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Environment News


October 2022

                        Welcome to this month's joint

Kingston Green Diary, OCTOBER

A selection of upcoming local green activities - see also group sections for regular meetings and other activities.

Tuesday 4 October, Think Green - for businesses

Friday 21 October, Kingston Hive Hosts: Is global justice a necessary part of the climate solution?

Tuesday 25 October,  Transition Town Kingston meeting followed by Kingston Green Drinks 


Regular gardening opportunities

Regular conservation volunteering

What else is happening soon?

The pandemic is not yet over, and we recommend that you continue to look at websites or social media before setting out to confirm that events are happening and to check requirements intended to keep you and others safe. Check the current Covid news and rules for Kingston here.

Scroll down or use the Contents list below to find something good to do.

Your editor is away for part of next month so the November issue at the end of October is likely to be a reduced one - so enjoy a full issue while you can!

As always, local news and activities come first in the newsletter and within sections - and most of the local groups below have their own websites, social media and newsletters, so, if you are particularly interested in any of them, follow their links to find out more and join in their activities. If you'd like more news from elsewhere, try some of the sources listed here.

Notes to contributors

Next month's issue will be reduced in content and there will be less time for collating, reminding and editing - so please make sure your sections are updated and get your copy in promptly.

If you normally contribute items to this newsletter, or would like to, and haven’t heard from us recently, please (re-)subscribe to our contributors’ list via this sign-up form to get our requests and reminders - and make sure they are not disappearing into your spam folder!  Make sure you receive the newsletter too by adding yourself to the subscribers list too - sign up here. You can update your own or your organisation's contact details in these lists or unsubscribe at any time.
     We look forward to hearing about more environmental activities, on-line or in the real world of Kingston, as and when possible - we try to give local news and campaigns top billing, so do please keep them coming in. Do use this newsletter to promote new local green groups or enterprises – and also to check what's already happening locally to avoid clashes.
     In any case, please send us your environmental news and updates in good time to feature in the next newsletter which will usually go out just before 1st of next month. According to Mailchimp, 58% of our 800+ readers frequently click the links in this newsletter and 23% do so sometimes, a good number of engaged readers worth reaching.

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


This is our standard list of contents, with links to local green groups and events near the top and more general ones further down - not all are live every month and occasional extras may be added!  Regular items in grey boxes change more slowly than News sections and may be of most interest to new readers. You can fast forward to the sections that interest you, but don't miss out by skipping too selectively! 

This is the monthly newsletter of:
Kingston Environment Centre and
Transition Town Kingston
Other local green groups: 
Save the World Club
The Kingston Hive
Kingston Biodiversity Network
Kingston Cycling Campaign
Full Cycle
Habitats & Heritage
Kingston Friends of the Earth
XR Kingston
The Community Brain
Ham United Group
Kingston Community Gardens
Kingston Environment Forum 
Sunray Recycle
Green themes and campaigns, local, national and global:
Campaigning together
Have your say
Green Volunteering
Climate crisis updates
Kingston Council news
Money, money, money
Nature notes & Events
Waste matters & Green ads
Sustainable energy and transport
Food, glorious food
Reviews & Updates on all things environmental
More things we like this month
What else is happening soon?

Sustainable September - almost too much to do! 


Green events were happening around Kingston throughout Sustainable September, and Kingston’s green community came together in the GreenZone in Kingston Market Place on Sunday 25th September for an enjoyable day of music, outreach, networking, sharing, learning, and reflecting on the future of our only home, planet Earth... Well done, everyone involved!

We are the Voice children’s environmental choir on the Market Place stage.

Look out for more photos on participants' websites and social media.
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram


Help to keep Kingston Environment Centre warm this winter! 
Weʼre raising £3,500 to replace our old boiler and keep KEC warm for our many users: Square1 cafe, Little Star after school club, Stitch and Chat knitting and crochet group, community gardening, environmental groups and events. Our boiler is now inefficient and has cost us several hundred pounds in repairs in the last year, it needs replacing and under the terms of our lease it is our responsibility. We would like to face the coming winter, when energy prices are going to dramatically increase, confident that we can afford to heat the building adequately. Please chip in to reach our target.

Regular events at KEC 


KEC foraging group
Harvesting fruit, wild food and other edibles around the borough and cooking together at KEC. If interested, message Pat on 07762846906, who is setting up a Whatsapp group. 

Square 1 Café 
Saturdays, 12.00 midday – 4.00pm. KEC  
A free and friendly drop-in café for “social recovery from Covid-19 and life generally” started up at KEC in October - a safe, inclusive space, where everyone is welcome, and everything is free. If you have any questions, please contact Tony Williams

Creating a Climate Emergency Centre in Kingston!
Regular meetings at Kingston Environment Centre and on-line, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 7.00pm. See more here.

Stitch & Chat
2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings every month

Volunteer gardening at KEC
Thursdays from 9.30 - 12.00, Saturdays from 10.00am - 2.00pm. 

Any gardening volunteers, experienced or not, are welcome to join us - the Square1 café will supply any volunteers with a free lunch and drinks. For details of plant sales and ‘Pottering with Pots’ events see our Facebook page. If you see our side gate open (mainly on Thursdays and Saturdays) you are welcome to pop in and pick up something we have grown.

Kingston Cycling Campaign meetings
First Tuesday of the month from 7.30pm
Find out more.

Listen or catch up with previous shows on Mixcloud..

