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Environment News



to our August 2021 issue 

Welcome to this month's joint newsletter of Kingston Environment Centre and Transition Town Kingston

Whatever the changeable government advice says, this remains true -

We recommend that you continue to check websites or social media before setting out so that you and others stay safe. Check the current Covid rules for Kingston here. But at least summer weather and current Covid rules permit outdoor activities, which should keep us usefully and safely occupied for a bit. 

So scroll down or use the Contents column below to find something green and interesting to do in Kingston. Some events are happening very very soon - A Climate Emergency Centre for Kingston on 29 July; Fighting the Climate Emergency in North Wales, Mozambique and Berrylands on 4 August; Big Butterfly Count, now till 8 August. - so click through to find out more and make sure you don’t miss something interesting:

In our next issue, we hope to start a new section on Kingston's Green Spaces, where we can bring together all the news, campaigns and outdoor volunteering opportunities that are currently dotted about the newsletter or left out - if you have news about your local park or green space, do let us know.

Local news and activities take priority 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

Next issue

Notes to contributors, current and future
If you normally contribute items to this newsletter, or would like to, and haven’t heard from us recently, please subscribe to our contributors’ list via this sign-up form to get our requests and reminders - and make sure they are not disappearing into your spam folder!  You can update your own contact details in this list 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 go out on or 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! But don't miss out on interesting items by skipping too selectively!

Campaigning together
Kingston Environment Centre
Transition Town Kingston
Save the World Club
Kingston Environment Forum + Green Volunteering
Local sowing and growing
The Community Brain
Kingston Biodiversity Network
Habitats & Heritage
Berrylands Nature Reserve
Ham United Group
XR Kingston
Kingston Council news
Money, money, money
Nature notes and Events
Have your say
Waste matters
Energy and transport news
Climate crisis updates
Food, glorious food
Reviews + Updates on all things environmental
More things we like this month
What else is happening soon?

Campaigning together 

"The future is written nowhere…you have to write it." Amin Maalouf

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? 

Let's Create a Climate Emergency Centre in Kingston!
On the evening of 13th July, Extinction Rebellion Kingston, Transition Town Kingston and the Kingston Environment Forum hosted an inspiring presentation on turning empty buildings into inspirational community hubs for the benefit of people and planet from Ruth and Phoenix from the Climate Emergency Centres Network. They shared decades of experience (there are eco-centres across the UK – click here to view them) and offered much useful advice on how to start and how to keep going, emphasising the need for us to draw diverse groups together in the face of the climate emergency. See More things we Like... at the end of this newsletter for a few examples of activities that could go on in a Kingston CEC, some of them near enough to visit. A meeting for everyone interested is happening on Thursday 29 July - all welcome, find out more here.

Seething Wells
The Seething Wells Action Group AGM in July reviewed a year of successful actions and lobbying to oppose development and biodiversity destruction on the site and looked forward to developing positive plans for a SW nature reserve. SWAG is asking all  Kingston councillors (and known candidates) to sign a pledge to protect Seething Wells, and also asks us all to email our local councillors asking them to help save this natural asset by supporting compulsory purchase of the site. Even if the Seething Wells SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, now At Risk because of the owner’s campaign of destruction) is outside your ward, it could be an asset for everyone in Kingston as a publicly or community owned accessible wildlife centre.  See SWAG website and/or find out more and join SWAG on Facebook.

Sam and Simon’s cycle ride around Spain 
Like their Facebook page for more details, to follow their journey, and to donate to a local good cause: the legal challenge to oil and gas exploration in Surrey and Sussex and/or The Full Cycle project, run by Gary at The Circulatory in Surbiton.

Sign The Climate Coalition’s letter to the Prime Minister
“The time is now to lead the UK towards a healthier, greener, fairer future. Ahead of hosting the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow in 2021, we can build back better together...” says TCC (TTK is a member.) Sign here

Don’t put up with pollution – campaign with Mums for Lungs

MfL have a new web-page, with a step by step guide for parents who want to get their school and other parents involved in campaigning for clean air. It has links to Mums for Lungs and other campaigning resources including new idling flyers, which you can order here. And you can email MfL for help and advice and/or to arrange a time to chat!

Cut Carbon Not Forests

Do you think burning trees sounds like a low-carbon, renewable energy, a source of energy that the UK Government should be spending hundreds of millions of £££ on? No? Biofuelwatch's campaign against subsidies for large scale energy from biomass has teamed up with the Cut Carbon Not Forests coalition, and they ask us to sign their petition calling for an end to burning trees in UK power stations because of its impact on the climate, forests and environmental justice around the world. 
Campaign for the Big Bag Ban   
Sign Planet Patrol's petition for the Big Bag Ban, and spread the word on social media.

