Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two Beach Cleans in Deal & Kingsdown this Sunday

There are two beach cleans this Sunday 29th March both starting at 10am in Deal: great community spirit in Deal! 


Kingsdown Beach
Meet outside the Zetland Pub @ 10am to about Noon
Organised by Helen Williams and Jane Banks
Beach Clean only

Deal Beach
Meet at Sandown Castle end @ 10am for about 1.5hr
Deal With IT/ Marine Conservation Society - Beach Warden: Wendy Boorman
Part of the MCS Quarterly monitoring of what is happening on our coastline so we will be logging what we find. Bags, gloves and pickers all supplied

Weather is likely to windy with some showers so please dress warm and dry!

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

‘There are three things that should go into toilets. Put it crudely: pee, poo and paper’ stated a spokeswoman from Keep Britain Tidy. The findings in a recent report about litter on our beaches from the Marine Conservation Society have shown that the number of wet wipes appearing has more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. These cleaning cloths are non-biodegradable so that every time they are put down the loo, they are destined to re-appear on a beach somewhere. Thirty five wipes were found for every kilometre of beach.

Our ‘disposable society’ is responsible for the move towards items that we use once and throw away but apart from this being extremely wasteful with regard to resources, it creates lots more litter because items are not disposed of properly.

Wet wipes do not disintegrate when flushed down the toilet, despite the packaging telling us that they are ‘flushable’ because they contain plastic. They cause many problems within the sewage system where they mix with fat to form blockages which have to be cleared to prevent raw sewage overflowing into rivers and the sea.

Wet wipes also impact on ecosystems. We are lucky enough to have five of the world’s species of turtles visiting our cooler, nutrient rich waters in which to feed but turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their natural prey, with fatal results. Wet wipes present a similar problem.

Wet wipes are a convenient way to deal with spills, but please, don’t put them down the loo!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Richborough Power Lines Consultation end 27th March

 Consultation for the new larger pylons from Richborough to Canterbury thru the Ash Levels ends on March 27th

For further details go to: National Grid site

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Greenpeace supporting local Kent Fisheries

We are calling on all the local politicians in this area to show that they support sustainable fishermen and protection of our seas. We want to them to show their support by becoming a ‘coastal champion’ and signing a flag. We are bringing our fishing boat - Rising Tide - along the Kent Coast this week and inviting our parliamentary candidates to meet us and local fishermen. You can show your support and meet the politicians at the following places:

Hastings - 6pm on Wednesday 25th March at The Classroom-on-the-Coast, Rock-a-nore Road, Hastings.

Folkestone - 6pm on Friday 27th March at The Pullman Inn, 9 Church Street, Folkestone.

Ramsgate - 11am (Family fun day) on Saturday 28th March at Pier Yard, Off Marine Parade, Ramsgate

Whitstable - 6pm on Monday 30th March at The Hotel Continental, 29 Beach Walk, Whitstable.

In July 2014, we launched a joint coastal action plan ‘Championing coastal waters and communities’ which put in place Greenpeace and Nutfa (New Under Ten Metres Fishermen Association) priorities for implementation of the common fisheries policy. The action plan has five steps that we want the government to take:

  1. Reallocate quota to local, sustainable fishermen;
  2. Restore fish stocks;
  3. Protect the marine environment;
  4. Prioritise access for low impact fishermen in the 0 – 12 nautical miles territorial waters of the UK;
  5. Make sure small scale fishermen are represented on regional committees in Europe. 

We piled a lot of pressure on the fisheries minister, and many people from coastal communities got involved. Volunteers were active in Cornwall and collected an amazing 2,000 signatures on paper petitions. But in January the government failed to allocate the 2015 fishing quota along new environmental, social and economic criteria in the way required by European law, and instead it was business as usual.

There is a lot of buzz around the significance of coastal constituencies in the general election, since many are marginal. In many ways this is a good thing for us, since we want to make fishing, and the plight of sustainable fishermen, a key local election issue in the run up to the general election. The uncertainty in these constituencies means MPs and PPCs (prospective parliamentary candidates) are going to be keen to show voters that they’ll fight for their interests.

Please visit our boat - Rising Tide - in Hastings, Folkestone, Ramsgate and Whitstable and show your support for our fishing community.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sandown Castle Community Garden


In October 2014 my husband John and I noticed what a mess Sandown Castle ruins looked as it has been overgrown and uncared for for many years.
After much discussion and deliberation and living so close by we decided to do something about it and set up Sandown Castle Community Garden Group.

We had some response from the local community willing to help us.

After talking to many of our friends we found that most of them had never even walked to the castle ruins as they thought there wasn't anything nice there to see.

Our vision is to create an attractive eye catching formal Summer display to encourage people to take a walk along the seafront to see what we have all been up to.
Dover District Council kindly cleared some of the larger weeds from the site and arranged for permission from English Heritage for us to proceed with the preparation of the former tiered gardens at the beginning of January 2014

Since then our small group have planted over 3000 donated bulbs in the grass on the first tier down.
We have been very busy tidying up the paved areas and steps and have started clearing the grass back to the top soil in the former flowerbeds which were planted and at their best in 1950's.

