24 SEPTEMBER 2014

REMINDER OF TOE2 APPLICATION DEADLINES

General Grant Scheme
TOE2 is inviting applications for its December Board meeting; please submit applications by the 2nd October 2014. The following application deadline is the 8th January 2014.

Energy Audit grants for Community Buildings
Applications for community building energy audits can be submitted before the end of October for consideration in early November.

24 SEPTEMBER 2014

LOW CARBON HUB SHARE OFFER

The Low Carbon Hub is a small social enterprise tackling the big issue of climate change, here, in Oxfordshire. To do this, the Hub works with communities, the public sector, schools and businesses to scale-up renewable energy generation and put local power in the hands of local people. The Hub launched its first community share offer on 23rd September to raise £1.5 million investment into its first wave of renewable schemes. This will fund solar PV installations on 18 schools across Oxfordshire and a number of local businesses. To find out more go to:
www.lowcarbonhub.org/invest

The Hub has been shortlisted for several awards in recognition of its work in championing community energy: Observer Ethical Awards; 2degrees Champions Awards; and the UK Community Energy Award.

Notes:
For further information or images, please contact Georgina Matthews:
Georgina.matthews@lowcarbonhub.org
01865 246099

11 September 2014

SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT BIOMASS BOILERS USING LOCALLY SOURCED FUEL

On 8th September TOE2 hosted a successful “Briefing on Wood Fuel Feasibility” event at Ditchley Park, Woodstock. The day was kindly sponsored by Nicholson’s Nurseries and The Ditchley Foundation.

Nearly sixty key decision makers from a broad selection of sectors attended the briefing. Delegates were able to view the recently installed biomass boiler at Ditchley and hear firsthand experience of its operation using locally sourced fuel.

Following the tour there were presentations in the lecture theatre covering the whole biomass story from woodland through to heat and financial models. Throughout the presentations questions were answered and real examples given of how biomass is already being implemented locally and nationally. Delegates went away with a complete overview of Biomass heating and proof that Woodfuel really is a viable option in many situations.

If anyone is interested to know more about biomass boilers and would like impartial advice please contact Anthony Whitton at TOE2.

News update August 2014

TOE2 EVENTS

Seminar on Woodfuel Feasibility at Ditchley Park on the 8 September

Are you interested to know more about the use of woodfuel? The TOE2 Woodfuel Programme is running a seminar at Ditchley Park near Woodstock on the 8th September about the use of woodfuel boilers. The seminar will provide an opportunity to see the Ditchley boiler and wood stack, and will consider woodland management, boiler installation, RHI and funding models. For further information please contact fiona.danks@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk.

Day Conference on energy efficiency in Church Buildings, Saturday 4 October

TOE2 and the Diocese of Oxford invite you to a day conference at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring to explore how we can make our churches warmer, more welcoming and less costly to run. The Tickets are free but registration is essential – please register at: www.energy-efficient-church.eventbrite.co.uk

The day will look at how churches can do their own energy audits and make their own action plans, and there will be expert content on:
• Electricity use – covering billing, procurement, efficient lighting.
• Heating systems – how to make your system more efficient, and how to answer the ‘heating on all the time, or only when occupied’ dilemma?
• Renewable technologies for churches – what renewable technologies are suitable for churches?
• What will the DAC allow?
• Funding – how can you raise the money for your project?
This event is part of the Church Energy Efficiency Project run by TOE2 and the Diocese of Oxford, funded by the Beatrice Laing Trust and the Patsy Wood Trust.

Press release issued by TOE2, July 2014

TOE2 Funding Boosts River of Life Project

Work to create a significant new wetland on the banks of the River Thames near Shillingford in south Oxfordshire has taken a major step forward thanks to a £10,000 donation from environmental charity Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2).

River of Life

Phase two of the River of Life project, taking shape on around 50 hectares of farmland owned by the Earth Trust, is seeing the creation of semi-natural habitat to attract some of the UK’s most important wildlife, including brown hares, otters, lapwings and skylarks. Phase one of the project, digging out the wetland features, was completed last December thanks to support from the Environment Agency.

