Monday, July 30, 2012

Thanet Fair Trade Oct 2012

Thanet 7th World Food Day event on Sunday 14th October 2012, Margate Winter Gardens

A free event open to all from 11am to 4pm with: Global Poverty Workshop; storytelling; face painting; drumming workshop; Fairtrade and local produce stands; entertainment and much, much more.

visit their website to register and book your free stand.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Intro Permaculture Course at Rippledown Sept

Our colleagues at the Rippledown Environmental Education Centre at Ringwould nr Deal have 'Introduction to Permaculture Course' coming up soon.

The Course is an exciting, involving and thought provoking way to get a good understanding of the world of permaculture.

It  is on 7th to 9th September and cost's £135

Full details at the Rippledown site

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th July 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: So, how does your garden grow? After a cold and very slow start to the growing season, we now have such rapid growth in the garden that it is difficult to keep up with although there have been many failures. It was consoling to see that even gardening guru, Monty Don, has had a virtually non-existent carrot crop!

It can all be blamed on our awful British weather but, of course, it isn't just in the UK that the weather has been so bad. A large proportion of northern Europe has suffered also. France, in particular, has had a dreadful start to the summer with only the Mediterranean beaches baking under very high temperatures.

Climate scientists have been warning about such changes in the weather for many years. Our weather is very much influenced by the jet stream which circulates the globe at around 12,000 metres altitude. In summer the jet stream usually passes to the North of the British Isles and this means that Scandinavia is wet and the whole of France is fine and dry. This year the jet stream is circulating much further south than normal, along the shores of the English Channel, preventing warm air coming up from North Africa. Also, the tropical currents of the Pacific, El Niňo and La Niňa, which have an effect on the mainland European climate, are not active.

All these changes affect our weather and will continue to do so if we do not take steps to limit our carbon emissions.

Victoria Nicholls.
Transition Town Deal.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dover Cycling Forum - Progress


Following our discussion at the last Dover District Cycle Forum, Charlie Elphicke MP has responded to Steve Fawke's letter by taking up the case (see letter attached).

He agrees about the dangers of signs that direct cyclists to ride along the A2, which is almost a motorway - and supports action to signpost alternative routes on quieter roads or off-road, especially for foreign cycle-tourists arriving at Dover Docks.


You will be relieved to hear that threats of a £1 toll for cyclists using NCR1 to go between Sandwich and Deal have been narrowly averted.

This is a private road belonging to the residents of Sandwich Bay estate. Like many of our cros-country cycle routes, it is permissive only - 17 years ago Sustrans negotiated a voluntary agreement with the landowners for cyclists to use their road free where non-resident car drivers have to pay £7 a time to pass the gate.

One member of the Spokes committee described it like this:
"Antagonism is generated between drivers, who live on the estate, and groups of cyclists who do not wish to give way to each other and cyclists on a "high" being kept waiting at the barrier. In both situations cyclists have given way to verbal abuse."

Following complaints from residents and toll-gate keepers, a move to impose a toll on cyclists was averted for the time being, as this would inconvenience many ordinary cyclists and familes who ride along the road without trouble. The alternative of riding along the main road is obviously not attractive.

Please spread the word and do all you can to encourage others to ride courteously (especially when in large groups) so we don't lose this route,


Ian Killbery
Chair, Dover District Cycle Forum
representing everyone interested in cycling in Dover District
affiliated to SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Learn how to build your own clay oven in Deal

Photo from Natureshead blog

Clay Oven Workshop
Come and learn how to design and build a clay oven, a beautiful addition to almost any garden and there is nothing quite like a pizza cooked for 1 minute in a 350 degree home-made oven. Clay ovens can also be used to bake bread, cook roasts or stews etc. Clay ovens require minimal purchased materials, can be built by almost anybody of nearly any age and the design options are endless.

Saturday 18 August

Cost: £40 including light lunch
9.00 arrival for 9.30am start until approx 4.00pm

For details of this and all the new courses being offered at Rippledown for adults and children, go to or contact
T: +44 (0) 1304 364 854

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Abbey Physic - Permaculture day 22nd July

Abbey Physic Community Garden (Faversham) have a intro to permaculture on Sunday 22nd July 10-4pm

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tidal Power at Ramsgate Port ?

Blue Energy: Opportunities for Ports from Wave and Tidal Energy

Posted on 5th July 2012
The Port of Ramsgate hosted a Blue Energy Workshop on the 22nd of June looking at the opportunities that are emerging in the wave and tidal industries.

The renewables share of the energy mix in Europe is set to rise to 34% by 2020. Renewable development is taking place in all Member Sates in the EU and the next round of European funding, Horizon 2020, has secured 6.5 billion Euros in order that research and innovation can be explored in clean and efficient energy.

