Welcome to the October 'Stroud in Transition' Newsletter. We've had lots of material sent to us for this newsletter, which is great - this is how it should work! If you'd like to send us something for the January issue please get in touch by replying to this email.
Transition Stroud is not like a conventional organisation: it is all of us who are doing what we can in our own lives and community to make the changes to a low carbon, localised lifestyle.
We want to make this work as resilient as possible, which includes:
Supporting volunteers for TS so that it’s fun to be involved
Making sure people who do key jobs are supported and don’t “burn out”
Keeping our costs as low as possible
Our core costs are £1,200 (covering meeting room hire, insurance, websites, etc) and we have managed to pay a small amount for time from our Development and Events Managers to “hold a space” for the rest of us. They also, in reality, do lots of work for free.
We want to build a resilience in funding ourselves - to avoid using lots of valuable volunteer energy chasing grants and awards. If you are able to support us with even a small monthly or annual donation (£2, £5, £10 a month/year) please email us and we will be in touch.
Thanks for your support.
PS. Remember you can check and update your profile on our mailing list at any time by following the 'Update subscriber preferences' link in the footer of this email.
PPS. Thanks to James Beecher, Simon Allen, Dominic Thomas, Juin Gibson, Nick James, and Erik Wilkinson for contributions to this newsletter. If you'd like to write something for the next newsletter (due out in January) please email us
Transition Stroud AGM 2013
TS held it's AGM
on Saturday 28th September at the new Bisley House Café on Middle Street. Bisley House is a new venture, an old pub that's been completely re-decorated, with lovely food and very welcoming staff.
Eight of us sat down and reviewed the year with the help of a 20 minute film that James had made. We then looked at the events already planned for the next 12 months which include film evenings, a Winterfest event in December, Potato Day in February, a Spring Garden Event, a Bike event and Open Eco Homes in September, plus our Skills Gain Workshops, the Building Skills Action Group and Repair Cafes.
Having so many activities already in the planning was great to see and a platform for us to think about what else needed to tackle to lever up our impact. Many ideas were discussed and we agreed to go forward in 4 main areas;
to look at how we can engage better with the public;
to understand our carbon footprints better;
to explore some opportunities to engage with business and communities, and business and digital technology; and
to re-new our work with sustainable transport solutions.
The final part of the afternoon was the formal AGM
, where we welcomed Helen Royall being re-elected as a Director, Seb Buckton coming on board as a Director, and said 'thank you' to Gail Bradbrook for her great three years as a Director, to Chris Harmer who has been an excellent support from the beginnings of TS, and to Claire Deacon for keeping our books and presenting the accounts at the meeting. A few of us stayed on for drinks and chatting which brought a great afternoon to a leisurely end.
Skillsgain Workshop Programme
focuses on those self-reliance skills we will need tomorrow and offers taster workshops in these skills today. The autumn programme is as follows:
Fix It For Free
Date: Sunday 20th October. Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Venue: Lockkeepers Cafe, Walbridge, Stroud.
Cost: Just buy a cup of coffee!
This is a different kind of workshop. Based on the Café Repair Movement in Holland, the aim is to fix or repair any garment, electrical or mechanical device you can get to the café. Hosted by Debbie James of the 2ii’s Café there will be engineers and sewing/machining experts from Transition Stroud to try to fix whatever you bring. You get it fixed (hopefully) - and for free, the planet benefits as you don’t have to buy a new one - and we all have a relaxing time over a coffee at your local café.
To book a place: e-mail Erik or phone 07725 900666.
Communicating and Campaigning Online
Date: Wednesday 30th October. Time: 7. 30 to 9. 30 pm. Venue: Black Book Café, Nelson Street, Stroud.
Tutors: James Beecher & Caroline Molloy
Cost: £5 or 4 Stroud Pounds
Learn how to: Keep up to date with the issues and campaigns you care about; Effectively promote events and causes online; Connect with a network of likeminded people in Stroud and beyond; Understand how to use social media such as Twitter effectively. NB: Please bring a laptop and/or smart phone if you can - so you can get the most from this workshop.
