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February 2018

In this month’s newsletter:

  • green drinks

  • sponsored apple tree

  • allotment workday

  • how to use less plastic

  • 2017 second hottest year

  • dawn redwood


Green drinks

We will discuss our plans for the year at February green drinks, including the another series of our successful informal talks. Join us for green chat from 7.30pm Thursday 1 February 2018 at the Mill Tavern, Liphook Rd, Linchmere, Haslemere GU27 3QE.


We sponsor an apple tree at Swan Barn

Transition Haslemere sets aside a quarter of the takings we make on selling secondhand books at the monthly farmers’ market to sponsor trees in the National Trust’s restored orchards at Swan Barn. We sponsored our first tree in 2014 and this month we will hand over a cheque for £250 to fund the planting of a new tree. We are in the process of deciding which traditional variety to plant and will announce our decision shortly.

Allotment workday rescheduled

Due to very wet ground conditions and works planned by Thames Water in Collards Lane, we have been obliged to change the date of this activity. The Allotment Workday will now take place on 24th February – weather permitting.

For more information contact info@transitionhaslemere.org


Link of the month: How to use less plastic

It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister talk recently about tackling the ‘scourge’ of plastic waste. Although the Government’s proposed measures are somewhat limited, we can do a lot ourselves to reduce, recycle and reuse plastic in our everyday lives. Here are three websites with tips and guidance on how you can cut your use of plastic

My plastic-free life

Life without Plastic

Plastic Free UK

Climate data: 2017 was the second hottest year

2017 was the second-hottest year on record according to Nasa data. It was also the hottest year without the short-term warming influence of El Niño – a climate phenomenon that occurs every few years when water in the western tropical Pacific Ocean becomes abnormally warm. Remarkably, 2017 was also hotter than 2015, which at the time was by far the hottest year on record thanks in part to a strong El Niño event that year. You can read more about it here.


Tree corner: Dawn redwood


At this time of the year you can see the elegant outline of the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), a species originally known in the West only from its Mesozoic-era fossil remains. In 1946, a small stand of surviving trees was discovered in Szechuan province, China, and its seeds were distributed around the world. It is now often found in botanical gardens and increasingly popular in parks and domestic gardens for its feathery fresh green foliage in the Spring and summer, and red-brown colour in the autumn. Unusually for a conifer, and like its near relative the swamp cypress, it is deciduous. There was a dawn redwood in the Haslemere Museum garden, but died a few years ago. A few others, like the one pictured, can be seen in gardens around Haslemere.

January 2018

Happy New Year everyone

In this month’s newsletter:

  • green drinks

  • AGM

  • allotment schedule

  • winter wassailing

  • zero carbon Britain

  • blue Atlas cedar


Green drinks

Just a social chat this month – reflecting on the year gone by and looking to the future. From 7.30pm Thursday 4 January 2018 at the Mill Tavern, Liphook Rd, Linchmere, Haslemere GU27 3QE.


The chair and treasurer will report (briefly) on last year’s activities. We will elect chair, treasurer and other officers for the new year. Then we will make plans for the new year. Please join us, especially if you would like to be more involved in our activities in 2018. 8pm Thursday 18 January at the Mill Tavern.

Allotment winter programme

Time to reflect on last year’s efforts and plan for the new season. Please join us at the following events if you would like to be involved next year.

Thursday 11th January, 13.00 – 15.00 tea/coffee at Dylan’s in Weyhill.

Saturday 27th January, 10.00 – 13.00 allotment work day (with bonfire)

Mid-February, date to be confirmed: visit a special garden (either Sustainability Centre, Winkworth, or Wisley)

For more information contact info@transitionhaslemere.org


Winter Wassailing

Join the National Trust for an evening of spirit warding, superstition, and family fun by performing a traditional Wassailing ceremony. They go in procession, carrying flaming torches, to the most venerable apple tree, sing the wassailing song and bang pots ‘n pans to banish evil spirits from its branches, and swig last year’s Wassail Ale as a toast. Under torchlight, everyone makes their way back to have a selection of hot food and drink to purchase and enjoy. Swan Barn Farm, 6-9pm Friday 19 January. Free event. Likely to be muddy.

