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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Transition Free Press seeks backers!

 Transition Free Press, the new nationaal newspaper will be publishing its first issue on 1 February 2013 and
thanks to 40 Transition initiatives across the UK has a fully fledged distribution network in place. Now the editorial crew have launched a crowd-funding appeal which will go towards paying staff, contributors and printing costs.

The appeal needs to reach it £10,000 target (at least) by mid-February. Can you help get the presses rolling? Do check out the newspaper's dedicated site at BuzzBnk:


All subscriptions and backing will be very happily received!

indexLost in Transition? New agony column needs your dilemmas

We don’t promise to solve every problem, like Marge, but we can give you directions when you are stuck. At the TFP a crew of seasoned Transitioners are set to offer their experience and advice on any difficulties you might be encountering on the bumpy road to sustainability.

Downshifting blues, group dynamics, living without heating, partner loves you, hates Transition? Bring it on. If we don’t have a solution up our sleeve we’ll do the Transition thing and ask someone in the network who does. Please send you problems to us and we will do the best to answer you in our column (and send you a paper too).

Please send your question to charlotteducann@transitionnetwork.org and it will be passed on to the team. Thank you!


Getting on message

We are also looking for advertisers for the first issue, so if you are looking for a good Transition audience this is the place to come. We have all sizes and prices available and a special marketplace section for Transition events. notices, sales, swaps etc.  As our  business manager, Jay Tompt  (here in action at the Conference) says:
We’ll be reaching thousands of Transitioners and Transitionistas, change makers and early adopters, activists and organizers, enthusiastic supporters of local, green, ethical, cooperative, social, and resilient enterprises. This network holds lots of potential.
You can get hold of any of us through this website and we are happy to answer questions about advertising or editorial  and give advice about creating a local news page.  This is a paper written, edited and published by people in Transition. So do get in touch. Charlotte Du Cann

Not heart of Transition Free Press? Check out our preview issue published last summer. 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grapes Hill Community Garden Update

Harvesting produce from the raised beds

As winter approaches we can look back over another successful year for Grapes Hill Community Garden. We have won several awards this year: A Green Flag Award and Group Award in the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Community Biodiversity Awards in July and Best Community Project in the Anglia In Bloom Awards in September.  We were also Highly Commended in the Norwich EcoAwards in March 2012. Thanks to all our supporters for all your help in winning these awards.

It has been a difficult year for growing vegetables but our raised bed tenants have managed to grow a good range of crops.

We are be renting out deep beds again in 2013 and, as before, we will give preference to people in the surrounding area who don't have their own growing space. If you're interested, complete an application form and send it to our Secretary by 1st December 2012. You'll also need to join the Gardening Group. Group members receive a regular newsletter and invites to members only events in the garden, such as barbecues. For more details, including forms and where to send them, see the Get Involved page on our website.

Soon we will be planning events for next year, including a joint opening with the Belvedere Centre Garden for charity through the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday 28th July 2013. Let us know if you have any ideas for events in the garden.

For more information on the garden see our website and Facebook page.  

Jeremy Bartlett

Photograph by Jeremy Bartlett

National Climate Change March against Fracking Today - 1 Dec

Organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change, this demonstration is against the use of destructive fracking techniques in mining for gas and oil. This year has seen the passing of an awesome milestone in the accelerating escalation of the climate crisis, as well as the introduction of fracking testing in the UK.

Several Transition groups in the UK have also been helping local campaigns in their challenge to this highly polluting technology.

The march is assembling in Grosvenor Square at 12.30 and laying the "Grosvenor Keystone Pipeline" at 1pm. The march to Parliament begins at 1.30pm and building a mock fracking rig at 3.30pm.

Join us at Grosvenor Square, London www.campaigncc.org

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Biofuels petition please sign today!

STOP PRESS!!  Today is the last day to addyour signature to stop palm oil subsidies for biofuels.  Join us if you can in our submission to DECC tomorrow, Friday 30th, 1:00pm.

Sign the petition here

In early 2013 the UK government is set to guarantee generous subsidies to burn vegetable oil (mostly palm oil) for hugely inefficient electricity power generation.  This could potentially double the total UK palm oil imports, posing a threat to rainforests, climate and forest-dependent communities and indigenous peoples who face losing their land and livelihoods to new oil palm plantations.

So far, biofuel company W4B has planning permission to build two large palm oil power stations in Bristol and Portland and another company, Edgeley Green Power, is seeking planning consent for a power station in Shoreham-on-Sea, also listing palm oil as a potential feedstock. 

