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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring energy - 23 and 28 March

The Energy Look outs will actually be out and about on March 23rd and March 28th, 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. doing a 'door audit' around the City. See here for the background. Even if the weather is mild, we'll be looking our for those blasts of hot air coming from on high over open doors, and other energy-wasters, in our efforts to encourage traders to be more energy-aware.

Join us in The Forum, outside Tourist Information at 2.00 p.m. on either day and we will tour the doors, then adjourn to a nearby cafe at the end for some conviviality!

Chris Hull Call 01603 664928 for more info.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Transition Circle West - 26 March

A skill and resource to share
The next Transition Circle West meeting will be held at 7pm at Adrian's house on Monday March 26th. Following on from the focus of February's meeting on resource-sharing where we discussed appropriate rules and conventions for the circle's resource library, we will be discussing how to put this into action and how to include skills-sharing in the library.

We will share our usual vegetarian meal together so please bring a dish, and we will be continuing our discussions about how to make our group more effective in addressing transition's main aims.

For more information about this meeting and future meetings please contact Helen Pallett mshelenpallett@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grapes Hill Community Garden - Spring Tasks Begin - 25 March

We thoroughly enjoyed our Look Forward To Spring event on 19th February. It was a cold but sunny day and our teas and homemade soups kept visitors warm, as did some energetic nestbox building. Norfolk Master Gardeners and Master Composters came along and we had a seed swap and an RSPB information stall. We now have several nestboxes in the garden.

In March we resume our fortnightly gardening tasks. The first one is on Sunday 11th March (2 - 4pm), then Sunday 25th March and so on. This year we will be part of Norwich's entry to Britain In Bloom and we can hopefully demonstrate how a garden containing lots of edible plants can be ornamental and good for wildlife too.

On Friday 16th March we are holding a talk and slideshow at The Belvedere Centre on Belvoir Street, Norwich, NR2 3AZ, from 7 - 9pm. Entitled Norwich 1850 - 1950, it will be given by Peter and Rosemary Salt, who have an extensive collection of old photographs of Norwich. Admission is free. See http://www.grapeshillcommunitygarden.org/events.htm for up to date details of all our events.

Snowdrops started flowering in mid February and our daffodils and primroses should be in flower by the end of March.

The garden is open to visitors free of charge every day (9am - 4.30pm in winter, then 9am - 6pm from the end of March) and we will be holding more events during the year.

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

Jeremy Bartlett.

Photo by Jeremy Bartlett - Look Forward To Spring, 19th February 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Norwich Earth Hour - 31 March

Last year more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries switched off their lights for Earth Hour, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. This month Earth Hour calls on individuals, businesses, communities and governments to go Beyond the Hour and take positive action for the planet and celebrate with the people of the world by switching off their lights for one designated hour.

Here in Norwich we support this global action by creating an event outside the Forum, with fire jugglers and musicians, stalls and lively debate about environmental issues, highlighting the amount of energy that can be saved by switching the lights out.

This will be Norwich Earth Hour's 5th year and we would love to make it bigger and better than ever.

All and any help would be most appreciated and we openly invite musicians, drummers, fire performers, community groups and anyone else willing to come lend a hand. Our only rule is no use of electricity please! Jenny Bryan

Earth Hour will take place outside the Forum on 31 March between 8.30-9.30pm.

To find out more http://www.earthhour.org

Photo; Earth Hour 2011 in the Phillipines

Welcome to our March News 2012!

Read all about what's happening in the city this almost-Spring as our Transition Norwich news crew get out and about: Norwich FarmShare and Grapes Hill Community Garden have their first workdays, Energy Look Outs! goes walkabout, the Low Carbon Cookbook crew discover Great British Beans, plus all the latest from Transition Circles, Occupy Norwich and some great related events from Earth Hour to Plan B. Don't forget to fill in our Economics and Resilience survey!

Wheel relationships (helenofnorwich);pushing an open door (Chris Hull); Crisis of Civilisation downcurve; postcard of Great British Beans; Norwich FarmShare (Elena Judd); Community Bees (Amelie Curran). TN News is edited and produced by Charlotte Du Cann and Mark Watson

Norwich FarmShare on Radio Four and Workday - 10 March

Rob Hopkins did a brilliant piece on the Radio Four programme Four Thought, and we were delighted that he mentioned Norwich FarmShare as an example of 'engaged optimism'. You can listen to the show or read notes from it on his blog. I found the whole show a really moving and inspirational account of what Transition thinking can enable.