See the KEC website calendar for info and updates on events and activities at Kingston Environment Centre, 1 Kingston Road, New Malden, KT3 3PE.


Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

News and Events

GreenZone - we were there
Inside the Market House we were managing the talks and workshops, and outside our Abundance project made delicious apple juice with this year's harvest, while we also harvested local opinion (see below) and interest.

TTK's Energy group remind us that winter is coming...
And that there is a lot of good advice about keeping cosy in their section of the TTK website, and also, once you switch on your heating, they can come to your home by appointment to take thermal images showing where heat is leaking out and what energy efficiency improvements you can make. They are also looking for up-to-date recommendations of solar panel installers to pass on (or you can check them out on TrustPilot - Contact Peter of the Energy Group.
     Members of the Energy Group who opened their “eco-homes” to visitors on the weekend of 10-11 September had a lot of interest (31 bookings) from keen and often very well-informed local residents, concerned about the climate as well as rising energy costs, and who were particularly interested in the practicalities of upgrades - disruption, comfort, cost-effectiveness, noise, reliability and maintenance - the things salesmen and installers don’t necessarily tell you! You can read about one household’s energy efficiency journey here.
     The questions raised by visitors proved good preparation for the Energy Group’s panel on “Heat pumps and other scary (green) things” at GreenZone on 25th September. Ian Chown also spoke about retrofitting his typical Edwardian house to zero carbon standards, and you can read about it here. The Energy group sessions were recorded and will appear on our website in due course.
How would you use a TTK Repair Café?  May be an image of 9 people
We continue to research feasibility and usage and applying for funding for a possible repair café in central Kingston - please help us to plan by taking this quick survey on how you would use one. And if you or someone you know would be interested in joining other volunteers "doing stuff"(to use Transition terminology) in a Kingston repair workshop please contact Damon.
A bit of market research at TTK's GreenZone stall on the right

TTK on film
Carbon Copy's filming of TTK for their “Running Out of Time” campaign has been postponed, though the Running Out of Time COP27 relay will be coming to Surbiton early in the morning on 8th October .

Regular TTK events and ongoing activities

TTK core group meetings, followed by Green Drinks 
Last Tuesday every month
 at 6.30pm,  with Green Drinks at 7.30pm - next ones on 25 October & 29 November, Spring Grove pub, Bloomfield Road, KT1 2SF
All welcome, but check updates on the TTK Facebook page before setting out. We welcome new Transition ideas and projects, so if you have something you'd like to offer under the TTK umbrella please visit our website to see if your idea would fit into TTK's aims and ethos and do let us know. Notes from these meetings are normally published on the website once confirmed as accurate at the following month's meeting.

TTK Energy Group meetings
1st Tuesday morning of every month
Contact Peter to find out more.

Canbury Community Garden
Weekend gardening sessions -  all welcome to come along for healthy outdoor exercise, to plant and get their hands dirty... See Community Gardens section below.

Kingston's green history
One project TTK started recently is to try to compile a history of environmental activism in Kingston. Green activities in our borough go back a long way, and we think it would be interesting and worthwhile to create a timeline to capture stories before they are lost, as well as helpful to current green groups as a source of inspiration and experience. Do please get in touch if you can share dates, photos, memories...

Helping the local community to find outdoor volunteering opportunities
TTK has begun to  create a draft web-page of outdoor volunteering opportunities in the borough, so that people can find somewhere near them where they can grow food in a community garden or look after nature in a conservation project, sharing skills while getting healthy exercise and meeting new people. If your project is there, please check that the information and links are accurate and send a logo or picture to include; if your outdoor project is not featured help us to complete the picture by sending the info listed here.  

Kingston Green e-Directory logoLooking for, or wanting to publicise, a local green enterprise? Try TTK's Kingston Green e-Directory. Local businesses and consumers are also invited to help us keep the Directory up-to-date and accurate.

Transition News and Events

Transition London & SE Hub Online Meet- Ups
more Transition activities, discussions and events in London and the S E on Facebook.

Transition Together web-links
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

Campaigning together 

"If working apart we are a force powerful to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it." Sir David Attenborough, COP26.


Please tell us about local and national green campaigns we should highlight in this section. See the Have Your Say and Kingston Council sections and look out for Megaphone Man for more opportunities. Please take action - if not us, who? 

See Kingston Friends of the Earth section below to join their new SOUL campaign.

Help to bring Library of Things to Kingston
Library of Things is a place where you can borrow useful Things for your home, projects and adventures. Help to bring one here by adding your support.

Support Restart’s Right to Repair UK campaign
Find out more here and sign the petition here.

Support a new energy campaign
Warm This Winter is a new campaign demanding the government acts now to help people struggling with energy bills this winter and to ensure we all have access to affordable [and renewable] energy in the future.
Write a Letter to Tomorrow

The Climate Coalition ask us to "Write a letter to a loved one in the future to call for political action on climate change now. Because the future of our planet isn't written yet. The climate crisis is affecting our lives already, and it’s only going to get worse for the next generation unless we take action now to get it under control – because the years will tick away before we know it." This Climate Coalition campaign was launched in Great Big Green Week but continues for a while. More info here.

Even the RSPB is angry!
"The UK Government has launched an unprecedented attack on nature. They are threatening to tear up the laws that protect our best wildlife sites, weakening protections for nature in the planning system and may be about to scrap vital proposals that would help farmers help nature. We will not stand by and let this happen. Read more and contact your MP.

