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Georgie Burr, our partnerships coordinator, announces the launch of 5 new learning events for Big Local partnerships who are passionate about the natural world

The need to care for our planet has been in the news more than ever – from the rise in plastic in the ocean, to the impact of climate change. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to know where to start, when the issues feel so big!

Luckily there is a lot that we can do as individuals and especially so as communities. The new environmental sustainability and resources learning cluster is a series of five one-off events that seek to inspire and prepare Big Local areas to manage environmental projects that make a difference.

The five events will run for a year, starting in July. Each event will cover a different environmental theme and either one or two people from each Big Local area can attend. Unlike other learning clusters, you can choose to attend just the events that are relevant or of interest to your partnership.

More about the events

Each event is designed so that attendees gain more knowledge, visit a relevant, inspiring location and produce either a next steps plan or set up a new Big Local initiative.

This cluster will be facilitated by Local Trust reps, Julian Mellor and Margaret Jackson, with input from topic specialist speakers and community leaders.

The natural environment

Otters, ash trees, dormice and bees; they’re all under threat from one thing or another, but what can we do?! Well, Big Local areas already do a lot, from community gardens to woodland management. Many of us already understand the health benefits from spending time in these places.

For updates, check out our events page or email

Water bodies

Coastal and inland water is a feature of many Big Local areas. As well as needing management and posing a potential flood risk, water bodies provide opportunities for leisure, habitats for wildlife and can be great for human well being too.

Big Local areas have a lot to offer in shaping and planning how communities can look after water bodies and enjoy them.

Energy and climate change

Climate change doesn’t have to be terrifying and communities can prepare now to be able to cope with changes that climate change will bring. There are many opportunities that Big Local areas can create, such as helping residents to reduce energy use and save money, to developing renewable energy projects that can be a Big Local income source.

The lived environment

It’s not all about having access to fields and woods, many Big Local partnerships are creating environment enhancing projects in forgotten places and street corners. There is a growing understanding of how important urban green and beautiful spaces are for humans and creatures, and it can start right outside your house or window.

Air pollution and its causes

It’s invisible, but the impact on our health is becoming clearer. This event presents an opportunity to explore in more depth the causes, the impacts and the solutions to air pollution.