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We send a monthly bulletin with news of our own activities, other local events of interest, and relevant resources from wider afield, plus a short monthly reminder of key dates. You can also opt to receive newsletters from any working groups that issue them.

This page contains links to past monthly bulletins. Browse to get a sense of our story, but note that information and links may be out of date.

2021: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2020: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2019: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2018: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2017: (to be added)

2016: (to be added)

2015: Jan, Feb

2014: (to be added)

Our December 2014 Newsletter is available to view here or download here.

Our November 2014 Newsletter is available to view here or download here.

Newsletters from 2013 are archived here.

(One below also to be moved to archive)

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s Newsletter: April 2014

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

April Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 8th April 2014 (19:30 till 21:30) at the Union Inn, King Street, Tavistock.

 2. New and improved Transition Tavistock website

We’ve got a fresh new website. We hope you like it! If you have any ideas or suggestions please let us know. It’s always challenging to keep it up to date. If you’d like to help us please get in touch.

We’re also very pleased to have your stories, ideas, links etc. to add to the site. Email:

Many thanks to West Country Websites for their help and support!

If you’d like to help out with editing let us know.

3. Transition Tavistock AGM 2014

Moving forward into 2014/2015 was our theme for this year’s AGM held at the Tavistock Enterprise Hub on Thursday evening, the 27th February at 7.30 pm.

The formal stuff was duly reported upon (see website for details). Two committee members stood down and we have an additional three members.

The 2014 Committee:

Coordinator          Kate Royston

Treasurer              Mike Dennis

Secretary              Tim Barnard

Other                     Graham Reed

Al Head

We would like to thank Rebecca Garland and Mozza Brewer for their hard work.

Rebecca has been our Secretary for the last couple of years and has made a huge difference to the organisation. They will both be sorely missed as Committee Members but they plan to stay involved with the organisation.

The evening was well attended and provided a welcome opportunity to run through our various activities from the past year and … importantly our plans going forward.

A highlight was the short talk from Joddy Chapman, from South Brent Community Energy Society, of their journey to seek and secure planning permission, raise over £430,000 from the community via a community share offer, and secure and install a 225kw wind turbine. This is now generating electricity and returns into a Community Fund which will contribute to improving the energy efficiency of S. Brent’s community buildings.

The time lapse slides of the wind turbine’s erection were fascinating. Thanks Joddy!

There was an interesting discussion around transport. Al Head asked us to remember how valuable the bus services are in Tavistock and how much better the town is now served with the additional service to Plymouth. We will endeavour to promote these more often.

There was also discussion about the potential reintroduction of a rail service from Plymouth to Exeter via Bere Alston, Tavistock and Okehampton. Serious consideration is being given to this as an alternative and supporting route to Dawlish. It was suggested that there should be an opportunity for wider discussion on the pros and cons of rail services in Tavistock. Peter Evans offered to help facilitate this.

We presented our work in the areas of food and energy in particular (see section 5 below) and welcomed the discussion. Community composting was a topic that came up. If anyone is interested in doing anything locally let us know.

We received positive feedback that it was helpful to have the chance to understand more about what we’re doing! The presentation is available on the website if you’d like to have a look.

Thanks also to Rachel from Tamar Grow Local/Tamar Valley Food Hubs; and to the Tavistock Enterprise Hub for hosting and for their continued support.

4. Energy Savers Events – Open Homes and Eco Fair

We ran on Open Homes weekend on the 18th and 19th January. Fifteen householders across the area threw open their doors for others to see what measures they had taken to conserve energy and reduce their usage. Information on all the homes is available on the website.

The Eco Fair was held on Saturday 25th January at Tavistock College. We were supported by 20 exhibitors as well as our own local initiatives … and attracted over 200 visitors. Feedback from both exhibitors and visitors has been very positive. We’ll be taking careful note of your advice on how to make our next Eco Fair even better.

We’ve just heard that we’ve been awarded some funding to run our next Open Homes and Eco Fair in September 2014. Further details next month.

5.  Horrabridge Energy Savers

 A series of free workshops will run in Horrabridge during April and May to give information and support on lowering your energy bills while making your home warmer and more comfortable to live in.  300 homes in the village have received an invitation to the workshops, which will be held in the Village Hall and Horrabridge Community Primary School.The four workshops will cover topics ranging from energy saving behaviours, DIY draught-proofing and insulation, and treatment of traditional buildings.
Horrabridge Energy Savers will focus on free or inexpensive ways to tackle energy use at home and will be delivered by trained volunteers from Transition Tavistock (a local community organisation).  Don’t worry if your house isn’t selected to take part initially – it is hoped to expand the project to cover other parts of the village later in the year.Workshops coming up in the next weekHorrabridge residents have a chance to undertake a self-assessment of their homes to see how energy efficient they are, and what steps could be taken to improve them. These could include no cost and low cost measures.Come along to a free event at Horrabridge Primary School on Monday 7th April at 18:30 or Saturday 12th April at 10:00 to find out more. Trained local volunteers from Transition Tavistock will be available to help.


On Thursday evening (10th April, 18:00, Horrabridge Village Hall) and Saturday afternoon (12th April, 13:00, Horrabridge Primary School) there will be a number of specialist sessions.

Are you living in an older more traditionally built property? Join us at 18:00 on Thursday or 13:00 on Saturday and learn more about making your older home more energy efficient.

Have you ever considered external wall insulation or would you like to know more about it? Come and hear Jack Penfound from Greenhus explain the options at 19:15 on Thursday or 14:15 on Saturday. Jack’s a great speaker and is sure to entertain as well as inform!

Would you like to know more about the range of options for renewable energy in the home? We’ll be looking at solar, wind, wood, heat pumps and hydro in a domestic setting at 20:30 on Thursday and 15:30 on Saturday.

Refreshments and cake will be available. We’re organising a drawing competition for children on Saturday 12th if you want to bring them with you.

For more information come and talk to us at the Horrabridge Village Market on Saturday morning (5th April) at the Youth Club, call Kate on 07969-569-444, email  or check out

6.  Food and Energy Group News

We continue to make good progress with a number of different projects and initiatives including Roots to Transition, Horrabridge Energy Savers and setting up the Energy Cooperative.

The date of our general food and energy meeting is to be confirmed. If you’re not on the circulation list for this group and would like to learn more, please contact Kate at

Food and Growing Initiatives

Roots to Transition  

 With the cooperation of Tavistock Town Council, we are transforming the Rose Walk into a fine example of a Potager (that’s the intention anyway!)Latest progress …The polytunnel is on its way … but has been delayed.We’ve had to distribute our seeds for propagation far and wide …We are hoping that Tavistock ladies Gardening Club can help us out with the flower seeds


The vegetable seeds are being looked after by three of our group.

If you have any space and could host some of our seeds / seedlings please get in touch (Sue).

The fruit trees are in and most of the herb plants. We’re about to do our second dig of the wider bed on the right hand side if you’re looking towards the canal. The bindweed is still struggling for survival!

We’re waiting to hear if we have some funding from Devon Co.Co’s locality budget to help with the cost and provide some compost bins.

If you’re walking past and like what you see do let us know.

Volunteers are also welcome … if you’d like to help with this transformational project do get in touch … please contact Sue Hepworth.:

Garden Share Scheme

We’d like to breathe new life into the Garden Share scheme this Spring and are looking for additional coordinators.

If you have a few minutes to spend each week and enjoy meeting and talking to people … get in touch … we need to add some additional people to our Garden Share scheme to help identify potential garden owners and gardeners …and match them up.And please let us know if you have a garden to share with others or would you love to grow your own fruit and veg, but need some space.Email: 

Energy Initiatives

Tavistock Renewable Energy Network (TREN)/ Tamar and Tavistock Energy Network/ Tamar Energy Community

Substantial progress has been made over the past couple of weeks and we hope to have the energy coop legally constituted by the end of April 2014.

We’ll have more news next month of how you can get involved. In the meantime if democratising energy for local people rather than for the Big 6 energy companies is important to you and/or you have specialised knowledge, or you could provide help on the legal side, communications, finances, events, renewable energy, educational and skills development etc. please get in touch. We’d love to have you on board as we embark further on this journey.

Naming our Energy Co-op

After much deliberation we think that Tamar Energy Communityis a name that is dynamic and describes what we’re trying to achieve. Let us know what you think.

