Saturday, May 29, 2010

Energy Workshop Group progress

The Fair Deal Energy Workshop Group has recently posted their progress report - the first pilot of the heat exchange unit from a south facing conservatory which with modifications costing about £80 to build & install have now paid for itself in savings and produced a carbon saving of 945kg in less than a year. (BTW Jack reports that he used a kit for the conservatory costing about £1500)

The group's next project is wind turbine that should be able to operate in  built up town area. The prototype is going to be tested soon- so watch this space!

The photo shows the impellar of the turbine with Jack and Barry from the workshop group.
Interested ? Contact Jack Domane  here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deal & Walmer Neighbourhood Forum 8th June

Deal & Walmer Neighbourhood Forum
on Tuesday 8th June 2010
Refreshments from 6.00pm with a 6.30pm start
The Cleary Hall, The Landmark Centre, 129 High Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6BB
Open Forum - what do you want to know?

I have great pleasure in extending an invitation for you to attend the next public meeting of the Deal & Walmer Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday 8th June 2010.

Refreshments will be available half an hour before the meeting starts; this provides a chance to meet local councillors from county, district and town. You will also have the opportunity to talk to a representative from the Dover District Community Safety Partnership. The agenda for the meeting will be available on the night.

The topic for this meeting is ‘Open Forum - what do you want to know?’ giving you the chance to ask what you want to know

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beach Clean on Bank Holiday Monday

Marine Conservation Society are to run a beach clean this Bank Holiday Monday (May 31st).

As requested by some helpers at the last clean we are going to do the north end of Deal this time.

We are meeting at Sandown Castle between 8.30 and 9.00am. I shall have all the necessary equipment so people just have to turn

Trains4Deal - new initiative

Trains4Deal have published their plans to deliver HST's to Deal in 2011.

It is envisaged that there would a small amount of building work then do a market test of HST at Deal in 2011 which would establish the business case for refranchising of the service in 2014 read full story here

Thanet wind farm produces first electricity

From 'Kent News online' : Electricity has begun flowing from the 300MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm being built one kilometre off the isle coast.

Seventy-three of the 100 Vestas 3MW wind turbines have been installed so far at the site, which is being built by Swedish utility Vattenfall.

TOW will be the world’s biggest operating offshore wind farm when it is completed this year.

The project first produced power from turbine
number C08 on Sunday (May 16) in wind speeds of 10-13 metres per second.

Ole Bigum Nielsen, head of offshore projects at Vattenfall Wind Power, says the start of electricity generation marks a major milestone.

“Everyone has worked very hard and in spite of difficult winter weather we have kept to our schedule,” he said. 

For full report see

Victoria's Green Matters - 24th May

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

What is ‘permaculture’? One definition is that it is ‘ an innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living; a practical method for developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere.’

This definition sounds very scientific and unattainable by the person in the street but the last two words tell us that we can all work towards a world that is not reliant on oil based chemicals. It was first conceived in the 1970s at the time of the first oil crisis and called ‘permanent agriculture’.  The idea of moving away from annual cropping and monoculture to a multi-layered approach that made use of trees and perennial plants was developed in agriculture and soon spread throughout society, being seen as a culture of permanence.

Of course, permaculture was looked upon as an odd form of gardening, recycling old car tyres and growing strange plants that no-one wanted to eat and that few would want to follow but now we have reached peak oil, the principles of permaculture more than fit this different, future world.

Our agriculture has become reliant on chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides produced from oil, and over time these chemicals have destroyed the natural nutrients in the soil and effectively made the soil dead. They have destroyed the habitats of many beneficial creatures that we should work with, not against, to produce our food. Many people believe that the cocktail of chemicals delivered to our fields has helped to put the lives of our bees in jeopardy, and so food production may be even more threatened.

Permaculture is not just a way of growing things, although this is more than a good start. If you have even the smallest space you can grow some things to eat and in so doing have the great satisfaction in knowing that you have helped make a better world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Protect Kent CPRE warn about pumping stations on the river stour

From 'Your Sandwich' front page - "The River Stour could be at risk if plans by water companies to increase their supply network are given the go-ahead.