Free introduction to beekeeping

Keeping bees is the most beneficial thing you can do for the countryside”, says Dave Elliott, National Trust head ranger of Black Down. Interested or need help getting started? Go along to the free beekeeping introductory session run by the Petersfield & District Beekeepers’ Association’s at 2.15—4.30pm, Petersfield Community Centre on Sunday 18th February 2018. For further information contact Morag Crawley on 01730 267168 or annechantal@btinternet.com.

Link of the month: Zero Carbon Britain

CAT’s latest research project, Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen, explores the economic, cultural and psychological barriers to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and sets out the positive, connected approach we need to overcome them – joining up research and practice across disciplines, borders, sectors and scales.


Tree corner: Blue Atlas Cedar

At this monochrome time of the year, the Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica var. glauca) adds a touch of pastel colour to the landscape. It is native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa where it grows in extensive forests. The blue tinge to the soft needles is a cultivated variation. It is often planted as an ornamental tree in gardens, including around Haslemere, and there are some fine specimens by the lake at Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming. The specimen pictured is on the hill above Haslemere station.

December 2017

In this month’s newsletter:

  • green drinks change of venue

  • Christmas market

  • allotment news

  • charter for trees

  • pick your own Christmas tree


Festive green drinks

*Note change of venue

We will be at the Mill Tavern for December green drinks. No talk this month – just informal chat about all things green and festive. All welcome. From 7.30pm Thursday 7 December at the Mill Tavern, Liphook Rd, Linchmere, Haslemere GU27 3QE.


Christmas market

Transition Haslemere will have a stall at the Christmas market selling mulled apple juice and secondhand books. The market – the biggest event in Haslemere’s year – will run from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 3 December. There will be lots of gift ideas and food and drink stalls.
You will find us on West Street with the farmers’ market stalls.

Allotment winter programme

Regular work has finished for the year now. Until spring 2018, we will continue to meet for monthly (mainly social) events, details of which are circulated to the allotment list. If you would like to be in the loop, please subscribe here. On Saturday 27th January (depending on weather) from 10am we are planning to have a work day with bonfire and soup at the allotment – a great opportunity to join us and see what it’s like.


Link of the month: Charter for woods, trees and people

On 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched at Lincoln Castle. Nearly 400 organisations collected over 60,000 tree stories from people across the UK about the role that trees play in their lives. These helped to define the 10 principles of the new tree charter, which you can read about and sign here:


Tree corner: Pick your own Christmas tree

Pick your perfect pine for the festive season at Hindhead Commons. Bring a saw and gloves to cut your own Christmas tree. Be prepared for a reasonable walk to the trees and to carry your tree back to your vehicle. All trees are netted. Trees cost £20.00 to £30.00 depending on size. Meeting point: Devil’s Punch Bowl cafe car park, GU26 6AB. 10am and 2pm on 2, 9 and 10 December. For more information contact: hindhead@nationaltrust.org.uk
Taking the young Scots pines helps maintain the heathland.

November 2017

In this month’s newsletter:

  • foraged remedies

  • Christmas market

  • rewilding Sussex

  • disappearing insects

  • red oak


Remedies from the hedgerow, woodland and meadow

Join us for the last of our popular green drinks talks for 2017. This month herbalist and acupuncturist Tamara Kircher will explain how to make healing tinctures, teas and tonics from berries, herbs and flowers that you can forage locally.

Thursday 2 November, 8.00pm at the Station House, Haslemere. All welcome

December green drinks:

Green drinks on Thursday 7 December will be a social event. Join us for a festive chat about all things green. 8.00pm at the Mill Tavern, Haslemere. All welcome


Christmas market

Transition Haslemere will have a stall at the Christmas market selling mulled apple juice and secondhand books. The market – the biggest event in Haslemere’s year – will run from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 3 December. There will be lots of gift ideas and food and drink stalls.

You will find us on West Street with the farmers’ market stalls.

Rewilding Sussex

With fences removed and free roaming cattle, ponies, deer and pigs, a 3,500 acre former conventional mixed farm has seen a dramatic return of wild nature. Knepp Castle Estate owner Sir Charles Burrell will explain how a different kind of farming has created a haven for wildlife.

7.30pm Saturday 11th November, Village Hall, Selborne. Tickets £8.00 in advance or £10 on the night. For tickets or more information contact Trish at triciaoliver178@btinternet.com.


