Saturday, 14 November 2009

Nayland, Suffolk

Village: pop. 1200
Timeline: Started March ’09

Transition Nayland began with one person who, after making a pitch to the Community Council, negotiated the use of the local community hall and film equipment and enlisted support from 2 members of the Community Council to help set up a film night to which 65 people came. Out of this film night and inaugural meeting a core group of seven people was formed, who now meet on a monthly basis, with an open meeting every two months. Their core group is unusual in that everyone is under the age of 45, in full-time work, and many have young families. It also includes the owner of the local pub, The Anchor (recently voted the Greenest Pub in Suffolk, which grows its own vegetables). The wider and very supportive general group of a further 10 people includes a local Parish councillor, District councillor and a County councillor as well as representation from the WI.

TN feel that the awareness-raising stage is crucial to get people up to the same level of understanding. So far they have had two screenings at the local village hall. At the first they showed Farm for the Future and The Story of Stuff, and at the second The Age of Stupid. They are conducting a local Transition Survey of the village (based on the Totnes survey), asking people questions about where they shop, whether they use the allotments etc., to find out what the community wants. They are also in negotiations with the Parish Council over an extension of the local allotments. In addition, they are introducing battery recycling and investigating location options for a bottle bank.

Like many village or smaller town initiatives TN benefits from having a closely defined community and the fact most places of activity are within walking distance. Some projects are more easily achieved as a result. Nayland is also helped by a common pride of place and being socially rich, with several active societies and groups, two village shops, a post office and an eco-plan school. Transition Nayland are also initiating plans for hydro-power in the River Stour and have a regular column in the local community paper. In the future they also plan to run an informal green "clinic" at the pub, where people who want to can speak with those who have knowledge and experience of renewable energy and can share their resources.

Contact Person: Will Hitchcock
Tel: 07768 435719

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