Thursday, May 29, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 29th May 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :
It seems that it all comes down to money. Our ‘greenest government ever’ and its Secretary for the Environment, climate change denier Owen Patterson, cut the annual flood defence budget by 25% when they came into office in 2010. This is in direct contrast to the course of action of the Dutch government with its policy of ‘Room for the River’ projects across the Netherlands which have cost £1.9bn and are set to finish in 2015. Similar programmes have also gone ahead in Germany and China.

These projects have been ongoing for ten years and are re-shaping the landscape with the objective of living with water instead of continuing to battle against it. The Netherlands is a land of waterways and a quarter of it is below sea level: England and Wales has 50% more land below sea level and we continue to ‘make do and mend’ by repairing flood defences after the event. The defences on the Somerset Levels have now been repaired with £270m of emergency funding from the government. There is a striking contrast between the short termism of the UK government and the long term strategy adopted by the Dutch.

To counteract the effect of years of accepted wisdom that rivers need to be straightened to encourage water to flow away, meanders have been restored in Somerset to slow down river flow and to store water in times of heavy and enduring rain. This has also been done, on a smaller scale, in Stockton-on-Tees and Oxfordshire. Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal

Rippledown Summer Holiday Club August

Rippledown Holiday Club - 2 Weeks in August. Now Taking Bookings
View this email in your browser


11 - 15 AUGUST
25 - 29 AUGUST

Two packed weeks of outdoor fun
9am – 4pm for kids aged 7 – 11 years 

From £20 per day or £80 per week

Extend their stay

8am – 6pm with optional:

Breakfast for £3
Tea time for £5
per child per day

Meet animals and spiders on an animal safari or discover marine wildlife on a seashore adventure. 
Make your own woodland camp and learn to cook on an open fire.  Plus lots of sports, games and archery.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Deal's May 'Seedy Saturday' ...

They say timing is everything. Well we were definitely lucky with time today - The whole of our second 'Seedy Saturday' slotted beautifully between two massive showers in Deal at 9am and 2pm.

We had a great response again in generous donations and swaps. We had a fairly constant stream of people with and without plants to swap. Great to see how many people love the idea of a community swap.

We had some fabulous produce from the Deal Station Garden to find new homes - the lettuces and garlic looked gorgeous !

One thing we managed to do today was source some requests for plants direct from the garden like lemon balm and apple mint

Many thanks to all those who bought plants to swap or donate.

A big thank  you to all the Deal With It Volunteers - Imogen, Tracy, Adrian, Sue, Sarah and Steve who made the day so successful.

We are planning the next one in early July - more of plant / produce swap.

Imogen's new labelling for the garden

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 22nd May 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :
At a time when we are recovering from our wettest winter on record and the world is suffering ever more incidents of extreme weather, what is foremost in the national news this week? The debate about whether to extend Heathrow or Gatwick Airport. There is determination in the minds of the money people that one or other of these airports be extended and this at a time when we should be reducing our dependence on flying. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was incontrovertible in its conclusions that action was needed now if we are to have any chance to avoid dangerous climate warming.

In relation to Heathrow, it seems like absolute madness to consider flying a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Gatwick’s extension would affect far fewer people but why do we need these extensions at all?

There is lots of talk about ‘being at the centre of global growth’ when really, surely, we have already grown too much! We have destroyed vast swathes of this planet in our continuing search for and use of fossil fuels to keep up our extravagant, western lifestyle.

The modern need to have holiday homes that are not car journeys away but flights away has fuelled the ‘low-cost air line’ boom and has been paramount in increasing carbon emissions from flying. Why can’t we be satisfied with less damaging pastimes and travel by train, coach or car?

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Sunday, May 18, 2014



On Wednesday, 7 May 2014, ‘Deal With It’ treasurer Jane Stubbington and secretary Victoria Nicholls visited the refurbished ‘Chequers Kitchen’ restaurant and cookery school at the invitation of Stephanie Hayman.

Stephanie and chef Pieter van Zyl told an assorted assembly of representatives of various local charities and organisations all about the aims and achievements of the ‘Chequers Kitchen’. This lovely little restaurant is situated on the ancient highway, alongside the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club and has the unusual set up that allows diners to watch the chefs at work.

The main aim of the ‘Chequers’ is to teach people of all ages how to cook from scratch, using locally sourced ingredients where possible and to emphasise the importance of eating good, fresh and seasonal food.

The Cookery School Programme includes ‘Kids Cook It!’ where children can cook with adults, learning how to make pizzas and muffins. ‘Cook & Dine’ enables adults to join together to cook a meal and then enjoy eating it and other topics include ‘Seasonal Cookery’, ‘Morning Cookery’ and ‘Bread Making’. Stephanie also hopes to have classes using gluts of produce in the autumn, such as making preserves and chutneys, and to emphasise the importance of not wasting food.

The restaurant is open Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes for those who just want to eat and the profits from this will help to fund the cookery courses. It is a very small restaurant so book early to avoid disappointment.

Thank you to Stephanie for inviting us and allowing us to sample some lovely scones and shortbread along with our tea or coffee.

For menus or to book online please check the website:

Phone 01304 362288 Email

Victoria Nicholls.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 15th May 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent MercuryOur recent dramatically wet winter brought home to us the fact that the climate is changing. Whether that is due to human activity or is naturally occurring will continue to be debated. It is, of course, accepted by anyone who has a shred of commonsense, cares for the future of the planet and is prepared to take action to minimise the effects of a warming world.

Whatever your beliefs or opinions may be, it cannot be denied that we are running out of the easily obtainable fossil fuels that have enabled us to become part of the consumer society in which we live. Our government is engaged at present in trying to find alternative supplies of natural gas to keep our lights on when our rapidly depleting supplies of North Sea gas have been used.

Had we invested early in renewables: solar, wind and geothermal and insulated all our buildings to a very high standard, particularly our new build, we would be in a far better position regarding our energy supplies. Fracking for shale gas will never be a viable option, particularly here in East Kent, where we rely on aquifers for our water.

But we need to consume less of everything if we are to have a chance of stopping runaway climate change. We must try and buy goods that will last and repair them if necessary; buy locally grown fruit and vegetables and grow our own vegetables if we can; avoid buying out of season, imported produce for a start.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.