About Us


We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

NEWS AND RELATED EVENTS... Common Room - Low Carbon Cookbook - Magdalen-Augustine Celebration - Norwich FarmShare - Transition Free Press 4 - Visions for Change -On the Blog Harvest: Looking in the Archive 2009-2013 - Flight of the Butterflies - Where We Are Now

Friday, December 31, 2010

Transition Circle West

Transition Circle West is open to anyone living in the west of Norwich who is interested in living a low carbon life. The group meets twice monthly in each others houses. Meetings always involve a bring and share meal and then go onto the theme for the night, which can be anything from low carbon holidays to energy in the home, from growing your own to natural remedies. This year we also plan to have some practical meetings on topics such as foraging and bicycle maintenance. Part of what the group does is share stories and experiences of how each of us lives, what is working, what is difficult, real lives making real changes. It is lovely to share food and stories with others who are on the same path as you.

The initial idea was to form neighbourhood groups - as each group attracts new members and grows too large to fit in a living room - it splits into two. However, we tried this and it is difficult to split it at the right place and keep the momentum of numbers, so for meantime we have decided to go for a more active group, meeting more regularly.

If you would like to join our friendly group then get in touch with Helen Pallett at mshelenpallett@gmail.com

Photo: digging at Teresa and Pete's - Transition Circle West, July 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Good News from Norwich Co-Housing Group

Good news from Norwich Cohousing group: they're in discussion with a local developer about a site for their project. The location of the site is in walking distance of the city centre, in a pleasant residential area with schools, shops and workplaces nearby. There are allotments not too far away, and woodland and countryside within easy reach. Cohousing can best be described as an 'intentional neighbourhood' - a cluster of houses and flats that share communal facilities and gardens, and encourage residents to get to know each other. By keeping cars to the edge of the scheme, open space can be used for play areas, veg plots or sitting-out areas. Different ages and backgrounds can mix, exchange skills and support each other.

The buildings themselves will be as energy efficient as possible. The plot of land under discussion was already earmarked for 30 units, which is an ideal size for cohousing. House prices, hopefully, will be typical of properties in the area, and there may be some privately rented units available.

Anyone interested in finding out more should sign up as a Friend of Norwich Cohousing (from the website) or contact Lucy Hall on 01603 613440http://www.norwichcohousing.org.uk/

Springhill Co-housing in Stroud, Glos.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

REPORTS: Carbon Conversations

I am now mid-way through my very local 'carbon conversations' meetings. It's very local because it's being held in a house about 400 yards from where I live, although a couple of the other 6 participants come from more rural Norfolk.

The course is designed for participants to ask themselves questions, in a convivial atmosphere, about their own lifestyles and beliefs, and about policy issues which have a bearing on carbon output. So far we have looked at 'low carbon futures', energy in the home, and travel and transport. The meetings are enlivened by some practical board games we play, to illustrate how our footprints are broken down, and how things might change too. Of particular practical significance is the possibility of free loans of energy monitors, and very useful tips for cheap ways of reducing household energy bills and emissions. It's well put together and the workbook, which comes with it all, has yet more practical advice on what we can actually do. (Chris Hull)

Carbon conversations are happening in different locations in Norwich, including UEA. For further information contact Christine Way at http://www.blogger.com/training@transitionnorwich.org or call 01603 614460

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Norfolk Electric Vehicle Conversion Club (NEVCC)

Calling all people interested in converting their car or a donor petrol car to battery power.

Swap your nasty oil burning engine for a nice clean electric motor and batteries. The average range will be between 30-50 miles in between charges depending on the original car and the batteries used.

What is NEVCC?
I have long wanted to convert a petrol car to battery power but have never got round to it due to various financial and practical reasons, plus a smattering of procrastination. I have also spoken to people with the same aspirations and they too had various reasons why it was not possible for them. So, I thought, why not get an interested group together to pool our knowledge and resources to achieve this goal.

What do we need?
A group of people each with one or more of the following things: (In no particular order.)

- enthusiasm/energy/time/willingness to learn
- mechanical skills
- electronics skills
- a car to convert
- Electric Vehicle (EV) Knowledge
- A workshop/garage/barn
- Funds.

I have mechanical and EV knowledge and tools. If you are interested email me at the following address and we can go from there.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome to our December News!

Winter has arrived big time and so here are some reasons to be cheerful. We’re having a Christmas Party on 22 December and everyone is invited. It’s a bring-your-own event so wrap up and come bearing gifts. Bring-and-share is theme of the month as The Low Carbon Cookbook gathers its one planet community recipes, the Permaculture crew fair-share in each other’s gardens and kitchens and exciting developments unfold in the Co-housing Group. And don’t miss a new Transport initiative revving up with the all Norfolk Electric Vehicle Conversion Club.

Norwich Community Agriculture are meanwhile looking forward - visioning some new plans for their sites in Postwick and the Hewett school, planting trees and getting ready for the first Spring sowing. For February they have organised a “Dragon Dreaming” workshop on how to run successful projects. Book well ahead!

Right now as the world summit on Climate Change takes place in Mexico and everyone gears up to the National March to Parliament on Saturday, we're dealing with all kinds of power issues in our neighbourhood Transition Circles and Carbon Conversations. Last Saturday Norwich’s Zero Carbon Concert was held in an unheated St Thomas Hall and was a great success (resilient community or what!)

On the blog, This Low Carbon Life we’ve all been seriously into weather, celebrating seasonal shifts in our first Autumn photoblog and this week looking at different faces of Climate Change, the personal and the political. In between we’ve considered a shocking affair, well-being in the time of peak oil, sustainable washing, learned to love numbers and began our first Transition Themes week. Keep sharing. Keep warm! (Text: Charlotte Du Cann Photobanners: Mark Watson).

TRANSITION CIRCLES - Hethersett - 1 December

Transition Circle Hethersett took part in an event organized by the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) on Saturday, along with the Energy Saving Trust. Heavy snow meant that not many people were about but the cold weather focussed people’s minds on the rising cost of energy and the need to conserve it! HEAT has been active in Hetheresett for many years and promotes a wide range of topics - including wildlife conservation, litter picking, and energy efficiency.

