There's plenty of local experience, resources and expertise to draw on. Many of these were supported as part of the three year EU-funded sustainable energy across common space (SEACS) project, in which Wiltshire Council worked with other partners in France and the UK. Case studies, guidance and other resources from all the SEACS initiatives are also available.
The Wiltshire Federation of Community Area Partnerships (WFCAP) will be able to provide some support to community groups on environmental action in future, through sharing resources, experience and information. You can sign up to get the WFCAP monthly e-news, with details of funding, projects etc.
There are over 20 environment or low carbon groups in the county.
There are also programmes and projects at county level. You can find this in the download section.
These may offer opportunities for local groups to link in with activities, be able to provide expertise, resources or an overview of action in their area or interest.
Some of them may be able to attend local events.
- About one sixth of all heat in a home escapes through gaps around windows and doors
- Draught proofing these can save as much as 15% of energy bills, and is easy to do on a DIY basis
- All the options covered are also fairly low-cost and the money spent will quickly be repaid through lower energy costs
A good introduction to draught-proofing is provided by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. It was developed to accompany their draught-proofing kit, and covers areas such as sealing around pipes and dealing with draughty floorboards.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
It's also worth looking at the Camden Council website.
They are working closely with Transition Belsize to offer free draught-proofing workshops.
This was developed for the Melksham Equinox Environment event.
We are grateful to Climate Friendly Melksham and Melksham Energy Group for inviting us and to the Melksham United Church for letting us retrofit their windows!
- DIY draught-proofing sash windows including approximate cost and where to buy materials.
- DIY installing secondary glazing including approximate cost and where to buy materials.
- Draught-proofing kit with samples of most of the materials used. This can be borrowed from the Wiltshire Forum of Community Area Partnerships (WFCAP). Please contact WFCAP to arrange this.
The DIY information can be found in the download section.
Draught busting workshops were first developed in London, originally by Hyde Farm Climate Action Network. In discussion following the first Cosy Homes session at the Melksham Equinox event, three main approaches were identified to promote draught-proofing more widely, targeting different interest groups:
- At general events (e.g. village or school fairs). This would use the draught-proofing kit to stimulate discussion and raise awareness of DIY ways to tackle hard to treat areas, such as sash windows. It might be possible to adapt one or two small portable windows on which to demonstrate or allow people to have a go. Interaction would be brief, responding to individual questions and interests.
- For historic homes with sash windows: This might be organised either through an organisation such as a local preservation trust or following leafleting of an area of older homes. In this case, a practical workshop would be held at one of the homes in the area.
- For low carbon group members: This might be a practical training/learning workshop in one person's home, designed to give members and other interested people the confidence to promote different aspects of draught-proofing. If somebody is already planning to carry out DIY retrofitting on their windows, then maybe a couple of others could be invited to help and learn - and then pass their experience on to others.
Community energy and environment projects
A range of projects* have been developed and implemented by community groups or organisations - a testament to the creativity and dynamism of the sector.
This information has been put together as part of the SEACS (Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space) programme bringing together local authorities in Wiltshire, Devon, Dorset and Brittany. SEACS provided support and funding to community groups throughout Wiltshire, as well as sharing experience through events, newsletters etc. You can see more information on the SEACS website as well as on the SEACS toolkit site.
The first Green Open Homes event in Wiltshire took place in summer 2013. This was South Wiltshire Green Doors, organised by Wilton Community Land Trust with support from Wiltshire Council. Nine homes and Wilton Community Centre opened to visitors to share their experience of energy retrofitting, with examples ranging from high profile modern eco-homes to low cost draught proofing of an 18th century cottage. There were around 250 visits altogether. A similar event was held in Pewsey Vale in April 2014, with the emphasis on renewable energy. This can be a lot of work, with the need to start planning well in advance. It is a very effective approach, with visitors able to find out first-hand how different technologies work from home-owners who have experience (and often lots of enthusiasm) but no vested interest.
Information and support is available from the national Green Open Homes Network.
Have a look at the SEACS toolkit website.
Six Wiltshire groups (Bradford on Avon, Cherhill, Chippenham, Low Energy Devizes, Marlborough - with the local school - and Wilton) have used thermal imaging cameras to promote energy efficiency. Five of these groups have their own camera or access to one, while Wiltshire Council can lend its camera to community groups, so long as insurance is in place.
Thermal imaging (TI) can be used in two ways, to encourage the home-owner to make changes as well as a visual way of involving people. It has a strong appeal to the more technically-minded. There is still a lot of experimentation into the best way to use thermal imaging at community level. One of the most promising approaches is being developed by Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon, surveyed over 1,000 properties in the town and local area. Homeowners will be asked for active participation, and to share their experience with other neighbours involved.
Knowing how to use a camera is best acquired by going out with an existing TI volunteer, but the real skill lies in interpretation. Information on groups involved in TI, as well as the SEACS toolkit website for the thermal imaging case study and guidance notes.can be seen here. While it takes time to become proficient in thermal imaging, projects can be as small or as ambitious as required. See the
Brief videos, shared online through YouTube as well as used at events, are a good way to share information on practical local environmental experience.
