The Council can utilise our land to support our carbon aims. We can do this through investment in renewable energy, and planting schemes to support carbon absorption and improvement and maintenance of our biodiversity. The Council has worked on large scale projects to increase our renewable energy generation, however in order to reach our ambitious goals of decarbonisation more large scale projects will need to be developed. The following solutions have been proposed to support our decarbonisation goals through our land use.
These are some of the ongoing works and projects we have completed:
- Own and operate 2 landfill gas engines which generate low carbon electricity and are now complemented by 2 solar farms. These all power on site facilities as well as the nearby waste transfer station.
- The construction of an additional two solar farms, with a combined generation capacity of 3.5MW.
- Trialling different grass cutting regimes on the Council’s verges and green spaces to encourage and enhance biodiversity.
- Developed a 15 year Urban Tree and Woodland Plan with the target of achieving 18% urban canopy cover by 2033. Objectives of the plan are to increase the amount of tree planting by specifically targeting urban areas with low canopy cover, ensuring existing canopy cover is managed sustainably, promoting biodiversity and working in partnership. The Council has been working with Community Groups, Natural Resources Wales and schools - planting trees in education and public land.
- Published our “Supporting nature in Flintshire” biodiversity duty plan and are working to support biodiversity protection and improvement in Flintshire.
- Working with hundreds of businesses, volunteers, charities, schools and other organisations, across the region of North Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire removing litter from the banks and tributaries of the River Dee.
- Countryside Services manages over 40 sites of natural greenspace including Wepre Park and Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, 1200 km public rights of way, 37 miles of Welsh Coastal Path, events and education programmes, and brings in external grants of over £400k per year connecting people to nature.
- The Council has protected our 120 play areas and invested over £2m in partnership with town and community councils over the last 8 years as well as ensuring free open access to greenspace.
- Through collaboration with regional partners and Welsh Government, the Council has managed the construction of an energy from waste facility, Parc Adfer, which will create electricity for 30,000 homes from waste that cannot be recycled. It will also help to prevent waste from going to landfill.
- Through the same partnership all of the Council’s food waste is taken to an anaerobic digester where it is used to produce electricity (via biogas) and liquid fertilizer, preventing food waste from going to landfill.
- Identify current carbon storage capacity within Council assets through mapping habitat types.
- Investigate the potential of our land assets for new renewable energy installations and operating models and develop these schemes to increase the amount of energy generated from these sources.
- Undertake a study identifying land for habitat restoration and tree planting schemes within land assets to mitigate climate change and enhance biodiversity.
- Audit the amount of herbicide and pesticide use on Council land assets.
- Increase proportion of Council land managed for biodiversity.
- Support the increase of tree canopy cover across the county in line with the Urban Tree and Woodland Plan.
- Assess impacts of Ash Dieback and tree planting within Flintshire assets on canopy cover and net carbon sequestration.
- Increase area with reduced mowing regimes to enhance biodiversity and increase carbon storage.
- Strengthen the monitoring of sustainable drainage systems (SuDs) installation and quality in new developments.
- Explore best practice policies and encourage provision of space for food growing in new developments and vacant and under used sites.
- Review and improve recycling provision in Council offices, schools and public buildings and remove use of single-use plastics. Communicate and engage building users to utilise provision.
- Support circular economy initiatives diverting reusable items from disposal through recovery at Household Recycling Centres.
- Create guidelines for Council procurement of food in offices, schools, etc, to be local and sustainable.