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Transition Tavistock’s Newsletter February 2013

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s Newsletter February 2013

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
March Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 12th March (19:30 till 21:30) at the Market Inn, corner of Whitchurch Road and Pixon Lane in Tavistock.
2. Producer Market a great success at Tavistock College!
On Thursday evening, 7th February, Tamar Grow Local (TGL), Tavistock College and Transition Tavistock held a joint event at the Octagon Centre, Tavistock Community College, opened by Helen Salmon (TC Head). It was TGL’s first Producer Market in Tavistock. We hope the first of many!
Simon Platten from TGL also launched their Buying Group programme. The pilot group will be in Tavistock. Simon “The producers all felt it had been a worthwhile and enjoyable evening, and we have enough people signed up to enable us to start the Buying Group. An excellent outcome”.
We, Transition Tavistock, held our speedy-AGM. Kate Royston, Mike Dennis, Rebecca Garland and Moz Brewer were elected as Officers. We shared highlights from 2012 including : arrival of the car club car (; birth of the Inner Transition Group; the Energy Savers at Home programme; launch of the SW Devon Community Energy Partnership with other community groups from across the area; and the Energy Quizmas tree! Our annual report is available at: if you’d like to read some of the finer details!

Helen Harris, Tavistock College, inspired us with the work she is doing at the college to encourage more growing … of plants and animals. The ambition is to provide fruit and vegetables to the college kitchen this year from the college’s own allotments. Helen also introduced the developing Forest School programme run by Andy Jerrett. They’re always after contributions of materials and support. If you can lend a hand with anything please get in touch with them on 01822-614231. Andy in particular would welcome: some fairly big logs to be able to use as seats, or someone with a chainsaw who could cut some trunks up; any local craftsmen/wood people who could come in to do outdoor demonstrations; wild flower seeds to sow and / or tree saplings to plant; any branches/trunks/logs/sticks that can be delivered/dropped off to the Forest School area. These are ALWAYS welcome.

The evening was rounded off by Jenny Tunley-Price who demonstrated how to use the TGL food mapping tool ( Do you have a favourite local producer that’s not there? Check out the map at the link above and let us know (
We’d like to thank the producers, Simon and Jenny for their time and their wares, and all those that came along from far and wide including Joddy Chapman from Sustainable South Brent (see their community wind turbine project at and Paul Sousek from Transition North Cornwall and Cottage Farm.
Particular thanks to Helen Salmon and Gary King for inviting us to Tavistock Community College, to Helen Harris and Andy Jerrett for sharing their experiences and especially to Sue Jerrett for all her help and support.
Producers were the Cornish Crisp Company, Cotehele Mill, Tamar Valley Apple Juice, Brilliant Fish, Freedrange Farm and Tamar Grow Local’s mixed produce.

3. Food and Energy Group News including Grow Tavi
The date of our next Food and Energy group meeting is to be confirmed!
South West Devon Community Energy Partnership (SWD CEP)
At the SWD CEP – (a partnership of energy related Community Groups and the local authorities across West Devon, South Hams and Dartmoor National Park) we’re working hard to prepare for our Launch Summit – Local Energy for Local Economic Benefit – on the 4th March. We’re bringing together stakeholders from all across the area.
The University of Exeter study is making good progress with Stage 1 of the evidence base for Stage 1 of our community energy plan . We may have some initial findings to share next month. Work will begin shortly on setting up an energy advisors training package so we can get a number of trained community energy advisors in our communities.
We also need to encourage local plumbers, builders, electricians and others who may be interested in providing Green Deal services to check out the support available from RegenSW.
We’re waiting for confirmation from Jenny Tunley-Price (The Walled Gardens at Maristowe) to confirm the next date for GrowTavi which she’ll be hosting. This will be towards the end of March or early April.
Community Garden area in Meadows
Interested in getting involved with our design team? Get in touch and let us know …
Garden Share Scheme
Please let us know if you have garden to share with others or would love to grow your own fruit and veg, but need some space (

