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, October 17, 2010

"Film night" - This coming Wednesday 20th October

Dear Carbon Cutters both old and new! You are warmly invited to our next meeting when we will watch the film "Home", (see the attached poster and the review below), followed by coffee and cake and a chance to swap stories about the Eco Fair and plan the next one (only joking!)
If you have somewhere to put up a poster do print it out and put it up - at work? in your window?
Best wishes,

HOME is an ode to the planet's beauty and its delicate harmony. Through the landscapes of 54 countries captured from above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand takes us on an unique journey all around the planet, to contemplate it and to
understand it. But HOME is more than a documentary with a message, it is a magnificent movie in its own right. Every breathtaking shot shows the Earth - our Earth - as we have never seen it before. Every image shows the Earth's treasures we are destroying and all the wonders we can still preserve.

And here are a couple of reviews:

... Read this ...

E-mail your MP and tell them you don’t want climate change funds to be cut

Dear Carbon Cutter,
A member asks us to take action. On Saturday at the Eco Fair Nicola Blackwood asked us to let her know when we thought the cuts seemed to be "throwing out the baby with the bathwater". This sounds like one big baby.
Please take two minutes to e-mail your MP and tell them you don’t want climate change funds to be cut: just click on
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/protect-green-jobs/ and put in your postcode. I've just tried it and it works!
Read more details below,(Of course it takes longer if you then write a personal message, but it will help!)
Onwards and upwards,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Babbs - 38 Degrees
Date: 14 October 2010 13:47

38 Degrees Logo

Dear Sally,

In a few days, the government will announce its plans for cuts. Every day we’re hearing about new threats to cut funding to tackle climate change. [1] That could mean thousands of job losses for people who insulate homes, put up solar panels, and build wind turbines. It would mean thousands more new green jobs in the UK would never happen.

Wrangling over cuts will go right down to the wire. [2] If enough of us email our MPs now, we might be able to save funding for tackling climate change. The government claimed it would be the “greenest government ever”. If they hear from MPs that thousands of voters are worried about green jobs, they’ll realise cuts to climate funding could ruin their image. [3]

Please take two minutes to e-mail your MP and tell them you don’t want climate change funds to be cut:

Cutting funding to stop climate change would be a huge step backwards. It would mean fewer people installing solar panels and insulating their homes. Firms making wind turbines would lay-off workers. It would be a massive false economy, with thousands of green jobs going abroad.

When we work together on climate change, we get the attention of politicians. Last year, hundreds of 38 Degrees members quizzed Ed Miliband, then Climate Minister, just before he left for the global climate talks in Copenhagen. We’ve changed government plans by putting pressure on MPs before - now let’s do it to save green jobs and make sure tackling climate change doesn’t get cut.

It only takes two minutes to e-mail your MP by clicking here:

Thanks for being involved,

David, Hannah, Johnny, Ramzi, and the 38 Degrees Team

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/13/treasury-battle-green-investment-bank
[2] http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/09/treasury-trying-to-shut-down-climate-department-and-axe-clean-energy-funds/
[3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_8709000/8709627.stm

The bigger we are the more we can do. Please forward this email to your friends and ask them to get involved.

38 Degrees brings you together with over 175,000 people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change. To find out more visit our website, Facebook or Twitter.
... Read this ...

New Saturday Market organised by Choose Abingdon and the Farmers' Market group

Dear All, Your apple-pressing, delicious cake-baking skills are needed again for Saturday October 23rd! Please reply direct to Anthea at akpea@stepea.plus.com. More windfalls will be needed on the day, please bring them direct to the market-place or drop them off at St Ethelwold's house the day before.
Susie Howard is in charge of loaning out long-handled apple-pickers, our crush and press, and pasteuriser, and also an electric juicer which makes short work of turning windfalls into juice. Contact her on susiehoward1@googlemail.com or 01235 533278 . The equipment is stored at St Ethelwold's House and must be picked up and returned there.
Dear all,
Susie and I are on the committee for the New Saturday Market that is to be held in the market place on Saturday October 23rd. The aim is to promote local produce and is being organised by Choose Abingdon and the Farmers' Market group.

Carbon Cutters have been allocated a stall. We plan to press apples, sell the Food Directory and offer cake testing as a way of advertising Carbon Cutters.
Could you let me know if you are available to do a stint? The market will be open from 9.00/2.00 and we shall need help setting up and clearing away at the end of the day.
We shall also need cakes from the famous Abingdon Cake Club.

Please let me know if you can help on the day or with cakes.

anthea pearson
... Read this ...

Are you planning to Eco-Renovate?

If you're planning any work on your house in the future, one of these events might be of interest to you

1. Future Oxfordshire Eco-renovation discussion – Monday 25th October, 7-9pm, Oxford University Centre for the Environment (Directions )

Thank you to those who have already responded to say they’re coming to this – there’s room for more, so if you’d like to come please email jo@climatex.org at least 3 hours before the meeting.

Intro: Overview of community eco-renovation activity in past few years in Oxfordshire

Where next? Open space to discuss ideas and potential collaborations, which could include, but not be limited to:

· Future eco-renovation projects

· Networking

· Skill sharing

· Householder to householder support

· What’s working well with eco-renovation on a local level

· What people would like to see happening

What might come out of the evening: Collaborations, potential projects..

Background: Oxfordshire ClimateXchange and the Climate Outreach Information Network (COIN) have run a variety of eco-renovation events over the past three years, and have been funded to do this. There is currently no funding to support more eco-renovation events at ClimateX or COIN, but there is a strong network of eco-renovators with plenty of experience and knowledge to share, which is a great resource. Networking doesn’t always need funding, and in addition to the online networking I would be interested in what ideas you have for continuing the eco-renovation networking and events organising. It might be a web forum, it might be someone who would be willing to develop the eco-homes ideas in Oxfordshire... or it might be someone who’s willing to develop the ideas further and work with others to attract funding.

