Richmondshire Climate Action

We're doing it!

Richmondshire is taking action to respond to the climate and environment emergency that affects each and every one of us, now and in the future.

Supported by Richmondshire District Council, we are the Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership, and we are working with local people and communities to coordinate projects and action across the district. 

Take a look at what we're doing and please contact us if you would like to get involved!

Bilberry Bumblebee Project

Photograph: Bombus Monticola Female, Glen Feshie 2013, taken by Steve Falk.

We are looking for volunteers to join our Richmondshire Bilberry Bumblebee project, conducted in association with the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust.

Are you interested in learning about how to ID bees?

Would you like to gain practical skills in carrying out pollinator surveys across our moorlands?

Are you able to give some of your time to being outdoors in nature this May to July?

This year we are on the search for the rare Bilberry Bumblebee in Richmondshire and to gather more data on our bee populations locally.

If you join us, will you would be doing? 

You will carry out a transect survey in groups of 2-3 which will involve at a minimum walking 1km gently over uneven terrain 6 times between May-July in good weather conditions to identify and record the bee species that you see. There may be additional walking to access the survey site from a parking place. 

A face to face training session will be provided free of cost thanks to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on Saturday 15th April 2023. Booking is essential.

To find out more about the project and how to get involved please join us at our Bilberry Bumblebee Survey info sharing meeting on 14th March at 7pm online via zoom. No need to book. Just join via this link:

Meeting ID: 892 3178 3100

Passcode: 560569

If you would like to find out more please email:

North Yorkshire Climate Action Plan Consultation

North Yorkshire Council has produced a draft Climate Change Strategy (2023-30) which is now out for consultation with the public and interested parties. You can have 'your say' by responding to the consultation, feedback from which will help to inform the development of the Council's Climate Change Action Plan.

Whether you live in, work in or simply visit North Yorkshire, this is a unique opportunity to comment upon and influence strategy that will affect the way that our local services, communities and resources work for us for the forseeable future.

You can read the Council's strategy document by clicking on the link here.

And you can respond to the consultation by clicking on the link here.

The consultation closes on 7th April 2023.

Let's make Richmond litter free in '23 - UPDATE

Free Event 1 – Community Litter Pick

Sunday 22nd January 2023

Meet at The Station, Richmond anytime from 10am to 3pm. 

Litter pickers and bin bags will be provided. Please wear appropriate outdoor footwear and clothing, suitable for potentially muddy and/or icy paths. We will spend about an hour litter picking, and then warm up and share stories and photos of our finds back at The Station, where a free hot drink or soft drink will be provided, kindly sponsored by the Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership (RCAP). 

Photos and anecdotes from the event will appear in the next edition of the Richmond Eco Express, and on the news page of the RCAP website.

The event is open to all, but we do ask that under 18s are accompanied by an adult.

Let's make Richmond litter free in '23

A programme of free events and awareness raising activities designed to deter people from littering will get underway this January, 2023. 

Organised by the Richmond Group of the Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership (RCAP), the first event will be a community litter pick starting from The Station on the 22nd January from 10am – 3pm. 

The event is open to everyone, and litter picking equipment is kindly being provided by Richmondshire District Council and Richmond Pride. 

Mike Sparrow, Vice Chair of the Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership explained why taking action on litter is important: “Nobody likes to see local areas spoilt by litter, and it somehow feels even more intrusive in the protected and valued landscapes we are privileged to call home. But for animals and birds, it can be a matter of life and death, if they eat things like plastic wrappers or get their feet trapped in plastic film.”

County Councillor for Richmond, Stuart Parsons, a long-time advocate for tackling litter said “I wholeheartedly support this ‘let’s make Richmond litter free in ‘23’ campaign from RCAP. It’s easy to take your litter home and recycle what you can, and there’s plenty of litter bins about if you do need to dispose of it earlier.”

