14 December 2010

Domestic Energy Assessments Coming Soon...

The energy assessment scheme that is being run by the Transition Town Wivenhoe Energy Group is beginning to take shape.

19 November 2010

Dum dum dee dum dum dee dum dum dee POND LIFE!!!

This time next year at Broomgrove wildife pond

Broomgrove Infant school is digging a brilliant wildlife pond to inspire the children to learn about the natural world, it's a big job and they've asked Transition Wivenhoe for help.

Willing hands are needed throughout the day on Tuesday, 30th November - Contact the school 01206 822141 for further instructions.

6 November 2010

What the Greens Didn't Get Wrong: DDT

On Thursday 4th November 2010 Channel 4 in the UK broadcast 'What the Green Movement Got Wrong' and specifically charged environmentalists with responsibility for prolonging Malaria for decades as a result of bans following apparently wrong-headed environmental campaigns against DDT.[1]

DDT is harmful to wildlife when introduced into the environment, but also is a useful tool for combating Malaria.[2]

Apparently the programme was even re-edited just before broadcast to scale back the accusations, which originally expressly laid the blame for 10s of millions of deaths directly at the door of Silent Spring author Rachel Carson and green campaign groups – parroting claims made by libertarian ideology groups in the US[3]. It's stunning rhetoric and a powerful warning as to the perils of communities, scientists and interest groups getting involved in decisions best left to big business and profit-makers. It's also fabricated nonsense from start to finish.

There was no such worldwide ban on DDT, the chemical has seen continued and widespread use in agriculture and disease control in developing countries throughout. Instead there were partial agricultural restrictions in the US. Sometimes us foreigners like to jest that yanks have trouble differentiating between America and the entire rest of the world; well, tee-hee-hee. The UK and a handful of developed European nations also joined with limited agricultural restrictions of their own. That was the sum of global statutory restrictions until 168 international governments ratified the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants, which came into force not decades ago, but in 2004; Annex B of which green-lights the continued use of DDT for disease control[4].

In reality, through decades of hard campaigning, what the green movemnet achieved was to highlight devastating environmental damage that spurred policy makers and scientists from a broad representation of fields to deliver sensible legislation that protects our environment and promotes best practice for disease control. Instead of what the bent propaganda from the poisonous, divisive and largely US politicking would have you believe, a generation of environmental campaigners have plenty to be proud of. Channel 4 should set the record straight.

Contact Channel 4
Contact Of-com

  1. www.channel4.com/programmes/what-the-green-movement-got-wrong 6/11/10

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT 6/11/10

  3. www.google.com/search?q=ddt+millions+death 6/11/10

  4. chm.pops.int/default.aspx 6/11/10

30 October 2010

GHOSTBUSTERS on the Quay!!

Don't miss the Revolutionary Pedal Powered Cinema experience.

Outdoors on the Quay Sunday 31st October 6pm GHOSTBUSTERS!!!

Bring a chair/wear spooky gear if you wish.

FREE event, though donations for Moving Image and Transition Town Wivenhoe will be welcome.

Pedallers will be needed!

Children should be accompanied by a grown up.

27 October 2010

Juliet's Hens are Happy Bunnies!

Update from Juliet re. her chickens:

Well, I did have 5 chucks but Mr Fox is not only cunning but apparently a latch cracker!! I now have 4 (with plans to increase stock) This is due to the poor design on my new hen house which involved a simple push and turn latch that was fitted so that it slid upwards!! This has been easily remedied by fitting a second latch that works with gravity, sliding downwards – outfoxing the fox!!  This is something that buyers of hen houses need to be aware of.  The great news is that my hens are happy bunnies laying away.  I am getting an average of 3 eggs a day and keeping them is the easiest thing I’ve ever done for such a terrific reward.  I keep a hopper full of food pellets, a bowl of grit and a washing up bowl full of water.  I often throw then a scoop of corn which they love and is very entertaining – boy, can hens run!!  They feed themselves, put themselves to bed and get themselves up (a prime model for my teenage son!) My main duty is to refill the hopper and water every few days and muck out the roosting loft regularly.  I have just been out to collect my eggs and 2 of them are still hot! 

26 October 2010

Chicken 100 Part Two

Chicken 100 is going really well, so well, in fact, that Jon Scales is inundated with requests to join the group. There are still places available but contact Juliet instead, on julietmckenzie@btinternet.com, telephone: 01206 820718. Be quick to be in the first wave of Wivenhoe egg producers.

Happy henning!

24 October 2010

Pedal Powered GHOSTBUSTERS!!!

Transition Town Wivenhoe, Moving Image and the Revolutionary Pedal Powered Cinema invite you to watch GHOSTBUSTERS Sunday 31st October, 6pm on the Quay outside the Nottage.

Bring a chair and wear something spooky if you wish! Children should be accompanied by a grown up.

Donations welcome, proceeds to Transition Town Wivenhoe and Moving Image.

Don't miss a chance to see great films in Wivenhoe at the Nottage Film Club, and in Wivenhoe and at the University of Essex with Moving Image

14 October 2010

Energy Assessor Training - Saturday 13th November

I'm delighted to announe the date of the Transition Town Wivenhoe energy assessor training - it is Saturday 13th November from 10 - 2 and is free.

