SDF Grant Assessment Panel

24/02/2012 - National Park Offices

Minutes

1. To receive apologies for absence

2. To receive any disclosure of interest by Members or Officers in respect of any item of business

3. To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the SDF Grant Assessment Panel held on the 23rd November, 2011

4. To consider the report of the SDF Administrator

5. To consider the following applications:

SDF 0312 – Low Carbon Cook Off
The Low Carbon Cook-Off is an innovative communication project, looking at the environmental impacts of our modern food system in a fun and engaging way. The Eco Centre Wales (ECW) are seeking SDF funding for this event-based participative project, designed to use a popular subject area (food and cooking) and format (chefs discussing recipes and cooking them) to introduce the public to the concept of food sustainability. Although there is flexibility in the format, the events can be summarised as a cross between ‘Ready Steady Cook’ and ‘Masterchef’. Local chefs are invited to make a meal with a view to keeping the footprint of the ingredients as small as possible. They have 30 minutes to make a meal, whilst explaining the source of their ingredients. The audience are then invited to taste the meal and judge the best taking into account the low carbon nature of the dish, and its taste. During the preparation and cooking of the meals, the event compere talks about a whole range of food issues and the everyday solutions available to us when trying to reduce the environmental impacts of that most mundane of daily decisions: ‘What’s for dinner?’. The public engagement is perpetuated by asking the audience to make a pledge to undertake an action that has a positive impact on their food choices e.g. growing their own vegetables, buying more seasonal food; buying more locally; using more fresh ingredients etc.

SDF 0315 – Martletwy Sustainable Community Project
LMN 2000, a community Group representing the communities of Landshipping, Minwear and Newton, are developing an ambitious community project which will deliver affordable, sustainable housing, a community facility, a market garden run by a social enterprise and an energy centre comprised of a combined heat and electricity biomass boiler. To allow the project to progress LMN 2000 have requested SDF funding for a comprehensive feasibility study. The study is to include an in depth energy analysis, business plan, full plan drawings and planning permission for the proposed development on an identified seven acre site on the outskirts of Martletwy . It is envisaged that the energy centre would supply the eight proposed affordable dwellings and the community facility with clean green energy and excess heat will heat the glass houses. Any excess electricity will be combined with that produced by photovoltaic panels and exported to the national grid. Solar hot water panels will also be used to supply the houses and community facility with hot water. The in-depth feasibility study will also be used to support a planned application to the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme (CFAP) for funding towards purchase of the land.

SDF 0316 – Wise up on Waste
The Darwin Centre is requesting SDF support to develop and deliver a new educational programme called ‘Wise up on Waste’, to expand its already broad and highly successful portfolio. Using their tried and tested package of first hand experience and carefully designed engaging workshops they plan to take groups on a journey of understanding and appreciation of one of Pembrokeshire’s (and the world’s) most important and current sustainability issues, viz waste and what we do with it. ‘Wise up on Waste’ will be developed and then delivered, in partnership with Withyhedge landfill site and Pembrokeshire County Council’s (PCC’s) Waste Awareness Officer, to approximately 500 people over two years. Through site visits, participants will learn about the landfill process and the processing of the ‘Orange’ recycling bags. Methods of separating recyclable materials will be demonstrated, leading to an appreciation of why certain plastics are recycled and some not and the issue of value/demand affecting the market for recycled goods. A follow up workshop will explore the production of commercial plastics, including a hands-on experiment making plastic from milk and vinegar, which will help groups to understand the process uses vast amounts of oil (fossil fuel). The inert organic plastic made by individuals can be moulded into a biodegradable key ring for them to take away. Participants will also be given an item (pencil, rubber) that has been made from recycled material (sponsored by PCC) aimed at drawing attention to the types of product that recycled plastics end up making.

SDF 0317 – Green Apple Cross
The owner of Green Apple Cross near Cosheston is striving to develop his site into an exemplar of sustainable living by creating a carbon-neutral, self-sufficient, organic smallholding. The site has been planned on the principles of sustainability and will include woodland coppicing, an orchard, fruit tree nursery, vegetable garden and wildlife area. In addition the site will provide local schools and communities with a valuable educational resource as an outdoor classroom. To achieve this goal SDF assistance is required to build an all access compost toilet and recover an existing twin –span polytunnel, that will provide an essential covered area and convenience for visiting groups. By demonstration and direct involvement the project will promote a wider understanding of sustainability through the growing of fruit, land management, water conservation and the careful use of resources. Schools will have their own plots of land to work and as well as growing fruit and vegetables be given the opportunity to grow plants that will increase the site’s biodiversity.

SDF 0318 – Guide to Sustainable Tourism in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Greentraveller seek SDF support to feature a dedicated section on ‘Sustainable Tourism in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’ on their website greentraveller.co.uk. The feature will provide comprehensive information on community-led tourism and how travellers can holiday in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (PCNP) in a way that has a low impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local economy and livelihoods of local people. The funding will help facilitate production of the guide with the businesses featured being selected and marketed by Greentraveller who will work in collaboration with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) to ensure relevant local tourism contacts. The guide will include sections on Transport, Where to stay, Eating out, Visitor Attractions and Activities to achieve the following outcomes:

• To promote the appreciation of the great outdoors, healthy living & sustainability to both residents and visitors

• To promote green minded accommodation, low impact activities and community-based tourism in the PCNP

• To promote access to the PCNP by public transport

• To promote awareness and understanding of biodiversity

The Guide will be innovative because it will for the first time showcase online - in an inspirational and aspirational way - the best sustainable travel and tourism choices in the PCNP, as endorsed by Greentraveller.co.uk, which is regarded by many as the leading portal for sustainable experiences in the UK .The project will specifically target new audiences as Greentraveller is engaging with mainstream holidaymakers to show them that choosing sustainable experiences provide added value. The communication will however be styled to encourage both residents and visitors to utilise the information. The Guide will be much more than about marketing the Park to boost numbers of visitors and overnight stays, but also how to visit and enjoy the Park in a more responsible way - for everyone, both residents and visitors. The Guide will include a dedicated featured section on getting to and around the PCNP by public transport, ie getting around without a car, which promotes access to those with social mobility challenges.

SDF 0319 – ReFarm
A primary objective of the Eco Centre Wales’ (ECW) ReFarm project is to support a significant increase in annual generation of renewable electricity from the farming sector in Pembrokeshire. With SDF funding, ECW will assist Pembrokeshire farmers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, reduce their costs and their impact on the environment. Importantly the project will also contribute to the ‘green sector’ of the local economy, increase the training and employment opportunities for renewable energy technology installers and contribute to Pembrokeshire’s renewable energy targets.The project also aims to diversify farm income through renewable electricity and heat generation.
Eco Centre Wales has been at the forefront of support for small scale renewable energy in West Wales for more than three decades. In the last ten years it has developed a range of projects that have each improved the depth and quality of the service it provides and has increased the numbers of people it reaches. They have purposefully evolved this service from supporting householders to community groups and now to the farming sector. This project is the next step in the logical progression of renewable energy projects in the National Park.
The funding will allow a renewable energy technical officer to provide an on site feasibility study and assessment of the viable technologies for the farmer to consider.The study will provide details on site suitability; appropriate technologies; potential generation; potential income; impacts; initial start up and ongoing costs.The officer will also assist with monitoring potential sites for suitability and provide the equipment for doing so (e.g. wind monitoring or stream flow monitoring) and any requirements under planning law. As well as providing the technical support service, the project will carry out engagement activities such as seminars, workshops, conferences etc to stimulate demand across the project area.

The Eco Centre's charitable status allows it to work free of any commercial imperative that may influence the advice it gives. This allows them to give independent and impartial technical advice that many farmers are seeking when considering capital investment in renewable energy technologies. They are not installers or suppliers and have no products to promote.

SDF 0320 – Woodlands and Wetlands Project Manager
Pembroke 21C, Community Interest Company (CIC), began a project called “Training in skills for the management and maintenance of woodland and wetland habitats” in 2011, with the aim of using two sustainable projects to develop a training progamme for local people in traditional woodland and wetland management skills. The two projects are the Hentland Willow Coppice Scheme next to Pembroke Refinery and Kingsmill Woodland on the National Trust Stackpole estate very close to Castlemartin. The Willow Coppice scheme is planting willow and hazel for short rotation coppice to be used for environmental projects, in particular river bank stabilization. The woodland is being thinned, paths cleared and laid and bridges built over ditches and streams. Areas of the woodland are being coppiced in rotation. In addition to the training programme both projects also provide opportunities for volunteering, employment and raising revenue for the benefit of the local community. To develop this work further so that the projects become economically sustainable in the long term, Pembroke 21C CIC are requesting SDF funding to assist with employment of a dedicated project manager. With a consistent and professional approach the project manager would:-
• Develop the training and volunteering opportunities and open the projects up to the local community

• Develop the revenue raising opportunities of both projects

• Develop the potential for establishing the carbon sequestration benefits of the site and establish a viable and sustainable corporate social responsibility scheme

• Seek opportunities to bid to carry out this work on other sites in and around the National Park.

SDF 0321 – Mobile Application and Integrated Web Interface for Recording Dragonflies
Through this project the West Wales biodiversity Information Centre (WWBIC) aim to increase the amount and involvement in biological recording in Pembrokeshire, by creating an integrated mobile recording application and website interface and making this available to volunteer recorders. It will do this by developing the application to send dragonfly records captured by field recorders to their database at the Local Record Centre for West Wales, using the cellular network or a wireless broadband connection. The integrated web mapping interface will allow records to be viewed and verified by experts. Dragonflies have been selected as a group for their ease of identification and the limited number of species native to Pembrokeshire. This unique and ground breaking project, when completed, will allow other recorders in Pembrokeshire and neighbouring counties to access the application and it will pave the way for the development of applications for other species groups. Their approach will be to develop the application with experienced recorders and volunteers, who will use a mobile device with built in GPS on which sits an application tailored to recording dragonflies. Biological records will be entered directly onto a map and into a user friendly data entry interface, which stores and uploads the records to the WWBIC database when a signal is available.The application will then be extended to a wider group of volunteers for further trials and by use of the website interface, data can be remotely verified and edited by an expert. The software to be used is designed for ArcGIS Mobile and ArcGIS Server, part of a proprietary software suite used by WWBIC, and which is employed by other organizations using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map biodiversity information. Proof of concept has already been demonstrated by the successful development of a mobile cetacean recording project developed with Sea Trust for use in the marine environment.