November 2013 Newsletter

Monday 4th November, 7.00 – Transition Shipston

Black Horse Pub, Station Road

Tuesday 12th November 10am – Shipston U3A Nature Group

Tuesday 19th November, 7.30 – Permaculture Group Drink

Red Lion, Long Compton.

Tuesday 19th November, 7.00 – Shipston Neighbourhood Plan

Town Council Offices, Clark House, Shipston

Saturday 7th December – Transition Shipston Xmas Fayre

Townsend Hall, Sheep Street

Ilmington Solar School Appeal
Shipston Food Festival Success
Apple Pressing
Permaculture (& Organic Gardening) Group
Heart of England Transitioning
Transition Shipston Xmas Fayre
Fracking – The Wrong Move!
Ilmington Solar School Appeal to raise £17,000

Anna Pike of the Ilmington Solar School Project has asked transition Shipston to forward this appeal:

Ilmington School's solar project aims to raise £17,000 to put solar panels on the roof. Becoming a ‘Solar School’ is an exciting prospect for Ilmington School. We are the only school in Warwickshire to have been selected to participate in the carbon-cutting organisation 10:10's Solar School project ( They are supporting us in our bid to raise the money to make our school 'Solar'. 

The project has many educational, environmental and financial benefits. Today’s primary school children will be the generation for which climate change, global warming and scarcity of fossil fuels will have the greatest impact. Solar panels will reduce the school’s carbon footprint and allow the children to learn about sustainable and renewable energy supplies first hand. Solar panels will also allow teachers to deliver national curriculum subjects such as numeracy, IT and science in different, fun and exciting ways using data the children can gather from the panels themselves. 

By generating our own solar electricity the school can also reduce its energy bills (electricity and oil) by up to £2000 a year. Energy bills are paid directly out of the school's annual budget and for a small school like ours this represents a significant amount that could be put to direct educational use. The benefits of this will be felt by the community for many years to come.
The children are busy taking part in sponsored runs, bike rides, swims, gymnastics, cake bakes and ice cream sales. We are, however, a small, rural school comprising about 70 families (108 children) and need to reach out to the wider community for financial support. I would be grateful if you could forward this appeal to individuals and businesses associated with Transition Shipston with an invitation for them to be part of this amazing project.

There are several ways in which individuals and businesses can help us achieve our goal. Donations can be made directly via our dedicated online fundraising website and are tax deductible (charity number: 1028139). Donations of £100 or more will allow a company to place a logo and website link on our fundraising site. We can also celebrate business support through our parent newsletter and dedicated social media sites. In addition we will be collating a special ‘book of sponsors’ at the school to celebrate the support shown by the community. Major donors (£2000 or above) will have their names included on a celebratory plaque.

Businesses can also show support by displaying a poster for our appeal. Offers of this can be emailed to me directly at Supporters can also follow our fundraising story on twitter ( and facebook (

Thank you for your continued support

Best wishes

Anna Pike

School Governor

Ilmington C of E Primary School.

Shipston Food Festival Success
Transition Shipston Stall
Shipston's first food festival last month was a great success with about 2000 attending. The High Street was heaving with colourful stalls over the weekend. There were more than 30 stalls selling produce from the Stour Valley and the north Cotswolds. Visitors enjoyed artisan food stalls and local beers along with cookery demonstrations from Francis Green, the Cotswold Traiteur, as well as live music. It was good to see that local producers were able to put on displays at least as good as the Italian and French Markets.
Apple pressing..