Transition Marlborough now has its own video camera, funded through a community area grant, and has recently completed video training, funded through the SEACS programme. They completed two videos as part of the training. Focusing on a local home-owner who had made major energy- saving changes and homes taking part in a biomass heating scheme.
Both can be found on the Transition Marlborough YouTube channel.
Energy promotional materials
The following materials, developed by Wiltshire Council as part of the EU-funded SEACS programme, can be loaned from the Wiltshire Forum of Community Area Partnerships. Please contact WFCAP to arrange.
Eight panel display boards, with the emphasis on two areas:
- Insulation and draught-proofing
- Monitoring energy use
Samples of insulation materials are included, as well as energy monitoring and standby gadgets.
There is also an interactive exercise with post-it notes to draw people in.
Twenty seven leaflets were produced by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) as part of the SEACS project. You can find a full list of the leaflets available and download them from the SEACS website.
This concentrates mainly on the DIY installation of acrylic secondary glazing and draught proofing sash windows, with samples of the materials used.
There is also some information about other aspects of draught proofing, as well as suggestions for promotion.
This was developed by Melksham Energy Group, and can be borrowed from them.
It comes in two small cases and allows comparison of LED, low energy and traditional incandescent bulbs.
Access to socket required.
Contact Melksham Energy Group to arrange.
Low carbon groups
Calne Environmental Network (CEN)
- Organisation of annual Green Calne Day
- Encouraging wildlife
- Sustainable food
- Recycling and re-packaging
- Raising awareness
- Sustainable energy and water
- Local shopping
- Active local transport
- Ethical banking
The forum was set up by Cherhill Parish Council.
It aims to:
- Reduce the carbon footprint of the parish by 10% over 2 years
- Reduce fossil fuel consumption
- Provide long-term cost savings
Runs courses and activities for schools, children and young people, on a range of environmental topics.
- Email: email@example.com
CAVE (Chippenham and Villages for the Environmentalists)
CAVE want to improve the quality of life and the quality of the local environment by engaging on global and local issues. Focusing on helping schools and local businesses.
Aims to develop local solutions to:
- Local sustainability issues
- Helping to address the global challenges of climate change
- Depleting fossil fuel resources and other environmental challenges
By finding sustainable local solutions, we will help make the community area a more positive and rewarding place to:
Supports and encourages initiatives that help reduce our negative impacts on the environment.
Locally we can do a lot to bring about change.
There are already many organisations contributing to a better environment and the quality of life for future generations.
The unique role for Sustainable Devizes is to help fill some gaps that need more promotion and information.
Promotes sustainable living, particularly within the local community.
Activities focus on encouraging more responsible use of the earth's resources, conserving them for future generations.
Working together we can:
- Recycle....so help take care of the environment
- Email: Contacts@DowntonGreenGroup.org.uk
Fovant Environmental Action Team (FEAT)
Aim to do what we can to lessen Fovant's negative impact on the environment by:
- Collecting local batteries
- Waste and equipment which is would otherwise end up in landfill
- Recycling them
- Donating to charity where they can be disassembled for valuable materials
- Email: FEAT
The group started in 2012 as an advisory group in the development of the local Neighbourhood Plan.
In early 2013 an enlarged group agreed to focus on:
- Building awareness of local habitats and important species
Aims to protect our town and the surrounding area from:
- The rising costs of food
- Energy and transport which are being driven by the global challenges of depleting fossil fuel resources
- Climate change, and the resultant environmental impacts
Facebook: Transition Marlborough - Facebook
Melksham Climate Friendly Group
Promote greener lifestyles and help mitigate climate change.
Activities and themes include:
Melksham Energy Group (MEG)
Melksham Energy Group (MEG)
Formed as a subgroup of Melksham Climate Friendly Group and still collaborating closely, with some cross-membership, but MEG in its own right is a theme group of the Melksham Community Area Partnership.
Pewsey Environmental Action Team (PEAT)
Is a group of like-minded residents in and around Pewsey Vale:
- Who feel passionate about environmental issues
- Who are actively engaging to mitigate the impact humanity is having upon the planet in a changing climate
- Ensuring that actions taken by us all in the Pewsey Vale do not have a detrimental effect upon future generations of residents
An umbrella group of affiliated organisations, businesses and individuals:
- Working in partnership to promote change in our community
- Leading to a more sustainable future for South Wiltshire
We follow the principles of Local Agenda 21 and want to move this agenda forward into action through lobbying for policy change at national and local level and encouraging individual behavioural change.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aims to benefit inhabitants in the community:
- By the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare
- With the intention of improving the conditions of life for all
Promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the public by the:
- Protection of the environment and the prudent use of resources
Formed in 2012 to create an effective, community led, alternative to private, profit-driven development in the area as an independent and non-profit organisation.
Its mission is to empower the local community to create long-lasting social, economic and environmental improvements in Wilton, Quidhampton and Burcombe.