SATURDAY, April 22, marked Earth Day and whilst this is a truly global occasion, Carmarthenshire County Council is committed to accelerate its commitment and contribution to combating climate change having itself also declared a nature emergency in 2022.
Since 1970, Earth Day is marked annually across the globe with its purpose to raise awareness for the need to protect the natural environment, tackle climate change and to protect natural resources for future generations.
In line with the theme for Earth Day 2023, which is ‘Invest in our planet’, Carmarthenshire County Council is proud to have invested its time, resources and energy to improving the county’s environment and contribute to the global cause mitigate against the impacts of climate change. Here are a few examples of how we are inviting in our planet.
Carmarthen Learning Centre
Work has recently been completed at Carmarthen Learning Centre to make it more energy efficient and reduce its carbon emissions by 76%. Retrofit measures that include cavity wall insulation, double glazing, and roof improvements have been implemented to improve the heat retention of the building. The Learning Centre is no longer reliant on a gas supply as Solar Panels an Air Source Heat Pump provide energy and heat to the building. Energy efficient LED lighting have also been installed.
Not only has the upgrade works reduced the building’s environment impact, it has also improved the comfort and experience for those who work and learn in the building.
To help improve Carmarthenshire’s Authority’s environment and increase biodiversity, the Council’s Rural Conservation Team and Property Department arranged the planting of over 8,000 native broadleaved trees to create 4.5 hectares of new woodland on Council owned land at Tregib (Llandeilo), Pendre (Kidwelly) and Maesdewi (Llandybie). Community planting days, including a day for pupils from Llandybie Primary School, were held at two of the locations.
As trees grow and photosynthesise, they will extract carbon emissions from the atmosphere. These new woodlands will provide new habitats for wildlife and thus contribute to addressing the nature emergency and become places where people can enjoy nature.
Tree Nursery Plans at our Day Centres
Plans have been put together by the Council’s Conservation team, with the help of the Botanic Gardens, for a Tree Nursery and wildlife friendly grounds to be developed in Johnstown Day Centre. With financial support from ‘Places for Nature’ funding scheme, the garden will include an accessible outdoor growing area and sensory garden, a woodland garden, a bog garden, meadow areas and an orchard. Although the project is taking place at the Johnstown centre, it will involve all day services through the collecting and planting of native seeds. There are also plans for a similar project to take place at Manor Road Day Centre. Not only will the garden improve the biodiversity of the area, but it will also provide a safe and accessible space for all to enjoy.
Over many years, across Britain, there has been a huge decline in insects which pollinate our wildflowers, and our crops, also known as pollinators. Carmarthenshire County Council currently is looking at ways of managing grassland that will make it both richer in wildflowers and more attractive to pollinators. Simply by cutting less frequently, flowers that are already growing in the grass can flower and also support insects. There is no need to sow wildflower seed. Last summer the Council experimented with this new approach and it was well received by residents who enjoyed seeing the flower rich grasslands that appeared.
Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability, Cllr. Aled Vaughan Owen said: “It is very apt that this year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Invest in our planet’ as this is exactly what we are doing here in Carmarthenshire to decarbonise our climate and protect our natural environment.
“Across all of the Council’s services, we are implementing changes, both big and small, that will reduce the county’s carbon emissions to play our part in the global effort to tackle change and make Carmarthenshire a better, healthier place for our children and our children’s children to live.”
Carmarthenshire County Council is also supporting Wales Outdoor Learning Week – 24 to 30 April 2023 and encouraging residents and visitors to Carmarthenshire to veture out into the outdoors and discover what Sir Gâr has to offer. For ideas of places to visit in the county, please visit the Discover Carmarthenshire website.
To find our more information about Earth Day 2023, please visit www.earthday.org/earth-day-2023/