A public inquiry has been launched into the strategy, which critics say would fail to meet future demand or provide secure supplies during times of drought.

In particular, there could be more water being pumped from the Stour to make up the shortfall, say conservation campaigners.

Protect Kent’s Graham Warren said: “There has been a lack of joined-up thinking between the water companies, despite attempts to get them to work together.

“In addition, the companies have been given a strong steer from the regulators that only the cheapest options can be pursued.

“We believe this puts both our supplies, and Kent’s fragile rivers, at risk.”

He said the group had “severe technical reserv-ations” about proposed new groundwater sources and a new reservoir at Broad Oak, near Canterbury:

“We think they won’t work. In dry periods, as we’ve had in recent years, this means more frequent hosepipe bans and more pumping from the Medway and the Stour at a time when the wildlife of these rivers is at its most vulnerable.”

Protect Kent deputy director Sean Furey said: “Our concern is what impact the proposed reservoir and plans would have." 

for full article follow link

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

new 'Dover Pride' Sustrans route on Dour

A more sustainable Dover - new walking and cycling route gets go ahead

Dover is joining the long list of UK towns creating a better network of routes for pedestrians and cyclists by joining forces with sustainable transport charity - Sustrans. This is part of a UK-wide initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund to improve local networks so more everyday local journeys can be made by foot or by bike.

In Dover, whilst millions of people pass through the busy port every day, few of them head for the local town centre and likewise many local people are cut off from the sea by the volume of port traffic and a busy local one way road system. The scheme will open up the River Dour for pedestrians and cyclists with a high quality urban promenade which would not only be a good local route but become a popular spine for travel within the town.

Simon Pratt, Sustrans Regional Director, said, "I am delighted that Dover has been accepted onto the Connect2 programme and look forward to seeing the start of construction work in the next few months. This route will be a real asset for the town and will encourage more people to walk and cycle."
The River Dour Route is part of the wider regeneration programme for the town being coordinated by the Dover Pride Regeneration Partnership. Design and the building of the route is being done by Kent Highway Services.

Sustrans and Kent County Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding - an agreement which secures the £450,000 lottery money from Sustrans for this £900,000 project. This will then be match-funded by Kent County Council. This paperwork cements the commitment to the project with a view to site clearance and ecological mitigation starting straight away and construction following in the summer.
Chairman of Dover Pride, Kevin Lynes, said, "The River Dour running through Dover has a special place in the town's affections. This walking and cycling project offers local people and visitors an exciting opportunity to discover even more of the river's attractions."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Canterbury Climate Fair 15th & 16th May

All things Green took over central Canterbury on Saturday and Sunday.

The Canterbury Climate Fair organised by Canterbury Greenpeace generated a lot of interest over last weekend with dozens of stalls - including our own Deal With It one with our new banner - and a constant stream of folk music.

Not to mention several Polar Bears, Tigers and Orangutans (as part of the Nestle Palm Oil campaign - which it was announced today that Nestle are backing down here)

Well done Canterbury Greenpeace !

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kent's rivers under threat - Protect Kent

A public inquiry started this week into the plans put forward by South East Water for how they intend to supply water to customers in Kent and Sussex and how much we will have to pay, as customers and as taxpayers.

Protect Kent is appearing at the inquiry as we believe the South East Water plan is a high risk strategy. The new resources proposed for Kent will not be sufficient to match future demand nor provide secure supplies in times of drought.

Protect Kent feels that much of Southeast England has a supply deficit and the time has come for a properly co-ordinated strategy for the entire region.

Graham Warren, a former Environment Agency Water Resources Manager and now senior figure in Protect Kent outlined his concerns:

“There has been a lack of joined up thinking between the water companies, despite many attempts to get them to work together. In addition, the companies have been given a strong steer from the regulators that only the cheapest options can be pursued. We believe this is wrong and put both our supplies, and Kent’s fragile rivers at risk.”

He continued:

“Based on our many years of experience of the area we have severe technical reservations about the proposed new groundwater sources and a new reservoir at Broad Oak, near Canterbury. We think they just won’t work. In dry periods, as we’ve had in recent years, this means more frequent hose pipe bans and more pumping from the Medway and the Stour at a time when the wildlife of these rivers are at their most vulnerable. Yet the Environment Agency seems to be abandoning its own plans for making water supplies more sustainable.

