Flower peeps

Nailsea and District Horticultural Society,  
other environmentally-friendly 'green' groups, litter picking and fly-tipping
and news about action on climate change 

2022

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Litterbugs list

Don't want to appear smug but North Somerset Council has just released its list of people fined for littering in public and guess what not a Nailsea (or nearby) name on the list.

In total 52 people have been ordered to pay over £19,000 in fines as a result of prosecutions by North Somerset Council for breaches of Public Space Protection Orders.

The cases of breached Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) were heard at North Somerset Magistrates Court over four days in April and May.

46 of the charges brought were for littering by dropping a cigarette, three charges were for having a dog off its lead in an area where dogs must be on leads, and four charges were for having a dog in an exclusion zone.

Total fines ranged from £174 to £404 depending on means and whether a guilty plea was entered. North Somerset Council were awarded costs in all cases.

Each person had been given a fixed penalty notice for £75, sent at least one reminder letter but failed to pay.

Full name and shame list HERE 

There was some outrage on Nailsea People Facebook page that people were being fined more for dropping littter that drink driving but it was pointed out the size of the fine may be based on abilityy to pay. 

Litter pickers

Nailsea Community Litter Heroes is part of the Nailsea Community Group and was formerly known as Better Nailsea. The remit of the Litter Heroes is to encourage local residents to help keep the town free of litter. They meet at 26 Somerset Square for regular litter picking sessions usually on a Saturday morning 10am-noon with gloves and pickers provided

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Nasty weed growing in Nailsea

Have we got the devastatingly invasive plant Japanese knotweed growing in a Nailsea?

Nailsea In Bloom gardeners who look after the town centre planters have put up this notice in the beds it tends on the linear park new the fire station.

It says: 'This planting bed has been left empty due to a very invasive weed. This will be spraying by professionals and ten left empty for 12 months to eradicate the weed.'

The fast-growing weed was brought to Britain by the Victorians as an ornamental garden plant and to line railway tracks to stabilise the soil, according to the Daily Mail.

While it is controlled by fungus and insects in Asia, it has no natural enemies in the UK, where it can wreak havoc on gardens.

Invasive plant specialists at Environet say they have discovered Japanese knotweed infestations nationwide with Bolton, Bristol, St Helens and Blackburn top the list as the UK hotspots for the weed.

To get rid of the knotweed using organic methods includes digging the plant out of the ground or removing all the leaves to stop the plant photosynthesising.

However, these methods can take years to have an effect, and you'll need to regularly check the plant to remove new leaf buds when you see them.

The other option is a chemical method, for which you'll need to get an expert in.

Gardeners World advises: 'A glyphosate-based weedkiller is the best option here, though bear in mind it can take several applications, over up to four seasons, to completely eradicate Japanese knotweed.'

Japanese knotweed is incredibly durable and fast-growing, and can seriously damage buildings and construction sites if left unchecked

Read full Daily Mail story HERE.

UPDATE: Nailsea in Bloom spokesman Wendy Mobbs says weed in Clevedon Road flowerbeds is Oxalis. Although attractive looking as an ornamental garden or glasshouse plants, some oxalis species can become a nuisance in the garden, according to RHS

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Garden waste bins time to sign-up

North Somerset garden waste customers wishing to continue to receive collections after Friday, June 17, must renew their subscription.

Once renewed, customers will continue to receive garden waste collections until Friday, March 31, 2023.

Garden waste customers can check their collection dates on the council’s website at: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/calendar.

The renewal rate is £40 for each garden waste bin, with a maximum of two per household.

Those unable to have garden waste bins pay the same cost of £40 for three garden waste sacks.

Households can have a maximum of six sacks.

Existing garden waste customers who are unable to renew online are encouraged to ask a friend or relative to help, or to visit a library.

All North Somerset libraries have free WiFi and computers that can be used to access the internet.

Alternatively, customers can call 01934 888802 and renew over the phone but they are advised that there could be a long wait during busy times.

North Somerset Council is unable to take this payment in person, so customers are advised not to visit council offices.

Customers unable to pay by credit/debit card should call 01934 888802 to discuss alternatives.

Customers who renew will receive a new permit sticker for each bin.

This will be sent in the post within 10 working days.

Following feedback from last year, addresses will now be printed on permits to help crews identify which households have signed up.

Garden waste sack customers will receive one permit tag for every three garden waste sacks.

Those customers are asked to write their address on the tag before attaching it to one of their bags.

The cost of subscription is subsidised for customers who receive council tax support.

Those customers will pay £10 for each bin or three sacks.

This discount is automatically applied at renewal for those who receive council tax support only.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: "Within our new recycling and waste strategy, we acknowledge that changing the way that we deal with garden waste has a key role to play in achieving our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“Our priority is to encourage residents to compost their garden waste

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instead of using the chargeable collection service or recycling centres. I’d therefore urge all residents who produce garden waste to visit our website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting where they can find details of discounted compost bins, a free e-learning course, our Master Composter scheme and much more.”

Those who don’t renew their garden waste subscription for 2022-23 will automatically stop receiving collections after Friday, June 17.

The council’s recycling and waste team will contact them by email or letter to arrange collection of their empty garden waste bin(s).

More information about the garden waste scheme can be found at:

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GO WILD GARDENERS: On Wednesday, May 18, 10am-noon Nailsea Town Council together with North Somerset Council is to tidy up the rewilding project at Hawthorn Way. It is hoped to help the trees that have survived thrive and remove any dead trees. A spokesman said: "We will be removing the plastic supports, removing dead trees, weeding and generally tidying up the area. Any help would be much appreciated and will make a huge difference to this beloved patch of land in our town. Please let us know if you can make it and bring your own gardening gloves. You are welcome to bring your own tools for weeding but we may also provide some of our own."

PINK AND WHITE: Big Backwell plant sale starts at 10am on Saturday, May 7, at the parish hall. Bring some colour into your garden with flowering annuals and perennials and get come free advice on growing vegetables, herbs and salad plants. Refreshments sold in aid of St Peter’s Hospice. In the slideshow are images of cherry blossom, a flower of a type of tree which originates in eastern Asia and not those which produce fruit for eating. The white or pink blossom usually seen in mid-April doesn't last very long and looks like wedding confetti when it blows away. My grandmother had three trees growing at the front of her house which looked so pretty and another sprouted in the middle of the chicken run which produced inedible wild cherries. The other blossom is from apple trees and will be the fruit of the summer. In April the National Trust which cares for hundreds of trees that blossom in the spring conducted its #Blossomwatch survey. Among its historical varieties are the tree said to inspire Newton's theory of gravity and the orchard that Thomas Hardy loved to play in as a child. In Japan, blossom is celebrated with the traditional custom of Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ and is an opportunity to take in the beauty of flowers

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Wilder and wilder North Somerset

North Somerset is getting wilder.

From vibrant verges to parks and playing fields, patches of grassland that were previously cut short will now be blooming with life.

Avon Wildlife Trust is working with North Somerset Council to see how these changes are helping to boost biodiversity, and they need your help. 

