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July 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • summer barbecue

  • allotment report

  • countryside crafts day

  • climate change and me

  • Portugal laurel

 

No green drinks this month – instead …

 

… Summer barbecue

Join us for an informal and convivial evening in the lovely setting of the National Trust's Swan Barn Farm centre. Bring your own food and drink. We provide the fire. Children, families and friends welcome. From 6.30pm on Friday 13 July. For more information email info@transitionhaslemere.org

 

Allotment report

Despite marauding pigeons and slugs, and a few disappointment and failures of some seeds and plants we are just as enthusiastic about the allotment. We have already harvested salads, rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries. This month's tasks are:

   – continuing with raised beds
   – weed spotting
   – clearing the fence line
   – getting a few last seeds and plants into the soil
   – watering!!!

We look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at one of our regular allotment meet-upsThursday 1pm – 3pm and Saturday 10am – 12noon. You can use this link to sign up for allotment updates.

 

Countryside crafts day

The National Trust is holding a family friendly day of traditional craft demonstrations and with opportunities to join in. Have a go making roof shingles, willow weaving, pencils and fencing products. There will also be falconry displays, bats, reptiles and amphibians, with refreshments available. Swan Barn Farm, 10.30am to 4pm, Saturday 28 July.

 

Link of the month: Climate change and me

A Radio 4 podcast in which series five eminent scientists describe the dramatic changes to the natural world that they have witnessed on the ground and tell how their eyes were opened to global climate change. You can listen or download it here.

 

Tree corner: Portugal laurel
 

Splashes of yellowy-white have dotted Haslemere over the past few weeks as Portugal laurel (Prunus lusitanica) has flowered spectacularly. Although usually planted as a hedge for its attractive dense foliage, which is a soft shiny green and reddish when young, it becomes a shapely tree if left to grow naturally. The small white flowers with yellow centres grow on long racemes, or stalks, that droop like a waterfall. The show of colour, plus the heady scent and the buzz of insects after the nectar makes the tree a rich sensual experience at this time of the year.

June 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • back on Facebook

  • food co-op and hub

  • going vegan notes

  • summer barbecue

  • allotment report

  • Bioblitz event

  • Chiddgreen birthday

  • plastic programmes

  • tree: rauli

 

We are back on Facebook –

– as Transition Haslemere Live. You can follow us here.

 

Food co-op and hub

At our June green drinks we will be discussing how we might expand Haslemere's food cooperative and whether we could set up a food hub where local producers and consumers can have direct contact with one another. 8.00pm Thursday 7 June 2018 at The Mill, Liphook Rd, Haslemere GU27 3QE

 

Going vegan notes

Joyce D'Silva's notes from her talk last month on 'Why and how to be a vegan' are posted on our website – you will find them here

 

Summer barbecue

A date for your diary is our summer barbecue from 6.30pm on Friday  13 July. We hope you will join us for a convivial evening in the lovely setting of the National Trust's Swan Barn Farm centre.

 

Allotment report

 

Despite very wet weather early in the season and a late start, we are now catching up with sowing and planting, salads, roots, herbs and peas and beans. The raised bed construction is not finished yet, but is progressing well. We hope to have our first crops within the next few weeks – rocket, radish, chives, loose leaf lettuce. We are never too busy to enjoy coffee and biscuits, and discussion of all things green and continue to welcome new members to the group.

We are continuing with the usual meeting times Thursday 1pm – 3pm and Saturday 10am – 12noon. You can use this link to sign up for allotment updates.

 

Bioblitz day

Join the National Trust and South Downs National Park for a free day of biodiversity discovery. Bring a picnic and stay all day to learn about the creatures that live on the heath. Alternatively, just go for your favourite species slot. Tuesday 31 July – 09.00, birds. 10.00, reptiles and amphibians. 11.00 butterflies. 13.00 mini Beasts. 14.00 heathland plants. For more information: heathlands@southdowns.gov.uk or call: 01730 819320

Happy birthday Chiddgreen

Chiddgreen formed in 1998 to put into practice locally the sustainability goals of the Rio Earth Summit. For the past 20 years the group has held events such as 'swap-it' days, electric bike demonstrations and woodland events and generally been the 'green' conscience of Chiddingfold. Transition Haslemere, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October, sends it congratulations and will continue working with the group on shared projects and goals. For more information contact info@chiddgreen.uk.

