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Environmental work update, March 2022

We are currently living in extremely uncertain times with war raging in Ukraine that is driving global inflation and highlighting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. We urgently need to switch to alternative green energy supplies. All of us can do a little more to make this world a better place, to protect our ecosystems and environment to the extent that it so desperately deserves.

Stapleford Parish Council is trying to do its bit on your behalf with support from members of our community. I’m working together with local green groups to encourage a greater diversity of flora and fauna, and to expand wildlife within our community. We continue to work on several projects to achieve this aim.

Creature boxes and tree planting

I reached out for help from Shelford and Stapleford Scouts and the Design & Technology department of Sawston College, who have been instrumental in helping us make creature boxes, with half of them going home with the children to put up in their own gardens and the remainder being erected on Stapleford Parish Council land around the village by me and Nigel Pierce of Priams Way. I am very grateful to Travis Perkins of Stapleford who, not for the first time, generously donated materials for us to use.

Thank you also to everyone who recently met up at Dernford Lakes ‘Oasis’ to help plant thousands of trees. It was heart-warming to see how many people are willing to give up a little of their time now for the benefit of those to come.

Wildflowers

This spring we have identified several areas in the village which can be left for nature to take back some of what it has lost and where native wildlife flowers can eventually bloom. You’ll see that selected verges will be unmown from April to September to support this. Soil nutrient levels have to reduce before wildflowers can seed but this is the first step in the process. The cemetery will also play its part. The Parish Council has worked hard to resolve health and safety issues, making safe loose or unstable grave surrounds and filling sunken graves with soil where wildflowers will now be sown to make an attractive and safe area to contemplate the loss of loved ones.

Buildings ‘green report’

Stapleford Parish Council has had a green report written on the Jubilee Pavilion and other public buildings and is currently looking at ways to reconfigure them to make them more user-friendly, sustainable and less reliant on outside energy supplies. It would be over-ambitious to make them carbon neutral given the age and nature of the buildings we have, but we are trying to make them the best they can possibly be.

Cllr Michael Gatward