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.



At the KEC Summer Fete on July 24th


Regular events at KEC 

Stitch and Chat
Back on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, 7.00 – 9.00pm

Some of our members have been inspired by the group Stitches for Survival who are creating panels which will be part of a visual display at COP 26 in Glasgow this November. The group hopes to make enough knitted, crocheted or material panels to stretch for 1.5 miles to represent the 1.5 degree target in the Paris Agreement. If you would like to join Stitch and Chat email Pat and she will put you on the mailing list.
Socially distanced gardening 
Saturdays, 10.00am -  3.00pm, and also Thursdays, but email Pat  to make sure
We welcome volunteers to help us in the yard and the outside planting areas with gardening, and also need people to help with carpentry, fundraising and events.  Please do get in touch if you have spare time and would like to volunteer.
Plant sales
We usually hold these to coincide with the New Malden Farmers Market and hope to continue over the summer. A big thankyou to Habitats and Heritage who donated  a car-load of plants in June left over from their own plant sale..

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.
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TTK mapping project
With the lifting of Covid restrictions the TTK mapping project has taken to the streets and can be found at Kingston Libraries' summer of fun this week where Janine from Sunray Recycle will be collecting input about existing projects to add to the map + community or green projects that you would love to see or be part of in the borough.
TTK Book Club
We had our first TTK book club meeting, a small one to start with, in July. We read and discussed Neil Kitching's book Carbon Choices. Our summary: a great overview of where we are across a number of areas, starting with the impact of carbon before looking at the 10 building blocks to make better choices and applying those to our lives. The book joins up a number of narratives, and strongly and repeatedly focuses on policy and regulation as solutions. What would be better? More attention to the role of communities in making the changes happen, more punch and clarity on the ‘threads’ which did emerge as 5 principles at the end.
TTK 2020 - 2021 AGM
TTK had our AGM in person this year on 20th July. It was so good to come together. We met at the Circulatory under our gazebo – and the heavens opened. Last year was a relatively quiet year, yet we continued to meet, gained some funding for projects across the borough and continued to build and strengthen our relationships. TTK projects had continued their core activities, and TTK had taken on some new ones, such as participating in the Council’s various Covid Recovery Task Force sub-groups, showing a film on-line, and starting a green book group. And, looking ahead to the coming year, there are newcollaborative projects emerging, the Kingston Climate Emergency Centre and GreenZone 2021 – there is a lot to be hopeful about. Project leads were thanked, the treasurer’s statement was agreed and the current management team was re-elected. You can read notes from the AGM on the TTK website.

Our Kingston Green e-Directory needs you!
We have some requests: tell us about new green enterprises in and around Kingston (even better if you've used them and can give us a one-sentence recommendation); tell us about any errors or dead weblinks or defunct enterprises that linger on uselessly in the Directory; help us to edit the website, initially by checking all the web-links but with scope for more creativity later - contact Marilyn to find out more or provide information.

TTK Energy Group recommends -
SuperHomes, a rapidly expanding network of energy-aware households who have refurbished their old homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency, and hope to share their experience with other households and inspire them to make changes to help shape a green future.

Help with the harvest
Fancy picking fruit for yourself and getting in this year’s harvest? Perhaps you would like to join in making apple juice or cider? Or offer your glut? Abundance Kingston is a volunteer group which helps local people to harvest their gluts of fruit and veg and then distributes them throughout the community wherever they are wanted and can be used. We have all the necessary equipment and will visit gardens, allotments and street trees to save the delicious organically grown produce from going to waste and possibly landfill. We also enable fun community juicing events all over the area. It’s good fun, very sociable and always outdoors, so if you would like to join in and/or offer us your glut, please email or phone 07749 633973 and help prevent local food waste. 


Stitch in Time
Thursday 5 August, 7.00 - 8.30ish, The Circulatory

All going well, TTK's monthly sociable sewing session returns - find out more below in Save the World Club's section and look out for updates on our Facebook Events page or TTK Events.

TTK Book club meeting
Tuesday 14 September, 6.30pm

Books we are choosing from: Braiding Sweetgrass Robin Wall Kimmerer and Mission Economy by Mariana Mazzucato 
GreenZone 2021
Saturday 25 September, Memorial Gardens, Church Street KT1 1RJ, tbc.
Keep the date free - we are in the process of securing funding and will confirm very shortly. Want some input to the GreenZone? What to get involved? Share your thoughts here or contact Alison

Green Drinks hope to return this autumn on the last Tuesday of every month, after TTK management team meetings – watch this space for more details nearer the time..

Transition news and events

The What Next? Summit – Call to Action
Read the 5 provocations that follow from the Summit in March

Transition London & SE Hub Online Meet- Ups
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further interesting and encouraging meet-ups in 2021.

Find out more about the wider Transition Network.  
Find more Transition activities, discussions and events in London and the S E on Facebook

Regular TTK events

TTK management team meetings 
Last Tuesdays of the month
Details will be posted on the TTK Facebook page. 

Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter


Keep up with, and donate towards, Save The World Club's excellent food redistribution work during the pandemic here and/or make sure you don’t miss any news by following us on Facebook. 

What's on at The Circulator

Regular events

TTK's Stitch in Time
1st Thursday of every month, 7.00 - 8.30ish, next one Thurs 5 August 

Now that Covid-19 restrictions are no more, there is no need to book a place - but we will remain cautious in order to protect each other as Covid-19 has not disappeared and it is not always possible to keep one’s distance while helping each other with sewing tasks: so please bring and wear face-masks and use hand sanitizer on arrival. And bring your own sewing repair/upcycling/alteration project for us and our sewing machines to help with. Find out more and check TTK's Facebook Events page or TTK Events on the website in case of last-minute changes.  

A little bit extra to STWC -

AmazonSmile customers can now 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 Way, (at the bottom of Chiltern Drive), adjacent to Berrylands Railway Station
Website Website
Facebook Facebook

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


KEF in Kingston's Covid Recovery Task Force 
The Communities Task Force and its various sub-groups continue to meet roughly monthly, with KEF represented in the Steering Group, and in the Volunteering and Health and Wellbeing subgroups. We publish occasional updates and useful links on the KEF website and we email KEF members with relevant information and opportunities that come these meetings.  
     KEF coordinator Marilyn has had plenty of opportunities lately to represent Kingston’s environmental community, not only in the Council’s Communities Covid Recovery Task Force meetings and sub-groups, but also in an interview on the new Kingston Local Plan and in a Seizing the Moment co-design session on “the development of a new shared vision for the future, based on an understanding of the needs, aspirations and expectations of our communities...” “It’s not always easy to represent a group with such diverse specialisms and interests, but I try to focus on the concerns and hopes that we all share,” she says. KEF is leaving it to member-groups and interested individuals to respond to the consultation on the new Kingston Plan by 30 September.
Community hubs - an opportunity for Kingston green groups?
We had our first discussion, with TTK and XR Kingston, about this in July - see the report here and  the next step here. 

See Money, Money, Money below for an update on the Green Funding Collaborative.



Green volunteering

Volunteering of all kinds comes up a lot in Covid Recovery Task Force meetings, and as many of our readers are experienced volunteers, organisers of volunteers, or novice or aspiring volunteers... we are passing on some of  the news, information and reminders we come across.

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.

Local green organisations, please make sure you are still members of the KEF website and that someone interested will pick up our messages, so that you can contribute and be consulted as and when relevant. New organisations and/or new group representatives are welcome to join too, by clicking the Join Website button at the top of the KEF Home page. And have a look at the website and Facebook page occasionally - there may be a question or issue for you to take up. 

KEF events: we hope to run roughly quarterly discussions or round-tables (avoiding when possible  the months when KBN hold theirs, maybe even IRL), with the aim of bringing us together, communicating and coordinating with each other better, and reminding ourselves of what we share as a community. Possible future themes for public or smaller round-table discussions include collaboration (how could Kingston’s green groups work better together, especially now that environmental concerns are becoming mainstream?) and Seething Wells nature reserve, but please contact us with other ideas for themes and offers of speakers for a quarterly discussion.

Coordinating KEF: any KEF member-group interested in taking this over this role, which has plenty of scope for expansion and networking, is invited to contact Marilyn, who would like to hand over and stand down before the end of 2021. 

Individuals, there is almost certain to be an organisation or person in the group who can answer your eco-questions or take up local environmental issues or send you in the right direction, so do use the Facebook page to share these. If KEF (or one of the organisations that feature in this newsletter, many of which are KEF members) can’t help, we almost certainly know someone who can. And you don't need to join KEF’s website to access its useful information and resources. 