Around 5,000 reed plants have been planted already this spring, and over the next two years wildflower meadows and wet woodland areas will be created. The project has been described as being of “national significance” in terms of its terms of its size, location and habitat type, and has just won a national award from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) for Best Practice in Practical Nature Conservation.

Recently a team from TOE2 and Grundon Waste Management, which provided the funding through its Landfill Communities Fund, visited the site to see how the project was progressing.

Fiona Danks, TOE2 director, said afterwards: “This is an extremely innovative project and we have been delighted to be able to support the planting of trees, reeds and wildflower seeds which will be so important to the future of wildlife in this area. We look forward to seeing the results literally growing before our eyes.”

Stephen Roscoe, Grundon’s technical director, added: “Restoring wetland habitat is incredibly important for the diversity of our countryside, so for Grundon to be able to play even a small part in the creation of a project which will be enjoyed by future generations is very rewarding.”

Work began on the River of Life project in 2013 and saw the Environment Agency working together with the Earth Trust to dig out an extensive network of ponds and channels. The final stage will see additional footpaths put in place and a series of learning and engagement features to encourage people of all ages to enjoy the environment and learn more about wetlands and water.

Chris Parker, Head of Land Management at the Earth Trust, said: “We’re so grateful for the support of funders like TOE2 and Grundon who’ve enabled this important project to move forward. The new habitats we’re creating and restoring will be beneficial to all sorts of species, and there are already great opportunities for local people to reconnect with wetland wildlife.”

The River of Life project is located in a Biodiversity Opportunity Area or Conservation Target Area and on a national level will be important in benefitting many species which are on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority list.

The Landfill Communities Fund is designed to help benefit the lives of people who live close to landfill sites by awarding grants for environmental, heritage and community projects.

TOE2 UPDATE 11/06/2014

Please be aware our next application deadline is the 17th July. If you require an application form please see the downloads page of our website or email admin@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk

TOE2 Update June 2014 30-05-2014

with another highly successful round of applications we are pleased to announce that TOE2 has supported the following projects in its 3 key funding areas.

Biodiversity:£21,800
Lower Heyford Playground area – Hedging, trees and shrubs at playground improvement project
Countrywide classrooms – providing equipment for use by schools at forest school sessions in Hinksey park.
Bat Radio Tracking Project – using radio tracking equipment to generate information about bat roosts in Oxfordshire.
Clanfield Primary, there’s a forest in our school – To establish a forest school area on the school site.
Eynsham abbey fishponds – to carry out wildlife surveys and biodiversity day in order to update the management plan and engage more members of the local community.
Osney Lock fish pass – To install a brush pass in a new fish passage in order to allow freer migration and movement of several fish species.

Access:£8,000
Chalgrove – Resurfacing of footpath, 8 mill lane Chalgrove.
Cropedy School Farm – Supporting the set-up of the school farm.

Energy Efficiency: £25,000
Goring Village Hall – Replacing windows and lights as suggested from an energy audit.
Holton Village Hall –Implementing recommendations from an energy audit.
Ashbury Village Hall – Refurbishment to support energy efficiency improvements as suggested from an energy audit.
Renovation of the Horspath hub at the old chapel – supporting the energy efficiency measures from the recent audit.
Fringford Village Hall – to provide third party funding for energy efficiency improvements as identified in the TOE2 funded energy audit.

In This round of applications TOE2 has supported in total 13 projects and awarded funds of £54,800.00 into Oxfordshire’s local communities.

TOE2 UPDATE MAY 2014 21/05/2014

General grant scheme
TOE2 is inviting applications to its next grant panel meeting, deadline Thursday 17th July
We provide grants up to a maximum of £10,000, although the majority of projects supported are between £2000- £5000. The Areas we support are;

•Promote and improve biodiversity (eg; wildlife surveys, practical habitat management, habitat creation)

•Encourage and develop energy efficiency and the sustainable use of renewable resources in community facilities (eg; making community buildings more energy and water efficient, encouraging more sustainable use of transport)

•Improve access to green spaces (eg; replacing stiles with gates, surface improvements, creating new links and encouraging safe routes to schools and other local facilities)

**
TOE2 ENRICH PROJECT (ENERGY REDUCTION IN COMMUNITY BUILDINGS)
Thanks to renewed funding from the Pasty Wood Trust we are pleased to be able to extend the Enrich programme for a 3rd year and invite applicants to apply for one of the 40 audits available.

