Stroud District CAN Forum

Transition Stroud convenes meetings of a district-wide Forum for representatives from local climate action groups to share information and learning, and discuss the potential for initiatives that can help tackle the Climate Emergency.

Full details about the group and CAN Questions


Update e-mail Jan 2022

Dear Friends

Please find attached the note of the CAN Forum meeting on 24 January, which focused on group development and capacity building, with two thought-provoking sessions from Stuart Melvin from the Group Development team at Friends of the Earth (FoE). 

The note contains summaries of Stuart’s presentations and the latest project updates.  Copies of Stuart’s slides and the points made in breakout sessions are on the CAN Forum website.   The video of the main sessions will be on the Forum website by the end of the week.  For access to the resources that FoE has for local climate action groups, see their dedicated website.

If any group intends to use insights from FoE’s approach to group development and capacity building, we’d be very interested to hear how it goes!

Please note that the next online meeting of the CAN Forum is on Monday 21 March.  We’ll also be organising a face-to-face gathering for CAN Forum members on Saturday, 14 May.  Please put the dates in the diary! 

Other news and updates include:

·         Community share offer – last few days!  Gloucestershire Community Energy Cooperativeare running a community share offer for a 50 kWp PV install at Minchinhampton School.  It needs to raise £70k and is 60% there. The offer closes at the end of the month, so now is the time to apply for community shares!  See the prospectus here.

·         Job opportunity with Stroud Valleys Project – SVP is looking for an enthusiastic part-time Project Officer to help deliver the environmental aspects of the Cotswold Canals Connected (CCC) project.  Deadline for applications is 10 February. 

·         GFirst sustainability survey – GFirst wants to hear from SMEs to identify the barriers to reaching Net Zero.  See the survey here.  It intends to use survey results to build its support for local businesses on their journey to Net Zero.

·         DIY video-making workshop – Transition Together is organising a practical workshop on learning to make simple videos on a smartphone that can tell the story of a community project.  It’s happening at 1900 on February 10.  Register here.

·         Council Climate Scorecards – Stroud District Council has achieved equal 17th position in Climate Emergency UK’s assessment of local authority climate actions, with a score of 77% compared to an average of 46% amongst English councils.  See the Guardian exclusive here, and SDC’s detailed score card here.

Best wishes,



District-wide CAN Forum

Update e-mail Nov 2021

The next CAN Forum is on Monday 24th January (1900-20.45).  The theme is on ‘group development and capacity building’, which was flagged in the recent survey findings as a key topic for guidance and discussion.  We’ll be joined by Stuart Melvin, from the Grassroots Development Coordination team at Friends of the Earth.  Stuart will speak to the theme, including group culture, team working, recruiting and involving new people and revitalising groups (and we’ll have discussion in breakout rooms).  Please register by return of e-mail!

Also some news:

·         The County Council is doing its first tree heeling in session at Standish on Wednesday 15th of December from 9.30am – 12.30 pm and is looking for more volunteers.  The session is taking place at Warren Farm, Little Haresfield, Standish, GL10 3DP. For further information about where to meet and what to bring contact Kelly Kelly.Osborne@gloucestershire..

·         Gloucestershire Community Energy Cooperative have launched a community share offer for a rooftop PV scheme at Minchinhampton Primary Academy.  Here’s the link to the prospectus, which explains the offer in detail.  The minimum investment is £250 per applicant.  The offer is open until 31 January 2021.  GCEC would be interested to hear from other large schools that might be interested in a similar approach.

·         At the last Forum we heard about ways of engaging businesses on climate action.  Now there’s a new initiative from GFirst LEP and the Growth Hub to mobilise and support businesses on their journeys to decarbonise.

·         And here’s news of an interesting climate change job opportunity with the Cotswold AONB.

·         Finally, in addition to advice on new build properties, this new toolkit provides homeowners with guidance and advice on how they can begin the process of retrofitting their homes in a more affordable, phased way.

Update e-mail Nov 2021

Please find attached [here] the note of the CAN Forum meeting on 15 November, which focused on engaging businesses on climate action. The note contains summaries of presentations, key points from panel discussion, and project updates. Copies of presentation slides are on the CAN Forum website. The video recording of the meeting will be on the site by the end of the week.

