A host of people and organisations came together on Monday at Barnstaple Pannier Market for an inaugural environmental awareness day. The It s in Our Hands event was hosted by North Devon Council and was the idea of Councillor Faye Webber, who wanted to b

A host of people and organisations came together on Monday at Barnstaple Pannier Market for an inaugural environmental awareness day.The It's in Our Hands event was hosted by North Devon Council and was the idea of Councillor Faye Webber, who wanted to bring together the diverse local groups that promote green, sustainability and environmental issues under one roof.People could have their say on proposed policies requiring new developments to include renewable energy. The council requires large housing and commercial developments to provide at least 15 per cent of energy needs through on-site sources. Draft guidance, which aims to help developers predict energy needs and choose the best types of renewables for their proposals, was available for the public and businesses to view.But it was also an informal event offering a variety of exhibits, information, activities and workshops for all ages.Everything from wind turbine information to face painting, a junk band, advice and information on a range of "green" issues was available. "There are many organisations but quite often they don't know what they are each doing," explained Mrs Webber."We can learn from each other and it's also a window for the council and its planning department to explain new policies and for the public to have their say."Barnstaple Town Council had an environmental "wish tree" for people to place their ideas, suggestions or aspirations. Following the event councillors will be looking at the results to see how they could address the issues raised."People have shown a great deal of interest and I think have realised we need to do something about the problems we all face."The day wsa supported by North Devon Biosphere Reserve and Barnstaple Town Centre Management among others.