‘Insectageddon’ to make town carbon-neutral

The Tumbling Weir in Ottery St. Mary.

The Tumbling Weir in Ottery St. Mary. - Credit: Archant

Planting more wildflowers and using the Tumbling Weir to produce hydro-electric energy are among the top priorities for a greener Ottery.

Councillor Dean Stewart told the town council at its August meeting about a number of initiatives the Greener Ottery group are working towards as part of its aim to make the town carbon-neutral by 2030.

As part of work to improve the town's biodiversity the group are striving to plant more wildflowers and native varieties of plants and trees to encourage an 'insectageddon' of more pollinating insects to the town.

Cllr Stewart said: "The insects are being wiped out. Flowers and trees are not getting pollinated and they are not growing and not absorbing the pollution. It's all adding to the problem. Bees are disappearing.

"We are looking at different ways we can plant wildflowers.

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"We do not have enough land as a council so we need people who have large gardens or spare land we can use."

He asked gardeners where possible to let it grow and only cut paths in places where people would walk through.

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The group will be assessing whether the Tumbling Weir could be used to produce hydro-electric power.

A feasibility study was carried out in 2006 which outlined that Tipton Weir and the Tumbling Weir are suitable for power.

Cllr Stewart said: "We are working mostly on small little projects quickly that will very visible around the town that will get people involved."

The group will work with Ottery-based Clear Lead Consulting to assess buildings owned by the town council to assess its carbon footprint and look at further environmentally-friendly measures.

At the August meeting the council agreed it will have an item on its agenda every month in relation to climate change issues.

Cllr Stewart told the meeting the group had received positive responses from Sainsbury's and Otter Garden Centre about working on green projects.

Ottery Town Council declared a climate change emergency in June, and pledged to work with the community to become carbon-neutral.

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