The note contains summaries of presentations, key points from panel discussion, and project updates.  Copies of presentation slides are on the CAN Forum website.  The video recording of the meeting will be on the site by the end of the week.

Note that the next meeting of the CAN Forum is on Monday 24 January – please put the date in the diary!

Other news and updates include:

·         Local CAN survey findings – an overview of the findings is available here.  This starts with a two-pager of headlines and responses – please do take a look.  Many thanks to those who completed the survey.

·         Community EV Charger – a group in Painswick have prepared a proposal for the installation of Electric Vehicle charging points in Stamages Lane car park, Painswick.  The proposal provides a case study of an approach to identifying a suitable location.  See the proposal here.

·         Nailsworth CAN Climate Café – an opportunity on 24 November (19.30-21.30) for local residents to have a chat about climate change and local action.  See the poster here.

·         Chalford CAN ’20 is Plenty’ – ChalCAN is joining forces with the national ’20 is Plenty’ campaign in Gloucestershire. If you’d like to see speed limited in all residential areas in the County please lend your support.  For details see here.

·         Chalford One Tonne of Carbon – ChalCAN is offering to lend its construction to other groups – see image and words here.  It is large (1.8m at its base) but it’s been designed to take apart and re-assemble pretty quickly.  Contact Andy Williams

·         Retrofit and heat pumps – Richard Erskine from Nailsworth CAN has written a great piece arguing for a pragmatic ‘save the planet’ approach to retrofit and heat pumps.  See the essay here.

Update e-mail 9 Sep 2021

Dear Friend,

Please find attached the note of the CAN Forum meeting on 6 September, which focused on strengthening community engagement.  The note contains summaries of presentations, key points from panel discussion, and project updates.  Copies of presentation slides and a video recording of the meeting are also accessible from the CAN Forum website.

Note that the next meeting of the CAN Forum is on Monday 15 November – please put the date in the diary!

Also in the news:

  • COP26 briefings and events – please find attached a short note COP Briefings and events V3, 9 Sept with links to briefing material and local and national events around COP26.  If you are planning local COP26-related events that you’d like to add to the list, please do let me know.  I will also forward to Georgia at SDC, who will help promote the events.
  • Low Carbon Mapping Project – the new website is live at Please take a look!  If you already have a project on the map please check whether it needs updating.  If you have more projects to add, there is a new streamlined online process for doing so.  If anyone requires assistance, or knows of other groups with projects that should be on the map, contact our new researcher, Kathryn Johnson, on  Kathryn is working on the project till the end of September.
  • SWEA Research Questionnaire – friend of the CAN Forum, Melissa Spiers from SWEA, has launched a questionnaire to inform her research into the interactions of climate action, communities and how we feel.  The research will allow SWEA to evidence and discuss any social benefits of climate action, and ensure opportunities are fairly distributed amongst the communities in which it operates.  It would be great if you could complete and promote the survey available here.
  • UK Climate Risk – State of the Nation – the UK Climate Change Committee has a series of online events between 8 September and 20 October.  Details here.

Best wishes, Fred

Convenor, District-wide CAN Forum

Update e-mail 12 May 2021

Dear Friend,

The next online meeting of the district-wide CAN Forum is on Monday 14 June, 1900-2100.  At this meeting, we’ll be shining a spotlight on nature-based approaches to climate resilience, and discussing how to increase the number and scale of local projects.

To that end, it would be great if your group could complete this short survey about local tree planting and rural Sustainable Drainage projects.  If your group has a lead person on these types of project, please do send the survey link to them.  If a member of your group could complete the survey by the end of May, we’ll pass the findings on to our speakers, and use the feedback to inform presentations and discussion.

And our speakers for this event are:

  • Matt Whitney, Partnership Manager at Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership – Matt will talk about the Partnership’s strategy for 2021-24, focusing on the theme of ‘climate resilience’ and associated county-wide programmes, including a ‘prospectus of projects’, leveraging funding and supporting partners.
  • Rosemary McCloskey, Rural Sustainable Drainage Project Officer with Stroud District Council – Rosemary will talk about the Council’s approach, successes, next steps and ways in which local groups can engage with the programme.
  • Clare Mahdiyone, CEO of Stroud Valleys Project – Clare will talk about SVP’s role in local woodland creation projects and ways in which we can increase the number and/or scale of local projects.