The Weald Action Group is "an umbrella for local groups campaigning against all forms of extreme extraction of oil & gas across the Weald and the Isle of Wight in the South East of England. This includes fracking, acidisation, and all methods of advanced well stimulation." Find out more about their campaigns and recent challenges to fossil fuel extraction in Surrey and the SE.

One Tree Day in October
Do you have children or can you influence a local school? The environmental charity Just One Tree would like as many people as possible to ask their local schools to participate in their One Tree Day in October. 

Campaign for a frequent flyer levy
Despite air travel being one of the highest contributors to the UK’s carbon emissions, our government refuses to ensure that flight emissions start falling. The fairest way to reduce flights would be for the government to bring in a frequent flyer levy. You can find out more here, but in short this would mean that the more someone flies, the more they pay. What to do? Tell your MP that you back the frequent flyer levy via Possible’s web-tool.


Walk the Shale Trail
Saturday 1 October, meeting at 11.00am at Horse Hill, RH2 8PP (nearest rail stations Redhill, Horley and Gatwick)

Walk between two shale oil extraction plants in Surrey (Horse Hill and Brockham), which the current operators are planning to expand. This walk has been planned to raise awareness of these sites and to connect with the local community. Walkers can be collected from the station on the day.

Useful resources for campaigners


Find contact details for your new councillors, MPs, MEPs, and LA members at  Rather than repeating our advice on writing every month, we have saved it here on the TTK website.

TheyWorkForYou shows what MPs have been speaking and voting on recently, with a page on the website devoted to recent votes and parliamentary business on the environment),

Info on Citizens’ Assemblies: Participo offers info on the research on and practice of innovative citizen participation – useful and interesting for anyone interested or involved in planning Citizens’ Assemblies.

Feeding and empowering 
our community



We are still at the Circulatory!
We have negotiated a three month extension to stay at our premises in Berrylands, which will give us more time to move to our new premises at 18 Southsea Road (photo on the right and visit it virtually here) by the 25th December. Our warehouse in Berrylands is not accepting any goods while we move, though anyone is welcome to buy things and seek our help. Recently we provided film props for an American comedy series called “Dinner with the Parents”. See our Facebook page for up-to- date news.
     The Circulatory is open from 4.00pm to 8.00pm from Sunday to Friday and from 2,00pm to 6.00pm on Saturdays. Our daily collection of food from supermarkets continues with dedicated volunteers. We saved 6.5 tons of food one week in September and fed 650 people. Thank you to everyone who has helped us and others who will in the future.
 Moving fund - "The Big Move" campaign 
While our move is delayed we continue to need your support to help fund our move! This is a crucial time for us and will determine how well we will be able to adapt. To see all the ways you'd be helping the community and those in need by supporting us, please check out our campaign here
     If you are interested in viewing or getting a quote on the new 10,000 sq ft location, please email Tariq Shabbeer or call him on 07443 508514.

Make sure you don’t miss any news from us - follow our Facebook page

A little bit extra to STWC -

AmazonSmile customers can support Save The World Club. Simply turn on AmazonSmile whenever you shop with Amazon, select Save The World Club as your chosen charity, and a small percentage of each purchase is then donated automatically to STWC.

The Circulatory, Unit 5, Chiltern Works, Station Way, Surbiton, KT5 8LS. We are at the end of the driveway adjoining Berrylands train station - look for the big blue barn doors..



Kingston Hive Hosts: Is global justice a necessary part of the climate solution?
Fri Oct 21, 7:30pm, Kingston Market House .
The London Mining Network will lead the discussion upstairs in the Market House.  
Find out more about the event and sign up here..

Regular meetings continue at Kingston Environment Centre and on-line, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 7.00pm, with some planning and working group meetings and discussions in between. 


Updates: come along to our meetings or keep an eye on our social media for updates on our search for space.

Our core values are recycling and sustainability - we upcycle and recycle cycles.
KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston. 
Click on an icon below for news of conservation activities around Kingston - get involved or set up a project of your own or see Green Volunteering below.



Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and new events.
Monthly meetings at
Kingston Environment Centre
Habitats & Heritage acts for the natural and historic environment in south and west London. In a time where the health of our environment and each other has never been more important, and never more interlinked, we invite readers to support our work by signing up to our Supporter Scheme today for just £10 a year. 


Sign up for H&H newsletters and keep an eye on H&H events for conservation news and volunteering opportunities in and around Kingston and neighbouring boroughs.

XR Kingston   


Join the Rebellion and help to make the politically impossible inevitable. Everyone is invited to rebel for life. Want to get involved? Here’s how!



Read news from Extinction Rebellion here
 Ham United Group (HUG) is a Community Interest Company (CIC) aiming to improve the environment and the quality of life for the people in Ham and Petersham, just next to North Kingston. HUG supports projects and groups that help make our community more sustainable. 


News and Events

For Friends of Ham Lands' monthly volunteering sessions see Green Volunteering or the HUG Events Calendar. You can subscribe to and read previous issues of our newsletter on the Newsletter page.
We believe in giving people ‘permission’ to be brilliant because everyone can be brilliant...


Ongoing activities

Tolworth Station Community Garden
All are welcome to join our upcoming volunteering sessions every Tuesday (10.30am – 1.00pm) and every first Sunday of the month (11.00am – 2.00pm). Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. If you would like to attend please email Georgia  and check out our Facebook page for updates.

Take a walk - and discover Community Brain’s walking routes highlighting many of our beautiful local nature reserves and parks, including a new South of the Borough walking guide - Chessington South to Malden Rushett.