If you’re interested in developing the eco-renovation network further, but can’t come to the meeting, please let me know beforehand – either email or phone. I’ll circulate a brief post- report of the meeting.

2. Post Occupancy Evaluation of Local Eco-renovated homes, Monday 1st November, 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) is an evaluative tool used to understand the performance of a building in use. Its purpose is to answer the following questions:

1) How is a building working?

2) Is this what was intended?

3) How can it be improved?

‘Ecovation’ is a communications project run by COIN (Climate Outreach Information Network) who, in partnership with Oxfordshire ClimateXchange, have organised a series of events showcasing householders who have refurbished their properties to a high environmental standard. A POE was carried out by Oxford Brookes University Department of Architecture on three properties, which acted as case studies in helping to understand which refurbishment methods were most effective in relation to energy reduction and occupant satisfaction. Internal conditions of the properties were monitored for 6 months and occupants were interviewed as part of the investigative research.

The key findings showed that the most energy-efficient measures are not necessarily the most effective, showing unintended consequences throughout, while occupants and their behaviour play a crucial role in the performance of buildings. These findings will be presented and discussed in the form of a public talk at Oxford Brookes University.

Details of the talk are as follows:

Date: Monday 1st November 2010

Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Venue: Room G119, Gibbs Building, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP


**The room is only able to accommodate 30 people, so please confirm your attendance by emailing Simon at simonchung13@gmail.com **

... Read this ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Reminder

The apple pressing equipment, which has been seen in use at the Eco Fair, the community shop, Fun in the Park and other recent town events is available for loan. There is also a pasteuriser which can gives any nutritious juice extracted from "waste" or leftover apples a more useful lifetime, once bottled.

Contact Susie on 01235 533278 to book the equipment, or email carbon.cutters@gmail.com ... Read this ...

Report from the Eco Fair

In case you don't see the reports on the Eco Fair in the press, here's the post-event press release.

For Photos, look at the Abingdon Blog

Climate smiles on Abingdon’s first Eco Fair

11.10. 2010

The climate smiled on Abingdon’s first Eco Fair as hundreds of visitors learned how to live well and save money without damaging the planet.

Over 400 visitors spilled out of the Guildhall onto the lawn where adults and children helped crush and press donated windfall apples into delicious juice, to demonstrate how nothing need be wasted. The apple press was bought with a donation from Culham Environmental Insitutute.

Town mayor, Duncan Brown, opened the proceedings, telling of his commitment to helping the environment before introducing the choir of his old school, Dunmore, who captivated a packed Abbey Hall with their eco-friendly songs. .

New MP, Nicola Blackwood, showed great interest in all the stalls, which focussed on five key areas; Energy, Food, Waste, Travel and Biodiversity

“What’s Up Folk”, a band of pupils and teachers from John Mason School, and folk group “Flowers of the Quern”, got visitors’ feet tapping in the entrance hall, while the lively choir from Carswell Primary School delighted an appreciative audience in the local-food cafe with their harvest and eco songs.

Highlights included the following:


This area focussed on the delights of local produce

· a cafe served locally grown food and drink including soup & cakes throughout the fair

· spare apples, even windfalls were turned into delicious apple juice with the Carbon Cutters own apple mill and press.

· Bakers from Abingdon Country Market helped visitors make bread rolls from local flour from the Wantage Mill

· The Oxford Garden Project demonstrated how to grow your own vegetables – even if you don't have a garden

· The “Grow Your Own Veg Group” run by Bridget Thurley invited new growers to join her at the allotment on Peachcroft Farm on Thursday mornings

· Abingdon Carbon Cutters launched their new “Local Food Directory”, showing where you can buy locally grown and organic produce to help cut food miles and pesticide use

· Local shop “Added Ingredients” offered samples of locally-produced food and drink

· The Vegetarian Society gave out information on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your food by eating a more healthy, plant-based diet


This area helped us discover more about the natural world around us

· Kids of all ages made “bug hotels” from waste materials

· the Green Gym showed how to get fit while helping the local environment

· “Friends of Radley Lakes” showcased their new nature reserve now managed by the Northmoor Trust


Every time we buy something new and throw away the old one we are increasing our carbon footprint. Why not give it a refurb instead, or at least recycle it?

· The Wild Waste Bus from the Northmoor Trust at Little Wittenham was parked outside the Guildhall for a fun take on waste for all ages

· The 8th Abingdon Guides showed off how to use our shiny new recycling bins

· The Pathway Workshop had a fantastic display of toys and garden furniture, all made from recycled wood by disabled young adults


This area showed that how we choose to travel can also waste or save fuel. Find out about alternative options which can slash your fuel bills while helping the planet.

· Freewheeling, Abingdon’s new cycling club, was there to enthuse old hands and new recruits about the joys of cycling for pleasure and fitness

· CommonWheels, a car-share club in Oxford, was exploring the possibility of a similar scheme in Abingdon

· Andy Brewin of Bike Support had his mobile bike repair workshop on the Guildhall forecourt


· Several solar power suppliers showed how solar panels on your roof can help you heat your water and generate electricity

· “Sustainable Lifestyles”, a local consultancy run by Carbon Cutters member Paul Buckingham, gave top tips on cutting electricity usage at home to save on bills

· A working model was on show of the new Abingdon Hydro scheme to harness the power of the Thames at Abingdon Weir. This should make enough electricity for at least 200 homes.

· Local eco-renovation home owner Brigid Sondaram showed plans of her new Eco-home in Norman Avenue

The Eco Fair was organised by a group of local residents, the “Abingdon Carbon Cutters” to showcase traditional and state-of-the-art ways we can use less fossil fuel, whilst maintaining or even improving our quality of life.

