Monthly Archives: April 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

  1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
  2. Community Design Process for Tavistock Development Area and Community Follow Up
  3. Energy and Food Group Meeting: Thurs 26th April – 19:30. Come and join us!
  4. Community Garden Area in Tavistock … and Gardening with Arsenic!
  5. Hearts and Minds – Reminder
  6. Introduction to Permaculture!
  7. Garden Share Scheme and first garden offered for use!
  8. Stone Walling Day
  9. Portas Bid
  10. Car Club for Tavistock
  11. Equipment Loan Scheme – let’s get one off the ground!!
  12. EDF Energy’s Green Fund
  13. From The Friends of the Walled Gardens at Maristow
  14. Transition Plymouth Events at 171 Armada Way
  15. A Volunteering Opportunity
  16. Bits and Bobs
  17. Forthcoming Dates
  18. And Finally.

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
May Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 8th May (19:30 till 21:30) at the Market Inn, corner of Whitchurch Road and Pixon Lane in Tavistock.

2. Community Design Process for Tavistock Development Area and Community Follow Up
The Community Design Workshop process for the Callington Road and Plymouth Road developments continued through March.

A group of interested citizens met at an open meeting on Saturday 24th March at Whitchurch village hall. The aim is to support the design process and keep a watchful eye on how the design principles hold up! At the same time we feel it’s important to document the factors we consider should be taken into account and maintain an open dialogue with West Devon Borough Council. Jeremy Davies is trying to encourage this process.

On March 29th West Devon Borough Council and LDA Design held a further Design Workshop: ‘Designing the Tavistock Development – STAGE TWO’. Again well attended there was much discussion about the design work so far from LDA Design. There was a view that we have an opportunity in Tavistock to put in place an exemplary development fit for the 21st Century – a unique neighbourhood complementing the rest of the town – of which the residents and the rest of the town can be proud. This chance shouldn’t be missed.

It was agreed at the workshop that the most practical way forward would be to establish a Design Review Panel to support the process from this time forward, through the design, development and post development phases. West Devon Borough Council is now considering this proposal. A summary of the workshop is being prepared by WDBC and should be available soon.

In the meantime Jeremy has kicked off a discussion document for anyone who is interested in making any constructive comments or additions.

Jeremy: “The Government Inspector’s reservations concerning the plans for Tavistock were clear, and the Council is considering how adjustments to the housing plans may be made. The Highways Dept of DCC is determined to pursue the reinstatement of the rail link to Bere Alston, but it still may not happen. There is opportunity for influencing the plans and we must grasp this positively.

“The Council is trying to encourage community involvement through LDA Design. Responding to their presentations and suggestions though, is possible via an alternative forum. WDBC have said they will be happy to receive feed-back and ideas directly via such a route, as well as through LDA’s interpretations. This is such an attempt.

“The document is available to download at This is a first stab, with priorities/thoughts/suggestions. Any further advance will depend upon response to the idea. Reaction invited.”

The Strategic Planning Team, WDBC (
Tel: 01822 813563.
Jeremy Davies (

3. Energy and Food Group Meeting: Thurs 26th April – 19:30. Come and join us!
Our next meeting will be hosted by Jackie and Kevin Eadie on 26th April at 19:30 (12 Glanville Road). All welcome! Following on from our last meeting we’ll be discussing in more detail our ideas for setting up a Community Energy Network across the area and what we could achieve with an Energy Shop in the centre of Tavistock.

If you can’t make it but would like to get in touch, contact Kate Royston or Mike Dennis.

4. Community Garden Area in Tavistock … and Gardening with Arsenic!
A group interested in setting up a Community Garden somewhere in Tavistock met up on Weds 11th April to get some wheels in motion. If you’d like to get involved please let us know.

