Category: Health and Wellbeing, Carbon Neutral, Climate Change, LiveWest, cornwall, Nature, council, Sustainable Future, Housing Associations, Environmental impact, Green spaces, Residents, Focus project, Reducing energy, Carbon emissions, Climate Action Plans, Sustainable properties, Low-carbon economy
LiveWest staff volunteers undertook the challenge of planting hundreds of trees in the heart of the Tamar Valley Cornwall as part of their support for the “A Forest for Calstock Parish” project which will see 1400 trees planted in St Ann’s Chapel.
During the past months of lockdown, many people have taken to engaging with nature but for those without access to green spaces, communal garden areas and shared green spaces have been a blessing.
LiveWest staff volunteers stepped in to help in Albaston and St Ann’s to plant a range of trees and bushes including gooseberry, black currant, red currant, apple trees, hazel, holly, dog rose, honeysuckle, alder, aspen, bird cherry, purple willow, pussy willow, grey willow, black thorn and hawthorn.
Councillor Marytn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “It is great to see residents take part in regular volunteer tree-planting days for this Calstock tree-planting project which we have supported, and which will contribute to the Forest for Cornwall. We are also grateful to staff at LiveWest for giving their time.”
The project will also contribute to the Forest for Cornwall which aims to support residents in taking climate action to plant 8,000 hectares of new trees, hedges and woodland across Cornwall.
The chair of Forest for Calstock, Alastair Tinto, said “It’s an exciting moment, one that’s been a long time building. Covid meant months of delay but it was always clear that strong community support would see us through. With trees going in, it’s truly the start of something. The Tree Council are funding £1500 of the new hedges that we are planting in Calstock and St Ann's Chapel.”
Alison Knight Community Connector at LiveWest, said: “LiveWest gives its colleagues up to four days paid volunteering a year. So, this was a great opportunity for some of them to get involved and provide extra support to this project.
“The green areas are really important to residents, allowing them to socialise outside and enjoy the fresh air.
“Our customers’ wellbeing is important to us. Planting trees is an opportunity for our volunteers to support them as part of our Neighbourhoods in Focus project.”
“We had a lovely sunny and dry day for this activity. Many of the residents popped down to have a look and say thank you. They were very pleased with the results.”
Those interested in taking part in the Forest for Cornwall project can visit the council website.
Managing over 38, 000 homes across the region LiveWest is one of the first housing associations in the country to have launched an environmental blueprint with measurable targets.
Central to its energy efficiency drive, LiveWest is targeting that all of its existing homes reach an Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) rating of band C and above by 2028 – two years ahead of the proposed government target of 2030.
The increased EPC rating will reduce carbon emissions and support the government’s ambition for the nation to become carbon neutral by 2050. This runs alongside LiveWest’s core ambition to provide homes, support its customers and address fuel poverty.
LiveWest has also committed to delivering its new homes to EPC band high B/low A using an enhanced fabric first approach to ensure its homes outperform current building regulations, reducing energy demand and carbon emissions.
Melvyn Garrett, Deputy Chief Executive of LiveWest, said: “We place sustainability at the heart of our organisation and we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our activities to create a clean and sustainable future for our customers, employees and our families.
“With local councils declaring climate emergencies across the South West and, as the largest housing provider in this region, we wanted to renew our environmental commitments in order to embed sustainability across the organisation and to assist our local authority partners to achieve the goals outlined in their Climate Action Plans.
“For us, this is about improving the energy efficiency of our homes, either through building new sustainable properties or by refurbishing existing ones.
“We have set ourselves measurable targets, increasing the energy efficiency of our homes and promoting sustainable behaviour change for both customers and colleagues which all contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
“We aim to promote sustainable solutions working with our joint venture partners to help them to meet their needs but also to contribute to creating a low-carbon economy and support thriving, vibrant communities.
“These steps demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment for today and the future.”