There was lots of interest in Transition Shipston's apple pressing stall at the Food Festival. Visitors were offered a taste of the of the apple juice. Many people who had not tasted fresh juice before seemed surprised at how fresh and tasty it was. The apples had been collected from the orchard at Ilmington Manor which would otherwise have been wasted. There were others offers of donations of apples to press and share the juice which we are trying to process.
If you have unused apples that you would like to share or if you would like to help with apple pressing contact Dave Passingham 07973 846605.
If you live nearer Chipping Campden...
Susie Tombs from Transition Campden writes:
At this time of year, if you have an apple tree you might be feeling overwhelmed by the harvest. If you wish to take any excess fruit to the school garden ( that's the 'big' school, in Cider Mill Lane), they can be processed into juice.
Drop off your (reasonably sound) fruit - not old windfalls - in carrier bags or boxes by the shed in the school garden, which is next to the caretaker's house, to the left as you go into the school drive. Leave a note to say how much in weight you have left approximately and how many bottles of juice you would like. Cost is expected to be £1.40 per bottle, for pressing and bottling, and it will take about 2-3lbs of fruit per bottle. Anything left over will be sold to raise money for the school. Drop off within the next 7 days.
The teacher in charge of this is Geoff Carr - who you may have seen on River Cottage, showing how the orchard is used by the school for its Land Based Sciences course.
"and I am autumn-tired /of the great harvest I myself desired" Robert Frost
Permaculture (& Organic Gardening) Group
When starting, Transition groups are encouraged to go on a permaculture course in order to understand environmental design for organic gardening, self-maintained agriculture and sustainable architecture... Those who attended permaculture courses in Whichford about 4 years ago have been doing their own thing since then. Now we are going to get together every month to discuss our experiences and exchange tricks and tips. If you are interested in organic gardening in general or permaculture ideas in particular why not come along for a pub chat on Tuesday 19th November at the Red Lion in Long Compton. Contact Dave Passingham
Heart of England Transitioning
Heart of England Transitioning is a network of Transition groups and village groups from around Warwickshire. At the bring & share meal and gathering on 25th October at Lifeways in Stratford there were 10 groups represented. After the meal we heard all the latest news from around the county. It's always inspiring to hear about the latest activities which include harvest shares, community gardens, community fund raising, “incredible edible” public flower gardens, bee keeping and protests meetings about fracking.
The network decided to organise a big speaker meeting and invite one of the founders of the Transition movement Rob Hopkins. It was decided to organise some community based environmental training such as Transition Streets (& village) groups

Transition Shipston Xmas Fayre
Transition Shipston is this year organising an Xmas Fayre at theTownsend Hall on Saturday 7th December. Ideas for baking on the day include: ginger bread biscuits and bread wreaths. There will also be real Xmas wreaths making and other crafts. We hope to have small indoor market including stalls of nuts, turkeys, apple juice & cider, fruit wine etc. Calypso Kids play group will be organising games for children. For more information contact Erry Lilley

Fracking – The Wrong Move!
Fracking may come to Warwickshire – this article was sent to us by John Stott of the Making Henley Greener group in Henley-in-Arden:

Right now, the government has earmarked nearly two-thirds of England for possible fracking, without fully understanding what effects it is likely to have on our health or the countryside.
What we do know is that if we want to tackle climate change, we must not be be extracting more fossil fuels out of the ground [1]. The International Energy Agency has repeated its warning that if emissions are to be held within the projected danger threshold of a 2C rise, two-thirds of known fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned. So what’s the point of spending money seaching for more fossil fuels? – There isn’t any. It’s pointless and a waste of money. Money should be spent on development and creating clean sources of energy instead.
Fracking involves horizontal drilling that can extend two miles from the actual drill site, passing directly under the homes of those nearby. Despite the government’s enthusiastic dash for gas, we have the power to make fracking very difficult, and may even be able to halt exploration in its tracks, if enough of us come together. This is how it works: if you don’t want fracking companies drilling under your home, you can say so. Then, any drilling there becomes trespassing; the frackers would be breaking the law. All you have to do is declare that your home is 'Not for Shale' and you will be added to the growing legal block to stop fracking where you live. But action is needed quickly, as there are hints that the government will try to change the law to support their dash for gas. [2]
To find out if your land is scheduled as possible fracking territory and to object if necessary click here

John Stott

September / October 2013 - Newsletter

Next Meeting:
Transition Steering Group
Wednesday 9th October, 7.00
Black Horse Pub, Station Road

Shipston group launches self-build housing project

Local people in Shipston are being asked to come along to the launch of a group who hope to build their own homes. Founder Mike Ashton said: ”There are many local planning applications from developers that offer new homes to locals that they might not be able to afford. I want to see if there is a need for local people to develop their own homes without having to move out of the area or take on a mortgage they can’t afford.” The group will look at finding a suitable site, planning applications and method of building their homes. “Whilst it can be daunting to think about building a house from scratch, by combining skills and making the best use of local resources, we can build homes that are energy efficient and comfortable.” If you’d like to find out more information, contribute some ideas and maybe become a self builder, the group will meet at the Black Horse in Shipston on Tuesday 3rd September at 7.30 pm.

Transition Streets (& Villages)

Transition Shipston is hoping to set up some Transition Streets (& village) groups.

How Transition Streets works:

Groups of friends and neighbours meet every few weeks with a practical workbook to make easy changes in how they use energy, water, food, packaging and transport. Transition Streets groups explain what it’s like to take part, in this video ‘The power’s in your hands’.

Transition Streets was set up by Totnes charity Transition Town Totnes (TTT) in 2009. The idea behind Transition Streets is to engage our local community – many of whom don’t see themselves as ‘green’ – in living more sustainably in response to diminishing fossil fuel supplies and climate change.

Winner of a 2011 Ashden Award in the behaviour change category, Transition Streets is one of nearly 40 local TTT projects that see fuel price rises, economic uncertainty and climate change as opportunities to increase personal and community well-being, expand our local economy and find more sustainable ways of living. More information can be found on website.
If you are interested in helping set up a Transition Street in a street or village around Shipston contact Geri Hunting

Queen's Avenue Play Area - Update
With an extra £5000 from Shipston Town Council coming in during August the total raised for the play equipment now stands at £62000! Polly has now placed the order for the first phase which should be going in over the next 4 weeks. A celebration and apple day is planned in the park on Saturday 19th October.
For more information contact Polly Taylor:

Shipston Food Festival – Update

We will be running a seed swap, a food / cookery book swap and plant swap on the Transition Shipston stall at the festival. If you have things to swap please bring them along. We will also be pressing apples to raise funds. If you have any spare apples that need picking please let us know.

Event Programme for the Food Festival

Sunday 29th September:

0900 – Competition area open for entries
1000 – Event officially opens for visitors
1000 – Raffle tickets on sale
1000 – Competition entries close, and judging begins
1100 – 1130 First cookery demonstration
1230 – 1300 Second cookery demonstration
1400 – 1430 Third cookery demonstration
1530 – Competition winners announced, and prize giving
1545 – Raffle draw
1555 – Winner of Best Local Producer announced
1600  - Close