In Indonesia alone, the Government is planning to see 20 million hectares – an area ten times the size of Wales, converted to new oil palm plantations to meet rising global demand with devastating impacts on endangered species such as the Orangutan.

Please join us in another push to let the government know that subsidies for biofuels are a scam, nothing more than a destructive give-away to industry masquerading as responsible action on climate change. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Norwich FarmShare Workday - 25 November

Fancy a burst of natural exercise? Norwich FarmShare needs regular volunteer help on the farm every Wednesday (10.00-1.00 or 1.30-4.00, or stay all day- just turn up on the day, no need to let us know in advance) & also every Thursday morning to help with the harvest (starting promptly with a warm-up at 10.00am and working until 1.00pm- again just turn up) and at the Food Hub every Thursday afternoon (3.45pm-6.45pm. We have a rota for these shifts, so please email us to let us know you’re thinking of coming) to help with the distribution.
We hold monthly workdays throughout the spring, summer and autumn on the last Saturday of the month. All our members and supporters are welcome to come along (and bring their friends and families) for a fun day out on the farm.

We’ll give you any training and equipment you need on the day, all you need to bring are plenty to drink (it’s thirsty work this farming), something for lunch and good sturdy clothing and footwear. Getting stuck in to a good day’s planting or weeding alongside like-minded people is one of the best bits of Norwich FarmShare.

The next workday is Saturday 25 November 11.00 to 3.00, with a lunchbreak at 1.00pm. Do join us!
It’s best to arrive just before 11.00 to make sure you’re in time for the warm up and so we can show you how to do all the jobs safely. Let us look after you, as you’re looking after us!

Directions to the farm and advice on what to bring,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

REPORT: "What's Happening in Transition Norwich"

The event held at Inner Space on 28 September was approximately split into three parts: 
  • a workshop, 
  • introductions to existing projects, 
  • discussion and ideas for further projects.
The evening started with a workshop to get us thinking about the human needs that unite us. There are only a limited number of fundamental human needs, defined by Manfred Max-Neef as Subsistence, Protection, Recreation, Creation, Affection, Understanding, Participation, Identity and Freedom. These needs may be satisfied in various ways, including some ways which are actually destructive to our ability to satisfy other needs, the needs of other members of society, and the planet.

Following this, various projects were introduced by people in the room, which were then discussed in further detail over the meal in smaller groups.  We finished up with a short summary and feedback session, hoping to get an idea of further projects, but it was getting late, and although there was much talk on the subject of marketplaces and the use of empty land within the city, no distinct action emerged. If anyone feels that they would like to spearhead action on this front, though, email out to groups.google.com/group/norwich-in-transition.

The Projects:

Energy 4 All (www.energy4all.co.uk) - Co-operatively owned wind farms in Britain, including some new sites in Norfolk on land owned by Bernard Matthews. Paul Rea (paul.rea@energy4all.co.uk) is keen " contact people who are open to dialogue on wind turbine development and who would feel able to write to planning authorities in support of each scheme". The web address for the co-operative is www.bmwe.coop.

Visions for Change (visionsforchangenorwich.org.uk) - "Its purpose is to enhance communication between the many such groups in the area and to make it easy for anyone, whether already in a group or not, to be aware of and contribute to the Norwich and district progressive scene." Includes a monthly themed facilitated discussion (the next one is on "Work"). You can sign up to their mailing list on their website.

Norwich FarmShare (norwichfarmshare.co.uk) - "A community-owned farm growing delicious seasonal vegetables just outside Norwich. We deliver them fresh into Norwich every week for our members to share."

Norwich Community Bees (norwichcommunitybees.blogspot.co.uk) - "Norwich Community Bees is a community-supported, non-profit making cooperative [bee-keeping] venture, supported by the subscriptions, time and effort of its members."

The Poosh (thepoosh.org) - A website to facilitate connections between those who are planning a self-build sustainable building, and those who wish to volunteer to help build those buildings (rather like WWOOFing, but for building). Local contact is Jim Self (jim@thepoosh.org).

Norfolk Master Gardeners (www.norfolk.mastergardeners.org.uk) - A project managed by Garden Organic to provide advice and support (not actual gardening) to those wanting to grow their own food. Local co-ordinator Gabbie Joyce (gjoyce@gardenorganic.org.uk, 01362 869286). Also organise events about organic gardening.

Abundance Project (http://g.co/maps/m86ft) - Wild food mapping.

