reflection and renewal

Herefordshire Green Manifesto

The Herefordshire Green Manifesto is compiled by a network of local groups who wish to support Hereford Council in declaring a climate emergency in Herefordshire and work towards reducing Herefordshire’s carbon emissions to zero by 2025. 

A decade of austerity has left local government unable to meet its basic obligations and many working people are living a poorer existence.  With Brexit and the absence of EU and central Government contributions and subsidies, it is time for the county to leverage the strength of its unique historical and agricultural heritage and scenery.  Implementing this manifesto will create opportunities for future-focused innovation and employment.

A move towards a zero carbon emissions status and a regenerative approach to environmental responsibilities will mean having to change our values and priorities as well as the way we plan, design and organise our actions.  We have put together a list of principles and actions for creating a regenerative environment in Herefordshire.  We believe these to be feasible and beneficial; which will make a difference in the short term by applying changes to the way we organise and manage our everyday work and living environments, and for the welfare of the planet in the longer term. 

  

Priorities for Reflection

Construction:

Review whether Herefordshire has adequate infrastructure and resources to accommodate the increased housing developments associated with the proposed new road networks. 

All new housing, offices, factories, and agricultural buildings should be designed and built to incorporate south facing roofs made entirely of a solar photovoltaic structure. 

Install ULEV charging stations as part of any development process. 

When designing new build domestic dwellings more emphasis should be placed on mixed use such as co-housing schemes, single person units, and shared facilities. 

All habitable buildings should use the highest rated insulation for the building type. 

All new builds must be accompanied by tree based landscaping and must include water catchment systems and water reuse where possible.

Agriculture:

Support, promote and encourage mixed agriculture and environmentally sustainable farming practices and help to restore soil structure and fertility.

Minimise the use of harmful chemicals in pesticides and fertilisers and invest in organic composting and agroecology.

Immediately stop new intensive livestock development: those already constructed must be fitted with extraction fan filters. 

Farms and camping site companies must prevent effluent seeping into nearby rivers.

Investigate robotic technology for use in sowing and harvesting of crops.

Allocate hedgerows and other lands for wildlife corridors. 

Install renewable energy systems where possible to integrate with traditional farming practices. 

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) should work with farmers to move agroecology farming practices.

Transport Systems:

Undertake a strategic review of how transport should be developed over the next 50 years in Herefordshire, including road, train, bus, cycle and walking tracks, and there interconnections. 

Make an informed decision on whether a bypass is the best option, in the meantime put the construction of the western bypass and southern link road on hold and bring the existing road network up to an acceptable standard.

Design and build cycle and walking paths in Hereford, which link to surrounding areas of the county where it is feasible, such as along old railway tracks. 

Pupils, parents, students, and teachers must be facilitated in safely walking and cycling wherever possible from their homes to education institutions. 

Investigate the potential for an electric light bus service with dedicated lanes in Hereford City and the expansion of the service into rural areas. 

Install ULEV charging points in all petrol stations and public places in Herefordshire.

Look towards new ways of rural passenger transit systems based on shared just in time automated electric vehicles.

Sustainable Tourism:

Tourism is as important to Herefordshire as agriculture.  Encourage low impact tourism and be strategic in linking accommodation, eateries, historic sites, visitor centres, outdoor pursuits, and evening entertainments in ways to minimise waste and pollution. 

Provide roadside picnic seating and eco-bins, toilets and other public facilities and install public free water faucets in Hereford, small towns and in tourist locations. 

Invest in heritage sites and encourage tourists to ‘park and enjoy’ rather than drive around the countryside. 

Education:

The New Model in Technology and Engineering University (NMiTE) should be supported by the Council, the farming sector and businesses to undertake Action Research and Learning focusing on some of the key environmental issues facing Herefordshire. 

Collaborate and cooperate to organise and support pop up public workshops and talks on all things environmental and eco-action, and in appropriate construction technology and design, all within the framework of regenerative environmentalism.

Emphasis must be placed on supporting primary, secondary and tertiary education in the county to engage with climate change issues and support ways to cut emissions and waste and increase reuse and recycling. 

Offer evening workshops for green education and engage with the private sector to support this work.

 

Actions for Renewal

Hereford Green Network Groups:

Work together to create a consistent message to local and national government. 

Work with Herefordshire Council, voluntary sector groups, businesses, households, schools and colleges, and public bodies in addressing climate change issues; across the county and with other county councils and groups.

Support Herefordshire CPRE implement the two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which have been proposed for West Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Council: 

Support a coalition for interested parties to investigate the long term transport trends and needs for Herefordshire. 

A complete transport plan for the county to be prepared before deciding on the proposed western bypass and southern link road: put on hold until the plan is decided upon.

Use its planning authority to impose conditions on developers and builders, in the construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings.  

Renewable energy installation, high standard insulation, water catchment systems, and tree planting as part of landscaping should be an integral aspect of planning conditions enforced by Hereford Council. 

County roads and town streets should be cleaned of litter and proper waste collection and sorting bins installed for the public and visitors. 

Invest in recycling services and aim to recycle or re-use 100% of industrial, office and household waste in the county.

Focus support for industry in key areas such as light engineering, cyber security, food processing and hi-tech start-ups. 

Parish Councils:

Adopt the Herefordshire Green Manifesto and integrate appropriate issues for their location and built environment into their Neighbourhood Plan by 2021. 

Individual Households:

Incentivise to change to LED lights, insulate buildings, stop using plastic water bottles and change to filtered water, reduce plastics, invest in waste management systems, water catchment tanks, install solar panels and charging points, and walk or cycle to work/shops/school/town. 

Businesses:

Change to LED lights, stop using plastic water and install water faucets, invest in waste management, insulation, and solar panels, install electric charging points, encourage staff to walk or cycle to work.  Have a presumption to plant trees whenever possible.

Hereford Times:

Allocate space every week to Herefordshire’s ‘Going Green’ environmental work and invite commentators and readers to write their thoughts, information, and examples from other places. 

Local events and venues: 

Work with the Hay Festival, the Courtyard, How the Light Gets In, faith groups, schools, sports facilities, etc., and every place where people come together, to engage with supporting the understanding of climate change and the eco actions that we can do: individually; as a family; in a workplace; and when out in the country or walking down the streets in towns and villages. 

Web Site and Green Herefordshire 2021:

Create a web site that can be a one stop site for Hereford’s Green Manifesto and can link people, homes, and businesses that can support their goals, ambitions, and objectives. 

Make 2021 a special year to promote the Green credentials of Herefordshire, organise a Festival – speakers, action groups, organisations, businesses, education groups, etc.

 

Supported by Golden Valley Action Group (GVAG)

February 2019