Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sustainable Bungay's Car Free Day - Sunday 22 Sept - FREE Bus Service between Beccles and Diss!

What would Bungay look like with fewer cars on the roads? On September 22nd every year communities across Europe take back their streets for a day. This year Bungay is joining in and we’re asking everyone to leave their cars at home for the day.

There are some great events planned and local traders are offering special discounts and services - see below. And if you live between Beccles and Diss, why not take advantage of the FREE BUS SERVICE Sustainable Bungay has organised with Anglian Bus and visit us:

Working with Anglian Bus Sustainable Bungay have arranged a free bus between Beccles and Diss. There's currently no Sunday service on this route so the 'Waveney Special' presents a unique opportunity to hop on the bus and visit some of the valley's other towns and villages - perhaps for a walk and pub lunch, to visit friends or just for a bit of sightseeing.

Buses leave Beccles at 9:50pm and 1:50pm and Diss bus station at 11:15am and 3:15pm. You can view the full time table here: Car Free Day Bus Timetable 

Of course if you don't live in Bungay the bus is a great way of getting to one our Car Free day events or taking advantage of the offers from local businesses:

Car Free Day Events

9am: Town Mayor Judy Cloake and Town Reeve Richard Cundy will see the Godric Cycling Club off on their regular club run (which is for faster riders). The Club are always keen to see new faces, so do feel free to join them.

10am: As part of Sustainable Bungay’s on-going series of walks around the town there will be a Wellbeing Walk across the Outney Common. Join Tony and others for a gentle walk and conversation.

10:30: Margaret Sheppard will lead a group through the lanes for coffee in Beccles. A more leisurely cycle ride than the Godric Cycling club run!

1:30pm: Josiah Meldrum will lead a group along the back roads to join the Bungay Community Beekeepers for their open day at Aldeby. Those who’ve cycled to Beccles with the 10:30am group are welcome to join at Aldeby.

2:30pm: Picturing the Past – the hidden gems of Bungay: A walk of approx 1.5 miles around the town centre and riverside to view the 16 Bungay broadsheets created by artist Alan Irvine, and the embroidered wall-hangings in the church and library created by Mary Walker (above). The artists will talk about their work and Chris Reeve will cover local history, finishing in St Mary’s church with tea and cakes. Organised for and by Waveney and Blyth Arts. To book (essential) phone Chris Reeve on 01986 893155 or email kitkat46@btinternet.com Waveney and Blyth Arts members £3/£4 non-members (children under 12 free); Tea and cakes (optional) £2.50

Car Free Day Specials

Buttercross Cafe - a free drink for anyone using the cafe on Sunday 22nd
Earsham Street Cafe - 10% discount for those involved in Car Free Day; bring a bus ticket
Tutti Frutti - Tim will be opening his green grocers shop on Sunday morning.

More About Car Free Day

Like almost every other town, city and village in the UK, Bungay was not designed to accommodate cars - instead the town evolved around the needs of pedestrians, who shared the roads and paths with draught animals and those on horseback. Over the last 100 years the car has come to dominate the roads; walkers have been pushed onto pavements and cyclists squeezed between the two.

Motor vehicles have brought huge benefits, but there are obvious disadvantages. Aside from segregated and potentially dangerous roads, we suffer air and noise pollution, damage to historic buildings, the loss of open spaces to road building, and health problems linked to a lack of exercise. As the arguments about Bungay’s new one-way system rumble on there’s one simple action we could take to reduce pressure on the town: leave our cars at home.

Car Free Day, which emerged from separate campaigns in big cities like New York, Berlin and Amsterdam, can trace its roots back to the 1950s. The current annual event is 15 years old and aims to encourage people, for just one day, to reduce their car use. In a rural area like ours where public transport is often limited, cutting back on car use can seem difficult, but Department for Transport research shows that a fifth of all journeys are less than a mile and two thirds are less than five miles. We’re asking people to think about those trips on the 22nd – is walking an option, could you hop on your bike, a bus or even car-share?

