About us.....

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at St Ethelwold's House, which is here.

At some meetings, we have guest speakers to present various topics, and at others we discuss our own personal actions to address climate change. The group has a focus on encouragement, both of one another, and of the town community.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

David Mackay talk: Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air, Monday 29th June at 6.30pm

Dear Carbon Cutter,
A chance to meet the man behind the free on-line book (now ironically selling hundreds of hard copies!)
If you haven't read it look here: http://www.withouthotair.com/download.html

Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air

Author event at Blackwell Bookshop, 48-51 Broad Street, Oxford.

On Monday 29th June at 6.30pm, David Mackay will be talking about his
book, 'Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air.' He will be in
conversation with Chris Goodall.

Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this
enlightening book analyses the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for
change on both a personal level and an international scale - for Europe,
the United States, and the world. In case study format, this informative
work answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of
sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable
power with foreign countries.
Hailed as a 'game-changer' and written from a 'pro-arithmetic' point of
view rather than with any specific bias in mind, David Mackay reframes
our understanding of power consumption and production - from the mobile
phone-charger to the nuclear power station - by expressing it in a
single unit of measurement: kilowatt-hours per day (k/Wh/d).
"Energy policy is crucial for the world, and a wide public should be
engaged in debate and decisions on these issues. But such debate must be
grounded in realistic numbers and good physics. All the key principles
are clearly and accessibly explained in this book. David MacKay has
performed a great service by writing it." - Prof Martin Rees FRS,
President of the Royal Society This is a free event and no ticket is
required. Please telephone 01865 333600 for further details.
... Read this ...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bike week update

Abingdon Carbon Cutters held a very successful and enjoyable Bike Week (13th-21st June). We kicked off with publicity stalls by St Nicolas Arch, police security marking of bikes and a number of unusual bikes, including a Dutch bike, a tricycle with a huge trailer, tandems, veteran bikes and bikes for disabled children.

Early on Sunday morning Andy Watt set off for his 6 x round the boundaries ride. See below for the winner of the Frugal Foods hamper. This was followed by a Cycle Treasure Hunt Quiz starting in the Abbey Meadows. The winner is also announced below. After that Andy led 13 or so intrepid followers on a once round the boundaries ride. When we discover his secret energy source we can power the whole of Abingdon and instantly become carbon neutral.

On the Wednesday we gathered at St Ethelwold's to hear James and Jules from Rides on Air in Wallingford demonstrate bike safety checks and to watch an entertaining compilation of cycling film clips prepared by Richard Riggs.

Our last event, on Sunday 21st was a Historic Abingdon Ride, which was led by Mike Ellwood, assisted by Alistair Fear. It stretched from the new proposed Wilts and Berks canal link in the South to Radley Lakes in the North, taking in he Alms Houses, Christ's Hospital, Albert Park and Abbey fishponds, where we learnt many interesting historical facts.

Many thanks to all who contributed to the first Abingdon Bike Week in whatever way, large or small.

Boundary Ride - Andy completed his 6 x round the boundaries ride in 3 hours 50 minutes and 16 seconds precisely. The nearest guess was by Andy Heelas, who guessed 3 hours and 50 minutes and wins a hamper, kindly provided by Frugal Foods. £28 was raised in aid of Sustrans.

Cycle Treasure Hunt Quiz - This was won, after a draw from correct answers, by Edward and Robert Davies, who win "The Bike Book".

Eleanor Dangerfield
Abingdon Carbon Cutters

Thanks to the Abingdon Blog, here are some pictures:

... Read this ...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Autumn network event ideas

Here's an email that's been forwarded. If you could copy your reply to carbon.cutters@googlemail.com, that would be most helpful.

---- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Buckel, Frances - Environment & Economy - Waste Management"
To: "Kenton, Simon - Environment & Economy - Waste Management"
Sent: Tuesday, 23 June, 2009 1:13:15 PM
Subject: Autumn network event ideas


The CAG Project aims to hold 2 networking and 2 training events per year, with the aim of providing groups the opportunity to meet one another and to glean new skills and ideas. We are currently planning our autumn network event and it is important that whatever we organise is relevant to you and you group.

