Category Archives: TT Newsletters

October Newsletter

Welcome to the October newsletter from Transition Tavistock.

Contents:

Ron Meredith and Diana Lee offer one-day courses in seed saving, rainwater harvesting, wildlife gardening, medicinal herbs, growing organic veg, raised no-dig beds, polytunnels for year-round growing, and creating and maintaining a mixed fruit orchard – and a two-day course in forest gardening.  They can be contacted on 01409 2544 for the 2012 programme.  Maybe it’s time to get serious about growing your own?

Good news if you plan to install solar thermal, ground source heat pump, biomass boiler or air source heat pump.  ‘Premium payments’ from the government are now available if the equipment is installed by March 31 (various conditions apply).  Further details from www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/RHPP

You may be aware that new LED lights offer advantages over the usual energy-saving type, including a brighter, faster light and longer-life bulbs.  These are now available at the Wednesday market in Tavistock from the Pure Vision stall.

Transition Tavistock FOOD AND ENERGY GROUP:  Meeting Tues 1st November at 19:30

We’ll be meeting at Mike and Jenny’s house (
49 Milton Crescent

, Tavistock) on Tuesday 1st November at 19:30.

If you’re interested in progressing community based food and energy initiatives in Tavistock and surrounding villages do come and join us!

If you can’t make it but have ideas to share please let me know, or if you’d like to have a chat please get in touch: Kate Royston at kate.royston@robbeesmole.com (01822-835819) or Mike Dennis 0n 01822-618142).

 Transition Stories: Sharing ‘Knowhow’

We’re finding exchanging good ideas and experiences is a great way for us to learn and grow more confident. We’ve decided to start collecting them together. If you’d like to share your experiences of renewable energy, energy saving schemes, saving water and other resources, growing things and making things from ‘our own back yard’ … let us know!

You can put your story in our newsletter, on the website and in our growing storybook

… and we’ll be developing ‘Open House’ type events so you can show others how you did it!

Contact Kate or Mike (numbers above).

Wondrously Recycled … TT’s 2011 Christmas Tree Festival Theme

We are creating a sustainably decorated tree, using only recycled materials i.e. materials which have already been used at least once before! Our decorations will be simple, inexpensive and we hope, wondrously inspiring! The tree lights are pedal powered!

The tree will be on show as part of the friends of St Eustachius’ Christmas Tree Festival between the 25th November and 4th December 2011.

‘Wondrously Recycled’ and ‘Naturally Beautiful’ Christmas tree decoration making workshop – Sun. 13th November from 14:00 until 17:30 – Friends Meeting House. Children and families welcome.

We’re holding a workshop to make decorations for this year’s tree … and will also be demonstrating … for those interested … our ‘Naturally Beautiful’ decorations from last year. Everyone welcome to come along and have a go! Please bring interesting objects … already used once … which could be made wondrous!!!

This will be at the Friends Meeting House (at Bedford car park entrance near library) on Sunday Nov. 13th from 14:00 until 17:30. Refreshments will be available. Children and families welcome.

For further information contact Kate Royston at kate.royston@robbeesmole.com (01822-835819)

‘The Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking’

This is true for certain areas of Antarctica – and, intriguingly, it actually gives us more evidence for global warming. Increased evaporation caused by higher temperatures has led to more snowfall in some parts of Antarctica, and thus thicker ice cover in these areas (usually inland). Closer to the sea (which is warming faster than the air) the ice is retreating.

‘Climate change has good effects, not just bad ones!’

True – up to a point. Warmer winters in some countries will mean fewer people die from cold. Increased temperatures have made it easier to grow crops in some regions. Sadly, these small pockets of positive effects are hugely outweighed by the negative ones. We have built almost all our settlements in places that are comfortable and fertile in our current climate, and our ways of growing food are carefully adapted to the weather we’ve been used to for thousands of years. Rapid changes in the Earth’s climate are already starting to throw this out of kilter – hence increasing deaths from storms, floods and famines. Even if climate change makes some places more comfortable to humans, do we expect everyone to migrate to the limited number of places where this is so?

‘Climate change is a problem, but there are bigger problems that we need to tackle first’

This argument offers a false choice – we can (and should) tackle the problems of climate change, poverty, healthcare etc all at the same time. Many of these problems have the same root causes – the relentless pursuit of profit and economic growth over people’s real needs – so it makes sense to work on them all together.

Climate change is making many of the world’s problems much worse – Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum found that climate change threatens all eight of the Millennium Development Goals and is making it much harder to tackle global poverty and disease. Any progress we make in these areas will be swept away by climate change, unless we act to prevent its worst effects.

‘We can’t trust the computer models’

While the ‘big picture’ climate change predictions (increased temperatures, more evaporation, melting ice caps and rising seas) are based on observed results and the prehistoric record, the more detailed projections (how much climate change, where, and by when) are based on computer models. These models are constantly checked and improved, and tested against real-life scenarios to make sure they’re as accurate as possible, but there are always going to be some uncertainties. This is why climate scientists talk in terms of probabilities and risks; no-one knows all the details of what’s going to happen as the climate changes, but these models can show us the most likely trends and give us some useful indications and warnings.

Some use this uncertainty to argue against taking action to tackle climate change and spending money on climate solutions, saying that it might not be as bad as we think. The problem with this argument is that we do know it’s going to be bad. We know because it’s already bad – people are suffering in floods and droughts, we’re losing species left, right and centre, and over 300,000 people are dying every year as a result of climate change. We don’t need the models to tell us that if we keep on pumping out the polluting gases that caused this mess, things are going to keep getting worse.

Extracts with permission from The New Internationalist, with thanks to Mike Dennis

Tuesday October 11th: Green Drinks: at the Market Inn, Whitchurch Rd, 7.30pm on.  All welcome to have a drink, a chat and share sustainability talk!

Monday October 17th, 2 – 4 pm at the Wharf, Canal Rd, Tavistock PL19 8AT: TaVi Network Open Forum meeting to shape the direction of this newly formed community organisation.  For more information contact Max Laithwaite on contact@westden.org.uk or 0845 345 5077.

Thursday 20th October, 7 – 9 pm at West Devon Borough Council Offices, Kilworthy Pk, Drake Rd, Tavistock PL19 0BZ: TaVi Network Open Forum meeting to shape the direction of this newly formed community organisation.  For more information contact Max Laithwaite on contact@westden.org.uk or 0845 345 5077.

Saturday October 22nd: Apple Pressing and Juice Bottling at Wonnacott Farm.  Following last year’s pasteurising and bottling of the most delicious apple juice in the kitchen of their organic farm, Rosie and Paul Yells have invited us back again.   If you would like to come, please contact Mike Dennis on mikedennis_uk@yahoo.co.uk by 15th October.  If you have bottles and stoppers from last year, please let Mike know – this apple juice keeps and Rosie will be buying in new bottles and stoppers as required.  A small charge will be made to cover expenses.

Friday 4th November: Devon Renaissance Event:  Bicton House, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7BY.             Key speaker Michael Caines MBE.  The all day event will be introduced by our key speaker the local celebrity chef; Michael Caines MBE. The jam-packed day includes a live streamed debate ‘Are we making the most of our resources?’ On the debating panel is Professor Michael Winter, the Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter. Michael has carried out much work around the very current topic of food security. He will be joined by other leading figures from the renewable energy, farming and food sectors and we are presently awaiting the response of a top rural Government Minister. As well as a mouth watering local food lunch there will be several presentations and numerous displays from local renewable energy, farming and food businesses demonstrating what is happening on the ground. What promises to be a lively, informative and thought provoking day will feed into the Local Economic Partnership and will culminate with the chance of a tractor and trailer tour of the nearby Bicton EaRTH Centre a renewable energy training centre and sustainable building that is currently under construction.  Contact Admin@ruraldevon.org for further details.

Saturday 10th March 2012: Treasure in the Field – Spiritual Capital and Sustainable Living.                We are spending the natural capital on which our children depend – not to mention the other species in our trust. Whether oil, metal, water or nutrients, it’s time to “leave it in the ground” and become treasurers , not consumers, of the earth. That requires investing in the source of ultimate value; spiritual capital. The annual conference of Christian Ecology Link in 2010 will explore alternative, sustainable ways of living that will heal our ravaged world. Workshops will focus on economics without growth on a finite planet; consumer detox; eco-growing and more. The conference will be held at St Michaels, Stoke Gifford (by Bristol Parkway station). It will be led by Jonathon Porritt and Tim Gorringe (from Exeter University).  Cost only £10.

Our growing book of community stories

September Supplement

There was so much to say, we couldn’t fit it all into our September newsletter – so welcome to Transition Tavistock’s September Supplement!

Transition Tavistock FOOD AND ENERGY GROUP:  Mini-Workshop meeting Sat 24th September at 15:00

We’ll be meeting at The Friends Meeting House, Canal Road by Bedford car park (PL19 8AR) on Saturday 24th September at 15:00. 

Peter Smith will be sharing lessons and stories from a Transition Chelmsford conference he is attending earlier in the week.

Two other important topics will be:

2011 Transition Tavistock Christmas tree. Our entry details need to be firmed up by 30th September. Focus is likely to be on decorations made from recycled materials. Bring along some materials and ideas and we can have a go. It’s also been proposed that we ‘throw open the doors’ and hold a workshop in early November for anyone interested to come along and see how we made our decorations last year and  to make our decorations for this year as a community effort. The tree will also have pedal power.

TT Community Stories. Collecting together our initial stories for the Renewables and energy saving experiences … and ‘Out of Own My Back Yard (OOOBY)’ Experiences. We will be discussing a few of these, seeing what questions arise and what extra information might be useful, and publishing them. The draft is on the website. We will be using these to build a Renewables and Energy saving Trail … ala Open Gardens … and discuss whether this would also be useful for OOOBY.

The Garden Share scheme proved to be one of the most talked about topics at the Community Day. We will have a short discussion on this. There is also great interest in mini-hydro power generation and harnessing heat through water. We’d like to hear from anyone interested, or having expertise in these areas.

If you can’t make it but have ideas to share please let me know, or if you’d like to have a chat please get in touch: Kate Royston at kate.royston@robbeesmole.com (01822-835819)

Talk: Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq

Greg Muttitt, author of Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, is coming to speak in the Rundle Room in Tavistock Town Hall on Tuesday October 4th at 7.30pm. He is an excellent and well informed speaker. The title of his talk will be: ‘Oil and War in Iraq and Libya: A Secret History’. PLEASE COME AND BRING AS MANY FRIENDS AS YOU CAN. There is disabled access.  See attached flyer

Situations Vacant – Transition Tavistock looking for young people and students

We’d love to hear from any of you from the ‘younger generation’ who would like to join us and help us develop our social media skills in relation to involving  young people … and at the same time have an opportunity to contribute and develop your own skills and cv.   Please get in touch with Kate Royston at kate.royston@robbeesmole.com (01822-835819) or Chris Simpson at transitiontavistock@googlemail.com  or 01822 614 917.

