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the green living magazine for Exeter, Plymouth and South Devon


The Wellbeing pages

Taking the natural path to health

please take one and pass it on

Devon dharma

Buddhism for beginners

Bee for breakthrough Natural solution to mite problem

The cowshed college A lesson in renewable energy

Creating the news

Including Devon Open Studios

Explore the new Reconnect archive local people local events local foodat local health local environment HOLISTIC MEDICINE





Exeter Natural Health Centre Holistic healthcare in the heart of the city Here at ENHC we offer a wide range of complementary therapies provided by experienced and highly professional practitioners. The centre, which has been established for over 10 years, is also renowned for its excellence in training courses. Conveniently situated in the city centre, we have full reception cover and beautiful spacious treatment rooms for therapists to hire or, for bigger workshops, courses and classes, we have a well appointed large training room. Please call for more details.

OPEN DAY - SATURDAY SEPT 8th 2-6pm Come and meet our therapists, try some treatments & find our more about our training programmes and classes.

BRITISH SCHOOL OF HOMOEOPATHY Now interviewing for our unique 4-year part-time practitioner training course. Visit for more details

SCHOOL OF BODYWORK Professional Massage Training in the heart of the city. APNT accredited

Enrolling now for Autumn 2012 courses

01392 422555 Centre Manager: Ali Morrish

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MO MORRISH RSHom Homoeopathic medicine LISA TATE Remedial massage, pregnancy massage, Indian head massage JULIE BLADON Yoga, Lomi Lomi massage, pregnancy massage NATALIE WILKIE Counselling and psychotherapy KATHERINE JENKINS BSC(HONS)PSYCH, MNCH(ACC). Consulting Hypnotherapist KATHERINE UKLEJA DO RCST Craniosacral therapy LESLEY HARPER Nutritional therapy SUSAN QUAYLE Maternity reflexologist, fertility, ante natal, labour, post natal & baby, aromatherapy, massage Tel: 01626 862469 KARIN OR PATRICIA Pregnancy yoga & active birth NORAH CATHERINE MCCULLAGH Bespoke facials & skin care SAMANTHA GODDARD Reiki Rascals - Pre & post natal treatments & teaching for mum, baby & child. 07870 167701 LOUISA SHORNEY MBSCH Clinical Hypnotherapy & life coaching THE DEVON SCHOOL OF REFLEXOLOGY Level 3 Diploma Spring/Autumn courses 2012 HARRIET HOLLINGWORTH Acupuncture & Chinese healthcare, reflexology, sports massage, Reiki Master JULIA COLLETT Psychotherapy & counselling 01837 840052 ANNA PARIS Ac.M.MBAC Traditional acupuncture, Toyahari 5 element & Manaka styles. email: GEOFF GREEN Energy healing and counselling MARION WALLIS Transforming Shiatsu 01364 643467 TIAN KALOULI Bowen Technique. 01647 432101 THE BLUEBELL CENTRE Spirituality and Metaphysics ADELIA TISDALL Holistic and Therapeutic Massage ITEC Tel 07835 516188 SARAH FLOWER D.N DN MED D IRIDOL Nutritionist, 07545 287816 JULIANE PECHT Angel readings, energy healing, Reiki

Exeter Natural Health Centre, Queens Walk, 83/84 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3RP e: w:

Find out more about us on facebook and follow us on twitter @ExeterNaturalHC 2

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...and the latest news at

Pete Hardy 01392 346342 2 Withall’s Gardens Lympstone EX8 5JH

With all his mite 6 Local solution to beehive pests


Hydrogen hybrid 12 Green engine conversion The hi-tech cowshed 13 College opens eco learning centre Big savings forecast 14 Massive PV array at Met Office




Inside this issue

Brought to you by... EDITOR Martin Foster 01803 868455 45 Punchards Down, Follaton Totnes TQ9 5FD

Rainwater harvesting 16 At last, a productive harvest... The inside story 18 Give your home a Summer MOT

Devon dharma 20 Buddhism in South Devon


Seasonal eating 23 Time to enjoy this time of plenty


Organic gardening 20 As usual, plenty to keep you busy

Going out diary 24 Your guide to local events

Heather Nicholson

The Wellbeing pages 26 The biggest natural health stories

How to advertise...

Living on less 38 The war of independents

THE DEADLINE The deadline for the Oct/Nov issue is Friday, September 7 - but get in touch now and we’ll do what we can!

The main image comes from beekeeping supplies company Bee’s Knees and comes from our story on page 6 about a natural solution to mite problems; the other images illustrate the Devon Academy from Wellbeing, Buddhism in Devon, the new EaRTH Centre at Bicton College and artist Shelley Castle who is taking part in Devon Open Studios.

THE RATES 1/8-page - £93; 1/4-page - £148; 1/2-page £313; full page £522. THE DISCOUNTS Book three issues, get 10% off. Pay for a series of six, get one free. PAY MONTHLY Book six issues and pay monthly by direct debit (and you get 10% discount). So, a 1/8-page is just £41.85 a month; a 1/4-page is £66.60 a month; a 1/2-page is £140.85 a month; and a full page is £234.90 a month. AD DESIGN Just call and we’ll help with words (free of charge) and design (for between £10-£50). CLASSIFIED See page 37 for details. Call Pete or Martin NOW!


Cover images:

The small print PUBLISHED BY Reconnect Publishing, 2 Withall’s Gardens, Lympstone, EX8 5JH PRINTED BY Kingfisher Print, Wills Rd, Totnes WEBSITE Visit our website at www. And visit our Facebook page at www.facebook. com/reconnectmagazine

ECO ETHOS Reconnect is written, designed, printed and distributed locally, using materials from sustainable sources. It is printed using vegetable-based inks and biodegradable fount solution. The paper is 75 per cent post-consumer waste and 25 per cent virgin fibre (from a sustainable source), chlorine-free and FSCaccredited ( All by-products of the production and printing processes are recycled. Please recycle this magazine by passing it on to someone else after you’ve read it

WELL, the weather might have been a bit soggy this year, even by British standards, but it’s done nothing to dampen any of the great events we’ve attended so far this Summer. And the biggest and best local event is yet to come the Westcountry Storytelling Festival at Embercombe, in association with your very own Reconnect magazine. You can read more about it on page 10 - hope to see you there! We couldn’t make Buddhafields again this year because it clashed with both Quest and our super-busy pre-deadline week (maybe next year...), but if you’re interested in what’s happening on the local Buddhist scene, check out Jon Stein’s feature on page 20. Other stories not to miss in this issue include the new EaRTH centre at BIcton College, a hydrogen hydrid conversion for your car, a natural solution to beehive pests (discovered by a local bee expert) and lots more. As always, if we haven’t got a story that you know about, it’s because YOU haven’t told us about it. You know how to find us get in touch NOW!




COPYRIGHT © Reconnect Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of Reconnect can be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher. But do ask – if you’re genuinely spreading the word, we’ll try to help. The publishers, editor and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services advertised or referred to in this issue, or any errors, omissions, mis-statements or mistakes in any advertisements or references

BE PROUD OF YOUR WORKSPACE insight meditation in the buddhist tradition




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Got a news story? Yuli opens the doors

Peace One Day event grows into a weekend SEPTEMBER 21 is International Peace One Day and Totnes has no intention of letting it slip by without celebration. There are big celebrations planned worldwide but the local event actually started as a small undertaking by therapist/teacher Iessaiah. “My desire was to raise awareness of this internationally recognised Day of Peace,” she said. “My passion is for peace in our hearts, mind and body and exercising this out into the community and the wider world.” So she called on some of her friends and with the support of what became her fellow organisers, Adam Griffin and Rosie Perks, it rapidly grew into a dance/celebration event on Peace One Day itself – followed by a full weekend programme of celebration. The Peace One Day community gathering/ dance and movement event on Friday, September 21, runs from 4.30pm-12 midnight at Dartington Space, and will involve Rosie Perks, Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan, Gavin Frank, Ben Jager, Hamid Van Koten, Robert Moore and Iwan Bergen. The Saturday and Sunday events run from 10am-10pm at venues around Totnes (TBC) and includes Jamie Catto and Raisa Breslava, Katheryn Trenshaw, Christoffer de Graal, Leela Fisk, Colin Moore, Srimati Edgecombe, Georgia Simone, Frida Ananda Hillfon, Noel Perkins, Sonia Jackson, Rev Ian Adams and James Eaton. The full programme of events will be available on Facebook at!/ PeaceOneDayEventTotnes.

A UNIQUE space is being opened for the first time during Devon Open Studios. Shelley Castle moved to Devon from London’s East End five years ago to complete an MA in Arts and Ecology at Dartington College of Art and is now working from a studio in a Victorian game larder on the Flete Estate near Modbury. Shelley uses salvaged materials to make paintings, threedimensional pieces and installations.

Journey into artists’ space THERE’S another rare chance to see Devon artists at work in September when they throw their paint-splattered doors open to the public. This year’s Devon Open Studios (DOS) runs September 8-23 and visitors will see artists working in a diversity of art disciplines and view demonstrations of techniques, talks and workshops. Exhibitors will include painters, photographers, set designers, furniture, textile and jewellery makers, ceramicists, print makers, installation artists, and for the first time, a movement and dance artist.

Their work will be displayed in a fascinating variety of venues from private studios and gardens to city galleries and cafes, not to mention, a hexagonal game larder – see Shelley’s space, above. Say the organisers: “It is an entertaining and pleasurable experience for both artist and viewer, creating a dialogue with no obligation to buy.” For a free event guide, check out your usual leaflet pick-up point, call 07768 164560, or visit www.

FRIEND of Reconnect Yuli Somme is opening her Bellacouche Barn in Chagford as part of Devon Open Studios. Yuli is a feltmaker and will be displaying drawers full of useful and unique pieces, beams hanging with charms of birds, and some wall hangings. Sharing her space will be paintings inspired by Dartmoor by Angela Allerfeldt - “she reflects a distinctively local atmosphere and feeling of place,” says Yuli. Nicky Scott, meanwhile, shows his quirky ceramic pieces, and in the same yard is Rima Staines, new to Devon Open Studios. “He’s a wonderful folk-art illustrator whose work is a phantasmagoria of fancy, a museum of myth, realm of the rediculous, a maker of Things and Teller of Tales,” says Yuli. Bellacouche is very near the church and car park in Chagford.

Forest is natural place for art gallery

green fuse funeral directors green fuse supports you to create a moving and memorable funeral reflecting the life & values of the person who has died. All styles of funeral – contemporary, green, jazz, traditional, whatever you choose. Highly qualified staff (FDFS Bath University). Free funeral planning service (with or without prepayment) “Jane Morrell and Simon Smith work tirelessly to improve the standard of funerals.” Good Funeral Guide Visit our funeral centre at 7 High Street, Totnes or visit our highly informative website to find out all about funerals and bereavement. Call us on 01803 840779 (24 hour service).

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WHERE better to explore our place within nature through arts than an art gallery in the woods? The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) has been bringing the arts into the heart of Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter, since 2006. Says centre spokesperson Natacha Du Pont De Bie: “The centre organises several exhibitions a year, spanning art, design, new media, photography and architecture, with artist residences and gallery projects linked to educational workshops, talks, conferences and courses.” Running at the centre until September 30 is Games People Play Part 1, which mixes original board games from 1780-1918, replicas of games dating from 2600BC and display of curious contemporary and traditional Devon games like pram racing in South Zeal, worm charming.

The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World at Haldon Forest Park. The centre also has an outdoor stage area for live music, workshops or games most Sundays and Bank Holidays. Or, if it’s raining, pop inside for skittles or shove ha’penny. Visit

Busy potter creates new courses POTTER and creative powerhouse Richenda Macgregor says her Potting Shed workshop is “buzzing with creativity and inspiration” and that’s reflected by the number of new courses starting up over coming weeks. Tuesday September 18 sees the start of a 10-week sculpting and throwing course, running from 7-9pm, and the following day a 10-week beginners’ course begins, again from 7-9pm.

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On September 15-16, Richenda is running a mould making workshop, and on September 29-30 she’s teaming up with well-known local tile maker Iris Milward for a new introductory tile making weekend workshop. The Potting Shed workshop is now in its second year and Richenda says she’s “happy”. Visit or call 07528 351431. details to us now at


Charity’s request for musical break IF you’re a musician willing to give a helping hand to a deserving cause, Jane Walker would like to hear from you. Jane is the administrator for Cancer Lifeline South West which organises breaks for people who have been affected by cancer. The group is looking for a musician to play for about one hour on one of the days. The events are held at Sharpham in Devon and are intended as a free peaceful retreat for those affected

by cancer giving time to retune with the support of professionals. The next breaks are from August 13-16 and November 22-25. Said Jane: “We have one lady who plays guitar and sings and in the past we have had a harpist. We just need a musician to entertain with something suitable. We will pay towards travel expenses and a meal is included.” If you can help, call Jane on 01392 432984 or email office@

Helping kids to say goodbye RECONNECT’S very own Seasonal Food columnist Carol Lee has written a book to help children through the terminal illness and death of anyone close to the child. Carol was inspired to write Saying Goodbye To Hare as part of coming to terms with the death of her husband from cancer when her sons were only 8 and 10. “Simply, this is the sort of book I would have found so useful at that time,” said Carol. Carol, who lives near Crediton in Mid Devon, worked for many years as a children’s social worker and is also a trained volunteer for Balloons, a charity that supports children who’ve experienced bereavement, who will benefit from the sale of the book. The illustrations are by Donna Bell, who has also donated her time free, and “have a beautiful depth and quality showing great empathy and

understanding of both childhood and loss,” says Carol. Saying Goodbye To Hare is for children aged 5-9 and includes guidance notes for the adult supporting the child. The book can be ordered from Southgate Publishers – visit www. or call 01363 776888. l Carol is now looking for sponsorship for two more books - one about death and the other about postbereavement, with proceeds again going to Balloons.

My pain started to decrease immediately. Friends were surprised mostly, then interested and amazed at the results when told of the very gentle treatment. Please try it, this is the route to take, I did and I’m glad. Jean, 65

Working in the space between weathers individual GIVEN the extreme approaches to the weather conditions image.” of recent weeks, it is appropriate There’s also a that an exhibition chance to meet the opening soon artists when they looks at landscape give a talk at the and how it is gallery on Saturday, affected by the September 12, elements. 12-4pm. Between Weathers, Other exhibitions at Harbour House Approaching Weather at Harbour from September by Christine Linfield House include 18-23, brings the landscapes of together the Arthur Glendinning work of Margaret Deans from West (August 7-12), the landscapes, pastels Cornwall, Christine Linfield who lives and printmaking of Sam Gingell, and works on Dartmoor, and Anne Sarah Harcus and Maggie Smith Scarratt, who lives in the South Hams. (August 14-19), the work of Rosie Christine said: “Our work explores our Burns (August 21-September 2), the paintings and prints of Ysabel Winzar different responses to the changing and Rosemary Moser (September landscape of coast and moor, from 4-16) and woodwork, furniture Scilly to the Shetlands. and tapestry from Crispin Born, “The paintings’ interaction with Nick Alberici and Anne-Marie Born each other arises from the shared (September 25-39). experience of working out in the Visit landscape while retaining strongly

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Local, seasonal and organic...

Local food

FRESH seasonal food is good for you - and if you buy it from local producers it’s good for the local economy too. This time we’ve got bees, chickens, veg boxes, cafes and (not quite so local) olives...

Bee vet fights the hive bugs with all his mite

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IT appears the birds and bees are a big thing in Devon. More and more homeowners are becoming more self-sufficient by putting a hen house at the bottom of the garden. But now a new fascination is sweeping the South West. Bee keeping is taking off big time (if you’ll excuse the pun) according to local expert Jon Arul who believes it is now growing faster than chickens. And the South West is the place where home hives are really buzzing. Reconnect can reveal Devon will soon be the talk of beekeepers nationwide with the announcement that a natural answer to the bee keepers’ biggest headache - veroa - is on the horizon following research at Buckfast Abbey. Jon Arul, with the help of the bee keepers at Buckfast, has been running a research project to develop a natural predator for the deadly veroa mite. Since veroa was first discovered in this country 20 years ago, huge colonies of bees have been destroyed. Until now only chemical treatment was available to keep it at bay, but nothing it seems can destroy the pest.

