Notes from Extinction Rebellion meeting: Old Dancer, Monday 30 September

Presenters Ed for the first part (whys) and Kayla for the second (what).  Chris Frankland and Lisa Johnson from Transition were also present.  Chris noticed a younger demographic than at the MEPs Climate Emergency Debate and commented that these looked like parents rather than grandparents.  There was also a sprinkling of 20 somethings.


Ed presented the case for non-violent direct action.  He explained that human release of CO2 was putting a thicker ‘blanket’ of atmosphere around the earth and showed the chart of near vertical rise of atmospheric CO2 since the International Panel on Climate Change was formed in 1988.  This he linked to a bell curve of average temperatures shifting towards the hotter.  Ed described feedback loops on land resulting in the release of methane and faster warming whilst in the oceans changes in  currents were causing those animals who could migrate to do so.  The result, Ed said was the 6th mass extinction of animals, particularly amphibians but also a loss of the plant life that holds carbon.  This he asserted, was happening unnaturally rapidly because of  the weight of human population, habitat destruction and pollution which cut down nature’s resilience.

Ed rested the case for non-violent action on the claim that governments have known about the lethal consequences of modern human activitiy since prior to 1988 and not acted to stem it.  He said that the Paris agreement was not binding on the countries who signed up to it and several significant countries such as Australia did not take part.  Ed mentioned a ‘collective denial’ on the part of governments which Extinction Rebellion aimed to counter.  Ed said that faced with the situation ‘doing is therapy’ to helplessness.

WHY – Kyla

Kyla made the following points in support of Ed’s expose:

  • Warming temperatures, desert advance and water scarcity would cause human migration but some people cannot afford to move.
  • We have a right to rebell because Governments are not acting in our best interests. Ours has scrapped renewable energy schemes, expanded airports and allowed fracking.  It has prioritised carparks and relief roads rather than collective transport and approved a new coal mine in Cumbria,
  • Local politics have been tried and made no difference. Current law does not force the change we need.
  • Earth day is in September. The problem is too big for individual action and the government is not on track to meet their climate agreements.

Because …

  • Democratic governments are short term playing to a 5 year popular vote.
  • Capitalism attributes costs to the now, not to the future.
  • The planet’s health is not costed nor are our own health and well-being.


The cause of stemming climate change and the ruination of the planet cannot be won by playing by the rules.  It takes 3.5% of the popultion to act to effect change.

Radically changing course requires the infliction of economic damage and disruption where the power is.  IE London.  This must be non-violent in word and deed, remembering that the emergency is no individual’s fault.  In this way Extinction Rebellion wish police response to seem disproportionate.


A Declaration of Rebellion was made in 2018 with the following three demands :

  1. Tell the truth about the Eco-Crisis and declare a climate emercency.  (Kyla said those already declared are not legally binding and Stockport’s for instance, has an economic clause.)
  2. Act now.
  3. Form a Citizen’s Assembly drawn from the general population to decide measures for climate and ecological justice that parliament would implement. This would be above politics.


Extinction Rebellion is a de-centralised movement with a loose co-ordinating team.  Anyone acting in their name should consult the 10x published principals and check with 2 other ‘rebels’.

There are local working groups including Stockport and Wilmslow who meet in the Brew House Wednesdays at 7.30pm.  Contact name: Tom.

Ways of contributing include art, music, legal, media platforms moderation and presentations.

Co-ordinating team organise actions which are disruptive such as die-ins, banner hanging and ‘arrestables’.

Kyla said ‘Arrestables are at the heart of our actions’ but she added that for every person arrested there are 20 ‘legal observers’.


London for 2 weeks from October 7th  Extinction Rebellion will take over Westminster.

It is illegal to be politically active outside Westminster but you have to be warned so those who move when asked will not be arrested.

The police have difficulty dealing with nice, non-violent people breaking the law.

There is no time to play by the rules.

Dawn Walk in memory of Rick Turner

P1020145-minTransition Wilmslow’s Dawn Walk this year, on 22nd September will have certain poignancy as the group remembers Rick Turner, the archaeologist who recovered Lindow Man – the best preserved bog body in Britain.   Rick died earlier this year and the walk will be an appropriate time to reflect on his work.

He gave the keynote presentation at a Transition Wilmslow Day School about Lindow Moss in 2015 and had been supportive of the group’s Lindow Moss planning applications.

 Rick took part in the Dawn Walk organised by Transition Wilmslow in 2016 and gave a memorable account of what he imagined might have been Lindow Man’s last journal entries before his death.  He also underlined the importance of the cultural landscape of the Moss extending back thousands of years.   It is still in a condition where it can be recreated as a lowland raised mire.

Join Transition Wilmslow on this special Autumn Equinox walk on Saturday 22nd September 2018, starting from Lindow Common at 6:30am.  More information on our diary page.  The event is free, but please book via Eventbrite

Chilli Supper & Film: Final Booking!

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Final call to join us for a chilli supper and film, upstairs at The Old Dancer, Grove Street, Wilmslow on Thursday 18 January 2018.