Come and join the open meetings for the TaVi Network

The newly formed TaVi Network community organisation will be holding 2 meetings on 17 and 20 October – see attached flyer

Community Litter Clearing

For all those interested this event will be taking place on Oct 1st at 10 am in the environs of Tavistock Community Primary School: meet at 10 am; equipment will be provided.  Further details from Jane Miller at elizabeth.miller123@btinternet.com or 01822 614 821.

WHAT’S YOUR PASSION?: Autumn into Spring Sessions

We need a programme for the Autumn into Spring Sessions. A mix of inspiring speakers, films, debate! So over to you … WHAT’S YOUR PASSION? Something you’re passionate about you’d like to share? We can help you put an event together. Or just let us know what you’d like to come and see!

Suggestions so far include:

             How to live well using less energy!

             Practical information on growing your own

             Permaculture … and food security

             Lessons to be learnt from other Transition groups in the South West

             Transport

             Tavistock campaign to eliminate plastic bags

Please let us know.

Tavistock Community Notice board

Would you like to have a notice board in the centre of town where you can see what’s going on, add messages if you have something to buy, sell, give away, if you’d like advice … etc ?

What sort of things would you like to know about?

What sort of things would you like to share with others?

Please let us know.

Transition Stories: Sharing ‘Knowhow’

We’re finding exchanging good ideas and experiences is a great way for us to learn and grow more confident. We’ve decided to start collecting them together. If you’d like to share your experiences of renewable energy, energy saving schemes, saving water and other resources, growing things and making things from ‘our own back yard’ … let us know!

You can put your story in our newsletter, on the website and in our growing storybook

… and we’ll be developing ‘Open House’ type events so you can show others how you did it!

Up and Coming Events

Devon Car Free Day

22nd September

September Food and Energy Group Workshop Meeting

Venue: The Wharf on Saturday 24th September, 15:00

Community Litter Clearing

Oct 1st at 10 am in the environs of Tavistock Community Primary School

Talk: Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq

Venue: Rundle Room in Tavistock Town Hall on Tuesday October 4th at 19.30pm

October Green Drinks

Venue: Market Inn, Tavistock on Tuesday, 11th October: 19:30-21:30

And every 2nd Tuesday of the month

TaVi Network Open Meetings

October 17th and 20th

Christmas Tree decoration workshop

Join us making beautiful decorations from natural & recycled materials on a ‘shoestring’!

November 2011 – further details to be announced

Autumn into Spring Sessions

To be announced

Renewables and energy saving ‘Open house’

Come and visit examples of renewable energy and energy saving schemes in the local area

Further details to be announced

Spring ‘Open Space’ workshop

Come and share your vision on the future shape of Tavistock in 2030 and beyond!

April 2012 – further details to be announced – let us know if you’d like to help organise this!

September Newsletter

Welcome to the September edition of Transition Tavistock’s Newsletter – and hope to see you at Green Drinks this Tuesday 13th!


We were warmly received by all at the Tavistock Community Day where we hosted a joint stand with TaVi Network and the Senior Council for Devon. Collaborating in this way meant that the work was shared and the end result was more than its component parts. Working together was by way of piloting a closer relationship with other organisations with similar aims and objectives as Transition Tavistock and it went very well. We will be looking at partnering up again for future events where we can share the work to remove duplication, increase efficiency and promote cohesion.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what you can recycle via the kerbside collection, particularly when it comes to different types of plastic.  Kate Arabian from Devon County Council has provided this handy clarification:

Plastic items tend to be bulky, lightweight and made from a variety of different types so it is often a very difficult and costly item to collect from householders.  The reason we are now able to collect plastic bottles is that we have renewed our waste contract and procured new vehicles that will have the capacity to take these bottles.  Also, there is a market for recyclable products made from this kind of plastic, unfortunately the other types of plastic are not so equitable by the time we collect, process and transport.

You can take other plastics to Crowndale Recycling Centre in Tavistock.  Here is a link to a webpage where you can find a list of recyclables Devon County Council take at their Recycling Centres http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/environmentplanning/recycling/recycling_centres/crowndale.htm

Our contractor, Focsa Services Ltd, offer a recycling kerbside sorting collection service where the crews are instructed to collect and sort into the vehicle at the kerbside.  In order to assist the crew you can carry on sorting your own recyclables.

Last week a cousin of mine sent me a leaflet with the dramatic headline “Wake Up! – UK!” and the strap line “to safeguard your Human Rights, Health Choice, Natural Foods, Cultural Heritage & the Environment.” It was a call for signatures against the EU ban of thousands of natural foods, herbs, products & supplements. The deadline passed way back in April but the campaign lives on as “The Nation Speaks – Not in My  Name”..

Visiting their website here – http://www.joininghandsinhealth.com/#SIGNPETITION it explains all. Not exactly part of Transition but to quote their own text – “It aims to encourage everyone back to a more natural way of life, and to also take responsibility for their own health.” which appears on this site http://www.grammasintl.com/html/campaigns/jhih.asp You soon realise that it is sponsored by Gramma’s, a natural health food manufacturer, but the aims are sound.

A few days ago our regular newsletter from Survival Joe included a link to this 3 minute film.  http://survivaljoe.net/blog/year-round-food-growing-system/#more-630  This is Transition taking place in Wisconsin USA. If only we had their sun. The use of compost top heat the greenhouse is a little confusing. They claim it is also their wormery but if it got that hot it would kill the worms. It appears to heat the polytunnel by being piled up against the steel wall below the polythene. It may be that the worms stay on the cooler surface .. but heavy rainfall might stop the composting unless it’s all covered.   Any ideas on this?

The only compost that gets hot enough to have any useful heat is that from horses. Because their digestion is not very efficient, they pass out a lot of undigested grass that will still compost very well and creates loads of heat. Those that have visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan may remember that the Pineapple House was heated this way. When those gardens were built horse manure was the only waste product from the most common and truly carbon neutral transport.

Does anyone recognise the crop growing in trays that is being loaded into the van? Could it be barley grass?      (Adrian)

Are you a keen gardener but with nowhere to grow your food? Have you got a large garden that you would like to share with someone else? If you have answered “yes” to either of these questions then perhaps our GardenShare project would be right for you? The idea is for like-minded people to come together to build social connections by sharing a garden, growing some veg and splitting the produce. Each GardenShare can be different. With allotment waiting lists as long as two years, this is a great way to make the most of the land we have. The project aims to match gardeners with garden owners to create mutually beneficial growing areas.

Interest in the GardenShare project has begun to grow again and we feel it is time to put some of energies into getting this wonderful idea going again in Tavistock. Plenty of the early leg-work has been done. It now needs a core group of individuals to push the project beyond the starting line. If you would be interested in helping us achieve this, then please contact Max on maximlaithwaite@gmail.com or 07899 960221.

Our Solar Water-heating Panel, One Year On …



In 2010 we bought a Solartwin hot water panel. It was the ingenious design and the thoughts behind its construction helped us choose SolarTwin.  It’s made in the UK with most components also sourced in the UK. The aluminium extrusions that make up the frame came from Scandinavia because the smelting plant and factory is powered by hydro-electric power, so reducing its carbon footprint.

Its design, using silicon rubber pipes, means freezing in winter isn’t a problem. There is no antifreeze in the system so no repeated top-up or replacement. In fact the water running through the panel is the same that comes out of the taps. The pump and control system are all powered by its own PV panel, it runs completely off-grid and requires no maintenance except perhaps wiping clear of leaves etc every few years.

Since English sunshine is not that reliable, we use a back up immersion heater to top up if the weather is cloudy. The time switch allows this to come one for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. An immersion heater is the most efficient way of heating water with electricity. The elements are completely surrounded by water so there can be no loss from heat escaping before it gets to the water. If the water in the tank is hotter than the immersion heater thermostat, then it won’t switch on.

The panel supplies all the hot water in the house, from hand washing and dishwashing, to showers and baths. We don’t have a dishwasher and the clothes washing machine has its own heater.

We get all our electricity from Good Energy who promise that 100% of their supply is from renewables, either wind power, hydroelectric or tidal. It is Good Energy that own the Delabole wind farm and recently replaced several old turbines with newer larger ones. They buy in hydroelectric from other generating companies in the UK: possibly even that at Mary Tavy.

We were aware that we would be paying a premium for 100% renewable supply but gambled on Good Energy holding their prices when other companies are forced to raise their prices in line with rising oil and coal prices. I tried getting a comparison from Uswitch website but without success.

One useful thing about bills from Good Energy is that each shows a comparison with the same period a year earlier. Unfortunately my filing system has failed me and I can only find the last 3 quarters but these are very interesting. The first bill is from February this year and is the highest because it includes Christmas when there are usually about 10 people here for a week, so heaters and electric showers get used. Normally electricity is just for light and cooking. The central heating is only on for that Xmas week/fortnight and we use wood fuel for the rest of the year.

The figures:-

·         Initial cost of panel £2700 to include fitting kit, PV panel pump and control systems. Fitting cost about £500 so a total of about £3300.

·         Average daily power – consumption during 3 mths to Feb 2010 was 24.9 kWh/day.

·          After fitting the panel – consumption during 3 mths to Feb 2011 was 17.3 kWh/day.

·         Reduction of 30%

·         Average daily power – consumption during 3 mths to May 2010 was 24.9 kWh/day.

·         After fitting the panel – consumption during 3 mths to May 2011 was 13.6 kWh/day.

·         Reduction of 45%

·         Average daily power – consumption during 3 mths to Aug 2010 was 16.3 kWh/day.After fitting the panel – consumption during 3 mths to Aug 2011 was 12.3 kWh/day.

·         Reduction of 24.5%.

Maintenance costs over this time = zero.

To do a cost comparison is not easy because the bills use a mix of actual and estimated figures during those quarters which will have been corrected for following quarters. The average power usage should not vary as much but a truer comparison could be made over subsequent years.

Current cost of electricity from Good Energy is 14.22p per kWh. Using the latest prices and the last quarter’s average works out at £1.84/day including their standing charge of 9p/day. A 30 day month would cost us £55.20

During these periods we have still been replacing a few remaining incandescent bulbs but the bulk of the saving must be because of the panel. Our usage will not have changed that much. Using cold water for short washes or soaking dishes will have made only a small saving.

Our plans are to generate some of our own electricity but because of the amount used/wasted in the losses within the national grid, we would prefer to use any we generate on-site; but then storage becomes a problem.

