Thursday, July 31, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 31st July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury It has come to light recently that our ‘greenest government ever’ is hell bent on selling off as much land for development as possible and for removing planning restrictions to make it easier to concrete over our green and pleasant land.

The government’s draft national policy statement waters down existing legislation that protects ancient woodlands, precious wildlife and beautiful landscapes. All this so that more major roads can be built when all traffic surveys show that there is consistently static numbers of vehicles on the road since the maximum numbers were reached in 2002. It seems that the desire to build to satisfy the construction and the motoring industries comes without any sensible regard for the real needs of the country.

Hidden away at the bottom of this bill is permission for the government to sell off any public land it wishes and to therefore remove public access and use. This is to be done by transferring public land into the hands of the government’s Homes and Communities Agency which can then sell off anything it chooses without any need to obtain anyone’s consent or to consider any liability. What price our footpaths and public rights of way? We see all around us our councils continuing to build houses on prime agricultural land instead of using available brown field sites for our much needed homes. All we need to do is look at Ireland to see what happened when regulation was removed and a housing bubble disorganised the economy and the land.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do you know long that drinks can takes to decompose on the beach ?

Well would you believe up to 200 years ....

Our next beach clean of Deal Beach is this coming Sunday 3rd August at 9am meet at Sandown Castle end of the beach (North End)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Next Deal Beach Clean is Sunday 3rd August 9am

The Next Deal With It Deal Beach Clean will be on Sunday 3rd August at 9am starting at Sandown Castle end of the beach.

This is part of our regular series of beach cleans which we run roughly each quarter to support the work of the Marine Conservation Society in monitoring the impact of rubbish on our coastline wildlife and habitat.

We supply rubbish pickers, bags, gloves and MCS monitoring cards. You bring some water, sun hat, sun slap and infectious energy.

Children are welcome but must be supervised by appropriate adult

The Beach Cleans last for about 1-1 1/2 hours but please do as much or little as you want.

Usually followed by a weigh-in of what we have collected and huge group hug/photo afterwards (optional :) )

You can contact Sue and Wendy who coordinate our beach cleans at

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 25th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury
The effects of climate change are world-wide. Antarctica is a long way from us here in the UK but the results of the lifestyle of the developed world, of which we are part, are far reaching and are affecting one of the most iconic creatures we know.

Recent findings have shown that emperor penguins are at risk of extinction by the year 2100 because of the loss of sea ice due to climate change. Changes in the ice around Antarctica may increase penguin populations in the short term – there has been an increase in the sea ice along the Ross Sea because of wind conditions and the break-up of glaciers.

Penguins are the top predators in Antarctica and the loss of sea ice is reducing the supply of krill which is the main source of food for the emperors. To make matters worse, stocks of krill are being depleted by fishing boats that hoover up the tiny creatures to make fish meal to feed to farmed fish. It is difficult to think of a more damaging strategy than this one!

Scientists are calling for marine protected areas to be designated in the Ross Sea which would buy some time for the penguins by putting large areas of ocean off limits to fishing until climate change mitigation actions are in place to limit further greenhouse gas emissions.

Are there any areas in the world that are unaffected by man in one way or another? Even Antarctica is not exempt.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Landmark Garden donations wishlist - Can you help ?

Can you help us with our wish-list of plants for the Landmark Community Garden?

We have recently added a list of plants we would like to add to the garden.

If you can help us please drop us a line to or ring 01304 372673.

It is safe to leave plant donations in the garden

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 17th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
A recent study has shown that flash flooding in summer is likely to happen much more frequently across the UK due to the effects of climate change. This can have devastating consequences as shown by the Boscastle floods of 2004.

The research undertaken by Newcastle University and the Met office has found that, although summers will be drier overall, they will be interrupted by more extreme downpours. These sudden bursts of rain can have a much more detrimental effect than steady, prolonged rainfall which is good for our gardens and for replenishing our aquifers.

After prolonged dry weather the ground is hard and often incapable of absorbing large amounts of water. This water runs off, causing flash floods, similar to those experienced here in Deal some weeks ago.