We will be meeting to talk about Food Packaging and Bulk Buying—at 19:00 on Wed 1st December at 42 Sheffield Road, Wymondham, NR18 0LZ (very limited car parking but Number 14 and 15 bus stop is close by).

Future discussions will include—Waste, Economy and how Local Planning can best encourage low carbon lifestyles. Contact Erik by email or John on 07979 800659

Photo and text by John Heaser

WINTER FESTIVITIES: Ceilidh - 15 December

Many people will remember the John Preston Tribute band that played at the TN party last year. John and some his friends will return in December but this time playing a very different type of music when The News Of The Victory play for a ceilidh at Keir Hardie Hall. NOTV is one of the most unusual ceilidh bands and are at the rock end of the folk rock spectrum. You can hear them at http://www.thenewsofthevictory.co.uk/ and details of the dance are at http://www.reeldance.org.uk/ . TN people will be there – come and join us for a fun evening! (John Heaser)

National Climate March - 4 December

March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain

In the period of the CANCUN UN negotiations on climate change - the first post Copenhagen UN meeting - this is a global day of action on climate.

If you would like to go to London and need info on car-share or find people to link up with contact Trevor Phillips (07794 690322) NorwichCACC@live.co.uk

http://www.campaigncc.org/ www.stopclimatechaos.org/

If you can't get to London there is another vital event happening in Norwich on this day - The Great Norfolk Anti-Cuts Demo assembling at 12 noon in Chapelfield Gardens.

The anti-cuts momentum is the current battleground for more sensible policies from the government and Norfolk County Council : it includes demands for 'a Million Climate Jobs' - instead of slashing public services and tax revenues. An alternative budget is described by the Norfolk campaign, which seeks to link all progressive forces in Nofolk in demands for jobs, protecting services and a new greener direction. There is also a pledge you can sign. www.norfolkcoalitionagainstcuts.org/

TRANSITION CIRCLES - Earlham South - 7 December

After our practical sessions gardening and wood chopping we decided to have a couple of meetings discussing attitudes towards climate change and whether GM crops and nuclear power have a role as 'solutions' to climate change issues as advocated by some environmentalists. A very lively debate ensued with the scientists amongst us expressing less concern about GM foods than the non-scientists. There was more consensus about the disadvantages of nuclear power outweighing the advantages.

We are meeting next on 7th December at 7.00 at 21 Amderley Drive. We will be talking about how to have a green Christmas and also planning activities for 2011 so people are encouraged to bring their diaries along. We will start as usual with shared food (Anne Dismorr).

Low Carbon Cookbook - 11 January

We began our first month-by-month chapter with November veg and recipes. According to the New York Magazine Vegetables Are the New Meat and we have all been coolly savouring the unusual veg of winter – black kale, celeriac, purslane, squash, quince, rose hips - and building our dishes around them and making fiery sauces with our home-grown chillies.

After our cookup of Moroccan styled 7 Legumes with quinoa and chickpeas (including Erik’s giant fennel) and a Jerusalem artichoke soup we asked ourselves the question: If you could only have six items from outside the UK in your kitchen, what would they be?

Tough call. What would life be like without olive oil, lemons, black pepper, durum wheat pasta, Basmati rice. . ? Several key outsourced items from the meal we’re going to be looking at for our ecological and carbon footprint index, as well as that often unsustainable and unkindly produced dairy staple, yogurt.

We’re also starting to log our sessions in the blog. This month TN's LC cooks began our Norwich sustainable outlets section talking with Robert of Folland Organics in Norwich Market and our resources section with a review of the key investigation into the corporate control of our food system, Felicity Lawrence's Eat Your Heart Out. And if you missed it the first time round check out Elena's thought-provoking piece on food ethics, Food by Numbers - how to eat with your heart as well as your head. Food is not just for Christmas.

For more details about the Low Carbon Cookbook contact Charlotte Du Cann on rootsshootsandseeds@hotmail.co.uk

Dragon Dreaming - Creating Outrageously Successful Projects -18/20 February

"Dragon Dreaming is a way of making our dreams come true by running outrageously successful and transformative projects." It's an approach and a set of tools for delivering bold projects that empowers everyone involved; engages their own dreams, energy and growth; and aligns us with the Earth and the call for a Great Turning. "All of us are at the edge of a chasm between who we are and who we might become. How do we maximise our creative potentials on a scale never attempted before? Dragon Dreaming shows us a way."

Many people will remember John Croft from the wildly-oversubscribed workshops he ran at the 2009 Transition Conference in Battersea. On 18-20 February (starting at 7:30 on the Friday) Transition Norwich are hosting John for an "Introduction to Dragon Dreaming" weekend - designed to give you enough information to use the Dragon Dreaming approach for your own project. See www.dragondreaming.info, http://dragondreamingtraining.blogspot.com/ or http://lebenskunst-bodensee.de/dragon-dreaming-2/dragon-dreaming/ for more information.

The cost of the Norwich course will be from £95 to £190, depending on your circumstances. Accommodation is not included but we hope to find local hosts for non-local participants. We need to secure enough participants BY JANUARY 21st to cover costs, so please book early. Email tully@transitionnorwich.org for more info / bookings.

REPORTS - Zero Carbon World Concert

On Saturday evening last, 27th November, we held the first Norwich concert at St Thomas’ Church Hall on Earlham Rd.

We were very nervous about attendance as only a few people bought tickets in advance, and the forecast was freezing weather with snow and ice....

The snow and ice caused delays all round, and it took us a while to figure out how to work the hi-tech switches to turn off the hall lights! When we eventually started the concert we had only about 20 people, but they just kept coming, and in the end we had 60-70 in all.

We heard great music from Teleri & Kiama, Jimmy & the Magic Shoe, Vic Salter, Ruth Gordon & Friends, Tom Foxe and Andrea.

