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January 2019

Happy New Year to you all
 

In this month's newsletter:

  • favourite nature books

  • AGM and future plans

  • wassaill at Swan Barn

  • Agriculture Bill

  • Film: Metamorphosis

  • Climate change drawdown

  • holm oak

 

Nature books at green drinks

To give us time to recover from the seasonal festivities we will hold green drinks on the 10th of January. We will discuss our favourite nature books. Bring along your recommendations, or just pick up some tips of what to read from the discussion. We will also discuss plans to hold a public talk on the recent IPCC report on keeping global warming under 1.5C.
8pm Thursday 10 January, The Mill

 

AGM and the year ahead

We will combine February green drinks with our annual general meeting. The formal business part of the meeting will be brief. Then we will review our organisation and goals and make plans for the coming year. Come and help us decide where to focus our energy and efforts in 2019.
8pm Thursday 7 February. Venue to be confirmed.

 

Come wassailling

The National Trust invites you to come and learn the art of the wassail and join the wintry fun performing a traditional ceremony to banish the evil spirits from the orchard. Bring pots and pans to bash and sample the traditional drink of the ceremony made with apples pressed right there on the farm.
National Trust Swan Barn Farm, 6-9pm Friday 18 January. Free.

 

Amend the Agricultural Bill

The Landworkers’ Alliance, a grassroots union of farmers, growers and land-based workers with a mission to improve the livelihoods of its members and create a better food system for everyone, has been pushing for amendments to the proposed Agriculture Bill that will enforce UK policy post-Brexit. The amendments call for the bill to include support for agroecological farming and local food. We have great examples of agroecological farming and local food production locally, such as Edwin Brooks (Ed's Veg), an Alliance member, and Imbhams Granary. The bill is due before Parliament in early January. You can find out more about the amendments here and how to support them here.

 

Link of the month: Drawing down carbon

An international coalition of leading researchers, scientists and policymakers has come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change under the banner of Project Drawdown. From revolutionising how we produce and consume food to educating girls in lower-income countries, the solutions, if deployed collectively on a global scale over the next 30 years, could not just slow the earth's warming, the group claims, but reach drawdown: the point when greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. You can find out more here.

 

Climate change documentary

In April, Haslemere Hall, supported by Transition Haslemere, will be showing Metamorphosisa poetic look at the global climate crisis and adaptation to this profound change. Make a note for your diary: 5pm Thursday 18th April. You can find out more about the film here and here.

 

Tree of the month: Holm oak

 

The holm oak (Quercus ilex), native of the eastern Mediterranean, is also known as 'holly oak' because its young leaves tend to be spiny and it is an evergreen like holly. The leaves are generally smaller and darker than holly with fine hairs underneath. The acorns are smaller and have a more pointed tip than those of the English oak and mature to a dark red-brown before falling. Holm oak wood is hard and strong and the Romans used it for making wheels of carts and carriages, as well as agricultural tools. Trees are resistant to salt spray and are often planted in coastal towns, but less common around areas like Haslemere.
The young tree pictured is in Chestnut Close, Haslemere.

December 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • Christmas market

  • festive green drinks

  • wildlife proposal

  • allotment update

  • tree from Rome

 

Christmas market

We will be at the Haslemere Christmas market on Sunday 2 December from 10am to 4pm. Our stall will be in West Street and will sell good quality secondhand books, focusing on cookery, contemporary fiction paperback and books for children and teenagers. Stop by to find gifts or for a chat.

 

Festive green drinks and climate report

We will prelude our festive celebrations with a discussion on the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on maintaining global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. We will look at why this target is important compared with the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 2 degrees Celsius and the challenges involved in achieving it. The discussion will start at 8pm and last for an hour or so, after which we will celebrate the winter festivities.
(If you want to look at the report in advance you will find it at the IPCC website, click here.There are also a number of analyses and commentaries on the report on the web, such as the one from Carbon Brief, click here.)
8pm Thursday 6 December, The Mill, Camelsdale.

