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This space is intended as a register for North Cornwall-wide organisations that wish to support the Transition Movement or that may be useful to Transition Groups.

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Transition Tavistock Newsletter December 2013

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s Newsletter
December 2013

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
2. Transition Tavistock AGM 2014
3. Energy Savers Events
4. Tavistock Car Club
5. Food and Energy Group News
6. Tavistock College - Solar School
7. Tavistock Christmas Tree Festival 2013
8. Inner Transition - from Al Head
9. Tamar Grow Local and Tamar Valley Food Hub
10. Tavistock and District – Local Economic Blueprint
11. News from Tavistock: Chamber of Commerce, Tavistock Enterprise Hub, and the Town Team
12. A Local Initiative: The Rucksack Project
13. Community Orchard
14. Crowds flock to Tavistock Townscape Exhibition
15. Meadows Makeover
16. Devon Waste Plan
17. Devon and Cornwall Food Association – an introduction
18. Future Learn
19. A Seasonal Message from Martyn Goss of the Diocese of Exeter
20. Local news and links
21. Forthcoming Dates
22. And Finally ...

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
January Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 14th January 2014 (19:30 till 21:30) at our new venue the Union Inn, King Street, Tavistock.

2. Transition Tavistock AGM 2014
The Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 27th February 2014 (this is later than last year due to other events earlier in the month). Venue to be confirmed next month, but please put this date in your diaries. The committee will be looking for a secretary - main duties are to compile the newsletter and take notes at the very occasional committee meeting. If you would like to be considered for this position, please contact us via the usual email address (end of newsletter).
We would also be delighted to further strengthen the committee with new members. Let us know if you’re interested.
Do you have a particular theme you’d like us to explore at the AGM? We’ve been considering ‘Peak Soil’ as a topic (

3. Energy Savers Events
Energy Savers at Home
Open Homes Weekend - Sat and Sun 17 and 18th January 2014

Various householders across Tavistock and its villages will be opening their doors … to explain how they’ve made their homes more energy efficient and/or are generating their own!Homes will include new build, older property renovations, renewable energy and biomass installations …and more!Sat and Sun 18th and 19th January 2014 (10:00 to 16:00).If you’d like to see a number of different homes … and have someone else do the driving … sign up for the bus tours available both days.
For details of homes to visit and their opening times see For questions contact Kate Royston (; 07969-569-444).

Energy Savers Eco Fair at Tavistock College
Saturday 25th January – 10:00 to 16:00
Come along and chat to local businesses and organisations specialised in making our homes more energy efficient and renewable energy installers and experts. Exhibitors will include: New Generation Energy, Devon Action for Renewable Energy, Mike Wye and Associates and Green Hus.
There will be a number of talks, demonstrations and workshops through the day including ‘Getting to grips with your energy bill and heating controls’, ‘DIY draught busting and secondary glazing’, ‘Treatment of listed and historic buildings’, Micro renewables’, ‘Getting through planning’ and from Mike Wye: ‘Applying thermal render for retrofit’.
Children are welcome. There will be an energy awareness and activity corner to keep them occupied!
We will also be celebrating the launch of Tavistock College’s Solar Schools campaign.
Refreshments will be available and we look forward to seeing you there.
For details of exhibitors and the programme for the day go to For questions contact Kate Royston (; 07969-569-444).

4. Tavistock Car Club
Don’t just keep thinking about joining the car club, just go to the website ( and sign up! …
Do you own a car?Is it parked a lot of the time? Costing you more than you’d like? All good reasons to join a car club, and best yet – it can save you money!A car when you need it. All tax, insurance, repairs etc. paid.For drivers aged at least 20. No upper age limit.£3.95 an hour and 15p per mile petrol.Special weekend rate - £20 per day*

The car – a Toyota Aygo - is parked in the Bedford car park within easy reach of the town centre and the bus station..
Tavistock car club is operated by
Once you join, you can book a car for as little as 1 hour or for a couple of days.
Reserve online or by phone.
Collect and return 24/7 using your E-cocars smartcard.

To join#, or for more information go to or phone John on 01822-618960 to find out more!

*for a weekend booking (midnight on or Saturday to 11:59pm the next day) excluding mileage.
# £25 membership fee - special December offer - membership fee waived for next 3 members to sign up

5. Food and Energy Group News
The Food and Energy group have had a busy couple of months. We’ve had Community Energy Advisor training and we’ve been working with the Energy Savings Trust to develop our Energy Savers programmes (Open Homes/Eco Fair) and Community Action for Retrofit Delivery.
Progress continues with our community growing project, the Woodlands Group have had a visit and the Energy Co-operative formation is progressing!

