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Environment News



to this January newsletter, and wishing all our readers a happy and sustainable Christmas and 2020. Enjoy Professor Kayoss’ Christmas Rap here

If you normally contribute items to this newsletter or would like to, and haven’t heard from us recently, please subscribe to our contributors’ list via this sign-up form › to get our requests for news and reminders. (You can update your own contact details in this list or unsubscribe at any time.)

Next issue - Jean at Kingston Environment Centre will be editing the next newsletter at the end of January, so please email her › your items before the end of the month.

If you have problems viewing this newsletter, please click the link at the very top of this page to see it in your browser.

Campaigning together 

After the hurly-burly of the General Election it's probably time to hunker down for the holiday period with family, friends and/or a good book - to  recover energies and think about how best to campaign in the new year and the new political landscape.  XR’s Wintry Pause to Welcome 2020 › inviting “you to give yourself permission to pause. To breathe. To take a break...” sounds like good advice.

But if you have just a moment to spare, you could click here to sign a petition to "Save Bees and Farmers" › across the EU
make climate action your new year's resolution and make a pledge on the Possible website ›

More on the climate crisis below...

Contacting politicians when you need to

Find contact details for your councillors, MP, MEPs, and LA members at › Rather than repeating our advice on writing every month, we have saved it here on the TTK website ›
Please tell us about other local green campaigns we should highlight in this section; air pollution; trees and local biodiversity; getting shops to close their doors in winter; supporting active travel, making cycling (and cycles) safer; divesting pensions etc from fossil fuels; recycling bins in public spaces; reducing waste plastic, other...? Please tell us what you’d like us to take up, and help others to join in by providing useful evidence and web-links.


TTK and Transition news

TTK Energy Group remind us that now is a good time to have a look at their tips on keeping cosy without wasting energy ›

Coming up


"Should we all be vegans?",
Thurs 23 January, 1.00- 1.45pm, All Saints Church, Kingston Market Place - NB CHANGE OF DATE
An All Saints Topical Lunch panel brought together for Veganuary by TTK to discuss sustainable eating, exploring vegan,vegetarian and ethical omnivore perspectives. Is veganism the only option for people who want to eat ethically and sustainably? With Marilyn Mason, TTK secretary and an “ethical omnivore”, chairing, and  contributions from vegetarian Andree Frieze, Richmond Borough Councillor and Green Party candidate for the S W London Assembly, and Emma Waghorn, vegan for 34 years for ethical and environmental reasons.

Regular events

Kingston Green Drinks - NO GREEN DRINKS ON 31 DECEMBER,  but back on 28 January.
Last Tuesday of every month (apart from public holidays) from 7.00pm to 9.00ish, Woody's riverside bar, Rams Passage, KT1 1HH (but NO GREEN DRINKS ON NEW YEAR'S EVE!)
A free social event for anyone interested in environmental issues, hosted by Transition Town Kingston.  All welcome to come along to have a drink, make new connections, and share news, insights, activities, events and strategies with like-minded people.
From 6.00pm, TTK management team meeting in the same venue - do come along to meet us, pitch ideas, offer help...,


We hope to see you... 

at one or other of our upcoming meet-ups or events - click an icon below to find updates on events and other ongoing TTK projects, as well as new sources of funding, fascinating news snippets, encouraging ideas and discussions… on our Facebook page.

If you'd like to suggest a new project or event, or help plan and implement TTK activities over coming months please contact the TTK management team via the website or come along to one of our monthly management meetings just before Green Drinks every month. 

If you know of green (or even green-ish) enterprises that should be in our e-Directory, please get in touch via the website › And if your enterprise is in the Directory, do let us know of any necessary updates.

Find out more about the wider Transition Network   
Find more Transition activities and events in London and the S E on Facebook
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter


What's on at KEC this month

See below and the KEC website calendar › for info about events coming up at Kingston Environment Centre, 1 Kingston Road, New Malden, KT3 3PE.

Tues 7 Jan, 7.00pm 
Relaxing meditational sounds
More information › or email ›
or phone 07910286028. 
Rewilding Alexandra Orchard
Fri 10 Jan, 12 noon - 4.00pm
Help build biodiversity in Tolworth by planting native trees and shrubs - your help would be wonderful. The orchard is on the area between the Alexandra Recreation Ground and the tennis courts.If you need further details or a weather update email Jean › or phone 07775993625.
Yoga Flow with Jane
Sat 11 Jan, 11.00am
Mixed ability class, beginners welcome."Come and stretch, strengthen, release tension and breathe" Free session, bring your own mat if possible
Find out more ›  or email Jane › or phone 07910286028. 
Launch of Plastic-Free Garden Campaign 
Mon 13 Jan (on-line event for Kingston Environment Centre)
Mayors crowdfunding campaign
Find it and please support it on ›
Annual General Meeting, Kingston Environment Centre
Wed 29 Jan, 7.00pm,  Kingston Environment Centre  
These and our other regular events can be found on our website calendar 

Regular events at KEC

NB, regular events will take a break in Christmas week!

