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Environment News


February 2023

                        Welcome to this month's joint

Kingston Green Diary, FEBRUARY

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

27 - 29 January, RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

31 January, Transition Town Kingston core group meeting + Green Drinks

2 February, Community Clothes Swap

4 February Transition Town Kingston Repair Cafe launch

24 February, Recycling Minds meeting

25th February, FestiVOLE!

28 February Transition Town Kingston core group meeting + Green Drinks


Regular gardening opportunities

Regular conservation volunteering

What else is happening soon?

Coivid is not yet over and there will be seasonal flu and colds as well, so 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.

Is it time to come out of hibernation?  Once the freezing weather is over, there will be plenty to do, and already Kingston green groups have exciting plans and events lined up - scroll down or use the Contents list below to find something green and/or energetic to do..

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, subscribe to their newsletters, 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!  Regular items in grey boxes change more slowly than News sections and may be of most interest to new readers. You can fast forward to the sections that interest you, but don't miss out by skipping too selectively! 

This is the monthly newsletter of:
Kingston Environment Centre and
Transition Town Kingston
Other local green groups: 
Save the World Club
The Kingston Hive
Kingston Biodiversity Network
Citizen Zoo
Kingston Cycling Campaign
Full Cycle
Habitats & Heritage
Kingston Friends of the Earth
XR Kingston
The Community Brain
Ham United Group
Kingston Community Gardens
Kingston Environment Forum 
Sunray Recycle
Green themes and campaigns, local, national and global:
Campaigning together
Have your say
Green Volunteering
Climate crisis updates
Kingston Council news
Money, money, money
Nature notes & Events
Waste matters 
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
Website Website



We have now had our Food Safety inspection and we got 5 *****! We have been told we can distribute home-made items such as bread pudding, and if one of us takes our Level 2 food safety certificate we can also make cakes at Kingston Environment Centre. As we are only distributing on Friday morning, the amounts are relatively small, but on the first Friday after Christmas we were able to give away 70 kilos of food, thus keeping it out of landfill. Any food past its ‘Use by’ date goes into our compost heap or one of our volunteers takes it home to feed the foxes in her garden.
 Recycling Project
Congratulations to SunrayRecycle, and Kingston Environment Centre who are finalists for a Kingston Business Borough Award for Best Marketing Campaign.  Winners will be announced on Thursday 23rd March at the evening awards ceremony.
     Thanks to some ward councillor and Kingston Charitable Foundation funding we have been able to employ Janine Martin since last year. This has enabled us to become a Terracycle drop-off point with 5 collecting bins outside (Pat Dobson pictured on the right with the bins). Janine works with us from 10.00 - 2.00pm every Tuesday so do drop in if you want some recycling advice. See also our A-Z of Recycling Kingston.
Future plans
If you have any ideas for talks, workshops or other activities please get in touch. Likewise, if you would like to hire KEC for your own event you can hire the whole building (apart from the office and studio) for £15 per hour for non-members and £8 per hour for members - a real bargain!

Coming up soon

Seedy Sunday 
12 March, 12.00 - 4.00pm, Kingston Environment Centre

Seed swap and morefree entry. If any other community gardeners or individuals have any surplus seed that is still within date please let Pat know or pop them through our letterbox.
KEC AGM and request for help!
All paid-up members will get an invitation to this, although the date is yet to be finalised. Our Company Secretary and Kingston Environment Centre founder Jean Vidler will be stepping down, so if you know of anyone who would like to fill this voluntary, but rewarding, position please get in touch with Pat. We are especially looking for someone who has accounting and book-keeping experience and who is sympathetic to the aims and objectives of the centre.

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

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

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

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

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

Listen or catch up with previous shows on Mixcloud..

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


Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter



TTK's Repair Cafe project is almost ready to go! The project group has continued meeting weekly (sometimes even more often) to get to grips with all the preparation needed: recruiting and briefing volunteer fixers, planning the necessary booking system, risk assessments and insurance, acquiring storage and kit... ready for a "soft launch" in Kingston Library's community space on Saturday 4th February, and monthly after that. Find out more about volunteering or bringing items to repair.   And book your repair here.
     A big thank you to Kingston Library for the use of its lovely new community space, and to John Lewis Kingston for the seed-funding that is enabling us to start this project.

