Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset

Project Category: Project Tags: Art, Biodiversity, Children & young people, Education, Energy, Gardens, Mental Health and Older People

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  • Our Story

    Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) in Dorset aims to help people in West Dorset to tackle climate change and live more sustainably. The project will act as a catalyst for action, building on the great work already taking place in the local area and exploring some innovative approaches.

    What are we doing?

    CLS in Dorset facilitates and supports a programme of community initiatives defined during a consultation and development process. The programme has several inter-related strands:

    Greener Choices and Energy Efficiency –lowering our carbon footprint and cutting costs, in the home and at work.

    Renewable Energy – community investment in solar PV to produce electricity on schools and community buildings; and a woodland fuel co-operative.

    Local Food – developing a sustainable food partnership for Dorset, and supporting local food producers and community food growing.

    -Helping farming and fishing sectors and communities adapt to climate change and extreme weather

    -Supporting Eco Schools to gain their Green Flag status throughout the area.

    Where does the programme take place?

    The programme is focussed on Bridport and Dorchester and their surrounding areas. Here, there are a mix of rural communities, including high levels of farmland, coastal fisheries, solid walled homes not connected to mainline gas supplies, and a high level of isolated communities. As well as engaging with geographical communities, we will be working with farming and fishing sectors likely to be profoundly affected by climate change, with isolated older people at risk of increasing fuel poverty and deprivation, and with schools.

    We hope that, wherever possible, the learning from the project will be shared across all of Dorset’s local communities, beyond the CLS areas.

    Who is involved in CLS in Dorset?

    CLS in Dorset is a partnership project led by Dorset Community Action, and including Bridport Energy Service Limited, Dorset County Council, Dorset Agenda 21, Dorset Coast Forum, Dorset Public Health, Transition Town Dorchester, Transition Town Bridport, Wessex Community Assets, West Dorset Partnership, and WSX Enterprise Ltd. We collaborate wherever possible with other organisations, such as Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Dorset Waste Partnership, Dorset Water Partnership, Environment Agency, Wessex Water, Regen-SW.

    Dorset is one of 12 Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) programmes supported by the Big Lottery Fund across England, and is the only such programme in the Southwest. The CLS programme has a Learning Partnership that includes Groundwork UK, Energy Savings Trust, Confederation of Community Farms, and BuildingResearch Establishment.

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    Dorchester and Bridport and surrounding parishes