Thursday, July 24, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 25th July 2014


Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury
The effects of climate change are world-wide. Antarctica is a long way from us here in the UK but the results of the lifestyle of the developed world, of which we are part, are far reaching and are affecting one of the most iconic creatures we know.

Recent findings have shown that emperor penguins are at risk of extinction by the year 2100 because of the loss of sea ice due to climate change. Changes in the ice around Antarctica may increase penguin populations in the short term – there has been an increase in the sea ice along the Ross Sea because of wind conditions and the break-up of glaciers.

Penguins are the top predators in Antarctica and the loss of sea ice is reducing the supply of krill which is the main source of food for the emperors. To make matters worse, stocks of krill are being depleted by fishing boats that hoover up the tiny creatures to make fish meal to feed to farmed fish. It is difficult to think of a more damaging strategy than this one!

Scientists are calling for marine protected areas to be designated in the Ross Sea which would buy some time for the penguins by putting large areas of ocean off limits to fishing until climate change mitigation actions are in place to limit further greenhouse gas emissions.

Are there any areas in the world that are unaffected by man in one way or another? Even Antarctica is not exempt.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Landmark Garden donations wishlist - Can you help ?

Can you help us with our wish-list of plants for the Landmark Community Garden?


We have recently added a list of plants we would like to add to the garden.

If you can help us please drop us a line to landmark@dealwithit.org.uk or ring 01304 372673.

It is safe to leave plant donations in the garden

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 17th July 2014


Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
A recent study has shown that flash flooding in summer is likely to happen much more frequently across the UK due to the effects of climate change. This can have devastating consequences as shown by the Boscastle floods of 2004.

The research undertaken by Newcastle University and the Met office has found that, although summers will be drier overall, they will be interrupted by more extreme downpours. These sudden bursts of rain can have a much more detrimental effect than steady, prolonged rainfall which is good for our gardens and for replenishing our aquifers.

After prolonged dry weather the ground is hard and often incapable of absorbing large amounts of water. This water runs off, causing flash floods, similar to those experienced here in Deal some weeks ago.

Many factors can influence the occurrence of flash floods including concreted over gardens to provide parking and the lack of drain cleaning services, apparent in recent years. It is perfectly understandable that people want to create parking for several cars in a family but it is vital that drainage is incorporated and this can be achieved in various ways, one of which is to use gravel over a water permeable membrane.

Poor farming techniques also contribute greatly to water runoff higher up the chain where the ground has been denuded of vegetation and trees to create grazing for animals. Trees and shrubs keep the soil aerated and able to absorb large amounts of water and we need to reconsider our practices.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New 'Skylark' Cycle Route from Dover to Deal Launched


A new 'safer' cycle route - The 'Skylark' - between Dover to Deal was launched on Saturday at a mass gathering of local cyclists at the Lantern Pub in Martin


The new route came as Dover & District Cycling Forum's response to the tragic loss of local cyclist Daniel Squire on the A258 last year.

New signage marks the route which runs parallel to the busy A258 on quiet county lanes (Guston - Martin - Coldblow.  It offers a good inland alternative to the coastal National Cycle Route 1.

You can pick the route up at the bottom of Telegraph Hill

There is also a new map for cyclists with this route and the other main routes for Folkestone, Canterbury and Thanet.

There was a good turnout of local cyclists; many from Deal Tri and Spokes

Full details at the Dover Cycling Forum Website 

Next mission for the Forum is get better mapping and signage onto the many cycle routes at key places like the port and rail stations at Dover and Deal.

The Old Lantern Pub at Martin looks like it will become a stopping point for cyclists on the new route with a friendly welcome and wide range of food and err  beer .... worth a visit if you are exploring the route http://www.theoldlanterninn.co.uk/


Friday, July 11, 2014

Deal Station Garden group: 'Poems on the Platforms'

Adrian O and Alan Gleave from Deal Station Garden group have curated a collection of 20 WW1 poems on the platforms of the Deal Station.

This is wide collection of the famous and non-so famous, from a wide array of counties, by men, women and personal contemporary ones written locally.

This is compliment our work in creating poppy meadows on the waste ground near the ramsgate platform, in the station car park and in front of the West St Telephone Exchange

We love the idea of overlapping communities using the same 'space'.

It adds another dimension to our community garden and meadow areas.

We will look at doing this again with other themes later in the year.

See the photos of the poems here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 10th July 2014



Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury It seems as if we have learned nothing over recent years when it comes to protecting our environment.