In many towns and cities Car Free Days have eventually led to huge changes in the way transport is organised – in Germany and the Netherlands many towns now have car free centres and improved public transport, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. Here in Bungay our immediate aims are more modest, but we have persuaded Anglian Bus to run 2 FREE services between Beccles and Diss where currently there is no Sunday service. If this one day trial proves a success we hope Anglian Bus will consider making a permanent timetable change. So if you’re not a cyclist or a walker why not take a trip to one of the other beautiful towns in our valley - or invite your friends to Bungay.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

BUNGAY: Happy Mondays Festival Meal - 15 July

Happy Mondays in the Festival Marquee: A feast of local food prepared and served in the Bungay Festival Marquee (at Bungay Castle): 15th July | 6:30pm – 9:30pm

We're getting ready for our BIGGEST ever Happy Monday!
Happy Mondays with the Community Kitchen is more than a meal, it’s a monthly celebration of the best in local and seasonal food in great company. In July the Community Kitchen will be setting up its big table in the Festival Marquee and cooking a two-course feast for 100. The marquee will be decorated with garden flowers and the meal will be cooked in our meadow kitchen - expect a warm welcome and delicious food!
For this extra-special event there will be a licensed bar in the marquee selling local beer, cider and apple juice.
As ever the meal is £5 for 2 courses (including a glass of Mark Watson’s famous Herbal Refresher - but not including drinks from the bar).
We’ll be serving a herby summer vegetable barley risotto with Baron Bigod cheese; a radish, tomato and cucumber salad; a green leaf and edible flower salad and a courgette and carrot slaw with horseradish and yoghurt. The dessert will be marinated strawberries and cream.
The bar will be serving Lightweight, brewed by the Waveney Brewing Company in Earsham, and Aspall’s cider.

If you’d like to join us (we hope so!) please complete the booking form you'll find HERE or on the Sustainable Bungay website HERE.

Monday, 24 June 2013

SWAFFHAM: Transition Thursday and the Power of Just Doing Stuff - 4 July

An evening with Rob Hopkins, organised by Transition Swaffham, Transition Downham Market and Transition King's Lynn is happening at The Green Britain Centre in Swaffham on Thursday 4th July at 7pm.

Rob will be launching his new book The Power of Just Doing Stuff and engaging in a Q&A. We will also be building a picture of the stuff we are all doing in Norfolk so do come and help us fill in the maps! This is a really important opportunity for us to come together and think about how we can create a positive vision and transition for this great part of the world. If you are interested in helping out before the event, or on the night, please e-mail John Knock at johnknock2@hotmail.co.uk.

There will be refreshments available and this will be a great chance to meet other like-minded people from around Norfolk. All welcome. (Ben Margolis)

Image: Rob Hopkins signs new Transition book at Crystal Palace launch (Jonathan Goldberg)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Norfolk Permaculture Design Course - 3-16 August

An exciting opportunity to participate in Norwich’s first residential Permaculture Design Course. 

This course provides an overview of what permaculture is all about and how it can help you to design a more sustainable, yet more abundant lifestyle. The venue, Park House, consists of 12.7 acres of woodland, arable land and gardens 4 miles from the city centre.

Although permaculture is most commonly thought about in connection with gardening and farming, its principles, ethics and design methods can be adapted and used in individual's own work, interests and home and offers a perspective on all aspects of building a sustainable future. Permaculture encourages us to use our individual skills, knowledge and interests, whilst drawing on traditional wisdom, science and our innate ability to observe and learn from the world around us. 

Permaculture is about meeting fundamental human needs by mimicking the design of natural systems. A simple way to understand this is to consider something you don’t want (waste) being used creatively as new input to the system. In this way problems can become the source of solutions. The elegance of systems designed on permaculture principles is in their simplicity and functionality. (Deepak Rughani)

Contact: Deepak Rughani Tel: 07931 636337 Visit: www.designedvisions.com for more details

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Ecotherapy Awareness workshop 22nd May!