If you’d like to write something on a green theme that is too long for this newsletter or too broad for more specialist green groups, please send it to us for possible publication in KEF’s blog. 
Website Website
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Local sowing and growing: 

Kingston community gardens   

Hogsmill Community Garden 

We've got lots of plants to brighten up the windowsill or garden - herbs, flowers and grasses still available. Pop by during our opening hours, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays 11-3pm. Plants are by donation, to help us continue our work.

On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

We had some much-needed help from GoodGym earlier this month, when an energetic small group (pictured on the left) did a massive amount of exercise/path clearing, something we find hard to keep up with while the weeds and rogue tomato plants are enjoying this warm wet summer and thriving in all our raised beds.
Between Canbury Gardens, Kingston Riverside [tennis] Club and Kings’ Passage - current access only via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand.
Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden Facebook - Hogsmill Community Garden
Facebook - Canbury Community Garden Facebook - Canbury Community Garden

Kingston Edible Forest 2100

A food forest 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
Website - Edible Forest Garden Website - Edible Forest Garden


Crop Drop – a good home for your surplus harvests
Crop Drop is a new local project intending to collect excess fruit and vegetables for distribution to local community groups around Kingston. If anyone feels they may be able to contribute to this, perhaps on a weekly basis, please email Kelvin Foote or phone him on 07885736836. 

Regular gardening sessions

See Facebook pages to confirm opening times and safety advice before turning up.

Useful resources for gardeners

Rather than letting this list become every longer, we have moved all the older items to Growing Tips on Transition Town Kingston's website.
We believe in giving people ‘permission’ to be brilliant because everyone can be brilliant...

One of our murals in Tolworth on the left.
Website Website
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KBN exists to highlight and promote local conservation work in Kingston. 


KBN meeting on bees -  and other biodiversity matters
A huge thank you to Keith McMahon from Kingston Bee Keepers who gave a fascinating talk about the world of honey bees at the July KBN meeting, and well done to everyone who guessed that honey bees have five eyes!  Those who missed the presentation can watch it here. (See also More on bees below) Thank you, too, to Adam and the team for the update on Eagle Wharf Brewery and Memorial Gardens (find their videos here), and to Barry Lomax from RBK's planning department for attending our first session on Biodiversity and Development, to encourage greater levels of community consultation and awareness - this will be a regular feature of KBN meetings from now on.

Click on an icon below for news of more conservation activities around Kingston - get involved or set up a project of your own.

Coming up

The next KBN meeting
October 13th, so get it in the diaries now!

Regular events

Every Wednesday is Wildlife Wednesday on the RBK social media feeds, with a  small factoid about local and seasonal wildlife. 
Every Monday there’s a Reading Nature session with the Library Service on their social media - a short video encouraging people to go outside and explore green spaces to find wildlife

See the website or Facebook page for other KBN activities
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
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 join the new Habitats & Heritage Supporter Scheme today for just £10 a year. 
     Click on the icons below for our news and information, and sign up for our newsletter to hear about all the news, opportunities and events from the Habitats & Heritage community. 
Website Website
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Instagram Instagram

 Berrylands Nature Reserve

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

Regular events 

See our website and Facebook page for upcoming volunteering sessions, helping to improve Berrylands Nature Reserve and our other local green spaces, making them better for the local community and its wildlife!


News from Friends of Ham Lands, just over the border


There are lots of opportunities to help manage the habitats on Ham Lands next month:
Monday August 2, 10.00am – 1.00pm, Balsam bashing, run by Kingston Ramblers, info here. 
Wednesday August 11, 10.00 – 4.00pm, a TCV-run session, book your place here. 
Thursday August 12, 10.00 – 4.00pm, a TCV-run session, book your place here
Saturday August 14, 10.00 – 12.00pm): monthly conservation session. All welcome, info here
Monday August 16, 10.00am – 1.00pm, Balsam bashing, run by Kingston Ramblers, info here. 

Finally, we have been supporting Grass Roots Forest School with their Bend in the River project to connect young people with nature.  Pupils from both Malden Oaks and St. Richards CoE Primary have attended. The project recently culminated in an exhibition at Malden Oaks of work inspired by the students’ time on Ham Lands. Find out more

Friends of Ham Lands is supported by Ham United Group  
Website - Ham United Group Website - Ham United Group

XR Kingston   


Regular events

For XR Kingston meetings, actions, film shows coming up check Events on the Facebook page. 