If you’d like to get involved or have the chance to learn new skills, you can come along to some of our events or drop us an email for more information at  NSRewilding@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk.

Several areas on the outskirts of Nailsea are seeing real change already in the first year of longer grass management.

However, not everyone is happy as reported on a site meeting with North Somerset MP Liam Fox to Nailsea Park - read full story on our 2022 Breaking News page.

Grassland is growing longer and tree planting has taken place on the vast green expanse of Elm Farm, along Nailsea Park and beside the ambulance station too.

These trees are a mix of native species which have been planted to create a diverse habitat and improve air quality, and paths cut through the wilder patches mean people and pollinators can walk side by side. 

All these spaces have been carefully selected to enhance the local environment whilst avoiding disruption to driver visibility or access to these green areas.

If you are local to Nailsea and would like to get involved with monitoring the changes in biodiversity in the area, please get in touch

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PHOTO: Small copper butterfly taken by Jamie Kingscott

Where Nailsea wild things grow survey

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The team at Avon Wildlife Trust is looking to take their work in Nailsea to the next level, with the help of residents who can help to identify and record local wildlife species.

From April onwards, Avon Wildlife Trust is offering regular opportunities for Nailsea people to gain valuable skills and experience while contributing to some real citizen science and making a difference in their area.

Free training is being offered in species identification and survey techniques, with a packed calendar of practical sessions throughout the summer.

Last year, North Somerset Council and Avon Wildlife Trust began working together to monitor changes in biodiversity as the council started managing a quarter of its land for the benefit of wildlife.

This included moving from mowing grass fortnightly to annually at the end of the summer, as well as upping tree planting efforts to provide valuable new habitats and capture carbon dioxide as they grow.

 

In the long grass

In Nailsea, grassland is growing longer and tree planting has taken place on the vast green expanse of Elm Farm, along Nailsea Park and beside the ambulance station too.

These trees are a mix of native species which have been planted to create a diverse habitat and improve air quality.

All these spaces have been carefully selected to enhance the environment while avoiding disruption to driver visibility or access to these green areas.

Last summer, AWT’s work with local volunteers saw them record five times as many plant and insect species than before, with pollinators drawn to the vibrant flowers and a magnitude of minibeasts sheltering among the taller vegetation.

Since then, the project has welcomed two new trainees to the team, thanks to the continued support from by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, kickstarting their careers in conservation.

Avon Wildlife Trust North Somerset rewilding champions project lead Jamie Kingscott, said: “Volunteers will be getting to grips with all sorts of species, from bees and butterflies to bats and buttercups.

“Using a range of surveying techniques, it’s a great way to get out and explore the wildlife on your doorstep.

“We are hoping that last year’s trend will continue, and we’ll discover many more species thriving in Nailsea’s new wilder waysides.”

To find out more about this project and get involved yourself, visit www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/NSRewilding 

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CLEAN SWEEP: On Saturday, April 2, from 10am Nailsea Community Litter Heroes monthly litter pick starts at No26 Somerset Square. Pictured is the group on an earlier litter pick. This month sponsored by Simply Green Zero Waste everyone who takes part will be rewarded with a 10 per cent discount voucher by the High Street shop which has just celebrated its third birthday.

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GREEN SPACE: Moorend Spout Nature Reserve has made big improvements to the footpaths as before it was difficult to access the Coronation Meadow. This now has a recycled plastic boardwalk thanks to a Quartet Community Foundation grant and more is planned in the future. Weather and light permitting every Wednesday 2-4,30pm from April to August and the first Saturday of the month the site is open for visitors. Call Andrew Town on 01275 858064 for more details. The reserve entrance is off Stockway North next to the Garden of Rest.

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2nd

Daffodil spring show

Nailsea and District Horticultural Society annual spring show returns after a two years on Saturday, April 2, to Nailsea School.

With 163 classes incuding those for residents, members and an open section there are lots of prizes to be won as well silver trophies.

The classes include flower, plants, vegetables, domestic, photography, floral art, handicrafts and those for the children.

Joint show secretaries Martyn Davis and Jane Knight will be overseeing the procedings which will including raffles, stalls and prize draw.

The Filton Concert Brass Band will be playing along at what is tradiitionally know as the daffodil show.

The date for the summer show which is back too is on Saturday, August 6.

To download a schedule click HERE.

Entries can be delivered to 65 High Street 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. 

Business waste checks in North Somerset

In a bid to stamp out on illegal flytipping North Somerset businesses risk hefty fines if they don't make sure their waste is disposed of responsibly.

From Monday, March 21, North Somerset Council will carry out spot checks on businesses across the area.

This is part of the council’s ongoing campaign to tackle fly-tipping and make sure waste is disposed of correctly.

Every business must make sure that the waste it produces or handles is stored, transported, treated, reprocessed and disposed of safely. Businesses who use a third party to collect and dispose of their waste must make sure that they are authorised to do so.

Businesses will be asked to show proof that they have commercial waste collections.

Any business unable to produce evidence on the day will be issued a notice giving them a further seven days to produce the evidence.

If they fail to do this, they will then be issued a £300 fixed penalty notice.

Businesses should follow these simple steps to make sure waste is disposed of legally:

  • S – Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your waste until they have proven themselves to be legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.

  • C – Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.

  • R – Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.

  • A – Ask what will happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.

  • P – Paperwork must be obtained - a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “We’re grateful to the majority of businesses for being responsible by dealing with their waste legally and in the proper manner.

"Those that do not and break the law will face severe penalties.

"We are determined to do all we can to keep unsightly litter off our streets and reduce fly-tipping to make North Somerset a greener place to be.

“Laws governing trade waste were introduced over 30 years ago, so businesses should be aware of their responsibilities. We hope that the duty of care spot check visits will serve as a helpful reminder of these important rules.

​“This activity is also intended to help reduce the higher levels of litter seen along our coastline and waterways, which we know has had an impact on our water quality.”

Businesses are also being reminded that commercial waste cannot be

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presented and disposed of using the Council’s household waste collection service or at its recycling centres.

Advice about trade waste is available on the council’s website www.n-somerset.gov.uk/businesswaste.

North Somerset Council has contracted specialist environmental enforcement company Local Authority Support to carry out the business waste spot checks on their behalf.

This is in addition to the delivery of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) which includes issuing fines for littering and dog fouling.

Businesses who do not correctly deal with their waste can be given a fixed penalty of up to £300 for offences under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For offences under section 47, businesses can also be given a fixed penalty of £110.

Failure to make sure that a third party is properly registered to dispose of waste can result in a fine of up to £5,000 if convicted.

A conviction for fly-tipping can result in an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

Any business or contractor who carries waste must register with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier.

They must keep records for a minimum of two years for all waste they produce, transfer and/or dispose of.

PHOTO: Rubbish dumped this month on Backwell Common

Missed garden waste collection rebate

North Somerset Council has written to its garden waste customers with details of compensation for suspended collections last year due to heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver shortages.

In communication that customers will receive from the end of February, the council told customers they would receive a reduced subscription rate of £40 for 2022-23, marking a £10 discount off last year’s £50 rate as compensation for the disruption in service.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking,

He said: "We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation and rescheduling of some garden waste collections last year.