Now Jon’s experiment is having remarkable results and he is hoping to release a commercial product by the end of this summer. Beekeepers will then be able to dust the predatory mite into their colonies and leave them to clean up the veroa. Said Jon: “I have been using a predatory mite - a mite that eats other mites - to control veroa and it’s been going very well. “We’ve been using it in horticulture to control red spider mite and started using on poultry red mite about five years ago. It’s a totally natural control.

Peter Hayford, left, introduces three of his hens.

Getting to grips with keeping hens A LOCAL produce and rural skills project hosted a ‘how to keep chickens’ workshop run by poultry expert Peter Hayford. He took along several birds to the workshop at The Parsonage Gardens in Harbertonford. Said Apple Taylor who runs the project: “Peter brought along several birds to show and handle and gave

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advice on all aspects of poultry care including feed, housing, foxes and broody hens. The next special on the Parsonage Gardens menu is a cooking day with Apple and Emma from Dig & Dine Cafe - the theme is cooking with the produce from your own garden. For full details, call Apple Taylor on 01548 521519.


HOME MADE PICKLES & CHUTNEYS Produced in St. Marychurch, Torquay using top quality ingredients with no artificial additives of any kind. 73 Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay Tel: 07751 156325

Part of the Taste of the West range

John and Joy Eustace started beekeeping in their back garden in Lympstone and their hobby is now a business called Bee’s Knees making and supplying anything to do with bees, including wax, furniture polish, honey, fudge and chutney. Email them at “I would say every single hive in the UK has veroa - it’s endemic in the western hemisphere. The only places that don’t suffer from it are the Isle of Man and some of the Scottish islands. “Current methods of control rely on a combination of chemical treatments and management methods and you can’t use the chemicals during the Summer because of the danger of tainting the honey. You can use these mites all year round.” Jon, who works with the poultry unit at the St David’s veterinary practice near Lympstone in East Devon, is also a bee vet and has helped the company set up a website to help beekeepers. evolved from the growing interest in beekeeping but also because of concern about the decline in bee health word wide. There is a free government service called the National Bee Unit and Bee Base, which is run by Defra, but there is nowhere beekeepers can obtain expert veterinary advice. Jon is hoping to give that advice and says he is even prepared to carry out post-mortem examinations on bees sent in by keepers. “People can post bees in to me for a diagnosis. You don’t have to bring your hive to the vet - just give me a call and we’ll have a conversation. I’m also willing to do field visits for health investigations and to write veterinary health plans. “Bees are a vital part of our eco system. Honey is just an extra - most beekeepers are more concerned about the health of their bees.” Visit, call 01392 872887 or email

Chicken Nuggets you CAN enjoy... THE ever-resourceful Green Books, the environmental publishing company who just happen to be smack in the middle of Reconnectland, have come up with another gem. Chicken Nuggets, by expert David Squires, is subtitled ‘A miscellany of poultry pickings’ and that’s pretty much what you get – some good, no-nonsense poultry-keeping advice liberally sprinkled with fowl facts and literary references. Illustrated with beautiful woodcuts and engravings, it’s perfect bedside (or loo-side – you know you will) reading. At £9.95 it’s also the ideal gift for hen lovers. l AS has become customary, Green Books have given us three free copies of Chicken Nuggets for you, dear readers. All you have to do is email us with your name and address - the first three in the editorial inbox ( get the goodies. Please write ‘Chicken Nuggets’ in the subject box.

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Local, seasonal and organic...

Local food

Veg box deliveries run as individual business Licensed Cafe-Bistro-Gallery In the heart of Abbey Gardens on Torquay Seafront • Great Italian Brewed Coffee • Fresh Homemade Food • Fine Wines & World Lagers • Free Wi –Fi • Art & Handicraft Gallery We are committed to source locally where we can and use Fair trade products. We serve homemade, fresh wholesome food with an excellent choice of vegetarian dishes

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Taste the Experience! Fine English wines & cheeses, produced from our Estate on the banks of the River Dart. Tours are available which include a wine tasting. Alfresco dining in summer.

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ALTHOUGH Riverford has been a well-known name in organics for 25 years, each delivery area is run as a small business by individuals rather than by a large centralised organisation. “It means we really get to know our customers,” says Martin Emmett, who with his wife Jane delivers in the Torbay and South Hams area. “Whether you need help putting your order together, or you just want to chat or need a special favour, we make time for you. Come rain, shine, snow or ice, we’ll be there!” Customers can choose from a range of vegetable and fruit boxes to suit their household and receive orders fortnightly or on an ad hoc basis. “You can chop and change your box size as often as you wish,” says Martin, “or even make a bespoke order from our extensive product list – the possibilities are endless. “Riverford is committed to its growing

partners, making sure they receive a fair price for the crops they produce as well as offering advice and helping them to share equipment via the South Devon Organic Producers Group who ONLY grow for Riverford. They have also won an RSPCA award for animal welfare and ethical farming and were named Best Online Retailer in The Observer Ethical Awards. “We care about the environment too,” says Martin. “We can reuse your veg boxes up to eight times and recycle most of any necessary packaging (which we keep to an absolute minimum). Riverford has also worked with Exeter University on a two year study on emissions - find out more via our website: riverford/ Veg boxes start from £10.35. Call Martin or Jane on 01803 732786 and quote ‘Reconnect’.

Hazel’s pickles pick up taste awards EXPERIENCED cook Hazel Glaves, right, is always experimenting with flavours to add new varieties to her already impressive list of pickled products. Now her hard work is being rewarded with awards in the Taste of the West competition. This is the first year Hazel, who runs the In a Pickle shop in St Marychurch, Torquay, has entered the awards and she’s walked away with three accolades. Judges have given Silver Awards for her chilli lime pickle and apricot and orange chutney and her Thai banana and coconut chutney won a bronze. This year the competition has been judged three months early to allow entrants to advertise their successes at shows and events during the Summer.

Hazel takes her products to shows and events all over the South West during the Summer months, so look out for her and her award-winning preserves. You can see Hazel at Widecombe Fair (Sept 11), the Kingsbridge Show (Sept 1) and many more including the Apple Days at Hennock, Marldon and Cockington. Call 07751 156325 email:

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Solve your oil crisis

THE beautifully maintained outside seating area and the colourful interior of the One World Cafe in Torquay.

World at the centre of seaside town on the menu. FOR almost 90 years a Cafe has occupied a special place in the Said Lynn: “We take great pride heart of Torquay. in the appearance of our Cafe as we want to create a relaxed The continued success of the atmosphere for everyone to One World Cafe is possibly due enjoy. Our roses are frequently to Abbey Park being the picture perfect setting close to the famous commented on and admired. Italian Gardens on the seafront, “A few live music events on Tor Abbey, The Riviera Centre and Saturday evenings were very a host of other attractions. successful and we aim to expand this area and host a variety of live Lynn and Laurance, celebrating entertainment. Look out for details their first year in charge, are very on our website, Facebook and much supporters of the home AroundAsh Feb2012 3/2/12Twitter 03:05 Pagethe 1 summer.” throughout grown, locally-sourced and Fairtrade produce and products The cafe opens from 10am to

6pm daily but this will be extended to Thursdays, Friday and Saturday evenings, when the weather allows, for live music. Food will be served from 6-9pm with a bar until 11pm. Lynn said “We serve fresh, homemade, wholesome food with a varied choice of hot and cold meat and vegetarian dishes. And we always have two fresh homemade soups.” Visit, call 01803 299797 or email

MANY people in South Devon have connections with the Alpujarra region of southern Spain and it’s now possible to get a flavour of the sun-drenched region here in rain-drenched Reconnectland. Kate Fairtlough, who has family and friends in South Devon, has an olive farm in the region and with 35 other local growers has set up an organic co-operative mill producing extra virgin olive oil – which is now available here. “We are maintaining traditional small-scale farming in the area by encouraging farmers to convert to organic methods and paying farmers a decent price for their crop,” said Kate. “We have ancient trees and old varieties only found in the Alpujarras and on most farms the olives are hand-picked or knocked down with sticks onto nets.” See picture below. The La Flor de la Alpujarra rejects any olives that are not top quality and freshly picked and produces no more than 40,000 litres of high quality oil a year. It has a fresh, fruity taste. The oil will soon be available in Totnes and they are looking for outlets across South Devon. Call Abraham Perera in Totnes on 0787 059 484, email katealpujarra@ or visit www. laflordelaalpujarra. com.

Honest Local Food at a Fair Price Now well established, Ashburton’s premiere, undercover, local produce market goes from strength to strength ... an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of goodies, our product range is expanding all the time. Come along and meet the people who rear it, cook it and sell it. Tuckers Yard, Chuley Road, Ashburton, TQ13 7DG

Here for you Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm

P R O B A B LY T H E B E S T P R O D U C E M A R K E T I N D E V O N !

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Why this is one festival you really shouldn’t miss out on! OK this is the big one! We know your diary’s busy but you really do need to find a way of making it to the Westcountry Storytelling Festival, which is run in association with... well, us! If you’ve already been to Embercombe you’ll know about the magical setting (think 50 acres of rolling hills, wild woods, lake, organic veg garden, open fires, clay oven...) and the wonderfully friendly atmosphere. The line-up of storytellers is hard to beat the country’s finest, telling tales to take us to “marvellous, mysterious and macabre places we have never been before.” Top European storyteller Jan Blake returns by popular demand as do

Westcountry Storytelling Festival - August 24-27 In association with Reconnect magazine UK masters Ben Haggarty and Nick Hennessey. Shelia Stewart, brings us gems from the Scottish travelling tradition in story and ballad and Holly McNish will perform the poetry that won her the UK Grand Slam. Mythologist Martin Shaw will be there with his pirate crew in the Mythic Tent; Young Storytellers of the Year, Banterous Potential, are featured alongside Frankie Armstrong, Caitlin Matthews, Rachel Rose Reid, Jo Blake Cave, Usifu Jalloh, Clive Fairweather, Spindle Wayfarer and a host of international, UK and local teller, musicians, poets and other artists. In total there are an amazing 100 artists in 20 venues over the four days. All that plus workshops and ceremonies and puppetry and a circus show and, let’s not forget, Reconnect! We’ll again be running our photography competition - stop by our tent and download festival pics from your camera or phone and yours could be picked for the next Reconnect cover! Find out more and buy tickets at www.

Escot safari stream dipping

night hikes

swamp walk bushcrafts

· Ofsted Registered · Childcare Vouchers Accepted

01404 822188 beach games woodland wanders

campfires forest drop slide wild boar feeding


There are residential packages at our Yurt Village for 7 to 12 year olds and day programmes for those aged 6 to 12. From fossil hunts to otter feeding, summer was never this much fun!

ONE of the Exmouth Transition Town founder members is now heavily involved in the Bicton EaRTH project at Bicton College. Knowing his old friends at TTE would be interested in his work, he sent out an invitation to the project which is now up and running. Paul Strange, TTE press officer, said the visit was fascinating. Jonathan Davis, one of the first members of TTE when it was launched in 2008, is now EaRTH training director and has used his vast experience in renewables to help design the centre, converted from an old cow shed. Paul said that as a result of the visit TTE were now planning a ‘learning about saving water’ event. l Find out more about EaRTH over the page.

Exmouth Transition Group members learning more about renewable technologies at the EaRTH Centre at Bicton. EaRTH training director Jonathan Davis sat on the desk, with other Transition Exmouth members.

RHI hits further delays

Connecting you to the natural world

Camp W,ild is Escot s Summer Camp

Transition founder is director at new centre

THE long wait for the arrival of financial incentives to encourage people to install solar heating in their homes goes on with the latest date for introduction now set for Summer next year. The tariffs, known as Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI), have been on the cards for the last two years but in May this year the Government announced it was dividing the scheme into two phases. Phase one was the introduction last Autumn of RHI payments for non-domestic installations and the start of Renewable Heat Premium Payments. These are payments towards the cost of installation of domestic solar thermal equipment ranging from £300-1,250 depending on the technology being installed. Phase two will be the introduction of the domestic RHIs in Summer 2013 following a consultation in September this year. The Government has not published its proposals for how the RHI will work for the domestic market so, according to the Energy Saving Trust, there is no guarantee at this stage that anyone who is eligible for a Premium Payment will also be eligible for the RHI. The government has tightened

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qualifications for eligibility both for RHI and PV installations. Some of the more simple conditions include the fact that the property must be your main home and it must have basic energy efficiency measures already in place, such as 250mm of loft insulation and cavity wall insulation (where possible). For heat pumps and biomass boilers, applicants should be those who are not connected to the gas grid and rely on fuels such as oil, liquid gas, solid fuel or electricity for their heating. If you qualify you will receive a voucher and you have a set number of months to redeem that voucher by returning a signed version with a copy of the invoice and a certificate from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme - of which any installer must be a member. From April this year anyone has been able to register their interest in RHI tariffs with the Energy Saving Trust on their website at Generate-your-own-energy/ Financial-incentives/RenewableHeat-Premium-Payment-Phase-2 or by phoning them on 0800 512 012 for information. l THERE’S more local energy news on page 12.

... email us your news at City Steiner The importance of bees from go-ahead PUPILS Plymouth FAMILIES in Exeter will soon be free to choose Steiner education. Education Minister Michael Gove announced in July that the application for a new state-funded Steiner Academy in the city has been approved through to the next stage. It will be the only statefunded school of its type in Devon and one of only three in England. The search is now on for a suitable site for the school and the team behind the project has already identified a city centre site. They are now holding discussions with the owners and the Department for Education. The Academy plans to open with classes from Reception to Year 3 and a Year 7 class, although the school will ultimately teach children aged four to 16 and will prepare children for GCSEs. Jenny Salmon, from the project team behind the application, said: “We are thrilled we will now be able to make this wonderful education available to so many more children in Exeter,” she said. “We’ve received such strong support from the community throughout the application process.” The Steiner philosophy aims to provide equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each pupil in a system designed to work in harmony with the different phases of the child’s development. Find out more at www. steineracademyexeter.

primary schools took part in a week of creative workshops with local environmental tutors Tarryn Castle and Duncan Allen from PUPA Education. Children learnt about bee ecology and biology, the importance of bees and what problems they are currently facing through a fun interactive workshop followed by creative activities. The week’s activities ended with a public March of the Bees parade (pictured above) and Bee Tea Party. Find out more at

Magical CDs - FREE for you! THE travels of Devon songwriter and author Sarah Patterson have inspired a world music CD which accompanies her new book Nandita’s Dream. The magical and spiritual sounds of Africa ring clear in a unique collection of inspiring and upbeat children’s songs. The music helps you join Nandita on her adventure with the children of The People Tribe through a magical world of dolphins, waterfalls and jungle into the crystal cave. The book and songs were created at Sarah’s home on Dartmoor but the inspiration clearly comes from her many travels. The Rainbow Children’s Choir joins world class musicians on a journey through eco-rock, Gambian groove and a beautiful Indian lullaby. Musicians featured on the CD include Black Umfolosi, an internationally famous singing and dancing group from Zimbabwe, and Sheema Mukherjee, a composer and sitar player. Visit www.nanditasdream. l THE lovely Nandita’s Dream people have given us two CDs to give to you. Just send your name, address and phone number to editor@ and put ‘Nandita’s Dream,’ in the subject box - first three emails get the CDs!

Four weeks of wild summer fun for kids JUST the mention of mud, water, fire making and falconry should make every child squeal with delight.

These include a knee-trembling forest drop-slide, discovery trails and a beech hedge maze.

Those are some of the offerings at the Escot Camp Wild during the first four weeks of the Summer holidays.

There will be a chance to feed a family of otters, wild boar and red squirrels and to try their hand at falconry, go fossil hunting and rock pooling in Lyme Regis, not to mention fire making, bush crafts, pond dipping, a muddy swamp walk, river play, campfires and BBQ parties.

Escot Wild is near Ottery St Mary in East Devon occupying 1100 acres of forest, farms and parkland. Children aged between six and 12 are invited to make a 1, 2 or four night stay in a yurt village where they can experience a host of activities which connect them with wildlife, nature and outdoor play.

Visit or email, call 01404 822188.

