Open House Energy Meeting: How can we reduce our carbon footprint in Wilmslow and save money?

Transition Wilmslow are hosting an open meeting to discuss how we can use energy in our homes more efficiently and the exciting possibility of a green energy generation hub in Wilmslow and Macclesfield.

Andrew Backhouse of Transition Wilmslow will talk about what we have learnt from doing energy surveys in Wilmslow and how we can reduce energy use in our homes

Mike Rance from Go-Lo Macclesfield will talk about the exciting potential of green energy generation and battery storage based on experience gained in an ongoing project to evaluate battery storage in social housing in Macclesfield and Knutsford. The potential for larger scale green energy storage hubs will also be discussed

The speakers will then be joined by Frances Hill (Centre for Alternative Technology) and Geoff Levermore (University of Manchester) on a discussion panel, chaired by Anthony Jones (Manchester University)

The meeting will take place on Thursday 9th March 2017 at the Friends Meeting House, Bourne St., Wilmslow, 7.30-9.00 pm.  Entrance is free with donation for refreshments.  All are welcome.

Mike Rance of Go-Lo-Macclesfield said ‘The potential is there to establish community energy hubs by installing solar arrays on the roofs of local amenities with associated battery storage to provide lower cost energy for the benefit of the local community’

Andrew Backhouse said ‘We can do so much by making lots of small savings in energy use in our own homes and its fun thinking about these things’

For more information contact transitionwilmslow@gmail.com

The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan

What do you want Wilmslow to look like?

Transition Wilmslow is taking a part in this initiative

Help to make a difference – have your say!

You are encouraged to ‘think big’ and make some creative and innovative suggestions

Take the survey

Proposal for the restoration of the Old Rectory Stables

The Old Stables in Wilmslow is one of our few remaining historic buildings, and yet it has been unused for many years. Cheshire East Council has recently advertised that the building is available for rent. Members of the Wilmslow Trust and Transition Wilmslow visited the building, and have ascertained that the building is generally quite sound, but would require some renovation and repair to make it usable.

An outline bid has now been made to Cheshire East to transform the stables into a Community Hub. There is space for a meeting room that could seat 30-40 people, which would also be a fantastic exhibition space for information on our local heritage (Lindow Man and Alan Turing), a venue for the town’s very successful Art Trail and for local artists and makers to exhibit and sell their work. There’s even plumbing and a small kitchen area, together with room for an office and storage.

It is perfectly situated, on the walking route from the station to the town and has good access to buses and car parks. It is also on one level, so ideal for people with disabilities. It could form the focal point of a revitalised corner of the Rectory Fields/Alderley Road with opportunities for environmental improvement to adjacent areas and where there is also a proposal from the Wilmslow Trust for a memorial to Alan Turing.

The first question people ask is “where’s the money coming from?” Clearly local councils have no money for this sort of project, but there are good examples of community ownership and fundraising. People in Poynton recently raised a very significant sum for refurbishment of their community space by crowd funding, and Styal have a thriving community shop (Earlam’s) as a result of a similar strategy. One possibility is that we raise funds through Community Shares (www.communityshares.org.uk) .

An outline bid has been submitted by members of Transition Wilmslow and the Wilmslow Trust to Cheshire East Council this week in time for today’s closing date. The proposal will need further input from everyone in the community, who can contribute ideas, time and skills as well as funding. There may also be local organisations who might want to help with some of the building and restoration. Outline plans were presented to the Wilmslow Partnership meeting this week who are supportive because this proposal fits well with ideas for a proposed Neighbourhood Plan.

We’d really like to know what you think and hear your ideas for a Wilmslow Community Hub. This needs to be a real community initiative, with people contributing their ideas. It will only work if local people want it to. We will let you know how Cheshire East respond, and we will keep you informed of developments as they happen.

20’s Plenty and Safer Roads Petition – Relaunched!

Getting petitions distributed and signed is a piece of cake in comparison with 2012!

Hopefully attitudes have also come round with people realizing how important this is for our quality of life: we want our roads to be and feel a whole load safer in order to encourage more walking and cycling around our town.

So join us by signing this petition, which gives an example of just how dangerous even our smallest residential roads can be and how fearful we’ve become as a result… I should add that the events and people described here are real and have not been invented…

Thank you!

WSR Petition

 

Zero Carbon Britain?

Can we do it? Yes we can!

This was the main theme at ‘Love Wilmslow, Love Our Planet’, a joint venture with Churches Together in Wilmslow and Transition Wilmslow at The Wilmslow Guild on St Valentine’s Day 2015.