 

Wildlife proposal

The recently published People's Manifesto for Wildlife has many pertinent comments and constructive proposals for turning around the steady and alarming decline of wildlife in the UK. We are going to highlight some these in our newsletters over the next few months, starting with this from James Redbanks, author of The Shepherd's Life and Lake District Farmer:
“I, and thousands of other farmers, need your help to create a food system that values and rewards nature-friendly farming, and discourages and disadvantages damaging farming practices. This requires all of us rethinking the way we live, shop, cook, and eat, and vote. So that we wean ourselves off the damaging farming that has fed us cheaply, but at an appalling price to nature.”

Manifesto proposal:
“Pay farmers a fair price for the food they produce in return for producing it much more sustainably.”

You can read the full manifesto here.

 

Allotment update

In our nearly two years of operation, we have learned that ground conditions can be challenging at Collards Lane during the winter months, so outdoor allotment group activities are now closed until further notice. Instead, we will resume Green Coffees at Dylans on  the third Wednesday of every month, 10 am – 12  noon,  a chance to meet up socially and plan for the 2019 season. The first meet-up will be 19th December.

 

Tree of the month:

 

The young conifer pictured is from a fresco on the wall of a chamber in a villa on the outskirts of Rome that belonged to Livia Drusilla, the wife of Roman emperor Augustus. Painted around 30-20 BC, the conifer is among a number of species identified in the frescoes, including umbrella pine, oak, red fir, quince, pomegranate, myrtle, oleander, date palm, laurel, box and cypress. The semi-subterranean chamber was probably a cool 'triclinium' (dining room) for summer banquets. The Romans brought plants from the various regions of their empire and grew them in their gardens for their flowers, fruits, herbs and oils, as well as used them along with sculptures for symbolic meanings – much like we use Christmas trees today.
(Photo courtesy of Professor Timothy Kircher)

November 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • manifestor for wildlife

  • IPCC report on 1.5 degree warming

  • books wanted

  • books wanted

  • allotment update

  • acer colour

 

Green drinks

We will spend an hour or so having an informal discussion about the recently published Manifesto for Wildlife and some of its practical recommendations. The manifesto was written by a group of wildlife conservationists, academics, journalists and campaigners led by TV presenter Chris Packham. It is a broad ranging analysis of the state of wildlife in the UK that not only points to gloomy statistics on species decline and negative forces driving them, but also puts forward positive pragmatic proposals for government, local and individual action. A shorter illustrated version summarises the issues and proposals, and there is also a fully referenced version. If you want to take a look in advance, the manifesto can be found at https://www.chrispackham.co.uk/a-peoples-manifesto-for-wildlife. We will also bring a couple of copies on the night.

8pm Thursday 1 November, The Mill, Camelsdale.
 

IPCC report

December green drinks will celebrate the festive season but also feature a discussion on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on maintaining global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report spells out the steps that are required to meet this target, and the challenges involved.
8pm Thursday 6 December, The Mill, Camelsdale.
 

 

Books wanted

Do you have unwanted books, especially paperback popular novels, gardening and cookbooks, children's and young adults books. We need to replenish our stock for our secondhand bookstall at the monthly farmers' market and coming Christmas market. We can collect. Contact us at info@transitionhaslemere.org.

 

Allotment update

Maintenance and planning continues at the allotment.
Join us this autumn for organic community gardening. Sessions will be on Saturdays 10:00 – 12:00 and Wednesdays 10:00 – 12:00. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

Tree of the month:

 

This is show time for acers as they set their leaves on a fire of colour for autumn. Acers are part of the Sapindaceae family that includes species commonly known as maples. There are approximately 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a some also found in Europe, north Africa and North America. Acers are common in parks and gardens around Haslemere. The national collection is at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, which attracts thousands of people a day at this time of the year, and where the photo shown was taken on 21 October. More locally, Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming has also had a magnificent display acer and maple colour this autumn.

October 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • jams, pickles, preserves

  • manifesto for wildlife

  • champion tree tour

  • books wanted

  • hubub

  • allotment update

  • water refills

  • eco cinema

  • silver maple

 

Green drinks

Jams, pickles and preserves is our theme this month. We will discuss ideas and recipes of how to make the most of the fruits, berries and other autumn harvest. If you can, bring samples to taste and recipes to share. (We will bring some crackers, knives and spoons.)
8pm Thursday 4 October, The Mill, Camelsdale.
 