The local branch of FoE - everyone is welcome to help us work towards positive environmental change.



Our new campaign: Switch Off Unnecessary Lights (SOUL)

Kingston Friends of the Earth start a new Switch Off Unnecessary Lights (SOUL) campaign in October. Our campaign will not be aimed at street lighting; it will be aimed at switching off, for example: neon lighting when a business is not open; office lighting when the office is empty; floodlights left on overnight for no useful purpose.
The SOUL campaign will highlight the benefits of switching off unnecessary lights, a massive list which includes: reducing annoying night time glare; helping endangered nocturnal animals like bats and hedgehogs; saving non-renewable sources of energy at night when there is no solar power generation; reducing energy costs; reducing carbon emissions; reducing light pollution so we can all appreciate the night skies and see stars, planets and meteorites...
If you would like to get involved, and/or if you have examples of unnecessary lighting in the borough (with photos would be brilliant), please e-mail Kingston Friends of the Earth
 If you’d like to join and campaign with us, please follow our social media or email us.

See FoE’s Climate Action campaign for info about how Kingston is doing on climate issues and for resources to support local action.

A network of local environmental organisations covering a wide range of blue and green issues in Kingston 



KEF survives  
- though in exactly what form, what it will be called, who will run it, what its remit will be... were all deferred at the relaunch on 29 September to another meeting. Most groups represented at the relaunch could see the value in a forum of environmental groups working together and with the Council to further our shared aims on climate and the eco-system. The means remain to be worked out - watch this space and KEF media!
KEF is currently a website of resources, including a list of local environmental groups + a Facebook page for sharing environmental news, queries, discussions and campaigns.



See also Waste Matters below.

Regular events

SunrayRecycle volunteer days
Wednesdays, 10.00am - 2.00pm, KT5 9QP
If you would like to come along and sort some hard to recycle waste please send Janine a message on 07886552574 or find us on Facebook.
Plot 55, Sunray community allotment plot volunteer days
Wednesdays or Thursdays depending on lead volunteers' availability, usually 11.00am  - 1.00pm.
Please bring gardening gloves & drinking water. Basic tea making facilities are available. Toilets available on request, but sometimes unavailable. Please email Janine to find out more and follow us on Facebook.

Kingston Community Gardens

Sowing and growing in Kingston

Hogsmill Community Garden 

The garden is involved in a collaborative project with the art school, “Sunlight doesn’t need a pipeline”, with a stall and participation in workshops on Friday 7th October.
We are connecting with NHS social prescribing, with leaflets being distributed to local surgeries. Regular events: guided meditation session every Thursday at 7pm, and every Tuesday afternoon from 1.30 to 3.00pm we have Kiddies nature craft and gardening sessions
     Contact Julie for more information or check out HCG Facebook page for more information and the latest news and posters.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

It’s time for autumn harvesting and tidying - cucumbers, runner beans, hops, courgettes and tomatoes have done well this year - and planning for next year. Home brewers and insomniacs are welcome to come along to a gardening session to harvest our hops. Friday open mornings are now taking a break till next spring.
Photo: When is a courgette no longer a courgette?
Off Canbury Gardens  - current access only via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand and Canbury Secret cafe.

Kingston Edible Forest 2100

is planted for the long term with perennial edible flowers, veg and fruit, details on our website. We are there most Sundays and a weekday evening when there's light. Please contact us to check, as the gates to the allotment site are locked. 
Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth


Kingston Environment Centre 

We will be working in the yard and on the community space outside Kingston Environment Centre every Thursday from 9.30 until 12.00 and on Saturdays from 10.00 - 2.00pm. Wear comfortable clothes and stout footwear See Kingston Environment Centre for updates.

Kingston Orchard Project

There has been some volunteer illness at KOP which had some unexpected benefits with the harvesting of fruit: Janine Martin offered to gather local residents on Sunray Estate and has already picked fruit which was made into apple pies for local people! More good news is that Tariq Shabbeer has agreed to relocate a glasshouse on site for local use, and Roland has been preparing the ground. We would still like to recruit more volunteers who will be able to gain from the health benefits of digging, with other jobs for the less fit!
     Stephie Garden and wild meadow: Roland has been developing a back garden of fruit trees and raspberries. The cherry harvest was very good and now the Braeburn apples are ready. Building work gave access onto a small patch of ground which is being rewilded in line with the borough’s policy and help from Councillor Olly Wehring, who has got the grounds staff on board with drivers directed to not park on the grass. Roland has also created loggeries to prevent this and planted fruit trees.

See also

The Community Brain's new community garden in Tolworth.


Help TTK  to build a complete picture of Kingston's outdoor gardening and conservation projects by visiting the page here.  

Good homes for surplus produce
Kingston Crop Drop, the scheme enabling local gardeners, allotments and community gardens, to donate their surplus crops to deserving charities and community groups, is planning to restart soon. The community  groups can collect fruit and vegetables, but would also welcome help with collection and delivery. If you can help now or later please contact Kelvin Foote on 07885736836 or email him. 

Gardening is good for (almost) everything!
Radio 4’s All in the Mind asks if gardening can help with the symptoms of mental ill health and hears from gardeners at Chelsea Flower Show about their designs which aim to provide sanctuary from stress. Listen here.  

Britain in Bloom  
Find out more and join in Britain's nationwide gardening competition, The RHS describes it as "a powerful tool for building communities and tackling local issues together. It inspires community groups in towns, cities and villages to make positive changes to their local environment through horticultural, environmental and community action..."