The film ‘Tomorrow’ will show how lots of positive things are happening in communities in many parts of the world – today. Working together, people can help provide solutions that will make our planet a better place to live in for our children and grandchildren – ‘Tomorrow’!

Bar available; chilli supper at 7pm with film from 8pm.  Please register your preference ‘regular’ or ‘veggie’ chilli.

Tickets £12. To book (by Sunday 14 January, please!) and for payment details see Eventbrite.


Congratulations Pippa!

We are delighted to announce that Pippa, Chair of Transition Wilmslow has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours List for services to Stroke Medicine.  Pippa has recently retired from a distinguished career, engaged in pioneering work as Consultant of Stroke Medicine at Salford Royal Hospital and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Manchester, researching developments in the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke patients.

But of course we know and love Pippa as our Chair of Transition Wilmslow!

We are ably led and encouraged by her enthusiasm for the aims of the world-wide Transition Movement – “communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world for a sustainable future.”

Pippa stresses the importance of participating in our local communities in both physical and social activity, coming together in common purpose to find ways to improve our environment, to make better lifestyle choices and so benefit our all round physical and mental health.

Here she is at work in our award winning community garden and orchard

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Our Award-winning Community Garden!

Transition Wilmslow is thrilled to have won an award in the ‘In Your Neighbourhood’ category from the Britain in Bloom judges – Level Four ‘Thriving’!

Our community garden at The Temp, off Gravel Lane, Wilmslow, has grown from a small orchard of ten apple trees and one cherry tree to our current nine raised beds with great growing capacity for vegetable crops.  When the RHS judges visited in late Summer the Garden was at its best with a large variety of healthy vegetables ready for picking.   We now have a great educational facility to show people how to grow vegetables, encouraging them to go home and grow their own. This very much fits in with our aim of tending towards sustainability at a local level and of promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Read more here

Interested in getting involved? Contact us at

More Fruit Trees Planted

Transition Wilmslow had a tree planting session on Saturday 4 February 2017.  We were at ‘The Temp’ orchard at Gravel Lane, Wilmslow to replace three damaged apple trees.  Chris talked us through the whole process; how deep to dig the holes; where to place the support stakes, how high to build up the surrounding soil.

It was also a good opportunity to discuss the position of the additional raised beds that will soon be built in between the trees.

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Pruning Workshop

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We were pleased to have 18 ‘budding’ tree pruners at our workshop on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Transition Wilmslow Orchard in Meriton Park Handforth.  Thanks to hands-on instruction from Gavin and Chris, attenders gained confidence to try the skill for themselves.  Result? All the apple trees were pruned sucessfully (the plum trees must be left until later in the spring).  Thanks to all who turned up.

If you missed this session and would like to have an opportunity to practice, Mobberley Community Orchard Group invite you to join a work party at Fieldside Close, Mobberley on Saturday 4 February 2017 from 8am til noon.  More information from Nick Eadie 01565 872306

How to Prune Fruit Trees

A great opportunity to learn more about pruning fruit trees – and it’s entirely free!

Come along to the orchard in Meriton Park, Handforth on Saturday, 21st Jan, 2017 from 10-11am for some advice and ‘hands-on’ practice organised by Transition Wilmslow.

Access from the gate behind Handforth Paddock and walk to the far end of the Park to meet up. Secateurs optional. Sensible footwear and warm clothing recommended.

The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture

The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture, 10th October 2016

We had a full house for our very first Transition Wilmslow Lecture!

We thought an Annual Lecture  might be a way of appealing to a wider audience, demonstrating that Transition towns are not just about “green” issues but about sustainable communities in general. The Transition Network has set up a website “Reconomy” talking about different ways of thinking about the economy, and of course a number of Transition Towns (Lewes, Totnes, Brixton, Bristol, and even…at one point in history..Ambridge!) have their own currency. We invited Derek Whyte, Deputy CEO of Preston City Council, to talk about the work they have done with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) in Manchester, and a European Consortium, to look at how they procure goods and services, and ways in which they can procure more locally. It was good to hear they have significantly increased their local procurement, with benefits for local businesses and jobs.

We were delighted to have an expert discussion panel, with Dominic Oakshott from CEC, Richard Jones who was Director of Social Services for Lancashire and now undertakes consultancy work in social care and the charitable sector, and Catherine Mackenzie, Chair of Wilmslow Business Group. Dominic told us that CEC have been working to get more local procurement, and are up to around 25%; Catherine pointed out the challenges for small businesses in negotiating procurement challenges (large companies may have groups of lawyers negotiating these which makes it difficult for small enterprises) and Richard pointed out the real problems in local authority funding at present which make any economic model difficult. There was a lively discussion with the audience  which, as always, raised more questions than it answered, but we agreed that there is a tension between local procurement and having processes in place to ensure fair tendering.  There were lots of positive comments from the audience so we’d like to organise another lecture for next year: any suggestions for speakers gratefully received!