ILMINSTER now has two environmental champions official appointed to fight for the green cause in South Somerset.

The pair, Sarah Hunt and Colin Hyde, were appointed last month and will liaise with South Somerset District Council.

Both Sara and Colin have been working for the past 18 months with the Ilminster Tree Project which plans to plant 7,000 trees in Ilminster and it hinterland - one for every man woman and child in the area.

Prior to that, Sarah started Green Ilminster as a focus for activities designed for activities to improve the local environment and its biodiversity.

Sarah said: “Pollinators of all kinds - bees wasps, and many different kinds of insect - are under immense pressure.

“Insect-eating birds rely on insects to feed themseves and theit young are also under threat.

“If we can get the council to agree to a less aggressive regime, especially when birds are feeding their young, this will add to the town’s reputation as one that cares for its environment.”

As representatives of Green Ilminster, Sarah and Colin will be addressing a virtual meeting of Iminster Town Council’s Open Spaces committee in mid-July, to suggest a change to their verge management programme.

Colin said: “I remember as a 10-year-old, travelling from London to the North Kent marshes with my mum, to visit a bird reserve called High Halstow.

“We saw and heard nightingales, lesser whitethroats, green woodpeckers and, best of all, grey herons nesting in largest rookery in the country.

“Their nests were in elm trees stretching out to the southern reaches of the Thames estuary.

“That colony is now dramatically reduced because Dutch Elm Disease took all of their traditional nesting sites.

“In 2020, we are facing similar issues with Ash Dieback. The Woodland Trust predicts that we will lose 95 per cent of the native ash trees currently such an integral part of our landscape.

“As an environmental champion, I want to highlight such issues so that we can act locally to mitigate as much as possible of this environmental degradation.”

In their role as environment champions Colin and Sarah receive communications directly from SSDC’s environmental department, and are currently respnding to an initiative called ‘Community Grant Opportunities for your Environmental Projects’.

If you have any suggestions, contact Green Ilminster visit the group’s Facebook page, or email

The group is also looking for anyone who has land that would be suitable for tree planting.