As these haven't been dug since around the 1970's it's been a very difficult task for our small group.

At the end of May we hope to be planting the lower levels with geraniums ready for the Summer and the top will be left with the wild sea thrift and other wild plants.

We have started raising money to pay for plants and items we need as since we started we have been using our own money to fund this project. Deal Lioness Group are running a quiz night in April on our behalf and Deal Lions have offered to help us out soon with a donation.

We don't have any water on site so we are busy trying to come up with ideas on the logistics of achieving this. If anyone has a water bowser and could help us water occasionally please contact us.

If there are any other local community fundraising groups or individuals who would like to make a small donation to help our project please do get in touch with us. We would be most grateful for any assistance.

If anyone would like to join our voluntary group to help with digging and planting please contact us - Linda & John Ford on 07751 362949

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Deal Big Dig Day 2 - Nearly there .... :)

Thank you to Ade,Sue,Dave, Ros, Jill, Stuart, Charles and Steve for volunteering on the 2nd day of  

Only a little bit still to do - hoping to get that done later in week - we will confirm the seed sowing later in the week.

Lots of appreciative comments from passers by and rail users today ...

Gleaning Coordinator for Kent

Feedback's Gleaning Network UK are recruiting! Do you have what it takes to coordinate volunteers saving literally tonnes of fruit and veg from going to waste on farms, for those suffering from food poverty around Kent??

We're looking for a Kent gleaning coordinator to build on the amazing work Rachel has been doing, and lead the glean revolution around the Kent region! The spring harvests are soon coming in, so it's a really exciting time to join the project! Could it be you? Please share to anyone you think could be a lean mean gleaning machine in and around Kent!

APPLY HERE! Deadline is Monday 6th April

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Deal Big Dig - Deal Station Meadow Making 21st March

We been meadow making again on the Waste land near Deal Rail Station this morning on the first part of 'Deal's Big Dig'.

In 2014 we did an area of about 80sq m as Poppy Meadow to mark the start of WW1.

This year we have extended the area to about 95sqm and are planting a perennial Hay Meadow. This will take a couple of years to establish but will reduce the amount of annual digging that needs to be done. We will plant out some annual meadow seeds for poppies and cornflowers to brighten things up for the first year.

This will be a great resource for wildlife and pollinators as well as looking great.

Big, Big thanks to our 15 volunteers who helped this morning - the digging was hard and felt more like archaeology at times with all the rubble (the site was the old ticket office demolished in ealy 1970s).

We also managed to relocate one of the Ramsgate Platform Planters to further up the platform.

We will be out again on Sunday from 10am to about 12ish - Very welcome to join us.

We will be sowing the meadows probably on Sunday 29th March about 2pm - we need about 10 people to help and should only take about 30 minutes

We will be also looking at the other meadow areas nr BT Exchange and Car park later on.

If you want to get involved email sarah

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters 19th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

There is an important new campaign running at the moment called 'Keep it in the Ground' and this relates to leaving fossil fuels in the ground because burning them would cause catastrophic climate change.

The forthcoming climate summit in Paris will be the most important so far, as time is fast running out if we are to try and limit the world's temperature rise to 2°C. One of the most important subjects that will need to be discussed is hunger. Wheat and barley harvests are declining, caused by climate change. Although the effects are only just being felt, scientists have been warning of the consequences for thirty years. Within ten years many people from many nations could be subject to chronic food and water shortages. Modern agriculture destroys topsoil and together with overgrazing and drought our farmland is being degraded at an alarming rate. Land the size of a family farm is being abandoned every minute and food supplies are therefore threatened.

By 2100, the world could be home to 12 billion people. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are, temperatures will have risen by 4°C and sea level rise will be about a metre. So less available land will be expected to provide even more food for more people and we are looking at a conflict ridden world.

Of course, solutions exist to these problems but they are not easy ones. We need global co-operation and a resolution to 'Keep it in the Ground'.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Deal & Canterbury UNA Earth Day - Dover 24th April 2015

Inline image

Inline image
The United Nations Association                                                                                 
The United Nations Association branches of Canterbury and Deal cordially invite you to the
Reforms to the UN to achieve the Green Economy

ON FRIDAY 24TH APRIL 2015 AT 18-20 HRS at
The General Assembly declared April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day[1] in recognition of how Mother Earth reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.

This year Stephen Hockman QC and Dr Frank Biermann will be speaking on how to achieve the Green Economy objective as described in 'The Future We Want' outcome document that was agreed at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

Stephen Hockman QC is currently the Honorary President of UNA London & Southeast region. He will be talking about the need for an International Court for the Environment. Dr Frank Biermann will be speaking on other necessary reforms (such as the need for a UN environment organisation) based on his book, Earth Governance, published in October 2014.

The main objective is to produce a policy action paper from the event that can be taken forward for adoption by the United Nations Association - UK in May and contribute to changing international environmental governance.