A single bicycle generator provided power for two lighting strings and a sound system, with just a brief hiccup when the load proved a little too much, so we turned our lights off and asked our cyclist to pedal a bit harder! After we took a few bulbs out we switched our lights back on and had no more trouble. Having only a few lights made a really nice intimate atmosphere which added to the enjoyment of the evening.

Icy roads meant some bus services were suspended, forcing some people to use cars and taxis. Hall lighting had to be used some of the time, and power was needed to heat the soup – cold soup doesn’t really hit the spot! So we didn’t quite achieve zero carbon. But we all felt the concert had been a great success, and a good springboard from which to launch successful Zero Carbon events in the future.

Many thanks to Chris Keene – Zero Carbon World Concerts were his idea and he worked hard to help make them happen – see Zero Carbon World Concert. Thanks also to: Musicians, who gave their time freely, Tom Foxe: For sound, light and music, Teleri Lea: For posters, music and recruitment of other musicians, Lesley Grahame: For much-appreciated hot soup and fruit juice, St Thomas’ vicar Philip Young and Claire Everson for their help and support (Tom Foxe).

RELATED EVENTS : Bicycle Shenanigans - 11 December

Otesha East are planning a whole day of fun to raise money for the l Otesha Project UK a youth-led organisation that's mobilising young people to create social and environmental change through our everyday actions. And it is all taking place downstairs atg the Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street on Saturday 11th December.

From 12-4 there will be amazing activities such as learning to fix punctures and make tetrapak wallets and bicycle tyre belts, fun games, a lucky dip, cakes and preserves and clothes and book swapping.
From 7 till late there will be a party featuring music from the amazing Cakes and Ale, Teleri and more. As well as a wandering magician... Entrance in the evening is a suggested donation of £5.

So come and have a fantastic day with the added feel good glow of raising money for the wonderful Otesha project.

For more info please contact Kerry - kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com

Christmas Party! - 22 December

You are warmly invited to this years Transition Norwich Christmas Party on Wednesday 22nd December at 7.00pm.

This year Christine is kindly letting us have it at the lovely Inner Space - directions can be found here.

It is a bring-your-own party, so please bring some food to share, any drinks you want, your own crockery and cutlery and some festive cheer. We will provide some music and there will also be a clothes/gift swap too, so bring along your unwanted clothes and gifts and leave with some you do want!

We very much hope to see you there for low carbon festivities. (Kerry and Elena)

Photo: www.thegreenparent.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TRANSITION CIRCLES: Earlham North - 30 November

This month we had a wide ranging discussion on money all the way from the global economy down to our individual savings. We inevitably discussed the spending review, but we also discussed alternatives to money and how sharing things is a great way to save money and the planet. We also thought that there should be another level of economy between the government and the household so that you could make decisions at something like a street level.

Next month we will be talking about personal hygiene! A rather taboo topic in modern society where the adverts tell us what we should want, but does everyone wash their hair with herbal essences under a waterfall? We shall be enjoying our bring and share feast and discussion at 6.30 on Tuesday 30th November at Lucinda's house. If you live in this area and would like to join us then we would love to meet you, just email Kerry on kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com.

OTHER TRANSITION CIRCLES: Transition Circle Hethersett meets on 1 December; Earlham South meets on 7 December (see calendar for details of all meetings).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LOOKING AHEAD: Winter festivities - 15 and 21 December

Many people will remember the John Preston Tribute band that played at the TN party last year. John and some his friends will return in December but this time playing a very different type of music when The News Of The Victory play for a ceilidh at Keir Hardie Hall. NOTV is one of the most unusual ceilidh bands and are at the rock end of the folk rock spectrum. You can hear them at http://www.thenewsofthevictory.co.uk/ and details of the dance are at http://www.reeldance.org.uk/ . TN people will be there – come and join us for a fun evening!

It sounds very much like a winter party might just be on the way too... watch this space. If you'd like to get involved in planning it, please email elena on kezzycat@hotmail.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

REPORTS: Core Group Changes

At its October meeting the outgoing members of the Core Group began the process of handing over to an almost entirely new group. Chris, Christine, Jane, Alex and Tully have all decided to step aside. We thank them all for all they’ve done in starting and supporting Transition Norwich over the last 3 years. Fortunately Tom stays on, while Jane and Alex have agreed to attend a couple more meetings to smooth over the transition. Elena, Kerry, Liz and James were the new faces trying on the Core Group for size, and we hope that some or all of them will decide to join the group and make it more valuable than ever to Transition Norwich.

New members are always welcome, so if you are active in Transition Norwich and are interested in joining the core group then let Kerry know (kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com).

Original core member Chris Hull leads Celeste, the Transition Dragon, at the Lord Mayor's Procession, 2009

Friday, November 19, 2010

Zero Carbon Concert - 27 November

Climate campaigners have organised a zero carbon world concert on the eve of the next UN climate summit to demonstrate that a zero carbon world is both achievable and fun. The concert will consist of a number of events all over the world – in England, Wales, Holland, Italy, Poland, Sierra Leone, China, Australia and the USA.

The summit begins on 29 November and there will be an event in Norwich on 27 November featuring Vic Salter, Pedalo, Ruth Gordon and Jimmy and the Magic Shoe in the St Thomas Church Hall, Earlham Rd. It will be acoustic so that it causes no carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, people will be encouraged to travel to the event without emitting carbon. They are asked to walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of driving – unless they have an electric car powered by green electricity, or a diesel vehicle using waste vegetable oil. Also, the venue will be unheated - we've asked them to turn off the gas central heating - so dress accordingly!

N.B. Norwich Critical Mass Bike Ride is on Friday 26th, NOT Saturday 27th as stated in error on some Zero Carbon Concert posters. Concert organisers apologise for this error.

Tickets are £2 in advance (from Chris Keene, 01603 614535, 07801 250982 chris.keene@tiscali.co.uk) or £3 on the door. You can have a look at the website for the zero carbon world concert for a zero carbon world at http://www.zerocarbonconcert.org/

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Low Carbon Cookbook - 23 November

Six of us met for our second Cookbook meeting at Christine’s. We had a great cook up with seasonal veg and fruit in Christine's big North African pan and planned out the book, the way gardeners and permaculturists do: by thinking ahead. We decided to map our cooking and growing year beginning today, paying attention to everything that goes into the pot.

