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Environment News


May 2022

                         Welcome to this month's joint

Kingston Green Diary, MAY

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

Sunday 8 May, Save The World Club Open Day

Saturday 21 May, Hogsmill Community Garden Open Day and celebration

Tuesday 31 May, TTK core group meeting, followed by Kingston Green Drinks (NB, TTK AGM postponed to June)


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 as the weather improves and the days lengthen.

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

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


Energy Group update: designing and building for sustainability
If you’re thinking about designing an extension or a building or retrofitting for energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability, don’t forget to have a look at TTK’s Energy Group’s helpful and occasionally updated advice and recommended links.

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 we think it would be interesting and worthwhile 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...

Outdoor volunteering –  helping the local community to find opportunities
TTK is creating a list 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. Help us to build a complete picture (it might be a list, it might be a map, it could be both...) here.  


TTK AGM  postponed to June 
Tuesday 28 June, 6.30 - 7.30pm, the Spring Grove pub (we hope) 
The TTK AGM has been unavoidably postponed to the last Tuesday in June. All supporters and stakeholders are welcome to come along to hear what we have been doing and what we plan to do next - and to help up plan and implement future activities.  Keep an eye on our Events section for the agenda, 2021 reports, project updates as they emerge + decisions to participate in... We hope that the AGM will be a real-life event in the Spring Grove, or possibly a hybrid one, and followed by the usual Green Drinks at 7.30pm.  

Regular TTK events and activities

TTK core group meetings, followed by Green Drinks 
Last Tuesday every month
 at 6.30pm,  with Green Drinks at 7.30pm (next one on 31 May), Spring Grove pub, Bloomfield Road, KT1 2SF
All welcome, but check updates on the TTK Facebook page before setting out.

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? 

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. 

Clean Cities action on StreetsForKids
Friday 6 May

Are you ready to reclaim your #StreetsForKids? School streets are roads in front of schools closed to traffic, leading to safer roads and cleaner air. They also encourage families to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to school. On Friday 6 May, people will be taking to the streets across European cities calling for #StreetsForKids! Explore the actions happening in your city here, or find a form and kit to set up your own or email your mayor to ask for a school street in front of every school. 

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



Meet us
Our open days have been moved from the last Sunday to the second Sunday of each month - see Events below and find multiple dates available here.
     We'd like to invite any other groups, charities or individuals who would like to help us, to do so! To find out more  about what we do, see our website, and if you are interested in collaborating with us, simply email Tariq Shabbeer (our secretary general) to organise a visit.
Please note, we cannot accept any white goods or furniture at this time as we are full (see photo on the right) while we prepare for a major furnishing project coming up in May! 
A special visitor to The Circulatory
This month we were visited by Sir Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton and leader of the Liberal Democrats (pictured on the left with Des Kay), to find out more about the crucial work we do for the community at large.
STWC still looking for 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

Save The World Club Open Day and BBQ
Now on second Sundays, next one Sunday 8 May, 1.00 pm – 6.00pm
Free, family-friendly and a great chance to meet members of the team, network, explore what goods we currently have and come jam with us! Food available for a donation with a vegetarian and vegan BBQ (weather permitting).

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 continues!
The Kingston Hive volunteers working on creating a Kingston climate emergency centre to benefit people and planet have submitted their application to use the floors in the Old Post Office reserved for community groups - and await a response. The group also continues to search for a space (meanwhile and/or permanent) in Kingston town centre - and you can donate to help this project become a reality here. 

A little history...
In 2012 the old head post office on Eden Street was an empty at-risk Grade-2-listed building with great potential as a community hub. A consortium of community groups, brought together by Kingston Environment Centre and including Transition Town Kingston and Save the World Club, campaigned for a few years to secure this space for the community - with some success, as community use was included in the planning permission for the St George Royal Exchange development. The remaining TOPO consortium members are delighted to see that the Old Post Office is now being offered to local community groups and wish The Kingston Hive every success in their application. For more history of the 2012-16 campaign to get community use of some of the listed buildings on the Old Post Office site see the newly restored and updated TOPO website.

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 in between. 

Our core values are recycling and sustainability - we upcycle and recycle cycles.

News and Events

Fix your bike
Hello everyone, we have a few opportunities coming up for this month! We have fix your own bike sessions with support available in May. Learn how to fix current issues with your own bike and how to deal with them in future with support from a member of the team and access to our on-site tools! 

Support for Ukrainian refugees
We are hoping to support some of the recent Ukrainian refugees looking to get access to an environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient form of travel via our bicycle support programme. If you are another organisation that would like to collaborate with us to help connect and refer people to us, please get in touch.

For all opportunities listed, please email Gary or call on 07421 458835. From all the FCBP team, have a great day and cycle on!
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

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. 