There are also many of us who have to deal with gardening with high levels of arsenic contamination. We’d like to encourage more discussion around this and share ideas and options about how to deal with it. What do you do? Are raised beds the only answer? And what about your orchard’s fruit crop? What’s the level of take up in the fruit? Does it reduce significantly over time? We’d like to investigate the feasibility of a long term research project enabling us to understand the varying levels of arsenic take up in different fruit and vegetable crops, options for remediation and subsequent impact on produce. If you have any views, ideas, experience or even suggestions for funding such a project please let us know.

Contact Kate Royston or Rebecca Harris or email

5. Hearts and Minds – Reminder
When the Transition Movement was started they proposed a sub group entitled Heart and Soul. The idea was to identify what motivates people to change and to explore ways that we can help others to take change on board and develop changes in behaviour to prepare for a new society which is resilient and just.

Al Head is keen to open up an opportunity for Tavistock residents to develop something similar under the heading of Inner Transition or Hearts and Minds (you have the opportunity to influence the choice of name). The group may explore the emotional side of transition, consider what do we need to do to prepare ourselves emotionally for the new society that is coming, and that we are hoping to help create? How are old patterns of feeling and thinking stopping us from thinking positively about change? How do we help those around us to embrace new ways of thinking, rather than clinging to the past ways of seeing the world?

If we can engage with those in the community who may think that transition is all about large scale projects or are frightened to face the new world ahead and provide them with positive insights into what individuals can do to change from within, then this may help form a more secure foundation for them to step out into what will be our shared tomorrow.

The first meeting of the group will be Wednesday 25th April at 7.30pm at Mike Dennis’ at XX Milton Crescent, Tavistock.

If you are interested and cannot get to the first meeting, please let Al or Mike know and they can feed back to you on the outcomes and future dates.

6. Introduction to Permaculture!
A reminder about Rebecca Harris’ offering an ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ course on 13th & 14th October 2012, 9am to 5pm at 4 Canal Road, Tavistock.

Permaculture is a systems approach to sustainability. It is a holistic way of thinking, in which we can consciously create productive environments that work with nature rather than against it. We can design for abundance, and enjoy better, healthier, and happier lives, through making more sustainable choices. A flyer is attached.

The course will provide an introduction to the ethics and principles of permaculture in a practical and hands on way. It will show you how to apply Permaculture to your window-sill, garden, farm and personal life, through observation, design, and getting your permaculture thinking cap on.


£74 with membership to the Permaculture Association of Britain included.
£50 without membership to the Permaculture Association included.

Concessions available – please contact Rebecca.


Please send your name, e-mail address, phone number and home address, along with your payment, to: Rebecca Harris Introduction to Permaculture Course,XXXXX. Your place will be secured upon receipt of payment.

For more information, please e-mail Rebecca at

7. Garden Share Scheme and first garden offered for use!

Kit Harbottle and Jackie Eadie are making good progress in getting the Garden Share scheme up and running again. Watch this space!

If you are interested in sharing your garden … or are looking for a space to garden please get in touch. Drop an email to or call 01822-[redacted].
Further details will soon be available at

Garden offered for garden share use. Available straight away: A 5m by 15m sheltered but sunny garden plot on the north side of Tavistock, near the Manor estate. Some fruit trees in place, and good soil. Fenced all round with lockable shed. Owner lives offsite and would like to find 1 person or a couple to use it (no children or pets). No mains water or rubbish disposal available, and about 50m from road. If you’re interested please contact as per above

8. Stone Walling Day

The Tamar Valley AONB held a ‘Stone Walling Day’ on Saturday Apr 14th as part of the Spring Trails Festival. It was a fabulous day and the weather was reasonably kind to us. Our mission for the day was to learn the crafts of stonewalling from a master craftsman – Mansel Grant – and practice by renovating one of the many old walls at Deer Park Farm, Luckett

We got to grips with footings, selecting the right sort of stone, batters and levels … and also got very muddy! At the end of the day not only had we renovated both sides of the wall but we did all feel confident enough to go home and repair or build our own!
Highly recommended … Kate

Mansel getting us going

9. Portas Bid

Tavistock’s bid to be a Portas Pilot was submitted on time and we’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

The submission was supported by a promotional video of Tavistock celebrating the virtues and highlighting the opportunities. This was put together by Tavistock College supported by Jay and Adam Fleet and the participants. It can be viewed at

Transition Tavistock’s letter of support can be viewed at We welcome any comments.
More information on the Portas bid process in general is available at
We’ll continue to keep you informed of developments!

10. Car Club for Tavistock

  • Ever thought of joining a car club?
  • Do you own a car?
  • Is it parked most of the time?
  • Costing you more than you think?

Tavistock is ready to join the growing number of communities – from Devon to the Highlands of Scotland – that have realised the benefits of having a car club. A car when you need it. All tax, insurance, repairs etc paid. Pay only for the hours you use the car and mileage
So if you only need a car for a few journeys a week or occasional trips why not find out if joining a car club would be the answer for you.
To find out more –
Co-ordinator Jeremy Farr 07753325014

11. Equipment Loan Scheme – let’s get one off the ground!!

We have had an offer of equipment that could be loaned by ‘Transitioners’ including a scaffolding tower, long ladder, trailer and use of an on-site log splitter. I’m sure there must be others who have under-utilised equipment that they might be prepared to loan, and conversely that they might like to borrow.

Jevan Berrange has suggested that we should get a scheme organised, making an inventory of people who have offers of equipment and/or skills etc. to offer. A suggestion is also to consider a ‘points based’ system whereby one accumulated points for loans or services provided and gave points for equipment or services used.

If you have an experience of such a scheme, would be interested in helping set it up, or have skills or equipment to share please let us know:

12. EDF Energy’s Green Fund

EDF Energy’s Green Fund is now open to applications from schools and other community based and educations organisations. The Green Fund is made up with a small premium that EDF Green Tariff customers pay, EDF match these contributions and use it to help support renewable energy projects across England, Scotland and Wales. The Fund offers grants of up to £30,000 to help cover the cost of renewable energy technology that can be used to produce green energy from the sun, wind, water, wood and other renewable sources.The next deadline for applications is the 31st August 2012.

13. From The Friends of the Walled Gardens at Maristow

Dear Potential Friend,

We’ve had masses of interest in the work going on in the Walled Gardens and lots of offers of help, so in order to co-ordinate the activities of volunteers and to support the work of the Walled Gardens at Maristow Community Interest Company, we’ve set up a Friends group which we really hope you’ll choose to join.


  • Annual Membership fees are £15 per individual,
  • £30 per family and
  • £50 for Corporate members.

The fees go towards covering the costs of insuring volunteers when they are working on-site, buying tools for the volunteers and also will go towards the costs of running events throughout the year that will be exclusive to the Friends. It’s really easy to join – just send an email to telling us that you’d like to join. You’ll get a reply from Jeremy Bunting, the Chair of the Friends with an invoice and you can either pay via PayPal or send him a cheque.

    Volunteer Days

We’re running volunteer days every 2nd and 4th Wednesday and Sunday of the month. If there is enough demand, we will increase the numbers of days accordingly.


We’re all geared up ready for the big Spring planting…the Cold Frame is already full of seedlings, Thanks to grants from the Chestnut Fund and HogCo we have a few more tools and have purchased 80 apple rootstocks which we’ll be bud-grafting with the help of the gardening team at Cotehele House in the summer. We’ll run a Friends-only grafting workshop when the time comes, so you can learn how to make your very own apple tree!

We’re opening the gardens to raise money for St Lukes Hospice on the 22nd July, 12th August and 16th September which will be a wonderful way of being able to promote the gardens as well as raise money for a worthwhile local cause.

