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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

FILMS; Food, Inc. (dir. Robert Kenner, USA 2009) – showing at Cinema City - 29 March

This must-see film tells an unwholesome story of big American agri-business, where working conditions, animal welfare, the livelihoods of farmers and consumers’ health are all held hostage by the drive for ever bigger profits.

The film highlights how a mere handful of companies control most of the food production business. One such company, Monsanto, has teams of detectives out scouring the countryside for farmers daring to save seed from one year to the next – or those that could be said to encourage such practice through their offer of services, like seed cleaning.

The film illustrates how ‘corn’ (maize to us) is turned into beef in the notorious feeding lot (with not a blade of grass in sight) – how corn indeed forms the basis for so many products in what seems on the surface to be an almost infinite choice in the modern American supermarket; how chickens (with echoes here of recent TV programmes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Jamie Oliver) are crammed in their thousands into spaces where they can barely move around – and if they could, they’re so weighed down by grossly fattened bodies that their legs can’t carry them more than a few paces.

Don’t miss this film! Catch it at Cinema City on Monday, 29th March, 8.30 pm. Peter Melchett – Policy Director of the Soil Association and North Norfolk organic farmer – will be present at the end of the film for a Question & Answer session. The Soil Association is the official charity partner of the film.

Suggested links: http://www.foodincmovie.com/; and ‘Why Food, Inc. should make us all retch’ by Charles Clover in The Sunday Times: www.timesonline.co.uk/news. (Sarah Gann/Food)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour - Saturday 27 March 8.30pm

In 2009 hundreds of millions of people around the world turned off their lights for one hour. Landmarks also turned off, from the Great Pyramids to the Eiffel Tower, from the Coliseum to Beijing’s Olympic Stadium, from Buckingham Palace to the Norwich cathedral.

Earth Hour Co-Founder Andy Ridley, who was born in Norwich, said “By turning the lights off their landmarks for Earth Hour, cities are reflecting the aspirations of their citizens as a community that has resolved to take action on global warming. That’s what Earth Hour is about; communities showing what they can achieve by working together.”

For the last two years we have marked the hour with a celebration on the Millennium Plain outside the Forum. We have had an array of wonderful performances with organised and impromptu music, juggling, fire poi and mime artists.

We shall be gathering outside the Forum for Earth Hour, so if a candlelit dinner doesn’t appeal, come down and join us for an hour of entertainment. We are also encouraging people to bring a candle (in a jar), and for those of an artist persuasion an instrument. Furthermore if you feel that you could contribute to creating an event please feel free to contact me (Gary Champion/NR3).
Pledge your support at EarthHour.org and turn off your lights for one hour, at 8.30pm, Saturday 27th March 2010. garychampion@googlemail.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Join the TN Community Supported Agriculture Scheme!

We're crossing our fingers that, in the spring, we'll get the funding we need to start work on our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme, as well as the School Farm and the flour mill milling local flour.

So now it's time to find the people who want to sign up for the CSA - and we're hoping that's you!

The idea of a CSA is that currently there is very little commercial vegetable production in or immediately around Norwich (the HFG farm shop business being the main exception). One good way of returning veg production to Norwich (and Organic production at that) is to get 100-200 people to jointly own a farming operation. The plan is to rent about 4 acres of land at Postwick, employ a farm manager, and grow a range of vegetables which members collect as a "share" from one of a number of pickup points around Norwich. Members pay an annual subscription which entitles them to their share (likely to work out at £12 a week for a family-sized share down to £5 for a one-person share). Some members might choose to help in other ways - for example getting the veg to a pickup point each week - but that's optional.

If you feel you're likely to sign up to the CSA, please let us know now by filling in your details here. And tell your friends! We do need to recruit the first 100 members before we go ahead with this.

Read more about the scheme in the EDP front page article (March 17) and listen to this interview with Tully Wakeman on Radio Norfolk.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Equinox Walk - Sunday 21 March

There will be a Spring Equinox walk around the UEA lake towards Eaton on Sunday 21st March - it's an idea that has sprung from the Heart and Soul Group, but anyone is welcome. Gather outside the Sainsbury Centre main doors at 2pm; tea and cake in the cafe after the walk (or straight away if it's raining!) (Jo Guthrie/Heart and Soul).

Photos: UEA Lake by Joybelle D'Lima

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Low Carbon Roadshow – Open Rehearsal – Saturday 13 March

This is a new creative project that aims to take TN out and about in the city, as well as to other Transition initiatives and gatherings in East Anglia. This small travelling show will appear on its own or at other events (like the Earth Hour – see below) and be run by a company of artist-performer-writer Transitioners. Its physical form will be constructed from recycled, reused and zero-carbon materials, including its transport.

