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: