October 2011 Newsletter

Transition Diary
Craft Making for the Victorian Evening
at 7.30pm Tuesday Oct 25th , Geri’s House, Stretton-on-Fosse
With a ‘Bring and Share’ meal and brain-storming session.
Transition Film Night
Monday 7th November at 7.30, Function Room, White Bear Pub, Shipston
Transition Shipston Open Meeting
7.30 Monday 21st November, White Bear Pub, Shipston
Fairtrade - fair enough!
Locally sourced goods are great – but what about products that we can’t get locally? Bananas and other fruit, coffee and coco beans for chocolate are in short supply locally – but give an opportunity for responsible purchasing. By purchasing a Fairtrade Product, you help to hard working individuals to make a decent and dignified livelihood – and develop their full potential. This is achieved through ensuring those who actually produce the crops get a fair and reasonable price in return for their hard work. In most cases, this means that the profits go direct to the producers rather than some one in the supply chain getting an unfair share.
A small group in Shipston have been working towards achieving Fairtrade Status for the Town. This has involved~:
  • Gaining Council recognition for Fairtrade,
  • Having a suitable range of Fairtrade products in the Town for purchasing
  • Having Fairtrade products served by local employers, churches and other community organisations
  • Involvement with the media
  • A plan to grow the understanding of Fairtrade in the Town.
Mrs Piercy and the Primary School have spear-headed this initiative, with support from Cllr Phillip Vial from the Town Council and Paul Chapman from Shipston Churches Together – but there is room for more!
What can you do?
  • Resolve to purchase Fairtrade where possible. (That chocolate always tastes so much better when it is Fairtrade!
  • Why not look at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ - to see other great Fairtrade products that are available.
  • Join the Steering Group to help develop the Fairtrade message.
Paul Chapman
Shipston Churches Together –07976 688 887
Mrs Piercy can be reached at the Primary School – on 01608 661266
Cllr Vial can be reached via the details on the Town Council Website.

Green Homes Day, Hook Norton
On Sunday 18th September 2011 Hook Norton Village held a green homes day, seven Homes in all opened their doors to the public, to show what they had done to make their homes more fuel efficient and Eco. Hook Norton village started a Low Carbon group, and last year they were one of the 22 similar groups out of 500 applicants who received a payment from a government fund. Hook Norton Low Carbon were awarded £400,000. This money is to be spent providing at least 40 homes, the local school and the village brewery with eco measures. These range from insulation to double glazing, as well as two Smart cars for villagers to use. Hook Norton Low Carbon invite villagers to apply for interest free loans. The idea behind this being that the money could go much farther lent to more people this way, then it can be lent again.
I went along on Sunday morning and saw four of the seven houses taking part, starting with Beanacre Cottage, a thatched 18th Century cottage. As well as being well insulated and the heating provided by a Wood Pellet Boiler, the bit I was particularly interested in was that they also has a rainwater harvesting system. The guttering from the roof runs into an underground reservoir, the water from that is used for the washing machine, flush toilets and outside taps.
The Barn, Hare Cottage, was next, again they had heavily insulated this barn which is very near to the cottage, which is an office and extra accommodation for visitors. Here they had used a fairly new material called hempcrete as the insulation on the walls. The windows were mainly secondary glazed instead of double glazed as this is a listed building. Most of their hot water from May till September, is produced on the roof by solar thermal panels. The barn is heated by fan assisted radiators made by a company called Jaga, this large room can heat up in about 30 minutes, and again makes use of water heated by the thermal panels.
From there it was only a couple of doors away to the next house, Glyndwr House, although built in the 17th century, it has 1960s and 1990s extensions.
Here insulation has again featured heavily, and photovoltaic panels, 12 of them, have been fitted to the roof of the nearby garage.
The last house I visited was 2 The Green this is a mid-terraced 18th Century cottage that is grade 2 listed. They too had done a lot of insulating in the main part of the house, also there is a dining room extension into the garden, this area has been heavily insulated under the floor and in the walls and roof.
This visit was well worth while as it has given me new ideas of what I can do at home. As always with these projects the most cost effective place you can spend money is on insulating.
Pam Bennett

Energy Champions:  Casting your minds back to the snow in December (I know we'd all rather push that to the back of our minds!), was your house one of the ones where the snow melted faster than others? If so, it could be that you are losing a lot of heat from inside. If you would like a volunteer 'Energy Champion' to come and help you consider how you might better insulate your home, please get in touch with Geri Hunting on 01608 662848.
'Energy Champions' are members of Transition Shipston who have done some training in identifying how you might improve the insulation in your home. There is no charge for a visit from us and we work alongside 'Act on Energy' who can advise on how to get grants to do any subsequent work. Again, there is no charge for the advice they give. Many people are eligible to have insulation work done free of charge so it's worth finding out!