The date of our next meeting is to be confirmed. If you’re not on the circulation list for this group and would like to learn more, please contact Kate.

Food and Growing Initiatives
Roots to Transition
We have finally got our teeth into a Tavistock garden project! Several months ago, with the cooperation of Tavistock Town Council, we started on the transformation of the Rose Walk into a fine example of a Potager (that's the intention anyway!)
We have had some invaluable help from the Devon Drug Service especially Nick who is there whatever the weather every Thursday using his RHS training to lick it into shape. We continue to have tremendous support from a core of people who have been responsible for the rapid finishing of stage one.Stage one was the digging of the overgrown beds and removal of bindweed, brambles and unwanted shrubs. Included in that was the uncovering of the little shed, a lick of paint and now Mr McGregor would be proud of it!Stage two hopefully will see us with a few specimen espaliered apple trees to train against the tennis court fencing, some herbs to underplant said trees and, hopefully, a greenhouse so that we can grow on our seeds to fill the beds next spring. Our idea is to start a small area with trees that hopefully will produce apples in 2014 so that folks will get a good impression of what the rest could look like in years to come.
If you’d like to get involved or can provide any support please contact Sue Hepworth.: (01822-820345).
Garden Share Scheme
Do you have a garden to share with others or would you love to grow your own fruit and veg, but need some space? If the answer is yes, our Garden Share Scheme may be just the ticket. Do get in touch (

Energy Initiatives
Tavistock Renewable Energy Network (TREN)
We’ve had our initial meeting with an advisor from the Cooperative Enterprise Hub. Our application for further support has now been accepted and we’re looking forward to moving to the next stage in January or February.
If you’d like to be one of the founder members and help shape a local energy future for Tavistock – if democratising energy for local people rather than for the Big 6 energy companies is important to you and/or you have specialised knowledge, or you could provide help on the legal side, communications, finances, events, renewable energy, educational and skills development etc. please get in touch. We’d love to have you on board as we embark further on this journey.
Come and find at more about it at the Energy Savers Eco Fair at Tavistock College – 25th January.
Naming our Energy Co-op
We still need to confirm the name for the Energy Co-operative. One of the leading suggestions is Tamar/Tavi Energy Network –TEN. Let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

South West Devon Community Energy Partnership (SWD CEP)
Our key focus remains on developing ways to help householders in particular reduce the amount of power and heat needed in their homes.
A number of us have participated in Community Energy Advisor training from CSE in Bristol. It was an extremely useful day.
A series of workshops are being developed (funded by Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund) which we can deliver locally. These should be ready towards the end of January. They’ll be included as part of the programme at the Energy Savers Eco Fair on Saturday January 25th.
With funding support from the Energy Savings Trust we are also kicking off a project with five communities across West Devon, S. Hams and Dartmoor National Park to raise energy awareness, encourage households to undertake an energy self-assessment, participate in the practical workshops where these are of interest, and consider what measures could be implemented to reduce their bills. The workshops will include:
- Energy Saving Behaviours
- Understanding your energy bills and heating controls
- DIY Draught Busting and secondary glazing
- DIY Loft Insulation, hot cylinder and pipes lagging
- Lighting
- Treatment of listed and historic buildings
In West Devon we are looking forward to working with residents in Horrabridge, and we’ll be getting in touch with local groups and residents in January. If you’d like to help support this programme and be a local Energy Champion do get in touch.

6. Tavistock College - Solar School
The date of the Tavistock College Solar School campaign launch has now been announced – Thursday 23th January. A programme of events and fundraising activities for the day and the rest of the academic year is being organised.
The steering group, led by College Governor Nigel Larcombe-Williams includes students, staff, governors, parents and local organisations (including Transition Tavistock), and will help drive the campaign to its target of £25,000.
Assistance will also be provided by the 10:10 Solar Schools campaign (, and everyone is looking forward to working with the local community to raise the funds to raise money to install solar panels to help power the college!!

An important part of the campaign will be a drive to increase energy awareness and a reduction in energy use across the College. This is being supported by Tavistock College’s participation in the Dartmoor Schools initiative funded by the Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund. This is bringing expertise from Okehampton College (said to be one of the college leaders in energy efficiency in Europe - and DARE (Devon Action for Renewable Energy) to support staff and students efforts to reduce energy use.

7. Tavistock Christmas Tree Festival 2013
The annual Christmas Tree Festival run by the Friends of St. Eustachius was bigger and better than ever and attracted visitors from far and wide.Our theme this year was Energy Saving … demonstrated by decorations with energy saving messages – and a chance to pedal away to light the second set of LED lights.We have also developed an Energy Saving Top Ten Tips leaflet which you can download from Sunday (22nd Dec) at /Our Energy. For example: Careful in the kitchenYou can save over £55 a year just by being careful how you use your kitchen appliances e.g.· Set your washing machine to wash at 30o· Use a bowl to wash up – rather than leave the hot tap running· Don’t fill your kettle up every time – just boil the amount of water you need

8. Inner Transition - from Al Head
I would like to restart the Inner Transition group, which has fizzled out over the last few months after a promising start last year. The purpose of the group would be to support its members and other people active in the transition movement, and to provide opportunities for ourselves and others, to explore and to experience inner processes that lead to outer change. The 'outer' work that is being done in Tavistock is going really well, but to bring more people on board, and to really envision the future we want to create, I think it is important that we take time to look at the inner things that can block and restrict our capacities to see what is happening in the world, and to work to change things.

My latest idea is to have a small group that meets regularly to support each other and to plan larger activities, maybe one every couple of months, that would be open to the larger transition group, and the public, and would cover a range of 'inner' things.

If you are interested in this, please contact Al on 01822 616083 or email

9. Tamar Grow Local and Tamar Valley Food Hub
Local markets for your diary:
Tamar Grow Local (
Crocadon Christmas Market, Sat 21st Dec: Our last market date for the year will be at Crocadon on the 21st December. Pop along and see us for Christmas hampers, great foody stocking fillers, local veg and the first of the daffs! 2014 dates to follow on in the new year!
If you would like to supply our mixed produce stall or have a stall of your own at these events, please contact for further details.

Tamar Grow Local have won a number of awards recently. More on this next month!

Tamar Valley Food Hubs (
The Tamar Valley Food Hub is an exciting new way to shop for local and seasonal food and drink. To find out more check out the website.
And remember … orders need to be in by midnight on a Tuesday!
Sign up to Twitter for the latest news on produce available each week: @tamarfoodhubs

10. Tavistock and District – Local Economic Blueprint
Our project to develop a Local Economic Blueprint will be launching at the end of January. We’ll be presenting at the Business Breakfast, Bedford Hotel, on Thursday 23rd January – 07:30 if you want to come along.
What is It?
· An executable roadmap identifying how the economy of Tavistock and District can be protected and enhanced
· Building on its unique strengths and skills
o Focused on key sectors for development
· Demonstrating, through evidence based research, the worth to be gained through:
o developing more demand for local products and services
o delivered by local independent businesses
o using a supply chain closer to home
If you’d like to be involved or be kept in touch call or email – (07969-569-444).
Check out the work Totnes have done: ( They are mentoring us through the process.

11. News from Tavistock: Chamber of Commerce, Tavistock Enterprise Hub, and the Town Team

Tavistock Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber have developed a new information pack for prospective new members with support from Tim Roberts at Fat Calf Media. See to join.
Chamber members were pleased that Dickensian evening went well again this year.

A number of Chamber members also braved a walk across hot coals in a very windy Bedford Square last night – 20th December – to raise money for ROC. The Fire Walk was sponsored by Tavistock Pannier Market

Tavistock Enterprise Hub
The six new offices are now finished at the Hub and the first users have moved in. The first floor space has been transformed and is now even more inviting!

If you need some space for a meeting, a hot desk from time to time … or even a permanent desk or office check out If you haven’t had a chance to see it get in touch with Adam Fleet and drop by for a coffee (

Tavistock Town Team
Tavistock Car Club has benefitted from a small grant from the Town Team to help with promotion. A grant will also support the launch of the Tavistock and District Local Economic Blueprint.
A number of options are currently under discussion for a Town Shop to bring together the Tourist Information Centre, Totally Locally and an Energy Shop. If you have any thoughts on this, or would like to help us develop the business case, please get in touch (

12. A Local Initiative: The Rucksack Project
Please Support The Rucksack Project in Tavistock!
The Rucksack Project is a grass-roots movement born out of a simple idea to help those sleeping rough on the streets during the freezing winter months.

Local heart-warming people at The Adventure Centre have taken on the organisation of this event locally. This is the kind of thing you can organise in your lunch hour or with a look through your cupboards at the weekend.

Donate: Rucksacks / Sleeping Bags / Hats / Gloves / Socks / Fleeces / Boxer Shorts / Flasks / Tinned Soup (ring pull) / Spoons / Anything else you think would be useful!
The Adventure Centre will be collecting over the Christmas period and into January. If possible please bring your items to The Adventure Centre, Parkwood Rd, Tavistock (Next door to Kelly College) during office hours. We are closed for Christmas 21st Dec - 1st Jan. Keep your ears to the ground about a supermarket collection in the near future as well...

