Transition Glastonbury Autumn 2009 Newsletter
In this issue: Transition Glastonbury transmogrifies! Next steps for TG: come and help... Local Government news Sustainable Communities Competition Interest groups: Food | Energy | Transport | Heart and soul Health | Low Impact Housing | Resources Plus book reviews Calendar Contacts
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Hello and welcome After the very successful Transition Somerset Event on May 30th which brought people together from all over Somerset, Transition Glastonbury breathed a sigh of relief and chilled out for the summer. Some of us have been out and about having fun and networking at festivals ... three cheers for the Scything fair, Glastonbury Festival (what a great one) and for our continuing partnership with the Sunrise team who ’ve put on both Sunrise festival itself and OFFGRID, both with a big Transition Focus. On a sadder note, big hugs and tea and sympathy for the Green Gathering team who suffered a massive blow when they were cancelled at the last minute - we would have been there too. It's with renewed energy that we are looking forward to an action packed Autumn. As the blackberries and apples ripen, we've got an abundance of produce at the Harvest Show, three great 'Training for Transition' courses, two Tea gatherings, Fruit Trees For All, the new Transition local food book & Patricks Whitefield's 'The Living Landscape' (just out and well worth a read), a six-week Managing Conflict training (believe me it will come in useful), 'The Work that Reconnects', Mendip Open Green Homes and Gardens (a great chance to be nosey!) and a big think-tank day to look at our next steps (all invited).
Coming up... Transition Tea 3-5pm Sunday September 27th We've had a break from our regular tea gatherings so here's a special one. We will be celebrating Patrick Whitefield's new book 'The Living Landscape'. The November Tea will be 3-5pm November 22nd. Both teas will be at the Lazy Gecko cafe in Magdalene St. We'd especially like to thank them for being so welcoming to us this year and for the wonderful birthday cake they made us!
Contacts There’s a few ways you can contact Transition Glastonbury or its various interest groups e: email@example.com (we’ll pass it on to the right person for you) w: www.transitiontowns.org/Glastonbury (various contact details & lots of background ) We’re also on ecomotion (the green social networking site) at www.ecomotion.org.uk (just search for ‘Glastonbury’) Best of all might be to come and meet us in person at one of our events, or the next Transition Tea. Read on for details... For more about Transition nationally and internationally try www.transitionculture.org www.transitionculture.org
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Transition Glastonbury transmogrifies! Its all about change.. It has always been part of the plan for any Transition steering group (in our case called the core group) to plot its own demise right from the start. The aim of any Transition initiative is to be a 'self-organising' system rather than a hierarchical power structure where a few people at the top hold all the power. As we had our two years birthday party this April, we felt it was time to review the situation—so the core group met for a day to look at the way forward. It’s important to keep the whole process alive and for anyone to feel they can jump in and participate. We decided to dissolve the Core Group and replace it with the support group. group The idea of the support group is to gather a pool of people who can act as supporters to the various interest groups which is where the main action happens. We need people who can offer specialist advice or help with specific aspects such as conflict resolution , PR or graphic design, help developing consensus based decision making or in sourcing funding and filling in funding application forms! If you are someone who could offer occasional support to the interest groups please get in touch with Trish O' Carroll 01458 835810 . There’s a diagram illustrating all this on the next page... Transition match-makers We also invented a new service where a few people will be acting as 'match makers'. No, they are not a dating agency (!) but are there to welcome in anyone who wants to get involved with Transition Glastonbury, give them the low-down on what's happened so far, what's in the pipe-line and point them in the direction which best suits what they are interested in and what they have to offer. You don't have to do this – it’s just on offer for those who are on the edge and not quite sure how to engage. Current Transition Glastonbury matchmakers are: Patrick Whitefield 01458 832317 Jane Sanders 01458 833378 Lokabandhu 07852 281 750 If you are keen to get stuck right into getting things happening, then helping to coordinate one of the interest groups might be a good role for you. This seems to work best when there are two or three people sharing the role. Remember that there are some great training opportunities coming up this autumn and Transition Glastonbury are happy to sponsor or subsidise a few people who want to take on this kind of role to do the Transition Training week-end in September. The Energy and Low Impact housing group especially needs a coordinator. Help always appreciated with publicity, coordinating this newsletter and keeping the web pages up to date. All work you do for Transition Glastonbury qualifies for Avalon Fairshares Credits (if you are a member). If you can help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Jane 01458 833382.
