Derbyshire dales Climate Survey 2021
Dr Sheila Evans, Lucy Bird and Dr Jamie Bird with contributions from other HUB Members
The pandemic has changed our lives in a way we never imagined possible. When the crisis is over, do we want to go back to the way it was, or are there things we would like to see changed? Following the emergence from our first lockdown in 2020, Derbyshire Dales Climate HUB launched a survey to find out the ways the residents of the Dales wanted to build a better, more sustainable society.
The aim of the questionnaire was to start a conversation with local residents on climate and nature. The goal was to first understand the extent local residents are personally committed to tackling these issues and their views on how the Council should act:
- How far are people willing to engage with environmental issues in the community?
- What action would they like to see from the council?
Over 1,000 people took part in the survey, representing about 1.5% of the population. The results provide a credible and representative channel for residents’ voice on its future.
The survey ran from September 2020 to November 2020. Participants’ age varied from under 18 to over 76, with over half being over 55 years.
Key areas where district and county council policy can make a difference include:
- Housing There is strong support for existing homes to be renovated in order to make them water and energy efficient. There is concern that new housing should not be built in places that would increase the risks of flooding.
- Business There is a high degree of support for the council to facilitate, and enable businesses and other organisations, to cut their carbon emissions, including the proposal to divest pension funds away from fossil fuels.
- Biodiversity There is a very strong desire to improve local biodiversity. This includes the use of nature to prevent flooding and support for local farmers to undertake pro-nature initiatives.
- Food and Waste Residents are very supportive of waste reduction and sustainable food initiatives, with a strong commitment to do their bit.
- Transport Residents are highly supportive of improved public transport. Issues of access to safe and ‘joined up’ cycle and walking routes were highlighted. There is concern that, given the rural nature of the Dales, any move away from personal vehicles could be unfair and negatively impact the local economy.