“We did our best to keep the service running during extremely challenging circumstances, as a result of national aftershocks felt from Covid-19 and the shortage of HGV drivers.

"At times we had no option but to suspend collections.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank residents for their support during what has been a very challenging time.

“I believe that the compensation given to garden waste customers is fair and proportionate.

"We also haven’t applied any increase for inflation.

“Together with our partner North Somerset Environment Company, we are doing everything we can to make sure that garden waste collections will resume in full in April 2022 and avoid further service interruptions.

“We really couldn't ask for a more dedicated team out on the rounds and I am very grateful to all of them for everything they continue to do.

"We still have staff shortages though and continue to work hard to find ways to remedy the national recruitment crisis locally.

"I encourage anyone interested to apply to join this fantastic team.”

North Somerset Council currently has a selection of job vacancies in its waste management team including HGV drivers, loaders and waste and recycling centres operatives.

Those interested in finding out more and applying should visit: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/jobs

Garden waste customers do not need to re-register for the service until after Easter.  

The council will write to customers again by the end of March with further details.

Garden waste will continue to be collected until customers re-register. Customers are asked to leave their current permits in place on garden waste containers.

The 2021-22 service was scheduled to finish at the end of March 2022 and will now end on Friday. June 17.

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This extra time acts as compensation for those who decide not to re-register for 2022-23.

The frequency of garden waste collections will be every four weeks until Friday, April 8 and from Monday, April 11, they will return to every two weeks, in line with the usual pattern of garden waste collections.

New collection calendars will be published shortly but customers can check their current garden waste collection dates on the council website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/calendar

Visit the council’s website for further information about its garden waste scheme: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/gardenwaste.

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Free workshop in Nailsea

The Centre for Sustainable Energy, a charity, is hosting a workshop about renewable energy in Nailsea for North Somerset Council.

The council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and would like to increase local renewable energy generation but wants public input about how and where this is done – a bottom up rather than top-down approach.

Organiser Leah Bromley said: "We are inviting members of the public to a day-long workshop to inform future policies on renewable energy.

"The workshop is on Saturday, February 12, 10am-4.45pm at Nailsea Tithe Barn.

"The workshop is for everyone, you don’t need to know anything about renewable energy.

"A free lunch will be provided as well as tea/coffee.

"Please come along and spread the word about this event with your friends and family."

To register for the workshop go to:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/have-your-say-generating-more-renewable-energy-in-nailsea-and-tickenham-tickets-243567947287.

North Somerset Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and would like to increase local renewable energy generation. We would like input from residents into future policies.

Waste not, want not strategy

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Impassable lane say recycling lorry crew

North Somerset Council recycling service is bypassing Church Lane, Nailsea, because drivers say their vehicles are too big and the road too narrow.

Church Lane runs from Holy Trinity to just past Church Lane hall.

It is a mixture of modern houses and old cottages including one where Hannah More lived during her time teaching in the village.

Holy Trinity fabric team chairman Tim Jolly said: “The recycling truck has decided this week it cannot go down Church Lane to collect from the houses down there.

“This is the third week in a row. 

“As chair of the HT Church fabric team I have a vested interest in helping our neighbours. 

“So I spent Wednesday morning watching what happened. 

“The parking outside the Tithe Barn was a normal mix of local business vans, neighbours — and one car that I think may be abandoned? 

“There was only one car that was anything to do with the church, and that was an 85-year-old driver who needed to park nearby.

“All vehicles were parked adequately, but the truck stopped outside the Tithe Barn, and refused even to try to go down the road, even though a neighbour and I begged them to have a go.

“The driver made the interesting comment that they have had a lot of problems simply because their truck is bigger than it used to be. 

“I am told that North Somerset have from time to time sent a smaller van to collect, but this has not been seen nearly a month now.

“We tried adding cones in the hope that the route would look clearer and easier, it didn’t help.“

Retired transport specialist Graham Clements said that the driver was being over-cautious but we believe the issue is partly to do with the size of the vehicle, added Tim.

A North Somerset spokeman said: “The crews have advised us that the road is obstructed by cars and unfortunately the van is unable to get down, the crews will try again today, i apologise for the delay.”

Resident Karen Ridge said: "I moved to this area in 1992 and the road size has not altered in that period of time and many buildings have been in existence for over 100 years.

"Although the road has suffered the all too common non collection of green waste, black bin and recycling every so often over the last 2-3 years, this is the first time a truck has refused to go down the road, stating it can't fit!

"Vehicles have always parked on the left of the road and there are usually vehicles parked there most of the day.

"Vehicles have never parked on the right.

"If you look at the photo you will see that there is insufficient space for cars to park on both sides of the road, so I don't understand the sudden appearance or need of cones next to the wall on the right on Wednesday morning!!

"There was a small period of time when a smaller truck was used but I haven't see that for a while.

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"Dustcarts can fit and I look forward to seeing one very soon as boxes are still outside gates."

A North Somerset Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the ongoing issue of waste and recycling lorries being unable to pass parked vehicles at Church Lane in Nailsea.

"Residents have been visited and written to in order to discuss parking but unfortunately the lorries are still unable to pass. We continue to investigate and look at ways to resolve the issue.

“In the meantime, waste is due to be cleared on Friday, February 4, using a van.

"Due to the number of properties in this lane it may require two trips.”

As part of North Somerset Council’s work towards the area becoming carbon neutral by 2030, new plans for recycling and waste have been agreed.

During the past 15 years, waste from households across North Somerset has halved from around 60,000 tonnes in 2005-6 to around 30,000 tonnes in 2019-20.

However there is more to do, as set out in North Somerset’s Recycling and Waste Strategy 2021-30, which was formally approved by the council’s executive this week.

The new strategy was developed in consultation with residents and businesses.

It aims to reduce further the amount of waste produced locally by encouraging people to change the way they think about waste and to prioritise reducing, reusing and then recycling.

Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the council has been developing a range of measures to tackle the challenge.

The strategy sets out a wide range of actions over the next decade to achieve:

  1. A reduction in residual waste (waste that is not recycled or reused) of 15 per cent below the level of 2019-20 by 2030.

  2. A recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030.

  3. Diversion of all non-recyclable, kerbside collected household waste away from landfill by end of 2022.

  4. Improved recycling facilities at all flat blocks and more food waste collections in phases in line with the Environment Act (2021) by 2023.

  5. Expansion of the commercial waste service to serve more businesses, schools and events in North Somerset each year.

  6. Fewer incidents of litter and fly-tipping in North Somerset through improved reporting, increasing education and enforcement activities.

  7. Improved appearance of our streets and open spaces.

  8. Progress towards a circular economy where waste is treated as a valuable resource rather than disposed of.

Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

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He said: “Transforming the way that we manage waste is a vital part of the fight against climate change and helps to deliver our vision for a greener North Somerset.

“Recycling rates have improved during the past ten years, and we are now the best performing council in the south west and seventh in England.

"However, there’s still more to do.

"We know that 45 per cent of an average household bin in North Somerset contains material that could have been recycled, 27 per cent of which is food waste.

