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Compost, Councils and Energy: Our New Special Interest Groups


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June 26, 2023

Three new Special Interest Groups had their founding meetings at the Sustainable South Hams Assembly. Focusing on Community Composting, Community Renewable Energy, and Parish & Town Councils, the groups offer a chance to develop ideas, create projects and meet enthusiastic and like-minded people.

Community Renewable Energy

The Community Renewable Energy session attracted 27 delegates at the Sustainable South Hams Assembly, where delegates heard from Power Allotments Devon, Energy Local UK and South Dartmoor Community Energy.

Rising fuel bills and a greater understanding of the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is focussing people’s minds on finding solutions. Our communities need solutions which can be implemented within the next two years and also keep the financial benefits of locally produced energy within their local community.

The special interest group is planning to meet in a hybrid meet once every three months at Kingsbridge Community College. To join the group, please send your contact details to, providing your name, parish and affiliation (parish council and/or community groups). Members will be contacted shortly to confirm the most convenient time of day for the proposed hybrid meetings.

Community Composting

We were delighted to have representation from 14 groups and were joined by Bobby Hughes from Devon County Council who was able to help out with some of the questions, particularly around recycling credits.

The Community Composters Group is for those who are running or wish to run a community compost as well as those who just have an interest in all things compost! This first gathering was a precursor to our event the following week in South Brent where Nicky Scott, author and compost expert, and Matt Crimp, South Hams District Council (SHDC) Waste Officer, guided groups through the finer points of setting up a community composting scheme.

SHDC has had a funding offer for groups across the South Hams who wish to set up a community compost on the table since April.  We are hoping that with the right advice and guidance groups will be able to take advantage of this generous offer and make the dream a reality.

And finally, there has been a wonderful email conversation following the assembly on wormeries with suggestions of repurposing our brown bins for this venture. Although not strictly community composting this would make a great engagement activity and a fabulous way to connect with people in our communities who might not already be involved in their local sustainability group. Check out this tutorial that Rosa from Kingsbridge Climate Action shared with us and watch the clip that shows how it’s done. Thanks to Graham from PL21 for kicking off this conversation!

To find out more and join the group, you can email

Parish & Town Councils

The Parish & Town Council Special Interest Group was very well, and positively, attended. A keen appetite for discussing shared issues that everyone could work on seems to have already opened up the doors for exciting projects and collaborations.

The group discussed ideas around pushing for grid reinforcement and upgrades, tackling water pollution and drainage, and bringing in specialist consultants to prepare plans and approaches that could be shared between councils.

If you are a Parish or Town Councillor and would like to be involved in this group, please get in touch with to find out more.