Feed on
Posts
Comments

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.

August 2018

In this month's newsletter:

  • green drinks

  • September harvest supper

  • biochar

  • Old Sun Brow Apple Tree

  • allotment report

  • joybells apple tree

 

Green drinks

There is no theme to green drinks in August. Nevertheless, some of us will show up at The Mill at 8pm on Thursday 2 August for an informal chat. Please join us if you wish.
 

Summer barbecue

We enjoyed a relaxing sociable summer barbecue at Swan Barn Farm


 

September harvest supper

Our September green drinks will take the form of a harvest supper – a meal of shared dishes held in a lovely old barn close to the town. We will also have a discussion on preserving – making jams, jellies, pickles and other ways to preserve the harvest. You are invited to bring recipes to share or produce to taste or share. From 6.30pm Friday 21 September. (The Haslemere Food Festival is the following day.) More details will follow in the September newsletter. Bring friends and family. It is a free event, but you will need to register to get the venue details. You can register your interest now by emailing us at info@transitionhaslemere.org.uk

Biochar for your garden

You may already use National Trust charcoal on your barbecue. Now you could add the Trust's 'biochar' to your soil to improve its productivity. Biochar is a by-product of the charcoal making process – essentially the small debris left at the end of the process. It is claimed that adding biochar can improve soil health, filter and retain nutrients from percolating water, and store carbon. It was discovered in soil in the Amazon basin where indigenous people were producing exceptional crops from land containing biochar. The grander claims for biochar are disputed, particularly as a large-scale solution for mitigating climate change by storing carbon – you can read a full report here. If you want to try biochar for yourself – a locally produced by-product – contact Spike Brooker at spike.brooker@nationaltrust.org.uk, 01428 652359.

 

Tree of the month: Old Sun Brow Apple Tree

The Old Sun Brow Apple Tree (Malus domestica), shown up against the telegraph pole, about 7 metres tall and laden with fruit. Growing on a vigorous root stock, over the years The Old Sun Brow Apple has against the odds managed to compete with the other larger native oak and ash trees growing on the steep slopes of this small deciduous wood.

Thanks to Gareth Matthes for drawing our attention to the tree.

(The wood is the area that Waverley Borough Council has offered Haslemere in exchange for de-registering the Fairground common land in Wey Hill currently used as an informal car park and tarmacking it over and turning it into a paid-for parking area. The Planning Inspectorate for common land is reported to have received over 50 objections from local people about the proposal.)

Do you know of a special tree in Haslemere that we could feature in our newsletter? It could be special for botanical, historical, cultural or other reasons. If you do, tell us its location and what makes it special. Include a photo if you can. Email it to info@transitionhaslemere.org.uk

 

Summer at the allotment
 

Weather conditions have been challenging this month, the heat of the day making work less appealing than stopping for a drink and a sit down! The lack of rain has demanded that we visit in the evenings to water.

We have had some surprising successes, and we are still harvesting salads, beetroot, beans, lots of herbs, with a good crop of apples awaiting the autumn and, we hope, potatoes underground. There will be a potato harvesting party, with refreshments, at some point during the summer break.

Watch this space!

On the subject of potatoes, we saw the first signs of Late Blight on the leaves this week, and had to make a decision about measures in response to a problem exacerbated by the watering we have had to do. (Blight requires high humidity in order to spread – but watering is required to maximise the

crop.) Although Bordeaux mixture (a copper compound) has in the past been permitted for organic growers, the Soil Association now sees a move towards resistant varieties and changes in husbandry, rather than continue to use something which may persist in the soil and possibly harm soil organisms including earthworms. It seems Bordeaux mixture may soon be banned, so we

decided not to use it this year, but rather to cut off the tops now, to remove the risk of allowing the spores to form fully and possibly be carried in the air to other plots and crops (tomatoes are also

susceptible). Tops can be composted if covered by other material, or burned, and potato tubers should be left in the ground for three weeks until any spores on the soil surface have died. More information here:

Please watch your home crops for signs, as it is likely conditions for the spread of potato blight are being met now.

We are rapidly moving towards the completion of the raised beds, and are pleased with the results.

Finally the wildflower area is very colourful and continues to attract a huge number of pollinating insects. We have seen recently fledged robins and blackbirds, frogs, toads, and even, surprisingly, a common lizard, testifying to the value of these mixed and productive habitats for wildlife.

You can use this link to sign up for allotment updates.

Joybells – our new apple tree


Clive Davidson of Transition Haslemere hands over a cheque for £250 to Dave Elliott, National Trust head ranger for Black Down, to sponsor a new apple tree in the Swan Barn Farm orchard. We chose a joybells traitional variety. We raised the money selling secondhand books at the monthly farmers' market – turning books back into trees.

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.

Older Posts »