Monthly Archives: July 2012

Local Money

Great Channel 4 documentary last night – The Bank of Dave – see and
Perhaps we should consider a similar model for Tavistock? Or re-introduce a Credit Union?
… And Wadebridge have just launched the Wadebridge pound (

email account hacked

We would like to apologise that our email address appears to have been hacked and many people have been sent a message titled ‘Urgent’. Please do not reply to this and we would like to reassure you that all is well with Rebecca.

June 2012 Newsletter

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
2. Garden Festival Report
3. Food and Energy Group
4. Inner Transition
5. Car Club Update
6. What is Permaculture! … An evening discussion with Rebecca
7. Transition Plymouth News
8. Plymouth University ‘Growing Futures’
9. March of the Bees
11. Scything!
12. Devon Climate Action Network
13. Feed-In Tariffs
14. Snippets:
15. Forthcoming Dates
16. And Finally …

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
July Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 10th July (19:30 till 21:30) at the Market Inn, corner of Whitchurch Road and Pixon Lane in Tavistock.

2. Garden Festival Report
A sometimes wet and very windy Tavistock shone through the Jubilee long weekend. There were events and gatherings all over the area. Congratulations to Tavistock Town Council and others for enabling a festival atmosphere enjoyed by many.
The Pannier market and Town Hall played host to the annual Garden Festival. Transitioner Rebecca Harris (pictured above) was among the prizewinners in the Container Garden competition for the most original planting scheme.
TT had a stand there next to some stunning agapanthus! We were able to meet new friends and engage in interesting conversations. We also concluded that our stand should be more exciting in the future. Let us know if you have any suggestions … and we’ll try them out at Tavistock Community Day on Saturday September 1st (

3. Food and Energy Group
Our June food and energy group meeting was blown out … a severe weather warning kept many safely at home! A few hardy souls enjoyed the hospitality of Youlditch with the wind howling round the ramparts!
Anyway … we were able to discuss further our ideas around an Energy shop for Tavistock. We’ll be progressing this further in July as well as exploring the local potential for the Green Deal.
Tavistock Garden Share scheme is now up and running. If you have a garden you would like to share or you would like to grow your own but have no space do get in touch with Jackie Eady. Email: or call 01822-XXXXXX.

4. Inner Transition
At its second meeting the Inner Transition Group looked at our ideas of how our world might be in the future, using a visioning exercise. Having limbered up our thoughts in this way, we then considered what actions we might take, individually or as a group, on 20th June for the Festival of Transition, which is the brainchild of the Transition Network in conjunction with other national groups such as the New Economics Foundation. The idea of the Festival of Transition 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. Our group came to the conclusion that if the Festival happened another year, with enough notice, it would be good to arrange some sort of initiative out in the community. This year, with short notice, we shall be making our own individual experiments and there was much discussion about what these might be.
We shall share our 20th June experiences at our next meeting. This will be at 7.30 pm on 4th July at 5 Campion Rise, Tavistock. We also expect to discuss plans for how we as a group can make contacts with individuals and community organizations and possibly begin planning some sort of outreach event for the Autumn. You are very welcome to come and join us and share any suggestions you may have relating to these plans or other ideas.

5. Car Club Update
There is an opportunity to start up a car club in the Tavistock area. If you’ve ever thought about giving up your car, or occasionally need a car for a specific trip, a car you can simply book through the internet and collect from a parking space in Tavistock might be just the answer. We need to understand whether there is a demand for this. Please could you register your interest and/or views at Tavistock Car Club on the website.

6. What is Permaculture! … An evening discussion with Rebecca
On Tuesday 3rd July from 8pm-10pm, I will host a “What is Permaculture” talk at my home in Westbridge Cottages, Tavistock. It will be a casual discussion based talk, to clarify exactly what Permaculture encompasses, and how it relates to Transition. I will provide tea, cake, and home made wine, all by donation. All are welcome, but please book so I can make sure I make enough cake! To reserve a space on my sofa, please email me at
Also … a reminder about Rebecca’s ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ course on 13th & 14th October 2012, 9am to 5pm at 4 Canal Road, Tavistock.
For more information, please e-mail Rebecca at

7. Transition Plymouth News
Unfortunately Transition Plymouth have had to move out of their temporary premises at 171 Armada Way. While they search for new premises they have let us know about the following events:

Our next Transition Plymouth Discussion will be on THURSDAY 28th JUNE, from 6:30 pm for drinks, to start at 7.00 pm, in Room 304 (third floor) of Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth. The room is accessible from the lift or the stairs and we’ll have signs to guide you.

