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