Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
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  • April 2011

    Posted on April 30th, 2011 Steve 1 comment

    Welcome to Buck the Trend’s Latest E-Bulletin (April 2011)

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    (1) Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre – Saturday 7th May

    (2) Buckfastleigh Community Forum (incorporating the Quarry Action Group)

    (3) Recycling Update

    (4) Gardenshare Update

    (5) Community Composting Project Update

    (6) The Big Lunch – Sunday 5th June

    (7) * Nature’s Round Community Interest Company *

    (8) * StreetBank *

    (9) * Upcoming Schumacher College Courses *

    (10) * Austrian Scything Course *

    (11) * Volunteering Opportunities in Cob Building *

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    (1) Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre – Saturday 7th May

    BTT will be providing tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes to the good punters at the Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre at the Dean Prior racecourse on Saturday 7th May. The whole event is aiming to raise money for two charities: the Devon Air ambulance and Rowcroft Hospice.

    We already have a small group of intrepid volunteers who will be helping out on the day, but if you can help out on the day or make some biscuits or cakes for us to sell then please contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).

    (2) Buckfastleigh Community Forum (incorporating the Quarry Action Group)

    The key message is to say that this is not a done deal, and even if the plans eventually go ahead, there are plenty of ways we can shape the outcome to be better for the town – so it is definitely worth getting involved.

    We are gradually building up momentum: at the moment trying to garner publicity and get relevant information and distribute it around the town. Although we still have time for consultation (and we are trying to get more time), the time for campaigning and objecting (assuming people want to object!) is still some time away, so people can relax a bit! But get involved by becoming acquainted with what it going on and helping spread the word.

    In the meantime, we are trying to establish a Local Liaison Group to interact with DCC with respect to ongoing monitoring of activity at Whitecleave Quarry to ensure the existing permissions and restrictions are adhered to, and publicly conveyed.

    The Quarry Action Group has renamed itself the Buckfastleigh Community Forum, and although the quarry is currently the primary issue, hopefully this forum can be built upon to help bring the various groups of the town together in time – e.g. such as a nice lady called Pamela Forbes of the Buckfastleigh & District Society ran an evening at the Town Hall with a guy who has been gardening for 50 years or more and was talking about using the land around the town, etc. – they only had 15 people or so turn up and is a great example of groups communicating better could be really useful.

    The Buckfastleigh Community Forum has a website (still under construction), a Facebook page and an e-mail address (community@Buckfastleigh.org) if you want to get in touch.

    (3) Recycling Update

    Thank you to everyone who has filled in a copy of BTT’s recycling survey. We have had over 100 responses so far, and this data will help us to identify what recycling/waste services people really need now that the Bulley Cleaves recycling centre has closed. If you still haven’t filled in the survey, it is still available in the Buckfastleigh Library, the Buckfast Post Office or online.

    A couple of BTT members met recently with some local councillors to discuss what we can do to provide recycling services to local residents. This is not a simple process, but the first steps are being taken. Once the local elections are out of the way, we are hoping to have a public meeting to discuss what can be done in Buckfastleigh, Buckfast and/or Ashburton.

    In the meantime, we have been working with a local shop to provide a location for people to recycle their used low energy light bulbs. Each low energy light bulb contains a small amount of mercury, so putting them in your normal rubbish is a really bad idea. More details will be provided when we officially launch this service.

    If you’d like to help with our recycling efforts then please contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).

    (4) Gardenshare Update

    Our GardenShare scheme has been very well received. In fact, we have been contacted by so many people offering land to share that we have more land than growers!

    If you are a grower who is looking for some local land (or if you have some room in your garden that you’d like to offer to a grower) then please contact Marion Wallace on 01364 643467 or Jenny on 07891922459.

    (5) Community Composting Project Update

    Plans for the Community Composting project are continuing, but there is nothing specific to add this month.

    If you’d like to be involved in this project then please contact Ros at boz.box@virgin.net or contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).

    (6) The Big Lunch – Sunday 5th June

    The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. This year it’s happening on Sunday 5th June. For more details please have a look at their website.

    After last year’s event, BTT would like to have another Big Lunch this year. However, we are only going to be able to arrange a successful event if we have enough people to organise it. If you would like to help arrange the event this year then please contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).

    (7) * Nature’s Round Community Interest Company *

    Nature’s Round has existed for some 12 years as a Sole Trader business supplying wholesome food and pure water direct to people’s homes, while providing an outlet for small local producers who use no pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers. It covers an area from Ivybridge to Newton Abbot including Totnes, Buckfastleigh and Ashburton, but not Torbay (we used to go to Exeter, but have, as a matter of policy, gradually reduced the area covered as we have recruited more local customer).  We have said that our mission will be accomplished when we are all swapping produce over the garden fence and wheeling barrows down village streets!  Customer base remains very stable: Nature’s Round has a core of very loyal long-term customers, and word-of-mouth recommendations from them have recruited as many as have moved away, died or been lost for other reasons. We have done no active marketing. Last year we earned a net profit of just under £8,000 from the round.

