news and events
Catch up with what we have been up to with the latest news plus information on past and future events
National Walking to School week
Schools in Swanage will join thousands of children across the UK to celebrate the benefits of walking during Walk to School Week (17 – 21 May 2021).
Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.
Families are encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the whole week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates. This year’s challenge will focus on the ‘walking superpowers’ that benefit individuals, communities and the planet.
Exciting new project! – Solar Streets
We are really pleased to be able to tell you more about this exciting project! Sustainable Swanage is working with IDDEA Energy Systems to enable residents in Swanage and surrounding villages to find out more about the Solar Streets scheme, which provides affordable residential solar panel installations.
The scheme was launched at a Zoom event on Wednesday 17th March at 7.00pm where there was a presentation on Solar Streets followed by Q&A. See the recording on this website https://solarstreets.co.uk/swanage
Read our article on the project here
Town Mayor Mike Bonfield has this to say about the scheme:
“Since Swanage Town Council declared a climate crisis in 2019 it has been working with Sustainable Swanage and other environmental groups to reduce carbon emissions.
Solar Streets is a great way for local residents to learn more about the installation of solar panels and I would encourage everyone to investigate this opportunity to increase the use of clean energy in our community.”
The Downs to become a new Local Nature Reserve for Swanage – Thank you for completing our survey
The area known locally as the Downs in Swanage is being put forward as a new Local Nature Reserve for Swanage and the process to achieve this got underway last summer in 2020. This will be an exciting opportunity to enhance a local facility for nature, residents, and visitors. This project is being undertaken by Swanage Town Council in partnership with Sustainable Swanage including a growing number of local volunteers.
A public survey was recently undertaken regarding the above, we had a fantastic response. Following some queries and concerns that were raised, we hosted an information evening with Swanage Town Council, to present survey findings, provide background to the project and general information on what Local Nature Reserves are, why it is being considered and what it means. This also was an opportunity to ask further questions. It was an online meeting on Tuesday 23rd March at 7pm and was attended by over 55 people. The overall response was a positive meeting with issues and questions raised. The notes and survey results will be published in due course, after Easter.
20 New Oak Trees for Swanage on High Street Verge
Dorset Council planted 20 young oak trees along the northern verge of the High Street on the way into Swanage at the end of November.
The Sustainable Swanage group worked with Dorset Council on developing this project and have raised funds to pay towards the planting of ten trees while the other ten are being provided under Dorset Council’s policy of replacing previously felled trees.
Members of the public generously donated to sponsor the project and we have been overwhelmed with support, thank you to everyone who contributed and got in touch. We are looking to develop more projects next year. We had hoped that volunteers would be able to help with the planting but unfortunately covid-19 restrictions at the time prevented this.
See full press release here
Tree Planting 2019/2020 – Target Reached!
Last year we launched a campaign to promote the planting of trees in suitable sites throughout the town to help improve biodiversity, mitigate climate change and boost wellbeing. We set a target to help plant 1500 trees in the town, approximately one for every child who lives here. The campaign was launched at our environment day on the 12th October, with this beautiful native crab apple tree, chosen by the hosts All Saints Church. This was quickly followed by 5 others in schools and private gardens and we began discussions with groups and schools who all wanted to green up their space and the local area. By March 2020 over 1600 new trees had been planted across 3 local schools, Victoria Avenue, a local farm, and private gardens!
This would not have been achieved without working together with the different local groups and was a team effort: Trees for Dorset, Purbeck National Trust, Swanage School, St Marys Primary, Swanage Primary and the volunteers from our newly formed sub-group, Greening Swanage.
Well done to all involved. We are all still busy ensuring the trees are watered as necessary in this warm dry spring of their first year, and planning new projects for next year! What will be our target for next year?..
Swanage Becomes 4th ‘Plastic Free Town’ in Dorset
In May 2019 Swanage Town Council decided to ditch all avoidable single use plastic across its operations and support the town in reducing its single use plastic. The new steering group was formed and after several months of bringing together the fantastic work already being done in the town to reduce single use plastic and promoting the issue more widely we became an official Plastic Free Town in July 2019. For full press release see…
We engage with the community through our social media pages, mailing list and monthly themed open meetings, which due to covid have now been held online. Topics have included food and farming, gardening for wildlife, sustainable tourism, low waste lifestyle and sustainable transport. We are now developing new projects as a result of these meetings. Our next area to work on is reducing the carbon footprint of travel around the town and are now looking at a vision for active travel and ways to promote and encourage more walking and cycling for short journeys around the town.
Our next Open meeting will be
Tuesday 29th June 7pm (on zoom)
There has been much going on in the group and other campaigns and projects so we will update and share information on those. Also up for discussion are the topical issues of gardening with wildlife in mind, pesticide use and with the focus on air pollution (it’s Clean Air Day today!) we will chat about the many things we can do to reduce air pollution.Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
We have held 5 well-attended open meetings so far since July, covering the topics of waste, trees and energy efficiency. Notes from our meetings will be available to view here soon.
Love Swanage Environment Day
Saturday 12th October 2019 11am-4pm
All Saints Church, Ulwell, Swanage.
Organised by Litter Free Coast & Sea in partnership with Sustainable Swanage, building on the success of 2018’s inaugural event we once again hosted events, stands and a pop-up ‘Eco Market’. The event focused on learning to live an eco-friendlier, ‘Plastic Free’ lifestyle, with tips on recycling and sourcing local, organic and plastic free products.
Going green is good for business
Tuesday 12th November 2019 7-9pm at the Cellar Bar, Swanage
A meeting to share experiences and knowledge on what businesses can do to reduce impact on the environment and be sustainable. Showcases from businesses who have reduced their single use plastic, are currently recycling, discussions on issues around packaging and also a talk from Low Carbon Trust on a renewable energy scheme that benefits businesses.
This was a successful meeting and led to a further event being planned for March 2020 which was unfortunately cancelled. Businesses requested more information on recycling options that could be simple and cost-effective and also more information on grease traps. Our waste drop-in event with businesses representatives will be rearranged for a later date. More details when we can.
Swanage Carnival Procession 2019
Carnival time in Swanage on the 28 July 2019, saw Litter Free Coast & Sea in the parade with a ‘walking float’ along with members of Sustainable Swanage and their families. Sarah Spurling commented, “We had a great time on our ‘Love our Beach’ walking procession today in Swanage carnival with Litter Free Purbeck, Swanage Information Centre and Swanage Town Council. Lovely crowd and great atmosphere, perfect for celebrating our coastline…let’s keep it beautiful!” The message was simple ‘Take only Memories, Leave only footprints’ and ‘Have a lovely litter Free Carnival’.