Afterwards we looked at the ingredients we had brought and their provenance: Erik’s exotic prickly achocha, nasturtium flowers and rainbow chard home-grown in Hethersett, Christine’s garlic and tomatoes from her terrace, leeks from a market garden near Mark, a bunch of fragrant herbs from outside Charlotte's door, apples and blackberries from Bee's orchard in Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk potatoes, courgettes and flat beans from Norwich market's Folland’s Organics, We shared gifts: out-of-date walnut and avocado oils, cous cous salad from the Green Grocer, sweet chestnuts gathered from Thetford forest. We shared resources: Felicity Lawrence's incisive investigation into supermarket food Not On The Label, documentaries The Power of Community and A Farm for the Future, David Gershon's visionary Social Change 2.0 and Masanobu Fukuoka's no-till agriculture classic The One Straw Revolution.

We talked organic, vegetarian, meat, fish, freegan, industrial! And how we saw The Low Carbon Cookbook taking shape over the coming year, who would focus on what areas. For a full write up of the day see Mark's blog.

If you would like to get involved with this project come to our next meeting! We're planning to write "information boxes" on all aspects of the food production, including a directory of local resources and recipes with ecological footprints. Contact: Charlotte Du Cann rootsshootsandseeds@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, November 12, 2010

Creating a vision of Norwich Community Agriculture - 24 November

Norwich Community Agriculture is the name (for now at least!) of the new co-op we're setting up to run the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme and the School Market Garden. But what else is it? What else will it be doing two, five, or ten years from now? And also, what kind of organisation do we want it to be? How should it enhance the natural environment, support the people of Norwich, or look after its employees? How should it be managed? What do we want to contribute to it in terms of time or other resources? And what do we want to get out of it such as learning new skills, finding employment or widening our social groups?

These and all other possible questions will be dreamed about, discussed and determined on Wednesday November 24th, 7:30pm at the Baptist Church on Duke Street. If you're at all interested in getting involved in NCA, come along, and bring your wildest dreams with you.

For full update of the NCA see Transition Themes Week (18 November) on This Low Carbon Life.

NCA - Job opportunity for grower / farm manager

Norwich Community Agriculture - the food producing co-op that has emerged out of Transition Norwich - is seeking a full time grower / farm manager to run our two organic vegetable growing sites – a 4-acre CSA and a 2-acre school market garden.

We are looking for someone with strong organic horticulture skills and ideally some experience of growing at a market garden scale. It will be a hands-on job but also involve managing casual staff. Ideally candidates will be able to drive a tractor, undertake HACCP assessments etc but we can provide training in these aspects as necessary. Salary up to 20k, starts February 2011. For more information and a job pack see http://www.eafl.org/.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Transition Singalongs

The idea has bubbled up (in more than one head) that Transition needs more singing! We're looking to start it up soon, and we'll need people who like to sing. It doesn't matter how creaky, rusty or just plain flat your voice is- enthusiasm is all that really matters.

If you'd be interested in joining in, please email Kerry on kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com

Mark and Erik connecting with the ancestors at the Transition Circles Summer Solstice Party 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Welcome to our November News 2010!

Welcome to our all systems-go November edition. We're heading towards winter but our wood fires are burning bright and the city trees fiery with colour. The Food and Farming projects at Postwick and the Hewett School are breaking new ground as work begins in our two market gardens. As we enter the new growing year, food and plants are definitely the gathering point: The Low Carbon Cookbook Coop begin their seasonal food mapping today, a new Permaculture group has sprung up exchange growing ideas and good practice and the TN annual Seed Swap takes place at the Bluebell Allotments this weekend. Don't miss!

As the world summit on Climate Change approaches at the end of the month in Mexico, carbon reduction is back into focus: on 5/6 November groups from all of the UK are lobbying MPs, while our third cycle of Carbon Conversations are happening all over the city, including UEA and County Hall, and our home-grownTransition Circles enter their second year.

Meanwhile the TN blog This Low Carbon Life enters Year Two in high spirits: our new features week has been considering Waste - upcycling, recycling, bio diesel, food and incendiary incinerators - and we celebrated our first creative year in a fortnight where everyone chose their top posts and pictures.

And talking of festivities, here’s a great reminder of the firework of the year, the Magdalen Street Celebration. Keep an eye out for our upcoming sing-along, ceilidh, and winter party!

Text: Charlotte Du Cann, Prodution: Mark Watson, Design: Andy Croft

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carbon Conversations - 8 November

An inspiring, practical 6 session course on low-carbon living. Designed by Cambridge Carbon Footprint, it engages people both emotionally and practically and was recently featured in the Guardian as one of the 20 best Climate Change solutions. Most members reduce their CO2 emissions by 1 tonne during the course and develop plans to halve their footprints over a longer period. £20.

Monday 8th November 10.30 -12.30 Anne Dismorr and Christine Way in the Golden Triangle or

Monday 1st November 19.15-21.30 on Ipswich Road, to be held fortnightly. If anyone wants info Tel Lois Hill 01603 623816 or 01603 630297.

Wednesday 27th October 19:30 - 21:30 with Christine Way and Peter Ellington at Inner Space (It is not too late to join this group)

Contact: Christine Way at http://www.blogger.com/training@transitionnorwich.org or call 01603 614460

Sunday, November 7, 2010

RELATED EVENT: Be The Change Symposium - 7 November

A profound inquiry into how we might realise a bold vision: How to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on Earth. If you are ready to be disturbed, inspired and moved to action – with like-minded & hearted, deeply committed people please come. Bernadette Ryder will facilitate the day. She was one of the first Europeans to train with the Pachamama Alliance to bring the symposium to the UK and is now one of the UKs leading trainers. More info at http://in-rhythm.com/

Suggested donation £25 - £35 You are very welcome to turn up on the day with lunch to share although we would prefer if you could let us know: 01603 614460 http://www.blogger.com/training@transitionnorwich.org

Be The Change is at Inner Space, Maud Gray Court, St Benedict's St, Norwich. 11am-5.30pm.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Permaculture group

Permaculture can be used design anything (your life, garden, business, community project, kitchen etc...really...anything!) to be a sustainable (low input) system. Low energy, low time, low cost, low planetary impact. We can learn from observing natural systems that there are principles of how they function efficiently. These insights can then creatively shape the design.

The foundation of permaculture systems are the ethics of earth care, people care and fair sharing of resources.

It's about making connections.

The Norfolk Permaculture group has come together through a shared understanding through our experiences and learning of permaculture.

We wish to support each other through sharing skills, knowledge, contacts and be extra sets of hands on projects. We want to be a hub for those new to permaculture in Norwich and Norfolk (and some of Suffolk ) or those who have just finished their design courses.

There is now a Norfolk Permaculture website (hooray!) which can be found here.

We've set up a google discussion group so we can easily share information with each other. This could be offers, requests, sharing info, details about courses or workdays. If you would like to be added to this google discussion group please email Tierney: tierneywoods@yahoo.co.uk.

For background info and reading there are books available in the Norfolk County Council Libraries.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Big Climate Connection - 5 and 6 November

In 2009 Stop Climate Chaos organised The Wave – the UK’s biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change. This year the Coalition are calling for people to connect with others in their communities and lobby their MP on 5 and 6 November.

With supporters coming together from more than 100 organisations, we hope to show MPs that people from all walks of life – from environment to development groups, from unions to local community and health groups – are calling for action on climate change.

November is a key time for climate politics, giving everyone an important opportunity to influence world and local issues. A new Energy Bill is on the way, which could make it easier and cheaper to improve the energy efficiency of homes, and clean up the emissions of the electricity we use. Lobbying our MPs will influence and strengthen the bill in parliament. It also comes three weeks before the UN Climate Talks in Cancun, so we can ensure MPs push for key policies for significant progress towards a fair global climate deal.

Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) is the largest coalition of groups and individuals dedicated to taking action in the UK on climate change and limiting its impacts. Trevor Philips is the coordinator for Norwich South constituency 'big climate connection' lobby and will be speaking with Simon Wright MP on 5 November. To join in, register as a lobbyist on http://www.thebigconnection.org/

The National Climate March in London takes place on 4 December. If you'd like someone to organise a coach from Norwich, contact Trevor. http://www.campaigncc.org/ Trevor Philips: 07794 690322 NorwichCACC@live.co.uk

For further details: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/

Seed Swap - 6 November

On Saturday 6 November the second annual organic seed swap will be held in the Grow Our Own allotment hut from 11-12am. Entrance is free.

Last year, a seed saving circle was formed (even before the term was coined by realseeds) to grow seeds for the group. The group will meet up at the same time to swap these seeds as well.

Grow Our Own is situated on the Bluebell South allotments. The entrance is where 82 The Avenues would be, down a narrow lane immediately after George Borrow Road on the way out of the city. For more information on the venue see http://grow-our-own.co.uk/

For questions or to sign up for next year's seed saving circle if you can't come on 6 November, contact Erik.

Seedy Saturday at Transition Canturbury by Kathryn Siveyer

Monday, November 1, 2010

FOOD PROJECTS - Breaking New Ground - 15 & 16 November

October has been a busy month for the food projects. The land at Postwick has been subsoiled and mucked, and the same was due to happen at the Hewett during half-term week. We've bought the flour mill, which is on its way from Austria. The school market garden got a good writeup in the Evening News and was mentioned on Radio Norfolk (25 October).

The shadow Board met twice, and we hope that the Financial Services Authority will approve Norwich Community Agriculture (the new co-op) by Christmas. The growing and environment group met three times, including a visit to the Postwick site (pictured), and is figuring out the details of how to make the site an exemplar of how biodiversity and organic methods can coexist with commercial viability.

And NCA has started its own blog at http://norwichcommunityag.blogspot.com/. Many of TN's fabulous members are pouring their energy, expertise and creativity into these projects, so they're bound to be a big success. (Tully Wakeman)

The group looking at how the NCA will be 'marketed' (for want of a better word) are meeting on 1st November at 19.30 at Take 5. The Board is meeting at The Guild on 15 November. The Growing and Environment group is meeting on 16 November upstairs at Take 5 at 19.30. There will also be a key Visioning Session on 24 November at the Baptist Church, Duke St (RM 5) at 19:30. Don't miss this unique opportunity to shape the future of the NCA.

Please contact Tully if you want to know more at tully@transitionnorwich.org or just turn up on the day.

TN BLOG - This Low Carbon Life - 2 November

The blog's been as lively as ever throughout October and seems set to stay that way as we meet to discuss our second year at the Bicycle Cafe tomorrow (2 November).

So far we've been wielding our own axes, recovering from shocks, chopping wood, collecting apples and manning the lifeboat.

During last month's blog retrospective each of us chose a post by a fellow blogger which had spoken to us in a particular way - no easy task given the sheer quality (and quantity) of the posts we'd turned out. Over 300 entries from 15 contributors in one year.

One of the key aspects of the blog is that we can give transition subjects a deeper and more considered attention. The Waste week is a good example - a lot of stuff came up! (Mark Watson).

For further information contact: Charlotte Du Cann theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk

Photo from "I'll Give You Cuts George Osborne" (Oct 22)

What a day... Even the sun came out!

And the glorious sunshine happened and the crowds came out to Magdalen Street on Saturday October 2nd to see the stalls and exhibitions and hear the music and take part in the workshops and history tours, and all the rest... well done again all that took part in the adventure (see the website for more!) and thanks to everyone that came along on Saturday and making it such a fantastic day!

