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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

RELATED EVENT: Green Buildings in Norfolk – Open Days - 24/5 September

With energy prices on the rise, there is no better time to think about energy saving home improvements. Basic measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, draughtproofing, secondary glazing and rainwater collection will be within most household budgets, while renewable energy systems and whole house refurbishments require a bigger investment.

These guided tours allow you to meet homeowners that have already done the research, completed the work and are living with the results. The tours give you the chance to see materials and technologies in a real-life setting. You can study fuel bills, ask questions, discuss costs, read manufacturer manuals and get useful trade recommendations. You’ll find the homeowners will be completely honest with you about what works and what doesn’t; their advice is impartial and thousands of visitors to our Open Days have already benefited from their knowledge and experience.

As ever, there are a wide range of homes taking part, throughout the county. Terraced houses, farmhouses, bungalows, cottages, barn conversions and off-grid smallholdings are all featured. You can see examples of solid wall insulation, wood burners, cob and straw bale building, as well as many types of renewable energy technologies in action. We’ve also included a few pioneering business premises and community buildings for those looking to invest in other areas of their life.

The Green Buildings in Norfolk – Open Days event is in its 5th year and was the first ‘open eco-homes’ event in the UK. From LED lighting to natural swimming ponds, local timber shacks to Bavarian kit homes, air source heat pumps to wood pellet boilers, there really is something for everyone. James Frost

You can view all this year's buildings and book a tour on line from the CPRE website

Photo: Honingham Earth Sheltered Social Housing Scheme, Honingham

STOP PRESS! Keep a look out next week for our Buildings in Transition Week on the TN blog, introduced by Chris Hull whose NR2 house is on this year's tour. Don't miss!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to Our September News!

Read all about what's happening in the city from our Transition Norwich news crew: our second Kitchen Conversations at FoodCycle Norwich FarmShare's summer harvest and workday, Magdalen Street Celebration preparations for the Big Day, plus scything courses, green buildings, road protests, updates on our blog and more . . . .

CPRE green build in Norfolk; Simon Fairlie's scything postcard; Mark's Feel the Beet medicine salad; Woodland Space at the Uncivilisation Festival; The End of Money.

Transition Tea Tent @ The Waveney Greenpeace Fair - 4 September

The Waveney Greenpeace Fair is on! It will be taking place in its new location alongside the lime trees at Henham Park, Suffolk on Sunday 4th September from 11am to 11pm (find us on map here).

The Fair features three music stages: the big top with a range of amplified music, the acoustic stage, and a lively human dynamo stage where the sound system is powered by members of the audience riding an exercise bike! The music encompasses jazz, folk, blues, reggae, samba and much, much more.

Stalls are back, plus great kids’ activities and entertainment including the Woodcraft Folk and the Foolhardy Folk.

Some new things include Swingboats, ‘History of the Albion Fairs’ tent, a healing area, more campaign stalls and of course The Transition Tea Tent, organised by Sustainable Bungay and featuring sustainable bicycle-powered smoothies by TN's own Jo Balfe. There will also be a Transition East stall inside for all initiatives in the Eastern region to contribute posters and info, so do come along! It's a great place to meet up.

Admission is £10 per adult, £8 concessions, £5 children under 12, under 5s free. Please car share or come by bike, there's no extra charge for parking this year.

For further details including about volunteering contact Eloise Wilkinson eloise.wilkinson@gmail.com. For full line up www.waveneygreenpeace.org.uk

Transition Tea Tent and Stall from Greenpeace Fair 2010 by Mark Watson;
Jo and bicycle-powered smoothies at the Harlequin Fayre.

Grapes Hill Community Garden Update - 25 September

The Grand Opening Day at Grapes Hill Community Garden on 7th August was a great success and was attended by a wide range of people. Will Giles officially opened the garden, then we enjoyed a day of food, drink, music, plant sales, face painting and information about the garden. We recruited lots of new members.

August has seen the garden at its most productive, with plentiful crops of courgettes, French and runner beans, spring onions, parsley, nasturtiums, Alpine Strawberries, Japanese Wineberries and more unusual vegetables such as Tree Spinach and Achocha.

Some of the hardy Geraniums have been flowering for months and have now been joined by Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Soapwort, annual Mallows and Michaelmas Daisies.

It is always great to meet new members of the public and show them around the garden and this is why the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group now meets on alternate Sunday afternoons (2 - 4pm: 11th and 25th September 2011). Do come and see us!

For more information on the garden see our website and Facebook page - we now have over 140 followers!

Grapes Hill Community Garden is open every day (admission free). Summer opening hours are 9am - 6pm. Jeremy Bartlett.

Above: Grand Opening Day - 7th August 2011. Photo copyright Jo Rice / Grapes Hill Community Garden Group.

Kitchen Conversation 2 - Low Carbon Cookbook - 16 September

Last month we had our first Kitchen Conversation at the Nectar Cafe and discussed Eating Local Food for Real. Our delicious supper of shared dishes, which included some of the new cafe's raw delights - gaspacho, blackberry and apple crumble, and courgetti, a spiralling bowl of small marrows as you have not yet known them, doused in peppery nasturtium and dandelion leaf pesto (a hit!), Mark's Feel the Beet Medicine Salad and Sophie's grapes from her native France.

