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Message from our Chair

I am delighted to share the TVNP Autumn Newsletter. It has been a busy period for us as we emerge from the pandemic. There have been so many highlights over the summer and I think the activities that we have been involved in and organised demonstrate the power of partnership working.

A great strength of TVNP is our cross-sector work reaching professional networks alongside direct contact with our communities in the Tees Valley and beyond including this year the live in-person Festival of Thrift. If you could not join us for our events there are links in the newsletter that will allow you to catch up and we have a lot of links and resources from ourselves and partner organisations. This is an exciting time for TVNP following the publication of the Tees Valley Natural Capital Account that will help us move forward together as we tackle the climate and biodiversity crises.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and as always many thanks to the team and our partners for making TVNP one of the most effective and innovative nature partnerships in England. Look out for a special report from me after COP 26.

Timothy Crawshaw, MA MRTPI FRSA
Chair TVNP; Vice President RTPI
Latest News from TVNP
Tees Valley Natural Capital Account is here!

Natural England has been working with Tees Valley Combined Authority TVNP  on a natural capital account for Tees Valley which has now been published.

Natural England has built on thier ground-breaking Natural Capital Indicators project as well as the mapping of the indicators in National and City/County scale Natural Capital Atlases. The report explores the extent to which it is possible to develop an approach that can be replicated across other areas and how local planning can be informed by natural capital accounts and Natural Capital Atlases.

This report is a natural capital account for the Tees Valley. It follows the innovative approach to natural capital accounting developed for the National Nature Reserves (NNRs). You can read the report, atlas, and other documents here.

Steering Group Visit to Ormesby Hall

Tees Valley Nature Partnership Steering Group were stoked to visit our new friends and newest member at the National Trust Ormesby Hall between Middlesbrough and Redcar. What a gem and a great example of the power of nature, culture and heritage to bridge communities, but also the past, present and future. If you haven’t made a visit before this is a highly recommended destination for a bit of relief from the pressures of life that is on the doorsteps of many.

As a small but important part of the Tees Valley jigsaw Ormesby Hall is a microcosm of the opportunities in the area for nature recovery, new ways of managing land and agriculture, the innovative use of historic assets and the importance of greenspace to local communities. With the protection afforded by the National Trust this asset will be there well into the future as a haven for wildlife and people, within walking and cycling distance of a significant population. We were excited to hear about the emerging plans and community engagement, and were inspired by the commitment of the local team in terms of revealing and celebrating this asset. 

Tees Valley Youth Climate Summit

Hundreds of college and sixth form students visited Teesside University to join the first Tees Valley Youth Climate Summit 2021, to inspire young people to make a difference in the climate change crisis.
Young people have been leading the way in raising awareness about climate change for some time, and, as a University, we feel that it is our responsibility to empower students to make a difference and give them a platform to successfully drive change.
Peter Beveridge, Lecturer in the School of Health & Life Sciences

The University hosted the event to deliver a day of thought-provoking activities and sessions around climate change by bringing together students, industry and academics ahead of the highly anticipated UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26).

Experts addressed key aspects of the climate emergency, exploring evidence and effects, as well as highlighting key research which is contributing to its mitigation.

Students also attended interactive sessions with Teesside University academics throughout the day to discuss everything from wasteful consumerism in the fashion industry to the promise of hydrogen energy as an alternative sustainable fuel.

Tees Valley Nature Partnership Manager, Rachel Murtagh gave the keynote address, other speakers and industry guests included representatives from Green Shoots, Climate Action Middlesbrough, Tees River Trust, Cultivate Tees Valley and Climate Action North.

Full press release here
Watch our Planner's Workshop
The eagerly awaited Environment Bill is bringing some fundamental changes to the planning system in England that will benefit nature. To help prepare our five planning authorities TVNP hosted a workshop on the 14th of September 2021 which covererd Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS’). The workshop was recorded and you can find the footage here including talks from:
  • Rebecca Moberly – Principal Consultant, Planning Advisory Service
  • Timothy Crawshaw – Chair Tees Valley Nature Partnership and Vice President of the RTPI
  • Geraldine Brown – Head of Strategy and Policy, Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Rachel Murtagh – Nature Partnership Manager, Tees Valley Nature Partnership
  • Andrew Whitehead - Net Gain Senior Advisor, Natural England
  • A workshop chaired by Eddie Halstead, Tees Programme Manager, Environment Agency.

“Very useful workshop covering the burning questions, thanks very much” Andy Glossop, Planning Officer, Middlesbrough Borough Council

News From Our Partners

Record numbers of visitors mark Festival of Thrift’s return 

Visitors flocked to this years' Festival of Thrift in their thousands as the nationally renowned celebration of sustainable living made a hugely welcome return to the village of Kirkleatham near Redcar. 

