If you are concerned about the amount of plastic we/you are using everyday why not join THE BIG PLASTIC COUNT happening this week.

Find out more details here

Or download the Tally Sheet below


Sampford Courtenay Environmental and Sustainable living group

Always aspiring to reduce our carbon footprint

SCEnsUs held its first meeting in June 2020.

The aims were agreed to -

  • increase awareness of the way that our actions and lifestyles impact the world around us
  • adapt aspects of our actions and lifestyles to reduce carbon emissions and other wasteful by-products
  • improve communication between local people, thus facilitating the above and also fostering good community relations generally

It is just to encourage local people to ‘do their bit’ to improve the environment in and around Sampford Courtenay and facilitate sustainable living initiatives for the community. With this in mind, SCEnSus identified some priorities and below are brief summaries of the achievements so far.

Next meeting.

Tues June 7th 22 - 6.30pm at the Village Hall





SCEnSus and the local Climate Emergency Plans

Both Devon County Council and West Devon Borough Council have published their own Climate Emergency Plan - SCEnSus have used their plans to see how Sampford Courtenay can play their part in helping to save waste and carbon emissions.

We have put together a Plan which can be downloaded below - but as always we would welcome your comments on how you think individuals, SCEnSus and SCPC can help with the Climate Crisis.


Join millions of neighbours all over the world who are using OLIO to share more, care more and waste less.

Give & get free stuff, borrow & lend household items, and shop homemade – all directly from your community.

Fight waste. Help your neighbours. Save our planet. Feel amazing!

Climate Change Suggestions for everybody (and every household)

It is vital that we all understand the impact we are having on the environment and the effects of climate change and to change the way we do things to make a real difference at local and global levels.  The group, had identified a set of monthly suggestions to invite a community response which will have a much greater impact on the environment and climate than anything we can do individually. The idea is that each suggestion will build on the one that’s gone before so that the changes become a way of life, not just something you focus on for a month and then forget about!  To try to embed those actions and make them relevant to the time of year SCEnSus are going to pull together a pool of seasonal suggestions that the community can become involved in and make a difference


Sampford Courtenay Environment and Sustainability (SCEnSus) Seasonal Suggestion – May

The news about Climate change and the need to cut global CO2 emissions couldn’t be more serious. We’re told that by 2025 emissions must start to reduce to stop the worst impacts. Global temperatures are still likely to rise by 3.2C this Century and will still result in more heatwaves, extreme storms and widespread water shortages. To keep temperatures down there must be significant changes to energy production, industry, transport, food production and consumption and, not least, the way we treat nature. Each of us must play our part, changing what we do and (sensitively and appropriately) trying to influence others.

One area where we really can influence things is by looking after our local environment, our flora and fauna - as individuals and with others. Here are some practical suggestions:

  • Visit the Devon Wildlife Trust website and look for their ‘Species of the Month’. Read what they have to say about Nature Recovery – apparently 15% of wildlife is threatened with extinction.
  • On Saturday 21st May there will be a plant sale in the Village Hall. Come and buy a selection of plants to grow your own vegetables or grow flowers and shrubs which will attract and support our bees and other insects. You can also bring any surplus plants you have or other garden ‘stuff’ that you no longer need – recycle pots, ornaments etc to reduce waste as well as helping to raise more money towards replacing the Village Hall roof.
  • Put the 11th June in your Diary and come and join us for the SC Parish Himalayan balsam clean up. More details later.
  • See what you can do to help local wildlife – maybe create ‘hedgehog tunnels’ to allow them to move beyond your garden to your neighbours’ to increase their territory and food sources. Did you know a hedgehog can travel up to 2 miles in a night?
  • Many birds will be nesting now, can you put up bird boxes … or have you considered an owl box or bat boxes?
  • If you have a pond, be aware of the impact of hotter Summer temperatures on the oxygen concentration. We probably all know that fish and other mammals in ponds need oxygen to survive but so does the bacteria that breaks down the ‘sludge’ that naturally forms in ponds. Without oxygen the whole balance of the pond is wrong, fish gasp at the surface and algae clouds the water. Bigger ponds have a greater surface area so can ‘absorb’ more oxygen. Water movement is good – the more it splashes the better! Solar powered pond fountains can really help.
  • Enjoy and appreciate our local open spaces. The SC Village Green is looking better than ever – Come and see what the Volunteers have achieved and get involved with the next event. If you’re there, have a look at the Bug Hotel and the recently created ‘dead hedge’. Maybe choose to come here for picnics and to use the play equipment rather than getting in the car to travel further afield. Please share any other suggestions you might have about ways to improve it further as a valued and useful community space.
  • It’s not too late for the odd frost in May - it can ‘cook’ delicate plants overnight! What about buying one of the SCEnSus Cold frames made from re-purposed Police Riot Shields? £20 will buy you a good-sized cold frame, easy to assemble and move around your garden. Money raised will allow us to tackle other imaginative SCEnSus projects. Thank you!




SCEnSus Achievements -

Supporting a horticultural peat-free Sampford Courtenay

The initiative for people to use peat-free compost was a resounding success with the supply selling out super fast.  This initiative was linked to the new class in this years Produce and Flower Show encouraging entrants to use Peat-Free compost in their 'Potato's in a bucket'

Peatlands are critical to the health of the planet.  Some interesting facts:

  • peatland hold 70% of our UK clean drinking water and store huge amounts of carbon dioxide, mitigating flooding and providing habitats for diverse wildlife species.
  • nearly 3 million cubic metres of peat a year are sold for horticultural use (66% is used by amateur gardeners).
  • degraded peatlands in this country leak a million tonnes of carbon a year (2010 figures) the equivalent of 350,000 cars off the road.