Regular gardening sessions

Visit Facebook pages to confirm opening times and health and safety advice before turning up - and check the weather forecast!.

Useful resources for gardeners

Rather than letting this list become ever longer, we move older items to Growing Tips on Transition Town Kingston's website.

What do bees like to eat?
10 common herbs are among some of the best plants in providing bees with valuable nectar and pollen throughout the year. They also happen to be some of the best herbs for cooking with and easy to grow. Let FoE guide you on how to grow these bee-friendly plants that will make your food taste delicious. 

Green volunteering

Help TTK to map Kingston's outdoor volunteering opportunities if you run one by visiting the page here 

Berrylands Nature Reserve Volunteer Sessions
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, 10.30-12.30(ish), meeting outside Berrylands Scout Hut, Stirling Walk.
Help to improve Berrylands Nature Reserve and our other local green spaces, making them better for the local community and its wildlife!  Find out more and sign up
Tuesday Evening Balsam Bashes
Elmbridge Meadows, 
Great for making the most of summer evenings, and getting some fresh air and a little bit of light exercise after work/school. Find out more and sign up

Nature conservation volunteering with Citizen Zoo
Citizen Zoo - volunteer with us!  See also Tolworth Court Farm Field Recorder Days coming up in the next few months in Nature Notes Events.

Friends of Ham Lands monthly volunteer conservation session
2nd Saturday every month, 10.00am – 12.00pm, meeting at the corner of Croft Way and Riverside Drive
Come along to help improve the habitat for butterflies. Find out more.

See also -
Volunteering opportunities with Habitats and Heritage and in Kingston's community gardens.

Looking for volunteers? 
Volunteering Kingston is here to help! Volunteering Kingston is the volunteer centre for Kingston. If you are looking  for more volunteers to support your activities or advice on any aspect of involving volunteers we can help: we have a website where you can advertise volunteering opportunities and a resource bank with advice on a range of different topics; we can provide one-to-one advice on Zoom to support you on various topics such as recruitment, retention, reward and recognition, managing difficult situations, and how to organise volunteers when you are an informal group. Please get in touch any time via or 0300 365 9980.


Get Connected
Connected Kingston is a site dedicated to helping Kingston residents find local activities and navigate local services [and local groups to find helpers and participants]. It is run by the Royal Borough of Kingston Council and Kingston Voluntary Action in conjunction with local charities and statutory organisations. Special training is available to anyone who regularly comes into contact with people that may be struggling to navigate or find local activities or services. Our goal is to help residents of Kingston stay happy, healthy and connected to each other. Contact us here and/or register an activity or find something to do.

Nature notes   


Bee Buzz stops - please may we have some in Kingston?  
“Butterflies and bees are getting their own transport network as “bee bus stops” start to pop up around UK cities and across Europe. Humble bus shelter roofs are being turned into riots of colour, with the number of miniature gardens – full of pollinator-friendly flora such as wild strawberries, poppies and pansies – set to increase by 50% in the UK by the end of this year...” Read more. 
Why forests make us happy
Read Patrick Barkham in The Guardian and see  the work of the University of Derby, Nature Connectedness Research Group: ”Our nature connections research aims to understand people’s sense of their relationship with the natural world. We create everyday interventions in order to improve this relationship for the wellbeing of humans and nature.” Read more

Stop the attack on nature
See the RSPB campaign in Campaigning Together and contact your MP.

Urban rewilding for wellbeing, oxytocin and kindness, false alarm crowd panic - in BBC R4's All in the Mind Claudia Hammond uncovers new evidence into the benefits on our mood of rewilding our cities. Listen here.

Upcoming events and courses 

Tolworth Court Farm Field Recorder Day
Friday 7 Oct - Centipedes, Millipedes, Woodlice, Earthworms
Citizen Zoo, along with The Community Brain and Kingston Council, has launched a collaborative project to rewild Tolworth Court Farm. With funding from the Greater London Authority, this year's project will be focusing on a series of baseline surveys of the site, as well as community consultations and engagement activities, to build a clear picture of what state the site is currently in, how people are using it and how best to manage it in the future. As part of this, working with the Field Studies Council, there will be a series of community surveys to assess the site's invertebrate communities on the above dates. Find out more and sign up here
Wild Workshops for Adults / CPD Days In Nature Connection
Hosted by Maria Sprostranova (GreenWise People) with special guests, new Forest School Training Centre under Greenwise People, for adults: 
🌿 Level 1, 2 and 3 accredited Forest School Trainings
Starting 10th October at Ham Lands Nature Reserve, Richmond. 
Ofqual Government Regulated, Internationally Recognised Qualifications, valid-for-life
🌿 Earth Education
Fri 21 October, 9.30am – 5.00pm, Ham Lands Nature Reserve, Ham

With Jon Cree (in collaboration with the Institute of Earth Education ) 
🌿 3-day CPD on Reframing 'Challenging' Behaviour in the Outdoors
7, 8, 9 November
With t. he legendary and brilliant Jon Cree, Forest School Association Founding Chair - see a snippet here. Accredited and unaccredited options available. 
For Teens & Tweens 
🌿 Hang Out in the Woods (11-16yrs): The Power of Plants
Tues 18 & Wed 19 October

Learning about wild foods and plants, from foraging and making medicinal potions to plant dyes, cordage and printmaking + free choice as always!
🌿 Hang Out in the Woods (11-16yrs): Ancient Crafts
Mon 24 October

Making jewellery & amulets from antlers, puta, copper and much more... Learn ancient craftsmanship skills whilst hanging out in the woods! Free choice as always!
 🌿 Hang Out in the Woods (11-16yrs): The Power of Plants
Tues 1 & Wed 2 November 

Learning about wild foods and plants, from foraging and making medicinal potions to plant dyes, cordage and printmaking + free choice as always!

