Sunday, July 5, 2015

Deal Beach Clean postponed to 5pm today

Given the heavy rain earlier we have decided to postpone the beach clean on Deal Beach to 5pm today. 

We are still meeting at Sandown Castle for our first evening clean!

There is quite a lot of rubbish on the beach and surrounding areas to the Community Garden at the Castle site

Thanks to the people who did brave the rain

Saturday, July 4, 2015

National Meadows Day - Deal Station Garden Meadow

Today is the first National Meadows Day and right on cue our meadow at the Deal Station Garden is in full bloom.

If you have time this week try to get down there for a peek - it will be even better next year!

Back in March we had about 20 volunteers helped to ready the site and sow perennial meadow seed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deal Beach Clean 5th July 10am

The next Deal Beach Clean will be this Sunday (5th) starting at 10am. We will be meeting at the Sandown Castle end of the Beach.

We supply pickers, bags and gloves - we will not be logging what we find for the Marine Conservation Society - Please sun hat (tasteful), sun cream and something to drink. The clean will last about 1-1.5hrs.

This is an important one as are using it to show support to colleagues at the Sandown Community Garden Group who have worked so hard to transform this end of the beach - The Garden will be on the SE in Bloom Judges tour on the 10th July so we do want to give the whole area a good litter pick

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 11th June 2015

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

Oil has been produced from tar sands in the Canadian province of Alberta for 50 years. Tar sands produce the dirtiest form of oil which, when burnt, produces more carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel. It also leaves behind polluted grounds and rivers.

Fort Mckay, a First Nations hamlet in Alberta, is home to the Cree and Dene nations and has descendants from Scottish and French fur traders. While the oil has made some people rich it is also poisoning the waters of the Athabasca river. There have been high rates of cervical cancer and a rare bile duct cancer among those that fish in the river and hunt on the land.

The Canadian government claims that the tar sands are the third biggest proven oil reserves in the world after those in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. There are 168 billion barrels but huge amounts of energy are required to extract the thick crude oil from the earth which makes it about 4 times more carbon intensive than ordinary oil.

Early mining projects also stripped away 1,850 sq. miles of forests to get to the oil and remaining trees were robbed of their water supply and slowly died. So another sink that could have absorbed many tonnes of carbon dioxide was removed.

Scientists have warned that mining all the tar sands oil will mean game over for the climate but the Canadian government does not heed any warnings and continues to go ahead.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Walmer Beach Clean today

A big thank you to our 18 volunteers who collected over 38kgs of rubbish off Walmer Beach today.

Three of our volunteers also help launch a boat of the beach - all part of the service :)

The next Beach Clean will be at Sandown Castle end of the beach on Sunday 5th July starting at 10am. All welcome

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 4th June 2015

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

It was extremely disturbing to read that the European Union wasted more than 80 million tonnes of food last year, a shameful amount, with the UK the highest with 15 million tonnes.

So it was good news that the French National Assembly had voted unanimously to bring in a new law that bans supermarkets from throwing unsold food into the bin and from deliberately spoiling such food so that it cannot be eaten. Instead, food must be passed to charities or be sent for animal feed. The new law provides for a programme of education about food waste in schools and businesses.

There have been reports over recent years of poor families, the unemployed, students and homeless people foraging for food in supermarket bins at night and finding food that has been thrown out as its best-before date approaches. Some French supermarkets have been pouring bleach into the bins to stop such practices.

Campaigning groups have welcomed the new legislation but have been quick to point out that it is not a magic solution and more needs to be done to prevent the waste in the first place. The American tradition of ‘doggy bags’ has generally been frowned upon in France but some restaurants are now happy to supply customers with such, if required.

Here in the UK we only have voluntary agreements with supermarkets and suppliers and many supermarkets send surplus food to FareShare, a charity focussing on food waste. Surely, we need legislation, too.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Deal Seedy Saturday 30th May

Our new space at the Landmark Garden had its first road test today. A very sucessful Seedy Saturday - with more space for plants and people.

Thank you to our volunteers today at Seedy Saturday - Sonja, Sue, Tracy, Sarah, Imogen and Steve - to Steve at the Landmark Centre for helping us to setup and to our additional stalls from AnSugan (Sue), Jan and her wonderful plants and Sue & Cath from Deal Fairtrade.

Big thanks to the Sunshine Ukes for music:

Thanks also to everyone you donated plants or seeds and to Sue Evans for our new bunting (made from recycled shower curtain :) )

We collected £85 for donations to the Landmark and Deal Station Gardens.

The next Seedy Saturday is the 4th July - Independance Day theme ?