4. Inner Transition
The essence of the type of person that we are and the sort of world that we hope to live in are integrally linked. So often, the challenges of building communities which are resilient in the face of climate change and energy shortages seem immense and often people with whom we are trying to engage see only the negative aspects. Therefore at our last meeting, we began with looking at our own activities, firstly our hopes and fears for personal life issues and then secondly for our societal and environmental issues. We were invited to consider how areas of anxiety or concern could be transformed by a different perspective or by involving other people. If we can make personal transitions to a more positive and socially integrated lifestyle, then the hope is that we may be better able to support others in their shift towards a more resilient and community focused way of living.
The group have no fixed agenda but are keen to expand their horizons by welcoming anyone who would like to join in sharing thoughts or ideas. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 13th March at 7.30pm. Please contact us via or (for this meeting only) on 01822-616861 if you are new to Inner Transition and would like to attend.
5. DARE Energy Event – How Do We Make Sure the Lights Don’t Go Out?
We should all be concerned about where our energy comes from and how we can ensure its future security. How can we reduce our energy consumption? Can renewable energy really provide a long-term solution to energy generation? Can we turn our homes and businesses into power stations? How can we make sure the lights don’t go out? These are all questions we here at DARE (the Devon Association for Renewable Energy) are asking and at our forthcoming event we hope to provide the answers.
DARE is hosting its annual general meeting and energy event at the Octagon Theatre, Okehampton College on the 28th February 2013. The AGM is open to all and is your opportunity to find out what your local “not for profit” energy agency has been doing over the last year and how you can influence our 2013 (5pm-6pm). The AGM will be followed by a drinks reception from 6pm-6.30pm.
The evening event will begin at 6.30pm with a presentation from students and staff of Okehampton College on their aspiration to achieve zero energy bills. The college have reduced their CO2 emissions by 50%, helped over 200 other schools with energy efficiency, won the Ashden Award in 2010 and now they have just won a major international award - The Zayed Future Energy Prize (Global High School Award) which comes with $100,000 to further boost their renewable energy provision. This is an opportunity for the students to share their story and celebrate their achievements, they are an example of best practice which can be applied to other schools, public buildings, organisations and businesses.
This will be followed by a talk from Keith Gillanders of regional energy agency RegenSW about their research into grid reinforcement requirements due to opportunities for renewable energy in Devon and the wider South West. Keith will also be providing a response to the issue of renewable energy intermittency and how this can be overcome in order to ensure a constant power supply in the future and what are the opportunities for SMART grid infrastructures to support renewable energy generation as we move towards a low carbon economy.
The talks will be concluded with a question, answer and discussion session where Okehampton College and RegenSW will be joined by representatives of the DARE board and technical officers to help answer your questions about energy and its future supply to our homes and places of work.
This event is free of charge however as numbers are restricted we ask those who are interested in attending to email or call 01837 89200 to reserve a place.

6. News from Tamar Grow Local
Graft, Sow & Grow in 2013
Following the success of last year’s first ever Graft, Sow and Grow at the National Trust’s Cotehele Estate, where close to 1000 visitors were welcomed, Tamar Grow Local and the National Trust are pleased to announce that a second event has been planned for 2nd and 3rd March.

At this year’s extravaganza, visitors can look forward to;
- Grafting Workshops – for just £5, graft your own Tamar Valley traditional variety apple tree to take home. Last year 170 new apple trees were grafted.
- Seed Swapping - bring your own pollinated saved seed and swap with others to stock up for this season. If you’ve not saved any of your own, take some of the seed swap stock in return for a small donation.
- Local Produce – plant sales, compost, willow weaving, local food.
- Beekeeping – Cornwall Beekeepers Association’s local group will provide information on getting started and courses available.
- Guest Speakers will be in the Tamar Grow Local yurt on both days. Confirmed speakers include James Robbins (Poultry Keeping), Rob Meredith (Raised Bed Organic Gardening) and Sarah Chesters (The Cut Flower Garden), among others. A full line-up for both days will be available on the Tamar Grow Local website nearer the time:

Tamar Grow Local’s Project Manager, Simon Platten, says: “The two-day event is being held at the perfect time of year for grafting apple trees, preparing for the new season of beekeeping and getting fired up for the coming growing season as Spring begins.”

