DCERG Minutes 22nd May

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Minutes 22nd May. Download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees:

Phil Norrey Devon County Council (Chair)
Doug Eltham Devon County Council
Andrew Butler National Farmers’ Union
Ellie Rowlands Devon Climate Emergency
Andy Bell UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve
Melanie Sealey Devon County Council
David Beasley Devon County Council
Dan Ulanowsky Pennon Group
Clare Reid Exmoor National Park Authority
David Edmondson Torbay Council
Helen Dobby Environment Agency
Harry Barton Devon Wildlife Trust
Emma Page University of Exeter
Sara Gibbs Devon Public Health
Penny Tranter Met Office
James Cooper Environment Agency

Apologies:

James Szymankiewicz Natural Devon
Emily Reed Devon Climate Emergency
David Ralph Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Janet Williams Torridge District Council
Neil Hamlyn Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum
Tamasine Matthews Devon and Cornwall Police

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as a true record of the discussion.

One action is carried across from last month:

ACTION: Doug Eltham to facilitate conversation between partners on civil engineering decarbonisation.

2. Project Progress Report

Only a brief period was focussed on project progress this month to enable sufficient time for agenda item 3.

2.1. Project Management Update

See Section 1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

2.2. Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

See Section 2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 these minutes.

Doug Eltham advised the Response Group that the Tactical Group feel it would be beneficial for the local authorities to sign-off the draft Version 1 Devon Carbon Plan for consultation through the Council Leader or the Cabinet Member with the relevant portfolio responsibility, rather than full Cabinet or Council, to minimise time requirements which could be extended due to the operation of committees during the Covid response period. The actions that are being considered for inclusion in the Version 1 Plan have been shared with partner organisations at officer level for comment and to check that issues that are sensitive are not included and are instead taken to the citizens’ assembly in 2021 for deliberation. The Task Force will take officer comments on board and provide a refined draft back to officers in early July to discuss with organisation leaders to sign off for public consultation starting in August. All Members will have an opportunity to comment on the draft as part of the public consultation.

Phil Norrey and David Edmondson indicated that this approach should be fine.

ACTION: Phil Norrey will raise this proposal for local authority sign-off at the Devon Leaders and Chiefs Meeting on the 3rd June.

2.3. Update on the Climate Impacts Group

See Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

3. Influencing a Low-Carbon Covid-19 Reset

Phil Norrey introduced this section of the meeting about the Devon Climate Emergency could influence the economic reset from Covid-19 to ensure low-carbon is the centre of the new normal. Phil mentioned the potential opportunity for a Green New Deal, which he and colleagues are raising regularly with contacts in Government.

3.1. Effect on Emissions

The Group discussed a paper prepared by Devon County Council’s Environment Group on the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown on carbon emissions and the immediate investment priorities identified by the UK Committee on Climate Change. The paper concludes that the extent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions likely to be experienced globally (about 8%) in 2020 is not considerably more than will be required every year to meet net-zero targets by 2050. However, amongst the sadness of the Covid-19 pandemic there is a huge opportunity to use the economic stimulus measures that are necessary to enable communities to recover, to improve public health, our resilience and our wellbeing as well as address the climate and ecological emergencies. There are projects in Devon that could respond quickly to cash injection to develop supply chains and skills for a low carbon future. 

Dan Ulanowsky noted that strengthening electricity networks will need to come in tandem with renewable energy deployment. Phil Norrey agreed, as the region has a long-term ambition to be a net-exporter of energy.

Helen Dobby asked through what mechanism would the Group feed these investment priorities into Government’s economic stimulus packages. Phil Norrey advised that the route is not clear but that we should all be using every avenue and conversation available to us as strategic organisations to feed the message up.

Harry Barton suggested challenging organisations not to go back to previous habits, and for the Devon Climate Emergency communications campaign to provide tips for organisations that have found flexible working more challenging during the lockdown. Phil Norrey responded by saying that it’s remarkable how previously-assumed barriers have been broken down – for example the County Council currently has 3,000 staff working remotely – we absolutely need to do what we can to enable staff to continue flexible working whilst looking after mental health and wellbeing.

ACTION: All Devon Climate Emergency partners to consider how they can embed lockdown practices that have proven successful into their ‘new normal’, share these widely through their own communications channels and forward to Ellie Rowlands for sharing through Devon Climate Emergency communications.