Pensioner Christine Whild, one of their oldest and most active members, said: “I want the world to be liveable for my great grandson who was born this year. At my age I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to make a difference now”.

Paul Buckingham has been studying for an an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and now runs an advice consultancy, Sustainable Lifestyles. He says, ““With rising energy prices and all the concerns about climate change, this is a great way of showing people what is possible for everyone to do to make a difference!”

... Read this ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photo from "Fun In The Park"

For those of you who weren't there - this is a picture of the Carbon Cutters' apple press at the Fun In The Park event last month. ... Read this ...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Abingdon’s first Eco Fair will be held in and around Abingdon Guildhall on 9th October, 2010 from 10am to 3pm. An event for the whole family, it will be packed with fun activities and practical ideas to help us all live well and save money without damaging the planet.

The fair will be opened by the mayor, Duncan Brown and will focus on five key areas; Energy, Food, Waste, Travel and Biodiversity.

New MP, Nicola Blackwood, will be visiting mid-morning. As she says, “Abingdon is such a vibrant community, I am looking forward to seeing how much is already being done locally, and how much more can be done.”

Informative displays are combined with activities for everyone; helping the community learn about how to cut their own carbon footprint – and cut their bills at the same time.

Highlights include the following:


This area focuses on the delights of local produce

* a cafe will be serving serving locally grown food and drink including soup & cakes throughout the fair
* Bring your spare apples, even windfalls, to the Eco Fair where they can be turned into delicious apple juice with the Carbon Cutters own apple mill and press.
* Get the family stuck in making bread rolls from local flour from the Wantage Mill
* Learn about growing your own vegetables – even if you don't have a garden - and where you can buy locally grown produce to help cut food miles and pesticide use


Discover more about the natural world around us

* Kids of all ages can help make bug hotels from waste materials in the Bio Diversity section,
* Find out how to get fit while helping the local environment in the Green Gym


Every time we buy something new and throw away the old one we are increasing our carbon footprint. Why not give it a refurb instead, or at least recycle it?

* The Wild Waste Bus from the Northmoor Trust at Little Wittenham will be parked outside the Guildhall for a fun take on waste for all ages
* The 8th Abingdon Guides will be helping the Vale Recycling Team show off how to use our shiny new recycling bins
* Love Food Hate Waste stall will have delicious ways to use up our leftovers.


How we choose to travel can also waste or save fuel. Find out about alternative options which can slash your fuel bills while helping the planet.

* Discover CommonWheels, a car-share club, at the Eco Fair.
* Andy Brewin of the Mobile Bike Repair workshop will be busy on the forecourt outside the Guildhall during the Eco Fair.


* Find out about renewable energy suppliers and how you can make a difference to the planet with one phone call
* Learn about solar power and how it can help you heat your water and generate electricity
* Get top tips on cutting electricity usage at home to save on bills
* Find out about the new Abingdon Hydro scheme to harness the power of the Thames at Abingdon Weir to make enough electricity for at least 200 homes.

The Eco Fair has been organised by a group of local residents, the “Abingdon Carbon Cutters” to showcase traditional and state-of-the-art ways we can use less fossil fuel, whilst maintaining or even improving our quality of life.

Pensioner Christine Whild, one of their oldest and most active members, says: “I want the world to be liveable for my great grandson who was born this year. At my age I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to make a difference now”.

Paul Buckingham has been studying for an an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and now runs an advice consultancy, Sustainable Lifestyles. He says, ““With rising energy prices and all the concerns about climate change, this is a great way of showing people what is possible for everyone to do to make a difference!”
... Read this ...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Carbon Cutters Meeting 15 September

Here are the details of our first meeting of the Autumn season. If you have somewhere to put up a poster, please print it out and put it up! And don't forget to bring all your windfalls to be made into juice!

Help us prepare for our Eco Fair on 9th October:

· Bring apples to make freshly pressed juice and learn how to store it

· Explore soup and cake recipes using local ingredients

· Hear about the new Abingdon loyalty card scheme

St Ethelwold’s House, 30 East St Helen Street. ... Read this ...

Film 'Home' - Oxford Castle 22nd September

The film 'Home' is being shown in Oxford on Weds 22nd September. It shows powerfully how humans are affecting the earth, and how dependent we are on oil.

Oxford Castle Open Air Cinema
Oxford Castle, Wednesday 22nd - Sunday 26th September, 2010 Tickets/info

This September sees the beautiful and historic Oxford Castle transformed into
a spectacular open air cinema. Hosting a series of blockbusters, there is
something for all tastes and all ages. Why not also book a table with
Malmaison to take advantage of their 3 courses for £10 pre-cinema dining offer?
Tables can be booked by calling: 01865 268 400.

Home (exempt from classification - open to all ages) - FREE ENTRY!
Wednesday 22nd September, 2010
Soar through the skies over hundreds of countries with celebrated French
journalist, reporter, environmentalist, and Earth From The Air photographer
Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Home is an extraordinary cinematic, aerial portrait of
our planet as never seen before.
... Read this ...

£99 insulation offer

The council is currently promoting a special £99 offer, which is a fantastic opportunity to tighten up your insulation to help minimise your energy bills this coming winter, so we advise members of the community to take advantage of this while the grants still exist! Cocoon is a free, impartial referral service for insulation. They don’t directly install insulation but give customers an option of different locally based and national installers. Once the customers have been referred, the installer will then contact the householder to arrange a free no obligation survey to determine what level, (if any) insulation will be required. Annual savings can be £115 for cavity wall insulation and up to £150 for 270mm of loft insulation.

The Council’s insulation offer is being managed exclusively by Cocoon, a long standing partner of the Council. Cocoon offers a fast on-line self-referral option at http://www.cocoonyourhome.co.uk
To find out more, call 0800 8048 777 and ask for the ‘Oxon Deal’.

... Read this ...

