Last Minute Events!

This Saturday (10th Oct) Taunton Transition are holding a banner and bag making afternoon from 4-8 pm at the Friends Meeting House in Bath place in preparation for our big event on the International Day of Climate Action.  This is an open craft event so feel free to bring along friends, materials and ideas. We hope to see you there!

Also on Friday, 9th October 7-9pm at The Friends Meeting House, Wellington (next to One-Stop) is a FREE workshop:  Run as part of Quaker Outreach Week on Friendship (what money can’t buy)  SHOPPING LOCAL- THE REAL SAVINGS!   A fun inter-active workshop exploring: The role of local shops in helping relationships and friendships, keeping towns vibrant and boosting community spirit, Exploring the link between strength of community and levels of peace or crime and a look at how we decide where to shop and what to buy, “Supermarkets are cheaper” Fact or myth? Also an exhibition on friendship with section on ‘shopping local’ -with photos of local people in Wellington

Local Government

By the end of September 2009 over 400 staff and elected Members from Taunton Deane Borough Council will have attended a half day workshop on climate change and peak oil, run by Taunton Transition Town volunteers Chrissie Godfrey and Paul Birch.

The workshop, designed by Paul and Chrissie, includes a 45 minute illustrated talk on the key issues, followed by different exercises to prompt creative thinking and discussion about what will make Taunton Deane a ‘resilient’ Borough by 2026. It ends by all participants committing to individual changes they will make in their lives, together with calls for action the Council itself can take in the next few years. Each workshop has attracted an average of 35 participants drawn from right across the organisation – planners, plumbers, senior executives, gardeners, lawyers, receptionists and councillors all sharing their visions for a sustainable future. Backed by Senior Strategy Officer Kevin Toller, this workshop programme is the first step to raising awareness across the board within the Council itself for people both as individuals and as Council employees. And it is creating quite a buzz! For many people it has been a real wake up call in terms of the urgency of the issues facing us. For all, it has given them the chance to think positively and proactively about the future, not least in terms of where the Local Authority itself can make significant changes.

Once the workshop programme is finished, Paul and Chrissie will be drawing all the ideas for a resilient Borough together into one document, and giving a presentation to the full Council on the story they and their staff have as a collective told about the future, and about what needs to change now. As well as following through on their own personal commitments, people taking part can also volunteer to follow up the workshops in three additional ways. Firstly, they can elect to become an internal ‘green champion’, helping to keep the issues alive for all staff on a day to day basis. Paul and Chrissie will return in October to help this group decide how they want to do this. Secondly, people from any part of the Council can volunteer to join a green policy group. This group will, later in the autumn, meet with Transition representatives from across the Borough to decide what needs to happen to start the process of energy descent planning on a Borough wide basis. Thirdly, of course, people are invited to join their local Transition Town group.

This has been a fantastic opportunity and the response has been incredibly positive. Key strengths have been Kevin Toller’s commitment to making this a Council-wide issue, and that Chrissie and Paul are bringing their own professional skills as facilitators and trainers to the workshop design and delivery. Of course, it is just the beginning, and the challenge will be to see how to build on the energy generated in practical ways.

October’s Big Event

International Day of Climate Action !!

on Saturday October 24th

On October 24th we will expand the Transition Drop-In Cafe.  It is the International Day of Climate Action. Be part of the movement to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

The focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. Find out more about the day on the 350 website.

Details to come soon.

Food Glorious Food

Fresh Tomatoes

At Taunton Transition Town we aim to increase the amount of local food grown and eaten here. We have a number of projects in progress and would like plenty of volunteers to join us and help to build a resilient Taunton full of gorgeous fruit,trees, herbs and vegetables.

Taunton Transition Town is interested in promoting the growing and buying of local food for a number of reasons:

  • Local food is fresher than shipped-in food and so tastes much better.
  • Local food has travelled less – less food miles, hence less CO2 omissions.
  • Local food helps support the local economy – more money in the pockets of the community and not in the pockets of the multi-national companies.
  • Local food can be traced more easily.
  • Sourcing locally ensures food security and makes us less reliant on imported goods.

