A plan for the future of Helston and its environment has been officially published.

Helston Climate Action Group has created an action plan that includes projects to tackle climate change in the years ahead, as well as data about the current situation.

It is after Helston Town Council declared a climate emergency in March. Since then a group of councillors, community groups and concerned individuals have been devising a plan to reduce carbon emissions and help restore nature.

Mayor John Martin said: “The climate emergency should underpin every decision we make and every action we take. Our aim is to encourage this town and our surrounding area to achieve carbon neutrality.

"This will need the support of everyone, our families, our schools, our businesses, our community groups, our visitors, to take every opportunity to tackle the issues that affect the future of our planet, our children and our wildlife. All of us can make a difference.”

In May this year the Helston Downsland Trust commissioned a carbon audit for Helston, specifically looking at energy used for heating, lighting and transport.

Figures showed that in 2016, the most recent available data, out of the overall fuel usage oil made up the largest portion, with other figures showing 85 per cent of this went on travel. Oil was closely followed by electricity, with the remaining chunk - making up less than a third - was gas and coal,

When looking at how homes are heated, perhaps unsurprisingly for a town connected to the main grid, gas and electricity were fairly equally split and made up around 80 per cent of the energy demand. However, the group was surprised to learn that domestic coal still made up five per cent of the total energy demand.

With gas, oil and coal producing carbon emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases, raising the temperature of the planet.

Climate experts have warned that if the earth's temperature rises by two more degrees, mountain glaciers and rivers will start to disappear and mountainous regions will see more landslides.

One way to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to become more carbon neutral, is to plant trees and this is one of the projects already revealed by the Helston group in its action plan, to plant a tree for every child living in the town.

Other projects, as reported in last week's Helston Packet, include setting up a Repair Cafe, turning disused plots into sources of healthy food and starting pop-up energy advice surgeries, giving tips on how to reduce energy demand and change to renewable sources.

Read more: Repair Cafe and tree for every child to help climate fight

This month members will be holding a workshop for schools, to discuss the best ways to share information with children and young people about the climate and ecological emergency.

They are actively looking for places in the town where electric car charging points could be installed and funding to do this, and also plan to work with First Kernow and other public transport providers to help make it more affordable and less reliant on fossil fuels.

Longer term, the group would like to look at projects aimed at pedestrianising parts of central Helston.

Members plan will offer support to local businesses to carry out their own carbon audit and how they could make improvements.

Other projects include setting up a GoodGym - runners who stop off to carry out tasks for the community or older people.

The full list of ideas can be found in the Helston Climate Action Plan, which can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/HelstonClimateActionPlan-issuu.

Dave Potter, a town councillor and chairman of the action group, said: “The publishing of this action plan is a significant milestone towards making Helston carbon neutral by 2030.

"However, everyone should be in no doubt that this is where the real work starts. Support from everyone in the local community is needed if we are to achieve our goal.

"Please get in touch if you wish to get involved, have any questions or suggestions about the biggest issue that faces us today.”