If you or colleagues would like to attend, please do register by return of e-mail.

And here’s news of some other developments:

  • Stroud District Council is looking to recruit a Community Action Officer who will work as part of its CN2030 team.  The closing date is 16 May.
  • Sally from Nailsworth CAN suggests that CANs support Power for People’s latest initiative on the Local Electricity Bill, which would give a right to community energy generators to become local electricity suppliers.  The initiative involves e-mailing key MPs during a Ballot Bill process on the morning of 20 May.  Here’s a short video that explains the process.
  • Also on 20 May, CSE is holding a webinar on decarbonising schools, focusing on a case study about schools in Leicester and the creation of a business model for zero carbon schools across the country.  Registration here.
  • And finally, there are some interesting recommendations in the latest advice from Climate Outreach about how to frame arguments and align messaging to most effectively engage people in the UK on climate change.  See their blog ‘How to build climate change engagement in the UK after the lockdown’.


Previous name of group: Transition Stroud Community Energy Action Group

Update 27 January 2020

Dear CAG Forum contacts,

Another quick update e-mail!

First, some disappointing news. Unfortunately, we’ve not made it through to the detailed proposals stage of the National Lottery Climate Action programme, which received an amazing 630 applications! Thanks to everyone who commented on the draft proposals. We’ll dust ourselves down and look at ways forward. It’s worth pointing out that the high number of applications reflects a heartening level of activity across the country. We’ll also keep an eye on which projects are being funded and the learning opportunities that arise.

Second, some good news! The MapJam event on January 18th was a great success, with around 50 people attending, and over 30 projects being entered on to the website. We issued the attached press release following the event, which provides further detail. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to an enjoyable and productive day. The mapping group is now reviewing feedback, improvements to data entry, and next steps. In the meantime, the website can be viewed at If your group is new to the site, and wants to add a project/s, please sign-up by using your e-mail address and by creating your own password. Then follow the on-screen instructions, starting with the name of your project. If you run into difficulties, let me know. We shall be looking to provide clearer online guidance over the coming weeks.

Finally, there are still a small number of places left for the free training sessions on domestic energy awareness taking place at the Exchange, Stroud, on 4th and 11th March, and being led by Severn Wye Energy Agency. Please see the e-mail below for further details, including how to book a place.

Best wishes,

Fred Barker
Convenor, Local CAG Forum

07803 905 430

Update 15 January

Dear CAG Forum Contacts,

Free Domestic Energy Awareness Training!

Further to discussion at our November meeting, I am now delighted to be able to offer free training sessions on domestic energy awareness for local climate action group members.  The sessions are being run as two-hour interactive workshops, led by Severn Wye Energy Agency’s retrofit specialist, who will introduce and explore the potential of treating domestic properties to a ‘deep retrofit’.  The costs of the workshop are being met by SWEA.

The training sessions are being run twice – on Wednesday 4th and 11th of March – and will be held in the Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud.  There are 15 places available at each session for representatives from across the district’s local climate action groups.  Each attendee should choose one date and register using the doodle link here.  Bookings will be taken on a first come first serve basis.  Please also e-mail me when you have booked, so that I have an e-mail address and group name for attendees.

Please note that the first training session is in the same week as the next CAG Forum meeting in Wotton on 2 March, so please take that into account when deciding which session to attend.

The training sessions will be particularly suitable for local group members leading on, involved with, or interested in, local energy projects.  Please do draw the opportunity to the attention of your members that fit the bill!

Each energy awareness training session will cover:

  1. How carbon reductions through home energy retrofit compare with other potential climate actions
  2. Reduce, reuse, recycle and renewables – setting our climate action priorities
  3. Deep retrofit: what is it, what experiences of it do the group have, and what can it achieve?
  4. [Break]
  5. Doing things well: how to find carbon-zero contractors
  6. DIY collective – organising community climate action through DIY retrofit
  7. What next: tools, tips and services to do things right

Please let me know if you find that each session is fully booked when you or a group member come to register.  If there is sufficient interest, we may be able to arrange additional sessions.  Also please let me know about cancellations.