For further details and the latest information about the campaign and activities, visit

Or, for more information, please contact Margaret Land via

World Pollution Prevention Day - 2nd December 2022

One of the most important pollution issues for the world to address is the problem of soil depletion. ‘Modern agriculture’, in essence the agricultural model developed and promulgated after the Second World War, has been based upon extensive use of pesticides and fertilisers, allegedly promoted to increase yield in order to meet the need of feeding a burgeoning population.

There is reasonably compelling evidence to suggest that the agricultural fertiliser industry was developed as a means of utilising chemicals that had been manufactured for munitions during the war, such that the business model of those companies could transition to a secondary market to sustain their volume and profitability.

The consequence for our precious agricultural land over subsequent decades has been devastating, with pesticides and fertilisers killing essential microbes in the soil and rendering it little better than sterile. Studies by the University of Texas and the Kushi Institute demonstrate that nutrient quality of soil has declined by between 20 and 40% over the last 30 years, and a McCance and Widdowson study (2007) determined that some vegetables only contain 24% of the nutrients that they would have provided 70 years ago.

From a carbon management perspective this loss of soil quality is also a real problem. However, if soil depletion was addressed effectively it is estimated that a 2-3% improvement in the carbon sequestration performance of our soil could eliminate virtually all of the modern day spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide; and it would do this quickly!

To illustrate the above, perhaps one of the most graphic examples of the pollution impact of fertilisers and pesticides can be seen at the mouth of the Mississippi River, which collects its flow from a catchment that includes the high intensity farming lands of the mid-West/Great Plains. The Mississippi estuary is now ranked as one of the largest ocean hypoxic dead zones in the world, covering an area of 3,275 square miles, equivalent to the land mass of the state of New Jersey.

So, the message is go organic ... and quickly! A permaculture approach to farming is an essential ingredient to healing our Earth, addressing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and improving the nutritional quality of our food. Whether you are a farmer or a consumer you can have a beneficial impact. Feed the soil in your garden with good mulch, composted leaves and organic matter. Rotate your livestock and your crops to mimic the natural order of grazer migration, replenish nutrients and keep your soil healthy. So much can be done so easily to rebuild soil quality and resolve the pollution of our land.

5G in the Dales

This is a story that may court controversy with some, but I guess that's not particularly different to many aspects of the challenge to do good in the interests of our natural world and the wellbeing of future generations. So , I'm not going to shirk the risk.

5G and telecommunications electromagnetic radiation (EMR) generally is a highly charged topic that polarises opinions. On the one hand there is a push for higher and higher connectivity speeds for internet and better mobile phone signal reception, particularly in rural areas. All of this sounds reasonable. But, there is also the question of the cost of the technology being employed to deliver these 'improved' services ... cost in every respect, financial, environmental and public health.

While there has been much debate about the health implications of EMR for many years, the balance of independent science has now tipped damatically in favour of those campaigning against more telecomms radiation. This is relevant to people in Richmondshire because Coverdale and Swaledale/Arkengarthdale have been and continue to be the subject of government funded '5G testbed trials'.

The trial report for Coverdale has just been published by the 'MANY consortium' that delivered the project in collaboration with North Yorkshire County Council, and it makes dismal reading, although trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

In summary, the trial was unable to deliver a better mobile phone signal and only succeeded in connecting 9 households to the MANY wireless network, all for about £1m 'investment' of our taxes. Meanwhile, and perversely while the trial was ongoing, several local properties succeeded in getting a fibre network laid to their door and now enjoy 100mbps internet connection speeds without the risk of wireless radiation, or the expense of public taxes! While the trial is being trumpeted as a success, one has to wonder on what basis?

But, besides the cost, perhaps the most alarming consideration is that the Federal Communications Commission have now been found in a court of law to have failed to evaluate the impact on human health of EMR and 5G. They were taken to court by the Environmental Health Trust (and others) and the court judgement read that the FCC had 'failed to meet even the lowest threshold of reasoned analysis in finding that the limits (it prescribes) adequately protect against the harmful effects of exposure to elctromagnetci radiation'. This is important because the FCC is charged with regulating safety in the telecommunications arena, and its safety advice is regarded as an international benchmark by most countries, including the UK. The court said the FCC is not doing is job, and is not even trying to look at the health related science!