From the XR network

Sign up for The Impossible
Launching soon, The Impossible will feature stories of resilience and creativity from around the world to find a way through the crisis. Find out more.

News from global Extinction Rebellion here. Read the latest London XR news and sign up for the e-newsletter here.  
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Kingston Council news                        

New “Happy Spaces” in Kingston
Landscape architects Davies White and The Edible Bus Stop were commissioned to design two new “Happy Spaces” in Kingston town centre, Memorial Gardens and Eagle Brewery Wharf. Watch their videos here to learn more about the proposals.

Let's Talk about wildways
Now on Kingston Council's Let's Talk portal, a consultation on local grass verges / wildways. 

Let's Talk about our streets 
“We are committed to tackling climate change, improving air quality and enabling our residents and visitors to use sustainable travel options. In 2019, the council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough.  This was just the first step. We are now in the process of identifying key areas for improvement, with the goal of making our borough carbon neutral by 2038. We are continuing to invest in Sustainable Transport infrastructure to encourage active travel and reduce reliance on high polluting vehicles. Initiatives include expanding our cycle network, supporting the roll-out of dockless and e-bikes, installing more electric vehicle charging points, and creating ‘Healthy Streets”.  We really want your views. We want to make sure that we continue to listen to your ideas, comments and suggestions about how to improve our programmes and make Kingston cleaner and greener for everyone.” Participate here.

New Kingston Plan  
What should Kingston look like in 20 years’ time? So much has happened since 2019 when the Council last had a conversation about our new Local Plan: the London Plan has come into force and set Kingston a really challenging housing target, COVID-19 has changed the way we all live our lives, the Government has changed the planning rules, Brexit has happened, and the Council has declared a climate emergency. Find out more and share your thoughts before Thursday 30 September. You can: take part on Kingston's online engagement portal or email the team your ideas. Following this round of feedback, the Council’s planning team will draft Kingston’s Local Plan. which will be taken to the Place Committee for approval to go out to public consultation during summer 2022.  
Electric vehicles for Council work
Kingston Council’s Estate Services team is replacing 12 diesel vans with electric vans, which can travel 106 miles on a full charge. The Kingston Community Library service will also receive one of the vans to help develop their expanding at-home service through projects such as Reading Friends, which combats social isolation. The 100% electric vehicles do not produce carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide particles and are virtually silent when running, which means the journeys they undertake will have less impact on the environment and cause less disruption to residents early in the morning and late in the evening.
See the Council's website for the latest news.

Have your say - 

See Campaigning Together and Council News above.

 Money, money, money... 

Kingston Kingston Community Lottery
Local good causes can find out more and sign up to the Kingston Community Lottery - learn how the lottery can benefit your organisation and how it works on this Youtube channel or sign up through the website.

Don’t miss funding opportunities for your green group
Keep an eye on Kingston Voluntary Action’s Funding page and regular Funding bulletins.

Green Funding Collaborative - an update on our survey
We collected some useful info from the environmental groups that responded to our initial survey and asked some searching and thought-provoking questions. 
Working through the form will have told groups how application-ready they are. We plan to add some useful sources of help for groups with gaps in their practice, so we are tweaking the questionnaire a bit before rolling it out further. Watch this space.

Grow Back Greener
Applications for the Grow Back Greener Fund 2021 are now open. Groundwork London is managing the Grow Back Greener Fund grants for community projects across London that will improve access to green space and help us adapt to climate change. Deadline Monday 13 September 2021, find out more here.

Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants is now open for applications and relaunched in July for customer voting in-store. Community groups and charities will be able to apply for a grant of up to £1,500. Local organisations can apply by visiting

Boost Choose Now Change Lives 
Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 to support a range of community groups and organisations are open to all non-profit organisations. The funders are calling for all community sports clubs, community action groups, youth work, music groups and food banks to nominate themselves. Find out more, deadlines: 18 July or 26 September. Other funding opps via Semble.

DPD Eco Fund
The Eco Fund is funded by DPD's circular economy initiative to protect the environment. Anyone can apply for funding from the DPD Eco Fund, although they particularly encourage schools and educational facilities across the UK working on green projects with their students and start-up companies working on developing environmentally friendly products to apply. The Eco Fund has donated over £200,000 to worthy sustainable projects since it started in January 2020. Click here to get details of the DPD Eco Fund and apply.