TTK Energy Group news
This month members of the EG visited Reading Hydro, a mini hydro-energy generation CIC project on a Thames weir, to learn more about local energy generation and community energy companies. The Reading project is very successful, owing to a combination of luck, skill and willing shareholders and volunteers. EG members are participating in KEF’s discussions on similar projects in Kingston. A fuller report and update will be published in due course.
     The EG’s thermal imaging camera has been in use in the cold weather, the group has had requests to carry out energy projects for a couple of local churches, and members have given several talks about energy efficiency in the home.
      Keep an eye on the Energy Group web-pages for updates and useful links on keeping warm without breaking the bank. 


Repair Cafe Kingston
Saturday 4 February, 10.30am
(bookings from 11.00am) - 1.30pm, Kingston Library
Find out more and see News item above.

Recycling Minds meeting
Friday 24 February, 10.00am, Genuine Solutions, Hook Rise

Please contact Janine E Martin on the SunrayRecycle Facebook group or email to be added to the invite list.

Regular TTK events and ongoing activities

TTK core group meetings, followed by Green Drinks 
Last Tuesday every month
 at 6.30pm,  with Green Drinks at 7.30pm, Spring Grove pub, Bloomfield Road, KT1 2SF: back on Tuesday 31 January and 28 February .  
All welcome, but check TTK Facebook page for changes before setting out. We welcome new Transition ideas and projects, so if you have something you'd like to offer under the TTK umbrella please visit our website to see if your idea would fit into TTK's aims and ethos and do let us know. Notes from these meetings are normally published on the website once confirmed as accurate at the following month's meeting.


1st Saturday morning every month, 10.30 - 1.30, Kingston Library  
Find out more.

TTK Energy Group meetings
1st Tuesday morning of every month, some on-line, some IRL - contact Peter to find out more.

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

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

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

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

Transition News and Events

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

Transition Together web-links
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter

Campaigning together 


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


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

It's time to act and revive our world, says the RSPB: tell your MP to champion action on the climate, nature and cost of living crises, and to urge the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to prioritise these issues in 2023 and beyond. “The effects of the nature and climate crisis can already be seen, from the fires in Greece to the melting of the polar ice caps, and flash floods closer to home. If left unchecked, the long-term consequences could be catastrophic. We must act now and demand those in power take immediate action to tackle the biggest threat humanity faces." Take Action For Nature - find out how to engage your representatives on the issues that matter to you, and find a range of resources that will support you to make a bigger impact through your actions.
Join the urgent call to fossil fuel CEOs from Greta, Vanessa, Helena and Luisa to immediately stop any new fossil fuel projects that are destroying our planet! Sign their Cease and Desist Notice.

XR’s “The Big One”
From 21 April, Westminster

In 2019 the UN released a stark warning. Around the world school children went on strike and 10,000 people came out on the streets of London. Shortly after, Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency. But not much has changed in the behaviour of those in power. Imagine what 100,000 people working together could do. Imagine you are one of them. Would change be unstoppable?
From 21 April  100,000 people will gather at the Houses of Parliament, day after day, meaning that XR can leave the locks, glue and paint behind and instead demonstrate faith in a critical mass of people to create a moment that’s impossible to ignore. The invitation is to all humans, all movements, all organisations to come together and stay for as long as you can.  Find out more and join in.
Sign the petition to withdraw the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
Whatever you think of the EU or Brexit, the wholesale revoking of EU laws, many of which are worthwhile environmental, animal welfare and food quality regulations, is surely ill-considered and is opposed by many green organisation. You can sign the petition here.