To book a place: e-mail Erik or phone 07725 900666.
Date: Tuesday 12th November. Time: 7.00 to 9. 00 pm. Venue: TBC, in Stroud.
Tutor: Jane Brown
Cost: £5 or 4 Stroud Pounds
Saving your own seed gives you fresh seeds that are more adapted to your garden for the following growing season and saves you money as well! Learn which plants give you fertile seeds and simple methods of seed extraction for some common vegetables, flowers and herbs. Also learn about the need to save our seed diversity and heritage for the future. This is not just a hobby!
To book a place: email Jane or phone 01453 764853
Make Cakes out of Vegetables!
Date: Wednesday 4th December. Time: 7.00 to 9.00pm. Venue: TBC, in Stroud
Tutor: Helen Patrick
Cost: £5 or 4 Stroud Pounds
Carrot cake is everywhere - but did you know that there are lots of other vegetables that can produce delicious and nutritious cakes – and without the usual heavy calorie burden! In this workshop we can explore how to use a wide variety of vegetables in baking and will together bake something to take home. So... don't keep all those glorious vegetables just for dinner.
To book a place: e-mail Erik or phone 07725 900666.
Belle Vue Road Apple Tree protest
Many of you will have seen or read reports about the efforts to protect a 100-yr old apple tree, hazel coppice and badger set from being destroyed as part of a development in Stroud.
You can see and read some of the reports here:
Stroud News and Journal
Peter Richardson, Stroud TV
ITV 'Westcountry Tonight'
Daily Mail article
James Beecher writes: "There was a very sad end to this story, but I hope it is a good reminder of what we can do, and what may be needed in some of the battles over local development and our environment in the near future."
TS Film showing
Stroudco Food Hub goes Bananas!
Shoppers have won a dramatic victory in persuading Stroud’s Food Hub to start supplying tropical fruit and vegetables. This might not sound like an appropriate article for a Transition newsletter – but read on!
Stroudco has been providing a wide range of locally-produced food and drink for over four years. It has always been a not-for-profit co-operative which is controlled by the people who use the Food Hub. There are 52 producers and 380 shopper families who are part of this fast-growing co-operative. Over the last few months a group of Stroudco shoppers keen to cut down on their use of supermarkets have been lobbying Stroudco’s management group to stock fruit and vegetables that are not available locally – including bananas, pineapples, avocados, oranges, lemons and peaches. As a direct result of these requests the Stroudco website now includes produce from Global Organics – a Stroud-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler providing a wide range of high quality organic produce from around the world.
Gail Bradbrook – part of the campaign group pushing for the extension of the Stroudco range said “I have been a regular Stroudco shopper for over three years. We have always been pleased to shop through the Food Hub because it is an ideal way to support Stroud’s small-scale, local food and drink producers. Many of the Stroudco producers are too small to sell through the farmers’ market and it is great to see so many new small businesses setting up because they have the Food Hub as their distribution channel. I have always wanted to use Stroudco as a replacement for my weekly supermarket shop and now that the Food Hub sells bananas I can do that! ”
Lynsey Powell, manager of Stroudco Food Hub said “we are really pleased to add the fantastic range of Global Organic produce to our online catalogue. It will mean that our shoppers can have exotic fruit and veg delivered to their door along with all their local produce every Saturday. It was a difficult decision because Stroudco has always been committed to supporting local producers. We have been able to negotiate with Global Organics that they will only put produce on our website which is not available from a local producer. This means that we will be able to continue to offer strawberries and raspberries for sale even when we can’t get them from our local growers!”
Nick Weir, one of the founders of Stroudco said “one of the benefits of being a not-for-profit co-operative is that we can be flexible in adapting to the needs of both the shoppers and the food producers. Some people were concerned that we were moving away from the original ethos of the Food Hub, but I think we have found a good compromise by ensuring that Global will only offer produce which is not cropping locally at the time. Bananas are Britain’s best-selling fruit and as Stroudco becomes an increasingly viable alternative to supermarket shopping we need to make sure that our shoppers can buy all they need in one weekly Stroudco order. To find workable solutions to climate change we need to look for options that are ‘glocal’ a creative combination of local and global”.
Andie Soutar of Global Organics said “we are very pleased to be part of Stroudco. We receive a weekly purchase order and only deliver exactly what has been ordered by shoppers online that week – this means there is no wastage, which helps us to keep our costs down”.
Stroudco Food Hub welcomes drop-in visitors every Saturday between 11am and 1pm at Stroud Valley Community School on Castle Street GL5 2HP.
To see the steadily-growing range of local, tropical and store cupboard produce available go to www.stroudco.org.uk where you can download the full catalogue or just browse the website. There is no cost to opening a Stroudco account – you just pay £1 each time you make an order to help with running costs. Once you have opened an account you will receive a weekly email letting you know about new Stroudco producers, special offers and Stroudco events.
For more information about Stroudco Food Hub please call Nick on 01453 840037 or email email@example.com
Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation
Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation has formed to stop the two proposed supermarket developments in Stroud.
This came from Joanne the SASS coordinator.
"The Stroud Against Supermarket Saturation (SASS) campaign is looking for some additonal members for the core team. All skills welcome, but anyone with legal, planning and fundraising expertise welcome, commitment is likely to be a weekly meeting, along with actions falling from that. The campaign is also looking to build a network of volunteers who can help with surveys, leaflet distribution, getting petitions etc signed. This doesnt have to be a big commitment, sparing just an hour or two would make a big difference in helping to raise awareness of the campaign and stopping Stroud from becoming ringed by supermarkets. "
To find out more about the campaign visit the SASS website
, and to volunteer to help, get in touch through the Facebook page
Are you Down to Earth?
Down to Earth Stroud (DtE) is a co-operative and becoming a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Stroud. It was founded as a Co-operative in November 2009 by a group, including experienced growers.
The aim is to increase access to and availability of local and sustainable food for all
communities in Stroud district, by encouraging cultivation in domestic gardens, enhancing or reviving allotments and developing a wide range of food projects. In doing this, the vision is to create stronger, more resilient communities as well as reduce health inequalities and our contributions to climate change. There are a number of projects being undertaken including the Fruit and Nut Tree Guardian Scheme, bespoke gardening services, training and workshops and community gardening in Selsley.
Up in Selsley on the B4066 a large area of allotments has been revived to good productive use, and each week on a Monday
volunteers come along to undertake projects, which include digging potatoes, planting vegetables, composting, clearing areas, pruning and so on. Also at Selsley, in partnership with Glos County Council, we've set up a 'home composting demonstration area'. This operates on Mondays 9.30 until 1pm.
We are always looking for more volunteers, growers and people interested in small agricultural projects.
Please come and visit on an informal basis, have a cup of tea and a tour of the site. This may be an opportunity for you to learn some new skills and to gain in confidence with growing your own food. Each Monday
from about 10am
to around 2pm
there are people up there. You are welcome to visit or please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the website
Telephone no. 01453 700011
Introduction to Community Reporting
At the 6th
annual Stroud Fes
tival of Nature in Stratford Park on Saturday, Creative Sustainability CIC ran a variety of workshops for members of Woodcraft Folk, and children of all ages. Activities included an ‘introduction to community reporting’, delivered by James Beecher. Following a similar workshop at Marling School as part of the secondary school’s ‘Sustainability Day’, participants learned basic interviewing techniques and tested them out on stallholders at the festival – such as Jess and Colin from the Cranham Scout Activity Centre, who hosted a popular tightrope at the festival. Children took notes for this press release and recorded responses for an audio report to be broadcast later in the week on Stroud FM, as well as taking photographs to accompany a report for Transition Stroud.
Camp 0+1 took place at Churchdown Farm near Fowey in Cornwall at the beginning of September. It was the second instalment of Camp 0, the first of which was convened at Westley Farm, near Chalford, in 2010. Conceived as a space for collective exploration of the crisis in contemporary capitalism and culture, Camp 0 aims to highlight the role of the imagination in seeking alternatives to economic inequality and ecological catastrophe.