"Just on this point alone, food waste is a valuable material that we can turn into biogas to power homes.

"Our new recycling and waste strategy will help us to focus on reducing and reusing resources first and foremost.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the 1,500 people and the 13 organisations who shaped this strategy by sharing their views and ideas during last year’s consultation.

"The plans are ambitious but by working together we really can make a difference.”

Read the full strategy on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/wastestrategy

Recycling for new year 2022

North Somerset is the best performing council in the south west for recycling according to the latest figures.

So why oh why does some fly-tipper dump rubbish on Backwell Common – see photo.

Recycling rates published in December by Defra, name North Somerset Council as the second best performing English unitary council.

This places North Somerset higher in the top 10 than before as the seventh best council in the country for recycling rates, up from ninth position in 2019-20.

In 2020-21, 60.4 per cent of household waste generated in North Somerset was recycled, compared to the UK average of 44 per cent.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “One of our main priorities is to make North Somerset a greener place to be, so I am delighted to see our recycling rates have jumped even higher up the top ten of all councils in the country.

"We have worked incredibly hard to encourage our residents to recycle as much as they can and I am hugely impressed with how people have responded.

“Thank you to everyone who plays their part. The time and care that our residents take to sort their recycling correctly is keeping us at the top of the south west.

“The hard work pays off and is worth it.

"Thanks must also go to our hardworking crews for their efforts in what has been an extremely challenging year for them due to the national aftershocks felt from Covid-19 and the shortage of HGV drivers.

“I look forward to publication of the council’s new waste strategy in the new year.

“This key document, which has been put together using residents’ feedback from the recent recycling and waste consultation, will set out our plan for the future.”

  • This year, waste and recycling collections will not change over Christmas. As Christmas falls on a weekend, your collection day will remain the same. You can always check your collection dates HERE. Please be aware staff shortages and delays are likely to continue over Christmas. Remember to check North Somerset missed collection report if your collection has been missed here www.n-somerset.gov.uk/christmas-waste.

  • Christmas trees can be put out for collection with your first garden waste collection after Christmas. This will be between Monday and Friday, January 17 and February 11.

  • Old Christmas cards can be recycled, unless they are covered in glitter. Even better reuse them. They make great gift tags, bookmarks, postcards and even napkin rings! Watch here for ideas https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=yULwnlkjb0s.

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  • Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is again leading the way with recycling after the Christmas holidays. It is where discarded festive trees can all be put to good use. Supported by North Somerset Council groundwork team the trees will be turned in bedding mulch and silage. It is all part of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm’s Green Zoo initiative to help with a sustainable future. People wishing to donate their Christmas tree can do so between Sundays, January 2-23, when the zoo is open from 10.30am-4pm and while there visit the zoo and Farm Shop.

2021

Climate change crisis report

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Nailsea Town Council chairman Mike Bird spent two weeks working as a sound engineer at COP 26 and saw all the great and the good (and not-so-good) on the other end of a TV screen. 
He said:"I do think that we have a real climate emergency, but people don't seem in much hurry to call 999."


Here is his reflections:

  • UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

  • Reflections on two weeks at COP26.

  • So was it all worth it?  Or was it just Blah Blah Blah?

  • Disaster Displacement at COP26

 

Is the COP26 agreement enough?

Clearly it isn’t enough, but coal is in the agreement for the first time and it was signed off by both China and the US – that in itself is a miracle!

Although the Chinese targets are currently for 2060 -10 years too late - they now in the agreement to return every year to update commitments, which is good news.   
The US has 850 coal mines they need to wind down.

So while in a way the result of the conference was disappointing, in another it does keep hopes alive that we can stop climate change.

The launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance was an interesting event. https://beyondoilandgasalliance.com.
A lot of countries signed up including Ireland, Scotland and Wales...but not Westminster.
So what of my own two weeks there?  

I spent most of it sat in front of a sound desk listening to press conferences and saw many speeches and presentations.
As in the media, there was a lot of talk about 1.5 degrees, but I realised, like many people, I had little understanding of what this fully meant.

It is actually a measured figure of how much the global average temperatures have risen since 1980.

Records started in 1902, but the main temperature rise began in 1980. 
So why is a 1.5 degrees rise so significant?  

Because this is the scientifically calculated tipping point – if we go over 1.5 degrees rise, the climate will be in virtual run away and the chances of us reversing climate change could disappear.  

I leave you to imagine what a runaway increase in temperatures would mean for humanity!  
It needs pointing out that we are already at 1.1 degrees. 

If we carry on as we are, and don’t reach carbon zero* target by 2050, island nations like the Maldives will then literally cease to exist.  

  • * Carbon zero is another well used phrase not many understand. Fundimentaly it means we are only putting into the atmosphere what the earth has the capability to reabsorb.

There was a lot of representation from the island nations at COP26.  

With reefs dying already from the 1.1 sea temperature rise - bleaching it’s called - island erosion is already happening.  

Around the world the people most effected already by climate change, are actually those living the most environmentally friendly lives.  

They are helpless as the responsibility for reversing climate change and therfore sea levels, lies with the developed nations and fossil fuel producers.
There was a lot of talk of money and compensation at COP26.  

Personally, I did find this odd and rather out of place.  

If climate change happens, economies and societies will be destroyed, nature has little use for a few digits on a computer server somewhere, which is all money is these days.

How can money stop the sea rising and sweeping away an island?  

It's action that's needed not money.
I think that’s what’s changed for me having gone to COP26, is seeing the need for urgenct action now to be able plan towards 2050.  

Small token gestures are no longer enough, we need to change fundamentally our way of living. 

We’ve heard a lot about the rainforest over the years, about fights to preserve it as the ‘lungs of the planet’, it seems so distant to us and out of our hands.  

If we actually do make 2050 and only have 1.5 degrees increase, we still need to have restored nature by then to aid the earths ability to recover the climate, repairing the ‘lungs of the planet’.

Yes, we do need to reduce our carbon footprint by changing everyday things like buying locally produced food rather than imported, walking instead of taking the car, not going on that cruise or repeatedly flying to faraway lands on holiday.

There are many small things we can do that all add up to change the way our economy works and make it more environmentlly friendly.  

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WILD BUNCH: Rewilding Nailsea February 2020

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CORNER PLOT: Rewilding Nailsea February 2021

But what are the big things we can do locally?   ​
What we tend not to see is the fact we’ve actually de-forested and taken away the lungs of our own country.  

Only 14 per cent of woodland still exists in this country.  

For example, the Lake District is a completely man-made landscape, it should be covered in trees.

And I’m sure Nailsea itself was once covered in woodland as dense as Wraxall hill.
Woodlands are a huge absorber of carbon dioxide and we need to restore our woodlands locally.
During the Bristol Airport planning application a few years ago, I sat down with a colleague and worked out how many trees would need to be planted just to absorb the emissions on simply the take off and landing of every aircraft from Lulsgate.  

It was 4.2 million trees, that’s about 8,000 acres of woodland.  