A recent report has shown that far from defending the environment from damage by pesticides, we have continued to use these chemicals and regulations have failed to prevent the poisoning of almost all habitats. How shameful it is that we have not followed up the warnings given in ‘Silent Spring’, published in 1962, which catalogued the decimation of birds and insects because of the use of DDT and other pesticides.

The new, international report, which has taken four years of investigation to reach its conclusions, shows that creatures essential to food production from bees to earthworms are suffering substantial harm from these chemicals and that they must be phased out.

There is clear evidence that the damage caused by the routine use of neonicotinoids threatens the food production on which we rely. The chemicals harm bees and other pollinators which fertilise about three quarters of the world’s crops and the organisms that create healthy soils. Bees’ capability to learn and navigate is affected by these chemicals and their immune systems are damaged. Worms which perform the vital role of aerating soil lose their ability to tunnel. Birds may also be directly affected by contaminated seed.

We have been similarly careless with the overuse of antibiotics, causing us to be in the situation where we are only a tiny step ahead of the bacteria that inhabit our world and which cause so many nasty diseases.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Deal With It Poppy Meadow Event



We had our Poppy Meadow event at Deal Station event on Tuesday just between two heavy rain showers. 

Despite the weather we had a reasonable and engaged gathering of about 45-50 people to listen to music of the era provided by local group The Spinning Jennys and a varied collection of WW1 poems recited by local poets and members of the Deal Station Garden group.

The evening worked really well, with a real sense of community; which one participant twitted afterwards to us as being 'beautiful, moving & memorable'.

I was great to see commuters dropping in to listen to a poem or join in with verse of a WW1 song.

Adrian and Alan from garden group also had curated a collection of 20 poems on the platforms of the Station.

This is wide collection of the famous and not so famous, from a wide array of counties, by men, women and personal contemporary ones written locally.

Again it was lovely to see people halting to read a poem on the plaform before they took their thoughts home.

We are very grateful to those who recited poems with such feeling : Alan, Adrian, Geraldine, Jane and Sarah.

A big thank you to The Spinning Jennys (Rose, Sue, Susan and Shelia) who braved the conditions and got us all joining in the songs.

Thanks to Adrian O for MCing, Sue for the nibbles, Ros & Dave from the Garden group for the tidy up as well .

At the centre was our meadow which over 30 people had come together back in March to create.

Transforming a un-loved waste land into a bee friendly, cared for space and physically marking of the centenary of WW1.

All the Photos of the event can be found here




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Walmer Beach Huts Campaign

*** Latest: DDC have agreed to withdraw 9 of the Huts. The lobby of Walmer Parish Council on Weds 9th July is still going ahead see EKM posting today 7thJuly

Pete St Ange at the Walmer Sea Cafe and local residents has started a petition against the number and way DDC dumped 20 huts down on Walmer's iconic beach front this week.

The twenty huts appeared in the last week and were installed by Dover District Council after DDC planning committee discussed it and delegated it to officers back in their March Planning meeting despite several members voicing concern over parking and toilet facilities.

Planning application DOV/13/01007 had been discussed and rejected by the Parish Council earlier in December 2013.

The huts are reported in the EKM as being for rent at approx. £1,200 pa.

These huts are setup in a four deep array without much space in between to see or access the sea.

This is unlike the existing ones on the beach which are only one deep with good access to the sea & arguably enhance the view.

With an estimated cost of £34k means the council is planning to make about £85k over the next 5yrs.

So they could have afforded a better outcome with a bit more thought.

Pete has an photo opportunity with local press on Monday at 4pm on Walmer seafront and asking supporters to join him.

He is taking the campaign to the next Walmer Parish Council meeting 7pm on Weds 9th July (at WPC offices on The Strand).

All those are concerned are urged to pop down sign & distribute the petition.

I like Beach Huts. But these ones demonstrate a lack of imagination and lack of respect for our 'shared space' on the sea front.


LOVE YOUR LANDMARK volunteer day 12th July

LOVE YOUR LANDMARK (CENTRE) DEAL volunteer day on Saturday 12th July from 9am to 3pm. 

 If anyone would like to come and help us with cleaning, maintenance and decorating, clearing up some of the storage etc. they are very welcome. 

Folk can attend for an hour or two (or more if they want). 

There will be free tea and coffee for all volunteers.

High Street Deal 

LandmarkCentreDeal@gmail.com


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Seedy Saturday 5th July

Another successful Seedy Saturday today in the Landmark Community Garden.


 Iam totally amazed how word-of-mouth and little bit of the internet gets the word out.