We will be hosting a one day workshop, ‘Ecotherapy Awareness’. This is open to anyone and led by Andy McGeeney here in High Woods Country Park , Colchester , on Wednesday 22nd May. Booking is essential - places are limited so if you are interested please book up asap. £45 for organisations, £35 self funded individuals, £25 unwaged/students.
Andy says:
‘Ecotherapy is much more than a walk in the woods. The invitation is to spend a day outdoors with the intention of creating a deeper connection to Nature and in the process increase our sense of well-being. The use of the outdoors for well-being is becoming increasingly popular. The ecotherapy I train people to use is leading edge in its use of specific activities that bring people closer to nature and in turn improves their well-being. You will experience the ecotherapy activities I do with my clients and receive the positive benefits for yourself. There will also be an opportunity to reflect on ecotherapy and how it relates to your professional work.’
To access the booking form, click the link below, scroll down page click ‘download information and booking form’ and select ‘Colchester’.
Best wishes
Jo Wheatley
Community Gardener, BIG Garden 
tel 01206 855287    mobile 07950 243904
Colchester Borough Council
Community Services
High Woods CP, Turner Rd , CO4 5JR

The BIG Garden organic food growing project is open for visits, volunteering and garden therapy.
The garden is open for visits and volunteering from 10am to 1pm from Monday to Thursday and on alternate Saturdays, 13th & 27th April; NB 11th May will be 12 to 3pm; & 25th May; 8th & 22nd June.
Health referrals 10.30am to 1pm Monday to Thursday - see the website for further information and to download a referral form and guidelines:

Sunday, 3 March 2013

WOODBRIDGE: 'Streetwise' - Transition Streets come to Suffolk - 20 April

Streetwise is a one day training course that provides the basis for running a Transition Streets (TS) project, whereby street by street behaviour change is introduced which will benefit the people involved and the environment. The course will be led by two Transition Totnes approved trainers and is designed for those wishing to co-ordinate and lead Streetwise courses in their area. It follows a successful trail with 8 households in the village of Cransford, part of GreenerFram.

Transitions Streets originated in Totnes under the name of Transition Together. Based on 468 households from 56 groups the average saving per household is around £570 per year and 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per year’. ‘The greatest benefit of participating was the new social connections and the strengthening of local community.’ 

Spaces are limited to 25 (with two people coming from any one ‘community’) 

Local vegetarian food will be provided. There will be an optional donation of £5 to go towards printing more localised Transition Streets workbooks. 

For more information on Transition Streets and the pilot contact David by email:      greenacre356@btinternet .com.

To book either call 01394 444218 and leave a message or email  

Date & Time: Saturday 20th April 2013, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location:       Hacheston Village Hall, Hacheston, IP13 0DR

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Some Winter Dispatches from East Anglia

First published on the Transition Network Social Reporting Project 21 Jan 2013, introducing a regional week on Transition in East Anglia

Living Together posterIt’s early January and I’m sitting in the Green Dragon pub at Sustainable Bungay’s first event of the year, a Green Drinks session on the theme of Well-Being and the Community. The room is packed, the discussion is lively, and a new Arts, Culture and Well-Being group is formed with monthly events already being planned and put into diaries. Everything from mapping the areas in town where people experience well-being (or not), to teaching each other skills in communications, living together, growing food, meditation and even body drumming (I’m going to have a go at that one).

This post is not (for once) just about Sustainable Bungay (“You don’t really need to speak about us this time Mark,” laughed Josiah on the phone the other day. “We’ve been very well represented, after all!”). I did want to mention that meeting though, because of the connections I perceive between the local initiative I’m in and what people are saying and hinting at in their pieces for this week on other Transition initiatives in East Anglia.

The two main things I notice at this point five years down the Transition line are: one, a strong feeling that we actually have been building community over this time with all our meetings and events and discussions. People really wanted to be in the pub looking at ways, often quite simple ways, to maintain well-being, and hence resilience, by doing things together. This is reflected in Carol Hunter's piece (this coming Thursday) about Downham and Villages in Transition in west Norfolk.

The other is an awareness of how many people are in our lives who weren’t there before Transition began. And how diverse we all are. Even in a rural market town like Bungay (sorry, I’ll try not to say it again) where the population is less obviously diverse than in a city, say, our transition group has (and welcomes) a large variety of people. Everyone was aware it couldn’t be done on our own. And even within the group itself, there is a greater awareness of the challenges we face both locally and globally, certainly in terms of financial and climate instability, than there was in the early days.