(Adrian)

Links of the Month: Click on these!

http://transitionvoice.com/

http://www.transitionnetwork.org/

http://transitionculture.org/

http://transitionus.org/home

and an interesting article written from the Post Carbon Institute by Eric Curren:

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-07-08/voluntary-poverty-it-could-save-your-life-its-hard-sell

Green Drinks 13th September from 7.30 to 9.30 at the Market Inn, Whitchurch Rd, Tavistock; all welcome on the second Tuesday of every month.

Devon Car Free Day 22nd September

The aim of the day is to get people to leave their cars at home, explore other options of getting to work and reduce their carbon footprint.  Hopefully, the day will help everyone that takes part to see how alternatives to the car can save money, benefit their health and help to cut congestion in Devon.

Last year, people travelled using everything from scooters to skateboards, penny farthings and fold up bikes to collapsible canoes and sack trucks, as well as the more traditional alternatives such as walking, cycling or using the bus or train.  A team of four from the Environment Agency pushed a colleague in a recycled bath on wheels almost four miles to the offices in Exminster, and pupils at Hazeldown Primary school in Teignmouth made a ‘chinese dragon’ walking bus.

August Newsletter

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s latest newsletter

August 2011


1.   Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!

September’s Green Drinks is on Tuesday 13th September between 19.30 and 21.30 at the Market Inn, Tavistock (PL19 9BB). Come along if you’d like to chat and share views with other like minded folk concerned for our environment and sustainability.

Green Drinks is a global phenomena and takes place in Tavistock on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

2.   Transition Tavistock needs a Secretary … and a young and passionate Media team

Do you feel passionate about your local community and improving its resilience for the future? Would you like to help promote local food, more sustainable energy services or just learn and share with others? Do you have a couple of hours a week to keep our administration up to scratch? Or help us understand how to use social media and get our web presence buzzing with activity?

We need a Secretary and passionate Media support as soon as possible. Or perhaps join the Committee, Energy, Food or Edutainment group If you’re able to help please get in touch with Chris on 01822-614917 or Kate on 01822-835819 or email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com.

3.   Welcome to the world of Free Range Kids – an initiative from Sustrans

Sustrans are delighted to announce that their Free Range Kids website is now live as part of their new campaign to bring freedom back to the heart of childhood.

At the Free Range Kids website, you can:

  • Speak out for free range kids by adding your voice to their pledge

  • take their free range quiz for parents

  • find resources and downloads to help children to be more free range

  • join in the debate on blogs and comment pieces

4.   Tavistock Community Day – Come and visit or lend a hand!

We’ll be having an information stall at the Tavistock Community Day, Bedford Square, on September 3rd(10:00 till 16:00).If you’d like to lend a hand please email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or call Max on 01822-612693 or just drop by for a chat.

5.   Gazebo Party a great success!

To celebrate the Summer and practice putting up the newly acquired Transition Tavistock Gazebo, Jackie and Kevin Eadie hosted a Gazebo Party in July. On a Sunday afternoon, with the sun shining, it was a wonderful opportunity to relax for a couple of hours, enjoying the garden and chatting!

6.   ‘In Transition’ –  our last 2011 Spring into Summer session

Many thanks to Chris Simpson for organising the successful ‘Spring into Summer’ sessions. An inspiring programme!

The film ‘In Transition’ – a year in the life of the transition movement across the world – was shown on July 27th. It was well attended and very enjoyable. A thought provoking film it delivered key transition ideas and calls for action without lecturing!

The film was followed by lively discussion. We agreed that an Autumn and Winter series should follow (see next point). A Spring Open Space event to secure wider community involvement was also suggested. We’ll organise this if there’s support. Any thoughts … let us know.

The Transition Network has announced a crowd funding call to support filming for ‘In Transition 2’ (http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2011-08-02/transition-2-film-crowd-funding-call).

7.   Autumn and Winter Edutainment sessions – WHAT’S YOUR PASSION?

We need a programme for the Autumn and Winter Edutainment sessions. Our mini questionnaire after ‘In Transition’ suggested the United Reformed Church was a good and popular venue; and a mix of inspiring speakers and films is preferred.

So over to you … WHAT’S YOUR PASSION?

If there’s something your passionate about that you’d like to share we’ll help you put an event together around the topic. Please let us know.

Suggestions so far include practical information on growing your own, lessons to be learnt from other Transition groups in the South West and how to live well using less energy!

8.   Tamar Grow Local is blossoming

Check out Tamar Grow Local. Blossoming with community schemes. The Harrowbarrow and Metherel orchard scheme launched last week. Inspired? Like to see if yo can get something started with the help of others? Get in touch!

9.   Food and Energy Group overseeing the valley!

Peter and Angie Smith hosted the August Food and Energy meeting at Youlditch, Peter Tavy on August 13th. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the restoration of the Devon Longhouse, which whilst retaining all its character is now also dry, warm, cosy and fuel efficient.  We discussed the trials and tribulations of the restoration process which was supported by Sue Spackman (Tavistock area architect) and Nick Fell (Tavistock area builder); and had an opportunity to have a look at their developing fruit and vegetable growing area and exchange experiences.

A very enjoyable and informative afternoon and early evening with memorable views!

If you’d like to get involved in the group contact Kate Royston (kate.royston@robbeesmole.com).

10.   Affordable organic potatoes! We got together and they’re growing!

The potatoes in our first community scheme, organised by Laura Richards, were very slow to get going due to the dry spell. However we’re told that they look lovely now.  The weeds were fine, but have begun to take over so Laura will be in touch to with participants to arrange a weeding party.

11.   Grow Tavi

The last Grow Tavi was hosted by Jenny Tunley-Price at the Walled Gardens at Maristow on 9th August (http://www.maristowwalledgardens.co.uk/). It included a talk from the Soil Association about the Plymouth Food Initiative (http://www.foodplymouth.org/). This is working to bring together food consumers with food suppliers from the Tamar Valley and around the Plymouth area. This was followed by a tour of the walled garden with Jenny and an opportunity to chat and exchange information.

12.   The Renewables and Energy Saving Trail

Coming soon … The Renewables and Energy Saving Trail … stories of ordinary folk who’ve implemented new and old technologies to improve their homes … who would be happy to share experiences and give others a hand!   If you have stories of your own to share please get in touch.

13.   One Year On … a years PV experience

Following the reports on the completion of the installation of photovoltaic panels on our home last year, I agreed to report on my experiences after a full year of operation.

The total kilowatt hours generated were 3338 kilowatt hours (kwh). Of these, 2712 kwh were exported to the grid.  This means that we used 20% of the energy generated. It revealed to us that we used a significant proportion of our electricity in the evenings so we are still paying electricity bills but our monthly payments  to the utility company has reduced. The indication is that if we were able to store all the electricity generated for later use we would still have more than enough for our needs. There have been lifestyle changes following our examination of how we use the electricity: a) except in exceptional circumstances we only use the washing machine when there is adequate kwh being generated; b) we now tend to cook our main meal at midday rather than in the evening when the sun has moved off the panels; c) we heat the immersion water heater by electricity rather than gas if generating approximately 3kwh for a period of even 10 minutes.

The average daily amount generated is as below:

July

9.7

January

4.5

August

9.5

February

4.0

September

9.7

March

11.7

October

9.0

April

13.4

November

5.5

May

11.0

December

4.9

June

12.9

This makes the point that it is the amount of light with lack of cloud rather than the amount of heat in the sunshine that provides the best results as April produced a higher daily average than the traditional summer months.

I had hoped to indicate the top ten of the individual high generating days but as I was away for parts of May and June , there were a number of weeks that I was only able to calculate an average generation amount. However, of those days that I was able to measure individually, the top days and amounts were:

June 3rd

22.6

April 21st

20.3

April 28th

21.9

Aug 10th

20.1

May 2nd

21.1

April 15th

20.0

April 19th

20.7

April 7th

19.9

April 17th

20.3

April 25th

19.8

Although the reasons for opting for a PV system were not purely financial, a question frequently asked relates to the pay-back period.  I can report that I have received 4 payments from my utility provider amounting to £1586 . This covers the kwh generated and the additional payment for the kwh exported to the grid. On this basis alone, if subsequent years replicate the first year, the pay back period would be 10year and 7 months. However, taking into account reduced usage imported from the grid, (electricity usage was reduced by 30% on the previous year), I estimate that the payback period will be 9 years and 3 months.

There has also been a reduction in gas usage compared to the previous year and part of that reduction will reflect heating water by electric rather than gas on occasions.

The system has performed much as the installer had led me to believe and after one year I have no reservations about the installation benefits. I am always happy to show interested  parties the system and associated figures and can be contacted on mikedennis_uyk@yahoo.co.uk.

Here’s to clear skies (and hopefully sunshine) in the next 12 months. Mike Dennis

14.   Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network up and generating!

An inspiring tale! Could this be a model for Tavistock and area? Let us know what you think!    http://www.wren.uk.com/

15.   Myths Part 1 – about temperature rise

 ‘The world isn’t really warming up’

Figure 1: Global warming since 1850, an average computed from ten different sources. The ‘0’ line is the 1990 – 2000 average temperature Source: Adapted from a graph from www.skepticalscience.com under a CC licence

Figure 1: shows the global air temperature over the last 150 years; the second adds in the ocean temperature since 1950.

So the temperature changes we are feeling on land are small fry (if you’ll pardon the expression) compared to the heating of the oceans. Meanwhile, cyclical weather patterns like El Niño and La Niña move heat back and forth between the oceans and the air in an irregular fashion – a major reason why atmospheric temperatures aren’t rising in a nice neat line. For example, a strong El Niño shifted a lot of heat from the seas into the air in 1998, causing a spike in air temperatures. When temperatures in the following years reverted back, climate deniers started going on about how global warming had ‘stopped’. Of course it hadn’t – it was just that the heat was being stored in the ocean rather than the atmosphere, as Figure 3 clearly shows. The top ten hottest years in recorded human history all happened in the last twelve years, with 2005 and 2010 tied for the hottest ever.

‘The world cooled down between 1940 and 1970’

This isn’t true, but is based on something genuinely interesting. Global warming did plateau for a bit between the 1940s and the 1970s, due to the phenomenon of ‘global dimming’ – a type of industrial pollutant called sulphate aerosols were partially blocking the sun’s rays. This lasted for a while until the ongoing build-up of greenhouse gases – combined, ironically enough, with a reduction in sulphate pollution from power stations – eventually swamped the dimming effect and the temperature began to rise once more. You can see this flattened period on the graph in Figure 1.

