Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Recycle volunteers at the Smugglers Fest needed ...

Kent's best kept secret Music Festival - Smuggler's Festival - is happening again on the weekend of 30th August -1st September somewhere near Deal.

This year the Smuggler's have teamed up with Upcycle to creatively manage the festival's recycling.

Any one planning to go or wants to volunteer can either contact Steve at or flag up your interest at the upcycle website. It would be great to get a group of us to help

The festival as well having great local music prides itself on its local food sources, beers & produce and supports many local micro-businesses. Our colleagues from GreenPeace will be having a stall.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Deal Town Council meeting Wed 31st July 7.15pm : Community Speed Watch presentation

Do you want to see something done about speeding on Deal's streets?

Guy Rollinson, Speed Watch co-ordinator for Kent Police will give a presentation on the Community Speed Watch scheme at tomorrow's Town Council meeting in Deal Town Hall, starting at 7.15.

NOTE - it is a normal council meeting and there are other items on the agenda.

The Police website says: "Speed Watch really helps to educate drivers about their speed and make our communities safer. Speed Watch allows residents to accurately establish and then directly have an impact on the severity of speeding on their local roads - a frequent source of complaint in some of our communities.

‘To set up a scheme near you, you only need the support of one other motivated citizen, and access to a speed indication device. This can often by facilitated through a recognised community group such as the local parish/town council or residents’ association. Typically the Speed Watch schemes each have between five and fifteen active members. Kent has around 70 active Speed Watches and this number is increasing. We risk assess suitable Speed Watch sites nearby and give all volunteers safety awareness training which usually takes about one hour.

'Then it's down to you how often and for how long you are active at the roadside. The owners of vehicles you detect speeding then receive warning letters and advice from Kent Police."

‘You can also find out more about Speed Watch on their website.:

It is hoped that there will be an opportunity for members of the public to comment and ask questions, so please come and tell anyone else who may be interested,

Ian Killbery and Alan Gleave
20s Plenty for Deal campaign

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Streetbank - sharing in our community?

Join 20,889 people sharing 24,359 things and 13,272 skills.

Streetbank shows you all the things and skills your neighbours are offering. It’s a giant garden shed, toolkit, fancy dress chest, book and DVD library and skills bank for your neighbourhood.

How it works

  1. Sign up for an account using your postcode.
  2. Add one thing that you would be prepared to help with, lend or give away.
  3. See people within one mile of you, and all their things.
Video link:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th July 2013

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

Waste is not a very interesting subject but with so much of it produced by our present day society, what we do with our waste is vital for the survival of our planet.

Many countries in the European Union prefer to convert their waste into energy by burning it. There are 420 plants in Europe that are equipped to provide heat and electricity to over 20 million people.

Because our society produces so much rubbish, our landfill has almost reached capacity and councils have had to try to find alternative ways of dealing with it. Ancient civilisations, such as the Egyptians, used to burn rubbish from a health point of view but only fairly recently have we been able to burn rubbish to produce energy.

Some towns in the UK, which have run out of landfill, have been exporting their waste to countries such as Norway and in some towns it is cheaper to export rubbish than to pay landfill taxes. Landfill taxes are in place to discourage the production of waste to landfill and to encourage recycling as much as possible.

Environmental groups are concerned that burning rubbish will discourage recycling. Friends of the Earth estimate that 80% of our rubbish is easily recyclable but if we come to believe that burning rubbish to produce energy is acceptable, we will throw things away rather than recycle them.

Waste has become a global industry with many people around the world relying on our waste to make a living.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Balcombe Blockade stops Cuadrilla in Sussex

The Great Gas Gala!

 Update: Gala is underway now. Come on down! Frack Off are running a feed with the latest news here From 7am on Thursday (25th) Cuadrilla Resource’s site has been forcibly closed by a community blockade.

We will be converging again in Balcombe in Sussex for The Great Gas Gala!

