CASaV Update – March 2023

Hope you enjoy reading our latest update, including details of our next meeting on Tuesday 21st March.

Welcome to March’s Update and all things spring

This month we bring you local and national climate action news, events and activities including how to access and give feedback on North Yorkshire Council’s Climate Change Strategy, the successes of the Food Group’s free seed stall and the Waste Group’s Repair Cafes, how to support the local 20’s plenty campaign, how to apply for energy efficiency funds and where you can obtain a swift box to help protect this highly endangered bird.

What’s Going On – general news and events

Monthly meeting

This month’s whole group CASAV meeting will be on Tuesday 21st March at The Globe Community Library, North Road, Stokesley from 7:30 – 9:00pm. Everyone is welcome to hear about group developments and coming events as well as to discuss current topics and how you can be involved. Our focus this month will be on responding to the North Yorkshire County Council climate change strategy consultation – see below for details.

North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy

The North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy Draft was published on Monday 13 February and is available to view online here: the council/Consultations/North Yorkshire Council climate change strategy 2023-2030/87680_Climate Change Strategy for web – accessible.pdf

The Strategy outlines the activities which the new North Yorkshire Council can take to tackle the causes and impacts of climate change through four areas:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change.
  • Preparing Council services and North Yorkshire residents for the changing climate.
  • Supporting nature, on which the county depends to thrive.
  • North Yorkshire Council – to be operationally carbon neutral by 2030.

It also highlights how North Yorkshire Council will work with partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors to support the regional ambition to become a carbon negative region by 2040 – following the York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative.

Reference copies of the strategy draft are also available in local libraries. Residents, communities, voluntary groups, businesses and partners, are asked to give their views.

Informed by discussions at our next meeting we will be making a collective response but everyone is encouraged to give their views as individuals also here:

Everybody’s views are important, be aware that the consultation closes on 7 April 2023.

Darlington & Stockton Times Monthly Climate Column

Starting in March 2022, CASaV has now been successfully producing a column for the D&S on a pertinent climate topic every month, raising awareness and hopefully encouraging people to take action. Topics range from warm homes and reducing waste to individual actions to mitigate against climate change. If you have an idea that you think would make a good article please let us know!

If you missed last month’s column you can catch up here:

All of the past year’s columns are being collated and will be accessible via the CASAV website soon.

Great Big Green Week – 10-18th June – save the date!

The Great Big Green Week is a yearly event across the country to celebrate community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. More information here:

We are starting to compile a list of events for Great Big Green Week which will include one of our regular Repair Cafes. If you are planning anything in the area please get in touch to add your event to the list.

Updates from the groups


North Yorkshire Energy Efficiency Fund

Residents here in Hambleton but also Scarborough and Ryedale can apply for funding for energy efficiency measures for their home.

The fund aims to help reduce energy bills, keep homes warmer and cut carbon emissions. If you meet the criteria, you can apply to YES Energy Solutions, who are delivering the scheme on our behalf. They will carry out a survey to identify what funding you could receive from the government scheme to upgrade energy inefficient homes.

If you are a homeowner or private renter you can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. For privately rented properties, landlords are required to make a contribution to cover one third of the total costs.

See if you are eligible

To qualify for the scheme you must:

  • be a resident in Scarborough, Hambleton or Ryedale
  • have a household income of £30,000 or less or receive income related benefits
  • live in a property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G

Properties rated as D will also be accepted if fewer than 30% of D rated properties sign up to the scheme.

You can find your Energy Performance Certificate or request a new one on the government’s website.

What help you can get if you are eligible

If you qualify for the fund, your property will undergo a survey and YES Energy Solutions will use that to see which improvements would improve your home’s warmth and efficiency the most.

The type of home you live in will determine which improvements can be made and how much funding you could get which could be up to £10,000 or £25,000 for off-gas properties.

Examples of free improvements you could receive include:

  • external wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • solar panels (PV)
  • air source heat pump
  • high heat retention electric storage heaters

How to apply

If you meet the criteria you can apply by using YES Energy Solutions’ online form or by calling them on 03301 355 321.

Onshore windfarms

The government appears to be back pedalling on its promise to lift the ban on onshore windfarms in England. For energy security and to combat climate change more onshore wind farms are needed and have the approval of the majority of the public.

You can call on the government to unblock wind power onshore using the link below:

More information here:


Free seed giveaway

Members of the Food group held a popular free seed giveaway staff at this month’s Farmer’s Market in Stokesley on Saturday March 4th, encouraging people to grow their own vegetables and flowers, giving away free seeds and advice.

If you missed this you can still pick up (or donate!) free seeds at the Globe Community Library seed share box and also the Discovery Centre, Great Ayton has a seed box.

Yatton House Community Garden

Are you a Co-op member? If you are, remember you can still help fund the community garden that CASaV are helping develop with Yatton House, Brighten Up Great Ayton group and local Rotary groups. You can find out more and choose this local cause to support. If you are interested in joining a working party in the garden email Caryn [].