Helpful Facebook links:

13. Community Orchard
New for 2014 !
Keep fit, learn new skills and make all the cider you can drink! Work days will include: tree pruning, wildflower meadow management, apple day and caring for your apple trees.
For full details email the heading community orchard to

14. Crowds flock to Tavistock Townscape Exhibition
More than 150 people visited a two day exhibition in Tavistock's Pannier Market to find out more about a £2 million project to rejuvenate the historic heart of the town.
The event on Dickensian Evening (Friday, November 29) and Saturday, November 30 was a chance to bring residents up to date on the progress of the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Initiative.
Visitors were able to find out more about the project including plans to re-roof the Pannier Market and Butcher's Hall along with renovation for the Guildhall and Foulston's House - among many other proposals.
The exhibition saw the launch of a consultation on revisions to Tavistock's Character Appraisal and Management Plan.
John Taylor, Chairman of the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership, said: I'm delighted so many people took the time to come along to the exhibition.
"We really want to hear the views of local people and find out what they think of our proposals which could give Tavistock's historic heart a new lease of life."
Residents were also able to view a series of artist's impressions showing the options being considered to improve Tavistock's public open spaces and key town centre streets.
These include the possible redesign of the space outside the Guildhall and at Bank Square along with the pedestrianisation of the lower half of Market Street.
Mayor of Tavistock, Cllr Harry Smith, said: "The proposals for Tavistock's public spaces generated the most interest and comment.
"People care passionately about the look of our historic town and their views will prove helpful in finding the best possible option."
The Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership includes West Devon Borough Council, Tavistock Town Council, Devon County Council, community organisations and local businesses.
The aim is to use Heritage Lottery Fund investment to transform the commercial heart of the town addressing the needs of local businesses, owners of historical properties and the local community.

The Townscape exhibition continues at Tavistock Library on Plymouth Road until January 17 when the consultation closes.

You can also have your say online with an online questionnaire available at: There are a number of supporting documents at the same link.

15. Meadows Makeover

Meadows Makeover is a grassroots community campaign working with Tavistock Town Council to improve the provision of children’s play equipment in the Meadows.Totally Locally and Transition Tavistock supported a table top sale in the Methodist Church at the end of November.For more information see next event is coming up on Monday.

16. Devon Waste Plan
Devon Waste Plan: Pre-submission Consultation will be available for you to view and comment on between the following dates:

Start date: 02/12/13 09:00
End date: 24/02/14 17:00

Please select the following link to view this event:

17. Devon and Cornwall Food Association – an introduction
The Devon and Cornwall Food Association is a charitable organisation run by volunteers with one part-time member of staff and an apprentice working in Plymouth, hubs in Plymouth and Exeter and a new hub in development in Cornwall. Our aim is simple: to stop good quality, in date, edible food from going to waste and to make sure it is given to those who need it most.

DCFA ensures that usable, in-date food does not go to landfill or incineration but is shared within the locality, thus reducing CO2 emissions, saving vital landfill space and ensuring that those in need within our communities can access healthy food and improve their lifestyles. We endeavour to obtain surplus, short-date or end-of-line stocks – food that would otherwise be destroyed. This alleviates Food Poverty and Food Waste and saves suppliers Landfill Tax too!

We are not a Foodbank and seek to source food from Producers and Manufacturers, as well as some Retailers; re-distributing it only through community organisations and local charities (such as Foodbanks, Community Centres and Housing Projects) across Cornwall and Devon.

Having been operating in Plymouth for over 3 years, we are now also working from our depot at 171 Sidwell Street in Exeter and are able to collect or deliver free food to other organisations. A new ‘hub’ is also being developed in Cornwall.

Here are some recent headlines:
· To date DCFA has redistributed over 100 tonnes of food, saving over £185,000 in doing so and reducing the impact on the environment by over 45 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
· We temporarily store ambient, chilled and frozen foods in crates and more than a dozen fridges and freezers at 171 Sidwell Street in Exeter. Plymouth’s hub, which is based at The Ship in Stonehouse, operates a similar ‘store and sort’ facility.
· In Exeter we have twelve volunteers who collect and distribute food from this base to community organisations in Exeter and across Devon. Exeter’s hub works with 19 regular suppliers who provide us with excess food including soups, fish cakes, pastries and fresh fruit, as well as occasional personal donations. Plymouth’s suppliers include local fishmongers as well as those helping with seasonal donations.
· In Exeter we distribute food to 20 recipient groups such as Soup Kitchens, Homelessness projects, Foodbanks, Hospices, Community Centres, Schools and Hostels. Plymouth’s hub works with over 40 community organisations.
· Since Spring 2013 Exeter’s hub has rescued over 5,000 cubic litres of food saving in excess of £12,000 to local charities and several tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions
· We do not operate as a food bank supplying food directly to individuals
· Our ‘supplies’ cover the basics such as pasta, milk and tinned goods but, occasionally we have treats too…such as biscuits, turkeys and even pheasants !