- how it works
Exploring our next steps: come and help! October 24th 10-4pm at the Glastonbury United Reform Church The way we see it, there's no way of opting out of transition - its happening whether we like it or not and whether we want to align ourselves with 'Transition Glastonbury' or not. It's down to all of us to make things happen now, and that includes you if you want to! We'd like to invite everyone, however tentative their engagement so far, to come along and help us make the next steps. We will be using 'Open Space' which is a dynamic, 'self organising' way of running a meeting and great fun. The general intention is to have something like this at least 4 times a year and to combine it with a party or a meal so we can socialise as well as work. Itâ€™s a chance to unleash the collective genius of this community. The first one is planned for October 24th at the United Reform Church, from 10 am to 4pm. Please do come along and help us get started on the next phase for Transition Glastonbury. The theme for the day is 'Where do we go from here?' You might have specific suggestions, thoughts of where we have been going wrong (we'd like the feedback) or where we have done really well and what we could do more of, thoughts of what could really get this project going or just curiosity and a willingness to come along and participate. Either way we would love you to come. Bring food to share for lunch. If you can donate towards room costs that would be great, but if you can't you are welcome anyway. We don't just want this to be a talking shop. We'd love to bring real support to current projects and hopefully to ground new visions in practical ways.
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Local Government News Will Somerset really become the first Transition County? Our big event at the end of May in Glastonbury drew Transitioners from across the county with groups represented from every district. With financial or in-kind support from all three levels of local government – town, district and county - bridge building seemed to be going well. Glastonbury Mayor and chairman of Mendip DC, Edward James, and the then Lib Dem leader of the Somerset County Council, Jill Shortland, addressed the gathering against the backdrop of a big map showing all the many groups active on Transition, sustainability and localisation issues in Somerset. Perhaps everybody now knows that the elections on June 4th returned a Conservative-led council. We have obviously been wondering how the new administration view Transition, even though the resolution of July 08, pledging support to community based initiatives and committing the council to becoming a Transition Authority, was passed unanimously. In an effort to continue bridge building and get more clarity about how the county council now sees Transition, Jane Sanders talked to Anthony Trollop- Bellew who is the SCC Cabinet member for the environment. He reassured her that the Conservatives are very much in favour of supporting the Transition movement, saying that grassroots or 'bottom up' initiatives were right up their street. "We voted for it (the resolution) so we'll support it", he said. One less than hopeful sign was an early decision by the new leadership to slash the Local Initiatives Budget. This is a pot of money each county councillor can draw on to support community projects. And it was this fund that was originally suggested as the first port of call for Transition Initiatives to get financial support for local work. However, Dan Hurring of Transition Glastonbury, who was commissioned to map transitional type projects across Somerset reports: “The mapping project has been a great
way to raise the awareness of council staff about Transition. For Transition Initiatives in communities, it’s been a way to interact with and learn about how local government works. We’ve designed a blueprint for a process that could be replicated by other councils across the country. The audit shows where there is resilience in council policy and practice while exposing the gaps where there are no linkages, which inevitably leave the council and its service provision vulnerable to the effects of energy price hikes and supply chain disruption. The biggest challenge now is striking the right tone with the recommendations – being too radical might make the results too difficult to digest, while not being bold about the need for Transition solutions will dilute the audit’s usefulness…. No matter how this report is received, it’s still been a very positive learning curve showing where Transition principles can have an influence. It’s also identified just who the positive councillors and officers are…” Somerset County Council’s resolution has certainly attracted a lot of attention around the country. Niamh McDonald, a postgraduate student from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, is writing her Urban Planning Masters thesis about the role of Transition Initiatives in Somerset County Council’s decision to address peak oil. Her
research includes a detailed case study of the Somerset experience drawing on interviews with Transitioners, council officers and elected members. Her thesis should make interesting reading when it is published in September. The good news is that Transition Taunton has made great inroads into Taunton Deane Borough Council. Chrissie Godfrey, along with her partner, Paul Birch is delivering workshops to 450 members of staff and all elected representatives. So far these have been extremely well received:. She says: “What’s fantastic is that each session, we get a
slice through the whole council every time – from elected members to senior officers mixed in with street sweepers, grave diggers, carpenters and receptionists all in the same room at once. It works to take the politics out of the situation. “We’ve been doing a lot of visioning on different themes focusing on 2026. After the shock about how urgent the situation is, there is massive determination to make changes. We ask ‘what will resilience look like if we’ve cracked it by then?’ The stories people tell are all very similar. Planners are saying planning policy will have to change, that we must make the most of the river for transport and energy, we’ll need better joined up public transport, we’ll need to revolutionise land use, rethink the skills our young people will need…It’s been really inspiring to do this work!” Perhaps the most useful thing Transition Initiatives in Somerset can do is keep the Transition message on the agenda of all elected representatives – tell them about the Taunton Effect! Keep telling them what you’re doing, inviting them to events, asking them questions. And join forces with other Transitioners from all over to raise awareness and press for action. Let's use our collective voice and flex our collective muscles! And finally something interesting in the pipeline.... Alexis Rowell, a councillor in the London Borough of Camden and active member of Transition Belsize is writing a Transition Guide to working with Local Government called Local Communities & Local Councils: working together to make things happen. happen It will be published by Green Books in the spring.