Sara Gibbs encouraged the reset to be ‘just’ and ‘fair’ as well as low-carbon, after all climate change impacts the poorest people in Devon and indeed globally. The 2019-20 Public Health Annual Report on Planetary and Human Health outlines what could be done to address environment and health issues. Phil Norrey suggested this is necessary as a solely low-carbon recovery could have various injustices buried within it that will need to be considered carefully.

Claire Reid reported that agriculture and tourism sectors should be a focus for upskilling, which would be particularly important to Devon’s protected landscapes. There is a further
opportunity to enable low-carbon transport to and within these areas which not only helps with tourism but also accessibility for employment. Helen Dobby added that enhancing flood water management within the countryside can be an investment opportunity and a potential opportunity for upskilling the land-based workforce and to develop a local supply chain.

Phil Norrey said that the National Infrastructure Strategy will certainly need to reprioritise its spending towards what the UK Committee on Climate Change has identified as the top priorities, which include flood and coastal risk management.

The Group AGREED that Phil Norrey should arrange for a letter to be sent on behalf of the Devon Climate Emergency project to Government supporting the UK Committee on Climate Change’s investment priorities that are particularly relevant and ready for investment in Devon.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to arrange for a letter to be sent by Phil Norrey to Government.

3.2. Strategic Context

Mel Sealey provided an overview of the strategic economic context, available at Appendix 2 of these minutes.

The region is well-prepared to encourage a low-carbon recovery as the Growth Prospectus of the Great South West consortium of Local Enterprise Partnerships has low-carbon as a central theme, which had already been discussed with the UK Treasury before Covid.

Devon County Council is producing a Strategy for Growth to 2030 that is expected to be published this year and will align with the region’s low carbon ambition. The Devon Net Zero Report identifies that there is a cost of £658m/year (excluding Torbay and Plymouth) to achieve net-zero by 2050 – a huge cost but also a huge opportunity. The figure is £157m/year in Plymouth (from the Plymouth Net-Zero Report) and the figure in Torbay is currently being calculated.

A team has been set up to look at Devon’s economic and business recovery with four sub-groups – Business, People, Place and Opportunities. The Opportunities sub-group is specifically looking at low carbon as a cross-cutting theme.

Phil Norrey asked for the Response Group to have the opportunity to comment on the draft outputs of the four sub-groups.

ACTION: Mel Sealey to determine how it would be most constructive for the Response Group to feed into the outputs of the four sub-groups

3.3. Investment in Natural Capital

Andy Bell introduced the initiatives underway in the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve to understand the true value of the natural environment and identify investment opportunities to enhance it. They are taking a ‘natural capital’ approach.

Natural capital assets, in the form of different habitats and land uses, provide services that are vital to wellbeing and prosperity. They provide people with fresh water to drink, can protect from the impact of flooding events, mitigate climate change, as well as many other benefits which boost our economy and wellbeing.

Despite this value, we take most of the benefits that nature provides for granted. Sometimes we prioritise one service (for instance, food production) whilst inadvertently damaging other valuable services. This means that investment in the environment is under-prioritised and our quality of life is threatened because we are taking more than we are putting back. Investments would work best if they supported a landscape-scale approach, as this would improve multiple services, provide benefits to a wider range of investors and would have a positive effect on biodiversity. But this requires a high degree of coordination. This is where the North Devon Natural Capital Strategy (launched on 21st May 2020) and the associated North Devon Marine Natural Capital Strategy (launched in the coming weeks) come in. The priorities, including those that could be implemented quickly, are outlined in Appendix 3 to these minutes, which Andy presented at the meeting. Andy highlighted the Biocultural Heritage Tourism Project that is aiming to redistribute tourism around the Biosphere to reduce the impact at honeypot sites and to enhance the sector overall.  

Andy advised that alongside the natural capital enhancements we also need to change social attitudes and behaviours and so community involvement is crucial.

Andy linked to Sara Gibb’s earlier comments about the economic reset needing to be just and fair: Andy mentioned the concept of Doughnut Economics in which the upper limits of society’s activities are dictated by environmental resources and boundaries, whilst its lower limits are dictated by a need to keep everyone healthy and subject to social justice. This is a useful tool within which to think about future policy and projects.

Phil Norrey opened the discussion to others.

Andy Butler said that businesses need advice and assistance to embed new practices that benefit natural capital, and indeed new technologies.

Harry Barton suggested that the learning from the integrated, natural capital approach in the Biosphere is an excellent opportunity to implement the approach across the rest of the county.

Phil Norrey concluded by stating that we definitely need to see the Biosphere as an economic resource as well as an environmental resource.