The purpose of networking events is to:

* Make you realise that you are part of a larger network of groups that can share ideas and skills
* Give you some ideas as to what your group could do next
* Inspire and revitalise you
* Have a fun evening or day

In 2008 we held a very popular and useful day at Barracks Lane Community Gardens exploring different aspects of food waste and we traditionally hold a social event around Christmas with a round up of the past year’s activities. We have taken note of comments from feed back forms from these events, but we would now like CAG members to priorities what they would find useful.

Below is a list of some of our ideas and we would like you to prioritize which subject area you are interested in. Please also add any ideas of your own and what you might to cover during the event. Alternatively, if you don’t feel that a network event would be beneficial and / or you would prefer a different kind of event, such as a visit or a talk, please let us know.

Please reply and then fill in the box below and send us your ideas as soon as possible but not later than 4th July – please circulate to as many of your CAG members as possible







Green energy

Working with businesses

Working with other local groups e.g. WIs, Churches

Transport issues

Funding opportunities

Food waste

Climate change

Other (please specify)

Big Lunch – 19th July

Already a number of CAGs have taken up the Eden Project’s challenge to have a “Street Party”. We would really like to recommend this event and see how many CAGs could have an event, it does not need to be a street party, it could be a picnic, or get together in somebody’s home.

The food, entertainment and decorations all being home made, home grown or created at home by those taking part. Several CAGs are already organising a Big Lunch in their area, asking people to bring things made from left overs or things they have grown themselves. CAGs are emphasising zero waste. To find out more visit http://www.thebiglunch.com/ or speak to Simon or Frances.




Frances Buckel | CAG Project Officer


c/o Waste Management Group|Oxfordshire County Council | Speedwell House| Speedwell St|Oxford OX1 1NE
Mob 07903 037290|Tel +44 (0)1865 815871| Fax +44 (0)1865 815787| www.cagoxfordshire.org.uk

Resource Futures registered office The CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN. Registered at Companies House Cardiff. Company number 5753433

“building a resource efficient future by wasting less”

P Please consider the environment before printing this email or its attachments

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of Oxfordshire County Council. Council emails are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/emaildisclaimer
... Read this ...

Friday, June 19, 2009

The effects of global warming - Oxfam campaign

Dear all,
A "carbon-cutter" has sent this - great to be able to help make the links between our actions here and the effects they will have on people in poor countries, unless we can really put a lid on climate change.
Do sign the petition!
I wondered whether you'd be able to help give a bit of publicity to the campaign that Oxfam's running on global warming and its impact particularly on the world's poor - it's their major campaign for this year.
In particular, Oxfam is trying to persuade the prime minister that he should attend the meeting in Copenhagen on 7th December.

There are campaign postcards available in Oxfam shops and there's also a petition on the Oxfam website at

... Read this ...

ClimateXchange newsletter

The latest news and upcoming events from ClimateXchange. Also available on www.climatex.org

It’s ‘on yer bike’ season – with Bike week about to start, and a host of communities events happening in the upcoming weeks. Enjoy, and do feed us with info, snippets, upcoming events, resources, reflections on what climate event has made you laugh or cry recently. Next newsletter out in early July, keep up the good work!


1.1 Guardian – Observer Ethical Awards: http://www.guardian.co.uk/observer-ethical-awards honours Caroline Lucas (Green MEP for the South East) and Rob Hopkins from Transition Towns.

1.2 Indian farmers to insure themselves against climate change crop failure UN negotiators at Bonn consider micro-insurance schemes among adaptation measures for Africa, Asia and Latin America


1.3 Chinadialogue

This week on chinadialogue, Tim Lenton explains climate-change tipping points to Tan Copsey; Lorenzo Cotula and James Mayers ponder the effects that deforestation-reduction programmes could have on forest communities; Ed Grumbine and Xu Jianchu ask how to assess the risks presented by climate change across the Himalayas . All this and more in your weekly chinadialogue update...