This workshop explored technological advancements in the less talked about area of wave and tidal energy and considered the skills that are needed by this growth sector. Thanet College gave an overview of plans for their Centre for Environmental Technologies and details were given of the DeltaStream device and the Pulse Stream Generator, both designed to capture energy from the water. Many other innovative designs exist for capturing wave and tidal energy and ports play a key part in their future.

Laura Sandys MP, speaking at the event, stated that the key to the success of this industry lies in the development of the skills, a simplification of the planning process and the consistency of the incentives schemes.

For more information on Marine and Offshore Energy please visit and


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th July 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It is five years today since the smoking ban was introduced. For the majority of us this signals the time when we could eat and drink in restaurants and pubs without having someone smoking at the next table. For the smokers it means standing outside public places and freezing in the winter, all for a cigarette!

But the ban has had more far reaching effects than making most of us more comfortable. Fewer children have been admitted to hospital suffering from asthma attacks and fewer people have been admitted to emergency departments suffering from heart attacks. The ban has also brought more awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke to friends and family and social disapproval has led to people smoking less.

Public health campaigns over the years have resulted in cleaner air for us to breathe – the Clean Air Act which stopped us burning coal in our fireplaces, the campaign for lead-free petrol which stopped us poisoning our children – were a long time coming but have achieved much since their inception.

Our environment is extremely important to us. A smoky, smoggy atmosphere is easy to see and so are its dangers. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is invisible – a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas as described in school chemistry lessons. In excess, it is dangerous.

If we keep pouring it into the atmosphere from our burning of fossil fuels we are warming the climate to a degree which will cause devastation in many parts of the world.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Transition National Conference Sept 14-17 2012


This year we are back in London, hosted once more by the wonderful Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) (where we were in 2009), and the Conference teams are in the thick of planning a weekend of events and workshops that explore the theme of "Building Resilience in Extraordinary Times".
We have an ambitious programme for this year's event, with 5 distinct elements, which can be attended as stand-alone events or in combination (dates permitting):


Main Transition Conference

BACdeskThe Main Transition Conference will explore the theme of "Building Resilience in Extraordinary Times". It'll give you the chance to connect with people from all over the UK – and if other years are anything to go by, from all over the world – who have taken the Transition approach into their hearts, lives and communities.
If you are new to Transition, this will be an opportunity to make new friends and plunge into a rich pool of ideas, inspiration and practical learning that will help you do the things you want to do back at a home base.  If you have been round the Transition block a few times already, this is the place to refresh your energy, catch up with old friends and immerse yourself in what’s new in Transition.
Our theme this year will be explored through a wide variety of activities and processes including programmed workshops, an Open Space afternoon, walks and visits, and a great Saturday evening of entertainment, including an open mic slot.  It will draw in elements of the REconomy and Young Transition conferences happening the previous day, and introduce a new ingredient for 2012: a "Cook Up"
As we look at the question “How do we engage our communities in the Transition things we do?”, you can opt to roll your sleeves up and get practical, working alongside each other to “cook up” mini events, demos or activities that showcase Transition in Action.  It could be an instant edible landscape, a local currency, a feast, an energy company, an Inner Transition workshop, a piece of theatre or a Transition newspaper.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Victoria's Green Matter - 6th July 2012

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

The fossil fuel industry seems to have scored a goal over renewable energy in a European Union programme. It has been reported that billions of euros which were supposed to be invested in the research and development of clean energy, such as wave and solar power, have been diverted to subsidise the gas industry.

There seems to have been a re-branding of gas as a low-carbon, green option following intensive lobbying by the industry. This includes, of course, the controversial shale gas which is obtained by fracking, maybe at a location near you!

Gas is not a green option. Gas may be greener to burn in the production of electricity than either coal or oil but burning gas still means spewing out millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing disastrous climate change in many areas of the world.

The recent government report on fracking has given it the go-ahead as long as there is close monitoring to ensure it is safe. It would appear that present regulations in the UK are sufficient but it is vital that they are enforced if all the possible dangers from fracking are to be avoided. Recent earth tremors in Lancashire have resulted in damage to one of the wells being drilled, which could result in leaks of both chemical fluids and methane gas.

It is hoped that the robust enforcing of UK regulations may push up the price of production of shale gas, thus making it a non-viable option. Victoria Nicholls. DWI Transition Deal.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gasland Film Show 9th July Canterbury

The Cooperative are show specially edition version of Gasland - the film that exposes impact that the shale gas bonanza has had in the US - in Canterbury on Monday 9th July at 6:30pm

The film show will be at Anselm Theatre, Canterbury Christchurch University CT1 1QU

For full details and reserve a seat please contact Cooperative at or call 0800 015 1147.

Food and drink will be provided.