Sunday Shopping Fairs 2012 The Exmouth Pavilion The Seafront, Exmouth 10 am to 4 pm

Sunday 19th August Sunday 23rd Sept Art, Crafts & Gifts Presented by LOCAL craft workers A real change from the high street

FREE ENTRY A Shopping Experience Exmouth Craft Fairs 01395 263495

British School of Homoeopathy Patient centred learning Founded on principles Grounded in experience The School has a permanent home in a beautiful integrative health care centre in the heart of Exeter. Open for study & tutorials five days a week, with eleven teaching weekends a year.


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Your course combines academic rigour with a commitment to training to ensure that your students have the practical tools to make homoeopathy practice pay and be a proper job. Society of Homeopaths Recognition Report

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Power to the people... local people local events local food local health local environment

Local energy

Convert your vehicle to a green fuel-saving hybrid - for £250

OUR latest round-up of new energy stories includes a locally developed hybrid hydrogen system, an energy efficient education centre, energy tariff updates and one of the UK’s biggest PV arrays...

Hydrogen hybrid system for petrol and diesel engines ● Cuts harmful exhaust emissions to near zero ● All emission reduction figures verified by independent testing ● Also improves performance and mpg ● Save £10 on car tax as ‘alternative fuel car’

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de Verde Technologies Limited Unit 1b, Western Business Park, Brixham Road, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 7BR T: 01803 664701 E: W:


Hybrid conversion turns your car into green hybrid DESPITE the recent silent arrival of electric cars, and the motor industry’s half-hearted experiments with hybrids, most of us are still driving around in cars powered by a rapidly diminishing fossil fuel. And just why so little has been done to move things more quickly, when millions of pounds have been spent on developing every other aspects of car design, is a subject for debate and not a few conspiracy theories. But now a Paignton company has developed a hydrogenbased system that can be fitted to virtually any vehicle, petrol THE de Verde device and, top, installed in or diesel, effectively turning it a Honda Accord. into a hybrid and dramatically improving performance, made ‘on demand’ so none is stored emissions and mpg. in the car. John Hickman of de Verde Technologies explained: “Even modern The system has been six years in development and costs £250 including engines extract relatively little energy VAT – they’ll even take a £100 deposit, from fossil fuels – just 45% from diesel the rest to be paid at the end of the and 30% from petrol. Our system 30-day money-back period. Most big increases thermal efficiency and takes insurance companies have given their those figures up to almost 100%.” approval. Basically it injects a hydrogen/air mix Reconnect’s very own Robin Currie has into the air intake, which allows the the de Verde system fitted to his Renault engine to burn the petrol or diesel far Laguna. more efficiently. He said: “I am highly delighted. The The result is a dramatic increase in engine is certainly more powerful, to power so less throttle is required to the point where I have to make more achieve the same performance, which effort to keep within speed limits, and means less fuel is used and emissions fuel consumption has been cut by 30%. are cut to “near zero”. There’s not even an exhaust fume smell, says John. “I will have had a return on my money within a few months – then I’m into The company installs a small device, profit!” approximately 6 x 6 x 2.5 inches, To find out more, visit www. which is filled with electrolyte and or call 01803 simply has to be topped up with distilled/filtered water. The hydrogen is 664701.

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editor@reconnectonli ... send renewable energy news tolocal local people local events local food health local environment

This is planet EaRTH BRINGING a 19th century former cowshed into the 21st century is one big ask but making it one of the most energy-efficient in the country is even more of a challenge. The centre, which is part of Bicton College of Agriculture near East Budleigh, has been called EaRTH, which stands for Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub. It was opened officially in May this year by Michael Gove MP and provides a centre of excellence for renewables and in turn a place for education and training for students, businesses and the community. Its Interpretation Centre also provides a venue for conferences, events and lectures. Graham Waddell, head of the EaRTH programme, said the biggest problem with teaching renewable technologies is that they are mostly hidden from view on roof tops or in boiler rooms. So they replaced a boiler room wall with a window and created vision panels for cob walls and underfloor heating and left the thermal store and all its pipework exposed. The centre’s lower barn roof is covered by a 10kw PV array, and a solar thermal array and air source heat pump provide heating and cooling. A biomass boiler is fed by fuel crops grown on the local Clinton Devon Estate. Rainwater is harvested and used.

External cladding using western red cedar grown in Devon and Cornwall has completely transformed the buildings and provides a “tea cosy” solution to the insulation challenges of an older building. The centre was designed to meet the BREEAM standard which measures the sustainability of new non-domestic buildings in the UK. It has achieved the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the highest possible for a refurbishment. The college now offers training in green technology and practice and courses are run in partnership with industry experts and delivered to industry standards. To find out more, including about using the centre for events, call 01395 562403 or email graham.waddell@

The converted farm buildings clad in local cedar, above; the 10kw PV solar array, right; and the heating system, above left, exposed for examination.

One Day Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Overview Two Day EAL Introduction to Environmental and Renewable Technologies One Day EaRTH Introduction to Biomass Energy opportunities Half Day Green Deal Awareness Course Two Day FOREST Biomass System Design Course Four/Five Day installer courses in Biomass, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Heat Pumps and Rainwater Harvesting

Countryside Management, Environment and Sustainability Subsidiary Diploma in Countryside Management This is a one-year course designed to provide an introduction into countryside management. Blended learning combining practical and theory sessions to equip you with the skills necessary to be successful in your chosen career. Six modules discrete modules • Practical Estate Skills, • Woodland Management • Farm habitat management • Investigative Project • Wildlife Ecology • Countryside Recreation and Tourism The Ranger Course (New for September 2012). This unique and exclusive Level 3 Extended Diploma in Countryside Management has been developed with Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) to achieve the skills required to become a Countryside Ranger. This course will enable participants to develop the skills and practical experience to work as a Ranger whilst benefiting from a formal link with DNPA. The two-year programme combines underpinning theory-based sessions with a strong focus on practical skills. Students will benefit from instruction by an experienced Dartmoor Ranger one day per month at Bicton and an additional one day per month of practical project work on-site within Dartmoor National Park.

For an EaRTH Brochure containing full course information and to book a place please call 01395 562403 / 01395 562360 or email

Blended learning combining practical and theory sessions to equip you with the skills necessary to be successful in your chosen

Bicton EaRTH (Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub) is a leading centre of excellence for sustainable energy and environmental training. Our courses offer opportunities for all age ranges and levels of knowledge, from those with an interest in the sector to those with years of experience wishing to take that next step. As a rapidly growing UK and global industry there are a wide range of employment opportunities throughout the sustainable energy and environmental sectors. We work closely with industry to ensure our courses and training equips people with the right skills and knowledge. Some of the courses available at EaRTH are:

For more information on courses and to register please call Bicton College on 01395 562300 email:

Editorial: 01392 346204


Revisit all the Reconnect back issues and read our online diary...

Local energy PV tariffs update THE uncertainty that has surrounded the PV market finally ended in May when firm dates for the introduction of new tariffs were announced. The changes followed the court case which was prompted by the sudden cut in tariffs in December. The challenge to the Government by the PV installation industry was successful in delaying the cut from 43p to 21p from the Government’s date of December 12 last year until March 3 this year. A further reduction is planned for August 1 this year when the tariff payment will drop to 16p for domestic 4kWh systems. Also from August 1 the export tariff rate will increase to 4.5p for all new solar PV installations. The current rate is 3p. The tariff lifetime will also be reduced from 25 years to 20 years for all new installations. This means only home owners with an eligibility date on or before July 31 this year will receive the current 21p/kWh rate. The eligibility date is when the installation becomes eligible for FIT payments. The Energy Saving Trust recommends home owners contact their FIT supplier (electricity company) as soon as possible to confirm the requirements of meeting the new deadline and if necessary send documents via special delivery to ensure their arrival. For a full list of the 26 registered FIT licensed suppliers see the OFGEM website: Click on the sustainability tab at the top, then environmental programmes in the left hand menu followed by feed-in-tariff scheme and then click on registered feed-in-tariff licensed suppliers.

Our future

SUNGIFT fit the first panel, above. Left, the finished installation.

Met Office forecasts sunny future THE Met Office in Exeter now has one of the largest solar systems in the UK, with 1,000 PV panels mounted on the 150-metre roof of its Energy Centre. Building services engineer Peter Clayton-White said: “On a sunny day this 250kW array will generate enough energy to run one of our three supercomputers on sunshine, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our energy supply. “We hope to have a display in our reception so everyone can

see how much energy the array is generating at any one time and how much is going to the supercomputer.” The contract to install the massive system was won by Exeter-based SunGift Solar. “The Met Office is a world leader in weather and climate services, so it’s great news we were chosen from the tender process to carry out this prestigious job,” said Gareth Walton, business development manager of SunGift, the current South West

Renewable Energy Installer of the Year. The 250 kW array will generate 221,000 kW hours of electricity per year – enough to power the equivalent of 67 houses – and will save about 116 tonnes of C02 per year. The system will be linked to the Met Office’s sophisticated Electricity Management System, enabling up-to-the-minute monitoring of the panels’ performance. Visit or call 01392 213912.

Your choice

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Over 7yrs and 1000 installations completed. Award winning, expert staff. Most recommended SW installer on Small roof? Shaded? Or wrong direction? We have solutions! We are always happy to answer your questions. Call SunGift to arrange a FREE survey and secure your energy future.

Solar PV & Thermal • Biomass • Heat Pumps • Wind • Micro CHP


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...all in our new-look website at


Reconnecting kids to having fun in nature DO you wish you had a secret weapon to prise your child away from their electronic gadgets and get them out into the woods? The art of surviving in the wild is an increasingly popular pastime for all ages and this Summer Embercombe is running Wildcraft, a week-long programme for teenagers. The week is about reconnecting young people with nature and will provide the opportunity to discover strengths and gifts, learn new skills and share stories around the fire. Embercombe is committed to ensuring people of all incomes can take part in its programmes and some bursary places are available. And if your child can’t have a wild Summer holiday, Embercombe also

include Wildcraft within their outdoor education programme for primary and secondary schools - so maybe a little parental pester power will help you get your child’s school to host their own visit? Wildcraft runs from August 12-17. Visit wildcraft or call 01647 252 983. For learning outside the classroom visit:

Community’s great little cinema OKAY so we’re declaring an interest right from the start here. Reconnect editor Martin Foster is chairman of Follaton Community Cinema, which is run by volunteers and shows films in the Follaton estate’s community centre on the edge of Totnes. And though he says so himself, it’s gone really well since it was launched almost two years ago. “After a lot of hard work by everyone involved, we think we’ve got it about right,” says Martin. “But more importantly, the audience does.” A grant of more than £9,000 from the Lottery fund (plus smaller but still very welcome ones from the Co-op Community Fund and South hams District Council) allowed them to buy their own state-of-the-art equipment to create that genuine cinema feel. “But it’s a cinema with a community twist,” says Martin, “so as well as great films, we also have home-made cakes and a decent cuppa – and always something for the vegans! “And we also offer a really friendly community welcome – it’s a great night out at the movies, but without all the

Film night at Follaton Community Cinema. Picture: Ben King branding and corporate nonsense!” There’s one other major difference too – the audience have a say in the movies they get to watch. At the last screening, for example, they showed The Help and voted for films for September 28 and October 26 – A Separation and Roseanna’s Grave. Says Martin. “Films start at 7.30pm but why not come along at 7 for a cuppa and a chat.” You can see trailers at www.

Experimental ceramics, glass & firing workshop 10-wk course for Intro tile-making beginners weekend workshop Starts Wednesday, Sept 19 7-9pm Sept 29-30 Intro mouldmaking weekend workshop

10-wk sculpting and throwing course Starts Tues Sept 18 7-9pm Tel: 01803 865033

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Acclaimed ‘Creative Diploma in CBT’ begins Sept 2012 invest in skills that work for you and your clients - 10 days - practical, rewarding and career enhancing - compassion focussed. Editorial: 01392 346204


Inspiration for a greener way to live...

Eco homes

A 3500-litre rainwater harvesting tank designed to be installed underground.

WE hope Eco homes will inspire you with greener ways to live, including rainwater harvesting, recycling, cork insulation, sustainable developments and interior maintenance and more...

35 years experience in all aspects of building and design RepaiRs: major and minor alteRations: internal and external

Craftsmanship with a female touch

Renovation woRk: traditional and modern tanya & kevin 01364 631415 The K2 ParTnershiP LimiTed

Ready for a Change?

So why DO we flush our loos with drinking water? FOR most of us, our only experience of collecting and using rainwater will be water butts. We plumb them into our downpipes, we marvel at how quickly they fill up, and we water our gardens with abandon and free of guilt. Rainwater harvesting takes the principle one stage further, collecting water in an above-ground or subterranean tank, from where it is pumped around the house and used in the washing machine and to flush the loos. We picked the brains of Patrick Seiflow of Eco Trades in Paignton to find out more.


The water is collected from your house’s downpipes and piped

into a tank or tanks, which are essentially larger, tougher versions of a rain butt. They can be aboveground (very like water butts) or subterranean, which look rather like the septic tanks used for sewage. The tank should hold 5% of the amount the roof collects, or 5% of the non-pottable (that’s nondrinking) water required, which should cover you for up to three weeks of no rain (as I write this, I’d be happy for three hours…) The average couple use around 27,000 litres of water a year in their toilets and washing machine, so a 1500-litre tank would be recommended. Various shapes are available, but typical dimensions for an underground 1500-litre tank are around

Visit Refurnish to buy recycled items Dartington Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture Level 2 Diploma and Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (in association with Duchy College) Experience how to grow in a new way on the pioneering landbased projects of Dartington Hall Estate - low carbon, organic, Starting September 2012 ecological.

Schumacher Certificate in Natural Building Using local builders, craftspeople and materials, this is your chance to get involved in the natural building and design techniques of the past and consider how we use them in the future. Starting January 2013

Tel: +44 (0)1803 865934


CAREFUL where you step… we are entering a minefield. If you visit certain recycling centres across Devon, particularly to buy from them, you’ll have noticed things have changed a little over recent months. This is because from May 1 the contract to run 17 of the Devon’s 19 recycling centres was awarded to recycling and waste management company Sita. In Totnes the changes didn’t go down too well and some local recyclers have been campaigning for the previous facilities to be reintroduced. Now we really can’t get into the details of the argument here (we don’t have space and most of it will have happened weeks ago

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by the time we hit the streets) but Refurnish have asked us to remind people that some recycled goods are now on sale at their nearby shop. “Genuinely recyclable household items in reasonable condition are put on sale in the Refurnish showroom,” said David Banks. He said that items left in the special skip – called the Donation Station – are collected by Refurnish each day. “Larger items are also brought up to us,” said David. “So some things like sofas and carpets, which were sometimes left out in the rain, will now be recycled.” You can find Refurnish at Wills Road on Totnes Industrial Estate. Visit

... send your eco homes news to 2100mm long x 1250mm wide x 700mm high and this would be buried in your garden. All tanks include a two-level filter area to collect leaves and moss that needs to be cleaned out twice a year and the system will also need to include a meter so South West Water know how much to charge you for disposing of the waste.


There are two main ways of getting the water around the house: pumped into a header tank in the loft and then gravity-fed into the house; or using a pressure monitor pump that kicks in every time the loo is flushed or the washing machine is filled. There is also a tap, of course, so rainwater can be used in the garden and for washing the car.


Tricky this, because there are so many variables involved, including house design and layout, family water consumption and so on. A small installation could be done for £2,500, but £4-5000 is more typical for the average home and up to £7-8,000 for a larger house. How much you’ll save in water bills is equally variable. Water bills are made up of standing charge (which stays the same), plus water and sewerage costs. The latter, which makes up around 2/3 of the bill, stays the same, but you can expect to cut the amount you pay for water by up to a half – yes, over 40% of the water we consume is used to flush loos and wash our clothes. But in any case, is it all about money?