1.4 We win a prize - We’ve been writing up and analysing some of the results of the eco-homes open days in Oxfordshire, submitted a poster and paper to the recent European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy summer study, and won a prize for the ‘most innovative method or result’.

1.5 Ebico and Groundwork roll-out 'Green Doctor' scheme for low income households

OK stretching the definition of ‘new’, but we saw this and thought it was great:


1.6 Check out the switch on of Europe's largest wind farm in
Scotland - the wind turbines together will provide power for 250,000
homes (imagine this could be more if energy conservation measures are

1.7 The Bonn Climate Change Talks take place June 1st-12th. Tiempo Climate Newswatch lists current news reports and Earth Negotiations Bulletin is publishing daily summaries.



2.1 The Age of Stupid-o-meter is now recording at least 20 screenings in Oxfordshire – Including 2 screenings on 22nd May (Wolvercote and Canalside Environment Group), 12 screenings in University colleges on 2nd June, and a screening at SS Mary and Johns School on 5th June.

Independent screenings are positively encouraged – the website http://www.indiescreenings.net/ says ‘Anyone is now able to buy a licence to screen The Age of Stupid whenever and wherever they like - keeping the profits for themselves or their climate campaign’.

2.2 Stern words - Professor Lord Nicholas Stern’s lecture on "Blueprint for a Safer Planet". is now available as a podcast or video:



3.1 The national campaign for Greener Healthcare, based here in Oxford , has just released it’s first newsletter. Check the campaign out at http://www.greenerhealthcare.org:80/ and do pass the link to colleagues in the health professions.

3.2 Feeling the Pressure:

An anthology of poems and scientific texts concerned with climate change - edited by Paul Munden. http://www.britishcouncil.org/switzerland-climate-change-anthology


It’s summer fete season – with two this coming weekend:

4.1 Challenge North Leigh – the community energy efficiency project, will be holding a green fair on Cuckamus Green on 13th June in North Leigh. http://www.challengenorthleigh.org/

4.2 Kidlington Sustainability Fair 1-4pm on Sat 13th June, at Exeter Hall in Kidlington.

Bringing the community together to share the many ideas we each have
to live happier, healthier, less financially strained lives. Exhibitors
will be showing eco-friendly products, and ways to reduce your energy
costs. There will be a fun quiz for children with clues to find the
answers in all parts of the Fair. FREE admission.
More details as they emerge will be at
www.climatex.org/kidlington, or
contact KvCC at

4.3 Sustainable Blewbury have two events coming up - a talk by Mark Lynas on the 22nd June, and on Saturday 27th June Exhibition and Demonstrations

4.4 Bike Week is 13-21st June – and a fine array of events there are. Check some of them in the events section below, or search for events near you on

http://www.bikeweek.org.uk/ - from easy introductory rides for adults, to the Oxford to Paris ride, from free breakfasts to cultural tours and maintenance workshops, saddle up and enjoy the week (good weather has been requested!)

4.5 Sustainable Wallingford have launched their ‘Where to Buy Local in and around Wallingford ’ booklet and their new ‘Cycle Rides into the Chiltern Hills . See all this and more on http://www.sustainablewallingford.org/

4.6 Community Action for Energy programme will be evolving into Green Communities.

The new Green Communities programme will look to create a step change in our service to communities by offering an integrated package of advice, support and funding. It will build on the advice and information service offered by CAfE, local outreach provided by the Energy Saving Trust advice centres and new community related services. More info: www.energysavingtrust.org/cafe

4.7 See the Difference and it is new charity website that will have short videos made by charities about themselves. The aim is to really change the way people donate and get involved in charities by using a visual, personal and effective medium. It is a refreshing way for people to donate to the charities and then to see how their donations have been used. The videos and web content will hopefully encourage more people to get involved with the charities and have a much more hands on approach. Take a look for more info: http://www.stdifference.com/

To find out more go to the briefings at BBC Oxford on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th of June at 14.00 or contact Anna.Jackson@bbc.co.uk

4.8 Banbury Ideas for a Future recently hosted a screening of ‘A Farm for the Future’ and on Sunday 14th June have an afternoon walk and food forage between Banbury and Hanwell. (precise time and meeting point to be announced soon – contact sue_jaiteh@hotmail.com for further info

A country walk and food forage, looking at the influence of the environment and agriculture on the wild foods that are available in the fields and woodlands just outside the town.


