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

    Posted on May 24th, 2011 Steve 1 comment

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

    (1) Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre Update
    (2) Next Open Committee Meeting – Monday 30th May
    (3) Buckfastleigh Primary School Fete – Saturday 25th June
    (4) Buckfastleigh & District Society Fun Day – Sunday 26th June
    (5) Recycling Update
    (6) Community Composting Update
    (7) Fruit Tree Project Update
    (8) Gardenshare Update
    (9) Buckfastleigh Community Forum Update
    (10) Congratulations, Mel!
    (11) * Wild Food Walks *
    (12) * Devon County Council Waste Core Strategy Consultation *
    (13) * Beginners Guide to the Renewable Heat Incentive *
    (14) * Talking to the Trees *
    (1) Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre Update
    We would like to thank all of those that helped us out when we provided refreshments to those attending the Dean Court Vintage Rally and Fayre on Saturday 7th May.
    Special thanks go to those who provided cakes and to Steve, Andy, Jeremy, Kathy, Neil and Clive for manning the stall. We also owe thanks to Friends of Buckfastleigh School (FOBS) for the loan of their tea urn and other equipment and to Margaret and all of the other people who arranged the event.
    After covering our expenses and making a donation to the BBC Radio Devon Air Ambulance Appeal and Rowcroft Hospice, we made a profit of just under £65. We also have a range of refreshments (and related items) that we can use at further events.
    (2) Next Open Committee Meeting – Monday 30th May
    Our next open committee meeting will be held on the evening of Monday 30th May. If you’d like to attend then please contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info) and we’ll let you know the exact time and location of the meeting.
    (3) Buckfastleigh Primary School Fete – Saturday 25th June
    We have been asked by FOBS to run a badge making stall at their school fete, to raise BTT’s profile and raise funds for further gardening and arts projects. As this will be Cherie the cherry tree’s first public outing (see below), it would be a good event to attend, but we need volunteers. The fete is in the school playground on Saturday 25th June from 10am until 1pm. If you could spare a bit of time to help out on the day then contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).
    (4) Buckfastleigh & District Society Fun Day – Sunday 26th June
    We have been asked by the Buckfastleigh & District Society whether we’d like to book a pitch at the annual Fun Day, which is on Sunday 26th June on the Orchard Millenium Green. This will cost us £6 and we must have our own Public Liability Insurance, and we need to respond by Sunday 6th June.
    If we are going to attend, then not only do we need a good idea for a pitch to engage the public, but we’ll need to have a number of volunteers to run the pitch. So, if you have any ideas on what we could do, or if you can spare a bit of time to help out on the day then contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info).
    (5) Recycling Update
    We are teaming up with J. Searle & Son to make it easy for Buckfastleigh residents to recycle their used compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
    Low energy CFLs contain a small amount of mercury giving them their energy-saving properties. Whilst this isn’t harmful on its own, if large quantities of these lamps are left to go to landfill they could be damaging to the environment. Local residents used to be able to recycle used CFLs at the Bulley Cleaves recycling centre until this closed recently.
    You can bring your used CFLs into J. Searle & Son’s shop in Buckfastleigh and place them in one of the award-winning Bulbstore Mini collection boxes. The box is provided as part of a scheme created by a partnership between Recolight (the specialist waste electrical and electronic equipment compliance scheme for the lighting industry) and CoBRA (Community Bulb Recycling Alliance).
    This recycling service is a small first step, but we shall continue to work with local councillors and residents to see what other recycling facilities can easily be provided in Buckfastleigh.
    Thank you to everyone who has filled in a copy of BTT’s recycling survey. We have had around 130 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. We’ll be analysing and publishing the results soon, but if you still haven’t filled in the survey, it is still available online.
    (6) Community Composting Update
    The next Community Composting group meeting will be on Monday 20th June at 7pm. For a copy of the agenda, to find out the venue of the meeting or to help out with this project, please contact Ros Maynard on boz.box@virgin.net.
    (7) Fruit Tree Project Update
    Due to other commitments, the organisers of this project have had to step down, so this project has been scaled back for the time being. However, we have donated Cherie the cherry tree to Buckfastleigh Primary School. She is now in place as part of the enriching of the playgrounds, and will be providing shade and hopefully cherries for years to come.
