Climate Adaptation Overview
Climate change is already affecting all of us, but our Bridport community has many opportunities to reduce our emissions and waste, and increase our resilience and adapt to the challenges that climate change will bring. For example, there are simple steps we can take regarding food, home energy, transport, emergency preparations and supporting local initiatives: for a summary of what you can do, click here. This section provides an overview on these topics: for info and advice for specific groups, click on one of these links:
The scale of the climate crisis has led UK Government, Dorset Council, and Bridport Town Council to declare a Climate Emergency. We can already see that weather patterns are becoming more volatile and extreme: one impact of this trend is our food security.
Food security means reliable access to enough affordable, healthy food. Climate change is already impacting food supplies, and is forecast to create much greater disruption in the years ahead, both in the UK and across the world. This is likely to mean that some foods, including staple crops like wheat, are in short supply and rise steeply in price. However, future weather patterns in the UK bring opportunities as well as threats. With adaptive cultivation methods, changes in crops, and support from consumers, the Bridport community and the UK generally could increase its food security and reduce its vulnerability to imported supplies.
Seeding our Future has commissioned research to explore these issues. One aim of the research is to support Seeding our Future’s pilot work on these issues in the Bridport community (see more information here). While the research focuses on South West England, many of its conclusions can be extended to other parts of the UK. The report covers four main topics:
- Which locally grown foods are most at risk in the future from climate change
- What adaptive cultivation practices could help, for anyone from an allotment holder to a large-scale farmer
- How vulnerable crops, or substitutes, could be grown in South-West England
- Ways for consumers to adapt, including support for local producers, diet changes, and community initiatives
The scale and timing of food shortages in our community is impossible to predict, but one thing we can learn from covid, flooding events, and other crises is that the time for action is before an emergency hits us. Please see the specific sections to explore what you can do, and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of progress, events and more.
We are using the term Climate Adaptation to highlight the need for systemic, fundamental changes in food production and consumption, accepting that major climate change is a crisis which will continue for many years ahead, even if major cuts in carbon emissions are achieved.
The idea of creating a Bridport Local Food Hub is being explored as a way to add momentum to raising food security. Initially, the Hub would be a series of smallish initiatives, such as this website, and the info leaflet and market stall we created in December 2020.
Medium term, we hope the Hub could have its own premises, either in town, or nearby with land for new growers and training programmes. The Hub concept was explored and broadly supported by online consultations in 2020, and you can find details of the proposals based on those sessions in our Concept document here.
For information and advice for specific groups, click on the links at the top of this page.
For more information on the research, please click on one of these links:
For resources and information on how individuals and communities can raise general resilience and adapt to climate change and other challenges, see the new Bridport Climate Response website.
LEAF (Linking Environment and farming), has recently published Climate Change: What Can We Do to Help? It is designed to help highlight to the public what farmers are doing to work towards net zero, and also highlights small changes that consumers can make to help too. You can read this engaging booklet here.