Sustainable Communities Competition £5000 could be yours... World Environment Day was on 5th June 2009 and, to mark the occasion, the Somerset Strategic Partnership launched a Sustainable Communities Competition. The Competition is open to all Parish Councils in Somerset and offers a prize of at least £5,000. Parish Councils are invited to submit proposals, on behalf of their local communities, for a Sustainable Development Project which could offer long term savings in the amount of energy used by the community and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Entries are to be submitted by the end of September 2009 to Somerset County Council Environmental Resources Group which is administering this competition on behalf of the Somerset Strategic Partnership. The best entry will be decided by the Panel of Judges in October 2009 and the prize will be awarded. At the end of the project, an illustrated report will be published to encourage other communities to consider similar initiatives.
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Transition Glastonbury Interest Groups Food Group Contact people: Caroline Lewis 01458 833420 & Patrick Whitefield 01458 832317 The Third Glastonbury Harvest Show The third Glastonbury Harvest Show will be held in the Town Hall on Saturday 19th September this year. A celebration of local food and produce, exhibitors will include Transition Glastonbury, Somerset Beekeepers, Paddington Farm Trust and Avalon Fair Shares. Entries are invited in over twenty categories of competition, which includes traditional favourites such as fruit and vegetables , bread and cake baking, jam making and flower arranging, as well as some more unusual ideas! There are also three separate categories especially for children, including an inventive baking class, a garden on a plate and an ‘alien’ made from vegetables. Entry forms, which contain all the details, are available from the Town Hall foyer, Avalon Fair Shares and other shops and cafes around Glastonbury. Other attractions include a family cookery event at 1.45 and a showing of the film ‘A Farm for the Future’ at 2pm. Home baking and teas will be available all day. Entry to the show is free, and open to all, with stalls and competition entries on show to the public between 12.30 and 4pm. Anyone wishing to enter their produce needs to do so between 9am and 10am on the day of the show. There is an entry fee of 25p per exhibit, with a discount for more than three entries, with cash prizes to the top three entries in each category. Exhibitors wishing to keep their entries must collect them by 4.05pm, before the Glastonbury Country Market High Tea and Grand Auction of Produce at 4.15pm – a marvellous chance to snap up some prize winning vegetables or jams. Get Juicing! It looks like being a bumper apple crop this year. If you are wondering what to do with them all here's one solution. Hecks Cider Company in Street are offering a juicing service. The minimum order is 5 boxes of apples (40lb each). They will juice them, bottle and pasteurise them for £1 a bottle. They will lend the boxes. You can expect 12 to 13 bottles per 40lb box. The juice has a shelf life of two years. It needs to be good clean eating apples like discovery for the best results. Their number is 01458 442367. Anyone wanting to get together a shared order phone Jackie Crovetto: 01458 832021
Fruit Trees for All A wave of delicious fruit trees is due to spread over Glastonbury in the coming months. The aim of the Fruit Trees for All project is to make it as easy and cheap as possible for anyone to plant a fruit tree in their back garden. Anyone in the town can put in their order for the tree or trees of their choice and the team will provide them at whole sale prices, together with a planting demonstration and advice on aftercare. The trees will be top-quality stock from a specialist fruit nursery, not run-ofthe-mill garden centre ones. Two or three varieties of apple will be available and one each of pear and plum, all selected for ease of growing, reliability and taste. They will be grafted onto semi-dwarfing rootstocks to give a tree which is small enough to fit in the average garden but big enough to make a good, strong tree. We aim to launch the project at the Harvest Fair on Sat 19th September. Do come along then, either to order your tree or to get involved in the project as a volunteer. We already have a core team, composed of people from both TG and the Glastonbury Conservation Society, but we could do with a little extra help, especially on the distribution day which will be some time this winter. If you’d like to get involved but can’t make it to the Fair, please get in touch with Ant and Dawn Smith on 07846 824 364 or email@example.com Patrick Whitefield’s Permaculture Tip One of the long-standing principles of permaculture is to keep the soil covered. This has many advantages for the soil especially that of protecting it from the impact of raindrops and the baking effect of the sun. One way of doing this is to use lots of mulch, in the form of straw, paper or other non-living material placed on the soil surface. This is very popular in Australia, where permaculture originally came from, but translated to the British climate it can mean terrible problems with slugs, especially in wet summers like the one we’re having now. I recently went on a one-day course with Charles Dowding at his garden near Bruton. He’s famous as an expert in no-dig gardening and when he started out he used lots of straw mulch but very soon he found that really didn’t work and he changed to a policy of only mulching with compost. As he never digs, this is the only addition he makes to his soil, and the result can be seen in his excellent produce. The compost doesn’t have to be as thoroughly rotted down as it would be if it was dug in. In fact a few partlydecomposed bits of organic material in the mulch are an advantage as they provide food for earthworms while not being bulky enough to give cover for slugs. Charles uses a 5cm (2in) layer all over his garden every year. This requires much more compost than most of us, including Charles himself, can make from home resources. But it can be supplemented with bought-in manure or Revive compost, made from people’s garden waste and available at Street recycling centre for £2.50 a bag. Charles runs his courses every month. See www.charlesdowding.co.uk for details. Transition Glastonbury Newsletter Autumn 2009 | page 8
