Leicester city centre from Gallowtree Gate. Looking towards the clock tower. Photo by G-Man April 2005
  • Alter Natives: Deana Wildgoose from the Coalville CAN, on the creativity and joy released when communities take over buildings, The Daily Alternative (Jan 11, 2023)

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Leicestershire ( LEST-ər-sheer, -⁠shər; postal abbreviation Leics.) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands of England. It is bordered by Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire to the north, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, and Staffordshire to the west. The city of Leicester is the largest settlement and the county town.

The county has an area of 2,156 km2 (832 sq mi) and a population of 712,300. Leicester occupies the centre of the county and is by far the largest settlement, with a built-up area population of 357,000. The remainder of the county is largely rural, and the next-largest settlements are Loughborough (65,000), Hinckley (50,000), and Coalville (22,000). The county contains eight local government districts; seven are part of a two-tier non-metropolitan county also called Leicestershire, and the district of Leicester is a unitary area.

Leicestershire is generally a lowland county, characterised by small, rolling hills. It is bisected by the River Soar, which rises near the Warwickshire border south of Hinckley and flows north through Leicester and Loughborough before reaching the Trent at the county boundary. To the west of the river is Charnwood Forest, an upland area which contains Bardon Hill, which at 278 m (912 ft) is the county's highest point.

There are Prehistoric earthworks in the county, and Leicester was a Roman settlement. The region was settled by the Angles in the sixth century and became part of the Kingdom of Mercia, and the county existed at the time of the Domesday Survey in the 1080s. The county has had a relatively settled existence, however it was the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, in which established the Tudor dynasty's position as monarchs of England. During the Industrial Revolution the Leicestershire coalfield in the north and west of the county was exploited. Leicester became known for shoemaking, and with Loughborough continues to be a manufacturing centre. In agriculture the county is known for Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Authors: Coalville CAN, May 23, 2022

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Communities online[edit | edit source]

Leicestershire Villages

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Green Fox Community Energy, Leicester and Leicestershire's sustainable energy co-operative

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

The Leicester Bike Park is a bicycle parking facility in Leicester Town Hall, England. It is managed by the City Council.

Facilities include secure bike parking, showers, changing rooms, lockers, and advice.

The Bike Park was developed as the result of research into public attitudes to cycling, carried out by Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire (then trading as Environ) in the 1990s. These studies showed that, in addition to the need for safe cycle routes, the lack of secure bike parking and changing facilities for commuters were barriers preventing people from cycling. The Bike Park was opened in 1997.

Through the Bike Park and other initiatives, Leicester City has seen an 81% growth in commuter cycling (2004 to 2009) and the average daily number cycle journeys in the city has grown to 10,500.

Cycle City, information from Leicester City Council - Cycling in Leicestershire, information from Leicestershire County Council

Maps: Cycling Maps, from Leicestershire County Council

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Just... Fairtrade, Leicester

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Leicestershire Food Links, information on Farmers' Markets

Maps: Market Harborough Local Food and Drink Map

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]

Freeuse Leicestershire If you don't use it, Freeuse it!

Rural sustainability[edit | edit source]

Leicestershire Rural Partnership - Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland)

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

LeicesterSHARE.com, part of the lifstshare network - Transport and Streets, information from Leicester City Council, includes information on cycling, buses and walking in Leicester

News and comment[edit | edit source]


  • Developing towns in Coalville, building houses in Grimsby, generating solar power in Bristol - these CANs are vibrant and concrete, The Daily Alternative (Jul 02, 2022) — This week, we have a cascade of what we call CANs, cosmo-local initiatives, coming into our radar. It’s great just to chart their vitality.
  • Leicester's ‘forward-thinking’ green transport plans are 'model for rest of country', say charities, leicestermercury.co.uk (Mar 15, 2022)


Coalville woman's design goes viral after putting town on the map, Apr 23[1]


Lessons from Leicester - how one city is making space for cycling, Nov[2]

Market Harborough tops State of the Town sustainability report, Mar 1[3]


Lessons from Leicester … the UK's unlikely new poster city for cycling, November 26[4]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Past events[edit | edit source]


March 22 Greenlight Festival, Leicester's festival of sustainable living

June 22 Loughborough BIG Family Bike Ride

June 29 BIG Family Bike Ride @ Coalville Picnic in the Park

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Leicestershire W
  • b-inspired, "developing successful neighbourhoods in Leicester, and providing the services and support needed to embrace and nurture talent and potential in our exciting and diverse communities."

References[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

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