DAY TWO tomorrow (Fri 26th). Come along and shield the Weald at a community-led carnival of anti-fracking revelry!

All are warmly invited to join Balcombe Village in a clear demonstration of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment.

 Map to the site: Latest news: 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Don't FRACK Our Future - Doreen's Story Video

Don't FRACK Our Future - Doreen's Story

produced by FRACK-OFF

If you cannot see video this is the link

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th July 2013

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

Many people will feel that the effects of climate change will only be felt in a minor way here in the UK. It may even bring some benefits if we have some warmer and dryer weather enabling us to grow crops that we find difficult to grow now. The dreadful floods that have affected some parts of the country in recent years give an inkling as to what it must be like in countries that are already being subject to changes in their weather to a much greater degree than us.

The experts tell us that the period of weather that is with us now may last for the next ten years so we must get use to grey, cold springs and late arriving summers. The movement of the jet stream, caused by melting Arctic sea ice, has been responsible for the change.

Many experts are now agreeing that climate change is the greatest threat to the world today. Military experts, in particular, who have seen the world at its worst, are convinced that the effects of climate change in other parts of the world will affect us in many ways, not least in food supplies.

An example today is a shortage of microchips in California and Poland that has been caused by catastrophic floods in Thailand and so many of our vital systems rely on computers to operate.

There are many reasons why we should try to limit the effects of climate change to literally save the world.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th July 2013

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

There is a fascinating report this week about harvesting seaweed as a biofuel. Experiments are taking place in the Sound of Kerrera, near Oban in Scotland, where kelp is being grown to be converted into fuel.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science is working alongside groups in Norway and Ireland to develop a crop from seaweed which can be used to produce ethanol, which can be mixed with petrol to use in vehicles or methane to be used for domestic purposes.

Biofuels are important in a world trying to wean itself away from fossil fuels. Many biofuels are produced from food crops such as corn and sugar which pushes up global prices in a world where many are hungry. Biofuel production also uses increasingly scarce water supplies and palm oil, in particular, can cause more carbon dioxide pollution than diesel when burnt.

Seaweed does not cause any such problems. In fact, it has been shown to clean up the pollution caused by fish farms and kelp grows faster than plants on land. It converts sunshine into chemical energy up to five times more quickly than land plants.

Although ethanol from kelp will still be burnt as fuel and therefore release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it is considered to be carbon neutral because it absorbs carbon dioxide to photosynthesise while it is growing.

There is already great competition for land to grow food crops so biofuel from a sea based crop could be one answer to our need for energy.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Landmark Community Garden Opening today

The garden at the Landmark Centre is starting to look really good. Lots of great feedback and many people coming in for a proper look and chat. It is now once again an asset to both the High Street and Community Centre.

For Deal With It is a great demonstration both of what can be achieved by people 'just doing stuff' and what any garden/space can be - interesting, producing food, eye catching and supporting wildlife.

Deal Town Council's Mayor Marlene Burnham opened the garden by planting a Lavender plant for us. The Mayor also presented Deal With It with a really nice letter thanking us for the work at the Deal Station Garden and at the Landmark. With £25 towards some plants.

Imogen had arranged a nice mixture of various flavours of Elderflower Cordiale and mini-scones flavoured with lemon grass, lavender, roses and several other plants from the garden.

Music was supplied by Driftwood with guests Jon and Elaine Dean [and occassionally the Mayor!].

Great support from colleagues from the Deal Station Garden and good to see a number of people like Dave Thompson who did so much of the heavy digging earlier in the Year.

Big thanks goes to Pat McNicholas and all the staff at Maxted's for suppling many of flowers at the front and special thanks to our head gardener Imogen Kitching for her time and vision and the many plants and logistic support from Kitching Trees & Gardens

Transition InfoGraphic ... you may need to click into it to read!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Landmark Community Garden Open day - Sat 6th from 11am

Nice piece in this week's EKM on our Community Garden at the Landmark... We got some music from Driftwood Deal and John & Elaine Dean, a bit of art from Penny Bearman and Imogen has got some interesting things to taste plus got the Mayor planting something. Starts at 11am...