Nature notes   

Towards a Kingston Friends of Parks and Green Spaces Forum
Unlike other London boroughs we have never managed to get the many Friends of Kingston’s green spaces groups together under the umbrella of a Forum that could speak for all our parks, recreation grounds and green spaces, and represent the borough in gatherings of London Green Spaces Forums. We hope that will change shortly and a launch event for Friends groups is being planned for later this year. Watch this space – and in the meantime, if your local park or green space doesn’t yet have a Friends group you might like to start one. 
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces and Bromley Friends Forum Toolkit Starting A Friends Group pdf offer some useful advice on how. 

Local nature conservation volunteering opportunities
Berrylands Nature Reserve 
Citizen Zoo - volunteer with us! 
Friends of Ham Lands

Kingston’s Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
Read the review here

People from across London National Park City and beyond discussed rewilding, food growing, nature education, urban forests and community building in this July on-line event – and the contribution that green spaces can make to climate mitigation, the urban heat island effect, air quality and public health and wellbeing... The event was recorded so should soon be available to view on the website, which also has lots of interesting resources, including maps and green places to visit

Borderlands: Road Verges as Highways for Wildlife
Dr Phil Sterling shows how we can achieve abundant wildlife on verges and look after it at much lower cost compared with standard mowing. Watch the webinar here.

Plantlife’s 2021’s Great British Wildflower Hunt
Join in here.
More on bees -
From The Guardian: Making a beeline: wildflower paths across UK could save species. But the number of beehives in Britain’s cities is growing rapidly, putting pressure on native bees ‘that really need our help’, say scientists and experienced beekeepers – read more.
And from DEFRA: Bees' Needs - 5 simple actions

The Royal Parks Biodiversity Framework (2020-2030)
Climate Change and biodiversity loss is currently harming both human well-being, and the landscapes of the parks, including the two beautiful Royal Parks near us in Kingston. The Royal Parks recently declared a Climate Emergency and recognise that we must urgently do more to both reduce the impact of how we operate, and to maximise the delivery of the environmental and societal benefits which the parks provide for London and our visitors. Biodiversity enhancement is key to producing resilient landscapes. Read more about The Royal Parks Biodiversity Framework.

Suzanne Simard on Trees
Dr. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forest Ecology, University of British Columbia, pioneered the concept of a “mother tree,” the hub of a network of trees that communicate with each other through mycorrhizal relationships. Simard discusses her own scientific journey to understand how trees use these relationships to communicate about food sources, pests and other dangers at theNobel Conference 54  g and she and the Mother Tree Project team describe the experiment in detail here. 
Inkspots talk: Isabella Tree on rewilding    
Isabella Tree talks about her wonderful Knepp rewilding project, her new children's book, and how we can do little bits of rewilding at home - catch the interview here.


Big Butterfly Count
Friday 16 July - Sunday 8 August, somewhere near you

This nationwide citizen science survey helps Butterfly Conservation assess the health of our environment. Join in here and view all the counts on the interactive map.

Useful websites and apps for nature-lovers

Identify a butterfly
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.

Waste matters  

Is renting your clothes better or worse for the environment?
Renting clothes has become popular as a more sustainable way to shop, but Finnish scientific study claims it has bigger environmental consequences than renters realise, because it  involves hidden environmental costs in delivery and packaging. Read more in The Independent

Don't buy or rent - repair! 
“Mending is an eco action. Mending saves you money.”  Lots of lovely free resource to teach mending skills on the Repair What You Wear website. And/or come along to a Stitch in Time sociable sewing session  - see Save the World Club Events for info.

How is plastic waste linked to the climate crisis?
Good Energy say: “It’s an understatement to say the world has a problem with plastic. In the UK alone we produce 5 million tonnes of the stuff a year – and only a quarter of this gets recycled... Plastic waste has reached even the most remote parts of the world – washing up on uninhabited islands, has been found in Antarctica, on top of the world’s tallest mountains and even at the bottom of the Mariana trench.  As a highly visible problem, it’s understandable that plastic pollution gets a lot of attention, with some arguing that it distracts from tackling the climate crisis. However, plastic isn’t an entirely separate issue. Here are three ways in which plastic production and pollution is directly contributing to the climate crisis – and how we can help fight it...

Energy and transport news

In case you haven’t yet done the simple things to save energy in your home
Get government advice on energy efficiency here and/or from the government approved Simple Energy Advice website’s advice on ways to save energy.
NEF report: A Frequent Flyer Levy
Sharing aviation's carbon budget in a net-zero world - read NEF's report here.