Shipston Harvest Fayre
Market Place was packed with stalls and people on 26th September for the Harvest Fayre. At the request of the Town's shops and traders we left High Street open for parking. This proved to be a great success as people who live outside the town were still able to pop in to do their normal shopping – and hopefully then were attracted to the Fayre. Most of the shops that were open increased their sales because of the extra visitors.
The Fayre clashed with the Stratford Food festival but it still attracted many small producers and providers from around Shipston. One great success was the Scouts and Guides stall – they had collected fruit from Armscote Manor orchard (thanks to Sarah Williams for this). David Wright the Scout Leader said “We raised £143.87, after expenses and we had very few apples or pears left at the end and we have used these as part of our program on healthy eating and also drinks. If there is a similar event next year I am sure we would like to be involved again”
Queen's Avenue Playarea Action Group had a stall to promote their ideas for a new playground and orchard. Polly Taylor the organiser said “I was SO pleased with all the visitors we had on our stand, must have had at least 150. We had 78 positive feedback forms (1 negative) and some great competition entries from the children. Everyone loved it and we even had 1 or 2 offers of committee support.”
The Stour Grown scheme was launched at the fayre, to celebrate and promote recognition of products and produce from the Sour Valley area as well as encourage residents and visitors to buy them. For more information visit www.stourgrown.co.uk
Dave Passingham
Midcounties Co-op meets the Midlands Transition Networking
On Saturday 24th , 14 Transition Town groups including Transition Shipston met at The Midcounties Co-operative offices in Warwick. The meeting was initiated by the Co-op with the aim of exploring areas of common interest and common goals
Mike Pickering, their Corporate Social Responsibility Manager welcomed everyone and said there are around 20 official Transition initiatives within the Midcounties Co-operative trading area and a similar number of mullers (in early stages of a Transition group). The Midcounties Co-operative trading presence is widespread throughout the region with over 500 sites. The majority of trading locations have a Retail presence - either as a Food Store (supermarket) or smaller Convenience store.
The morning workshops came up with many practical ideas including:
Co-op Land leasing... Awareness raising and increased communication of issues to Co-op members... On the ground support from Co-op staff... Display space near the checkouts... Funding to each of the groups in the region... Bulk purchase groups... Access to Midcounties Co-operative skills/shared costs eg marketing and insurance for events
Another session discussed possible future strategies. Some of these involved the Transition groups helping the Co-op with promotions in small ways such producing a booklets on transition aspects/themes – linked to Co-op brand. Others would be very useful to transition like accessing Co-operative Members list/ for the distribution of Transition circulars and holding a Transition session at the Co-op AGM. More longer term ideas included anaerobic digestion schemes on Co-operative Farms linked with the local communities, Co-op staff training by local Transition groups and seasonal food events with Transition. We discussed the key shared goals of Energy Descent and community resilience including community resilience as well as business resilience.
In conclusion everyone agreed that there are many synergies between the organisations and both parties could become more effective by working together. For the Midcounties Co-operative working with Transition groups is a way to differentiate itself from other supermarkets. However, there is a possible drawbacks of public perception of bias in the collaboration.
Dave Passingham
Update - Already Mid-Counties are including a stand at their member half yearly meetings taking place this month promoting Transition and in their bi-annual share of profits mailer which goes out towards the end of November to all members who have earned member dividend (this is around 100,000 members), Co-op members will receive a short note promoting Transition and sign posting members to the Transition network website
Shape the future development of our community?
Stratford-on-Avon District Council is preparing its Core Strategy – the planning document which will guide the development of the district for the next 15-20 years. Final public consultation on the latest draft of the Core Strategy is expected to take place early in 2012. The consultation period is likely to be quite short – just six weeks – so we need to be prepared if we are to respond to the draft proposals.
The Transition Stratford Steering Group would like to organise a group of supporters to prepare a response to the Core Strategy consultation and have invited Transition Shipston to join them. We envisage a couple of meetings before Christmas, when members of the consultation group will familiarise themselves with the proposals made during Core Strategy process to date and will discuss the principles on which a low-carbon and resilient district might be based. The group would then meet a couple of times when the draft Core Strategy had been published in order to prepare a draft response.
The Steering Group expects the work of preparing a response to the Core Strategy consultation to be finished by next April.
So if you are interested in or knowledgeable about planning, or you are interested in how Stratford-on-Avon District might be made more sustainable, then get in touch with Roger Matthews at roger.matthews@phonecoop.coop in the first instance. The Steering Group is looking for a volunteer to lead the group working on the Core Strategy, so let Roger know if you would interested in taking on that role.
Transition Shipston Film Night
to 9.30 Monday 7th November, White Bear Pub, Shipston
Free Entry - but a small donation welcome
Indigenous communities discuss the climate crisis from their unique perspectives. These two shorts explore the organisational tools and strategies they are employing to protect their cultures, territories and rights, and how indigenous people are increasing their resilience to climate change by strengthening their traditional knowledge and systems...Indonesia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Philippines. Dir. Serge Marti and Gemma Sethsmith /
45min /
The region of Amador Hernández is threatened by plans to implement REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Villagers are concerned by the threat of displacement justified by the supposed protection of the jungle. A Global Justice Ecology Project production. Dir. Jeff Conant / 10min / Tzeltal / Mexico/USA