Kingston XR 
Every Thursday evening, 7.30 - 9.00pm, 
See their very active Facebook page › 

Stitch and Chat
2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings of the month
 Our lovely, friendly, knitting, crochet and sewing group. Knit blankets, hats and snoods to be donated to refugee charities or bring your own project. We also have plenty of yarn and needles available. Beginners welcome.

Kingston Cycling Campaign monthly meetings
2nd Tuesday each month, 8.00pm 
Find out more about Kingston Cycling Campaign          

New Malden Garden Taskforce 
Every Friday, 3.00 - 4.00pm
Meeting to plan activities.
KUTLETS social and trading evenings
Exchange goods and services for the local currency Beaks. Find out more › or contact Simone › 

Volunteering drop-in sessions and KEC community gardening day
Every Thursday, 10.00am - 2.00pm
Help with a variety of tasks, indoors and outdoors.
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Makers/Repairers/Recyclers/Hobbyists who mourn the absence of a shed
Finding a decent place to do a bit of pottering a challenge? Fancy somewhere out of family clutches?
There's a brand new reuse centre sprung up in a beautiful warehouse next to Berrylands Station run by local charity Save the World Club (the mosaic Mural makers), The Circulatory,  beside Berrylands Station. The Circulatory" comes equipped with tools, materials, artifacts, bicycles and a thousand items saved from landfill to have fun with... Time commitment: as long or as short as you please.

TTK’s Stitch in Time project › (remember that?) has already begun to set up a sewing corner upstairs in The Circulatory – with a couple of sewing machines for communal use, and plans to revive its monthly sewing-repair-upcycling workshop in 2020 if there is sufficient interest.
If you like the idea of a little retreat from the hectic world outside, email Des › or phone him on on 07962 231 830 to arrange a visit.
Website Website
Facebook Facebook

KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston.


Sign up to our newsletter › and click on an icon below for news of more conservation activities around Kingston - get involved or set up a project of your own.  

Regular events

KBN quarterly meetings are always packed with great people doing fantastic stuff for Kingston, and are the perfect opportunity to network and join exciting new projects or promote your own project. If you would like to request a specific speaker, would like to volunteer to speak or would like a particular topic covered in future please let Marina know ›

Kingston Cemetery Conservation Days
Bonner Hill Road - every 3rd Saturday of the month, 10.00am - 1.00pm.
Find out more on Facebook ›  
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

 Berrylands Nature Reserve


Read our blog ›  After every event or when there is some exciting news about our nature reserve or local green space, we try to write a quick blog post to let everyone know. We love feedback and ideas so please do keep in contact by  emailing us › or via social media. 

Regular events

Volunteer Wednesdays - conservation events continue on the last Wednesday of every month.  

Join Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve to show your support for all the amazing restoration working taking place and for future activities and events.
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Thank you 
You’ve helped us achieve great things in 2019 › A huge thank you to anyone who supported our Christmas Appeal › or engaged in our Advent Calendar › both aimed at creating more space for nature and heritage this Christmas and beyond. Click here › to donate to our Appeal and to discover some of our 2020 ambitions.  
Click on the website icon below for information about ET's Green Infrastructure Project  or contact Stephen James › 
Website Website

Sowing and growing

Hogsmill Community Garden

Find out more in Regular opportunities below and by clicking the Facebook icon.

Canbury Community Garden

The raised beds are now mostly bare, ready for spring planting and meanwhile giving our chickens more space to scratch around in and provoking a young visitor to ask why we weren’t growing anything – an opportunity to explain the seasonal nature of growing food. Educare pupils' compost experiment came to a natural end, with the conclusion that "compostable" coffee pods do not rot down on a domestic compost heap, but, reassuringly, starch-based bags and envelopes do.