FoodCycle (www.facebook.com/foodcyclenorwich) - Makes use of surplus food produced within the city by providing free meals to the community each Friday, 7pm, at Friend's Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, NR2 1EW. Staffed by volunteers.

Norwich Garden Share (www.facebook.com/groups/231291046985505) - For anyone in Norwich who would like to share some of their garden or Allotment space and for those people who are seeking access to gardening.

Carbon Conversations (carbonconversations.org) - A series of practical meetings to help you halve your carbon footprint. Contact in Norwich: info@innerspacenorwich.co.uk.

Magdalen-Augustine Celebration (magdalenstreet.blogspot.co.uk) - Yearly celebration of the Magdalen Street area. This year's, which took place last Saturday, was the third of these celebrations, and the first to include the St Augustines Street area.  Please sign up to their mailing list on their website, and volunteer to make sure next year's is just as much of a success.

UEA World Cafe - Termly events held at UEA to get ethical and environmental societies of the university talking to each other and collaborating.  The last one was held on the 9th October. For information about future World Cafe events, make sure you are on the mailing list The Lense.

The Lense - A weekly bulletin of events and information from the UEA's Union Ethical Officer (currently Rosie Rawle. Email: union.ethics@uea.ac.uk (I think this is the right email address!)). Please contact her to provide content, to be added to the list, or for more information.

David Medding's Upcycling (davidmeddingsdesign.co.uk) - Upcycling waste by making it into eco-furniture, gifts, signage and school projects. Looking for places to trade in Norwich, and suitable waste to be turned into other things.

The Common Room and Norwich Trade School (www.thecommonroom.so) - The Churches Conservation Trust is trying out a new concept to bring St Laurence’s church on St Benedict Street, Norwich into re-use as a new type of shared space, made and shaped collectively by the community, and run on the principles of collaboration, connection and resourcefulness. (This wasn't actually mentioned on the 28th Sept, but still a project worth following!)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Trade School at the Common Room -10 November

Exploring a way to bring St Laurence’s church back into use as a new type of shared space

Social Spaces and 00:/ are working in collaboration with the Churches Conservation Trust to try out a new concept to bring St Laurence’s church into re-use. It is a called The Common Room. We are introducing the idea to everyone by bringing it to life for a "prototype day" on Saturday 10 November - and we would love you to be part of it…

The Common Room could transform the church into a new type of shared space, made and shaped collectively by the community, and run on the principles of collaboration, connection and resourcefulness. More than a coffee shop, gallery, traditional community centre or office, the Common Room is a place where you can fix yourself a cup of tea, meet people and read your emails. Bring a dish and share a meal with others. Learn how to fix your bike, or the toaster. Or try and build your next big invention.

Great ideas, projects and enterprises seldom originate from a single person working in isolation. For stimulation, enthusiasm and collaboration we need to work in an environment full of people, ideas, learning, conversation....

+ Share your ideas for what you might like to do in the space if you were a member of The Common Room Co-operative.
+ Come to afternoon tea on the long table
+ Sign up for a Trade School class, or register to teach www.tradeschool.coop/norwich. Exchange food, items or advice for new knowledge - herbs for resilience to time skills to social media
+ Join a conversation on the long table – or offer to host one.
+ Join an activity– drop in to bake bread or build a web app.

The Common Room – prototype day. Saturday 10 November. 9am – 4pm St Laurence’s Church, Saint Benedict Street, Norwich NR2 4PG h Website: www.thecommonroom.so Email: thecommonroom.norwich@gmail.com.

Poster for event; Trade School class in USA

Monday, October 15, 2012

TN Bloggers meeting and Ceildh - 17 October

The Norwich bloggers are celebrating their third birthday this week. We have had another full-on year on This Low Carbon Life, reporting and reflecting on the multi-coloured strands of Transition, and on 17 October we're meeting to decide how to proceed in the next few months.

If you are connected with the blog in any way, past, present or future, or would like to join the crew, please join us for an informal meeting and celebratory drink at the Bicycle Cafe.

 Afterwards we're going to the Keir Hardie Hall for a resilient whirl (organised by regular blogger, John Heaser). Hope to see you there!

Bloggers meeting, upstairs at the Bicycle Cafe, St Benedict's Street at 6.30pm. Dancing from 8pm at Keir Hardie Hall. For more info contact Charlotte Du Cann theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Magdalen Street -St.Augustines Celebration 2012 - 13 October

The 2012 celebration, on Saturday October 13th, 10.00 - 5.00, is picking up a bigger beat this year!

Following the same multi-media format as previous years, it will feature over 20 live music slots in 3 locations, history tours, stuff for kids, a giant free doodle art session under the flyover, tandem rides, a recreation of a 'doll doctor', story-telling ( with tell-a joke-certificates), classical recitals in St.Augustines church through the afternoon, stalls by local charities and groups including Norwich Farmshare, workshops including thai boxing, tai chi, belly dancing, art and poetry.

Future Radio  (FM 107.8), who are supporting this year's celebration and running a live broadcast from Anglia Square, will also be featuring artists and organisers of the event through the week before.  Listen out for us on :  the Platform programme, Sunday 7th October 5 - 6 p.m., the Breakfast Show 10th October 8.40 a.m., and on Friday October 12th Community Chest programme 9.30 a.m. onward........

Check us out at :  www.magdalenstreet.blogspot or on Facebook to see the latest updates and schedule of events on the day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's Happening in Transition Norwich - 28 September

Join us to find out more and be part of this expanding, inspiring, creative and forward-looking movement at 7:45pm on Friday 28th September at Inner Space, Maude Gray Court, St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4PA

During this informal gathering of those who are passionate about environmental and social justice, we will be discussing how to expand, inspire, engage and create a lasting shift towards a better, low-carbon future in Norwich. We will be talking about success stories both locally and from further afield, ways we can collaborate across organisations and ways we can engage with larger audiences in the future.

Anyone is welcome, so whether your concern is inequality, environmental degradation, economic instability or the effects of the rising costs of oil, we'd love to see you and talk about what we can achieve together! You are invited to bring a handful of veg and/or herbs to add to a shared dinner.

For further details or directions please contact either:
Simeon Jackson (Tel: 07816 231009 Email: simeon [at] simeonjackson.co.uk)
Christine Way (Tel: 01603 614460)

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreamfish/3368619008/in/photostream/

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Third Magdalen Street Celebration - 13 October

On Saturday October 13th, the 3rd annual Magdalen Street Celebration extends its festivities to next door’s St. Augustine Street neighbourhood.
Since the widely appreciated street scene improvements to St. Augustine's, the organisers for this successful daylong event are including new venues and locally-owned businesses for October’s revelry.

Stuart McLaren, Secretary to the St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association, said: Since modernisation works have been completed to St. Augustine's there is more openness in the local street scene, with interesting new shops and galleries opening and a growing sense of community. The area is ripe for more businesses to move in now”

Helen Simpson of the organising committee said “The goal of the day is to bring together neighbourhood residents, regulars and visitors to highlight Magdalen Street's role as a hub of creative, independently-owned, ethnically diverse and environmentally sustainable businesses.”
Norwich residents who would like to help support the renaissance of the Over the Water area are invited to join the organising group, to offer their help in whatever capacity. The call out to the community is for artists and craftspeople, traders and local groups, charities and voluntary groups, to come forward and be part of this great day. Chris Hull
To get involved: contact Lynn Howe magdalenstreet@gmail.com or telephone 07854 607 414. Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month (see calendar on right or Celebration website) at the new Stage community centre at 52 Augustine's St.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Transition Network UK Conference

The 2012 Conference held at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, was six days long, more of a "Festival of Transition" than a formal convergence. It included a two day Thrive Training, a REconomy Day, Youth Symposium and National Hubs days. Here is a video of clips from the main weekend event of workshops, gatherings, open space, caberet and Transition High Street group process.

Full reports can be found on the Transition Conference 2012 blog.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Transition Network UK Conference 2012 - 13-18 September

This year the Transition Conference will take place in London, hosted by the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), and the conference aims to provide a weekend of events and workshops that explore the theme of "Building Resilience in Extraordinary Times".
The programme has 5 distinct elements, which can be attended as stand-alone events or in combination:
Main Transition Conference
The main Conference gives you the chance to connect with people from all over the UK - and the world – who have taken th
e Transition approach into their hearts, lives and communities.

Whether new or experienced in Transition this will be an opportunity to plunge into a rich pool of ideas, inspiration and practical learning, refresh your energy and make new friendsThe theme this year will be explored through a wide variety of activities and processes including programmed workshops, an Open Space afternoon, walks and visits, and a great Saturday evening of entertainment, including an open mic slot. It will draw in elements of the REconomy and Young Transition conferences happening the previous day.