September Newsletter

Shipston Eco Tower & Shipston’s Harvest Fayre
Shipston is celebrating in a spectacular way this harvest. Transition Shipston is putting on a big Harvest Fayre on September 25th. The old centre of the town will be closed to traffic for a bonanza day celebrating local food and produce, with live music from three local groups of musicians. There will be stalls of organic meat and vegetables, honey, special chocolates and soap, local milk, nuts, free recycled daffodil bulbs, caricature drawing, a place to offload or collect glass jars for making jams and chutneys, and local charities will be raising money at their own stalls. Many of Shipston’s independent shops will be open for their usual range of excellent, often locally sourced produce, and the cafes and pubs will be open for their usual delicious refreshments.

One of the star attractions will be a smoothie-bike. Pam Bennett explains: “We’ve converted an old bike plus a liquidizer, so that you can put in your fruit (locally grown of course!) and pedal away to make your own zero-energy smoothie - fun for energetic kids as well as adults.' An even more unusual creation will be the unveiling of Shipston’s Eco Tower. This has been made for the Transition Group with funding from APE UK, the Brailes-based charity. The Eco Tower is made from recycled oil drums and illustrates our society’s dependence on oil-based products but as the tower spirals upwards more sustainable objects are attached to the tower until at the top is placed a solar panel . Dave Passingham, of the Transition group, said... “The Eco Tower will be the centre piece of the Harvest Fayre. People attending the Fayre will be invited to hang objects which symbolise a more sustainable future on the tower. After this the tower will be based at Shipston High School for the children in the Eco-club to base their activities around.

Apple Competition for under 10s:
Transition Shipston is organising a window display competition as a special activity for children under 10 during the Harvest Fayre. The idea is to ask Shipston’s independent shops to place somewhere in their window display an apple with a number on it. The children will be given a list of the shops taking part and will be asked to write the number of the apple next to the name of the shop. For example, if Clarke’s Electrical Shop has an apple marked 11, they would write 11 next to the name Clarke’s Electrical shop.
These are the prizes:
A voucher for £10 donated by Toffee Apple, to be spent in that shop
A basket of sweets donated by Lavender Basket
A child’s dinosaur tapestry kit donated by Shipston Needlecraft
...with thanks to all three shops who have given prizes, thanks to Taylors for donating all the apples, and to all the shops who have taken part.
Shipston’s Harvest day celebrations begin at 10 am on Sunday 25th with Harvest Festival in St Edmund’s Church, to which everyone is very welcome. The church will be raising funds during the day to support CORD’s project to provide solar cookers for refugee camps in Burundi, where shortages of firewood make it very difficult for families to cook what little food they have. Helen Winnifrith said “St Edmund’s church is very much part of Shipston’s daily life and we want to show our gratitude for God’s generous harvest to us locally, by doing something to help support sustainable life for those far away who have so little. It’s great that we can join with the Transition group like this” The Harvest Fayre starts at 11 and continues till 4pm.

Help Needed:
If anyone can help for an hour or two on the day helping to press apples, supervise the bicycle smoothie maker or help with marshalling contact Dave Passingham on 07973 846605
We are also collecting jam jars with lids to give away at the Fayre for making jams and chutneys. Contact Pam Roebuck - pamroebuck@roebar.wanadoo.co.uk
We are collecting unwanted apples to be sold at the Harvest Fayre by the Scouts and Guides. If anyone has spare apples and need the Scouts to help pick them contact Dave Passingham on 07973 846605

Shipston now boasts its own loyalty card scheme
The Shipston Card was launched at the end of August. It works in a similar way to other loyalty cards, except that this one card allows you to collect points in any participating shop, pub, restaurant or business in the town. As soon as you have collected and registered your Shipston Card you can start collecting points. If you present your Shipston Card when you pay for your goods, the points you have earned at each purchase will be added onto your card. Once you have earned enough points, you will be able to redeem them in the business in which they were collected. You don’t have to remember where the different points were earned – the card does all that for you. Kate King, owner of Ivyheart and one of the organisers of the scheme said “All retailers understand that most people can choose where they shop. This is our way of saying thank you for shopping in Shipston and supporting local businesses.” To find out more about the scheme or to collect a card, please visit one of the following participating businesses: Ivy Heart, Lucy Walker Flowers, Taste of the Country, Shipston Therapy Centre, Cookies Mini Mart, The George Hotel, Niche, The Bakery , Rightons, Shipston Leisure Centre, Sheldon's wine cellars.
Ground Source Heat Pumps - Worth Considering!
Ground source heat pumps are helping to cut CO2 and other nasty emissions and help to delay the arrival of Peak Oil.
Typically a 70 - 120 metre length ground loop put down a 5 -6 inch diameter borehole will collect enough heat from the ground for a four bedroom house. Alternatively where there is sufficient land a long collector loop can be buried in a trench of a metre depth or more. The collected heat is used to warm a refrigerant in the heat pump machine until it becomes a vapour. The machine compresses this vapour which makes its temperature increase. The hot vapour is then used to heat the water going to the radiators or underfloor pipework. If properly designed and installed a heat pump system will warm a house throughout even a long severe winter. It will also give all the hot water for washing up, baths and hand washing. In many cases heat pumps are becoming the preferred choice for heating new homes or replacing old boilers. This is because you get about 1kilowatt-hour of heat for every quarter of a kilowatt hour of electricity supplied to the machine.
Energy Saving Trust field trials at 54 sites of operational systems have shown proper sizing, careful design, rigorous attention to all aspects during installation and commissioning are essential to achievement of high performance. There have been cases where this has not happened. The industry is responding by tightening standards and enhancing training. It is also important end-users understand the differences between running a boiler and using a heat pump to heat a property at maximum efficiency. This includes grasping the concepts of thermal mass, response times and minimum cycling and their effects.
Heat pumps are spread throughout the UK from Cornwall to Scotland and can be found in properties ranging from bungalows to accommodate the elderly, hard-to–heat homes, and stately homes, to schools, offices and public buildings. Ideally they are specified in the initial proposals for a new build but frequently they are becoming the preferred option for retrofits.
In all cases the priority should be getting the thermal characteristics of the building itself as high possible mainly by super-insulation, stringent minimalisation of air leakage and correct provision of, (and subsequent use of,) ventilation whether natural or other. Then it is appropriate to choose the heat source.
The Renewable Heat Incentive, about to start for ground source heat pumps, with air source to follow next year, makes a heat pump system financially attractive. Drafted to give an 11% or 12% annual return on the difference between the capital cost of a boiler and the ground source heat pump system, it is to be confirmed possibly this month.
Is it any wonder the government says there could be 2.5 million installations in the UK by 2030?
(Paul is an independent renewable energy consultant)
Other Events:

22nd September (8 am to 12 noon) - Electrical and electronic appliance recycling
Shipston High School is hosting a special skip, on 22nd September (8 am to 12 noon), for electrical and electronic appliance recycling arranged by Stratford District Council with the help of DHL. The event is advertised in local newspapers as well. I hope you will support us by informing your contacts - maybe using your mail list for Transition Shipston.

Come and enjoy the talents, tastes and skills of the country!
Home grown goodies, arts and crafts, apple pressing,
Cheese scone bites with coffee/tea

Early bird rates for stall holders: £10 before 10 Sept, £15 thereafter
To book call 01608 682542
Supporting the Village Hall Jubilee Kitchen Appeal

1st/2nd October - 'Training for Transition' - a U.N. accredited course for anyone committed to a peaceful transition to a post-peak oil, sustainable society. It's being run at the new East Lodge Sustainability Centre in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, and is the only Training for Transition scheduled in the Midlands until 2012. The course (which is taught all over the world) doesn't just look at the issues of oil, climate change, and waste, but also our emotional responses to the challenges, and our vision for a better future. It includes plenty of practical exercises, including how to present and how to run exciting events - and is great fun!
Further details on the Transition Network website:
£100-£110 for the two days
To go please contact Ruth Wallsgrove:

a localcelebration of local food and local produce

Sunday 25th September 2011
Town Centre, Shipston On Stour
11am till 4pm
Local Produce Stalls
+ music, crafts & eco ideas
... and the new "Transition Tower"

Organised by Transition Shipston & Surrounding Areas
Contact Pam Bennett, 01608 685606 pam@pambennett.com

August 2011 Newsletter

Shopping in Shipston – Even Better News
You may remember that in March Transition Shipston members carried out a shopping survey, comparing prices in Stratford Tesco's with prices at Shipston's independent shops and Co-ops. The analysis showed, based on an Internet shopping basket selection, that it need cost no more to shop in Shipston, even before you take into account the high petrol costs of driving to Stratford or Stow or Banbury.
Now there is even better news about shopping in Shipston. Following pressure from local residents, the larger Co-op (previously Somerfields) has lowered its prices to match the price band of the Stratford Tesco's, resulting in 1000s of price cuts over a variety of goods. They now have a shelf sticker saying ‘Family Value’ for all items which have been reduced by 10% or more to help shoppers identify the best value as a result of the reductions. The smaller Co-op is exploring whether it can match these price reductions, and we hope all this will lead to more people shopping locally. This will help keep all the independent shops thriving too, and they offer an amazing variety of food, clothes, hardware, flowers, gifts, craft products which people who live far away often seem to appreciate more than those of us who actually live in this very special market town.
Helen Winnifrith
Stretton Goes Solar
Stretton-on-Fosse Village Hall has installed solar pv panels with the help of village residents. The panels are expected to earning £1400 per year in“Feed in Tariff” - this is the government scheme by which the hall will be paid 43.3 pence per unit of electricity generated. The village hall can also save around £500 per year in electricity bills if it can use the electricity as it is generated.
The 21 Sharp solar panels, which are manufactured in Wrexham, should produce around 3339kW hours of electricity a year and save nearly 2 tonnes of carbon emissions. The system which is rated at 3.89kWp was installed by locally based company The Green Electrician who have an office in Brailes. The surrounding trees could be left untouched because they do not shade the panels from the sun.
The Village Hall was able to raise the £12500 for the panels with an innovative loan scheme. Local residents were invited to loan the Village Hall the money at 2% above inflation. Fifteen residents took up the offer and signed a loan agreement which lasts for the 25 years- that is the period that the government guarantees to pay the Feed-in-Tariff. The investors can however withdraw their money after 5 years if they wish. The Village Hall is still expected to make over£1000 per year on the deal after paying out the interest.
The secretary of the Village Hall Izzi Hazelwood said “We are very pleased to go green with this community scheme. The money raised will be used to make improvements to the facilities of the Hall.”

Healthy Food
Pam Bennett has been doing some publishing work for the The International Raw Food Restaurant Directory, she says: “This is a listing of over 600 restaurants in over 45 countries world wide, who offer a raw food menu. If you are new to raw food, this is a vibrantly new way of eating that consists of mainly, or totally raw foods. It can have amazing health-giving effects, which have been documented. Candida, cancer, diabetes and lupus are amongst those which can be helped.
Do please pass this on to anyone you think could be interested.”

Tree Planting packs
In celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee the Woodland Trust is offering free tree packs of 105 or 420 trees. Transition Shipston and Surrounding Communities is applying for a tree pack and would love to hear from transition members as to possible places to plant them.
Packs we can apply for comprise of Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel Birch, Rowan, Oak, Cherry, Dogwood, Ash, Hornbeam, Hazel, Crab Apple, Elder and Dog Rose. We will apply for 105 trees, but if there is enough response, we will try for 420.
Please get in contact ASAP with your location ideas!
Jenny Lanham, photojourno2003@yahoo.co.uk, Phone: 07855 374471

Fruit Picking
For the last two years Transition Shipston has picked unwanted apples and other fruit from orchards around Shipston then shared them with the High School and others who have pressed them for apple juice and made fruit pies. This year we will be collecting and distributing fruit again. If you can help with picking, or have unwanted fruit please contact us.
Dave Passingham 01608 661816

I was unable to attend the workshop last year on how to prune apple trees. I wonder if anyone in the group knows how to do this and would be interested in passing on their knowledge & assisting me later in the year in exchange for a share in our apples. Sharing in picking the apples during the coming month is also a welcome option – we have one Discovery and one Bramley tree.
Please contact Geri on 01608 662848 if interested.