With excellent alternatives available residents in this parish can work towards gardening without peat well in time for the Horticultural Peat Ban in 2030.

Members of the community are encouraged to follow the likes of Monty Don, the RHS and DEFRA guidelines and use a peat-free compost. Peat-free compost is available locally and don’t forget creating your own compost bins too.

Link to How to Compost

Link to Monty Article on going Peat Free

Link to Monty Don Video showing how to make Leaf Mould

Community hub

The group created a ‘communication hub’, developing that which was established in the parish at the start of the COVID.  Providing information networks both virtually and through information boards set up at key locations across the Parish.  The aim supports those who live and work locally to be more in touch with each other. To provide support in the form of sharing car trips, shopping collections and various events to encourage swapping or selling items no longer needed continuing the SCEnSus theme to Reduce, Recycle & Reuse.


Waste and litter

Supporting the Keep Britain Tidy volunteers took part in a Cleanup around the Parish

SCEnSus acknowledges that the best and most straightforward way to help our society as a whole to manage waste effectively is to recycle as much as possible via kerbside collections. Food waste should always be put in the appropriate bin rather than in a black sack.

We would also like to engage with all in the community so that we can support a parish-wide effort to keep problems with litter and fly-tipping to a minimum. This can be done in the following ways:

1 Reporting incidents of significant litter or tipping at or by calling 01822 813600. This should result in investigation and/or clearance of the offending items.

2 Organising ‘litter picking’ locally by arranging ‘clear-up’ days once or twice a year. In addition, supporting volunteers in an ongoing programme of litter picking in their area. PLEASE READ OUR LITTER PICKING RISK ASSESSMENT BELOW.

3 Local young people could be asked to design a litter poster. This would hopefully raise interest and result in eye-catching designs.

Other SCEnSus Priorities -


Hand drawn plan of the village Green with ideas

To create an outside community space that encourages biodiversity

Your ideas for the Village Green.

  • Wild Flower Area
  • Bulb Planting
  • Bug Hotel
  • Performance Area
  • Central Play Area
  • Fruit Trees

Take a look at the Action Plan below and see how you can get involved.

Reduction of reliance on regular vehicle use where avoidable

Car use and car sharing/electric vehicle charging points  

The pandemic restrictions did restrict a ‘car sharing’ scheme. However as we come out of lockdown we intend to develop, through community consultation, a sharing scheme and this will need to be a simple (keyboard) click or telephone call away.  We all need to be very mindful of our vehicle use given that the latest Government figures show that transport is by far the highest emitter of carbon into the atmosphere (at nearly 30%). We should therefore all play our part by reducing our vehicle usage, especially short trips under 5 miles, which emit the most greenhouse gases.

As the local use of electric cars (e-v) and electric bicycles (e-bikes) rises we shall find the ways and means to install, around the parish area, charging points for these four- and two-wheeled vehicles

Link to Devon County Council Car Share Scheme

Link to Devon Cycle Routes and Maps

In addition SCEnSus can support the new Dartmoor Line Working Group to ensure that all viable options for the Train Station at Sampford Courtenay to re-open are pursued and that effective public transport networks are in place to maximise the use of the new rail link to Exeter. 

Local Liaison

Proactive and stimulating dialogue between local communities, including working together to raise awareness and arrange workshops, talks and other initiatives is the most effective way to maximise local awareness of environmental and sustainability issues by working with other local like-minded groups and organisations

Useful links

DPD - Clean, Green, Delivery - 

Check out how DPD are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint while delivering all the parcels you order online. 

Don't let Devon go to waste -  

Lots of good ideas of how to REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE - take a look at the website and sign up for their Newsletter.

Devon Bus App

Check times of local buses, plan your journey and even find out how "busy" your bus is with this app…  

Renewable Heat Incentive - grants for Hot Water and Central Heating pumps

Green Deal - home insulation grants

Greener Homes Grants

In September, the Government will be launching its new Green Homes Grant aimed at helping us to ensure our houses are as energy efficient as possible.

Vouchers for up to £5,000 (or £10,000 for low-income households) will be available to those eligible.

Follow the link below to find out more:  

Solar Together

The Devon Climate Emergency team has put together a scheme whereby residents can get together to buy solar panels at a lower price than is usually possible.

If you might be interested and would like to find out more, you can register at  There is no obligation to buy as a result of registering.


West Devon Action on Climate Change

SCEnSus aims to link in with the wider area re Action for Climate Change and members of the West Devon Group already attend our meetings. See what else they are doing.

Link to West Devon Action for Climate Change


Food miles Calculator 

Just how many miles has your food Travelled

Refreshing the Countryside Code


Natural England is embarking on an updating of the Countryside Code, in part in reaction to the increase in numbers of people looking to the countryside for leisure as a result of COVID.


It would like to hear what you think is important to include in the new code and has produced a survey.


Please visit to give your views.


Also available to download below is the Countryside Code Leaflet where you'll find more information and advise when out and about in the countryside.


Thank you.