Useful resources for campaigners


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

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

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



The Big Move
We have the keys for our new 14,500 square foot warehouse and offices at 18 Southsea Road, off Penryhn Road, near Kingston University, and we need your help with the move, packing boxes and bags, loading our two vans, recycling waste, delivering, unloading and organising... Donations to our "Big Move" campaign are welcome too.  
     We will continue to collect and redistribute food to hundreds each week, and would like to thank Love Kingston and the Community Development Foundation for a grant of £1,500 for better security and emergency food deliveries.
Make sure you don’t miss the latest news - visit our Facebook page



Coming soon - keep your eye on our social media or the events tab on our website for details of this and other upcoming events..  

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..



Exciting times – we're now open - and we have the space for a year!


February highlights include:
Film and discussion: Urban Farming in Cuba - what can we learn?
Thursday 2 Feb, 7.30 - 9.30

Learn about Cuba's move to agro-ecology after it lost its Soviet Union sugar cane market. Find out more.
Eco-Grief Circle
Wednesday 8 Feb, 7.00 - 8.00pm

Come and share difficult feelings about the climate and nature crisis in a safe, intimate space. Find out more.  
Climate Fresk
Monday 13 Feb, 6.00 - 9.00pm

Through an interactive game and collaborative discussion, learn a systems view of climate change and discover your role in the climate and ecological emergency. Find out more - booking essential as spaces are limited! 
Workshop: Just Transition - a tool for climate justice or greenwash?
Thursday 16 Feb, 7.30 - 9.30pm

In this interactive multimedia workshop, Kerima Mohideen and Saul Jones from London Mining Network will explore the concept of a 'Just Transition' and what moving towards a low-carbon future might mean for communities affected by mining. Find out more

Grief-Tending The Planet
Wednesday 1 March, 7.00 - 8.30pm

We'll learn some simple element-based rituals to help us tap into a sense of the sacred, deepen our relationship with nature, and sit with grief for the beautiful species, clean waters and stable climate we're losing. Find out more.

 Check our website for other events -  calendar view here.

Regular events

Kingston Hive meetings 
Every Tuesday, 7.00pm, at The Kingston Hive

Drop-in sessions
Every Friday, midday to 5.00pm

Find us at Cyclehub, 47-49 Wood Street, Kingston KT1 IUJ (right by Kingston station).

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



Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and new events.
A Kingston-based wildlife conservation organisation working on species reintroductions locally and further afield. “We want to live in a world filled with wildlife. Through our projects and services, we rebuild nature to a more functional state, and bring people out into the great outdoors through our engagement programmes.” 



Saturday 25th February, Cornerhouse Theatre Tolworth  

Join Citizen Zoo for FestiVOLE, the Water Vole Release Celebration Event. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, 101 voles have been released back into our local river, the Hogsmill. This family-friendly event will celebrate the Hogsmill and this landmark achievement. Hear a fascinating talk by Amy-Jane Beer, biologist, nature writer and campaigner. She is the author of over 30 books on natural history, a Country Diarist for The Guardian, columnist for British Wildlife and a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife and Countryfile magazines. Her recent publication The Flow, is a beautiful and fascinating book that explores the UK’s rivers, including the Hogsmill, and features our water vole project!  See the premiere screening of a film by wildlife filmmaker Molly McNamara-Langton showing the water voles being released into the Hogsmill. You can get your tickets here
Monthly meetings at
Kingston Environment Centre
Habitats & Heritage acts for the natural and historic environment in south and west London. In a time where the health of our environment and each other has never been more important, and never more interlinked, we invite readers to support our work by signing up to our Supporter Scheme today for just £10 a year. 


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

XR Kingston 


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



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


News and Events

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


Ongoing activities

The Cutting
Every Tuesday, 10.00am - midday, Tolworth Station, Kingston Road, Tolworth, KT5 9NX
Help to create a new wildlife garden at the back of Tolworth Station. In 2022 our team of volunteers built a polytunnel, planted wildflower turf and began building raised beds which will house fruit and vegetables which can be used in Baking Ideas, the community kitchen and meeting space in Tolworth Station. Come along  for as long or little as you would like, regularly or on a one-off basis. 

Take a walk - and discover Community Brain’s walking routes highlighting many of our beautiful local nature reserves and parks.

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


 If you’d like to join and campaign with us, please follow our social media or email us.

