Transition Town Poole
Thurs 13th October, Quaker Meeting House, Wimborne Road
14 of us gathered at the Meeting House.
We started with introductions, and then in the spirit of the location, a period of silent reflection, and for any that chose, sharing some words with the group.
– Fiona, recently moved to Poole, but previously one of the originators of Transition Wells.
– Rob was feeling happy because he had been able to influence at work (showing the In Transition film at managmeent meetings and getting it in the newsletter), and also supporting Transition Blandford and Corsham with cheques.
– Cherry is enjoying the abundance of the season, and experimenting with fruit
– Tony is struggling with wanting people to change, and getting their visions to be bold enough
– Andrew reminded us that with abundance, you also get periods of frugality, and he is trying to help friends
– John is looking forwards to getting the woodburner going, and ammassing wood.
– Andy feels knackered yet elated, the tidal energy project is really taking off. John agreed with both sentiments !
Abundance and Apples
Discussion around grafting. Harriet has some scions of Newtons Wonder -which has great keeping qualities, lasting until April.
Cherry has a plan, with 25 different apple trees, in pollination groups, overall to cover a long season. A mixture of cookers, eaters and cider apples. She’d like to extend it to other fruit, and mentioned soft skinned almonds which is a variety that will work in our climate. Planning in advance of any orchard possibilities – Turners Field et al.
Tony mentioned at the Academy, where they plan to build and re-build a straw bale hut – John offered to help with that. Tony also has hopes for fruit trees/allotment area. The school used to bus the kids out to the Purbecks to engage with growing, but now plan to do this at the school.
Cherry talked about trying to convince people to keep and value fruit trees – a 100 year old Bramley apple tree was mentioned. Andy highlighted the shame of the cordon fruit trees in the Upton Country Park Walled Garden, struggling behind an exotic flowering border. Bad priorities.
Andrew and Cherry had been to an Apple fair at Broad Oak. They had a local band, storytelling, an apple cake competition, and apple pressing. Cherry has realised that those doing the pressing end up with very little of the produce ! Need to be prepared to do it for love. They had a home made press, and Andrew believed he could make one for around £20. John was keen to help, not possible immediately, but over the winter.
Possible venues in Poole for an apple fair were discussed. The orchard and open space in Cynthia Road was mentioned, though the locals would need to be on board.
It was suggested that we should look to both make a press, and continue to seek funds for a commercial one. Both would be pressed into service, and inspire different people. Would need a scratcher too in order to chop the apples.
Which led to a discussion around wood. Andy met the Chief Exec of the Scilly isles, who said that Cornwall has reached peak wood, where any additional capacity would be at the expense of arable land. Tony suggested that the tree management in Poole needed looking at, with perhaps a recommended list of trees to plant replacing any that are felled. The whole area of succession planting, and use of pollarding could be much better. He felt there are opportunities with tracts of land – green fingers and lungs between parks. Also PHP holds lots of land.
The group felt it was important that the succession did not just include a strict “native” policy, but also those species that are OK with the climate change we are likely to experience, and also favour productive trees – fruit/nuts/wood. The council is complex as planning manage TPOs, leisure the open space, and PHP the land around social housing. Harriet and John were keen to maybe come up with a list, target for April. Tony asked to keep us in mind to contribute.
Several people are working on permaculture designs, and are hoping to complete drawings for November. Jamie is keen to hold a coffee morning, perhaps the second or third saturday of November 12th or 19th. 12th favourite but will need to check with the school.
Jamie thanked the council for the discussion at Environment Scrutiny Committee, and what he hoped would support progress (he didn’t claim to understand all that was discussed).
Any help with photocopying, providing cakes, plants to sell, and taking part very welcome. Gwyn said he was keen to help.
Cherry suggested buying bulbs in bulk and planting them in pots to sell. She also suggested buying wholesale from Cherry Tree or Chestnut Nursery.
Jamie is fundraising to pay for the wildlife survey, though there is a possibility of getting this done for free.
Poole Tidal Energy Partnership (PTEP)
Our EnergyShare next stage application is in. It is a protracted process, hopeful of getting to next stage, and still need public support. Andy and Paul went to Southampton to a InterReg seminar – possiblilities of EU money for cross-channel collaborations. Some possibilities with the universities in Le Havre, Caen or Brest. Also managed useful discussions with the National Trust and Environment Agency at the meeting.
We met last night with 6 Students proposing a variety of projects within the PTEP theme. One of the promising elements is the use of heat pumps, taking seawater as the heat source. The EnergyShare deadline has encouraged us to seek formal approval from a number of key partners, including the council, harbour commissioners and Poole Housing Partnership (PHP).
One world week – 3 of them !
Living for One World Week – 21st Oct – Poole Schools, culminates with an event in a marquee at the cricket field end of Poole Park 10am-12 noon.
Tuesday morning, John is giving 3 talks at St Mary’s school, taking the power bike along. This then goes to the University for their One World week, where he is talking about the Tide project. On Friday, the generator need to get back to Poole Park. Harriet agreed to run a sewing machine, as John is unable to support the bicycle powered theatre that day.
Cherry Tree Nursery has a whole week of activities including film showings, Gary talking on Forest Gardens, and John talking on Tidal Energy.
AFC Bournemouth – 9 companies, keen to support local green and community activities. £16K funding available. The footballers are visiting schools to make sustainability fun. The Club seems to be becoming quite a centre for green and sustainability activities. A question was asked whether the footballers had bikes or fast cars.
They are sympathetic to funding public liability insurance for Transition BH (which covers us but specifically excludes chainsaw use !).
Green Community Fair
Sam is keen to work with us to move this forwards. At Pelhams community centre on Sat 29th October.
Cherry and Andrew had several boxes of apples which all went quickly. Useful conversations, and good coverage for TT Poole. Another event on Sat 5th November 2pm start, 1pm setup. Any help welcome.
Cherry has found that a North Bournemouth foodbank has been set up, so keen to support that. Apparently Maddi had put something in the Quaker newssheet. Cherry was trying to persuade her for the quakers to run their own group. This will be most successful if locally collected and distributed.
Tony is going to Westminster to hear a Green Deal briefing. It would be interesting if he could feed back to the team.
Bring and Take
Having deferred till the spring, Trevor is now talking to Ashdown School, who are keen to play their part. This may resolve the costs of hiring halls, and bring extra volunteers.
Renewable Energy Forum
Civic Centre, 21st November 6-8:30pm. Tony is keen that Transitioners and any others keen on this agenda are there.
Harriet felt that we should be proud that having been going a couple of years, we have some substantial projects. We might wish to progress to a full Transition Town status, and perhaps consider constitution etc. The TBH hub may have a limited life, and does tend to get confused as just a Bournemouth body, when it covers the whole postcode area.
Aiming for Tuesday 8th November (or possibly 15th). 7:30pm to be confirmed. Everyone agreed that the Quaker Meeting House is a good, peaceful venue, and that we should aim to use it again. The hat was passed around to pay for the hire, which was £20 to a group that resonates with the owners.