May 2011 Newsletter

Shipston Transition Tower
Transition Shipston has just won a £2000 grant to build a “transition tower” from the environmental charity Artists Planet Earth. This is what we propose:
The “Transition Tower” will display everyday items that are made entirely or partly from oil based materials and highlight the impact these will have in terms of climate change. It will also display sustainable alternatives that can substitute for these in the future. It will be 3.5 metres tall with fixing points to hang objects on and artwork to highlighting aspects of “peak oil” and climate change.
The design of the tower will be carried out with the help of schoolchildren but the project will also need professional engineering and artwork.
The tower will be the centre-piece at events in Shipston where the public will be invited to choose objects for display as well as pin their ideas for the future on to the tower.
Queen's Avenue Play Area / Orchard
About 10 of us met at the play area and agreed a rough plan, with the football pitch going parallel to Camden Rd, not as thought earlier. Trees, play equipment, fruit bushes, picnic area with wild flowers, benches, litter bins etc all as outlined before. Favoured play equipment, as well as 2 football goals, was a climbing frame in imaginative design + play house + lots more depending on quotes. High wire netting fencing needed specially round the football area, to be planted over with hedging and trees to look better.
We learned that the play equipment for Libbylous in Mayo Road cost about £130,000, but there could be funding from WREN through the Landfill Trust, as well as possibly Orbit and the Town Council, and that grant funding can be checked through the website J2B.
Contact Helen on 661244 for further information

Wool Fair – Monday 30th May
Following the success of the last year's stall at the Wool Fair Transition Shipston we are again having a stall. We will be selling plants as well as wool related items. If you can help or if you would like more information please contact Pam Bennett, 01608 685606 pam@pambennett.com
Harvest Fair – Sunday 25th September,
Transition Shipston with the support of the Town Council will be running a Harvest Fair on Sunday 25th September; the High Street will be closed from 5.30am until 7.30pm.
We will be marketing the fair in the local press and we hope it should bring a good number of potential customers to the town, should you decide to open your business.
If you have any ideas that might help with running the fair or would like to be involved with organising, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Contact Pam Bennett, 01608 685606 pam@pambennett.com
Monday 16th May
Transition Steering Group
6.00, White Bear Pub, Shipston
Designs for the “Shipston Tower”

Footpath Walks - Update
Here is an updated list of the walks:
Saturday May 14. Meet outside St Edmund’s at 10 am to walk to Stretton and back. 7 miles
Saturday June 18. Meet outside St Edmund’s at 10 am to walk to Todenham and back. 6 miles
Saturday July 16. Meet outside St Edmund’s at 10 am to walk to Honington and back. 3 miles
We hope to arrange two more walks , catching the bus to Brailes with two different routes back
We’re also arranging a public meeting for people interested in using and improving Shipston’s footpaths, to be publicised in the Forum and through Transition Shipston. This will be in the White Bear at 7pm on May 16th
You are welcome to join us if you are up for mud, stiles, carrying a drink/ snack and being responsible for your own safety ! Ring Val on 666046 or Helen on 661244 for further information.

Natural History Walks
A series of walks led by Keeper of Natural History, Steven Falk, featuring wildflowers, trees and medicinal plants.
All walks start at 10.00am and finish approximately 12.30pm.
Tickets £6.00 each. Concessions £5.00
Booking is essential, please telephone Heritage Education on 01926 412069 to book a place.
These are walking tours and we cannot guarantee any seating will be available at any point during the walks. Please wear footwear suitable for walking and clothing suited to the weather.
Wednesday 15th June
Nebsworth Downs, near Ilmington (Grid Ref. SP17714303), meet in the car park of the National Trust Hidcote Gardens. The highest point in Warwickshire with stunning views, and also one of the best places to see unusual arable weeds and poppy blooms.
Wednesday 10th August
Edge Hill Woodlands, Edge Hill Village, OX15 6DJ (Grid Ref. SP37364739). Meet at the Castle Inn. Please park along road and not in the Castle Inn car park.
A walk through one of our most stunning woods, and hopefully also some of the adjacent meadows. Also a chance to learn a little of the great 18th century Gothic architect Sanderson Millar who lived at nearby Radway Grange and planted the trees around the Edge Hill obelisk.

Transition Network Conference 2011, 8th - 11th July, Hope University, Liverpool, The conference is a perfect opportunity to meet with other Transitioners taking this challenging journey, to delve deeper into the areas that interest you most, and to gain new skills that will serve you and your initiative well over the coming years.

Geri found the Naturesave insurance company for Transition Shipston and as you can see below they have won an ethical award. If any other groups need insurance we can recommend them
Naturesave has been awarded the Queens Award For Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category for 2011.
The citation provided by the Queens Award office reads as follows:
Naturesave Policies Ltd t/a Naturesave Insurance is an exemplar ethical insurance cover provider for individuals, companies and the voluntary sector throughout the UK, which has set a clear benchmark for others within the insurance industry. Sustainability and ethical business practices are at the core of the company’s commercial activities, with preferential treatment given to charity or not-for-profit organisations. Naturesave Insurance has taken an innovative approach to promoting sustainability through its wider operations, including thorough commitments to make all business journeys via public transport, and incentivising staff to avoid air travel for holidays. The company effectively engages with the wider sustainability agenda, delivering benefits within the wider community through the Naturesave Trust, a charitable trust funded through the company’s premiums, which gives grants to environmental, conservation and community renewable energy projects throughout the UK.

Managing the Small Pig Herd”

For Maximum Health and Optimum Production

ADAS invites you to the first in a series of four workshops aimed at small-scale pig keepers. Along with guest speakers and demonstrations where possible, we will discuss the problems that can arise when dealing with either a few pet finishers for personal use or a breeding group to fill a niche market.

Growers Needed for Garden Share

The Garden Share scheme works by introducing people with unused or unmanageable gardens to would-be gardeners who would love to grow their own food, but don’t have access to land.

Two garden owners just off the Campden Road in Shipston are offering their small gardens for growers to look after. Before starting the scheme the owner and the grower have to sign an agreement stating what each of them will get out of the scheme (e.g. the grower gives approx 25% of the produce to the owner).

Any interested growers contact:

Dave Passingham 07973 846605

Seeds to Grow

Seeds to Grow

Transition Shipston has bought a selection of seeds to grow on and plant in the community garden in a few weeks’ time. Anyone interested in helping contact: Becky Stewart-Harris 07770 948124
Summer Seed & Plant Swap 10.30 Saturday 2nd April, Community Garden, Darlingscote Rd.

Building Resilience

One of the principles of the Transition Network is “resilience”. Here is an extract from the website:

The capacity of our businesses, communities and settlements to deal as well as possible with shock.

Transition initiatives commit to building resilience across a wide range of areas (food, economics, energy etc) and also on a range of scales (from the local to the national) as seems appropriate - and to setting them within an overall context of the need to do all we can to ensure general environmental resilience.

Most communities in the past had – a generation or two ago – the basic skills needed for life such as growing and preserving food, making clothes, and building with local materials.


Country Markets

Yvonne Keevans who helps run the Country Market in Chipping Norton is hoping we can start one in Shipston. She says:

“I have been looking into developing a Country Market in Shipston, and have four confirmed producers, one for veg and eggs the others for baking. With regard to venue, it could be returning to the Townsend Hall or looking at the scout hut option. I am hoping the Transition Group would be able to research this further and co-ordinate the forming of a core group, by advertising in the town for support etc.

We need a minimum of ten producers. The market would need to be on a regular basis, whether better to start monthly at first, or jump in with weekly, it would depend on what the core group of producers thought.

There would be some money for start up from H.Q. I am sure.”

For more information see www.country-markets.co.uk/

The Rural Living Group (Prior to 1990 -The Shipston Self Sufficiency Group)

The group started in 1974, members comprised of a mixed range and of widely different backgrounds, situations and ages, living in an approximate range of 25 miles from Shipston. All came together with the aims of a self sufficient and sustainable way of life.
Some were small farmers, others with a small garden, most kept animals or poultry, some were brought up to the lifestyle, others completely new to the dreams of Self Sufficiency. It was a great Swap Shop - Ideas, know how, skills, recipes, animals, poultry, plants, seeds, fruit vegetables and much else. Meetings regularly went on past midnight, much home produced food and wine was consumed.

Doreen Hillier from the Rural Living Group giving pruning advice to Becky and Rachael at the recent pruning day

Regular workdays were held on each other's holdings, which helped everyone with new skills and experience. Demonstrations of the group's rural skills at local shows were a regular occurrence and a great day out for all.
In 1990 the group held it's own show at Knollands Farm, this was extremely hard work but a great success, all friends and family were co-opted into helping; it was a show like no other, (no cola or burger vans in sight !)
Members have come and gone over the years and the group is now smaller, and members much older, but the aims are still the same. It is a wonderful support network for like-minded people.

Yvonne Keevins

For more information contact:

Betty Bryan, 01608 674255

Ancient Building Energy Study in Brailes

Pam Bennett has recently taken part in the study...
The study was carried out by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (which was started by William Morris) who have been commissioned to gather information on solid stone buildings for insulation purposes. Apparently there is little information on this.

They had been looking for people who were going to have their house renovated over the summer. This would mean that they could come and take readings of various things such as air tightness, and thermal imaging to get an idea of how the building is performing now. Then they will come back and do the same tests when the building is finished.

The first person came and stuck sensors on the inside of an outside wall, and one on the outside to monitor weather conditions, this will measure temperature of the walls as well as moisture content.

Then another person came to do thermal imaging and air tightness tests, or, correct term, air permeability tests – this took nearly all day. With the thermal imaging, there is a special camera, which picks out areas that are hot or cold, this is done both inside and outside the building, it can really show up places heat is being lost, for example my front door. Lastly she did air tightness tests. For this we had to tape up all the known gaps, like doorways and all the air is then taken out by a big fan, which is placed in the replacement front door.
From this you can go round the house identifying any gaps you didn’t know about. In my case, there was a howling gale from under a wash hand basin – this was from gaps round a pipe that you could hardly see! So this shows the importance of sealing gaps. The other interesting thing that happened, the carpets in two of the bedrooms rose up off the floorboards, this is again due to gaps then draughts are created. It is not only draughts that are a problem, there can also be a problem with convection, this is a bit complicated, but as I understand it is to do with the movement of air that is hot or cold or damp, anyway, it can make terrible draughts without a clear reason. The air tightness tests are now part of the building regulations for every new build house, but there is no required test for existing houses.

Apparently they have done tests and human beings are uncomfortable if their body is at different temperatures. For example, most people have been to bonfire parties where you are too hot at the front and very cold on your back. This is why under-floor heating works so well for us, this is heat rising from the floor, rather than a very hot radiator when you are near it, but the rest of the room being colder.

Pam Bennett


01608 685 606

07887 661 253

Fruit Tree Planting at High School

Transition Shipston helped organise the planting of 10 fruit trees to start the new orchard at the High School.
Pictured planting the first tree is Holly Thomas. Also pictured the headmaster Mr Baker, Jo Thomas and Dave Passingham.

Shipston Bees are Buzzing

A new apiary has been moved to its home near Shipston. Three beehives were purchased last year by Shipston Beekeepers with the support of Transition Shipston with a grant from the Council. The hives are to form an apiary which is to be used for demonstration purposes for new beekeepers. The hives were populated with colonies of bees last year by Douglas Nethercleft (pictured) and kept at Oxhill. The Beehives and Douglas at Rowborough Having survived (so far!) a really harsh winter, all three colonies have been flying in the recent unseasonably warm weather, so it was decided that now was the time to move them to heir permanent home at Rowborough Farm (between Shipston and Stretton). So earlier this month ten members of Transition Shipston and/or Shipston Beekeepers -plus three children and two dogs - attended a work party at the Apiary. Invading undergrowth was cut back, grass was mown and everyone enjoyed the bonfire! Then, with the brief cold snap earlier in the week we were able to carry out the move from Oxhill
to Rowborough. the hive entrances were sealed with tape in case any bees escaped into Douglas‟s Land Rover during the journey. By the time we got the hives to their new home the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was high enough for a few bees to emerge and investigate the new environment. Everything looks set for an interesting and hopefully sting- free year with a good harvest of honey! Anyone interested in learning more about beekeeping or helping with the apiary can contact Douglas on: djn0001@aol.com
07850 352905