Tamar Grow Local (TGL) is a 'not for profit' Community Interest Company (CIC) set up on co-operative principles for the benefit of the community. ?This structure allows trading and has the ability to create a number of more specialist co-operative ventures under its umbrella to meet demand. The area?covered is the Tamar Valley, which includes the market towns of Tavistock, Launceston, Callington and Saltash.
Our activities focus on three main areas:
Community - Providing opportunities and support for local people to grow their own food including allotments, growing plots and orchards.
Education - Raising awareness of the benefits of local produce and the unique market gardening history of this area.
Commercial - Working with commercial growers and supply chains to increase the availability & consumption of local food and produce.
We work with other local organisations and businesses to achieve this as well as developing our own projects for sustainable production
New Buying Group for the Valley
Tamar Grow Local is setting up a food buying group. We hope to be able to provide access to local produce at affordable and realistic prices through a regular ordering service and bulk purchasing scheme.
Beekeeping for Beginners
Tamar grow local run Beekeeping courses for beginners. We are already taking bookings for the first 3 day course this year which will run on the 13th, 20th and 27th April, cost is £75 and all equipment will be provided, just bring lunch and wellies!
Local Food Research
Help us to make available a useful range of local produce by telling us what you would like to be able to source locally. We are carrying out some research as part of our Buying groups project, part of the larger Cordiale project within the Tamar Valley.
For more information on all the above, please go to

7. News from Tavistock Town Council, Chamber of Commerce, Tavistock Enterprise Hub and Tavistock Town Team

Tavistock Town Council
Have a view on where you’d like to see a Community Noticeboard? Drop us a line …
Tavistock Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber’s AGM was very well attended in February … and there was a chance to celebrate an increase in membership which is welcomed! There was also a discussion about promoting local food retailers and their price competitiveness [often] with supermarket options.
Tavistock Enterprise Hub
The Hub officially opens its doors on Monday March 4th. If you need some space for a meeting, a hot desk from time to time … or even a permanent desk or office the Hub may be the answer. Check out
Tavistock Town Team
Building on the vision a very positive discussion is taking place around our views on Tavistock’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Got any views yourself? Let us know on
Our vision is for our town centre to be “the beating heart of Tavistock; a vibrant place for all people to meet, relax, have fun, do business and live; a place that drives the local economy, is a focus for community activity and enhances Tavistock as a unique gateway and destination”.

6. Bioblitz! on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April
Pentillie Estate, Nr St Mellion, PL12 6QD, SX410646
Back by popular demand the Tamar Valley AONB team will be working with scientists and members of the public to survey the magnificent grounds of Pentillie Estate. We will be seeking to identify and record as many species as possible over a 24-hour period and we need your help!
Come and join the team and be a scientist for the day. Enjoy bug hunts, pond dipping, flower walks, pooting and much more.
Please register for this event, please visit www. for more information.
Event organiser: Tamar Valley AONB t: 01822 835030 / e:
Saturday 6 April, 7pm Bat survey and night walk; join experts in discovering what creatures emerge once you have all gone to bed!!
Sunday 7 April, 6am Rise and shine! This early morning walk will be well worth getting up for. Listen to the amazing dawn chorus, then join the team back at HQ for a bacon bap and hot drink.
Sunday 7 April,10am Mammals; traps will be set the previous evening and this will be the chance to see what has been caught.
Sunday 7 April, 11am Reptile hunt - Get eye-to-eye with slow worms and lizards, what will you find?
Sunday 7 April, 12noon Spring flower hunt and pond dipping for monsters of the deep. Come and learn how you can do this at home!
Sunday 7 April, 1pm Sweep netting, beating, pooting, pit falls in meadows, and parkland
Sunday 7 April, 3pm The Big Count - Abacuses at the ready to see what has been found during the weekend’s BioBlitz.
Refreshments available at a small charge. All events are weather dependent. Please check for the most up-to-date information. We regret no dogs can be brought onto the estate.
The Spring Trails Festival which includes the above event runs from 28th March to 7th April - more details and brochure from

9. Immersun

"In January, I had an immersun fitted to our photovoltaic system. This device diverts generated energy which is surplus to that being used in the house to heat the immersion tank for hot water for showers and washing up etc before then exporting further surplus to the grid. It is rather early to comment on anticipated savings but even during the January to February period, there have been days when we have not needed to use the gas heating to boost the temperature in the immersion heater. Hopefully, we will not need to use any supplementary water heating for extended periods particularly in the summer. However, I will report further in a future newsletter. Mike Dennis"

10. News From Transition Plymouth
There have been some difficulties with Transition Plymouth's web site over the last few months, but I’m delighted to be able to tell you that these have been ironed out. So, it’s all up to date again now, on:, an absolute mine of Transition related information! If you’ve got news of any events that you want Barbara to put on there you can contact her on "Barbara Hampson", or phone her on 01752 567698.

