Ideas, Comments and responses from the Questionnaire
Here is a summary of the ideas and suggestions that came from the returned questionnaires distributed to each household in Martinstown during August 2020. The aim of the questionnaire was to draw on the knowledge, experience and skills of the residents in order to facilitate the working groups that will begin to look at how to make Martinstown more sustainable. In the long term, the aim is to make Martinstown carbon neutral.
This document is divided into the categories as laid out in the questionnaire, however, from the responses it would seem sensible, initially, to combine Transport and Energy, and Food and Waste/Recycling for the working groups
Transport and Energy
Local transport was a concern for many. The need for the X51 and/or alternative buses to be restored. If this cannot happen then a community owned (electric) 10 seater minibus, run by volunteer drivers and possibly sponsored by local businesses was suggested as a possible solution.
Community owned electric car(s) for villagers to use and help others to get to doctors or dentists is another suggestion, along with a car share scheme. Electric charging points could be installed at the shop/hall/pub.
Community owned (electric) bikes with sponsorship is another idea, allied to the improvement to or surfacing of the cycle path/footpath through Clandon Farm to Dorchester. A safe foot/cycle path to Bats Lane is needed to link the village to the cycle route. Safer cycle routes could also be established through Steepleton to Winterbourne Abbas.
There is concern about the quantity and speed of traffic through the village. Traffic calming measures or a reduction of the speed limit to 20mph are offered solutions. A survey of local car usage and traffic passing through village could be a first step to see if it can be reduced.Links with existing transport groups e.g. Les and Jan have done much work, would be good.
Shared camper van! / caravan.
Reduce the use of high-emission vehicles, especially for short journeys. Education.
Solar panels for water and electric could be placed on the roofs of domestic, agricultural and business buildings (and the church?) Accompanied by batteries to store energy generated. There is the potential for a field of solar panels that could power the village (This has been done at Ashton Hayes in Cheshire) Liaising with Dorset Council, who are keen to make their own business more sustainable, and the PCC (also keen to Green) is essential here.
Many public and council owned car parks are building covered car ports that have solar panels on top, generating electric to power the car park needs and council buildings. They have the advantage of keeping the cars cool in the summer and dry in the winter. Village hall car park?
Allowing solar panels on roofs in conservation areas facing the street – national/county level regulations involved.
Other suggestions for sources of communal power.
Having a wind turbine to add to the powering of the village in a sustainable way.
Coil water turbine to harness free energy from stream
Air sourced heat pumps and Ground source heat pumps. Installed to provide for Magna housing or those on lower incomes as well as for general domestic use.
Have regular presentations in the village hall for energy saving opportunities and renewable options, from external consultants. Investigate communal energy sources. Green energy 'one stop shop' advice sessions in village hall. Solutions and providers. Sources of funding and grants. Recruit sustainable energy mentors – those that have solar panels, air sourced heat pumps already to talk to those thinking about it. Community/village purchasing scheme (buying group) based on green energy
Encourage and facilitate people shopping around for best green energy deals.
Insulation of houses to maximum education, survey
Anaerobic digester for farm waste
Have a 'plant a tree' drive in the village and acquire land to plant trees.
Tree planting on any spare bits of land around village e.g. road verges. On small or large scale, for eg. extend tree planting on verge on way to Dorchester and fill gaps.
Plant trees to screen barns.
Help gardeners and landowners to plant trees & hedges.
Other notes and info about tree planting:
Examples: Frampton by village hall, Bere Regis river and hill with trees.
Climate change - Carbon absorbed in trees is great compared to grassland etc:
From another source: Trees absorb 10 t CO2/ ha/year in both soil & biomass. Grass absorbs 0.075t
Schemes and organisations: Woodland Trust e.g. MOREwoods 500 + trees as woodland on ½ ha + help design, supply trees & protection, & cover up to 75% cost. If want contractor, they arrange & cover up to 60% costs over 1 ha.
Trees for Dorset.
Countryside Stewardship tree planting 3ha min, 1 ha min if reduces flood. £1.28 per tree, or up to £6800 / ha.
