Thursday, August 27, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th August 2015

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

It is becoming more and more obvious that we need to live with trees in our communities. It was in 1984 that Roger Ulrich discovered that hospital patients recovered more quickly from surgery if they had a view of trees from their room. Since then there has been a growing body of scientific evidence that has shown that health and, indeed, wealth benefits from trees in our cities.

In Toronto, recent research has shown that people living on tree-lined streets demonstrated health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a £6,000 rise in salary; studies have shown that many benefits occur, including improved mental health and lower rates of asthma.

Despite all the evidence to show that ‘trees are good for us’, no government department is actually responsible for the health of urban trees throughout our nation. Conversely, government owned woodland is looked after by the Forestry Commission. Urban trees remain the responsibility of local councils whose finances are stretched, often in too many directions, to include the health of their trees.

It has been shown that trees provide a valuable service to city streets and their inhabitants by absorbing carbon, removing pollution and storing rainwater allowing it to be evaporated by the sun rather than pouring straight down the drains. Trees that are near buildings reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer and even heating bills in winter.

It is vitally important for us to look after our trees and to ensure that their value is realised.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bee Fest @ Deal Seedy Saturday

We had a brilliant response today to our Seedy Saturday Bee Fest - we were busy before we officially opened.

Our stars were the Bees with Maggie and Chris from Dover Beekeepers - there was a real Buzz around their table!

Many thanks to all our DWI helpers: Imogen, Vicki, Sonja, Tony, Jane, Tracy, Sarah, Fiona and Steve.

Thanks also to all those who donated plants and our wonderful stall holders from Dover BeeKeepers, Deal FairTrade, Ansugan Recycled clothing, basket weaver Katherine Woodward and Lily & Sam with their bee-related produce from Bridge and of course the Sunshine Ukes who played for us.

Good to meet Chris from Dover Community Radio and thanks to Jayne for video bits and the support staff at the Landmark Centre for helping us setup.

We had £49 of donations.

Our Photos of the day are here

Friday, August 21, 2015

Community Energy South Annual Conference 25th Sept

Community Energy South is delighted to invite you to its third annual conference on 25th September in Lewes, which will explore the future of community-owned renewable energy in the south east.

Whether you are part of an established project generating clean energy for your local area, you are just starting out in the world of community energy, or you just want to find out what it's all about, this event is for you.

Featuring a programme of some of the country's leading community energy experts and policy makers, the conference will examine the challenges that lie ahead for community energy in the south east.

To reserve your space at what will be a truly fantastic and inspirational event, visit

The government is expected to publish its review of the Feed-in Tariff a few weeks before the conference, so the timing makes this a perfect opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the rapid changing policy landscape for renewable energy and, importantly, how it will impact on community energy.

Powering Our Communities is taking place as part of Community Energy Fortnight and will also feature sessions focusing on Community Energy South's core strategy of supply, energy efficiency, energy generation and training.

Speakers for the day include Darshana Ubl, the leading entrepreneur and author; Graham Ayling, Head of Foundation at the Energy Saving Trust; Chris Tomlinson, Development Manager for the E.ON Rampion Wind Farm near Newhaven; Dr. Alister Scott, Chair of the Cuckmere Community Solar Company; and Richard Watson from Energise Sussex Coast and the inspiration behind Big Energy Saving Network in Kent and Sussex.

Additional guest speakers and a full agenda will be announced shortly.

The events during the day are free to attend (including lunch and refreshments) to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy access to an fantastic range of speakers and community energy experts.

From 7pm - 9pm on the evening of Friday 25th September, Community Energy South will host an evening drinks reception at Pelham House with Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future, eminent writer and world-renowned broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development.

The reception will also feature insights from Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust Group, and Howard Johns, Chair of Ovesco.

The reception is a paid for event and will cost £8 in advance, or £10 on the door, and will include a free drink.

To book your tickets for what promises to be an inspirational evening, visit

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 20th August 2015

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

It is now accepted by 95% of the world’s scientific community that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. There is now so much evidence that it is difficult to think that there are still people around the world who do not accept the facts.

There has been a 0.85°C increase in temperature between the years1880 and 2012 and 2014 is the warmest year on record; 14 of the warmest years have occurred since the year 2000. There is expected to be a further increase of 5°C by the end of the century if no concentrated action is taken to limit carbon emissions. 2100 is the year when all fossil fuel use must be phased out.