5.1 Eco-Renovation: How I did it Thursday 11 June | 18.00- 19.30

Oxford Brookes University: Main Lecture Hall, Gipsy Lane Site

You are invited to a free public workshop detailing selected refurbishments from the Oxford area and beyond as part of the AECB Annual Conference on Building for Sustainable Future.


An 18th century cottage extensively renovated to achieve 90% carbon savings, using innovative ecological materials and breathable design,

Sally Harper and Tony Williams, SEED Group

A terraced Edwardian house refurbished for warmth, comfort and a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions, Gavin Killip, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University

An 19th century solid walled townhouse extended and extensively renovated to achieve an c.80% reduction in CO2 emissions, Andy Simmonds, Simmonds.Mills Architects

A small exhibition area is also open to the public during this session and throughout the conference. Full conference and programme information is available at www.aecb.net

RSVP Space is limited so please confirm your attendance directly to the conference office: conference@aecb.net

5.2 Kitchens workshops – more dates added:

COIN and SEED-Group -have two upcoming kitchens workshops: Thurs 18th, Fri 19th and Sat 20th of June 2009

The sessions are open to already eco aware or recently inspired people interested in making major or minor sustainable adaptations to the most carbon intensive room in our homes - the kitchen. To reserve a ticket, go to: http://www.ecoworkshops.co.uk/

Further info and booking: http://ecovation.org.uk/htmldesigns/kitchenws.html

5.3 Oxfordshire Eco-buildings Open Days this year – 10-13th September. Mark it in your diary now, or get involved! See http://ecovation.org.uk/


6.1 Oxfordshire County Council, in conjunction with the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership, is hiring a materials reuse officer. Details can be found here http://jobs.oxfordshire.gov.uk/jobdetails.asp?jobid=16392.

6.2 COIN Manager of Operations
£24, 475 pro rata (2.5 days per week), 25 days holiday per year pro rata,
Oxford based

COIN is recruiting for an experienced Manager of Operations to take
overall responsibility for managing the organisation’s finance, office and
project administration systems. The ideal candidate will have sound
experience of staff, financial and systems management. S/he will have
strong motivational, team-working and interpersonal skills together with a
keen interest in climate change.

Applications to be returned by email to the Executive Director, Tim Baster
tim@coinet.org.uk by Monday 22nd June 2009. Interviews will be held at the
COIN office in Oxford on Thursday 25 June 2009. For further information
including a job description and application form, see:


also available on www.climateX.org/events

‘Oxfordshire from the Ground’ - Oxfordshire Schools’ Sustainability Exhibition Science Oxford . 1-15th June 2009

Students from six independent and state schools, inspired by last year’s “Earth from the Air at Oxford Castle ” exhibition, have produced their own photographs exploring environmental issues in their own localities.

Using the images and work cards from the exhibition as a stimulus, each school focused on a different area of sustainability and a local environmental issue, in the context of international concerns identified in the Castle exhibition.

With the guidance of photographer John Cairns, small groups of Year 9 pupils created digital photographs depicting sustainability issues and researched possible scientific solutions. This project is culminating in OISSP’s own version of ‘Earth from the Air’. This free exhibition, open to all, will be on display at Science Oxford, 1-5 London Place, during normal opening times, Mon-Sat 10.00am-5.00pm

Eco-Renovation: How I did it Thursday 11 June | 18.00- 19.30

Oxford Brookes University: Main Lecture Hall, Gipsy Lane Site, see info above.