Spring is rapidly gathering pace and that brings a whole host of jobs needing doing on the farm. We’d like to invite you (and your friends and families) to come along for a fun day out on the farm: Our next workday is Saturday 10th March, 11.00 to 15.00. Tierney will be compiling a list of jobs which need doing, so I don't yet quite know what the day will involve, but it's sure to be fun.

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 work alongside like-minded people is one of the best bits of Norwich FarmShare. Everyone is welcome and there's no need to let us know beforehand. Just turn up on the day.

More details here. Hopefully see you in a sunny field soon!
Elena Judd

Norwich Community Bees - getting ready for 2012

Norwich Community Bees continues to go from strength to strength; we had our first meeting of 2012 at the beginning of February, and we’ve got plenty of plans for the year ahead.

We have one hive, up at the Norwich Farmshare site in Postwick, and we’ll have our first group hive visit towards the end of March (exact date depends on the weather). The group is also keen to build up the numbers, and we're planning to build a Top Bar Hive (or two) before the swarming season in April.

Food for our bees is very much on our minds; at the last meeting we talked about the work the Bungay Community Beekeepers are doing to provide bee corridors of wild flowers and wondered if we could do something similar.

Membership of Norwich Community Bees is just £20 for 2012 – if you would like to join, or simply find out more, drop us a note at norwichcommunitybees@hotmail.co.uk or visit the website at www.norwichcommunitybees.blogspot.com.

Jon Curran

Pic by Amelie Curran

Digging for Victor - Great Norwich Beans

Norwich is geographically well placed to feed itself. But to do it, and to break our dependence on high energy inputs, would mean changes in our diet, land use and farming. Put simply: less meat, more beans!

Victor field beans, a type of fava bean, are grown widely in East Anglia for export. Aside from fertility building they make great food for livestock and people. In the UK we've lost our taste for the humble fava bean, preferring legumes like lentils and chick peas which are hard to grow here. But the rest of the world still loves them, whether as ful medames, hummus, falafel, crisp snacks or in many other dishes.

Victor beans will soon be available in Norwich. If you pop in to a Norwich FarmShare share day at the end of March or are part of the Low Carbon Cookbook team you'll be able to pick up packs free. They'll also be available to buy in selected shops.

The beans will be dried and split for ease of use, and come with cooking instructions and links to a website with recipes. And we'd really like to hear your feedback. Josiah Meldrum (East Anglia Food Link)

Contact: info@greatbritishbeans
Web: greatbritishbeans.co.uk

RELATED EVENT: Guardians for the Future - discussion- 20 March

Ross Jackson (author, Occupy World Street ) and Rupert Read (author, "Guardians of the Future") discuss radical ideas for protecting the interests of future generations.

The costs of decisions we make today will be borne by future generations; the issue of intergenerational justice is at the heart of the need to act on climate change. So how might the world be different if the interests and basic needs of future generations were given legal protection?

Earlier this year, Rupert Read, a philosopher at the University of East Anglia and founder of the new Green House Think Tank, launched a proposal called Guardians of the Future at the House of Commons: A council of "Guardians of Future Generations", chosen like a jury from the general public, would sit above the existing law-making bodies and have two core powers. A power to veto legislation that threatened the basic needs and interests of future people and the power to force a review, following suitable public petition, of any existing legislation that threatens the interests of future people.

In his forthcoming book, Occupy World Street, Ross Jackson, proposes a similar, but elected, institution as one of many specific political and economic reforms that could make it possible to address climate change and protect future generations: A council of 'wise elders' would be elected ─ one from each major region of the world ─ to exercise just one power, and that to be used sparingly, the power to veto or void any resolution passed by lower powers whenever they feel things are moving in the wrong direction for the whole of humanity.Come along to hear Ross and Rupert discuss their ideas, and to join in the public debate that follows. Tuesday, 20th March at the Assembly House, Norwich, 6-7.30pm.

Ross Jackson's book Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform is published by Green Books on 22nd March 2012.

Occupy Norwich - Looking Forward to the Global Spring

On 20th February we dismantled the Hay Hill camp, stacked the rubbish, swept up and looked around at a place that had become very special to us. When we set up last October, none of us knew how long it would stay. In the event, it became one of the longest continuous occupations in the world. We met thousands of people, and even if not everyone was happy to see us, at least we did what we promised - a peaceful, legal protest that shone some light into some rather dark corners.