There will be a short answer and question period after the talks with refreshments provided

PLEASE RSVP to Emily Shirley, Canterbury UNA Branch Environment Officer on or ring 07753779074 and leave a message

Map to Old Harbour Station can be found here:.

20 minute walk from Dover Priory Train Station, 10 minutes by bicycle with ample car and bicycle parking

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It is difficult to believe that David Cameron once promised that he would lead 'the greenest government ever'. In the 2010 coalition agreement, the government pledged that it would support 'British companies that develop and export innovative green technologies around the world instead of supporting investment in dirty fossil- fuel energy production'.

An investigation by environmental campaigning group, Greenpeace, has discovered that far from not supporting fossil-fuel energy production, the government has provided more than £1billion in loans to Russian company, Gazprom, Brazil's state- owned oil company and Saudi Arabian petrochemical companies. The largest loan by UK Export Finance (UKEF), a separate government department that reports to business secretary Vince Cable, was £447million to help develop a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia. Another loan of £330million was to Gazprom, a Russian government owned company, to help the transport of natural gas.

To move forward towards a zero carbon future, we need to invest in all the different forms of renewable energy from wind, solar, wave and tidal power to hydroelectric and geothermal technology. Taking advantage of all these technologies, together with energy saving programmes, will ensure that we keep the lights on.

Our government has an international commitment to take all the steps necessary to limit global temperature rise by 2°C. This will hardly be achievable if they are continuing to invest in the extraction of fossil fuels that must remain in the ground if we are to have any chance of achieving a reduction in global emissions.

The Deal Big Dig 21/22nd March

Fancy some Hay Meadow Making in Deal? We have our second 'Deal Big Dig' on the Weekend of 21st & 22nd of March at the waste land around Deal Rail Station.

This will be between 10am and 1pm on both days - please feel free to only come to one day or just part of a day: any time you can volunteer will be gratefully appreciated.

Last year we cleared an area of waste land and planned a poppy meadow. This year we want to extend it a bit and plant a perinnial Hay meadow there - this will be a sustainable option for wildlife and especially pollinators like Bees.

Please bring a fork or spade (we do have some spares) and something to drink/eat.

We also want to tidy up where the Apple Tree is in the Car Park, plant some annual meadow flowers and move our two planters on the Ramsgate Platform of the Deal Station Garden.

Interested please email

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Next Deal Beach Clean 29th March 2015

The next Deal Beach Clean will be on Sunday 29th March at 10am meeting at the Sandown Castle end of the Beach.

We will have pickers, bags and gloves - This will be  one for the Marine Conservation Society so we will be logging what we find.

All welcome

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fracker’s Charter - Otherwise known as the Infrastructure Bill

We repost East Kent Against Fracking (EKAF) March update....

I am afraid that as a result of the passage of this Bill, our exposure to the industry of Unconventional Gas has just become much greater. It demonstrates this Government’s determination to frack at any cost.

The definition of fracking has been now redefined in such a way as to allow for high volume high pressure fracturing of shale anywhere so long as less than 2.2 million gallons of fluid is used. This means that most operations are no longer covered by the already watered down regulations.
That risks allowing significant fracking with less than the defined volume limit to go ahead, without even the safeguards that are before us today. What a mockery this is making of legitimate public concerns on fracking, and indeed of the democratic process.

Also announced in the final debate was the plan to allow monitoring bore holes& pilot extractions without the need for planning permission, thus taking away from local planning authorities& local people any say in these developments.
The conditions no longer specifically ban fracking in groundwater source protection zones or ban fracking underneath, as well as in, National Parks and protected areas.

Environmental Impact Assessments are no longer required for fracking.

Just how fracked is our democracy? No Kent MP’s voted against these measures….Time for them to go ?

Locally the present situation is that Coastal Oil & Gas say that they have” surrendered Guston, Shepherdswell and Woodnesborough but have retained the Tilmanstone area”. They also mentioned that they were interested in the Snowdon & Betteshangar areas. The fact that they have given up these other sites does not mean that they will not be passed onto other companies. Sadly there is little to cheer about yet..

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 5th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It was very encouraging to read a report this week about landfill and recycling. In 2009, 90% of our waste went to landfill but now that figure has dropped to 50% and is set to reduce to less than 10% by 2020.

In 1996, landfill tax was introduced and the cost of tipping one tonne of waste is now £80 which is set to increase to £82.60 from April. This charge has forced companies to deal with their waste in different ways, from using waste to create energy and to recycling material which can be used to make new things.

Companies that have made their businesses from all forms of waste have had to think far beyond landfill and make investments into other systems for dealing with rubbish. 'Waste to energy' plants, where waste is burnt to produce electricity which is then supplied to the National Grid is a large part of their business now. Methane gas, which is given off at landfill sites, is being collected and either being piped directly to users or is being burnt to generate electricity. One plant, near Birmingham, produces enough electricity to power 25,000 homes from its methane. This saves a potent greenhouse gas from reaching the atmosphere.

There are different opinions regarding 'waste to energy' plants. The purists feel that there should be ways of reusing everything and that there should be no residue while the realists know that there will always be something left over.