This public inquiry gives an opportunity to expose the flawed thinking in all these organisations so that we can get the best result for the people and environment of Kent.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thanet wins 9 Blue flags for beaches...

Thanet wins most Blue Flags in the UK

More Blue Flags, the sign of Europe’s top coastal destinations, will be flying over Thanet’s beaches this summer than any other council area in the UK.

A total of nine Blue Flags have been awarded to the area. Minnis Bay, St. Mildred’s Bay and West Bay in Westgate, Botany Bay and Joss Bay in Broadstairs and Ramsgate Main Sands have all kept the awards that they received last summer. Minnis Bay has held a Blue Flag since 2002, while West Bay has been awarded one for the sixth year running and St. Mildred’s retains its flag for the fifth year running.

Westbrook Bay, Margate Main Sands and Stone Bay in Broadstairs have also won back the accolade that they were last awarded in 2008.

Blue Flags are only handed out to those beaches which have achieved the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.

Viking Bay received the Quality Coast Award for the fourth year running. To achieve this award, beaches have to meet strict criteria, including clean sands, being free of litter and dog fouling, have good access with good facilities and with guideline water quality. more here

No awards for Shepway, Dover & Deal.....

Blue Flag  is a international organisation for monitoring the quality of beaches -

Everything you wanted to know about Garden Ponds ...

Garden ponds are a great way to get wildlife into your garden and to support bio-diversity ... This is a great blog full of very practical information  about getting started on your first pond

The Pond Conservation Society has also launched a Million Ponds Project to create a network of new ponds across the UK. You will find an very useful 'Pond Creation Toolkit'.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Community's response to peak oil ... Totnes Energy Plan

‘Transition in Action’ is the UK’s first comprehensive Energy Descent Action Plan designed for and by a local community - coming out of the Totnes Transition Town.

An Energy Descent Action Plan is a guide to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint over the next 20 years, during which we expect many changes associated with declining oil supplies and some of the impacts of climate change to become more apparent.

You can read online here or order hardcopy

Railway Children at the Astor 16th May - Trains4Deal

Trains4Deal event coming up at the Astor on Sunday the 16th May at 6pm.
Trains4Deal are showing the newly released, digitally re-mastered version of the family favourite The Railway Children in an awareness-raising event for their campaign to get fast rail links to Deal. We hope you will join us in what promises to be a great evening.  The bar will be open and following the screening there will be a chance to network and chat to other members of the audience and representatives of the Trains4deal team.
For more details about the Trains4deal campaign, and to see the latest update,  please visit the website:
Tickets for The Railway Children are available on the door £6 adults, £3 children, children under 5yrs free

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

24th -30th May National Vegetarian Week.: Go Veggie and save the planet?

National Vegetarian Week is the annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle. This year it is between the 24th - 30th May.

According to the Vegetarian Society Eating veggie food means you will reduce your personal impact on the planet.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions – livestock farming produces greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. For example:
• Nitrous oxide from manure
• Methane from burping cows. A single cow can produce 500 litres of methane in a day.
• Carbon dioxide through changes to the land such as forests being cleared for grazing or for growing grain to feed animals.

Save water – it takes thousands more litres of water to produce a kilo of beef than to grow the same quantity of grains, vegetables or pulses.

Save land
• A third of the world’s land which is suitable for growing crops is used to produce feed for farm animals.
• Livestock production is responsible for 70% of Amazon deforestation.
• In the UK a meat-eating diet requires more than twice as much land as a veggie one.
• Worldwide, farmed animals produce more greenhouse gas emissions (18%) than the world’s entire transport system (13.5%).
• A 2006 study, examining the impact of a typical week’s eating, showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat. A vegan, organic diet had the smallest environmental impact, but the single most damaging foodstuff was beef and all non-vegetarian diets required significantly greater amounts of environmental resources, such as land and water.
(from Vegetarian Society Fact sheet on Climate Change)
More Details are at

Keith Taylor becomes new Green MEP for Kent

One consequence of Caroline Lucas becoming the first Green MP is that she resigns as Kent MEP's for the Green Party.

