Skip to main content

Ouse Valley Climate Action

The Ouse Valley Climate Action Project is a National Lottery-funded project which aims to bring the community together to inspire positive action to mitigate the effects of climate change in the lower Ouse valley and Havens.

Communities Delivering Together

In October 2022 Ouse Valley Climate Action (OVCA) was awarded £2m from the National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK – aiming to make the region a national pioneer in tackling the climate change emergency. OVCA won the funding after several busy years of discussions, events, planning and development across the region to work up a successful bid, competing with over 600 applicants.

View towards Kingston and Lewes from the South Downs in East Sussex
View towards Kingston and Lewes from the South Downs in East Sussex – Scott Hortop

The East Sussex partnership covers 10 organisations, including the South Downs National Park Trust and Authority and Lewes District Council, and has an ambitious goal of empowering local people to help create one of the first communities in England to fully embrace climate action.

The project area follows the River Ouse downstream from the village of Barcombe – which is aiming to be the UK’s first net-zero village – through to Lewes, the National Park’s largest town, and further south to the coastal towns of Seaford, Peacehaven, and Newhaven. The river valley is a fragile landscape that has already felt the effects of climate change this millennium, including flooding, storm damage, coastal erosion and biodiversity loss.

The funding will focus on three key areas: nature recovery and climate resilience; people’s knowledge and skills; and, finally, greener energy and travel.

Among the aims of the project are to:

• Capture more carbon with natural solutions, such as tree planting and creating new wildlife habitats.
• Make space for water in the Ouse catchment, such as creating water habitats, to reduce flood risk and increase resilience to drought
• Support more community green spaces and food-growing areas.
• Empower and educate residents about climate action and sustainable living through inspiring events, engagement and training sessions.
• Encourage behaviour change to help the environment.
• Develop new local Community Energy Groups and community-owned renewable energy projects.
• Events and engagement around improving household energy efficiency.
• Support new greener travel initiatives around walking, cycling and e-bikes.

Partners of the Ouse Valley Climate Action:

Logos of the partners of Ouse Valley Climate Action

Community Pitch 2023-24

The Community Pitch is open again!

In partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, Lewes District Council and South Downs National Park Trust, eligible organisations can submit their Community Pitch for ideas that meet our project themes of reducing carbon usage, supporting nature and enhancing wellbeing, knowledge and skills around climate change.

To find out more and apply – visit the Community Pitch 2023-24 page. Closing date is 31 October 2023.

Newsletter signup