For Forest Schoolers (5-11yrs) 
🌿 Forest School: The Power of Plants 
Wed, Thurs, Fri 26--28 October

3- day workshop learning about the power of plants - from safe & ethical foraging of medicinal plants to watching out for those poisonous twins and learning about their many uses from print and dye making to lotions, potions and much more! Free choice as always!

For further information on any of the above contact Maria by email or phone 07737 644 119 / 020 8541 0415.

Interesting websites and apps for nature-lovers

London Wildlife Trust protects wildlife across London. 
Surrey Wildlife Trust is a wildlife charity caring for over 6,500ha of land for wildlife in Surrey. 
 Nature on your doorstep - whatever your outdoor space the RSPB offers expert tips and tricks to make it a happier place for you – and the nature on your doorstep. 
Field Studies Council courses
Reading Nature - share your nature visits, experiences and photos from the diverse green spaces across Kingston.
Natural History Museum website - discover British birds and wildlife 
Butterfly Conservation can help you identify butterflies and moths
Froglife has useful information about wildlife gardening, building a pond and much more.
The RSPB’s advice on planting for nature
Friends of Ham Lands work with local naturalists to preserve and enhance the natural habitats of Ham Lands, a Local Nature Reserve right next to Kingston. You can read current and previous newsletters on their Newsletter page.
Citizen Zoo - a social enterprise dedicated to rewilding in the UK – sign up for their newsletter highlighting lots of lovely rewilding news and events.
The London Natural History Society Virtual Natural History Talk series brings together naturalists, experts and specialists via Zoom. Talks are recorded and you can catch up with them here
The Seek app uses your smart phone to identify the plants and animals all around us, and can make the daily walk much more interesting.  
BirdNET can identify 984 of the most common bird species of North America and Europe. from song recorded on your phone.
UK Bird Sounds
Backyard Nature.

Have your say - 

See also Campaigning Together and Council News, and look out for Megaphone Man in other sections.

Want a tree near you?
Kingston Council is inviting residents to suggest locations for new trees across the borough. Read more here and complete the survey by Friday 4 November. 
Comment on the latest parts of borough’s cycle network
​​​​​​​Kingston Council is asking residents and road users for their comments on the installations completed so far on the Ewell Road and Kingston Road cycle routes. You can share your thoughts about the Ewell Road and Kingston Road sections of the borough’s cycle network via a short survey on the council’s engagement portal Let’s Talk. It will be open till Sunday 23 October.

Waste matters


South London Partnership Zero Waste Map  
Find your nearest refill businesses, repair services, second-hand shops, recycling centres and drop-off points, and mending workshops. on the new SLP Zero Waste Map useful. It shows businesses, facilities and workshops within the sub-region that encourage the circular economy by eradicating waste packaging, encouraging reuse, upcycling and repair or offering facilities to recycle goods and materials once they have reached end of life. If you know a business in your neighbourhood that you can’t see in the map, let the SLP know by filling in this form.  

Don't throw it, donate it
Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre has a reuse container where you can donate pre-loved items rather than throw them away.  Book your slot to visit. And don't forget Freegle, Freecycle and local charity shops.

Support Restart’s Right to Repair UK campaign
Find out more here and sign the petition here.

Selfridges wants half of transactions to be resale, repair, rental or refills by 2030
Department store group says it is responding to customers’ demand for more sustainable shopping - read more in The Guardian.
Repairs can be beautiful

Get inspiration to repair creatively, beautifully and mostly visibly from these images from Eternally Yours, a free exhibition at Somerset House in summer 2022 which explored ideas around care, repair and healing. 

Climate crisis updates  

Though drowned out by news of war abroad and cost of living and political crises at home, the climate crisis has not gone away, and few rational observers can have failed to link July's record-breaking temperatures to the climate emergency.


One step forward, but how many back?
The Government’s proposed relaxation of planning regulations has opened the door to more on-shore wind farms, but the removal of the green levy on energy bills, expanding oil and gas extraction, and, worst of all, giving the green light to fracking are hardly likely to get us closer to UK  carbon and climate targets.

Awareness has been well and truly raised
Cost of living and climate are higher global priorities than Ukraine, poll finds: “Asked to list their top-three priority issues, voters more often cited the climate crisis and cost of living ahead of Ukraine. Even in the UK, the country with some of the most solid support for Ukraine, more voters cite climate change...
Yamide Dagnet, Open Society’s director of climate justice, said: ‘We shouldn’t be surprised that so many people around the world cite climate change as the most important challenge facing the world – the climate crisis is inextricably linked to the turmoil we are witnessing worldwide. Without meaningful action, it will compound further these crises. Yet again, the public are ahead of policymakers.’” Read more in The Guardian. 

How do we change the minds of climate deniers?
Experts in climate psychology Megan Kennedy-Woodard and Dr Rachel McCloy offer some advice and/or or watch environment correspondent Nick Clark on climate misinformation and/or an excellent interview with climate scientist Michael E. Mann,discussing the evolution of obstructive strategies,from early attacks on climate science to today’s propaganda and deflection to divert attention from the industry’s responsibility in the climate crisis. 


