and an orchard. Much of the fruit and vegetables, grown on site is donated to support local families on low incomes.
St Ambrose Primary School regularly brings school children to the garden to learn all about how food is grown and healthy eating.
Grow Speke has also held sessions about bushcraft, beekeeping, cider making and arts and crafts.
A series of guided walks have taken place throughout the year along Sefton’s coastline taking in a variety of our precious flora and fauna, including 11 species of orchid, Natterjack Toad, Sand Lizard, Petalwort, Red Veined Darters and Hen Harrier, as well as public and corporate beach cleans at Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby throughout the year.
Love Your Street
Love Your Street is a project delivered by Groundwork that’s all about people and businesses in St Helens working together to create cleaner and safer streets for everyone.
It co-ordinates community clean ups that are open to everyone, providing all the tools, equipment, clothing and advice needed. In just 2 months, 400 local young people have joined businesses and existing community groups to remove over 500 bags of rubbish.
The project has made a visible difference to the local area and brought the community together.
Green Air Schools Project
Wirral Eco Schools Team coordinated the Green Air Schools Project in partnership with Mersey Forest and students from Liverpool John Moores University.
The project worked with schools to identify and tackle issues of air pollution around school premises.
The students initially measured the pollution along routes in and around the school, and then planted new hedgerows and trees around the perimeter of the school and used indoor plants to improve air quality. More than 20 Wirral schools are now involved.
This led to a project to improve levels of walking and cycling and Wirral Council agreeing to five ‘School Streets’ projects at primary schools. School Streets aims to ease the congestion, poor air quality and road safety concerns that many schools experience during drop-off and pick-up times, by introducing timed traffic restrictions on the road outside the school gates.
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