ECO-FEMINISM – Can women save the planet?
Men have been in the leadership of the world for centuries, yet the world is suffering from Climate Change, war, famine, social injustice, natural resource depletion, species extinction and more. Is environmental degradation the fault of men? Is climate injustice connected to sexism? Are women still oppressed and abused as the Earth is? After years of feminism, have women taken responsibility for the environment? Can women lead us to a better future? Come and share your views, exploring together the “Community Feminism” statement (Feminismo Comunitario) that different organisations of Latin American women created at the “People’s World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights” held in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010.
Children supervised by an adult are welcome.

Finally coming to you for the second year THE PLYMOUTH VEGAN FAYRE !
Come and learn about a delicious, healthy and compassionate way of life – good for people, animals and the environment.
The fayre is a family friendly event with stalls, campaigns info, tasty FREE food, delicious recipes, ethical body care products, Vegan goodies..and more!
11am to 4:30pm
Sherwell Church Centre
North Hill, PL4 8ER – rear entrance
FREE ENTRY – Children are welcome
The Plymouth Vegan Fayre is a non-for-profit initiative to promote and celebrate the Vegan lifestyle.

8. Plymouth University ‘Growing Futures’
This project is just in the early stages but the plan is to involve students, staff and the community, growing and eating as many edible plants as possible on site. The first place we are working on is the Physic Garden. This is located south of Portland Villas, through the blue door off St James St, next to Babbage Car Park. There are drop in sessions every Tuesday 12-30-2.00pm.
Much of the project has been inspired by Totnes Incredible Edibles and the idea is to promote transformative and sustainable values similar to those expressed by the Transition Movement. It is in part a project initiated by the Centre for Sustainable Futures and staff involved with sustainability from an academic as well as active perspective.
We would be delighted if you could come along, the site is very pleasant and peaceful. We also hope to build and maintain links with Transition Plymouth, especially the food group.

If you have an interest in developing something similar in the Tavistock area … get in touch …

9. March of the Bees
(We have been reassured by PUPA that the insects are released back to their own habitat after children/people have observed them)
“March of the Bees” is a project aimed at community involvement awareness and education about bees. The aim is to target young people, schools, families and community groups, to raise interest and awareness about the current decline, problems and issues facing bees and what can be done locally and at home to help. A parade will be held on Saturday July 7th where people will be encouraged to dress up as a bee and have their faces painted for the “Best Dressed Bee Competition”. All the puppets and banners will be used and paraded around Plymouth city centre with the bee band playing a beat for the marching dancing bees.
Any money raised for the bees in this event will be split between local pollinator initiatives/projects and pollinator conservation groups (Buglife and Bumblebee conservation trust).
The website is www.marchofthebees.pupa-education

10. Plymouth Food Awards
This is a great chance to celebrate and recognise some of the excellent local food producers, businesses, individuals and organisations who are supporting the aims of the Plymouth Food Charter and helping to make Plymouth an even better place to live and work. A couple of the categories – detailed below – cover the wider area of Devon and Cornwall.

• Best Producer – for best farmer, grower or food producer based in Devon and Cornwall, supplying produce into Plymouth – Sponsored by Tamar View Fruiterers
• Best Local Food Product – for the best local food product from Devon or Cornwall, in recognition of innovation and enterprise – Sponsored by Plymouth University
The deadline is 30 June. For full details and to vote online go to or email your favourites to – telling us why they deserve to win!
We look forward to receiving your nominations, public voting on these will take place during July, each nomination will also be counted as a vote.
Awards will be presented to the winner of each category on stage at Plymouth’s Flavour Fest 2012 on 17 – 19th August.
Thank you for taking the time to support the 2012 Plymouth Food Awards and helping to make them an even bigger success this year.
Traci Lewis
Food Plymouth Coordinator

