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:
07850 352905

Plastic Free Week

The Plastic Free Week organised by Jenny Lanham was a great success with from 67 people from transition Shipston and all around the world participating including Roz Savage (solo ocean rower and environmental campaigner) and her team signed up for the challenge as well. Jenny says:

Overall everyone found the challenge difficult, but fun and thought provoking. It opened our eyes to just how much of what were consume is wrapped in plastic - and were inspired by each others creative solutions to getting around it! I used the butcher and, (funny look aside) enjoyed the experience of getting my meat wrapped in paper and then put in my own container for transport home. Plastic wrapped ready made meals and convenience foods were OUT, meals using fresh produce were IN. Every morning was started with porridge instead of cold cereal. I don't think I was alone in eating healthier meals. Oddly enough it seems that the more packaging, the more preservatives, e numbers, etc.

The challenge made us reflect on our purchasing habits. We rarely consider that the plastic products we use to transport our food is used for a matter of minutes, but will be in the environment for hundreds of years. Most of this wrap is not currently recyclable, but even that which is uses considerable resources to re-invent for other uses. I was shocked to read this week that disposable nappies take 400-500 years to breakdown (releasing noxious methane gas in the process) and that there are an estimated 9 million nappies disposed of EACH DAY in the UK alone. In our desire for speed and convenience we are creating a HUGE problem for our children and grandchildren. Why not make a lifestyle change to eliminate plastic in the first place?
Sadly, not one person reported back having been successful at not buying any plastic. Personally I got caught when buying a set of cake and biscuit tins - the one inside was wrapped in plastic, and also a Sunday paper which had mags inside wrapped in plastic. However, I certainly have learned a lot - I'm sticking with my new milk man and shopping smart to reduce my plastic consumption.

Comments from others:
So I have been thinking about plastic consumption for the past few days and realized that most of what we consume is encased in plastic. I have to provide refreshments for a large event tomorrow and just bought a number of things in plastic. Agh. So basically I am incapable of buying plastic free. I honestly had never realized before just how much everything around here is packaged in that shiny stuff. Thanks for making me more aware. I will definitely look at my shopping a little differently now. I will continue to try to purchase plastic free this week.

Keri Utah, USA

We dont have plastic water bottles in the house anymore and only use metal refillable ones. We recycle our plastic bags, usually they are biodegradable ones. Always use the reusable bags for other stuff and cardboard for wine and beer etc. But so difficult to buy certain things such as cleaning stuff and cordial unless it is in plastic although I get the eco friendly stuff when I can. Kids lunches are in brown paper bags or foil. If there were more options in the shops we would buy without plastic. Also tends to be difficult when you are trying to spend less as the cheaper items are packaged appart from vegies. Teenage kids don't help as shiny plastic seems to cover everything they want. Also it was back to school last week so had to buy all their school stuff which is of course half in plastic and the other half cardboard. Also shampoo etc non of it comes eco friendly. Hope this helps. Sorry I couldn't do any better. When you think about it it stinks really. In WA all things should be solar with so much sun but alas its not.


Major fail here. The first week of the month is when I do my big supermarket shop for the whole of the month, could have put it off I guess till the next week (though I will fess-up that I was distracted by a sick kid and forgot about plastic-free). It's made me focus my mind on plastic consumption but, even as a Mom who doesn't work outside the home, I would struggle to get my shopping needs without plastic in terms of time, availability and money, I reckon

Chipping Norton

It was fun - and educational! I decided I really wanted cheese, and bought some even though it was plastic-wrapped. And chips - but I bought the bag with the least amount of plastic. I do want to replenish my frozen veggie supply now though.

Buses to Oxford.

I travel to Oxford most weeks, which would be about 50X 60 miles a year = 3000 car miles- so I try to go by bus, specially since getting my bus pass. I chill out happily on the front seat of the top deck. There used to be a direct Stratford-Shipston-Oxford bus, but now you have to catch the 50 bus and change in Chippy onto the S3- except on Sundays, when the bus goes straight through. Theoretically there are connections in Chippy 4 times each weekday, and I often catch the 9.32 from Shipston, change and arrive in Oxford at 11. Coming back you can connect on the !3.55 or 17. 15 from Oxford.
Oxford-Stratford seems an ideal route to attract tourists, who could effectively subsidise the service for us locals. But at present these changes in Chipping Norton are very confusing. Sometimes you cross the road, sometimes you stay the same side. The service is not well publicised, there is no information on the bus either on screens or from the driver to let you know where you are. I have met very baffled Japanese tourists bravely trying to get from Oxford to Woodstock to visit Blenheim, which the bus service does try to promote.. If you look on line for information on buses from Oxford to Stratford, or ask in the Oxford Tourist Information office, the existence of the route through Shipston is a well-kept secret. I’ve been trying to encourage Stagecoach to see the potential from an improved, well-publicised, well-marketed regular service and shall continue to battle for that.

If you want to travel on to London by bus, you can catch the Oxford Tube or the X90 from Gloucester Green, both costing £16 for a day return or £8 over 60. But whatever your age, you can reduce the cost further by going to , booking a nominated Oxford Tube bus in advance and paying only £1 each way.

Happy bus journeys!

Helen Winnifrith

Victorian Evening

Thanks to everyone who helped make the stall at the Victorian Evening such a success. £300 was collected
for Transition Shipston funds! The stall at the Victorian evening Future stalls are planned at the Wool Fair and the Harvest Fair which Transition Shipston has been granted £500 by the Town Council to run in September. Anyone interested in helping contact: Pam Bennett or Geri Hunting.

Plastic Free 2011 Challenge - Jan 31st to 6th Feb

Plastic products are deeply intertwined with our everyday life. Plastic wrapped cheese, bottled milk, even the insides of soda cans is sprayed with a plastic lining to prevent the metal from corroding. Many of these plastics are not recyclable and go directly into landfill or are incinerated. From Jan 31st - 6th Feb Transition
Shipston would like to challenge it's supporters to explore the difficulty of avoiding plastic for an entire week.
The exercise is simple. From Jan 31st- 6th Feb do not buy anything with plastic on it or in it. The point is to make us stop and think about our purchases. A couple tips, :
 Bring in your own bags to shops

 Buy milk from the local milkman

 Bring in washable containers to the butcher.

These websites have more useful tips suggestions, and interesting articles:

Life Less Plastic

My Plastic-free Life

Month Without Plastic

Is it Possible to Go Plasticfree?

Let us know for the next newsletter how our challenge goes - email David. We'd love to know if anyone is successful and how local shops respond to our plastic free requests. Maybe the challenge will change the way you shop for 2011. Best of Luck!

Jenny Lanham