The Plymouth Eco-feminism Discussion group would like to invite everyone to our celebration of INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY! When? FRIDAY 8th MARCH, 6pm. Where? ONWARD HOUSE, 55 Greenbank Road, PL4 8PE, Plymouth - near Freedom Fields park. What's happening? 5:30pm - Doors open for refreshments 6pm - Discussion on "Eco-feminism"- what is it? why is it relevant? 7pm - Veggie snacks and drinks 8pm - Poetry and songs for International Women's Day This is a FREE event and we still have space for more art for IWD. If you would like to participate with poems or songs, please get in touch with:
The day before IWD (Thurs 7th March) 'Women Art Revolution' is showing at 7pm in the Jill Craigie Cinema in Roland Levinsky building, University of Plymouth.

Green priorities for the UK?
Tues March 5th @ 6.30pm
Room 210, Roland Levinsky bldg, University of Plymouth
With a speech from the new Green Party Leader, Natalie Bennett.
We are facing a social, economic and environmental crisis. The Greens have policies for building a society based on human and environmental wellbeing: come and find out more.... (new website coming soon... so we ask for your patience!)

11. Update from South Brent Community Energy Society (SBCES).
100% Community – One turbine
As of the 25th February 2013, SBCES has raised £269,261 towards their target of £420,000. The final closing date is 22nd March, but if you are thinking of subscribing please do so now ( is a rare opportunity to support a 100% local community initiated, developed and funded project of this type in South West Devon.To find out how you can subscribe if you are interested and the potential return on your investment do explore the website or check out this link: Find out more about the project and the community share issue which was set up to fund the project.

12. Talks in Exeter
The Future of Exeter
Three events with expert speakers, cafe-style discussion, and time to voice views and questions.
At St Stephens Church, High Street, Exeter 7 for 7.15pm
1. Beyond Oil and Gas: The future for energy
Tues 5th March Dirk Campbell, Director of Ovesco, Lewes Community Renewables company, and Helen Smith, University of Exeter, researcher on marine and tidal energy. Can we find viable alternatives to fossil fuels, and what role can communities play in achieving this?
2. How Big Should Exeter Be?
Tues 16th April
Peter Lipman (Chair of trustees, Transition Network, Policy Director, Sustrans, Chair of Trustees Energy Saving Trust) and Richard Short (Assistant Director for City Development, Exeter City Council). Should Exeter grow to twice its present size?
3. Homes for all: Can housing be affordable and sustainable? Tues 14th May
Richard Crompton, Shilhay Community for the homeless and vulnerably housed, and Emma Osmundsen, Exeter City Council, originator of the award-winning passivhous project. How sustainable are new housing estates for Exeter? What proportion are affordable? Will this help solve the problem of homelessness?

13. Events at Yealm Yacht Club
The Yealm Yacht Club
Presents a discussion at 8:00pm on Wednesday 6th March 2013
Introduced by Peter Brown
FRACKING – Good Gas or Bad Gas?

The drilling rig of Cuadrilla Resources explores the Bowland shale for gas, near Blackpool. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Controversy rages whether the gas shales should be exploited to give us a temporary but cheaper energy source to bridge our difficult switch from other fossil fuels to renewables – or are the risks to both the environment and to people just too great? Cuadrilla have recently been given permission to explore. Come and hear both sides of the argument and join in the discussion.
For those who wish, there will be a hearty Sailors Supper from 6:30-8:00 – booking for supper essential on 872232/291 or

Yealm Environment Group
Presents a talk at the Yealm Yacht Club at 8:00pm on Wednesday 20th March 2013:
Green Deal – Good Deal or No Deal?
A talk and discussion by Kirsty Tooke Devon Association for Renewable Energy (DARE).
In March 2013 the Government begins its latest scheme to retrofit our energy-inefficient housing, magically at no cost to us! Too good to be true? Well the energy companies (who have been making huge profits) will be putting up the capital, and we will pay them back according to the "Golden Rule" which says repayments must be below that of the energy savings (cost) resulting from the installation. In other words "free" to the householder or community building.
Kirsty Tooke is an expert in these matters and belongs to the not-for-profit DARE. Any householder, and those responsible for community buildings, who might benefit from such an upgrade should attend this talk and discussion.
For those who wish, there will be a hearty Sailors Supper from 6:30-8:00 – booking essential on 872232/291 or

14. INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURE 16th/ 17th March 2013 - a reminder
Venue: Tavistock, Devon.
Cost: £74 with membership to the Permaculture Association included, £50 without. Concessions available. For more information & to book, please email Rebecca at
or call 07942344801

15. Talks at the Wharf, Tavistock
MONDAY 25 MARCH 2.0 PM - 4.0 PM
There are one or two Monday afternoon talks every month at the Wharf. They cover a wide range of subjects and the cost of £3 for an hour-long illustrated talk followed by tea or coffee and cake represents excellent value! Look out for news of further talks in future newsletters.