Many factors can influence the occurrence of flash floods including concreted over gardens to provide parking and the lack of drain cleaning services, apparent in recent years. It is perfectly understandable that people want to create parking for several cars in a family but it is vital that drainage is incorporated and this can be achieved in various ways, one of which is to use gravel over a water permeable membrane.

Poor farming techniques also contribute greatly to water runoff higher up the chain where the ground has been denuded of vegetation and trees to create grazing for animals. Trees and shrubs keep the soil aerated and able to absorb large amounts of water and we need to reconsider our practices.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New 'Skylark' Cycle Route from Dover to Deal Launched

A new 'safer' cycle route - The 'Skylark' - between Dover to Deal was launched on Saturday at a mass gathering of local cyclists at the Lantern Pub in Martin

The new route came as Dover & District Cycling Forum's response to the tragic loss of local cyclist Daniel Squire on the A258 last year.

New signage marks the route which runs parallel to the busy A258 on quiet county lanes (Guston - Martin - Coldblow.  It offers a good inland alternative to the coastal National Cycle Route 1.

You can pick the route up at the bottom of Telegraph Hill

There is also a new map for cyclists with this route and the other main routes for Folkestone, Canterbury and Thanet.

There was a good turnout of local cyclists; many from Deal Tri and Spokes

Full details at the Dover Cycling Forum Website 

Next mission for the Forum is get better mapping and signage onto the many cycle routes at key places like the port and rail stations at Dover and Deal.

The Old Lantern Pub at Martin looks like it will become a stopping point for cyclists on the new route with a friendly welcome and wide range of food and err  beer .... worth a visit if you are exploring the route

Friday, July 11, 2014

Deal Station Garden group: 'Poems on the Platforms'

Adrian O and Alan Gleave from Deal Station Garden group have curated a collection of 20 WW1 poems on the platforms of the Deal Station.

This is wide collection of the famous and non-so famous, from a wide array of counties, by men, women and personal contemporary ones written locally.

This is compliment our work in creating poppy meadows on the waste ground near the ramsgate platform, in the station car park and in front of the West St Telephone Exchange

We love the idea of overlapping communities using the same 'space'.

It adds another dimension to our community garden and meadow areas.

We will look at doing this again with other themes later in the year.

See the photos of the poems here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 10th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury It seems as if we have learned nothing over recent years when it comes to protecting our environment.

A recent report has shown that far from defending the environment from damage by pesticides, we have continued to use these chemicals and regulations have failed to prevent the poisoning of almost all habitats. How shameful it is that we have not followed up the warnings given in ‘Silent Spring’, published in 1962, which catalogued the decimation of birds and insects because of the use of DDT and other pesticides.

The new, international report, which has taken four years of investigation to reach its conclusions, shows that creatures essential to food production from bees to earthworms are suffering substantial harm from these chemicals and that they must be phased out.

There is clear evidence that the damage caused by the routine use of neonicotinoids threatens the food production on which we rely. The chemicals harm bees and other pollinators which fertilise about three quarters of the world’s crops and the organisms that create healthy soils. Bees’ capability to learn and navigate is affected by these chemicals and their immune systems are damaged. Worms which perform the vital role of aerating soil lose their ability to tunnel. Birds may also be directly affected by contaminated seed.

We have been similarly careless with the overuse of antibiotics, causing us to be in the situation where we are only a tiny step ahead of the bacteria that inhabit our world and which cause so many nasty diseases.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Deal With It Poppy Meadow Event

We had our Poppy Meadow event at Deal Station event on Tuesday just between two heavy rain showers. 

Despite the weather we had a reasonable and engaged gathering of about 45-50 people to listen to music of the era provided by local group The Spinning Jennys and a varied collection of WW1 poems recited by local poets and members of the Deal Station Garden group.

The evening worked really well, with a real sense of community; which one participant twitted afterwards to us as being 'beautiful, moving & memorable'.

I was great to see commuters dropping in to listen to a poem or join in with verse of a WW1 song.

