Saturday, April 30, 2011

Well done Trains4Deal - HST is coming to Deal!

Following the KCC's recent rail summit it looks like we may be seeing the fast HST trains stopping in Deal. The local press has already annonced a limited service around the Open Golf tourament in July.

From our colleagues Trains4Deal website: " 

A Fast HS1 train service for Deal and Sandwich from October 2011.

Southeastern Trains is to start a high speed train service offering three trains each morning and three each evening connecting both Deal and Sandwich to London St Pancras in under 70 minutes from October this year.

The announcement was made at the Kent Rail Summit held in Maidstone on Wednesday 27 April.

The services will leave Sandwich at 05.51, 06.17 and 06.47 each morning and then call at Deal before following the established route via Dover to St Pancras.

The evening trains calling at Deal and Sandwich will depart from St Pancras at 17.40, 18.40 and at one later time to be announced nearer to the launch, said Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council.

The agreement follows the suggestion first made by Trains4Deal 18 months ago, at the inception of the campaign to get high speed Javelin trains to stop at the two towns.

These trains already pass through both stations empty. Now from October they are to be stopped and passengers allowed to board.

“This interim arrangement does little to aid commuters from outside the area wanting to get to Deal, Sandwich or the Pfizer site near Sandwich early in the day or home in the evenings,” said Ian Killbery from Trains4Deal.

Kent County Council has however prioritised the expansion of the new service to a full, all day high speed link between Deal, Sandwich and St Pancras as its key demand contained in the new Kent Rail Action Plan that was also launched at the Rail Summit.

This request is to be made to the Department for Transport for inclusion in the specification for the new rail franchise due to run from 2014.

“This is a key step along the way to getting Deal and Sandwich a modern, efficient rail service to rival those on offer in other towns of comparable size in Kent. But we are not there yet, the service will be of no use to those wanting to go to London and to take advantage of cheap or concession fares available later in the day,” said Tom Rowland from Trains4Deal."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Energy Park at Richborough proposed

An energy park at the disused coal power station at Richborough (between Sandwich & Ramsgate) is being proposed by BFL Management Ltd.

Their proposals (from their website) "
  • The proposed scheme is predicted to generate the following energy output levels:
  • 1000MW National Grid interconnector to Belgium
  • Anaerobic Digester Plant to receive and process green and food waste and generate up to 2 MW;
  • Gasification (Pyrolysis) Plant for the generation of up to 7.5 MW;
  • Biomass plant for a thermal conversion energy recovery plant of up to 5MW;
  • A Peak Load Power Station, anticipated to run for approximately 200 hours a year (8.3 days) and having a maximum capacity of 30 MW); and

Specialist Waste Separation and Sorting

The site at Richborough offers an ideal location to process a wide variety of recyclable goods. Recycling initiatives which are being explored are: household and commercial/industrial waste, timber for chipping, tyres for granulation, fridges and electronics and battery recycling. Waste which cannot be used for these purposes will be used in the biomass and gasification plants to generate electricity.

Local Food Production

Heat and carbon dioxide produced during energy generation are valuable by-products. The proximity of the energy park to local horticultural businesses provides an opportunity to recycle this heat, which would otherwise go to waste, for use in greenhouses.  This proposal is currently being investigated with local food producers.


Remaining landfill capacity in Kent is severely limited and the cost of sending waste to landfill is becoming increasingly costly for local authorities because of the landfill tax. Kerb-side collection of organic waste (garden green waste and food waste from households) is becoming an established service to divert domestic waste from landfill. Richborough Energy Park offers the opportunity to meet a proven need for local processing.

Landfill Gas

Methane Gas which is naturally produced in landfill sites is currently not being captured and extracted for productive energy use from the landfill site formerly operated by Kent County Council (KCC). Richborough Energy Park offers KCC an opportunity to work in partnership to put the gas to a productive use such as electricity generation. This proposal is currently being explored with KCC."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DWI Permaculture Meeting April 2011

We had a small but perfectly engrossed audience for our monthly Deal With It meeting on Permaculture.

