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Environment News


April 2022

                         Welcome to this month's joint

Kingston Green Diary, APRIL

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

Friday 22 April,  Good Food Co-Op Community Dinner in aid of Ukraine

Sunday 24 April, BBQ and Open House at The Circulatory

Tuesday 26 April, Kingston Green Drinks (slightly later time of 7.30pm)


Regular gardening opportunities

Regular conservation volunteering

What else is happening soon?

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 - it's still better to be safe than sorry.

Spring is definitely here at last, and green activities in and around Kingston are blooming along with the blossom and new leaves. Scroll down or use the Contents list below to find something good to do next month.

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

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! 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
XR Kingston
The Community Brain
Ham United Group
Kingston Community Gardens
Kingston Environment Forum 
Green themes and campaigns:
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?
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram

ews and Events

Pottering and Potting
We have held two Pottering with Pots workshops and hope to have more in early April. We are looking into setting up a Propagation Club where we will be sowing and potting on seeds and seedlings -  please get in touch with Pat on 0776 2846 906 if interested so that we can sort out suitable times.

Regular events at KEC 

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. 

Contact Pat on 0776 2846 906. 

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

Rest in Peace, Alison
We were very sorry to hear last month of the death of our former chair, Alison Whybrow, after a short illness. Alison took over chairing TTK  at a difficult time when our activities were limited by Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, but managed to keep things going and get funding for and organise a succcessful GreenZone in October 2021 (see pictures here) and for a visioning workshop in 2021. She brought new ideas (including the Drawdown Eco-Challenge) and new contacts to TTK, was always willing to turn out for TTK events such as street stalls, Green Drinks (Alison pictured above on the far left at Green Drinks) and Kingston Carnival's Green Zone, and was a prime mover in the 2021 collaboration of green groups and individuals working towards a Climate Emergency Centre in Kingston. She will be much missed, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.  Read more on the TTK website and Kingston Hive’s Facebook page.
Looking back while bouncing forward

One project TTK has 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  for TTK, as a comparative newcomer, it seemed interesting and worthwhile to capture the stories before they are lost, as well as helpful to all groups as a source of inspiration and experience. Do please get in touch if you can share dates, photos, memories...

Regular TTK events and activities

TTK management team meetings, followed by Green Drinks 
Last Tuesday every month
, next on 26 April, meeting at 6.30pm, Green Drinks at 7.30pm, Spring Grove pub, Bloomfield Road, KT1 2SF
All welcome, but check updates on the TTK Facebook page before setting out.
Tuesday 31 May
- watch this space and our website for updates.  

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

Canbury Community Garden
All welcome to come along for healthy outdoor exercise, to plant and get their hands dirty... See Community Gardens section below.

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.

Catch up with Transition Network videos.
“Together We Can” 
11 - 21 May, on-line

Transition Together invites us to join them for a glorious 10-day on-line gathering, to celebrate and super-charge the power of communities to respond to the crises we face. Be part of an assembly of top activists and thinkers in more than 20 sessions carefully crafted to nurture, build and inspire you and your group. Free, to make it as inclusive and accessible as possible. If you are able and find value in the event, please do contribute a donation when you book. Money raised will go directly to making future Transition Together work more inclusive. Find out more, explore the programme and get tickets.  

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? 

Local FoE campaign against Insecticides in pet flea treatments
Insecticides in pet flea treatments are polluting rivers such as the Hogsmill, poisoning the water insects and the fish and birds which depend on them.  Kingston Friends of the Earth are starting a new campaign to make pet owners, local vets and pet shops aware of the dangers of pet flea treatments containing harmful neo-nicotinoids and the effective but safe alternative ways of avoiding flea infestations on our pets.  Look out for this campaign in coming weeks.  If you’d like to follow this and further campaigns, follow us on Instagram @friendsoftheearth_kingston or join us on Facebook, or you can also e-mail us(Photo by Monika Simeonova on Unplash)
A Library of Things in Kingston?
Find out more about how a Library of Things works and where nearby ones to visit are, and express your interest and support for one in Kingston here.  Though the installation cost has increased from £30k to £40k since we first started lobbying for a Library of Things in our borough, it still seems well worth doing. See below for how you could invest in Library of Things.

End factory-farmed meat and dairy
Brits eat twice as much meat - and three times more dairy - than the global average, says Greenpeace. Mass-produced meat and dairy are part of a destructive, wasteful food system. Support the Greenpeace campaign to get supermarkets and the government to move to a healthy, sustainable way of feeding people.

