Winter’s had a late show of teeth, leaving us all dreaming of the first blooms of spring, the baby rabbits skipping through fields and all that other idyllic stuff.

Sunlight slanting through the new-fledged leaves – that’s another one. Coincidentally, this tidily makes for the perfect metaphor for our own Leaf – the Local Energy Assessment Fund.

At a time of high bills and worries about how to keep warm while minimising costs, we’d like to think that the funds awarded are going to provide that shaft of brightness to make people see the benefits of sustainable change.

And of course, local schemes getting money to do interesting things make for good local news, and we’ve seen lots of items dotted about the papers up and down the country.

The Halifax Courier has reported on Calderdale Community Energy getting just over £45,000 to support a community hydro scheme and survey homes, and the BBC’s Shropshire newsroom saw merit in Transition Town Shrewsbury and their own hydro ambitions.

In Bolton, funding’s helping green community champions do more, and way down south, Wadebridge’s energy group are hailed as visionaries in the Cornish Guardian. Meanwhile in Bath, they’re soaking in success (pardon the awful pun), and the Chronicle reports it all: Energy Efficient Widcombe’s surveying of old and listed properties and Bath Leading Lights living up to their name by showcasing LED advancements.

Of course, we’ve left lots of schemes out of this round-up, so apologies to all the other equally worthy bidders. It’s now down to you all to deliver. No pressure, then…