Dave Jones, the Head of Rippledown Environmental Centre at Ringwould, gave a clear and inspiring outline on how permaculture works to transform individuals and communities.

Behind the jargon there is much which people would recognise and with  'recovered' skills and knowledge on how we interact with nature gives a real way to live your life in a sustainable way. It was great fun and there was lively discussion. The Garden Sharers in the audience were very taken with digging-less future!

Rippledown have a open 'fun' day on Sunday the 5th June. Deal With IT will also be promoting the Centre's 2 day and 72hr courses on Permaculture amongst supporters later in the year.

A big thank you to Dave for a informative and energizing talk.

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th April 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
As the old saying goes, ‘it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’. Since the destruction of the Fukushima power plant in Japan has highlighted possible problems with nuclear, gas producing companies are trying to brand themselves as the sustainable option. In moves that could be disastrous for the burgeoning renewable energy industry, gas companies are labelling themselves as ‘green’ and are lobbying governments to move away from solar and wind power in favour of shale gas.

Burning gas to produce electricity has always produced fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal; about 50% fewer, in fact. But natural gas supplies are running out and a relatively new discovery, called ‘shale gas’ is set to fill the gap. The production process is called ‘hydraulic fracturing’ or ‘fracking’. There are huge reserves of natural gas trapped in shale rock, many metres below the surface. To extract this gas, sand and water are pumped into the rock and the gas is released. Unfortunately, in the USA, this process has led to poisoned watercourses, land contamination and escapes of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.

The gas industry is trying to persuade the European Union that its 2050 carbon emission targets will be met more cheaply by using shale gas than by investing in renewable technology, such as wind and solar. A study from Cornell University has found that electricity generated from shale gas is responsible for at least as much carbon dioxide as coal and possibly more because the gas is difficult to extract.

It is worrying that governments are influenced by the power and wealth of the gas and oil industries. It is imperative that we should go forward with our investment in renewable technologies. Generating ‘clean’ electricity from wind, solar, wave and tidal power and responsibly produced biofuels is the obvious way forward to a low carbon future

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Huge rise in levels of bathroom waste found on Kent's beaches

From  "Your Deal"

"A new marine report has revealed a shocking rise in the amount of sanitary waste found on beaches.
It has prompted the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which carried out the Beachwatch study, to urge the public to support the organisation’s ‘bag it and bin it – don’t flush it’ campaign and to stop using toilets as a watery dustbin.

New figures for last year showed that in the South East region a total of 90,906 items of litter, an average of 1,564 per beach, including bathroom waste, plastic and fishing rubbish, were collected from 101 beaches – an eight per cent rise since 2009.

Nineteen of Kent’s beaches were included in the MCS study, although the organisation said it would not name and shame any specific sites.

Items found included cotton buds, condoms, sanitary towels and tampon applicators.

MCS Beachwatch officer Lauren Davis said the figures revealed a shocking picture of what people do in the privacy of their own bathroom.

"Increasingly people seem to be putting things down their loos that belong in the bin," she said.

"Cotton buds, condoms, tampons, tampon applicators and sanitary towels are being flushed away with an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ perception. But sewerage networks are not specifically designed to remove these sort of items and unfortunately more and more are ending up in our rivers and then on our beaches." read on here

Deal Beach Clean is on the 8th May....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

DWI Saturday Stall 23rd April

Deal With It had a stall in Deal High Street on Saturday 23rd April. We were drumming up support for our 'Deal Garden Share Scheme' and publising our next meeting on Permaculture on the 26th and our next Beach Clean on the 8th May.

A great sunny day to be talking about gardens! We had two potential growers express an interest and several more garden owners came forward.

Our next stall will be on the Bank Holiday on Monday 2nd May at the Walmer Brocante on the Green. Please contact Vicki if you can help.

Thanks to Rose, Charles and Steve for organising...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Next Deal Beach Clean is Sunday 8th May

The next Deal Beach Clean is on Sunday 8th May. Meet at 9am at the entrance to Deal Pier.

