Sunday, August 28, 2011

Landmark Community Garden Open Day

Our colleagues at the Landmark Community Garden had their open day on Saturday 27th August.

The large plot at the end of St Patrick's Road is run by the project based at the Landmark Community Centre in Deal. Saturday saw over 30 volunteers and people from Kent Community payback work really hard to clear a third of site for a wildlife pond and get new areas ready for new planting.

The project is supported by 'Time to Change' a charity fighting the stigma around mental health issues but is open to all in the community. It is a fantastic resource and the organisers have ambitious plans for chickens or using some of buildings for craft work.

Sue and Karen came over from the Dover Community Garden to provide some welcomed assistance.

See all the photos from the day here

Saturday, August 27, 2011

1st Transition Town Deal meeting with Deal Town Council

Today saw the first meeting of the 'Deal Transition Partnership' meeting between members of Deal With It, Deal Town Council and Deal Fairtrade.

The meeting which was hosted at the town hall is looking at ways it can support the community becoming a low carbon one and specific steps which the Town Council can take in its practice to reduce its own carbon footprint.

The Group is going meet monthly to Christmas and looking at involving other groups taking action to reduce Deal's reliance on carbon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Join Trains4Deal on 5th Sept at 5.56am!

It's the launch of the Deal/Sandwich HS1 fast train service on Monday 5 September.

Trains4deal will be on the very first train, leaving Deal at 5.56 am (5.50 from Sandwich), arriving St Pancras 7.18 am - not a trip to miss, even if that's a bit early for your regular commute.

If you've time before work, join us for a coffee or breakfast in the St Pancras Hotel's "Booking Hall" restaurant -

After work, join us for a celebration to toast the new service at the Waterpoint Camley St, one minute walk from St Pancras 5pm to 6.30 on Monday 5 September- just in time for the 6.40 home to Deal. The Waterpoint is an historic building (not normally open to the public) with fine views of the HS trains coming in and out of St Pancras.

Details to follow - RSVPs appreciated

best wishes,

Tom Rowland / Ian Killbery
Join the rail-users' group for the Deal area
Campaigning for High Speed trains to Deal - NOW!
Join the trains4deal group on Facebook

Victoria's Green Matters 25th August 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Some good news this week – otters have returned to our lovely county! Two otters have been seen building their holts on the banks of the rivers Eden and Medway in Kent.

Otters disappeared dramatically throughout England between the 1950s and the 1970s, due to hunting and the poisoning of river waters by pesticide run off from farmland. Otter hunting was banned in 1978 and after organochlorine chemicals were withdrawn, there was a general increase in water quality leading to greater quantities of fish in rivers and lakes. The Environment Agency reports that the revival of otter populations indicates that English rivers are at their healthiest for 20 years.

Otters have reappeared all around the country in towns and cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol, where they have not been seen since the industrial revolution. Sightings have also been reported on the Thames and the Lea in North London and there has been a 44% increase in otter numbers on the River Ribble in Lancashire since 2008.

The Wildlife Trusts throughout the UK are responsible for a large amount of the work that has gone into improving habitats for otters but concede that there is no room for complacency with a great deal more work needed before otters are widespread once more.

As with all things, not everyone is pleased with this news. Anglers have complained that otters are decimating fish stocks in lakes and rivers and some have gone as far as calling for a cull. It is difficult to accept that a group of people can consider their sport more important than a native species’ food source.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Support Amber's campaign to ban the bag...

Deal's Amber Bytheway has launched a National E-Gov petition to ban the use of plastic bags - You can help make this a reality - Amber needs 100,000 supporters in the next 12 months:

Banish the Plastic Bags

17 billion plastic bags a year are given to British consumers. The average Briton accepts 5 times a weeks. 200 million tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide and 10% ends up in the ocean. When plastic bags get into the ocean they can entangle, suffocate and even kill marine animals. Plastic doesn't biodegrade, it just breaks up into smaller pieces. The number of plastic bags issued by UK supermarkets in the past year has risen by 333 million. Plastic bags are becoming a big problem and there are better solutions! Instead we should have reusable cotton bags/recyclable paper bags/biodegradable starch based bags. Banish the bags and go with reusable/biodegradable ones instead! If we want to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill this is the big step forward...