Other benefits

Environmentally, it makes a lot of CONTEMPOR sense. And using heavily treatedARY
 and processed drinking water
 (with all the energy and chemicals that DESIGN
 involves) just to flush our loos makes no sense at all. Collecting your own water also means you are one step nearer to self-sufficiency – a bit more off-grid, if you like. And although I’m writing this at the end of a very wet June, it wasn’t looking so good back in April after two very dry winters…

The future




All this is about retro-fitting a system to an existing house but, just like all eco technology, it’s far, far less expensive if it’s installed when the house (or even an extension) is built. And if harvesting was made part of building regs, it would give the manufacturing sector a massive boost and dramatically reduce unit cost – but then it’s not like we have a financial crisis to sort out or anything.

Find out more

Because of the individual nature of rainwater harvesting systems, you really need to get a site visit and quote to know what it would cost in your home. Eco Trades are happy to do just that, and to go through all the consumption sums with you too, free of charge. Call them on 01803 393530 or 393522 or visit

Please contact: Andrew R Kirby RIBA 01803 867377

Cork is back and even better WE’RE old enough to remember when cork tiles were fashionable - in fact, editor Foster recently laid some on his living room floor but then he does seem to live in some kind of timewarp. You might remember, though, they did have some great properties. Whether on floor or wall, they offered great insulation, a softness to the touch and a kind of inherent warmth – they seemed to almost give off heat. Well, cork is back but in a new, hi-tech eco format. Secil cork products come in render and board forms, both with the high insulation and low weight advantages of cork. The full Sesil range is stocked by Mike Wye and Associates, suppliers of natural building and decorating products, based near Holsworthy. The company say Sesil cork board improves the thermal (and acoustic) performance of a property and therefore reduces condensation, and cuts heating costs. It’s also totally natural and contains no cement.


The ease of application and low mass means it can easily be applied to either the interior or exterior walls and in render form it is particularly effective on undulating surfaces. The finished surface can then be decorated with vapour permeable paints. Tanya Jewell of builders K2 recently attended a Secil ecoCork training day at Mike Wye Associates and was particularly impressed by “this natural and high performing product.” Find out more at www.mikewye., or call 01409 281644.




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Explore a greener way to live...

Eco homes

A special meter is the best way to check for damp in walls.

IT’S a simple home truth. Ignore those little jobs around the house for too long and you’ll soon be faced with big problems. The answer is to give your home a Summer health check – or get the experts in to do it for you. In the last issue we looked at the outside of your home (read it online at - now we’re going inside. Any excuse to get out of this rain…

Inside story on giving your home a Summertime MOT THINK of it as stitch-in-time home care. Relatively minor home repairs can soon become much more complicated and expensive jobs if you let time and the weather have their way. So if you know where to look and what to look for – or, if you prefer, you can bring in the experts to do it for you – you can nip the problem in the bud and save yourself a lot of hassle and bills. It might seem a more obvious problem in relation to the outside of your home, where it faces the full force of the relentless weather, but all those external surfaces are only there to provide protection for the interior, so if they are breached you can soon expect to see evidence in your living space. The first checks to make, then, are for stains and damp patches on the inside of external walls that may suggest something is amiss outside. Then it’s back outside (yep, still raining) to look for leaking cistern overflow pipes, cracked rainwater pipes or defective gutters – if you haven’t already spotted them while carrying out your external examination. In some old buildings the walls have an inside lining of lath and lime plaster on timber battens, which can rot if not kept dry – and the rot can spread, unnoticed and very quickly.


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Back inside, check for cracks in plaster. In most buildings, the ceiling on the top floor is attached to the roof timbers, so cracks there could indicate problems with the roof structure. Water damage on the ceiling suggests roof coverings are damaged or missing – or that you need to check any plumbing in the loft. Generally, other ceilings are part of the floor above and are attached directly to the underside of the joists, so cracks will appear if the floor joists are over-stressed for any reason. Damp patches are likely to indicate leaking internal pipe-work - although water from a leaking roof will travel right through the building in time. Many timber ground floors are ‘suspended’ with an air gap or void beneath them that must be ventilated to the outside air and these vents must be kept clear to avoid fungal infestation and timber rot. Interior doors should obviously open and close easily, without using any force, and badly fitted hinges can damage both door and frame. Problems could also be down to a warped or deformed door – problems which, if it’s an old door, can be put right by an experienced joiner. Don’t assume you need a new door. Any woodwork around a staircase could be dangerous so pay careful

...and find more Eco homes online at attention to worn stair nosings (the edge of the steps), loose balusters (handrail supports) or the handrail themselves. All of them can be easily repaired or replaced if damaged beyond repair. Now is also a good time to have your chimney swept, particularly if you noticed it smoking into the room last time you used it. Moving onto the more specialist areas of plumbing and electrics, there are some simple checks you can make to spot obvious problems – but if in any doubt, call in the experts. So, if you’re up for it, check all pipework, valves, radiators, taps, and all joints (where visible) for leaks. Check too that your hot water cylinder has an insulating jacket, and, where possible, insulate all hot water pipe-work. You can also save energy by having your boiler serviced regularly, and by having a sophisticated modern timer and temperature controls fitted. And don’t ignore dodgy valves in toilet cisterns because, as we’ve already discussed, leaking overflows can cause permanent damage to walls and, eventually, interior walls. And waste water, of course. If you have any old wiring, call in an electrician - early electrical wiring is nearly always unsafe by modern standards.

Most wiring is hidden within floor and roof voids, where rats and mice can get at it and they love nothing more than a good gnaw on the plasticinsulated covering – which exposes the wires and can cause electrical shorting leading to fires. It is obviously very important to regularly inspect the condition of any wiring within the roof void - particularly in thatched properties, Too many electrical adapters in one socket is dangerous and suggests you need more sockets, and do let’s show some respect for humble fuses, which are there to make sure your wiring does not overheat and set fire to your home. Fuses in plugs should have the correct rating for the appliance, and fuse wire in oldstyle distribution boards should be checked. Ideally, a circuit-breaker board should be fitted - threse are not open to abuse. Finally, a few words of caution. If you have any problems such as flickering lights or the smell of singed plastic, call an electrician immediately. Frayed cable or worn wiring on any electrical appliances should be replaced by someone who knows what they’re doing. And if you don’t already have them, fit battery-operated smoke alarms (or, preferably, mains-operated alarms).

Pay special attention to the woodwork on and around the staircase any damage could be dangerous. It can be easily fixed though, so don’t be tempted to leave it.

Or get the professionals to take a look... l IF you want a professional health check for your home, local building company K2 are offering Reconnect readers a free assessment of their property. Said K2’s Tanya and Kevin: “Your appraisal will be specific to your building and your needs and can be a ‘whole building’ approach from an ongoing maintenance perspective or with specific requirements in mind - such as mysterious damp issues, considering future alterations, improvements, eco refurbishment, etc.” To find out more, call Tanya and Kevin at The K2 Partnership on 01364 631415 or email

‘Buy local’ first for Company built on Transition foundations sustainable project THE team behind a ground-breaking sustainable development hopes to apply local food principles to building materials and to source at least 80 per cent of them locally. The Atmos Project will create a hub of sustainable homes, business units and community space on the former Dairy Crest site in Totnes – if it gets the go-ahead (which is looking increasingly likely – read on). Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition movement and a member of the Atmos Totnes team, said: “We are seeking to apply the thinking usually used around local food to building materials - that sourcing locally keeps more money local, leads to lower carbon emissions, and creates more employment and training opportunities locally. To the best of our knowledge this is a national first.” Following a meeting between the Atmos team, Dairy Crest and local MP Sarah Wollaston, the details of an Exclusivity Agreement are being worked out – this would mean the site would be taken off the market and effectively earmarked for the Atmos Project. “Our hope is to have that resolved September/ October and then to move into a public consultation and then a planning application,” says Rob. Atmos Totnes has also announced three new patrons: TV home design expert Kevin McCloud, Eden Project creator Tim Smit and TV chef and campaigner Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall. Look out too for a new short film on the Atmos Project, created by local film-maker Emilio Mula and voiced by local poet Matt Harvey. See it at watch?v=lApAekvmuRo. Visit

AN eco construction company that grew out of the Transition movement has worked on local projects ranging from the refurbishment of a 1960s bungalow to the building of an earthship. But the use of local and natural materials – including cob, strawbale, locally-sourced timber and sustainable insulating materials like wood fibre and sheep’s wool - is common to all their work. Totnes Sustainable Construction director Chris Bird explained: “There are many reasons why local and natural materials are preferable. “Synthetic materials often give off toxic gases and restrict the ‘breathability’ of walls and in some cases can give rise to ‘toxic building syndrome’ leading to an adverse effect on health. “Local and natural materials also have a much lower carbon footprint because they have not been transported long distances and less energy and oil are used in their manufacture. Saving energy on heating your home is important but so is using less energy in its construction or refurbishment. “And, of course, local materials skillfully used add beauty and distinctive features to homes that make them a pleasure to live in as well as cheaper to run.” The refurbishment of a 1960s converted bungalow in Dartington shows just how much can be

achieved. Said Chris: “TSC took over the project and completed the build with external wood fibre insulation and attractive chestnut cladding sourced locally and prepared at a sawmill on Dartmoor. “Additional sheepswool insulation was used behind the eaves and inside previously added gable blockwork to create a cosy home that is cost effective to heat from a building that once leaked energy as a sieve leaks water.” TSC have also refurbished homes in Dartington, South Molton and Totnes, as well as properties at Schumacher College, where four TSC directors have been involved in the recently launched Natural Building Course. They also helped build an earthship on the Sharpham Estate. Visit www. totnessustainableconstruction. or call 01548 821136 or 0789 041 7535.

TWO examples of TSC’s work: the insulated and chestnut-clad bungalow, above; and below, Dartington Village Hall, which they refurbished after helping Transition Town Totnes secure a government grant. Watch a short film about the project at www.

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Organic gardening JUST because it’s been the wettest summer on record, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in the garden. The Growers team have some jobs for you... RIGHT, before we get started I owe an apology to all of you who read my June/July column. What was I thinking when I said Summer was here? I must have written it on the one sunny afternoon that we had… Seriously though, I’ve been gardening now for the last 34 years and I can’t remember a year quite as cold and wet as this one. I found myself just the other day looking on the internet to see whether it is possible to grow rice in this country because not much else is growing (apart from weeds, of course). So let’s just assume that by the time this goes to print the sun has finally come out and your crops have put on a bit of growth. Our potatoes here at Growers Organics have actually done rather well this year and we’ve been digging our early varieties for the last few months but its now time to start lifting the main crop. Choose a nice sunny day and leave them so their skins dry before storing them in paper or hessian sacks in a cool dry place to use throughout the Autumn and Winter. Onions will also be ready to harvest now - if they haven’t already gone to seed. This has been a very common complaint around lots of different vegetables this year due to the wet cold weather. Any that have gone to seed will not store and should be used straight away, but the good onions can be left on top of the soil for a few days to dry out before storing in nets or plaited. Because of the weather and the rotten time the farmers have had this Summer I think fresh fruit and veg prices are going to go sky high this Winter. So it wouldn’t be a bad idea

The Barn, home of the Sharpham retreats.

Dig those spuds! for those of you who don’t usually bother planting Winter crops to give it a go this Autumn. Start preparing your beds for the Winter brassicas - that’s any plants in the cabbage family, including brussels, purple sprouting broccoli and kales. The ground will probably benefit from a bit of a feed. Use a general fertiliser such as seaweed meal or chicken manure pellets, taking care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Give the plants a good distance between each one; approximately 3044cm (12-18”) for the larger varieties and 25-30cm (10-12”) for cabbages. This might seem quite a distance, but when fully grown they will need it! I like to interplant so that the space isn’t wasted - lettuces and quick growing salad leaves are always good for this but the Grower’s family favourite is kohl rabi and as it’s a member of the brassica family it doesn’t mess up rotation plans. For any of you who haven’t tried kohl rabi, it’s a must. It is fast growing and therefore will be harvested long before the larger crop. Chopped into cubes and steamed or shredded raw in a salad, it is delicious.

Strawberry fields forever TO ensure a good healthy crop of strawberries next summer the preparation starts now and there are a few things to consider. Any strawberry patch over six years definitely needs replacing and this can be done in two ways. You can remove the runners from the aging plants and use them to create a new bed. Or for younger plants you can trim them with a pair of shears to remove the old leaves and expose the young new crowns underneath. Also, remove any straw added to the beds back in early Summer. If you don’t have a strawberry patch, now is a good time to prepare the ground. Add plenty of homemade compost or leaf-mould regardless of whether you are planting now or in the New Year. What ever you get up to this Autumn in the garden, let’s hope the sun is shining down on you! Reconnect’s Organic Gardening column is written by Joa and Charlie Grower of Growers Organics. Meet them in person at Totnes market on Fridays and Saturdays. Visit, or call 01752 881180.


WRITER (and Buddhist) Jon Stein looks at the growth of Buddhism across South Devon - and even manages to start and end with a Buddhist joke... I ASKED the editor if I could send in my article about Buddhism by email. ‘Sure,’ he said, ‘but no attachments!’ Finding a Buddhist joke 10 years ago might have been difficult, but now there are whole websites devoted to them. In South Devon too, Buddhism has been expanding and the 2001 census listed the faith as the second most-practised after Christianity. But is Buddhism a religion, a philosophy or just a good way to de-stress and relax? And where do you start if you don’t know your karma from your dharma? Two and a half thousand years ago the Buddha summed up his teaching in four ‘noble truths’ which say that while some suffering is unavoidable, we can minimise it by living skillfully. As the dharma (teaching) spread through the East, certain aspects were emphasised in different countries. The Theravadan schools of Southeast Asia preserve the monastic character of early Buddhism. The later Mahayana movement expands on this tradition and includes Zen, which reflects the cultures of China and Japan with their quiet ritual and formality. The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet, by contrast, presents a more colourful, even magical view of the Buddha’s teaching. From the 1960s Buddhism began to gain a foothold in the

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Going, goi

West. The Insight (Vipassana) school and the Triratna organisation (formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) emphasise the cultivation of wisdom and compassion over custom and belief. More recently, the Mindfulness movement – which basically extracts meditation from its spiritual context – has entered the mainstream (having been embraced by the NHS), though still reflects the Buddha’s mission to alleviate suffering. All these strands, and many others, are represented here in South Devon. Many groups meet once a week, usually in the evening, and follow a traditional format in which a period of meditation

is followed by a dha talk (spiritual discour discussion. Meditatio done sitting (though lying down and walk sometimes also prac a session typically la hour or forty minute is generally by dona

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arma rse) or on is usually h standing, king are ctised) and asts half an es. Admission ation –

dana (generosity) being a key Buddhist virtue. Many towns now have dedicated Buddhist centres. The new Golden Buddha Centre in Totnes offers mixed activities and is not affiliated to any particular group or school. In Exeter, there are several venues including the Diamond Way Centre (Karma Kagyu lineage), while in Plymouth the popular New Kadampa Tradition operate out of the Pure Land Buddhist Centre. In addition to these groups, there are a number of wellestablished retreat centres in the area, including Gaia House (near Newton Abbot), and the Barn at Sharpham (Totnes). These offer more intensive, residential experiences anywhere between a few days and a few weeks. The adventurous might even like to try Buddhism outdoors-style at the BuddhaDharmaSangha camp on Dartmoor, in August. With all these options now available, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that works for you. What will help along the way is a real experience of sangha (spiritual community) because ultimately, says the Buddha, we all depend on one another. And that reminds me of the joke about the monk who, when asked how he would like his pizza, replied ‘Make me one with everything!’

ddhism weblinks (Triratna) (Soto Zen)

ALTHOUGH low interest rates are welcome for mortgage holders, they are bad news for anyone relying on interest to supplement their income. Instead of settling for an account which may pay three per cent (which is less than inflation) you can invest in income producing funds. Funds investing in stocks and shares normally produce income which can be paid to the investor or re-invested for future growth. Corporate bonds are considered less risky than shares and typically provide 4-5 per cent income per year. Some stockmarket funds also aim to generate an income, although they have more potential for growth and also for loss. Both types of funds are available on a range of ethical bases. This can be done in an ISA, which means that no income will be taxed. The ISA allowance is currently £11,280 per person, although amounts in excess of this may also be invested, with the income taxed. In future years you can move more of your investment into the ISAs using future years’ ISA allowances. A popular tax efficient method of investing has been the use of Investment Bonds. These have access to a large number of investment funds with different strategies providing a choice of risk and ethical approaches. Five per cent of the original investment can be withdrawn each year for 20 years with tax deferred until the end of that term, although there may be no tax to pay even then depending on your circumstances. Investment bonds can also be used strategically to avoid inheritance tax while still providing an income. These options can help to provide you with an overall strategy to maintain your income while retaining tax efficiency and without relying exclusively on interest rates. It’s important to remember there are a lot of options available, so risk can be managed in line with your preferences. There are also ethical approaches to all of the above which mean that your values are an important part of the strategy.