Here are just some of the projects we are progressing or just trying out. If you are interested in any of these schemes please contact us,

SOURCE LOCAL, COOK LOCAL Recipe Book Project

This is an opportunity for interested people to produce a recipe book, and also any ideas for spin-off projects throughout the year that get people ‘cooking local’. The book will include a number of “guest chef” recipes from local chefs who ‘source local’. The first of these comes from Simon Beaumont of the Rendezvous Cafe.

We are already halfway through the year and have some wonderful recipes to share. To use up that glut of beans – bean chutney anyone or maybe a recipe for whortleberry jam. But we want more contributors! If you want to contribute with some scrumptious local recipes please contact me (Vicky) – shuunyanet@googlemail.com

You can check out my blog which is mostly about cooking from local produce on http://fastcheapgood.blogspot.com

GARDEN SHARE


Are you a keen gardener with nowhere to dig in your spade? We might be able to pair you up with a garden owner who needs their garden kept in check. Together you can reap the benefits; they provide the land, you provide the muscle and know-how and share the rewards of a fruitful garden. Visit the wiki site for more information.

WILD FOOD, FREE FOOD

There is nothing better than going out into the local community and finding free food in our hedgerows, verges and heathlands. Help us to compile a map of great foraging locations.

If you want to contribute to the food foraging map please contact me (Vicky) – shuunyanet@googlemail.com.  Check out our custom map on google maps and some great tips and recipes on Fergus the Forager’s blog – Wild Man, Wild Food.

September Drop-In Cafe

The Transition Drop-In Cafe is held from 10.30am to 12.30pm on the fourth Saturday of each month at Friends Meeting House, Bath Place. There has been a time change (due to a double booking) for the meeting on Saturday 26th September, which will now be in the afternoon from 2-4pm

Come along and have a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake and a chat, about what Taunton Transition Town is up to.

Bring along any surplus garden produce to share, as the season changes and we take advantage of the mellow fruitfulness! There will also be an opportunity for clothes swapping and a chance to catch up on the Warm Streets project outlined below.

Already planned for future months are a Haybox (slow cooker) workshop, a talk on Miscanthus and biofuels, a herbal walk with a local Medical Herbalist, a short film and conversation about food alternatives in the UK and a discussion of Community Supported Agriculture where a community groups link with a farmer to share the responsibilities and rewards of producing food.

It’s hoped that June and Robin Small will be able to give their postponed talk on Somerset apples. There’s also enthusiasm for starting a Time Bank scheme and a Garden Share scheme.

If you have any ideas for workshops, stalls or speakers, please contact Vic Watson (see below) or better still, drop in for a chat on Saturday 26th.

September Events

We’ve got alot planned for September so to make things easier here’s an index of what this post covers:

  • 1. Saturday 12th September – Smoke Your Own Trout (and be inspired to grow your own veg) Allotment Tour
  • 2. Monday 14th September – Event and Project Planning Meeting
  • 3. 18th – 20th September – 2nd Transition Camp
  • 4.  Somerset Transition Training
  • 5. 19th September – Oxfam sponsored walks and bike rides against climate change