Manifesto for wildlife

A group of wildlife conservationists, academics, journalists and campaigners led by Chris Packham has published a Manifesto for Wildlife. It is a broad ranging analysis of the state of wildlife in the UK that not only points to devastating statistics on species decline and negative forces driving them, but also puts forward positive pragmatic proposals for government, local and individual action. A shorter illustrated version summarises the issues and proposals, and there is also a fully referenced version. They can be found at 

https://www.chrispackham.co.uk/a-peoples-manifesto-for-wildlife

Highly recommended. We will discuss the manifesto at our green drinks on 1 November

Champion tree tour

Want to see the oldest yew (850+ years), oldest oaks (350+), horse chestnut (200+), or the biggest beech, or tallest trees in Surrey (Douglas fir, spruce, Wellingtonia)? Also the most majestic cedar, lovely hornbeams and others. Clive Davidson will lead a local champion tree tour on Saturday 13 October. All the trees are within just a couple of miles of the town centre – but because they are spread out we will travel to them by car, with some walking at the sites. The four hour tour starts at 9am on Saturday 13 October. Free. To book a place email info@transitionhaslemere.org.uk

 

Books wanted

Do you have unwanted books, especially paperback popular novels, gardening and cookbooks, children's and young adults books. We need to replenish our stock for our secondhand bookstall at the monthly farmers' market and coming Christmas market. We can collect. Contact us at info@transitionhaslemere.org.

 

Link of the month: green ideas

Hubub is a charity that creates positive environmental campaigns that aim to inspire people to make healthier, greener lifestyle choices, which, they claim, more often than not help save money and bring people together. They focus on day-to-day areas like fashion, food, homes and neighbourhoods, and aim for practical and realistic solutions. To find out more go here.

 

Allotment update


A human bean from our allotment

This month will be dedicated to readying the plot for the winter before the weather closes in. It has become apparent that our growing season can be limited by waterlogged ground conditions, but despite this, we are feeling some warm satisfaction, since we have harvested loads of vegetables, fruit and herbs from a very small area, we are still up to date with general maintenance and everything still looks great! We were also quite proud of the wide range of produce we were able to bring to the Transition Group stall at Haslemere Food Festival.

We are now enjoying a few last crops (chillies, herbs, rainbow chard, kale) and filling the spaces with green manures to overwinter. Once again this year we grew white Oca from saved tubers, and we are looking forward to seeing the size of the harvest from this interesting but late yielding vegetable. If anyone can offer us a tuber of one of the other coloured varieties, we’d love to hear from you and diversify our production. We also will clear away the climbing bean row and the last of the salads, cut back this year’s raspberry canes, tidy the shrubs, save seeds for the wildflower area and make sure we get the final cut of grass onto the compost heap.
Join us at the TH allotment this autumn for organic community gardening. Sessions will be on Saturdays 10:00 – 12:00 and Wednesdays 10:00 – 12:00. We look forward to seeing you there.

Water refills

A group of employees at Surrey County Council campaigning to reduce single use plastic in the county are promoting The Refill scheme – for details see here – which gathers together businesses across the country who offer free refills of tap water and displays them in an easy to use app. The group is looking for volunteers to approach Haslemere and vicinity businesses. If you would like to help contact Tessa Crowder at tessa.crowder@waverley.gov.uk

 

Eco cinema

Farnham Eco Cinema at the Farnham Pottery next screenings are 23rd October: Unearthed – two films on local Surrey sandpits by film-maker Amanda Loomes, of Surrey Unearthed and 20th November: Down to Earth – a newly released film passing on the wisdom of the Earth Keepers from indigenous peoples across the globe. Screenings are preceded by a shared supper. For more information contact Angela at angelashaw8@btinternet.com

 

Tree of the month: silver maple

 

As the chlorophyll starts to drain from the leaves before the trees discard them we are treated to a palette of autumn colour. Most stunning at the moment are the two silver maples in the grounds of the BT exchange building behind the Waitrose carpark. You can see their glorious technicolour display above the carpark hedge, or get an even better view from the High Pavement above Lower Street. Silver maple (Acer sacharinum) is native to the east coast of North America where it prefers the moist ground of riversides and flood plains. The trees in the BT exchange are one of many cultivars of the species.