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Jon’s the man to make it happen YOU’VE got an idea of what you want – a space-saving wooden unit, perhaps, to make the best use of that corner in your living room…or maybe something more ambitious like a garden office. And you also (sort of) know how you want it to look – or at least you have a good idea. Oh, and it would be great if it could be built using recycled materials. All you need now is someone to actually make it all happen… “Just the sort of job I love,” says Jon Bayes, who also goes by the name of The Green Handyman. “Many of my clients come to me with a clear image of what they want, but no idea of how to achieve it. I work with their brief, add some suggestions of my own and then build it.” The wooden unit pictured is typical of the interior work he carries out. “They wanted a storage area to accommodate their computer and office material, but they wanted it to blend in with Edwardian tongue and groove paneling in the house,” he explained. “I also included a recycled heirloom wardrobe and used larch boards grown in the

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Low carbon homes plan latest PLANS for 20 affordable and low carbon homes in Dartington took a big step forward when the Transition Homes Community Land Trust signed an option agreement with Dartington Hall Trust. They can now purchase Pond Field, a five acre site on the A385 just outside Dartington, subject to the approval of a planning application by South Hams District Council. The project already has £60,000 in pre-development funding, raised from local backers and from a fund set up to support affordable housing in rural areas. Well over a hundred local people have expressed an interest in the development which combines low cost, energy efficient homes with the opportunity to grow food, recycle waste and generate energy on site. Ideas for a green travel plan to make the site accessible with minimal car use are already well developed. Pam MacDonald, who chairs the Transition Town Totnes project group, said: “These really will be low carbon homes built with local and natural

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materials, and by recycling sewage and other waste they will have a much smaller impact on the environment.” The homes will be a mix of shared equity and rental properties for local individuals and families with housing need and a proven connection to the area. A community land trust (CLT) mechanism will ensure people can never buy and then re-sell the properties for a profit. Residents will have the option to be involved in building and finishing the properties with repayment through ‘sweat equity’. Three consultation events have been held in Dartington and Totnes, giving local people the chance to influence the project from the very start, and detailed discussions with South Hams District Council have been “very positive”. Initial plans for the site, by local architects,Bedford and Jobson, also include a communal building, fruit trees, allotments, sustainable waste water and sewage system and a forest garden, all designed along permaculture principles. Visit

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Seasonal eating

Taste the Experience!

LATE summer is a time of plenty, says our seasonal food expert Carol Lee - and berries and squashes are particularly plentiful. So checkout the theory and then try some practice with a delicious recipe... LATE summer is a wonderful time of year, full of richness and plenty, a time of feasting as we celebrate the year’s growing successes. Linked to the stomach meridian in traditional Chinese medicine, it is a time of gathering and collecting, when we begin to fill our larders and freezers for the winter months. My personal favourites of the season are the beautiful squashes and the colourful berries. Berries are plentiful at this time of year and ripening apples mean blackberry and apple pie and stuffed baked apples are always on the menu at my house. A large crop of any type of berry can easily be frozen in a single layer on flat trays in the freezer before pouring into storage containers and they can be kept for up to a year. This means those tasty treats can be available later in the year; I just add them frozen to whatever pudding I am making or to my winter porridge. Berries generally are full of goodies including antioxidants; by adding these or any other antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables to your daily diet will strengthen your ability to fight infection and disease. Pumpkins and squashes give a real blast of colour and interest to the harvest and are a wonderful example of the energy of late Summer. They are incredibly fleshy and dense and their fullness and

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All squashed up voluptuousness really mirrors the energy of the season. Nutritionally squashes are rich in: l Vitamin A, most in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A is a central component for healthy vision and the antioxidant beta carotene helps fight off cancer-causing free radicals. l Vitamin C and a good source of potassium. l Dietary fibre, an excellent source for this complex carbohydrate. l And their dense flesh roasts beautifully, providing more sustained energy now the cooler, damper days are setting in. Here is a lovely recipe from Jamie Oliver which can be made with or without bacon…

Spicy roasted squash






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1 butternut squash (about 1–1.5kg);1 heaped tablespoon coriander seeds; 2 small dried red chillies (or to taste); sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; 4 cloves of garlic, squashed; a few sprigs of fresh rosemary; 6 rashers of good-quality smoked back bacon;1 tablespoon olive oil Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Wash the squash, and then cut it in half with a large, sharp knife. With a large spoon, remove the seeds from the squash. Cut the squash lengthwise into quarters and Advert003a.indd then cut the quarters in half lengthwise to give boat-shaped wedges of squash. Place the pieces into a roasting tray. Put the spices into a pestle and mortar and pound them up with a pinch of salt. Scrape them into the tray over the squash; add the garlic, rosemary, bacon and olive oil. Toss the squash, making sure that all the pieces are well coated with the flavours, and arrange the bacon over some of the wedges. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender. The spicy flavour will cook into the squash, which will crisp lightly, the skin becoming caramelised and chewy. Reconnect’s Seasonal Eating is written by Carol Lee. She offers one-to-one consultations at the Well Being Centre in Crediton and Exeter. She also runs workshops and nutrition courses. Call her on 01363 82794 or visit . You can now join her on Facebook for seasonal tips, recipes and nutritional information



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AUGUST WEDNESDAY 1 UNTIL Sept 30 Over the Horizon. Local artists exploring Berry Head National Nature Reserve, www.artatberryhead., www. Friday 3 UNTIL SUNDAY 12 Qigong Summer Camp. Living close to nature on Dartmoor, Scrappy farmyard crafts. Get creative with the Aliway scrapstore at Occombe Farm,

Nandita’s Dream - Sunday, August 5 La Belle Menagerie. - Saturday August 18.

Saturday 4 AND SUNDAY 5 Exmouth Earth Festival, Pavilion Gardens, Exmouth seafront, 10am-5pm, including Transition Town Exmouth and Exmouth LETS. Stoke Gabriel Carnival Procession. Setting off from Rydon Acres, evening of live music and DJ in the Church House Inn car park. UNTIL TUESDAY 7 Nowhereisland off Exmouth. Artist Alex Hartley’s island, moored off Exmouth. Mobile ‘embassy’ parked opposite Exmouth Pavilion, open 12-5pm daily, www.

A Separation - Sunday, September 28

Events diary

Got local a date for our October/November events diary? local people events local food local health local environment

Sunday 5 Community Food Plot/ Forest Gardening Skillshare.

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Community Food Tree Nursery behind the Council House walled garden in Follaton Arboretum, larch., 01803 867512, www. Nandita’s Dream Day. Live version of the Nandita’s Dream book, CD and website, at Embercombe, near Exeter, with Black Umfolosi, Sura Susso, workshops, performances, 10am-5pm. Booking essential - visit www. Tuesday 7 UNTIL SATURDAY 11 Dartmouth Shakespeare Week,Twelfth Night in the open, Dartmouth Castle, www.theinntheatrecompany. UNTIL 12 Arthur Glendinning exhibition, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www. Beetles Beetles Everywhere! Drop-in workshops on beetle diversity, Plymouth Museum, 10.30am-1pm, 0794 375 0976, www. Wednesday 8 UNTIL SUNDAY 12 Chi Camp with Angus Clark, tai chi, qigong, nature, music, food and fun, 01647 433846, angus@, www. Thursday 9 UNTIL TUESDAY 7 Nowhereisland off Plymouth, artist Alex Hartley’s island, ‘discovered’ in the High Artic, anchored off Jennycliff Bay. Mobile ‘embassy’ parked nearby and open 12-5pm daily, Adult snorkelling safari at Saltern Cove, 10am1.20pm, booking essential on 01803 520022, www.

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Friday 10 Scrappy farmyard crafts. Get creative with the Aliway scrapstore at Occombe Farm. Supported by Torbay Council Recycling. £1 per child, no booking required, www.countryside-trust.

The weird and the wonderful

SATURDAY 11 TTE Potluck Picnic, opposite Greenfingers Centre, Pound Lane, Exmouth, 12.30pm, www. transitiontownexmouth. Tuesday 14 UNTIL SUNDAY 19 Interpretations 3. Exhibition of landscape paintings, pastels and printmaking, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www. Wednesday 15 Raiders of the Lost Ark. Open air screening of the Spielberg classic, Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, 9pm, £3. Thursday 16 The Lost Boys. Open air screening of the vampire classic starring Kiefer Sutherland, Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, 9pm, £3. Friday 17 Thelma and Louise. Open air screening of the Ridley Scott classic starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, 9pm, £3. Scrappy farmyard crafts. Get creative with the Aliway scrapstore at Occombe Farm. Supported by Torbay Council Recycling. £1 per child, no booking required, www.countryside-trust. Saturday 18 UNTIL SUNDAY 26 Buddha Dharma Sangha Camp - insight meditation, qigong and inquiry in the natural world, bradr@, www.qigong-southwest. La Belle Menagerie. Exhibition of work by Marmalade Collective, Birdwood House, Totnes, www.marmaladebeard. Sunday 19 Mosaic taster workshop. Creating mosaics from found and recycled materials with Jan O’Highway, Harberton,

Sunday shopping fair, at the Exmouth Pavilion, seafront, 10am - 4pm, free, 01395 263495, www. Tuesday 21 UNTIL SEPT 2 Magpie, exhibition of work by Rosie Burns, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www. Wednesday 22 Permaculture in a Suburban Setting. cathyj., www. Thursday 23 Mosaic taster workshop. Creating mosaics with found and recycled materials with Jan O’Highway, Harberton, Friday 24 UNTIL 27 Westcountry Storytelling Festival. Stories and workshops and music and poetry and food and ceremony and us! Yes, take a picture at the event and it could end up on our next cover. Stop by and say hi at our stand! More info at Saturday 25 Signs and Wonders. Exhibition of work by HIVE Ian Harbour, Sam Harrison and Su Scotting. Redearth Art Gallery, Bickleigh Mill, Tiverton. 01363 877667, email harrison_sam@ Tuesday 28 Clothes Swap and Styling. Free skillshare at Dartington, 5-8.30pm, arrive and leave anytime, and 01803 762992, www. Wednesday 29 Woodland burial open day. Visit natural burial site at Conqueror Wood, near Torquay, 10am-1pm, www. AND SUNDAY 30 Mosaic weekend workshop, with Jan O’Highway, www.

Take a journey through the strange and magical ceramic world of Robin Currie. See Robin’s exhibition at Otterton Mill. You can now buy online at: 24

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or@reconnectonline. the local details to local health local people local events food local environment Reconnect events diary - now online! RECONNECT’S unique diary is now also online! So when you send us details of an event it will still go in the mag but we’ll also list it online INSTANTLY which means you don’t have to wait for the next issue of the mag. It also means we’re not limited on space so we can publicise events months in advance to give you plenty of notice.

Saturday 1 Exeter Green Fair. Stalls, activities, live music, food, Cathedral Green, Exeter, 9.30am-4pm, www. LETS Trading Day, Quaker Meeting House, Wynards Lane, Exeter, 01363 777261, info@exeter., www.exeterlets. SUNDAY 2

Mind, body and spirit event, Exmouth Pavilion, 10am4pm, 01395 222477 or 01827 703709. Tuesday 4 UNTIL SUNDAY 16 From Boatyard to Ballroom, work by Ysabel Winzar and Rosemary Moser, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www. Friday 7 UNTIL SUNDAY 9 Transition Town Totnes eco open homes. Visit eco homes in and around Totnes, www. Saturday 8 AND SUNDAY 9 Stone wall building course, Growers Organics, Yealmpton, 01752 881180, UNTIL SUNDAY 23 Devon Open Studios More than 300 Devon artists show their work in their own studios, www. AboutDOS. Ashburton Food and Drink Festival, over 50 stalls in St Lawrence Lane, www. Grains scything workshop with Alastair Inglis at the Underwood Discovery Centre, Beeson, South Devon, 07796 805453, Sunday 9 Woodland Olympics, day of competitions, games, wild forest food, skillshares and fun for lovers of the woods at The Hillyfields, Dartmoor, dougkingsmith@yahoo., 07976 589927, www.transitiontowntotnes. org.

Saturday 15 AND SUNDAY 16 Introduction to mould making. Weekend workshop at The Potting Shed, near Ashprington, Totnes, 7-9pm, 07528 351431, www. AND SUNDAY 16 Stone carving course Growers Organics, Yealmpton, 01752 881180, www. Dangerous Dads Making lion lanterns for the Totnes Lantern Procession, Rainbow Centre, 11am4pm, dangerousdads@, www., 077317 95160. YogaFest, Birdwood House and Bogan House, Totnes, £20 adults, £3 kids, 01803 862330, maite_alonso@ Totnes Eco Homes Fair. Stands from eco companies and organisations,Totnes Civic Hall, www. Sunday 16 Discover Hidden Corners of Dartmoor. Free guided walk, or www. Tuesday 18 UNTIL SUNDAY 23 Between Weathers. Exhibition of paintings, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www. Sculpting and throwing. Start of 10-week beginners’ course at The Potting Shed, near Ashprington, Totnes, 7-9pm, 07528 351431, www.pottingshedworkshop. com. Wednesday 19!/ PeaceOneDayEventTotnes. Saturday 22 AND SUNDAY 23 Leather work workshop, Growers Organics, Yealmpton, 01752 881180, www. End-of-season scythe maintenance workshop, with Alastair Inglis, Exeter Community Agriculture field, Shillingford St George, Exeter, 07796 805453, SATURDAY 23

Sunday shopping fair, at the Exmouth Pavilion, seafront, 10am - 4pm, free, 01395 263495, www. Tuesday 25

£85 £35

Earlybird, group & concession discounts available

“a marvellous magical weekend”

w w w. w e s t s t o r y f e s t . c o . u k

Mind Body & spirit events Alternative health and lifestyle

Sunday, September 2nd 10am - 4pm

The Pavilion exmouTh EX8 2AZ

01395 222477 - 01827 703709 Come and meet our therapists, psychics & mediums. There’s lots to see - retailers, artists & much more.

Supporting animal charities - FREE admission

Thursday 27 Transition Exeter’s AGM and screening of Transition 2.0, 7.30pm at venue TBC, Living With Water, Bicton EaRTH Centre, Bicton College. How you can save money by harnessing grey water, 6.30 for 7pm, Friday 28 A Separation. Don’t miss this latest screening at Follaton Community Cinema, Totnes, 7pm for 7.30pm. Watch the trailer at www. follatoncommunitycinema. Saturday 29

Pottery. Start of 10-week course at The Potting Shed, near Ashprington, Totnes, 7-9pm, 07528 351431, www. Friday 21

Totnes Lantern Festival, celebrating Autumn Harvest Moon, leaves Vire Island at 6.30pm. All things Vintage & Lovely Fair in Guildhall, Plymouth, vintage-inspired stalls plus music, 10.30am-4.30pm.

AND SAT/SUN 22/23 Peace One Day celebration. Community event celebrating international Peace One Day, at Dartington Space, 4.30-12pm,

Adult ticket Child ticket

“this festival is as near to perfection as it could be” “a five star festival!”

UNTIL 30 Exhibition of woodwork, furniture and tapestry, Harbour House gallery, Kingsbridge, 01548 854708, www.

AND SUNDAY 30 Introduction to tile making, The Potting Shed, near Ashprington, Totnes, 7-9pm, 07528 351431, www.pottingshedworkshop. com.

Ben Haggarty Jan Blake Nick Hennessey Frankie Armstong Martin Shaw Hollie McNish Sheila Stewart Chris Salisbury Caitlin Matthews Clive Fairweather

The online version can also be linked to your own Google calendar for regular updates. And of course it’s all free! So email us now at editor@ and tell us the name of the event, the venue, the date and time, contact number, email and website - plus a paragraph of other info and we might run a story in the mag too!