11. Scything!
From Alastair Inglis
I’m a scythesman from Exeter, running beginners scything courses in Devon throughout the summer. I wondered whether any of your Transition folk might be interested in learning to scythe, particularly those in the Food & Energy group, those with allotments, land-shares, or smallholdings etc…
Attached is my list of courses for this season, although I can provide a course for your group, with a minimum of 4 participants. Max group size is 6, so lots of personal attention. Courses cost £45 per person. I also have Austrian scythes and associated equipment for sale on the courses, or by arrangement.
Let me know what you think!
Cheers for now,
Alastair Inglis
Scythesman & Organic Gardener
Mob: 07796-805453

Scything Courses & Events 2012
Discover how to use this versatile tool whether you are a gardener, allotment- or smallholder, farmer, or just curious! Courses introduce you to the Austrian Scythe and aim to teach you a smooth, efficient and comfortable technique for managing long grass, tall weeds and small-scale crop harvesting. You might never look at a strimmer in the same way again!

Sat 09 June, Beginners Scythe Course – Sharpham, nr. Totnes.
Sat 30 June, Beginners Scythe Course – Helston, Cornwall.
Sat 07 July, Beginners Scythe Course – Exeter Community Agriculture field, nr. Shillingford St. George, Exeter.
Sat 14 – Sun 15 July, Beginners Scythe Course – Growers Organics, Yealmpton, nr. Plymouth.
Sat 28 – Sun 29 July, Small-Scale Haymaking with Scythes – Exeter Community Agriculture field, nr. Shillingford St. George, Exeter.
Sat 25 Aug, Grains Scything Workshop – Underwood Discovery Centre, Beeson, S. Hams.
Sun 26 Aug, Scything Demo & Beginners Taster – Westcountry Storytelling Festival, Embercombe, nr. Exeter.
Sat 08 Sept, Grains Scything Demonstration – Underwood Discovery Centre, Beeson, S. Hams.
Sat 22 Sept, End-of-Season Scythe Maintenance & Peening Workshop – Exeter Community Agriculture field, nr. Shillingford St. George, Exeter.
For further information and bookings contact: Alastair Inglis on 07796-805453, or email

12. Devon Climate Action Network
To all Devon CAN members and friends,
As you know, some time ago, the DevonCAN Steering Group contacted members to explain that we felt the time had come to either hand the reins over to a fresh Steering Group, or shut DevonCAN down. Sadly volunteers to take over the running of the network have not been forthcoming. In addition, we have not received a bid to use the Co-op grant money in a way that satisfies the Co-op and ensures a new structure to oversee the use of the money. The Steering Group feels we now have to follow through and close DevonCAN down.
At a time of accelerating environmental destruction and approaching climate change crisis, it seems crazy that we are winding the network down. However, the steering group is tired and wishes to move on. A network connecting, supporting and representing local sustainable, transition and low carbon groups makes sense, but needs proper resourcing and active interest from all its members. Low Carbon Communities Network is a national network that links county groups. DevonCAN is the only county network in the UK that is run by volunteers in their spare time. Such an important role I believe cannot be done on goodwill and voluntary time. If members feel they would like to reform a network I would suggest approaching local, district and county councils or even local industry for funding and resourcing.
The DevonCAN Googlemail account will shortly be closed down and we will delete the contacts database accumulated by the Steering Group. The website will cease to exist when the current license runs out on July 1st 2012. The DevonCAN bank account is being closed. The remaining balance is going to be donated to Dartmoor Circle who put in a bid for money to organise a pan Devon networking event.
With best wishes to your group,
The Steering Group of Devon CAN
Niall MacLeod (Chair), Richard Foxwell (Treasurer), Mark Goodman and Lynn Wetenhall

13. Feed-In Tariffs
For those who are interested in Feed-in Tariffs, this is forwarded to you thanks to Jackie Young (Plymouth City Council) via Pat Bushell (Transition Plymouth).