Our Green Hubs Project
Urban development has meant a decrease in natural habitats for local wildlife as food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other animals become rarer and rarer. Communities also suffer from a loss of connection to nature, affecting people's physical and mental wellbeing. The Green Hubs project brings together people from across local neighbourhoods to improving their spaces for wildlife and the community. We increase the biodiversity in forgotten or neglected spaces as we seek to expand our Green Hubs to create corridors connecting larger fragmented parks and green spaces of south and west London. We’d like to hear from you - do you have a space that you would like to help improve for nature and communities? Get in touch to suggest a Green Hub near you!


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
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 

Come and visit our new shelter and kiddies’ den. Our Open Day and celebration with the architecture students is on Saturday 21st May, 11.00 – 3.00pm. See Hogsmill Facebook page for more information.
On Swan Path, Vineyard Close


Canbury Community Garden

The warmer weather brings lots of planting and watering. School visits are starting up again, Muddy Toddlers continue to get muddy in the community garden, and we are hoping that avian flu restrictions can be relaxed soon so that our hens can roam free again for an hour or so every day.
Our 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. 
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

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

Capital Growth summer training sessions
Learn about urban food growing and running community gardens at training sessions on a number of themes from climate resilience to growing for nature, online for now with a mixture of short and longer workshops. Find out more. Recordings of some sessions are also available to members on the Capital Growth member's dashboard

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; link to a website and/or Facebook page; a contact. Thank you to community gardens that have already provided the info – and watch this space.

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

Help TTK to build a complete picture of Kingston's outdoor volunteering opportunities if your run one by visiting the page here 

Berrylands Nature Reserve Volunteer Sessions
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings: May dates are Wednesday 11th, Saturday 14th, and Wednesday 25th, all sessions 10.30-12.30(ish), meeting outside Berrylands Scout Hut on 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 about upcoming volunteering sessions, and drop in on the day. Please continue to bring your own work or gardening gloves and drinking water, and if you'd feel more comfortable with a face mask then you're of course more than welcome to do so.

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.

Waste matters


Count your plastic waste
Sign up to count your plastic for one week and help Greenpeace to gather the evidence they need to push for proper action to tackle the plastic crisis. Read more about plastic pollution on Greenpeace website


Free Business Breakfast - How to Go Plastic Free
Friday 13 May, 8.30 – 10.30am, Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ
The Plastic Free Communities team from Surfers Against Sewage are hosting a breakfast chat on all things single use. Get tips on how your business can start to go plastic free and get your free copy of the SAS Plastic Free Business toolkit. You can also apply for the national SAS Plastic-Free Champion award to show your current or future efforts, and link into your local Plastic Free Community teams. Find more information and book.

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...

“Champion of the Earth”
Sir David Attenborough has been named a Champion of the Earth by the UN's Environment Programme. The prestigious award recognises the 95-year-old's commitment to telling stories about the natural world and climate change. Accepting the award, Sir David said the world must take action now to protect nature and the planet. Read more on the BBC news website.

Positive tipping points?
Highlighted in a recent Positive News, a new study argues that if we can identify and trigger positive tipping points, we can fast-track climate solutions: “We’ve seen positive tipping points in action, we just need to work out how to find and trigger them.”
Climate change: IPCC scientists say it's "now or never" to limit warming
UN scientists have unveiled a plan that they believe can limit the root causes of dangerous climate change  in a report saying that there must be "rapid, deep and immediate" cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Global emissions of CO2 would need to peak within three years to stave off the worst impacts. Even then, the world would also need technology to suck CO2 from the skies by mid-century. Read more on the BBC News website

Who are the really dangerous radicals?
"Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness." says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres following the latest IPCC findings that the world must move away from fossil fuels.

Climate of Change
In a new podcast focusing on optimism, actor Cate Blanchett and clean energy entrepreneur Danny Kennedy aim to offer ordinary people real-life solutions to environmental disaster. Read about it here
9 things you can do about climate change
"Use your voice, use your vote, use your choice," says Al Gore
From Imperial College’s Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment

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.) 

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... 

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.

How much good does divesting from polluting companies do?
Can I make an ethical killing on the stock market? Should your pension scheme divest from fossil fuels? Or is divestment too good to be true? The Guardian asks an expert, Tariq Fancy, former global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock.
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. 


Bid Writing Clinic
Monday 16 May, 10.00am – 4.00pm, Kingston University

Together with a team of experts at Kingston University, KVA are pleased to be able to offer this unique course to voluntary organisations in Kingston. The Bid Writing Clinic aims to assess bid writing needs within our local VCSE sector. The morning 'clinic' will be followed by afternoon training sessions bespoke to a suitable stage in your bid writing journey. You will also have the opportunity to explore partnerships and strategy building.This event will be suitable for people at any stage of bid writing, from absolute beginners to experienced bid writers looking to take their bids to the next level. The course is FREE and lunch will be provided. Places are limited so find out more and book your place now to avoid disappointment.

Nature notes   

9 things you can do to protect the natural world
From Imperial College’s Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment
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. 

The UK top 10 birds – winners and losers revealed
You counted the birds, the RSPB crunched the numbers and the results are in. 697,735 people counted 11,556,046 birds this year, giving the RSPB a great snapshot of how our garden birds are faring, so thank you for taking part. See the full results here and share your Birdwatch stories and pics using #BigGardenBirdWatch.

