Fighting Litter Around the UK: Aberystwyth Council
Back in 2015, The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 came into being. It’s all about improving the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Wales and its residents, both now, and in the future.
In response, councils across Wales introduced initiatives to align with the goals of the act, and Aberystwyth Council was one of them.
The Aberystwyth Council Biodiversity and Environment Plan was introduced to support and protect the local environment, and it’s had some considerable success. Here’s how the council is fighting litter and looking after the natural environment in its corner of the world.
Developing parks and supporting wildlife
The council got funds from the Big Lottery to build a new community park and skatepark. Before it opened in December 2017, Parc Kronberg was a wasteland, but now it’s a community park, and wildlife is part of the plan.
A number of native trees have been planted within the park and natural plants and flowers have been encouraged to grow to create a haven for wildlife. The park is very popular, and local schoolchildren get to make use of it as part of science and nature lessons.
The council has a tree planting policy, where two trees are planted for every tree that is lost. It also has an annual street tree planting programme. The budget it allocates to this programme has been doubled to enable it to plant as many trees as possible.
Of course, the council does not own all land where it would like to plant trees, so it partners with other councils and with the Trunk Road Agency, to enable it to plant as many as possible.
The council already manages 38 allotments and is working with Aberystwyth University to develop more growing spaces in the town. The allotments are constantly being improved to encourage people to use them, and every year, they’re opened to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme.
Developing partnerships and campaigns
Bee Friendly Aberystwyth
The Town Council took over responsibility for many of the summer flower displays in the town centre from the County Council back in 2017. The Town Council supports the planting of bee friendly flowers and sources bee friendly plants for the summer tub and border displays. It also looks at the best ways to provide bee friendly flowers in other locations across Aberystwyth. In autumn last year, the council planted native daffodil bulbs across the town.
Plastic Free Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth was the first town council in Wales to support the plastic free campaign and it holds the title of being the first town in Wales to achieve Plastic Free status. The council provides meeting spaces and facilities for the campaign, as well as taking part in events and providing funding for some of the related projects.
Cleaning up the town
The council allocates funding each year for extra cleaning of the promenade and beaches during the summer, both to minimise the impact on the environment, and to make visiting the beach a better experience for residents and visitors.
Putting up signage
The council has joined forces with Ceredigion County Council to provide signage to deter people from taking their dogs onto the beaches, littering, and feeding pest seagulls.
Organising and supporting litter picks
The council organises community litter picks and supports local events that are organised by the Aberystwyth Beach Buddies.
Developing an environmental strategy.
As part of its ongoing strategy, the council aims to preserve trees, provide more cycle parking spaces, and electric charging points in new developments. It is working with other councils to identify renewable energy opportunities.
Planning for the future
The council plans to:
- Continue to safeguard Aberystwyth’s natural environment and to support conservation initiatives.
- Continue to provide green leisure spaces for the community, develop allotments and growing spaces, and continue to plant as many native trees and bee friendly flowers as possible across
- Continue to work with and support environmental groups and partners to identify what more can be done to tackle climate change.
- Continue to improve local parks, in particular the North Road Park and turn it into a wildlife haven and community space.