Would you like to help create the plan for how Ampthill Town Council will approach the climate crisis?  This page describes the background for the town’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and then offers you the chance to contribute by completing a questionnaire.  We’re looking to get as many responses in by the end of August 2022, so please dive in and also share this post with any family and friends in the area.


Ampthill Town Council is keen to demonstrate its commitment to the Sustainable Development Strategy 2020-2030 produced by Central Bedfordshire District Council (CBC). This is based on the 17 United Nations Development Goals and lays down how the District Council and its constituent towns and parishes can take action to meet their aspirations for development and shared prosperity while protecting the natural environment and tackling the challenge of climate change.

Ampthill Town Council (ATC) have voted to create a Sustainability Plan focussing on how the council can:

  1. Improve its own operations and processes
  2. Lead by example in property, premises and buildings for which it is responsible
  3. Influence, support and enable residents and local businesses to adopt sustainable behaviours and practices

A group has been formed within ATC to work on this plan alongside the 10-year Strategic Plan for the town.

Climate Action will be a critical aspect of Ampthill Town Council’s Sustainability Strategy.

Ampthill Climate Change Group has been pro-active in encouraging the creation of this plan and as part of the initial stages of the process, we would like to seek feedback from our members on what climate action you think should be included in it (there will be a subsequent opportunity to provide feedback on ATC’s actual plan at a later date).

To help understand the scope of the plan, here are some of the areas that ATC are directly responsible for:

Property, premises and buildings

  • Park Lodge Council Offices, Park Café premises (Coffee Lodge), Football Club premises, allotments (two sites), cemetery (Gas House Lane), Ampthill Great Park (managed by Greensand Trust under contract), The Alameda and Sweetbriar path, Kings Arms Garden (managed by volunteers), Cooper’s Hill (managed by the Wildlife Trust), The Sands car park, Verne Drive open space, Market Square, Town Centre public conveniences and building, Cricket Club and Bowls Club grounds.

Operations and Services

  • Shared or sole responsibility for the above properties, plus provision of (some) street lighting, Christmas lights, markets and town events.

Beyond its direct responsibilities for premises and services, the Town Council has an important role in promoting climate action amongst its citizenry and its broader spheres of influence.

Climate Action: Mitigation and Adaptation

Two broad types of actions are required to address the challenge of climate change, namely those that focus on ‘mitigation’ and those that focus on ‘adaptation’.

Mitigation involves actions to stop or reduce climate change and its effects, and with it the extremes of weather conditions such as floods and droughts, and very hot and very cold periods. Mitigation focuses on reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides) that are mainly associated with the burning of fossil fuels for energy production and transport, changes in land use and the management of waste. Insulating property to reduce energy use for heating and cooling, switching to electric vehicles and/or public transport, and planting trees to absorb atmospheric carbon are examples of mitigating actions.

Adaptation involves actions to reduce the impacts of climate change by improving the preparedness and ability of people and communities to cope with the effects of climate change when they occur. In this way, households, businesses and public services are less exposed to the impacts of climate change. They will be better able to deal with, for example, prolonged dry periods, episodes of extreme heat or more frequent flooding that are likely to occur, and they are also better equipped to recover quickly afterwards. Examples include, flood-proofing housing, water harvesting for garden use, maintaining green space to slow down water run-off in storm events and to moderate temperatures during hot periods, planting drought tolerant tree species, or restoring floodplains to provide flood storage and wetland habitats.

Mitigation and adaptation are not mutually exclusive: they can, and often do, overlap, providing multiple benefits at the same time – e.g. improving household insulation not only mitigates climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but simultaneously enables households to manage heating and cooling in response to extreme temperatures.

At the same time many actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change can be designed to provide many co-benefits – potential ‘win-wins’ – e.g. action to improve heating efficiency in the face of rising energy bills is an obvious case.

The next section contains some ideas of possible actions that could be included in the town plan. These are based on Central Bedfordshire Council’s sustainability plan. We would, however, like to gather more ideas from our membership and to understand what you feel are the most important climate actions for Ampthill Town Council to take. So can we ask that you please take a little time to complete our questionnaire?

Ideas for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action

The following were derived from CBC’s Sustainability Plan. If you have other ideas you would like to contribute or if you would like to build on these, we would welcome your input.

Enhancing Capacity

  • Adopt a Sustainability lead to co-ordinate the work
  • Carbon Literacy Training be mandatory for councillors and staff that improves understanding, fosters action and encourages new ideas
  • Launch an internal awareness campaign for staff and councillors to reduce energy usage, water usage and waste production, promote active/low carbon travel and support a move to zero single-use plastics at ATC and at home

Embedding Sustainability

  • Produce a quarterly report on progress against the plan
  • Embed sustainability into council governance
  • Produce evidence-based assessments taking into account carbon reduction and biodiversity loss in all decision-making

Leveraging Strategic Planning

  • Embed sustainability in the Neighbourhood Plan
  • Assess planning applications on sustainable goals: transport, energy, biodiversity, water


  • Create an energy audit of all existing buildings (Park Lodge, Football Club) to identify priorities for investment in low carbon adaptations
  • Ensure programming of heating systems reflects current building usage patterns
  • Avoid like-for-like replacements to ensure buildings are retro-fitted to higher standards
  • Ensure that renewable technologies such as heat pumps, solar PV and/or other low carbon technologies are used where appropriate
  • Ensure that any new buildings, or extensions to buildings be carbon neutral

Active Travel and Transport

  • Provide guidance for all local event organisers with regard to encouraging sustainable transport methods
  • Provide regular updates to residents on progress of CBC Air Quality Management Area (Ampthill) work
  • Provide sufficient cycle racks for demand in town, at Ampthill Great Park and Parkside Hall etc
  • Continue to progress EV charging capacity
  • ATC’s own vehicles to be electric
  • Promote car-sharing and bike rental schemes
  • Work with CBC to deliver last-mile delivery hubs

Natural Environment and Water Resilience

  • Manage trees, shrubs and hedges to promote and enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity
  • Increase tree planting within the town, e.g. by encouraging community-led tree planting
  • Promote a reduction in water use throughout the town
  • Produce a flood risk map and take action to reduce risk of flooding
  • Consider SUDS when reviewing planning applications
  • Promote methods for reducing water run-off from gardens

Supporting sustainable communities

  • Ensure that there are sufficient allotments/community garden spaces
  • Work with allotment groups to decrease water usage, promote sustainable gardening and reduce waste
  • Use existing channels to engage with local businesses
  • Provide travel advice and work with local businesses to develop travel plans
  • Support local ‘Library of Things’ and repair shops
  • Encourage local suppliers to design out packaging or use sustainable packaging

Supporting Youth Climate Leadership

  • Engage with youth-led groups to enable scrutiny on the Sustainability Plan

Adaptation to climate change for households

  • Provide advice on adaptations to homes and behaviour to reduce risk of heat stress
  • Provide advice on adaptations to homes to reduce the risk of flooding and actions in the event of flooding
  • Provide advice on adaptations to homes and behaviour to reduce the risk of personal and property damage due to high winds.
  • Provide advice on adaptations to homes and behaviour in anticipation of reduced water availability

Thank you for reading this far!  Please click here to go to the questionnaire, which will take you 15-30 minutes.  We will be collecting responses until the end of August 2022.


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