1.   SMOKE YOUR OWN TROUT (and be inspired to grow your own veg) ALLOTMENT TOUR

Saturday 12th September

Take an hour or so out on Saturday 12th September and be inspired by Taunton Transition Town’s DO-IT-YOURSELF SMOKED FISH DEMO AND ALLOTMENT TOUR Community Plot, Priorswood Allotments, Obridge Road, Taunton From 10.30am Using nothing more sophisticated than a couple of baking trays, a metal rack and some woodchips, Mark Packer-Hughes will show how he hot-smokes his delicious fresh caught trout and Farmers Market pork in less than half an hour, ready for immediate tasting! Bob Rawle, who has already got lots of us digging, mulching and enjoying our very own fresh veg will be available to take you around the beautiful Priorswood allotments and answer your gardening questions. Or just drop by to chat to Taunton Transition Town members and find out more about how you can get involved in tackling the twin challenges of climate change and peak oil. The Priorswood Allotments can be accessed by car from Obridge Road (off Priorswood Road). Or check out this link We will have a sign up to let you know where we are, and there is plenty of parking space on site. Huge thanks to the Allotments Committee for hosting this event. For more information contact Chrissie Godfrey; chrissie@visionjuice.com

2.  EVENT AND PROJECT PLANNING MEETING 7.30pm – 9pm, Taunton Community Acupuncture Centre, Bath Place

Monday 14th September

This meeting is open to everyone, whether you just want to find out what’s going on or if you’d like to get more involved in planning events or have a project of your own that you’d like to get off the ground.

3. 2ND TRANSITION CAMP

18th – 20th September

After the success of our 1st Transition Camp back in June, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved, we have decided to hold another on the weekend of 18th-20th September. Katie and Gordon Venner have agreed to have us back to their place in Tracebridge. In return for doing some work for them – last time we helped with bramble clearing and preparing wood for burning in the bakery – we get the pleasure of staying in a lovely setting and spending time together and forming a little community for the weekend. “We have various projects going – one is a major clearance of trees felled by the snow; the other clearing brambles from a bluebell wood; weeding a newly planted hedge – allsorts! I have bigger plans for the slate quarry ill tell you about when you come! That’s an SSI as we have a pair of peregrine falcons.” On the Friday evening we’ll have pizzas cooked in the bakery oven and then spend time sitting round a campfire. Up bright and early on the Saturday and after a lovely breakfast we’ll be doing some work. (Last time we had elevensies and were treated to some of Katie’s lovely sticky buns!). Then the evening will be our own. If you’d like to bring an activity for us to do that’d be great. Otherwise last time we just sat and chatted. If we’re lucky Gordon or Pixie might sing some songs for us. The cost of the weekend is £3 per person for both nights. You can come along either for both nights or just the pizza or for the campfire chat.

4.  Somerset Transition Training with Nick Osborne

‘I’ve now finally managed to sort venues and costs for the 3 Transition Training courses for Somerset which I’m running this autumn. I’m subsidising the courses to keep them affordable so that as many Somerset Transitioners as possible can come on them. The costs are on a sliding scale of £5 to £150 per person per course and people are invited to pay what you like (and yes that is from £5, its not a typo). Courses will be held in Langport and Taunton. Details and booking form are on the new version of the flyer. Download here . It should soon also be available on the Transition Somerset Wiki Calendar of Events which is here. Thanks and I hope to see some of you on some of the courses! ‘ Nick Osborne

5.  Sponsored bike ride and walks against climate change

Saturday 19th September.

The Taunton and Exeter Oxfam groups are putting on a relay of bike rides linking the Oxfam shops between Bridgwater and Exmouth (including Taunton and Wellington). The aim is to raise awareness of climate change and raise money for an Oxfam project against the effects of climate change in Bangladesh. They need to publicise the event to get more participants. People can get more details from michaelmcguffie@hotmail.co.uk or from the website http://www.northtosouthforoxfam.co.uk

Family Fun Day at French Weir Park

A FREE family fun day will be held at French Weir Park from mid-day to 4pm on Sunday 16th August.

Bob Rawle will be there representing Taunton Transition town with his wonderful portable stand, letting people know about Warm Streets and what we’re trying to acheive. Visitors will be able to enjoy a host of activities including sports, crafts, art, archery and a bouncy castle. The Eden Project will also be offering visitors the chance to build a den and make rafts. Most activities will be free thanks to support from Taunton Deane Council and the Somerset Play Forum.