What do we have in common? It’s a wish to look after our planet, to keep it for future generations too, and to take steps to reduce climate change.

We started the morning session with Paul Allen, one of the authors of Zero Carbon Britain who gave an uplifting and rich presentation about how reaching zero carbon emissions was very possible:

  • We could rapidly reduce UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2030, using only currently available technology.

  • We could reduce our energy demand by around 60%, with particularly large savings in heating buildings and transport.

  • It is possible to meet 100% of the UK’s energy demand with renewable and carbon neutral energy sources; without fossil fuels and without new nuclear.

Read more here and download the latest report.

 After a bread and soup lunch Professor John Handley gave a talk entitled ‘Lindow Moss; Making Sense of the Planning Application, followed by discussion.

 Meanwhile there were craft and recycling activities to learn – composting, biscuit decoration, crochet, knitting, making gift boxes from Christmas cards to name a few. A highlight was a ‘stomp’ – a musical and movement performance using scrap material, organized by Wilmslow High School students.

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Participants were also alerted to many local initiatives to reduce climate change. Some are recycling tools through Work Aid, raising money for solar lights and cookers for slums in Nairobi through Kibera in Need and cutting down on food waste through Waste Watch. If we don’t do a lot to cut our energy consumption, the future for our children will be very different with climate change.

 So how do we get there? Part of the way forward must be to strengthen our community. We need to encourage one another, and the town council could be a leader in this. Perhaps we could have electric cars and bikes as a greener part of the Wilmslow Motor Show!

Most of all it should be fun!

See what Low Carbon Lymm is doing. Also…..

Ashton Hayes going carbon neutral

A talk by Professor Roy Alexander

Friday 13 March 7.30pm-9.30pm

Wilmslow Guild, Bourne St, Wilmslow, SK9 5HD

Ashton Hayes, a community of about 1,000 people, is aiming to become England’s first carbon neutral community. By working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change they have reduced carbon emissions by 23% since 2006.

RGS-IBG members free, non-members £5 donation on the door.

Lindow Moss Exhibition

Thanks to all who voted for us in our bid to win funding in the Skipton Building Society’s ‘Grass Roots Giving’ community programme. We were successful!

We are grateful to Skipton’s generosity, enabling us to follow up the successful Lindow Moss Day School at Wilmslow Guild with an exhibition at Wilmslow Library. This is showing on the gallery during Library opening hours until Saturday 31 January 2015.

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The exhibition launches Transition Wilmslow’s ‘A New Vision for Lindow Moss, highlighting its historic and environmental importance.

It is one of the most significant peatland landscapes in Britain, yet it remains abused, neglected and officially unrecognised. Transition Wilmslow and our partners are coming together as the Lindow Moss Partnership, and creating a vision to restore, conserve, and celebrate this unique landscape.

Why not take a break from your shopping, enjoy the warmth of Wilmslow Library and learn more about Transition Wilmslow and our Vision for Lindow Moss!

See the report on the Day School at http://tinyurl.com/ofue6fu

Wilmslow Library opening times here http://tinyurl.com/prlqesp

Anything but a Bog Standard Landscape…

A New Vision for Lindow Moss

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On Thursday 3rd April, Transition Wilmslow hosted a workshop to bring people together and discuss a new way forward for Lindow Moss.  Over 50 people attended, from local councillors, to English Heritage, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Manchester Museum, Environment Agency, and other interested parties.

Professor John Handley talked about the formation of the Moss (a much bigger area than that known as Lindow Common), and how the exploitation of the peat for fuel from the Middle Ages onwards created distinctive field boundaries called moss ‘rooms’. He described it as “one of the best preserved landscapes of its type in Britain and yet, astonishingly, it is not protected by designation of any kind.”

Tony Evans, Chair of the Saltersley Common Preservation Society (covering Lindow Moss), also addressed the group.  We heard about the apparent infringements of the planning conditions by the peat extraction companies, leading to a lowering of the water table, and effects including near-disappearance of wildlife such as water voles, and subsidence of houses in the area.

Groups looked at education, landscape restoration and heritage, access and usage, and ecology to identify possible steps to restore the Moss and were reminded that this year is the 30th anniversary of the finding of Lindow Man. The building buzzed with lively conversation.

The participants agreed a New Vision for Lindow Moss and that we would try to work collaboratively to bring about the project.

For Transition Wilmslow, the project brings together many of the strands that they are about: local community, biodiversity, food, education, carbon, resilience and legacy for future generations.  For more information please visit the Lindow Moss pages.