16. Climate Week 2013
Add your name to the Climate Week Declaration
The Climate Week Declaration calls on the government to do more to encourage action on climate change. Many leading people and organisations have already signed – including Lord Nick Stern, the Aldersgate Group, the TUC and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Right now, the government is finalising a new law – the Energy Bill – that will decide the future of Britain’s energy supply. The Declaration calls on the government to put environmental targets into the Energy Bill - to help decarbonise our energy supply and give us cleaner, greener energy.
You can sign the declaration as an individual or an organisation, and it takes just one minute – go to

17. National Park Award nominations sought
Nominations are being sought by Dartmoor National Park Authority for its Edward Morshead Award 2013. The Award recognises those who have made significant contributions to conservation, enjoyment, and sustainability within the National Park.
Projects contributing to landscape, ecological, archaeological or cultural conservation, or to the enjoyment and understanding of the National Park, or which meet the needs of the local community through sustainable development, can be entered. Nominations can also be made for outstanding individual, or corporate, contributions to Dartmoor and National Park Purposes.
The work or activity must take place within the boundary of the National Park although nominations and entries may be made by any Devon resident or County based professional or voluntary body.
In addition the Dartmoor Preservation Association (external link, opens new window) which is associated with the Award, offers a special recognition of outstanding conservation work carried out by young people less than 21 years old. All entries received by the National Park Authority which relate to projects undertaken by young people are automatically considered.
Previous winners have included Ashburton Primary School for their Eco-Energisers Group, Sticklepath and Okehampton Conservation Group for 20 years of carrying out conservation tasks on Dartmoor and the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group for its work on the important mining remains at Brimpts farm, near Dartmeet.
All entries must relate to the two years prior to the closing date of 30 April 2013.
For further information visit (click on About us Dartmoor National Park Authority/Edward Morshead Award) or contact Mike Nendick, Communications Officer, Dartmoor National Park Authority on (01626) 831045

18. Otesha Project
Hello Transitioners!
Sam here - I am the cycle tour coordinator from the Otesha Project, a youth-led charity based in London.
Every summer teams of volunteers pedal across the UK stopping at schools, youth clubs, festivals and community events to inspire individuals to take creative and positive action towards a more sustainable future. Tour members receive plenty of training and get skilled up on everything from consensus decision making to bike maintenance.
This year's tour is called Totally Tasty - and is a tour that focusses particularly on the important issue of food production. We will be visiting organic farms, community supported agriculture, allotments, forest gardens and more to gain an overview of the many solutions we have to provide us with decent, local and fair food for us all.
We are currently seeking tour members to join us - and as many of our past tour members (myself included) are involved with the transition movement I was hoping you could help spread the word and share these opportunities through your networks.
Many thanks for any help you can give in spreading the word - maybe we'll even be passing through your initiative and can team up to see the good work going on in your community?

SADDLE UP AND CHANGE THE WORLD We are currently creating teams for an epic adventure, cycling across the UK in summer 2013 – and we want YOU! Inspiring 1000s of young people at schools and festivals with Otesha's world-changing workshops, you’ll spread the word on how everyone can make the world a greener, fairer place - in particular exploring how our food can be made more planet-friendly and people-friendly. You’ll become brilliant at bike maintenance, gurus of group living skills and workshop wizards before you saddle up. You’ll live low-impact with fellow adventurers and visit organic farms, brilliant community projects and much more.
Sam White
Cycle Tour Coordinator
The Otesha Project UK
Workshop 44 - 44 Marlborough Avenue - London E8 4JR | Tweeting @oteshauk | | (+44) 020 7377 2109

19. Local news and links
Check out

20. Forthcoming Dates
March 2013
Graft Sow and Grow Weekend Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd
Green Drinks Tuesday March 12th
Inner Transition Wednesday March 13th
Energy & Food Group Meeting tbc

April 2013
Green Drinks Tuesday April 9th

21. And Finally ... we still have copies of the new Transition Free Press for sale at £1 each - 24 full-colour pages of Transition news, reviews and interviews from all over the country and beyond. Pick one up at Green Drinks - or please contact us if you can't get to Green Drinks and we'll see if we can get a copy to you.
Tel: 01822-835819