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Making the environment safer and greener

Making the environment safer and greener

Encouraging involvement and investment in your local environment, from all ages and walks of life, can help residents to feel connected and invested creating a sense of place. Not only does this create a cleaner and healthier environment, it can foster cross-generational interaction and sharing of valuable knowledge. This can range from litter picks to zero carbon schemes, to tree planting and community gardens.

Do you have ideas for a community group to tackle projects in your community or want to start a green initiative?

Greening your environment: Case studies

Below are some case studies of green initiatives in South Cambridgeshire as well as grants available to assist these projects.

Zero Carbon Communities Grant funded projects

Marmalade Lane is Cambridge's very first co-housing project where homes have been specifically built to suit the needs of residents choosing to live in a safe and spacious community. Marmalade Lane consists of 30 houses and 12 flats, all energy-efficient timber-frame properties priced from £255,000 to £535,000 with an eco-friendly approach in mind, they are thermally efficient and airtight and a single house can be erected in just two days. It is designed to attract a diverse range of residents, including downsizing couples and families with young children.


Cambridge Sustainable Food is an innovative and growing partnership of public, private and community organisations in Cambridge and the surrounding villages who work with each other to promote a vibrant local food system, all along the supply chain and into our community. They also campaign to achieve healthy and sustainable food for everyone. 

2G3S (Green Groups in the Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston) is a non party-political group which was set up in 2015 to promote green activity in our local villages and to share green ideas.  They hold planning and discussion meetings every six weeks and put on occasional events, including films, Repair Cafes and talks.

Northstowe Allotments are producing their own food.

A new environmental group has been set up in the village with the aim of helping residents reduce plastic use.

Gamlingay Eco Community Group was set up by two friends who were increasingly concerned about the impact of single use plastics on the environment. They wanted to increase awareness of alternatives to the highly plastic packaging goods that are a common part of everyday life.

Earlier this year the group was successful in obtaining £2129 from our zero carbon Communities grant. The not-for-profit group is planning to host a monthly pop-up eco shop at the Gamlingay ECO hub in 2021, where they will be giving away samples of plastic-free household items for Gamlingay residents to try.  The group also plans to hold sessions with various youth groups in the village, talking to them about the problems of plastic pollution.

The first of these sessions took place in September when they met with Gamlingay Brownies, via Zoom, and talked to them about the amount of plastic commonly found in bathrooms. Before the session, the 13 girls who took part collected some 250 plastic tems such as bottles containing soap, shower gel and shampoo and so we were able to see themselves the extent of the plastic usage. Possible eco alternatives for many everyday items were discussed such as tooth brushes and toiletries. And at the end of the session each Brownie was given a plastic free soap or shampoo bar to try.

As well as sessions with the youth groups, the group has set up a Facebook group where interested residents can share idea and experiences about sustainable alternatives.

Zero carbon grants

There are grants available to kickstart your new project or expand your existing project.

The Zero Carbon Communities Grant Scheme supports communities in South Cambridgeshire to take action on climate change at a very local level.


How can you raise awareness and prevent fly-tipping?

Everyone has a legal 'duty of care' to ensure their household or business waste is disposed of correctly. You can be prosecuted even if your waste is fly-tipped by someone else on your behalf.

If it is your waste, it is your responsibility.

Litter picking

If your local community group would like to organise a voluntary litter picking event in your area, the Council can support you, by lending litter grabbers and gloves for the event. They also provide bags for the collection of litter and arrange collection of these after the event. 

Sustainable Neighbourhood Planning Support

Supporting communities to create low carbon neighbourhood plans

A great way to have an impact on your local community is to get involved with the design of your neighbourhood. Sustainable Neighbourhood Planning offers communities the opportunity to develop a positive vision of their future. Pioneering towns, villages and neighbourhoods are already mapping out ambitious plans that will improve quality of life and at the same time make the transition to a low carbon energy and transport system.

Maybe this is an area your community group could get involved in?

How to engage your community

Climate Emergency Toolkit

Contact Details