Sounds a lot, but North Somerset covers 92,000 acres.
As well as turning over un-used fields to woodland (perhaps those that line the motorway to absorb traffic emmisions?) there are thousands of miles of hedgerow in North Somerset.  

Much of our ancient hedgerow was pulled up or thinned post World War 2.

Doubling and tripling the width of hedgerows with trees and shrubs would enable a huge amount of planting to go ahead, not only would it be good for the climate, but great for biodiversity and wildlife.
The other great carbon absorbing natural asset we have in North Somerset are our moors.  

Yet we’ve been slowly strangling the moorland by draining it.  

Perhaps - as well as planting more hedgerows on them - we need to increase the underlying water levels.  

This again would increase biodiversity and the peat moors ability to absorb carbon.
I’m not trying to frighten people, but the time for Blah Blah Blah has gone.   We need to make people realise action is needed now for the sake of our children and grand-children, their future is literally in our hands.  

We all need to start working towards 2050 now, not just leave it to government.  

 

Mike Bird

  • Nailsea Town Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to reduce its carbon footprint.in September 2019

  • There is a Facebook group called Nailsea Climate Emergency Group although currently it has only 78 members

  • Golden Valley Primary School has an 'eco council' to save the planet 

  • Nailsea School says 'we want to lead by example, taking climate change, and environmental sustainability issues seriously. As a school we are constantly trying to strike a balance between economic and environmental costs'

  • Backwell elected Bridget Petty as its first Green councillor for North Somerset in May 2019. She is currently executive member for climate emergency and the environment 

  • This year Noah's Ark zoo farm planted planted 2,500 mixed native hedging whips to form hedgerows in the top sheep field to create four new paddocks and further 55 larger, established trees around the zoo to create extra shade for visitors in picnic areas and animals in their enclosures

  • Nature and Climate North Somerset also has a Facebook page and nearly 500 followers and another called Climate Action North Somerset is a private group with 234 followers

  • North Somerset UNISON is part of Bristol - COP26 Global Day of Action for Climate Justice and can be contacted by email at unison@n-somerset.gov.uk 

Nurture for nature

North Somerset Council and Avon Wildlife Trust joined forces earlier this year to monitor changes in biodiversity as the council began managing a quarter of its land with wildlife in mind.

Moving from fortnightly mowing of these areas to an annual cut at the end of the summer, the aim of the changes is to provide more habitats for many species which have suffered severe declines in recent decades.

After the start of the 'rewilding champions' project was delayed by the pandemic, volunteers with training provided by Avon Wildlife Trust have been surveying sites across Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare since August.

Early results look promising with a marked difference in the abundance of plant and insect species recorded between areas of longer grass and those which remain regularly mown, even after just one summer. In some areas volunteers recorded more than five times the number of species.

North Somerset Council’ executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “As we alter the way we manage some of our land to the benefit of our local wildlife, it’s important that we are able to monitor the changes to biodiversity.

“The project is a significant transformation in how our open spaces are managed, so working alongside Avon Wildlife Trust and with the help of enthusiastic North Somerset residents, we have been able to show some tremendous initial results.

"It doesn’t take long to notice the positive difference to plant and insect species in the uncut areas, compared to those regularly mown.”

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, a major aim of the project is to provide opportunities for local people to gain new skills and engage with their local open spaces.

Avon Wildlife Trust project manager Jamie Kingscott said: “Considering we’ve only had a small window for monitoring towards the tail end of this summer, our results so far are encouraging.

“We’re looking forward to next year when we can make the most of the full survey season.

"We’ll be offering lots of free training and survey sessions for anyone who wants to get involved.”

Though the main survey season for pollinators is now at an end, there are

events through the autumn and winter months, followed by a packed season of sessions next year.

You can find out more about the project and how to get involved and see the list of events at: www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/NSRewilding.

  • The North Somerset Bat Survey is part of the South West Wildlife Monitoring Project led by UWE’s Bat Conservation Research Lab, working in partnership with BTO, North Somerset Council and the Avon Wildlife Trust. Bats play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystems, particularly through controlling insect populations, but development threatens bat populations through habitat loss and fragmentation. During the next 15 years North Somerset Council is required to build more than 20,000 new homes, many of which will be built within areas used by rare bat species.

/continued...

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NAILSEA NEWT: Nailsea town councillor Jeremy Blatchford shared this photo of a common newt. He said: "A new arrival in our garden. Along with a fox, hedgehogs and more frogs. Sadly all the small birds went AWOL"

continued/

  • The North Somerset Bat Survey aims to gather spatial distribution data on bats across North Somerset to enable planners to minimise the impact of development on bats, whilst engaging the public with bat conservation. To sign-up or learn more go to https://batconservationresearchlab.co.uk.

  • You can find Nailsea Climate Emergency Group on Facebook.

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Recycling heroes

Nailsea Community Group at 26 Somerset Square is helping our environment by support Nailsea Community Litter Heroes and setting up some recycling bins.

The bins can take:

  • soft plastic;

  • glasses and contact lenses;

  • coffee pods;

  • ink cartridges;

  • make-up;

  • pens and writing implements;

  • water filters;

  • toothbrushes; and

  • blister packets.

For larger items our nearest recycling centre at Coles Quarry, Backwell is now on winter opening hours until the end of March 2022: 

  • 10am-3pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday

  • 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday

  • closed Wednesday and Thursday

  • closed bank holidays including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The community group also recycles unwanted food and helps those families who need extra support especially during the school holidays.

They are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-2pm and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-noon.

Nailsea Community Litter Heroes meets at No26 at 10am for its last two litter picks for 2021 which are on Saturdays, November 6 and December 4.

Read more about the gritters running on cooking oil on our Nailsea On The Road page HERE

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Nailsea park gets Green Flag award

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It's a high five for North Somerset's parks and green spaces which include a Nailsea park.

Five sites will proudly fly the Green Flag again this year:

  • Abbots Pool in Abbots Leigh

  • Watchhouse Hill in Pill

  • Trendlewood Community Park in Nailsea

  • Prince Consort Gardens in Weston-super-Mare

  • Uphill Hill Local Nature Reserve in Weston-super-Mare. 

The Nailsea park is on the south east of Nailsea around Trendlewood Way.

It is supported by Friends of Trendlewood Park and on its website here https://friendsoftrendlewoodpark.org.uk/gallery/ you can view a slideshow of the flora and fauna taken by Andrew Town in the autumn of 2021.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Flying the prestigious Green Flag is the mark of a quality park or green space and is a sign to the public that the site boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

"The last year has continued to be challenging with renewed lockdowns at the start of the year and demand on our parks and open spaces continuing to be high," said Cllr Mike Solomon,

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.He said: “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely. 

"Achieving these awards again reflects the commitment and skills of our

Natural Environment team and volunteers in delivering excellent facilities for our local communities.

Our contractors, Glendale and Somerset Wood Recycling, working with our Natural Environment team, have continued to support our volunteers when opportunities for them to be involved have continued to be restricted.

"Our volunteers have also worked tirelessly whenever they have been able to return to our parks and open spaces carrying on with a number of projects and generally improving sites for all.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in managing our green spaces during what has been a continuously difficult year."