Find out more in Regular opportunities below and by clicking the Facebook icon.
Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden
Facebook - Canbury Community Garden Facebook - Canbury Community Garden

Coming up

Sunday 5 Jan,  2.45pm, meeet on the bridge over the Hogsmill at Elmbridge Meadows.
We will toast the trees in the new orchard at Green Lane Recreation Ground before walking the Green Lanes to Kingston Recreation Ground to arrive around 3.30pm. Bring something to share (mince pies, flask of warm cider, musical instrument or  a saucepan and a spoon to make a noise), warm clothes and stout footwear. Toilets available especially for those that arrive beforehand (2pm) to help weed Alexandra Rec orchard. Come and hear how you can get involved in planting a new orchard on 11th January. Children welcome
For further details email Alison or phone her on 07867507086

Regular gardening and outdoor learning opportunities

Canbury Community Garden
Canbury Gardens, weekend gardening sessions
All welcome to help with seasonal tasks. Find out more on Facebook ›

Hogsmill Community Garden
Swan Path, Kingston, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11.00am - 3.00pm, or by arrangement.
For more info see the Facebook page › 

Kingston Edible Forest Garden
Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth
Group gardening, duck pond, poly-tunnel and tea over the fire in a wonderful oasis.  For more details see website › and for up-to-date times when we'll be there use the contact form or email › 

Parkfields Community Garden
North Kingston, Volunteer sessions Thursdays, 2.00 - 4.00pm.
Connect with nature, observe the seasons, share skills, socialise, grow, cook and eat healthy food, learn about living more sustainably, build dens and play! Facebook page › 

Find more gardening opportunities in the Kingston Environment Centre section, and local nature conservation activities in the Kingston Biodiversity Network and Berrylands Nature Reserve sections.

Useful sources of advice: 

  • Garden Organic › “If all ... gardens were cared for organically, it would create a much better environment – for our families, plants and wildlife.” 
  • Cordwainers Grow › lost its lovely community garden in Hackney earlier this year, but continues to champion community growing in the face of increased competition for space.
  • Parks Community UK is a new space created by and for Friends' groups to share experiences, info and ideas...

Climate crisis news

‘A dismal failure’: The 25th UN climate talks (COP25) ended on Sunday, after three tense days of final negotiations. In the end, the weakened text failed › to curb coal, oil, and gas, as powerful countries with vested fossil fuel interests blocked progress. Protesters, voicing the demands of people across the world to stop polluters, were kicked out of the summit › and many big issues were left until next year’s conference, COP26 in Glasgow, despite the urgency. 
Government needs to up its game - but will it?
The Committee on Climate Change, the UK's official climate watchdog, says the government needs to be meeting its own targets on the climate crisis and warns that UK’s efforts have so far fallen short. Read more here ›
More on bio-fuel
Converting coal plants to biomass could fuel climate crisis › scientists warn - experts horrified at large-scale forest removal to meet wood pellet demand (confirmation of the TTK/BiofuelWatch presentation some months ago).

How to avoid personal meltdown
With the climate emergency putting our mental health at risk, The Observer presents an everyday guide to eco wellbeing ›

What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple ›

The Leap › makes system change irresistible.
The planet is burning
Wild, feral and fossil-fuelled, fire lights up the globe. Is it time to declare that humans have created a Pyrocene? asks an essay in Aeon ›

Medium – on-line essays about all sorts of things, including Seven Points You Need to Know About Climate Change › Pick the categories you want to read when you subscribe.

Energy updates

Powerful parks?
Watch a video › about an enterprising clean heating solution – putting heat pumps in parks, using the heat stored in the soil to heat nearby buildings. And read the report ›  to see how much heat the parks in your area could provide, then tell your local council ›  
Radbot seeks funders
TTK Energy Group’s Damon is looking for crowdfunding for his Radbot - a smart heating control that can save up to 30% off heating bills by heating each room when you need it and lowering the temperature when you don’t. Radbot calculates that households with medium to high gas usage can save an estimated £180 and 0 .73 tonnes of carbon per year. Minimum investments of £14.74 have already raised over 80% of the funding needed but the campaign remains open into January.
Find out more ›     

Money, money, money...

Funding for Pocket Parks 
Community-led organisations working in partnership with local authorities across England can apply now (deadline 31 December) for grants to establish new pocket parks or to restore and renovate existing parks which have fallen into disrepair...
Find out more and apply
The Climate Action Fund
The fund will support communities across the UK to take action on climate change, demonstating . what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. Initial ideas must be submitted by Wednesday 18 December, full proposals must be submitted by midday Friday 27 March 2020.
Find out more


The Overstory by Richard Powers– a “tangled epic about diverse lives...  rooted in environmental principles” Read a full review in The Guardian ›  If you don’t like and respect trees when you start this book, you will be the end – new in paperback and even downloadable as a pdf. 

Read any good green books recently?

Tell us about them - and then, if you’d like them to be read by other people, donate them to a bookshelf like the ones in the Rose Theatre café and Kingston Environment Centre, or to a charity shop, or to Kingston Library Service, which particularly welcomes hardbacks in good clean condition – a sustainable way to spread new ideas beyond our usual networks.

