While many people may be despairing about the climate and environmental policies of national governments and multinational companies, the small steady drip-feed of action within local communities can both keep hope alive and make a genuine difference to local climate resilience and nature recovery.

Wide-ranging organisations such as the Somerset Climate Action Network, West Somerset Green Forum and Quantock Eco serve as focal points for positive action across a wide region, while smaller community groups can keep local people informed about what individuals can do to make a difference, and arrange events to get people inspired.

At all levels, the concept of ‘community’ is the key to success. Inspiring and supporting people within a community to do something as simple as reducing waste, planting a wildlife garden or sharing transport brings people together within a locality, but it also makes them part of a much wider, global community with a shared aim.

National research has shown that if 1 in 4 people visibly demonstrate a behaviour, it is enough to tip the social balance. This can easily be seen in what are now publicly accepted behaviours such as using re-usable takeaway cups, buying plastic-free products and choosing plant-based food and drinks. And the model can work on both a micro-scale, within households or local communities, and on a macro-scale, between governments and big businesses.

The key thing to remember, of course, is that the magic of 1 in 4 doesn’t just happen by itself: it’s a gradual process which requires people and organisations to inspire others to make a change. So when we start to despair and wonder whether we can really make a difference, the answer is: Yes we can – one step at a time.