The show will cover all aspects of Transition – energy, food, textiles – within the framework of TN2. Its main intent is to engage people in the the creative, physical and philosophical aspects of a low-carbon community life and create a new kind of culture for the future. The focus will be on hands-on engagement and experience.

At our first rehearsal we’ll be inventing a flexible rabbit-out-of-the -hat structure for future events that can include talks, films, street theatre, interactive art, neighbourhood mapping, workshops, cook-ins, music, storytelling, taster Transition Circles, as well as display imaginative and dynamic info about low-carbon communities around Britain.

Anyone who would like to be actively involved please come along, Venue: Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedict's St. Time: 1pm-5pm. Performers and communicators 1pm, makers and designers 3pm. For further info email Charlotte on theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk.

Tom and Charlotte discussing the Show, Frank's Bar, Norwich
Mark gets ready for some action in Grosvenor Square, London

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Communications Live! See, hear and read all about us - 1 and 3 March

We’re on line! After months of discussion re. design and content our new website is up and running! Just click here to have a quick look. As you can see it’s become a blog of its own. We decided this was a great way to incorporate the news blog into our information base, as well provide a lively and flexible format that can be updated easily. Find everything you need to know about here: theme groups and Transition Circles, news, reviews, an archive of our past events, resources and the TN calendar. We hope you like it!

Meanwhile on our other community blogThis Low Carbon Life – it was not just the weather that was full on in Feb as we paid close attention to the health business, food of the future, low carbon loves, changing the dream and saving Norwich toads from extinction. This month we narrow our gaze in our first topic week and tackle the thorny subject of Flying. We’d love you to join the debate www.transitionnorwich.blogspot.com. Flying is the largest elephant in the room when it comes to carbon reduction (a massive 10 tons to fly to Australia alone) and treads heavily on the world’s consumer dreams. Watch out for turbulence!

And finally we’re also on air. Chris Hull will be doing another Future Radio interview (96.9FM) for TN next Wednesday - March 3rd at 11.15 a.m. (Charlotte Du Cann/Communications) Listen to it here.

Eco-Community Award for TN

2010 is the second year Norwich City Council has run its 'Eco Awards' scheme for schools, businesses, community groups and individuals. Chris, Erik and Jane attended the award ceremony on February 25th, when the Sheriff of Norwich, Tim O'Riordan, announced and presented the awards. Transition Norwich won an award in the 'Eco community group' category. Apart from the accolade, it was great to meet business people, volunteers in NGOs, and others who are all working hard to make Norwich a greener and more resilient place in so many different ways. Credit should also go to the caterers that evening who sourced EVERYTHING on the table from within Norfolk. (Chris Hull/Core Group)


Transition Training is the fulcrum of the Transition Towns movement. Last month Transitioniers from several initatives, including Norwich went to Colchester, to find out how to give an effective talk on Transition. This month Naresh Giangrande is returning to East Anglia to teach two half-day workshop at Country Hall. Naresh has been involved in designing, running and evolving many of the events, groups, and trainings since the foundation of the movement.

Transition Talk Training (9 Feb - Colchester)
Twenty of us met at the Old Library in Colchester Town Hall for a useful day of learning how best spread the T word. In essence it's the art of instilling in your audience the gravity of the dilemmas we all face without scaring them rigid; guideing people beyond that 'Peak Oil Moment' and giving them something solid to hold onto once Pandora's box has been opened - conjuring a good ship Transition to climb aboard and NOT just leaving a soggy plank to cling onto.

There was plenty of inspiration and energy in the room as folks from Bedford, Broxbourne, Colchester, Debenham, Norwich, Waldon, Wivenhoe and Woodbridge (plus Kevin all the way from Cornwall!) shared ideas and strategies. It was clear that it's not just a presentation of facts that wins peoples hearts and minds (although getting those facts right is crucial), it's the passion and conviction of a messenger speaking from their personal experience. The most infectious way of spreading the word and getting people involved is by displaying the momentum of Transition schemes in action and examples of success. (Andy Croft/Communications)

Transition Training on Peak Oil and Climate Change at County Hall - 26 March
Free half-day workshops on peak oil and climate change, exploring the Transition Towns approach for council officers, community engagement workers, decision makers, members of Norfolk climate change partnership & the Norfolk community. The workshops will be facilitated by Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks of Transition Town Totnes and introduced by Chris Hull of TN.

The workshop will include what transition initiatives are and how Local Authorities and other local organisations can work alongside them, an introduction of the key challenges posed by Peak Oil and Climate change, and explore ‘first mover’ advantages to a council in using and applying Transition. (National government and MPs are taking a keen interest in Transition see: http://transitionculture.org/2009/05/25/ed-milliband/

Book your place online at http://bookwhen.com/jpqe9. For further details contact esme.holtom@norfolk.gov.uk Morning session 9.30am -1pm, afternoon session: 1.30-5pm. Country Hall, Cranworth Room, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2SG.