 

Link of the month: Plastic Fantastic

A three-part Radio 4 series by materials scientist and broadcaster Professor Mark Miodownik on plastic waste and pollution looking at how and why we've ended up with oceans of waste blighting the environment and what science and society can do about it. Includes an informative discussion on the different types of plastics, the challenges of recycling and emerging solutions. The three half-hour programmes are available on BBC iPlayer – you can click here for programmes one, two and three.

 

Tree corner: Rauli

 

It is rare to find one of the southern hemisphere's 40 beech species around Haslemere, but there is a group of raulis (Nothofagus nervosa) on the western side of Black Down. Rauli is a forest tree from central Chile and western Argentina that can grow to 25 metres. It has a smooth bark like local beech, developing long fissures with age. The leaves are similar to hornbeam, but darker and with up to 18 pairs of veins. The tree is grown in parts of Britain for its timber. It naturalises easily and is flourishing on Black Down.

May 2018

In this month’s newsletter:

  • resubscribe

  • going vegan

  • allotment update

  • Charter Fair

  • dawn chorus

  • repair cafes

  • summer barbecue

  • month of the magnolia

 

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Going vegan at May green drinks

Why and how to be a vegan – an informal talk by Joyce D’Silva, who has been a vegan for 43 years. 8.00pm Thursday 3 May 2018 at The Mill, Liphook Rd, Haslemere GU27 3QE

Allotment happenings

Nature is bursting into life with force after the recent sunny and wet weather. We have planted a plum tree, sowed wild flowers (last season the wildflower area was a great success), cleared the remainder of last year’s spinach and kale (amazing how plants keep producing food), and we have enjoyed the sun.

We are continuing with the usual meeting times Thursday 1pm – 3pm and Saturday 10am – 12noon. You can use this link to sign up for allotment updates.

Plants and books at the Charter Fair

We will be at the farmers’ market on Sunday 6 May and at the Charter Fair on Monday 7 May, 1-5pm in the town centre, where we will have our secondhand bookstall and have plants for sale.

Dawn chorus

We will be up with the birds on Sunday 6 May to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day in a wood near Grayswood. We will gather at 4.30am to hear the the birds sing the day into life – and then have coffee and bacon butties round a campfire. To join us please email info@transitionhaslemere.org for directions.

As John Lewis-Stempel said: “To stand alone in a field in England and listen to the chorus of birds is to remember why life is prescious.”

 

Summer barbecue

A date for your diary is our summer barbecue from 6.30pm on Friday  13 July. We hope you will join us for a convivial evening in the lovely setting of Swan Barn Farm.

Link of the month: Repair cafes

Repair Cafes are meeting places where volunteers fix everyday things to extend their life and avoid creating landfill waste. There are nearly 1,500 repair cafes worldwide so far, including a monthly one in Farnham, where they fix things like clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery and toys. You will find more about them here, and the one in Farnham here. We are looking at how we might apply the concept in Haslemere.

Tree corner: Month of the magnolia

April was the month of the magnolia. A number of species flower before their leaves appear, creating grand displays of white tinged with pink or purple. Magnolias were among the earliest flowering trees to evolve; their relatively simple flowers have tepals rather than petals and are designed to attract beetles rather than bees, which they pre-date. Most of the deciduous varieties in Haslemere originate in China and Japan, or are hybrids. The evergreen magnolias around the town are often grandiflora from the United States, and flower later.

April 2018

In this month’s newsletter:

  • small farm film

  • going vegan

  • Spring at the allotment

  • Charter Fair

  • dawn chorus

  • biodiverstiy danger

  • flowering trees

 

People, food and the land – a film

At our April green drinks, we will be showing In Our Hands, a film by The Land Workers’ Alliance – an organisation of people making their livelihoods from producing food, fuel and fibre using sustainable methods. The film tells the story of small producers challenging the need for the industrialisation of food production and the need to maintain the fundamental link between people, food and land. Ed Brooks, local vegetable grower and member of the Alliance, will answer questions after the screening.

We are holding the event in association with St Stephen’s Church – the first church in Haslemere to win an ‘Eco Church’ award.

Thursday 5 April, St Stephen’s Church, Church Road, Haslemere GU27 1NS. Drinks and chat from 7.30pm; the film will start at 8pm. Free. All welcome.