Cost £70 including lunch, discount for students:
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Centre in collaboration with
the University of Oxford's Energy Group are holding a one day workshop to
highlight the University's work in the energy field and to demonstrate
cutting-edge developments from outside the University.
In the Martin Woods Lecture Theatre, Oxford . For more details and to register see


Sat June 13th

North Leigh Fair and Kidlington Sustainability Fair – see info in ‘Communities’ above.


Bike Week – a host of events, including:

Active Breakfasts – Free breakfasts for employees / students who’ve taken ‘active transport’, contact your employer / university.

Monday 15 June GO Active Adults Social Cycle - 6pm, Oxford Cycle

Workshop Training Centre, Glanville Rd , Cowley Marsh

Wednesday 17 June Fitter Travel Show – 12 - 2 pm, Oxford Town Hall .

Stalls and information on healthier, greener and safer ways to travel

Saturday 20 June GO Active Families Social Cycle– 11am, Oxford Cycle

Workshop Training Centre, Glanville Road

For details contact: aclare@oxford.gov.uk / 01865 467 252

www.oxford.gov.uk/bikeweek or www.bikeweek.org.uk


Sunday 14th June afternoon walk and food forage between Banbury and Hanwell – see 4.8 above.


18th – 20th June – More eco-kitchen workshops – spaces still available!

See info above or http://www.ecoworkshops.co.uk/


Sat 20th June - ReachAbility Sustain Course
Oxford-based social enterprise ReachAbility is offering a half day taster
Sat 20 June 10 – 2 p.m.
Introducing some of the skills, attitudes and practices useful for
activists to sustain themselves. How to keep going, help make the changes
happen and avoid burn out.
Venue: The Old Music Hall , 106-108 Cowley Road
Cost: £10 including lunch.
Bookings: Places need to be confirmed in advance as numbers are limited.
To find out more see the ReachAbility site:


Monday 22nd June. As part of the Sustainable Blewbury launch we having a talk entitled 'News From A Warming World' by Mark Lynas at 7:30 on

Mark Lynas lives in Oxfordshire, is a journalist and environmental activist (www.marklynas.org). Most recently his book Six Degrees: 'Our Future on a Hotter Planet' won the prestigious Royal Society Prize for science books in 2008. Numbers are limited, please reserve a place with Allan Ridgeley (allanr53@btinternet.com) asap.


Saturday 27th June, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sustainable Blewbury - Exhibition and Demonstrations


Venue: Manor Barn Blewbury

Sustainable Blewbury - Exhibition and demonstrations

In recent years the Blewbury Village Society Environment Group has worked closely with other organisations on issues concerning the environment. In the newly constructed barn at The Manor (by kind permission of the owners) the Environment Group has organised exhibitions, demonstrations of, and detailed information about: Energy saving (solar PV, ground source heat pumps, etc.) Reducing and recycling waste (including advice on composting), Fair Trade Food, saving resources and much more on sustainable living initiatives. The exhibition also highlights the Group's activities (past and present) with a display of records and photographs of our own natural environment.

27-28th June Children’s Food Festival, Northmoor Trust


his year’s Festival celebrates the colourful world of food, help at the Northmoor Trust's estate and farm in beautiful countryside. Get on down!


For further info and to get involved, contact info@climatex.org

Email upcoming events to info@climatex.org or upload them yourself: http://climatex.org/whats-new/

Subscribe to this update by sending a blank email to: climatex-subscribe@climatex.org

... Read this ...

AGM Weds July 15th 7.30pm

Dear all,
Do have a look at Sustainable Wallingford's e-newsletter for an idea of what our group could do - and come along to our AGM on Weds July 15th at 7.30pm in St Ethelwolds House with your ideas!

Hope you have enjoyed Bike Week so far - photos on http://www.abingdonblog.co.uk/ for Sunday June 14th (although the photos were taken on Sat 13th!). There is still the Historic Bike Ride on Sunday 21st at 2.30pm starting at St Nicolas arch!
... Read this ...