You can sign the petition here  at the Government E-Petition site

New Community Garden in Dover

Just as we are celebrating the Landmark's Community Garden in Deal, kindered souls are planning a community garden in Dover.

Organiser Susan Proudfoot on her new facebook page said "Dear community
We have a dream! To bring together our community, to watch us grow and transform our wonderful town. Community garden often bring different cultures and generations together, improving individual and community confidence and health. Bridging the divide between ethnic, political and social-economic group. With the help from Dover Town Council and the good people of Dover. We will develope the Roman Lawn, between The Discovery Centre and The Roman Painted House in to something wonderfull. So spread the word and lets grow together.".
Show your support joining the Dover Community Garden Page on Facebook here and watch out for the Dover press next week for a report....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Landmark Community Garden 27th August

The Landmark Centre Community Garden
Time To Change
Invite you our Community Garden Open Day
Saturday 27th August 11am – 3pm
Please come and join us for a visit  and
Help us fight the Stigma of Mental health Issues

Or if you would like to come and help us dig our pond
Bring your Wellies and a spade

Food and Drinks
Meet at the Landmark Centre at 11am

Building a Community Together

The Landmark Community Garden aims to bring People Together with and without mental health issues to promote understanding and support, whilst enjoying garden activities, digging, planting, sowing, growing and reaping the benefits of teamwork.

The Landmark Centre, 129 High Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6BB
The Landmark Centre Community Garden is at the end of St Patricks Road:     2 minutes walk from the Landmark Centre.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

DWI at Walmer Picnic

Deal With It was out today meeting people at the Walmer Picnic on the Green.

Some good discussions with people on transition towns, fracking, community radio and getting some greenery going in Sandwich

Big thanks to Vicki, Rose, Rosemary, Charles, Jeremy and Steve for helping and to the organisers for inviting us.

Next outing for the stall will be at the Kent Miners Festival on 28th August - volunteers please contact Vicki

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 11th August 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
A recent report informs us that the use of plastic bags is once again on the increase after years of decline. What sad news this is. After a campaign by green groups, retailers and the government in 2006, our use of plastic bags gradually decreased and by 2009 had reduced by some 40% to less than 6.5billion per year. Plastic waste of all kinds often reaches the sea where it is a fatal hazard to marine life.

Last year this trend was reversed and the government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) reported an increase in plastic bag use to 6.8billion. This may be due to the pressures brought about by the recession, when people have far more to worry about than what they carry their shopping home in. It may also be due to people making more short trips to the shops and using new bags each time.

The Anti Plastic Bag campaign attracted lots of publicity when it was instigated in 2006 and was given an extra boost by large retailers such as Sainsburys who produced their own range of trendy cotton shopping bags. Sainsburys also removed the single use plastic bags from the end of the conveyors in the supermarkets, giving out bags only when people asked for them. This system seems to have slipped backwards, at least locally, where bags are handed out regardless.

The government seems to be reluctant to legislate against plastic bag production and use. The Irish government introduced a 10p charge for bags and reduced use by 95%. Plastic bags were banned in French supermarkets years ago and are not used in Belgium. In Wales shoppers will be charged 5p per bag from October this year and in Northern Ireland there is a consultation on the future use of plastic bags.

Please remember to take your bags with you when you go shopping and if you have to use a plastic bag, re-use it or recycle it

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Richborough solar farm begins producing power

check out the report at the BBC site :

The first large-scale solar park in the South East has begun supplying electricity to local homes and businesses.
The £13m project, near the site of the former Richborough Power Station in Kent, is capable of supplying 1,300 homes.
It is likely to be the only solar farm of its kind in the region, following a reduction in government subsidies for such projects.

Monday, August 8, 2011

planners agree 1400 Whitfield Homes

... But no Jobs or additional Water

"AN outline planning application for phase one of the expansion of Whitfield has been approved, despite a warning that affordable housing may be dropped from this part of the village development.
At a meeting last Thursday, the planning committee voted in favour of the proposal put forward by developer Phillip Jeans Homes.

