Monthly Archives: January 2011

Transition Tavistock January 2010Newsletter

Welcome to Transition Tavistock’s January update

Naturally Beautiful Tree – workshop to follow

You will have already heard of the success of our pedal-powered ‘Naturally Beautiful’ Christmas tree which won second prize at Tavistock’s Tree Festival. It was the brainchild of the Food and Energy Groups – and made possible by a number of inspired members, only some of whom were mentioned by name in our December mailing. Thanks again to all those who contributed their time, ideas, decorations and ingredients to the tree. In the run-up to Christmas 2011 the group plan to offer a workshop in making your own sustainable decorations; sheep farmers take note, these may well include decorations knitted from home-produced yarn!

Transition Tavistock Annual General Meeting

This mailing constitutes formal notice of this year’s AGM. The Agenda is below, together with information about membership of Transition Tavistock, proposed changes to the Constitution, nomination and election of Committee member and how to propose items for discussion at the meeting. We plan to cover the formal proceedings briskly, and then move on to show a film on ‘The Challenge Ahead’ followed by an opportunity for discussion.



7.00 pm on 11th February 2011 at Tavistock United Reformed Church Hall

(You will be notified further if additional items for discussion are proposed)

1. Apologies

2. Minutes of AGM of 17.2.10

3. Matters Arising

4. Annual Report

5. Accounts

6. Amendment to Constitution

7. Election of Committee Members

8. Any Other Business

9. Date of next AGM


Membership entitles you to vote at AGMs and so help determine how the Organisation develops. Membership currently costs £1 per year (with greater amounts very welcome from those who feel they can afford more) and is open to anyone who lives or works in Tavistock or any of 22 surrounding parishes and who supports the Aims of the Organisation. For those who took out membership at the last AGM, renewal is due at this AGM.

Proposed changes to the Constitution. In order to make the workings of Transition Tavistock more efficient, the current Committee proposes that the Constitution be amended so that a quorum for the Committee is 3 members, and to allow electronic voting by committee members. It is considered that now Transition Tavistock is well established most of the work of the Organisation should be organised and carried out by the Working Groups and it should only be necessary for the Committee to meet the minimum of 4 times per year required by the Constitution. The proposed amendments to the wording of the Constitution will be available at the AGM and can be supplied before then on request.

Nomination and Election of Committee members. All current members of the Committee step down at the AGM (but are eligible for re-election). A new Committee, to include a minimum of 4 Executive Officers (a Coordinator, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and one Executive Officer without portfolio), will be elected. We would particularly welcome nominations for the post of Treasurer. To make a nomination* or to volunteer as a candidate for the committee, please get in touch: Nominations (with the consent of the nominee) must be received in writing (c/o Westden, 20 Plymouth Road, Tavistock, PL19 8AY) by 28th January 2011.

Items for discussion or voting on at the AGM These should be received in writing c/o Westden (see above) by 28th January 2011*.

*Please note that nominations and agenda items will be accepted from those who are not currently paid-up members, provided that they pay their membership fee on arrival at the AGM.

Funding available for Community Garden

The Integrated Arts Group have left £1500 as primer funding for a community garden in Tavistock. Caroline Keane is working with the Transition Tavistock Food Group to develop plans on a piece of land behind the Molly Owen Centre, Tavistock. CK has invited Tom Petherick (Soil Association, Heligan and ‘The Future Cities Garden’) to give advice. TaVi funded a soil survey in 2009. See below for report from Caroline Keane and for more info email

Some time ago when Caroline Keane was Mayor of Tavistock (2006) as member of the Integrated Arts Group at The Molly Owen Centre with Gill Gorbutt (Chair of the Integrated Arts Group) and other group members including Mary Toon and Maggie Squires together with representatives from Molly Owen, negotiated the use of the land to the rear of the building – a large rectangular area the size of two tennis courts for lease from Devon County Council. Tavi funded the group to carry out required testing for arsenic levels on the land, and it was found to be suitable for raised beds use. A small amount of funds (£1500) have been earmarked from Integrated Arts Funds to create the basis for match funding for the project.

