Monday, September 15, 2014

Join the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ this Sunday in Deal

Deal With It, Deal’s local community Green group, next Deal Beach Clean this coming Sunday (21st September) is part of a nationwide campaign the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ this weekend.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says it hopes to get a record number of people cleaning beaches around the UK during its Great British Beach Clean weekend. The Deal beach clean will be one of seventeen happening in Kent and about 400 around the country.

Tom Bell, MCS Campaigns Manager, says the event hopes to return many of Britain’s beaches to their halcyon days of the 50’s and 60’s, before we became a throw away society resulting in thousands of pieces of litter, including vast amounts of plastic, along every kilometre of the UK’s coastline.

“Our domestic habits over the last 50 years or so have resulted in dirty beaches. We throw more stuff away than ever. Plastic in the marine environment may take hundreds of years to break down and it washes up or is blown onto beaches in bits from micro pieces to larger chunks.

We flush stuff down the loo we shouldn’t, and that ends up in our water ways and then our beaches. We want to see people turning out to clean up their favourite or local beach during our Great British Beach Clean weekend – please don’t turn your back out beaches.”

Wendy Boorman, Deal Beach Warden said “This Sunday’s Beach clean is part of our regular work with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), who tracks how rubbish is affecting our coastline. Every year rubbish, as well as being unsightly eyesore on our beaches, kills and maims local marine wildlife.

This Sunday’s beach Clean will start at 9am at the Deal Pier. Beach Cleans last for about one to two hours depending on what there is to find, numbers and weather. We supply pickers, gloves, sacks and the MCS logging sheets. The only thing volunteers need to bring is their enthusiasm and perhaps suitable dress for our weather.”

Friday, September 12, 2014

The truth behind the dash to gas - Astor 18th Sept

East Kent Against Fracking (EKAF) has organised a meeting at The Astor Theatre on September 18th at which the acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Marco Jackson, The Truth behind the Dash for Gas will be shown.

This will be followed by a short presentation by Graham Warren, a distinguished hydrogeologist and author of several studies on water resources in the South East, which will alert residents to the specific risks posed by the exploration for gas in the area of the former Kent Coalfield, highlighting the impossibility of protecting the aquifer which supplies the whole county with over 70% of its water.

This will be followed by Q&A session.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 11th September 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :  What a furore! Have you ever heard such a fuss in your life? It was all over vacuum cleaners and similar electrical appliances and a new European Union (EU) directive.

Some sections of the popular press have had a field day, issuing scare stories that seem to have caused many people to go out and buy a new vacuum cleaner, whether they needed it or not!

So what is this all about? Simply an EU directive which will reduce the power of appliances but will not reduce their efficiency. Makers of vacuum cleaners, fridges, washing machines and televisions have known about this directive for years and have been working towards producing appliances that operate with less power, make less noise and cost less to run. Over the next few years, the power will be reduced on smaller appliances such as hair driers, toasters, blenders, and power tools so that they use up to 20-30% less electricity.

The whole idea behind this directive is, of course, to reduce Europe’s overall energy consumption. These new regulations are expected to save 19 terrawatt hours (TWh) of electricity by 2020. This amount of electricity is more than that generated by several British power stations and all our wind farms last year. This is only similar to the development of the motor car. Our present day cars have lighter bodies which do not rot and far more efficient engines which produce more power but use less fuel than ever before

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gleaning near Canterbury on 13th September

Greetings fellow gleaners of Kent!

 We’ve just discovered thousands of pears and plums going to waste, and need your help to rescue them for charity. We’ll be heading down to a farm in Kent to glean these tasty delicacies  next Saturday 13th September – hope you can join us!

Gleaning day on Saturday 13th September 10am-5pm (TBC):
Join the Arable Spring! Join us for an idyllic day on a farm in the Kent countryside, near Canterbury, saving literally tonnes of delicious pears and plums that would otherwise have been wasted for charity. All the food will be going to charities dealing with food poverty via our good friends
FareShare in London. Travel expenses are covered for those travelling from Kent – just check with us first!

Please join us in the fields! If you can make it, please contact me at to confirm whether you can make the whole day, and send me your phone number and where you’ll be travelling from (e.g. Canterbury, other parts of Kent, etc.) so we can group you with fellow travel companions. We’ll then send you finalized details closer to the time. Please get in touch asap so we have an idea of numbers – the more people we have, the more fruit we can save! Also, please do check whether you can make it, as lots of drop outs at the last minute can jeopardise the gleaning day going ahead! 

Please spread the word to your friends and networks
, and do recommend any groups you think we should get in touch with!

If you can't join us this time, please do sign up to our gleaning list to be the first to know when there's a gleaning day in your area coming up! Also, if you’re interested in helping coordinate gleaning days in the future, please do apply for one of our gleaning coordinator roles in Kent or Bristol!

See you in the fields!

Many thanks,
Martin Bowman
UK Gleaning Co-ordinator
We are 2014 BBC Food and Farming Award winners for Best Initiative in British Food.
Follow us 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 4th September 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :  During 2013, more than £150billion has been invested in renewable energy schemes around the world. Wind, solar and other renewables now produce 22% of the world’s electricity and could be producing 26% by 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last week.

The cost of production of renewable technologies is falling as manufacturing costs reduce but investors need to know that they will get a return on their money. All energy production is subsidised by governments and the present economic climate has caused the subsidisation of renewable energy to be criticised widely although this is an extremely short sighted approach.

Our ‘greenest government ever’ has chosen to invest in wind power, mostly offshore wind, but this is an example of putting all our eggs in one basket which never makes for a good result. Offshore wind is an expensive option because of high installation costs and onshore wind has many opponents, despite being the most economic way here in Britain. Power generation is a big subject and power generation by renewable technologies is also controversial. If we are to have reliable sources of energy for the future, low-carbon world which we need to create we must have a mix of technologies to take advantage of all the sources of energy that are out there. Wind blows more at night but solar energy is there during the day so a combination of the two is the obvious choice with bio-fuel, hydro, geothermal technologies and anaerobic digestion alongside.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th August 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :  Proponents of organic food have always maintained that it is better for us because it has more nutrients and no pesticide residue when compared with non-organic produce. This has always been discounted by the large agri-businesses that grow most of our crops, stating that residue is always within safe limits.

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, conducted by Newcastle University has shown that there are substantially more antioxidants present in organic fruit, vegetables and cereals than in conventionally grown crops. This is the first study to show the differences between the two methods. Antioxidants have been linked to the reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and certain cancers. The increased levels of antioxidants are equivalent to one or two of our daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Plants produce the antioxidants to help fight pest attacks because they have no protection from chemical sprays and the plants themselves are bred for toughness and not overfed with artificial fertilisers.

One of the main concerns for people who buy organic produce is the pesticide residue that is found in conventionally grown crops - as much as four times more cadmium, a toxic metal, has been found in non-organic than in organic crops.

Organic farming also addresses the significant problems of soil degradation and excess fertiliser use, the runoff from which causes the pollution of many rivers.

This study shows, for the first time, that how we farm does affect the quality of the food we eat.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Farmers Market at the Astor starts on Sat 6th Sept

A new Farmers Market starts in Deal on Saturday 6th September @ The Astor

Lots of interesting local produce and food organised by local cook Hannah Macintyre
  • Margate Smokehouse
  • Little Stour Orchard
  • Sylvia & Terry Fine Kentish Chocolates
  • One in the Oven Bakehouse
  • Berry & Shrub
  • Home Cooked by Hannah
  • Beth’s Mogador
  • Nethergong Nurseries
  • Chris Wedlake Wood Turner
  • Kent Honey
  • Stour Valley Game
  • Lily’s Cake Emporium
  • Delicate Tums BakeryBags of Attitude
The Market is on between 9:30am to 1pm

The market will also  have FREE face painting for the kids, a FREE drumming workshop from 10am for anyone and 2 different types of music to keep you entertained; The Angelo Tristan Band and a ukulele folk band  Gaddzukes

The Deal Farmers Market is on Facebook at

Next dates are:
4th October
1st November
20th December (Christmas Special)
9.30 - 1pm at The Astor Theatre, Stanhope Road, Deal, CT14 6AB

Friday, August 22, 2014



Youngsters and their parents looking for something to do for a couple of hours on Thursday, 28 August are being encouraged to head for Walmer's Hawkshill Freedown.

The parish council has enlisted the popular Green Gang team to organise a picnic with fun activities including a hunt for "mini monsters" (some with six eyes and very ugly!) and a nature quest to find pretty flowers with funny names.

 It's free to join in and participants need to meet at Hawkshill Freedown car park, entrance on the junction of Liverpool Road and Grams Road, Walmer at 12.30pm.

Green Gang leader Steve Walker says the event is set to run for two hours. Families need to bring a picnic and to leave any dogs at home.

For more details, call: White Cliffs Countryside Partnership on 01304 241806

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st August 2014

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

 Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint? Do you want to do something to help the environment? The answer could be as simple as not eating red meat, particularly beef.