The full programme is now available.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Norwich Farmshare: Introduction to Permaculture Course -22 September

led by growers Brenna Powys and Tierney Woods
The course is open to anyone, members and non-members alike, so do tell any of your friends who might be interested. It’s a great chance to come and learn about the principles of permaculture – and how they can be applied in a whole host of situations; from the expected (your garden, farm or local park) to the unexpected (your work, community group or family).
Permaculture is at the heart of the Transition movement and, as FarmShare emerged from Transition Norwich where many involved were inspired by permaculture principles, we thought this would be a great course to run on the land at Postwick. In essence permaculture (from ‘permanent agriculture‘ and ‘permanent culture‘) is about “designing sustainable human communities by following nature’s patterns” and the weekend course will introduce the key guiding principles; from observation and reflection through the underpinning ethical framework to the practical design approach.
You’ll also get to meet other local permaculturalists and see examples of projects in the growing Norfolk Network!
The weekend can be regarded as a taster before embarking on the full design course but is also useful as a standalone introduction.
Dates: Saturday 15th in Norwich city centre venue Bicycle Links and Saturday 22nd at FarmShare site at Postwick
Cost: £50-£60 per person (depending on number of participants.). Concessions available.
For more information speak to or email Tierney
To find out more about permaculture visit the Permaculture Association’s website HERE

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good food March - 16 September

A Europe-wide protest and awareness-raising organisation, the march is campaigning to get changes to EU law on farming to support small-scale farms; encourage greener and more sustainable farming; get fair prices for farmers and consumers; improve animal welfare and much more. Find out more on their website.

The March is coming to Norwich on 16th of September, visiting by bicycle several food projects around Norwich before setting out to Norwich FarmShare for a picnic. You’re welcome to join the march at any point, from cycling the whole route to just enjoying the picnic at the farm.

Join the cycle route or join by car or on foot at any point:

Start: 12pm – 12.30 Meet at Norwich Train Station
12.30 – 13.15 Cycle to John Innes Centre
13.15 – 13.45 John Innes Centre, Colney Lane
13.45 – 14.00 Cycle Bluebell South Allotments
14.00 – 14.45 Grow-your-own Project (to be confirmed)
14.45 – 15.15 Cycle to Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Norwich
15.15 – 16.00 Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Norwich centre
16.00 – 16.45 Cycle to Norwich Farmshare, Near Postwick Park & Ride
16.45 – 18.00 Good Food Picnic at Norwich Farmshare

Refreshments will be available at Bluebell Allotments & John Innes and bring a picnic for the meet at Norwich Farmshare: the organisers ask that you bring homemade, wholesome, ‘non-supermarket’ salads, bread, hot water, tea, coffee & own plates & cutlery.

For more information and any questions contact Britta on 07545 765 274, For more information on Good Food March 2012 see www.goodfoodmarch.eu

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Rebirth Of A Community Garden - 2 September

When we celebrated the opening of Grapes Hill Community Garden just over a year ago, several volunteers from the Belvedere Community Centre came along to the Grand Opening and asked whether we could help them with their own garden.

This was the start of a year's work by volunteers to revamp the Belvedere Centre's garden, which was originally laid out about twenty five years ago, but had become overgrown and neglected.

Volunteer work parties removed brambles and perennial weeds and Norwich City Council gave us permission to prune and thin the trees, to allow extra light to reach the garden. We built a new compost heap and leafmould bin and then in early April we planted up a sunny, herbaceous border and a shade border. During the spring and summer we worked on the centre of the garden and have laid new slate paths, to allow people to walk between the trees.

At last the preparation work is nearly done and we will celebrate the rebirth of the garden with a Garden Open Day on Sunday 2nd September 2012 (12 noon - 4pm). There will be a barbecue, tea and cakes, live music and craft and garden information stalls. Admission is free.

We are setting up a Belvedere Centre Gardening Group to look after the garden, which will meet for the first time on Friday 21st September 2012 (10am - 12 noon).

The Belvedere Community Centre, Belvoir Street, Norwich, NR2 3AZ. Registered Charity No 295729.For further details phone 01603 616894 or e-mail belvederecentre@yahoo.co.uk.

Jeremy Bartlett.

Photo: The sunny herbaceous border in The Belvedere Centre garden, by Jeremy Bartlett.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Grapes Hill Community Garden: Poetry In The Garden - 12 August

During this last week we've been enjoying some summer sunshine at Grapes Hill Community Garden, which is a mass of colour at the moment.

We celebrated our First Birthday Party on Sunday 8th July and we're now looking forward to our next event - Poetry In The Garden on Sunday 12th August, from 2pm to 6pm. The afternoon will feature Norwich Poetry Group and wildlife poet Richard Bonfield, with music by Lucy & Dee, an open microphone slot, games, competition and quiz. Bring your own refreshments and something to sit on. Read your own poem or bring a favourite to read.

