Saturday 14 November 2009

Beccles, Suffolk

Market town: pop. 10,000
Timeline: Started November ‘08

Inspired by Sustainable Bungay’s Growing Local Food Conference, Sustainable Beccles began last November. Originally the group was supported by members of a local church who had a strong interest in the environmental and community aspects of Transition, and their first event was a successful screening of Power of Community. The initiative stalled when numbers dropped and there was a lack of commitment to move projects forward.

However a renaissance occurred when a working party began the Apple Share project in the summer. This is a scheme to collect unwanted apples from gardens and neglected orchards to redistribute back into the community and make into apple juice. The scheme was inspired by the many urban gleaning and scrumping projects that have recently sprung up all over the country, from Shef f ield ( to Walthamstow On October 10 SB had a stall in the High Street identifying and giving away many different varieties of apples, apple recipes and freshlypressed apple juice. Next year they hope to team up with neighbouring Sustainable Bungay to map and document the fruit trees of the surrounding district. Another high profile event SB organised was a well-being day on October 31 when Neil Chadbourn (of Transition Town Totnes, responsible for the planting of the TT well-being garden) came to talk about the relationship between Transition and the health service in the future.

Beccles are now waiting for other members to join the steering group who will take SB forward. (“We would become official provided we can maintain sufficient interest.”) Meanwhile another working party is neogtiating with the Town Council to renovate an old school playground another working party is negotiating with the Town Council to renovate an old school playground and turn it into a community orchard and educational centre.

Poster for Apple Share Day, October 10 '09

Contact Person:
Netta Swallow
Tel: (01502) 470 135

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