Cutting your carbon footprint is a step away

A FREE seminar is being held at Tweed Horizons, St Boswells on Saturday, March 5, to help Borders community groups examine ways of tackling climate change by reducing their carbon emissions.

Climate Challenge: Community Action in the Borders will bring together people at all stages of the process, from groups who already have projects in action to those who are still at the planning stage.

The day will include information about sources of funding, case studies and workshops.

Since 2008, the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund has made 331 awards to 261 Scottish communities to help them reduce their carbon emissions. There have been awards to 12 projects in the Borders, and a representative of one of these – The Well, a community hall owned by Hawick Baptist Church which has been refurbished to make it more comfortable for users whilst reducing its carbon footprint – will be speaking at the seminar.

Also taking part are Pete Richie of Whitmuir Farm, the award-winning restaurant and supplier of organic produce in Lamancha in Peeblesshire, and Alis Ballance, director of Moffat CAN, a community-owned company which aims to protect the environment, relieve poverty and, especially, reduce carbon emissions.

Andrew Mitchell, chairman of the Borders charity BCCF Environmental which is hosting the seminar, explained why attending a networking event like this can be so worthwhile.

“The focus of the day will be on sharing ideas and expertise,” said Mr Mitchell. “There’s a lot of excellent work already going on in the Borders towards tackling climate change, but because of the region’s geographical spread other interested parties may not get to hear about it.

“We’re hoping that organisers of existing projects will be spurred on to yet more action, and in turn will inspire and encourage others who may have a good idea but don’t know how to get it off the ground.’

“To find out more about this free event and to reserve your place, email event organiser Janet O’Kane on or telephone 01361 884440.

All bookings must be made by tomorrow (Friday).