Monthly Archives: June 2011

Transition Tavistock June Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Transition Tavistock Newsletter.

Since the last newsletter, we have enjoyed meeting Suzy Edwards from the Embercombe Community. She came to talk at the second of our four Spring into Summer events and gave us an insight into how the community came into being and the work it is currently engaged in. This includes a number of ‘transformative’ programmes offered to a wide spectrum of organisations from the corporate to disadvantaged young people. They currently have 16 volunteers living in the valley, one of whom is a Michelin chef! Embercombe are currently looking for another member of staff:

Education, Marketing and General Administration Post

Part time position, based Higher Ashton, Nr Exeter.

Embercombe seeks an organised individual to join their small team. The role has three areas: 1) Education: To bring new schools to our programme, maintain relationships, administration and raise funds to support our educational work. 2) Marketing: To support the marketing of our core programmes, The Journey, Catalyst, Wildcraft and Natural Beekeeping. 3) Administration: general support.

Office based. 20 hours per week. Salary £10,000. For full job description visit our website

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to Clare Mann, Embercombe, Higher Ashton Exeter Devon EX6 7QT or email

We have also attended the 21st Tavistock Steam Fair with our Transition Stall – thanks to Don from the Robey Trust for offering the pitch for free. Here we met someone interested in renovating their water wheel – there may be a Water Energy mini-group in the making! Contact Kate if you have interest or expertise in the area – or pop along to Green Drinks and tell us about it. See below for inspiration from a Climate Week Award Winner.

Settle Hydro

The small North Yorkshire town of Settle now has its own source of renewable energy – a 165,000 kW turbine in the river Ribble. Amazingly, the project was conceived and run by two volunteers in their spare time. “One day” says Ann Harding, “we looked at the river and thought we must be able to make energy”. They raised £410,000 from grants, loans and investors (including Take That’s Jason Orange) and went live in December 2009. The electricity is sold to the National Grid, with profits divided between shareholders and community projects. The scheme will save 3,200 tonnes of carbon and has now advised 300 other communities about similar projects.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 14th June: Green Drinks: 7.30 in the Market Inn, Whitchurch Rd, Tavistock. Green Drinks has got very lively of late; looking forward to another buzzy evening! All welcome.

Friday 17th June. Location hunting! – Next energy/food group meeting. Meeting in Bedford Square at 7pm for a walking tour to a) view locations for a community notice-board b) consider sites for the edible traffic barriers in the Bedford car park and c) look for a possible site for growing edibles in a section of the Meadows. If you have any ideas, want to find out more, please join us. You are all welcome to join the tour!

Wednesday 22nd June: Our third Spring into Summer session brings you Crash Course and Life After Growth: two short but very powerful films giving different perspectives on the approaching global challenges sometimes described as ‘Peak Everything.’. The first graphically sets out the rapid approach of a ‘perfect storm;’ the second introduces us to some endearing and extraordinary individuals who have made radical changes to their lifestyles. 7pm for 7.30 at the United Reformed Church, Russell St, Tavistock. Entry by donation; refreshments available.

Wednesday 29th June: Following the inspiring talk she gave for us ,Jenny Tunley-Price has invited Transitioners to a relaxed evening looking round the walled gardens at Maristow ( from 18:30. Please let Kate know if you intend to come/car-share, on 07969 569 444.

There will be another excuse to visit the walled gardens at Maristow on Tuesday 12th July, when the next GrowTaVi meeting will be held there between 2 and 4 pm. Ring Max at WestDen on 01822 618 715 for further details.

Wednesday 27th July: In Transition: a thought-provoking, and at times moving film, showing a year in the life of the Transition movement around the globe: 7pm for 7.30 at the United Reformed Church, Russell St, Tavistock. Entry by donation; refreshments available. Like Transition itself, the film is suitable for all ages. Our final Spring into Summer Session.

Transport Possibilities.

Powered by 38,000 photovoltaic cells, the Turanor Planetsolar (below left) is currently circumnavigating the globe. You can follow its progress on

The Solar Impulse single-seater prototype solar-powered plane has embarked on its first international journey on 13th May 2011. The Swiss team said the flight from a small airfield in Switzerland, across France, Luxembourg and Belgium, would pose a challenge as it required navigation across international air traffic networks. In 2010 the plane completed a 26-hour non-stop flight that proved the plane could stay flying at night with the energy that its solar cells received during the day.

A dual-mode vehicle (DMV) that looks like a minibus and runs both on

conventional railway tracks and paved roads was tested on the Gakunan

railway in Fuji city (Shizuoka prefecture) in 2006. The 28-passenger test

vehicle was developed by the Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido)

in a project that began in 2000.


All of the above show what is possible but are there any local practical applications?

Well, the dual mode vehicle would seem a possible solution to the rail link proposed under the West Devon core strategy but are you aware of any other options? If so, we could present alternative options for the Tavistock Plan which could feed into the further outworking of the Core Strategy. Please send your ideas for a future newsletter.


The item below is taken from the current Transition Network newsletter. Visit the Network at – there you will find information, entertainment and links galore.

The Woodland Trust is offering free trees for communities to plant in their neighbourhoods in order to double the number of native trees in the UK.

We’re big fans of this fantastic offer and encourage you to participate whole-heartedly. As well as being a practical and affordable way to support native tree numbers, tree planting days are great fun for all ages and good community building events.

If you would like further information you can email the community tree team at the Woodland Trust.

Transition Montpelier have planted trees in front of a local Kwik-Fit garage, a church where advertising hordings used to be and many other places as part of their Urban Greening Group’s urban redevelopment activities in the centre of Bristol. The offer also enabled them to give fruit trees to local residents with gardens, helping the whole neighbourhood with food resilience.

Since this offer began last autumn, more than 1,500 communities have benefited so far from free trees. Many of these have been Transition Initiatives, unsurprisingly, as we recognise the vital role trees play as a sustainable source of local food and carbon storage, as well as planting being a fun activity that brings people together.

The Woodland Trust has a further 3,500 packs to give away from this autumn through to spring and autumn 2012. If you’re feeling unsure about how to proceed they also have a network of tree planting champions who can help. They also provide support to towns looking to plant woodland.

We recommend that you apply. Get some trees booked in now for winter planting!

You can receive a pack this November (or can register for delivery in 2012) by visiting The Woodland Trust Community Tree page.

If you would like further information you can email the community tree team at the Woodland Trust.

Finally, our link of the month is ‘Third sector foresight’ for those in the community sector who are interested in future trends (or who plan to watch Crash Course on 22 June, see Diary above) otherwise known as ‘spotting the storms before they hit.’ And that’s what Transition is all about – isn’t it?

Please contact if you have any comments or contributions for the Newsletter.