Email us now: SEPTEMBER

Appearing this year...

Producer Fairs At Crocadon Farm Traditional Courtyard Setting Food & Craft Producer Markets & Fairs Timber & Timber Products Direct from the Sawmill

3 r d Saturday of the Month 9 am – 3pm

Coming Markets: 18th August 9am-3pm

Fresh Meat, Fish, Quality Foods, Local Art & Crafts, Plants & Pet Supplies, Café, BBQ and More ..

Buy Direct from the Producers Free Admission ~ Free Parking

WWW.CROCADON.CO.UK Opp. St Mellion Golf Club, Saltash, PL12 6RL

01579 350096

Editorial: 01392 346204


Have you got local a story for Wellbeing local people events local foodreaders? local health local environment WELCOME to Wellbeing.

Vacancies for therapists at town centre studio THE people behind a dance centre in Totnes believe it would be a good move for therapists to check it out. Chapel House Studios, right, specialises in dance and fitness in its many forms, but they also have two rooms ideal for therapists looking to expand their practice into Totnes town centre. “Setting up your clinic at Chapel House could attract people who might not normally visit alternative health centres,” says the centre’s Richard Rogers, “particularly mothers who bring their

children here to classes - they are the gatekeepers to family health. “Therapies like shiatsu, zero balance and Thai massage would be particularly suitable and homeopathy and kinesiology could be of interest to families. There’s also a demand for body

strengthening for dance exercise clients.” Chapel House already hosts pregnancy yoga and tai chi classes, but they have space for a qigong class and yoga teachers. They also have a workshop for rent – ideal for workshops or holding conferences and meetings. Chapel House Studios is situated just off Fore Street, close to the railway and with parking in the nearby Co-op car park. Visit www.chapelhousestudios .com, or call 01803 866461.

Farmhouse an oasis of restorative space

Support for road victims TWO head-on collisions in eight years convinced Exeter driver Rosemary Pell that a support group for people in her situation was essential. The crashes, both on blind bends with oncoming drivers on the wrong side of the road, left Rosemary with a neck injury, but more importantly with a genuine fear of getting back behind the wheel. With the help of Devon County Council Road Safety Team, Rosemary founded RUSS - the Road User Support Service - which is a business that is called on to assess clients and recommend and provide treatments. Said Rosemary: “Even a minor bump can deeply affect those involved and major crashes can cause people concerns about using the road again.” The RUSS team provides a two tier approach with practical driving sessions with Driving Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructors and counselling with a fully-trained team of qualified therapists. To contact RUSS call 01647 253264 or email

Sandwell Farmhouse, the venue for the Oasis of Well Being group.

Norwegian Wood


Iridology is an accurate analysis taken from the iris (The coloured part of the eye) that can show genetic potential to a disease or systemic weakness. Iridology can find the root cause of a symptom. It cannot show pregnancy, gender, age or influenza. Consultations for nutrition and iridology - £40.

Exhibiting at the Preston Picnic, Sunday September 23


We are absolutely delighted that Reconnect’s Wellbeing section has so quickly established itself as THE place to find information on natural health and personal development practitioners across South Devon. And we are hugely grateful to everyone who has made it such a success. If you would like to tell your story to Reconnect readers, get in touch now. A 1/8-page advertisement like those below costs just £93 - and a regular booking can bring it down to a monthly direct debit payment of just £41.85. If you don’t already have an advertisement, we’ll help you to write one and our designer will put it together for you for a nominal fee. Call Pete (01392 346342 ) or Martin (01803 868455) now and we’ll help you spread the word, and grow your business without breaking the bank.

Heather Nicholson Norwegian Wood, Hollicombe Lane, Preston, Paignton TQ3 2DT

01803 528575

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MOST of us recognise the value of taking time out to unwind and rebalance – but how many of us can actually find the time or place to make it happen? A new group, Oasis of Well-being, seeks to provide the answer, meeting on Saturday mornings or Wednesdays in a “tranquil and relaxing farmhouse” just outside Totnes. “It will be a restorative space to unwind, relax, explore your priorities and re-balance yourself,” says life coach Kate Harris, who is running the group. “We will offer a mix of life coaching, juicing (with demonstrations and glasses of juice to try), creativity, relaxation and visualisation – it will be a place to ‘be’ and to ‘do’. “Keeping the groups small (just 6-8) will ensure a feeling of “cohesion and support” and sessions will cost £35 for four hours.” Kate, who offers individual and group life coaching and juicing detox retreats at Sandwell Farmhouse, believes the environment and context of sessions helps create “the right ambience for trust, respect and transformation to flourish.” Visit, call 01803 847674 or 0777 949 6240.

The Alchemical Kitchen

Cooking for deep leadership with Psychophonetics Creative workshops and retreats for personal transformation Painting, sculpting and cooking with Belinda Connolly and Wilhelmina Workshops: September 8-9 and 29-30 Retreats: October 5-7 Find us on Facebook and at Belinda: 01803 762574 Wilhelmina: 01364 643049

editor@reconnectonli at local local people local events local us food health local environment


Puppy socialiser Julie Moore.

TO JOIN NEWLY OPENED HEALTH AND WELLNESS CLINIC IN NEWTON ABBOT. • Excellent location • Newly renovated • Large treatment rooms • Rooms to let on hourly, half-daily, or weekly basis. Looking for enthusiastic therapists wanting to build and establish their practice base. Get in touch to find out more!

39 Devon Square, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2HH • Tel: 01803 814 329 •

We look forward to seeing you at ALIGN!

Cancer Lifeline South West

Could you raise a puppy? IF you’re a pet lover like us at Reconnect Towers, you’ll be interested to hear an appeal from the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Devon is one of the counties where the charity wants to recruit ‘puppy socialisers’. New volunteers from Plymouth and Exeter and surrounding towns are urgently required to help train a puppy - and change the life of a deaf person. The charity, which is in its 30th year, is looking to recruit many new volunteers to help cater for the 750 deaf people who now rely on its services. The non-government funded organsation supplies specially trained dogs to alert deaf people to important sounds and danger signals such as the alarm clock, doorbell and smoke alarm in the home, at work and out and about. Puppy socialisers take the dogs from about eight weeks old and look after and train them for

around 12 months. The puppy then returns to one of the Charity’s two national training centres to begin advance sound work training before being matched to a deaf recipient and going on to transform their life. Volunteers attend fun puppy classes, have regular home visits and are supported all the way by the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People puppy socialising training team. The charity also supplies all food, bedding, toys and equipment, as well as covering vet bills. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People can also arrange holiday cover for puppies when necessary. Volunteers should be at least 18-years-old, based at home for the majority of the day and be able to ensure any potential puppy is not left alone on a frequent basis. For more information on becoming a puppy socialiser for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, visit, or call 01844 348100.

A local charity working to help you move forward following treatment. We provide, 3-day residential breaks, at no charge, in the beautiful surroundings of Sharpham.

Our breaks are designed to help you reflect on where you are now and how you want to move forward. For information about our August and November breaks call Jane on 01392 432984 or email:

Train in Massage at Devon Academy 50% Funding Available

Start your career as a Massage Therapist

“We specialise in Massage Training, Support & Advice“ Accredited CPD workshops & ITEC diploma courses We urgently require volunteer puppy socialisers. Can you help? T 01844 348129 E Registered charity in England and Wales no: 293358 and in Scotland no: SC040486

Anatomy Physiology & Massage ~ Reflexology Sports Massage ~ Aromatherapy Day Courses and Evening Classes

Devon Academy, Basepoint Business Centre Yeoford Way, Marsh Barton, Exeter, EX2 8LB Tel: 01392 826033 email:

Editorial: 01392 346204


Check out thelocal Wellbeing in past local people events stories local food localReconnects... health local environment

AtlasPROfilax® Subtle but life-changing NEW AMAZING SELF-EMPOWERING REALIGNMENT Did you know that the Atlas bone is misaligned in most humans? What if you could get rid of

BACK, NECK, KNEES or HIPS PAIN, WHIPLASH, MIGRAINES, DIZINESS, TRAPPED NERVES, DIFFERENCE in LEG LENGTH, FROZEN SHOULDERS, etc. A strategic and non-chiropractic massage is applied to the short musculature of the neck in only one application, safely and permanently Marie-Agnès Casalini

07828 954 304 – 01342 303 279 For more testimonials, see: Regularly in Totnes at Arcturus Clinic

Aching joints and muscles? Painful knees? Shoulders stuck? First session FREE… Mary Caffrey Bsc(Hons) NAMMT Rm Hendrickson Method Practitioner

Specialising in remedial and orthopaedic massage to mobilise your body and bring relief from pain.

AS the name suggests, the Metamorphic Technique (MT) can bring about momentous change in people’s lives. But for newcomers to the process, it is probably the subtlety of the actions required to initiate change that is most striking. Dartington-based Hélène Demetriades trained with Gaston Saint-Pierre, founder of the Metamorphic Association, and works as a practitioner and teacher – the only MT trainer in South Devon. She explained: “The Metamorphic Technique consists of a light touch on the sides of the feet, hands and head. It is very simple to learn and can be used at any time and anywhere, watching TV, by a campfire, even on the train! “Families have found the technique can calm and ease their lives. Children often love it and respond well, while parents feel empowered by offering it to them.” But the effects are profound, says Hélène: “The practitioner acts as a catalyst to the person’s own life force energy. The areas we touch reflect the prenatal period, the most formative time of our lives.

“This allows us to move out of old forms and into new ones that are a truer expression of who we really are – that’s the transformation.” Hélène runs a two-day MT workshop for people who want to share the practice with family and friends, and learn about the principles behind the work. These workshops (the next is over the weekend of September 15 and 16) are also one of the requirements for becoming a professional practitioner. The benefits of MT usually begin with a sense of relaxation or of greater energy, says Hélène. “But at a deeper level, people frequently experience a greater sense of connection, a new level of confidence and trust in life – making it particularly appropriate for anyone experiencing anxiety or depression. “Whether I’m working with an older person, a baby or even an animal, they often enter a state of stillness. Many people speak of experiencing a sense of belonging and of feeling at home.” To find out more, call 01803 868655, or visit www.

Call me on 07877 863745 for an appointment

1st September Hélène and a client during a Metamorphic Technique session.

28 28

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Digestive Health & Emotional Wellbeing 4 Colonic hydrotherapy 4 Digestive health advice 4 Emotional Freedom Technique Holistic help for common chronic complaints

Aly Whitley RMN Dip (ITEC) EFT adcert

Heartwood is running a Nature Therapy Retreat beside the River Dart.

Centre’s specialist diplomas keep therapists up to date THE launch of a new range of specialist diplomas has marked the start of a new era for the Heartwood Counselling & Psychotherapy Training Centre. Having identified a gap in availability of affordable, good quality training for qualified counsellors in Devon, Heartwood has spent the last year researching and designing their Specialist Diplomas. Course Director Leigh Smith says “We feel it is essential for therapists to be able to receive continuing professional development, to update or refresh their knowledge and skills to offer clients the best possible practice. “Until now, many therapists have had to travel to London or Bristol for CPD. This is one reason why Heartwood now provide these Specialist Diplomas at the Heartwood Centre on the beautiful Dartington Estate.” The Specialist Diplomas on offer include: Life Coaching, Creative CBT, Pure Gestalt, Nature Therapy, Supervision, Working Therapeutically with Autistic Clients, and Bereavement Therapy. Heartwood is also running a Nature Therapy retreat in August entitled Human Nature, open to anyone interested in personal development and the great outdoors. For two days and nights Heartwood tutors Leigh and Chris will guide participants on a journey of personal discovery using a range of creative exercises and

natural elements to empower body, mind and spirit. The camping retreat will be held beside the River Dart and campfires, stories, personal insights, and “wonderful food for the body and soul will set the scene for a memorable experience,” says Leigh. Heartwood runs courses accredited by the CPCAB and ABC awards and are regulated by OFQUAL. Heartwood is an organisational member of the BACP and upholds their ethical principles. Leigh says Heartwood has a fantastic reputation for offering high quality and supportive training and quotes this testimonial from a second year diploma student: “The time I have spent at Heartwood in the relaxed and nurturing environment, has not only enabled me to learn so much about myself, it has also empowered me to follow a path where I can support and empower others. And from another student: “My three years training with Heartwood have facilitated deep self exploration, personal growth and emotional maturation. I feel more at peace with myself and am leaving with a clearer sense of purpose and excitement about what the future holds. Thank you for making this lifechanging experience possible!” For more information, or to arrange a visit to the centre, call 01803 865464. Visit

at Nature’s Larder Therapy Centre, Ivybridge. 01752 894197 07711 534034

SPREAD THE COST OF ADVERTISING I can't believe it's not expensive! A 1/8-page advertisement like this will cost you just £41.85 a month if you book six issues and pay by direct debit AND we’ll help you write and design your ad AND we’ll write an editorial for you

Now you know which side your bread is buttered!

Call Pete on 01392 346342 or Martin 01803 868455 Or email

Editorial: 01392 346204


Do you want to advertise in Wellbeing?

Massage college’s new home

Holistic Birth Hub

Mondays near Totnes Pregnancy and postnatal Mother’s circles and Yoga Father’s meetings Birth preparation and Hypnobirthing Baby massage course Birth Trauma Healing Doula support Info, resources and lunches 07921516918 / 01803 226127 The Contemporar y College of Homeopathy



Getting others better

•Free open days •A four year part-time training •Weekend introductory courses practitioner The four year course is ideal for those •A one year foundation course either looking for a vocation, or those in homeopathic medicine

A free clinic for patients (either •GP referred or independent bookings)

considering changing their existing one. The course runs ten weekends a year with directed home study

Courses run at Engineers House, Clifton, Bristol For more information please phone Kate on 01275 877083 or visit The College is accredited by the Society of Homeopaths and all major homeopathic organisations


A LEADING private massage training college has recently relocated to Marsh Barton in Exeter. Devon Academy specialises in intensive diploma courses in anatomy and physiology, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and sports massage courses. Established in 2005, it is a private ‘not for profit’ college run by massage therapists with over 26 years of hands-on experience. Gail and Derek Lowe said they are passionate in their quest to offer not just training but also support, advice and mentoring for students wishing to develop a massage career and to maintain their incredible 100% pass rate and improve the standard of massage training in the UK. Devon Academy has been rewarded for their passion and enthusiasm this year by being awarded EU funding, which means students needing financial support, can apply for 50% funding for their ITEC diploma courses. Said Derek: “If you are considering a career as a massage therapist and are interested in finding out what to do next, why not attend an Introduction to massage taster session?”

Massage students at the Devon Academy.

The evening workshop, at Basepoint Business Centre in Exeter on Wednesday September 12, starts at 7pm and costs £15. Visit, call Gail or Derek on 01392 826033, or email info@devonacademy. . Follow them on twitter@ traininmassage, find Devon Academy on Facebook or write a review on local/exeter.

Do your business skills need therapy? COMPLIMENTARY health practitioners may be skilled and even gifted in their chosen therapy but that doesn’t always go along with being talented at professionally promoting their services. Business skills can sometimes be overlooked in training for a particular therapy and can be the reason for many failed ventures. Lucia Capaldi is a psychotherapist who has been working near Totnes for seven years having trained in Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute on Dartmoor. But Lucia also has a qualification in business management and is hoping to pass on some important good practice principles to fellow therapists. She said: “A new venture I am developing is free workshops for counsellors and therapists on how to build a practice. You could be the best practitioner in the world, but you have to let the world know you are there. “Very often the personal qualities that lead us into the profession are different from the skills needed

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Lucia Capaldi to promote and run a practice. In these workshops I am aiming to create a meeting place between the wellbeing, compassion and care for clients and developing good business principles.” Lucia, a mother of four who lives in Dartington, is training in mindfulness-based supervision and is also offering reduced rate supervision for counsellors and therapists. Call her on 07809 441 519 or 01803 840424. luciacapaldi@, us at

Chance to explore ENHC FOLLOWING the recent refreshing of its image, Exeter Natural Health Centre is staging a drop-in open day to reveal its new look. Existing and potential clients are invited to the Queen’s Street headquarters for the event on Saturday, September 8 from 2pm until 6pm. Ali Morrish, who runs the centre with husband Mo, said: “We are so proud to relaunch and promote our new butterfly logo designed by Nia Gould of Exeter Phoenix which, along with our brand new website, gives us a bright, new, contemporary image which really represents all the work we do at our centre.” Ali said the open day would give the public and other therapists the chance to meet their wonderful team and find out more about the different treatments on offer. There will be talks and demonstrations from therapists and class teachers as well as the chance to experience some taster treatments - all free of charge. For those interested in practitioner training in homoeopathy, massage or reflexology, there will be representatives from each of these


Have you got great ideas? Want to inspire others?

Speaking Out a weekend training programme for people who want to communicate with impact and authenticity. schools there to offer advice and information on these courses. If you are thinking of hiring a room as a one-off or for clinic space, this will also be an excellent opportunity to see their beautiful treatment rooms and training room and to get the feel of their ethos and hospitality. Established in 2001, Exeter Natural Health Centre has a long history of working within the community providing excellence in complementary healthcare, training and treatments. To find out more call Ali Morrish on 01392 422555 or visit the new website on www.

Helping you produce your best ideas

Embercombe 30th November - 2nd December

01647 252 983


| inspiring committed action for a truly sustainable world

People and Organisational Development

WHEN a creative music producer turns his enquiring mind to personal development you can expect the result to be as interesting as it is helpful. Jamie Catto is a musician, artist, producer for Faithless and Dido, and co-creator of the Grammy award-winning global music project 1 Giant Leap. Having now interviewed some of the world’s greatest thinkers and ‘feelers’ (including Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Ekhart Tolle and Gabrielle Roth), Jamie is now running what he describes as “creative transpersonal workshops”. Devon workshop organiser Victoria Whelan said it’s designed to “bring your ideas and projects out of your head and into the real world.” The two-day workshop, What About You?, will be held at Harbertonford Village Hall, near Totnes, on September 8 and 9. Visit

Project makes its mark AN international social arts project is quickly gathering momentum after its launch in Totnes. In Your Own Skin invites people to share something about themselves that is normally hidden – then to encapsulate that “hidden treasure” in one word or phrase and have it painted onto their skin. The project creator, Katheryn Trenshaw, then photographs the result and will use the hugely powerful images in a book and to make a community art exhibition. The process will also be captured in a documentary film and the technique will be explored by people all over the world in workshops. “Our launch evening was an exciting, inspiring and very moving sell-out success,” said Katheryn. “People were very excited by the project, and the next stage, getting funding to make the film, is already underway,” said Katheryn. The next big In Your Own Skin event is on Thursday, October 18, in the Totnes Civic Hall with live music, more film, Five Rhythms dancing, a raffle and more. To donate to the film-making fund, and to find out more about the project (which Katheryn tells us has been endorsed by “the inner Transition group”), visit

Hélène Demetriades

Experienced Transpersonal Psychotherapist & Counsellor MBACP Snr. Accred. Metamorphic Technique Practitioner & Teacher Counselling & Psychotherapy I help you to move through patterns of self-rejection to come home to yourself.

“Hélène works with infinite compassion and patience, listening on levels which I could never begin to imagine myself. She becomes the most magical mirror in which I can see myself more clearly” Metamorphic Technique A simple practice in which I use a light touch on the sides of your feet, hands and head, acting as a catalyst to your life-force.

“The philosophy of the Metamorphic Technique of bringing about one’s potential in life has manifested itself in mine in a profound way within the last year.” For courses please see website. Location: Dartington Tel: 01803 868 655

Editorial: 01392 346204


Have you got a story for Wellbeing readers?




25 years experience working with adults, children & babies.

A gentle hands-on therapy inviting tissue presence to encourage the expression of health, function, vitality & wholeness. The ideal treatment for the release of stress, trauma, pain & stiffness.

Exeter u Topsham u Exmouth


freephone: 0800 970 6153 or text: 07979 721 227

FEELING YOUR BEST AT THE DESK and improve your posture at the computer

I provide a highly effective Alexander Techniquebased approach for preventing back & neck pain and RSI combined with expert advice on setting up your workstation to suit your individual needs. For home or business contact: MIcHAEL BROwN on 01364 654398 or 07775 528876 or email

Eft and Matrix Reimprinting In physical or emotional pain? Suffering from acute or chronic illness? Let me help you remove it using EFT and German New Medicine EFT often works where nothing else will! And what’s more it works just as well by telephone as it does in person. Or I could come to you within a radius of Crediton, Exeter, Totnes so you can have a healing session in the comfort of your own home. For a free informal chat call Bill Tucker on

07598 288 446

You can also find more information at

Take a deep

Celebrants can create funerals for unaffiliated WHEN asked about the sort of funeral they would like, many people say they are nonreligious. But that doesn’t mean they are without beliefs, so a humanist funeral without any spiritual references would not be any more appropriate for them than a religious one. “What most people mean when they say this,” says Simon Smith at Green Fuse Funerals, “is that they do not belong to or attend a religious group, or subscribe to a set religion or belief – they are unaffiliated. “Instead they have their own set of beliefs, perhaps in some greater force or continuation of spirit or consciousness, perhaps that this life is not all there is.” In a survey carried out by Green Fuse, more than 25 per cent of people over 70 described themselves as “atheist”, but of those under 70 (mainly aged 50-70), less than 10 per cent said they were atheist. “This latter group is the babyboomer generation,” said Simon. “They don’t belong to set groups and they form their own views. They have been exposed to ideas through travel and through their own experiences.” In the UK around two thirds of people are unaffiliated, neither religious nor humanist. “With so many people now unaffiliated, there can be a growing emphasis on individual funerals that reflect the life, character, values and specific beliefs of the person who has died,” said Simon. “These ceremonies are often led by independent celebrants.” Green Fuse has trained a number of celebrants in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. To find out more, call 01803 840779 or visit

NINE Totnes yoga teachers are coming together to share their love of yoga. Yogafest will take over Birdwood House and Bogan House on Saturday, September 15, with workshops varying from vigorous Ashtanga, through Iyengar, Hatha, Kundalini and Scaravelli, to Shakti Dance and gentle flowing Dru, not forgetting classes for children, and relaxing Yoga Nidra. “With three classes on at any one time, you are sure to find something to suit you,” says Maite. “And in between sessions, you can relax in the Om café - run by The Kitchen Table, Conscious Catering - and refuel on delicious (healthy, seasonal and local) snacks, soups and chai.” And the perfect end to a yoga-filled day? “Lift your voice, and your heart, in song – with chanting , mantra and bhajans from 6pm.,” says Maite. “Ten per cent of profits will go to Guru Ram Das Project, which helps homeless people and those with addictions by teaching them yoga.” Tickets are £20 for the day (including unlimited classes, a free chai and chanting), and £3 for children, or drop in for £5 per class, and £3 for chanting where space allows. Call Maite on 01822 862330 or Karamroop on 07894 444 506, or email

Kate Harris


Learn how to use the power of your own breath to overcome stress and re-energise your body. Improve your health and help clear emotional blockages. Exeter intro workshop August 22nd - 6.30 to 9pm.

Transformational Breathing Les Elms •

07828 566553 32 32

Festival with all shapes of yoga

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Life Coaching & Self Esteem Specialist An Oasis of Wellbeing - A restorative space for you to relax, prioritise, create and balance your life. ‘Small monthly group starting in September (6-8 only). Contact Kate for further information and to book. Individual sessions by phone (including Skype) or in person in a relaxed farmhouse setting near Totnes t: 01803 847674 m: 0777 949 6240 us at


Unique power of healing ON a practical level, a session with healer Rachel Bolton is easy to describe. After being invited to “speak of what concerns you”, you lay on a coach and relax, you hold Lemurian crystal seed wands in each hand and Rachel covers you with a blanket. Then there’s the quartz crystals that surround you in the room, the pure sound of crystal singing bowls, the smell of burning sage. But, says Rachel, the power of healing is held in what she does, and what happens through her. She says: “I work with healers and guides to channel high vibrational healing energy through me and into your body using the meridian system, the chakra system and the nervous system as well as your whole auric body system. “I am honoured to be gifted in feeling where mind, body and spirit want me to work, releasing the old patterns and making way for more light within you. “This higher vibrational frequency enhances your potential, opens the heart and accelerates spiritual growth.” Rachel says this healing system has helped many conditions, including bad backs, knee problems, irritable bowel, low energy, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, virus infections, gallstones, frozen

Rachel Bolton

Transform your thoughts, feelings and behaviours jCreate confidence and motivation jHave less anxiety and stress jAchieve your goals and get results jNo more phobias jGet healthier jEffective communication jSolve difficult relationships Lyn Price NLP Coach and Hypnotherapist provides one-to-one coaching and workshops to help you take control of your mind and make change happen

Tel: 01803 866312 or 07779127965

“If you are not in perfect health, the chances are your blood is acidic...”

shoulders, cervical cancer, problems with the ear and symptoms of trauma. Rachel, who’s based in Ashburton, also enjoys working with animals and their owners. “They are so connected,” says Rachel. “They can mirror each other’s physical, emotional and mental problems.” Call 01364 653788 or 07957 597 618, or email rachel.bolton1@

Cooks’ recipe for change TWO local cooks have come up with a very special recipe to create a workshop which can uncover something unknown about yourself – and make a real difference to your future. Belinda Connolly and Wilhelmina Swindell are both psychophonetics practitioners and are combining that with painting, sculpting and, of course, cooking to create The Alchemical Kitchen. Said Belinda: “Psychophonetics is a powerful, safe and effective developmental modality which uses gesture and sounding of the human alphabet to access the body’s deep intelligence to begin the process of change and healing. “We offer a range of processes which can transform stagnant areas where empowerment, healthy eating patterns and healing from illness or trauma are issues. “We will cook a little food together, sculpt and paint our experiences and share our stories. No previous artistic experience is necessary - expression is all. “We offer a beautiful safe space where people can spend quality heart-centred time nourishing the neglected, wounded and exhausted parts of ourselves. “Expect to leave having discovered something unknown about yourself, the knowledge of which will really

L I V E B L O O D A N A LY S I S and Nutritional Therapy

Your key to adopting an alkaline diet for health and weight loss Beverley Bird SAC dip Clinical Nutrition Call for a free 15 min telephone consultation to see how Live Blood Analysis can help you. Tel: 01566 88 00 90

Also visit:

~The raw power of nutrition~ Bee Pollen

~ Strengthen ~ Cacao Nibs

~ Energise ~ Maca Powder

~ Rebalance ~ Belinda and Connolly who have created The Alchemical Kitchen. make a difference to your future.” As well as workshops and residential retreats, Belinda and Wilhelmina also offer the support of ongoing groups, “where experiences can ripen”. Belinda is also the author of Belinda’s Totnes Market Cookbook (she runs an amazing food stall on the market) and delicious organic, vegetarian, gluten free food will be provided at the Alchemical Kitchen events and most dietary requirements will be catered for. To find out more visit, email b.connolly@ or wilhelmina@, and call 01803 762574 or 01364 643049.

Goji Berries

~ Purify ~ Spirulina Powder

~ Revitalise ~ Wheatgrass Powder

~ Cleanse ~ Editorial: 01392 346204


You can still read Wellbeing stories in past Reconnects... Take control of your health and happiness! Trinity Holistics offers an extensive range of body, mind and spirit therapies and classes: Nutritional Therapy (including mental health, weight management, allergies, inner and outer health, children’s diet, nutrition education) l Tarot and Angel Readings l Angel Therapy (Virtue ACP) l Energy Healing - human and animal and more One to one - Workshops - Events - Parties In person - by phone - by email

Clinics in Plymouth and Torquay / 07841 344934 Check out therapies, parties and events, plus free subscription.

trinity holistics

Would you like to employ Sherlock Holmes on your health case? Try the next best thing and consult an experienced homeopath with a sense of humour and 3000 remedies to find your perfect match. Put us all in the same place at the same time and the results could be unimaginable!

Whatever your health dilemma, give Homeopathy a whirl in 2012 Jacki Becker RSHom Totnes Clinic of Homeopathy t: 01803 867747 m: 07792 059 867


For Professional, Accredited Counselling Courses TRAIN TO BE A COUNSELLOR Level 2 – Foundation Commencing September Level 3 – Certificate in Counselling Skills Commencing September Level 4 – Diploma in Counselling Skills

School’s new shiatsu course ALTHOUGH relatively new when compared with other oriental therapies and medicines, shiatsu is still based on ancient teachings. Like qigong, tai chi and feng shui, shiatsu uses the five elements - an ancient way of understanding nature, life and our health; rich in understanding about how we can transform and heal ourselves. The five elements are fire, wood, water, metal and earth. The literal translation of shiatsu is ‘finger pressure’ where a practitioner uses touch and other techniques to improve the body’s balance and energy flow - known as ki. One of the country’s longest established Shiatsu schools, running from a converted barn near Totnes, is the Devon School of Shiatsu which has announced the new SelfTransformational Five Element Shiatsu

Three spokes to mums’ Hub ASK any of the mums who attend the Natural Birth Hub in Totnes and they’ll tell you there are three main aspects to what it has to offer. The first of those three is community. Says organiser Olivia Seck: “It’s a chance for mums to meet other mums on the same holistic wavelength. Everyone is accepted – no-one will be judged.” Secondly, it’s a learning environment – but again it’s all about the individual. “For example, we’ll have a 20 minute talk,” said Olivia, “but then encourage a discussion to help people find their own style of parenting. “We encourage the mums to think about how they relate to various theories and how they might fit in at home. It’s more like life coaching, really.” And finally there’s the nurturing aspect. The Natural Birth Hub can offer Indian head massage and reflexology sessions (as well as someone to hold the babies while the mums enjoy it),





Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

New courses starting soon - Enrol now!


We also offer low cost counselling to the public - please enquire.


and a wholesome lunch. Payment is by donation from £5-10 – “those who can pay more, pay more,” says Olivia. The Hub is held at Eden Rise, just outside of Totnes, every Monday from 10am – and when it comes back on September 3 after a short summer break (the next two Hubs are August 6 and 13), there are plans for it to run into the evening. There are also two other groups, held in Totnes – a pregnancy group on Tuesday 7.30-9pm at the Friends’ Meeting House; and baby massage at Leatside surgery on Wednesdays. Visit and call 01803 226127. l THERE are also plans for a Natural Birth Hub open day but as we go to press, details are to be confirmed. It will include stalls, tasters, talks and refreshments, and will be in Totnes, probably be on September 8. More details from the Hub - and in the Reconnect online diary.

New Course Programme Self Transformational Five Element Shiatsu “A truly holistic experience” Immerse yourself in the Five Elements FOOD, INTERNAL HEALTH, SHIATSU AND YOU!

Specialist Diploma in Counselling Children & Young People

CONTACT 01803 315075

Course, to be held six weekends over six months starting in October. The first five weekends will cover each of the five elements, and the sixth will give an overview of all the elements plus a short practical and theoretical assessment. The course will include learning about shiatsu therapy, qi gong and do-in exercise, food to heal each element with the primary focus being on transformation of yourself!  Students will be encouraged to make changes to enhance their health and wellbeing. Applicants need to have completed an introduction to shiatsu and there’s a Shiatsu Discovery Weekend on September 22/23 and a one-day introduction on October 26. The main course starts October 27 and 28 and continues in December through to April.   Visit, call 01803 762593.

six weekends over six months

starts 27 October @ £975 Shiatsu Discovery Weekend Buckyette Farm,Totnes TQ9 6ND Tel 01803 762593 Email:

Advertising: 01392 346342

“Explore your healing potential” 22 & 23 September @ £95 inc lunch

... all our back issues are online at


Help for surviving a Summer of TV sport IT is no secret that we seek sanctuary on our sofas and, with plenty of sport on TV this Summer, there’s sometimes a temptation to stay stuck to the sofa for a little too long. Fiona Webb of Kingsbridge Chiropractic Clinic says we should be aware of the effect of all this extra sitting down. She says: “Our lifestyles are sedentary enough but, during televised sporting events people spend even more time sitting down. Lack of exercise is our worst enemy and sitting incorrectly puts almost twice as much pressure on the back than when standing.” Fiona offers this simple advice: l Don’t sit for more than 3040 minutes – just stand up every now and then. l Get active during breaks for a change of position and shake out any stiffness. l Try drinking water instead of beer, tea or coffee; it will be healthier, as well as help you concentrate on the game. If you are drinking, always consume plenty of water too (you can find more advice from www.