The battle is hotting up in the US too since Pittsfield Massachusett's Health Board have issued Verizon with a 'cease and desist order' after residents became sick following the activation of a new 5G mast - see investigateive report here. Similar actions and problems are being reported all over the world as the push for 5G ramps up. This is a big isssue with potentially devastating health and environmental consequences.

There is now legion of evidence that suggests that the regulatory agencies in many parts of the world are captured by an industry that is worth $billions. And, independent scientists continue to publish countless peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate the propensity of EMR to cause disease in human and animals, devastate pollinator and bird populations, and damage the environment.

This is not a problem that is localised to big cities or just relevant to people in the USA. It's on our doorsteps in Richmondshire. Masts are being installed in our towns and villages and almost all streetlights have been changed to incorporate antennae capable of receiving and transmitting 5G signals; all without any independent evidence of the safty of the technology, and thousands of studies that demonstrate its harm. Look out of your window and see if you can see a new style streetlamp with the antenna on the top and decide whether you need to know more about what's happening.

If you are concerned about the impact or potential impact of EMR and 5G, visit the Environmental Health Trust Website or ActionAgainst5G for more information. These are only two repositories of good independent science. There are a great many more, so please read about it and make your own decision about 5G in an informed way.

9 surprising ways to save energy at home

Have a look at this Which Magazine advice for some simple ideas to help reduce energy consumprion at home.

Every Buzz Counts Event

See our News page for details of this exciting forthcoming event at Foxglove Covert, Catterick on Saturday 1st October.

Post event story - Helping Richmondshire Heat, Eat and Meet

See photographs of our event on our Stories page, together with website links for exhibitors.

UPDATE - Helping Richmondshire Heat, Eat and Meet event - The Garden Rooms, Tennants, Leyburn - 1st July, 10am-3pm

The soaring cost of energy and food is compounding financial hardship for those who were already struggling and is causing difficulty for many more. In response, The Helping Richmondshire event is bringing together a broad spectrum of local Community Support organisations, community groups, and businesses to provide local people with information, advice and support.


The event is covering four themes:

·      Community Support

·      Energy

·      Food, and

·      Transport and Travel


If you need help, you look after someone who needs support or you want to help others in your community, there will be something of value for you at this event. The event is free admission and open to everyone. Here is a brief explanation of what you can expect:


Community Support organisations

A dozen locally based community support organisations will be in attendance providing a range of different services – benefits, debt and financial advice, housing, consumer rights and legal advice, support for parents who need practical help in caring for children, subsidised respite breaks, dementia care and more … or just someone to talk to.



Funding for fuel poverty, help to reduce energy costs, grants for improving thermal properties of your home and/or retrofitting energy efficient heat and power, advice on renewable energy solutions and the development and delivery of community energy




Financial assistance, food bank and food share schemes in Richmondshire, how to cook healthy cheap and tasty meals, advice on starting to grow your own food and/or set up a community garden.


Transport and travel

Advice on public transport options including community bus schemes, car share options, e-bikes and e-scooters, electric vehicles and more.


People from participating organisations will be available at their stands all day, and there will be a rolling programme of short presentations by several participants detailing their services and/or advice. A provisional list of the organisations attending is below, but keep your eye out for additions as we get closer to the day:

Community Support Organisations

Home Start Richmondshire


Citizens Advice Bureau

The Jonas Centre

North Yorkshire County Council Community Support Organisation - Leyburn and District (Bedale to Hawes, and Masham to Colburn) -

Leyburn Arts and Community Centre

Foundation Richmondshire

Parenting Together

Colburn Community Support

Group Hug

North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Communities Team

Richmondshire District Council Community Engagement Team

York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership – Growth Hub

North Yorkshire County Council Libraries

Coast and Vale Community Action, Scarborough - Circular economy for cost efficiency and community interdependence

Ruskin Mill Trust, Clervaux Tust Darlington -

Hambleton and Richmondshire Primary Care Trust - Social Prescribers Team

Food theme

MIND garden project team

Richmond School Big Garden Project

Tunstall Community Garden

Sustainable Swaledale Incredible Edibles Project - free seedlings to get your veg plot started

Influence Church Food Bank, Richmond

Colburn Food Share

Wensleydale Open Pantry

Joy Barrett - cheap healthy and tasty food cooking demonstration

Newton-le-Willows Climate Change Group - free vegetable seedlings to get you started in the garden!

