Category Archives: Information

Wiveliscombe on map for electric vehicle charging

An electric vehicle charging point is now available in Wiveliscombe, serving local residents and visitors.

The charging point is shown on Zap Map and the Pod Point network. It is located in the top part of Croft Way car park behind the Community Centre. To use, download the Pod Point app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Two cars can be charged at the same time, with 11 kW supplied from each Type 2 connector. Charging costs 32p per kWh.

The project was first proposed by Wivey Action on Climate and Environment in 2017 and followed a local meeting in 2016. There have been changes and delays due to the merger of district councils and the pandemic, but the charging point is finally available for use.

Electric is the future for cars and the sooner we can transition the better for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also important that we reduce the need for travelling and cycle, walk or use public transport whenever we can.

Wiveliscombe Community Centre are hosting the charging point and it is connected to their electricity supply, which means some charging will be solar powered from the Brendon Energy solar panels on the roof. The charging point is managed by local volunteers. For further information email: ev@wiveyaction.org.uk

Funding has been provided by grants from Brendon Energy, Somerset West and Taunton Council and Wiveliscombe Town Council.

Shown in the photo above (left to right) are: Francesca Croft*, Julie Mitchell (town councillor), local resident Sue Clowes, Des Hawkins* and Dave Mansell (district councillor for the ward). Dave and Julie organised and now manage the charging point.

*Wiveliscombe Community Centre

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Wildlife-friendly planting provides welcome to Wivey

As part of town recovery projects, an amazing group of volunteers have come together to look after the bank at the back of Croft Way car park. Somerset West and Taunton Council, who own the bank, agreed to this initiative and strimmed back undergrowth and grass encroaching on the footpath. Volunteers have removed brambles and started to plant woodland trees and flowers.

There will be further wildlife and insect friendly planting on the bank, including fruit bushes, bulbs, pollen-rich shrubs and plants for year-round interest. Over time, the bank should develop further into a lovely new feature welcoming people to Wivey.

The volunteer group has also done great work in the herb garden behind the Community Centre. Do take a look at the variety of herbs and flowers, the hazel arch and a willow hedge, all of which should flourish over the coming months. You may also wish to sit on the bench and enjoy the view.

In the photos above (click to view full size) are project leaders Lena Holland and Jon Burgess with officers from SWT’s Open Spaces team.

A steering group is allocating funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council for town centre recovery projects in Wiveliscombe. So far, these have included a contribution to building works at Wiveliscombe Community Centre, hanging baskets in the town centre, umbrellas for those queuing for shops, as well as some costs for planting on the car park bank. The steering group consists of the two Somerset West and Taunton councillors for the Wiveliscombe ward and representatives from the 10 Parishes Business Group, Town Council and Wiveliscombe Area Partnership.

Photos below (click to view full size) show the latest work in progress at the herb garden behind Wiveliscombe Community Centre.

This all builds on work first undertaken to create the community herb garden back in 2013.

Wilding Wivey

Written by Geoff Johnson

We can create amazing wild habitats right here, in and around Wiveliscombe, in which nature can thrive.

Our natural world is in crisis.  We are living in a time of mass extinction, the last being 66 million years ago when an asteroid ended the dinosaurs. This is a terrible tragedy in itself, and extremely dangerous for humankind; we depend on a healthy ecosystem.  We’re not finished yet, but a mammoth effort is required. 

See simple things we can do in our gardens

See resources and references with further information

Image at top shows a small wildlife pond created in a Wiveliscombe garden 4 months ago: already 4 frogs!

UK target for net zero carbon emissions

As one of her last acts as Prime Minister, Theresa May has announced the UK will be the first major economy to set a legal target to stop contributing to climate change.

The target is to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, which is based on a report from the Committee on Climate Change on what is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s aim of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C. The target is also in line with recommendations from the International Panel for Climate Change, although some argue that the IPCC underestimate climate risks.

CCC-Net Zero by 2050
Click image to view full infographic, from the Committee on Climate Change, on climate impacts, UK action and getting to net zero by 2050.

Further details and different perspectives are given in the following articles:

The UK’s new target is welcomed, but there is uncertainty on how quickly carbon neutrality is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. There is a strong argument we just need to make rapid progress as quickly as possible. Along with many other local authorities, both Somerset West and Taunton Council and Somerset County Council have recently declared climate emergencies and set targets to contribute to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The true test of all these declarations and targets will be the action that follows. A Citizens’ Assembly, sponsored by House of Commons select committees, is to be held in the Autumn, which may prove interesting and assist with policy choices.

