“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Famed American anthropologist Margaret Mead, who coined that heartfelt phrase, would be proud to see the steps made by British communities in their quest to change Britain for the better.
Across the country, local communities are increasingly choosing to advantage of social networks and make their home a greener place to live.
Whittington And Fisherwick Group
When people from the villages of Whittington and Fisherwick in Staffordshire were told of plans to ‘fill in’ several nearby lakes with aggregate they decided to fight against the proposals.
They formed the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group (WFEG) and managed to find a compromise. But they didn’t stop there. Now, the group say on their website, they are committed to turning the parishes of Whittington and Fisherwick, into “ one of the first low carbon communities in the United Kingdom”.
WFEG has so far secured funding to fit out the local village hall, church hall and parish council pavilion with insulation and low-energy lighting. The Dog Inn pub in Whittington has spent £6,000 on their own money on insulation, low-energy lighting and a more efficient boiler, thanks to WFEN encouragement. And the group most recently partnered with LoCaL - Low Carbon Lichfield to offer great value solar electricity either at a great discount - or free.
Fintry in Stirlingshire
Although many communities would prefer to live without wind turbines in their backyard, the residents of Finty welcomed a proposal for a local wind farm.
Instead of opposing the scheme, the villagers asked the commercial developer to build an extra turbine and sell it to them, to try to make their community one of the greenest in the UK, reported The Guardian.
According to the Stirling Observer, the village is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the project this year.
In that time the village has benefited from a regular income generated by the turbine, averaging £40,000 to £70,000 per annum, which it invests in local renewable energy projects (and once their original loan is repaid, they could look forward to a profit of around £400,000 each year).
More than 15% of Fintry households now benefit from micro-renewable energy (produced on a small scale) thanks to the Fintry Development Trust, says the paper. It is reported that the FDT aims to help increase the number of homes with micro-renewable installations (such as solar panels) to 80% by 2015 – five years before the Scottish Government 2020 targets.
These communities could definitely help propel Britain’s green ambitions forward