Relay to COP27 - Running Out Of Time
Saturday 8 October, 3.40am, Surbiton
This epic, non-stop 7,767km relay from Glasgow to Egypt - to deliver a baton containing young people’s messages of climate hopes and ambitions to world leaders at COP27 - will reach Transition Town Kingston, Surbiton (stop # 153) on 8th October - early birds welcome to  cheer on the runners.  You can also sign up to run one of the relay’s many 10km stages.

Useful resources

9 things you can do about climate change from Imperial College’s Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment

Climate science center 

Reports on climate change from the New Economics Foundation 

Global heating in graphic form

What is climate change?
The BBC’s really simple guide 
BBC’s Climate news
What is net zero? Plus other climate jargon explained by Positive News. Ever wondered what COP stands for but not dared to ask? Help is at hand.

Environment Now – the facts: the Earth is changing faster than at any point in human memory as a result of human-caused global heating and The Guardian is tracking the changes via the vital signs

What to do? Possible suggests five key areas where we can all take action to tackle the climate crisis.

Recommended by The Climate Coalition: The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, “a non-profit organisation that supports informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK.” and Carbon Brief “ UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. We specialise in clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change...”

CarbonCopy's brilliantly designed map showing us the level of climate ambition from councils across the country - from places that have not yet declared a climate emergency to places targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Fossil Free News
There’s so much happening in the climate movement — it can be hard to keep up. Get highlights from campaigns everywhere working for a #FossilFree world, delivered twice a month.
Off-set your carbon footprint...
It is estimated that an average UK household emits around four tonnes of CO₂ each year. Even if you’ve pared your carbon footprint  down to the minimum, there will still be carbon dioxide emissions associated with your everyday life. The World Land Trust Carbon Balanced calculators enable you to calculate how much – and then offset it with a donation towards tree-planting and conservation projects around the world. If that’s not your thing, there are other ways to offset – tell us your favourites.

What is COP26, How does it work, Why is it important? A short explanatory video on YouTube

Climate Outreach’s How to have a climate change conversation – Talking climate.

Environment Now – the facts
The Earth is changing faster than at any point in human memory as a result of human-caused global heating and The Guardian is tracking the changes via the vital signs, from carbon dioxide levels to Arctic sea ice, taken from data sources including Nasa, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Want to take action on climate change, but don’t know where to start? Possible has divided their campaigns across five key areas where we can all take action to tackle the climate crisis. Click the buttons on Possible’s website to find out what you can do right now to help.

See also our Reviews section and Campaigning Together.

Kingston Council news                                                    

See Kingston Council's advice on Energy efficient homes and retrofit, including: How to retrofit; Rented properties; Available funding; Where to go for retrofit advice; Success stories


 See the Council's website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 


Regular funding sources

Don’t miss funding opportunities for your green group
Got a good idea for a new green project or for improvements to an existing one? Keep an eye on Kingston Voluntary Action’s Funding page and regular Funding bulletins and see below.

Grow Back Greener Fund 2022
The 2022 Grow Back Greener Fund will support London's communities to plant trees to provide shade, create and enhance green space and increase climate resilience. The fund will prioritise projects in areas of the city with low tree canopy cover, where Londoners live further than a 10-minute walk from green space and at high climate risk.
Applications are now open for this round of the Grow Back Greener Fund. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 26 September 2022. More details in the grants guide. Join the Grow Back Greener mailing list to be kept up to date and find out more about previous projects funded through the 2021 Grow Back Greener Fund or on the Greener City Map.
Useful local data that might help funding applications:
Kingston Data  
- London Assembly’s 10-Minute Walk Map, showing priority areas where Londoners may live more than an 800 metre walk (i.e. about 10 minutes) from an accessible green space of at least 0.02 hectares (a common size of pocket park). There are quite a few priority areas in leafy Kingston upon Thames!

Veolia's Sustainability Fund 
The Fund will provide cash sponsorship, in-kind resources or staff volunteers to support not-for-profit organisations and community groups to transform their local community or environment. Find out more. 

John Good Group Grants for Good
Every three months, five shortlisted projects that have a positive impact on communities, people or the environment.will be voted for by John Good Group employees, with these five charities receiving a share of £10,000. Find out more.
Grants for allotment sites
Grants of between £250 and £2,000 are available to registered Allotment Associations and committees across the UK for the improvement and development of facilities on registered and permitted sites. The funding is being made available by the National Allotment Gardens Trust which aims to advance and improve the Allotments/Gardens movement through education, training, workshops and support. Non-statutory sites may also be granted funding if a long-term lease is in place. Applications are dealt with  quarterly; the next deadlines are 1st July and 1st October. More info here

Grants for Community and School Gardening Projects (London)
Community organisations and schools in London can apply for small gardening grants awarded by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association (MPGA), a charity that preserves and improves gardens, neglected sites and green public open spaces in all 33 London Boroughs. The grants can be used for a variety of projects, including planting, equipment purchase, benches and churchyard refurbishments; etc. Organisations that have been awarded funding in the past include Charlton Manor School (Greenwich) funding for planting and hand tools; Christ Church Primary School (Wandsworth) plants and mulch for raised beds; and Queen’s Park Gardens (Westminster) grant towards planting. More info here.

Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants is always open for applications from charities and community organisations to bid for up to £1,500.  Projects are voted on by Tesco customers in stores across the UK, with projects changing every three months – the scheme is currently looking for applications from charities and community groups who deliver projects that help to tackle food insecurity in their communities. This might include, for example, breakfast clubs, holiday clubs and food banks. Visit the Tesco Community Grants website for further details. 

Food, glorious food... 


Climatarian, flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan?
Which diet is best for the planet? (And what do they mean?) by Mark Maslin PhD. Find out here.
Thinking about eating out?
Short menus, local produce, no tablecloth: how to choose a restaurant and help save the planet - read more.

Can we create the "perfect" farm?
About 10,000 years ago, humans began to farm. This agricultural revolution was a turning point in our history and enabled the existence of civilization. Today, nearly 40 percent of our planet is farmland. Spread all over the world, these lands are the pieces to a global puzzle we're all facing: in the future, how can we feed every member of a growing population a healthy diet? Brent Loken investigates in a short TED-ed video
Eating insects can be good for the planet
Europeans should eat more of them, says Positive News.

Sustainable energy and transport

(and clean air) 

See TTK Energy Group's section of the TTK website for energy-saving tips - we think these will be increasingly useful as energy bills soar.


Time for local energy?
Europe’s swift transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future will not happen without the engagement and involvement of citizens producing and consuming energy locally, experts say – and across the continent, there are signs it is happening, reports The Guardian.

Regular updates on all things environmental 

Most of them will send environmental news direct to your inbox:
EcoWatch - a community of experts publish quality, science-based content on environmental issues, news,  causes, and solutions for a healthier planet; also on Facebook.
The Independent environment news  
The Guardian environment news and The Guardian’s weekly Green Light email.
The BBC environment news
The Ecologist, currently celebrating its 50th year; its impressive archive includes the landmark A Blueprint for Survival (1972) outlining the need for a serious economic and environmental overhaul
Fix the Planet - New Scientist’s monthly dose of climate optimism



We read the reviews so you don’t have to... (We haven’t read or listened tp everything in this section, but we think they all sound interesting.) 


Frozen Planet 2, BBC TV
Life in the extreme. In a fragile world of beauty and hostility, nature finds a way to survive and thrive. Sir David Attenborough explores a planet on the brink of major change. Catch up here. 


Planta Sapiens by Paco Calvo 
“Talk to your plants and you might just learn something...  Calvo tries to show us that our green friends do far more than just blindly react. He believes they ‘plan ahead to achieve goals’ and ‘proactively engage with their surroundings’, as they grapple with gradual changes in the soil or the sudden appearance of a predator.” Read a review in The Guardian.

Fen, Bog & Swamp by Annie Proulx
Proulx “draws our attention to the largely unloved wetlands that are being destroyed around the world....[and] takes aim at the modern notion of ‘progress’ and ‘the hubristic idea that ‘now’, the time in which we live, is superior to all previous times’. Proulx argues for a radical humbleness in the face of complex ecosystems that we cannot begin to understand, let alone replicate...” Read a review in The Guardian. Or listen to it being read as R4’s Book of the Week on BBC Sounds

Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety: Sustainable Action for Your Mental Health and the Planet by Megan Kennedy-Woodard  & Dr. Patrick Kennedy-Williams 
"Are you losing sleep worrying over the Climate Crisis? I am. Do you feel powerless when confronted but such a huge global issue? I do. Is Climate Change starting to affect your mental health? If so, panic not, help is at hand with the brilliant book which acknowledges that climate anxiety is a real issue, empowers the reader to handle this anxiety and to use to it to make meaningful changes to the world around us"  Prof. Mark Maslin - a deeply worried climate scientist and author of How To Save Our Planet: The Facts. Some of us might have encountered Patrick Kennedy-Williams' soothing messages in the Climate Marathon promoted in Kingston's Sustainable September.


Net Zero: A Very British Problem, BBC R4
The carbon savings we've made so far have been the easy ones. To reach net zero, we need to start changing the way we live and work. We need to rethink our homes, our heating, our transportation and our food. We can't reach net zero without these changes impacting on each and every one of us.
In this lively series, comedian and environmental economist Matt Winning looks at the ways in which unique aspects of British culture have shaped how we generate carbon, how we've managed to reduce emissions, and the challenges we now face to eliminate them completely. Listen here.

Castle Debates podcasts
Catch up with the most recent debate on greenwashing, and earlier ones on a range of environmental themes - click here to access them. Or read summaries of past debates here.

More things we like this month   

Things we always like

What else is happening?  

Sunlight Doesn’t Need a Pipeline
Friday 7 October, all day, at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, and online

A community festival and teach-in, featuring commissioned talks, performances, film screenings, food, refreshments and music, as well as a public vote where the community will decide on a decarbonisation plan for the Gallery. All welcome - find out more.
ClientEarth’s third annual Summit
Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 October

Talks with experts, peers, and partners, including special guest speakers from organisations including the Financial Times, Make My Money Matter and Indigenous Peoples Rights International. Free, register here

Greener living: your guide to climate change and leading a more sustainable life
Online course, as and when suits you

This New Scientist expert-led online course shows you easy changes you can make to your life that will have a big impact on the environment and help tackle climate change. Cost £199, find out more.

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training
For advice or advice or support for your community group, please complete this form, outlining your support needs and we will get back to you as soon as we can to set up a free 45 minute appointment with a relevant member of staff. Keep updated on KVA's training opps by getting onto their mailing list.  KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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