A record-breaking 50,000 festival goers from all over the UK enjoyed a packed programme of performances, activities, workshops, talks and stalls alongside stalls from ethical independent traders at the award-winning event which focuses on bringing people together to have fun and share ways to live without harming the planet.  

An awe-inspiring aerial performance above an island of discarded rubbish, a thought-provoking contemporary dance recreating the sound of the sea with waste plastic, a fashion show with stunning outfits created from discarded denim and charity shop finds, parkour performers on scaffolding and dynamic dancers inspired by the thrifty dressing of the gentlemen of the Congo were amongst the highlights enjoyed by visitors. 

Festival of Thrift director Stella Hall said: “This weekend has proved that you can have a local-rooted and community owned event that also has lasting regional and national impact. 

TVNP sponsored the 'EnlightenTent' which showcased a number of our partner organisations alongside a dynamic talks programme featuring several of our partnership members and staff.

You can find out more from this Tees Valley Nature Partnership News article

Great Big Green Week

A national week of events celebrating action on climate change
18 – 26 September 2021
In September communities across the country joined together to be part of the national the Great Big Green Week campaign which was the biggest event for climate and nature ever in the UK!

The Stockton-on-Tees Great Big Green Week had events running throughout the whole week including guided walks around Wildlife Trust reserve Portrack Marsh and events around the Tees Barrage.

As a contribution to Stockton's week, Tees Valley Nature Partnership teamed up with Cultivate Tees Valley and Bright Minds Big Futures to film and publish interviews between young people and  local speakers, politicians, and those working on Nature and Climate. You can view these videos on Cultivate Tees Valley's YouTube channel.

You can find out more on the
Stockton-On-Tees Great Big Green Week website.
#ZeroCarbonTour in Tees Valley

 The #ZeroCarbonTour arrived in Middlesbrough on the 20th of October as it makes its way through the UK to COP26 in Glasgow next week.
The event saw presentations highlighting a number of schemes taking place, including Net Zero Teesside’s carbon capture, utilisation and storage power plant at Teesworks, Northern Gas Networks which is testing hydrogen as a potential alternative to natural gas in households, and Hartlepower.

Speakers included:
Ben Houchen - Mayor of Tees Valley
Andy Preston – Mayor of Middlesbrough

There was also a session highlighting what net zero carbon actually means, the significance of the COP26 summit and the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign which encourages businesses and organisations to pledge to reach net zero before 2050.
Free Carbon Awareness Training

Climate Action Middlesbrough are offering an introduction to climate change and CO2 production and reduction.

This course runs for 2 x 4 hour sessions and will inspire thought and debate on the causes of and solutions to greenhouse gas emissions and what we can do to improve our own carbon footprint, or that of the organisation we work in.

Individuals can join one of the regular courses they run at their own base at Acklam. Organisations can choose to have the course delivered at your own premises if you have a suitable room and a group of up to 16 participants.

There is no charge for attending this course, it is funded by the Climate Action Middlesbrough project. All they ask from organisations is that they provide cups of tea. If you would like to book a course at your own premises or a place on a course at our training room in Acklam please contact Dave at 

You can view a short video introducing Climate Action Middlesbrough here
Some National News

 IPCC report

 This years' IPCC report is 'code red for humanity', but does include some prospects for hope
The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.

The report "is a code red for humanity", says the UN chief. But scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast. There is hope that deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures.

Echoing the scientists' findings, UN Secretary General António Guterres said: "If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success."

The sober assessment of our planet's future has been delivered by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists whose findings are endorsed by the world's governments.

Their report is the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013. Its release comes less than three months before a key climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26. You can read the full report here.

Nature on the World Stage

There are 3 big international events in 2021:
  1. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress. Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
  2. UN (United Nations) COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity held every 2 years
  3. UN (United Nations) COP26 Climate Change Conference is the big one in the news as the UK holds the presidency and is hosting the live event in Glasgow this November. When COP26 was delayed last year we held our own Tees Nature and the Climate Crisis there were some fantastic contributions you can revisit via out YouTube channel.

 Aviva Climate Fund Launched (UK)

Aviva has launched a new Aviva Climate Fund to run along side its established Aviva Community Fund. During the last funding round of 2021, Aviva will be awarding £150,000 to projects addressing climate change. Aviva has teamed up with the fundraising platform Crowdfunder and will match each donation, given by Aviva employees and the general public, up to the value of £50 between the 26th October 2021 and 7th December 2021, or until the entire £150,000 is allocated.

For projects to be eligible they will need to either help prevent or reduce the impacts of climate change, and / or help prepare people and places for climate change impact, through education and recovery planning. To receive match funding applicants will need to create a fundraising page on Crowdfunder and apply to the Aviva Climate Fund by 5 October 2021 and be approved to be part of the Aviva Climate Fund. ‘All Or Nothing’ projects must reach their target to receive match funding. A maximum of £50,000 of match funding is available per organisation. 



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