Government consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain regulations
“Your responses will shape developing legislation, processes and guidance. This will help ensure the requirement for mandatory biodiversity net gain delivers positive outcomes for nature, improves the process for developers, and creates better places for local communities...,” says DEFRA. Consultation closes 5 April. 2022respond here,

Useful resources for campaigners


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.

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




STWC needs new premises
We are urgently looking for new premises as our lease at the Circulatory ends in September, if anyone has any ideas, please could they contact us via our form on the webpage.

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

Regular events at The Circulatory

     Vegan and Veggie BBQs 
     Last Sunday of every month
We encourage musicians to come and jam, food is free, with a donation box for those who'd like to give something for what they have. This is a great opportunity to meet people, network, find out more about us and have a look around the warehouse to see if there are any goods you'd like.

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..


News and Events

The search (and work) continues!
The collective of volunteers creating a climate emergency centre for the borough continues its search for a vacant space (meanwhile and/or permanent) in Kingston town centre to turn into a community hub to benefit people and planet. The team feels optimistic that there will soon be positive developments and is currently working hard on its business plan. Meanwhile, if you'd like to support the Hive with a donation, please visit

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

Kingston Hive's first fundraiser
The evening at Ram Jam Records on 13 March, featuring local musical talent All Seeing Ra, Euphoric Recall, Jack Warren and Gilan, was well attended and raised nearly £400 for the Hive project.

Wondering what a Climate Emergency Centre is like?
Why not visit one of our neighbouring ones: Zero Carbon Guildford (or on Facebook) or Elmbridge Community Eco Hub in Walton-On-Thames (or on Facebook), or watch a recent discussion at Zero Carbon Guildford on collaborative climate action, how climate hubs were created in Surrey, and what councils can do to support community-led climate action.

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.

News and Events

The February talks, on the Rewilding Arcadia Project and on the important role of social sciences in tree pest and disease research, were recorded and the fascinating presentations can be revisited here
Future events 
Please do provide us with suggestions for the future talks and remember that these events are solely run by volunteers. If anyone would like to give their time to support future events please let us know. Sign up for KBN newsletter for dates of future quarterly talk and networking meetings. Volunteers to help with events always welcome - see our website.
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. 

News and Events

Plant Sale for Wildlife
Sunday 8 May, 10 am – 3.00 pm, Kilmorey Museum
With a great selection of plants to encourage and sustain local wildlife including annuals, perennials, herbs, grasses, and shrubs, there will be plenty of plants to get your gardens buzzing. Children can enjoy a nature scavenger hunt and make a mini-bee-nursery and learn all about the vital work bees do from our nature experts. For those keen on local history, the Grade II* listed Kilmorey Mausoleum will be open to our visitors. There will be something for everyone to enjoy!
     We will be grateful for any donations of plants so whether you are an experienced gardener or still developing your green fingers, please get in touch and help us make our Plant Sale even more successful this year! All the info here

Sign up for  H&H newsletters and keep an eye on H&H events for conservation news and activities 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

See  HUG volunteering sessions in Green Volunteering.
We believe in giving people ‘permission’ to be brilliant because everyone can be brilliant...


News and Events

Tolworth Station Community Garden
The Community Brain had a great day on Sunday 6th March, putting up a polytunnel at the new Tolworth Station Community Garden. The polytunnel will enable us to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for use in the Community Kitchen 'Baking Ideas' which is also located at Tolworth Station. A big thank you to the brilliant volunteers including Petra and Luke from GoodGym Kingston.
     All are welcome to join our upcoming volunteering sessions which run 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.

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

A website of resources, including a list of local environmental groups + a Facebook page for environmental queries, discussions and campaigns.


Kingston Community Gardens

Sowing and growing in Kingston

Hogsmill Community Garden 

is now open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11.00 – 3.00pm. Volunteers of all ages very welcome. Pop in to see the build for the shelter and den being constructed over the next two weeks. Find out more on our Facebook page.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close


Canbury Community Garden

summer open mornings continue every first Friday of the month, between 11.30am and 1.00pm. Come along, pick up something delicious from the Canbury Secret cafe, see what's growing, and chat to whoever else is there and/or the hens (who unfortunately are still in flockdown)...
Between Canbury Gardens, Kingston Riverside [tennis] Club and Kings Passage - current access only via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand.

