EPIKS volunteers and partners work with local communities and residents, businesses, institutions like the university and employees to increase environmental awareness - and through its projects - to make our towns and villages a better place to live, work and study. EPIKS is the new name for Environment Kirklees Ltd - a not for profit company.
The Greenstreams Project maintains green spaces and organises clean up activities on the River Colne corridor. Volunteers contribute to improving access by building footpaths and protecting nature. Over the years Greenstreams has created and improved over 6 kms of public access to the rivers and riverside green spaces around Huddersfield.
Greenstreams is the lead organisation in the consortium that is promoting the 3 Valleys Nature Park in Kirklees.
EPIKS is developing two projects using electric bikes to improve access to low e-mission transport. See www.epiks.org.uk
Through its support for Green Drinks Huddersfield & the Valleys EPIKS encouraged those working or interested in the environmental sector to participate in a monthly networking event. This was suspended in spring 2020.
Environment Kirklees Ltd was established as a not for profit company in 2016. It was the product of a merger of an existing company, Environmental Alliance Ltd and an existing cross-sector forum, Kirklees Environment Partnership.
Since the 1990s Environmental Alliance Ltd has led on developing public access to, and enhancing biodiversity along the River Colne (a heavily modified urban watercourse). Over the past decade its core activity was branded as the Greenstreams Project.
With the support of the Aire-Calder Catchment Partnership, we have piloted a River Stewardship scheme for businesses. This is a simple commitment for businesses to adopt an agreed set of principles to protect and enhance the river environment; to reduce litter getting into rivers, improve premises for wildlife, provide outdoor facilities for employees and deal with invasive non-native plants. We now have a number of business sponsors who have adopted and help maintain and improve stretches of riverbank for public use.
Greenstreams works in a close partnership with River Holme Connections, a local environmental charity based in Holmfirth, working on the River Holme, a major tributary of the River Colne.
Kirklees Environment Partnership operated as a forum for about fifteen years for those active locally in all aspects of environmental work and volunteering. It promoted environmental education, worked on the development of a food strategy for Kirklees and encouraged cross-sector partnerships.
A heron with grayling in the river Colne
The current directors of the company are:
Project Director, Greenstreams
Jeff was until recently Chair of the Aire Calder Catchment Partnership and is part of the steering group working on the Three Valleys Nature Park. He leads for EKL on Greenstreams and ecology issues.
He previously worked for Kirklees Council on environmental planning issues before retirement. He has been involved with developing wildlife and recreation projects around the River Colne for over 20 years and believes rivers are a massive economic and environmental asset.
Ali is chair of governors of a local primary school, a trustee of the Marsden Jazz Festival and a member of the Kirklees Climate Emergency Group. Ali was previously a committee member of Kirklees Environment Partnership. She is retired and has a background in planning, environmental policy and community work, and enjoys working on her allotment and narrowboating.
Chas is a trustee of Huddersfield Civic Society and of the Marsden Jazz Festival. He leads for EKL on waste and transport issues. He is co-ordinator of the monthly Green Drinks session.
He retired as chief executive of transport charity Carplus and as a board member of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (2013-15). He was founder of England's first commercial car-sharing car club company, City Car Club (now Enterprise Car Club). He previously worked on innovative recycling and waste projects with Leeds-based community enterprise SWAP (Save Waste & Prosper).
Charles is chairman of the Kirklees/Calderdale district and a trustee and treasurer of the West Yorkshire branch of CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England. He is also a trustee of Huddersfield Civic Society. He is now retired, having worked in textiles for over thirty years as owner and MD of a Huddersfield company.
Paul is both a councillor with Kirklees Council and Holme Valley Parish Council, school governor and member of the Kirklees Education Learning and Partnership Board and Kirklees Schools Forum. He was European HR Director for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and European Operations Director for Orange Business Services (OBS). He qualified as a primary school teacher in 2015.
John Queening (Director HoTTWind@Longley, community energy scheme and Holmfirth Transition Town where he leads on recycling)
Janet Williams (chair, Holmfirth Transition Town)
Steve Smith (Edibles, Marsden - permaculture demonstration smallholding; public engagement consultant)
Sponsors, Funders and Partners
Environment Kirklees' projects are funded from a mix of grants, sponsorship and donations. Our directors are volunteers and we employ a one day a month administrator and limited part-time project staff.
Greenstreams recent development projects have been funded through the Landfill Tax scheme by Cobbett Environmental Trust (see January 2019 Newsletter).
Ongoing Greenstreams management projects are supported by partnership agreements with several local businesses based close to the river. Our sponsors include Cummins Turbo Technologies, Thornton & Ross Ltd, Titanic Spa, LV=, Aldi and KSDL (Kirklees Stadium Developments Ltd). In some cases sponsors staff agree to undertake volunteer work on our projects.
We also have community partners, Milnsbridge Enhancement Group, demonstrating how community organisations can become active contributors.
The company retains West Yorkshire Community Accountancy Services as its accountants and is a member or Kirklees Third Sector Leaders.
Jeff Keenlyside (Greenstreams Project Director) speaking at a 2016 conference that led to the establishment of Environment Kirklees.