‘The temperature data are fixed/flawed/manipulated’

Figure 2 – Total Earth heat content from 1950 Sources: Murphy et al 2009, Domingues et al 2008, graph by skepticalscience.com under a CC licence

 

To somehow tamper with or subvert the data from around 7,000 different measurement stations and satellites, which are processed via three different major organizations with hundreds of staff, would require an utterly fantastic level of conspiracy. Nonetheless, in 2010 a procession of (mostly online) commentators claimed that a series of hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the UK’s University of East Anglia contained evidence of just such a conspiracy (which they imaginatively dubbed ‘Climategate’). Three separate independent enquiries trawled through the emails and found evidence of nothing more than a few scientists occasionally being a bit rude about some of their colleagues, using some unhelpful jargon and having the odd moan about incessant public requests for information. However, there was one useful outcome: much more of the raw temperature data has since been made public, to avoid similar accusations in the future.

‘But it’s cold today…’

Although the average global temperature is rising, that doesn’t mean that everywhere is getting hotter at the same rate. The global climate system is complicated; some places are heating faster than others, and some may even cool down depending on ocean currents and wind patterns.

The difference between climate and weather is important here. Climate change is a gradual, long-term process; weather is about short-term, day-to-day changes due to local patterns of wind, evaporation and ocean currents, and is more unpredictable. A few weeks of cold weather in one location tells us little about long-term global temperature change – that’s why we need all those thousands of temperature measurement stations taking decades’ worth of readings. Those measurements are telling us that every time there’s a bit of unusually cold weather somewhere in the world, it’s being outweighed by many more examples of unusually hot weather elsewhere, and so the overall trend is of a warming planet.

Extracts with permission from The New Internationalist. Mike Dennis

16.   Voluntary poverty!

Here’s a link to an article about voluntary poverty (from the Hepworth’s) that makes an interesting read, as do all the replies after it.

The responses came from a variety of age groups from 30 to 70 and from around the world. Adrian suggests that it’s probably best read in stages as there’ a lot to it.

Sue got the original link from someone she was following on Twitter and Adrian followed it on to the Energy Bulletin, spotting this was part of the Post Carbon Institute here http://www.postcarbon.org/. Founded in 2003 it almost predates the Transition movement in the UK but as Rob Hopkins is a fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, they must have evolved simultaneously on each side of the Atlantic.

The article came from the Transition Voice run by its author Erik Curren. On this website http://transitionvoice.com/2011/07/voluntary-poverty-it-could-save-your-life-but-its-a-hard-sell/ it attracts different comments.

17.   AGM Minutes update

Just to let you know that there were one or two minor changes made to the AGM minutes circulated with the July newsletter. If you’d like to see an updated copy visit www.transitiontavistock.org.uk.

18.   Edible car park traffic pacifiers

We are discussing with West Devon Borough Council about an idea that might help to solve problems in car parks (Riverside and Bedford) with joy riders whilst helping us prmote the concept of edible planting.

The general idea would be to develop trough type planters to run through the middle of parking bays enabling them to still be used and accessed, but preventing racing! In Bedford carpark they must be removable.

Any ideas? What do you think? How tall should they be ? Who could maintain them?

Who could make them? What should be grown in them?

Would you like to lead this project? Would you like to be part of the team?

Let me know! Kate Royston (kate.royston@robbeesmole.com.

Tel: 01822-618715

c/o Tavistock Taskforce


Pixon Lane Trading Estate

Tavistock, PL19 8DH

Transition Tavistock January 2010Newsletter

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s January update

Naturally Beautiful Tree – workshop to follow

You will have already heard of the success of our pedal-powered ‘Naturally Beautiful’ Christmas tree which won second prize at Tavistock’s Tree Festival. It was the brainchild of the Food and Energy Groups – and made possible by a number of inspired members, only some of whom were mentioned by name in our December mailing. Thanks again to all those who contributed their time, ideas, decorations and ingredients to the tree. In the run-up to Christmas 2011 the group plan to offer a workshop in making your own sustainable decorations; sheep farmers take note, these may well include decorations knitted from home-produced yarn!

Transition Tavistock Annual General Meeting

This mailing constitutes formal notice of this year’s AGM. The Agenda is below, together with information about membership of Transition Tavistock, proposed changes to the Constitution, nomination and election of Committee member and how to propose items for discussion at the meeting. We plan to cover the formal proceedings briskly, and then move on to show a film on ‘The Challenge Ahead’ followed by an opportunity for discussion.

AGENDA for the SECOND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of

TRANSITION TAVISTOCK to be held at

7.00 pm on 11th February 2011 at Tavistock United Reformed Church Hall

(You will be notified further if additional items for discussion are proposed)

1. Apologies

2. Minutes of AGM of 17.2.10

3. Matters Arising

4. Annual Report

5. Accounts

6. Amendment to Constitution

7. Election of Committee Members

8. Any Other Business

9. Date of next AGM

MORE INFORMATION

Membership entitles you to vote at AGMs and so help determine how the Organisation develops. Membership currently costs £1 per year (with greater amounts very welcome from those who feel they can afford more) and is open to anyone who lives or works in Tavistock or any of 22 surrounding parishes and who supports the Aims of the Organisation. For those who took out membership at the last AGM, renewal is due at this AGM.

Proposed changes to the Constitution. In order to make the workings of Transition Tavistock more efficient, the current Committee proposes that the Constitution be amended so that a quorum for the Committee is 3 members, and to allow electronic voting by committee members. It is considered that now Transition Tavistock is well established most of the work of the Organisation should be organised and carried out by the Working Groups and it should only be necessary for the Committee to meet the minimum of 4 times per year required by the Constitution. The proposed amendments to the wording of the Constitution will be available at the AGM and can be supplied before then on request.

Nomination and Election of Committee members. All current members of the Committee step down at the AGM (but are eligible for re-election). A new Committee, to include a minimum of 4 Executive Officers (a Coordinator, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and one Executive Officer without portfolio), will be elected. We would particularly welcome nominations for the post of Treasurer. To make a nomination* or to volunteer as a candidate for the committee, please get in touch: Nominations (with the consent of the nominee) must be received in writing (c/o Westden, 20 Plymouth Road, Tavistock, PL19 8AY) by 28th January 2011.

Items for discussion or voting on at the AGM These should be received in writing c/o Westden (see above) by 28th January 2011*.

*Please note that nominations and agenda items will be accepted from those who are not currently paid-up members, provided that they pay their membership fee on arrival at the AGM.

Funding available for Community Garden

The Integrated Arts Group have left £1500 as primer funding for a community garden in Tavistock. Caroline Keane is working with the Transition Tavistock Food Group to develop plans on a piece of land behind the Molly Owen Centre, Tavistock. CK has invited Tom Petherick (Soil Association, Heligan and ‘The Future Cities Garden’) to give advice. TaVi funded a soil survey in 2009. See below for report from Caroline Keane and for more info email carolinekeane@btinternet.com

Some time ago when Caroline Keane was Mayor of Tavistock (2006) as member of the Integrated Arts Group at The Molly Owen Centre with Gill Gorbutt (Chair of the Integrated Arts Group) and other group members including Mary Toon and Maggie Squires together with representatives from Molly Owen, negotiated the use of the land to the rear of the building – a large rectangular area the size of two tennis courts for lease from Devon County Council. Tavi funded the group to carry out required testing for arsenic levels on the land, and it was found to be suitable for raised beds use. A small amount of funds (£1500) have been earmarked from Integrated Arts Funds to create the basis for match funding for the project.

Tom Petherick of Petherick, Urquhart and Hunt, who is Soil Association representative for the SouthWest, former landscape and founder gardener of Helligan Gardens and most recently creator of the bio-dynamic ‘The Future Cities Garden’ show garden in front of Clarence House at The Garden Party to Make a Difference, Clarence House, 8-19th September 2010 has offered to advise on the layout and future use of the Molly Owen Community Garden and at another possible location for a ‘Future Towns Garden’ based on The Future Cities garden for Tavistock.

’The Future Cities Garden revolves around the four seasons of the year. Within them it is possible to grow and harvest a wide range of fruit, flowers, vegetables and herbs, to do it cheaply and make it fun.

It incorporates innovative ideas such as ‘Forest gardening’, modelled on the natural seven storeys of the forest for maximum output using shade loving plants.

We have also created vertical growing dimensions for plants using recycled containers to take advantage of spare spaces in small places.’

Caroline Keane, 2010

Energy and Food groups

The next Energy and Food Group meeting is planned for Wednesday January 26th at 19:30. The meeting will be hosted by Mike & Jenny Dennis at 49 Milton Crescent, Tavistock. We’ll be assessing the Ecoteams progress, considering how we can collaborate with other local groups and considering plans and actions for 2011. If you’re interested in joining us, please come along.

Dates for your new 2011 Diary

• Grow TaVi: Tuesday 11 January 2 – 4 pm at the Wharf featuring composting guru Nicky Scott

• Green Drinks: Tuesday 11 January from 7.30 in the Market Inn, Whitchurch Rd; all welcome

• Town Council Open Day: Saturday 22 January in the Town Hall. A great chance to view and comment on plans for Tavistock, and to voice your concern for environmental issues

• Transition Tavistock AGM and short film: The Challenge Ahead Friday 11th February, 7pm in the United Reformed Church Hall – aiming to keep business to a minimum, show the film and then discuss plans for next year. Please see details above.

Books

A trio of Transition books has been published by Green Books:

Communities, Councils and a low-carbon future by Alexis Rowell; Local Money: How to make it happen in your community by Peter North; and Local Sustainable Homes by Chris Bird. Silver River, published by the Tamar Valley AONB Service, is a beautiful celebration of the Tamar Valley in words by Virginia Spiers and in pictures by her sister Mary Martin.

We have an informal lending pool of recently published sustainability books which are passed around at the monthly Green Drinks. Anyone want to start a Book Club?

A Gardener Writes

We have received this request for advice from a budding gardener. Maybe you can help answer his query? I have removed 5 conifer trees to create space for growing vegetables. The area provides space for 3 beds, two of which are 6 foot by 6 foot and the third is 9 foot by 7 foot. In other parts of the garden, I have fruit trees, rhubarb, raspberry and loganberry canes and also tubs in which I have grown runner beans, spring greens etc. As a novice at growing vegetables, I would be grateful for any ideas that readers may have as to what they would choose to grow and tips as to how I should proceed. Self sufficiency is a dream but if readers would share their experiences and tips, all of us will have more chances of using the land adjacent to our homes in a more profitable and sustainable way. Responses please to our email address above.

Rainwater Harvester Installation to view

If you are interested in seeing what’s involved in getting a rainwater harvesting system installed, you are welcome to ring Penny Preston on 615 815 to arrange a visit to the Priory Close site, which apparently may involve a certain amount of mud!

Links of the Month

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/ Nicole Foss, aka Stoneleigh, who takes a long hard look at the interplay of finance, energy and geopolitics when making economic forecasts. She predicted the current economic downturn and her forecast for the future is sobering.

www.oldweather.org for all you armchair sea dogs with internet access, who would like to read old ships’ logbooks in order to improve our understanding of changing weather systems.