All our pics can be found here

Friday, May 29, 2015

Walmer Beach Clean Sunday 7th June

Beach Clean organised by Deal With It / Marine Conservation Society. 

Pickers, Bags and gloves supplied meet up at the Sea Cafe Walmer Green at 10am for about 1-2hrs but please do as much or as little as you like!

Children welcome but must responsibily supervise an adult :)

More details email

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th May 2015

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

It is extremely disappointing to read that one in three European birds is endangered, according to a study of wildlife and habitats.

It would seem that poor agricultural practices are to blame for the dramatic decline among once common birds, such as the skylark and the turtle dove. Turtle dove populations have fallen by 90% since 1980 and will soon appear on the red list of threatened species. The ortolan bunting, a songbird which is illegally hunted in France, and the skylark were found to be present in only half their numbers previously recorded.

‘The State of Nature’ study looked at 804 natural habitats, 77% of which were found to be in poor condition; almost one third had deteriorated since a report in 2006 and only 4% were found to be improving.

The study found that intensive farming and changes to land were posing the greatest threat to Europe’s flora and fauna. Grasslands, heath and scrub have been converted to grow more crops; often with the over use of pesticides and this has almost destroyed many bird populations. The removal of natural vegetation and landscape, along with monoculture farming has exacerbated the situation. It is hard to believe that human activity such as hunting, trapping, poisoning and poaching are still continuing in 2015 and these threaten all birds.

Projects linked to EU’s birds’ directive have managed to recover many wild bird populations, such as bearded vultures, great bustards and common cranes and give cause for hope in the future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Deal Green Doors event - Can you help?

Any one who owns or knows about “eco” houses in the Dover/Deal area, please get in touch. 

We’d like to host a Green Open Doors event in September, but we need at least eight properties before we can move ahead with any plans.

Green Doors is bit like 'open studio' for green energy solutions - hosts share with visitors their experience on installation, suppliers and what impact the solution has had.

We are looking for hosts who have homes which have one or more of the following:
  • PVs
  • Thermal Water heating
  • Ground source pumps
  • Small turbines
  • Retro-fit Wall insulation
Please ping us a email on if you can help

Monday, May 25, 2015

Petition to protect the allotments on Sandown Road, Sandwich

The allotments on Sandown Rd, in Sandwich are under threat. 

A group of concerned Sandwich residents have launched a petition to Dover District and Sandwich Town Councils to prevent the loss of the allotments which have been used since the First World war.

Nationally allotments are under  threat as local authorities see as a short cut to resolving funding issues - missing the vital role they play in providing skills, local food and the well-being of the community & individuals.  There are long waiting lists for all allotments locally - we need more not less of them.

Link to the petition site and more details:

Landmark Garden work completes

We have finished the first stage of the remodelling of the Landmark Garden today - all in time for next Saturday's Seedy Saturday.

This involved removing the central bed and getting a wood chip mulch down as a temporary surface.

The landmark centre is looking at a different surface for later in the year.

The intention is to increase the usage of the Garden as a public space with more people space for events, the cafe and use it as an out-door room.

We are also putting in a willow bank raised bed later this week. We will use the decanted top soil for some beds in the rear area of the Landmark Centre

Many thanks to Imogen, Steve, Rose, Rose, Wilf, Vicky for the mammoth job shifting 10tons of soil and removing the wall.

Thank you to kind person at the centre who lent us his kanga hammer drill and to George at Mongeham Logs for the woodchip and assistance. see you all at seedy saturday ...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Deal Seedy Saturday 30th May

Deal With It’s  next Deal Seedy Saturday will be on Saturday 30th May between 11am to 1ish at the Landmark Community Garden Deal High St

The Seedy Saturday is a plant and seed swap – people are encouraged to bring or donate any extra plants they are growing (mainly edibles) and perhaps try something different to grow.

We also actively encourage people to try their hand at growing some fruit, herbs or veg. We have our experts there to share knowledge and get people started growing.

This edition of Seedy will also have stalls from The Chocolution, AnSugan Recycled accessories and The Wild Kitchen Foraging with Lucia Stuart.

We also have the Sunshine Ukes, Deal’s premier Ukulele band playing from Noon.

All this happens in the Landmark Garden on Deal’s celebrated High Street .