EDIBLE AS$ETS; Securing money for your food

Many food projects and businesses are trying to change the food system – by promoting healthy food, selling local and organic produce or increasing people’s access to better food. Not only is this task large, but it is also hard to make these initiatives work, and be financially viable in the long term.

Local Action on Food runs a diverse network of businesses, community projects and individuals who care about sustainable and healthy food. We are organising this conference to explore some of the possible avenues for food projects and enterprises to become more financially viable.

Edible Assets

Date: 14th September 2010, 10am -4pm

Venue: Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH

Come along to find out more about:

GRANTS AND FUNDING - What’s available? Is it the best route for your project?

SELLING SERVICES - What can you offer your local authority, local businesses or NHS?

RAISING MONEY IN OTHER WAYS - Would trading, community investment, loans, or social enterprise work for you?

Speakers include:

Tom MacMillan, Food Ethics Council

Triodos Bank

The Real Food Store, Exeter

Co-operatives UK

Community finance and business planning experts

Experts from the funding world


£20 Local Action on Food members

£30 non-members
For more information call 020 7837 1228 or email suzanne@sustainweb.org

Local Action on Food is a project of Sustain: The alliance for better food farming. Registered charity (number 1018643)
... Read this ...

Introduction to Permaculture Design - 16 & 17 October

... Read this ...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CAG Newsletter

Dear Carbon Cutter,
Do take the time to look at this BRILLIANT CAG bulletin! So packed with ideas and photos, not to mention "How To" guides, and even a spiritual competition at the bottom! What more could you ask for?
May I also take this opportunity to ask you PLEASE to register with the Community Central website? http://www.communitycentral.co.uk
Community Central is an online service that helps local sustainable action groups engage more effectively with their broader communities, businesses and local authorities.
It's completely FREE, so why not join to day and see how you can help make your community greener, faster? There is such a lot of info on there, but it needs everyone interested to join to make it work! When you have registered, add as much as possible to your profile, with words it can search on such as "Abingdon", "Solar panels", "Local Food" or whatever lights your fire, and the site will then find you people interested in the same things. It works by searching on your profile for key-words.
Oh, and our next meeting is on Weds September 15th at the usual time of 7.30pm in St Ethelwold's House, when we will be learning How to Cook Delicious Local Food. See you there!
Happy carbon cutting,


CAG e-Bulletin - August 2010

Hello Sally Reynolds ,

Welcome to the latest 2010 CAG ebulletin, we hope you have been enjoying the summer. The ebulletin is for the exchange of information between CAGs and those who have an interest in CAG activities. Please feel free to forward this bulletin to those you feel would be interested. If you have any information that you would like to share with other groups please let me know. frances.buckel@resourcefutures.co.uk or phone 07903 037290

Sustainable Kirtlington

A big welcome to Sustainable Kirtlington who has just signed up to be a CAG.

Sustainable Kirtlington has been running since 2007 and have various plans. The most ambitious of which will be helping the owners of the mill raise funds for the installation of a micro hydro plant. It is believed that such a plant could provide power for 50-60 homes in the village.

Low Carbon Oxford North

LCON is taking practical action to combat climate change by helping people in the North of Oxford to cut carbon emissions. They have recently signed up as a CAG and had their first public meeting in the North Oxford Association Centre in July. A packed house listed to key note speakers, James Painter, (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), and Barbara Hammond (LCWO). Many people expressed interest in their plans for Carbon Conversations and the Commonwealth Climate Challenge (see below)


Commonwealth Climate Challenge

The Commonwealth Climate Challenge is an international competition challenging 12 households in 12 cities across 12 Commonwealth countries to reduce their environmental impact over 12 months.

Run by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), in partnership with the Prince of Wales' Charities, this is a fun project with a serious aim. The countries selected to take part in the Climate Challenge represent the geographic and economic diversity of the Commonwealth and include Oxford in the UK.

Baseline data on environmental impact and consumption will be collected at the beginning. Over 12 months the households will compete against other families and countries to reduce their overall environmental impact and to win a series of specific challenges. They will interact with other participants, as well as the global school network, via the Challenge website. CAGs are actively involved in finding and supporting the households in Oxford.

More details from LCON or (a dedicated climate challenge website will be launched in September)

looking at the games that can be played at Carbon Conversations


Carbon Conversations

Carbon Conversations is an inspiring, practical 6-session course on low-carbon living:

  • Based on the psychology of change
  • Emotionally engaging
  • Technically rigorous
  • Up to date, attractive handbook, games and materials

Cited in The Guardian as one of the top 20 solutions to climate change, a number of CAGs are now trained to run these courses, with sessions starting in September and October. For more information contact simon.kenton@resourcefutures.co.uk

Runaway Climate Challenge

Oxfordshire’s Community Climate Conference is Saturday 13th November 2010, 10am to 4.30pm Keep this date in your diary. Following a very successful Big Climate Event last year, this conference will provide stimulation, inspiration and support for taking community action on Climate Change. it will be held at Oxford University Centre for the Environment.

More information and registration details will be out shortly.

Runaway Climate Challenge

Largest installation of solar panel on a school in the UK

West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd (WOCR) unveiled their 100 kW solar panel array on the roof of Matthew Arnold School and their 50kw solar panel array on the roof of Aldi’s West Oxford store on 24th June 2010.

The electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to the school and the store respectively. Together the roofs on Matthew Arnold and Aldi will generate approximately £50,000 for re-investment in Low Carbon West Oxford’s local community environmental activities as a result of the Government’s feed-in tariff scheme.

Aldi and Matthew Arnold School will both benefit from cheaper and cleaner green electricity. The solar panels will also play a significant part in their carbon reduction commitment and provide customers and pupils with a highly visible reminder of their green credentials.


