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May 2017

In this month’s newsletter:

  • keeping chickens
  • allotment update
  • compost advice
  • and more

Keeping chickens in the garden

A talk for beginners by Jane Devlin, and our theme for June’s green drinks. Find out about the costs, practicalities, why keeping chickens is a good for the environment, what to avoid, and how to cope with common problems. Also, we will answer once and for all the question of which came first – the chicken or the egg? Thursday 1 June, 7.30pm, Royal Oak, Critchmere Hill (talk begins around 8.30pm).

Future activities and themes for our green drinks are:
Summer barbeque – Friday 14 July, Swan Barn – all welcome!
July’s green drinks will be combined with our summer barbecue, on Friday 14 July from 6.30pm at Swan Barn, where the theme will be enjoying ourselves. All welcome. Bring your own food and drink. We provide the fire; the National Trust provides the view.

Trees and climate change – Thursday 7 September, led by Clive Davidson
Running a small market garden – Thursday 5 October, led by Ed Brooks

Bee inspired

“Keeping bees is the most beneficial thing you can do for the countryside”, said Dave Elliott, National Trust head ranger of Black Down, in his talk on beekeeping at our recent green drinks. We need honey bees to pollinate our crops, vegetables, trees and flowers. And because they are under threat, bees need us. Working with a hive is a “joy” said Dave, and it less difficult to set up and maintain than you might think. You can read more about Dave’s talk and how to set up a hive here.

Community allotment – it’s planting season

Would you like to join our community allotment group? Whether you are an old hand at growing vegetables or have no prior experience, we look forward to meeting you! To find out more, please sign up for our TH Allotment group or check for updates here.
Also, we would be happy to receive further garden tools, watering cans, plastic trays for seedlings, roof felt and guttering (excellent for pea seedlings). Let us know if you have any to offer or want to join us by emailing us at info@transitionhaslemere.org.

Confused about composting?

Waverley Council’s recent sticker on our rubbish bins about food waste seems to have caused a bit of confusion. Some people who compost all their kitchen waste have wondered whether it is directed at them since they don’t put out a green food waste caddy. Their attempts to find out from Waverley whether there are any foodstuffs that should not be composted at home have not had much success. The answer is that, with the right methods and equipment, all food waste, including cooked food, bones and left-overs can be composted. You can find out more here.

Invest in future farms
The Ecological Land Co-operative is a social enterprise established to address the lack of affordable sites for ecological land-based livelihoods in England. Set up in 2009, the ELC purchases land, obtains planning permission, and installs the infrastructure to create smallholdings for future growers. The ELC has launched a public share offer to raise funds for the creation of two new clusters of small farms. For more information: www.ethex.org.uk/ecologicalland

Link of the month – random acts of wildness
Surrey Wildlife Trust, along with other Trusts, is encouraging everyone to put aside a little time each day in June to do something for nature. Its Random Act of Wildness scheme offers a pack of ideas and encouragement, with lots suggestions for young people. For more information see www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild

Tree corner: English elm

Although magnificent mature English elms (Ulmus minor ‘Atinia’) have largely disappeared from the landscape as a result of Dutch elm disease, they can still be found locally in hedgerows and occasionally in woodland. Often, they only make it to around 15 foot or so, which is roughly the height at which the disease-carrying beetle flies. A small group of elms in the woods off Killinghurst Lane has escaped the beetle’s attention, with the tallest now around 35 feet – pictured. If you want to see mature elms, visit Brighton or Eastbourne. The latter has 10,000, which line many of its streets and parks.

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