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Trash Pick-Up

Nailsea Saturday litter collections 

The last two litter picks for 2021 are on Saturdays, November 6 and December 4.

Now called Nailsea Community Litter Heroes the environmentally-friendly group formerly known as Better Nailsea meet at 26 Somerset Square at 10am both days and usually set out clearing streets, car parks and communial areas until 12.15pm

Everyone can join in.

You can pick litter where you choose!

Stay for the whole time or just do what you can - every little helps..

We will provide all the equipment - you just need to turn up.

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Garden waste collections back

North Somerset Council is to resume garden waste collections this month.

Having suspended its garden waste service earlier this month, North Somerset Council is putting plans in place to restart collections at the end of September.

Although the national shortage of HGV drivers is continuing to impact significantly on the recycling and waste service, the council has developed an approach which will enable a service to be delivered.

From Monday, September 27, garden waste collections will restart with customers receiving a collection once every four weeks instead of once every two weeks until December when collections normally reduce to this frequency.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: "This is a pragmatic approach that enables us to offer a garden waste service to all our existing customers.

"The driver shortage remains a very serious issue for us.

"We are losing drivers to other businesses and very sadly have lost some long-standing colleagues to ill health.

"I say this because I'm keen everyone understands that we remain in a precarious situation with our staff resources and the situation may yet change again."

The council is contacting all garden waste customers to let them know when collections will restart and garden waste collection calendars will also be amended and available on the council's website before collections resume so all customers know their revised collection dates.

Mr Solomon said: "I completely understand why some of our customers are frustrated that we've not been able to maintain uninterrupted collections in the same year we've introduced a subscription service.

"Because of the inconvenience caused we will be offering all our existing subscribers a discount on next year's collections to compensate them for the disruption.

"Customers don't need to contact us to qualify for this offer - it will be automatically available at renewal." 

The council will also trial setting up satellite sites across the area so that existing customers have the option to take their garden waste to staffed drop-off points if they don't live within easy reach of one of the three recycling centres.

These will be announced as soon as they're up and running.

Mr Solomon added: "I'm also keen that our residents understand that we

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are lobbying government to solve the driver crisis. We simply can't make this problem go away on our own, and it's not just our services being affected.

"All areas of business logistics are affected and garden waste collections are just a tiny part of the problem.

"We desperately need government to undo the damage caused by the Brexit driver exodus." 

The council is working with other councils in the region to lobby ministers and has also asked the two local MPs to support a resolution to the crisis.

New subscriptions for the garden waste collection service are currently suspended and will resume when the current driver shortage issues are resolved.

Recycling and black bin waste collections are not affected by these changes and residents should continue to put containers out as normal for collection.

Residents interested in home composting can also still take advantage of the council's reduced price compost bin offer at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting 

No garden waste collections for Nailsea

North Somerset's garden waste collections are being suspended for at least the next two weeks because of HGV driver shortages.

Unlike other areas, North Somerset Council has managed to keep garden waste collections going throughout the summer, with minimal disruption, but driver shortages have now reached the point where there are now no longer enough people to make the collections.

 There will be no garden waste collections between Monday and Friday, September 6-17, but recycling and black bin waste collections will continue as normal.

All households which provided their email address when they signed up to the garden waste service are being emailed directly to let them know.

 North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services is Mike Solomon who is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: "We really couldn't ask for a more dedicated team out on the rounds and I am very grateful to all of them for everything they've been doing.

"But the staff shortages - caused predominantly by the widespread shortage of HGV drivers - have reached the level where we know we are not going to have enough people available to provide the garden waste service for the next two weeks.

"HGV driver recruitment is an issue affecting the whole country with the Road Haulage Association estimating a shortfall of 100,000 drivers nationally.

"We are working hard to find ways to remedy the crisis locally and will have a clearer picture on compensation for our customers and what we’ll do to mitigate further impacts within the next two weeks.

"However, this situation will not be resolved quickly without government intervention which is why we are also lobbying our MPs and ministers to fix things.

"I'm sorry that this temporary interruption to the service will inconvenience people.”

 Recycling centres will be open as normal for anyone wishing to dispose of their garden waste during the next two weeks. Home composting is also a good way to deal with any additional garden waste generated.

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LET THE PEOPLE PLAY: North Somerset Council has now removed the rotting grass cuttings from the area of Trendlewood Park bordering Turnbury Avenue and Bude Close, says Pam Salisbury who took all the photos. Pam said: “This has been traditionally used for ball games and team recreation sports for more than 30 years. Thankfully it is now accessible again. Do use it.”

Fines for North Somerset litter louts

A crackdown on littering, dog fouling and other anti-social behaviour has started well and is making North Somerset a cleaner and greener environment for everyone.  
Earlier this year North Somerset Council teamed up with private company Local Authority Support to issue £75 fixed penalty notices to anyone seen breaching our public space protection orders.
The 12-month contract started in May and six trained officers have been patrolling the area since then.
Up until the beginning of August, more than 400 on-the-spot fines had been issued, compared with just 14 in the same period last year.
These include:

  • 331 for littering

  • 42 for dogs not being on a lead when they should

  • 27 for owners breaching dog exclusion zones

  • three for people urinating or defecating in a public place

  • two for dog fouling.

Several were in Nailsea including the newspaper shop boss fined for discarding a cigarette butt.
In a survey last year, only 40 per cent of respondents thought the area was clean, and about 90 per cent agreed it was reasonable to issue on-the-spot fines to deal with dog fouling.
North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent councillor for the Hutton and Locking ward.
He said: "Environmental crime and anti-social behaviour can have a detrimental effect on our communities and littering and dog fouling remain a big concern for many residents.
"By working with LA Support, we are building on the great work already undertaken by officers and volunteers across the area who pick up other people's litter and keep North Somerset clean.
"By working together we will tackle this anti social behaviour that blights our public spaces."

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If you are aware of particular hotspot then email waste.enforcement@n-somerset.gov.uk.

You can also report locations of dog fouling using the Pooper Snooper app (https://poopersnooper.app/get-started).

The app informs the council of the worst offending areas allowing targeted patrols.
For more information about the public space protection orders visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/community-safety-crime/public-space-protection-orders.

Waste not, want not

Temporary crew shortages mean that garden waste collections won't go ahead in North Somerset on Thursday and Friday, August 12-13.

Recycling and waste collections are continuing as normal and the three recycling centres are also open for their regular summer hours.

North Somerset Council is asking for feedback on its new draft Recycling and Waste strategy.

The council has a mission to achieve zero waste and save the planet.

Despite achieving one the of the highest recycling rates in England in 2019-20 an audit revealed 45 per cent of the average household black bin was recyclable material.

It wants to raise awareness of unnecessary packaging and the use of reusable containers, plus getting rid of junk mail.

To read the draft strategy summary document download HERE.

To share your views go to:

https://n-somerset.inconsult.uk/waste_consultation/consultationHome

The consultation closes on Wednesday, August 18.

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Our green and carbon neutral land

Eye-catching posters advertising an innovative art competition will start appearing around North Somerset this week.