Two votes were made against the decision, including one from Whitfield councillor Jim Back. Five members voted in favour of the scheme.

Phase one will see 1,400 homes, a 66-bed care home, a 420-place primary school, shops, green space and roadworks to upgrade roundabouts and create new access on the A256.

The overall five-phase, 20-year building project consists of three sites, comprising six new neighbourhoods, to the west, north and east of the village.... "

Read the full report at This Is Kent

Camp Frack in Blackpool

Weekend of 17th-18th September
Join the resistance to the “fracking” invasion! Stop the imminent expansion of shale gas extraction all around the UK! We need renewables - sacrificing our countryside for every last drop of of fossil fuel is crazy!
Camp Frack will be in the Blackpool/North Lancashire area near the ongoing exploratory drilling activities.
It will involve workshops on shale gas, and on planning the campaign against it. It will involve raising local awareness about the problems with shale gas and an action day of peaceful protest against the drilling activities currently in progress in the Blackpool area.
Register your interest by filling in the form at We will send you more information as soon as it is available.

If you are interested in getting a coach from London then please tick the box. This will give us an idea of numbers and help us plan transport.
If you are able to spare a bit of time to help the camp run smoothly, tick the corresponding box and we will get in touch.
Camp Frack has already amassed interest from the media, including The Guardian and the Blackpool Gazette.
See our shale gas page here and download a PDF flier for the camp here.Image
Listen to the recording of our London Public Meeting on 19th July with Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall° Centre, Caroline Lucas MP, Michael Meacher MP and local Blackpool campaigner, Phil Mitchell.

Put this date in your diary – more info to come soon.

Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Deal Mayor's support transition town Deal

We had four past mayors of Deal Town Council with members of Deal With It out today celebrating the Town Council's support for Deal becoming a Transition Town.

The event marked the Deal Town Council vote last week to support 'Transition Town Deal'.

Rosie Rechter Deal With It Co-ordinator said " This is a great step forward and the support of the town council will add value and weight to the communities campaign to transform Deal into a Zero Carbon town by 2030"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters 3rd August 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
There was good news from the European Union (EU) last week that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) practice of discarding healthy fish at sea is to be phased out and long-term plans established to ensure that fish stocks become healthy for future generations. Fish discards have been the subject of a campaign, ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’, by TV personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which highlighted the continuing obscenity of throwing away perfectly good food because the fisherman had exceeded his quota or had caught fish outside his quota.

The EU fisheries chief, Maria Damanaki, has said that action is needed now and she wants to ensure that fish stocks are at sustainable levels by 2015. This poses something of a problem because most fish stocks in Europe are already overfished. Recent academic studies have suggested that present fish stocks are less than 10% of post-war levels. This is because Europe’s fishing fleet is too large and has been overfishing for many years. There will be opposition from fishing groups that feel that they will be penalised under new rules but it is imperative that fish stocks are kept healthy and productive for the future.

The new proposals will include targets and time frames to stop overfishing and ways that enable fishermen to trade their quotas. Some fishermen will be able to leave the industry if they wish and there will be support for small fisheries. Plans also include decision making being devolved from Brussels to the regions, which will please many who fear the bureaucracy of the European Commission.

But these proposals are just proposals and many people have to agree to them before they are put in place. There is urgent need to reform our fishing industry so that we can support the jobs and communities that rely on it and ensure fish stocks for years to come.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great news for Deal and Sandwich commuters!

Great news for Deal and Sandwich commuters!

Three early morning direct HS services UP (departing Sandwich at 05:50, 06:18 and 06:50, calling at Deal six minutes later) and two early evening services back down (leaving St Pancras International at 17:40 and 18:40) will start A MONTH EARLY on 5th September.

The new services will operate Monday to Friday and will take approximately 90 minutes.

"The early start is a timely vote of confidence in the future of Deal and Sandwich from the rail operator," said IAN KILLBERY of campaign group Trains4deal.

