Reminder: Carbon Literacy course starts this Thursday evening – sign up ASAP

Just a quick reminder that if you want to take part in the Carbon Literacy online course starting this Thursday evening you need to sign up as soon as possible. We have to limit spaces to make the online course manageable but there are currently a few places still available.  For details on the course and sign up, see our EventBrite page. It takes one Thursday evening for about 2-3 hours for three weeks to complete the course. The course costs £15 per person, but we have some bursaries available for no/low wage people that want to attend.

It’s a great way to find out about your carbon footprint, the impact of the organisations you work in/with and how we can all start to make changes that can help tackle climate change.

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Upcoming online Carbon Literacy course places available

We’re running a third online Carbon Literacy course soon, after the previous two successful online courses earlier this year. If you, or an organisation you work with, are interested in learning about your carbon footprint and how we can help tackle climate change issues, sign up for the course here. As we do group work in the sessions places are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The course takes place over three Thursday evenings from 17th September to 1st October from 6.30pm to 8.30pm each evening.  You’ll need a computer/tablet/smartphone and an internet connection that can handle video streaming as we’re delivering these courses using Zoom.  The courses costs £15 and includes accreditation from the national Carbon Literacy Project. If £15 is a barrier to you attending please still get in touch because we’re able to offer a limited number of bursaries to support low/no wage attendees.

The project as a whole is made possible thanks to funding from Charnwood Borough Council, and we’ve had councillors take part in previous sessions.

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Composting workshop and pop-up plant stall this Saturday

A quick reminder that this coming Saturday (5th September 2020) we’re holding a composting workshop at the Community Allotment off King George Road LE11 2PA.  Come along if you’d like to find out how you can start composting in your garden or have questions about the composting you’re already doing. The event starts at 2.30pm and will last until 4.30pm and we’ll have the Transition gazebo there in case it turns out a bit wet!

And in addition to the composting workshop, Martha has arranged for a produce and plant sales stall to be outside Fearon Hall, behind All Saints church on the edge of the town centre, on Saturday from 11am until 1.30pm. Pop along if you’re in town to pick up some produce from the community allotment and/or good quality, bargain plants and help raise funds for Transition projects.

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Composting Workshop on 5th September

We’re holding a workshop on composting at the Transition Loughborough community allotment, located off King George Road, LE11 2PA, on Saturday 5th September from 2.30pm until 4.30pm.

Hopefully it will help those of you who have either started gardening since the pandemic lockdown and are wondering what to do with spent plants, grass clippings, food waste and hedge prunings, or who have existing compost bins that aren’t working effectively for you. It will be lead by Mo and Lynn who are Leicestershire County Council “Master Composters”, with much experience of both composting themselves and helping others to get composting.

We have a reasonably size space thanks to having multiple adjacent plots on the site, so there should be room for social distancing for attendees.

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Notes on Zoom meeting 27th July 2020

Transition Loughborough Zoom Meeting 27th July 2020

Present: Caroline, Martha, Jon, John, Ruth, Luke, Mo, Jason, Natalie, Janet, Ken, Suella

1. Making the most of the allotment now through more planning of maintenance/planting/harvesting days.

Martha suggested a workgroup at the end of September on a Saturday (to give time to do it as evenings only give an hour or two for working) to recover the polytunnel as the last thing we do on the plot for this year. Probably need people to wear face coverings if we have to work close together (need to keep 1m or more distant). Pencil in Saturday 19th September and then have the following weekend as back up if the weather isn’t good.

There’s a new member of the allotment team – Cesca – who is an expert organic vegetable grower. She may also be able to run a basket weaving workshop.

The Wednesday evening gardening sessions are going ahead now, with salad crops for the Autumn being sown this week (plus weeding and watering!). The plant sales during lock down have raised £1000, shared between TL, LAGS and Fearon Hall, so we now have enough money for the new polytunnel cover. Martha, Steve and others involved thanked.

2. Making the most of the garage as our HQ and activity centre

Steve has painted the garage we rent at Fearon Hall but the roof still needs fixing. Not feasible to hold events there this year (as the Hall was shut during most of this year and even if open the space in and around the garage would make social distancing difficult). The roof blew back off again last winter, which still needs to be repaired. Jason plans to chat with Steve at the allotment this week about plans to move forward with the garage. Could volunteers already working at Fearon Hall help with the garage for example?