Local Food: How to make it happen in your community By Tamzin Pinkerton and Rob Hopkins Local Food offers an inspiring yet practical guide to what can be achieved if you get together with the people on your street, the people in your village, town or city. It explores a huge range of initiatives for rebuilding a diverse, resilient local food network – including community gardens, food co-operatives and Community Supported Agriculture schemes – and includes all the information you will need to get ideas off the ground. Drawing on the practical experience of Transition initiatives and other community projects around the world, Local Food demonstrates the power of working collaboratively. In today’s culture of supermarkets and food miles, an explosion of activity at community level is urgently needed. This book is the ideal place to start. The Authors: Tamzin Pinkerton has an academic background in Social Anthropology and Human Rights. Tamzin has been involved in various Transition projects, including coordinating the schools project Transition Tales, working with a local secondary school, and helping organise Transition Town Totnes. She now lives in Weybridge, Surrey with her daughter. Rob Hopkins has been a teacher of permaculture for many years; he is co-founder of the growing Transition Network and author of the best-selling The Transition Handbook. He is a lobbyist and national campaigner who is raising awareness of our need to build resilient communities in the face of peak oil and climate change. In June 2009 he won the Observer Ethical Award for Grassroots Campaigner. Out in September.
Torganics News I asked Colum Pawson how things are going (and growing) at Torganics. He told me "The vegetables at Paddington have been hugely abundant over July and August with beans flowing out of the farm to every corner of Glastonbury. Thanks to Glastonbury's vibrant local food outlets I have been able to sell everything we've grown which is great. This first year has also been quite a lesson in the realities of making a living from selling vegetables. We have had a bit of a lull in volunteers in August while everyone is off on their hols. People will be welcome back in September!" Read more at: www.torganics.co.uk.
Low Impact Housing and Energy Group Contact person: Tim Woolmington firstname.lastname@example.org This group has been one of the most vibrant, with some really excellent gatherings bringing together people to network, listen to inspiring speakers and drink cups of tea! The gatherings have included people building their own houses, people interested in renewables, people who are retrofitting existing properties, architects, people who dream of living more sustainably and are needing practical advice about how to do that, as well as people who offer this as a service. A fruitful partnership between Transition Glastonbury and the Mendip Environment company has supported the work of the Mendip energy volunteers and helped to create the Mendip Open Green Homes and Gardens scheme (see below) We really hope that a few people will step forward now to take over coordinating this group from Tim Woolmington who is stepping down from this role. Many thanks to Tim and to Marke Pawson and to Anthony Ward who initiated this group. Mendip Green Open Homes and Gardens Kevin McCloud, best known for presenting Channel 4’s Grand Designs series, visited a house in Frome on 19 August to see how the owner has taken steps to save energy and ‘green’ their home. The house is one of 27 homes and gardens in the Mendip area of Somerset which will be open to the public between 10 and 13 September 2009. Through the Mendip Open Homes and Gardens project, residents will be able to get practical advice and inspiration on picture by The Somerset Standard living more sustainably, and on saving money and energy at home. The project’s web pages have photographs and details of 27 homes in the Mendips, which have been built sustainably or ‘eco-renovated’. The scheme’s climax will be four open days in September (Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th), when the public will be able to visit the homes, and chat to their owners. Full details of the properties, together with the days and times they are open, are on the website www.mendipenvironment.org.uk. Participating homes include a highly insulated 3 bedroom ex- council house with wood burner and solar photovoltaic panels, a brand new eco-build with its own air to water heat pump system and living roof, a straw bale home, a low impact mobile ‘eco cabin’, and a farmhouse with a wind turbine. Gardens on show will demonstrate good practice in composting, food growing, and rainwater harvesting, and features such as bee hives and polytunnels. There will be participating homes across the Mendip area, in Glastonbury, Frome and Wells, and in villages and rural areas. At the semi-detached Edwardian house in Frome which Kevin McCloud will be visiting, extensive renovation and improvement work has been carried out. This includes installing additional insulation and secondary glazing, putting in a solar thermal system for hot water, and getting photovoltaic panels installed for the generation of renewable electricity. McCloud, a Somerset resident, who launched the Great British Refurb campaign earlier this year, explains why he thinks the Mendip Open Homes and Gardens project is so Transition Glastonbury Newsletter Autumn 2009 | page 12
important: ‘What most homes have in common is that they are likely to leak heat and guzzle energy, adding to the problems of climate change, as well as making a big hole in your wallet. This project is giving Mendip residents the chance to see at first hand, how others have made their homes warm and comfortable, and lowered their energy bills. The project should inspire people to make changes in their own homes, and I’d recommend that anyone with an interest in combating climate change as well as saving on energy bills, should visit the open homes in September.’ For more details of Mendip Open Green Homes and Gardens see www.mendipenvironment.org.uk or look out for leaflets which will be available from libraries and other outlets
Transition Transport Ed’s comment: I’ve been really trying to curb my car use and ride my bike more, but being an unfit 49 year old I find excuses come rather easily- 'Oh it might rain' or 'I'm working late and I'll be too tired…’. ’A wimp’ you might say - but in my defence the journey home has two substantial hills! I've always thought electric bikes looked a bit heavy but talking to Jane Birch from local business Reaction Electric, I discovered that they have come a long way in recent years, mainly because the batteries are smaller and lighter. I asked her to write something for us... Cutting carbon by cutting out the car A Quick Guide to Electric Bicycles.... The pedal cycle is a very low-carbon way to get from A to B but sometimes the addition of an electric motor can make this journey more pleasant and you can arrive at work as fresh as when you left home – which for most people will encourage them to cycle more often. Electric bikes use a small electric motor driven by a rechargeable battery pack to help you along. They are good for hills, carrying lots of luggage, or making sure you don't arrive at work all hot and sweaty. The motors are not designed to replace your pedalling, just to assist it. The legal stuff… Electric bikes are still bicycles, so have no road tax, no insurance, no MOT, no license plates, etc. To comply with this, they have to be limited to a maximum speed under power of 15mph (although you can pedal faster than this if you want, of course) and an average power of 200W (250W for an electric tricycle). The Green stuff… To fully charge an Urbanmover electric bicycle it takes about 3 electrical units which will cost between 15 and 20p depending on your electricity supplier. This will then enable you to travel about 30 miles – to travel the same distance by car would use about 45 units of energy and also produce air pollution where the vehicle is used. The electricity can be purchased from a renewable source or from your own solar panel. We have a customer in Devon who charges his electric motorbike in this way. The Cons… Electric bikes are heavier than other bikes. You have to carry around the extra weight of the batteries (basically a lump of lead, in the case of LeadAcid ones), so the bike can be hard to pedal without assistance, and to carry up stairs, for instance. The
lightest electric bikes are currently around 20kgs, with 17-18kg ones in the pipeline cheaper electric bikes can be 10kg heavier, or even more. FAQ How fast can they go? The motor assists your pedalling to take you along at up to 15MPH. Any faster is up to you... Do they go without pedalling? To comply with current legislation you must pedal whilst riding. How much effort you put in is up to you. How reliable are they? Ultra reliable. There are hardly any more moving parts than a normal bicycle. What kind of range do they offer? Well it depends on how much work you do, and how much work the motor does. 30 Miles is a good 'ballpark figure'. Can the bikes be purchased through Cyclescheme and other cycle to work schemes? Yes. The Future of Electric Vehicles in Somerset Exciting news this week â€“ Project Taunton with support from Reaction Electric have decided to install at least 6 charging posts so you will be able to charge your electric scooter, motorbike or car whilst working or shopping in the town. This will mean that Taunton will have more charging posts than anywhere outside of London in the UK! Electric vehicles are becoming more available and more affordable and if we can develop a useable network of charging posts across the county we could see a marked reduction in carbon emissions as more people travel powered by electricity. If the powered is produced by renewable sources then this is even better for our environment. About Reaction Electric: Based in Taunton, we are suppliers of electric bicycles, scooters and motorbikes as well as charging posts. Weâ€™re at the Old Print Works, 2, Wilfred Road, Taunton, tel 01823 279622 www.reactionelectric.co.uk email@example.com
Health group Contact person Andrew Johnson 01458 833382 This group is working on developing an energy descent plan for health [bearing in mind that the pharmaceutical industry is heavily dependent on oil] and planning some courses on nutrition . Please let us know if you would like to be kept in touch with developments or if you want to help with the EDP. Herbal re-skilling... Make your own Calendula Oil Calendula (or Marigold) is well known for its healing properties. Here's a recipe for making your own. 2 parts extra-virgin olive oil; 1 part dried Calendula blossoms Combine the olive oil and Calendula blossoms in the top of a double boiler. Simmer gently for approximately one hour. Strain the cooled mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth. Store in a cool, dark location, where it will keep for 3 to 6 months. By adding 2 to 3 teaspoons of Vitamin E oil for every cup of oil, you will extend the shelf life to its fullest
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Heart and soul groupContact person: Jane Sanders: 01458 833382 The work that reconnects: an eco-psychology journey October 10th With each day that passes, with each new incident that confronts us with the myriad different ways we are destroying the earth, our sense of urgency, the feeling that we must somehow change, grows more intense. Our hearts call us to another way of living. We do not want to be destructive. We want to live harmoniously; to find again our right relationship with the Earth. "On one level we maintain a more or less upbeat capacity to carry on as usual.... and all the while, underneath, there is this inchoate knowledge that our world is on the verge of destruction. Awesome and unprecedented in the history of humanity, it lurks there, with an anguish beyond naming." Joanna Macy It is this anguish, or rather our attempts to deny it, that lies at the root of the problem. Perhaps we are afraid of what will happen if we let in what we feel on behalf of the planet. We don't want to be negative, scare-mongering or morbid. We can feel guilty and helpless, caught up in a system beyond our control. By being willing to acknowledge our grief, by processing our feelings together, we can free ourselves from the paralysis, the crippling sense of being powerless and overwhelmed. We become empowered to act and there is such joy in action. ‘The work that reconnects’. has been developed and worked with all over the world for the last 30 years by eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and many others in the deep ecology movement. Jane Sanders and Dearbhaile Bradley are offering a one day workshop on October 10th in the wonderful new Yurt at the Healing Waters Centre. It’s a chance to resource ourselves to meet the challenges that are part of transition. More information 01458 833382
Review of Starhawk event: Crossing Stony Ground In July Transition Town Glastonbury was privileged to host a two day seminar with Starhawk. Transitioners came from all over the UK to spend time with this well known eco activist and wise woman. Her gift is in linking the inner world with the outer, inner awareness being the key to right action. As well as talking about practical problems of disseminating the Transition message she led us gently through processes of honouring the Earth in ceremony. This was particularly powerful in the grounds of Chalice Well Gardens where we spent one evening, invoking the different Elements to help with the process of earth healing.
She exemplifies working for change on all levels, being very supportive of the emotional and spiritual aspects involved in creating a sustainable future. She encouraged us to use positive visualisation, Non Violent Communication, and the magic of working out of time, whilst continuing with the grounded work of networking and eco education. Cathy Lotus Whitefield NB: You can see Starhawk’s Climate Change Primer at: www.earthactivisttraining.org/climate_resources.html
Handling Conflict Creatively A six-week course with Dearbhaille Bradley United Reform Church Wednesdays 7.30 – 9.30 p.m. starting 21st October (21, 28 Oct, 4, 11, 18, 25th Nov) Cost £60
‘To work deeply with the dynamics of community, we must build the skills necessary to recognise and process conflict and violence’ Alastair McIntosh ‘Rekindling Community The skilful handling of conflict is key to the success of the Transition movement. This six week course is an opportunity to begin building our skills in this area. Rather than being a formulaic or prescriptive approach to handling conflict, I intend to create a safe circle where we can reflect honestly on our experience of conflict in a spirit of gentle enquiry and explore together the insights and understandings that emerge. We’ll be experimenting with some of the available ‘tools’ for working with conflict and participants need to be prepared to work on appropriate ‘live issues’ in order to benefit fully from the course. Dearbhaile trained in a variety of approaches to conflict resolution with Derry City Council Peace and Reconciliation Department and first presented a version of this course though the Extra-Mural Department of the University of Ulster. If interested, please contact Dearbhaile on 01458 832044 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Earthprayer by Rachael Clyne And if we really are going to hell in a four-wheel drive, let us love the turning leaves and mist with all our hearts, flight of starlings, smell of marmite and toast, cat-fur soft warm under hand. Cherish sharing conversation, moments of kindness with strangers, clearing up after children, fresh cheeks while walking along trodden paths in mud-caked shoes. Meaningless chatter, sunset and lamp-lit foggy streets, instant linking with friends and family, snow flakes swirling in headlights, jostle of folk in noisy markets, loud rock music, scent of coffee bean. Relish a banana, the ache of bones, and panting of breath, the luxury of rowing with lovers and making up the next day, the privilege of buying a new one whenever we need whateverit-is.
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All of it cherish it now commit it to memory for the party ending is in the air
“If it be now, ‘tis not to come, if it be not to come, it will be now, if it be not now, yet it will come – the readiness is all” While we debate the arrangement of the deckchairs let us join hands, be true, be real, let our tears water the earth, our souls paint the sky, our dreams and prayers, go up in smoke, our lives be shattered, if that’s what it takes, for we are here now at this time, perhaps for the last time in this form, with no epitaph. Let us hope without hope that our fossil remains will someday be held in curious wonder by other fingers one fine summer morn millennia from now.
