We brought together individuals and organisations from across the borough to discuss the action being taken locally against the climate and ecological emergency.
Over 100 attendees came along in person to The Forum on Wednesday 3 November 2021, with more than 30 watching online, for the very first Dacorum Climate Action Network (Dacorum CAN) event to find out more about what local action is happening, what they can do to help stop climate change and how
they can get involved in local projects. The event was planned to coincide with COP26 - the global climate conference taking place in Glasgow.
Dacorum CAN launched in September with a goal to bring together individuals and organisations to ‘think global and act local’. So far over 150 individuals have signed up and over 30 organisations.
At the event there was a diverse range of different stall holders and speakers:
Melanie Parr, our Climate Emergency and Sustainability Programme Lead, gave an overview of the borough’s overall emissions and explained that the borough needs to work together to halve emissions drastically by 2025 in order to
meet the UK’s climate targets. Melanie also outlined the recent work that we have been doing to help lower emissions and support biodiversity in the borough.
Emma Matthars, one of the winners of last year’s Green Community Grant, who spoke about her work at Chaulden Allotments to encourage plot holders to welcome more wildlife and working with the community to encourage them to grow
Victoria Nevin from Affinity Water talked about local water usage and projects such as Save our Streams, to protect local chalk streams, which are one of the rarest ecosystems in the world.
Conservation Manager from Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust spoke about the changes to our local environment, including species that have gone extinct locally in Hertfordshire, and the need for a diverse range of habitats and projects
to restore local wildlife and help mitigate climate change.
Jo Southernwood from
Eastern New Energy explained the ways local businesses can be more sustainable in the future and the free advice services on offer to help them reduce their carbon footprint and improve their business.
Catherine Jones from Sunnyside Rural Trust, another recipient of our Green Community Grant scheme, spoke about the initiatives being carried out with their trainees - such as growing food, caring for animals used for grazing
to manage their land more effectively, and growing plants for the Chelsea Flower Show.
Cllr Andrew Williams, Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, said: “It was fantastic to host our first Dacorum CAN event during COP26 and bring together voices from local industry, ecology and charity sectors to discuss the climate and ecological issues
facing Dacorum and, more importantly, the innovative ways individuals and organisations are tackling it.
“To get everyone working on the climate challenge from different sectors and areas of our community together was a great way to get the message out that if we can all make small changes, we can make a big difference.”
At the event, we announced the opening of our 2021-2022 Green Community Grants, which provide up to £3,000 to support local projects that benefit the local environment and Dacorum residents. Find out more on our Grants page.
Throughout October, local residents had also been submitting their art for a Climate and Ecological Emergency Art Exhibition. The event showcased many of these, which are now on display in the Dacorum Creatives Gallery in the Marlowes Shopping Centre,
Hemel Hempstead from now until Sunday 28 November (open Fridays to Sundays).
Find out more about Dacorum CAN, and how to join, on our Dacorum CAN page.