Low-traffic schemes halve number of road injuries, study shows
Research on police data for London neighbourhoods finds greatest reduction in injury rates among pedestrians and people in cars – read more and support your local LTN/Clean Air Zone


Fighting the Climate Emergency in North Wales, Mozambique... and Berrylands
Wed 4 August, 7.45pm, doors open 7.00pm, cornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre, Surbiton, KT6 7SB

Bob Dean, volunteer and performer at the CornerHouse and also a high voltage electrical engineer,  will be talking about his experiences on large scale wind power and hydroelectricity projects in the UK and Africa, and discussing the issues around the climate crisis. In the second half of the evening Bob will bring the debate closer to home in considering what is being done to combat the climate crisis in and around Berrylands. Why Berrylands you ask? Well, come along to the cornerHOUSE and all will be revealed. There is still time to book tickets for this talk here

Climate crisis updates  

Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs
Cutting emissions more urgent than ever, say scientists, with forest producing more than a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Read more here.

IPCC steps up warning on climate tipping points
In a leaked draft report scientists show increasing concern about thresholds beyond which recovery may become impossible... Read more in The Guardian.

Climate and mental health 
Melting glaciers, floods, wildfires – no wonder some of us are depressed. Challenges affecting our planet also affect our minds, communities and healthcare systems. The Climate Cares team of researchers, designers, policy-makers and educators aims to understand and support mental health in the current climate and ecological crises... Find out more and assist their research.
Why the Land Rover advert is dangerous to people and nature 
"Life is so much better without restrictions" says the advert for a big car in a big national newspaper. It is, in fact, a very big car. The new Land Rover Defender will not fit in a standard UK parking space with a spare wheel on the back like the one shown in the image. Its pollution is over-sized too... Read more of this article by Andrew Simms, co-director of the New Weather institute, which leads the Badvertising campaign, co-ordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance, assistant director of Scientists for Global Responsibility and research associate at the University of Sussex.

Climate Outreach’s Britain Talks Climate
Britain Talks Climate is an evidence-based toolkit designed to support any organisation that wants to engage the British public on climate change. It offers a shared, strategic understanding of the British public, and – against a backdrop of growing concern about polarisation – identifies effective ways to engage across the whole of society.


Thurs 29 July, 7-8.30 pm, Kingston Environment Centre, outdoors if possible
This will be a friendly informal initial meeting, outdoors, weather permitting, indoors with masks if necessary. If you are interested in helping in any way, big or small, to make this happen, do please fill in this form and come along on Thursday..

Fighting the Climate Emergency in North Wales, Mozambique... and Berrylands
Wed 4 August, 7.45pm, doors open 7.00pm, cornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre, Surbiton, KT6 7SB

See section above for details

Great Big Green Week
18 – 26 September

The Climate Coalition’s national week of events celebrating action on climate change in the run-up to COP26 - communities across the country will join together for the Great Big Green Week, the biggest event for climate and nature ever in the UK, and everyone’s invited! Find out more and get involved.

Useful resources

Climate Action Tracker
Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis that tracks government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of "holding warming well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C." CAT quantifies and evaluates climate change mitigation commitments, and assesses, whether countries are on track to meeting those.

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.

Food, glorious food...

The Good Food Co-op
A Kingston not-for-profit enterprise championing local, spray-free, ethically sourced, seasonal, healthy food for all. The profits from every full price veg or fruit box subsidise a box for someone local in need. Find out more and order a veg or fruit box.

National Food Strategy report includes recommendations on climate
As well as the recommendations on health, the recently published government-commissioned National Food Strategy says we should make the best use of our land, guaranteeing payments to help farmers transition to more sustainable land use and taking 5-8% of today’s farmland out of production to meet net zero goals and the government’s target of protecting 30% of land for nature by 2030. The report says 20% of farmland produces just 3% of calories. Read more about it in The Guardian or on the BBC website.

Testing Times for UK Food Policy: Nine principles and Tests 
A Food Research Collaboration discussion paper by Tim Lang, Erik Millstone and Terry Marsden argues that food security and food resilience are too fundamental to be left to chance, or to incumbent businesses, or to policy drift, or to centralisation in Whitehall, and offers nine public-interest principles which should guide future food policy. You can read the full paper or a summary here.  And see item about Tim Lang’s book Feeding Britain in Reviews below.
Food industry giant introduces carbon footprint labels on food
New packaging will be on supermarket shelves by end of the year - read more in The Independent.- and see a Bottom Line discussion on this in Reviews.