Please send any items for inclusion in the next newsletter to transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or Transition Tavistock c/o Westden, 20 Plymouth Road, Tavistock, PL19 8AY.

November Newsletter

Welcome to the Transition Tavistock November Newsletter; hope you enjoy browsing through it.

Please send any items for inclusion in future newsletters to us at transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or by post to Transition Tavistock, c/o Westden, 20 Plymouth Rd, Tavistock PL19 8AY.

Campaign_Event

Farm_Visit

Ground_Water_Supply

Energy_and_Food_Groups

Christmas_Tree

Eco_team

Climate_Change

Green_Drinks

Fate_of_the_World_strategy_game

10:10:10

A lively event took place in the United Reformed Church Hall, to celebrate this special date and the now global campaign to reduce carbon use by 10% in the year 2010. We watched a couple of short films, shared our thoughts and ate rather a lot of cake and biscuits. Many thanks to Mark Prebble for organising. There’s still time to join up or just to access energy saving tips at www.1010global.org – where at the time of writing 110,676 sign-ups in 152 countries have been logged.

Farm Visit

A large group of Transitioners spent a very happy, sunny afternoon with Paul and Rosie Yells who hosted a visit to Wonnacott Farm, a mixed organic farm where we met turkeys, cows, sheep and pigs, and saw the elderly combine harvester and baler. The setting is beautiful and it is good to see animals and poultry reared in this way. The turkeys, not gifted with foresight, seemed particularly pleased to see us and keen to engage in conversation of a sort. It was a really enjoyable and a thought-provoking visit as the Yells shared with us some of the dilemmas they face in terms of food production and planning for a future with less oil. For example, at present there is no use for the beautiful black feathers produced by those magnificent Norfolk turkeys (seen below); and shearing the sheep must be done, but wool is currently worth so little that shearing currently makes a loss rather than a profit. Rosie has however had some organic wool spun into skeins and is expanding the herd to produce a variety of different coloured wools in the future. Closure of local abbatoirs means that the sheep have to be trucked to Wales for slaughter while the cattle go to Cornwall and the beef they produce is bought for Tesco. Plastic sheeting must be used in order that grass grown on the farm can be fed in the winter as silage. The Yells grow as much winter feed as possible on the farm, though their stockpile of grain and peas was recently raided by a posse of local deer.

We were provided with a generous and delicious tea and sampled turkey, apple juice and home baked bread and biscuits. Alongside all this hard work and self sufficiency on the farm and in the kitchen, Rosie and Paul are gradually renovating the listed farm house using natural materials and installing a wood-fired boiler to go with their solar water system. Rosie also shared her experience of getting the necessary consent for the solar water on a listed building.

More information about the farm and its produce at www.wonnacottfarm.co.uk : there is a discount for Transition supporters who want to get together and make a group purchase of small, medium and large turkeys.

Ground water supply

Last month’s article about rain water harvesting prompted another Transition supporter to share his experience of arranging a ground water supply, thus avoiding the necessity of installing two plumbing systems. He describes his experience below.

Harvesting groundwater is an alternative way of harvesting rainwater that has percolated down to the water table, but with the added advantage that it is naturally filtered and purified as it seeps through the rocks.

We live in a cottage forming part of a row of terrace cottages in the country, all with large back gardens and connected to South West Water mains, each cottage having its own water meter. About 16 years ago, shortly after water privatisation, my neighbour suggested that we join forces and get our own water supply by having a borehole sunk before legislation was enacted prohibiting this, or requiring a licence to do so. We contacted a drilling firm with a water diviner who confidently identified a subterranean Amazon flowing across our properties and offered to drill for water on the basis of “no water no fee.” This was an offer we could not refuse.

As the drill went deeper and deeper the driller looked increasingly glum but we eventually hit a good supply of water at about 180 feet below ground level. The borehole was continued to 210 feet in order to get a good sump of water in the aquifer. I then ran a flow test to ensure that there was enough water for two households and our gardens. I can’t recall the flow rate but it has proved sufficient ever since, even for filling up my large fishpond in one go.

The next stage was to have the water analysed for bacteriological, herbicide, insecticide and and elemental contaminants. Its quality proved to be even better than that the South West Water supply for for many of the so-called impurities, and in all parameters was well within the maximum specified in the Water Supply Quality Regulations 1989. However, as we live in a former metaliferous mining area the water proved to be rather acid due decomposition of sulphide minerals in the rock so producing sulphuric acid that gets into the groundwater. This was easily rectified by installing a filter charged with magnesium carbonate granules in the system. The water has been analysed a couple of times over the last 16 years and its quality has been maintained.

The borehole was cased down to the water table and the system consists essentially of an electric-powered pump near the bottom of the 210 foot borehole. A sensor turns the pump on when the pressure in the pressure vessel falls below a predetermined figure. The pressure in the pressure vessel can be varied and a dial shows the water pressure in our taps. The water passes from the pressure vessel through the adjacent filter cylinder and thence to our respective households. Everything is housed in a small wooden shed situated on the border of our respective gardens. We elected to stay connected to the South West Water supply so that we are ensured of water in the event of our borehole running dry, the pump malfunctioning or some other disaster. To change from our own to SW Water supply simply requires opening one stopcock and closing another. Other than having to replace our pump sensor that was on two occasions blown by lightning strikes we have had no problems and the well has never run dry.

I can’t remember exactly what it cost to install the system but it was not more than £8000. The cost of a borehole system depends on how deep one has to drill to reach an aquifer, and how far the borehole is from your electricity supply and from the mains water pipe. As we shared the cost of installing the system we have easily amortised our capital outlay and had the benefit of virtually unlimited amounts of sweet water. The estimated annual cost of our water is less than £100 for two households with two and four persons respectively – or less than £50/annum per household. This includes the cost of the electricity for the pump, the granules for correcting the acidity, a Ph meter and standard fluids for periodic checking of the water acidity/alkalinity, chemical laboratory analyses of water quality every 10 years, and a small standing charge for the benefit of remaining connected to SW Water; but no allowance for interest on the initial capital outlay. I think this represents better value than a rainwater harvesting system, and one has better quality water.

Incidentally, I still have four large rainwater butts that I use for watering the flower beds near the house as it is sometimes more convenient than a hosepipe.

A final word of caution. A neighbour whose property is only about 500 yards distant from ours thought he would follow our example. He had two boreholes drilled, both of which were dry. But then he refused to have a water diviner tell him where to drill! As a professional geologist I have always been rather sceptical about water divining, but it worked for me.

Energy and Food Groups

Both groups will be gathering for celebration and chat at Green Drinks, on Tuesday 14th December at the Market Inn in Tavistock. The group will be mulling over priorities for next year, which could include setting up a community interest company and/or a hydro electric project.

Christmas Tree competition

Our Transition tree will be taking its place in St Eustachius Church with tree-dressing on the evening of Thursday 24th and day of Friday 25th November. You are welcome to help out and/or supply natural/edible decorations. The trees will be exhibited between 26th November and 5th December to raise money for charity, so pop in and have a look.

Tavy1 Eco-team has just started out on its quest to reduce the energy consumption of its members, who will be encouraging each other and sharing tips on how to reduce their carbon footprint. They will be expecting to save money in the process – families typically save around £170 per year by engaging in eco-teams. More details at www.ecoteams.org or phone Mike Dennis on 01822 618 142 if you would like to know more.

Climate Change Report

The Royal Society states “Climate change continues to be a subject of intense public and political debate. Because of the level of interest in the topic the Royal Society has produced a new guide to the science of climate change. The guide summarises the current scientific evidence on climate change and its drivers highlighting the areas where the science is well established, where there is still some debate, and where substantial uncertainties remain. The document was prepared by a working group chaired by Professor John Pethica, Vice President of the Royal Society and was approved by the Royal Society Council.” The guide is available for download here We can also recommend Prof Tom Jackson’s new book: “Prosperity without Growth.”

Green Drinks happens every second Tuesday of the month, at the Market Inn, Tavistock. Next one is coming up soon at 7.30 on Tuesday 9th November; all welcome.

New digital strategy game

Fate of the World is a global strategy game that puts our future in your hands. Decide how the world will respond to rising temperatures, heaving populations, dwindling resources, crumbling ecosystems and brave opportunities. An early Beta version is available to download for £9.99 + VAT and the full version will go on sale for £19.99 in time for Christmas. Watch a trailer and find out more at www.fateoftheworld.net

September bulletin

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s latest update.

If you have an item for inclusion in the November edition, please send it in to transitiontavistock@googlemail.com

1. October_Festivals_and_Celebrations

2. Energy_and_Food_Group

3. Grow_Tavi

4. Local_Milk_Supplies

5. Rainwater_Harvesting

6. Storytelling

7. Information_Stall

8. Molly Owen Community Garden

9. Visit To Wonnacott Farm Sunday 24th October 2010. 2pm

October Festivals and Celebrations

Join Transition Tavistock to celebrate the success of the 10:10 campaign, in which people and organisations make changes to reduce their carbon footprint by 10%. To date, 89,808 individuals, 1,948 schools and universities, 3,437 businesses and 2,182 organisations (including 248 town and district councils) have signed up. We will be celebrating the 10.10.10 date at the United Reformed Church Hall in Russell St from 2.30 on Sunday 10th October, with a film showing, discussion and refreshments. If you receive this bulletin as an email, you’ll find a poster to display attached. See you there!

The same weekend of 9 & 10 October brings the Dartmoor Low Carbon Festival. More details at http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/au_lowcbnfstpr0910

More festivities, local and free or low cost, are on offer from 23 – 31 October in the Tamar Trail Festival. Details of the events, many of which are good for children to take part in, are at www.tamarvalley.org.uk

Energy and Food Group

A combined meeting of the Energy and Food groups took place at the Wharf. The next (combined) meeting will take place at the Dennis’s house – 01822 618 142 for further details. The meeting will feature a dress rehearsal for the Christmas tree dressing!

Grow Tavi

As news of food shortages around the world hit the headlines, it’s a reminder that we need to produce and buy more local, seasonal food. Grow Tavi brings together local people and organisations who are doing just that. The next meeting of Grow Tavi will be on Tuesday 12th October from 2 – 4 pm at the Wharf. Lucy Wood will be speaking about the new Buckland Food Group project which involves community growing on land belonging to the National Trust at Buckland Abbey.

Local Milk Supplies

Rather than purchase your milk from a large supermarket, would you like it naturally wholesome and delivered straight to your door from Risdon Farm near Okehampton?

Their dairy products are produced from livestock farmed organically since 1999. No pesticides or GM ingredients are involved. They have no land contamination and maintain high standards of animal welfare and are registered with Freedom Foods.

Not only can they supply milk, cream, eggs and cream cheese fresh to your door on a twice a week basis (currently free delivery within Tavistock) but the price is comparable to supermarkets basic brands.