    Work in Progress

As some of you may already know, we have been doing some work with long-term unemployed young people and are now working with groups of offenders who are working with the Community Payback Team (It’s what many of you may know as ‘Community Service’). We’re having some really good results and it’s been amazing to see how many of the CP Team have really got stuck in here

Progress on the Horticultural Therapy project for injured Armed Services Personnel is slow but steady and we are working jointly with Pentillie Castle to make this happen.

I look forward to meeting you soon,

Jeremy Bunting

14. Transition Plymouth Events at 171 Armada Way

Plymouth Transition:

Hi Everyone,

We’ve recently discovered that the lease on 171 Armada Way is going to run out on 24th June. Initial enquiries suggest that we may be able to continue here after this date provided the owners, to whom the lease reverts, are happy for us to stay. However, since this is by no means certain we’re working on the principal of “Use it or you’ll lose it”.

Attached you’ll find a list of varied events. Please have a look, and if there’s anything that attracts you do come along or ring for more information, otherwise let us know what you’d like to see here, or what you’d like to do here.

This shop is a good place to be, and, just to remind you, we’re open to the public on Saturdays from 12.00 to 4.00, and on Mondays from 10.30 to 2.30, so drop in for information, a chat and a drink, environmental and other leaflets, meeting with other interesting people, joining Transition Plymouth groups including Food, Education, Art and Transport, and Healthy Planet’s “Books for Free” scheme where you can take up to three books every time you come in. There’s also a children’s room, so don’t let having children with you put you off.

Pat Bushell for Transition Plymouth.

Events at 171 Armada Way.

 April 25th Wednesday evening,  6.30 opening for 7.00 start “Sustainable Housing”, a Transition Talk by Jeremy Guise, contact no. 07527 496036.
 April 26th Thursday evening, 6.30 opening for 7.00 start Transition Plymouth Education Group brings you: “Transition Discuss” A public discussion, meeting on the 4th Thursday of each month.
April’s title: “Petrol at £5 per litre? How will you cope with that?” Contact Clare on 01752 XXXXXX
 April 28th Saturday,  5.00 – 6.30 pm “Healthy Diet, Healthy Future – The many benefits of Veganism” A talk by Berty Justice. Entry by (free) tickets only. Contact Berty on XXXXXX for a ticket.
May 7th Monday, and on each first Monday of the month 7.00 pm opening for 7 30 start
Movie Mondays” Films with an eco slant presented by Tim Francis
Contact Tim on XXXXXX
May 12th Saturday 10:30am – 4:30pm.
Seeds for Change, from Oxford, brings you: “Having Great Meetings and Making Good Decisions Together“, a workshop to improve working in groups.Pre-booking essential, and bring vegan lunch to share. Contact: Adriana 01752 XXXXXX

15. A Volunteering Opportunity …


We have recently appointed a new manager at our Tavistock shop as part of Refurnish Devon. He is very keen to recruit a couple of volunteers as general shop assistants – cleaning white goods (fridges etc), basic furniture repair and generally helping to make the shop look nice.

We have the position advertised on the website but I was wondering if you could also advertise / promote the opportunity.

Yours Sincerely

Karen Price,
Volunteer Training & Support Manager, Refurnish, Units 4 & 5, Redlake Trading Estate, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0EZ
Tel (01752) 897311

16. Bits and Bobs
Book Tip: Rebecca Harris strongly recommends: Seaweed and Eat It: A family foraging and cooking adventure by Fiona Houston and Xa Milne
Foraging Tip: Wild Garlic Crisps
Take a wild garlic leaf, or preferably more. Brush with oil and cook in microwave for approx. 2 mins until crisp! Delicious!
Exeter Food Network
has just been launched to promote more local and sustainable food sourcing, If you’d like to join see:
Cafe Scientifique There is a proposal to start a Cafe Scientifique in Tavistock – watch this space! In the meantime, Exeter Cafe Scientifique have a meeting at Exeter Phoenix on Monday 14th May at 8.30 pm when Professor Chris Rhodes will be speaking and leading a discussion on “What Happens When We Run Out Of Oil?”.