•Grants towards energy audits
TOE2 is able to offer grants of £500 towards the cost of an energy audit. EIE staff will make a site visit and write a report with bespoke recommendations. TOE2 has now provided over 70 energy audits to village halls and other community buildings across Oxfordshire.

•These energy audit reports help open the pathway for applicants to re-apply to Toe2 for grants to assist in implementing the energy efficiency recommendations for your local community buildings.

For further advice and information
Contact Fiona Danks or Felicity Mockford at 01865 883488 or email admin@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk for an application form.

16 May 2014

VISIT TO THE EARTH TRUST’S VISIONARY RIVER OF LIFE PROJECT

TOE2 and Grundon Waste Management are delighted to be associated with this landscape scale conservation project to create new wetland habitats alongside the River Thames on the Earth Trust’s land. The Environment Agency supported and managed the digging out of an extensive network of ponds and channels last year.

TOE2 is supporting phase 2 of the project, including the creation of wildflower meadows and wet woodland, and also the planting of 6,000 reed plants as seen in the photograph below.

3 April 2014

SUCCESSFUL ENRICH SHOWCASE

More than 50 people from communities across Oxfordshire and beyond joined us to celebrate our ENRICH programme to support community buildings to become more energy efficient. Many thanks to Kirtlington Village Hall for hosting the event – and congratulations to them on becoming Oxfordshire’s first Eco-Centre, putting sustainability at the very heart of their operations.

The Showcase featured Moira Dorey from EiE (the Environmental Information Exchange) talking about how they deliver energy audits and what a difference increased energy efficiency can make to running costs and comfort levels, as well as cutting carbon emissions. Three speakers from community buildings shared their experiences of making energy efficiency improvements and what a difference this has made.

If you are involved in running a community building, whether it’s a village hall, community centre, sports pavilion, a scout or guide hut or any other facility available for local people to use, do contact us to find out more about how the ENRICH programme may help save energy, cut costs and make your building more welcoming to users

28/02/2014

APPLICATION DEADLINES INFORMATION

Following the recent success of our first Grant Panel Meeting we would like to remind all applicants that our application deadline dates for 2014 are the 20th March & 17th July.

28/02/2014

ENRICH SHOWCASE EVENT

We would like to invite you to the Enrich Showcase Event Thursday 27th March 2014 16.30-18.30 at Kirtlington Village hall.

The Oxfordshire Enrich programme was launched in 2012 to support energy efficient improvements within community buildings. Over the past 2 years the programme has awarded, collectively, over £120,000 to over 100 Community buildings for energy audits,workshops and building upgrades.

Hear from Local Halls about how they reduced energy costs and improved the sustainability of their buildings.

Kirtlington Village Hall itself is a prime example of how the Enrich programme can help local community buildings. With their grant they have just completed a building upgrade including; internal ceiling and wall insulation, hard wood double glazing for doors and windows and a lighting upgrade.

For More Information please email -admin@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk

To book a place – http://www.brookes.ac.uk/eie/about-us/enrich-showcase-registration.html

For Information about Kirtlington Village Hall please see – http://www.oxonrcc.org.uk/home/village-halls-directory/kirtlington-village-hall

LATEST NEWS FROM OUR ENRICH PROJECT

ENRICH (Energy Reduction in Community Halls) is supporting community halls across Oxfordshire to increase energy efficiency and become more cost effective to run. Supported by the Patsy Wood Trust, the project is run in partnership with EiE (the Environmental Information Exchange) who have delivered about 70 energy audits and also a series of energy efficiency workshops.

FREE energy training workshop for community halls
The next free energy efficiency workshop run by TOE2 and EiE, will be held at Sibford village Hall in Cherwell District on Thursday the 13th February from 9.30am. There will be talks and discussions on making community buildings more energy efficient and cost effective to run. The workshop will close with a light lunch. Email fiona.danks@trustforoxfordshire.org.uk for further information.

ENRICH Showcase event – Kirtlington Village Hall, 27th March
An opportunity to share information about energy efficiency in community buildings and the Eco-Centre scheme and learn from the experiences of halls that have made improvements. The event will run from 4.30-6.30pm and include light refreshments. Further details are available from TOE2.

Grants towards energy audits
TOE2 continues to offer grants of £500 towards the cost of an energy audit. Each audit costs £660 and the applicant is asked to provide the balance of £160. EIE staff will make a site visit and write a report with bespoke recommendations. Feedback from management committees shows that they find the audits very helpful in providing practical advice to help halls become more efficient and cheaper to run. Please contact TOE2 for an application form, or download one from this website.

TOE2 AND THE DIOCESE OF OXFORD LAUNCH THEIR NEW SCHEME TO FUND ENERGY AUDITS IN OXFORDSHIRE CHURCHES

• Does your church struggle to keep the heat in your building during the chilly winter months?

• Would you like the building to be warmer, more welcoming AND cost less money to run?

The Diocese of Oxford and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) have developed a grant scheme to provide churches with expert energy efficiency advice tailored to their building, aiming to help PCCs to save money and run buildings more sustainably.

The scheme is restricted to 24 churches in Oxfordshire, and churches are invited to apply for the first round of the grant scheme by the end of October 2013.

FURTHER INFORMATION
The scheme is adminstered by TOE2 and the application form can be downloaded from this website.
For further information contact Fiona Danks at TOE2 on 01865 883488 (Wed and Thurs only).

HOW IT WORKS
The scheme will provide a grant towards the cost of an energy audit that will be carried out by qualified staff from Sustain (www.sustain.co.uk), who will make a site visit and then write a report with detailed recommendations of ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Sustain is a carbon reduction company which advises on practical ways to reduce energy and carbon emissions. They have extensive experience of carrying out energy audits on a wide range of buildings and have particular experience of working with listed buildings and historic places of worship. Sustain will work with the DAC to ensure recommendations are in line with current guidelines.

The total cost of each audit is £660. The available grant is £540 – and so the church is asked to provide the balance of £120.

In the case of very small churches (Electoral Roll below 30) an additional subsidy will be given by the Diocese of Oxford to halve the cost (ie the church only pay £60).

Following an audit, churches may apply to TOE2 for a grant of up to £5,000 to support any of the recommended improvement works.

A VIEW OVER OTMOOR

Joe Harris (Site Warden at the RSPB Otmoor nature reserve) has reported that the funding provided by TOE2 with landfill tax credits from Grundon Waste Management has allowed the RSPB to build two new viewing areas on their flagship Otmoor nature reserve. The screened viewing areas look out over the reedbed, providing amazing views of nature; otters, bitterns, hen harriers and huge flocks of swirling starlings are just some of the wildlife highlights already reported. These viewing screens provide a new focal point on the reserve and are a huge asset, benefitting the many visitors and members of the local community who visit and love the Otmoor reserve. The project has been a huge success both due to the hard work of our RSPB volunteer team and the financial support provided by TOE2

Fritwell School children help improve local woodland at Quarry Field in Ardley

On 17th April thirty children from Fritwell School visited Quarry Field on the edge of Ardley village to help plant trees. This local site is managed on behalf of Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council by AFECT, the Ardley with Fewcott Environment Committee.

In just one-and-a-half hours the children helped to plant 120 trees. The new alder, field maple, cherry and oak trees will help to improve the biodiversity of the woodland and provide a valuable natural area for the local community to enjoy. Pupil Amelia Dawkins said “It was fun finding the right trees and it was good to help the environment”.

This project has been supported with a toe2 grant of £1,091 with funds from Grundon Waste Management.

RIVER OF LIFE PROJECT

TOE2, with funds from Grundon Waste Management, has awarded £10,000 towards Phase 2 of the Earth Trust’s River of Life Project. This ambitious landscape scale project involves creating a series of wetland habitats on about 50 hectares of farmland bordering the river Thames near Little Wittenham. The first phase of major hard landscaping,funded by the Environment Agency, is almost complete. The next phase involves planting trees, reeds and wildflower seeds. TOE2 is delighted to be part of this exciting Earth Trust project.

NEW BIRD HIDES AT OTMOOR NATURE RESERVE

TOE2 is delighted to have supported new bird hides at the RSPB’s flagship wetland nature reserve at Otmoor, with funds provided by Grundon Waste Management. The new hides will allow visitors to enjoy better views of birds on the open water from a sheltered position. We enjoyed a site visit on the 5th December, with wonderful views of thousands of swirling starlings coming in to roost.

OPENING OF REFURBISHED VILLAGE HALL IN SOUTH LEIGH

Friday 29th November saw the grand opening of South Leigh Village Hall, which has been refurbished and restored to a very high standard. Local MP David Cameron and project organizer Nicky Brooks cut the ribbon as the village celebrated.

Cutting the ribbon at the South Leigh Village Hall Opening

TOE2 support for this project included a £500 grant towards an energy audit which produced a series of recommendations to make the draughty Victorian building more energy efficient. An additional grant of £5,000, with funds from Grundon Waste Management, supported improved insulation and replacement windows. TOE2 was delighted to be part of this major project to improve the hall so that the local community have a welcoming facility to enjoy.

OPENING OF NEW BRIDGE AT CUTTLEBROOK NATURE RESERVE IN THAME

Thame has an amazing number of community projects going on but one that required an enormous effort was replacing a bridge in the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve, officially opened on the 9th October.

Congratulations and thanks were offered by the Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Lambert to all the volunteers involved but a particular thank you was given to Dave Watkins who designed the bridge. He even built a miniature model that was used when applying for grant funding, to demonstrate what was being proposed.

TOE2 supported the project with funds from Grundon Waste Management. The ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the formal opening the bridge, attended by Cuttle Brook Volunteers and town councillors.

Dave Watkins, who designed the new bridge, said, “This has been a huge achievement for the Volunteers, with hundreds of hours of work going into it”.

More photos of the new bridge and information about the Cuttle Brook Volunteers can be found on the Cuttle Brook Facebook page.

JUMPERS AND SCARVESFREE ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOPS

Would you like your community hall to be more energy efficient?
Are you worried about energy bills spiraling out of control?
Is your hall underused and sitting empty because it’s too cold in winter?
Are you on the management committee of your local community hall?
This FREE energy training workshop is for you.

The Environmental Information Exchange (EiE), supported by TOE2 with funds from the Patsy Wood Trust, is running a series of half-day workshops on energy efficiency in village halls and community buildings. Each workshop includes information and advice on reviewing energy use, identifying problems and finding solutions.

The next free energy efficiency workshop being run by TOE2 and EiE will be at Cuxham village Hall on Thursday the 14th November from 09.30. Cuxham Village hall has had an EIE energy audit and subsequently carried out a series of improvements which have made the hall more energy efficient and comfortable for users.

The workshop will close with a light lunch. For further information and to sign up to the workshop please go to:
http://www.brookes.ac.uk/eie/about-us/enrich-project-page.html

TOE2 news update

Increased funding for energy audits
ENRICH, our project to promote and encourage increased energy efficiency in community buildings, has been awarded additional funding from the Patsy Wood Trust. We are immensely grateful for this support which allows TOE2 to fund additional energy audits.

Application deadline
The next application deadline for projects is the 25th October

TOE2 Free energy training workshop for community centres, village halls and other community buildings

Would you like your community building to be more energy efficient?
Are you worried about energy bills spiraling out of control?
Is your hall underused and sitting empty because it’s too cold in winter?
Are you on the management committee of your local community hall?
This FREE energy training workshop is for you.

The Environmental Information Exchange (EiE), supported by the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) with funds from the Patsy Wood Trust, will be running the next free workshop at Cuxham Village Hall in September; contact TOE2 for further details.