We were asked to send in some good Wirral Environmental news for the Liverpool City Region Year of the Environment 2019 Green Summit. Here is a taster

Wirral works towards environmental solutions in 2019

There are currently 150 businesses and community organisations listed on Wirral Environmental Network’s ‘Big Green List’.

In addition Wirral has over 100 eco schools, 60 plus plastic free champions, 50 refill points, 27 parks and green spaces awarded Green Flags, 12 registered eco churches, Merseyside’s largest eco festival and the region’s first zero waste store.

There has been a significant upturn in individual environmental action, including actions such as litter picking, tree planting, veg growing, cycling and going meat free.

Wirral has multiple environmentally focused neighbourhood areas such as; West Kirby Transition Towns, Incredible Edibles Hoylake, Sustainable Seacombe and Planet Heswall which has recently registered as part of the  ‘Transition Network’

Wirral is also home to Energy Projects Plus, an environmental and fuel poverty charity that works with a wide range of local government, business and community partners to support clients across the region. The charity helps clients save over 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year (the equivalent of turning 397 homes zero carbon) by providing a mix of energy efficiency advice, training to businesses and communities and getting measures installed ranging from ‘easy measures’ such as LED lightbulbs through to insulation, new boilers and central heating.

In April, Wirral Environmental Network was awarded a Veolia Community Fund grant for a furniture reuse project. The project has rehomed over four tonnes of furniture, helped set up a reuse shop in Birkenhead, and run multiple upcycling courses from its base in Wallasey. In addition to the projects positive environmental impact, the upcycled furniture has also helped families in need to obtain packages of furniture for their homes.

In May the Wirral Tree Wardens distributed over 5,000 trees to be planted by schools, community groups, community woodlands, community parks, footpaths, church gardens and orchards in a project to restore local areas, such as waste land after the New Ferry explosion. This was thanks to the strong relationship between Wirral Tree Wardens and the Forestry Commission, which meant Wirral benefited from the Commission’s clear out of a cold store of surplus trees. The surplus of thousands of trees were grown from seeds for forests in UK

In June Wirral was awarded Plastic Free Community Status by Surfers Against Sewage, recognising the work done to start reducing the impact of single use plastic.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, Wirral Eco Schools Team coordinated the Green Air Schools Project (GASP) in partnership with Mersey Forest and students from Liverpool John Moores University. The students initially measured the pollution along routes in and around the school. The data was analysed by John Moores University to identify the air quality inside and outside the schools. Based on the findings, the children then planted new hedgerows and trees around the perimeter of the school and used indoor plants to improve air quality.

In September five Wirral Environmental Network students completed all eight sections of level 2 RHS horticulture. A further fourteen students achieved lifelong learning open awards – national level one gardening qualification. WEN are now running RHS level 3 with ten students currently on the course.  Plus, thirty new pupils joined our non-vocational courses

In October a group of Wirral organisations including Wirral Tree Wardens, Wirral Environmental Network, Wirral Eco Schools, Wirral Chamber made the first steps towards the Tree Nursery Project. Children all over the Wirral have been encouraged to collect local tree seeds and plant up in pots to care for over the winter.

There is still more to do, but the future is bright with the activity from individuals, businesses, schools and community groups, Wirral is moving towards a greener and more sustainable community.

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