Spare Food is Share Food!

18. Future Learn
A few people have flagged up to us the new Future Learn initiative from the Open University: ‘At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions.’

Peter Brown and Mozza Brewer have alerted us to Exeter University’s first course: Climate change: challenges and solutions. This course looks as though it could be excellent. It aims to explain the science of climate change, the risks it poses and the solutions available to reduce those risks. Starting on 13th January, it will need about 3 hours’ work a week
Peter says, " I suspect deniers may not wish learning facts that might risk toppling them out of their comfort zone, but it might be worth encouraging any you know to join in."
Here's the link:

The University of Nottingham are offering: Sustainability, society and you. ‘Join us for an introduction to the major global issue of sustainability and discover how you can have a real impact on our future’. This curse gets underway on January 6th:

19. A Seasonal Message from Martyn Goss of the Diocese of Exeter
Thanks to Mike Dennis for sending this.
We might like to think we are environmentally friendly but what does it mean when we say we are ‘green’? In reality we probably mean different things which can be seen as a spectrum of colour… So what might this mean if applied to thinking about a low carbon Christmas?
Being Light Green is what might be termed acting in enlightened self-interest by taking small actions that are generally beneficial. For instance, changing to energy efficient light bulbs, turning down the thermostat or heating valves, recycling, wildlife conservation, saving water all help to reduce impact on the environment in small ways. But they are also an advantage to us by cutting our costs and feeling we are doing our bit. In effect these are all necessary but not sufficient if we are going to really reverse the ecological damage humans are causing.
So a light green Christmas might be when wrapping paper is recycled and a turkey bought from a local farm.
Mid-Green goes slightly further by making us question our convenient lifestyles. So we may take the bus or train rather than drive. We give away our unwanted goods, we rescue food from going to waste, we switch to renewable energy supplies, we buy locally, or we change our diets. All such activities are again laudable and effective, and they begin to inconvenience us. Our comfort is challenged!
A mid-green Christmas could be marked by replanting the Christmas tree and walking to church…
If we are Deep-Green, we begin to think and act much more radically. This really begins to reverse our destructiveness and reduce our footprints. For example, we choose not to travel at all but refrain from making all but necessary journeys except on foot. We sacrifice air travel or purchasing energy-consuming equipment. We re-think how we spend and save money (in local Credit Unions or in community shops). We reassess our values and show a deeper respect for all non-human life, as well as for others.
If you want to be deep green at Christmas, you might eat a nut roast and share only home-made or ethically-sourced gifts, including Fairtrade products.
Finally, we can strive to become Rainbow people. These are those who live more hopefully and more alternatively. Sharing rather than competing – homes, gardens, cars, time. Becoming more gracious and grateful and recognising boundaries such as limits to personal acquisitiveness. Re-connecting with the Earth, with one another, and with God. Setting our goals and living now with future generations in mind and rediscovering personal relationships and friendships that transcend both nations and generations.
No television, no plastic decorations and maybe you share your food with neighbours or a food poverty project if you celebrate a Rainbow Christmas-tide. You give away that which you don’t need.
To some extent these colours may be caricatures but there is a big difference in tweaking our lives and transforming them. Maybe we all should become chameleons starting with a light hue of green and progressing to that rainbow which is the symbol of living together forever.
So what colour will your Christmas be?

20. Local news and links
Check out for Tavistock’s Umbrella Local Events Calendar and links to local organisations.

21. Forthcoming Dates
January 2014
Green Drinks Tuesday January 14th – Union Inn, Tavistock
Food and Energy Group tbc – see website
Energy Savers Open Homes Sat and Sun 18th/19th January
Energy Savers Eco Fair Sat 25th Jan (10:00-16:00 – Tavistock College)
Solar Schools Launch Thu. 23rd Jan, Tavistock College. See website for details …

February 2014
Green Drinks Tuesday February 11th – Union Inn, Tavistock
Food and Energy Group tbc – see website
AGM Thu. February 27th

22. And Finally ...

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers!