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

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