    If you would like to lead this project, or help out in any way then contact us (either via a Committee member or by email at info@buckthetrend.info)
    (8) Gardenshare Update
    Our GardenShare scheme already matched up a few land owners and growers. There is still currently a surplus of land, so more growers are needed.
    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.
    (9) Buckfastleigh Community Forum Update
    We are delighted to say we are overcoming apathy! Despite people’s busy lives the message that something is amiss in Buckfastleigh is slowly getting out. More people are getting ‘on board’ the Forum and are interested in having their say and getting involved. We have more people helping to spread the word and taking on small tasks behind the scenes to help co-ordinate the information.
    People are quite shocked to find out that the main spur of the quarry currently shielding the town is (proposed) to be blasted away and that the quarry is to be backfilled with rubble, waste and ash, before being topped with an 8000 m2 concrete cap! Please take a look at the pictures. Hidden behind the non-descript entrance on Plymouth Road is a massive hole in the ground!
    Some dates for your diaries:
    • Our next open committee meeting is Tuesday May 31st at 7.30pm in the town hall council chambers.
    • We understand that MVV/Gilpin will be holding another public exhibition at the town hall on Friday 10th June – I do not have full details, but I believe this will be more specific to Whitecleave Quarry after they received feedback that the last exhibition was not relevant for Buckfastleigh.
    • We are planning our own large public exhibition and presentation upstairs at the town hall on Thursday 7th July. This is the main awareness-raising event we intend to stage. Ideas, suggestions and offers of help much appreciated. We will be carrying out a mass leafleting of town to advertise this event during June.
    Status of Planning and Environmental Scoping:
    DCC responded to MVV/Gilpin’s request for an Environmental Scoping Opinion within the statutory 5 week period they have to reply within. All this is on our website.
    DCC’s environmental scoping opinion is still open to comment and we are encouraged to do so. If you do have comments, please feel free to contact me on this e-mail to include in our response to DCC.
    There was much consternation at our latest meeting as people were made aware that Buckfastleigh Town Council were the only statutory consultation body that had no comment on the scoping report, nor had they made the town aware of the consultation. We are seeking clarity on their position as I was told that they were not required to make it available for public comment and that they found the contents to be informative and satisfactory. They do not wish to comment further until a planning application has been made.
    We have also raised an issue with Devon Highways Management who understood the report to imply that traffic levels would be reduced from previous usage, hence no further action was needed! We pointed out that we believe this to be incorrect and DCC are now seeking clarification of the issue from MVV/Gilpin.
    We are told that the planning application is still being finalised, but is likely to be lodged with DCC within the next few weeks. It will then take about one month for DCC to check and confirm that it has been correctly submitted, before they formally accept the lodging of the document. At that point, it will then be advertised as a live application and the 120-day consultation period begins.
    MVV/Gilpin Local Liaison Committee (LLC):
    Although there is some scepticism about the status of this LLC, it is a way to communicate and formally (and openly) get information from necessary parties; note it is only a consultative body. It must be appreciated that MVV/Gilpin are legally entitled to make a planning application for this site. If we as a community are to oppose, or impact the application in other ways, we have to play by the established rules of the game. Sadly, we cannot change the rules!
    Neil Smith, BCF Chairman, has joined the LLC and has encouraged others to do so as he felt the composition was not reflective of the attitudes that we have perceived in town. The next meeting of the LLC is 5th July. Places are limited, but there were still places available. If you do wish to become a member of this LLC, please e-mail paul.carey@mvvuk.co.uk and express your interest. Our Buckfastleigh Town Councillor for Planning, Patsy Walton, is also on this LLC. According to Terms of Reference that DCC use in establishing these type of committees, it appears they would usually include the county councillor and district councillor as well as someone from DCC’s Mineral Planning Authority and the Environment Agency.
    Forum information-hub sub-group:
    We have established a sub-group of the forum to help co-ordinate our approaches to individual subjects of concern e.g. bats, peregrine falcons, potential for River Dart toxicity, Potter’s Wood SSSI, traffic management etc. etc. If anyone has a specific area of interest or knowledge they would like to involve themselves in (that we may not be already aware of), please e-mail us back and we will put you in touch with Pamela Forbes who is co-ordinating this group.
