When Emma Jackson moved into Buildwas 17 years ago, a small rural parish just outside of Ironbridge in Shropshire, every summer the field would be alive buzzing with insects, butterflies, bees, and crickets. As time passed, she noticed a gradual decline in the insects and buzzing each year and an increase in the number of times the river flooded our road.


Increasingly concerned about the decline in biodiversity and environmental quality, Mrs Jackson took the initiative when an opportunity to become a parish councillor in her area came up.


As the primary forefront of local administration, the Buildwas Parish Council delivers tailored services to residents, supports local operations, sets taxes and uses its powers to manage shelters, allotments, and other facilities.


Since gaining a position in the Parish Council, Mrs. Jackson has pushed forward to strive for positive environmental change in her community. The council now has a designated climate lead to oversee efforts to fight global warming at the local level with an allocated budget for climate-related matters.


The prominence of climate action in public discourse has been steadily increasing in recent years, and thanks to Mrs. Jackson, the Buildwas Parish Council is no exception. Discussions related to climate action are now a mandatory staple of all meetings of the Parish Council and outreach and engagement has been formed with environmental groups, such as Save Our Shropshire, Restoring Shropshire’s Verges, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Middle Marches Community Land Trust, and others.


“As a consequence of the 2021 Environmental Act and the 2023 Environmental Improvement Plan it is now a statutory duty for parish councils to conserve and more importantly enhance biodiversity”, Mrs. Jackson explains. The task ahead is challenging, but she is not daunted by this “exciting” mission, hoping to reach the government’s goal of increasing wildlife-friendly areas in Shropshire by 3516 hectares so as to facilitate reaching a 10% biodiversity net gain.


Climate Justice takes collective, understanding, and difficult effort, but Mrs. Jackson, with her unwavering dedication and the collective efforts of the Buildwas Parish Council, is proving that climate action takes patience and small community action, which can together yield profound and inspiring impacts.