The Grapes Hill Community Garden Group has recently received Group Award in the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Awards, in recognition of our "visionary project to create a community garden from a tarmac area in the heart of Norwich". We've also been given a Green Flag Award for being a high quality public space.

We continue to have garden tasks on Sunday afternoons (2pm - 4pm). Our next dates are 5th & 19th August and 9th & 23rd September 2012. The garden is open every day from 9am to 6pm in the summer (9am to 4.30pm or dusk from the end of October).

For more information about the garden see our website and Facebook page.

Jeremy Bartlett.

Photo by Jeremy Bartlett

Monday, July 30, 2012

Low Carbon Cookbook at the Bungay Beehive Day - 15 July

At the recent Bee Cause meeting in Norwich, organised by Friends of the Earth, Bob Flowerdew declared: if you want to help bees eat organic food, don't give your money to the pharmaceutical companies. It's perhaps the most useful step you can take to help both honeybees and wild bees in their present decline. Protecting wild places and growing nectar and pollen plants your garden are great helps, but the main damage caused to pollinator populations is the high use of pesticides in commercial food production.

At the Low Carbon Cookbook we're organic to the max: recognising that it's not just eating for our own health and well-being that is important, but that by "voting with our forks" and eating plants grown without systemic insecticides we're also backing the millions of creatures who suffer colony and habitat loss as a result of industrial farming. 90% of our crop species depend on pollination and we face a tasteless and depressing food future, if the bees and other insects disappear.

At our next meeting we are converging for a picnic after the (Sustainable) Bungay Beehive Day, organised by the Transition group, Bungay Community Bees. We will be discussing the crucial relationship between bees and our food, and everyone is welcome to join us. Just bring a picnic dish and/or drink with you and a rug to sit on.

This is BCB's second annual day of talks, walks and workshops celebrating the honeybee, and this year will feature the film, Queen of the Sun, and a talk by Heidi Hermann from the Natural Beekeeping Trust. At 12.15 LCC's Mark Watson will be leading a Bee and Flower walk around Bungay's diverse green spaces and at 2pm Charlotte Du Cann will be discussing wild flowers and their relationship with bees, with excerpts from her new book 52 Flowers That Shook My World – A Radical Return to Earth. Full details of the day here.

Meet at the entrance to the Festival marquee, Castle Meadow, Bungay on 15 July at 5pm. For further info contact Charlotte Du Cann theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk

Images from BCB trip to High Ash Farm, Caister St Edmund, farmed by Chris Skinner for the benefit of wild plants and creatures (and us).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

On the move with Norwich FarmShare - workday 28 July

FarmShare has set up a new Food Hub at Bicycle Links in the St.Mary's Works complex. Bicycle Links gives unemployed and disadvantaged people skills and work shop experience, refurbishes unwanted bikes and stops them going into the waste stream and encourages cycling as a sustainable means of transport.

We think it’s a great location and we’re delighted to be sharing a space with a social enterprise whose social and environmental aims match so well with ours. If you’re not a member of FarmShare but would like to come and meet us, see how the Harvest Share Day works and see Bicycle Links you’d be more than welcome any Thursday afternoon (after 4pm); the full address is Bicycle Links, 18 St. Mary's Works, Duke Street, NR3 1QA.

Over at the farm, which is entering the most abundant half of the year, volunteers from the Big Norwich Bat Project have been recording bats. They were delighted to identify 6 species including soprano pipistrelle, noctule and brown long eared bats.

FarmShare welcomes visitors and the Tierney, Christophe and the team love to see people up at the farm. There are regular opportunities to come and get involved or just have a walk round the land. The next workday will be Saturday July 28th but you can come and help with the harvest any Thursday morning or come down at other times by arrangement - email Tierney here:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grapes Hill Community Garden Update - 29 July

Grapes Hill Community Garden is a mass of lush vegetation and colourful flowers as the wet spring continues.

Highlights of the garden in early June are the magnificent grass Stipa gigantea and patches of Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), lupins, various types of hardy Geranium and Salvia 'Mainacht'. There are the contrasting foliage shapes and colours of Hostas, golden Lemon Balm, Heucheras, Sage, Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum), Marjoram and Mints.

As summer begins there will be yet more colour and the garden should be looking good for our First Birthday Party on Sunday 8th July, the day of the Norwich Lanes Fair. There will be food, a licensed bar, music and plant sales, from 3pm until 9pm.