Adrian and Alan from garden group also had curated a collection of 20 poems on the platforms of the Station.

This is wide collection of the famous and not so famous, from a wide array of counties, by men, women and personal contemporary ones written locally.

Again it was lovely to see people halting to read a poem on the plaform before they took their thoughts home.

We are very grateful to those who recited poems with such feeling : Alan, Adrian, Geraldine, Jane and Sarah.

A big thank you to The Spinning Jennys (Rose, Sue, Susan and Shelia) who braved the conditions and got us all joining in the songs.

Thanks to Adrian O for MCing, Sue for the nibbles, Ros & Dave from the Garden group for the tidy up as well .

At the centre was our meadow which over 30 people had come together back in March to create.

Transforming a un-loved waste land into a bee friendly, cared for space and physically marking of the centenary of WW1.

All the Photos of the event can be found here

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Walmer Beach Huts Campaign

*** Latest: DDC have agreed to withdraw 9 of the Huts. The lobby of Walmer Parish Council on Weds 9th July is still going ahead see EKM posting today 7thJuly

Pete St Ange at the Walmer Sea Cafe and local residents has started a petition against the number and way DDC dumped 20 huts down on Walmer's iconic beach front this week.

The twenty huts appeared in the last week and were installed by Dover District Council after DDC planning committee discussed it and delegated it to officers back in their March Planning meeting despite several members voicing concern over parking and toilet facilities.

Planning application DOV/13/01007 had been discussed and rejected by the Parish Council earlier in December 2013.

The huts are reported in the EKM as being for rent at approx. £1,200 pa.

These huts are setup in a four deep array without much space in between to see or access the sea.

This is unlike the existing ones on the beach which are only one deep with good access to the sea & arguably enhance the view.

With an estimated cost of £34k means the council is planning to make about £85k over the next 5yrs.

So they could have afforded a better outcome with a bit more thought.

Pete has an photo opportunity with local press on Monday at 4pm on Walmer seafront and asking supporters to join him.

He is taking the campaign to the next Walmer Parish Council meeting 7pm on Weds 9th July (at WPC offices on The Strand).

All those are concerned are urged to pop down sign & distribute the petition.

I like Beach Huts. But these ones demonstrate a lack of imagination and lack of respect for our 'shared space' on the sea front.

LOVE YOUR LANDMARK volunteer day 12th July

LOVE YOUR LANDMARK (CENTRE) DEAL volunteer day on Saturday 12th July from 9am to 3pm. 

 If anyone would like to come and help us with cleaning, maintenance and decorating, clearing up some of the storage etc. they are very welcome. 

Folk can attend for an hour or two (or more if they want). 

There will be free tea and coffee for all volunteers.

High Street Deal

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Seedy Saturday 5th July

Another successful Seedy Saturday today in the Landmark Community Garden.

 Iam totally amazed how word-of-mouth and little bit of the internet gets the word out.

Lots of people turning up with swaps or donations of plants for the event. Thank you all for supporting the event.

A big thank you to the Sunshine Ukes - Deal's own Ukulele Band - who entertained us

We took donations of £37 for the gardens at the landmark and station

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deal Station Poppyfields event Tues 8th July 6:30pm

As we think the poppies will hit their maximum in our meadow area of the Deal Station Garden. So we are organising a quick event on Tuesday 8th July from 6:30pm with poems, music and reflection to mark the centenary of WW1. 

Back in March we decided to do something with the waste land next to the Ramsgate Plaform, in the Station Car Park and by the Telephone exchange (see that here). 

We put the call out and the regular Deal Station Gardeners were swelled by nearly 30 volunteers. The idea was to turn these unloved bits of land into pop-up poppy field meadows to make it more bee friendly, brighten up an eye-sore and remember WW1.

Adrian and Alan have put up about twenty WW1 poems on the platforms - some famous, mix of British, French and German poets will some local poets contributing as well

We will be on the Ramsgate side of the Station.... and just heard the Spinning Jennys will be coming to sing some WW1 tunes on tuesday

All Welcome.