ACTION: Mel Sealey to feed the importance of natural capital into the work of Devon’s Economic and Business Recovery Team

4. Chair of the Response Group

The Terms of Reference of this Group require the chairing organisation to be re-elected every 12 months.

Phil Norrey nominated Devon County Council to continue chairing the Group for a further 12 months and proposed that it would beneficial for the Authority to remain in the chair to maintain stability during the unprecedented circumstances of the Covid pandemic.

It was AGREED that Devon County Council will remain as the chairing organisation.

5. Any Other Business

David Edmondson reported that Torbay Council have received approval to recruit into a dedicated climate change post.

6. Next Meeting

Next meeting is the 23rd June 10:30 – 11:30.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report

Period: April – May 2020

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issue that requires Response Group intervention;

Amber = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;

Green = No issue.

1. Project Management Update

1.1. Activity Over the Past Month

ActivityRAG
Project Communications   ‘Website phase 2’ previously reported as delayed. Decision now made to use an external developer. Request for quotation was issued on the 12th May.   Tactical Group selected two versions of a new project strapline which have been put to the public vote the winning strapline was:   “Creating a resilient, net-zero carbon Devon – where people and nature thrive”  Green
Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration   Cornwall Council will share consultation findings on their draft Climate Change Development Plan Document with Devon County Council in June which will provide an opportunity for Devon authorities to learn from Cornwall’s approach.  Green

1.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Project Communications

  • Procurement of an external developer for the ‘Website Phase 2’ will continue.
  • Current website will be tidied up.
  • Further social media content around the suggestions in the call for evidence and themed hearings will be developed.

Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration

  • Await the consultation responses from Cornwall Council  – this is likely to identify the issues and unintended consequences of prioritising carbon reduction within the planning process, which is an activity we were going to use a workshop for in Devon. 

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

Role from its Terms of Reference: To use its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan, including consideration of the earliest credible date that should be set for net-zero emissions.

2.1. Activity Over the Past Month

ActivityRAG
Citizens’ Assembly and Carbon Plan Timetable
The revised approach and timetable for a Version 1 and Version 2 Carbon Plan was endorsed by the DCERG at its April meeting. This will see a Version 1 plan open for public consultation by the autumn and a Version 2 Carbon Plan produced in 2021 that will have been informed by the citizens’ assembly.   The timing of the citizens’ assembly remains uncertain. The national climate assembly is being held online and the Task Force is going to monitor its effectiveness to consider whether an online approach could work in Devon but there are clearly issues with digital inclusivity that would appear to be difficult to overcome.   
The timetable of the Economy and Society Research Council-funded project to evaluate the effectiveness of the citizens’ assembly no longer aligns the assembly’s revised timetable. Patrick Devine-Wright has identified an alternative that enables the funding to be used to get feedback on the effectiveness of the engagement around the Carbon Plan production process. This was circulated to the Response Group by email earlier this month and confirmation has been provided to Patrick that we are content with the proposal.
Amber
Developing the Carbon Plan  
The Task Force continues to identify the key actions for the carbon plan arising from the call for evidence and hearings.   A spreadsheet has been produced documenting about 160 actions. These are categorised by the theme they relate to as well as the strategic-level outcomes and objectives they are helping achieve. The actions are further categorised by whether the action is something to be delivered locally or nationally, an issue that the citizens’ assembly should deliberate, which type of organisations would be involved, who the lead organisation might be, which type of geography it is relevant to (e.g. city, market town, rural etc.) and the timescale for implementation.   The effectiveness of each of the actions, and in many cases groups of actions, at reducing carbon emissions is now being estimated and will be added to the spreadsheet.   Advice on applying ‘systems thinking’ approaches to understanding the interactions between the individual actions has been taken from various external experts: The Task Force is now considering how to make best use of their voluntary time in taking the principles through to next steps of compiling version 1 of the Plan.  A workshop to test the principles on the significant actions is scheduled for the 22nd May.   Research briefs to gather more information about issues that the citizens’ assembly will need to deliberate have started to be produced.  
Green
Public Engagement Outline arrangements had been made for three public events to share the key findings and a Q&A with task force members. Future of these remains uncertain due to Covid 19.Amber

2.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Citizens’ Assembly and Carbon Plan Timetable

  • Watching brief will remain on government advice regarding mass gatherings and the effectiveness of the national citizens’ assembly.
  • Revision to the ESRC-funded evaluation project will be confirmed.   

Developing the Carbon Plan

  • Continue to understand the carbon saving potential of the actions. This may involve further conversations with additional witnesses and/or commission research as deemed necessary.
  • Over the next couple of months, the secretariat will speak with project partners to discuss the emerging actions and understand what resources these would need and how those resources can be found.   
  • The Task Force will determine how to embed a ‘systems thinking’ approach into the drawing up of the Devon Carbon Plan.
  • The structure of the Version 1 Devon Carbon Plan will begin to emerge.
  • Specific issues that the assembly will need to deliberate will continue to be compiled by the Net-Zero Task Force and research briefs around these will be prepared and commissioned as necessary.

Public Engagement

  • Planning of the engagement events will continue to determine whether they can be held online.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

Role from its Terms of Reference: To work collaboratively with the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly climate emergency projects operating in each of the three localities to use its expertise to help:

  • prepare communities for the necessary adaptations to infrastructure, services and behaviours that will be required to respond to a warmer world.
  • improve the resilience of the natural environment against the effects of climate change

3.1. Activity Over the Past Month

ActivityRAG
Review of the Terms of Reference The revised Terms of Reference have been agreed.  Green
Chair of the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) Helen Dobby, Area Director of the Environment Agency, has become the Chair of the Climate Impacts Group as of the 20th AprilGreen
Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change   The Met Office is finalising its summary of the 2018 climate projections.   Narratives on: Flood and coastal risk (led by the Environment Agency)Health (led by Public Health England)The natural environment (led by the Local Nature Partnership with the Westcountry Rivers Trust)   are expected by the Climate Impacts Group’s next meeting on the 20th May.Green

3.2. Activity Expected Next Month

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change

The narratives will be finalised by the University of Exeter that will provide commentary on wider social and economic issues.

Timetable for an Adaptation Plan

A timetable for an Adaptation Plan will be drafted and presented to the DCERG for endorsement.

4. Summary Comments

The Devon Carbon Plan continues to be in a phase of understanding the key actions that could be implemented locally and choices that should be deliberated by the citizens’ assembly.

The Climate Impacts Group is now under a new Chair and is completing the impact narratives.

Overall, the project continues to perform well given the Covid-19 restrictions.

Appendix 2 – Influencing Covid19 reset Economy and Opportunities

Recovery – overview / context

  • Bank of England 7th May statement – deepest recession on record
  • Significant impact on Devon’s economy
  • RSA report 27th April – up to 35% jobs affected. 6 of Devon’s districts & Torbay in highest 25 affected.
  • Unemployment figures up 139% (68% nationally) (19th May)
  • Staff furloughed
  • Hospitality, Tourism, Food and Drink, Retail worst affected
  • Implications of social distancing on town centre and outdoor re-opening
  • Local Economic Advisory Panel report (Devon, Plymouth, Torbay) has identified economic impacts of Covid 19, gaps and responses needed- reported 2nd April 2020
  • 123,000 jobs at risk
  • 12% loss of GVA (£1.98bn)
  • Slower recovery than other areas
  • Gaps in Government business support packages – now partly addressed

Economy reset – strategic context

  • Devon draft Strategy for Growth to 2030 – identifies key sectors / places/ focus for next 10 years – to be published 2020
  • Government’s Clean Growth Strategy – identifies funding £500m per year (2017)
  • Government’s Industrial Strategy – Clean Growth Challenge
  • Heart of the South West Local Industrial Strategy – not yet published
  • Great South West prospectus – Green and Blue Economy Focus
  • Govt funding encouraging zero carbon innovation e.g. Innovate UK, Heat Networks Investment Project, One Public Estate
  • 21st May: £40m Clean Growth Fund for Green Start Ups – Clean growth challenge
  • Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Report – how to get to net zero carbon by 2050

Key findings- Devon clean growth report

  • Devon analysis of investment & reductions needed based on CCC report
  • Devon spend to meet Zero 2050 target will be £658m per year
  • Opportunities and % GHG reductions include:                     
  • Renewable energy generation – 98% 2050 => 6 x 2017 capacity
  • Smart energy distribution systems
  • Building retrofit and new-build – 95%
  • Industrial energy efficiency – 88% – low carbon innovation zones?
  • Electric vehicles
  • Low carbon agriculture – 32%
  • Waste reduction – 71%
  • Zero emissions refrigeration – 86%
  • Greenhouse gas removal – peat, tree planting etc

Restart, regrow, reset

  • Team set up to jointly work on Devon’s economy and business recovery
  • Local Authorities, Businesses, Sector Orgs, Colleges, University, Social Enterprise
  • Economic Modelling – Oxford Economics
  • 3 timeframes: Re-start; Re-Grow; Reset
  • Early days – work beginning on immediate actions
  • 4 sub-groups set up:  
    • Business
    • People
    • Place
    • Opportunities
  • All 4 groups keen to engage with low carbon opportunities in recovery plans

Potential opportunities

  • Town centres – changing use of high streets – retail reset
  • Cycling/walking improvements, electric vehicles
  • Digital – infrastructure, skills, business opportunities
  • Grid infrastructure improvements – electric vehicles, electricity demand/supply management / generation
  • Local energy generation & supply / district heating
  • Housing and workspace retrofit
  • Sustainable aviation – technology development
  • SW food procurement hub/”buy local” campaigns – local supply chains
  • Environmental – flood prevention, tree planting, remediation
  • Small business / entrepreneurial start-ups
  • Business resource use reduction

Appendix 3 – UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve draft position for post COVID Green Recovery Plan

Background

The position of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve partnership will definitely promote a greener economic model after COVID. This is a draft based on the current thinking within partners in the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. (Note the Biosphere Reserve covers about a third of Devon and extends to 12 miles beyond Lundy)

The Biosphere Reserve is well positioned having done the work on the Marine and Landscape Pioneers. The Pioneer programmes were sponsored by Defra to test approaches to deliver the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan (YEP), which sets out a natural capital approach. The programmes were to see how the aspirations of the YEP could be delivered most effectively. These included

  • Improving coordination within and between Defra bodies and local agencies.
  • Improving decision making with natural capital at the centre
  • Testing approaches to innovative finance mechanisms.

The Pioneer programmes have each developed a Natural Capital Strategy that are each executed in concert through the Biosphere Reserve Partnership. The Partnership has reviewed its own strategy in the light of these experiences and has aligned its targets and goals with the YEP and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The targets and goals are outlined below. Those in italic font are those that could contribute quickly to a Covid reset.

Land Management

Working with 5 natural capital assets (woodlands, culm grassland, intensive grassland, rivers, coastal landscape) and services (water quality, carbon storage, tourism, flood reduction, biodiversity) through the Landscape Pioneer Natural Capital Strategy:

Mechanisms:

  • Nature Recovery supporting (but not exclusively) ecosystem service delivery and ecosystem services’ markets
    • Resilient habitat networks providing carbon stocks, water improvements, cultural services and health services.
  • Woodland Enterprise Zone:
  • Woodlands into management
  • Improving the local supply of timber/forest products with timber processing hubs and woodland owner support systems.
  • Use programmes to support apprenticeships. Eg. timber processing and timber frame building especially in the social homes sector.
  • Farm natural capital approach (Northern Devon Natural Environment Land Management Scheme pilots)
    • Building natural capital into farm business planning
    • Actual implementation due in 2 years’ time
  • Biodiversity Net Gain requirements in spatial planning
    • Using finance from development to fund strategic improvements of natural capital
  • Green Bond investments

Marine

Blue Carbon:

  • Feasibility of seaweed farming in North Devon (sequestering carbon from eutrophic estuary and providing alginates for soils improvement and food/pharma products.). Implementation is likely to be private sector led.
  • Feasibility Kelp Bed extensions; modelling for enhancement using the Marine Conservation Zones as areas to increase carbon stores
  • Saltmarsh creation: sites are identified to increase carbon and improve flood resilience as well as other ecosystem benefits. Require investment to match EA environment programme funding.
  • Blue Bond investments
  • Sea grass; needs to be modelled and feasibility. Looks like a weak option in North Devon at the moment.

Fisheries

  • Herring management and protection of spawning areas identification of spawning areas and implement appropriate management and protection.
  • Enhancement of mussel/oyster fishery continued investment in the catchment to reduce FIOs and support to increase subtidal laying of mussels.
  • Supporting a development of better inshore fleet.

Carbon

Land based carbon projects:

  • Woodland Carbon Code and Guarantee (getting technical support to owners etc to get the trees in the ground and funded)
  • Farm soil carbon in grassland and arable systems; develop science and methodologies for reporting carbon markets. (Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrator, Biosphere Reserve and Rothamstead Research)
    • Develop sound prescriptions
    • Establish the approved methodology for verification
    • Implementation

Carbon Project Verifiers and Validators

There is a lack of accredited bodies to validate and verify carbon projects. At the moment there are only 2 in the UK for woodland carbon code. The Biosphere Reserve Foundation is seeking support to become ISO 14065 accredited to enable carbon projects to be monetised and. (Requires £100K over 2 years to establish)

Energy

  • Energy efficiency in the domestic sector inc. retrofit of insulation and heating systems
  • Fuel Poverty reduction: insulation and energy type and supply.(partners with Energy 361, North Devon Homes and Clinical Commissioning Group)
  • Support the roll out of renewable energy on land at sea.Must be compatible with the environment and have local investment as part of the model.
    • Pliosaur Energy
    • Solar Schools
    • Industrial roof-space
    • Land based wind
  • Appropriate Biomass (Rural community energy hub) in rural public buildings (and possible district heating)

Food

Immediate

Seafood local value chain and enhancements

  • Smokery at Clovelly
  • Community Share farming and growing co-ops.
  • Food networks with social entrepreneurship values.

Medium

Local/shorter supply chains

  • Improving the local consumption of local fish. Demand creation is needed
  • Improving the supply and local consumption of local farm food (sustainably produced) eg Biosphere Super Market (cf French Bio Coop)

Digital

  • Improvement of digital infrastructure
  • Creation of a digital twin of the area to help in monitoring and modelling progress on environmental well being, including “smart city” approach to traffic management in the area, visitor big data to track impact, threats and opportunities.

Wellbeing

  • Increase the accessibility to wildlife sites in a managed way for deprived communities. Supported access to improve confidence and care/stewardship by the community for the sites.
  • Green Space enhancement in settlements inc Urban tree renewal
  • Health proofing and environment proofing developments and retrofitting.

Tourism

Immediate

Biocultural Heritage Tourism

The INTERREG Funded programme has some business development advice provided to businesses that want to adopt the Biocultural Heritage Tourism Project (BCHT) principles and develop new products. We are tweaking this advice to signpost survival through COVID as well as consider new approaches to BCHT to respond to a market (and a community) that wants social distancing.

Interreg BCHT: development of restorative tourism products that contribute to the improvement of assets rather than purely degrade them. We have s number of projects already defined in the project (which cannot change) and can serve as pilots for wider application using other support funds where necessary. These include:

  • Lundy and marine areas (marine tourism accreditation and training)
  • Woodland based tourism (ideal for keeping social distancing)
  • Braunton Countryside Centre facilitated programme of activity
  • Simonsbath Ashridge Centre for facilitated activities
  • Rosemoor; Interpretation of ancient woodlands and heritage cider trees
  • Braunton Burrows; interpretation and visitor management

Business mentoring on using and developing appropriate tourism products.

Medium term

The Tourism Masterplanning work of the BCHT INTERREG project will indicate how, where and what to create in tourism products as a strategy for business development over the next 5 to 10 years. Serve as a strategy for future investment and planning policy development.

Improved and safe management of marine tourism linked to the marine protected areas. Must be able to allows funds to reinvest into the MCZ management.

Green Tourism Infrastructure:

Immediate/medium term

Tarka Trail: Needs some face-lifting work in places and need to explore more opportunities to divert people from the trail to reduce pressures and crowding and disperse the benefits

Beach and coastal access areas could be improved to reduce the crowding but need to be done carefully so the more sensitive sites are not over stressed. (links to the principles of the masterplanning but some immediate changes can be made)

Medium Long term:

Improved mass transport systems to Devon/North Devon and

Improved EV fleet for hire in rural areas.

Improve the cycle share of the highway

Improved cycle way links to the coast (Georgeham, Woolacombe, Croyde, Combe Martin, Westward Ho!)

Natural Capital Growth:

Circular Economy:

  • Business support and development for minimum waste, max local recycling of materials and energy
  • Pilot project with University of Exeter can be extended and rolled out in North Devon.

Recognised Values

All the above can be linked to the accreditation (Biosphere Business Partners about to be launched as part of BioCultural Heritage Tourism Project but has been designed to meet all sectors.)

Skills and Training

  • Work with training providers and industry to have the skills for a green economy.
  • Upskilling people already in employment with sustainability skills.
  • Develop eco-entrepreneurship in the community
  • @Petroc
    • Sustainable Tourism Foundation degree and International Institute of Sustainable Tourism
    • Foundation Degree for Environmental Management
    • Sustainable construction skills diploma and apprenticeships
  • Work at community level with “Natural Solutions” consortium to advise local communities and parish councils to deliver actions appropriate for their areas. (Plastic Free North Devon Consortium, Energy 361, Biosphere Reserve, North Devon Coastal Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Devon Wildlife Trust)