This Beach Clean is organised by Deal With It and the Marine Conservation Society.

All welcome - equipment supplied.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wildlife protection under threat ?

On Monday, it was revealed that the government might scrap vital laws which protect wildlife and the countryside and help stop climate change. Hardliners have branded the rules ‘red tape’ and say they could be scrapped within months. [1]

We need to work together to make sure our wildlife, our countryside and our planet are protected.

In the past, David Cameron has made headlines promising to run "the greenest government ever". [2] We need to convince him that scrapping these laws would be a disaster for his reputation. A huge petition will prove to Cameron that he can't afford to break his green promises.

Please take 30 seconds to speak up for legal protection for wildlife and the environment:

Among the laws under threat are the Climate Change Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. These aren’t little-known laws that no one cares about. The Wildlife and Countryside Act protects wild birds, their nests and eggs, and makes sure that national parks and marine reserves are protected. The UK’s Climate Change Act was a world first which helps make sure we reduce our emissions. [3]

We know that when we work together we can make sure the government doesn’t get away with plans which could hurt the environment. When they decided to try to sell off our forests, over half a million of us got together and convinced them to drop their plans. [4]

The government says it is "consulting" before scrapping these laws - so let's give them a consultation response they can't ignore! Please help make sure we have a huge petition telling the government to keep laws which protect our wildlife and our environment.

Sign the petition to send a powerful message to David Cameron and the government:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, David, Johnny, Charlotte and the 38 Degrees Team

PS: The laws under threat in the government's "red tape challenge" include the Climate Change Act, National Parks Act, Clean Air Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Do these sound like "red tape" to you? Please add your name and tell the government that protecting our countryside and our planet should be a priority:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 23rd April 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
For all those of us who drive, fuel prices continue to be a cause for concern. As the supply of readily available oil reduces, price increases will continue and many people will no longer be able to afford to drive their vehicles.

There is growing concern around the world that the search for a substitute for oil to run vehicles is causing the growing of food crops to be diverted into biofuel production. Food prices are rising sharply and the rush to develop ‘green’ fuels combined with poor harvests is leading to political instability and hunger. The World Bank has observed that food prices have risen by 15% from October to January, causing some 44 million people in low and middle-income countries to be thrust into poverty.

Countries around the world have taken up the challenge to produce biofuels and the European Union has said that 10% of transport fuel must be from renewable resources by 2020. Because of the need to produce these crops, prices have risen and farmers have moved away from growing food to fuel crops. If food crops are scarce, prices will increase and more people will go hungry. For the better off, for example, the rise in the price of corn means a few pence on the price of a pack of cereal but for poorer people that pack will be out of reach.

It is obvious that we cannot continue to be profligate with the oil that we have left. Rising prices for fuel will continue to effectively ‘ration’ petrol and diesel at the pumps for all except the very rich who will probably not notice. Inevitably, food production will be affected by the growing of biofuels; land cannot be used twice and even marginal land is used by poor people for subsistence farming and gathering wild food.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

@ClimateRush at Canterbury on the 16th April

If you missed Climate Rush's outing to Canterbury last weekend here is a video of the event

"On Saturday 16th April, Climate Rush organised an Unfair-Fare Dodge from London Bridge to Canterbury, dressed as The Railway Children, to campaign against the 31% rise in train and public transport fares in the next 3 years - whilst the aviation industry keeps being subsidised and given tax-breaks.

A standard ticket to Canterbury is over £25 = the same milage on a train in France would be £7 = if you swipe your Oyster Card, get on the train to Canterbury, stay at the platform and then go back, you get fined the same £7 by TfL = hence, The Unfair-Fare Dodge.

The buntings of cross-stitchings were made by The Craftivist Collective during sit-ins in major stations in the UK in the run-up to the Railway Adventure."

Downshifting Week at the Pines 28th April

Downshifting Week’…Pulls Together the Threads of Simple, Green Living
What’s the secret to having better mental health and well-being, a firmer grip on the work/life balance in favour of ‘life’ and more money in your pocket? “Embracing a little downshifting”, replies Tracey Smith, founder of InterNational Downshifting Week, a non-profit awareness campaign in its 7th year - Saturday 23-Friday 29 April 2011.

„Downshifting‟ is a social behavior in which individuals live simpler lives to escape from the rat race of obsessive materialism and to reduce the stress, overtime, and psychological expense that may accompany it, rather focusing on life goals of personal fulfillment and relationship building instead of the all-consuming pursuit of economic success.

Visit Tracey’s talks and demo’s during Tuesday 19 to Friday 29 April as she completes a whistlestop tour of the UK covering Devon, Cornwall, Bristol, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Scotland, Essex, Cumbria, Suffolk, Cambridge, Kent and Hampshire. She’ll visit key eco-personalities and established & aspiring downshifters taking part in convivial „Knit Ins‟ for her Community Blanket Project. She‟ll be in Kent on Friday 28th April at the sustainable conference & event venue Pines Calyx.

„The Community Blankets Project‟ will pull together threads and people of all ages, all backgrounds, creeds, colours and sex…it even transcends the barriers of spoken language and has the common purpose of turning rubbish into a resource and keeping the vulnerable souls and respected elders in our communities, warm…and it’s all done by a bit of coordinated, convivial, collective knitting and sewing. So please come along, bring your unwanted wool and a couple of pairs of knitting needles!
Now before you run off proclaiming, “I can‟t knit for toffee” please read on.....
Knitting, sewing and repairing clothes and other fabrics are sadly flailing skill sets, but not in sustainable living circles. By taking part, you’ll be helping to bridge the knowledge gap and pass on this important and very enjoyable pastime and skill, and directly helping people in your immediate community in one fell swoop.

The Community Blanket consists of 18x10 inch squares sewn together to form a pocketed blanket that will have been made with wool sourced from the community (charity shops, old sweaters unravelled), knitted by the community and distributed to vulnerable souls in the community before the chilly season sets in; a perfect example of an inter-generational, skill-sharing event and she’s hoping for 2011 blankets in all.

Why knitting? Well, downshifters are thrifty by their very nature and they give a positive embrace to living with less by being incredibly resourceful. They are also helping to resurrect some of the old skills crucial for a bit of self-sufficiency, including mending and making.

Tracey has been a specialist writer/broadcaster on sustainable living and downshifting for over a decade, interacting with literally tens of thousands of actual/aspiring downshifters from all over the world. She has first-hand experience of their follies, foibles and fabulous successes and is almost evangelical in encouraging people to dip their toes into a bit of simple, green living, proclaiming the benefits can be felt in many aspects of our daily lives; it can even improve activities between the sheets!

Tracey will be checking in with Jason’s Breakfast Show on Taunton’s AppleFM every morning, as well as chatting with local BBC Radio stations across the country as she travels the UK.
Visit Pines Calyx on Thursday 28th April, 3-5pm where Tracey will be on the last leg of her Downshifting Tour. This is a free event, all are welcome, hear her talk about Downshifting, share your knitting skills and pay it forward with a Community Blanket.

Notes: Tracey Smith is founder of InterNational Downshifting Week, author of the bestselling Book of Rubbish Ideas, an eco-columnist for The Green Parent and journalist/broadcaster on many aspects of downshifting/simple, green living, predominantly for UK media. She presents and produces her own weekly radio show and is a regular on BBC Somerset. Three years ago, Tracey was made an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts for her book and work promoting sustainable living at grassroots. She’s a very uplifting, optimistic green speaker on the circuit and is currently in development of a series on Downshifting for British and American TV.

The Pines Calyx is far more than a conference centre and events venue. It acts as the centre point of an emergent Centre for Sustainable Living and a hub for sustainable enterprise in Kent, with activities and projects centred around the emerging low carbon economy and include building low carbon communities, sustainable projects and environmental education.

Contact: For high res jpeg images, quotes and to arrange interviews, contact Tracey Smith directly on / 07817 156 391, or contact Sue Jueno – / 01634 322153.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Open Days at the Pines Calyx

The Pines Calyx Open Days

We are opening our doors!
A chance to look inside this award winning sustainable venue in St Margarets at Cliffe on the following dates in 2011;
21-22 May
28-29-30 May
16-17 July
20-21 August
Bring your family and friends, stroll around the garden and stop for a light bite in our tea room.
We look forward to welcoming you to The Pines Calyx and the Pines Garden this Spring and Summer

Monday, April 18, 2011

First Transition Town to be backed by a Fish & Chip shop

Deal With It - Deal's local #transitioninitiative is probably the first Transition Town worldwide to be endorsed by a local fish & chip shop!

The 'Blue Mermaid Fish Bar' in Victoria Rd Deal has shown its  appreciation of our support in its local  'Big Fish Fight' to try to use locally caught fish from Deal Beach by giving us a free advert on its new street sign.

Thank you Sam!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Deal Garden Share on BBC Kent today

Deal With It's Garden Share Scheme was featured on Andy Garland's Sunday Gardening show this morning. 

If you live in the Deal area have a look at the 'Deal Garden Share' from the menu above or email us at 
We will be in Deal High street next Saturday 23rd April between 10-1pm if you want to meet & talk to us

Our colleagues in other Transition Town groups around Kent (there are 8 in Kent see our links page) have similar schemes:

Tunbridge Wells - Garden Share
Faversham - Community Alottment at Brogdale
Whitstable - Stream Walk Community Garden
Canterbury - Community Alottment
Hythe - Are planning a Community Garden

There is also the Windmill Community Garden near Margate on thanet which can be contacted here

Thank you Andy & Jean for having us on the show this morning.

The programme is here - its a 3hr show (8-11am) our bit is at '1:15' & '2:37'

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big Climate Reconnection comes to Walmer

About 30 cyclists from East Kent Spokes, Canterbury Greenpeace and Deal With It - Part of the East Kent  'Stop Climate Chaos Coalition' made the cycle ride from Dover Priory to Walmer, to lobby Dover and Deal MP, Charlie Elphicke.

The Big Climate reconnection was a countrywide event to lobby MPs on the Climate Change Act which has a target of reducing the UK's carbon emissions by 60% by 2030.There is great concern however, that this target will be drastically compromised by other actions of the Government. The current energy bill severely reduces the means of delivering this target - for instance on reducing the energy efficency standards for new housing.

An letter was presented to Charlie Elphicke urging him to support the higher standards, reducing fuel poverty and making local action on climate change a core local council responsibility. He gave us a hand to hold the banner, as well!

Big thanks to all those who attended. Our Colleagues pedalled on to Canterbury to do the same thing with their MP.

Thanks to Rose for organising the photos - Our press officer was bringing up the rear because of a puncture!

Next stop the Canterbury Climate Fair on the 14th & 15th May...

The Rush is on today in Canterbury at 14:54

Climate Rush is coming today to Canterbury - This year, one of their major campaigns will be on sustainable public transport policies. On Saturday 16th April they plan to travel return en masse (200 plus) to Canterbury from London Bridge, swiping in with Oyster cards (max fare £7.40) rather than buying a ticket (£25-£30 depending on the time of day).  It's the route whose fares have been most drastically increased (over 12% since 2010).  
Their point is that currently fares are too high which can only discourage people from choosing the sustainable option.
Climate Rush will arrive at Canterbury West at 14:54. For those of you who are unable to make the cycle ride, it would be great if you could meet Climate Rush - just turn up to lend support

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 13th April 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Have you any thoughts about fitting photovoltaic technology to generate your own electricity? It is, of course, an ideal way to invest money if you are lucky enough to have any savings to invest! If you want to install it just to be green then the ‘Feed in Tariffs’ (FITs) will not be of interest to you.

How marvellous to have one’s own power supply during daylight hours; to be independent of the power generating companies and to cap all that earn yourself 43.3p per kilowatt hour (pkWhr) for all the electricity generated. If you do not use your electricity, you can export it to the national grid and receive 3.1pkWhr. So the gains are threefold because, of course you do not buy so much electricity from the generating companies.

It all sounds too good to be true? Well, not if you can get your system installed and up and running before 1 August 2011 when the government have decided that the rate for the FiTs will be reduced to 19pkWhr. If you have a system that is already working, you are eligible for the higher rate for 25 years.

We are hurtling towards an energy crisis and need to encourage people to generate as much of their energy as possible instead of which it would appear that the government has bowed to pressure from the generating companies and reduced the rate of FITs.

Do not be tempted to install a system for speed alone. The installer you choose must be accredited and the system registered before any money can be paid. There are lots of unscrupulous people out there just waiting to take your money and give you a system that may not work correctly or pay you your FITs.

For more information go to

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Climate Rush is coming to Kent - 16th April

Climate Rush
We have just learned that Climate Rush are undertaking an action in London and a well known place in Kent.

Climate Rush is an environmental action group inspired by the Suffragettes. Launched in 2008 they have brought theatre and feminine flair to climate activism. They have 'rushed' Parliament to celebrate the centenary of the Suffragette Rush; they have held an Edwardian sit-in picnic at Heathrow Airport Terminal One and they have often been found - in Suffragette dress - immovable in or around Parliament.

Over the next four years our government will hike rail fares by 31%, the highest raise in fares in a generation.

We were promised ‘fair fares’ but instead prices are up and our trains are overcrowded. A complicated ticketing system makes it even more difficult for us to choose the train.

Another budget and another set of cuts. If we fail to protest, we wave goodbye to an affordable and integrated public transport system and we say hello to bigger roads, bigger airports, more planes and cars.

Join us for a Railway Adventure when we’ll protest as jam sandwiches are passed amongst passengers who are embroidering a petition and dancing to a ceilidh band: bring bunting, your picnic and red flannel petticoats.

An affordable, reliable and fair railway service for all!  We don't think it's too much to demand.

sign up to the event on Facebook here:!/event.php?eid=183582888352118
Or see their blog for more information:

More details on saturday....

The Big Climate Reconnection April 16th - This Saturday!

Stop Climate Chaos - The Big Reconnection
The Stop Climate Chaos Reconnection cycle ride starts at 11am at Dover Priory. We will cycle to Walmer to drop off a petition at Conservative HQ and then back to Canterbury to deliver a petition to Canterbury City Council at 4pm. Please join us, there are drop off points along the way, or you can aim to join us at Walmer at 12 if that's more convenient.

We will be asking MPs to ensure the government delivers on the Climate Act that we all worked so hard to bring about. We want the government to deliver on energy efficiency to eliminate the coldest, most inefficient homes, give local authorities the responsibility for delivering on Climate Act targets and help poor countries deal with the effects of climate change and develop in a clean way. More on what we’re asking for.

Deal With It will be there to offer support - if you are cycling please be at Dover Priory Station by 10:45 (There is a train from Deal at 10am)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 6th April 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
How wonderful it was to see the sunshine over these last few days. At last it seems the end of a very long, dark and cold winter. Living here on the south east coast means that we usually have a nip in the air from the east wind, but even that doesn’t seem to matter when the sun is shining. The sunshine prompts us to look to the garden and to planting our vegetables.

Those of you who are expert gardeners and have large plots or allotments will have started planting some time ago. If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you will have been able to sow seeds a couple of months ago for planting out when the air and soil get warmer. For those of us with very small gardens or even containers on a patio, the waiting for warmer weather seems never ending. We are keen to plant our seeds straight into where they will grow and stay but know that while there is even the remotest chance of frost we must be patient.

If, like me, you enjoy seeing your seeds spring into life and push their way through the soil, now is a lovely time to contemplate how your garden will look in a few months time. There are things that can be planted out now and some seeds that will germinate even if the air and ground are cool but it is often recommended that seeds are started off inside. You can do this on windowsills and in conservatories if you do not own a greenhouse and you will soon have young plants ready for warmer weather and planting out.

It is worth the wait to have your own vegetables, only minutes from garden to kitchen and to know that you have grown them.