All welcome ... pop down and say hi

Kent Low Carbon Partnership Update

Welcome to the Summer 2013 edition of the Kent Low Carbon Community Partnership!

A quick update to let you know about some exciting projects happening around Kent, a review of national news, recent funding initiatives and upcoming deadlines plus events taking place in the South East.

Highlights include: Sustainable Sheppey, the Community Generation Fund, and Climate Week 2014 dates.

Your stories

If you have any good news about projects you are working on, or want to promote a community event you are running please email and we can include you in our next update. Deadline for submission is 1 October 2013.

Around Kent

Sustainable Sheppey

A consortium of local government, public sector, private sector and charities made a successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably funding stream in summer 2012. The bid – Sustainable Sheppey - was successful and has brought £950k of Lottery funding to the Isle of Sheppey to help make people’s lives more sustainable. A wide range of projects are running including community renewable feasibility studies, community resilience, community allotments, sustainable homes and schools, green skills, and biodiesel production from used cooking oil. The projects will run over 3 years. A project co-ordinator – John Whittington – has recently started. John can be contacted on 01795 417593 or by email

Coastal Communities 2150

Coastal Communities 2150 is a European-funded project aimed at raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities that climate change could bring to coastal towns, and develop a vision and action plan for the future. The project has now moved into the community engagement phase, and we’re looking to get your feedback on what you think might happen in your area as our climate continues to change.

If you live in one of our three project areas (Margate and Cliftonville, Romney Marsh and the Isle of Sheppey), look out for us at events in your area over the summer.

For more information about the project, and to give us feedback, visit our website at:

Open Spaces for Community Allotments in Southborough

Transition Tunbridge Wells has a new community allotment in Southborough and would like to welcome any local residents to join in grow food using organic methods, sharing their tools, knowledge, skills, and labour and taking home some of the produce.

If you want to join in or find out more, please e-mail

Skanska Project SOS Initiative

Do you have a community project that needs a bit of a helping hand? Wouldn't it be lovely to have a team of experts, ready to pick up tools and give you a helping hand for free! That’s what Project SOS is all about. Skanska, a world leading project development and construction group has launched Project SOS in Kent. The project aims to provide resources to a community, voluntary or self-help group project that: addresses a community need, provides a good long-term benefit to the community, supports cooperative values and principles, and is innovative in its approach.

The deadline for applications is the 5th of July. For full terms and condition and to submit your entry, visit the project website at
Kent Commissions Water Risk Assessment

Kent County Council has commissioned URS Infrastructure and Environment to identify risks and opportunities to businesses, communities, agriculture and the natural environment by assessing the impacts of changing land use, and changes in our climate and population on the water systems in Kent. The study will look at the consequences of these impacts for different groups and how they will vary across Kent. The work is being funded through the FUSION project, an EU Interreg IVA 2 Seas Program.
For more information, please contact

Transition Town Hythe Planning Meeting
Transition Town Hythe held a planning meeting on the 3rd of July to discuss, among other things, the next quarterly fair. They have also been asked to help renovate some allotments and bring them back to life, as well as a range of other projects, new and current, to make decisions about.

For more information, please visit the Transition Town Hythe website

Interested in starting a new group or project?
The Kent County Council website provides more information on how to form a group or take on a new project. For more information and advice please visit:

Need inspiration or want to know more about environment groups in Kent?

A database of local environmental groups and projects can be found on the Kent County Council Website. On the site are links to local project groups and case studies. We are looking to develop these pages and add more information the great environmental work being done in Kent.

If you have case studies or links that could be included on this website, please email by August 16th 2013.

For more information and advice visit:

National News

Energy Jargon Buster

The Energyshare network has developed a list of common terms and acronyms used in the energy sector and their definitions.