Best wishes,

Fred Barker

Convenor, Local CAG Forum

07803 905 430

Update 9 January

Dear CAG Forum contacts,

Some updates, news and reminders for the New Year:

  • Draft Local Plan – The draft Local Plan has some potentially ground-breaking policies in it relating to achieving Carbon neutrality by 2030.  It is important that these policies get strong support.  If your group is able to submit comments, please feel free to use and adapt Transition Stroud’s comments as attached.  Consultation on the draft Local Plan is open until 22 January 2020.
  • Network Support Worker – the deadline for applications for the part-time freelance post of CAG Network Support Worker is fast approaching (12 January)! Advert attached.
  • Carbon Neutral Project Officer – the District Council is advertising for a project officer to support its carbon neutral work.  Initially a 12 month contract, the deadline for applications is 2 February.  See the details here.
  • Tree-planting projects – Stroud Valleys Project has more trees arriving shortly as part of its ‘Wild about trees’ programme (see attached flyer) and will be organising tree planting workshops over the next 3 months.  Dates for the workshops will be publicised on the SVP website and on social media.  If your group is looking for more tree planting opportunities, contact Clare at SVP (01453 753 358).
  • Map Jam – don’t forget this event on 18 January for entering details of your local low carbon projects into the new District-wide mapping website.  Venue, timing and registration details are here.
  • Finally, the next meeting of the Forum will be on 2 March, hosted by the Wotton group in the local Baptist HallFurther details to be mailed out in February.

Wishing everyone a resilient New Year!

Fred Barker

Transition Stroud

Convenor, Local CAG Forum

07803 905 430

Update 18 Dec 2019:

Dear CAG Forum contacts,

Here are some updates and reminders as the holiday season approaches:

  • Transition Stroud has submitted the ‘initial ideas’ bid to the National Lottery Climate Action Fund on behalf of our initial partnership group (see Initial Ideas Application, Transition Stroud, NL Community Action on Climate Change, 16 December 2019).  This follows discussion at the last Forum meeting and a process of feedback, review and revision of an initial draft.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to send in comments.  We will hear by 22 January whether we will be invited to develop more detailed proposals.
  • Gloucestershire County Council has published its proposed climate change strategy with a covering report for its Cabinet meeting on 20th Dec.  This is available here, item 8, p159-250.  Amongst other things it includes recommendations to establish a £1m ‘Action Fund’ to “develop and incentivise the adoption of low carbon initiatives and improved resilience to climate change”.
  • The deadline for applications for the part-time freelance post of CAG Network Support Worker is 12 January.  Please see the advert CAG Network Support Ad, V2 and promote in your networks as appropriate.
  • The Map Jam for entering details of your local carbon projects into the new District-wide mapping website is 18 January.  Venue, timing and registration details are here and a flyer is here CARBONMAPJAM.  Note that you don’t have to bring a laptop (but it would be useful to bring one if you want to contribute a lot), and that the website will be live from the start of the Map Jam event until the end of January (after that the site will be off-line for a short period for review).
  • Finally, the next meeting of the Forum will be on 2 March.  Further details in the New Year.

Best wishes,

Fred Barker

Transition Stroud

Convenor, Local CAG Forum

07803 905 430

Update March 2019:

Mon 29 April, Stroud, Community Energy Action Group (Transition Stroud)

The date for the next meeting of the Community Energy Action Group is Monday 29th April, 19.30-21.30. The meeting will be in the Imperial Hotel, Stroud, next to the railway station.

In the meantime, here’s a link to the response of Community Energy England and others to the Government consultation on the proposed Smart Export Guarantee.

A couple of important updates following on from the discussion at the last community energy action group about ways to help lay the groundwork for achieving the Stroud Carbon Neutral 2030 commitment.