Yoga of alignment

l And if you are enjoying watching sport, get out there and play it too! With longer days and lighter evenings, activities outside can be the perfect way to end the day. If any accidents should happen, don’t just ignore the pain and hope it will go away. Pain is a warning sign, so don’t ignore it! Fiona says Kingsbridge Chiropractic Clinic has a number of other therapists to help you keep moving. “Our acupuncturist Wendy has a special interest in nutrition, and our sports massage therapist Christy can keep you from seizing up over the summer months,” says Fiona. “For those who have suffered pain for more than six months,

KUNDALINI yoga is not about getting yourself “a cute yoga butt,” says South Devon teacher Karamroop Kaur. “Although on the journey to higher consciousness, you will be moving in ways that may grant you that bit of enhanced rearend anatomy,” says Karamroop. “Kundalini Yoga specifically includes all the goodness life has to offer. “It is simply the most efficient method for achieving alignment of your body, mind and spirit with the infinite Universe.” To find out more, call Karamroop Kaur on 07894 444 506 or email kaurkaramroop@

The Kingsbridge Chiropractic Centre - offering help for armchair athletes. there can be emotional implications which may include despair, anger, frustration, and depression to name but a few. “New to our clinic, Loretta Roper and Tracey Price offer counselling to those who wish to take control of their long-term pain, and get you back doing everything you want to do.” To find out more, visit www. or call 01548 852542.

01548 852 542

Providing quality care to Kingsbridge and the surrounding areas

Introducing our new therapists!

Wendy Morrison Acupuncturist

Tracey Price & Loretta Roper Counsellors

Christy Scoular Sports Therapist

Give us a call today to see how we can help!

Editorial: 01392 346204


Do you want to advertise in Wellbeing? Lifeline for people affected by cancer FUNDRAISERS have been busy supporting the Cancer Lifeline South West charity with events during the Spring adding over £3,000 to its coffers. In March the group held a ceillidh at Ashburton Town Hall with local band WoRTS N’All providing the music. Caller was Anne Gill, chairman of Devon Folk. Together with a silent auction and bar the charity collected over £3,000 from the event. In April, Torbay Police Choir gave a concert at Upton Vale Church in Torquay. The choir was directed by Alan Wagstaff and accompanied on piano by Carol Massey. This event added a further £250 to funds. The charity arranges breaks at Sharpham Manor in Ashprington for people who have been affected by cancer. Each of the three-day residential breaks is supported by professionals who have experience working with people affected by life-threatening illness. The intention is to give the patient and carer time to be with others who understand their situation. The next breaks are planned for August and November this year. For information call Jane on 01392 432984 or email:

PUPILS and instructors at Sirona’s open day, plus Cllr Hook (centre) and the iBex saddlechariot for which he donated money.

Horses do their share of work at new therapy centre A SOCIAL enterprise offering therapeutic and educational activities centred around horses held an open day to celebrate the opening of their new centre. Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship are now based at Hannahs at Seale Hayne near Newton Abbot (www. Sirona works with young people and adults with a range of educational, social and emotional support needs.

Learning about horse behaviour and management within a natural horsemanship approach increases their self-confidence and self-esteem and also has physical and mental health benefits. At the open day Cllr Gordon Hook handed over a specially designed cart for wheelchair users called the iBex saddlechariot. Cllr Hook had donated funds for the purchase of the cart from the Devon County Council

community project fund. International dressage instructor Heather Moffett, a Sirona patron and supporter, also donated Sirona two from her new range of flexible tree saddles. Sirona still have some spaces left to take on clients for sessions and supported volunteering and are always looking for volunteers to help with horse care, admin, marketing and fundraising. Visit or 07958 356114/07802 218169.

Psychotherapy with Lucia Capaldi (UKCP) BA Hons

Experienced and qualified psychotherapist currently offering: Confidential sessions for individuals and couples experiencing:

• Relationship difficulties • Anxiety • Depression • Low self-esteem • Addictions • Bereavement • Stress Supervision at reduced rates for counsellors and psychotherapists

Ongoing workshops:

Personal Development (co-facilitated group)

Building A Successful Practice

workshop for psychotherapists, counsellors and complimentary therapists

“Mindfulness In Relationship”

A two-day introductory workshop to Core Process Psychotherapy

Please get in touch to arrange a free initial meeting or for dates of upcoming workshops and groups

Bridge Farm Offices, Harberton, Totnes. Tel: 07809 441 519 or 01803 840424


Advertising: 01392 346342


rts@reconnectonline. us food at local health local people local events local local environment BOWEN THERAPY


Bowen Therapy

Cathrin Wildwood Sexuality Therapist

Nr Sidmouth

A gentle, safe, holistic therapy, suitable for all ages.

Counselling individuals and couples for any issues related to sex, intimacy and relationships

Louise Pritchard, Cert ECBS RGN hello@ Tel: 07870 888141


t: 01404 813537 m: 07800 777272


Pat Hoare

Therapeutic Counselling Supervision Hypnotherapy and Stress Management

Over 32 years’ experience - offers confidential therapeutic counselling for individuals and couples.




Friendly, co-operative neighbourhood for families, individuals. l Recruiting

new members now. in buying? l Some private rentals possible. l Homes built to minimum level 4 code for sustainable homes. l Interested

‘Massage to ease the body so your life can flow’ Holistic massage, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Indian head massage

Sara Jennett M.A. MTI (Massage) ITEC (Aromatherapy) now in Plympton and Waterloo Wellbeing Centre, Stoke, Plymouth

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OUR classified ads are the perfect way to put your green or sustainable living products or services in front of Reconnect readers. The single and double column advertisements, left, are £55 and £98, respectively. Lineage ads, like those below, are 90p a word, with a minimum of 20 words. And you can include a photo FREE OF CHARGE! Just email your ad for the Oct/Nov issue to (with a phone number) and we’ll contact you about payment. The deadline for the Oct/Nov issue is Septmber 7. Yoga

24a Gandy Street Exeter EX4 3LS Tel: 01392 410090 Email: Web:



YOGA with mindfulness. Combine yoga postures with mindfulness and experience tranquility and stillness in your practice. contact Jackie Newman 07504672518 Counselling

DAVID OXLEY MA. Fully qualified Accredited BACP counsellor and psychotherapist. Psychosynthesis and Core Process. Working with relationship, depth, integrity and soul. Central Exeter, Plymouth and Totnes. www. davidoxleycounselling., 07876051093. WENDY HEARD MBACP Qualified counsellor working in the Plymouth area. For more information email wendy.heard@ or call 07780685329. Business opportunity

HEALTH FOOD SHOP for sale in East Devon. Please email healthshop@ for full details.


fully qualified and insured Holistic Therapist, working from the wonderful, tranquil surroundings of Lupton House on the Brixham road. Working towards improving your quality of life through the wonderful therapy of reflexology, all sessions £20. Home visits throughout the South Hams and Torbay are available. Please contact me on 07971205709, 01548 844452, or facebook Oaktree Reflexology




Speech Alchemy Transforming Communication with Carmella B’Hahn Heartwood Bowden House, Totnes

5 small-group workshops for deep work

June 9th, July 14th, Sept 15th, Oct 13th, Nov 10th Including: Stepping out of Ego, Authenticity, Blitzing Habits, Speaking from Presence. Email:

01803 867005

DO YOU have a vision to be financially free? Then we have the solution. I’m creating a network now. Call Melanie 07715952896 Pottery Workshop

MEET new friends and discover your inner artist at Sanctuary Pottery. Affordable courses for beginners and rental space for experienced. Call us on 07896068024. Sound Therapy

SACRED SOUND THERAPY. Gong and bowl workshop, Teignmouth, Saturday 8th September, 10am -5pm, £35. Booking essential as places limited. Kevin Goulding 01626 895406 or HANDYMAN

QUALIFIED carpenter available to complete or assist with those small jobs around your home and garden. Do you need help with any general repairs, maintenance tasks, decorating, alterations, storage solutions, etc? 01364 631415.


QIGONG at The Exeter Mint Methodist Church with Brad Richecoeur, 5.30-7pm. Suitable for all levels. 0845 3305086 Every Friday

QIGONG at St Johns Church Hall, Totnes with Brad Richecoeur, 10-11.30am. Suitable for all levels. 0845

3305086 Every Wednesday

PERSON-CENTRED EXPRESSIVE ART. Workshops and private sessions with Emma Capper BA (Hons) Fine Art. Weekly sessions in Totnes, 10am – 12 midday.Tel: 01803 862821. emma@ Continued over page

Editorial: 01392 346204



Get in touch...

Living on less...

Why we should fight for our independents

AS regular readers will know, this Living on Less page, and the philosophy and practical living behind it, aren’t just about living frugally. Austerity is not a concept I would celebrate, and certainly wouldn’t want to experience as a way of life; and one of the wealthy western world’s greatest failings is surely not working harder to exorcise the poverty that continues to haunt some communities here and entire countries around the world. I believe that being able to live comfortably and creatively on less can be an important shift away from the importance money has in our society – allowing us to escape the shackles of jobs we hate; to free up time to spend more enjoyably and creatively; and to reduce the part we play in supporting consumerism and the multi-national companies that are undermining our communities. Hardcore consumerism and the ‘clone’ high streets and retail centres it spawns are big news now, of course. The big multi-national companies have for years been rolling out their brands across the country, gathering property and people and growing like enormous grubby snowballs. It’s easy to point the finger (you choose which one) at Tesco, but there are many other brands stamping their logos all over our lives like some kind of hard-sell graffiti. We all know who they are – if we didn’t, there wouldn’t be a problem. With relentless marketing (that would be called propaganda if they were a political party - and there’s no doubt they do have serious clout in our political system) they try to convince us that what really matters is ‘convenience’, ‘choice’ and ‘value’ -

LIVING on Less isn’t just about cutting consumption. Martin Foster argues that we should also be thinking carefully about WHERE we spend our money...

A bitter taste... and then pile up truckloads of it just outside town. And if planners try to stand in their way, they have legal departments, or entire legal firms, to fight their battles. They’re gently (and sometimes not so gently) guiding the masses down their shopping aisles and collecting all their money at the checkouts – and if you run out, don’t worry, credit is just SO simple to arrange… All sounding a bit gloomy? Probably nothing we can do, right? Battle lost. Future generations destined to grow up in huge Tesco car parks… Well, no, of course not. Those of us who are unhappy that this drift towards pure consumerism is turning every last thing in our lives into a ‘product’ are doing our bit to make some noise and counteract their ‘convenience, choice, value’ mantra with one of our own: ‘sustainability,

Unique ceremonies for weddings, namings, funerals and all special occasions in the South West with singer and celebrant Danu Fox. T: 01736 786267 M: 07870 634421

resilience, community’. The Transition movement and other community and campaigning groups are working hard to unite a movement and bring about a shift in attitudes and actions. I’ve been following the debate with particular interest recently because the coffee shop chain Costa want to move into the Fore Street shop (in my home town of Totnes) that was home to health food store Greenlife before they moved to the top of the High Street. More than 4,000 people have signed a petition in a bid to stop Costa and all over town Trainspotting-style posters have appeared bearing the legend ‘Clonestopping’. The pro-Costa argument centres around choice – people should have the choice to drink in a Costa shop if they want, they say, and those who don’t want to can choose to use one of the many small independents. But what if we roll the argument back a stage? What if we choose to live in a town that isn’t dominated by multi-national brand stores? What if we choose to give small independent businesses the chance to succeed or fail on the quality of their products and services rather than the size of their marketing budgets? This is an issue that affects all towns and cities, of course, and I don’t want to come over all Totnes-centric, but it’s particularly significant because much of Totnes’s appeal – to residents and visitors alike – is built on precisely the individuality that the arrival of bigbrand stores are likely to undermine. All those thousands of visitors who spend their money in Totnes, and

who play a vital part in keeping the economy alive, are also exercising their choice. If they wanted to spend time and money in the big-name chain stores they could do that almost anywhere in the country. Another of the local pro-Costa arguments is that there are already other multi-national chains in the town – Superdrug, Holland and Barrett, WH Smiths and Fat Face, for example. But the coffee culture plays a more significant and distinct part in the Totnes way of life than shopping for toothpaste or envelopes (although there are excellent independent shops selling those too, of course). So who decides? In planning terms, it’s the councillors who are elected by us to do our will and the anti-Costa campaign are putting their argument to them. I suspect too that this issue will be high on the agenda come the next council election campaign. In more general terms, it is we consumers who have the final say by deciding in which stores we spend our money. I may spend less money than most, but spending it in a way that helps local business and minimises negative impact on the world is an important part of my personal Living On Less philosophy. I’m not part of the local shopping police and I won’t give you dirty looks if you turn into Morrisons’ car park most of us make at least the occasional supermarket trip. But while all of us today are consumers, we can make the effort to consume consciously – and make the right choices. At least most of the time.

Passionate Presence Center with Katheryn Trenshaw

workshops • consulting • talks • projects •


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...please mention ‘Reconnect’ when you contact advertisers


c o n t i n u e d August Wednesday 22

TRANSFORMATIONAL BREATHING. Take a deep breath. Learn how to use the powere of your own breath to overcome stress and re-energise your body. Exeter intro workshop – 6.30pm – 9pm. les@ www.breathsouthwest. com tel: 07828 566553.

Tuesday 4 – Friday 7

LOOKING after your health. An in-depth course about how to look after your health. Price £395 including lunch & supper. International Macrobiotic School, Totnes. Tel: 01803 762598. Saturday 8

OPEN DAY. Exeter Natural Health Centre, Queen’s Walk, Exeter. Come and meet our

September Saturday 1

OPEN DAY. OLA Chiropractic. Taster sessions, Free Indian Head Massage. Acupunture talk. Posture health talk. Massage sample sessions. Tel: 07813 200361. 5a Fore Street, Totnes. www. totneschiropractic.

therapists and try some treatments. Tel: 01392 422555. Sat 8 & Sun 9

ALCHEMICAL KITCHEN - Creative Cooking. Waking up to ourselves and all our changing needs. Belinda and Wilhelmina. 9.30am – 4pm. £60/day. Meals and drinks included. Monday 10 – Saturday 15

THE JOURNEY. A fiveday voyage of personal exploration for people seeking to make a powerful contribution to the world. www. journey. Tel: 01647 252983.

Sat 15 – Sun 16

THE POTTING SHED. Intro mould-making workshop. Tel: 01803 865033. www. pottingshedworkshop. com Tuesday 18

THE POTTING SHED. Ten-week sculpting and throwing course. 7-9pm. Tel: 01803 865033. www. pottingshedworkshop. com Wednesday 19


Experimental ceramics, glass and firing workshop. Ten-week course for beginners. 7-9pm. Tel: 01803 865033. www. pottingshedworkshop. com Saturday 27

INTRODUCTION to Macrobiotic Cooking. Learn how to create delicious and healthy food in one day. Price £75 including lunch. International Macrobiotic School, Totnes. www.

Sat 29 & Sun 30

ALCHEMICAL KITCHEN - Creative Cooking. Waking up to ourselves and all our changing needs. Belinda and Wilhelmina. 9.30am – 4pm. £60/day. Meals and drinks included. Sat 29 & Sun 30 THE POTTING SHED. Intro tilemaking weekend workshop. Tel: 01803 865033. www. pottingshedworkshop. com

SPREAD THE COST OF ADVERTISING I can't believe it's not expensive! A 1/8-page advertisement like this will cost you just £41.85 a month if you book six issues and pay by direct debit AND we’ll help you write and design your ad AND we’ll write an editorial for you

Now you know which side your bread is buttered!

Call Pete on 01392 346342 or Martin 01803 868455 Or email

Editorial: 01392 346204


Want to make your money Work for you and the planet? planning your finances in ways that reflect your ethical and environmental values can make a real difference.

Barchester Green Investment is the UK’s longest established Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) specialising in

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Reconnect 20 August-September 12  

The green living magazing for South Devon

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