"The new service aimed at local commuters starts just as Pfizer lay-offs begin to bite. A 90-minute commute opens new job opportunities for local people, and it will be popular with many Deal commuters who now drive to Dover or Ashford to catch the train."

Trains4deal will press for swift action to improve parking and drop-off facilities at both stations, to avoid parking chaos in nearby streets.

Next step in the Trains4deal campaign?

"The success of the high-speed Open Golf trains, which often ran with standing room only, shows the strength of pent-up demand for faster travel to and from East Kent. More direct HS trains during the day and at weekends are what the tourist trade and local businesses really need to bring people down from London," said TOM ROWLAND also of Trains4deal. "There are still HS trains lying idle during the day and at weekends; if the commuter service is well-used that will help make the case for using some to make further improvements to services on the Deal and Sandwich line."

More details at

Tom Rowland / Ian Killbery
Join the rail-users' group for the Deal area
Campaigning for High Speed trains to Deal - NOW!
Join the trains4deal group on Facebook

Letter to Charlie on Fracking... from Kent Green Party

Dear Editor, Charlie Elphicke MP is choosing to support possible hydraulic fracking near Woodnesborough. Having debated the subject with him on radio and having attended a major public meeting on the subject in London(1), I must ask him through your newspaper to re-consider his position on this issue. Hydraulic fracking, using a mixture of water and chemicals to extract shale gas from rocks, has been shown to cause groundwater contamination, air pollution and is implicated in the recent earthquakes in the Blackpool area which occurred whilst fracking was taking place. As an
area with comparatively low rainfall and an increasing population, East Kent in general should not welcome any industrial activity that uses and pollutes large quantities of water.

Banned in South Africa and about to be banned in France, hydraulic fracking is under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA after widespread problems associated with this practice. Does Mr Elphicke
want groundwater pollution, subsidence, declining property values and additional greenhouse gas emissions to be features of his constituency? Since reductions of 50-70% in energy demand are possible through improved
energy efficiency in the UK, we do not need marginal amounts of gas obtained at the expense of our water supplies(2). Obtaining shale gas using techniques known to be environmentally damaging is neither necessary nor consistent with the fight against Climate Change which Mr Elphicke’s own Party supports. Nor could it be expected that a rigorous environmental impact assessment of hydraulic fracking would allow the activity to take place anywhere, given the record in other countries which can be seen in detail on line.

There is no shame in admitting you are wrong. I am sure the community will rally behind their MP if he decides to fight fracking. Let him now do so.

Yours sincerely Steve Dawe PRESS OFFICER, KENT GREEN PARTY

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scything for beginners...

Hi Transitioners,
My name is Beth Tilston and I am a scything tutor. I am writing to gauge your interest in joining forces to run a one or two day scything course in your area either before the end of October this year or from May onwards next year (due to grass growth). Scything, as I am sure you know, is a way of cutting grass and weeds using a blade and human power rather than power tools such as strimmers and lawnmowers. A scythe is useful for lawns, allotments, community orchards - all the way to meadows and mountainsides. I am looking for appropriate areas in which to run courses. An appropriate area would be somewhere which had access to a reasonable amount of grass which isn't regularly mown short, plus somewhere with nettles, docks, thistles etc to provide variety. I teach groups of up to six and can work with another tutor for larger groups. I provide all the equipment (including safety equipment) necessary and am fully insured. I am also available to do demonstrations.

Scything is a skill that takes time to learn but a skillful scyther can work as fast as a strimmer. Here’s a video of Peter Vido, a scyther in America, showing the versatility of a scythe. Scythes are also:
  • Zero carbon
  • Quiet - better for residential areas and for the hearing of the person cutting the grass - and for general peace and quiet!
  • Safe - Though it does involve using sharp blades, there are fewer health and safety risks in the long term than mechanical devices. For example, there is no risk of whitefinger or any other vibration related ailments.
  • Fuel free - and therefore cheaper in the long term
  • Easy (and interesting) to maintain
  • Requires skill to use and therefore makes the job interesting

Please email me at or phone me on 07818474712 to discuss options.


Beth Tilston