Chipping Campden – “Macerator” Visit
Our friends in Transition Chipping Campden group recently went to visit the “Macerator” that is in a quarry up on the top of the hill just above Campden. This is the report from their newsletter:
This beast devours waste organically and in doing so generates useful energy. For the technical details, read on:
Northwick Power operate a 2000 kW Anaerobic Digestion plant in the heart of the North Cotswolds. The power from this plant is distributed from Northwick’s own substation to the local power distribution network, from where the power will be used to supply up to 1500 homes.
What is Anaerobic Digestion?
Put simply, it is the de-composition of organic material in the absence of oxygen. In reality it is a complex series of biological activity decomposing organic material in a series of stages.
Northwick Power built a state of the art German manufactured plant to manage the process of decomposition as these stages are happening simultaneously and continually within the concrete biological tanks. The plant produces a constant supply of methane which is used to fuel two V20 generation sets producing ‘green’ electricity.  
The supply of organic matter is derived from farming waste, such as from the mucking our of cattle sheds, as well as from food not fit for human consumption. The latter supply is processed on site to remove packaging and is then pasteurised to kill off harmful bacteria.
The organic matter, or ‘feedstock’ is fed into the plant at a constant rate of circa 100 tonnes per day to ensure the bacteria are nourished and the biological process kept alive.
Nothing is wasted as the fully de-composed organic matter is retained in a storage tank and then used as an alternative to non-organic fertiliser on crops. This material, rich in nitrogen and other elements provides an attractive alternative to man made fertilisers. Heat from the engines is used to pasteurise the food waste derived organic matter as well as keeping the biological tanks at 40 Deg Centigrade.
Anaerobic Digestion is a sustainable alternative for processing waste food in the UK. McCain, for example, are completely self sufficient in energy and Coca Cola have reduced their fuel costs by almost 13% by utilising biomethane. Plants, such as the one at Northwick Estate, are having a significant impact on the amount of ‘green’ electricity generated and are helping the UK to meet its tough renewable targets.
 William Fellows, Plant Manager Northwick Biogas Plant
Contact Susie Tombs at Transition Campden

Warwickshire - Energy Saving Homes website‏

This is to inform you that a new website is now available to residents of Warwickshire and Coventry to help them identify ways to save energy at home. It has been developed by Act on Energy, the energy efficiency advice service for the area with the help of funding from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
The new site includes a NHER SAP2009 calculator that will give you an indication of potential improvement measures for your home. Minimal information is needed for an initial assessment, but more information can be added to give a more accurate assessment, including approximate costs and savings for appropriate improvement measures. You can register your details on the site so that you can return to it at a later date - for example, after making an improvement to see what the benefits have been achieved and what they you might do next.
A key feature of the site is a link to local contractors. There are details of around 40 contractors who are based in or near the area, giving details of the type of work they carry out, with a map which shows their location. The site also provides an opportunity for customers to provide feedback on how a contractor performed: this is displayed with stars against each contractor. There are also numerous pages providing dedicated information about measures, grants, and local community groups – including Community Energy Warwickshire.
Another valuable feature are individual case studies of local homes, which outlines the actual improvements made and the contractors who did them, with a link to a map showing where they are located. Thanks to all those Community Energy Warwickshire members  who offered their home as a case study for the site! Act on Energy plans to add more case studies over time to provide examples of all the potential improvement measures, so if you have improved the energy efficiency of your home and are prepared to tell others about it, let Act on Energy know.
The website currently only covers Warwickshire and Coventry, and although it can be accessed from anywhere, it only recognises post codes in or near to that area. Those entering a post code outside the area will get a message saying “you are outside the area” but they can still use the site’s facilities. Ultimately, Act on Energy hope other areas will request access to the site, so that its advice and information can spread across the country.
If you have any comments on or questions about the site, or want to suggest your home as an improvement case study, or notice any bugs –it’s still a very new site! – contact David Jullien, Chief Executive of Act on Energy at For more information about Act on Energy’s other work, see
 Zero Waste Week
Zero Waste Week 2013 runs from Monday 2 September to Sunday 8 September. Now in its sixth year, this time round Zero Waste Week is concentrating on reducing food waste.
Check out the Zero Waste Week website at for tips on ways to avoid food waste when shopping, in the kitchen and at work and school. There is also a range of "use-it-up" recipes to help you make the most of any leftovers.
Like the Plastic Challenge organised by Transition Stratford it doesn't set you targets, but you can set your own personal goals for reducing food waste. So if you sign up to support the week, why not let us know here at Transition Stratford and we'll see what we can do together!
Roger Matthews 
Transition Stratford

A Girl called Jack

Jack Monroe, who writes the blog A Girl Called Jack, discusses how she became a popular austerity cook and food blogger while living below the poverty line, and demonstrates how to cook one of her signature dishes: the carrot, cumin and kidney bean burger. A selection of recipes from A Girl Called Jack are to be published next year in a book of the same name

Armscote Manor Lecture Series 2013‏ - 7th to 11th October

eighth series of garden lectures and workshops at Armscote Manor.  

