Could growing more food locally help cut York’s carbon footprint? What impact does climate change have on our health? And can we create local woodlands that lock up more carbon?

These are just some of the questions that will be raised during York Environment Week, which starts on September 18.

Almost 50 events will be held across the city between then and September 26.

They range from a local primary school (Haxby Road Primary) inviting people to come and see the different vegetables, fruit trees and bushes growing in its organic Greenfields community garden to drop-in discussions about how to improve the environment of Tadcaster Road and a webinar on ‘green’ investment organised by Fossil Free North Yorkshire (fossil fuel-free that is: the organisers have nothing against fossils themselves).

This will be York’s second Environment Week organised by the York Environment Forum.

The first was held a year ago – in the middle of the pandemic.

Because of that, most of the sessions last year had to be held online, said spokesman Phil Bixby.

“That was tragically bad timing! But we still managed to have a whole series of sessions, featuring everything from the role of beavers in flood prevention near Malton (they are very good at holding water in places!) to ‘doughnut economics’, which is an economics based on asking what we need and what is enough.”

With the UN’s COP26 climate change conference due to be held in the UK this year (in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12) the focus of this year’s York Environment Week is on climate change, Phil said – and on what we can do to reduce it and help York meet its ambitious ‘zero carbon’ targets.

Other events this year will include a mass cycle ride for children to highlight the need for safe cycling in York, an online session on how to build sustainable housing, a look at what York might be like in the future if we manage to solve the climate crisis – and a chance to walk around York's proposed new community woodland near Knapton.

Cllr Christian Vassie, the chair of City of York Council’s Climate Emergency Committee, said with COP26 on the horizon and York expected to publish a ‘zero carbon pathway’ by the end of the year which will set out the steps the city needs to take to slash emissions, the timing of this year’s Environment Week could hardly be better.

“I think the expectation of members of the public is that they want to see something happening and want to know how they can be a part of it,” he said.

All York Environment Week events are free. You can find full details at