Out in the East
East Anglia has hosted three Transition in the East gatherings since 2009, in Downham Market and Diss (Norfolk) and East Bergholt on the Suffolk-Essex border, as well as a large Transition Suffolk meeting in 2011. The Diss gathering in November 2009 coincided with the publication of a document “Transition in the East: co-operation, collaboration, support and influence” produced by Charlotte Du Cann and Josiah Meldrum and based on telephone communications with twenty nine initiatives over the course of several weeks.

These events catalysed vital discussions and were key in forming and strengthening the transition networks in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Many of the people and groups involved are still in touch with each other within the region.

We often attend each other's events to share experience and best practice. And sometimes to give each other a boost.

Mark and Karen happy talking rubbish
In November a quartet of us set off from a previously mentioned Transition Initiaitve in north-east Suffolk to see the folks at the recently revived Sustainable Bury at Bury St. Edmunds Green Fair. This was in exchange for the visits to B**G*Y from Karen Cannard of The Rubbish Diet fame, who had come to talk all things bin-slimming at our Give and Take Day in September and led a Green Drinks session earlier in the year on domestic waste. See Karen Cannard's blogpost on how these exchanges provide fertile cross-pollination.

Chasing Ice poster Transition Town Wivenhoe
Sustainable Bury is not the only initiative to re-emerge. Transition Woodbridge has recently started to organise again following the collapse of the original group.

Wivenhoe, a university town of 10,000 people on the River Colne in north Essex, is home to Transition Town Wivenhoe, now over four years old. The initiative recently celebrated the New Year with a cycle-powered showing of the film Chasing Icea climate change documentary about photographer James Balog's Extreme Ice Survey, which recorded Arctic ice melt over a period of three years.

I bumped into an acquaintance the other day I hadn't seen for ages and started talking to her about Transition, had she heard of it? "Oh yes," she said, "I'm part of GreenerSax's foodgrowing group" (in Saxmundham, Suffolk).

Nearby GreenerFram in Framlingham have just published their report on last year's Suffolk pilot of Transition Streets, based in and around the village of Cransford and have set up a meeting to take it further. And Stowmarket Transition formed last summer, recently appearing in the local paper talking about their "new "green project" aimed at reducing the town's carbon use.

As I said on the front page introduction to this East Anglia in Transition week, this post is the tip of the iceberg as far as Transition activity in this region is concerned. I haven't mentioned Transition Norwich, for example, whose original food group turned into the CSA Norwich FarmShare, now in its third year, and whose NR3 neighbourhood group created the annual Magdalen-Augustine Festival in one of the city's so-called deprived areas.

The Transition Norwich blog, This Low Carbon Lifewas the inspiration and model for this very Social Reporting project you are now reading. The voices of Norwich transitioners and guests are there to be read and enjoyed in the more than a thousand posts on the blog since its inception in October 2009. That's an archive if ever there was one!

If you are reading this and are part of a Transition initiative in East Anglia, do feel free to make yourself known in the comments box below and put a link to your website or Facebook page. And if you'd like to join the Transition Circle East community blog and upload posts about your transition group and events, email Charlotte at theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk for an invitation.

And me, I'll be getting on with helping to organise our new Arts, Culture and Well-Being group in SssshYouKnowWhere. And reporting on our activities here on the Social Reporting project and elsewhere throughout the year. Though talking of icebergs, I might not actually be able to get to Happy Mondays tonight for the South Indian themed meal. Bah!

Transition East's first gathering Downham Market March 2009
Meanwhile, you'll find plenty of good nutritious fare here this week from fellow transitioners reporting from the east. Mark Watson

Pics: Poster for Living Together, a day about co-housing and intentional communities, organised by transitioners in Suffolk, January 2013; Happy talking rubbish with Karen Cannard, Sustainable Bungay's Give and Take Day, September 2012; Transition Town Wivenhoe's Chasing Ice poster; Transition Norwich 2nd birthday poster 2010; Transition East Gathering organised by Downham and Villages in Transition, March 2009