The flowers and the wildflower meadow are doing their job of attracting insect life into the garden. We've just been told that the garden has won an award from Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership. We don't have more details yet, but it is good to know that the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group's work to create a haven for people and wildlife near Norwich city centre has been recognised.

Our raised bed tenants are beginning to harvest their vegetables, though it has not been the easiest of growing seasons so far, with lots of cold weather.

We continue to have garden tasks on Sunday afternoons (2pm - 4pm). Our dates for the summer are: 15th & 29th July and 5th & 19th August 2012.

For more information about the garden see our website and Facebook page.

Jeremy Bartlett.

Photos by Jeremy Bartlett

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Transition newspaper launched

This month the Transition Free Press, a new national newspaper, launched its preview edition. It's a blueprint of how the paper will look, and the kinds of subjects we aim to cover every quarter - news with comment and context, features and reviews.

As well as viewing it online, there will be printed copies that will be available at various events, including the Transition Network Conference in September 2012. Plus you can order copies by post (see bottom of page).

"Where are we going?" asks the editorial. "We’re heading for the future. We are not afraid to share our views, ask awkward questions, laugh or explore paths other papers don’t go down in order to get there. What we want is to capture the real-life experiences of people who are discussing and doing Transition, learning to share skills and resources, starting up social enterprises, thinking hard about alternative ways of organising the way we do energy and economics.

We’re looking at the small details in the big picture. We’re optimistic in the face of tough times. But we are also real. We’re real about the awesome challenges of peak oil and climate change and the economic collapse. We’re real about the hard work the projects featured in these pages take (including this paper!) We want to reflect that feet-on-the-ground reality, mixed with the cheerfulness that comes when you’re working with your fellows for a common purpose.

Most of all we want to connect the dots. Our old-style, fossil-fuelled culture works by separating out all the important subjects, by keeping everyone separated and alone. We want to connect people in Transition, connect campaigners and thinkers and people who never heard of energy descent or alternative currency, open up a dialogue, write another story."

To make future editions happen, we need your support too - in particular we hope you like it enough to want to have copies to give out in your community. Please fill in this short survey to give us an idea of your interest in distributing copies: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZCKV97

Please get in touch if you would like to contribute or advertise or get involved in any way with future editions.

For editorial contact Charlotte Du Cann charlotteducann@transitionnetwork.org
For distribution contact Mike Grenville mgrenville@gmail.com

Order print copies with Paypal. Click here: 4 copies or 8 copies
Please contact Mike for prices for more copies.

Image for front story on alternative currency -Brixton pounds in action by Jonathan Goldberg; Climate impacts day in Texas from 350.org

Norfolk Incinerator Song

Video of the King's Lynn/Downham Market incinerator protest at County Hall last Friday, shot by William Alderson. Song by Nico and the Downham Market Underground (John Preston - Downham and Villages in Transition)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Norfolk Incinerator protest - 29 June

Norfolk County Council is threatening West Norfolk with a mass burn incinerator. Like nuclear waste, it is perfectly safe. It is to be sited 2 miles from King’s Lynn, near farming land and near the Wash, with its shellfish beds. Nobody in West Norfolk wants this – 90% of 65,000 polled said NO INCINERATOR. The campaign against it are King’s Lynn Without Incinerator (KLWIN) and the Farmers’ Campaign. In 2010 there was a 400 strong demonstration outside the Town Hall (from a population of 30,000). When BBC Question Time visited Lynn, the unofficial mention of the incinerator stopped the show!

West Norfolk musicians and poets, a number in DOWNHAM AND VILLAGES IN TRANSITION, got together and made a CD of excellent and pertinent songs and poems about the incinerator. They then launched a Living Room Tour, where they performed in people’s houses and sold the CD, thus raising over £300 for the KLWIN campaign.

On Friday 29th June at 10.00 a.m. at County Hall, the Planning Committee will decide whether to build the incinerator despite the overwhelming public opposition. A lot of people are going to invade Norwich to protest and we will be singing our Incinerator Hymn! Come and join us!

For background read our "Dash for Ash" story by Andrew Boswell here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Norwich Community Bees Update

With the weather being so poor during April and May, we had to wait a while, but finally the bees started to swarm, and we were able to welcome a new colony into our Norwich Community Bees hive up at the Norwich Farmshare site at Postwick.

Dan, Bee, Suzanne and I recently headed over to the site to see how they were settling in and add some additional frames. It was the first time I'd suited up and got up close and personal with a hive, and I was quite nervous, but as soon as we opened the hive, you could just hear that the bees were getting on fine, and they were really calm while we checked them out and added the frames.

It was a fantastic experience, and I can't wait to go back and see how they're getting on. Watching them flying in and out of the hive and listening to the buzzing is so peaceful, you could quite imagine bringing a deckchair and a nice bottle of wine and making an afternoon of it!

If you're interested in knowing more about Norwich Community Bees, visit our website or drop us a line at norwichcommunitybees@hotmail.co.uk. We'd love to hear from you!

Pic: Jon (l) and Dan (r) adding frames to the hive.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bee Cause campaign and public meeting - 27 June

Leading gardeners, campaigners and beekeepers speak out for action to tackle bee decline

As part of a campaign to protect the bee, Friends of the Earth is calling on David Cameron to produce a National Bee Action Plan to tackle bee decline. It says that the PM should suspend those pesticides linked with bee deaths, make changes to the way impacts on bee health are assessed and include targets for reducing use of pesticides.

A public meeting calling for action will take place on Wednesday, 27 June at the Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich at 7:30pm (doors open 6:30pm). Speakers include Bob Flowerdew, broadcaster, author and President of the Norfolk Organic Group, Paul Metcalf, Easton College and President of Norfolk Beekeepers Association and Linda Laxton, Founder, British Wildflower Plants Co., Norfolk. Chair for the evening is Chris Skinner, Norfolk farmer, BBC broadcaster and conservationist. Bee and honey related stalls will be on site. Admission is free.

Pesticide use rose by 6.5% between 2005 and 2010, increasing the risk to bee populations according to new research released last month by Friends of the Earth. Bees are critical to Britain's food supply and economy, but numbers of some species have fallen dramatically in recent years. Three British bumblebees have become extinct, solitary bees have declined and managed honeybee colonies fell by 53% between 1985 and 2005. Loss of lowland meadows and hedges and the destruction of local wildlife sites have removed vital sources of food and nesting sites for bees.

For more information: email: foenorwich@hotmail.com Tel: 07864 674014

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ancient and modern superfoods - Low Carbon Cookbook - 18 June

Last year the Low Carbon Cookbook contacted Jeremy Bartlett to see if we could curate one of the raised beds at the Grapes Hill Community Garden. Fortunately for the garden, all the beds were snapped up by people in the neighbourhood: from those wanting some more space to grow veg and herbs or keen to try their hand.

Our original plan was to have a showcase for Transition plants that people might not know about: experimental cereals and pulses, perennial plants that flourish in forest gardens, medicinal herbs and edible flowers. We wanted to have an area where everyone could find out about them (with signs), ask questions, touch and taste.

Unfortunately for us there was no space available, but Jeremy has let us have one or two places for some of those plants. We chose three that came under the heading Ancient and Modern Superfoods: two seeds bearers - amaranth and chia from Mexico and one berry bush, goji from the Orient (via Jo Homan's Edible Landscapes London).

We were inspired by our meeting at Jo Balfe's Nectar Cafe where Jo mixes local goji berries into her teas and muesli and chia into muesli and breads. Both the seeds are highly nutritious and make a sticky and fortifying porridge. The goji berries are an ace tonic. All these plants are easy to grow, lovely to look at and delicious to taste - and once planted free to eat too! Check them out.

Low Carbon Cookbook are meeting on 18 June at 7pm. For further info contact Charlotte Du Cann on theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk (01502 722419)

Martin Crawford's ace guidebook, How to Grow Perennial Vegetables (Green Books); amaranth seed heads from Erik's garden.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Second Visions for Change meeting - 26 June

The idea behind Visions for Change is that it should be a communication platform between the numerous groups which exist in Norwich and Norfolk that are working for a just and ecologically sustainable world. It should be a space for the exchange of visions for change in this direction. The purpose of this second meeting is to refine the ideas developed so far about the role of the proposed Visions for Change and how to create and maintain it.

Visions for Change will not duplicate the substantive work of active individuals or groups, but will rather promote cross-fertilisation.
Second Visions for Change meeting, Tuesday 26 June, 7-9pm, Playhouse meeting room (enter Playhouse, turn right). Here is the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/events/345641262176405/

Poster for action taking place on 9-10 June to commemorate The Diggers and reclaim land in Windsor. The group will be walking from Syon Lane Community Allotment in West London. Details can be found on the website http://diggers2012.wordpress.com/ or by emailing diggers2012@yahoo.co.uk