Low Carbon West Oxford Solar Panel

Members of Low Carbon West Oxford with local author Philip Pullman

Last year LCWO helped 36 households recude their CO2 emissions by a total 36%. This year 60 households are going through the Low Carbon Living Programme. LCWO also funds a range of other projects including waste reduction, tree plnting, food and transport.

Garden wins an OSCA

On Friday 16th July, Barracks Lane Community Garden was announced as runner-up in the “Enhancing and/or preserving biodiversity” category of the Oxfordshire Sustainability and Conservation Awards (OSCA). The garden was presented with a cheque for £100 and a framed certificate.

Run by Oxfordshire County Council, the OSCA is a competition that aims to showcase all the great environmental work that's been taking place in Oxfordshire by schools and community groups. The winner of the Biodiversity category was SS Mary and John on Cowley Road. Barracks Lane Community Garden is very proud to have been recognised for its work in enhancing the local environment.

Other CAGs that entered included the Dorchester Carbon Project who received a highly commended for their ‘Zero Waste Places’ initiative.

Barracks Lane Community Gardens now

Barracks Lane Community Gardens

CAGs visit Ardley IVC

Places for the recent visit to Agrivert’s In-vessel Composting facility at Ardley were snapped up by Community Action Groups (CAGs) keen to learn how their food and green waste are being treated. By the end of this year all of Oxfordshire Distinct Councils will be collecting food waste separately.

The Ardley facility is one of three being delivered by Agrivert to provide a comprehensive organics treatment solution to divert organic waste from landfill whilst providing a valued organic fertiliser. The facility has the capacity to treat up to 40,000 tonnes of organic waste each year.

The overall philosophy behind the futuristic design and site location was to provide a facility which operates with low energy consumption. The facility has a positive carbon footprint even after the energy associated with collection and treatment of the waste is taken into account. It also uses harvested rain water and heats the offices with the natural warmth generated from the composting process.

Pamela Hawes at Agrivert said that allotment holders or community groups could make arrangements to collect trailer loads of compost for a small fee, or free of charge, if they were a charity. Unfortunately they are unable to sell small bags to individuals. Contact them directly on 01608 677700.

CAGs  visit Ardley IVC

Members of CAGs go under the compost area to see how heat is harnessed from the composting process

Home Composting

Food waste collections are being rolled out across the county and by the end of 2010 most households will be able to put out their food waste for collection rather than putting it in the bin. The biggest challenge is to get food waste out of landfill.

While CAGs want the food waste collection schemes to be successful, it is important to remember that composting suitable food waste at home is even better for the environment. Not all food waste can go into a home compost bin (meat, fish, dairy and cooked foods), but items like vegetable peelings, apple cores and eggshells make great compost when mixed with things like twigs, cardboard and grass cuttings.

Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine in three months. In addition to making your own free fertiliser, you will also be helping to cut down the demand for peat-based compost from the world’s declining peat reserves.

Subsidised compost bins are available to Oxfordshire residents from only £19 (including delivery) by going to www.oxfordshirewaste.gov.uk or phoning 0844 571 4444.

Greening Glastonbury 2010

The UK music industry annually produces over half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and of that festivals account for probably at least 15%. It is estimated that this is equivalent to over 80,000 tonnes of CO2 – which corresponds to a town of 8,000 people’s personal emissions for a year. Reducing CO2 can be done, Glastonbury has addressed transport issues for water and sewage. Installed solar panels for power. Litter is separated on-site. People are encouraged to take responsibility for their own waste.

More about the festival and what they have achieved here:


Cuts we should really be talking about

A new report published by the Centre for Alternative Technology on Wednesday 16 June 2010, including input from thirteen universities, twelve research bodies and eight key industry players, highlights a path for a zero carbon transition by 2030. For the first time a comprehensive energy strategy has been produced that could reduce emissions to zero for all greenhouse gases and across all sectors, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs and regaining energy security.
Zero Carbon Britain 2030 is published by the Centre for Alternative Technology and is available as a free download or 384 page full colour book priced £39.95 (ISBN 978 1 902175 61 4). It can be purchased from CAT Mail Order (01654 705959) or from any high street or on line book retailer.

For further information, copies of the report or to arrange to speak to any of the authors contact
kim.bryan@cat.org.uk 07770881503

Caroline Spelman calls for 'zero-waste' society to end landfill

In a waste strategy review, the new environment secretary says each local council should develop its own recycling scheme

Announcing a new government review of England’s waste strategy, Caroline Spelman said putting recyclable and biodegradable rubbish in the ground threatened the environment and wasted valuable natural resources.

She said there was a need to go further and faster in boosting recycling rates in England, and that driving forward a "zero-waste society" would save money and create green jobs and industry.


New set of Energy Saving Trust 'How to' guides


Green Communities how to guides are designed to give you step by step instruction on various aspects of running a successful community energy project - check them out online:

How to engage your community and communicate about
climate change

How to get funding for your community project

How to plan and deliver a community climate change project

How to monitor and evaluate your community project

How to influence and work with your local authority

How to set up a social enterprise

How to get the most out of community carbon footprint

How to include community climate action within your parish plan

Community waste and recycling

Keep Britain Tidy

Across Oxfordshire, district councils spend over £3.5 million each year picking up after the people who can’t be bothered to bin their litter.

Keep Britain Tidy’s cheeky campaign is calling on everyone to ‘Get behind’ them to clean up England’s streets. More details www.thebigtidyup.org

'Inspired by Creation’

A little patch of earth. A quiet spot to reflect. A view that stops you in your tracks. Where do you encounter God through creation?

During September the Diocese of Oxford will be running ‘Inspired by Creation’. This is a chance to share with others how creation inspires you. You can also win prizes by entering a photograph and/or poem/prayer that captures the place where you encounter God through creation.

Whether it’s an image or words, they need to be original and taken/written by you,

Register at:

... Read this ...

An interesting article?