Along with the creation of wild flower meadows on all available large or small patches of land the management of verges could be done more sensitively, taking account of DNT et al advice. Part of the Green could be meadow especially the west end. We could raise funds to supply everyone with appropriate wild flower seeds.
Rewilding all available space no matter how small. Education. Isaballa Tree, author and pioneer in the UK has rewilded a large area in Sussex, could come and give a talk. Her new book is about rewilding smaller areas.
In East Anglia there is a scheme being set up to encourage everyone to give over 20% of their land no matter how big or small to rewilding.
Less intensive farming methods – more of a national issue
Encourage more grow your own veg; have a group. Discount system for purchase of fertiliser and seeds etc
Build wooden bug hotels built with a glass screen for viewing
Footpaths should be kept checked and gates regularly inspected
John Elliot – see attached copy
The stream, Radon gas, CAP farm subsidies, planning changes.
Communal orchards, allotments involving children/families.
Liaise with and work alongside farmers for the benefit of all.
Hedgehog friendly village – no slug pellets, put out food/water, highways.
Promote wildlife corridors, hedgehog runs.
More understanding of the ecology of the S Winterbourne
Pool nature recording as blog or as annual report
Flood measures management techniques, natural structures
Bronwen Davison has 2 Bat boxes for village hall, hedgehog box
Raise funds for trees/seeds/buying land.
A coordinated bulk buying scheme for the village, in conjunction with the shop, with the emphasis on local food. A Directory of where local food is available could be made available on line. Agree something all need & collect e.g. every month e.g. lentils, brown rice, recycled paper loo rolls, Ecover wash powder. Suggest items we’ll all get there if stocked. E.g. order from Suma.
Support for the village shop and Post office - seen as crucial to the village. Excess garden produce could be donated to the shop, food bank, or other share scheme.
Village challenge of 'what can you grow?' and offer surplus to villagers. Could certain kinds of extra food be made into grocery items and sold for the community by volunteers? Eg veg – chutney
Provide more allotments and have allotments for communal vegetables and a community hub. Those with large gardens could offer space for others to use to grow veg. Community orchard/bee hives. Communal apple pressing and bottling
A well produced media/promotional campaign to encourage healthier eating. Village dietathon with prizes for those who lose most weight.
Shop as village co-op with Karen as well paid manager.
Use shop more including cash back.
Get the 'zero waste' van that goes to the market to come to the village so people can shop at it
We should ban the term 'food waste' from our vocabulary. No food should be wasted – buy less, compost green material. Communal composting.
The shop is looking to set up a refill area and Karen would appreciate ideas, help, suggestions to setting this up.
Eat 'wildlife managers' such as cattle at Blackdown.
Is there a LETS scheme nearby and available?
Is there a TRY exchange in the village?
Monthly clear out of bits and bobs- swaps
Recycling centre with bins regularly collected, with facilities for things DC do not recycle. Electrical goods, metals, tetra packs etc. Recycling bins on green
Approach McDonalds to ask them to put up posters urging customers not to throw rubbish out of their cars on our road. Also to put up bins
Organise litter pick-up sessions to clear the road periodically.
Hurrah and support for Waste Watch; encourage villagers to use it.
Plastic free campaign/challenge
Cardboard scheme as cardboard is now £80 – 120 tonne. A local 'man' collects the shop every day for this purpose.
Support recycling and Waste Watch. Reduce pollution. Reduce plastic e.g. food packaging e.g.buy fruit and veg from village shop or buy in bulk to avoid plastic cartons.
Reduce pollution run off (chemicals and plastic) from farms.
Investigate incentives for villagers to reduce single-use plastic usage
Set up a free-cycle forum for people's unwanted quality items.
Book and clothes swap/share
Have a repair shop.
Have a Green village competition across Dorset; Dorset Council are very keen on this idea.
Explore ways to make the Hall greener with more involvement of the wider community
Flower baskets/beds etc along the lines of many French villages; cost – enhanced PC precept?
Education: it is important to learn new skills together and especially to involve children from the start.
