Green award for Climate College

Todmorden’s Climate Challenge College staff and students have been celebrating after being pronounced ‘Green Legacy Champions’ at the South Pennines Park Awards.

At the awards ceremony held at the Piece Hall on 26 May, the College was among an auspicious list of finalists in this category, including the National Trust, Live Wild CIC, and White Rose Forest.

“We were delighted to have been nominated,” said Climate College Assistant Programme Lead Lydia Gaskell, “but when we were announced as the winner it was amazing! We were up against lots of other groups who also deserve recognition for their work, and it was lovely to share the celebration in the ‘everyone’s a winner’ spirit.”

The South Pennines Park is situated between the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. It is England’s largest non-statutory upland landscape that is not designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Park. The Park is a collaboration led by The South Pennines Park organisation between public, private and third sector organisations.

The Climate Challenge College, part of Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub, is a sustainability education centre in the heart of Todmorden at Tod College. In its second year, the Green Futures course, provides students with a taster of four different areas of sustainability: ‘Food and Land’, ‘Understanding the Climate Challenge’, ‘Sustainable Building’, and ‘Energy’.

With funding from the Calderdale Climate Action Fund, the Climate Challenge College also runs Climate Clubs – spaces for children and families to explore climate change issues whilst having fun and doing practical activities. The after-school Climate Club runs every Thursday and is aimed at young people aged 11-15.

The Climate Challengers Holidays club runs throughout school holidays for ages 8-12. The Family Climate Club is for the whole family and takes place on the first Saturday of each month.

The College now offers Green Skills Short Courses throughout the year. With the aim of upskilling local people for careers in the emerging green economy, these courses are shorter (typically 1-2 days), and focus on gaining a green skill. These include coppicing, hedge laying, lime pointing and plastering, fungi cultivation, and dry-stone walling. These are skills that offer sustainable solutions to some of the local issues that we face in Todmorden and the Calder Valley.

“Through these courses and activities, the Climate Challenge College aims to engage the whole community in climate change solutions and provide the skills and know-how the promote a local green economy,” said Lydia.