Transition Belper Newsletter April 2014 

Newsletter April 2014

In this issue...

Hydro on the Derwent - past, present and future

At our monthly meeting at Strutts Community Centre on Monday 14th April we'll hear from ADVyCE - the first enterprise to be formed through Transition Belper. Having won the Co-operatives Community Energy Challenge in 2012 ADVyCE was set up as an Industrial & Provident Society, for the benefit of the community.  The largest untapped hydro opportunity in the Derwent Valley Mills corridor is the weir in Ambergate, Derbyshire and ADVyCE Ltd have signed an agreement with the landowner to review the feasibility of reinstating the hydro power  that was shut down in the 1960s.
It is a long process involving meetings and discussions with the Environment Agency and Amber Valley Borough Council as the planning authority but ADVyCE are almost ready to take the project to the next level. The ADVyCE team will take you through the history of hydro on the River Derwent, explain what is currently being generated and look at how local renewable energy utilising our rivers might develop in the future. 

Social in Milford - Thursday 3rd April

This month's social get-together is at the King William IV on the A6 by the bridge in Milford - from 7.30pm onwards. Do come and join us as there's plenty to talk about including the latest UN Climate Change report - see next item. The May social will be at the Black Bull's Head at Openwoodgate on Monday 5th May (Bank Holiday).

Lead-up to the Climate Crossroads Conference, Paris 2015

Part two of a hugely authoritative report on climate change published today has predicted dire consequences for the planet unless international agreement is reached soon on tackling climate change. These are the latest findings published in the most comprehensive report ever conducted into climate science by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment, known as AR5.
Craig Scott has done an amazing job of reading the report and his 3 page summary is available here (PDF opens in a new window).


Station Crew get stuck in

We now have regular Sunday morning sessions at Belper Station gardening and socialising over our refreshments from around 10 to 12 am – or whenever people can make it within these times. We hope to add late afternoon/early evening session as the nights draw out and the season progesses. Everyone is welcome to join us – strong footwear, gardening gloves and a trowel are the only essentials. We provide the stylish orange Network Rail jackets. We also provide CAKE/BISCUITS! Please don’t bring your dog or children under 16 along (unless you only intend watching us work....).
The safety guidelines will soon be uploaded onto Dropbox, as well as photos of our progress over the season (follow the link
Our thanks to Kathy Fairweather the previous co-ordinator. Her hard work and commitment over the last two years means the garden is looking good this spring. A lot of work has been done over the past two years. Most of the plants we put in are thriving – amazingly, they have survived all the cold, wet and drought periods. Over the next few months we will continue to develop the original concept and design.
We are growing a sustainable garden to be enjoyed by local residents and commuters as well as visitors to Belper – a garden which encourages insect pollinators, birds and butterflies …..
We want to create an area of biodiversity in the centre of our town which is attractive throughout the year and encourage even more people to use the train.  Perennial flowers, shrubs, small trees and native wild species, which are visually (and aromatically) varied, will provide a habitat for many more species of wildlife.
If you are interested in joining us – even if you can only occasionally give us your time - please contact Kate –

