Category Archives: Events/Meetings

Unlocking the Power of Community – Energy Fair 2016

Unlocking the Power of Community is the theme for our annual energy fair on Saturday October 15th which will take place in Local Matters community space in Elbow Lane, Tavistock, from 10:00 until 15:00.

This is very apt as we work to complete our Community Solar Project to put community owned solar panels on a number of roofs across the area. These solar roofs enable our host sites to reduce their energy costs and be renewable generators. Any surplus is used to support fuel poverty and energy advice locally.

The local community has come together to raise £110,000 to finance part of the project and we’ll be launching a community share offer later in the year.

Our energy fair will be bringing together local leading local renewable energy suppliers, retrofit specialists and community energy and environmental groups from across Devon and Cornwall including New Generation Energy, The Fell Partnership, Mike Wye (natural building products), Sungift and ZLC Energy and The Utility Warehouse.

Please come along, find out more about what we’re doing at Local Matters, talk to our exhibitors and learn about Tamar Energy Community’s first community financed project.

Call or email us for more information. Email or call 07969 569 444.


Climate Matters – Sat 30th Jan 2016

Does climate change matter to the Tavistock area? We think so! …

And so did others locally who came and joined us in the Guide Hall, Tavistock today, Saturday 30th Jan. 2016 between 11:00 and 13:00.

We had an open meeting to share ideas and link up local actions on climate change.

We discussed what’s already going on and what else we might do.
There was a lot of interest in learning, influencing, practical action and connecting with others.

We’ll publish a summary shortly, and some suggestions for meeting up again.

Thanks to everyone who came along and participated, to the folks who arranged it and helped make it happen … and to the Tavistock Times for their support.

Saturday 30th January, 11am to 1pm, 

Guide Hall, Tavistock, PL19 8AT (corner of Canal Road and Bedford Car Park)
Download a poster here.

If you have any questions, ideas, would like to get involved please email


In Transition 2.0 – The Movie

Interested in what other community groups are doing across the UK and the rest of the world? Come along and socialisebe inspired, and kick some ideas around with us about what you’d like to see Transition Tavistock doing.over the next few years.

In Transition 2

Join us at the United Reformed Church on Saturday afternoonJanuary 17th 2015. Doors open 14:00. Film 14:30 to 15:30. Discussion: 15:30 to 17:00

Its been a while since we’ve invited you to join us for a film and discussion. We’re showing ‘In Transition 2’ followed by an open discussion.
Suitable for all the family.
Tea, coffee and delicious cake available.
Entrance by donation (to help cover the costs of the venue!)
Register here (it’ll give us an idea of numbers) or just come along on the day.Download the poster here.

Check out for more details closer to the date … or email ( or call us (07969-569-444).

“In Transition 2.0: Gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food everywhere, localising their economies and setting up community power stations. It’s … about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism.
In a world that is awash with gloom, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places.”



Small Business Saturday in Tavistock

We celebrated Small Business Saturday (6th December) in Tavistock with a stall outside the pannier market. Organised by Transition Tavistock and Totally Locally Tavistock, and supported by FSB, we put on a display and promoted small business across Tavistock and its parishes. It was also an opportunity to promote the Tavistock and District Local Economic Blueprint.

small business saturday group


We met up with Geoffrey Cox MP, David Shepherd and Simon Earland from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Lisa Piper (Tavistock BID) and Richard Searight (Peninsula Rail Group).

It was a great chance to pilot our Blueprint questionnaire.
If you’re involved in the local supply chains for food and drink, retrofit or local energy generation … or would like to be … or you’re a consumer who’d like to have a say then get in touch (; 07969569444).

Energy Savers at Home

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th January 2014 between 10:00 and 16:00 there will be a chance to visit a variety of households across Tavistock and its villages. Come and see what steps householders have taken to reduce their energy consumption and/or begin generating their own!
Have a chat about the costs and benefits, and consider how measures might work in your home.
There will also be bus tours of some of the households available on both days. Booking is advised for the bus tours.

The open homes weekend will be followed by an Eco Fair at Tavistock College on Saturday January 25th (10:00 to 16:00). An opportunity to speak to specialists about energy conservation and reduction. The college will also be celebrating the launch of its Solar Schools campaign.
Interested in exhibiting at and/or sponsoring these events?

We’d also like to hear from householders willing to share with others how they are saving energy at home! Call or email Kate Royston, Transition Tavistock (07969 569444).

A similar event ran in 2012.