Here's a slideshow featuring the people and things I got to see on the day: Taiko Drummers, Eastern Straynotes, the Sheriff of Norwich Derek James and star wandering minstrel Rio Santana under the flyover with MC Helen all powered by Tom Foxe's fantastic Human Dynamo PA (a big thank you to all who cycled!); Musical Keys Children's Workshop at Aladdin's Cafe; Pearl in the Egg Medieval Duo perform at St Saviour's The Gate near the flyover; the community mural by Stickyfingerz under the flyover. (Andy Croft/NR3)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday To Us!

In 2008 we all met in St Andrews for the Great Unleashing. In 2009 we partied at Unit 5 - watched the Transition doc together, danced to cycle-powered music, ate low carbon fare. This year we’re celebrating outdoors in the city’s Creative Quarter Magdalen Street, as TN’s NR3 group present the community event of the year. Don’t miss! Read all about the day and all our happenings below . . . brought to you by Transition Norwich News.

Meanwhile looking to the hinterlands, the CSA at Postwick is diversifying into four working parties and is forming its not-for-profit board. Also on the food front: The Low Carbon Cookbook is exploring coops and consensus amongst the world's saucepans. Transition Circle Hethersett is putting their ecological focus on Food systems, Earlham North on Economics . Carbon reduction is on this autumn's menu when the climate change campaign, 10:10 has its day of reckoning on - you guessed it - 10 October and Carbon Conversations kick off their third round. The Reskilling group is also back in town after the summer and is meeting up at the Bicycle Cafe. Our wide-ranging related events include Heart and Soul's Power of Contemporary Spirituality evening, an Energy Efficiency Day at the Belvedere Centre and, booking ahead, a Norwich Be the Change Symposium in early November.

In the wider beyond Rob Hopkins is previewing Transition As A Pattern Language (the new framework for Transition initiatives world-wide and the new handbook). He's posting each of the 63 Patterns and asking everyone for feedback on transitionculture.org. Do check out and join in!

And don't forget our own home blog This Low Carbon Life which also has a birthday coming up. Check out next fortnight's retrospective of our Number 1 year and our topic week on Zero Waste. This month we’ve been taking a look at Magdalen Street, as well as what’s its like to run a tea tent, collect medicine plants, darn socks, go walkabout, deconstruct a dish, twitter, Make Do And Mend, create a festival from scratch and cycle from Land's End to John O' Groats. We may not be flying anymore, but we're going all the way!

(Text: Charlotte Du Cann Production: Mark Watson Poster: Andy Croft/Comms)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

TRANSITION CIRCLES: Earlham North - 25 October

Fittingly for Transition Norwich's second birthday our meeting this month was titled 'Where do we go from here?'. The discussion was wide-ranging, but mainly focussed on how we can get more people interested in participating in the circles to keep them growing as they are now. We thought that just being more involved in the community generally would be a good plan, such as the stall we will be having at the Belvedere Community Centre's Energy Efficiency Day on 9 October. So that the idea could spread through word-of-mouth.

We also had an interesting discussion about personal actions versus local/community campaigns, with some suggesting that bigger campaigns affect more people while others believe that personal actions and leading by example were a more sustainable path.

We didn't definitively answer the question of the meeting, but are quite happy to just continue on the path we are on and see where it leads us. And we had some delicious food as usual to fuel the conversation. So next meeting we shall be discussing money, quite a contentious issue for many who seek change in our society. We shall be thinking about our attitudes to money, its role in the future and the impact our personal money has on the world.

The meeting will be at 6.30 on the 25th October at my house. Please contact me if you would like more details - the more the merrier. Kerry - kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com

Photos from original poster for TN Birthday Party 2009

TRANSITION CIRCLES - Hethersett - 25 October

TCH met on 16 September at Rhoda's. Initially, we discussed economy and preparedness for the worst case scenario. In order to move onto our topic for the night of Transport, Erik suggested we have one of our future meetings entirely on Economy. Based on a recommendation of Steve to read the Energy Bulletin, John added a links page to our google group.

Some of the things we talked about: Flying makes up only 2% of global carbon emissions, but that is because most people never fly. Flying can be a huge contributor to a personal carbon footprint, with a single return flight to New Zealand emitting about 10 tonnes per passenger, which is almost the current total yearly per capita footprint in the UK, while a 2 degrees warming target suggests this should come down to 1-2 tonnes per person by 2050, and even less by the end of the century.

The people in the room agreed that the main challenge of having a low transport impact (both from personal travel and from transporting the stuff we buy) is time. Going out of one's way to shop low impact often gets dropped in favour of the faster option, and the way online buying is set up has it's own environmental problems. One of the solutions we discussed is to pick up on what the Strangers have been trialling: to collectively buy dry goods wholesale and have them delivered.

By contrast, low carbon holidays were deemed easier to achieve: with a change in attitude, it's possible to see the slower lower carbon modes of travel (in particular trains) as part of the holiday with it's own attractions (views, sleeper trains, easier to make stopovers at interesting places on the way), although it can suffer from some of the same disadvantages as flying when there are delays. When booked well in advance, the train can be cheaper than flying (http://www.seat61.com)

Next meeting will be on Food. We will start at 19:30 with a bring and share meal. If you'd like to attend contact Erik at http://lgmacweb.env.uea.ac.uk/green_ocean/positions/Buitenhuis/feedback.html

Friday, October 15, 2010

Low Carbon Cookbook - 20 October

Last month we had our first One Planet Community Kitchen meeting at the Greenhouse in Bethel Street.

The Kitchen is a regional hub that aims to start up food and arts projects in different Transition initiatives. All the projects will share three aims: 1) to work creatively as a co-operative group 2) to bring ecological awareness to the food we eat 3) to map local food patterns.

In the next few months we’ll be writing on the blog about some of the aims of the Kitchen and showcasing our work. Ways of calculating an ecological footprint for food – looking at carbon emissions, as well as other greenhouse gases, in transport, production and processing. We’ll be considering waste, packaging, the use of water. Several people who came were from the four Transition circles and were Carbon Conversation facilitators; Erik ran the original One Planet group at UEA.