‘Belper in Transition’ Meeting held on Friday 14th March at Belper School

Pauline Latham OBE MP hosted a further meeting ‘Belper in Transition’ on 14th March. Two representatives from Tesco were again present to talk about the ongoing plans for the Meadows Edge site (where the old Thortons site used to be situated). 
At the last meeting, Adam Williams, Tesco’s Corporate Affairs Manager for the North, updated those present on their current plans to sell part of the land for housing and to use part of the land for a care home.  At the meeting last Friday, the Tesco representatives confirmed that they hoped to have an outline planning application for residential development on Area 2 the demolished factory site, drawn up by late April. Beyond this, no firm plans have been made and it will be dependent on external influences on the potential use of the land. Tesco confirmed that they County Council had been in touch regarding the possibility of using some of the land for a residential home. Those people present highlighted the enormous potential the land has in increasing tourism and the numerous opportunities for the local community. Tesco agreed that they would like to work in partnership with the town but all proposals needed to be credible and commercially worthwhile.  They confirmed that part of the process is to taken into consideration public opinion and feedback from the World Heritage Site.  The representatives from Tesco were unable to confirm the value of the land as this is information held by their Assets and Estates Team.
Those present heard from Stephen Jackson, the Regeneration Manager, from Amber Valley Borough Council who explained the different planning documents that are compiled to incorporate building/planning intentions for the area.  The Core Strategy is a ‘strategic’ local plan and is the first phase of the process and looks at the strategic and broad policies proposed whereas the second phase identifies more of the detail eg. the employment opportunities etc.  The Master Plan is a ‘visionary’ document and outlines where the community wants to be but is not a statutory document.  It proposes certain considerations but the Core Strategic takes priority over this document. The Neighbourhood Plan develops general planning policies for the development and use of the land. It takes time to compile this document as evidence is required and must take into account the SPD and cannot contradict the Core Strategy.
Pauline Latham felt that Belper Town Council needed to have a vote to determine whether they wished to have a Neighbourhood Plan and said that it was now down to the people of Belper to move this matter forward. It was suggested that it may be useful to have a Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group but that this needed to be initiated by BTC.  It was noted that the next meeting of Belper Town Council will be held on 8th April.
Ian Jackson asked if anyone wished to get involved in a Steering Group to get in touch. 


Travel & Transport Group News

We had a great evening on March 13th with the Travel & Transport themed Transition Belper meeting. An update was given on what the group has been working on; over the past year we have been meeting monthly and have created group aims based on the combined visions of everybody. The group have also been working on creating a paper for the Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP), meeting with local council members and transport organisations.

Group Aim to:

  • work with the community to transform Belper into a more pleasant place to live and get around,
  • encourage people to use existing public transport networks,
  • adopt and encourage use of forms of transport that use lower carbon fuels,
  • provide information, education and training about sustainable transport,
  • use positive language, events and activities to promote sustainable transport,
  • work towards an integrated, user-friendly bus, rail, cycle and walking networks,
  • look at, learn from and apply best practice from other towns and cities,
  • highlight the potential cost and health benefits of travelling in a more sustainable way.

During the ‘Speed Dating’ activity everyone compared modes of transport (walking, cycling, bus, train, car+train combined and car) for two journeys with their benefits/negatives for CO2, cost, journey time and health. It was interesting to discover that the journeys took about the same length of time and cost a similar amount when you travelled by public transport as it would if you were driving as a lone passenger in a car.
The smoothie bike provided a bit of light fun for refreshments in the break!
The Travel & Transport group are currently working on adding local transport information to the Transition Belper website including information on public transport, on discount tickets that are available and journey planners. Keep an eye out on the Transition Belper website for updates over the coming weeks!

Garage Sale - sell and recycle

Like a giant car boot sale spread over Belper! Transition Belper are organising Belper's first Garage Sale for May Day Bank Holiday on Monday 5th May. If you'd like to take part you'll need to turn your front garden/drive into a shop for the day and possibly offer some refreshments. To let people know where there are open garages we'll produce a map that will be available in town and through participants. The cost of being included on the map will be £5 per house. If you want to get involved in this giant recycling project please email David or Dick.

Scarecrow competition planned for Belper Goes Green

We are hoping that mid-May will see scarecrows appearing in gardens and shop windows all over Belper. The idea is that on 31st May – having been on display for 2 weeks - everyone brings their scarecrow to the Belper Goes Green site at Belper Rugby Club for the great scarecrow gathering. When they are all together those attending the festival will be asked to vote for their favourite and a suitable prize will be awarded. We'll publish some tips and advice on how to make a scarecrow and there are plenty of scarecrow images online to fire the imagination. To enter the competition email your name, address, phone number and the name of your scarecrow to or phone/text 07443 650 03

Town Council help fund station mosaic

Belper Town Council have contributed £457 towards our station mosaic project. Local artist, Christine Gray, is visiting a number of primary schools as well as the Mulberry Nursery next to the station to talk to children about not wasting electricity or petrol, growing food, using public transport and other transition type themes. The youngsters are then producing paintings and some of these will make up the station mosaic design. 
Christine will have the layout, design and materials available at Belper Goes Green so that anyone who wants to can take part in making our mosaic. The finished work will then be mounted in place on the Matlock bound platform at the railway station for all passing rail passengers to admire. The best of the original paintings will be scanned and printed onto a special board that can be attached to both sides of the railings on both ramps to the platforms.