A recent study has shown that beef requires 28 times more land, 11 times more water and produces 5 times more greenhouse gas emissions than either pork or lamb. When compared with staples such as potatoes, wheat and rice, beef requires 160 times the land and produces 11 times the greenhouse gas.

This is, of course, a very controversial subject, particularly for those climate change deniers who still do not accept that climate change is exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels or the carbon emissions from animals reared for food. Agriculture significantly increases the production of greenhouse gasses particularly from livestock. The huge amounts of grain and water required to raise cattle is also causing a great deal of concern amongst experts worried about the need to feed an extra 2 billion people by the year 2050.

It has been a well known fact for many years that all the people in the world could very easily be fed if the majority of people in the first world countries did not eat a meat based diet. It has also been shown that a diet high in meat and dairy products is very bad for health and the main cause of the obesity epidemic that we see happening now.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A great way to start 2015: Forest Gardening course

Sat 31st Jan- Sun 1st Feb 2015 Forest Gardening Course. KENT

The weekend will be led by Jo Barker and Claire White, both experienced Forest Garden Designers and teachers who have worked on various projects, ranging from Farm scale design and implementation, community projects and home gardens. Examples of their designs will be available on the course.

To Book & more information contact:
Shavanna Barker <>
- See more at:

The course will cover:
• Origins & principles of forest gardening.
• Perennial food growing,
• Design with trees, shrubs and ground cover.
• Implementation of design and aftercare.

This course is open to all, no previous experience is necessary to attend, forest gardening attracts interest from experienced gardeners and professionals as well as newcomers. There will be practical sessions (mulching) and design exercises. We will be outdoors for much of the course and might be visiting other sites, if you have a disability that you think may affect your ability to attend the course, please contact us before booking to discuss how you can be accommodated.

By the end of the course you will have a basic knowledge of the ideas and principles of forest gardening as well as understanding some of the techniques necessary to put the theory into practice.

Monday, August 18, 2014

White Cliffs Walking Festival starts on Thursday 21st

The White Cliffs Walking Festival starts this Thursday 21st August and runs to 27th August. Lots of walks (32 in all) for every ability around our lovely countryside, shoreline and history. 

Full details at the White Cliffs Walking Festival website

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deal Station Garden gets a new apple tree....

You may know that a few months ago, our Crab Apple Tree that we planted in the waste land area in the car park of Deal Rail Station was vandalised.

We had planted as part of our pop-up meadow to commemorate the outbreak of WW1 and to brighten up a neglected part of our town.

We were obviously very disappointed by this. However local resident Norma and especially her son Lance were hopping mad. Lance took this up with the managers of his employer Serco in Canterbury and asked if they could help.

Today we saw the result, as we took their donation of a five year old tree with professional tree guard with a free install from three members of serco Canterbury David, Mick and Steve. It was great to see Norma out to inspect their great work.

David Austin, Grounds Manager for Serco, said

“The Serco team in Canterbury are proud to be supporting a project that has seen the transformation of a wasteland into a vibrant poppy meadow. This year is particularly poignant as the country marks the centenary of the start of WWI. We hope that the gesture of a replacement crab apple tree will restore the site to its full glory for the local community and visitors to enjoy.” 

 We are very grateful for the support from Serco and especially to Lance and Norma who felt so passionate about what we were trying to achieve. A great example real community garden in action

Thank also to Emily from the EKM for the photo ....

The tree is a Malus Ischonoskii for the tree geeks :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 14th August 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury The wheat harvest this year will be an exceptional one. This will be some consolation for the past two years when results were dismal because of the changing weather conditions. Our very mild, wet winter, early spring and long summer have produced ideal conditions for our farmers as far as wheat is concerned but we are far from self-sufficient in food production.

The power of the supermarkets has caused us all to be able to buy imported fruits and vegetables and to want to eat foods that were not native to this country and couldn’t be grown here because of our climate.

Traditional crops such as sprouts, cauliflowers and cabbages have shown a decrease in sales because people have had the choice of other, more exotic, vegetables brought from overseas, often by air, by the supermarkets. Where all fruit and vegetables were seasonal at one time, now everything is more or less available all year round with imports, no matter how many miles they have travelled to reach us.

Now things are changing rapidly and much can be produced here but we are not fulfilling our potential to grow these crops in this country. We have some of the best growing conditions in the world with good soil, water and lots of light but we are not making the most of them. If we are to be able to feed everyone we must start to grow crops which cope with the weather that will come our way in the future.