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

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



Invitation to local green groups
If your local green group is not a member of KEF, or your membership has lapsed for some reason, please contact KEF to (re-)join and help to shape this newly relaunched forum in which local groups can share their concerns and updates with each other and the Council.
KEF's website includes a history of KEF and some useful resources, including a list of local environmental groups. KEF's  Facebook page is for anyone to share environmental news, queries, discussions and campaigns.



See also Waste Matters below.


Recycling Minds meeting
Friday 24 February, 10.00am, Genuine Solutions, Hook Rise

Please see  Facebook group or email to be added to the invite list.

Regular events

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

Kingston Community Gardens

Sowing and growing in Kingston

Hogsmill Community Garden 

A Happy New Year with a kick-start to 2023, a project planned with Kingston University architects’ department, a new greenhouse and an indoor garden area this summer, with funding applications under way.
The usual growing calendar starts in Feb/March, with kiddies' gardening and craft sessions starting in March. We are exploring mushroom growing and creating opportunities for offering the garden two days a week to anyone to run sessions independently. For usual opening times, see our Facebook page. Combat winter blues and join us any time or contact Julie for more information.


Open day
Coming at the end of March/April.

On Swan Path, Vineyard Close

Canbury Community Garden

The rhubarb and weeds think it's spring in the Garden. Our highly inaccurate, but interesting, annual tot-up of harvests and volunteer hours for 2022 was: crops 22.27 Kilos and 152 gardening hours + an estimated 240 chicken care hours with roughly 150 eggs as our reward.
Flockdown continues, but we are hoping to give our hens better housing, very soon, thanks to a successful funding bid by our Muddy Toddlers’ Group and some ward funding from Cllr James Manthel.
     We hope to re-start our Friday Open Mornings in February when the Secret Café next door  re-opens.

Off Canbury Gardens  - access via our Canbury Gardens gate near the bandstand and Canbury Secret cafe.

Kingston Edible Forest 2100

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

Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth


Kingston Environment Centre 

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

Parkfields Community Garden                                                       

Based in a North Kingston allotment site, Parkfields offers a space for people to meet, learn to grow food, create habitats for wildlife, observe nature and play. It is a Permaculture design in progress. As well as an orchard the site has a polytunnel, food growing, skill share and natural play spaces. Volunteer sessions are most Wednesday afternoons and some Saturday mornings. Get in touch if you'd like to join us, and find us on Facebook and Instagram too.

See also

The Community Brain's new community garden in Tolworth.


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. 


   London 2023 events 

This not-for-profit community education project specialises in forest gardening and helping Londoners learn to grow more of their own food. projects. Find a variety of community workshops and events.

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

Coming up 

Orchard Day at Beverley Park, New Malden  
Saturday 28 Jan, 10.00am - 1.00pm 

Join the Friends of Beverley Park for an Orchard Care workshop, when we will undertake some formative pruning of the apple trees and give the trees a good mulch! The workshop will not only discuss the importance of the orchard but also the importance of the park for local wildlife populations. It should be an informative and enjoyable session, with tasks suitable for both children and adults.  We will be meeting at the main entrance to the park, next to the toilet block. No need to book, just come along if you are interested. Please dress appropriately and bring gardening gloves if you have them.  
Woodland Management Day at Richard Jefferies Sanctuary, Surbiton
Sunday 29 Jan, 10.00am - 2.00pm

Join the Surbiton Wildlife Group helping to enhance a hidden woodland in the heart of Surbiton. We will work to combat invasive species such as bamboo and cherry laurel that are outcompeting the woodland flora. If you would like to come along please sign up at this Eventbrite link
Hedge-laying workshop, Kingston Road Recreation Ground, New Malden
Saturday 11 February, 10.00am - 2.00pm

Join the Friends of Kingston Road Recreation Ground for a hedge laying workshop, meeting by the buildings next to the playground. No need to book, just come along if you are interested. Please dress appropriately and bring gardening gloves if you have them.   Checkout the Friends of Kingston Road Recreation Ground  facebook group for more information. 
Hedgehog Talk 
Wednesday 15 February, 6.00pm, on-line

