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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Transition Circle Earlham South -31 August

This summer Transition Circle West divided itself in two. In August Earlham South and North are both holding circles and discussing (and practicing) low carbon living. Diana Church and Erik Buitenhuis report on the groups' activities:

Transition Circle Earlham South met at the house of Teresa and Pete to take some joint action by weeding their vegetable patch, eat their redcurrants and admire their old hedge. We also had our usual shared meal and talked of everything from local art to the moral inheritance from grandmothers. Then we moved back into the garden to sit around a fire lit in an old washing machine drum. We found that the joint action was both practically useful and sociable – we all enjoyed chatting while we weeded - and talked of a program of skill building actions over the summer, and to invite people from outside the group to come and present a topic over the winter months.

Next time we will chop some wood in Hethersett and talk about permaculture (31 August 18:15). (Erik Buitenhuis/TCES)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Magdalen Street Annual Celebration - 8 September

The next organising meetings for the Magdalen Street Celebration (October 2nd) will be at Aladdin's (TBC) on September 8th at 6.30pm for a 7pm start (please come for 6.30pm if you're new to the group as we will get down to business at 7pm!)

We're looking for all kinds of contributors, from the traders on Magdalen Street itself to artists, performers, helpers and local groups from Magdalen Street and surrounding NR3 area to come and get involved with a range of activities, stalls and events.

To keep up with latest developments please go to http://www.magdalenstreet.blogspot.com or look up 'Magdalen Street' on Facebook.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Transition Earlham North - 23 August

This was an interesting evening based on Low Carbon Holidays. After our shared meal we propped open the laptop and looked at websites that we hoped were going to be useful and informative. There are plenty of sites out there offering eco holidays. These ranged from international couch surfing for a few pennies per night to really expensive eco units on sustainable sites.

But we quickly realised it wasn't low cost holidays we were looking for but low carbon. How easy to become distracted from the real subject.Whatever sites we looked at the question we consistently asked ourselves was.."and how do we get to this place without creating an enormous carbon footprint."So we looked for guidance on the CarbonCounted.co.uk site to understand the transport.Walking and cycling holidays in our own county in terms of low carbon travel from A to B, is obviously the best.

Going further afield however it seems that hitch hiking with a friend, or packing a car full of people, or taking bikes on a train or taking a slow ferry are the next lowest options. Interestingly the website explains that taking longhaul flights and then staying for a long time at the destination can be considered as quite 'low carbon'. Next we looked at low carbon places to stay.Renting a cottage and doing our own self catering means we can control the rate of water and fuel use. House exchanges were discussed especially where we visit a foreign country not a a tourist but with a purpose to work on a project there or help to teach English. We found this idea very appealing.EcoEscape, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers , Youth Hostelling and International Youth Hostelling. 'A Rocha' and 'Servas' were all considered. Many of these organisations actively nurture and promote peace through cooperation at grass roots level between people of different nationalities. (Diana Church/TCEN)

Transition North's next meeting is at Lucinda Smyth's house. Monday 23rd August. 6.30 pm. Bring food to share. The subject we agreed we would like to discuss is water conservation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kerry @ Otesha - End to End tour 2010

As those of you who read the blog know (see 26-28 July), Otesha are writing a weekly newsletter as they cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats. If you want to keep track of how they, and Kerry in their midst, are doing, you can read the newsletter at the Otesha website, or you can sign up to get it by email.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BOOKS: The Empathic Civilisation by Jeremy Rifkin

It’s a hefty book weighing in at over 2 kilos. I might have passed it up, but my curiosity was piqued when Tom Harper at a Low Carbon Roadshow rehearsal spoke about how it documents a shift from psychological thinking to dramaturgical thinking – how we’re becoming actor-directors in a shared production, as opposed to analysts and controllers of a set of problems. Then Rupert Read wrote an excellent piece about our fear of mortality based on the book in the OneWorldColumn.

Why is The Empathic Civilisation relevant to Transition? Because its central debate is that empathy comes into play at the precise point when the energy that maintains a civilisation’s increasingly complex systems begins to run out. Rifkin brings this paradox to our attention because instead of total societal collapse, we could reach out to our fellows and do something different. We don’t have to go the way of Rome and entropy. Collaboration he argues always “bests” competition, as he charts the global movement towards mutual understanding between races and genders. The more advanced a civilisation becomes he argues the more co-operative and freethinking it becomes - intolerant hierarchical religions, for example, give way to egalitarian spirituality. Rifkin works methodically through Western philosophy to find our rarely-recorded “hidden history”. The book lacks the ease and economy of social reportage such as Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, but it’s well worth picking up with both hands, even if you only dip in occasionally. The passages on embodied empathy replacing a disembodied seeking of ideals and perfection (Chapter 5) is particularly good.

The Empathic Civilisation -The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin (Polity Books) £17.99

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food and Farming projects

Food is likely to be one of the areas most affected by peak oil. And, since human life requires food, it might become the most pressing. Our planet currently produces far more food than at any time in history. We can do this because of an array of fossil “subsidies” that boost the amount of food we can get from each hectare of land, from fertilisers to pesticides, tractor fuel to refrigerated transport. These subsidies enable us not only to support our huge world population, they also enable those of us in the rich countries to eat higher up the food chain. As peak oil, and other resource constraints, start to bite we will need to develop more resilient food systems, and we will have to reduce our demand for food by eating lower down the food chain (ie eating less meat and dairy produce).

Working with East Anglia Food Link, Transition Norwich has secured £137k of funding, from the Lottery-funded Local Food Fund, for a series of exciting projects:

- a Community Supported Agriculture scheme growing organic vegetables on the edge of the city at Postwick. We’ll be recruiting members who will pay an annual membership fee in return for a regular supply of seasonal, organic, local produce with a very low carbon footprint. Members will also be encouraged to get involved in supporting the project.
- another market garden on the playing fields of the Hewett School, linking students and local people into vegetable production and selling through local community outlets including the school kitchen and ideas like weekly market stalls at local primary schools.
- a flour mill milling local organic wheat, and supplying local artisan bakers who will then be able to bake a “Local Loaf”; and
- brokering local staples such as oats and beans into wholefood shops in the city.

The Food Group also developed a detailed contribution to the Resilience Plan, setting out the kind of diet that Norwich could eat in a resource-constrained world, how much land would be required to grow that food, and where the gaps are in terms of storage, processing etc.

At present, the Food Group is not meeting as such, because so much activity is going on in other quarters:

Norwich FarmShare
is the co-op we've set up to operate the community supported agriculture and school market garden schemes. Some 20 members of Transition Norwich have become the active members of that co-op and are putting great energy into ensuring the success of those projects.

Other food projects within Transition Norwich include the Low Carbon Cookbook and the Permaculture Group.

We also celebrate several excellent food initiatives run by other organisations in Norwich, especially the Grow Our Own project.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dancing at Lughnasa - 1 August

Happy harvest
Happy gathering
Happy dancing
One and All!

Kerry, Charlotte and Elena dancing around the stone circle at Mangreen at Summer Solstice; walking the ley through the barleyfield; sunrise on the sunrise coast

Transition Cafe - 15 August

The Transition Cafe was started because the theme group meetings always have a full agenda, so that it's a challenge to stay on topic, and there's lots that doesn't get talked about. So here's a monthly meeting that is easy to remember: every 15th of the month, 19:30. No agenda, no pressure, no fixed end time. If you'd like to talk to other transitioners about any topic at all, do come. The Cafe will be held in The White Lion, 73 Oak Street, NR3 3AQ Norwich, until further notice (check the calendar if in doubt).