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[from the Herald]

A stunning photo of a dinosaur’s footprint, discovered on Sidmouth beach in February, is being used to send a powerful environmental message to children.

The dinosaur footprint on Sidmouth beach, February 2024 (Image: Dr Rob Coram)

Fossil hunter Dr Rob Coram spotted and photographed the print, which was made 240 million years ago by a rauisuchian – a reptile that looked like a cross between a crocodile and a dinosaur.

The picture is being used to promote the environmental message of a children’s book by local author Jo Earlam, which is being given away to local libraries and coastal litter picking groups. The book, Rosa’s Footprint, was inspired by the discovery of a similar print in Sidmouth 12 years ago. It aims to raise awareness of climate change and marine pollution, encouraging readers to think about their own ‘footprint’ on the planet. More information can be found here:

Jo is planning to start her book giveaway on World Earth Day, Monday April 22. She will be at Sidmouth Library at 4pm to read out Rosa’s Footprint and present copies of the book for distribution around East Devon libraries.

On Sunday, April 28 she will be giving out books at a litter pick in Exmouth organised by Plastic Free Exmouth. Further donations to East Devon and Dorset environmental groups will be organised, on the understanding that the books are not sold on but must be given as gifts, rewards or competition prizes.

Jo told the Herald: “My inspiration in writing the story has never been about making money from book sales (and I haven’t!), or selling large numbers, it’s about wanting to engage primarily with children in this local area where the story is set, help them to understand the geological significance of where they live and the idea of looking after the world, especially by not dropping rubbish.”

Amazing dinosaur footprint discovered on Sidmouth beach | Sidmouth Herald

“Spending the afternoon preparing copies of ‘Rosa’s Footprint’ to be gifted for Earth Day, April 22nd.”

Climate Awareness Partnership Sidmouth (CAPS) |Spending the afternoon prep


On Thursday, 29th February at 3pm in the Cellar Bar of Kennaway House, CAPS will be looking at what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint through diet and the use of agricultural land.

We all have to eat and, here in East Devon, we live in an area dominated by farming and the hospitality industries – so these are key issues to get to grips with.

In particular, the event will be looking at the Plant-Based Treaty and how it could help to reduce carbon emissions.

As the Plant-Based Treaty website says: “Fossil fuels and animal agriculture are the driving force behind runaway global warming as well as extensive biodiversity loss, large-scale deforestation, species extinction, water depletion, soil degradation and ocean dead zones. Addressing fossil fuels alone isn’t enough – we need action on food systems too; that’s where the Plant Based Treaty comes in.”

To help explain what the Plant-Based Treaty is about and what we can do locally, CAPS has brought together a panel of locally-based experts.

Amongst those speaking will be Tracey and Simon West (pictured).

The Wests are long-time environmentalists, having co-founded Word Forest, an international reforestation and education charity based in East Devon.

They have also lived a vegan lifestyle for the past eight years – and so are very interested in what the Plant-Based Treaty can do to help us shift towards plant-based diets to combat climate change, deforestation and food security issues.

As Tracey says: “The UK needs to address food production methods as a matter of urgency. Our planet has done its best to give us healthy soil and clean waterways. It’s time for we humans to take up the slack and repair the damage we’ve done to ensure food security into the future.”

The speakers will aim to present science, facts and evidence that underpin the Plant-Based Treaty, so that people can then feel confident that they can make informed food and diet choices that will help them reduce their carbon footprint. 

Simon makes the point: “Science proves that one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to adopt a plant based diet. Signing the Plant Based Treaty shows your commitment to doing your best to protect the future.”

As CAPS lead Dave Bramley says, “CAPS hopes the event will allow for informed discussion on the key issues.”

Following an introduction to the Plant-Based Treaty from the speakers, the debate will be thrown open to the audience to further explore what a move to a more plant-based diet could mean.

The event is open to all, there will be plant-based nibbles at hand and entry is free – but donations will be welcome and teas/coffees will be available from the trolley.

As Dave says, “CAPS very much looks forward to engaging the wider community in this debate.”