24 HOURS TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE!

Hello all

We’ve been accepted on the Warm Streets pilot scheme – hoorah!! This is thanks to all of you who have volunteered your time and energy to get our bid accepted. It’s not too late to get involved as the scheme will be running for the next year.

This is an opportunity for all of us to make a real difference: help reduce CO2 emissions (domestic emissions account for the greatest part in Taunton Deane Borough), help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and to help bring these issues to the forefront with our publicity campaign and save people loads of money at the same time

We’re having a get together to discuss the mechanics of the scheme and also to develop an action plan on:

Monday 20th July, 7-9pm (venue tbc)

Together with the Bristol based charity, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, we will be spreading the word about free loft and cavity wall insulation for low income families and householders over 70; and insulation at a 50% discount for other householders.  Taunton Transition Town is looking for a band of volunteers willing to give up 2 hours a month – yes, that’s all, 2 hours a month, or the crucial 24 hours over  year – to help make this happen for our town.  Your input might include:

•       telling your neighbours about the project
•       talking to parents about the project at your child’s school
•       putting up posters in your locality
•       leafletting your area
•       putting information in your local doctors’ surgery, dentist, post office, local library etc
•       emailing your existing friends and contacts in Taunton to let them know.
•       giving a talk about it at your local club or society
•       holding a Warm Streets street party
•       collecting and sharing stories of Warm Streets working well in your area to inspire others

And what’s in it for us all?  In return for referrals, the Centre for Sustainable Energy will give us expertise , for example:
–    energy education workshops for our local primary schools
–    a feasibility study for a local micro renewables project in our area
–    opportunities for group members to receive training through NEA’s City and Guilds in ‘Energy Awareness’ course
–    tailored training according to the groups needs, for example ‘Finding Funding for a Community Energy Project’
•    Access to support networks, stakeholders and other similar communities
•    Access to quality information and advice; for example on carbon saving measures, funding and training courses
•    An opportunity to demonstrate tangible carbon savings and share experiences with other people helping on the project
We will, if we do well, also get some money towards helping create other sustainable energy projects in our locality.

Huge thanks
Vic Watson and Chrissie Godfrey
Taunton Transition Town group

It’s A Start!

Welcome to the Taunton Transition Town’s Blog.  We hope this new adventure on the web will be a place to pool our thoughts and invite dialogue with our local (and wider) community.  We’re a grassroots community organisation so we’d love you to participate especially if  you live in our lovely part of  Somerset.  If  you’ve never heard of us here’s our page on the Transition town WIKI
a summary quoted from Vic Watson;
“Taunton Town Transition aims to increase awareness and bring people together to work within the community to facilitate change in key areas of life such as transport, housing, energy use, health, food production and work. Together as a community we will work on an energy descent plan for Taunton with a range of projects across all areas of life to rebuild the resilience lost as a result of cheap oil. In doing so we hope to make drastic reductions in carbon emissions. We also believe we can improve the quality of life for people in Taunton and the well-being of the community as a whole.”
We also plan to keep you (and ourselves) up to date with our news and events and hope inspire you with ideas and

Welcome to the Taunton Transition Town’s Blog.  We hope this new adventure on the web will be a place to pool our thoughts and invite dialogue with our local (and wider) community.  We’re a grassroots community organisation so we’d love you to participate especially if  you live in our lovely part of  Somerset.  If  you’ve never heard of us here’s our page on the Transition town WIKI and a quick  summary:

“Taunton Town Transition aims to increase awareness and bring people together to work within the community to facilitate change in key areas of life such as transport, housing, energy use, health, food production and work. Together as a community we will work on an energy descent plan for Taunton with a range of projects across all areas of life to rebuild the resilience lost as a result of cheap oil. In doing so we hope to make drastic reductions in carbon emissions. We also believe we can improve the quality of life for people in Taunton and the well-being of the community as a whole.”

If  you’re already involved then welcome  to our new online home!   We plan to keep you (and ourselves) up to date with our news and events and hope inspire each other with ideas and information we come across.