There is an interesting and varied week planned and end on a high note with the wonderful Orchestra of the Swan conducted by the charismatic David Curtis.
Whichford Pottery and Neal's Yard will have stalls throughout the week and Armscote Manor pots, flower bricks, honey, tulips and wool will also be available.
Bablake Wines have very kindly and generously agreed to provide a glass of wine for all our guests again this year. A ticket order form and gift aid form can be downloaded from our website:-
All monies raised during the week are donated to Shipston Home Nursing.

Contact Deborah Williams:

Community Garden Open Afternoon - Sunday 26th May

Transition Shipston is holding an open afternoon at the Darlingscote Road Community Garden on Sunday 26thMay from 3.00 onwards with refreshments at 4.30 – all welcome.

Anyone interested helping with the newly acquired community chickens can find out what is involved in joining the chicken group. The chickens were “rescued”from a chicken farm. They are starting to get used to more freedom, grow their feathers back and lay eggs. We are renovating some more old chicken pens and hoping to increase the number of chickens soon.

There are also small veg plots available for anyone interested in starting to grow there own vegetables. Help is needed in improving paths and fox-proofing fences.

Come and join in... learn new skills... grow fresh veg... share the eggs... meet new people.

April / May 2013 - Newsletter

"Meet, Make and Eat a Local Lunch"

10am-2pm, on Saturday 20th April at the Townsend Hall.
The "Local Lunch" event is being organised by Transition Shipston & Surrounding Communities to showcase some of the great locally produced and available food that is out there, to share skills and recipes, and of course to enjoy a sociable and delicious lunch out!
Visitors to the event will get a warm welcome, with the opportunity to sample some local produce such as local cheeses, get involved in some 'mini-making workshops', contribute to our 'Recipe Sharing Wall' for the chance to win a prize, eat some of the wares they have helped create, or that others have made if they just fancy coming in to relax and have a bite to eat!
Bread, pizzas and soups will be made on the day, using locally produced and available ingredients as much as possible. Each of these will be a 'mini-workshop' area where anyone can have a go and get hints and tips from the workshop leader and each other as they try their hand at making bread doughs, stirring up soups or choosing pizza toppings. All the family can get involved, with simple fresh foods being great to try with children in the kitchen.
The local Country Markets Co-operative will be at the event selling their tasty food to take home. From great ingredients like veg and meat, to fabulous cakes and pies - for those times when making your own from scratch is just not possible! Country Markets provide a great array of local produce - and their producers have a wealth of expertise, hints and tips too! We hope there may some other local producers at the event as well.
Bring in a printed copy of a favourite recipe that can or does use fresh, seasonal, local produce to pin up on our Recipe Sharing Wall. Name any local food producers or suppliers if you like to help others find the best sources for ingredients. Then click away with your digital camera to take home others' recipes from the Wall! The recipes will be shared on the Transition Shipston Facebook page after the event AND there will be a prize for the best recipe!
If you don't want to get your hands messy in one of our workshops, that's fine - come along and buy a slice of the action instead! Entry to the event is free and everything will be available to buy at just £1 per portion in our all-ages-friendly eatery! There will also be plenty of local apple juices, teas, coffees and cakes available to buy to round off your lovely Local Lunch.
The local food market is a vital part of building a sustainable and resilient local economy for ours and future generations. The local multiplier effect means that every £1 spent locally is worth 400% more to the local economy than the same £1 spent with a large national/multinational. When we can, buying locally grown and reared produce in local, independent shops supports both the producer and the shopkeeper, who then have the money in their pockets to spend again locally – instead of our money going out of the local economy, it remains with local people, to be spent again, so that the benefit of the spend is passed on to other local businesses as well – this is called the “local multiplier effect”. Buying local and regional food is also a great way to reduce food miles, thus reducing the carbon footprint of your shopping basket and helping in the fight against climate change. And isn't it great to know just where the food on your plate is coming from?