Breaking News … Introducing a new Producer Market … and more …

Tamar Grow Local, Tavistock College and Transition Tavistock are working together to introduce you to Tavistock’s newest producer market together with inspiring presentations and discussions.
Where: The Octagon Centre, Tavistock College (Crowndale Road, PL19 8DD)
When: Thursday Feb 7th – 18:45 to 22:00
Cost: No fixed charge although donations will be welcomed!
Refreshments: Drinks and home made cakes and biscuits!
Please join us!
Highlights will include:
• A chance to browse or shop at Tamar Grow Local’s (TGL) Producer market

• Meet local food producers
• Learn more about what buying locally can mean for you and your family
• Launch of TGL’s new buying group … see how you could benefit … and a chance to sign up!
• An opportunity to have a go at food mapping – see just how many local growers and producers there are around Tavistock and the valley! Who have we missed?
• Want to grow and got no space? Find out how
• Tavistock College goes Incredible Edible
• Find out what’s happening and how you can help
• Transition Tavistock’s successes in 2012 and where we’re heading in 2013
• Working to make Tavistock a resilient community (energy, food, transport, enterprise)

Please bring along your friends and neighbours. The flyer can be downloaded here – please share with anyone who you think might be interested! We look forward to seeing you there!

Find out more about the local producers and the programme for the evening here

Transition Tavistock AGM
The 2013 AGM will take place at the Octagon Centre at Tavistock College on Thursday 7th February 2013 from 6.45 pm. We anticipate these formalities to be very short and sweet!
Members are allowed to vote. To become a member, or renew membership just pay £1 membership on the door.

6.45 pm on 7th February 2013 Tavistock College
1. Apologies
2. Minutes of AGM of 9.2.12
3. Matters Arising
4. Annual Report
5. Accounts
6. Election of Committee Members
7. Any Other Business
8. Date of next AGM

We will also have copies of the new Transition Free Press for sale (see later article).

We are still looking for a Secretary – if anyone is interested in this position, please contact for further details. It’s a volunteer position requiring just a few hours each month.
Also we would like to hear from anyone who could sponsor the copying of our newsletter for those on the mailing list who do not have access to the Internet. Maximum 100 pages copying per month.

Grow Tavi – Tues 4th December

Grow Tavi is back again – Tuesday 4th December – at Wonnacott Farm, Lewdown – Hosted by Rosie and Paul Yells
All welcome – 12:30 to 15:00 – turkey sandwiches and mince pies.
Producer stall with local produce.
Download the flyer here

Outline agenda
Welcome and Introductions
Introduction to Winter and Seasonal produce and initiatives – Simon Platten, Tamar Grow Local
Tamar Grow Local’s Buying Group initiative – would you like to join?
Wonnacott Farm – presentation and walk around by Rosie and Paul Yells
General discussion – what’s been happening since last GrowTavi – what’s worked, what not … how can we move forward in 2012 and provide mutual support.
Next meeting

Wonnacott Farm is small and traditional, run by the Yells family and tucked away in the Devon countryside (
“We are best known for our traditional Norfolk Black Christmas free-range organic turkeys, but we also produce delicious organic beef from our small herd of South Devon and Aberdeen Angus cattle.
From our flock of Charollais, Roussin and Zwartbles sheep we produce organic lamb and mutton together with three natural colours of organic knitting wool.
We are passionate about producing healthy food in a way that is as sustainable as possible and we aim to reduce food miles by being as self-sufficient as we can. So this inspires us to grow organic oats and other cereals that our livestock enjoy.”

If you think you can make it please drop me a line – or give me a call 07969-569-444.

Hedge event a great success

Our ‘Rediscovering Value from Hedges’ event on Thursday 1st November proved to be a great success! Even the weather was relatively kind, with the cold driven of by a plentiful supply of soup.

Hosted by Beau & Liz Dobson and parents at Stourtown Farm, Sampford Spiney, the event was supported by Dartmoor Circle, the Tamar Valley AONB and Cordiale project, the Silvanus Foundation, the Devon Hedge Group and the Tamar Community Trust … together with TRansition Tavistock.

Picture courtesy of Rob Wolton

We had a chance to learn about stone walling to rebuild a Devon bank, tree felling, laying a hedge, preparing fire wood and what to do with brash!

We also learnt about undertaking farm audits of hedgerows to assess their potential for wood fuel; heard about the Hedge Group volunteers in Cordiale undertaking hedge surveys locally; and how to go about setting up a small community group to work with farmers or land owners to manage a small area for firewood.

Lots of new connections were made … we’ll keep you up to date with the initiatives that result.