Tom Petherick of Petherick, Urquhart and Hunt, who is Soil Association representative for the SouthWest, former landscape and founder gardener of Helligan Gardens and most recently creator of the bio-dynamic ‘The Future Cities Garden’ show garden in front of Clarence House at The Garden Party to Make a Difference, Clarence House, 8-19th September 2010 has offered to advise on the layout and future use of the Molly Owen Community Garden and at another possible location for a ‘Future Towns Garden’ based on The Future Cities garden for Tavistock.

’The Future Cities Garden revolves around the four seasons of the year. Within them it is possible to grow and harvest a wide range of fruit, flowers, vegetables and herbs, to do it cheaply and make it fun.

It incorporates innovative ideas such as ‘Forest gardening’, modelled on the natural seven storeys of the forest for maximum output using shade loving plants.

We have also created vertical growing dimensions for plants using recycled containers to take advantage of spare spaces in small places.’

Caroline Keane, 2010

Energy and Food groups

The next Energy and Food Group meeting is planned for Wednesday January 26th at 19:30. The meeting will be hosted by Mike & Jenny Dennis. We’ll be assessing the Ecoteams progress, considering how we can collaborate with other local groups and considering plans and actions for 2011. If you’re interested in joining us, please come along.

Dates for your new 2011 Diary

• Grow TaVi: Tuesday 11 January 2 – 4 pm at the Wharf featuring composting guru Nicky Scott

• Green Drinks: Tuesday 11 January from 7.30 in the Market Inn, Whitchurch Rd; all welcome

• Town Council Open Day: Saturday 22 January in the Town Hall. A great chance to view and comment on plans for Tavistock, and to voice your concern for environmental issues

• Transition Tavistock AGM and short film: The Challenge Ahead Friday 11th February, 7pm in the United Reformed Church Hall – aiming to keep business to a minimum, show the film and then discuss plans for next year. Please see details above.


A trio of Transition books has been published by Green Books:

Communities, Councils and a low-carbon future by Alexis Rowell; Local Money: How to make it happen in your community by Peter North; and Local Sustainable Homes by Chris Bird. Silver River, published by the Tamar Valley AONB Service, is a beautiful celebration of the Tamar Valley in words by Virginia Spiers and in pictures by her sister Mary Martin.

We have an informal lending pool of recently published sustainability books which are passed around at the monthly Green Drinks. Anyone want to start a Book Club?

A Gardener Writes

We have received this request for advice from a budding gardener. Maybe you can help answer his query? I have removed 5 conifer trees to create space for growing vegetables. The area provides space for 3 beds, two of which are 6 foot by 6 foot and the third is 9 foot by 7 foot. In other parts of the garden, I have fruit trees, rhubarb, raspberry and loganberry canes and also tubs in which I have grown runner beans, spring greens etc. As a novice at growing vegetables, I would be grateful for any ideas that readers may have as to what they would choose to grow and tips as to how I should proceed. Self sufficiency is a dream but if readers would share their experiences and tips, all of us will have more chances of using the land adjacent to our homes in a more profitable and sustainable way. Responses please to our email address above.

Rainwater Harvester Installation to view

If you are interested in seeing what’s involved in getting a rainwater harvesting system installed, you are welcome to ring Penny Preston to arrange a visit to the Priory Close site, which apparently may involve a certain amount of mud!

Links of the Month Nicole Foss, aka Stoneleigh, who takes a long hard look at the interplay of finance, energy and geopolitics when making economic forecasts. She predicted the current economic downturn and her forecast for the future is sobering. for all you armchair sea dogs with internet access, who would like to read old ships’ logbooks in order to improve our understanding of changing weather systems.

Please send any items for inclusion in the next newsletter to or Transition Tavistock c/o Westden, 20 Plymouth Road, Tavistock, PL19 8AY.