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 and on Saturdays from 10-2pm. Wear comfortable clothes and stout footwear See Kingston Environment Centre for updates.

See also

The Community Brain's new community garden in Tolworth.

News and Events

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.   

Transition Town Kingston guide to local community gardens
TTK is hoping to create a cross-borough guide to Kingston Community Gardens, probably a page on the TTK website where it can be occasionally updated, perhaps linked to a card or flyer that can be displayed and given out at events. Please let us know if you’d like your gardening project to be included and provide us with: name of project; address, with postcode if possible; a sentence about your gardening project; volunteering days; website and/or Facebook page; a contact. Thank you to community gardens that have already provided the info – and watch this space.
How a Guardian writer learned to love weeds – and why you should, too
“I once fought against the dandelions, nettles and docks that infiltrated my garden. But now I know they are essential, I’m glad I lost the battle,” writes Alys Fowler in The Guardian.

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.

Green volunteering

Berrylands Nature Reserve Volunteer Sessions
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings
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 about upcoming volunteering sessions, and drop in on the day.

Nature conservation volunteering with Citizen Zoo
Citizen Zoo - volunteer with us! 

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.

Volunteering Kingston seeks stories of people who volunteer to tackle the climate crisis
Volunteering Kingston, the volunteer centre for the borough of Kingston, supports people who want to volunteer and organisations which involve volunteers. We want to tell stories of people who are volunteering to help tackle the climate crisis and help the environment to inspire others from all backgrounds to get involved. If you have a good story to tell and encourage others to volunteer, please email Molly.

Looking to recruit 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.

Have your say - 

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

On air pollution and carbon emissions in London
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the damaging impact of toxic air pollution, the Mayor of London believes it’s time to speed up action and is seeking our views on traffic congestion, air quality and climate change. To further help reduce emissions from transport, the Mayor has asked Transport for London to prepare a public consultation on the proposals to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This extension will go beyond the North and South Circular roads and cover almost all of Greater London, probably including Kingston, and will use the current ULEZ emission standards aimed at the most polluting vehicles. Learn more and take part in the consultation here.

Climate crisis updates  


Finance, climate-change and radical uncertainty: Towards a precautionary approach to financial policy
Climate-related financial risks (CRFR) are now recognised by central banks and supervisors as material to their financial stability mandates. Read more.
Dire warnings from the IPCC
The pace of the climate crisis is outstripping our efforts to protect billions of people, particularly the most vulnerable. With each incremental temperature rise, more wildfires, droughts and heatwaves are projected, along with more intense cyclones and hurricanes, more sea-level rise, and more extreme rain. Many of the impacts of global warming are now simply "irreversible" according to the UN's latest assessment. Read more in The Independent and in BBC News.
The Climate Coalition showed the love in February
TCC members we sent a powerful message to those in power that we want to see a greener, safer future for generations to come. From local community groups to schools to churches, people from all walks of life used the power of green hearts to show decision makers that we want to see urgent and decisive action to tackle climate change for the love of our families, homes and livelihoods. See the highlights and get ideas for next year's Show the Love.
Watch a video message by UN Secretary General 
Six key lifestyle changes can help avert the climate crisis, study finds
Research shows that governments and individuals making small changes can have a huge impact in reducing emissions. See the six promises you can make to help reduce carbon emissions.

Useful resources


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

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                                                    

Local elections coming soon
Local Council Elections take place on Thursday 5th May, your chance to raise the environmental issues you care about with prospective councillors. (See London CPRE’s useful green space asks here.) If you are not already registered to vote, you can do so here, closing date Thursday 14 April.
The Council’s Climate Action Plan 
Read how the Council proposes to tackle climate change through Kingston's Climate Action Plan.
See the Council's website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 

Fancy a flutter on a worthwhile project?
You could invest in the Library of Things, and maybe even help them towards installing one in Kingston. But read the small print and don’t invest more than you can afford!  Find out more. 

Sustain - Food for the Planet Small Grants
New grants of up to £5,000 to help communities tackle food and climate change, open to any local food partnership, local authority or community group in the UK.  Activities could include: encouraging and celebrating climate-friendly food in public institutions and council settings; growing more sustainable and healthy food, especially in urban fringes; tackling unfair and unhelpful pricing and advertising of the most climate-damaging foods; divesting from industrial agriculture. The deadline to apply is 15 April. Full guidelines and an online application form can be found on the Sustain website

Exciting new funding opportunity, ripe for the picking – from Grow Wild
Are you part of a community, youth or voluntary group? Do you have an amazing idea for a project that will boost biodiversity and help connect local people with the natural world? Do you know of an urban space that could be positively transformed by UK native plants?
If the answer to ALL of the above is yes, then apply for one of Grow Wild’s community project grants of £2000!  Applications are now open, apply by 10.00am, Monday 4th April.

