Climate Change in Berkshire

At CCB we are passionate about helping communities, groups and individuals in Berkshire ensure that they are as kind to the environment as possible and we would like to encourage you to help Berkshire become a net-zero county. To help progress this we thought we would create this page to link visitors to other sites and organisations that they might find useful to create meaningful environmental change in our communities.

*What does ‘net zero’ mean?

Net-zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. There are two different routes to achieving net-zero, which work in tandem: reducing existing emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases.

gross-zero target would mean reducing all emissions to zero. This is not realistic, so instead the net-zero target recognises that there will be some emissions but that these need to be fully offset, predominantly through natural carbon sinks such as oceans and forests.

When the amount of carbon emissions produced are cancelled out by the amount removed, the UK will be a net-zero emitter. The lower the emissions, the easier this becomes.

*Courtesy of Institute for Government

Which parish or town in Berkshire will be the first ‘Ashton Hayes’?

Located in rural Cheshire, Ashton Hayes is a well-knit community of about 1000 people that is aimed to become England’s first carbon neutral community. They started their journey in January 2006 and since then they have already cut their carbon dioxide emissions significantly – by working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change.

Their website encapsulates their journey towards carbon neutrality and offers free advice and guidance and could be a useful resource and inspiration to others: https://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/

If your a village or town in Berkshire that is working towards this aim we’d LOVE to hear from you so we can help with and promote your journey.

In 2005, Garry Charnock brought a proposal to his tiny U.K. village, Ashton Hayes, to band together to become carbon neutral. In this video Garry talks to representatives from 38 English regions.

This infographic illustrates changes we can all make in our households to benefit the climate and reduce our carbon footprint. This handy list from Berkshire Live is great for ideas more ‘quick wins’ and easy changes that we could make from today – 50 things people in Berkshire can do to help fight the climate emergency.

Community Carbon Calculator – As a starting point if you’d like to find out your community’s carbon footprint this tool gives a great visual representation, helping you spot the areas where your community climate change activities can make the biggest difference.

On the path to Net Zero from Energy Saving Trust – What does ‘net zero’ actually mean? And what can we do as individuals to achieve it?

Friends of the Earth – 20 actions parish and town councils can take on the climate and nature emergency

What’s already happening in Berkshire?

Here are some fantastic groups and organisations that are up and running and making a difference to Climate Change in Berkshire. If you’re aware of other organisations that you’d like to bring our attention to please contact admin@ccberks.org.uk

GREENFEST – In 2019 in a village in rural West Berkshire, Hampstead Norreys, GreenFest was born. Initially an idea to bring eco-suppliers together in one location, it quickly grew to become an event that would take over an entire village. They wanted to provide a stage where anyone offering sustainable, environmentally-friendly products, services, advice or knowledge, could come together with people who wanted to meet and learn from them. In 2020, year of the Covid, their events had to happen online and you can find a wealth of inspiring videos on their website which you will find useful.

RECYCLING FACEBOOK GROUPS – There are some extraordinary people and groups across our wonderful county working their socks off to help us all become better recyclers and recycle beyond what we can put in our household bin. Here are just some that we are aware of (please note if you are local to their area you may have to join the group to have full access to details);

Food Waste Hero Lambourn: Food Waste Hero is an OLIOer who picks up unsold surplus food from businesses to save it from going to waste. Each of us is part of a team of volunteers who take responsibility in collecting the unsold food, bringing the food home and redistributing to their neighbours, who then picks up the food.

Non Food Waste Items for the Community – This is a group to give away items that you have laying around the house. It will help the community and stops it going to landfill sites! This is for Lambourn, Eastbury, East Garston, Great Shefford and local villages

Thatcham & Newbury plastic free, recycling and zero waste – Sharing information about where to recycle, plastic free swaps and finds. Articles and information. Sharing zero free waste ideas. welcoming anyone from Thatcham, Newbury and surrounding areas.

Free Berkshire site – don’t throw it away, give it away!

Ali’s Recycling for the Local Community – Ali and her team have various recycling drop-offs around Berkshire and will collect a variety of plastics that don’t go in your usual recycling bin like crisp packets, chocolate wrappers, trigger spray heads, coffee pods, toothbrushes and much more! To find out if Ali collects in your area please visit her Facebook page.

Buy Nothing – Buy Nothing Facebook Groups are an excellent away to gift unwanted items to your local community. Buy Nothing Project rules are simple: Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. To find out if there is a Buy Nothing Groups in your area please click here or if you’d like to know more about setting one up for your area click here.

Repair Cafe – Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields. To find out more please click here.

THE GREENING CAMPAIGN – The Greening Campaign believes that local Councils such as Town and Parish/Wards and Associations, are the most important link to tackling Climate Change!  You know your communities and you are in a legitimate position to be able to guide change.  You are also measured in approach, you are experts at record keeping, and you are clear thinking!  Never before has the local Council been so important in keeping our future safe.  To find out more about their work please click here.

WEST BERKS CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK – West Berks Climate Action Network is an independent group of people from across West Berks who are concerned about climate change and want to do something about it. We aim to take action by raising awareness, publicising local low carbon businesses, sharing tips and ideas to reduce carbon footprint and sharing ways to pressure the government to prioritise climate change.

WEST BERKSHIRE ECO NEWS – courtesy of Penny Post