Waste matters

Seen in Kingston - a useful reminder that drains aren't ash-trays or rubbish dumps.
Also in Kingston town centre. Nice! (Did they copy our footprints to the Green Zone?) 
An A-Z reminder of what and how we can recycle in Kingston › 

15 ways to shrink your plastic footprint from the Guardian  ›  
Can old fridges be recycled to make new ones?  › Not yet but... For now, the best we can hope for might be "a fridge that you can bury and two years later it has disappeared".

Kingston Council news 

Citizens’ Assembly on Air Quality
Kingston’s first ever Citizens’ Assembly met for four days  in November - December to consider the problem of local air pollution and come up with possible solutions.  Their final five recommendations were: to remove pollutants from school boundaries; prioritise changes to planning rules and enforcement to indoor and outdoor air quality; plan to urgently invest in greener and accessible transport and infrastructure; increase residents’ awareness of air pollution; encourage positive behaviour change and accelerate the transition to sustainable vehicles. Following the presentation of the recommendations to Full Council on Tuesday 17 December, they will be discussed at the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee on 11 February to determine how they will be taken forward and to inform the review of the Air Quality Action Plan over the coming months. Read more › and
get more information on the climate emergency in Kingston ›  
New Council newsletter
Kingston Council has just launched a new borough newsletter - you can get updates on news, local services, upcoming events and more by signing up online.›  

Coming up

Kingston Council’s annual State of the Borough debate
Wednesday 29 January,  6.30 – 9.00pm, Chessington School.
The evening will be a question and answer session with a panel of experts on the theme ‘Growing Kingston Together’ focusing on topics including regeneration, culture, tourism, skills, employment, housing and development.
Register your attendance and submit your questions › 

Things we like this month   

  • Nominate your Green Heart Heroes › TCC invite nominations of people who have gone above and beyond to create a cleaner, greener future for their community. before the end of the year.
  • The European Environmental Bureau › Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens' organisations, bringing together over 160 civil society organisations from more than 35 European countries,  standing for sustainable development, environmental justice & participatory democracy, and hosting a library of interesting publications › 
  • The best way to reduce your carbon footprint › may not be what you think!
  • The most sustainable way to eat, according to HuffPost › 
    Freegle › not only a good place to find or give away unwanted stuff, but also somewhere to find volunteers or volunteering opportunities. Freegle is currently looking for someone with some design/CSS expertise to help with their website.  
  • The Guardian Green Light › Get the most important environment stories, debate and analysis delivered to your inbox each week – usually some good news, some bad...
  • Rewild My Street › guidance for people wishing to adapt their homes, gardens and streets to encourage wildlife - and stop London's streets going grey. 

What else is happening?

Special events

Solving the Plastic Problem
Monday 13 January,  7.30pm - 9.30pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL
Plastics pollute the oceans, the air, the water we drink and the food we eat. In this talk, Professor Chris Rhodes addresses the plastic problem as part of a decisive look at how we all use resources and live our lives.
Find out more › 

23 Nov - 23 Feb, RA, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
Artists examine humankind’s impact on the planet and present innovative approaches that reframe our relationship with nature
Find out more › 
Show the Love in February
Join The Climate Coalition to Show The Love in 2020 . The Green Heart Action Pack is now available to download, from TCC website › where you can also order stickers, postcards and find craft inspiration. Together we can be a voice for change that’s impossible to ignore.  
Permaculture Design Course
6 weekends between April 4 and Oct 11, 2020, South London + one weekend residential
Accredited by the UK Permaculture Association. 
Find out more › 

London in Bloom
June and July
If your group undertakes hands-on work in your local park or public garden or cares for a conservation area in a local park, you can register and receive the recognition you deserve in caring for and protecting our most valued assets, the local Park. London in Bloom will arrange for a brief visit during June or July.  Register here › or email › or phone 020 8662 1021.  

Ecochallenge 2020
Ecochallenge › promises “a spectrum of opportunities to take action, including our Earth Day Ecochallenge in April, Plastic Free Ecochallenge in July, and People's Ecochallenge in October.


Regular events

Greenpeace Richmond & Kingston monthly meet-up
2nd Tuesday each month, 7.30pm, Gazebo,  Kingston Riverside
Find out more and confirm meeting time ›  or search for our group page on Greenwire › (Greenpeace's social media). 

Other news

London Sustainability Exchange and Global Action Plan join forces
Since 1st December 2019, London Sustainability Exchange (LSx) and Global Action Plan › (GAP) have brought together GAP’s heritage in running environmental campaigns with LSx’s continued ambitions. grassroots community engagement skills and supporter networks. Learn more about Global Action Plan here ›
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