MAKING CRAYKE AN EVEN GREENER PLACE
Communities and Councils working together on Green initiatives
Parish Council Chairman’s Note:
The effects of climate change impacts on us all and Crayke Parish Council want to adopt a climate friendly ethos and strategy as we go forward, working in partnership with our local Easingwold Town Council and Hambleton District Council. We are small, with a budget to match but we hope to achieve some goals. CPC also wants to assist the community to work together on green initiatives, e.g., planting trees and native plants, reducing waste, more recycling, free cycling, less single use plastics, and more efficient energy use. We can reduce our environmental impact collectively. Check Village Link and the Parish council website, craykepc.org.uk, for updates and news.
OUR PARISH APPRAISAL
In 2019 an ecologist gave feedback on our parish’s land and the diversity within it, identified an ancient woodland and reviewed the habitats available. Over-all we have an amazing environment in and around Crayke, and accessing such space is beneficial for our health, www.mind.org.uk has information about this. We would love to identify other areas where trees could be planted, some grants are available is we choose to access them, e.g. The Woodlands Trust, www.woodlandtrust.org.uk and the Queen has initiated her Green Canopy project, www.queensgreencanopy.org so this Jubilee year is an excellent time for more trees.
THE VILLAGE GREEN
This is maintained by the council and offers a shared green space within the village. Our daffodils are much admired; but could wildflowers be included in some areas to increase insect numbers and support dwindling bee populations? Can we accept the untidiness if it is managed? The green and paths across the green are suffering some erosion and some used to be cobbled. Should we reinstate these? Implement measures to manage water run-off as we see more heavy rain?
BENCHES AND BINS
We maintain these to offer a resting place for walkers and cyclists and to try and keep the village free of litter and waste. We have received a donation for a new bench by the Castle viewpoint and we may be able to make improvements to this seating area. We always purchase from sustainable sources but is there more we could do to ensure your money is used well.
There is some scope within the planning process to encourage greener choices. Councillors can strive to encourage tree planting when an application for tree felling comes in. With each planning application for building work, we can ask for sustainable heating source, good insulation, and triple glazing to be considered but these can be costly and within the remit of the planning officer essentially. We are in a Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which affects planning decisions as does listed building consent. New builds may be required to demonstrate economic energy use and improved rainwater management as part of the standard planning process.
The whole community could impact the environment, whether your plot is a window-box, or you manage acres of land. We would like everyone in the parish to review their opportunities to contribute, share their knowledge and questions.
Below are some areas for you to consider and offer some possible information sources, please take the time to read this and let us know your thoughts.
CRAYKE PERMISSIVE PATH
This is an available green space by permission. A huge asset to walkers and dog walkers. We are grateful to Crayke Estate, farmers and tenants for its creation and availability.
GREEN AREAS AND VERGES
Our shared green spaces provide biodiversity opportunities and can have a positive impact on mental health. Sudden heavy rainfall leads to erosion and flooding if ditches and drains are not maintained. Many homeowners manage parts of the verge, keeping grass clipped and tidy, could more be made of these areas, and could there also be better management of those areas beyond the houses where only periodical care is given?
A FARMING COMMUNITY
We live in an area of commercial food production where those working the land ensure it remains agricultural, but it can also be a haven for wildlife either accidentally or in a managed way.
Farmers are facing weather changes influencing crop choices and success, add to this their income is always variable and is changing following BREXIT with DEFRA introducing the Agricultural Transition Plan. Many await details, www.farmersguide.co.uk has more information. They are being asked to use fewer chemicals, improve soil quality, and adopt measures to sequest carbon. What are their choices, does everyone understand them? There is likely to be payments available for greener initiatives, but if these are low or limited to one off payments, how can they continue to help the environment and run their business?
There are many opportunities for positive impact in your personal green space, for instance home composting, choosing peat free products, using recyclable plastics, or retaining and re-using other plastics. Is your garden free of pesticides but full of pest eaters like frogs, toads, hedgehogs, newts, ladybirds, and lacewings? All of us can use our green space well, to respect nature and perhaps grow food locally, www.bbc.co.uk search ‘save the environment through gardening’ for information and ideas, www.rspb.org.uk also has ideas. Can you share advice, or helpful tips? Could you suggest a regular blog or vlog for others to view?
We have some old housing stock in the village, which look lovely but can cause difficulties when you want to update systems, introduce greener alternatives, or reduce waste, www.spab.org.uk has helpful advice. We have many heating systems which will be phased out to be replaced by sustainable options. What are these options, what is the real information and not just salesmen talk? Some of you already have these; could you share experiences? The renewable heat incentive, RHI, is changing after April 2022 and gives grants for heat pump installation, and Green Deal may help some get free insulation, draught proofing and glazing improvements, see www.gov.uk or www.ofgem.gov.uk for information, and there are green energy suppliers available.
We can perhaps reduce energy use while we review other options: change the way we boil the kettle, use our appliances, ventilate our homes, or use low energy LED’s. We are all looking at energy costs now!
Is there information regarding environmentally safe cleaning options? Perhaps you already use some and could share this information.
Although more sustainable than oil or gas these can have environmental and health impacts. We are told we should use dry seasoned wood from a sustainable source to reduce smoke and particulate matter, choice of model can also impact these .Other advice includes: Turn radiators down when you use it, use wood ash on the garden compost and around fruit trees, buy eco (BBQ food friendly) wood, wool, and wax firelighters. Do you have more ideas?
Our rural bus service is not electric but uses low emission vehicles, it allows access to towns and employment and reduces road usage. Are enough villagers using this vital service to sustain it? If not, why not? Is there more opportunity than availability here?
Electric cars are appearing in the village but with many homes having no drive what are the options? Easingwold has plans for chargers in Galtres carpark and a possible development on York Road, www.northyorks.gov.uk/electric-vehicle-charging for regional status . Can we consider how to facilitate charging points for communal use?
Easingwold is our closest town with amenities and transport links, would a walkway/cycle way between Crayke and Easingwold increase accessibility? It would be safer too. Can a route be found and agreed? Can we access funding or highways assistance?
We can recycle many items through regular Hambleton collections. What else could we recycle and how can we access this? plant pots, plastic bags, clothes, toys, furniture? Would a community forum help us to free cycle more materials?
Could you contribute information, do you have questions, or could you be part of an active group addressing these issues?
We would like to bring together those with questions, ideas to share, environmental focus and climate knowledge from as many back grounds as possible. A time to mull over what we are doing now and how we can improve our carbon footprint. Give us your ideas and help to make it happen!
You can express your interest to the members of the Parish council listed below:
Lesley Hartley, Vice chair: email. email@example.com . Tel 01347 823862.
Tel Jane Porter, Councillor: email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel 01347 824250.