A look back at Carbon Neutral Aldbourne in 2023 (and plans for a busy 2024)

Last year was a busy one for Carbon Neutral Aldbourne with our sub-groups carrying out different activities and taking the group as a whole in a number of fascinating directions. In case you missed anything, here is a quick recap…


Aldbourne’s verges

The verges project was carried forward throughout 2023. It has been wonderful to see a wide range of flowers that are now being given the opportunity to shine due to the reduction in mowing. 

A formal survey has not taken place but amongst other things we have observed:


Perennial sow thistle

Eggs and bacon

Fox and cubs

Lady’s bedstraw

Black medick


Lesser hawkbit



Herb robert

Aldbourne’s trees

A new project which is still ongoing started with a survey of trees which had to be chopped down by the Parish Council for various reasons (including ash dieback and dutch elm disease) compared with the number which have been planted.

Over the last ten years over 40 trees have been felled and not replaced. We felt that this needed to be addressed so we produced a plan for the Parish Council to consider which involved planting new trees through the village. A great deal of work has been done with the Parish Council Carbon Neutral Sub-Committee and at the moment we are preparing to plant 11 trees with the support of the Parish Council. We hope many more will follow over the coming months and years.

Mowing experiment

We took part in a research project aiming to find out how mowing frequency affects biodiversity. This resulted in an interview on BBC Radio Wiltshire about the importance of having a mowing schedule that promotes biodiversity. The results of the experiment are due to be published this year and we will let you know what the conclusions are.

2024 biodiversity projects

Natural Flood Management

We are currently looking into strategies and funding for natural flood management – an issue that is becoming increasingly important in the village. Natural flood management uses natural processes to reduce the risk of flooding. The aim is to slow and store water using a variety of techniques including water storage, tree planting and woody dams.

Helping birds

We have identified a number of key species that need help – sparrows (on the red list of threatened species), swifts and house martins – all of which could benefit from nest boxes in key locations. We successfully bid for funding from Co-op and have started working on plans.


The energy group has been looking at ways to produce renewable energy locally. We received expert advice about the feasibility of a solar farm near the village and, due to lack of available grid capacity, we have decided not to proceed at this time. The situation is constantly changing and we hope to be in a good position to proceed if and when possible.

The appearance of more electric vehicles in the village has been very encouraging. 

2024 energy projects

Would you consider a solar subscription?

We are building a really exciting partnership with a UK company that is offering the UK’s first solar subscription model. This will give homeowners the opportunity to install rooftop solar panels with no upfront costs. Depending on the size of the roof and its position it is often possible to make financial savings in the first month after installation.

Home energy advice events

We have built partnerships with a number of organisations working in energy efficiency and we have plans to organise community events aimed at helping you to reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint.


Community Garden

The Garden has certainly lived up to its name this year. We have had help with watering and picking vegetables from Pre-school, the Beavers and many others. Food has been donated to St Michaels School and was available for free collection at St Michael’s Church and the Methodist Church. Our apple picking and juicing event in September was very successful and with the help of many adults and children we made a huge number of bottles of delicious apple juice. Thank you to all the village apple growers for their kind donations. 

The Garden has also been used for Citizen Science projects including burying a pair of pants to test the health of the soil. 

The food group also helped St Michael’s School to create a veg patch of their own. We shared tips and resources and had a brilliant time helping the enthusiastic children to plant, water and harvest produce.

2024 food projects

We have exciting plans for the Community Garden in the 2024 growing season. With great infrastructure in place, freshly mulched beds and a number of perennial plants now in place we are starting in an excellent position. We have plans to engage with more community groups and residents this year and to further share the harvests throughout the year.

We will also continue to support the school to maintain and grow their patch.


The Aldbourne Repair Network

A big win for the waste group this year has been the launch and development of the Repair Network. This has seen a variety of items including sewing machines, a vase, a Nike slider and items of clothing repaired or altered and given a new lease of life. The Network has a group of dedicated repairers who give their skills, time and energy for free to stop unnecessary waste. As one repairer commented “Its rewarding to help out’”

Recycling hard-to-recycle waste

During 2023 we have continued to grow and develop the collection points around the village so that harder to recycle products such as crisp packets and dental products can be fed back into the recycling system. There have been challenges along the way as Walkers withdrew from the Terracycle scheme and Superdrug reduced their support as well. However the reality is that we have ensured that a significant amount of waste products have been recycled and kept out of landfill as a result. 

Disposable cups

We have carried out research into what has happened to the reusable cup since the end of the coronavirus pandemic and there appears to be a systematic withdrawal from the  pre pandemic promotion of reusable cups. This needs to change. If you have a reusable cup (or 4!) hiding away in the back of your cupboard, why not clean it up and start refusing disposable cups again.

2024 zero waste projects

Watch this space for further expansion of the recycling scheme and the Repair Network. We also have an exciting experiment planned which involves testing edible coffee cups!

Thank you everyone

2023 was an exciting year for Carbon Neutral Aldbourne. But as you can see, we have no plans to stop. We always welcome others to join us and find out more about what we can do to make positive changes. Whatever your interests you are likely to find a fellow traveller on our journey to a healthier planet. 

Get in touch to find out more.

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