In addition, purchasing from GF dairy which is a social enterprise directly supports Gilead Foundations which is a Therapeutic Community, offering a residential rehabilitation program for people with life-controlling addictions, such as drug or alcohol abuse, homelessness, gambling, eating disorders, self harm, and other addictive behaviours. They operate a three-phase therapeutic skills training programme for service users. These include detox, relapse prevention training, various therapies, and help with resettlement back into society. The phases enable the students to deal with the effects of addiction and to begin to take responsibility for their own actions, choices, behaviour, attitudes, personal health & hygiene & daily responsibilities.

More information including a leaflet with current prices from Mike Dennis of Transition Tavistock or from Beth Taylor 07976073234 or 01837851240 or beth.taylor@gilead.org.uk or see the website at www.gilead.org.uk.

I have not had the opportunity to visit the organisation but as a local product, animal friendly and socially responsible with a naturally wholesome taste, all I can say is that it works for me.

Mike Dennis

Rainwater harvesting

You may have noticed that the Tavistock area gets plenty of rain. Rainwater harvesting allows use of the water that falls on your property – saving the energy cost of treatment and pumping it round the region, and reducing your water bill. It’s like having a giant water butt which is not for watering the garden but plumbed in to the washing machine and loos. It is not, of course, clean enough for personal washing or use in the kitchen.

Note that this is different from a greywater harvesting system, which feeds the same appliances from used bath and shower water. Greywater is not dependent on rainfall, but does need a treatment tank, so tends to be used in larger properties.

Rainwater harvesting systems include a storage tank, pipes and a filter to feed it from drainpipes, a pump to bring water into the house as needed, and pipes (separate from those for drinking quality water) to take it to the washing machine, loos and garden tap. There are safeguards to ensure mains water is available if the tank is low or pump fails.

Rainwater harvesting gives a significant saving on water bills – particularly as the sewage element of the bill is reduced as well as the water supply part. Running costs are minimal – a little bit of electricity for the pump. However it involves initial expense on the tank, equipment and installation, and the disruption of adding new pipework, so the best time to consider it for an existing house is when doing other building work – eg refitting a bathroom or landscaping a garden.

As a campaigning point, the best time for installation is when houses are designed and built – and eg a terrace can share a system. However architects and builders may need encouragement to consider it. Wikipedia gives a wider background including international patterns of use and references.

We had a rainwater harvesting system installed when we built an extension to our bungalow 6 years ago. We chose it from Rainwater Harvesting Systems Ltd (www.rainwaterharvesting.co.uk), who advised on the tank size. The local builder and plumber doing the extension found installation straightforward – at least after digging the very deep hole.

We went for an underground tank as the garden was being dug up anyhow, but surface ones are even simpler. The only external sign is two metal covers in the lawn. Internally, there are some unobtrusive extra pipes, and a tall cupboard about a foot square holding the pump and gauge. The cost for equipment was around £2000. Labour costs were within a much larger project but probably at least another £1000. Our water bill (for a household of 2) has averaged £174 per year over the past 5 years, compared with £270 in our first year in the house, so the system will pay back over its lifetime. As water prices rise in future we expect the savings to be even greater.

For most of the year the tank is full enough not to trigger the mains top up. A day’s solid rain gives over half a tank. The filter needs cleaning every few months – as easy as rinsing a colander. Otherwise it has not needed any maintenance. We’d be happy to show visitors (contact via the Transition Tavistock email). However, on a quick look at supplier websites the technology has got even better (eg solar powered pumps), so they might recommend more recent customers.

Kit & Phil Harbottle.

Storytelling

Storytelling is one way to learn from the past and to imagine the future, so is used by many Transition groups. A free monthly storytelling group is beginning a new season at Marjon on the last Thursday of each month, with drinks and snacks provided. You are welcome to come and listen – or practise your storytelling skills in an informal atmosphere. Contact info@thestoryweavers.co.uk for more information.

Information Stall

TT had a presence at the very successful Community Day on September 4th. Many thanks to Geri for staffing the stall, and welcome to the newsletter to those people who have just signed up to our mailing list.

Molly Owen Community Garden

Some time ago when Caroline Keane was Mayor of Tavistock (2006) as member of the Integrated Arts Group at The Molly Owen Centre with Gill Gorbutt (Chair of the Integrated Arts Group) and other group members including May Toon and Maggie Squire together with representatives from Molly Owen, negotiated the use of the land to the rear of the building – a large rectangular area the size of two tennis courts for lease from Devon County Council. Tavi funded the group to carry out required testing for arsenic levels on the land, and it was found to be suitable for raised beds use. A small amount of funds (£1500) have been earmarked from Integrated Arts Funds to create the basis for match funding for the project.

Tom Petherick of Petherick Urquhart and Hunt, who is Soil Association representative for the SouthWest, former landscape and founder gardener of Helligan Gardens and most recently creator of the bio-dynamic ‘The Future Cities Garden’ show garden in front of Clarence House at The Garden Party to Make a Difference, Clarence House, 8-19th September 2010 has offered to advise on the layout and future use of the Molly Owen Community Garden and at another possible location for a ‘Future Town’s Garden’ based on The Future Cities garden for Tavistock.

’The Future Cities Garden revolves around the four seasons of the year. Within them it is possible to grow and harvest a wide range of fruit, flowers, vegetables and herbs, to do it cheaply and make it fun.

It incorporates innovative ideas such as ‘Forest gardening’, modelled on the natural seven storeys of the forest for maximum output using shade loving plants.

We have also created vertical growing dimensions for plants using recycled containers to take advantage of spare spaces in small places.’

Please can anyone interested in being involved e.g. joining in with the development and cultivation of the garden, initially contact Caroline Keane. e.mail carolinekeane@btinternet.com.

Visit To Wonnacott Farm Sunday 24th October 2010. 2pm

We would like to invite you to visit our organic farm near Roadford Lake. Come and see our free-range Norfolk Black turkeys….. we can also show you our South Devon and Aberdeen Angus beef cattle, and our sheep flock that includes both the black fleeced Zwartbles and white fleeced Roussins.

Also of interest, may be our 2 solar tube systems for hot water and heating. We have another project for a wood boiler to replace 2 oil boilers, but that is only at the planning stage. Anyway you are welcome to have a look at it all!

We sell a small amount of organic beef and lamb direct from our farm and recently we have produced some of our own organic knitting wool. Currently we are taking orders for Christmas turkeys and we can offer members or friends of Transition Tavistock a special price if you would like to order as a small group.

We try to be as sustainable as we can with our farm and we would be delighted to welcome you on 24th October and tell you all about it. There will be tea and coffee and hopefully chance for a good chat.

How to find us:

Please email or phone for directions: Tel: 01837 871238, rosieyells@lineone.net

Looking forward to seeing you!

Rosie and Paul Yells. Wonnacott Farm, Lewdown EX20 4QU www.wonnacottfarm.co.uk

August Newsletter

Transition Tavistock Update – August 2010

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s latest newsletter

(1) Information Stalls
(2) Energy Group update
(3) Food Group Update
(4) Edutainment Group kicks off with 10:10:10 on 10th October 2010
(5) Grow Tavi
(6) Affordable organic potatoes! Let’s get together and grow!
(7) How to save Tomato Seeds
(8) Eco Teams
(9) Solar PV successfully installed – more details available
(10) Green Drinks
(11) The Big Lunch
(12) Waste services are changing
(13) Transition Tavistock needs volunteer support!
(14) Transition news from around the World
(15) Coming Events
(16) Links of the Month
__________________________
1. Information Stalls
The next information stall will be at the Tavistock Community Day, Bedford Square, on September 4th (10:00 till 16:00). We’re also looking for volunteers to help staff the stall. If you’d like to lend a hand please email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or call Sarah Berry on 01822-612693.
There will also be a stall at our 10:10 event on the 10th October 2010 (see below).

If you have a meeting or event and would like to have us present or provide information please get in touch.

2. Energy Group Update
The last Energy Group session took place at Gulworthy Parish Church where we learnt about their wood pellet boiler. It was very interesting to hear about the journey to get it in place and how easy it seems to be to run! For more information see http://www.transitiontavistock.org.uk/p/local-sustainable-practice-examples.html and http://www.exeterstf.org.uk/case-studies.

The Energy Group next meets on Wednesday 22nd September in the evening (19:30).
If you’re interested in joining us please get in touch with Kate Royston on 07969-569-444 or email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com.
Our current projects include EcoTeams, identifying and publicising Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy good practice. We’re also working to improve our own energy sustainability and sharing experiences within the group.

3. Food Group Update
Ongoing projects include providing food planting in Tavistock town centre and identification of communal land for food production. Meetings are always a forum for passing on surplus plants and produce; the next meeting date will be announced shortly! Contact transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or call Kate Royston on 07969-569-444 for more details.

4. Edutainment Group kicks off with 10:10:10 on 10th October 2010
The Edutainment Group will be kicking off a stimulating and entertaining programme of films, talks and events through the Autumn and Winter starting with our 10:10 event on Sunday 10th October 2010 – A ‘Global Day Of Doing’ – the biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change (http://www.1010global.org/uk/101010).
Join us at the United Reform Church hall in Tavistock between 14:00 and 18:00.
If you have any ideas or would like to help with the organisation please email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or call Mark on 07886245336.

5. Grow Tavi

The next meeting of this community forum is on Tuesday 12th October from 2 to 4 pm at the Wharf. GrowTavi is a joint Westden and TaVi initiative to promote and discuss all aspects of local food growing including: Allotments, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Guerilla Gardening, Edible Landscapes, Peak Oil, Climate Change and much more… All welcome!

6. Affordable organic potatoes! Let’s get together and grow!
Last year a 25kg of organic potatoes cost about £17, there were equivalent sized bags of conventionally grown spuds for under a fiver! That is a big difference! The huge differential in price is partly due to the amount of work it takes to harvest the organic crop. It’s easy to pick potatoes by machine when the halmes, (the green tops), have been sprayed off leaving the ground clear for the harvester but devoid of any wild plant and insect life.

This coming year we might be in for a shock as wheat prices rise and the Pakistan ‘bread basket’ that has provided cheap rice for the world has been scoured out.
Would you like to do an experiment in CSA? This is an informal trial at making a go of Community Supported Agriculture using a humble organic potato crop as a starting point. A rough guide to how it would work could be:
• Collectively we buy the seed potatoes, we already have an offer of using land on an organically registered farm. We beg, borrow or steal potato planting equipment and bingo! Nature does the work of growing the crop and we all muck in to harvest.
• The crop is divided according to how much help/labour/ help with expenses each person has contributed.
If you are at all interested in growing your own field scale organic potatoes, let me know at pammy.riggs@tiscali.co.uk and you never know your bag of locally grown organic spuds might cost you a bit more in effort, but less in cash, and each potato will glow with the Pride of the Personal Touch!