Erry Lilley

Supermarket – The threat has not gone away
Ainscough Strategic Land are appealing against Stratford District Council's Planning Committee decision to unanimously reject the planning application for a supermarket development along the Campden road.
The independent consultant commissioned by Stratford District Council to assess the retail impact of the supermarket predicts that the cumulative impact on the town centre shops would be a reduction of trade of at least 54% and lead to a ‘spiral of decline’. The supermarket would provide low-paid jobs but far more jobs would be lost when high street shops close and their local suppliers go out of business.
Recently the Sunday Times listed Shipston as one of the 'Best 10 High Streets' in the country. The article made the comment that with chains like Jessops and HMV going into administration, the smaller high streets with a unique feel and flavour are thriving. An out- of-town supermarket of the size proposed would destroy the most valuable asset that Shipston has in its high street shops.
The appeal is expected to be heard in the next 10 to 20 weeks. Transition Shipston has been supporting the Shipston Heart Alive! Campaign to keep our local shops and food suppliers. The next meeting is at 7.30 Monday 15th April at the George Hotel.
Contact: Dave Passingham

Community Chickens – Update
We now have two chicken houses and have started to clear out two old chicken pens at the Community Garden. We still need to do some work to make the pens secure from foxes. There is still possibly room for a another person on the chicken rota. We are still waiting for the “retired” chickens that we are getting for free from a chicken farm. If you are interested in being involved please email:

Bag It - Is Your Life Too Plastic?

... is a 2010 documentary film exposing the effects of plastic bags and other plastic consumer merchandise, and its effects on land ecosystems, the marine environment and the human body.  It's wonderful 'Edutainment' whilst also being rather amusing. Highly recommended to watch and share.”

You are probably eating the rainforest, 
chunk by chunk, without even realising. 
Palm oil production is devastating the world’s rainforests because unfortunately, palm oil is a common ingredient in many food products available worldwide, including here in the UK. Food manufacturers don’t have to declare palm oil content on packaging until December 2014, but the Congo Basin’s rainforests are being destroyed to make way for new palm oil plantations. Right now.
For this reason, RFUK, together with Ethical Consumer, has launched a guide to foods containing palm oil to raise awareness of the impacts associated with the production of this common food ingredient.

Transition Shipston is non-political
Transition Shipston supporters come from all political parties and none. There are many pathways to creating a sustainable local community and Transition Towns recognise that each party has their own policies aimed at achieving this. Some supporters of Transition Shipston may be standing in the up coming County Council elections however, Transition Shipston remains a non-political organisation and welcomes people of all political persuasions.
Our constitution makes this clear when it states “Any person, irrespective of race, nationality, class, political views, religious opinion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, may register as a supporter of Transition Shipston” as long as they support the aims of Transition Shipston which are to:
  • encourage and support actions by individuals and organisations to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels; minimise their carbon footprint; adapt to the effects of climate change; reduce waste; and increase their resilience to higher energy prices
  • facilitate the sharing of ideas, information and other resources amongst individuals, organisations and neighbouring communities
  • promote the values of sustainability, inclusivity and social justice