For more information, contact CAPS at

And more at the Kennaway House pages: What’s On at Kennaway House Sidmouth | Upcoming Events


This is the Sidmouth On Sea – Save Our Sea Winter Lights Festival as conceived and put together by the Sidmouth School Of Art

Light sculptures, projections and more where the Byes, the River Sid and the sea merge. Let’s celebrate emerging from the dark of winter into the hopeful light of springtime and rally around the theme of Save Our Seas. Fri 9th, Sat 10th, Thurs 15th, Fri 16th & Sat 17th Feb  5.30pm to 8.00pm Sidmouth Trawlers, Sea Sides & Tacos, Daisy Blue Delights – 5pm  9.30pm, Fishermen’s Shed Bar 5pm – later

It’s a very full programme over the week. Here’s the full map and design: Winter Lights Festival ’24 | Sidmouth School Of Art

There’s a real mix of art and installations – each with a message:

The Winter Lights Festival ’24 brings together light sculptures, projections and lanterns to the Sensory Garden and Riverside Walkway, the Ham and Sidmouth Wallspace, where the Byes, the River Sid and the sea meet. This low-carbon, free event features a trail of artworks that each highlight the need to save our seas and protect them for future generations. Look out for the calls to action and opportunities to get involved in local conservation and biodiversity initiatives

With more here: Sidmouth’s first Winter Lights Festival – Vision Group for Sidmouth

31st December 2023

It’s Veganuary!

by Denise Bickley 

Solar panels, heat pumps and electric cars are all fantastic ideas for reducing our energy and fossil fuel consumption, but are beyond the means of most people in Sidmouth. Another piece of advice from the IPCC that tends to get swept to one side, but is affordable to all (and can make real change, immediately) is the idea of transitioning to a plant based diet (or at least leaning towards it). For political, emotional and financial reasons, it feels that this advice is not passed on in any serious way from government or media sources. 

According to a study from Oxford University, ‘People who follow a plant-based diet account for 75 percent less in greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat a day, and a vegan diet also results in significantly less harm to land, water and biodiversity’. The vast majority of us here at CAPS are not vegan. We are not a vegan group and in no way can be seen as lobbying for vegans – but shouldn’t we be having a discussion, and if the advice is to try leaning into a plant based diet, shouldn’t we listen and try to make some changes? Shouldn’t there be a plan to help farmers plan a sustainable future, working for biodiversity and greenhouse gas reductions? Combine this with a plan for making food more local and seasonal, and it feels like we would be on track to help our communities become self-sufficient and our local farmers could profit from more of a co-operative, locally supported method of selling. Win win? 

Whilst as stated we are in no way advocating an overnight switch, we will be suggesting simple changes that can make a real difference.  

How about trying a few weeks with a different milk in your tea or coffee? Personally, after years of experimenting, I go for unsweetened soya milk in tea, and Oatley Barista Oat milk for coffee or hot chocolate. Pea milk is making its way to market now and is delicious. Worth a try? After just a few weeks, taste buds change and weirdly it is the dairy milk that starts tasting and smelling strange. This graphic shows the impact that this small shift can make: 


Climate change: Which vegan milk is best? – BBC News

Last bit from me. Anybody up for a challenge? We’d love some people to sign up for Veganuary, just to see how they get on and to report back to us. Let us know if you are up for it by emailing….. 

There will be a stand about Veganuary in the library during January. More information can be found here Signing up gives hints, tips and information about the benefits of moving to a plant based diet. 

With more from the last show: ‘Veganuary’ information on offer at Sidmouth Library | Sidmouth Herald

14th December 2023

Working on positive climate-change projects to future-proof the Bude area

Hello – we’re Bude Climate Partnership, a group of local environmental organisations working together to develop positive community-led climate-change responses throughout the wider Bude area.

Living in north Cornwall on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, we’re right on the sharp edge of climate change. Our lovely town, our beautiful countryside, our spectacular coastline and our close-knit community need protection to ensure they remain wonderful places for future generations.

Climate change is happening. We cannot avoid it. But it’s not all doom and gloom – not by any stretch. If we’re smart and we work together, we can turn a serious threat to our way of life into lots of opportunities that will future-proof our community, our economy and all aspects of our environment.