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


The summer edition of Kingston's magazine for ethically-minded people who live, work and play in the borough and the surrounding area is out. Look out for it around Kingston, or read it on-line by clicking on the picture on the right.
Around the World in 80 Plants by Jonathan Drori, illustrated by Lucille Clerc
Trustee of The Eden Project and Cambridge University Botanic Garden, an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust and the WWF, and Honorary Professor at Birmingham University’s Institute of Forest Research, Jonathan Drori follows up Around the World in 80 Trees with another trip across the globe, bringing to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore.

Feeding Britain: Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them by Tim Lang  
How does Britain get its food? Why is our current system at breaking point? How can we fix it before it is too late? This book takes stock of the UK food system: where it comes from, what we eat, its impact, fragilities and strengths - the politics of food.
The Entangled Activist by Anthea Lawson
A call to acknowledge our entanglement with the world, offering  to those sceptical of activism possibilities for action beyond righteous reactivity. And to those who so want to help, it unearths a different starting place, one where transforming ourselves is inherently part of transforming the world. “An essential manual for getting better both at activism and being human” (Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking) “Please read this book for your own sake and for all of us” (Gail Bradbrook, co-founder, Extinction Rebellion), Published by Perspectiva Press, you can get hold of it here
Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse by Dave Goulson 
"Compelling, penetrating, devastating - Silent Earth is a wake-up call for the world" (Isabella Tree)
Insects are essential for life as we know it. As they become scarcer, our world will slowly grind to a halt; we simply cannot function without them. Drawing on the latest ground-breaking research and a lifetime's study, Dave Goulson reveals the shocking decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades, with potentially catastrophic consequences. He passionately argues that we must all learn to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.

The Nation of Plants – A Radical Manifesto for Humans by Stefano Mancuso
We depend on plants more than they depend on us - should we be more like them: less hierarchical, less competitive, more resilient, more cooperative? As plants see it, humans are not the masters of the Earth but only one of its most unpleasant and irksome residents, who have been on the planet for only about 300,000 years (nothing compared to the three billon years of plant evolution), and yet have changed the conditions of the planet so drastically as to make it a dangerous place for their own survival. It's time for the plants to offer advice... Stefano Mancuso, expert on plant intelligence, offers a new constitution on which to build our future as beings respectful of the Earth and all its inhabitants.

Support your local independent bookshop

Watch or listen

Our Planet Now
The BBC has helpfully filed all its environmental programmes and resources in one place, to help us understand the challenges facing our planet and how we can address them: everything from the basic facts to the latest technological solutions, from tips on what you can do to make a difference to inspiring films about the natural world; and the lowdown on what a changing climate could mean for your local area.



The Bottom Line, BBC Radio 4
Carbon labelling is more complicated than most of us think – Evan Davis and guests discuss the highly complex issues and how best to communicate sustainable business practices. Catch the discussion at BBC Radio 4 - The Bottom Line, Carbon labelling



Written and presented by George Monbiot, watch it here. “Depressing but very interesting watching if you get the chance” (Toni)  When you’ve watched the film, you might like to support River Action: “Our purpose is to raise awareness on river pollution and apply pressure on industrial and agricultural producers to take greater responsibility for remedying the adverse environmental impact their supply chains are having on the health of our rivers.”

Vanishing of the Bees
Not a new documentary, but recently recommended at the July KBN meeting on honeybees. The film follows commercial beekeepers as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfil pollination contracts across the US, explores the struggles they face, and examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. “An essential documentary…If you like eating, see this film.” (Channel 4)  Available on DVD or Netflix -  find out more.

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 soon?  

London Open House 2021
4 - 5 September

This year Open House will be a festival of rediscovering the richness of the city after months stuck inside. It will be a celebration of the buildings, parks and places that we’ve all been missing, local places and spaces that are important to local communities, such as community centres, volunteer centres, local parks and open spaces. Find out more and propose a place which would fit this bill, or offer a community-led tour or talk.
The Great Big Green Week
 18 - 26 September

The Climate Coalition invites communities like ours to host thousands of events and activities across the UK, an opportunity to raise the profile of climate change and how it is impacting the people and places we love here in Kingston and across the world. Together we can show our communities, local decision makers and the UK government that it’s time to step up. Find out more.

Buy Nothing Day
The international day of protest against consumerism. In North America, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden, Buy Nothing Day is held the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, Find out more.

Kingston Voluntary Action events and training

KVA’s ‘Ask The Expert’ advice sessions are suspended for the summer months. However, KVA is still here to help you - if you would like some 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.  KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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