Important to inform and challenge existing mindsets. Help people to realise/believe they can make a difference.
Work with Parish Council and Dorset Council to deliver projects
Improvements re flooding
For tree planting, recreation (picnics, walks, ping pong, boules), village events, Community woodland. Particular projects e g scouts, educational.
Contact local landowners to acquire, rent, use, plant trees, re-wild land.
Hedge and tree planting, cultivation techniques to improve soil structure.
Grants. Crowd fund.
Donations from villagers, interested parties (e.g. financed Eype community field in 1 week).
Gov and other schemes RHI, Stewardship, Woodland Trust, RHI, Smart Export Guarantee govt payment scheme, directory of local grants, Waste Watch?
Encourage participation and consensus. Agree principles & structure early so peaceful, clear, efficient, transparent, open, inclusive, comfortable.
If own anything need formal structure e.g. Unincorporated Assoc. Charity, Community Interest Co, Co Ltd by Guarantee, Community Benefit Society, Charitable Incorporated Org; with constitution, asset lock. See Coop ‘Simply Legal’ guides. Advice Community Action Dorset.
Other village facilities: GP surgery occasional / pharmacy / sports facilities to reduce journeys to town.
Even if it’s slow at times Green Martinstown can be ready to make the most of any schemes or offers.
Survey the community, in a more targeted way to see what people's views are – perhaps presenting them with some facts and figures eg around what people are prepared to spend on food which will cost more if sustainably produced
Reading Rooms – is this a village facility? Could it be put to use?
Footpaths/walkways – soft footpaths, ie level grass walkways, particularly on S side of main st, up to Hardy's turning and to Mallards Green
Install map of walks around Mtown at village green
Positive News is a magazine about the good things that are happening.
When much of the media is full of doom and gloom, instead Positive News is the first media organisation in the world that is dedicated to quality, independent reporting about what’s going right.
Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them:
Ever thought about foraging? Now is a good time to explore our country side…
Renewable energy is the “cheapest source of electricity”, says IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency
One of many suppliers of Renewable Energy is Octopus Energy. Octopus Energy claims to be ‘doing energy better' – and the Which? expert analysis suggests it's living up to expectations. It's a Which? Recommended Provider for the third year on the trot.
Non-toxic home cleaning:
Did you know that Toilet paper is getting less sustainable?
Toilet paper – the one product that the majority of us use just once and flush away – is becoming less sustainable, according to research.
Analysis from Ethical Consumer magazine found that major brands were using less recycled paper than in 2011, while only five of the nine major supermarkets (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. The large-scale use of virgin paper contributes to unnecessary deforestation.
Think of alternatives to super market bought toilet paper!
Ashton Hayes in Cheshire is a village just a little bigger than Martinstown with a population of just over 1000 (Martinstown has approximately 850) In January 2006 they decided to try to make their village the first carbon neutral village in England.
Among many other benefits, they now have an array of community owned solar panels supplying the village with electricity, a pool of electric cars for villagers to use and much much more. Here is a link to their website, a mine of useful information. http://www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk/
This is from their website:
“Five surveys have been carried our since the launch in 2006 and these reveal that the community has managed to cut its carbon emissions by 40% through behavioural changes such as switching off appliances and changing to low energy light bulbs. Some people have cut the costs of their energy bills 50% by focusing on improved insulation and careful energy use”
Here is a summary of the Ashton Hayes story:
There are many examples of other villages, towns and even cities wanting to go carbon neutral, in the UK and around the world. Here are a few examples.
Cumnock is a mining town in Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been deemed to be the perfect size for a experiment in which they are attempting to create a carbon neutral town.
‘Cumnock – which was previously a mining community – has 1800 residents, an amount thought to be perfect to test the project’s different renewable technologies on a mass scale as well as a new smart grid and metres, a high speed communications network, new carbon neutral buildings and a series of cycle paths and electric vehicle initiatives.’
They have received funding and advice from Scotland’s Towns Partnerships. Who describe themselves as ‘Scotland's Towns Partnership is Scotland’s national towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them’?