Developing positive climate change responses | Bude Climate Partnership | Bude

‘We can’t afford to wait’: a Cornish town faces climate threat head on | Climate crisis | The Guardian

13th December 2023

Exeter experts give verdict on COP28 deal


University of Exeter researchers have responded to the deal agreed today at the COP28 climate change conference.

The deal contains the first global agreement on “transitioning” away from fossil fuels – but this was watered down from a “phase out”.

Here is what Exeter researchers have to say:

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, who leads the Global Carbon Budget, said: “People will see this COP28 as success or a total failure. I’m on the positive side here. The final text gives a very clear message that was never present in any of the previous 27 COPs. COP28 calls for a ‘Transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.’ Now countries around the world have to put these words into actions. Let’s stop blaming petro states for selling fossil fuels. Let’s focus on making sure our governments give us the option not to buy them.”

Dr James Dyke said: “COP28 needed to deliver an unambiguous statement about the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. That would represent a rupture from previous COPs and business as usual – which is what is needed now, given record-breaking global temperature and greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, that did not happen. While the agreement’s call for the need to transition away from fossil fuels is welcome, it has numerous caveats and loopholes that risks rendering it meaningless when it comes to our efforts to limit warming to well below 2°C. That this deal has been hailed as a landmark is more a measure of previous failures than any step change when it comes to the increasingly urgent need to rapidly stop burning coal, oil and gas.”

With more here: Exeter experts give verdict on COP28 deal – News

24th November 2023

Big Stories in Numbers

£6 billion will be invested in the new EV, charging infrastructure by members of Charge UK, which includes Shell, BP and Ionity – a 2021 study found a fivefold increase in chargers is needed by 2030.

63% of UK adults would back a government tax on oil companies to support nations damaged by climate change.

£20 billion new project from Cerulean Wind will decarbonise North Sea oil and gas platforms by providing them with clean wind power. » Cerulean Winds » Industrial Decarbonisation » Green Energy

£4 billion. investment in Somerset battery factory by Indian giant Tartar motors

440 GW of new renewables will be added to the grid globally in 2023, mostly solar, according to the IEA.

75,000 recruits needed by the nuclear industry to meet target of 24 GW of capacity by 2050, according to the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee

20th October 2023


The Sidmouth Repair Café movement is all about living sustainably. And congratulations! Last month it won a Sustainable Sidmouth Champions Award.

It has just celebrated its fifth anniversary:

The cafe held its first session in September 2018 and has become a very popular community project, with a large number of people coming along every month to get items mended rather than throwing them away and buying new replacements. It has saved countless items from going to landfill.”

We can do our bit – but need to pressurise the powers that be to do theirs – and so the Sidmouth Repair Cafe has just backed a national campaign for ‘fixability’:

Sidmouth Repair Café is supporting a national campaign aimed at reducing waste by making items easier and cheaper to mend. It has signed up to the UK Repair and Reuse Declaration which calls for legislation requiring product designers and manufacturers to factor in repairability and provide the necessary spare parts on request. It also calls for better access to tools and training for repair work.”

20th October 2023

SIDMOUTH ARBORETUM – 14,000 Trees – latest October 2023

The Arboretum was challenged to plant 14,000 trees by 2027. The first planting season from October 2022 to March 2023 was a very solid start with more than 5,000 whips in the ground.

The next planting season, October 2023 to March 2024, is well on the way with 6 sites approved and three and a half thousand whips on order.

SIDMOUTH ARBORETUM – updating the 2014 Tree Survey

Volunteers needed!

“We will be carrying out a repeat survey next year to assess how the treescape has changed. Would you like to be one of our volunteers tree counters?”


With more information here

16th October 2023


The Festival is now 10 days long book-ended by 2 fantastic days for families with hands-on and making opportunities.

“It’s always great to see the enthusiasm of children and young people especially those who are demonstrating their own knowledge. On Super Science Saturday people went home with their bags full of things that they had made. On Sunday the domes were all open at the Observatory enabling a new generation to see what it’s like to look at the stars and beyond. We certainly ‘Excited Curiosity’ among those who attended,” said Liz Bramley, one of the organisers.

If you would like to help or contribute in some way we have started planning for 2024 so please contact us through our website. Details on the website

6th October 2023


The October 2023 CAPS newsletter goes out – to highlight both the results of the Climate Survey and climate-related events during the upcoming Sidmouth Science Festival.