Link of the month: Insects warn us of potential ‘ecological Armageddon’

If you were wondering whether setting aside some of your garden for insect-friendly plants was worth it, or you have been pondering keeping bees, a recent study of showing that there has been a dramatic plunge in insect numbers should convince you. The study was covered by many newspapers, and you can read the original paper – More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areashere:

Tree corner: Red oak

Red oak (Quercus rubra) is a broadleaf deciduous tree native to North America and popular as an ornamental tree in British and European parks and gardens, especially for its rusty red autumn colour. It has the lobed leaves characteristic of oaks but much larger and more pointed than our English oak. It takes 40 years to develop a good crop of acorns, which have shallow cups and are knobbly.

The tree in the photograph is on the path above Swan Barn Farm.

October 2017

  • market garden talk

  • swap-it day

  • climate change update

  • Amnesty tree

  • allotment reflections


Making a market garden

This month's green drinks talk:

Ed Brooks grows vegetables on an acre of land in Liphook with no chemicals and little carbon. You may have bought bags of delicious Ed's Veg from a local shop, or enjoyed them with a meal in a local restaurant. Come and hear how he does it while caring for the land.

Thursday 5 October, 8.00pm in the cafe area upstairs at The Station House, opposite Haslemere station. Parking is available behind the building.

* Note this is a new venue for green drinks

November green drinks:

Remedies from the hedgerow, woodland and meadow – healing tinctures, teas and tonics from berries, herbs and flowers.

Thursday 2 November, 7.30pm, Station House


Chiddgreen Swap-it day

Here’s how it works: You bring along items that you no longer need but that are still serviceable and could be of use to someone else. Large items can be advertised on our website with a photograph. While you’re there, browse around, find items that you would like to take away and use. No money changes hands – it’s simply an opportunity to cut down on unnecessary waste. The aim is to reduce, reuse and recycle! No charge – just a donation tin.

Saturday 7 October, 10am sharp, Chiddingfold Village Hall


Link of the month: 1.5ºC could still be possible

A team of climate scientists has delivered a rare bit of good news: it could be easier than previously thought to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, as called for in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. But even if the team is right — and some researchers are already questioning the conclusions — heroic efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions will still be necessary to limit warming.

Read the story here.


Tree corner: Amnesty tree

As part of the efforts to replace trees lost in the 1987 hurricane, the local branch of Amnesty International planted a tree in the centre of the Town Meadow. They dedicated it to all prisoners of conscience. The group continues to use it to draw residents' attention to current prisoners, such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother imprisoned in Iran.

Amnesty believes the tree to be a swamp or red maple (Acer rubrum), chosen because of the boggy nature of the ground in the meadow. However, there is some uncertainty as to its species: it has a distinctive leaf shape not normally associated with swamp maples – see photo below. If you can throw any light on the species, please contact info@transitionhaslemere.org


Reflections on the first growing season

The Transition Haslemere Allotment Garden has been going for 6 months now and it has become, as someone commented, a beautiful garden as well as a productive one.

Who are we? We are a handful of committed gardeners, from professionally skilled to complete novice. Personally, I am near the latter end of the spectrum. All of us share an interest in gardening organically and sharing skills as well as a little time together. Some of us have attended on a Wednesday morning, others on a Saturday morning, and so it is often just two or three of us – which means there is space for you to join, if you would like to. We like to chat or work quietly; we enjoy the fresh air and the peaceful site, and sometimes a flapjack and a cup of tea. There is always enough to do, but it never feels overwhelming.

Being in this setting is a joy, but allotment gardening also means work and commitment, so all of this is easier when shared. Over the months we have cleared rubbish and created beds, moved a tree, made compost, planted seeds, weeded, chopped back, and, best of all: harvested – pretty much continuously. I would never have thought that so much can be grown on so little land. I think that is been my greatest joy and surprise – and amazingly it keeps coming! In September, we served soup entirely made from some of our own vegetables at the Haslemere Food Festival.

For me this has been a thoroughly rewarding experience. I have learned a lot about soil preparation, the virtue of attending to the plot, and how all this pays off in the end. What we have is a beautiful space where people can come together, grow fresh food, and pick up know-how.

While the main growing season is now over, we will soon be sowing winter crops, and plans for next year will be discussed. This is a great time to join, and we would really like to welcome you to the allotment so we can share it with you!


To get involved email info@transitionhaslemere.org


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