7. How to save Tomato Seeds
(as explained by Rob Meredith of Holsworthy Organics, who has a fruit and veg stall at Tavistock Market every Friday)

Scoop the centres out of several ripe tomatoes. Put these in a jam jar and leave for 2 or 3 days (no more) without the lid on. During this time a natural fungus from the air will break down to liquid the jelly-like substance around the seeds. Tip the whole lot into a sieve and wash well, swishing them round, under cold water – you will be left with just the seeds. Drain well and then spread thinly on a paper plate. Leave this in a warm, dry place. The seeds will dry out, sticking lightly to the plate. You can then scrape them off and store in an air-tight container, or simply leave them on the plate in a dry place, stacked several plates high if necessary, with the name of the tomato written on the plate. Tomato seeds prepared this way retain tiny hairs on the seeds – this distinguishes them from commercially prepared tomato seed. The hairs from the latter have been stripped off by the chemical used, instead of the fungal process, to remove the jelly from round the seeds.
This method can also be used for cucumber and squash seeds, though with these you can go straight to the washing in the sieve stage.

Communities take action to save plants – recent article in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/aug/17/communities-swap-seeds-save-plants

8. EcoTeams
Transition Tavistock’s first EcoTeam(s) are going to celebrate their kick off at our 10:10 event on 10th October 2010 (see below).
Would you like to be involved?
Are you interested in working together with other families and friends to reduce your waste, energy, and water and food bills? The EcoTeam’s initiative organised by Global Action Plan, and supported by Transition Tavistock, provides free online tools and resources and shows you how to measure and reduce your environmental footprint together with others. On average households participating in EcoTeams achieve annual savings of £170. To find out more see http://www.ecoteams.org.uk.

If you’re interested in being part of an EcoTeam, please get in touch with Mike Dennis on 01822 618142.

Preparing for Eco Teams
Before we can compare usage and learn lessons from one another, it’s necessary to measure what each home is actually using in the way of utilities, is disposing of in the way of refuse, using fuel for car mileage etc.
Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve read the electricity and water meters weekly (our gas is only required in the winter for central heating) and also measured what I’ve been throwing away.
The following results are the average weekly usage over a six week period for our household of 2adults.

Utilities
Electricity 27.91kw Water 0.60 cu meters

Recycling
Paper 1lb 12ozs
Cardboard 2lb 12ozs
Glass 1lb 8ozs Tin 9ozs
Plastics 13ozs

General Refuse 1lb 12ozs

How this compares with others and what more we can do to reduce consumption will require comparison with others and the sharing of experiences. If you would like to join an Eco Team and explore how you can reduce your consumption and suggest how I and others can do better, do contact Mike or Kate.

PS: It’s interesting to note the comparison between what is currently being recycled and what goes in the general rubbish. The above figures of general refuse being 20% of my waste provide prima facie evidence for the West Devon Council’s decision to reduce general refuse collections and focus on recycling collections.
Mike Dennis

Small ways to reduce electricity consumption
Do we always need to plug into the mains supply for our electricity or buy non-rechargeable batteries?
• Looking around our home, I note a wind up torch. This is the sort used by some electricity meter readers and gives a good light.
• There is a solar powered radio. Works OK in the sunlight but does need a battery back-up for when the weather turns cloudy or not in direct sunlight.
However, batteries can be rechargeable and these can be recharged in my solar powered charger which I leave on the window sill to recharge the previous set of rechargeable batteries. These batteries can be acquired for £1 for 2 if you shop around.
Outside the front door is a solar powered light which comes on with movement after dusk. This is sufficient to identify visitors and allow us to see to put the key in the lock when returning home after dark. This replaced a defunct external mains powered security light.

All of the above are relatively inexpensive and could be useful suggestions for others to give you for Christmas presents if you don’t have them already.

Don’t forget that if you’re driving, you can recharge your mobile phone from the car battery while in motion rather than plug it into the mains. Also, there’s no need to use the tumble drier when the sun is shining – the original solar power method of drying!

Can you suggest other ideas? If so, please let us know and we can include them in future newsletter ideas.
Mike Dennis

9. Solar PV system successfully installed – more details available
Mike and Jenny Dennis, both members of the TT Energy Group, have had photovoltaic panels installed during the first week in July 2010. With an array of 18 x 215w panels Mike and Jenny have the capacity to generate 3.87KW. Before and after photos can be seen below!
They are going to maintain records of the amount of energy generated, how much has been exported to the grid and savings in other fuel use to calculate the overall benefits gained. These can be shared once there is sufficient data to make meaningful comparisons!

Background facts on the Installation of the Photo voltaic panels

The roof faces 160 degrees with a pitch of around 50 degrees.
The roof space is 55m2 on an 11m length and 4.95 length from ridge to eaves.
The system specification:
• 18 Kyocera 215W solar PV modules (3.87KW)
• Mounted with stainless steel roof hooks to aluminium solar rail
• Cables hidden under facia board
• Steca 4KW grid tie inverter
The inverter, FIT (Feed In Tariff) total generation meter and the import/export meter are installed in the garage.
Capital cost approximates to just over £4000 per KW

Projected annual output based upon the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure 2005 is 3096 KWH per annum. Because Devon and Cornwall receive appreciably more solar radiation than the national average, most installations in the South of the UK generate around 900 KWh per KW of installed capacity annually rather than the 800 KWH as specified in the SAP 2005. However, the performance of solar PV systems is impossible to predict with certainty due to the variability in the amount of solar radiation (sunlight) from location to location and from year to year.

The FIT tariff commenced on 1st April 2010 and pays 41.3 for every unit generated. This is fixed for 25 years but for installations in later years the rate will be lower. There is an additional small sum for each unit exported to the grid and we also benefit from a reduction in our electricity bill as we use the renewable energy generated. We also expect a reduction in our gas bill as we will be using electricity to power our immersion heater instead of gas.

Based upon the national averages, the projected annual income was suggested as £1450 per annum. This would give a payback period of approximately 10.8 years. However, I hope that I will be able to achieve this within a shorter time period. Details on estimated progress towards meeting this target can be provided in a future update when more data has been collected.

Reading through this do you have any further questions or would you like to know more? Let us know (contact Mike on 01822 618142 or Kate)

Do you have an idea or a scheme yourself for saving energy, waste, water etc., or a renewable energy or sustainable building project that you’d like to share? If so we’d love to hear about it and if you’re agreeable share it with others.

10. Green Drinks
September’s Green Drinks is on Tuesday 14th September between 19.30 and 21.30 at the Market Inn, Tavistock (PL19 9BB). Come along if you’d like to chat and share views with other like minded folk concerned for our environment and sustainability.
This is a global movement, and in Tavistock it happens on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

11. The Big Lunch – Meet the Neighbours!
The weather was much kinder this year for The Big Lunch which took place on Sunday 18th July (www.thebiglunch.com).

“Bannawell Street Park’s Big Lunch 2010 – Homemade or Fairtrade” was well attended and fun was had by all.

Residents and Friends met up in the woods for the Devon Consols Big Lunch! We had plenty to eat and a relaxed time to catch up, chat and meet new friends. We’re looking forward to next year!

12. Waste services are changing
West Devon Borough Council’s New Waste Collection Service: Living in West Devon you’ll soon be able to put plastic bottles in your green box.
A number of roadshows are being held across the Borough during August, September and October; and the WDBC provides detailed information about the changes (http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/doc.asp?doc=17038&cat=3003).
“The new service will allow you to recycle more materials which you have specifically asked for including plastic bottles, batteries, garden, and food waste. All residents will receive a leaflet through the post detailing the changes in late Summer. If you have any queries in the meantime please contact” West Devon Borough Council.
A Roadshow programme can be found on www.transitiontavistock.org.uk

13. Transition Tavistock needs volunteer support
Do you feel passionate about your local community and improving its resilience for the future? Would you like to help promote local food, more sustainable energy services or just learn and share with others? Do you have some spare time to work with us? Perhaps join the Committee, Energy, Food or Edutainment group, or help us with our communication! Do get in touch with Sarah (01822-612693) or email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com

14. Transition News from around the Network
For Transition News from around the network check out http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/network

15. Coming Events
Transition Tavistock’s 10:10:10 celebration on 10th October 2010 – and launch of our new season of Edutainment. Join us at Join us at the United Reform Church hall in Tavistock between 14:00 and 18:00. We’ll be taking part in ‘A ‘Global Day Of Doing’ – the biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change (http://www.1010global.org/uk/101010).
If you have any ideas or would like to help with the organisation please email transitiontavistock@googlemail.com or call Mark on 07886245336.

Totnes Energy Fair on Saturday 18th September, Totnes Town Hall 10:00 until 16:00 will include an exhibition for installers and suppliers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products.

Car Free Sunday – 19th September and European Car Free Day – Weds Sept 22nd 2010 – http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/carfrsun.htm

16. Links of the Month
• Oiligarchy – The game! Available on the Dark Optimism site, interesting in itself, Oiligrachy is “free, easy, doesn’t take long to play through and it might just raise a smile or two!” http://www.darkoptimism.org/2008/11/10/oiligarchy-the-game/
• Christian Ecology Link’s What’s On provides a wealth of events taking place across the UK: www.christian-ecology.org.uk/whatson.htm
• Summer Living Ideas from the Eden Project Shop – http://www.edenproject.com/shop/

www.TransitionTavistock.org.uk
transitiontavistock@googlemail.com
Tel: 01822-618715
c/o Westden
20 Plymouth Road
Tavistock
PL19 8AY

July 2010 Newsetter

Transition Tavistock Update – July 2010

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s latest newsletter

(1) Information Stalls
(2) Energy Group update
(3) Food Group Update
(4) Grow Tavi
(5) Balsamic Vinegar ‘Taste-a-like’ from pine needles with health benefits!
(6) Eco Teams
(7) Solar PV successfully installed – another local example
(8) Green Drinks
(9) The Big Lunch
(10) Lloyd’s / Chatham House ‘Sustainable Energy Security’ White Paper
(11) 2010 Transition Network UK Conference
(12) Transition news from around the World
(13) The Electric Ride
(14) Links of the Month
__________________________
1. Information Stalls
The next information stall will be at Gulworthy Parish Fete, Hele Farm on Sunday 25th July 2010 (14:00).
Transition Tavistock will also be present at the Tavistock Community Day on September 4th.
If you have a meeting or event and would like to have us present or provide information please get in touch.

2. Energy Group Update
The Energy Group next meets on Thursday 29th July in the evening. The Hepworth’s are hosting our session and we’ll have a chance to see their new solar thermal installation first hand, together with some of their other sustainability initiatives.
If you’re interested in joining us please get in touch with Kate Royston on 07969-569-444 .
Our current projects include EcoTeams and identifying and publicising Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy examples. We’re also working to improve our own energy sustainability and sharing our experiences.