An introduction to our incredible hedgehog neighbours and thow we have been working with the Institute of Zoology and the local community to survey hedgehogs across Old Malden and New Malden in 2022. This short talk will cover the results of the survey and explain the simple steps that we can all take to make the borough a better place for hedgehogs. The presentation will also discuss how we are looking to expand the project moving into this year, and what opportunities there will be to get involved. We will also briefly touch on the pine marten sighting last year! To sign up for this virtual event please click here
Conservation Day at Fishponds Park, Surbiton  
Saturday 18 February
Join the Friends of Fishponds Park as we take on a number of conservation actions across the park which include managing the newly planted native hedgerow, orchard and pollinator friendly beds. We will also work on the deadheadge which was installed last year.  We will meet by the orchard which is next to the Mayberry Place entrance. No need to book, just come along if you are interested. Please dress appropriately and bring gardening gloves if you have them.  If you have any questions please email.

Regular outdoor volunteering opportunities


Berrylands Nature Reserve volunteer sessions 
Find out more and sign up

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

Friends of Ham Lands volunteer conservation sessions
Come along to help improve the habitat for butterflies. Find out more.

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

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

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

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

Nature notes    


Ever thought there should be more hedges in playgrounds?
A group of urban schoolchildren are going to be taking part in a scientific
project by the Royal Horticultural Society, aiming to find out what impact a hedge can have and the best species of hedge to plant in urban areas. maybe some parents could encourage their children's schools to be greener?


Upcoming events  

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
27 - 29 January, in a park or garden near you

Count birds from your balcony, or in your garden or local park to play a vital role in helping the RSPB understand how UK birds are doing. Sign up for your free guide and look out for birds together.

Forest School Leader and Assistant Training 2023 
Mon - Fri , 27 February - 3 March  (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Mon - Fri, 26 - 30 June  (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Mon - Fri, 16 - 20 October (with 3 days practical assessment 4-6 months later).
Wild Workshops for adults / CPD days in nature connection - featuring special guests & hosted by Maria Sprostranova (Greenwise People).
Fri and Sat 10-11 Feb -  2-day Play Structures CPD with Jon Cree, author, international trainer and FSA Founding Chair (option to only book on day 1, or join only on day 2,  if you have already done day 1 with Jon, or are competent with knots/tools and wish to take things a step further including delving deeper into the Ludic process) 
Forest School for 5-11yr olds, February half-term 2023
16 - 17 Feb, 10am - 4pm, Ham Lands Nature Reserve
Led by Maria Sprostranova & our GreenWise People friends 
🌳Get in touch for more details!
Hang Out In The Woods For Teens & Tweens 10-16yr olds,  February half-term 2023
19 - 20 Feb, 10 - 4pm, Ham Lands Nature Reserve

Led by Maria Sprostranova & our GreenWise People friends 
🌳Get in touch for more details!
GreenWise People operates as a non-for-profit social enterprise and as such wish for all workshops to be inclusive and open to all. Please do get in touch if full payment in full is tricky for you at this particular time - we keep 2 free places for all workshops and keep a number of places at a discounted rate for those who really need the support.
🌳 Further or 07737 644 119 / 020 8541 0415 (Maria)
People’s Walk for Wildlife
Postponed to 2023
because of rail travel disruption. Find out more and join in.

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

Have your say - 

See Campaigning Together and Council News, look out for Megaphone Man in other sections and make sure that environmentalists and nature-lovers are represented - if we don’t have our say the others - bike-hating car-lovers, “weed”-and tree- hating tidy gardeners - will...

On how Kingston should look and feel in the future
RBK’s consultation on the first draft of Kingston's new Local Plan says: “This important document will guide and shape development in the borough over the next 20 years, ensuring we get the right homes and jobs, plan ahead for the right social infrastructure and address important issues such as climate change and biodiversity.” All the documents,  including a summary version and a feedback form, are available via this link to Kingston Let’s Talk  + dates of  in-person and online consultation events. The Council wants to know if you support the policies and  if anything is missing or needs changing, so add your voice for sustainability, active travel, localism, green spaces...  before the public consultation ends on 28 February.

Waste matters


Repair is in the air 
Our neighbours at Elmbridge Eco Hub got a mention in a recent Good Housekeeping magazine article on reducing waste and a culture of repairing via the Repair Cafe network (which TTK’s upcoming Repair Café Kingston has joined).
    Leonard D'Cruz, the Council's Waste Reduction Officer, asks any local groups involved in repair to add their events or other initiatives to Kingston Repair Network  (TTK’s new Repair Cafe is already there).
     John Lewis reports "The Rise of Make Do and Mend", strong growth in sales of craft and repair products - including patches and repair tape - up 61% compared to last year. Sewing, stitching and dyeing are popular with John Lewis customers, with darning needles are flying off the shelves, suggesting that socks with holes are no longer thrown out and that we’re rediscovering skills that our parents and grandparents would have used to save money. 
     Research by the waste charity Wrap has found that extending a garment’s life by just nine months can reduce its carbon, waste and water footprints by 20%-30%.  Read more about this trend in The Guardian. 
     And look out for TTK’s Repair Café, coming soon.

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

See also all the good work on recycling at Kingston Environment Centre.


Champions for Change Kingston free community clothes swap
Thursday 2 Feb, 12.15pm - 2:30pm, All Saints Church, Kingston Market Place
Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you no longer wear? Are you wanting new clothes but wish to be sustainable with your choices? Bring up to 3 items of clothing you no longer want, swap them for clothes you will wear, share a conversation with us about what clothes mean to you... A Mind project in conjunction with Time to Talk Day.  

Climate crisis updates  

COP27 focused minds and the media once again on the climate crisis - a few reminders and things you may have missed follow:


20 climate photographs that changed the world
The images that made us sit up and take notice, pictures proving that global heating isn’t a distant possibility – it’s already 
Does realism about the climate make us more or less hopeful, more or less effective?
"The worst-case climate scenarios are no longer plausible today. Ten years ago, we feared that catastrophic global warming of between 4°C and 5°C by 2100 was a real risk. Today, that is no longer credible, says Graham Lawton in New Scientist, bur goes on to argue that 1.5°C or 2°C will be quite bad enough."
"Do you want to know the truth?" Rupert Read’s recent collection of essays argues that it’s time to abandon the “fantasy” that we can meet the 1.5°C target, and that we should focus instead on climate justice and face up to societal collapse and adaptation. Read a Resilience review here, and see also the scary work of Jem Bendell on Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.
Net zero is the growth opportunity of the 21st century, says Net Zero Review
One of the largest engagement exercises on net zero in the UK heard a clear message from businesses, organisations, individuals, and local government across the country: net zero is creating a new era of opportunity, but government, industry, and individuals need to act to make the most of the opportunities, reduce costs, and ensure we deliver successfully.” See the Review here

Useful resources

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

Climate science center 

Reports on climate change from the New Economics Foundation 

Global heating in graphic form

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also our Reviews section and Campaigning Together.

Kingston Council news                                                    

The public consultation on the first draft of the Local Plan is still  open 

Deadline the end of February - see the item in Have Your Say

And the town centre plan
There is still time to take part in the online survey on the 10-year plan for Kingston town centre and the surrounding area. This should be a community-led vision so the Council wants to hear what you love about Kingston and what you think needs to change and improve. Please visit the Let's Talk page. 

Keep warm
Check out the warm spaces page and the new map of warm spaces across the borough on the Council website.

London Mayor’s Warm Homes Programme - still open for applications
People on low income with low energy efficiency houses (find your energy performance here) can get free insulation, heating and ventilation improvements. This will keep your house warm in the winter, but also cooler in a heatwave (remember the summer!) and help tackle climate change at the same time, as houses are one of the biggest sources of emissions. There is also a free service for Kingston residents to help you complete the application process via ThinkingWorks: phone 0800 118 23 27 or email
Peddle My Wheels - try before you bike
The council has partnered with Peddle My Wheels to provide a ‘try before you bike’ scheme which lets people trial a new, or nearly new, bike for a small monthly fee before deciding whether or not to buy it (if you do buy it, you get the money back from the trial period). There is a range of bikes available, from traditional push bikes to electric bikes, folding bikes and cargo bikes.

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


Mainly for businesses - 

Think Green
Tues  7 February, 10.00am - 11.00am, on-line

Kingston Council, in partnership with Kingston Chamber of Commerce, invites all businesses, in and around the borough, to join our virtual roundtables, focusing on the opportunities from the transition to a green economy. Find out more and book a free place.  
Decarbonising your website
Tues 14 February, 12.00 - 1.30pm, on-line

Learn how to make your website eco-friendly and inclusive. Your business website is where you win and lose customers - did you know it also has a carbon footprint? Facilitated by creative-carbon specialist, Khandiz Joni, learn how to improve your user experience, make it more inclusive, and use less data which means less carbon emission. Register for a free place.
Kingston Adult Education courses on Sustainability: 
7 & 8 February  

Kingston Adult Education L1 Award Environmental Sustainability - a 2 half--day course. Businesses and individuals can register here (NB, though the link says 17th/18th the Sustainability course is on the 7th/8th February.)
 See the Council's website for the latest news.

 Money, money, money... 



Kingston Charitable Foundation supports local charities and volunteer organisations that address inequalities across Kingston upon Thames. By working together, we help create opportunities for those that are most in need.

We invest in these groups by distributing grants and sharing available resources to bring about positive change. Find out how they could help your local organisation.

Regular funding sources

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

Fundraise for your local good cause
Use the Kingston Community Lottery. In the last 12 months good causes participating raised together over £13,000. To get support, please look at the website or use direct telephone contact at 02081 830105, 

Community grants for local initiatives 
Kingston Council's Neighbourhood Community Grants Programme allows community and voluntary sector groups to apply for funding for projects in their neighbourhood or throughout the borough. Applications can be submitted throughout the year, rather than groups needing to apply by a specific deadline. Find out more.

Food, glorious food... 



Discussion: What would climate justice look like in our food system?
Wed, 8 February 6:00 – 9:00pm, Amnesty International Human Rights Centre 17-25 New Inn Yard,  EC2A 3EA

Wen (Women’s Environmental Network), in collaboration with Platform, invite you to an evening of lively discussion exploring what climate justice would look like in our food system and why taking an intersectional feminist approach is key. Enjoy stalls and exhibits, panel discussion and delicious locally sourced food and drink. Find out more and book.  

Sustainable energy and transport

(and cleaner air) 

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


Mums for Lungs have this and other flyers to download and display.

Work to begin on England's biggest wind turbine
And it’s owned by a community energy company! See more on the BBC website.
Energy saving tips to save money (and the planet)
See the Government’s tips - better late than never!  


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.) 



2022: The Year from Space, Channel 4
Every day, satellites take millions of images of Earth, giving a unique view of the big stories of 2022, from war in Ukraine and climate crisis to post-Covid revellers at Glastonbury. A fascinating documentary with a lot about the ravages of the climate crisis. Catch up on All 4.
Survival webinar: 2023 is a critical year for Indigenous rights in conservation and climate change
Survival and Indigenous activists discuss why 2023 is a critical year for Indigenous rights in conservation and climate change, exploring how colonial or “fortress” conservation is destroying the very people who know how to look after the land – Indigenous peoples – and what you can do to support them. Find out more and watch the recorded discussion.



“Instead of living in fear of climate catastrophe, I’ll do something about it”
Emma Beddington in The Guardian on what she’ll do differently in 2023: “I veer between waking at 3am in terror to raging at people who have paved over their gardens. But none of us are entirely powerless...If nothing else, taking action can help you feel better”. Read the article. 

There’s no planet B
The scientific evidence is clear: the only celestial body that can support us is the one we evolved with. Read why in this essay in Aeon on-line magazine
The Complete Book of Vegan Compleating: An A–Z of Zero-Waste Eating For the Mindful Vegan by Ellen Tout
What is "compleating"? Completely eating every part of a fruit or vegetable! Plant-based diets are a wonderful way to protect the planet, but fruits and vegetables still have carbon footprints, and often the parts we throw away or compost are the most nutritious and delicious bits. Ellen Tout, sustainability expert and dedicated vegan, is passionate about maximizing the benefits of veganism, and through just a few simple tips, tricks and ingenious recipes she can revolutionize the way you cook. 


Rethink Climate, BBC R4
Amol Rajan and guests Rethink Climate. Listen here.
The Climate Question, BBC World Service
A global series that reflects the variety of takes on climate change, how best to understand it and the world’s attempts to avert it, temper it or adapt to it. It is not about questioning whether climate change is happening, it’s about finding the best ways to respond to it. It includes stories from across the world on why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that. Listen to episodes here

Regular reading on all things environmental 

Most of these will send environmental news direct to your inbox:
EcoWatch - a community of experts publish quality, science-based content on environmental issues, news,  causes, and solutions for a healthier planet; also on Facebook.
The Independent environment news  
The Guardian environment news and Down to Earth, The Guardian’s free weekly environmental email with the planet’s most important stories – the good, the bad and the essential.
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   

Things we always like

What else is happening?  

Chimps are Family
Kingston town centre, from late January 
Crafted in bronze, chimps have been lovingly brought to life in this unique public art exhibition to highlight the importance of conservation. Each of these sculptures represents a real behaviour, providing a snapshot of a world that most people never get to experience, and has its own QR code, which you can scan to reveal information about the vital work needed to protect these wonderful animals. The installation promotes the idea that it is possible to share the world we live in with chimps, reflecting the artists’ commitment to ensuring the survival of the species, with all donations going to WWF. Find out more, including map


The climate crisis can feel huge - but together we can create real and meaningful change, says The Climate Coalition. Start small - take action and #ShowTheLove for our planet this February. Find out more and get ideas and resources.  

Volunteering Values & Valuing Volunteers
Tuesday 7 Feb, 10.00 am - 12,00 pm, on-line

An online workshop, facilitated by Ruth Taylor from the Common Cause Foundation, and providing insight into the psychology of volunteering, and tried and tested examples of applying this understanding in shaping volunteer programmes. Participants will be introduced to three key principles for working with volunteers and will be supported in applying these principles to their own work. Find out more and book a free place.

Cross-sector collaboration through Hubs4Circularity: the key to a fully circular Europe
Friday 24 February, 10.00am - 12.30pm CET, online
Join this online event to learn about the Hubs4Circularity Community of Practice, its objectives and opportunities, and how you can contribute to shaping the knowledge platform. You will hear from high-level speakers from the European Commission and A.SPIRE on how Hubs4Circularity are contributing to Europe’s green transition. Find out more and register.

Living Streets 2023 National Walking Summit
Thursday 23 March, in person in Leeds / Live on-line / on demand

How do we deliver improvements for walking and make sure they work for everyone? The 2023 National Walking Summit will focus on achieving active travel goals and the benefits they offer to public health and local economies. Join keynote speakers and panellists from around the UK who will share their experience of making meaningful change, plus innovative ideas from further afield. Find out more and book your place. 

London Rivers Week
Back in 2023, 29 May - 4th June  
The 2023 theme is climate change and how river restoration can reduce the impact of climate change for both people and wildlife, through restoring habitats and reducing the impacts of drought and flood. The week will have a range of events, including family-focused, educational, cultural, and recreational activities, river walks and talks. Thames 21 is now taking expressions of interest for London Rivers Week - find out more.

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 Fairtrade Steering Group seeks volunteers
Many will have been aware of this group in the past but has now become dormant - if anyone is interested in restarting it, please contact Peter as there are a few legacy items that could be used

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 KVA will get back to you as soon as we can to set up a free 45 minute appointment with a relevant member of staff. Keep updated on KVA's training opps by getting onto their mailing list.  KVA also offer free easy to use websites to community groups. Find out more here.
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