Dear All,
From time to time we receive some very helpful updates from the Local Government Association (LGA). These may not be of interest to all of you but, if you are involved in the Feed In Tariffs or any Renewable Heat Incentive Schemes (RHI) the update may be of help to you or your clients. Although the LGA’s role is focused on local government, there is the potential for partnership working so, if you have any comments about this, please do not hesitate to let Abigail know (see email address below).
Feed-in Tariffs
A summary of the announced changes to the FITs system:
DECC have released information on how the feed-in tariffs (FITs) levels for solar electricity generation will be set for the future.
From 1 August 2012, the generation tariff will be 16p/kWh. The export tariff will rise from 3.2p/kWh to 4.5p/kWh.
A multi-installation tariff has been set at 90% of the full generation tariff. This will apply to additional installations where an organisation receives the FITs for more than 25 sites. This means that for the first 25 installations, the full FIT can be claimed, and then the 26th installation and onwards will be at the reduced rate.
There are no details yet on the organisations or types of installations that the multi-installation tariff will apply to. We hope to have more information on whether schools, social housing and council-led projects will be required to take the 10% reduction in tariff shortly. DECC officials have stated that if each individual school takes the FITs, then the multi-installation tariff will not apply.
There is scheduled to be a 3.5% reduction in the use-tariff every 3 months. If deployment is below a DECC set threshold, then the degression can be ‘skipped’ for a maximum of 9 months. If deployment is above a DECC set threshold, then the degression can be increased up to 28%.
DECC will release the deployment statistics and the tariff levels will be produced by Ofgem 2 months in advance of any change.
Three tariff bands have been identified that will operate independently from each other:
10 – 50kWh
50kWh +
This means that each tariff band may have the degression applied to them at different rates.
If a property does not meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements (EPC D) then they will receive 9p/kWh.
DECC are aiming for 1 million solar installations by 2015 at the ‘consumer end of the market’. They are seeking to integrate solar into the larger policy landscape – for example around CRC and Green Deal.
If you have any concerns or comments about the latest changes to the feed-in tariffs, please contact us.
The LGA will shortly be meeting with DECC / Ofgem to discuss the RHI – if you have any comments or concerns, or if there is anything you would like the LGA to make representation on, please let me know. Please contact Abigail Burridge, Senior Policy Officer, LGA on
Smart Metering
DECC are also seeking to meet with the LGA to discuss the smart metering roll out, and their view on the role of local authorities. Again, if you have any comments or concerns, please let me know. They are particularly looking at how LAs can promote smart metering to improve uptake and how social services could help vulnerable people. We have been raising concerns over funding and will be pushing for funding to be made available to LAs to enable them to undertake this.
Jackie Young, BSc(Hons), MIEnvSci, CEnv. Sustainable Development Co-ordinator, City Sustainability Team, Plymouth City Council, Planning Services Floor 8, Civic Centre, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2AA Tel : 01752 304220
… We’ll also be picking up on these issues within the TT Energy Group.

14. Snippets:

From the Tavistock Times:
An apple tree pruning course is on offer on Saturday June 30th from 10 am to 1 pm at an orchard within the Tamar Valley. Participants will learn the art of summer tree pruning. The cost is £15, which includes two years’ membership of the Tavy and Tamar Apple Group. To book contact Brian Lamb  01822 XXXXXX. Website:
Don’t forget that the Tidy Tavi group meet on the first Saturday of every month outside the Wharf at 10.00 am. Next meeting Saturday 7th July.
The Tavistock Foodbank is now open for business every Friday between 10.00 am and 2 pm at the United Reformed Church in Russell Street. To make a donation of either food or money call XXXXXX or email

From West Devon Connect magazine:
Just over two years ago the Community Council of Devon’s BIG Lottery funded project, Home Grown – Community Owned (HogCO) helped the Buckland Food Growers community food project get started at Buckland Abbey. The project is now thriving and helping to feed over 40 families. If you fancy learning to grow your own food within a community setting email Carol or Lois on or call 01392 248919 ext 260. Website:

15. Forthcoming Dates
July 2012
Inner Transition Meeting Wed July 4th
Green Drinks Tues July 10th
Smallholders Weekend, Cotehele Sat/Sun July 28/29th

August 2012
Green Drinks Tues Aug 14th

September 2012
Tavistock Community Day Sat Sept. 1st
Green Drinks Tues Sept 11th

16. And Finally …
From Ann Pulsford:
Written, Produced and Directed by RICHARD KIRBY
A new film about the remarkable world of PLANKTON
to be followed by a talk by the scientist behind the work
MONDAY 13 AUGUST at Tavistock Wharf
2.00pm ADMISSION: Adults, £6.00; Children under 16, £4.00
Tea and cakes will be available afterwards together with an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the best-selling book about plankton:
“Ocean Drifters, A Secret World Beneath The Waves”