We were often asked "So what are YOUR solutions?" But Occupy isn't about handing out solutions. We have all been conditioned to accept the system, to read the "truth" from school books and holy books, and stop thinking for ourselves. If Occupy has achieved anything, it is to make people think differently. Many people have come away realising maybe for the first time that they are both the problem and the solution.

So, we move into 2012 with mixed emotions. The camp was a big part of our identity, a visible statement of our belief that things can change. But it was also a big drain on our resources, and a lot of other plans were put on hold. Now we can devote our attention to them. Peaceful direct action, arts events, the Peoples' Assembly, education groups and of course building stronger ties with everyone working towards a fairer future. Phase 2 of Occupy has plenty to keep us busy. Phil Grimes

RELATED EVENT: Plan B - Alternative Economics debate - 7 March

The debate will focus on setting out a vision for an alternative economic direction, building upon the Compass report 'Plan B: A good economy for a good society'. The event will include guest speakers Anna Coote, new economics foundation, Clive Lewis, Labour PPC for Norwich South, Prof Alan Finlayson, UEA and Dr Rupert Read, East of England Green Party Co-ordinator and Howard Reed, Co-editor of Plan B. The Meeting will be chaired by Joe Cox, Compass joe@compassonline.org.uk

Compass Meeting, Plan B will take place at the Unite Office, 39 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1ES, Wednesday 7th March, 6pm.

Post-peak hill from The Crisis of Civilisation

FILM: Idiocracy - 16 March

Little g film night, "a busy activists’ alternative to a book group" meets each month to watch and discuss documentary films.

March’s film, Idiocracy, is a satirical look at a dumbed down future. Two unlikely heroes from the present find themselves the brightest people around in a dystopia where advertising, commercialism and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and resulted in a uniformly stupid human society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.

We usually take a break to eat with Foodcycle, donations welcome for film and food. All welcome.

Time 6pm Venue: Friends’ Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich

For further details contact Lesley Grahame lesley7railway@yahoo.co.uk

Norfolk Car Club - Free to join!

Norfolk County Council is currently running a promotion to sign up more members to the Norfolk Car Club - a fantastic option for residents and businesses in Norwich looking to reduce their costs and be more environmentally/Transitionally-minded.

Norfolk Car Club is a 'pay-as-you-go' car club scheme operating throughout Norwich and some market towns in Norfolk. In Norwich, Car Club cars are parked in designated parking bays across the city. Members book online and use a 'smart card' to unlock the car and drive away. The user pays by the hour and cars are available 24/7. It’s a very flexible, alternative, driving option. You are fully insured and Norfolk Car Club takes care of all maintenance, servicing and cleaning.

The Car Club will work if one of the following is true:

* you need easy access to a car for work or leisure
* you don't want the expense and hassle of owning your own car
* you walk or cycle to work but need access to a car for meetings
* you are thinking of getting rid of your car because you hardly use it
* parking is a problem where you live
* the family car is being used in the day and you sometimes need another car
* you want to reduce your carbon footprint

Individuals can join as a 'personal member'; businesses can join the Car Club as a 'corporate member' - registering staff as drivers. The Car Club is currently free to join (saving up to £25) with the promotional code 'Norwich10'. Just use the code when you sign up online at www.commonwheels.org.uk or phone Commonwheels on 0845 602 8030. You can cancel your membership at any time. James Frost

Where are all the fruit and nut trees?

Years ago there was a tradition in our society of foraging in the wild. It is a tradition we have lost. Beginning with the Enclosure of common lands - and increasingly as food production has become more and more globalised, we have become used to buying all our food from shops and supermarkets. Before the process of Enclosure became widespread, culminating in the 18th and 19th century Acts, local people had the right to forage, cultivate, cut hay, graze their animals, fish and collect timber and turf for fuel from common land. As the fields, meadows and commons were fenced off, many of the poor became dispossessed and people were forced to leave the land. Food that had previously been free became a commodity that had to be bought.

These days there is necessarily an emphasis on local and low carbon food production; but ‘free food’ remains a largely untapped source. A number of communities have started mapping their local foraging opportunities. Following suit, a few of us from the (Norwich FarmShare) food hub, have created a map to show fruit and nut bearing trees and bushes (walnuts, sweet chestnuts, rose hips, hazel, elderflowers & berries, sloes, blackberries, damson, plums and apples; and so on). Go to http://g.co/maps/m86ft to add any sources you know of on publicly accessible land (please, not private land). And let’s grow the map. Sarah Gann

For further info contact Sarah Gann at sarahdgann@gmail.com

Photo: walnut harvest and oil