South West Devon Community Energy Partnership (SWD CEP)

Our key focus remains on developing ways to help householders in particular reduce the amount of power and heat needed in their homes.

Our Energy Savers programme (also known as Community Action for Retrofit Delivery) is rolling out across Horrabridge (Transition Tavistock), Harbertonford (Transition Town Totnes), South Brent (Sustainable South Brent), Newton and Noss (Newton and Noss Environment Group) and Moretonhampstead/Cheriton Bishop (Moretonhampstead Development Trust).

See above (Horrabridge Energy Savers) for details of the workshops.

If you’d like to help support this programme and be a local Energy Champion do get in touch.

7.  The Old House Eco Course – A fantastic opportunity!

The Old House Eco Course presented by Marianne Suhr and Roger Hunt, with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings is taking place on Saturday 10th May (9.30am – 5.30pm) at Dartmoor National Park, Parke, Bovey Tracey,The course describes how to make your home – whether it is medieval and timber-framed, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian, detached or terrace – energy efficient and low carbon without devaluing the future sustainability or character of the building.Compatibility between traditional buildings and modern technologies and materials can be mistakenly ignored. The course will explain how to avoid potential problems and will consider an holistic approach to retrofitting, while presenting a background to the latest building science with practical advice and examples of best practice.


This event is aimed primarily at homeowners with period properties (pre-1919), and professionals wishing to advise them. Priority will be given to those with buildings on Dartmoor and the adjoining market towns/villages until 7th April, after which bookings will be open to all.

Further details can be found at  or

There will also be an event on Friday 9th May. This is more technical and aimed predominantly at building/energy specialists and will include the results of SPABs recent research into the performance of retrofit measures on some historic properties, with a condensed version of the Old House Eco Course in the afternoon.

This event is by invitation only. If this is of interest to you contact Kate Royston at

8.  Renewable Energy Marketplace – Tues 8th April

1 week to go until Renewable Energy Marketplace 8 April10-4, Westpoint, Exeter 8 AprilA RegenSW event.Click here to download the full show guide (low-res)


A printed copy of the 84 page guide to the show, the exhibitors and installing renewable technologies is included in your ticket.

Attend exhibition and talks for only £15 + VAT  BOOK HERE

Attend the leading conference with individual session prices starting at £45 +VAT BOOK HERE

Everything you need to know about renewable energy, energy efficiency measures and generation.

•              Meet over 100 installers and suppliers showcasing the latest products

•              Attend conference covering latest on FiT, RHI, CfDs, Planning, Grid, and more

•              Hear directly from DECC roadshow on the domestic RHI

•              Test drive & view Green Cars including BMW, Tesla and Toyota

•              Find out the best ways to reduce energy costs

•              See live demonstrations of installations and technologies

•              Learn how to engage your community in energy issues

BOOK ONLINE or call 01392 494399

9.  Inner Transition

If you’re interested in participating in an Inner Transition group could you contact Al Head .

The purpose of the group would be to support its members and other people active in the transition movement, and to provide opportunities for ourselves and others, to explore and to experience inner processes that lead to outer change. The ‘outer’ work that is being done in Tavistock is going really well, but to bring more people on board, and to really envision the future we want to create, Al thinks it is important that we take time to look at the inner things that can block and restrict our capacities to see what is happening in the world, and to work to change things.

10. Tavistock College – Solar School

 Tavistock College’s SOLAR SCHOOL’s campaign was launched on Thursday 23rd January. There was a focus on renewable energy during the day’s curriculum and the school concourse was buzzing with activity through the lunch break. The cycled powered smoothie maker was a great hit, along with the yellow cakes and wrist bands.There will be a programme of events throughout the year to raise the £20,000 target for solar PV panels to help power the school’s activities and help reduce fuel bills.The logo’s been designed by students as part of a competition!
The campaign is supported by 10:10 who provide marketing materials and the fundraising website.Contribute £5 (or more) and buy a ‘virtual’ tile from help the College towards its target and a reduction of its energy costs. You can even customise your tile with your own message!Fund raising events in the pipeline include:PTA Fashion Show –  26th AprilCar boot sale – Sunday 18th May (tbc)Evening walk – Friday 20th June (tbc)


Quiz at Halfway House – 13th July

Music night at the Wharf – date tbc

Other ideas include an athletics meet and a duck race as well as other student activities.

