The LEAP project

Community Action on transport, food, energy efficiency in the home and biodiversity in the Welsh borders.

A small grant from Powys Transition and Low Carbon Communities has enabled Lightfoot to encourage and help implement local area action plans (LEAP) in the following areas: Decarbonising transport, local food and sustainability, energy efficiency in the home, the biodiversity of verges. The grant of £1000 was awarded in summer and the activities will continue into early 2020.

Decarbonising transport now and into the future’ is the transport project and began with a fair at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells on Sunday 17the November. Event organiser, Dave Thomlinson, said, “The event we are putting on is about decarbonising transport: how we want the future to be and what we can do now to get there”. There was a display of electric vehicles and cycles and opportunities for rides in zero emissions vehicles or trying out electric cycles. The Riversimple Rasa hydrogen fuel cell car was also on display. Stalls featured trains, buses, cycles, vehicles etc. There was an action planning workshop where participants were invited to draft an action plan for decarbonising transport in Llandrindod, Powys, and the wider region. From cycle paths to trolley buses to hydrogen fuel cell trains to cutting fossil fuel subsidies, everything was up for discussion, including input from the Trawsnewid Transition Llandrindod Transition technology group.

A project focussing on local food and sustainability is being carried out by working with the Knighton Sustainable Food group. A public meeting was held on September 19th in Knighton to discuss some of the issues around sustainable and local food. Since the meeting the group has discussed the next step, with the conclusion that we need to involve local food producers of all kinds to talk about food security and sustainability.  The event is set for Friday 31st January from 6.30 to 9.30pm.  A tentative title for the event is “Eat Well For the Future”. With the possible sub-title “Towards a local food security strategy”.   It is envisaged that food producers and growers, from allotment gardeners to organic, non-organic and intensive farmers, would be invited, as well as local politicians.  The aims of the community meal are specifically:–

  • To promote locally produced food by allowing members of the community to sample the best of produce from within a 30 mile radius.
  • To encourage and take part in a constructive dialogue between all kinds of food producers to ascertain what sustainable food means to the local community.

Hoped-for outcomes from the meal include developing a local food strategy emphasising the lowering of the carbon footprint for food supply and laying the foundations for a local food festival, both obviously very ambitious targets. Alison Weeks is working with the Knighton group on this project.

The home energy efficiency project is to be held in Newtown, with an event to be held near the Maesyrhandir Estate. Some of the homes on the estate have had energy surveys carried out previously by Lightfoot. Much of the work that needs to be done to make them more energy efficient has already been assessed by Dave Green, an Energy consultant who has worked with Lightfoot over many years, will give key evidence to residents about measures they could take to improve the warmth and energy efficiency of their homes. This is mainly Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) and boiler replacement. Ways to make this affordable will be presented, particularly working with a local community bank, which enables low or zero interest loans, which can be made available for financing the work. The event will be in early 2020 and Helen Fairweather is coordinating the project on behalf of Lightfoot.

Following the success of the Environment Fair in Presteigne on the 26th October Lorraine Waumsley is working with Presteigne Area Community Development Group on enhancing the diversity of wild flowers on verges in the area. This is still being negotiated but flower seeds are being purchased for volunteers to sow in the growing season 2020.  An update of this project will follow in early 2020.