World has stark warning

The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns the Paris target to limit global warming to 1.5ºC could be exceeded in just 12 years.

The panel’s report was another massive effort in reaching consensus on global science and policy. It is based on over 6,000 scientific studies and involved a team of 90 scientists and policy experts nominated from 40 countries. The process started in March 2017 and there were three report drafts and 42,000 reviewer comments. The final report was published on 8 October 2018 after a week-long meeting in South Korea. See the following links for more on the conclusions and implications.

BBC – Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’  and What does it mean for the UK?

WWF – How much difference will half-a-degree really make?

Guardian – IPCC report spares politicians the worst details

Inside Climate News – Radical Energy Transformation Needed

Professor Kevin Anderson says high-carbon lifestyles of top 20% need to shift rapidly

Carbon Brief – In-depth: IPCC’s special report on climate change

International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – headlines, summary and full report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C.

And how you can help: Five top tips to combat climate change

Summer of heat and fires

Summer 2018 has seen a succession of heatwaves in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa and raging wildfires in Sweden, Greece, California and on Saddleworth Moor in the north of England.

The following reports consider the link to climate change, including in the media:

taunton climate rally

Climate rally in Taunton

On 8th September 2018, Wivey Action were well represented at a climate rally in Taunton. This was one of over 900 Rise for Climate marches and actions that day in 95 countries and 7 continents.

Hothouse Earth tipping points

An international team of scientists has shown that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of our planet entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions.

This would see the climate stabilise in the long term at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures, with the sea level 10-60 m higher than today.

The scientists conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy. Avoiding a “Hothouse Earth” requires not only reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions but also enhancement and/or creation of new biological carbon stores.

Reports with further details:

Drawdown – the top solutions to global warming

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.

Project Drawdown is based on meticulous research that maps, measures, models, and describes the most substantive solutions to global warming that already exist. It is the most important goal for humanity to undertake.

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. It involves a coalition of researchers, scientists, policy makers, business leaders and activists, who have assembled and presented the best available information on climate solutions deployed at scale. Solutions are described and quantified for their financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.

Over 100 solutions were assessed. The top 15 are listed below from the project’s Plausible Scenario, which models the solutions based on a reasonable, but vigorous growth rate from 2020-2050. The list below also shows the total reduction from each solution in atmospheric carbon dioxide (equivalent) in Gigatons (US).

Top 15 solutions to global warming

  1. Refrigerant Management (89.74)
  2. Wind Turbines – Onshore (84.60)
  3. Reduced Food Waste (70.53)
  4. Plant-Rich Diet (66.11)
  5. Tropical Forests (61.23)
  6. Educating Girls (59.60)
  7. Family Planning (59.60)
  8. Solar Farms (36.90)
  9. Silvopasture (31.19)
  10. Rooftop Solar (24.60)
  11. Regenerative Agriculture (23.15)
  12. Temperate Forests (22.61)
  13. Peatlands (21.57)
  14. Tropical Staple Trees (20.19)
  15. Afforestation (18.06)

Click here for information on each solution and the full list.

Carbon pricing is not included in the listing as it is a mechanism to implement solutions and not in itself a solution to global warming. Project Drawdown only focuses on technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions. The team chose not to model incentive-based policies and financial mechanisms, such as carbon pricing or congestion pricing, although these may be the keys to the more widespread adoption of many solutions.

Also see:

Town opposes fracking

Wiveliscombe Town Council joined a growing number of Somerset parish and town councils to oppose fracking at it’s monthly meeting in December 2017.

After discussing a paper presented by Dave Mansell, the following motion was unanimously agreed:

The town council has noted that licences have been awarded for oil and gas exploration in parts of Somerset, including an area along the coast from Minehead through Watchet to Burnham-on Sea. If approved by permitting authorities, extraction could be by drilling and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. The town council is concerned this could pose a threat to water supplies, public health and the countryside, and, instead of new supplies of fossil fuels, prefers investment in clean energy sources to address the global threat of climate change. On current evidence, Wiveliscombe Town Council opposes exploration for oil and gas in Somerset, which could then lead to extraction by fracking.

Further information:

Onshore Licences 2
The nearest exploration licence to Wiveliscombe is shown above in the yellow-shaded area.