Conceived and curated by Dominic Thomas and Rupert Howe, Camp0+1 was a residential camping weekend of participatory and collaborative workshops, discussions and artworks which explored issues of ecology and political action alongside those of cultural production and the role of art as an incubator for alternative strategies.
Twenty artists, educators – and others – engaged in informal and improvised activities that included foraging for food and fuel, collective cooking, collaborative art works and building a zero energy vinyl record player for an evening's entertainment. Highlights included a discussion led by Kate Rich of Feral Trade, a model for trading goods through social networks, and the installation of Andy Webster’s unpredictable and subtly complex solar-powered sculpture Inflate deflate. Other contributors included Cornwall-based artists Kate Southworth, Janet McEwan and Anne-Marie Culhane – who featured in the last issue of Transition Free Press.
See www.campzero.org.uk for more and future details.
Permaculture Zone 00
The links between Transition and Permaculture are strong – Rob Hopkins was a permaculture teacher when he developed the ideas of Transition. A key ethic in permaculture is that of People Care – recognising that people are at the heart of systems, and that we need to look after ourselves and each other so that as a community we can develop environmentally friendly lifestyles.
Local permaculturist Juin Gibson has recently attended some training on the People Care ethic (also described as “Zone 00 design”) that might be of interest to Transitioners, and she has written a report on it below.
"On a warm Sunday afternoon in August 13 people travelled from Switzerland, Belgium and all over the UK to meet at High Heathercombe in Dartmoor, to spend a week exploring the people care ethic of Permaculture with Looby Macnamara, author of People and Permaculture.
The week was based on Looby’s People and Permaculture book and our personal focus was to produce a “zone 00” design using the design web and other design tools explained in her book.
Our days were split into theory/practical sessions and personal design time. We started with the seed of our vision and worked through the growth, exploratory, productive and reflective phases of the web.
As you might imagine with a zone 00 design process there were lots of emotions being expressed and we had a rollercoaster of a week full of rich experiences, much learning, some tears, lots of laughter and singing.
It was a valuable experience and everyone managed to explore and expand their growing edges, take walks on the moor and even learn how to do felting.
Personally I found the experience very enriching and am including some of the tools from the week in the one to one and groupwork that I facilitate.
I enjoyed it so much I am going to attend the People and Permaculture Facilitators training at The Fold near Worcester in November. If anyone is interested I would urge you to join us, I understand there are one or two places left and it is a great training ground for anyone wanting to facilitate People and Permaculture workshops. If anyone would like more information do get in touch."
Keeping in touch with Transition Stroud
If you'd like to get more involved with Transition Stroud (many of you already are!) there are several things you can do.
You can join our Discussion email group, where anyone who joins can post messages about things relevant to Transition. This is an active list where you can hear what others are involved in that's related to Transition, and join in discussions about specific topics.
To find out more about Transition across the UK and the world, read the Transition Free Press. Transition Stroud has some copies available at events and also from the Stroud Valleys Project Eco Shop on Threadneedle St. in Stroud, price £1, with proceeds going to support Transition Stroud's work. So pick up your copy soon!
Transition Stroud is on Twitter - you can follow us @TTStroud. We currently have over 600 followers. We use Twitter to circulate stories of interest that are available on the internet, news about events and meetings, and occasional notes about what we're up to.
We also circulate items of interest on the Transition Stroud Facebook page.
Transition Stroud is on Skype - our Skype ID is transition.stroud. Feel free to get in touch and share your contact details with us if you use Skype, and then contact us using the chat function if you see we're online. This can be useful if you want to ask a quick question or find out about something and happen to be on-line at the time. We're looking at ways of holding Skype 'drop-in' sessions where someone will try to be available at certain times of the week.
Drop in sessions
Someone from Transition Stroud often works in the Stroud Valleys Project Ecoshop on Threadneedle Street in Stroud on a Friday. So feel free to pop in to find out about Transition-related activities going on in Stroud (and see what SVP have to offer!). We also hold information stalls at various events throughout Stroud, but these depend on volunteer support, so if you're willing to help out please email us.