Lots of people turning up with swaps or donations of plants for the event. Thank you all for supporting the event.

A big thank you to the Sunshine Ukes - Deal's own Ukulele Band - who entertained us

We took donations of £37 for the gardens at the landmark and station









Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deal Station Poppyfields event Tues 8th July 6:30pm

As we think the poppies will hit their maximum in our meadow area of the Deal Station Garden. So we are organising a quick event on Tuesday 8th July from 6:30pm with poems, music and reflection to mark the centenary of WW1. 

Back in March we decided to do something with the waste land next to the Ramsgate Plaform, in the Station Car Park and by the Telephone exchange (see that here). 

We put the call out and the regular Deal Station Gardeners were swelled by nearly 30 volunteers. The idea was to turn these unloved bits of land into pop-up poppy field meadows to make it more bee friendly, brighten up an eye-sore and remember WW1.

Adrian and Alan have put up about twenty WW1 poems on the platforms - some famous, mix of British, French and German poets will some local poets contributing as well

We will be on the Ramsgate side of the Station.... and just heard the Spinning Jennys will be coming to sing some WW1 tunes on tuesday

All Welcome.

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Dover to Deal Cycle route opens 12th July

You and your bike are invited to the launch of the brand new Skylark Cycle Trail between Dover and Deal.


This welcome improvement was prompted by the sad death of local cyclist Daniel Squire. It has been funded by KCC from the local Highways budget of the county councillor for Dover North, Steve Manion - who earns our wholehearted thanks in making this happen.
More details at: http://doverdistrictcycleforum.weebly.com

The new route is well-signed using quiet country lanes and avoids the hazards of the busy A258. It offers a good inland alternative to the coastal National Cycle Route 1 .

The launch is on Saturday 12th July 2014
at 11.30 for a photo-call at 12noon with local press and media
at The Old Lantern Inn, The Street, Martin, near Dover CT15 5JL

Meeting in the front garden, inside if wet. Pub will open by 11.30am, possibly earlier!

Hope to see you there - please reply if you can come.

After the photo, you can join a nice down-hill ride to Deal - enjoying the views and the sound of the skylarks over the cornfields (or ride on to somewhere more adventurous).

best wishes,

Ian Ian Killbery earlystart@me.com
Chair, Dover District Cycle Forum http://doverdistrictcycleforum.weebly.com/
representing everyone interested in cycling in Dover District
affiliated to SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Next Deal Seedy Saturday is on Sat 5th July

Our next Seedy Saturday at the Landmark Community Garden will be on Saturday 5th July between 11am - 1pm.

This one will be a plant swap ... so if you have any spare fruit, veg or edible flowers please bring some along to swap or donate.

We also will have some music from the Sunshine Ukes to entertain us all

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th June 2014


Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :How often do you spare a thought for where your food comes from? Sometimes we eat food that has not only travelled many miles to get to us but has been caught, produced or prepared by people who are truly present day slaves.

Anyone who enjoys prawns needs to know that the people that helped to put them onto their plate were trafficked migrants who had been bought and sold. These slaves work for no pay on ships that catch fish of any kind, usually tuna and trash fish (fish too small to be sold), to be ground up and fed to prawns in intensive production on ‘farms’ in Thailand. The prawns are then bought by the world’s largest producer and supermarket supplier, CP Foods. CP Foods supplies the 4 biggest supermarkets around the world – Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco but also supplies Aldi, Morrisons, the Co-op and Iceland. They all sell frozen or cooked prawns or ready meals supplied by CP Foods, which admits that slave labour is part of its supply chain.

Fishing in this way depletes fish stocks and artificially raising prawns by farming them creates pollution let alone the matter of the slave labour used to create this supply but there does not seem to be any action being taken to stop our supermarkets selling these goods.

It is our duty to make sure that if we eat animals of any kind they have been raised without suffering of any kind, man or animal.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Healthy Living Retreat at Rippledown

Juice fasting and yoga retreat

Nutrition & natural health talks, meditation, yoga, group walks and raw food prep & feast on the final day

Friday 8th to Monday 11th August, at Rippledown House, Ringwould, East Kent

This is the inaugural Rippledown healthy living retreat. In partnership with Sura Detox, one of Britain’s leading detox and health retreat teams, this affordable retreat in a relaxed setting provides a great opportunity to cleanse and recharge your body and mind in fun way, whilst gaining numerous fantastic insights into nutrition and healthy living.

About The Retreat: what, why, how, who and when

What: a long weekend - 4 day retreat of juice fasting with yoga, walks, nutritional education, a raw food preparation class and other activities.