We are heading towards the next round of climate negotiations due in Paris in November. Work has been going on behind the scenes for some time by ministers of the EU to set out a framework for negotiators to follow. The US and China have already announced targets for reducing climate polluting emissions and the G7 nations have pledged to gradually end fossil fuel use by the end of the century. US President Barack Obama recently announced many measures to replace the coal industry with renewable technologies

We can look to Paris as a good start but work needs to go on at ground level and ordinary people must continue to fight for their communities. East Kent may well see a resurgence of the movement towards fracking which must be stopped.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Trains4Deal Meeting at BoHo Sat 14th August from 2pm

You may be interested in an open meeting about promoting our rail service. It's at the Bohemian (Deal seafront pop Pier) at 2-5pm on Sat afternoon, 14th August 2015.

As you may know, Trains4Deal has long pressed Southeastern to actively promote off-peak travel TO Deal and Sandwich, both:
- to help create local jobs in the visitor economy
- to ensure that the ongoing viability of our high-speed service rests on a secure foundation of growing all-day and weekend usage as well as commuting towards London.

Our speaker, PHILIP CERVERA of local egency CREATIVE HEADS is working on improving Southeastern’s perception and image of this market; he’ll discuss what they’re trying to do and share resultsgso far. He’d welcome your views about what Southeastern can and should be doing.

Trains4Deal is hosting this meeting of Railfuture, the national rail campaigning group. The later part of the meeting will discuss other Kent issues - local visitors are welcome to make an excuse and leave for the later part.

All welcome - please just come to the upstairs room in the Bohemian.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kent Environmental Strategy 2015: consultation open to 25th Sept

KCC have a draft revision to the countywide Environmental Strategy which is under consultation to the 25th September.

Full details at KCC site:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 6th August 2015

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

It seems, of late, that our ‘greenest government ever’ is determined to remove or modify any measures that have been put in place to mitigate climate change while continuing to state that their aim is to limit climate warming to an increase of 2°C by 2020.

Despite a previous pledge to take strong action against climate change we continue to hear about the removal of subsidies from various renewable energy systems such as wind and solar and an increase in taxes on renewable energy. The plan to create zero carbon homes has been axed and a flagship energy efficiency scheme has been abandoned. Before the election there was a ban on fracking in Britain’s most important nature sites but this has been overturned and a ban on the use of pesticides damaging to bees has been lifted in some parts of the country. Swedish company Vattenfall has scrapped plans to build a wind farm in Lincolnshire because of changes to planning laws.

Changes to the laws on vehicle excise duty or road tax means that from 2017 a Porsche will be taxed the same as a Prius after the first year, thereby removing any incentive to buy a low emission car. Not only were none of these measures in the Conservative manifesto before the election but there have been no positive measures to help the health of the environment or to grow a low carbon economy and represents the worst period for environmental policy for 30 years

Monday, August 3, 2015

Next Deal Seedy Saturday - Bee Fest on Sat 22nd August Landmark Garden

The next Seedy Saturday plant and seed swap will be on Saturday 22nd August at the Landmark Garden, Deal High St. This one will have a BEE theme.

We have Dover Beekeepers coming to show easy it is to keep bees, what we all can do to support Bees and other pollinators in our gardens and array of bee-related products and hiney to sample.

We are asking people to bring some bee friendly plants to swap. All starts at 10:30am 

This is a  International Permaculture Convergence Kent edge event

BIG Lunch: Dover Roadshow, August 2015

BIG Lunch: Dover Roadshow, August 2015

Saturday, 8 August, 2015 - 10:00 - 17:00

A one-day event at Pines Calyx, near Dover, offering a mixture of practical and creative workshops, facilitated sessions and networking opportunities. It's an ideal follow-up event for Big Lunch Extras participants who live in the area, or a great way to dip your toe into our programme to see if it's for you.

Two ladies enjoying lunch together at a Big Lunch Extras community event

What's planned for this event?

  • Find Funding with Trevor Skelton, Community Projects Adviser from local not-for-profit specialists Case Kent.
  • Food for Free: Discover how to identify and prepare food for free as we go foraging with The Wild Kitchen’s founder Lucia Steward, a professional cook and food writer with an in-depth knowledge and love of wild plants and healthy, natural food.
  • Art for Free: This workshop with local artist Cheri Hadaway will offer an introduction to the craft of upcycling books into something completely different… perhaps a traditional English paper rose!
  • Bring a widget: We will be spending a bit of time at the camp talking about your ideas or projects and would love you to bring something with you that symbolises these – we like to call these items ‘widgets’. A widget can be anything you fancy – an object, a picture, a brochure or something that reflects your community project or ideas – you can be as imaginative as you like. If you can have this with you on the Saturday morning that would be great!
full details at