3. Joining in with Food for Life’s ‘World Food Day’ on October 16th if it is feasible at the time with regard to what covid restrictions are in place.

Decided to discuss as part of the general event planning discussed later (see below)

4. Update on Carbon Literate Charnwood project

Had funding from Charnwood Borough Council to run four 1 day courses but have had to move them online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We did the first course over 3 evenings via Zoom, and are now part way through the second course with many people from All Saints church eco group. Emma Ward was on the first course and as she is a local councillor she’s arranged for Caroline to run an extra course for the council themselves (her pledge at the end of the course was to set this up!). We plan a third, potentially online, course, but the 4th course we’re going to definitely hold face-to-face for those people who can’t/don’t want to use video conferencing.

Luke introduced himself and his involvement with sustainability at the British Gypsum site in Barrow. He and Ruth both said they were interested in taking part in the next online course – Caroline will make sure they get an email to let them know dates when we’ve arranged it. Other people in TL can help be spreading the word when we have the next dates arranged.

5. Hear from existing CLC participants about their pledges

Mo talked about her pledge to bring together a large compost project as part of her Master Composter role and also interest from Fearon Hall & All Saints eco group. Martha asked if Mo/Suella/Bertil could run a composting workshop, as many people had issues with not knowing about how to compost during the pandemic lockdown. Mo and Suella said yes!

Jon described his pledge to talk to the University to consider “choice editing” beef and lamb from menus to reduce the carbon footprint of the meals served on the campus.

6) Talking about how we go about doing the usual events that happen in the next 6 months.

Should we plan as normal and then adapt depending on the guidelines at the time? Cancel things altogether or plan as if things will still be as they are now such as 2m distancing? Difficult to tell at the moment because things are still very uncertain. These are the events that haven’t been mentioned elsewhere:

• Apple pressing – have all the events we go to been cancelled?

Martha said it wasn’t clear what was going to happen to the Fruit Route events on campus this Autumn. Many other events we normally attend are already cancelled (for example Caroline’s church harvest festival).

Steve had suggested we could do apple pressings and bottling either “privately” or in a socially distanced way. If we do the latter we could tell people to bring their own bottles – could be done as a “pop up” outside Fearon Hall and/or at LAGS? The problem would be handling bottles people bring in on the day – that’s probably a no-no under Covid Safe recommendations. Socially distancing around the press could also be tricky – at events people crowd around it, especially excited children. Would need a risk assessment and careful planning. Martha and Jason to talk to Steve about options on Wednesday evening when they see him at the allotment.

• Autumn Fair – is Fearon Hall running anything?

Looks like lots of events have been cancelled. The Hall is only just starting to reopen.

• Launch of Potato Day – do Chesterfield have any plans?

Transition Chesterfield are doing pre-orders only this year as they shop they run would be impossible to run in a socially distanced way. The charity stall on Loughborough market may not be running at the moment because the market has to be more spread out. We could do pre-order only, with pre-booked time slots for collection from somewhere like Fearon Hall. What would happen if we have another lockdown? We managed to have plant sales in a socially distanced way during the lock down, so that should be OK for pre-orders. Janet pointed out that we don’t want to have stock we can’t sell, so pre-orders are probably the best option.

• Involvement with Fair Trade and Green Living Fayre.
• Eco Social / Winter Feast.

Nobody knew if these were going ahead. The Christmas Tree festival is definitely cancelled. Similarly with the Food for Life event – we don’t know what’s happening in October at the moment and whether that could tie in with Fruit Route events if they happen.

• Then in the new year – Seed swap, Repair Cafe, etc.

Too far away at the moment as we’re not sure what the state of play will be in 2021. May have another lock down by then! Best discuss as a group later in the Autumn.

Date/type of next meeting?

Caroline then asked if we’d like another Zoom meeting. Yes, probably in a month or so. Caroline will do a poll for times, etc again.

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Pop-up plant stall a success

Today the plant stall organised by Martha in aid of Fearon Hall has raised £120 – thank you for everyone who braved the rain to staff the stall and come and buy plants!

The weather on Saturday is forecast to be nicer, so Martha and Steve are looking to run another one from 11am to 1pm this Saturday outside Fearon Hall. This time they’ll be raising funds for a combination of LAGS student gardens and Transition Loughborough.  So if you missed out today, you’ve got a second change at the weekend!

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Pop up plant sales stand at Fearon Hall

Martha and the folks at the LAGS group on the University campus have been selling plants they’ve been raising in their polytunnels to raise funds for both LAGS and Transition Loughborough food & gardens group.  They’ve managed to do this in a socially distanced way by delivering the plants and leaving them outside houses for people to pick up. So far they’ve raised £656 via their “virtual plant stall”, which is great news!  Thank you to everyone involved. Our share of this funding will hopefully help re-cover the Transition Loughborough community allotment’s polytunnel that was wrecked in the storms back in January/February, as well as possibly providing a solar powered pump to lift water from the brook to the gardens.

After receiving more good plants from friends and potting up more of their own, the folk at LAGS feel that they can try out a one-off real plant stall next week. Martha has been in contact with Meg and Dawn from Fearon Hall, and they have agreed to let the LAGS crew have a table outside Fearon Hall next Thursday, 18th June, from 11am-2pm, where they will present all their flower and veg plants for people to buy. This time, all the donations will go to Fearon Hall. They will make sure that physical distancing is observed at the stall as well.

So if you want some nice flowers and vegetable plants for your garden, nip along to Fearon Hall over lunchtime next Thursday and pick some up!

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Carbon Literate Charnwood Course Moved Online

Sadly we had to cancel our planned Carbon Literacy Course events this Spring and Summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing. However Caroline has been working hard to turn the face-to-face course into one delivered online. Thank you Caroline!

We’re now planning on running the first online version of the course in the coming weeks. The one day face-to-face event replaced by three 2 hour Zoom videoconferencing sessions on three Thursday evenings on 14th, 21st and 28th May.

The course gives the equivalent of a day’s worth of accredited learning to equip our community to bring about the rapid reduction in carbon emissions required in the next few years.

We’ve offered the online course first to people who had already booked on the cancelled face-to-face events, and Transition mailing list members, but there are a few spaces left on the first group of online sessions we’re running.

So if you’d like to find out more about reducing carbon dioxide impacts, and maybe use the pandemic lockdown period productively, see the link below to book a place on the course:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carbon-literate-charnwood-online-course-may-2020-tickets-95582950177

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Carbon Literacy Courses in April & May postponed

As with many events taking place this Spring and Summer, we’re having to postpone our Carbon Literacy Courses planned for April and May until later in the year due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.  We’re also investigating the option of developing an online version of the course as an alternative.

People who had already booked on the courses have been contacted, and we’ll let everyone know as soon as possible what the new plans are for delivering them to you.

Sorry, but it’s better to be socially isolating and safe at the moment.

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Reminder: Repair Cafe & Seed Swap this Saturday!

Just a quick reminder that this coming Saturday (22nd February 2020) we’re holding another of our Repair Cafe events at Fearon Hall in Loughborough, combined with a Seed Swap for the gardeners.  The doors open to the public at 9.30am and we’ll be running for a couple of hours, shutting up shop just after 11.30am so that we can tidy the Hall up for the next users. The events are free, and all are welcome to pop along.

As usual we’ll have range of repairers and tinkerers available for the Repair Cafe, with people able to do sewing mending, give your bicycle a bit of attention, take a look at electrical items and do various gluing and mending. Remember its trying to repair items that you would otherwise throw away and replace, so no precious family heirlooms or Ming vases please!

We’ll also have someone who can sharpen secateurs and loppers for the gardeners that are attending the seed swap.  At 10am we’re having a talk by Marie Lefebvre about the “Right to Repair” and how regulation changes may help us get products that are easier and cheaper to repair than replace.

For the Seed Swap side of things, we’re encouraging anyone with old or excess seed packets (including out of date, partially used and self-saved) to bring them along, pop them on the swapping table and then see if there are other seeds they fancy taking away. No money changes hands, but lots of seeds usually do!

Note: We’re going to make sure that we have a supply of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and tissues/wipes available as we’ve have some people concerned about the spread of Coronavirus.  As far as we know its not currently spread widely in the UK, and Public Health England currently says that “the risk to individuals is low“, but we’re doing our bit to hopefully keep it that way!

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