Taken from ‘Acclimatising’, a new volume of poems by the ‘Strange Sisters’. Available from rachael@rachaelclyne@com
Resources group Local eco-entrepreneur Kieron Vanden Bosch started the Resources group in May this year with the vision to 'create a network of towns that collect currently non-recyclable products, and turn them into useful products - to really turn Rubbish to Resource. So far he has been linking up with others who are already involved and has found this very inspiring. He would like to get some of these people to come down to the Sunday Session at Bridies Yard and give a short lesson in making a selected product. He has also been doing market research to see what sells. For example he has been doing research into retailers, from the eco friendly shop in Glastonbury High street to the Eden Project and therecyclewarehouse.com. He has been to a presentation by www.redesigndesign.org.uk and would like to organize trips to these kinds of presentations for the group in the future . He is keen to partner with our local scrap store on Windmill Hill and has been inspired by ideas of what to do with all kinds of things from old radiators, engine oil, tents, wellies, lighters, bottle tops to corks and old coffee grounds. He says ' I can't wait to plan some workshops into the schedule and show you what I have found. Hopefully I will have some examples of simple manufacturing aids that will make assembly of reused products easy and accessible.' The resources group needs help from two main types of people: Collectors and Inventors. Collectors are people who are happy to collect things for recycling and inventors are the people with good ideas about what to do with them and an interest in how to make that happen. Of course you might be both! If you want to get involved with this group contact Kieran at: email@example.com Tel: 07782 84905
Book Reviews The Living Landscape: How to read and understand it. Patrick Whitefield Jane Sanders writes - I got hold of my copy of Patrick’s new book just a few days before the copy deadline for this newsletter. I can't really do it justice with a proper review as it’s so packed with information, diagrams, drawings, photos and extracts from Patrick’s notebooks. It’s something to be savoured slowly with great relish! However I wanted to mention it in this newsletter just to celebrate its arrival and to congratulate Patrick on bringing us yet another great resource. Ben Law (builder of that wonderful woodland house featured on Grand designs) says 'Patrick’s book can open your eyes.
Through the Living Landscape he inspires people to reconnect with the land as a living entity, develop an active relationship with nature and the countryside and experience it first hand'. We will be celebrating the launch of this book at our next Transition Tea on September 27th. Patrick will be there to chat to people informally about the book. Published by Permanent Publications £19.95 www.permaculture.co.uk Rekindling Community: connecting people, environment and spirituality (2006) Alastair McIntosh. Schumacher Briefings No 15 Dearbhaile Bradley writes— I love how Alastair McIntosh writes, and Rekindling Community is no exception. However if you have access to ‘Small is Beautiful’, I would recommend that you read this first, as ‘Rekindling Community’ is rooted in Schumacher’s ideas. Given there are only a hundred pages, this book packs a fair punch. Not only does Alastair McIntosh present a theoretical model of ‘the psychospiritual underpinnings of community’ but the theory is supported by summaries of research undertaken by colleagues into different aspects of the spirituality of community regeneration. In his discussion of the ‘metaphysical disease’ he argues that essentialism (‘philosopher-talk for spirituality’) needs to be reclaimed and concludes: ‘Here, then is the Great Work of our times: to know and to strengthen existence as spiritual interconnectedness’. Community depends on our connection with nature (soil), with the divine (soul) and with each other (society). Community regeneration needs to create the conditions whereby we can reconnect with these three interweaving strands.’
Transition Glastonbury Newsletter Autumn 2009 | page 18
In my own experience of working in community development, it has always been what he calls “‘shadowstrike’ – the projection onto others of unresolved inner conflicts’ that has been our downfall. Whilst Alastair recognises the importance of handling conflict, there is insufficient coverage of this area overall. The arguments presented are clear and cogent but it is the discussion of the research papers that intersperse the book that I found moving, hopeful and inspiring. This isn’t just another academic argument presented clearly, these are ideas that have a practical application and here are some of the ways in which they have been applied. This is a ‘meaty’ book, thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth reading. Transition Somerset - the movie We have a short film showcasing Glastonbury’s May 30th Transition Somerset event which brought together Transition Town initiatives from all over Somerset. The film was made by young film maker Jack Thompson-Roylance who lives in Glastonbury. He really captures a flavour of what the day was like. Find it at http://vimeo.com/6220460. Thanks, Jack! Tesco comes to Glastonbury - or does it? Transition is about building the future we want to see— it’s not really a campaigning organisation. However we’re moved to report on the growing campaign in Glastonbury opposing Tesco’s application to build a 3,946 m2 sales space (5,824 m2 gross area) on what is now the grounds of Avalon Plastics. Dearbhaile Bradley went along and spoke at the recent Planning meeting where Tesco’s were appealing against the initial rejection of their plan. The planning meeting was held at Mendip’s offices in Shepton Mallet. She writes: 'In preparing to speak for 3 minutes on Tesco’s changed planning proposal ,
I’ve ended up knowing more than I rightly know what to do with about supermarkets and how central supermarket shopping is creating the antithesis of everything Transition Glastonbury is seeking to bring into being. Given the likely impact on Glastonbury of a Tesco mega-store there was a poor showing of Glastonbury people there. What unfolded before my eyes was an illustration right out of the 2007 Friends of the Earth report ‘Shop the Bullies’ - which detailed just how Tesco runs rings round planning committees. This trick of getting one plan approved and then changing it is a classic. And the way they linked their application with Avalon Plastics’ promise of 140 jobs was an astute move—in fact that proved to be the card that won the trick. Jude Beveridge, of Street Chamber of Commerce, hit the nail on the head when she said that the Planning Committee were in effect being held to ransom by Tesco on the basis that if they rejected the proposal, Avalon Plastic would move elsewhere. What left me most disheartened, witnessing the planning committee at work, is that were no enemies here - some eejits I’ll grant you - but this decision was made by wellintentioned if ill-informed individuals’. The next step: Even though planning permission was granted in this round, we hope this decision will get ‘called in for a review’ because it goes right against Glastonbury’s area plan. Some people are lobbying for this. The ‘Transitiony’ approach would be along the lines of focusing on the positive vision of increased food security and local resilience by supporting and celebrating our local traders and growers. Ideas so far include creating a local loyalty card or our very own Glastonbury pound. Watch this space or come to the October think-tank day and help make it happen!