    During the past year we have realised a long-held aspiration to become a co-operative. The following ’objects’ are from the articles of ’Nature’s Round Co-operative Community Interest Company’ (registered on 2/2/2011, Company No. 7514453):

    • To provide vegetables, fruit, herbs, dairy products and a range of home-produced food products which are free of artificial chemicals, to people in the South Devon area at affordable prices.
    • To encourage and promote the consumption of locally-produced vegetables, fruit and other foods which are free of artificial chemicals in the South Devon area, by holding events, seminars and training activities for local people of all ages.
    • To encourage and enable more people in the South Devon area to become producers of vegetables, fruit and other foods without the use of artificial chemicals through networking, partnership building, provision of training, financial support and a fair price for their product.
    • To encourage the development of traditional rural crafts through the provision of training courses, workshops and events.
    • To enable customers and producers to become directly involved with the management of the Company through a Customer Membership Scheme.
    • To evolve a business model which fosters co-operative relationships between producers, distributors and customers. Each of these groups shall be represented on the Board of Directors. Any profits shall be invested in the development of the co-operative and in contributing to the common wealth of the wider community.
    • To engage in any business, trade or industry which may seem to the Company directly or indirectly conducive to the interests or convenience of the Company’s area of activity generally.

    The Co-operative is an ‘Asset Locked Body’, which means that in the event of being wound up, any residual assets must be transferred to another Asset Locked CIC, Charity or Industrial and Provident Society.

    If you have any ideas that meet the objects of Nature’s Round then please contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).

    (8) * StreetBank *

    Streetbank is a site that helps you share and borrow things from your neighbours. Why would you want to do this? Well since you asked, communities that help each other are closer, nicer, and friendlier to live in. Streetbank can help make your neighbourhood a nicer place. It also makes sense economically. If there are 10 houses on your road and each of them uses a ladder maybe once a year to clean the guttering, they probably don’t all need their own ladder. One ladder shared between everyone should be enough. It also reduces the carbon footprint of your community, as less ladders (or garden forks, or lawn movers) need to be manfuactured. In short, it helps to cut the carbon, cut the costs and be better off. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

    If you join StreetBank, you can offer items to lend or give away or offer help on a specific subject (e.g. gardening). StreetBank was mentioned in a recent Buckfastleigh Community News Sheet, and there are already 10 local users (StreetBees? StreetBankers?). If you would like to join in then please try out their website.

    (9) * Upcoming Schumacher College Courses *

    Schumacher College in Devon is running a couple of courses in the near future which may be of interest:

    A Science of Qualities: Brian Goodwin’s vision

    Brian Goodwin’s work within Biology and Sustainability was enormously important, as was his involvement as a Trustee in the Transition movement. This 5 day course promises to be a fascinating exploration of Brian’s work, by bringing together many key figures from a range of theoretical disciplines, to explore the influence his hugely important ideas have had in the sciences, social sciences and the wider world of those working for a more humane and sustainable society.

    Price £750 (All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.)

    Venue: Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon TQ9 6EA

    Practising Resourcefulness: Plenty, Sustainability and Well-being in Everyday Life

    How much is enough? More than any time before, individuals and communities in the developed world are beginning to reassess their lifestyles in terms of their emotional and spiritual connection with ‘stuff’. Vicky Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life and called the prophet of “consumption-downsizers” by the New York Times, empowers participants to make realistic and manageable changes to their lives, by helping them to understand the many emotional motives and barriers that underlie our behaviours.

    Price £750 (All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.

    Venue: Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon TQ9 6EA

    For further details of either course contact +44 (0)1803 865934 or admin@schumachercollege.org.uk.

    (10) * Austrian Scything Course *

    Alastair Inglis (a.k.a. The Slim Reaper) is a new Totnes resident, recently arrived from over the Haldon divide in Exeter.  During the summer months (May to Oct) I teach people how to use the Austrian scythe, and he wonders if any of your BTT members might want to join a scything course that I could run in the Buckfastleigh area if there is enough interest. If you are interested then please contact Alastair on al.inglis@yahoo.co.uk.

    (11) * Volunteering Opportunities in Cob Building *

    There are a couple of volunteering opportunities with Earthed this Spring/Summer.

    The first one takes place at the Grand Designs Live show at the Excel centre in London.  We need volunteers for any of or all of the 3 days we will be there. We will be setting up Thursday 28th April so sorting the foundation and building the first course (we will be incorporating bottles throughout the wall) and 2nd and 3rd May will be during the event and where we will continue to build the wall. You can be involved as much or as little as you like, either do a morning or afternoon shift which will allow you to also have time to take a look at the other stands or do the whole thing. Check out this link or this one for more details.

    The second takes place in Carmarthen, South Wales where we are doing a house build. We will be running a couple of volunteer weeks (one in August and the other September, dates still to be confirmed) during the course of the build with further opportunity to stay on all things going well.

    If you are interested and would like more details, please contact Annabel Fawcus on earthedworld@googlemail.com.

    * CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OTHER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT NECESSARILY ENDORSED BY BUCK THE TREND BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO MEMBERS OF THE GROUP