Nature / Environment

Nature events

The Nature group is planning various events over the course of the year, including the popular wildflower walks and bug hunt. Subject to finding an expert we also want to run bat walks and a fungus foray. We are also planning a Biodiversity Event in the spring that will take place during the Great Big Green week. A key event will be an open garden highlighting gardening for biodiversity. This will take place on Saturday 10th June. Location details will be released later. As a celebration of the Great Big Green week we are also holding wildflower walks at Ingleby Bank Foot and Cod Beck reservoir.

Swift Action

The beautiful and high flying swift is seriously endangered and for two years now has been on the Red list in the 2021 UK Conservation Status Report – the highest conservation priority, with species on this list needing urgent action

More information here:

On Monday 27th February we had an interesting evening at the launch of the Swift Action project, being led by the Discovery Centre, Great Ayton with support from BUGs (Brighten Up Great Ayton) and Climate Action Stokesley and Villages. Graham Jeffreys from the company Habibat, who design and manufacture a range of bird and bat boxes and are based in the village, donated 10 swift boxes for the village to help the existing swift colony which have been eagerly taken up but we have been offered more at £10 per box. If you would like one please place an order in the Discovery Centre by 31st March. We might be able to fund additional orders depending on the numbers requested.

If you are interested in the Swift Action project please get in touch with Caryn [].

Forever chemicals found in local effluent treatment works

High levels of the pollutants per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as ‘forever chemicals’ as they don’t break down in the environment, build up in the body and may be toxic, have been found at thousands of sites across the UK and Europe, a major mapping project has revealed, including at Stokesley and Great Ayton effluent treatment works.

More information here:

The Marine Conservation Society has more information on the impact of these chemicals on the environment and how you can take action to stop more of these chemicals being produced and released.

As if there weren’t enough worries, another concern for the environment is the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill which plans to sweep away all EU related law and statutory instruments. Many organisations including the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts have expressed deep concerns about the consequences on the natural environment because many of the protections we have in the UK have come about because of the UK’s membership of the EU. You can read more about this bill below.


20s Plenty for North Yorkshire

20’s plenty is the national scheme backed by United Nations, aiming to introduce 20mph as the norm wherever people and vehicles meet.

Locally the 20s Plenty for North Yorkshire has been campaigning to encourage local councils to introduce maximum 20 mph zones in the centre of towns and villages and in particular where pedestrians are most vulnerable e.g. outside schools and where there is a high footfall. At these lower speeds not only can road deaths and injuries be substantially reduced but also climate changing exhaust gases can be lessened. Currently 141 town/parish councils in North Yorkshire support 20’s Plenty.

Even more locally, 20’s Plenty for Stokesley is our nearest group, contactable here:

20’s Plenty North Yorkshire groups aim for North Yorkshire County Council to budget for new 20mph signage all around our county. If you agree with this idea please complete and share the petition.

Sign here :


Stokesley and Villages Repair Cafes

The latest Repair Cafe took place at the Globe Community Library, Stokesley on Saturday February 11th. Over 60 household items were repaired and / or returned to full working order by our pink T-shirted volunteers (surplus event promo items were cunningly rescued from going to waste by Jenny and repurposed as our rather fetching ‘Repairer’ uniforms). Who needs Jay Blades (TV’s Repair Shop) when we have our very own Phil ‘Blades’ and his nifty blade sharpening tools?

The monthly Repair Cafes continue with the next being held in Swainby Village Hall on Saturday 18th March 10-12 and following that Saturday 1st April at the Globe Stokesley 10-12.  We have now been running these for a whole year in which time over 400 household items have been repaired which might have otherwise gone to waste in landfill or incineration, saving the owners thousands of pounds in the cost of buying replacements as well as reducing the environmental impact of using up resources and the energy in manufacturing. Also we get the opportunity to share the climate action message with all of the 100s of people who have attended, many not directly involved with CASAV.

Remember, bring your household items in need of repair e.g. electrical appliances, mechanical equipment, furniture, clothing, crockery, laptops, smartphones, etc – to the Repair Cafe and extend the life of your items, learn repair skills, prevent landfill waste and help fight climate change!

Further details here on our website.

Learn repair skills, extend the life of your favourite clothes and reduce waste

Ripping Yarns in Stokesley is running a number of mending workshops led by one of our Repair Cafe repairers Jane, the next is 5th April. More information here

Refill – reducing use of single use plastics

The Refill App ( allows you tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill containers for drinks, food and household cleaning substances as well as getting free tap water for your reusable bottle. Anne Mannix and other CASAV members have been out and about encouraging local businesses to sign up to the refill scheme and appear on the app and there are now almost 20 locations where you can refill your own containers, saving packaging and costs.

If you know any local businesses which would like to join the scheme, please get in touch.

Signing off

If you have any news or any event / activity you would like promoting on this monthly update please email Kate by the end of March.

Kate will also be helping promote activities via Facebook and Instagram so let her know if there is anything that you would like shared via our Facebook group or Instagram page if you are not a Facebook / Instagram user.

Hope to see you at the CASAV whole group monthly meeting on the 21st March (details at the start of the update!)

Kate Gibbon,

on behalf of the Climate Action Stokesley and Villages Steering Group Steering group:

Bridget Holmstrom, Caryn Loftus, Jack Turton, Ron Kirk and Simon Gibbon

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