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.

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. 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. 

Nature notes   



Beavers back in London and Peregrine falcons back in Kingston
Beavers, temporarily nicknamed Justin Beaver and Sigourney Beaver, are back in London again after an absence of more than 400 years - read more here - and Peregrine falcons are nesting again on Kingston College – watch them on YouTube

Record flowering cherry and plum trees near you to see whether patterns are changing
The British public have been asked to track flowering fruit trees to help determine whether climate change is changing blooming patterns, in one of the largest studies of its kind. The University of Reading and Oracle for Research have developed a fruit recording website where citizen scientists can easily post their findings. People will initially be asked to record the flowering cherry and plum trees near them, with apple trees soon to follow.

If you notice tree or hedge maintenance work in nesting season –
see the RSPB’s advice on the law protecting birds during nesting season and what you can do. 

ClientEarth – why is biodiversity vital for life on Earth?
Watch a short video here.

Events and courses 

Discover the blossom on Ham Lands
Sunday 3 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm, meeting at the junction of Riverside Drive and Croft Way

Local botanists will lead a blossom walk so that you can discover more about the flora of Ham Lands. Reserve a place.
Kingston Beekeepers' introductions to Beekeeping
Find out more here.  
Field Studies Council courses

Find out more here.

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.
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.

Food, glorious food... 


Kingston's Good Food Co-op celebrated its first anniversary at the end of last year. Thanks to their loyal customers and amazing volunteer team they have now delivered over 4,000 boxes of delicious, fresh, spray-free fruit and veg, with over a third of those going to referral customers. They are excited to be launching a ‘Weaning box’ in March with different spray-free, fresh vegetables and fruit each week to introduce babies to a variety of healthy tastes, textures and  flavours as they begin to explore the world of food. If you would like to be part of this mission to make ‘healthy food accessible to all’ by buying a veg box subscription or joining our volunteer team or would just like to find out more please visit

Yes, your dog can go vegan – but cats are natural born killers
With plant-based diets on the rise, it’s natural to reconsider what’s going into pets’ food bowls. But some animals may not take to vegetables as readily as others, writes Pete Wedderburn in The Guardian. Read more here.



Good Food Co-Op Community dinner 
Friday 22 April 22, Kingsgate Church
The very first Good Food Co-Op Community dinner in aid of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal l and Refugee Action Kingston. Please join us to find out more about The Good Food Co-Op and enjoy an evening of good food and company! Tickets here.

And in May the Good Food Co-op will be at the Surbiton Farmer's Market to raise awareness of our food - please come and say hello!

Waste matters

Spring Cleaning?
Have you got things hiding away in the corners of your cupboards? A garage with no room for the car? Stuff that is just collecting dust? Been meaning to have a sort out but never got round to it? Make a vow to do it now. But don’t tip it! Please give it away with Freegle, say the Freegle moderators at Kingston upon Thames Freegle. Or try Freecycle.

Plastic-free schools still a long way off
DfE did nothing to help schools ditch plastics, say campaigners. Damian Hinds challenged schools to ditch disposable plastics by 2022 but goal is still long way off. 
Nations agreed a landmark deal to end plastic waste – and UK supermarkets embrace refill shopping
plus more from Positive News.

Sustainable energy and transport

Energy is very much in the news this month - 
How to defeat Putin and other petrostate autocrats

After Hitler invaded the Sudetenland, America turned its industrial prowess to building tanks, bombers and destroyers. Now, we must respond with renewables, Bill McKibben writes in The Guardian
Could the Ukraine Conflict Boost Renewables?

Our gas dependency fuels Russia's war
“If UK homes were upgraded using insulation and other heating efficiency measures... each household would use on average 20 percent less gas, overall UK gas demand would fall by eight percent, and imports could be reduced by 15 percent...”, says The Ecologist
Ramping up production from the UK’s oil and gas fields in the North Sea could help ease the pain of high fuel prices in the short term but should not be seen as a long-term solution to Britain’s energy woes, experts have warned.

Energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins on “the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest way to address the crisis”
Amory Lovins, known as the “Einstein of energy efficiency” explains why the energy crisis could be a turning point for climate economics, and advocates the mass insulation of buildings alongside a vast acceleration of renewables. “We should crank [them] up with wartime urgency. There should be far more emphasis on efficiency,” he says. Read more in The Guardian.

Pedestrian-friendly cities have lower rates of diabetes and obesity
A review of 170 studies finds consistent evidence that people are less likely to be obese or have diabetes if they live in cities where walking and cycling is safe and convenient. Read more


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.) 



Wild Green Wonders by Patrick Barkham
The collected writings from one of the nation's most celebrated nature writers. “Siding with the planet is siding with the underdog, and this has motivated much of my journalism,” Barkham writes. 

Tickets for the Ark: From wasps to whales – how do we choose what to save? by Rebecca Nesbit
“Thought-provoking and topical ... an illuminating analysis of where human efforts may best be directed”  (The Observer)
“Conservation often requires tough decisions. Rebecca Nesbit takes an entertaining and unflinching look at one of the toughest decisions of all - what do we save if we can't save everything. A fascinating read for anyone interested in the future of the planet” (Adam Hart, author and BBC science presenter)
Supercharge Me - Net Zero Faster by Eric Lonergan and Corinne Sawers
A “fast-paced, clearly-written, manual on how to accelerate the green transition... “Supercharge Me will embolden activists, reinvigorate the disheartened, and reframe the climate crisis as an opportunity.” Structured as a dialogue between Eric Lonergan, a leading policy economist, and Corinne Sawers, a sustainability and climate expert, the book introduces the concept of "supercharging", a new framework for accelerating our response to climate change. 
A Blue New Deal by Chris Armstrong – a manifesto for the oceans
Is recovery for our ravaged oceans still possible? An outline of a practical, persuasive action plan - read a review here
The big idea: is tourism bad for us?
Wanderlust may be surging once more – but will travel really help us find what we’re looking for? Read a Guardian article by Stuart Jeffries , with three more reading suggestions. 
Nature Cure by Richard Mabey
Not new, but timely. “Depression cut the naturalist Richard Mabey off from the natural world... The depression and the slow process of recovery are played out against the distant backdrop of the build-up to the Iraq war and - closer to home - the relentless march of soil-destroying agribusiness and soul-destroying land development in East Anglia. Mabey's experience of severance from the "common ground" thus becomes a little allegory of the larger-scale ecocide that pervades modern capitalism and geopolitics.” Read a 2005 review.  


The Big Green Money Show  
BBC Radio 5 / BBC Sounds

Dragon's Den's Deborah Meaden talks to some of the world's biggest business names about the biggest problem facing the planet: climate change. Find out more and listen.

Regular updates on all things environmental 

Most of them will send environmental news direct to your inbox:
EcoWatch - online environmental news, 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


More things we like this month   

What else is happening?  

Earth Day 
Friday 22 April, Earth

The 2022 theme is Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do?  Find information on Earth Day events, activities, and what individuals and organizations can do to make a difference. 

George Monbiot: Regenesis
Monday 30 May, 8.00pm – 9.00pm, live in London or via livestream
George Monbiot will be in conversation with Lucy Siegle about his new book, Regenesis. In it he seeks out the people who are unlocking revolutionary methods to shift our relationship to the living world, drawing on a trove of research to set out a plan for a new system that would restore large areas of our land to the wild, draw down carbon, and give everyone access to healthy and affordable food. Join this profoundly hopeful vision for the future of food, and the hidden biological universe beneath our feet which could transform what we eat and how we grow it. . Tickets are £25 to attend the event, or £7 to watch it online - see Eventbrite for further details
The Big Lunch
 2 - 5 June, somewhere near you

The UK’s annual celebration for neighbours and community is your chance to celebrate community connections and get to know one another a little better.  In 2022, The Big Jubilee Lunch will be the official community celebration for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend and The Big Lunch will also kick-start a whole Month of Community. Find out more from the Eden Project and order your free Big Lunch pack.

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.
2022 RA summer exhibition theme: CLIMATE
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” (Bob Dylan)
The theme of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022 is climate – “whether it presents as crisis or opportunity, nightmare or memories, or simply our everyday experience of weather, CLIMATE is a huge all-embracing and urgent subject.” You must pay your fee and submit your digital entry, including images of your artworks, by 23.59 on Wednesday 2 March. 

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training

If your group would like advice or support, 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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