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Local Land Use and biodiversity

We are fortunate in Wotton-under-Edge and the surrounding villages to be have an abundance of fields and countryside on our doorstep, but how the land is used, and ensuring the on-going health of our soil, is paramount to reducing carbon emissions in our area, promoting biodiversity and securing local and sustainably grown food.

Our actions in caring for the land can also help secure our community against risks like soil erosion and localised flooding.

Local volunteers plant a new hedge on farmland in Bagpath

Trees around Wotton

Everywhere you look in and around Wotton you can see trees. These trees are of course excellent for wildlife but they are also incredibly important for combating climate change because they are all taking in carbon dioxide and storing it in the soil and in their roots and wood which locks it up for as long as the wood stays intact. And of course trees expel oxygen so they are the ’living lungs’ of the planet. 

We recognise that tree planting must be done with care …. It is not a silver bullet to reduce climate change; it is part of many things that need to be done and it is really important that the right trees are planted in the right place, taking into considerations things such as landscape context, existing high value grassland habitats and important historic features. 

With this in mind we have planted over 4,000 trees in the last three planting seasons (with the help of a fantastic group of volunteers!)  and advised other landowners about what to plant and where.  Our interactive map (shown below) shows where the planting is taking place.

 

We have also established a tree nursery at the Knapp Road allotments where we grow tree and shrub seedlings that members of the community have grown or found in their gardens. These are now being successfully planted in community plantings.

How you can help:

  • Read about all things trees and climate change on the Woodland Trust website.

  • Become a volunteer and help us plant more trees. 

  • Help us manage our tree nursery.

  • Donate any surplus seedlings to our tree nursery.

  • Carry out a hedge survey. wottonareacan@gmail.com

  • Our interactive tree planting map

    Together with volunteers like you, we've planted 9,000 tree and hedge plants since 2019. To hear about our tree and hedge planting events, subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of the page or email wottonareacan@gmail.com.

    Wildlife

    There are many individuals and groups in and around Wotton who are keen to make the area as good for wildlife as possible.  Sometimes however its just getting started on your own patch that is the hardest part.

     

    Wotton Area CAN aim to provide as much useful information as possible to help the community on this journey.

    We are involved in various wildlife projects around the town such as providing support to St Marys Ecochurch and planting a wildflower bed at Holywell Picnic Site and we always welcome new volunteers.

    We also work with the Town Council to promote less mowing during the summer months to encourage more flowering plants for pollinators.

    How can you help:

    Read our articles on creating wildlife habitats such as ponds and wildflower meadows.

    If you have a young family join the Wotton Wildlife Watch group or join our volunteer group: wottonareacan@gmail.com

    Learn about the Swift Nest Box Project by contacting Mark Pasco at markpasco@hotmail.co.uk

    Butterfly and bee
    A fruit tree in blossom at Wotton Community Sports Parc

    Regenerative Farming

     

    Regenerative farming harnesses the power of nature. It starts from the soil up, recognising that healthy soil produces healthy plants which are better able to fight off disease and grow strongly.  Reduced ploughing and inputs also help reduce the carbon footprint of food production.  Regenerative farming is exciting because it works for almost all farming enterprises at some level and so could have a major impact on climate change at the global as well as local level.

    There is also a growing interest in locally grown food whether it’s from market gardens, on your allotment or in your own garden.  We are really lucky in Wotton to have a wealth of local producers and probably one of the best ways of investigating this is to go to Stroud Farmers  Market.

    Did you know Wotton has its own Community Orchard?  If you are interested in getting involved contact us here at :  wottonareacan@gmail.com

    How you can help:

    See our talk on Regenerative Farming.

    Follow a real regenerative farmer: Jake Freestone

    Visit Stroud Farmers Market: https://fresh-n-local.co.uk/trader/stroud/

    Rent an allotment to grow your own food: Contact Wotton Town Council

    Join the Wotton Gardening Club for inspiration and seed sharing.

    Water

    Climate change is impacting our weather systems and creating more extended periods of both wet and dry weather.  Both of these effects put pressure on our locally important streams. 

     

    We are keen to mitigate against these effects and are working to have a better understanding of our local waterways and working to reduce the amount of run off going directly into our streams through natural flood management. 

     

    We also have an active group of volunteers who are also monitoring the health of our streams by carrying out citizen science monitoring including Riverfly Monitoring.  

    How you can help:

    See our talks on Wotton's Water

    Join our Riverfly Monitoring group: wottonareacan@gmail.com

    Learn how to reduce your water usage.

    Children and local people enjoy a walk (and a dip!) in the stream running through Wotton-under-Edge

    Upcoming Events

    • Nuclear’s Role in Meeting Climate Targets
      Nuclear’s Role in Meeting Climate Targets
      Thu, 26 Sept
      Wotton-under-Edge
      26 Sept 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      26 Sept 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      Following on from his popular zoom talk given during lockdown in 2021, Dr. Kevin Howard returns in person to update us on the significant developments in Nuclear Power.
    • British Bats 🦇
      British Bats 🦇
      Thu, 24 Oct
      Wotton-under-Edge
      24 Oct 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      24 Oct 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      Prepare for Halloween by learning more about our British bats.
    • Land Use and the Potential for Regenerative Farming in Stroud District
      Land Use and the Potential for Regenerative Farming in Stroud District
      Thu, 28 Nov
      Wotton-under-Edge
      28 Nov 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      28 Nov 2024, 19:30 – 21:00
      Wotton-under-Edge, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD, UK
      Moving towards nature friendly land management regenerative farming in Stroud District, with Rebecca Charley - SDCs Strategic Lead for Nature Recovery and Biodiversity.
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