Abingdon Carbon Cutters: Low Carbon Hub small grant of £500

Promoting Cycling in Abingdon

May 2022

Low Carbon Hub were pleased to award a small grant of £500 to Abingdon Carbon Cutters for an imaginative project that aims to involve young people in an initiative to promote cycling and active travel in Abingdon.

Our Community Grant Fund offers financial support for community energy activities across Oxfordshire.

All Community Members of the Low Carbon Hub CIC are eligible to apply for funding. Our community groups can either apply individually or in consortia with other Community shareholders. The grants can be used to fund activities that contribute to the Hub’s aim: to cut Oxfordshire’s carbon footprint and contribute to creating a decentralised and locally owned renewable energy system.

Abingdon Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and the Council’s Green Environment and Amenities Committee proposed a series of Green Forums to take action to encourage carbon reduction within the town, reduce waste, promote the general well-being of residents and improve its biodiversity

A series of forums on 4 different environmental topics:

Abingdon Carbon Cutters have recently formed a Green Forum with other eco-groups in the town including the Climate Emergency Centre and Sustrans. The idea of a Green Forum was initially suggested by Cllr Gabby Barody as Chair of the Town Council Green Environment and Amenities Committee. The idea is to have a collaboration of Abingdon green groups who feed ideas into the Council’s committee structure and enable collaboration with them and support from them. For each quarter of this year, we will

  • Active Travel and Sustainable Transport
  • Biodiversity
  • Reducing Consumption
  • Reducing Carbon in the home

Active travel and Sustainable Transport

The first of the Green Forum projects was to encourage residents of Abingdon to walk and cycle more and use their cars less, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the town. They collaborated with representatives from local groups already active in this area, including Abingdon Liveable Streets and One Planet Abingdon.

Schools competition to design logos for high-viz backpacks and waistcoats to promote cycling and active transport

Abingdon Carbon Cutters recognise the importance of involving young people in the fight against climate change; the group came up with an imaginative idea to build on their existing relationship with local schools. They invited school students from primary and secondary schools to take part in a competition to design an image or logo for a cycling Hi-Viz waistcoat or back-pack cover that would be visible to motorists and passers-by. The aim was for the Hi-Viz logo to draw attention to the environmental benefits of cycling and to encourage motorists to think twice about using their cars for short journeys and to consider cycling when possible.

Low Carbon Hub were delighted to award Abingdon Carbon Cutters a small grant of £500 to purchase the Hi Viz waistcoats and back-pack covers for the competition.

Volunteers from the group went into the schools and promoted the competition and fifty-three young people submitted entries from four schools including:

The overall winner and one of the runners up were from Fitzharrys School, Abingdon, with four runners up from the other schools. The winning logos were printed on to the waistcoats and were presented as prizes to the students by Anne Smart, Chair of the Active Travel Green Forum, and Robin Tucker from Abingdon Liveable Streets, at a ceremony at Fitzharrys School. The waistcoats were also presented as a thank you to the volunteers and some were given to two bike shops in the town.

The Active Travel Green Forum culminated in a stall and event in the Market Place on 26 March which showcased the winning designs and 6 of the runners up designs. Visitors to the stall could take away a Hi-Viz waistcoat and talk to members of Abingdon Liveable Streets and the Carbon Cutters about the benefits of active travel and cycling.

Anne Smart, Chair of the Green Forum on Active Travel & Sustainable Transport, had this to say about the competition:

“Abingdon Carbon Cutters were thrilled to be given a grant from Low Carbon Hub, enabling us to purchase the Hi-Viz items. The schools enjoyed taking part in the competition for best logo, and the winning entry is now emblazoned on the backs of several cyclists, helping to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of cycling, and encouraging more to leave cars behind.”