17. Forthcoming Dates

April 2012
Hearts & Minds Group Weds Apr 25th
Energy & Food Group Meeting Thur Apr 26th

May 2012
Green Drinks Tues May 8th
Deadline for items for May newsletter Sun May 13th

June 2012
Green Drinks Tues June 12th
Deadline for items for June newsletter Sun June 17th

July 2012
Green Drinks Tues July 10th

Deadline for items for July newsletter Sun July 15th
Smallholders Weekend, Cotehele Sat/Sun July 28/29th

18. And Finally…

From the Transition Culture website

Announcing the Festival of Transition

I am delighted to be able to announce the Festival of Transition, an initiative of New Economics Foundation, Transition Network, the Ramblers Association, Mission Models Money and UKYCC. The idea is that rather than flying to Rio, and putting nearly 4 tons of carbon dioxide into an atmosphere that really doesn’t need 4 tons of CO2 put into it, we stay at home, and do stuff that models the kind of world we want to see. It is a celebration of change, of practical responses, of community, and we hope that it will be a global event, not just in the UK. All kinds of great events are already being planned over the time of the Festival. The crowning glory will be the 24 Hours of Possibility, a real life experiment in living differently, in showing what’s possible, on the day the Earth Summit begins,. 20th June

The idea is simple. You imagine different ways in which a post-transition society might also be a better one, and then try them out as a real-life experiment during a 24 hour period starting at dawn on 20th June 2012. Activities could involve family, friends, work colleagues, fellow students, community groups or even people you’ve never met before. It could involve the whole town or it could be more personal. You can come to the website to explore a menu of suggested ideas and activities, or add your own.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking:

● 24 hours of only eating local food 
● 24 hours of exchange without using money 
● 24 hours of dawn breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight feasts out on our street
 ● 24 hours of life lived outdoors
 ● 24 hours of dancing in the streets ● 24 hours of guerrilla food growing
 ● 24 hours of bringing disused premises back into use ● 24 hours of talking with strangers
 ● 24 hours of slow everything ● 24 hours of consensus decision making in my school
(or workplace) ● 24 hours of imagining a day in 2062 
● 24 hours of transforming a derelict site
 ● 24 hours of getting active ● 24 hours of not using a car
 ● 24 hours of inter- generational gatherings 
● 24 hours of swapping roles in my workplace
 ● 24 hours of activity in my local museum ● 24 hours of feasting and planning for the next generation
 ● 24 hours of getting the high street closed and having a carnival on the street 
● 24 hours of making things for other people
 ● 24 hours of working less and living more
 ● 24 hours of reading together ● 24 hours of new community celebrations and ceremonies
 ● 24 hours of creating a community garden ● 24 hours of installing solar panels 
● 24 hours of sharing your skills ● 24 hours of random acts of kindness and spontaneous beauty 
● 24 hours of dreaming a new world awake

So this is an invitation to start having a think about what you might like to do for it, having some conversations with the people around you, and seeing what ideas it stimulates. We think this could be a great celebration of what Transition does best, showing on the ground the kind of change that is possible when we gather together with our friends, neighbours and colleagues. It’s over to you…

STOP PRESS: This item just received:
A day to think about the values which underpin constructive social change

.Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology, University of Strathclyde, 
Author of ‘Soil and Soul’, scholar and social activist, director of the GalGael Trust. 
Dave Bookless, member of Arocha UK, author of ‘Planetwise’ and moderator of the environmental issues network of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland. 
Ed Skidelsky, Dept of Philosophy, University of Exeter. 
Ed’s book ‘How Much Is Enough? Work, Money and the Good Life’ is coming out with Penguin next year

University of Exeter May 12th 2012

The Conference, which includes lunch and other refreshments, is free to members of Transition initiatives

To register contact Tim Gorringe at
or at the Department of Theology, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Exeter, EX4 4RJ