3. Food Group Update
At the last meeting, the group was hosted by a local smallholding which supplies the Tavistock Farmers’ Market. Local organic meat producers attended. Ongoing projects include providing food planting in Tavistock town centre and identification of communal land for food production. Meetings are always a forum for passing on surplus plants and produce; the next meeting is on August 8th. Contact Jackie Eady on 01822 614 430 for further details.

4. Grow Tavi
The next meeting of this community forum is on Tuesday 13th July from 2 to 4 pm at the Wharf. GrowTavi is a joint Westden and TaVi initiative to promote and discuss all aspects of local food growing including: Allotments, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Guerilla Gardening, Edible Landscapes, Peak Oil,Climate Change and much more… All welcome!

5. Balsamic Vinegar ‘Taste-a-like’ from pine needles with health benefits!
A tip from a wild food forage during the Transition Conference: Balsamic type vinegar made from pine needles. I’ve mislaid my notes but remember that you need to fill a jar with washed pine needles and go from there. ‘Googling’ has uncovered a number of links to show this is a well known wild food! Let us know how yours turns out!…
http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/pine-needle-vinegar
According to http://www.botanical.com/site/column_susun/susun_growgarden.html
“Pine vinegar is rich in flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. It helps keep the immune system strong, and strengthens the lungs as well”.

6. EcoTeams
Are you interested in working together with other families and friends to reduce your waste, energy, and water and food bills? The EcoTeam’s initiative organised by Global Action Plan, and supported by Transition Tavistock, provides free online tools and resources and shows you how to measure and reduce your environmental footprint together with others. On average households participating in EcoTeams achieve annual savings of £170. To find out more see http://www.ecoteams.org.uk.
If you’re interested in leading an EcoTeam, or being part of an EcoTeam, please get in touch with Kate Royston on 07969-569-444.
We’re looking forward to getting our first team up and running for the Autumn!

7. Solar PV system successfully installed – another local example
Mike and Jenny Dennis, both members of the TT Energy Group, have had photovoltaic panels installed during the first week in July 2010. With an array of 18 x 215w panels Mike and Jenny have the capacity to generate 3.87KW. Before and after photos can be seen below!
We’ll provide the full story in next month’s newsletter.
They are going to maintain records of the amount of energy generated, how much has been exported to the grid and savings in other fuel use to calculate the overall benefits gained. These can be shared once there is sufficient data to make meaningful comparisons!


Do you have an idea or a scheme yourself for saving energy, waste, water etc., or a renewable energy or sustainable building project that you’d like to share? If so we’d love to hear about it and if you’re agreeable share it with others.

If you are interested in knowing more contact Mike on 01822 618142

8. Green Drinks
July’s Green Drinks is on Tuesday 13th July between 19.30 and 21.30 at the Market Inn, Tavistock. Come along if you’d like to chat and share views with other like minded folk concerned for our environment and sustainability.
This is a global movement, and in Tavistock it happens on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

9. The Big Lunch – Meet the Neighbours!
The Big Lunch is happening again this year, on Sunday 18th July. Set up your own or find one near you at www.thebiglunch.com. There are a number being organised in the area including:
“Bannawell Street Park’s Big Lunch 2010 – Homemade or Fairtrade”, 13:00 to 17:00
Devon Consols Big Lunch for Residents and Friends – in the woods!
And so far, two Big Lunches in Whitchurch Rd!
If you are involved in a Big Lunch on Sunday please send some pictures for next month’s newsletter.

10. Lloyd’s / Chatham House ‘Sustainable Energy Security’ White Paper
This paper highlights critical issues surrounding energy vulnerabilities and risks for business. It prompted the Transition movement to release its first ever press release that had in its first line “business-as-usual is no longer an option.” To read the full release go here: http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/16720_0610_froggatt_lahn.pdf.

11. 2010 Transition Network UK Conference
The 2010 Transition Network UK Conference saw 350 delegates gather at Seale Hayne, just outside Newton Abbot, over the weekend of 12 to 13 June. A couple of folks from Transition Tavistock attended the thought provoking event and will be sharing their experiences over the coming weeks. Click on http://www.transitionnetwork.org/newsletter/2010-jun/june-2010-0 for a flavour.

12. Transition News from around the World
For Transition News from around the world log on to http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2010-06-09/june-round-whats-happening-transition
which links to a roundup of Transition news from far and wide. At the end of this link there is the chance to subscribe to the on-line Transition Network Newsletter to keep up to date with Transition news.

13. The Electric Ride
Radio 4 have been running a series following “Peter Curran driving a battery car 4,500 miles around Europe on a pioneering journey” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sqfxj. Although only the last part, aired on Saturday July 10th, is still available on i-player, the website provides an overview of the journey, interviews etc. Very entertaining and interesting!

14. Links of the Month
• A very useful link with a wealth of information – The Diocese of Exeter – Shrinking the Footprint http://www.exeterstf.org.uk/
• Ecodriving: If you drive, you can save a significant amount of fuel by adapting your driving style. Go to www.devon.gov.uk/ecodrivingfilm to view a short film.
• Latest Transition Network Newsletter with loads of stuff from the recent Transition Conference http://www.transitionnetwork.org/newsletter/2010-jun/june-2010-0

June 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s latest newsletter

(1) Information Stalls
(2) Energy Group update
(3) Food Group Update
(4) Eco Teams
(5) Solar Thermal successfully installed – local best practice example
(6) Green Drinks
(7) The Big Lunch
(8) 2010 Transition Network UK Conference
(9) Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP)
(10) Chagford Energy Fair
(11) Transition news from around the World
(12) Volunteering Opportunity
(13) Questionnaire
(14) Other Links

1. Information Stalls
Our Information Stalls at Tavistock Farmers Market on Saturday 8th May, and at Tavistock Gardening Festival on Sunday 30th May attracted much interest and we’d like to thank everyone for their support. We’re planning to hold further Information Stalls regularly through the year at different locations.

2. Energy Group Update
The Energy Group next meets on Thursday 24th June. If you’re interested in joining us please get in touch with Kate Royston on 07969-569-444 .
Our current projects include EcoTeams, identifying and publicising Local Best Practice examples and the development of an Energy Descent Action Plan.

3. Food Group Update
The Food Group is working on a number of themes, including strengthening links between local food growers and their local communities, and urban planting of food rather than flowers. Meetings include a practical aspect, and the next one on 27th June is likely to be held at a local smallholding with sustainable house – contact Jackie Eady if you’d like to come along:eadys[at]mypostoffice.co.uk. Meanwhile, save seeds from your garden this summer ready for a big Seedy Sunday Swop in early 2011.

4. EcoTeams
Are you interested in working together with other families and friends to reduce your waste, energy, and water and food bills? The EcoTeam’s initiative organised by Global Action Plan, and supported by Transition Tavistock, provides free online tools and resources and shows you how to measure and reduce your environmental footprint together with others. On average households participating in EcoTeams achieve annual savings of £170. To find out more see http://www.ecoteams.org.uk/.
If you’re interested in leading an EcoTeam, or being part of an EcoTeam, please get in touch with Kate Royston on 07969-569-444.

5. Solar Thermal system successfully installed – a local best practice example
Adrian Hepworth, a member of the TT Energy Group, and his wife Sue (both regular supporters of Green Drinks!) have recently had a solar thermal system installed.
“We have just had a solar thermal panel installed. It is made in England to a design that makes it work even off-grid. It has a small solar PV panel that powers the pump and recharges the batteries that run the control unit.”
After a small teething problem, quickly resolved by the supplier, the system was up and running effectively in time for 3 days of splendid sunny weather …
“Over the following 3 days with the panel cooling to about 15C at midnight, the maximum temp of the panel has been 82C, the top of the tank 65C and the bottom of the tank 56C. At 7pm this evening, the panel, having been in the shade since about 6pm, it has cooled to 37.6C but has left the tank at 60.5C at the top and 56.2C at the bottom, way above what the immersion heater could have done.”
“Maintenance? Hardly any! The virtually unbreakable double glazed polycarbonate panel might need a wash once a year and an annual check for leaks would be sensible. Cost? About £2,500 but a grant for about £400 was available. You would need to check the current situation regarding grants. Then you have to decide if you want to have it installed or you feel brave enough to do it yourself.”
If you are interested in seeing it just let Adrian know or phone him on 01822 820345

For the full story go to http://www:transitiontavistock.org.uk.

Do you have an idea or a scheme yourself for saving energy, waste, water etc., or a renewable energy or sustainable building project that you’d like to share? If so we’d love to hear about it and if you’re agreeable share it with others

6. Green Drinks
June’s Green Drinks is on Tuesday 8th June between 19.30 and 21.30 at the Market Inn, Tavistock. Come along if you’d like to chat and share views with other like minded folk concerned for our environment and sustainability.
This is a global movement, and in Tavistock it happens on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

7. The Big Lunch – Meet the Neighbours!
The Big Lunch will be happening again this year, on 18th July. Set up your own or find one near you at http://www.thebiglunch.com/

8. 2010 Transition Network UK Conference
The 2010 Transition Network UK Conference will be held at Seale Hayne, just outside Newton Abbot, over the weekend of 12 to 13 June. It’ll start on Saturday morning 12th June and finish at lunchtime on Monday 14 June. If you’re interested tickets are still available at http://www.transition-network.org.uk/.

9. Energy Decent Action Plan (EDAP)
Work is planned to begin on a preliminary study in the coming months. We will be actively seeking support from interested parties to get involved.
The Totnes EDAP has recently been published and can be found at: http://www.totnesedap.org.uk/

10. Chagford Energy Fair
An Energy Fair will be taking place in Chagford’s Jubilee Hall on Saturday 12th June from 14.00 until 18.00. Presented by CARE ( Chagford Action for Renewable Energy) the event will include Renewable Energy suppliers, installers, presentations, information and more; see http://www.chagfordhub.com/

11. Transition News from around the World
For Transition News from around the world log on to http://transitionculture.org/2010/04/12/an-april-round-up-of-what%e2%80%99s-happening-out-in-the-world-of-transition/ which links to a roundup of transition video clips from around the world. At the end of this link there is the chance to subscribe to the on-line Transition Network Newsletter to keep up to date with Transition news.

12. Volunteering Opportunity
Transition Tavistock is looking for somebody to manage their publicity. If you have the skills and perhaps could use the experience for your C.V. then please get in touch via our email address below.

13. Questionnaire
You will find a short survey attached to the email along with this newsletter. Please let us know about yourself by completing it and returning to the email address below.

14. Other Links
Check out the website for Transition North Cornwall http://www.transitionnc.org/node/1 .
Wanting to renovate your house, eco style? Very useful website http://www.sustainable-energyacademy.org.uk/