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Climate Change projects in South Ribble

There's been a lot going on in South Ribble to help improve the environment and towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Here are some of the climate related projects completed so far in South Ribble: include;

Active Travel

  • installation of several kilometres of new pathways and cycleways as well as publishing walking and cycling routes to encourage active transport and reduce reliance on carbon fuelled transport
  • work with schools to deliver of Bikeability training for school children, and creation of bespoke Active Travel Programmes
  • to encourage employees to use active transport we have:
    • provided secure cycle storage facilities at the Civic Centre and Moss Side depot, along with improved changing facilities at the Civic Centre, to encourage employees to cycle or run to work
    • offered initiatives such as
      • the cycle to work scheme
      • free use of pool electric bikes
      • 1-1 training to build commuting confidence.
  • delivery of community Dr Bike bicycle repair projects and pop-up bike shops offering low costs bicycles for sale



  • publication of our Biodiversity Strategy in 2022 and consulting on our Biodiversity Action Plan to be published in 2023.
  • the Tree for Every Resident Project has resulted in more than 110,000 trees being planted across South Ribble on our own land, in school grounds and on private land. To date we have given away 15,000 free trees to residents as part of our free Tree Giveaways
  • Queens Green Canopy project - working with 23 local schools to provide them with 4435 trees to plant in their school grounds
  • signed up to the Marine Conservation Society 'Don't Let Go' campaign highlighting the impact balloons and sky lanterns can have on the environment
  • retention tree stumps as monoliths, also known as 'wildlife sticks' as opposed to felling trees to ground level where appropriate, taking into account proximity to paths, benches and street furniture


Carbon reduction measures in our own buildings and developments

  • McKenzie Arms - incorporated carbon reduction and energy efficiency measures into our own new developments, such as the new McKenzie Arms development - including solar panels, LED lighting and mechanical heat ventilation units - as well as secure cycle storage facilities and EV charging points.
  • installation of an air source heat pump as part of the redesign of the Coach House at Hurst Grange Park.
  • secured £145,000 grant funding to install further solar panels to the Civic Centre, along with installation of LED lighting, a solar panel battery pack system, energy efficient hot water heaters and a new building management system to improve energy efficiency
  • energy audits have been undertaken at six of the biggest energy using buildings in our estate: the Civic Centre, Moss Side depot, Leyland Leisure Centre, Penwortham Leisure Centre, Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre and the Tennis Centre.  The findings of these audits will inform future investment to improve energy efficiency and move to decarbonise energy production on site.
  • secured £223,000 grant funding to produce decarbonisation plans for the Council estate, identifying the works and costs of making them carbon neutral by 2030
  • securing almost £5 million grant funding to decarbonise the Council's largest energy using buildings between April 2022 - March 2023, eliminating the use of gas as a heating source at these buildings and improving our use of renewable energy
  • we continue to implement more carbon reduction measures within council buildings, such as solar panels, LED lighting, and improved building management systems to make our buildings energy efficient
  • working to improve the carbon footprint of Council run events

Carbon reduction measures across the wider Borough

We have been working to ensure all tenanted and rented properties in the Borough reach the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) and have an EPC rating no lower than E, by signposting funding opportunities and taking enforcement action on landlords where required.  This is improving energy efficiency, reducing heating costs, improving public health and improving living conditions.

Community Hubs

Our five Community Hubs have completed a number of projects including:

  • pop up shops for school uniform and winter coat exchange
  • practical support funding of c£50,000 for local facilities and volunteer groups hosting social isolation cafes / welcoming warm spaces where people can walk to and make friends find out about what is happening locally to them
  • supporting community food banks to transfer to a Community Shop / Pantry system, utilising goods from Fair Share, local supermarkets and reducing food waste locally
  • supporting local In Bloom schemes who are championing rainwater harvesting and plant shares and increasing biodiversity
  • Winter Warmth Scheme to all residents in the Eastern Parishes with advice and basic supplies such as radiator keys, socks and hot water bottles to promote keeping warm whilst saving on electricity bills


Electric vehicle charging points

  • installation of free public electric vehicle charging points at the Civic Centre
  • working with partners to provide additional EV charging point sites at Leyland, Bamber Bridge, and Penwortham
  • through the use of government funding, we are planning to install at least another 38 electric vehicle charging bays throughout the Borough on our way to a target of 200 EV points by 2030

Investment & Skills

  • communication of Biodiversity suggestions to local businesses in South Ribble
  • volunteering opportunities are being arranged for local businesses to assist with environmental projects such as balsam bashing and tree planting
  • maximising the number of businesses engaging with energy use audits by working with the Chamber Low Carbon and Making Carbon Work programmes
  • development of a new South Ribble business support scheme to assist businesses to install energy use reduction measures


  • planning applications are routinely reviewed to request where possible, air quality, noise, climate and biodiversity elements are considered.
  • increased the number of domestic dwellings provided with electric vehicle (EV) charging points
  • increased the number commercial premises providing EV charging points for staff and customers
  • increased number of secure cycle storage facilities to encourage active transport within the Borough


  • when we look to purchase products, the green agenda is always in our thoughts - for example, consideration of where the products are coming from in order to reduce transport miles, purchasing recycled paper
  • as an organisation we also seek to reduce our purchase and use of high energy commodities, for example single use plastics which we have already committed to eliminating the use of by 2025.

Reduced reliance on conventional fuel

  • the last few years have accelerated our investment into technology to enable remote working where possible, which has allowed our response to the pandemic and our vital services to continue. This has reduced the corporate mileage, and the miles being driven by employees
  • to encourage our employees to use active transport, we offer initiatives such as the cycle to work scheme, plus we have installed Electric Vehicle Charging points at the Civic Centre (as well as other locations in the borough) to encourage the use of electric vehicles
  • we have a rolling programme to change our Council fleet over to electric vehicles to help reduce emissions
  • electric vehicle used on Worden Park by staff emptying bins and transporting tools and equipment across the Park
  • battery operated machinery (strimmers, leaf blowers etc.) are now in use by Gardeners on Worden Park Formal Gardens, with additional items being researched for use across the Borough.
  • we're in the process of procuring battery powered chainsaws, hedge cutters and pole saws to reduce our usage of petrol-powered hand tools
  • looking  to replace diesel powered woodchippers with Stage V Compliant petrol-powered models


  • reduction of our use of Single Use Plastics, with a commitment to eliminate them by 2025
  • installtion of recycling points at the Civic Centre and Moss Side to encourage staff recycling of paper and plastic. 
  • reduction in paper use
    • invested heavily in technology to provide officers and elected members with tablets and laptops as an alternative to using paper at meetings and during site visits
    • elected members are using ModGov, an electronic alternative to the use of paper agenda and minutes for meetings
    • officer and elected member inductions are done electronically to avoid the use of paper




2005 - Air Quality Management Areas declared at Bamber Bridge, Penwortham, Walton le Dale and Lostock Hall

2007 - Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy published

2016 - First Air Quality Action Plan published

2016 - Air Quality management Area declared for Leyland

2018 - Updated Air Quality Action Plan (PDF) [1MB]

2019 - Climate Emergency declared, with a target of Net Zero by 2030

2019 - Climate Task Group - Officers and Councillors set up

2020 - Single Use Plastic Action Plan published

2020 - Climate Emergency Strategy

2021 - Updated Climate Emergency Strategy 

2021 - Climate Emergency Action Plan (PDF) [670KB]

2021 - South Ribble joined UK100

2022 - Biodiversity Strategy

2023 - Development of Biodiversity Action Plan


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