OLIO - food share app

e50K - Bramble Woods, Catterick, community project team -

North Yorkshire Rotters -

Riverford Organic Farmers -

Womens Institute - Wensleydale

Richmondshire District Council - Choose to Lose Programme -

Ash Creativity - Crafting skills and creative designs

Energy theme

GTec Hawes – electrical and renewable energy advice and training

Warm and Well Project – free home energy advice

Eco-EnerG, Barnard Castle – renewable energy installer

YES Energy Solutions – grants and funding for insulation, heating and solar panels

Energy Funding Service – funding for reducing carbon emissions

North Yorkshire Moors National Park – advice on energy efficiency in traditional stone buildings

Marshall and McCourt - biomass, heat pumps, solar, battery storage

Green Building Renewables - solar and heat pumps

Groundwork Yorkshire - Green Doctor -

Energy Smart Group -


Transport and travel theme


Easby EV - EV charging cables

Flexible energy, Bedale - EV charging points -

DalesBus -

HarBus -

Hambleton Wheels2Work -

SG Petch -

Upper Wensleydale Railway Association -

Helping Richmondshire Heat, Eat and Meet - Tennants, Leyburn, 1st July 2022

Organisations will be on hand to provide residents with information, advice and support to help heat their homes, eat cheap healthy food and access affordable transport solutions.


The event, hosted by Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership (RCAP), will be held 10am to 3pm, 1st July, at The Garden Rooms, Tennants, Leyburn.


A broad range of local authority, charitable and private sector organisations will be able to explain how to access food bank and food share schemes, and how to economise on energy costs. Alternative options for organising travel including car share, e-scooter, and public transport will also be showcased. Advice on community food schemes and community energy projects may be of interest to residents or parish councils, as will information about grants that are available for transition to renewable energy.


Organisers are still confirming a rolling programme of short presentations by participating organisations, which will be complemented by a range of stalls manned by expert advisors.


Mike Sparrow, deputy chair of RCAP, said: “At a time when energy and food costs are rising exponentially it is important that our community has visibility of, and access to, expertise that can help mitigate some of the cost-of-living pressure everyone is feeling. For some this may mean practical financial help, for others it could be finding ways to eat cheaper or getting advice on how to start growing your own food. Alternatively, community groups may want to learn more about how to set up a community garden or a renewable energy scheme. Whatever the need, it’s clear that sharing knowledge and helping each other is going to become increasingly important.


“By bringing together a broad range of expertise we hope to provide residents with access to useful resources and raise the profile of local organisations that can provide people with help where needed. We hope as many people as possible will take advantage and come along to this extremely valuable and informative free admission event.”

Election survey results for all North Yorkshire council candidates

To view the environment and climate change survey results for all candidates (who responded) for the North Yorkshire council elections, click here:

Election survey summary - here's a quick reference to councillor opinions

Two thirds of the candidates standing in Richmondshire divisions of the North Yorkshire Council elections responded to our recent survey.


Three Conservative party candidates and two independent candidates did not reply, and two candidates declined the invitation to complete the survey.


The content of the 14 responses received are summarised  below.


1. What do you think of the existing North Yorkshire County Council and Richmondshire District Council climate change commitments and targets? 


There is general support for the local authorities' climate change commitments and targets. Views are mixed though on whether they are achievable and go far enough, and whether there is enough being done to ensure that the commitments are honoured and the targets met. 


2. What do you think the top climate action priorities of the new Council should be?


Actions to tackle both the greenhouse gas emisssions of the Council and those of the wider community were cited. 


Making more buildings environmentally friendly was the most popular, particularly improving domestic insulation, installing heat pumps, solar panels and electric vehicle charging points, and reducing the carbon footprint of Council  buildings, such as schools. 


The need to deliver green energy projects, such as wind, solar and hydro power, and to implement a good network of public transport, and cycling and walking routes to reduce car travel were also prioritised by several. 


The fundamentals of reducing energy and water consumption, reducing use, re-using materials and increasing recycling rates were also mentioned and priorities around land management, such as improving biodiversity and sustainable agriculture were also mentioned. 


3. Which statement below best describes how you feel about action on climate change in the context of all that the new North Yorkshire Council will have to do?                                                                                                      a. All service design and budget decisions should help and not hinder the transition to net zero carbon emissions across North Yorkshire.                                                                                                                                       

b. The impact of service delivery and budget decisions on climate change should only be considered where it does not entail excessive cost.                                                                                                                            c. The need to keep costs to a minimum means that climate change should be a secondary consideration in making decisions on service delivery and budgets. 


Thirteen (93%) answered response a), one answered response b).


A clear majority of candidates generally feel that  all service design and budget decisions should help and not hinder the transition to net zero carbon emissions across North Yorkshire. Tom Jones (Conservative, Scotton and Lower Wensleydale) chose the option that limits climate change action to that not entailing excessive cost.


4. If elected, what one thing do you personally want to achieve in the Richmondshire area to tackle climate change? 


Four responses were concerned with transport, including improving public transport, installing a full network of electirc vehicle charging points, purchasing appropriate low emission waste collection vehicles, and funding cycleways outside the larger urban areas. 

Three responses were around reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, by enabling and funding improvements. 

One response was to manage road verges for hay and wildflowers, and another to deliver greener power sources.


5. If elected, would you support a minimum commitment to convert all council owned and council contracted vehicles to Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles and Zero Emission Vehicles, and provide associated recharging and refuelling infrastructure? 


Thirteen candidates (92%) supported this, one Tom Jones (Conservative, Scotton and Lower Wensleydale) did not.


6. If elected, would you support the early adoption of local plan policies and the introduction of incentives to ensure all new development and changes to existing buildings help the Richmondshire area to transition to net zero carbon emissions? 


Unanimous support.


7. What more do you think the new Council could do to help local residents, businesses and visitors to reduce their waste and to recycle the waste that they cannot avoid generating? 


Several candidates suggested providing more information to residents, businesses and visitors, and to make it as easy as possible for everyone to recycle, e.g. advertising Council and non Council recycling facilities, providing recycling collections including food waste from homes and holiday homes, and periodic mobile skips across the rural areasfor larger items. 


Others mentioned tackling waste at source, e.g. by engaging with retailers and packaging companies.


The Council could illustrate more clearly how much the disposal of waste costs the individual, and learn from the waste collection best practice of Districts. 


8. If elected, what changes do you believe are needed over the next 5 years to the use and management of our rural landscape to best address climate change?


The two most common interrelated themes were incentivising the farming community to farm at a lower intensity and to support greater biodiversity, e.g. fewer animals, more organic crops, giving marginal areas over to rewilding and woodland, and protecting natural features such as peat bogs, woods, hedgerows and wildflower meadows. 


Specifics mentions were given to cleaning up waterways, protecting the National Park, limiting  building on greenfield sites and ending heather burning on the moors. Delivery of new power sources, where appropriate and flood mitigation measures were also mentioned as needed.


9. And finally, in a single sentence, what would you like local people to know about your stance and commitment to taking action on climate change?


Parsons: Climate change is the most urgent threat to our planet and I believe that we can solve it by taking action as communities and helping others to understand the importance of this issue. 


Lowndes: I believe that addressing climate change is not an option and that all decisions should be made with that essential premise in mind. 