Under the EU's list system the next Green candidate becomes our Member of European Parliament for the South East Constituency- Keith Taylor is Green Party Councillor in Brighton

New warning on flooding in Sandwich/Deal....

Recent report in KOS's 'Your Deal' Quoting Dr Geoff Meaden,-says-expert-newsinkent35674.aspx

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Permaculture - What is it and why is it relevant to your life ?

‘Permaculture’ is cropping up all over the place at the moment from Gardeners Question Time to BBC’s Dig programmes.

At its core it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature.

Want to find out more ?

We will have a speaker & a short film at our next monthly meeting.

Tuesday 25th May at 7:30pm
DealAbility, 43 Victoria Road, Deal CT14 7AY 

Copy of meeting leaflet can be found Here

Friday, May 7, 2010

Canterbury Climate Fair 15th & 16th May

Canterbury Climate fair is next weekend - 15th & 16th May in Central Canterbury (The Parade and St George’s St ) between 10am  - 4pm. Organised by Canterbury Greenpeace.

There will be eco-traders, NGOs, ethical exhibitors and green entertainers. Stalls include CPRE, Greenpeace, Dover Bees, Fairtrade, Oxfam, Eternal Energy, Slow bread, Greener alternative, FOE, Canterbury Plants, People & Planet, Sustrans/Spokes, Wildwood, Friendly Soaps, Driftwood, Conker Conservation, WEDG, UKC, Moven Smooth and New Internationalist

Deal With It will be having a stall there on Sunday 16th - so call in and say hello....

Deal Folk Club is suppling a number of the Entertainers including Adrian O, Driftwood, Deal Hoodeners and many other favorites from the Friday sessions in Walmer

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Urban Chickens Video

Great video from the Green Guardian (Ask Lucy) on the practical aspects of keeping urban chickens:

Victoria's Green Matters - 6th May

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:  
Drilling for oil is a dangerous business. Drilling for oil at a depth of 18,000 feet is incredibly risky and, yet again, a terrible accident has happened in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Deepwater Horizon oilrig has exploded and eleven people have died.

An environmental disaster is set to occur on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida and with it the livelihoods of many people who rely on the bounty of the sea for their employment. There have been oil spills close to our own shores from tankers transporting oil. The Torrey Canyon disaster, near the Scilly Isles, was in 1967 and the Amoco Cadiz, near the coast of Brittany, in 1978. No one is immune from the effects of these calamities.

Peak oil has come and gone. Oil that was relatively easy, and therefore cheap, to extract is depleted so now the industry must look to other sources for its supplies. One of these is oil sands in Alberta, Canada. Here, vast amounts of energy, water and chemicals are needed to process the tar deposits. And, for example, excluding oil sands, Shell is using a quarter more energy to find and produce each barrel of oil than it did ten years ago.

With its exploration there is a steady increase in the amount of hazardous and non-hazardous waste produced each year. In 2008 this measured 1.7 million tonnes. In Alberta, large toxic pools have been created which have resulted in the pollution of wildlife and the belief by local people that they are being poisoned. Governments are keen to attract oil companies and taxes and so do not enforce environmental constraints.

This latest disaster is surely yet another warning that we cannot continue to reek havoc with the natural world without suffering in exchange. We are, at last, looking at other ways to produce energy for our society but we should have started many years ago so that we could have weaned ourselves off the need for oil.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Keeping the Lights on -CPRE Protect Kent Videos

Videos from the Protect Kent energy conference "Keeping the Lights On" held at the Pines Calyx, St Margaret's Bay.

Richard Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Protect Kent outlines the challenges:

Sir Crispin Tickell

Alistair Gould (Bay Trust)

2010 is International Year of Bio-Diversity

 'Kent’s Wildlife 2010 – it’s counting on you' is Kent County Council’s celebration of this year’s International Year of Biodiversity and will provide Kent’s residents and visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the county’s wildlife and find out how to do their bit.

For more details on Kent events see KCC site

Now that's a good idea...

Kinetic power from footsteps !

Just found this video from a company called PaveGen which has produced a innovative product which generates power or light from just walking on a pavement..

Video address:

PaveGen web site: