Sunday, December 20, 2009

Transition Brockley - end of year update

I've just received the following end of year report from Transition Brockley. It's pretty impressive to see what they've already done in the first 8 months. Local people just getting on with things and preparing their community for a low carbon future, without waiting for politicians to get their act together.

After the depressing news from Copenhagen this weekend, in which the US and its cohorts effectively condemned the world to catastrophic climate change, there's a stark contrast and it's a small light in what otherwise makes for a rather gloomy state of global affairs right now!

End of year update for Transition Brockley/Lewisham.

We had our first meeting in April of this year and can report that we have:

* FILM SHOWINGS: hosted a couple of film events at St.Andrews Church in Brockley and Manor House Library in Lee showing the Power of Community and A Farm for the Future as well as couple of short films about Transition Towns Totnes and Brockley to highlight the importance of moving away from reliance on fossil fuels and how urban sustainable food-growing is possible;

* VISIONING: had people contributing many ideas about how they envision a future low-carbon and community friendly Brockley at film showings and the Flux event (see below);

* REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT: discussed our own small steps to reduce our carbon footprint and build our resilience to peak oil. Assisted by the 3 Tonne Handbook and the 10-10 campaign;

* COMMUNITY VEGETABLE PLOT: helped with the setting up of a vegetable garden at St Saviour's Church, one of the 2012 community food growing spaces to be created by the year 2012 under the Capital Growth scheme;

* FRENDSBURY GARDENS: supported this community garden with their successful application for funding to continue to be able to provide the facilities for giving courses in all aspects of sustainable growing and to increase its wildlife habitat;

* FLUX: held a very successful awareness raising and fun evening at the Brockley Social Club with a magician, live band, DJs, swopshop, wheel of fortune and other visioning activities on a transition theme. It was a real community event with all ages enjoying the fun! We look forward to the next one....;

* THE WAVE: taken part as TT Brockley / Lewisham (with banner!) in the Wave, climate change march on Saturday 5th December; and

* ORCHARD: supported an initiative of local Brockley residents with plans for an orchard in an overgrown plot behind their flats. The ground has been cleared, soil has been taken for testing, and, together with the London Orchard Project, they will be planting trees in the spring.


* 9carrots: Various local businesses have joined the 9carrots scheme, whereby they pledge to put aside 10% of the money they take from 9carrots customers for an upgrade to make their business more energy efficient. The scheme really NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT, so do tell your friends and if you can, go along and spend with them and say you would like a 9carrots voucher. This will help them to achieve their target and also support our local businesses. Signed up so far are:

* The Shop On The Hill, 7a Harefield Road
* The Broca Food Market, 209-211 Mantle Road
* Mr Lawrence Wine Bar, 391 Brockley Road
* Royal Tandoori, 387 Brockley Road
* EXP Chinese Experience, 390 Brockley Road

If you know of any businesses who would like to join the scheme, feel free to sign them up (contact us for details).

* GLOBAL ACTION PLAN: We organised for GAP (an independent charity which advises business on energy saving measures) to visit a couple of local small businesses to discuss how they might make energy savings, and help them survive the current economic downturn. The visits were welcomed and the businesses have asked GAP to return to work with them in the new year.

* BEEKEEPING: With the invaluable help of our local beekeeper, Camilla, we have sparked off a substantial increase in the number of beehives being set up in the area, following two 'veils-on' sessions with buzzing bees and a film showing of The Mysterious Bee. There has been a huge interest in beekeeping in response to the worrying decline of the rural bee and the (by contrast) fortunate good health of the urban bee.

* PERMACULTURE COURSES: Courses (for individuals) in sustainable growing using permaculture principles are planned for the spring and being organised with Frendsbury Gardens. Negotiations are also under way for permaculture courses to be held for Lewisham's Envirowork, and Glendale, the council's parks and gardens maintenance team, have expressed interest.

* SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES ACT: The proposal Transition Brockley submitted to increase the Government fund for grants towards renewable energy installations (the Low Carbon Building Programme) has been shortlisted by the LGA for review by the Secretary of State, who will decide whether to recommend this proposal for acceptance by the Government.

* TRANSITION SYDENHAM: Alona from our group has started up a Transition Sydenham initiative with a meeting at the end of November. This group will focus on two garden-related topics: a) twinning underused gardens with gardeners who want a growing space, and b) community gardens for growing food. A meeting in January 2010 will plan in more detail what the group can do and the next steps to take.

Let us know if we've missed anything. We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

As we'd like to support local venues, our NEXT MEETING will be at the recently opened Orchard bar/kitchen, 5 Harefield Road, Brockley at 8.00pm, Thursday 21 January.

Happy Christmas!

Alex, Alona, Fran, Katie

If you aren't already on the Transition Lewisham e-mail list, you can sign up here.

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