Ashington Climate and Nature Initiatives

Ashington Climate and Nature Initiatives

Ashington Town Council is taking major strides in climate action and protecting local wildlife and habitats through several new initiatives announced at their Climate Change and Environment Committee meeting last night.

Miners Memorial Meadow Revitalisation Plan

The Council is developing a plan to revitalise the Miners Memorial Meadow as a fitting tribute, brought forward by Cllr Caroline Ball. A steering group will be formed with key stakeholders like Groundwork North East, Northumberland County Council, community groups, and running clubs once they have been consulted. An initial site assessment with partners will evaluate current conditions and needed improvements such as wildflower planting, signage restoration, and a maintenance plan. £3,000 from the Climate Change budget has been earmarked as seed funding for this emerging project.

Hands-On Wildlife Home Building

Inspired by impressive mock-ups presented by Neighbourhood Services Officers Mark Air and Ryan Appleby, the Council voted enthusiastically to provide £2,500 to make-up 200 quality bird box kits for schools and community groups to assemble and install. Funding was also set aside for a further 60 bird boxes to be made by Mark and Ryan and installed, with permissions, in local woodlands.

Rather than simply purchasing bird boxes, the Council eagerly voted to provide funding for materials and the personnel to prepare 200 bird box kits for schools and community groups to assemble themselves. This hands-on approach gives a sense of ownership and inclusion and enhances the contribution of those involved. If birds don’t have access to nesting sites, they won’t have anywhere to raise the next generation, and we want to inspire the next generation of young people to be part of the solution.

As a bonus for wildlife, any leftover materials will be repurposed along with foraged natural elements to construct supplementary bug houses - promoting reuse and recycle. The bug houses look amazing, they will most certainly catch the interest and attention of the people of Ashington, as well as the insects. The Council plan to include some hands-on creation at our Eco-Fair next year.

The Climate Change Committee hope this initiative will inspire a wide range of groups, including those working with adults and young people with disabilities or additional needs. We will be writing out soon, but if you are reading this and know a group that might want to take part, please get in touch.

This initiative is unlikely to stop at 200 + 60 bird boxes, but it may have to span a longer period. Bothal Ward Councillors committed further funding towards the initiative from their Environmental Enhancements budget, and Seaton Ward Councillors also pledged funding to expand availability in their area. As far as ideas go, the meeting was clear that this was a definite ‘feather in the cap’ for Mark and Ryan.

Ongoing Action for Insects

Continuing their "Emergency Motion: Action for Insects" approved in February, the Council is taking several ongoing actions. They will continue to talk to allotment holder and allotment associations about the use of pesticides on allotment sites, aiming to reduce and eliminate it through education and incentives. The public awareness campaign that promotes the "Bugs Matter" citizen science survey will continue by sharing tips for insect-friendly home gardens, and free wildflower seeds.

With creative, hands-on initiatives like these, Ashington Town Council’s Climate Change Committee demonstrates its passionate commitment to environmental protection, community engagement, and nurturing local wildlife. We would love to hear your thoughts on what more we can do. Contact us

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