    Some people have complained that they cannot access our Facebook page. I’m sorry, we have no idea why people cannot access. It is an open public site and this link should take you there.
    Thanks for everyone’s ongoing support and interest. For further details, please go to the Buckfastleigh Community Forum website or email us at community@buckfastleigh.org.
    (10) Congratulations, Mel!
    BTT would like to congratulate one of our founders, Mel Jarman, who has recently begun to work working in the constituency office of Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton.
    (11) * Wild Food Walks
    Fiona Campbell is running Spring Wild Food Walks every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and alternate Saturdays and Sundays until June. The cost is 10 pounds per adult, children are free. Depending on numbers, the walks usually take about 2 hours and only cover a very short distance around the churchyard.
    The Seaweed Wild Food walks start then at East Prawle and run until October. Depending on the kind of year we are having the Wild Fungi walks can begin in August as well as Berries, Nuts and Roots.
    If you are interested in attending one of these walks then please contact Fiona Campbell on 01364 642309 or email her on f.campbell270@btinternet.com.
    (12) * Devon County Council Waste Core Strategy Consultation
    DCC’s Waste Core Strategy is up for public consultation until 21 July 2011. The Waste Core Strategy will “establish the overarching principles and policy direction for determining waste planning applications within Devon (not including Plymouth, Torbay or the National Parks). It will also identify potential strategic areas for waste management activities across the County. Once adopted, the Strategy will cover the period up to 2031.”
    As we have seen from the Devonport incinerator and the proposed Whitecleaves Quarry development, waste management is a significant issue that will have an increasing impact on our lives. Therefore, we encourage all of you to read and comment on the Waste Core Strategy, by following this link (note that you will have to register and that if you take part your name and answers may be displayed, but your town/city will not be shown).
    (13) * Beginners Guide to the Renewable Heat Incentive
    There has been a lot happening in the world of energy saving recently. Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the carbon budget are all words being bounced around, and that’s on top of soaring energy prices. But what does it all mean for you? This month, the Energy Savings Trust have made available a ‘Beginner’s guide to the Renewable Heat Incentive’.
    (14) * Talking to the Trees
    A new way to explore our relationship with trees to celebrate World Environment Day, Sunday 5 June
    The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) is celebrating this year’s  World Environment Day, Sunday 5 June, with a free event in Haldon Forest Park.  Visitors are invited to attend an Open Day for the ‘University of the Trees’ with drop-in sessions running from 10am – 12noon and 2-4pm.
    The morning session will focus on parents with children where artist Shelley Sacks, who developed the project, will lead the sessions and explain the meaning of this special university open to all where the trees are our teachers. Children will have the opportunity to take part in activities such as stamping cloth bands with the University of the Trees logo to tie around trees they would like recognised as part of this unique university as well as discuss what the trees have to teach us about how we can live and care for the world we all live in.
    “’The University of the Trees’ is a playful yet serious exploration of what it means to be an ecological citizen – a way of creating dialogue about the kind of world we want to live in.  We want to get people talking and listening to one another as well as the trees,” says Johanna Korndorfer, CCANW Learning and Development Manager.
    The University of the Trees is a long-term, participatory project being developed by CCANW with Shelley Sacks, Director of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University. It encourages new ways of perceiving and acting that emerge from a closer exploration of our relationship with trees, forests and the natural world. Activities on the Open Day require no previous knowledge, but will be outdoors, so participants are advised to dress appropriately.
    On Saturday 11 June, 7-9pm CCANW and Shelley Sacks will give a talk about the University of the Trees for environmental group reps, youth and community leaders about the ideas and activities of this unique ‘social sculpture’ project for developing ecological citizenship. Admission is free, but please book in advance.
    The University of the Trees events are part of CCANW’s exciting 5th anniversary ‘Tree Culture’ programme which celebrates the value and beauty of trees and also celebrates the United Nations International Year of Forests, which aims ‘to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests’.
    For more details (or to book a place on the talk) please contact Chris Lewis, 01392 832277, c.lewis@ccanw.co.uk.