Nottingham is a small city of about 321,000 people, wanting to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city. It has already cut its carbon foot print by 39%, having started the project in 2005.
‘Nottingham could become the first carbon neutral city in the UK after the City Council set itself an ambitious target to achieve this by 2028.The city has already met its Energy Strategy target early – a 26% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 – and reduced emissions by 39% since 2005. Nottingham is also on track to meet its 2020 target of 20% of energy generation from low carbon sources, due to a combination of a reduction in the City’s energy demand and its renewable energy projects program.’
Meenangadi is a town in India,with a population of 34,000 and is fast becoming one of the most sustainable urbanized areas in India.
‘Meenangadi’s carbon-neutral project was officially launched last year, on June 05 2018—the World Environment Day. We will “conserve and expand our forests, plant more trees, reduce carbon emissions from households, promote self sustenance through organic farming, and recycle our waste.”
Greensburg is a town in Kansas, USA with a population of 900. After being wiped out by a tornado in 2007 the town decided to rebuild itself in a modern, green and sustainable way.
‘Living close to the land, they knew the value of solar and wind power and using water efficiently. When they rebuilt, they took those values to heart in a new way. The result: Greensburg is a truly green burg. It is a model of sustainable living and a standard for rural communities everywhere.’
Rather than reinvent the wheel and make a new list of ways to go greener l have included links to Sustainable Dorset's website that already has comprehensive information and ideas on sustainablity
How to reduce plastic waste
Here are some ways to save plastic, from Sustainable Dorset website.
More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year! Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage. Over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles are sold in the U.S alone each year. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each with a “working life” of a mere 15 minutes.
Here are some simple ideas for you to adopt to reduce your plastic usage and waste:
• Take your own bag to the shops
• Drink tap water and carry it in your own stainless steel bottle
• Don’t buy body scrubs – those tiny beads are usually made of plastic
• Choose fruit and vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic
• Don’t use ‘single use’ plates, knives, forks etc. wash up after you eat.
• Wherever you can, choose liquid products that can be re-filled rather than bought new etc.
• Refuse plastic straws in your drinks, try stainless steel or paper.
• If you can’t find an alternative to single-use plastic, make sure you recycle it
• Don’t celebrate with balloon releases, the chances are the balloons will land in the ocean, choking seabirds, turtles and marine mammals.
• Use crystal deodorants – they last far longer, are more effective and some even come with no plastic packaging at all.
• Use good old-fashioned soap – it works as well as liquid soap and lasts longer
• Buy butter wrapped in paper instead of in a plastic tub
Solar car ports/parks
This is such a simple idea and of benefit in many ways. Not only do the solar panels generate electricity that can power the needs of the car park, charge electric vehicles and power offices nearby, for example, but they act as a sun-shield in the summer and a rain shield in the winter. Keeping the car cooler in summer and dryer in winter! Happy parking!
An estimated 50% of all household water usage is wasted. It goes down the drain while we wait for it to warm up, so why not collect it and use it in the garden or for watering houseplants? In an era when our fresh water supply is diminishing due to pollution and drought, it's important to conserve all the water we can, as well as learn about and put to use greywater recycling practices. Here are 120 ways to conserve energy!
Save money and energy in the Garden by:
1) Making a home made compost bin. The compost is good for pots, flower or vegetable beds, and saves collection and processing of waste. http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_makecompost1.shtml
2) Collecting rainwater with a simple diverter on the downpipe. This gives you pure water for the plants but also saves money on the water bills.
3) Growing your own vegetables. Why not try a few in a tub or make a special bed for them if you have the space? It is so rewarding to pick what you have grown yourself. It is good to know how things grow and is good for you!
4) Taking your own cuttings and saving seeds is very easy and provides new plants for free!
5)Swapping plants, cuttings and seeds with friends and neighbours. It's fun and builds friendship – and it is free!
6) Make your own fertiliser from nettles soaked in water for a couple of weeks. Smelly but it works!
7) Grow your own herbs in a tub outside the back door.