Swapshop - reminder and request.

Just a brief reminder about the Swapshop at Larkmead School next Saturday from 10.00 until 11.30am.
If you are interested and able to help at the swapshop, please contact Beth Palmer.

If you might be able to take the CarbonCutters stand to Larkmead, or to man it, please contact CarbonCutters.
... Read this ...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swapshop at Larkmead School - 27th June

Here's a poster for the upcoming swap shop at Larkmead school. Below it, there's a request for help, and details on how to get in touch if you can assist in any way.
... Read this ...

"Oxford is my world"

Please find the latest Oxford is My World update below, containing information on Oxford Bike Week, council tax rebates for solar hot water installations and Small Change Big Difference Week.

Best wishes,

Charlie Morris-Marsham.

"Add your voice to those concerned about climate change by signing the 'Oxford Citizen's Climate Change Pledge'"

Charlie Morris-Marsham on behalf of the 'Oxford is My World' Partnership

Sustainable Energy Officer
Environmental Health
Oxford City Council
Ramsay House
10 St. Ebbes Street
Tel: 01865 252564
Fax: 01865 252344

Mail to: cmorris-marsham@oxford.gov.uk

Website: www.oxfordismyworld.org


Oxford is My World: Your Guide to Saving the Planet, June 2009 Update

Visit the Fitter Travel Show, Wednesday 17 June, 12-2pm, Oxford Town Hall

Oxford is joining towns, villages and cities across the UK to host cycling events with the theme of ‘Get more out of life; live local, get cycling,’ during Bike Week (13 and 21 June).

On Wednesday 17 June there will be a Fitter Travel event at the Town Hall, 12-2pm, including stalls and information on healthier, greener and safer ways to travel, Bike Doctors on hand to fix bikes, transport advice from the Energy Saving Trust and an opportunity to win £50 worth of cycling gear.

For info about Bike Week events in Oxford visit:




Rebate helping Oxford to go solar

Oxford City Council has teamed up with British Gas to offer a £400 Council Tax rebate for those who install a Solar Hot Water System through British Gas.

Home solar hot water systems can produce up to 60 per cent of your households yearly hot water demand. British Gas use government accredited solar energy equipment and installers.

If you are interested in taking up the scheme contact British Gas on 0845 971 7731 and quote the reference OXFCT


Small Change Big Difference

The local Energy Saving Trust advice centre will be coming to Oxford on Monday 13th July as part of Small Change Big Difference Week.

The Energy Saving Trust offers free and impartial energy efficiency, renewable energy and transport advice.

For more details call: 0800 512 012 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
... Read this ...


If you have volunteered to help on the stalls on Saturday (10a.m.-1p.m) or at the Treasure Hunt Quiz Sunday (1-3p.m.) thank you.
We still need more helpers, so let me know if you can help, even if it's just for an hour.
I attach a leaflet giving details of events. Even if you can't help, I hope you can participate in some of them.

Best wishes, Eleanor
... Read this ...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Open Farm Sunday 7th June

Want to know more about where your food comes from? Come to Open Farm Sunday

FAI, Wytham 7th June 2009 – free event just off the A34 near Botley - 10am until 5pm FAI is a working farm that is developing farming practices that are beneficial to animal welfare, the environment, and that are affordable for the farmer and consumers. This coming Sunday, 7th June, is an opportunity to take a guided tour of the farm to see just what happens. Activities will include:
• Tractor and trailer rides around the farm to see beef cattle, sheep, pigs and chicken
• Chicks hatching from their eggs
• Local craftsmen, including bee-keeping and thatching demonstrations
• Owls from the Witney-based rescue centre
• Wagon rides with heavy horses from Nettlebed alongside the Seacourt
• Local beer and food and homemade ice cream
• Plant and craft stalls
• Bouncy castle, children’s games, ace-painting and drawing competition.

Please dress appropriately for the weather.

... Read this ...