It’s only natural

A Guildhall gathering today to launch the first B&NES Climate & Biodiversity Festival and involving all the Community organisers who have helped to shape the two-week programme of events.

The festival was organised to showcase the action these local groups are taking to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies and to enable residents to get involved with what’s happening.  

Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate Change and Sustainable Transport, said: “We’ve all got a shared responsibility to tackle the challenges of the environmental crisis, so it is really inspiring that so many community groups have stepped forward to suggest their own activities and events for inclusion in the festival. It shows how much is going on in our area.

“This really puts the focus on what we are doing locally and starts the conversation ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

“Please get involved and join in the events to support these groups. There programme has plenty to choose from and most of them are free.”

The first face-to-face event of the festival is tomorrow, (14 September) when volunteers from Time Bank Plus will be leading a short walk from their office in Twerton to Bath City Farm identifying flowers, shrubs and trees.

On Saturday 18 September, Friends of Lyncombe Hill Fields will be sharing stories of creating one of Britain’s first Tiny Forests on a 10-acre plot of former farmland by planting 950 native saplings

In the second week of the festival, Friends of the Orchard at Broadmoor Lane will be running an evening walk led by an ecologist with bat detectors available and a Green Gym which allows volunteers to join in with the ecological management of the site.

Wild About Bath, a new organisation encouraging people to enjoy nature, conserve wildlife and build community in Combe Down, Monkton Combe and Southstoke are encouraging people to take part in a Garden BioBlitz to find and record as many species as possible.

Another local network, FACE (Families Acting on Climate Emergency), has organised a family-friendly workshop to explore the insects, flora and fauna on Kensington Meadows. Take part drawing and making art from the finds and sharing secrets about the edible and medicinal plants.

One key theme of the festival is renewable energy and there are several events you can sign up for: the council’s Planning team will be holding a lunchtime webinar,  Zero Carbon Development & Energy Efficiency, to discuss the proposed changes to planning policy; and the Energy at Home team will be running a drop-in session at the High Street Hub, 15 Cheap Street, where you can come along and ask for advice on making your home more energy efficient or, if you can’t attend in person, you can join their online webinar to ask your questions.

Bath and West Community Energy will be at the Keynsham & Saltford Community Eco Festival on 18 September (10-3pm) and joining several panel discussions.

You can find the full programme of events and register for events here: