September - Clean and Green
This September, we are thinking about our environment and the community we live in.
In 2019, the council declared a Climate Emergency and, with support from members of the local community, this led to the creation of our first Climate Change Action Plan.
Since then we have made significant strides, which include:
- The planting of approximately 3000 new trees in 2020/21, with plans to plant another 3000 each year
- The improvement of a beautiful community garden on Edinburgh Road
- Becoming a key delivery partner for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s rewilding funding, which includes planting on council land as well as wider habitat management outcomes
- Supporting the Don Catchment Rivers and Canals Trust, and the Chesterfield Litter Picking Group as well as several community groups
- Allocating 27 large areas of council-owned land for meadow mow (receiving one mow per year instead of nine)
You can read more about the Climate Emergency and our Action Plan on the climate change section of our website.
Working together to make our community green
Everyone has a part to play in making and keeping Chesterfield a clean and green borough.
We aim to provide you with a wide range of ideas to help become cleaner and greener - from active travel, litter picks and creative writing around nature, to mindfulness and the little positive changes we can all make to look after the place where we live as well as looking after ourselves.
Simply scroll down to find out the many ways you can make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly!
We've also got a variety of activities and events taking place this month - head over to our Year of Outdoors Events page to find out more.
Campaigns you can get involved with!
Count Us In
Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Great Big Green Week
Doing our bit for the climate - being energy efficient at home
The little changes we make at home can help make a big difference to our global battle against the climate crisis, especially if we work together.
Find below some useful websites for tips on being more energy efficient at home.
Keeping our streets and green spaces clear of litter
Discarded plastic litter can cause severe damaging consequences for our environment and our delicate ecosystems. One way in which we can reduce plastic waste is by reducing or cutting out our use of single-use plastics, and replacing them with reusable items.
Why not give it a try? You can find out more about going 'plastic free' on the official Plastic Free Communities website.
And while you are out and about, why not take a carrier bag with you and collect some rubbish along the way? Remember to only pick items that won’t cause you harm. If you fancy joining a litter picking group for more regular litter picks, there are various groups who do just that.
The Chesterfield Litter Picking Group have been active for just over a year, and in that time have attracted over 300 members who have collected over 2000 bags of other people’s litter. We thank them very much for all their hard work at making the borough cleaner.
You can contact the group via Facebook.
Don Catchment Rivers Trust
In the early days of the 17th century, Chesterfield's fast-flowing streams were tamed and damned to serve the watermills that powered the growing industrial revolution. As the years went by, heavier industries arrived, bringing toxic pollution that wiped out aquatic life. By the 1980s the river Rother was considered the most polluted river in Europe.
Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Don Catchment Rivers Trust has been cleaning up Chesterfield's streams and boosting the potential for returning wildlife to flourish. DCRT has also been working with landowners to improve the functioning of our river catchment, reinstating natural features and processes that help to capture and slow the flow of water as it travels through the landscape during times of high rainfall. Their work is helping to slow river flow and help to reduce downstream flood risk, at the same time as creating wildlife habitat, improving water quality and capturing carbon!
Don Catchment Rivers Trust works to help communities rediscover and enjoy their rivers. Their volunteer team meet weekly to remove plastic pollution and litter from streams and nearby green spaces. Neglected and forgotten riverside footpaths have been improved, with new stiles, steps, waymarkers and information panels installed to encourage riverside walking. The team deliver educational sessions to local primary schools and uniformed groups, as well as hosting brook explorer events for families in the school holidays. Training sessions in wildlife identification and surveying, plus walks and talks about the natural and industrial heritage of the river are all part of their events programme.
Interested in finding out more about your rivers - head to the Don Catchment Rivers Trust website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Chesterfield's Incredible Edible project
Volunteers at Incredible Edible Chesterfield take unused public spaces, and turn them into exciting fruit and vegetable patches for everyone in the community to enjoy. To find out more, visit Incredible Edible Chesterfield's Facebook page.
Fancy a go at growing your own? The Royal Horticultural Society have a wealth of tips and advice on getting started on your own edible garden - just Royal Horticultural Society's website!
Help Chesterfield FC top the Planet Super League!
Chesterfield FC Community Trust takes part in CUP26, a competition ran by Planet Super League which gives communities the chance to represent their club whilst making a positive difference to the environment.
Planet Super League works by families signing up and scoring goals for Chesterfield by taking part in over 90 different planet-saving activities.
Such activities could include switching one meal a week to vegetarian, riding a bike to school instead of driving, or applying water-saving shower heads.
In the two competitions to have been completed so far, the Spireites have finished first and third - can you help them become champions once more?
Visit the Planet Super League website for more information.
Caring about your environment and community begins with looking after the area around you.
Plogging comes from combining the words “plogga” (Swedish for 'to pick up') and jogging. Getting fit and cleaning up at the same time, plogging burns more calories than conventional jogging and can be much more rewarding!
You can find out more about this fun activity by visiting the Go Plogging official website.
Active travel - good for you and good for the planet!
Active travel uses non-motorised forms of mobility, such as walking, running or cycling.
Using active travel rather than your car or public transport is a very good way to reduce your carbon footprint, and can offer many health benefits.
Simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get active, brisk walking means picking up the pace to get your heart rate going and unlock the most health benefits.
Find out more about the health benefits of walking - and try walking to school or to work!
Join the GetOutside Challenge
Take part in the GetOutside Challenge and do something different each day on your walk! It's a great way to enjoy the outdoors whilst looking after your physical and mental health.
Cycling can also be a very fun way to keep active, as well as a useful method of getting from A to B. Chesterfield Cycle Campaign's website provides a wide range of information on the best cycle routes our borough has to offer.
Not confident enough to cycle, or want to become a better rider? Derbyshire County Council's County Rider programme offers free one-to-one cycling lessons for adults who live, work or study in Derbyshire.
Inclusive Pedals also have fully-funded family training, for minimum one adult and one child. Family training consists of three hours of cycle training, split into two sessions with one instructor. This is Bikeability funded through Shape Learning Partnership.
For more details, visit the Wheely Fun Wheels website.
Bike to School Week: 27 September - 1 October 2021
During the week, schools encourage families to cycle or scoot to school and beyond!
It’s a great opportunity to celebrate cycling and scooting, and the positive impact it has on children’s health and wellbeing as well as the environment.
You can read more about Bike to School Week on the Sustrans website.
How trees fight climate change - could you be a Chesterfield tree warden?
Trees play a vital role in natural processes worldwide, they absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis as they grow and can help to mitigate the effects of climate change by storing this carbon. Trees also play an important role in regulating local microclimates, improving local resistance to droughts, heatwaves, and floods. Trees filter out noise and atmospheric pollution and improve mental health and wellbeing.
Chesterfield is in a great position, having a tree canopy cover of approximately 20.3% - above the national average for England, which currently stands at 16%. In a recent document assessment by Treeconomics, it was suggested that Chesterfield work towards achieving a 30% canopy cover by 2050.
Chesterfield are launching a new tree warden scheme where we are inviting interested members of the community to join up.
As part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, the council have pledged to plant 1000 trees every year. Tree wardens will be involved in this in the future within local community parks and school settings.
You can find out how to become a tree warden by emailing email@example.com.
Improving biodiversity in your own garden
You can make a positive difference to the environment even from the comfort of your own garden.
Making your garden wilder, and allowing nature to take the lead where possible, encourages the growth of local wildlife and therefore improves biodiversity in your area.
You can consult the Rewilding Britain website for many tips on making your garden wilder, or make your green space more bee-friendly by visiting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.