Transition Glastonbury Calendar September Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th September. Mendip Open Green Homes and Gardens. Gardens www.mendipenvironment.org.uk or look out for leaflets which will be available from libraries and other outlets. Saturday September 19th Glastonbury Harvest Fair Venue: Glastonbury Town Hall. Open from 12.30. Stalls, Film: Farm for the Future, cooking, auction of produce. Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th Transition Training Trainin with Nick Osbourne Venue: Taunton More info: www.transitiontowns.org/Glastonbury/calendar Sunday 27th Transition Tea 3-5pm at The Lazy Gecko. A chance to meet us and celebrate the publication of Patrick Whitefield’s new book: The Living Landscape.
October Saturday October 10, 10am - 4.30pm 'The Work that Reconnects: An EcoEco-psychology Journey with Dearbhaile Bradley and Jane Sanders. £45 incl. lunch. Concessions negotiable. Venue: The Healing Waters Yurt, Roman Way, Glastonbury. www.glastonburynaturalhealth.co.uk/October10th.html Bookings: 01458 833382 firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday 17th 2-5pm Chalice Well Apple Day: Day picking, juicing, and bee-keeping demo. Normal admission to the Well. Tuesday 20th October Transition Talk Training with Nick Osbourne Venue: Taunton. More info: www.transitiontowns.org/Glastonbury/calendar October 21st (runs for 6 weeks) Managing Conflict training with Dearbhaile Bradley Venue: The United Reform Church. Cost: £60 for 6 weeks Time: 7.30- 9.30pm Saturday October 24th 'Open Space Event': Where do we go from here? At the United Reform Church 10am - 4.00 pm. Donations for room hire welcome but not essential. Bring Lunch (local food if poss) to share
November Wednesday 11th November Weaving Magic: how to create & sustain healthy & successful groups for transition With Nick Osbourne More info: www.transitiontowns.org/Glastonbury/calendar Sunday 22nd November Transition Tea Gathering at the Lazy Gecko 3-5pm Come and join in the conversation.
Transition Glastonbury Bringing together the head, heart, and hands of
our community in the face of climate change and the end of cheap oil
Transition Glastonbury Newsletter Autumn 2009 | page 20
Make the Transition to a Resilient Glastonbury in a Low-Carbon Future, 2009-2030 Peak Oil, Climate Change and the current financial crisis suggest that our future is likely to be very different from the past and present. Transition Glastonbury is a community initiative supporting the transition from oil dependence to local resilience in a low-carbon future by: • Creating a positive vision of Glastonbury in 2030 and a local plan for how to get there • Encouraging involvement from all parts of the community • Running practical projects to build local resilience– the ability to withstand unexpected shocks There are many stages communities go through in their successful transition to an uncertain, resilient, low-carbon future. Whether you are sceptical or fully committed, here are some of the ways you can get involved now. Just pick the colour that best describes you!
Are You ?
• • •
Curious about what Peak Oil is all about? Sceptical we can make a difference? Unconvinced by arguments for Climate Change? Interested but not sure what to do? Want to get involved but don't have much time?
Come to watch a Peak Oil/Climate Change/ Community Solutions film, find out more and debate the issues afterwards
Come and meet a Transition Glastonbury ‘Matchmaker’ who can tell you about many ways you can get involved Join our team of Specialist Supporters who offer occasional support as and when its needed Come to one of our monthly ‘Transition Teas’ for a friendly chat
Keen to get involved and make a real difference? Fed up with too much talk and not enough action?
• • • •
Join an Action Group to build locally resilient infrastructure Help write and Energy Descent Plan for Glastonbury Run films and events to raise awareness about the issues and support community participation Become a ‘Matchmaker’ and support other people to get involved
For further information please check our Calendar of Events at www.transitiontowns.org/Glastonbury/calendar or contact one of the Transition Glastonbury matchmakers