The community garden is run by volunteers from Deal With It (Deal’s local community Green Group) and has a wonderful array of edible & wildlife friendly native planting designed by our head gardener Imogen Kitching

We have added to the diversity of the planting in the garden with a recent list of plants :

spignel, lemon balm, celery herb ,Chamomile, dyers, Chicory, wasabi, juniper, leek-babbington, liquorice, lovage, mace, miners lettuce, mitsuba, oyster plant, rock samphire, savoury 'purple mountain', weld, woodruff, dyers AlecostSavoury , lemon, thyme, caraway, camphor bush, melilot
orris, daphne mezereon, manuka, rose-apothecaries, spurge laurel,witch hazel, butchers broom,
cohosh-blue, cohosh-black, echinacea-angustifolia, echinacea-pallida, echinacea-paradoxa, echinacea-purpurea, Helleborine

We are also currentlt remodelling the central to give more people space and putting in a new willow bank raised bed.

Deal With It - Transition Deal Monthly Huddle 23rd May

We had our monthly Deal With It Organising Huddle at the Landmark Cafe this morning:

Food Projects
- Next Seedy Sat (30th May) arrangements
- Progress on Landmark Garden Changes (should complete on Monday + time for willow raised bed) +£170 of new native planting
- Next Seedy will be on 4th July with Applefest 17th Oct and 'DealWali' 19th Dec
- Deal Station Garden running ok and coldframe up and working

Beach Cleans
- Still looking for finance to replace pickers stock
- Next one Walmer on Sunday 7th June
- Sandown 5th July
- Deal MCS one 20th Sept

Green Gym
- Jane getting details on Ash
- Chris T has prices on Rugby Club
- Sue has details on possible North Deal one

Energy Projects
- Reportback on Folkestone Community Energy meeting
- Workshops in Ashford Monday 8th June Sarah, Rosie, Steve attending
- Idea of developing a community energy audit pilot at Landmark
- More work on energy champions
- Stephanie looking at Green Doors event
- Possible project at Betteshanger

Anti-Fracking update from EKAF - Village groups looking at community energy

- Deal Folk By the Sea has raised over £300 for gardens. Big Thanks to them

- No takers yet for transition conference in sept
- Looking at ideas to support the formation of Dover Transition Group
- Ideas for COP Paris event in Deal in Dec
- Ideas for a 'Celebrate Your Deal' to showcase the range of community activity in Deal
- Meeting with Kent Wildlife Trust on new MCZs and their plans for Coastal Wardens

Next Huddle 27th June 9:30am Landmark cafe - all welcome

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st May 2015

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

We depend on the National Grid to supply us with electricity, day in and day out, and all of us have experienced the inconvenience of a power cut on occasion but this is a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, the National Grid has lacked investment over many years due to inaction by the government and energy regulator, Ofgen, leading to difficulties for generators obtaining connections.

There has been a huge increase in small scale generation of electricity over the last few years in the UK and there are many Community Owned Renewable Energy projects, generating energy for the benefit of a village or town, as in Lewes, Sussex. This project has a large number of solar panels on the roof of the brewery in the town and is an ideal way to de-carbonise our energy supply.

To meet European Union targets, the UK must generate 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020; this target includes transport, heating and electricity generation. The UK is about halfway to achieving this target but needs to double its electricity generation from renewable sources to 30%.

It is unfortunate that the National Grid is, in some areas, closed to new generators. Even small, domestic solar panel arrays are unable to secure a connection. For businesses wanting to generate their own energy, the high connection charges that have to be paid upfront are often discouraging.

Our new government needs to change this situation if we are to reach our goals.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Deal Beach Clean 12th May

Deal's part of Marine Conservation Society's Big Beach Clean on Tuesday 12th May

We collected between Walmer castle and the Sea Scouts hut. Fifteen of us collected 37.5 kilos of recorded rubbish with a 7 kilo bag being the heaviest - just lots of fishing line, plastic materials etc.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped on tuesday and especially those from Deal M&S

Next Beach Clean is on Sunday 7th June meet at Sea Cafe on Walmer Green at 10am

Next Deal Seedy Saturday is on Sat 30th May

The next episode of Deal's Seedy Saturday will be on Sat 30th May between 11am to 1ish.
This will be a seed and plant swap plus we hope to have a few local produce stalls - Sue Evans from AnSugan will be there with recycled bags and accessories along with Chocolution with their raw chocolate tasters.

We will also have some music from the Sunshine Ukes.

The team of volunteers are mid-way in reshaping the garden - the idea is take out the middle bed (which has been problematic from a growing view) to produce more people space for events, the cafe & an outdoor room for the Centre as well as improving wheelchair access. Imogen has plans for willow raised bed and we have put over £170 worth of interest native & edible plants in
 Our Summer Seedy Saturday will be on Saturday 4th July