Community group of the month: Cholsey Environment Champions

We are pleased to announce that Cholsey Environment Champions are our Community Group of the Month for June 2022

Cholsey Parish Council declared a Climate and Environmental Emergency in 2019 and then set up a Climate and Environmental Emergency Working Group. They have appointed an Environmental Coordinator and surveyed the community to find out their biggest concerns on climate change.

Cholsey Environment Champions formed as a result, with the purpose of:

  • Working towards significantly reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions.
  • Promoting the protection and restoration of the natural world to prevent widespread biodiversity and species loss.

Based on the responses from the community survey, Cholsey Environment Champions worked closely with the parish council to create seven environmental working groups and a seven point action plan that would engage the community in activities designed to mitigate against climate change and improve the environment:

  • Community Energy – Looking into the feasibility of creating a Community Energy Cooperative to supply renewable energy to community buildings.
  • Home Energy – Working to help householders to use less energy and switch to sustainable forms of energy by promoting home retrofitting and improved insulation.
  • Food and Growing – Working to help residents make sustainable food choices and to support the community to grow food locally by establishing a community orchard and increasing allotment sites.
  • Transport – Working to reduce car dependency in Cholsey by installing charging points for electric vehicles and creating a cycle path to encourage active transport.
  • Waste Reduction – Working to reduce waste such as plastic packaging. Making recycling accessible to all by setting up a regular clothes swap event, active litter pick group and supporting the Repair Café.
  • Carbon Footprint – Measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of Cholsey
  • Wildlife – Working to improve the diversity of flora and fauna within Cholsey by promoting the planting of trees and woodlands and developing a map of wildlife ‘hot-spots’.

Cholsey Carbon Footprint

Cholsey Parish Council measured the carbon footprint of the parish using the Impact Community Carbon Calculator Tool developed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. They discovered that Cholsey’s emissions per household were nearly 50% higher than the national average and have set up a website to provide one-to-one help and advice on carbon reduction measures.

The full Cholsey Climate and Emergency Action Plan can be found here.

Cholsey May Day Green Fair

Cholsey Environment Champions held a Green Fair at the Great Hall, Cholsey meadows on 1 May 2022 and invited Cosy Homes Oxfordshire to present a talk on retrofitting and have a stall where members of the community could find out more about the fabric first and holistic approach to retrofitting that underpins the ethos of Cosy Homes Oxfordshire. There was considerable interest from residents at the stall, with many people requesting more information. The whole event was lively and engaging and demonstrated the increasing awareness of the need to tackle climate change in our communities.