September 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • green drinks

  • September harvest supper

  • community fridge

  • champion tree tour

  • sustainability courses

  • free flipchart stand and cups

  • allotment update

  • poplars

 

Green drinks

8pm Thursday 6 September, The Mill
We will discuss the organisation of our harvest supper event to be held on the Friday 21 September, and plan our stall for the food festival on Saturday 22nd. Please come along and share your thoughts to help make both events successful.
 

Harvest supper

From 6.30pm Friday 21 September.
A shared meal in a lovely old barn (currently home to nesting barn owls) just outside Haslemere town. Bring a dish to share and something to drink. Also, bring any recipes or samples of jams, pickles or other preserves, which we can taste and discuss.
All welcome – bring families and friends. It is free, but you need to email us that you are coming so we can send you directions to the barn – info@transitionhaslemere.org

Community fridge

Inspired by the wonderful Godalming Community Fridge – sharing food that might otherwise go to waste – Claire Matthes has been making initial enquiries into setting one up in Haslemere. The local Citizens' Advice Bureau and Haslewey have already said they would be happy to discuss it and Claire will soon be going to visit an organiser of the Godalming Community Fridge for advice and guidance. There are a lot of boxes to tick to make this work, so any interest and offers of support would be gratefully received. Contact Claire at clairematthes2001@yahoo.co.uk
 

Champion tree tour

Want to see the oldest yew (850+ years), oldest oaks (350+), horse chestnut (200+), or the biggest beech, or tallest trees in Surrey (Douglas fir, spruce, Wellingtonia)? Also the most majestic cedar, lovely hornbeams and others. Clive Davidson will lead a local champion tree tour on Saturday 13 October. All the trees are within just a couple of miles of the town centre – but because they are spread out we will travel to them by car, with some walking at the sites. The four hour tour starts at 9am on Saturday 13 October. Free. To book a place email info@transitionhaslemere.org

 

Free resources

Can you make use of a a sturdy, good quality flipchart stand? We have one that we aren't using at the moment that we would be happy to loan, short or long term.
Need disposable cups for an event? We have loads that we would be happy to donate to a good cause.
Contact us at info@transitionhaslemere.org

Link of the month: sustainability courses

The SDG Academy's open online education platform offers free graduate-level courses on sustainable development. “From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, the courses address the fundamental challenge facing our world today: how do people, communities, governments and companies not only coexist, but also cooperate and collaborate, to save the one planet we have?” Find out more here.

 

Allotment update


After recent rain, the allotment is looking wonderfully green. The grass is growing at last, providing much needed material for the compost heap. Courgettes, beans, lettuce, beetroot, rainbow chard and herbs are all still cropping well, with the occasional delicious carrot and some Italian black kale finally offering some late leaves.
Late seed sowings have germinated, but the almost autumnal fall in temperatures may inhibit any useful growth. Green  manures will now be sown for winter cover and composting.
The apple tree is losing its first windfalls, most likely those fruits with codling moth caterpillars within. The variety of our established tree is unknown but it seems to be a cox type, with a red  flush and some russetting.  While unripe the apples are quite sour, but stored they become deliciously fresh and sweet. We will hope to celebrate and harvest the apples, together with digging the potatoes, on our Saturday morning session, 15th September 10 am – 12 noon (weather permitting). All will be welcome to see the plot, and light refreshments will be provided. We hope to bring some of the crop to the National Trust’s Swan Barn apple pressing day on Saturday, September 29th.
Our regular allotment meet-ups are on Thursdays 1pm – 3pm and Saturdays 10am – 12noon. You can use this link  to sign up for allotment updates.
 

Tree of the month: poplar


One of the loveliest sights of summer is a poplar tree against the blue sky with its leaves rustling in the breeze. White poplars (Populus alba), black poplar (Populus nigra) and aspen (Populus tremula) are native. White poplar, which can look ghostly when the wind reveals the white undersides of their leaves, are fairly common. Wild black poplars are rare, although cultivars including Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica') are popular in parks and gardens. Poplars can grow to 40 metres and often lean as if gently pushed by the wind. Pictured is black poplar cultivar.

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