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, 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” http://www.reconomy.org 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!
Foraging Day with James Wood: Saturday 8th October 2016
A group of around 25 people joined James Wood, professional forager: http://www.totallywilduk.co.uk/ in the Carrs on Saturday.
James introduced us to all the things you can do with nettles (nettle tea, using nettles like spinach and even making nettle string: impressive!), mugwort as a herb or tea and boiling down meadowsweet to make a syrup. We learned how you extract sap from silver birch (same technique as maple syrup!) to make a lovely sweet syrup, and tasted the edible flowers of Himalayan Balsam. We saw a fungus on a birch branch (polypore) and had a look at some mushrooms. It was great to meet so many new people and we all agreed we would organise a full mushrooming day for next year! If you are interested in foraging and cooking wild food do look at James’s website, and look out for our mushroom day next year
Dawn Walk 30 July 2016
All who rose early on Saturday morning to experience dawn breaking on the Moss were not disappointed! We started out at 4.30am in darkness and made our way around Black Lake, across Lindow Common, Newgate Lane and onto the Moss in time to experience an atmospheric sunrise with mists hanging low over the peat bog.
Along the way we stopped to hear readings about the landscape now and in the past. One of the guests on the walk was Rick Turner, a leading figure with the British Museum on the exhumation, examination and preservation of the body of Lindow Man. Rick gave a reading that he had been inspired to compose – a diary entry as if it had been written in 1st Century AD by this bog man in his last hours leading up to being sacrificed at first light. This focused our thoughts as a bouquet of flowers from the bog was laid on the water in commemoration of Lindow Man.
Transition Wilmslow has another Moss walk planned for 17 September 2016 – at the more reasonable hour of 10am! See our Diary Page for this and other events.
Thank you to Lindow Rainbows and their leaders who joined Transition Wilmslow on a special Lindow Moss Walk on 5th July 2016
We were blessed with evening sunshine and discussed how you work out the age of a tree, squeezed water out of moss, looked at sundew plants and enjoyed splashing about in the mud. This seems a great way to let children know a bit more about the wonderful heritage on their doorstep and we are hoping to do more walks with groups of youngsters in the autumn. Contact us for more information here
The ‘Living Smart’ programme
Once again, Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending. Here is Part 4
Water and Biodiversity
The focus was on water which is a big deal for the world, but a particularly acute problem here in Western Australia (WA). The graph of rainfall for this part of the world was a worry (it is going down… a lot… decade on decade) whilst the population is increasing dramatically (it has doubled since I came to WA in 1999.)
We discussed what activities are most water intensive (watering gardens in WA!) and ways to save water from the very simple (showering standing in a bucket then using that to flush the loo etc.) to collecting rainwater from your roof in a tank and all the things you need to consider for that. Ecoburbia (4 “apartments” sharing a house and utilities) can survive for most of the year in WA on only the rain water they collect! Lots more interesting stuff about Ecoburbia at http://ecoburbia.com.au
We also discussed Biodiversity. Perth’s population is set to double over the next 40 years. Will wildlife manage to survive? Perth straddles the Swan and Canning Rivers which wildlife need to access. We discussed how to create habitats and corridors for native species.
‘Transport’ is the theme for Week 5
The ‘Living Smart’ programme; Part 3
Marianne (our Wilmslow Transitioner currently living in Australia) gives us news of the third session of the ‘Living Smart’ programme she is attending.
We learnt about energy saving, use and generation. This is one of the areas where the UK and Australia diverge dramatically.
What surprised me was that the things you do to keep your house warm in the UK are not the same things you do to keep your house cool in Australia!
Double glazing is no good for keeping heat out, but it is effective for keeping heat in.
We looked at making a dwelling ‘solar passive’ whilst making the most of winter sun, how to read an electricity bill, which things consume most power in a house and then how we could bring our electricity bill down dramatically.
FIVE TOP ACTIONS
- Get a home energy assessment
- Turn down your thermostat and insulate the pipes on your hot water system
- Minimise how often you need to heat and cool your home
- Turn off standby
- Purchase or generate your own renewable energy
Meanwhile back home …….
Transition Wilmslow can help with advice on energy saving – and carry out an energy survey on your home.
For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org