We’ll be focusing on the Transition Food Patterns of Norwich and its hinterlands in the way we began in our Transition Food Patterns Fortnight. Building up a list of producers, talking to people, visiting city allotments and food projects. We’ll be writing information boxes that show why engaging in local market-diversity (as opposed to supermarket monopoly) creates resilient community, what exactly organic certification means. And we’ll be cooking! Trying out recipes that are sustainable, intelligent, delicious, meaningful. Bring a dish to share dishes that everyone can eat.

In our first session Josiah Meldrum (Sustainable Bungay, Provenance, EAFL) talked about principles and the tenets of working as a co-op. And we kickstarted this creative project with our first food mapping exercise, Deconstruct the Dish.
For a full write up of our session check out This Low Carbon Life (Sept 22-25 : the Session. the Dish, the Ingredient. For further details and to join the group contact Charlotte Du Cann rootsshootsandseeeds@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carbon Conversations - 13 and 14 October

With the success of the Carbon Conversations earlier in the year we now have 10 facilitators trained in Norwich so we are able to offer our third round of courses this term. Carbon Conversations is an inspiring, practical 6-session course on low-carbon living. It was recently featured in the Guardian as one of the 20 best climate change solutions.

• based on the psychology of change
• emotionally engaging
• technically rigorous
• up to date, attractive handbook, games and materials

The course engages people both emotionally and practically, helping them overcome the barriers often associated with making large carbon reductions. Members explore the basic climate change problem, their responses to it, their ideas for a low-carbon future and the four key areas of the footprint – home energy, travel, food and other consumption. Most members make reductions of 1 tonne CO2 during the course and develop plans to halve their footprints over a longer period (Christine Way).

Courses will be starting on Tues 13 Octand Wed 14 Oct in the evenings in central Norwich. At County Hall on Tue 19 Oct, at UEA on Wed 20 (for students), in Unthank/Earlham Rd area Mon 25 Oct. Course Fee: £20 If you would like to join one of these courses please contact T. 01603 614460 or email

Other courses will be starting throughout Norfolk so please get in touch if you wish to be kept informed of the programme

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture gets under way - 1 November

About 20 Transitioners met at the United Reformed Church on Monday September 13th to start making preparations for the CSA. The money is in place, the land is ready for us, and we've bought a tractor.

As Tully explained to the meeting, some aspects of the project are set out clearly in the funding application, but others are much more open for CSA members to determine.

Among the things that are clear are, for example, the plan to employ a full-time farm manager (shared betwen the CSA and the school farm) as well as more casual or part-time staff. Also the short-term role of East Anglia Food Link in helping to get the scheme established. EAFL's staff (William and Tully) are already working on getting the land subsoiled and mucked, drawing up the lease, buying the tractor, polytunnel and equipment and so on.

But other aspects are very much for the CSA's members to decide. At the meeting we agreed to set up working groups focusing on recruiting more members; arranging social events to build a sense of community and ownership in the CSA; finding the best arrangments for distributing the produce, for example through drop-off points around the city and beyond; and overseeing production to maximise environmental benefits, biodiversity and natural pest management. The meeting felt very strongly that the CSA needs to be Organic.

We have secured the services of The Guild (a Norwich-based consultancy specialising in social economy organisations) to help us to set up the new not-for-profit business (probably a co-op) which will run the CSA. Around 12 people have agreed to meet with The Guild to find out more about being on the Board of the new organisation, and to drive forward the process of setting it up.

The "Board" meeting is on October 5th and the "growing and environment" meeting on the 7th. The Marketing meeting on November 1st. If you're interested in joining any of these, please sign up to the Food Googlegroup and you'll get all the up-to-date information.

The business plan and budget that were used for the funding bid have been posted on the googlegroup too. If you're interested in reading in detail what's been promised to the funder, do have a look. (Tully Wakeman/Food and Farming)

Friday, October 1, 2010

RELATED EVENT: Energy Efficiency Day - 9 October

On Saturday 9th October The Belvedere Centre on Belvoir Street is holding an Energy Efficiency Day from 11am - 4pm. Norwich Radio, the Green Party and the City Council Advice Team will be present as well as The Energy Saving Trust with a Green Driving Simulator. There will be Circus Training, Short Matt Bowls and Street Dancing along with other activities. Kerry has offered to coordinate a stall on the day and your support in both running the stall and attending the event would be very welcome. This is the local community centre for those of us living in the Dereham / Earlham Road area so this event is a good opportunity for us to get involved with the community. Please get in touch with Kerry if you can help or have some ideas: kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com

RELATED EVENT: Be The Change Symposium - 7 November

Have you ever wondered how we can create an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on Earth?

Through dynamic group interactions, leading edge information, and inspiring multimedia Be The Change examines this question. Designed with the collaboration of some of the finest scientific, indigenous and activist minds in the world, the Symposium explores the current state of environmental, social and personal well-being from a new perspective and connects participants with a powerful global movement to reclaim our future.

The Symposium is being offered in Norwich by Bernadette Ryder who was one of the first Europeans to train directly with The Pachamama Alliance to deliver the Symposium, and then bring it to the UK under the auspices of ‘Be The Change’. She is now one of the UK’s lead trainers and integrates the material with other work including 5 Rhythms® and ‘The Work That Reconnects’

If you are ready to be disturbed, inspired and moved to action join us at Inner Space on Sunday 7th November 11.00 – 5.30. www.innerspacenorwich.co.uk 01603 614460

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magdalen Street - The Big Day Arrives!

It started out as a way to expand the NR3 Transition group out into the community. Resident artist and photographer Helen Simpson Slapp and local community artist Karen Steadman had a dream...

Now in the final frantic week of ensuring everything goes according to as much of a plan as these things can, the Magdalen Street Celebration has captured local imaginations and a truly astonishing amount of traders, volunteers, charities, performers, artists and more have emerged to take part over the last three months.