Andrew Shadrake, the Chair of Dartmoor Circle, described how people with woodburners could form a community group, and reach a farmer to harvest firewood, from which each would benefit.
Andrew: “The great thing about this initiative is that it can help farmers and people with wood-burners to work together, so they both benefit. It answers the practical questions people have. Farmers are rightly concerned that anyone working on their land is insured, and knows what they are doing, so they do not hurt themselves or, for example, leave gates open. People with wood-burners need to know they are insured, and that they are led by someone who understands how to fell, and lay hedges. Dartmoor Circle’s Woodfuel from Hedgerows Toolkit, gives all the information needed about forming a group, getting insurance, doing a risk assessment and reaching an agreement with a farmer. It even helps people identify different tree species in winter (The toolkit can be downloaded from Dartmoor Circle’s website, at .”
Andrew: “This is the first of our series of woodfuel from hedgerows events, and has set a very high standard for the others to live up to. We are very grateful to Kate Royston and colleagues from Transition Tavistock for organising it together with Simon Bates and Sam Barnes from the Tamar Valley AONB, and to Beau Dobson for hosting the event. I very much hope that now a group of people from the Tavistock area will form a group, which Dartmoor Circle and Transition Tavistock can support, to harvest wood. This will help maintain the unique heritage and biodiversity of Devon hedgerows, while reducing the cost of heating. “

Rob Wolton, Co-Chair, Devon Hedge Group: “The Devon Hedge Group has been very pleased to support the recent hedges and wood fuel event organised at Sampford Spiney, with funding provided to us by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Devon County Council and others. The group believes that managing hedges to produce a wood fuel crop is a good way of ensuring that our magnificent hedgerow heritage survives for future generations. Hedge laying or coppicing is an essential part of the management of all hedges, to keep them healthy, yet far too few are being rejuvenated this way and we are slowly but surely losing them. Laying and coppicing are usually thought of as uneconomic activities, being expensive and time-consuming. Yet recent research commissioned by the Tamar Valley and Blackdown Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty has shown that hedges can be coppiced to produce a wood fuel crop in a very cost-effective manner – producing energy at half the price or less of buying in gas or oil. Done properly, management for fuel will benefit the hedges and their wildlife, help them to survive into the future, and result in a very green and sustainable form of energy. So the Devon Hedge Group is delighted that Transition Tavistock is exploring ways, with landowners and local communities, to make this become a reality. The Group is a forum of organisations and individuals interested in working together to promote the appreciation and conservation of hedges found across the county – for more information, please see”

Pictures courtesy of Rob Wolton

Rediscovering the value in hedges – Hedge event 1st November

Stourtown Farm provides an outstanding example of hedges ‘farmed’ for their income and biodiversity resource.

A Devon Hedge week event on Thurs. 1st November 2012
at Stourtown Farm, Sampford Spiney, PL20 6LD
Farmers, landowners, community groups and people with woodburners can all work together to manage hedges as a good source of firewood and income! You can save hedge-trimming time, harvest firewood, help wildlife and keep fit.
Come and find out more!

This is a free drop in event between 10:00 and 16:00. The programme for the day can be found below.
If you’re thinking of coming along you can always let us know! Email or call on 01822-835819 or 07969-569-444.
Download the flyer and programme here

Homemade soup, hot drinks and cakes available through the day.
No dogs please! And we recommend wellies or walking boots if possible

The day will include:
o Hedge cutting and laying
o Wood fuel preparation
o Hedge surveying
o Hedge planting and stone walling techniques

Farmerslearn more about:
o How much income wood sales can generate
o Improving hedgerow management
o Latest advice & research on the benefits of field boundaries
o Hedge management practices in France
o Hedge management for income in action
o New tools to estimate hedge woodfuel potential
o Different types of hedges and management

Wood Fuel Userslearn more about:
o How to prepare wood for fuel
o Forming a small community group to ‘farm’ your own wood
o Starter kits and support available
o Different types of wood and their burning properties

Enthusiastslearn more about:
o The value of hedges as a biodiversity, cultural, landscape and historical resource
o How to recognise hedge types and species

The programme with the timing of events through the day:
Setting the scene: find out more about community woodfuel groups, woodfuel farm audits, hedgerow management practices and the biodiversity and historic value of our historic hedges. Talk to our experts, look at wood samples and browse our displays
Demonstration sessions: experience hedge laying, felling, cutting and planting methods and hedgebank building and restoration at close quarters. Take part in hedge surveys and wood fuel audits

Lunch: soup, rolls, cake and hot drinks will be available in the gazebo (donations appreciated). Take another opportunity to talk to our experts over lunch!

Setting the scene: find out more about community woodfuel groups, woodfuel farm audits, hedgerow management practices and the biodiversity and historic value of our historic hedges. Talk to our experts, look at wood samples and browse our displays
Demonstration sessions: experience hedge laying, felling, cutting and planting methods and hedgebank building and restoration at close quarters. Take part in hedge surveys and wood fuel audits

A partnership event between Dartmoor Circle, the Cordiale project* (Tamar Valley AONB) and Silvanus Trust hosted by Transition Tavistock and Stourtown Farm.

* Cordiale was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF