Partner organisations

Lyme Regis Town Council works with several other local organisations to meet its environmental aims and together we can achieve a great deal more. We’re all working towards the same aim, to make Lyme Regis a greener, more sustainable, carbon neutral community and each of us brings our strengths, expertise and skills to achieve this goal.

Below are the primary organisations we work with.

River Lim Action Group

When concerns about pollution in the River Lim were raised by local residents in autumn 2021, a group of volunteers from Turn Lyme Regis started monitoring the river. They began monitoring water quality in the river, thanks to test kits funded by the town council, and started engaging with South West Water, the Environment Agency and West Dorset MP Chris Loder to help tackle water quality and pollution issues. They also joined forces with other local action groups, including the Rover Char Monitors, the Ace Vale Rivers Association and the Westcountry Rivers Trust to share knowledge and build up a picture of the local river network. They also turned their attention to pollution and sewage outfalls on Lyme’s beaches.

In response to increasing local interest, the River Lim Action Group was formed in October 2022, with the aim of campaigning for cleaner rivers and beaches in Lyme Regis. The town council has given its full support to the group and receives regular update reports to the Environment Committee. We have also funded the group to continue its monitoring of the river and to carry out a freshwater ecological survey, while also liaising with the Environment Agency and South West Water to keep up the pressure on the group’s behalf.

The River Lim Action Group has been working tirelessly since its formation and has had many successes, including getting more monitoring of the river by the Environment Agency, which has detected high levels of bacteria, setting up three teams of citizen science monitors so they have their own data on water quality, e coli and invertebrates, and getting South West Water to take action on illegal misconnections and its own discharges. On the beach and seafront, the group has arranged a CCTV survey of the drains which are causing contamination, encouraged testing of the sediment dredged from the harbour, and established a live alert system for bathing water quality on Front Beach.

The town council has set up regular meetings with South West Water, the Environment Agency, Dorset Council and the River Lim Action Group to jointly tackle the issues and these meetings have proved to be very successful.

The River Lim Action Group is currently campaigning to redesignate Church Cliff Beach as a bathing beach. As bathing beaches attract more resources from water companies and the Environment Agency for monitoring, cleaning up pollution and providing public information, the group hopes by redesignating the beach, it will put pressure on the Environment Agency and South West Water to clean up the river. The town council has given it full support to the campaign.

Turn Lyme Green

Turn Lyme Green was set up in 2007 to promote sustainable living in Lyme Regis and engage the community in environmental issues related to energy, waste and resource -efficiency. The group has led various projects and campaigns to tackle issues raised by climate change and global warming and aims to extend public knowledge of environment matters through education and raising awareness in Lyme Regis.

The organisation has set up many successful projects, including the River Lim Action Group, Plastic Free Lyme Regis, Boomerang Bags and Seeds and Soil. They work with various partner organisations, including Litter Free Coast and Sea to promote initiatives in Lyme Regis, such as the Bin your Butt campaign, and Dorset Climate Action Network to promote the Greener Homes event.

The organisation has been instrumental in encouraging local businesses to go plastic-free and to join the Refill scheme, design to reduce plastic pollution. Plastic Free Lyme Regis is one of Turn Lyme Green’s major successes, with the town becoming the first in Dorset to gain ‘Plastic Free Communities’ status from Surfers Against Sewage in June 2018. Plastic Free Lyme Regis was awarded the prestigious Jurassic Coast Business Award for best eco-business in 2022.

Turn Lyme Green organises various talks and events, including regular litter picks on the beach and sunflower planting at the library. The group meets monthly and volunteers are always welcome to help an events and join in with one of the projects.

Lyme Regis Town Council is a close partner of Turn Lyme Green, working closely with the River Lim Action Group, providing regular grants to help continue their work, endorsing the plastic-free campaign, and installing Refill points in the town. 

Dorset Climate Action Network

Dorset Climate Action Network (CAN) is a network of community groups and individuals working together for a shared vision of a clean, green, sustainable Dorset. The organisation supports, works with and lobbies various councils at all levels and community groups across Dorset, and also runs its own campaigns and events.

Dorset CAN’s vision is for a zero carbon, bright blue, wild green, locally fed, community centred, sparkling green Dorset.

Projects include Dorset Greener Homes, when homes across the county open their doors to promote green living, the Great Big Dorset Hedge, a campaign to restore and extend the hedgerows of Dorset, and Dorset COP, a conference where organisations can link together to promote climate action from the key stakeholders.

Litter Free Dorset – Land, Coast and Sea 

Litter Free Dorset campaigns to reside litter and waste and improve water quality in Dorset. It is also a strategic approach to creating better quality environments for people in Dorset, exploring and realising the social, economic and environmental benefits of reducing the impacts of litter. The organisation works with around 40 community groups across Dorset to help increase its reach and impact.

Active campaigns in Lyme Regis include Bin your Butt, which aims to remind smokers to responsibly extinguish and dispose of their cigarettes, instead of tossing them onto the ground. Supported by the town council and Turn Lyme Green, a ‘ballot’ bin was installed outside the Cobb Arms toilets in 2022 where smokers can vote on a question with their cigarette butts, rather than dropping them on the beach.  Colourful pavement art next to the ballot bin, and also next to the Rock Point Inn, further helps to reduce cigarette litter.

The town council has also supported Litter Free Dorset’s Disposable Vape Campaign, helping to make consumers aware of the correct disposal advice, and the Don’t Feed the Locals Campaign, which aims to address the issue of seagulls stealing food or scavenging from litter and overflowing bins.

Lyme Regis Community Garden Growers

Set up by Lyme Regis Community Support, Lyme Regis Community Garden Growers manages a community garden in the Langmoor Gardens to provide fruit and vegetables to local residents. The volunteers welcome people stopping as they pass to chat to them about the garden and take some produce away with them.

The garden growers also supplies fresh produce to Lyme Regis Foodbank to provide to those most in need in our community.

Dorset Council

In 2019, the newly-formed Dorset Council declared a climate emergency, acknowledging that it needed to act on the causes and impacts of climate change. This was updated to a climate and ecological emergency later that year, so the protection and enhancement of Dorset’s natural environment and wildlife biodiversity was also considered.

Dorset Council published its first Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy (2021--23) in 2020, and has since produced a refreshed Natural Environment, Climate and Ecology Strategy (2023 to 25).

The town council has worked with Dorset Council on a number of environmental initiatives, with the support of our local ward member Cllr Belinda Bawden. These include tackling water quality issues at the River Lim and beaches, testing sediment dredged from the harbour, supporting 20mph zones in the town, and clearing hazardous materials fallen from the old municipal tip onto East Beach.

2030 Vision

The 2030 Vision ‘Community Conversation’ was developed to enable community engagement to identify residents’ priorities and establish capacity in the Lyme, Uplyme and Charmouth areas to develop climate and environmental projects to address the climate and ecological crises. The aim is to hear from local communities about the hopes, fears and challenges to be able to establish priorities for climate and environmental action over the next few years.

Public engagement showed the most important priorities for residents were clean rivers and beaches, wildlife-friendly green spaces, warm, affordable, well-insulated homes, affordable, and connected, green public transport. Other ideas emerging from the consultation included electric bike hiring hubs, better recycling facilities, traffic restrictions and zoning for parking.

Several initiatives have been established or are being progressed under the 2030 Vision banner, including the Community Energy Champions, solar PV installation, Speedwatch in several residential areas, proposed 20mph zones in Lyme Regis, and an accessibility and mobility review.