Strangers’ Circle
Our February meeting at Elena’s focused on stuff. After dinner we watched The Story of Stuff. If you haven’t yet seen this 20 minute rollercoaster ride by Annie Leonard (based on ten year’s research into where our everyday stuff comes from, where it goes and what it does to the planet), then get together with some friends and download: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ Each of us brought a piece of stuff relevant to our lives to talk about – mobile phones, a government-issued chisel from the early 70s and a penknife used for everything in the kitchen. All tools to do with either communication or practical tasks. The evening flew by as we asked ourselves how in a downshifted world we will communicate, what we will build and what will be our relationships with the materials at hand. One thing was clear. Once you get talking about stuff, it’s hard to stop! (Mark Watson/Stranger's Circle)

Transition Circle West
This month Transition Circle West was looking at 'stuff' - basically everything we buy/use that isn't food or energy. We had a very interesting discussion about what drives consumption, whether it is all bad and how you could survive without a fridge! Generally we all consumed very little 'stuff' and there was a lot less variation in the group than for other topics. However, we all thought of things that we could change to increase our resilience and will be weighing our waste before next meeting. We also swapped some unwanted things - rehoming books, torches, sink strainers and wind-chimes! (Kerry Lane/Circle West)

Carbon Conversations

As I write this I'm half-way through the Carbon Conversations course. It's a really inspiring course that I thoroughly recommend. I was starting to feel 'stuck' about climate change. I'd already changed everything that I thought I could do, and I couldn't see a way forward. So when I heard about a course in Norwich that I could afford, that addressed just that, I was delighted and signed up straight away.

The course skilfully combines a gentle approach to our feelings and beliefs about climate change with a very robust handling of the science and maths involved in calculating our personal impact. There's no shying away from confronting the realities of our own carbon footprint - but no pressure to own up, and no sense of competition. We've all confessed fears, shame and guilt; and celebrated successes, played games and laughed, and shared the contentment that comes from knowing we're working hard at something that matters.

The course gives lots of ideas of positive actions to take, and encourages us to share what has worked for each of us. I asked other's opinions on the 'double glazing film' that can be applied to single glazed windows, and several people recommended it. I spent yesterday putting it up, and today my room feels a lot warmer!

The next courses starting in April and priority will be given to those wishing to start their own group. Also in April we hope to run the first facilitator's training for those who have already completed the course which will mean that more courses will start in the summer. If you are interested in CarbonConversations please email training@transitionnorwich.org

Energy Monitors for Hire

Working in the library the other day I spotted that they had two Owl Electricity Monitors to borrow. I checked on the computer system and found that there are monitors available for free from every Norfolk library.

I've tried one and discovered it was really easy to use. It's useful to know exactly how much electricity the oven uses: almost exactly the same amount as the kettle and toaster both turned on at once, but as I usually have the oven on for much longer than the toaster, the oven uses much more energy in total.

Mark and Charlotte have talked about using a monitor and they've been able to make some real changes to their electricity use as a result.

The information that comes with the Owls says that most people reduce their energy use by around 25% when they start using a monitor- with similar cuts in both bills and CO2 emissions. I really recommend borrowing one of these to see if you can cut your energy use; you save £30 on the cost of buying one, and support the council in a great green initiative. (Elena Judd/TN2)

Transition Norwich Carbon Club
If you are interested in monitoring your home energy use I can recommendsigning up to I-measure at http://www.imeasure.org.uk where you can enter yourmeter readings and it will calculate your CO2 emissions for theweek/month/year. I have also started a Carbon Club on the site called'Transition Norwich' which you can join and where you can see how othersin the group are doing. If you want to monitor your flights and travelas well you may prefer to use http://www.thecarbonaccount.com so I suggest trying both and deciding for yourself which site you prefer. (Christine Way/Core Group)

Norwich co-housing initiative

Co-housing is a co-operative and communally owned housing development in which every family/individual has their own front door, but there is also communal space with shared facilities. The Norwich co-housing group has been meeting for over a year and we have progressed to the point where we are talking to local authorities and developpers about buying land. TN folk will be pleased to hear that our core values are unabashedly green.

If you want to know more contact Lucy (01603 613440, info@norwichcohousing.org.uk) and/or join our google-group.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Allotment Planning Meeting - Sunday 7 March

The TN Allotment planning meeting is happening tomorrow Sunday 7 March 12 noon at Bluebell Lane South - all welcome to join in with ideas. It's a regular bring-a-dish-to-share day for allotmenteers. For further info contact Jane@janechittenden.co.uk.