The list can be found at:

Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

John Cook from the University of Queensland and Mark Richardson from the University of Reading co-ordinated a study of 4000 peer-reviewed scientific paper abstracts from the last 21 years and found that 97% of them support the position that we are seeing man-made climate change. Their report was published in the IOP journal Environmental Research letters. The myth-busting website was used to recruit 24 volunteers who reviewed the abstracts for the team, and the website assisted with the financing to make the study available to the public.

Find the study here: and accessible coverage here:

Climate Change Biodiversity Report Card for the UK

In May, a partnership led by Natural England under the Living with Environmental Change program published the first terrestrial biodiversity report card. It provides the most up-to-date overview of climate change impacts on biodiversity in the UK, looking at both observed changes and potential future changes. The project was also featured in a Channel 4 News program about the effects of climate change on England’s countryside and wildlife.

To view and download the report, visit:

Communities given more power on wind farms

Under planning guidance changes announced by government in June, local opposition to planned development will override national energy targets. At the same time the benefits paid to communities and developers who allow wind farms will increase five-fold. This money could be used to reduce energy bills or to fund local initiatives. The number of approvals for wind farms has dropped from 70% of applications in 2008, to 35% in 2012.

For more information, please visit:

Eco-village planned in Leicestershire

The architects of a new carbon neutral village claim it will create the foundations for a new culture in sustainable living in the UK. Plans for a new eco village of 49 zero carbon code level 6 properties – of which 40 per cent will be affordable – in Leicestershire were submitted to Melton Mowbray Council in June. The plans include properties with between 1 and 5 bedrooms, as well as an odourless bio-waste digester, which will recycle green waste into methane and produce saleable fertiliser residue. The methane will be used to run a 375 kilovolt-amp generator to provide heat and electricity for the village.

For more information on the plans, visit:

Income toolkit for parks

The Land Trust, a charitable trust that sustainably manages open spaces in partnership with local communities across the country, has teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to create the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit to demonstrate innovative ways to secure the funding needed to manage parks and public spaces. This free, web based toolkit comes at a crucial time for our parks, with many facing an uncertain future. Parks are a discretionary service and therefore budget cuts to local authorities have caused many councils and park managers to make significant reductions in their services.

For more information on the toolkit, please visit:

New Funding Initiatives

Community Generation Fund

The Community Generation Fund (CGF) provides loans to social enterprises across the UK who have identified the development and ownership of renewable energy assets as a way to increase revenues to help them to continue to work with the communities they serve. The latest projects to receive funding include: Roseland Community Wind Farm, which will be the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK, and Awel Aman Tawe which aims to bring clean electricity, jobs and regeneration to villages near the Mynydd y Gwrhyd. There is a two-step application process for funding.

For more information on the latest projects to receive funding visit: and

More information and the pre-application form are available on the CGF website at:

The Ernest Cook Trust

Founded in 1952, the Earnest Cook Trust is a leading UK educational charity that promotes hands-on learning activities for young people across its estates and by providing grants. The Trust operates two grant making programmes on a rolling yearly basis: Small grants (under £4,000) to support state schools and small registered charities or large grants (over £4,000) aimed at more comprehensive education programmes. Not-for-profit organisations wishing to encourage young people's interest either in the countryside and the environment, the arts or aiming to raise levels of literacy and numeracy are welcome to apply.

The deadline for applications for the second round of funding this year is the 31st July 2013. For more information and to apply visit

Rural Communities Energy Fund now open to applications

Rural communities across England that aspire to generate their own clean green power are being offered a helping hand with the launch of a £15 million Government fund. The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), which opened to applications last week, is specifically targeted at helping rural communities access the money they need to carry out feasibility studies into renewable energy projects, and fund the costs associated with applying for planning permission. From there it is hoped that projects will be able to attract private finance to pay for renewable energy kit and to get projects up and running. The fund can be used to support rural projects across the renewable and low carbon energy spectrum including wind, solar, biomass, heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, gas Combined Heat and Power and hydro power projects.