Rowe: I am committed to the cause of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Climate change is the number one danger to our survival as a species and the survival of our planet. 


Jones: The core of Conservative philosophy and of the case for protecting the environment are the same - no generation has a freehold on this earth. 


Wicks: As Chair of the RDC Climate Action Working Group, I have led the Council's efforts on climate change. If elected, I would continue this leadership role. 


Kirkwood: Our food production, transport, and housing are the central issues now in addressing climate change, and I want to tackle them. 


Ryder: I am concerned to support and encourage farmers and landowners in looking after the natural environment and in generating renewable energy. 


Foster: If we can achieve our ambitions we will all benefit from living in a greener cleaner place 


Les: Don`t ask if change is coming, ask rather how you can influence it for the better; but don`t ignore the financial aspects of this and the burden on the council tax payer. 


Smith: I'm serious about climate change as it affects those who live in rural communities immensely, as it is intertwined with homes and livelihoods.


Sedgwick: Happy to work and listen to local people who have local ideas to make this area better regarding climate change. 


Amsden: As living in the dales we are at a disadvantage in travel we have to drive cars to get to trains and shops and hospitals. 


Sharma: Keen to promote recycling in the area, building a greener, better planet through reduced waste should be council priority. I encourage all councillors all get behind to achieve council net-zero by 2030 


Parlour: My own farming practices (for over 40 years now) reflect my passion and commitment to nature conservation, biodiversity and the recognition of the need to take radical action to tackle the climate's a passion and attitude that I'd love to bring to the council chamber! 


Climate change opinion survey responses for candidates standing for North Yorkshire councillor election - NOW IN!

Click on the link below to see the responses to our climate change survey questions provided by candidates standing for election in the forthcoming (5th May) North Yorkshire Council elections.

Over half of the candidates standing in the forthcoming North Yorkshire council elections have responded to our survey and responses have been received from candidates across the political spectrum in all the voting divisions except one.

Decarbonising new and existing buildings is the top priority for most candidates, whether that is helping householders with installing home insulation, solar panels and heat pumps or making sure that new developments and Council buildings such as schools and offices achieve zero carbon. 

Green energy projects and improving public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure were also identified as top priorities by several candidates, with others focusing on the fundamentals of educating and enabling everybody to reduce energy, water and materials use, increasing recycling rates and developing circular economies. 

Reflecting the rural nature of much of the area, priorities around land management, action to incentivise lower intensity farming and to support greater biodiversity were often cited. These included rearing fewer animals, growing more organic crops, giving marginal areas over to rewilding and woodland, and protecting and expanding natural features such as peat bogs, woods, hedgerows and wildflower meadows.

April Climate Practitioners update

This update, provided by the North Yorkshire Climate Change Policy Officer, has been added to our documents list and can be viewed by clicking on the About tab at the top of our website and selecting 'docs'.

Free online seminar on how to build a subsidy free rooftop solar project

Organised by Community Energy South, you can register to participate in this seminar here:

Unitary Authority Elections - candidate survey

On May the 5th Richmondshire residents will be able to cast their votes for candidates standing as prospective councillors for North Yorkshire County Council, who will also then serve as councillors in the new Unitary Authority effective from April 2023.

Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership has organised a survey of those prospective candidates to gauge their stance on issues related to the environment and climate change, and we will publish feedback from respondents as soon as it is available. We will also issue a short press release to local media summarising the results of the survey. Details of divisions and candidates can be found on Wikipedia, here:

We very much hope that candidates will participate in our survey and ensure that their opinions on policy making to address climate change and good environmental stewardship are made explicit to the public.

Earth Day - 30th March 2022 - Make 'Just One Change'

What are you doing to reduce carbon and/or safeguard and improve your local environment and biodiversity on Earth Day 2022?

How do you feel about joining us in making 'Just One Change', right now, to reduce our carbon footprint or benefit our environment? Every change makes a difference, however small. And, once you've made 'One Small Change', what could you do next? 

Do let us know what you decided to do by emailing