Afterwards we discussed the varying engagements with local food from allotments, how you can get out (or not) from the supermarket system, the beneficial and low carbon advantages of eating raw food, veg boxes and how eating in season ties you in with the earth and the people and plants of the neighbourhood. Meanwhile the cafe's next door neighbour dropped in with a picture of a hummingbird he had taken in Northern Peru.

We'll be holding our second Low Carbon Kitchen Conversation at Norwich FoodCycle Cafe on 16 September at 7pm. These free community meals are cooked up each week at the Friends Meeting House kitchens from food that would otherwise be thrown away, all donated by local shops, restaurants and market stalls (including surplus veg from Norwich FarmShare). Our topic for discussion will be (you guessed it!) Food Waste, both the big global picture and the small ways we can rethink how we buy and pay attention to the food that keeps our bodies and souls together. All welcome! Charlotte Du Cann

For further info on The Low Carbon Coobook contact Charlotte at rootsshootsandseeds@hotmail.co.uk

Jo welcomes the crew to the Nectar; our shared late summer meal

Book swap @ Nectar - 24 September

If you love your books, set them free. Based on this motto of bookcrossing, there will be a book swap on Saturday 24 September 3pm at Nectar Cafe, 16 Onley Street, NR2 2EB. Whether transition related, written by the enemy, or a novel that is collecting dust on your bookshelf, do bring it along. We'll also start an Official Bookcrossing Zone, so from then on you can come and take and bring books there. For free, there aren't even penalties for returning your books late. Erik Buitenhuis

TN Bloggers preparing to release The Transition Timeline into the wild in Chapelfield Gardens

News from Norwich FarmShare - Workday - 25 September

We're fully in the middle of the most productive time on the farm: all the fruiting plants are heavy with produce- squashes, tomatoes and beans. The flowering plants are coming in: broccoli and cauliflowers and the cooler weather brassicas are starting to bulk up. This means that our veg shares are enormous, groaning with veg. Members stare wide eyed at each other over their mounds of fennel, custard squashes, tomatoes and more. We learn how to store veg and how to preserve it. Or we invite friends and family round for big meals based on what we have. And we store up memories of these bumper crops to last us when all we've got is root veg and cabbage. It's a surprising new-old thing to have to learn in these days of round-the-clock, round-the-calendar, round-the-world shopping.

The other new-old thing we're learning is that many hands really do make light work. We're growing without sprays, which means the weeds can only be kept down by sheer hard work. If we were to pay people to pull out the weeds, we would have to charge much more for our veg- so we ask all our members (and anyone else who would like to support us or who fancies a day in the fresh air) to contribute to work days at least three times a year.

The next work day will be on Sunday 25th September 11am to 3pm. Our last one was great fun, a really satisfying day. We hope you'll join us for this one too.

See our website for directions to the farm. We'll be working on the Postwick site. Elena Judd

The Shock Doctrine - Little g film night - 16 September

Billed as "a busy activists' alternative to a book group", Little g is a new film and discussion night for everyone involved in regional activism, Transition culture and all things progressive. September's film will be Shock Doctrine. Based on Naomi Klein's bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine argues that America's 'free market' policies have come to dominate the world through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. Both the film and the book argue that governments all over the world exploit natural disasters, economic crises and wars to push through radical free market policies. Klein calls this 'disaster capitalism' and in her view, disaster capitalism is as effective as psychiatric shock therapy at wiping our collective memory.

The film concludes that the result is often catastrophic for ordinary people and hugely beneficial to big corporations. The documentary also adds to Klein's thesis - which was written before the recent market turmoil - and includes an analysis of how the financial world got into its current troubled state.The book highlights the need for resilient communities in interesting times.

September is the first, if people like the idea and turn up, it will be a regular. The idea is to relax over a film and food (bring something shareable if you can), and have time to talk about it. Lesley Grahame

Little g film night: Friday 16 September at 6pm, Friends' Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane.

Reskilling - Scything Courses

My name is Beth Tilston and I am a scything tutor. I am writing to gauge your interest in joining forces to run a one or two day scything course in your area either before the end of October this year or from May onwards next year (due to grass growth). Scything, as I am sure you know, is a way of cutting grass and weeds using a blade and human power rather than power tools such as strimmers and lawnmowers. A scythe is useful for lawns, allotments, community orchards - all the way to meadows and mountainsides.

I am looking for appropriate areas in which to run courses. An appropriate area would be somewhere which had access to a reasonable amount of grass which isn't regularly mown short, plus somewhere with nettles, docks, thistles etc to provide variety. I teach groups of up to six and can work with another tutor for larger groups. I provide all the equipment (including safety equipment) necessary and am fully insured. I am also available to do demonstrations.

Scything is a skill that takes time to learn but a skillful scyther can work as fast as a strimmer. Here’s a video of Peter Vido, a scyther in America, showing the versatility of a scythe. Scythes are also:
  • Zero carbon
  • Quiet - better for residential areas and for the hearing of the person cutting the grass - and for general peace and quiet!
  • Safe - Though it does involve using sharp blades, there are fewer health and safety risks in the long term than mechanical devices. For example, there is no risk of whitefinger or any other vibration related ailments.
  • Fuel free - and therefore cheaper in the long term
  • Easy (and interesting) to maintain
  • Requires skill to use and therefore makes the job interesting
Please email me at bethtilston@googlemail.com or phone me on 07818474712 to discuss options.
Beth Tilston with scythe at the Uncivilisation Festival; in action.