Working Groups

Bringing together dedicated and committed individuals willing to help deliver key elements of the ZCH zero carbon strategy

Writing a report

Buildings and Energy Group


The fossil fuel energy used to make building materials and the heating, lighting and activities of the eventual buildings are key targets for reducing carbon emissions. Everyone designing or occupying homes, offices or factories has a part to play in making them less harmful to their environment.


Virtually all existing buildings need better insulation, more efficient heaters and machinery, low-energy lighting, etc.


Our Building and Energy Group are concerned with the impact both new and existing buildings will have on future carbon emissions.


As energy generation and storage become less dependent on fossil fuels and more on renewable sources such as solar, wind, wave and tidal we must encourage research into better efficiencies and the local manufacture of the newer devices.


The CBI says that the UK government is not doing enough to encourage companies to be more sustainable and we wholeheartedly agree. One aspect of this is the need for much higher-demanding building regulations and inspections.

Campaign for Sustainable Developments


Zero Carbon Harrogate have contributed to a paper published in Nov-20, by the Western Arc Coordination Group - who represent concerned residents and parish councils from around Harrogate - highlighting the need for planners, developers and house builders to take urgent action to deliver new housing developments that are designed and built to zero carbon standards.

For further information about the Building and Energy Group please contact;

Ian Stalker

Engagement Group


We are seeking to raise awareness of both the need to transition to a low carbon economy and how it is possible to do this now. We run a series of public events from workshops and film showings to meals and farm visits. Topics include areas such as the carbon emissions impact of food, the benefits of forestry, the success of the local council and hearing inspiring stories from around the world. Any one is welcome to attend.


Meeting and collaborating with local business people, councillors, and other community groups is also important to this group. As is communicating the ZCH vision and practical ways it can be achieved in the local press and on social media.


For further information about the Engagement Group please contact;

​​Stephen Scales

Food Group

Our aim is to raise awareness of the carbon cost of our food so that people can make more informed decisions when buying food. In addition we are addressing the carbon cost of food waste, for example by intercepting excess food from supermarkets, local shops and businesses and redistributing to charities and people on low incomes.

See our low carbon food tips...

Michelle Hayes from the Food Group has recently opened the Resurrected Bites Café at St Mark's Church in Harrogate where food that would normally have gone to waste is being served at prices determined by the customers, based on what they feel is appropriate.

In the UK one third of food is wasted, representing 7 million tonnes of food and drink each year. That means that on average food waste costs each household £470 a year.

Listen to Michelle talking about Resurrected Bites on this podcast (Starts at -24.15).

You can find out more about food waste here

For further information about the Food Group please contact;

Going the extra mile to stop food waste

Resurrected Bites, the pay-as-you-feel cafés set up to tackle food waste weren’t deterred by the Covid-19 lockdown. Not happy to see even more food going to waste and people going hungry, or short of everyday essentials, they took on the challenge of home delivery.


More here

Natural Climate Solutions Group


In order to achieve a net zero carbon status we need to remove the carbon emissions from the atmosphere that we cannot eliminate by lifestyle changes and nature has a major part to play in this process. 

This group is encouraging in this region two main methods of carbon sequestration: woodland creation and peatland conservation - existing Earth systems that help the biosphere to heal itself. In addition to locking up the carbon from global warming gases, woodlands and peatlands improve air, soil and water quality, increase biodiversity, and are in the palette of measures used for natural flood management.


With respect to woodlands and green spaces, the benefits are well explained in this guide produced by the University of Leeds and the United Bank of Carbon.

The government announcement in January 2018 of the Northern Forest project presents this team and Zero Carbon Harrogate with an exciting opportunity to help White Rose Forest Trust and the Woodland Trust to deliver this region's contribution to the Northern Forest.



Boundaries of Long Lands Common

Launch of appeal for Harrogate's first community-owned woodland

9 April 2020

Nidd Gorge Community Action is launching a £300,000 public appeal online to buy the land required to create the town’s first community-owned woodland to be known as Long Lands Common 

Tree planting at Thornthwaite

One thousand trees planted by volunteers of all ages

23 March, 2019

Volunteers from various organisations, including the Roary Club of Harrogate and Zero Carbon Harrogate helped to plant the first White Forest trees at Thornthwaite near Harrogate.

Australian City.jpg

More trees are the answer to cool down our cities

18 January 2019

Urban life can be an insulated existence, consisting of circling between one temperature-controlled space after another. But cities are not invulnerable to climatic changes.

For further information about the Natural Climate Solutions Group please contact;


Ian Fraser

Sustainable Transport Group

Nationally 24% of carbon emissions come from transportation and therefore this is an area to seek emission reductions. It is possible to achieve net zero transport emissions in the District by adopting a number of key objectives.

  • Rapid reduction of private car use, which would also resolve many issues associated with traffic congestion.

  • Rapid increase in public transport and active transport (walking, cycling, skateboarding, etc)

  • Electrification of trains, buses, private cars and cycles

  • Use of synthetic liquid fuels for freight vehicles

  • Local generation of electricity from renewable sources (solar, wind and hydro). This would provide a cheaper supply without the transmission losses and losses to the economy associated with importing energy from outside the area.

  • Local electricity storage. Cryogenic storage plants and use of electric car batteries as part of a local energy storage network.

The Sustainable Transport Group have been contributing to the North Yorkshire County Council Harrogate and Knaresborough traffic congestion review process. As well as submitting our Carbon Neutral Transport Vision and our Sustainable Transport Brochure, we have also spoken at a number of Council meetings and met with councillors to share the possibilities for transport planning which include:

  1. Park and Ride

  2. 20 mph speed limits throughout urban areas and the creation of home zones

  3. Strengthen and diversify bus routes

  4. A dense network of cycle routes

  5. Prioritise accessible green space

  6. Improve the visitor experience with a pedestrian "gold route"

  7. Car clubs

We are working with Harrogate Borough Council to establish the first Car Club in Harrogate.

You can find the details of our vision in the full ZCH Carbon Neutral Transport Vision document and by exploring the accompanying report "A Sustainable Transport Vision for Harrogate and Knaresborough", which was prepared as part of the Stakeholder Engagement process (Stage 1) in the Harrogate Relief Road Review Study.


March 2019

To raise awareness of the problems related to idling car engines and encourage drivers to turn their engines off, members of the group began a ‘No Idling’ campaign to clean up our air. Local schools around Harrogate joined in and plans are being developed to get fleet operators involved. We can all make this simple small step to be healthier, save money on wasted fuel and contribute to reducing our carbon emissions.

For further information about the Sustainable Transport Group please contact;