The Picture This art competition invites local people, particularly children and young people, to imagine a carbon neutral future where the worst impacts of climate change have been prevented.

Unfortunately the way Nailsea is being targeted by developers the post could be a little to green and who gets the wind turbines?

The posters feature an artist’s impression of a net zero carbon North Somerset and have been designed by local illustrator Cai Burton.

North Somerset Council is working in partnership with Culture Weston on the Picture This project, which aims to inspire local people and provoke change to make North Somerset carbon neutral by 2030. 

In net zero carbon communities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced as close to zero as possible, with the small amount which remains being removed from the atmosphere, for example through planting trees. 

North Somerset Council executive member for climate emergency is the Green Party ward councillors for Backwell.

She said: “In 2019, North Somerset Council declared a climate emergency and set a target of North Somerset becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“I’m really excited about the Picture This art competition. We’re inviting local people of all ages to create art which imagines a net zero carbon future for North Somerset.

"A future where we have adapted to use low carbon technologies and are more resilient to climate change.

"Visualising a brighter future is so important and we need everyone’s help with this.”

Culture Weston programme manager Tom Newman said: “We all know that the old ways of doing things are not working and have not worked.

"New ideas are vital.

"We need new ways of thinking and living, to inspire people and provoke change.

“We’re looking for artworks in any creative medium.

"That could be drawings, poems, songs, creative writing, textiles, film – anything which focuses on what is possible and achievable to address the challenge of climate change and create a better world for our future.”

The Picture This art competition, which is open to all ages, closes on Thursday, September 30.Winners will be chosen based on their creativity and ability to engage people in thinking about a net zero carbon future.

The finalists will be displayed in public spaces around North Somerset over

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the autumn and winter.

For more information including the process for submitting artwork go to cultureweston.org.uk/picturethis.

The Picture This project kicked off last month with the council’s music service running a music course in partnership with Bath Philharmonia’s creative learning team.

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities who attend mainstream schools in North Somerset created their own music in response to the Picture This brief, and the recordings they made will accompany the Picture This exhibition this autumn. 

Culture Weston is a partnership-led initiative that places culture at the heart of Weston-super-Mare’s daily life and future growth.

It is led by North Somerset arts organisation Theatre Orchard, in collaboration with North Somerset Council, Arts Council England and the local community.

Garden waste service disrupted

North Somerset Council is bringing in temporary measures for garden waste collections due to ongoing crew shortages as more and more crew members are having to self-isolate due to the rising number of coronavirus infections locally. 

Acouncil spokesman said: "With the requirements for close contacts to isolate, as well as the national shortage of HGV drivers, rather than suspend collections for an extended period as some other areas have done, we are keen to review the situation on a daily basis and will continue to provide the garden waste collection service whenever possible.

"Every day is unpredictable at the moment as we don’t know how many staff are going to be pinged by the test and trace app.

"This is making it incredibly difficult to plan each day’s collections.

"However, we do want to keep collecting garden waste on all days when we’ve got enough crews working.

"While we hope that our garden waste customers will be pleased we’re doing our best, we also appreciate it’s a more complicated position where each day will be different.

"That’s why we’re also committing to emailing customers before their collection is due when we know we won’t be able to collect their garden waste.

"This way our residents will know whether to put their containers out for collection or not.

"We will email garden waste customers the night before their next collection is due if the crew shortages mean that they can’t collect households’ garden waste the next day.

"Because the situation may then change overnight, with more crew members being required to self-isolate, there may then be a need to email more customers on the morning of their collection day to let them know that the collection won’t be made that week.

"This is the best way we can keep our customers up to date on the latest situation.

"The emails will be sent from ‘Waste Updates’ so we encourage all our customers to look out for these messages in their inbox.

"Anyone who doesn’t get an email the night before or on the morning of their collection should assume we’re planning to collect as usual.

"We have had to suspend garden waste collections for three days the week ending Friday, July 23.

"Customers who were due a garden waste collection on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday will not now receive a collection until their next scheduled date. Tuesday collections were also impacted but crews were able to catch-up on these by Thursday.

"We hold email addresses for 94 per cent of households registered for the garden waste service as not all customers provided their email address when signing up.

"Updates will also be posted at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/waste as well as on the council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

"Due to the current hot temperatures collections begin at 6am so

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customers should put their containers out by then to make sure crews can empty them.

"We are very aware that a number of customers will be frustrated that we are having to look at temporary changes to the service that they have only recently begun paying an additional amount for.

"We will keep the situation under constant review and are looking at ways we can redress any disruption to service our customers experience.

We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support during these difficult circumstances, particularly all the kind messages we are receiving every day for our hard-working crews.

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Suspended prison sentence for fly-tipper

A Bristol man has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs of more than £2,000 following a prosecution for fly-tipping brought by North Somerset Council.

Stuart Bowering, of Hawkfield Road, Bristol entered a guilty plea at North Somerset Magistrates Court on 15 April to charges brought by the council for twice fly-tipping waste on Wild Country Lane in Long Ashton.

The fly-tipped waste consisted of mixed garden waste, roofing material, wood, cardboard, plastic and children’s toys. Both offences were recorded on CCTV in the area and, having obtained the vehicle registration number of the vehicle used, officers found that Mr Bowering was the registered keeper at the time the offence took place.

Due to the fly-tipped waste blocking the country lane where lighting was limited the offences were considered a high risk to road users and a deliberate act. This being the case, the District Judge referred the case to Bristol Crown Court for sentencing.

Mr Bowering appeared at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, July 9.

He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay full costs to the council of £2,012.90.

When sentencing Mr Bowering, HHJ Patrick remarked: "You committed extremely anti-social offences, deliberately disposed of waste, went into a country lane and simply emptied it into the road.

"Any cyclist, car, pedestrian, horse rider would have been significantly affected by that.

"You did it once, the council cleared it up, then you went and did it again.

"It was thrown from the back onto the hedgerow.

"You deliberately chose exactly the same location.

"Clean up costs are modest but people who have paid for it are the people who pay council tax.“

Any breaches of the Court’s order have been reserved to HHJ Patrick.

Welcoming the outcome of the prosecution was North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services  Mike Solomon who is the ndependent ward councillors for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable and has a negative impact on our local environment, communities and, in this case, the waste posed a significant risk to anyone wishing to enjoy their local area.

"North Somerset Council will investigate all incidents of fly-tipping and issue fixed penalty notices or prosecute individuals when sufficient evidence is found.”

Follow these simple steps to make sure your waste is disposed of legally:

S - Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your waste until they have proven themselves to be legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.

C - Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.

R - Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.

A - Ask what will happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.

P - Paperwork must be obtained - a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.

Residents of North Somerset can dispose of their household waste at any of the council recycling centres at Backwell, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare.

Residents who find fly-tipped waste are encouraged to report it online to the council as soon as possible at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/flytipping.

Image by Julia Engel
Litterbugs fined

North Somerset Council enforcement officers have issued 62 fines this month.

The council has seven officers to issue on-the-spot fines for public offences which include littering and dogs not being on leads.