New Natural History GCSE
A new natural history GCSE, available from September 2025, will be launched next week, focusing on how pupils can protect the planet. Read more in The Guardian.
The insect crisis: where did all the bugs go?
What does the drastic decline in insect populations mean for our lives? The Guardian’s Oliver Milman talks about these miraculous creatures and how they play a vital role in making the Earth habitable. Listen to the podcast.

A beginners’ guide to planting trees – and fighting the climate crisis

We need 1.5bn trees in the UK to tackle the climate crisis. But planting them badly can be counterproductive – read The Guardian’s dos and don’ts here

Events and courses 

Dawn Chorus Walk on Ham Lands 
Sunday 15 May, 6.00am

Join Friends of Ham Lands to experience and learn about the sounds of the dawn chorus with bird expert John Gard. Please book via Eventbrite.

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 
If you would like to be part of this mission to make "healthy food accessible to all" by buying a veg box subscription, or to join our volunteer team, or would just like to find out more please visit
     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!

Still some way to go on the national diet?


Food Forever Evening Talks
Temperate House, Kew Gardens, June to September
Join panels of experts to explore the future of food as part of Kew's brand-new summer programme, Food Forever. Find out more and book.

Sustainable energy and transport

Energy is still in the news this month - 

Is a “vampire device” costing you £147 a year?
UK households could save an average of £147 per year by switching off so-called vampire devices, electronics that drain a surprising amount of power even when they are on standby. Read more on the BBC News website

Bill McKibben again...

See also StreetsForKids campaign in Campaigning Together


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.) 


Our Changing Planet, BBC1
Steve Backshall, Chris Packham and Ella Al-Shamahi visit the Maldives, Iceland and Cambodia, charting the fight to save the planet’s most endangered ecosystems. Catch up here


What next on climate? The need for a new moderate flank, an essay by Rupert Read 
“What happens when a radical flank gets somewhere and itself becomes a kind of new ‘centre of gravity’ within the space of activism, successfully shifting public opinion significantly in the direction of its goals? What happens next?” We need to get a far larger percentage of the population to understand and feel the bitter truth; that no-one in authority is planning to do enough to save their kids, to save the(ir) world, argues philosopher Rupert Read. Download the essay as a PDF here.

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?  

Walk this May!
May is Living Streets' National Walking Month. This year, we're encouraging people to walk for 20 minutes each day during May. Walking is an easy and accessible way to improve physical and mental health and a 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions... By swapping a short drive for a short walk, you can also help reduce air pollution, congestion and road danger - whilst saving yourself some money and getting active in the process!  Find out more.

Plantlife’s No Mow May 
Join legions of gardeners and say “no” to the mow this May to help our bees, butterflies, wildlife and us! time. Let it grow… let it groooow… and find out more and join in
Pint of Science: Engineering a Sustainable Future
Wednesday 11 May , 7.30pm - 9.30pm, doors open 7.00pm, The Griff Inn Bar & Kitchen, BLSA Building, Stepney Way, Whitechapel, London E1 2AT

How can we turn waste into energy? Or mould materials on the nanoscale? Come along to hear about the creative research from engineers at QMUL for tackling climate change and creating brand-new materials for sustainable energy applications! You might just catch a glimpse into the future...
Tickets £5.00, find out more and book here.  
Beyond Consumerism: Adfree Cities national conference
Saturday 14 May, 9.45am - 4.30pm, Conway Hall, Holborn, London, WC1 4RL, FREE
Advertising shapes our culture, our desires and our visions of the ‘good life’. At the moment, that vision is one of consumerism and it’s a direct threat to climate action. Workshops,include topping polluter greenwash, promoting alternative visions of prosperity, ending fossil fuel sponsorship of sport and setting up effective anti-advertising campaigns in your community. Also: music, stalls, vegan + vegetarian lunch (on a donation basis). Find out more and book.  
     Interested in anti-advertising campaigns but can’t make the May event? Sign up to the Badvertising mailing list to stay in the loop about campaign updates and ways to get involved. 
Castle Debate: Pollution of our Waters
Wednesday 25 May, 2.30 - 4.00pm, on-line, fr
"The purpose of these Debates is to provide objective and factual clarification on a wide range of environmental issues which are fundamental to our future health and prosperity, emphasising the crucial roles of law and regulation and Government policy."
Find out more and book.

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.

Ham Open Gardens 2022
Sunday 22 June, 12.00 – 5.00pm

Probably our nearest open gardens event - more information and tickets here.
2022 RA summer exhibition: CLIMATE
Royal Academy, Piccadilly, London, 21 June — 21 August
“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.” 

The Great Big Green Week 2022
24 September - 2 October

Organised by The Climate Coalition working with an impressive range of partners to make the greatest, biggest, greenest week the UK has ever seen. – watch this space for events, ideas and resources.

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 cmmunity groups. Find out more here.
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