skip to main content

Climate newsletter 2

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate and Environment

National Tree Week

We recently celebrated National Tree Week, which ran from 25th November to 3rd December, looking back at our progress over the last 12 months; with three new woodlands established in Wing, Amersham and Hazlemere.

As part of our LATF tree planting this year, several new 'Tiny Forests' are expected to pop up at different sites across the County and local groups such as Gerrards Cross Town Council will benefit from this funding.

The first of this year’s round of Tiny Forests is already in the ground at Hamilton Academy in High Wycombe. It was a wet and muddy planting day on the 14th of December, but (along with Earthwatch) the students from year 6 at Hamilton Academy managed to plant 600 trees over three sessions, while avoiding getting stuck in the mud (mostly!). The students enjoyed getting involved in tree planting and are excited about looking after their new Tiny Forest.

Visit to Wing Woods

Following the planting in spring of the first 109,000 trees at our new woodland near Wing, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment, Jilly Jordan, and local ward members Diana Blamires, Ashley Bond and Peter Cooper visited the infant woodland during National Tree Week. They were also joined by Forestry England who are responsible for the management of the site under the Forestry England Woodland Partnership Scheme agreement with the Council.

Two Forestry England Woodland Creation Officers were on site to carry out health check surveys of the young trees and the Bucks Cllrs were pleased to see that the saplings are doing well.

The woodland will eventually contain 132,000 trees and we expect there to be opportunities for volunteer planting there in the spring.

Image: Councillor Diana Blamires and Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment, Jilly Jordan.

The Domestic Resource Efficiency Service celebrates 250 Energy Doctor visits –could they help you or someone you know stay warm this winter?

Buckinghamshire Council’s Domestic Resource Efficiency Service has delivered free home visits to over 250 residents this year, where Energy Doctors have provided energy saving advice and installed low cost easy retrofit resource efficiency measures including LED lightbulbs, draught proofing and heated blankets. This will save an estimated 142.81 tonnes of CO2e and £64,731 off residents’ energy bills each year.

Can you help us beat these savings in 2024 by signing up for an Energy Doctor visit or spreading the word about the scheme?

To qualify for an Energy Doctor visit, you must meet all of the following criteria: You rent the property through a private rental agreement OR own and live in the property your household has an income of £30,000 or less (before tax), OR is in receipt of means tested benefits such as Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, OR a member of the household is disabled the domestic property you live in has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D,E,F or G, OR does not legally require an EPC.

To request an Energy Doctor visit please contact Better Housing Better Health on 0800 107 0044 or email

Image: One of our Energy Doctors installing reflective radiator foil. This low cost measure reflects heat from the radiator away from the wall, increasing the heat energy that is retained within the room and lowering both bills and carbon emissions at the same time.

Could you become a Buckinghamshire Waste Buster?

Buckinghamshire Council and Garden Organic are looking for volunteers who can help support the circular economy in Bucks. Please see the post below to see if this could be the right opportunity for you!


Climate Change & Planning: The Energy Hierarchy

Buckinghamshire Council has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions in Buckinghamshire by 2050, at the same time, the council has ambitious plans for growth in our towns and places such as Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham.

It’s important that this growth is delivered sustainably and one way that the Climate Response Team works to achieve this is through our involvement in the planning process. Although not a statutory consultee, the council’s Climate Response Team is supporting sustainable development across Buckinghamshire by responding to planning applications; encouraging developers in the county to be ambitious and ensuring that local policy is robustly followed.

 One way that this can be achieved is through development proposals that are designed following the principles of the Energy Hierarchy. This is a three-step process that should be applied in order of priority. As shown below:

The first step, 'Demand Reduction', requires development to avoid unnecessary energy consumption. This could be achieved by optimising building orientations (taking advantage of south facing aspects) or incorporating roof overhang (to protect against overheating). Another good example is the inclusion of high standards of insulation. All of these measures help to reduce the amount of energy that a home will need.

The second step, 'Energy Efficiency', should be applied once the energy demand has been reduced on site and looks to ensure that energy is supplied and used as efficiently as possible. For example, this could include the installation of energy efficient measures such as smart heating controls that ensure the home is only heated as much as required without wasting energy. Other examples include smart lighting that switches off automatically if a room is vacated.

The final step, 'Sustainable & Low Carbon Energy Sources', encourages the integration of renewable energy and low-carbon technologies. This features in some of our Local Plans, for example the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan where policy C3 'Renewable Energy' requires developments above a certain size to produce at least 10% of their energy demand on site from renewable sources. There are also exciting developments at a national level, such as The Future Homes Standard that is currently being consulted on and may involve changes requiring new homes to be built with low carbon heating such as air source heat pumps.


What is COP?

As you may be aware, COP 28 recently came to a close, but have you ever asked yourself what COP is and how it fits into the wider United Nations Organisation?

In 1992 countries from across the globe agreed to and adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); this convention has nearly universal membership with 198 signatory countries. It is the UNFCCC that acted as the parent treaty for the Kyoto Protocol that agreed, in 1997, to “operationalise” the UNFCCC by committing countries, particularly with industrialised economies, to limit and reduce greenhouse gases.

All of this is only possible through the annual meetings of the decision making body of the UNFCCC; the “Conference of the Parties”, or COP as it is more commonly referred to. The very first meeting of COP happened in Berlin, Germany in 1995 and it has met annually ever since. It was at COP 21, in 2015, that the Paris Agreement was signed and the most recent COP 28 which met in Dubai closed on December 13th with the first global stocktake including a commitment to “Transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems” – the first time that such a commitment has been made.


Get in Touch

If you would like to be added to the distribution list for this newsletter, please contact:

If you are a member of a local climate and environment group or charity and you have not yet had a visit from one of our officers, please get in touch to be added to the database:

If your community have an interesting and innovative project that you want to share with us and the other climate groups in Buckinghamshire, please get in touch with Phoebe at:

Useful Links