A poster to promote the events can be downloaded here.

If you have any ideas or would like to help get in touch with Linda Coe (

An important part of the campaign will be a drive to increase energy awareness and a reduction in energy use across the College. This is being supported by Tavistock College’s participation in the Dartmoor Schoolsinitiative funded by the Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund. This is bringing expertise from Okehampton College (said to be one of the college leaders in energy efficiency in Europe –  and DARE (Devon Action for Renewable Energy) to support staff and students efforts to reduce energy use.

11. Tavistock and District – Local Economic Blueprint

We gave a presentation of our planned work to develop a Local Economic Blueprint to the Business Breakfast at the Bedford Hotel, on Thursday 23rd January. There was a lot of interest, particularly in the importance of the local multiplier effect i.e. if you spend money in a local independent business it is much more likely to be re-spent on multiple occasions on local goods and services (£10 can yield £50+) than if you spend money with businesses from outside the area (e.g. regional and national multiples) (£10 may only yield £12.50). The blueprint exercise will help us better understand how we can convert those essential costs (food, drink, energy for powering and heating our homes) we all have to make into more local benefit including jobs.

We have applied for funding to help us progress this work and are waiting to hear if we’re successful.

If you’d like to help or know of any organisations who might like to contribute please call Kate 07969-569-444).

Totnes undertook a similar exercise in 2012/13 ( and are supporting our work.

12. News from Tavistock: Chamber of Commerce, Tavistock Enterprise Hub, and the Town Team

Tavistock Chamber of Commerce

There are a couple of new members to the Tavistock Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee – voted in at the AGM in February 2014.

  • Louise Jackman from TJ’s & LJ’s Fish and Chips is now the Vice Chair
  • Terence Kelly from Whitchurch PO & Stores is the Secretary

The Chamber is working with Tavistock BID and others, including Transition Tavistock Roots to Transition team to ensure a spectacular Tavistock in Bloom for 2014.

Tavistock Enterprise Hub

The Hub is under new management as Adam Fleet decided to take a step back.

If you need some space for a meeting, a hot desk from time to time … or even a permanent desk or office check out If you haven’t had a chance to see it get in touch with the team and drop by for a coffee (

Tavistock Town Team

The Town Team is continuing its work. Current initiatives include looking at options for ongoing support of Tavistock Totally Locally. This could be via a Town Shop which could incorporate an Energy Shop and advice centre. If you have any thoughts on this get in touch (

13. Tavistock Car Club

Unfortunately usage of our Eco-Car was too low to maintain the vehicle and its telematics system and it is now being used in Totnes as part of their car club.

There are alternative, lower cost options which could be explored using Moor Car (

If you’re interested in looking at alternative options and are prepared to be part of a working group and an initial user base please let us know (

We would like to thank Tavistock Town Council, West Devon Borough Council and the Tavistock Enterprise Hub for their help and support during the Car Club’s year of operation.

14. Tamar Grow Local and Tamar Valley Food Hub

Tamar Grow Local’s AGM in February 2014 was well attended and a good opportunity to catch up with latest developments.

Tamar Valley Food Hubs (

The Tamar Valley Food Hub is an exciting new way to shop for local and seasonal food and drink. To find out more check out the website.

Friday collection points have been expanded:

2.30 – 3.00 The Quaker’s Meeting House Tavistock

3.30 – 5.30 Bere Alston Post Office

3.45 – 4.30 Tamar Grow Local HQ Unit 7-9 Pannier Market Callington

3.30 – 4.00 The Bread & Roses Ebrington Street Plymouth

4.15 – 4.45 Devonport Guildhall Bakery Plymouth

4.45 – 5.15 The Tamar Valley Centre Albaston

5.11 Calstock Train Staiton

5.24 Gunnislake Train Station

Home delivery is also available (

And remember … orders need to be in by midnight on a Tuesday!

Sign up to Twitter for the latest news on produce available each week: @tamarfoodhubs

15. The Valley Newsletter Out Now

The latest issue of The Valley newsletter was published in February 2014 and is available to collect from public outlets throughout the Tamar Valley.