12 October 2010

Chicken 100

Have you ever thought of owning chickens but just didn't know where to start? We aim to get 100 Wivenhoe households to have chickens. Initially, we are looking for five households who would like to give it a go. Expert advice will be given, and the group will help each other to source and build inexpensive chicken houses and runs. There are all sorts of reasons why you should join this brilliant new venture. Read the 'Every Egg Matters information sheet below to find out. Then, if you do decide you'd like to join in, contact Jon Scales or Juliet McKenzie on the numbers below.

3 October 2010


We had a fabulous time picking blackberries and making jam and here are the pictures to prove it.

Click on the 'more' button below to see the rest!

24 September 2010

Green Woodworking course in Tendring

Green Woodworking workshop in Essex 24th October 2010


We are planning a course to take place in our 8 acre ancient woodland here in Tendring (Essex) working with green wood with pole lathe, cleaving, bodging etc. The tutor is  experienced woodwright Robin Fawcett (his website - http://www.treewright.co.uk/index.html)

with assistants and the course would be limited to 5 trainees. Cost would be about £80 including lunch and drinks. Let me know if you are interested; chris@ecodiy.org

12 September 2010

Wiv Youth Club needs Volunteers!

Wivenhoe's volunteer run youth club, The Hub, needs more volunteers, click on image to enlarge information and contact them today if you want to find out more about helping out!

26 August 2010

Open Weekend @ Clacton Eco House, EcoDIY

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September 10.00am to 5.00pm, free entry.

People are welcome to come and look round our ongoing project to convert our 1930s bungalow into a low carbon/low cost eco house. 
We can talk to people about growing our own food in our organic deep bed vegetable  garden and our experience with solar hot water and solar electricity generating panels.  Visitors can see our systems for using wood for cooking and heating the house. We can also show visitors our reed bed for water recycling, outdoor pizza oven, hens, bees and much more besides. 
EcoDIY is at 193 Burrs Rd Clacton CO15 4LN    Phone 01255 254548
See www.ecodiy.org for more details

Do contact Chris or Rosie for more information
All the best
My contact details
193 Burrs Rd
Clacton-on-sea CO15 4LN
01255 254548
This e-mail has been sent using electricity generated from renewable sources

posted by Jo

31 July 2010

Station Garden Curry!

The overwhelming verdict of the station house garden marrow curry, cooked up by Kaushali yesterday. This has been a much watched and commented on vegetable over the weeks as walkers, cyclists, commuters, garden helpers and station staff have witnessed the little courgette turn into a fine marrow.

Even Wendy the station cat seemed to have an opinion, though perhaps a slightly dim one as she has had to shift her sun bathing spot as the monster plants have slowly taken over her space. Watch out as the winter squash are next to surprise and delight...along with the fantastic sunflowers of course.

Over 40 bowls of veggie curry and handmade rolls were dished up to surprised passers by, a few commuters who made the time to stop and some Station Pub regulars, along with food group activists who set up the stall outside the entrance to platform 1.

Get in touch with Petra if you want to get involved with food group activities, petramcqueen@gmail.com

posted by Jo

19 July 2010

Wild Cherry & Plum (Chum?) Jam

Mwikali made some jam with Wivenhoe's wild cherries and plums and tastings at the Farmers' Market stall last Saturday gave it the 'very yummy' rating...

The Food Group will be running food re-skilling activities starting in the autumn, where you can learn about keeping chickens, making preserves or wild fruit foraging and lots more! If you are not already on the TTW circulation list, sign up now so you don't miss out on news, by emailing info@transitionwivenhoe.co.uk

posted by Jo

15 July 2010

Food Group Meeting

We had a fantastic Food Group Meeting on Monday with new members: Ruth, Michelle and Kaushali. It was great to have their ideas and skills around the table.

Some of the things we are going to do include:

  • a food mapping exercise, headed up by Kaushali.
  • investigate whether we can use council land to grow more vegetables.
  • setting up our stall at the Farmers' Market this Saturday.
  • creating a calendar of events from a chicken keeping talk to a cook-off at the Station Master's garden.

    As there was so much to talk about we've agreed to meet up again in two weeks time on the Monday 26th July. All are welcome, as usual.

11 June 2010

It's Rocketing down at the Garden!

A first crop of rocket from the station house garden, given to the station staff who were very appreciative.
Kind donations of pumpkin and courgette have been planted up and more runner beans to replace the ones killed by the cold weather...
Posted by Picasa

28 May 2010


Come and see us at this year's MAY FAIR, Monday 31st May 12 - 6pm on the KGV playing fields. Entry by donation... great bands, stalls, beer tent, food  etc.
Please come on foot, by bike or public transport, info on the website below.

