Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Transition Stroud Milestones

Here is a list of some of the milestones from Transition Stroud....what a great list of successes!

* Organised the visit of Richard Heinberg (author of The Party's Over, Peak Everything and Blackout) to Stroud to address the public and the district council on issues relating to peak oil and of Paul Mobbs (Author of Energy Beyond Oil).

* AccessBike: (see Changing Gear website) - assisting school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to purchase a (subsidised) reconditioned bicycle, helmet and padlock.

* Back2Bike: contracted by Stroud District Council to encourage the public to get back on their bikes through undertaking bike checks, cycling skills assessments and offering further training.

* Changing Gear - - which encourages secondary school pupils to cycle to and from school and lobbies the local authorities to improve places that the pupils have identified through surveys as being difficult for cycling.

* Development of Personal Travel Plans for 750 pupils at Marling (secondary) School.

* Energy meters supplied to Stroud library for people to borrow

* Films - a regular series of educational films arranged over 2 years covering environmental mattes including Future of Food etc

* Food Availability in Stroud District - a report to the Local Strategic Partnership on District food requirements and production capability (report available to download here)

* Links with Spain - arranged for a Spanish ecologist from the University of Madrid to work as a volunteer with Transition Stroud from January - July 2010.

* A Think Tank on Global Changes established jointly with Stroud District Council, working through the local strategic partnership, looking at the effects of peak oil and climate change on the District and making proposals to Stroud District Council Cabinet in order to shape the long term policy framework.

* National IDeA Conference - presentation to participants from local government re Stroud District Council and Transition Stroud's experience of working together. See here.

* Low Carbon bursary to Marling School (funds raised from within the community) to release a teacher for half a day a week to focus on environmental issues

* Open Eco Homes - started the first open eco homes event in 2008 showing eco-renovation for a sustainable future, repeated in 2009 and will be again in 2010 -

* Outreach - provided speakers for neighbouring transition initiatives at their inaugural meetings

* Recycling - organised volunteers to collect and recycle 40 cubic metres of waste at Nailstock music festival - see here.

* StroudCo - the new food hub linking farmers and consumers in Stroud, established in a school in Stroud by the TS (virtual) Food Group ( )

* Stroud Communiversity - a week long open conference style event in education and skills development jointly with Stroud Commonwealth ( )

* Stroud Pound - establishment of a local currency (now a separate cooperative - )

* Textiles - Textile activities (in schools / local groups like WI etc) - 'Trashion Show', the Art of Wesley Farming, Textiles Festival "Make Do and Mend", Alternative Textiles Exhibition.

* Transition section of books established in Stroud Library.

* Tripswitch - contracted by Stroud District Council to oversee the development of this brand ( ) - which focuses on ways of moving away from the car - throughout the district

* SkillsShare - a series of workshops to enable people to learn sustainability skills.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Turning the environment into us

This time last year I posted about a herb walk with Nathan that I had enjoyed at the Hawkwood Open Day. Nathan tells me that my enthusiasm outstripped my accuracy so I don't recommend you follow any of those prescriptions, although the spirit was right I'm sure!

This year, the burst of spring growth is being reflected in an excellent new stall we have at the Shambles Market: Rupert Burdock's Wild Food Emporium. Rupert (not his real name, sadly) makes weekly forays into the wild and brings back tasty plants which he turns into produce on his stall. This week there was wild-garlic pesto and hairy-bitter-cress cream chese. The most exciting produce was the brightly colourful dandelion and coconut ice.

'Rupert' also sells other products made from plants foraged directly from nature outside Stroud, including various types of seaweed, fungi and maple syrup. Although this does not have the beauty of reconnecting us to the local environment, it reminds us of the variety of nature's bounty. Rupert is also a keen supporter of Stroud pounds, which you can exchange for Stroud produce.

During our herb walk this year Nathan talked about how digestion is a process of 'making the environment into us'. Transition is all about being more involved in your local community, but eating local brings you into an automatic connection with your local environment. The Wild Food Emporium makes this connection deeper still.