The first is that Transition Stroud is organising a workshop on ‘Setting up a local climate action group’. This will take place on Sunday, 28 April 2019, 13:30 – 16:30, at St Laurence Church Hall, The Shambles, Stroud, GL5 1AP. The workshop is designed for individuals interested in setting up a ‘climate action’ group in their local community. The workshop will: provide information about local experiences and good practice in setting up groups; and enable discussion, sharing and learning about early steps. If you are interested, please register here. If you know others who might be interested please share.

The second is to draw your attention to a short note on the status of neighbourhood planning across the Stroud District. This identifies where there might be early prospects for positive plan development from a SCN2030 perspective, and suggests a focus for a future strategy. Please give the note a quick read and provide any feedback on the observations and suggestions. We will review next steps on neighbourhood planning at the meeting of the action group on 29 April.

Fred Barker


TS Community Energy Action Group

07803 905 430

Update 5 February 2019

Gloucestershire’s Energy Strategy – from GFirst LEP

Please follow the link here to download a copy of Gloucestershire’s Energy Strategy from the GFirst LEP website:

  • It sets out how Gloucestershire can play its part in achieving a zero carbon energy future and by committing to become carbon neutral by 2050.
  • The Road map identifies specific activities to ensure short, medium and long term changes from 2019 – 2025 whilst ensuring all policies and programmes respect the strategy’s ambitions.
  • An overarching SWOT identifies Gloucestershire’s strengths as well as areas for development, with the 9 key building blocks underpinning the commitment required to deliver these.
  • There is emphasis on embedding the strategy into local plans and the ambitions outlined are already starting to be included in the development of projects within the county. This will also play a key role in the development of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy.

E-mail of 17 Oct 2018

Dear Friends,

Please find attached the note of decisions and actions from the meeting of the Community Energy Action Group on 15 October.

I’d also like to draw your attention to:

  • An opportunity for residents of Kingswood, Wickwar and Hillesley to serve on an advisory panel to review applications to the community benefit fund of Resilient Energy Mounteney Renewables.  If you know anyone from those areas that might be interested please let them see the attached flyer from the Resilience Centre.  Closing date is 31 October.
  • Transition Stroud’s Eco Home events on 3 and 10 November.  See for details.
  • An invite to Nailsworth Climate Action Town’s meeting with Alan Whitehead MP, Labour’s energy and climate change shadow minister, at the Arkell Centre Nailsworth Thursday 29th November 7.15 for 7.30 start. The meeting will discuss: how current Labour Party policies can be turned into a holistic plan to urgently transition us to a low carbon sustainable Britain; and how national policy could help local communities play their part in this transition.  Please e-mail NCAT’s secretary if you intend to go.
  • The attached stimulus paper which informed discussion at the recent stakeholder workshop to inform preparation of a Gloucestershire Energy Strategy.  We should have opportunity to comment on a draft of the strategy – watch out for an update!

As ever, if you have comments, observations or suggestions, or want to have a chat about things community energy, please get in touch.

Fred Barker

Convenor, Transition Stroud Community Energy Action Group

07803 905 430

E-mail of 7 Sep 2018

Dear Friends,

I attach the draft note of the decisions and actions from the Community Energy Action Group meeting on 4 September.

The ‘headline’ action is the establishment of a task group to develop proposals on how to make an ‘identify-encourage-enable’ approach to project development, and working with Gloucestershire Community Energy Cooperative (GCEC), work effectively in practice.  The task group will report back to the next meeting of the action group in October (watch out for a separate e-mail ‘doodling’ for dates).

Please also consider the following actions:

2              PV on Schools: please let Alison Crane know if you have good contacts with an Academy secondary school (, so that GCEC can open discussions about installing rooftop PV before the FIT ends next March.

14           Gloucestershire Energy Strategy: if you want to input to strategy development, register for the stakeholder workshop on 9 Oct at

20           Information/research: if you’d like access to our extensive on-line library of material about renewable and community energy please let me know and I’ll make it so.

21           Skills inventory: if you or a friend/colleague have skills and experience that could be offered to the group, please let me know.  This might include, for example, renewable energy development, energy audits, project management, fundraising, community engagement and partnership working (to name but a few!).  If you’d like a chat about this give me a ring.

Any further comments or thoughts, please get in touch!

Best wishes,

Fred Barker

Convenor, Community Energy Action Group

Transition Stroud

07803 905 430