A newspaper shop boss in Nailsea was one of those fined for discarding a cigarette butt in Somerset Square.

Officers have patrolled Weston, Clevedon and Nailsea with the majority of offenders are under 50 years of age.

Of the 62 fines handed out the majority were in Weston and totalled £2,175 in costs - 17 of which were paid immediately.

Out of the 62 fines, 58 were for littering, three for dogs not being on leads and one for urinating in public.

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Litter pick date

The collaboration of Nailsea Community Group and the litter group formerly known as Better Nailsea, now collectively known as Nailsea Community Litter Heroes, continues on Saturday, August 7.

Hedgerows, car parks and streets will be targeted.

Organiser Lisa Davidson said: "Everyone is welcome to come to the next litter pick, meeting at 26 Somerset Square at 10am.

"How long you pick is entirely up to you."

Nailsea Town Council has provided the group with new equipment including litter pickers, bin liners, bag hoops, brooms, dustpan and brush sets and some gardening equipment. 
Businesses, individuals or groups can borrow this equipment from 26 Somerset Square if they would like to clear up their local patch.
Contact Jules or Shelley at No 26. 

Work with rewilding team

​North Somerset Council has been awarded a lottery grant of £100,000 to continue with the next phase of its rewilding project.
The executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: "Unfortunately we had to suspend all volunteering opportunities because of Covid restrictions but we are now looking forward to welcoming volunteers back with us and to working in partnership with Avon Wildlife Trust to take the rewilding project forward.
"Rewilding means a significant transformation in how we manage our open spaces and it's important we're able to monitor the changes that will happen as we alter the way we manage some of our land. 
"This is a significant task and the lottery grant and sessions being led by our ranger will enable us to train volunteers to help us do this. 
"There will be a number of exciting opportunities for people to get involved in over the coming months.
"Before the lockdowns we'd already had fantastic support from our local communities and this project will enable more residents to get involved in helping us deliver our ambitious rewilding programme."
Working with Avon Wildlife Trust, the lottery funding will enable the council to carry out a range of survey training sessions during the next two years, providing lots of opportunities for volunteers to get involved and help address the climate and nature emergency.
The re-wilding of North Somerset began in February 2020 with hundreds of tree saplings being planted across the district.
But not everyone is happy with loss of green space or potential loss of views.
Roger Smallshaw, of Redwood Close, was especially upset about the lack of public consultation on re-wilding on the corner of Nailsea Park and Blackthorn Way.
He said: “Golden Valley didn't get any consultation unlike Clevedon and Portishead with the 'twig planting' at Nailsea Park and Hawthorn Way.

"I believetwig planting we were deliberately denied a consultation or any involvement whatsoever apart from the original 'not representative' consultation back toward the end of 2020. 

"All down to Covid of course, hence my grumble, along with every other member of the local community I have discussed it with.

"I am pleased Clr Solomon has taken over and I have been in touch with him.

"He has promised a full review of the re-wilding programme.

"He seems to be more than a little ill-disposed towards planting on amenity green sites so I am hopeful."

"I would extend an invitation to anyone considering a vote in favour of re-wilding to come and look at ours first.

"The reality bears little resemblance to the Garden of Eden pictured by Backwell ward councillor Bridge Petty and her team.

"I am 100% in favour of planting trees and re-wilding when done properly in the right place, for the right reasons, in the right density, with proper consultation with the local community and the full active involvement with the elected ward councillor regardless of his/her/their political flavour. 

"I am, naturally, along with more than one of my near neighbours  happy to get involved with the re-wilding excercise if asked, particularly with the upkeep and maintenance of the mess we are left with off Hawthorn Way!

"It might also be educational if the council were to quote the 30 per cent death rate amongst the first 5,000 twigs planted, the obvious high death rate already amongst ours and the fact that every twig planted is accompanied by an unnecessariy in my opinion large tube of plastic which rapidly becomes a broken piece of litter.

"A target of 50,000 plus planted rings somewhat empty without a predicted survival rate over say five years.

"The accusation that the tubes are being removed by the local community should surprise no-one but I will wager that the majority are being displaced by the wild plant growth, dogs and other animals, accidentally by people trying to follow their usual old routes across the amenity plot and children enjoying playing and chasing each other through the long grass. "That is, after all, what children do best, bless them and have been doing for years here."Former Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber said she received several complaints about the tree planting.
But for North Somerset's it is onward and upward with the plan to save the planet.
Volunteers will be able to develop new skills and will be trained to help with the task of monitoring their environment and recording the biodiversity changes created by rewilding.
In addition, two paid placement opportunities will be on offer, one each year. 
The two successful candidates will learn all the survey techniques as well as skills for working with volunteers and delivering projects. Avon Wildlife Trust will start recruiting for the first position shortly which will be advertised via the trust’s recruitment website at www.avonwildlifetrust/jobs.

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The programme of training sessions is currently being developed. Once this is done the sessions will be advertised on the trust’s website at www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk, Twitter (www.twitter.com/avonwt), Facebook (www.facebook.com/Avonwt/) and Eventbrite.

A further grant will enable a council ranger to carry out volunteer sessions over the next six months.

These will involve revisiting all of the tree planting sites created so far as a result of the rewilding programme to carry out maintenance and additional survey sessions at the tree and tall grass locations.
It is planned to develop 'rewilding champions' from these two projects to help with the ongoing monitoring and aftercare of these areas.
Volunteers who have signed up previously will receive an email with more information about the tree maintenance sessions. 

You can sign up by email here rewilding.volunteering@n-somerset.gov.uk and you will be added to the mailing list. 

Sessions will be advertised through Eventbrite and more details will be on

​the Nature and Climate North Somerset Facebook page.
With the help of volunteers and its contractors Glendale, the council has planted a total of 20,000 young trees so far as part of its commitment to rewild areas of North Somerset.
The aim is to plant 50,000 trees, resulting in 25 hectares of new woodland, and create around 40 hectares of tall grass areas where the grass is allowed to grow.
Together, these initiatives will provide more habitats for wildlife to flourish and increase biodiversity, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and address the nature emergency.
You can find out more about the rewilding plans on the council website HERE.

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BLOOMING LOVELY: Nailsea in Bloom volunteer gardeners busy as bees in the town centre on Thursday, May 27, with 1,930 plants going in the many beds and containers. At the same time chainsaw sculptor Andy O'Neill was working away putting the finishing touches to the old oak tree stump woodland creatures carving. You can view more HERE.on the Mighty Oak page.  Among the flowers being planted are beautiful and colourful begonias, petunias, geraniums, osteospermum, nemsia and coleus. A Nailsea Town Council spokesman said: “Thank you for all the hard work the team put in to keep our town looking lovely.” Notice the wall behind the village green - it also has been spruced up for spring as the nasty tar staining on the brickwork appeared to have been cleaned - well done whoever is responsible. Individuals and businesses can sponsor a big flower tub from at little as £37 - see letter attached with contact numbers or email nailseapeople@gmail.com and we will pass your details on.

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FLOWER BEE: Jenn Pera, of Flower Bee Florist, has sponsored the planter outside her High Street shop