We are running a bike powered cinema tent in partnership with the Reel Appeal, showing loads of fantastic short films. Hope to see you there!

posted by Jo

23 May 2010


From the Brightlingsea Chronicle:
Council opposes loss of public open space
Wivenhoe Town Council has expressed great concern about plans by Elmstead Parish Council to sell the large grassy area opposite Millfields School for development.
The ownership of this public open space dates back to the time when the Dene Park Estate, which includes this land, fell within the Elmstead Parish. In 1996 following parish boundary changes the Dene Park Estate became the responsibility of Wivenhoe Town Council and Colchester Borough Council, but Elmstead Parish Council retained ownership of this piece of land.
However, say Wivenhoe Town Council, Elmstead Parish Council is legally bound to retain this site as public open space, having signed a legally binding document to that effect with the developers of the Dene Park estate in 1984.
Wivenhoe Town Councillor Cyril Liddy, chairman of the council's planning committee, told the Brightlingsea Chronicle, "Open space in Wivenhoe is quite limited. There is not a great deal of open space where children can play, people can walk their dogs and local residents can enjoy recreational pursuits The town council, therefore, is very concerned about this possible development."
Councillor Neil Lodge, Mayor of Wivenhoe, said "selling off this site would mean the loss of open space, and building houses there would put  further strain on Wivenhoe's already inadequate infrastructure. "Wivenhoe Town Council strongly opposes this move, and we will attempt to stop it via any legal means, so as to protect the best interests of the people of Wivenhoe. We are encouraging local residents who feel strongly about this issue to make their views known, politely but clearly, to Elmstead Parish Council at: elmsteadparish@btconnect.com

posted by Jo
  NB suggest CC your email to WTC wivenhoe_council@btconnect.com

25 April 2010

Open Wood Afternoon and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) wood fuel

From: ChrisJS <chris@drumdance.co.uk>
We are having an 'Open Wood' afternoon at our wood (8.5 acre ancient
coppice woodland) in Tendring, Sunday 2nd May 2.00 till 5.00 and we are
interested in talking to people about CSA (Community Supported
Agriculture) wood fuel. Do drop me an email if you want to come

All the best

Blog: http://ecodiy-chrisjs.blogspot.com/
My contact details
193 Burrs Rd
Clacton-on-sea CO15 4LN

18 April 2010

The first potato

Here is the first spud being planted at the station master's garden; great work Barnaby :)

If anyone has a water butt they could donate or loan we would be very grateful, call 827649.

posted by Jo

Digging holes and thinking of cake.

Had a great afternoon at the Station Master's garden yesterday. Took Barnaby along, who being five, was greatly interested in digging holes. We put him to work and he planted all of our potatoes and, still keen, dug holes where the tomato plants are going to go.

The grown-ups did a lot of chatting. The weather was beautiful and, without vapour trails, the sky seemed an infinite blue.

31 March 2010

If at first you don't succeed......

It's been a while - as much as it's my plan to simplify life - it is a long term goal, so for now it's still busy busy busy - must keep working on that energy descent plan :-). I can hear you groan when I start to talk about this, so sorry to mention the 'C' word

25 March 2010

Off the Rails (1)

I felt a bit as though I was on a youth offenders’ programme as we began to dig the Stationmaster’s garden. We were on show, out in the community, pulling up turf and turning over the soil.

22 March 2010

A film for Earth Hour, March 27th 8pm

        You are invited to a revolutionary bicycle powered film
        screening on Wivenhoe Quay on Saturday 27th March to mark WWF's
        'Earth Hour',  starting at 8:00pm.

20 March 2010

What a day! (Farmers' Market and 'Off the Rails')

Huddling under the great tree outside the Farmers’ Market, we called to people walking past, “Free seeds here! We’re doing a seed swap.”
“A what?”

12 March 2010

Community-supported Agriculture and buying groups Event

Open Invitation

The NGO Clinic at Essex Business School and the interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society, both based at the University of Essex, would like to invite you to the following free event:

"Local Food in and around Colchester: Community-supported Agriculture and buying groups"
Tuesday, 23 March, 7.30pm at Lion Walk United Reform Church, Colchester

19 February 2010

Journal of a soul in transition

18th February 2010 - Eco Balls and Insulation
I switched my electricity supplier over to ‘Good Energy’ recently – they’re 100% renewable. I’ll be paying a bit more but it feels good to do it, so I’ll find a way to work it into my budget.
Ages ago I bought those Eco-balls to replace the use of washing powder.

16 February 2010

Green wood working course

Green Wood Working Course

We are planning a course to take place in our 8 acre ancient woodland here
in Tendring (Essex) working with green wood with pole lathe, cleaving,
bodging etc.

11 February 2010

carbon feetprints

I finally got round to calculating my carbon footprint recently . . . . interesting. I used the Guardian's calculator:

It's there on the website to enable people to assess what changes they could make in order to reduce their carbon footprint by 10% in 2010 — that's the 10:10 campaign that Bob M. mentioned in his blog on 29 Nov.

30 January 2010

food group

Well, today was our first taste of donning our wellies and getting out into the gardens of Wivenhoe! It's just so nice to get out there and start being physical (I've been such a couch potato :-)


Hello again and just a quick update on Transition Wivenhoe activities since the last newsletter.

6 January 2010

Transition Talk Training

Colchester Borough Council is hosting a one day "Transition Talk Training" course for those wishing to learn how to give an effective talk on Transition.