Expect a regular flow of monthly CAPS newsletters – as well as more on the Climate Survey and the Sci Fest

5th July 2023


From the Herald:

The results of a local questionnaire on climate awareness are in – suggesting that many people would like help reducing their carbon footprint. The Climate Awareness Partnership Sidmouth (CAPS) asked people their views on climate change and what they were doing to benefit the environment. There were more than 260 responses.

Local residents and visitors were encouraged to participate in the questionnaire with the promise of a £100 prize draw – and the winning entry was drawn on Friday, June 30 by Simon Jupp MP. The prize went to Diana, a Sid Valley resident.

Dave Bramley (CAPS lead), Cllr Chris Lockyear (Chair of Sidmouth Town Council), Prof Brian Golding (Met Office), Simon Jupp (East Devon MP), Rev Bruce Thomson (Sid Valley Mission Community) and Cllr Ian Barlow (Chair of environment committee) (Image: CAPS)

26th June 2023


Sidmouth Town Council sought the views of Sid Valley residents on climate change. And it offered a £100 prize draw for anyone who completed their online survey. Read more about it here. With a link to the survey here.

Entries for the climate survey and the accompanying prize draw have closed today – Monday 26th June.

And on Friday 30th June, East Devon’s MP Simon Jupp will be at the town council to make the prize draw. Several members of the Climate Awareness Partnership Sidmouth will be there for the final draw – and the photo op for the launch of the next phase of the CAPS project.

Look out for the press release following the prize draw – and lean who’s won the £100 prize money!

22nd June 2023

‘Meltdown’: Learning Lessons from British Columbia’s Heat Dome

In June and July 2021 British Columbia was trapped in a heat dome. The high-pressure weather event that trapped heat was responsible for 619 deaths.

In its review of the event, the Canadian government found that 98% of the deaths occurred indoors. Of these only 7% had AC units present in their homes, but only seven of those who died (15%) had them turned on at the time of their death. What`s more 24% of those who died had fans in their rooms and 70% of them had them turned on at the time of their deaths.

What this data shows is that while AC units and mechanical ventilation has a roll to play in keeping people cool during perods of extreme heat, AC is neither a quick or easy fix .

Canadian authorities published the extreme heat preparedness guide in the aftermath of the heat dome. Recommendations include installation of heat pumps for cooling provision in all social housing and low-income apartments. Furthermore, it called for building codes that require higher standards of heatwave readiness. Lessons need to be learned from events such as British Columbia heat dome – policies need to be developed and actions taken that built resilience to extreme heat as well as other climate risks.

Source: Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Professional Engineering publication. Meltdown: Learning lessons from British Columbia’s heat dome

17th March 2023


A really great session happened last Saturday: well done the Plastic Warriors for organising!

With a report here: Community Spring Clean March 11th 2023 – Sidmouth Plastic Warriors

And feedback here: (4) Sidmouth Plastic Warriors | Facebook

It was very much a community effort:

6th March 2023


Friday’s event at All Saints went off very well with three very interesting presentations.

“The numbers present (110) demonstrate the interest and demand. We thought the Q&A at the end was excellent – covering a huge range of topics. And we thought the carbon footprinting in the interval went down really well – and there was a really good atmosphere. So well done and thank you, everyone!”

7th February 2023


Sidmouth Town Council is seeking the views of Sid Valley residents on climate change and is offering entry into a £100 prize draw for anyone who completes their online survey.

By filling in this straightforward questionnaire, you will be contributing to the council’s understanding of how people think and feel about climate change.

The information from the survey will then guide future efforts to encourage and support positive change within the community.

This is part of the CAPS project – or the Climate Awareness Partnership Sidmouth.

CAPS is a new project being undertaken in partnership with the town council and volunteers across the community who want to work together to tackle the issue of climate change locally.

And the climate survey is a key part of that.As project lead Dave Bramley says: “Your guidance will determine where efforts should be placed, such as in planting more trees, accessing financial support, educational events and providing safe cycle routes – and any other positive ways forward you can suggest.”

The link to the survey can be found at Questionnaires – Climate Awareness Partnership Sidmouth

Have fun – and good luck! You might win £100!