Why: In our distant past, as we started to expand into less habitable areas, it became necessary to cook food. The resulting stress on the digestive system required strategies to compensate for it – and so fasting was born. With the additional stresses of modern life, never before has fasting been so relevant or beneficial as it is today, so whilst it may seem like a relic from the distant past, the benefits of fasting are still being documented.

On physical health:

1. Fasting is found in every ancient text on health.

2. Fasting remains the safest and most reliable way of resting the overworked digestive system.

3. Fasting is massively rejuvenating to most bowel conditions (Crohn’s, IBS, Candida).

4. Fasting rebalances metabolism; burning fat and resourcing the digestive process.

5. The immune system uses the resources and energy freed up during fasting to clean body tissues.

6. Many athletes attest to period of fasting as a time-tested method of increasing personal bests.



Fasting is equally upheld in the realm of spirituality, as the mind goes into a profoundly restful state.

On mental/emotional health:

1. Fasting leaves plenty of time for reflection and all manner of elevated thought.

2. It is the most reliable method to renew a sense of well-being and optimism.

3. Without the suppressive nature of constant food, lost emotions can reappear for integration.

4. Meditation practices are enhanced as the mind naturally calms and clears.

5. Addictive patterns with foods and substances are broken, leaving space for authentic consideration.

6. A greater sense of ‘connection’ to things beyond ourselves becomes more apparent.


With this retreat we are aiming to bring the price of these benefits within the reach of most people.

How: We will use various herbs that stave off hunger, encourage the bowel to throw off its contents, and make fasting that much more efficient for the body as a whole. Diluted juice will keep your mind and body afloat throughout the whole experience, making it less of a leap for our 21st century mentality. The nutritional talks are aimed well above the usual approach of ‘statistical mortality avoidance’, and look more at the roots of the human digestive process. This is with a view to understanding both where we come from, and how we apply nutrition to aid us in where we are going.

Space is made in each day for group meditation, yoga, walks, talks, sharing and deep rest, within the timetable:



Friday 8th
Saturday 9th
Sunday 10th
Monday 11th
10-11.45am Arrivals
12noon: introductory talk
1pm:  juice & supplements
2pm:  nutritional talk
5pm:  juice & supplements
7pm:  group event
9pm:  juice & supplements

8am:  gentle meditation
9am:  juice & supplements
10am:  yoga
11am:  walk
1pm:  juice & supplements
2pm:  nutritional talk
5pm:  juice & supplements
7pm:  group event
9pm:  juice & supplements
8am:  gentle meditation
9am:  juice & supplements
10am:  yoga
11am:  walk
1pm:  juice & supplements
2pm:  nutritional talk
5pm:  juice & supplements
7pm:  group event
9pm:  juice & supplements
8am:  gentle meditation
9am:  juice & supplements
10am:  yoga
11am:  walk
1pm:  juice & supplements
2pm:  raw food talk and prep
5pm:  raw food feast
7pm:  closing circle
Depart by 9pm


Who:  Dao has been running detox retreats for 20 years, and will hold the space, along with Nikki, who is a Dru Yoga teacher, and previous educator at The Eden Project, plus a fabulous raw food chef - making the final day both a practical education in how to reintroduce food, as well as long-awaited culinary delight.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 18th June 2014


Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :Have you ever wondered how plants feed? A strange concept, perhaps, but plants produce their own food from carbon dioxide (CO⁰) and water in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. This is photosynthesis and is what each one of us relies on indirectly for food and the air that we breathe.

Leaders of the world’s fossil fuel industries always decry renewable energy technologies’ ability to keep the lights on but the use of varying different technologies used together is more than sufficient. Even in the northern European countries there is enough light for solar electricity production. In fact, the Scandinavian countries and Germany are the leaders in renewable technology. Iceland has its geothermal systems and Norway its hydroelectric generation; they are close to 100% in renewable electricity generation. In Sweden, over 90% of new homes have ground source heat pumps installed during the build. Methane gas from household waste is used to supplement natural gas for cooking and heating or to generate electricity.

What if the CO⁰ that is produced from the burning of fossil fuels could be captured and used to produce biofuels? Present research is racing towards finding a way to copy a leaf’s ability to photosynthesise. If this can be achieved, CO⁰ from carbon capture could be used to produce biomass which can be stored and used whenever and for whatever we need. We could use it to produce energy or plastics, drugs or paints. The list is endless.

What a fantastic and wonderful concept!



Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.