If you are planning on applying for the fund let us know so we can tell others about your experience. Alternatively if you would like support in developing your bid let us know at

For more information on the fund, and to apply please visit:
Upcoming Training and Events

Canterbury’s Big Clean – 6 July 2013

The Abbot's Mill Project is a community interest company that aims to develop a hub of environmental excellence, incorporating an education centre about sustainability and renewable energy, a museum about the importance of the River Stour, a community cafĂ© and a community forest garden in the heart of historic Canterbury in Kent. The projects main source of power will be a water wheel on the River Stour at the former Abbot’s Mill site in St Radigund’s Street.

This weekend (6th July) they will be on site to do some general tidying, refreshing of the woodchip path, clearing around the native tree hedge and watering if necessary. We might also be able to help the Canterbury Society with clearing rubbish from the river. If you would like to get involved and are able to join them between 1pm and 3pm this Saturday, please let them know by e-mailing

Commonwork at Bore Place – 21 July 2013

Commonwork is an organic dairy farm, a conference and study centre, with an education programme working towards a more just and sustainable world. Locally, Commonwork has aimed to make its home, Bore Place, free of fossil fuels. On the 21st of July, come down and visit the dairy farm from 11am-5pm to learn about their renewable energy installations, and take a guided tour around the Jacobean manor house and organic gardens. There will be local craft and produce stalls to browse and lots of activities for children of all ages! Take your time to enjoy a delicious local organic lunch and relax listening to live music with a cool drink.

Just turn up on the day and pay on the gate: £6 adults, £3 children and £3 concessions. There will be plenty of free parking, as well as a free shuttle bus running from Tonbridge train station.

More information can be found on the Commonwork website

The Pines Calyx, Europe’s first carbon negative conference and wedding venue opens its doors – 11 and 18 August 2013

Run by The Bay Trust, an environmental education charity, the Pines Calyx, Europe’s first carbon neutral conference and wedding venue is holding open days in August. Come and explore inside this extraordinary, award winning building. Constructed using the best of both ancient and modern sustainable design, the Pines Calyx is the perfect venue for your wedding, party or conference. The building will be open to the public on the 11th and 18th August, from 10am – 4pm.

You can just turn up on the day, or if you would like a guided tour from one of the team, please contact their office on 01304 851737 or via our website at

Climate Week 2014 – March 2014

Climate week 2014 dates have recently been announced as the 3-9th March 2014. Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone and anyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future. If you would like to register as a supporter for next year, host an event or want to stay in the loop, visit the official climate week website at

This partnership bulletin is produced by Kent County Council, on behalf of the Kent Low Carbon Community Partnership.

Please forward this bulletin to others who may find it of interest, or ask them to join the partnership by emailing

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 4th July 2013

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

At long last our ‘greenest government ever’ has instigated an urgent review into the crisis facing bees and other pollinators in the face of continuing decline in insect populations.

More than a third of all honeybee colonies in England died over the winter, the worst losses that have occurred since the survey into winter survival rates began in 2007-08.

While the European Union suspended the use of three of the pesticides thought to be affecting bees, it is true to say that the wet and cold weather is enough to cause serious decline in bee colonies. The very wet summer, which caused bees to be confined to their hives and unable to go out and forage for food, in turn made the bees more susceptible to viruses and also left them with poor food stocks for the long, cold winter.

Bees and other pollinators fertilise three quarters of the world’s food crops but loss of habitat, poor weather and the use of pesticides have seen a severe decline in pollinator numbers over recent years.

Defra has at last realised that pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supplies and the quality of our natural environment and so has launched its review which will form the basis of a national pollinator strategy to bring together new initiatives and those already in place.

It is excellent that there are twelve new national nature improvement areas with better connected habitats and funding for nectar rich flower mixes to be sown on farmland.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.