Well Dressing - would you like to have a go?

For the past couple of years a small team of dedicated volunteers have got stuck into making a Transition Well Dressing. Now it is time for anyone else who may be interested in taking this on to get in touch. We need to know now so that the clay and base can be ordered. Then you'll need to work on the design and identifying which natural materials are to be used. The well is dressed in early July for Belper's Well Dressing which is held at the same time as the Food Fair.

Energy Descent Action Plan as a K Film – Andrew explains

At the March Energy Descent Plan meeting we heard from Andrew Martyn Sugars re his ideas for a film. Andrew picks up the story:
“It was with great pleasure that I attended the meeting to discuss an idea for a film inspired by a need to do something with the wodge of information being collected by the group.
I shared that for some time I’d not fully comprehended what the group did as through a dyslexic confusion thought the group discussed energy dissent.
I've followed the transition movement since about 2008 after attending a workshop about peak oil given by transition at the Shambala Festival in Northampton. 2009 saw a little film by me included in the r/evolution season at Quad in Derby. The film was my response to the notion of peak oil. Personally I've made conscious efforts in the last few years to use less energy simply to try to reduce the amount of money I was spending as my income has reduced through a process of adapting the linearity of my life. it’s a lot more wiggly now! (1)
David George asked me to talk with the group because I'm proposing using a form of film making that ensures that when watched the viewers guide themselves through the film by choosing what to watch next.
In simple terms the film exists away from the convention of a narrative film i.e. one that has a beginning, middle and end. Instead the film has a start and from here the viewer creates a version of the film for them based upon the on screen options of what to see next. The relationship for the choices are set up by the director of the film through the film making process. We’ll call this format k film.
It struck me that the k film format would work for the Energy Descent Group as at the core of the film is the notion of choice.
I went to the meeting to discuss the idea and I got the impression that the group rather liked the concept, to the point of starting to talk as though a film like this should be made.
In the discussion the opportunity to use the film as a method of bringing people together to do things began to emerge. I got the sense that in attempting the film as well as bringing people together we’ll also be attempting to set up opportunities to have some fun. at the very least, bringing people together and having fun would be intentions of the film making process.
At the heart of the k film is a database of clips. These clips can be from any number of threads of ideas. Thus in the same film we can include information about all the necessary background, data, personal stories, examples of what people have done around the world, personal comfort stories, examples of things done in Belper and maybe even a host of those cute animal videos(2), as after all, this film is a piece of entertainment.
The meeting ended with excited smiles and enthusiastic strides. David has asked me to write some words for the April newsletter to get the news out there that this idea is being considered.
On my personal website I currently have two examples of k films and a little more information about the format:
If you have any questions about this concept or would like to be involved please email Andrew



Belper area Homes Sought For Eco Home Open Event

Belper area residents who have insulated their home, put solar panels on the roof or even built their own eco home are being invited to open their doors to inspire others this spring as part of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Eco Homes Open Week. 
Marches Energy Agency, a local charity, is looking for homes who have made a variety of energy and environmental improvements and would like to open their homes for a few hours, or a whole day, between 10th and 18th May.
The event is an opportunity to inspire others to make their homes warmer, cheaper to heat and better for the environment by showing them what you’ve done – be it simple draught proofing, a highly efficient boiler, rainwater harvesting, or generating your own renewable energy. There’s no need to be an expert or to have opened you home before as Marches is offering support to those taking part.
Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency, one of the organisations behind the event, said:
‘This is the second time we’ve run this exciting event. Last year, more than 100 people visited 12 home and buildings around Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We’re lucky to have lots of energy efficient, eco homes in the area and this year we’d love to involve even more of them in this event. We’re offering training and help with publicity to all homes taking part.’
If you would like to take part by opening for a few hours, day or a weekend, contact Caroline Harmon on 07748 508704 or
Details of houses which are open, and when, will be listed on the event’s websites: and


Derbyshire Eco Centre Spring Fair

The theme this year is ‘Woods and Water’. This is going to be a lively event on Saturday 26th April and Sunday 27th April from 11am - 4pm on both days. There is also a Saturday evening ticketed event of solar powered live local music featuring Left Hand Drive.
You are especially invited to attend on Saturday 26 April at 11.30am, for the launch of DerwentWISE. This is a heritage lottery funded scheme, to celebrate the landscape of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Derbyshire County Councillor Damian Greenhalgh and the chair of the DerwentWISE board, Annie Bird, will speak. Many representatives of the partnership, funders, community leaders, local organisations, crafts people and the public will be here. You may wish to arrive from 11am to enjoy a performance by the Anthony Gell School Showcase, and stay on afterwards to experience all that the Spring Fair has to offer. 
The Spring Fair is a free community event featuring:

  • Everything possible that is linked to our local woods and water
  • A bustling market street of stalls
  • Demonstrations skills and crafts, with a chance to try them
  • Music and other entertainment
  • Solar-powered cinema showing Derwent Valley films
  • A host of exciting courses to enrol on, at discounted prices
  • Craft demonstrations and fair to celebrate Derbyshire creativity
  • Locally sourced food and bar
If you have any questions regarding the event and for Saturday night tickets, please contact Derbyshire Eco Centre on 01629 533038 or e-mail or check online at

Warm Wet and Windy 2014

Peak climate change and eco festival - Thursday, 1 May, 2014 to Sunday, 4 May, 2014 at Cromford Wharf
This annual festival will feature a wide range of  exciting events to raise awareness of climate change. Saturday’s Family Day at the Mills will include a range of films, talks, music, stalls, demonstrations and displays. There will also be lectures about key climate change and energy issues from some of the country’s top experts and science communicators. 
For full details please see Warm, Wet and Windy 2014 Tickets for the talks can be purchased at the Shop in the Yard or by phoning 01629 825995

Northern Green Gathering

Dates for NGG 2014 are confirmed for 24 - 27 July at Bradley Nook Farm, Derbyshire. This is just off the A517 between Hulland Ward and Ashbourne and we have been asked to provide a stall to explain what local Transition Groups are doing. Early bird tickets are £50 but volunteers to help staff the stall will be given free entry including camping on site. If you’d like to work your ticket please email David.
NGG are also looking for stewards and first-aiders so if you would like to be involved or help out please e mail
Find out more about the Northern Green Gathering at:


Heritage Skills Hub e-petition

Heritage Skills Hub has started an e-petition to lobby the government to:
Keep traditional skills alive-construction, repair & retrofit of heritage buildings, must be integrated into craft & professional construction courses
More emphasis needs to be given to the different mentoring requirements for the repair, restoration and retrofit pre 1919 buildings in the UK. Current 16 yrs+ educational courses for both building crafts like stonemasons, bricklayers & roofers; and professionals such as architects, engineers & surveyors, focus on the new build environment and not old building restoration and repair. If you are not taught to understand how an old building is constructed – how can you repair, maintain or retrofit it correctly using appropriate skills and materials? 
Mainstreaming general knowledge of traditional building construction will significantly improve the sustainability of our historic buildings. 
Adding your name to our petition will help us to raise awareness of the fact that Traditional Buildings make up one fifth of the UK building stock. Traditional building skills, materials and techniques, retrofit, restoration & conservation should be an integral part of ALL built environment courses.
If you want to sign it, please follow the link:

Offer from Illumin8

In the UK, lighting represents approximately 25% of household electricity usage. Installing LED bulbs will save at least 80% of your lighting costs – reducing your carbon footprint and putting more money in your pocket. Our LED bulbs are manufactured in ethically and socially accountable environments. Our LED bulbs are high quality and excellent value for money. At under £5 each our bulbs do not cost the earth. With illumin8 LED bulbs, you can afford to be responsible.
We will donate 20p to the Transition Network for each bulb purchased from our website before 31 August 2014 – please use code: SWITCH TO LED • 01629 258040 • illumin8LED Ltd • Ground Floor • Bentley Bridge House Upper Lumsdale • Matlock • Derbyshire • DE4 5LB


Six appeal

This from Trent Barton…
Whether you want a bus to get you to work, to the city, to shop, to meet friends or to escape into the Peaks, we’ve got you a really good bus to get you there.. and now it’s got even more six appeal.
The new look sixes are nearly here - with top-spec buses to make your travels with us a pleasure.
surfing sixes - fast, free on-board WiFi
sunshine sixes - a bright new image
scenic sixes - take in great views and grab some money-off deals along the route at attractions, shops and cafes
smooth sixes - posh new comfy seats with double glazing for a smoother, quieter ride
smiling sixes - the best drivers in the business
smart sixes - new, next-stop displays, so you won’t miss your stop
stately sixes - new connections to Chatsworth – zigzag chatsworth means you can ride on one ticket and get money off when you get there
sassy sixes - late night buses at weekends from Derby until 3am

April and May meetings and events 

  • Thursday 3rd April - Social evening at King William IV, Milford from 7.30
  • Thursday 10th April - Core Group Meeting at 7.30. Please contact Richard if you wish to add to the agenda
  • Monday 14th April - Transition Belper meeting at Strutts at 7.30- ADVyCe update and launch
  • Thursday 24th April - Travel and Transport Group meeting at the Old King's Head, Days Lane, Belper at 7.30
  • Tuesday 29th April - Belper Goes Green Meeting at the Queen's Head, Chesterfield Road, Belper at 7.30
  • Monday 5th May - Belper Garage Sale
  • Monday 5th May  - Social evening at the Black Bull's Head, Openwoodgate from 7.30
  • Thursday 8th May - Core Group Meeting at 7.30. Please contact Richard if you wish to add to the agenda
  • Tuesday 13th May - Transition Belper meeting at Strutts at 7.30. Discussing recycling and Belper Goes Green
  • Monday 19th May - Energy Descent Action Plan meeting at the Old King's Head at 7.30
  • Thursday 24th April - Travel and Transport Group meeting at the Old King's Head at 7.30
  • Tuesday 27th April - Belper Goes Green staff briefing at the Queen's Head at 7.30
  • Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1st June - Belper Goes Green at Belper Rugby Club

Transition Belper Facebook Group
Keep up-to-date with the latest developments and join any discussions on Facebook. Join us here
Belper Goes Green
The shared space for all those involved in organising Belper Goes Green. Join us here
Belper and DE56 Energy Descent Action Plan
The shared space for those involved in developing our EDAP. Join us here
Travel & Transport Belper

Transition Belper group to share ideas, information and resources for travelling more sustainably in and around Belper. Join us here
Belper's fruit and veg grower's forum

There is a Facebook Group locally for exchanging tips and ideas for your garden and anything to do with growing fruit and veg. Join the Forum here
A Local group to advertise for Recycling, Upcycling, Neighbourly Help & Advice, Lending & Borrowing in the DE56 Area. Join us here
Belper Gardening Club
The Facebook page for members of the Belper Gardening Club - supported by Transition Belper. Join us here

The trustees of Transition Belper are:
Chair - 
David George
Secretary - Richard Keighley
Treasurer - Adrian Rochford
Core Group - Craig Scott  
Core Group and Station Crew Co-ordinator - Kate Pudney
Core Group and Travel & Transport Group Co-ordinator - Jennie Lindop

Trustee - Mick Hepworth
Trustee - Tony Cooper
Trustee and webmaster - Lynne Henley
Trustee - Maurice Neville
Trustee - Dick Watson

Or you can contact us via the Transition Belper email address:
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