Weston Town Council declares 'climate emergency' and agrees plan to aid wildlife

PUBLISHED: 16:53 24 September 2019

Cllr Catherine Gibbons proposed the motion.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons proposed the motion.

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Weston Town Council has declared a 'climate emergency'.

Councillors unanimously agreed to take action to become carbon neutral by 2030.

A re-wilding programme was also agreed by councillors, where instead of cutting down grass verges, they will be allowed to grow naturally.

Several local authorities, including North Somerset Council, have taken to re-wilding their roadsides by planting wildflowers instead.

MORE: Council to adopt re-wilding programme across North Somerset to improve area's biodiversity.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, who proposed the motion, said: "This will be beneficial in creating additional habitats for bees, insects and other wildlife to create attractive wild areas of educational value to the community.

"These areas will be easy to maintain and send a positive message out to the wider areas about Weston as an environmentally aware and eco-friendly town.

"Re-wilding is not just letting things grow, in certain areas it requires maintenance, replanting and a change of attitude across our community.

The town council has followed in the footsteps of North Somerset Council, who declared a climate emergency in March, while last week Yatton Parish Council made the same pledge.

Cllr Mike Bell is 'very supportive' of the plans.

He said: "Global warming and climate change is a fact we have to deal with.

"There are areas of Upper and Lower Church Road which were not re-wilded properly and now are simply a mess."

A climate change and environment working group will also be created and will hold public meetings, with naturalist and broadcaster Chris Sperring in talks to host the inaugural meeting at Weston Museum, although a date has yet to be fixed.

MORE: Council has 12-year window to try to take action after declaring 'climate emergency'.

Cllr John Crockford-Hawley said: "It is very easy for a place like Weston Cemetery to be uncared for when it could very easily end up looking very untidy, re-wilding should not be used as an excuse for getting out of commitments.

"A planning condition should be submitted whereby every home built should have an obligatory tree planned in its garden, therefore children can grow up knowing what trees do and encourage them to learn to look after the environment."

Cllr Roger Bailey added: "We should adopt the blue heart scheme and put blue hearts in areas of re-wilding, so people know this is a re-wilding area."

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