The Valley contains news, progress on projects and information on how to get involved and enjoy the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Pick up your free copy from local outlets in and around the Tamar Valley, including the Tamar Valley Centre at Drakewalls, near Gunnislake, or view your copy online at It’s a great read!

Suggestions for future articles, or new outlets you think might like to receive our newsletter, is always greatly appreciated. Also, if you are interested in advertising in the summer issue, please do get in touch – Charlotte Dancer, Information & Communications Officer for the AONB team – 01822 835030,

For latest events across the Valley check out:

16. Tavistock Townscape Heritage project

Work continues to progress the application for the next stage of funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the renovations of the Guildhall.

More details next month.

17. Dartmoor Electric Bicycles on Facebook

One of Dartmoor Electric Bike’s New Year’s resolutions was to get more active with social media, so we are working to get our Facebook page up and running. If you are on Facebook, would you please do us a favour and Like our page:

… and maybe even Share it with your Friends on Facebook. This page will have all the latest news of our activities. If you go there now, you’ll find out about one of the rides we’re planning for the spring — by which time it WILL have stopped raining!

Dartmoor Electric Bikes is a project jointly hosted by:

Inga Page 07914184220

Rebecca Giraud 07795999754

You can follow us on Twitter @highdart and/or on Facebook

18. Skills Share

There continues to be full and interesting programme of Skills Share offered from Totnes (

If anyone would like to coordinate a Tamar based skills share … or has a skills share opportunity please get in touch –

19. The Third Annual ISSR Sustainability Research Event 2014

 Friday 2 May 2014 | 09:30 – 15:30 | Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth UniversityBook now! ACCEPTED! CREATING SOLUTIONS FOR HORIZON 2020

Are you interested in finding out what’s new in sustainability at Plymouth University?

Would you like to find out about funding opportunities and hear an update about the

European funding stream Horizon 2020?

Would you like to hear from external partners about their sustainability activity and how universities can help?

Are you keen to develop links and partnerships with other researchers and external partners on sustainability to allow for future collaboration?

If we are going to experience more extreme weather, how prepared are we and what could the impacts mean for residents and local businesses?

The 2013 event was eye opening to see the extent of work being done at Plymouth University and the linkages with other stakeholders across the South West and beyond.

Not to be missed!

For more information see

20. Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces by Anni Kelsey

Do you dream of a low maintenance perennial garden? One that is full to the brim of perennial vegetables that you don’t have to keep replanting, but only have a small space?Do you struggle with too little time for gardening or controlling the pests and diseases that eat your crops? Do you want to grow unusual vegetable varieties? You can do all of this with Edible Perennial Gardening. Anni Kelsey has meticulously researched the little known subject of edible perennials and selected her favourite, tasty varieties. She explains how to source and propagate different vegetables, which plants work well together in a polycultures, and what you can plant in small, shady or semi-shady beds as well as in sunny areas. It includes:• Getting started and basic principles• Permaculture, forest gardening and natural farming• Growing in polycultures• How to chose suitable leafy greens, onions, roots, tubers and herbs


• Site selection and preparation

• Building fertility


• Low maintenance management strategies

If you long for a forest garden but simply don’t have the space for tree crops, or want to grow a low maintenance edible polyculture, this book will explain everything you need to know to get started on a new gardening adventure that will provide you with beauty, food for your household and save you money.

For more details:

21. Christine Lagarde: A New Multilateralism for the 21st Century

Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund, delivered the 2014 Richard Dimbleby Lecture. Charismatic and plain speaking, Lagarde explained her thinking on the challenges facing the global economy.

Highly recommended, enlightening and thought provoking.

You can read the transcript here:

22. Local news and links

Check out for Tavistock’s Umbrella Local Events Calendar and links to local organisations.

23. Forthcoming Dates

April 2014           Green Drinks                                       Tues April 8thFood and Energy Group                    tbc – see website May 2014Green Drinks                                       Tues May 13thFood and Energy Group                    tbc – see websiteTavistock Garden Festival                25th and 26th

24. And Finally …

Your newsletter editor is leaving the Transition Tavistock committee to concentrate on other projects – all good wishes to the future editor, whoever he or she may be!  Best wishes to all from Rebecca Garland.

Tel: 07969-569-444

    @TransitionTaviTransition Tavistock


Our older newsletters are archived here.