Stacia Briggs took up the story in a double page spread in the Eastern Daily Press last Thursday...
"Magdalen Street - famous for rebels, royals and regrets - it was stormed by Robert Kett's army, visited by Queens Elizabeth I and II and subject to some of the least sympathetic town planning decisions ever made in Norwich.
Now the street is hoping to create its own history with a magnificent street festival on October 2, which will see the area transformed into a vibrant celebration of the most diverse neighbourhood in the city.
Visitors will be able to learn more about the incredible history of the area, sample the unique collection of shops, meet other residents and an array of activities including performances by local musicians and artists, workshops, art exhibitions and a fashion parade starring vintage and second hand clothes shops sourced on Magdalen Street itself."
(from the EDP2 article on 23 September 2010)
Founding organiser Helen Simpson-Slapp said: “We are creating a street festival to bring the community together to have fun, but also we would like to see a long lasting effect. There's no reason why this festival should not continue and grow over the years, and help connect people in this area of the City”.

Rachel Lalchan joined the organising group after arriving in Norwich from South London where she had helped set up a Transition group: “Having moved to a new city, I was keen to be involved in local community life and taking part in this group event enables me to do just that. It also means I get to know my local area really well and Magdalen Street is a wonderful place that seems to be continuously evolving”.

So come and witness the transformation of Magdalen Street on Saturday and in the meantime check out some of the blog posts from some of the organisers this week on This Low Carbon Life, and get a complete programme of events on http://www.magdalenstreet.blogspot

There is still opportunity for you to get involved on the day by:

· being a steward – helping people who may be lost or need help finding an activity

· decorating the street – putting up bunting, blowing up balloons!

Please contact Helen or Karen (click on the links to email) for more information on volunteering. (Andy Croft/NR3)

Reskilling - Planning Ahead - 6 October

After a break for the summer the Reskilling group are now back in the cafes of Norwich planning their next round of workshops. So if anyone is interested in helping to organise (mostly just coming up with ideas) these workshops or just wants to join us for some tea and cake we will be in the Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street at 8pm on Wednesday 6th October.

Contact Kerry on

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heart and Soul - The Power of Contemporary Spirituality - 11 October

The 'inner work' needed to support the transition to a more sustainable and earth-centred lifestyle is, of course, being pioneered by many beyond Transition and our Heart & Soul network. At a recent Pulse Group meeting, we took the decision to seek out partners and to initiate collaborative projects and events.

Our first collaboration is with Mangreen Trust – a Norwich-based centre for spiritual exploration and healing – who are hosting a talk by William Bloom of the Foundation for Holistic Spirituality.

William is one of the UK’s leading holistic educators and a renowned mind-body-spirit teacher. He will speaking on the theme: The Power of Contemporary Spirituality as a Practical and Holistic Approach to Developing Ourselves and Transforming our World.

His work, and that of the Foundation, is premised on the understanding that there is an emerging spirituality that is inclusive of all spiritual paths, both faith and non-faith. It is a movement that recognises there are many people without a formal voice who, through their living, are upholding certain core principles and values. These values include a recognition of our need to protect the health and sustainability of the natural environment for future generations.

William is a champion of this growing approach to spirituality, and an inspirational speaker who provides his audience with both new insights and practical tools for spiritual development. (Naomi Duffield/Heart and Soul)

When: 7-9pm, Monday 11th October Cost: £6 (special discount rate for Transitioners - full fee £10) Where: Mangreen Hall, Swardeston, Norwich NR14 8DD Contact: Naomi Duffield on 01508 570444 / trust@mangreen.co.uk Website: http://www.mangreen.co.uk/

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TRANSITION CIRCLES - Earlham North 28 September

Transition Circles are entering their second year in a practical mood: Earlham South are chopping wood together, Strangers' organising their wholefood co-op. Transition Hethersett are cycling to their third meeting. Meanwhile Earlham North met last month to discuss water conservation and exchanged practical tips. Diana Church copes with the deluge of information.

Water conservation, our chosen topic to discuss seemed apt after several torrential downpours during the afternoon. The last deluge of the day soaked me to the skin as, perched on a ladder, I unblocked a narrow pipe which drains rainwater from a bay window parapet into the main downpipe . . .However, torrential rain withstanding, statistics from the Met Office show that over the last 10 years our average rainfall has decreased by 8%.We discussed rain water catchment in our gardens and the benefit of linked waterbutts using plastic hosepipes to deliver water where it is needed...... even running one into the greenhouse.

From that we talked about hard surface rainwater run off from roads and pavements that overflow into Anglian Water drainage system, leading us to question why it is we use good quality water in our homes to flush loos and for washing? According to a survey, 75% of our domestic water is used in the bathroom of which a quarter is toilet flushing. A 4 minute shower uses between 20-40 gallons depending on the shower type. To reduce this usage, a water restrictor can be fitted in the shower and a 'hippo' placed in a toilet cistern. (Those of us with the care and concern for animal welfare can use an ordinary house brick or two).

Very modern loos flush exceedingly well using very little water, it's the old clunkers that need doctoring. Quick showers can save a lot of water, where the first burst of water is used to wet oneself, then the shower is turned off to soap ourself, then the final quick burst of water rinses off all the soap. Estimated water usage...just under 2 buckets.

In the kitchen, all crockery can be wiped as clean as possible before washing, keeping the water cleaner for longer. Keeping a bucket in the bathroom to take old bathwater for flushing the loo, reuses the water and is a saving, and only using the washing machine when fully loaded is another. We agreed a gismo needs to be designed that takes rainwater out of an exterior waterbutt and feeds it into a washing machine.m Also a way of setting up a rainwater filter system to deliver clean drinking water into the house. Lucy lived off grid for a while and this was used where she stayed. The drinking water produced met the health standards for drinking water. We are looking forward to catching up with other Transition group members at the Old White Lion Pub on the 15th September. Maybe we can discuss gismos and gadgets!

Our next North group meeting is at Lucy's place, telephone 01603 613440 on Tuesday 28 September. The subject is ' How do we go on from here?' Not a geographical exercise but a realistic plan of how to expand our group and keep circles going, keep up the momentum.I enjoy our meetings, good food, good company and good conversation, and always something inspiring for future action.

Photos: Hethersett sign by John Heaser; rainwater butt for downstairs loo by TECN's Chris Hull on the TN blog