 

Going vegan at May green drinks

Why and how to be a vegan – an informal talk by Joyce D’Silva, who has been a vegan for 43 years. 8.00pm Thursday 3 May 2018 at The Mill, Liphook Rd, Haslemere GU27 3QE

Spring at our allotment

Spring has arrived after some very cold spells, and birds, bees and even

butterflies have emerged and are looking lively. As the ground warms up we

will be getting back to work on the Transition Allotment. There is plenty

to do, both in the way of getting ready to plant and construction of the

raised beds. We hope to welcome back last year’s participants, and invite

new members to join us at plot 13A, Collards Lane, on Thursday 5th April at 1pm, or Saturday 7th April at 10 am.

For directions or more information contact info@transitionhaslemere.org

Plants and books at the Charter Fair

Regrettably, we will not be at the farmers’ markets on 1 April. But we will be at the Charter Fair on Monday 7 May, 1-5pm in the town centre, where we will have our secondhand bookstall and have plants for sale.

Dawn chorus

We will be up with the birds on Sunday 6 May to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day in a wood near Grayswood. More details in next month’s newsletter.

 

Link of the month: Biodiversity in dangerous decline

Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, endangering economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four new landmark science reports. The reports also highlight options to protect and restore nature and its vital contributions to people. You can find the reports here. And a media summary here.

Tree corner: Flowering trees

Over the next couple of months, as trees such as cherry, blackthorn and rowan dazzle us with their showy blossoms, it will be easy to overlook the fact that all trees must flower to propagate as many of our native species do so inconspicuously. This is because they are wind pollinated so have no need of colourful flowers or heady scents to attract insects. Some species, such as hazel, alder and birch, dangle male catkins, but their female flowers are small, or tiny in the case of hazel. Others have flowers that are pale green and unobtrusive and you will have to look closely to find them, such as oak, beech and field maple, or the yew as in in the photo .

March 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • repair cafe

  • In Our Hands – film

  • vegan talk

  • growing more, losing more trees

  • food production emissions

  • cherry laurel

 

Green drinks

In March, Ed Ram will provide an overview of the Farnham Repair Cafe, which has been running for nearly three years on a monthly basis. The idea is to start a similar operation in our area. The aim is to reduce waste and save resources – and money – by prolonging the life of things and by sharing skills. You can find our more about repair cafes in general here and about Farnham Repair Cafe in particular here. No need to RSVP, just come along, enjoy a drink and a chat about repair cafes and other green things. 7.30pm Thursday 1 March 2018 at the Mill Tavern, Liphook Rd, Linchmere, Haslemere GU27 3QE.

At April green drinks, we will be showing In Our Hands, a film by The Land Workers' Alliance – an organisation of people making their livelihoods from producing food, fuel and fibre using sustainable methods. The film tells the story of small producers challenging the need for the industrialisation of food production and the need to maintain the fundamental link between people, food and land. Ed Brooks, local vegetable grower and member of the Alliance, will answer questions after the screening.
We are holding the event in association with St Stephen's Church – the first church in Haslemere to win an 'Eco Church' award.
Thursday 5 April, St Stephen's Church, Church Road, Haslemere GU27 1NS. Drinks and chat from 7pm; the film will start at 8pm.

May green drinks will feature a discussion on veganism – why and how to be a vegan. 7.30pm Thursday 3 May 2018 at the Mill Tavern

 

Link of the month: We are planting more trees – but not enough

China plans to plant forests the size of Ireland, while Latin American countries have pledged to restore 20 million hectares of degraded forest and African countries more than 100 million hectares. “We are seeing a great global attempt to plant and restore forest land but paradoxically we are still losing tree cover. The rate of global deforestation has slowed by more than half in 25 years but tree loss jumped 50% in 2016, and 2017 is likely to have been worse,” says John Vidal. Read the full article here.
 

Climate data: Food systems emission

Food systems contribute between 19% and 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions. About a third of all food produced is lost in the supply chain. Most losses in low income countries occur at storage, transport and processing levels. Most losses in high income countries occur at retail and consumer levels. More information here.

 

Tree corner: Cherry laurel

 

A constant green throughout the year is the cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). Often simply called laurel, it is actually a member of the cherry family. A native of southeast Europe and southwest Asia, it is most common as a hedging plant around Haslemere where it is favoured for its dense evergreen foliage, vigorous growth and robustness. Left to its own devices it will grow into a small tree 15 metres or more. The flower buds are just appearing at this time of the year and will blossom in early summer in spikes of pretty white flowers. Bees and wasps are often seen crawling around the underside of young leaves in the summer, which can be puzzling as the leaves contain cyanide and give of an almond-like smell if broken. The insects are after the nectar secreted from small glands near the base of the leaves – a common feature with cherries.

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