School Eco Team Commended by Mayor

At the Climate Challenge on Saturday at St Edmund’s Church in Shipston the Shipston High School Eco Team was given a special commendation by Shipston Mayor Fay Ivens after they came second in the competition. The challenge which was to design their “ideal eco house” in just one hour was part of National Climate Week in which over 3000 organisations take part. The High School team with pupils from year 7, 8 & 9 were competing against adult teams from Shipston and nearby villages.
The challenge was judged by the Mayor with the help of Town Councillor, Ian Cooper. After one hour the teams presented the ideas for their eco houses with the help of diagrams. In addition to solar panels, recycling and electric cars, the teams included wool insulation, wind turbines and wood pellet boilers. The winning team from Shipston, impressed the judges with their integrated sprung floors and special water downpipes to collect energy for electricity. Their design will be forwarded to the National Climate Challenge.
The judges said it was difficult to pick a winner as every team had come up with unique and real plans for future sustainable living. The Mayor had a special commendation for the Shipston High School Team who came second in the overall competition. Their team was made up from the school eco club and gardening club with the support of their teacher, Farah Ahmed.
David Passingham from the organisers Transition Shipston said ’ every team was very creative but we were particularly impressed by the knowledge and understanding shown by the young students from Shipston High School‘.
As well as the challenge there was a swap shop stall of bric-a-brac donations and a lot of lively conversation. The event was an educational and fun afternoon.

Shipston Climate Challenge - Saturday 9th March

Shipston Climate Challenge
3.00 till 4.00 on Saturday 9th March
St Edmund's Church, Church Street, Shipston
Organised by Transition Shipston & Surrounding Communities
To enter a team contact
Dave Passingham on 07973 846605,
The Climate Challenge is part of Climate Week.
Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Culminating in a week of activities, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society. Each year, half a million people attend 3,000 events in Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion. Events are run by schools, businesses, charities, councils and many others. It is backed by celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney and organisations ranging from the NHS to the CBI.

The Climate Week Challenge is an exciting activity for teams of four to six people. It helps develop creativity, innovation and enterprise, team-working skills and experience of tackling real-life environmental issues to a deadline. The actual challenge will be given to each team on the day.

The Callenge will only take one hour of your time. The ideas from each team will be judged and the winning team for the Shipston area will be announced 4.30. The best ideas will be sent forward to the National Competition.

To enter a team contact Dave Passingham on 07973 846605,

In the next room to the challenge there will be a "SWAP SHOP" from 2.00 to 4.30 . Please bring items to swap.

January / February 2013 Newsletter

Stop the Supermarket – Thursday 24th January 6.00

One of the main aims of Transition Towns is to help build the local economy by supporting local businesses and preserve existing small shops. This is not just nostalgia but a practical way that we can save local jobs and expertise. Experience has shown that when a supermarket moves into a town at a distance of more than 300 metres from the existing town centre the footfall in the centre falls drastically and the traditional shops start closing. This leads to the decline of a whole local supply chain involving not just food & goods suppliers but also many other suppliers (e.g. plumbers, electricians, shop fitters, printers, accountants etc.). See

Shipston is lucky in having one of the best traditional High Streets in the country. If the proposed ASL development on the Campden Road which includes a supermarket goes ahead it will inevitably lead to the decline of the town centre. The jobs that are promised by the supermarket will not make up the loss of local jobs. The jobs they offer will be low skill and low wage. With the weather we’ve been dealing with this week, it’s been noticeable that the supermarkets completely ran out of fresh produce but the local shops had an abundance of fruit and veg; meat; fish etc. Where would we have been in Shipston if we had relied on supermarkets during the snowy weather?

If you want to keep Shipston as a thriving Market Town come along and
at the
Stratford District Council Planning Committee
6pm 24th Jan, Shipston High School

What Should We Put In The Recycling Bin?
On Friday Nov 30th a group from Transition Shipston visited the Material Recycling Facility (MRF) run by Pure Recycling in Ettington. This is where all our household recycling is taken to be sorted. It was agreed by all that it was a fascinating visit. The building is a massive hangar covered with conveyor belts and hoppers. Giant drums somehow separate the paper and magnets sort the metal. But most amazing was the optical sorting of the plastic into three different bins. Each plastic type is identified by a “magic eye” as the item passes along the conveyor, a nozzle then tracks the item and blasts a jet of air which blows it into the correct bin. This happens several times a second!
After the tour we had a very informative chat with one of the engineers in charge. We asked questions about exactly what we should be putting in our recycling bins at home. These are some of her answers:

Yes to soft plastic bottles and containers. No to Plastic bags
Yes to glass bottles and jars. No to other glass, e.g. windows, glasses
Yes to aluminium containers. No to plastic coated aluminium foil e.g. coffee packets

She said that although people put some quite inappropriate things in their recycling e.g. mattresses! Pure will find a company who will take it away for specialist recycling rather than it ending up in landfill. 85% of glass can be recycled. The remaining 15% is classed as dust and used as aggregate for roads and cement.

For more information on what happens to your material, please visit Pure Recycling's website for an in-depth look at the recycling process. Alternatively, you can watch a short film showing how the material is processed.

Queen's Avenue Play Area & Orchard – Volunteers Needed
At a meeting with Wicksteed the chosen play equipment suppliers for the Queen's Avenue Park last week it was decided to go ahead with the first phase of the construction starting at the end of March. This would entail selecting the main items of play equipment that can be purchased for £35000 - which is the total amount of funding already committed.

In order to save some money it was agreed that the works listed below could be undertaken by local contractors and/or a volunteer group.

Volunteer Group Tasks
  • Removing rubber tiles and recycling.
  • Removing concrete bases and re locating swing A frames.
  • Re-filling the hole with top soil, rolling out and adding grass seed/turf.
  • 3 metre high kick fence can be erected any time before or after project. Can we source and install – Mike?
  • Pathway. Needs re edging with timber edging and re surfacing – to be completed after all construction work.
  • Orchard tree planting... Wicksteed will provide a grid drawing for location of trees so that they will not obstruct the installation of the play equipment at a later date..

The first volunteer day (date to be arrange) will need to to removal of rubber tiles/concrete swing bases. Could anyone volunteering please contact: Polly Taylor or

A lot of people keep bees because they produce honey, one of the healthiest and most natural foods and one which has been valued by man since prehistory as a sweetener. Others keep bees because they are interested in the study of bees and of their habits; bees are fascinating creatures and there is always something new to learn about them. With no means of dealing with the varroa mite that is now present in all UK honey bee colonies, a feral honey bee nest is unlikely to remain viable for more than a couple of seasons. With the help of beekeepers it is only managed colonies that can survive to carry out the essential pollination our food crops. Beekeeping is an enjoyable open air hobby bringing you in contact with people from all walks of life. Bees can be kept by almost everyone except a very small minority who are allergic to bee stings.
Shipston Beekeepers are holding an “Introduction to Beekeeping” day on Saturday 9th March at the Old Free School, Brailes OX15 5HT.  The day will deal with the basics of beekeeping for the complete beginner or those with very limited experience of this craft.
Arrive at 09.30 for coffee prior to a prompt 10.00 start.  Refreshments, a light lunch and a practical beekeeping reference manual are included in the day’s price of £40.  The event is scheduled to finish at 15.30 approx.
Contact Douglas Nethercleft on 07850 352905 or to book your place. Numbers are limited.

Local Portland Sheep Wool
This year I have produced wool from our flock of Portland Sheep , the oldest registered rare breed in England and our Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. I wondered if this locally produced, British Rare Breed, undyed wool, may be of interest to members of Transition Shipston. The wool is sold at the Shipston Needlecraft shop. See
With best wishes
Deborah Williams

Brailes Gardening Club Talks

Brailes Gardening Club meets once a month at the Free School, Lower Brailes. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Talks start at 7.30 pm.

Future talks include:

21st February 2013
Rosemary Collier – ‘Controlling pests of vegetables’
21st March 2013
Neil Cook - 'The recreation of the gardens at Hanbury Hall'.
18th April 2013
David Willatts – ‘Twenty five years in Brailes - organic fruit and vegetables from my cottage garden’

To join the club, or for further information, please call Rosemary Collier on 01295 680127.