Here's a positive article from the sustainable development commission.

Here is a link to the article
... Read this ...

Freecycle - how to....

Many of you may already know about Freecycle, a Yahoo group that links people with unwanted items, to someone in their area who wants them, thus preventing waste and promoting re-use.To sign up go to http://my.freecycle.org/signup
For more information on Freecycle in general and a list of other approved Freecycle groups, visit http://uk.freecycle .org/ (Highly recommended! ) You can also find freecycle.org along with other related recycling-related sites by visiting the Vale of the White Horse main page and clicking on "links" on the left. More details on the website, or read on below..

Dear Freecycle™ Member,

Thanks for being a part of The (ever-expanding) Freecycle Network. We're changing the world one gift at a time! This message is sent to all subscribers upon joining, and monthly thereafter to the entire list. If this message hasn't been updated since the last time you read it, feel free to move on to the next post.

If you're new to the group or want a quick refresher on making the most of our Freecycle group, please read on! This message contains essential knowledge for all Freecycle members and will answer MANY common new-user questions, so please take the time to read it through.

This Freecycle group matches people who have things they need to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of the landfill. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

Begun on August 23 2005, the Vale of the White Horse, south Oxfordshire Freecycle group is a branch of an incredibly fast-growing international Freecycle movement, which began in Tucson, AZ on May 1st, 2003 and now boasts thousands of groups all over the world. Please help this group grow by spreading the word! We all personally know lots of great people in our community who would love this idea. So, why not "pay it forward" and tell 3 (or more) people how wonderful Freecycle is! You tell your friends, you family, your neighbours, your co-workers.. .and they tell theirs, and so on, and so on...well, you get the idea!

To post a message, simply send an email to valewhitehorsefreecycle@yahoogroups.co.uk or click on "messages" at the Vale of the White Horse Freecycle group web site (see link below).

To unsubscribe, send an email to valewhitehorsefreecycle-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

To post, read or reply to messages or to manage your membership settings (including email delivery options), visit the group site (aka main page):

To read list archives (especially helpful for new members who may find recent posts of interest there), visit the main page and click on "messages" on the left.

For more information on Freecycle in general and a list of other approved Freecycle groups, visit http://uk.freecycle .org/ (Highly recommended! ) You can also find freecycle.org along with other related recycling-related sites by visiting the Vale of the White Horse main page and clicking on "links" on the left.

The following list rules have been adapted from the original Freecycle etiquette sheet; For a refresher, read on. A certain structure definitely makes the group run smoothly and effectively for everyone's benefit. Remember, the success of this group depends on all of us, and that means each of us need to do our best to keep on task and, well, be nice and patient. Good luck, have fun & dive on in!

1) KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This means, for example, no Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms or Drugs, legal or otherwise. Two strikes and you're out of the group. This is our main Freecycle rule to live by and it's a pretty easy one at that. No advertising your garage sale, either, as you're looking for money and that isn't free... (though feel free to advertise it on our Cafe group!)

2) SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR POSTS. All posts should use one of the following formats to make it easy for others to delete or view:

OFFER: item, (Location). [Offering more than one thing? Still keep it in one e-mail, please]
TAKEN: item

WANTED: item (Location)
RECEIVED: sofa - thanks!

ADMIN: Important messages from the moderators - these will be used sparingly and sent to ALL members.

3) WANTED ADS ARE AS WELCOME AS OFFERS - But please do not post the same "wanted" message more than once a month, and keep it reasonable - for example, an old TV is a reasonable "want", a plasma screen isn't! And PLEASE don't offer money for anything - Freecycle is just that, FREE! One more thing - it's not compulsory, but it would be nice if members could all post an offer before a want :0)

4) NO CHAT, NO POLITICS, NO SPAM, NO MONEY, NO PERSONAL ATTACKS/RUDENESS, NO PROSELYTIZING/ RELIGION. It's all about R-E-S-P-E-C- T. Two strikes & you're out, i.e. you will be unsubscribed by the moderator after two inappropriate postings.

5) YOUR APPROXIMATE LOCATION: Please try to mention this in the body of your e-mail as well as in the subject line, eg. I've got a couch and live near Wantage.

6) KEEP IT ALL IN ONE E-MAIL. Got more than one thing to give away? Keep it all in one e-mail please and just number the items for your own clarity. This reduces the overall number of e-mails we all have to receive.

7) CAN WE USE FREECYCLE TO FIND NEW HOMES FOR PETS? No - following a vote on this group in May 2008 it was agreed that animals should be neither offered not requested on this group. There are lots of great organisations who specialise in rehoming animals - we suggest you visit one of them instead. (Websites in Links section)

8) NO TRADING/SWAPPING PLEASE. Go to your local trading organisation for this. It can be quite fun.

9) RESPONSES GO ONLY TO OFFERER. It keeps down the sheer number of e-mails.

10) PICK UP. Arrange as you like. Generally, you'll wait until you get a handful of responses or maybe overnight, and then you can pick whomever you like! That's half the fun. I always ask that people consider giving your local charity preference if one should respond. Arrange pickup with one person only, rather than "it's on the porch, whoever gets here first gets it." Otherwise you'll become unpopular pretty fast with your fellow Freecycle Group Members... Also: only give your phone number to one person at a time or ask for the recipient's phone no. Otherwise you'll get swamped with phone calls. And if you've arranged to collect from another member - make sure you turn up when you say you will. People soon get fed up with "no shows".

11) DISCLAIMER: FREECYCLE NETWORK MEMBERS USE THE LIST AT THEIR OWN RISK. Please take reasonable measures to protect your safety and privacy when posting to the list or participating in an exchange. By joining the list, you agree to hold neither the list owners and moderators nor anyone affiliated with Freecycle.org responsible or liable for any circumstance resulting from a Freecycle-related exchange or communication.

SAFETY. Be aware! It is up to each individual member of Freecycle when arranging for pickup of the item being given away to be appropriately aware of the potential risk of having "a stranger" come to your home to pick something up. Freecycle as a listserv assumes no responsibility for this risk. If you, for example, are a single woman living alone, you may want to say that you'll leave the item on the front porch while you are not home.

12) NO OFFERING/POSTING YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN. Posting oneself (or one's shy friends) is, I'm afraid, not allowed. There are many fine Internet dating sites better suited to this purpose ;0) Posting your kids is not on the menu either, no matter how crazy they make you sometimes. Try getting them involved in after-school football practice.

13) A BRIEF NOTE ON FREECYCLE ETIQUETTE: "Be nice." We've got a great little community here so when you arrange to pick up an item from another Freecycle Member, it is basic good manners to accommodate them as much as possible in terms of scheduling, and then be punctual; they are, after all, giving you something you need and asking nothing in return except that you will show up when you say you will. (Leaving someone hanging around waiting is never a nice thing.) Also, unless the giver tells you otherwise, assume that they would like you to come by as soon as you can to take away the item; no more than three days after the offer is made is usual. (Think of it as The Three-Day Rule.)


a) CREATE A SEPARATE E-MAIL FOLDER & AUTOMATICALLY HAVE FREECYCLE STUFF GO TO IT. Create a separate folder in your Outlook Express & have Freecycle stuff sent to it automatically with a new rule under tools/message rules/mail/

b) SET TO "DAILY DIGEST" OR "SPECIAL NOTICES ONLY" (which means you'll just browse the messages online). You can set your personal preferences on the main page (under "Edit My Membership" in the top right corner).

IMPORTANT: THERE IS A TIME LAG FOR CHANGES: Whenever a user changes settings, there is an overlap from the time it takes for Yahoo to process the change, until emails in the queue waiting to go out to the users are delivered. In other words, in the six hours it takes for Yahoo to permanently stop the emails from coming, there are emails already set up to go out, and will continue to go out until the queue is emptied. (Some people have reported this taking up to three days.) So please don't email the moderators with comments like, 'I changed my settings/unsubscrib ed yesterday, why am I still getting emails?' Just be patient, and all should be well. Don't make more than one change at a time (each additional change adds on another day of wait).
If you encounter further problems, you might want to consult the Yahoo! Groups help pages at:
http://help. yahoo.com/ help/groups/

Just so you know, you CAN delete your own posts for any reason (for example, if someone's taken the item you offered, or if you've received the item you wanted, or if you posted something by mistake). Go back to your original post and bring it into view on the screen. Right under the Messages bar, where it reads:
Reply/Forward/ View Source/Unwrap Lines/Delete

Click on 'Delete.' That should do it. (Note, though, that deleting a post won't prevent it from showing up in the next digest for those with digest options.)

That should just about do it. Have fun keeping good stuff out of landfill!

Your friendly neighbourhood Freecycle moderators,

Alison and Helen
Vale of the White Horse Freecycle group
... Read this ...

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Due to demand, there is to be another Portable Appliance Testing training. With this training it will be possible to legally test small domestic appliances (WEEE – Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) for reuse at events such as swap-shops, etc and, so long as you can handle changing a plug, no previous experience is necessary! Training wii include an overview of current legislation / heath & safely requirements, alongside a practical sessions on using the testers with ample time to practice testing with other qualified CAG members, who will also be able to give you guidance on how to run testing at events.

We have worked alongside our insurance brokers to ensure that those who have taken out CAG insurance will be covered to PAT test and that tested items will also be insured in the event of any other unforeseen problems, although this is merely a ‘safety net’ and should not be read as a ‘warranty’ re: damaged parts, etc. However, in order to be comprehensively covered it is important that no ‘white goods’ (eg: large domestic appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, cookers, etc.) or electric blankets are accepted at events. Please note that groups who have their own insurance policy may not necessarily have the cover needed to PAT test and so we would advise registering with the CAG insurance policy to ensure ample cover. Please let me know if you are considering this route.

There are currently 8 CAG PAT testing units around the county with a booking system in place for those who wish to borrow them for their own events, although CAG grants are available for those of you who will be testing on a very regular basis.

Please confirm your booking as soon as possible or by Monday 13th September, stating any mobility or other requirements you may have.

VENUE: West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road, Oxford.

DATE: Wed 29th September 2010

TIME: 7 – 9pm

How to get there:

Click this link for directions and information about the venue:

Public transport: The West Oxford Community Centre is 2 minutes walk from the train station. Turn right at the bottom of the station road, under bridge, along Botley Road and it is on the right. See link above for bus routes.

Cycling: There are plenty of safe places to lock bikes at the centre and train station.

Cars: We would encourage people to use public transport where possible but if you do need to drive please try to car share with people near you. If you have spaces free and would like help filling them or you need a lift to the event, please let me know. This is very limited parking available at the venue but it is very close to the Seacourt Park and Ride.

... Read this ...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abingdon Eco Fair - Saturday 9th of October

An event for the whole family, it will be packed with fun activities and practical ideas to help us all live well without damaging the planet. There will be plenty to absorb the children while the adults browse, and a cafe serving locally-grown food and drink. The fair will focus on five key areas: Energy, Food, Waste, Travel and Biodiversity. Come and see the plans for hydro-power at Abingdon weir, or how to make electricity from the sun on your own roof! Learn how to grow your own veg, even if you don’t have a garden! Abingdon is a vital, thriving community.... come and find out how to get involved!

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Abingdon Guildhall, Abbey Close
OX14 3JE (map)
... Read this ...

Our chance to stop a climate U-turn

You may have seen in the papers the government plans to backslide on green promises on coal power stations? Here's an easy way to let them know we are watching them. Put in your details and drop your MP an email.
Nicola Blackwood is committed to coming to our Eco Fair on October 9th so will welcome hearing from you. MPs need to be able to evidence how strong the local feeling is.
Do it now!

38 Degrees
In February Conservative and Lib Dem MPs backed our campaign to set limits on CO2 emissions
from new coal fired power stations. Thousands of us emailed our MPs, and we came within a few votes of winning in Parliament. Both Conservatives and Lib Dems promised that if they won the election, limits would be introduced in their new Energy Bill. But today it's being reported they are planning to break their promise. [1] We need to move fast to stop that happening.

Since the election, energy company lobbyists have piled pressure on the Tories and Lib Dems to do a U-turn. Unless we speak up now, the lobbyists are going to win and rules to reduce climate emissions will be dropped.

Together we can make the case for tackling climate change, and warn the government that caving in now after all the promises they've made would be a big embarrassment. A people-powered outcry will make Conservative and Lib Dem MPs realise how much damage a U-turn will do to their green reputation.

Click here to e-mail your MP and demand they support new rules to clean up new coal fired power stations:

At the moment energy companies can charge customers extra to pay for building new 'cleaner' coal-fired power stations. But there's no minimum standard for how clean these power stations should be. That's a bit like saying you want more efficient cars, but then forgetting to say how many miles per gallon they should actually do. We need new rules to make sure climate emissions really are brought down.

It's only 6 months since Lib Dems and Tories voted to make these rules part of the last government's Energy Bill. But now they're in power, the Conservatives have put these new rules on the backburner. We need to work together to put every single MP under pressure to support new rules to set limits on coal-fired power stations - if enough of us e-mail, we can make sure MPs don't let the bill go through without proper standards.

In February, people power nearly won - we came within 8 votes of cleaning up new coal power stations. If we work together again and put pressure on MPs of all parties to back proper standards this time around, we can make sure we get the rules we need to clean up coal.

E-mail your MP now to tell them to back proper rules:


Thanks for being involved, ... Read this ...

An invitation

Nicky Warden and Christine Whyld went to a training weekend on running "Carbon Conversations" on our behalf recently and would like some Carbon Cutters to practice on. If you arelo oking for a greener future, read on, or download the leaflet and invite your friends too!
... Read this ...

Government Energy Plans

Some of you may have seen this already - sorry for any duplication. The government has published some new documents on energy planning. I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but they look like a more coherent look at where things might be going than we have seen before.

The first is their "first annual energy statement":
This mentions such things as smart meters, the Renewable Heat Incentive, and a lot more. It's the shorter of the two.

The other is a document showing possible "pathways" to achieve the 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. What is interesting is that it has six model scenarios, in case some things don't happen, and so sounds a lot like David MacKay has had something to do with it. It's longer - a couple of hundred pages - but you can probably get the gist from the summary material at the beginning:
... Read this ...

CAG Newsletter - Summer 2010

The Summer 2010 Community Action Groups newsletter is available for downloading from here

... Read this ...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oxford Garden Project open days - THIS WEEK.

The garden will be open from 10-5 pm on Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th June.

There will be an opportunity to look around our workshop and garden in Longworth, a half acre kitchen garden with long established no-dig deep beds as well as new areas currently under development, including a fruit garden and bag garden.

Entry is free, but we welcome donations to Garden Organic, the country's leading organic gardening charity. There will be a display by the Wilts and Berks canal trust and refreshments will be available.
... Read this ...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carbon Cutters Meeting Weds May 19th - How to Run Our Own Eco-Fair

Dear all,
The Guildhall is booked for Saturday October 9th for Abingdon's first Eco Fair! Will you be there? Do you have a favourite group, business or charity you think should be invited? Can you make home-made bread or soup to serve at lunchtime? Are you a whizz at publicity and websites?
We will need everyone's skills to make this day a success. Do come to our meeting in St Ethelwolds House on Weds May 19th to hear how Kidlington's Eco Fair has been such a success, and to be in on the planning for our own. The keyword is Sustainability - how can we build resilience in our own community? How can we prepare Abingdon for a low-carbon future?

If you can't come, register your interest by emailing Pauline and Cliff MARSHALL on candpmarshall@btinternet.com
... Read this ...

ClimateX.org news

Dear carbon cutter,
Sorry for duplicating, but this message has so many inspiring things to get involved in! Mark Lynas AND David MacKay talking in Oxford! And so much more. Scroll down to see for yourself!

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: The ClimateX Newslist climatex@albion.red-redemption.com
To: "climatex@climatex.org" climatex@climatex.org
Sent: Friday, 30 April, 2010 16:59:52
Subject: [Climatex] (no subject)

Oxfordshire ClimateXchange update #59 – May ’10

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

With election reaching fever pitch, here’s a selection of news and upcoming events to keep your feet on the ground. There’s good news from North Leigh, and details of the new £99 insulation deal and upcoming trainings from the Energy Saving Trust, plus an increasing number of events. Happy reading, and I wish you all a relaxing May weekend.




Disappointed by the low profile of climate change in the election campaigning? Now you can contact your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates at a time when they might just listen. The Campaign for Greener Healthcare has teamed up with 38 degrees so that you can quickly and easily ask your parliamentary candidates about their views on climate change and what steps they will take to address this threat to health. It only takes about two minutes to do, click here http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/HealthcareClimat to go to the 38degrees website.

This campaign has been organised by the Green Health Coalition, formed of the Campaign for Greener Healthcare, Medact, Medsin and the Climate and Health Council *www.greenerhealthcare.org*

1.2 Over 170 Candidates from all Parties sign the Simpol Pledge

With only a week to go to the general election, a record number of candidates from all the main UK political parties have so far signed the Pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol), a range of measures to solve global problems like climate change, financial market regulation, global poverty, and other issues where global cooperation is needed. For further information visit www.simpol.org (global site) and/or www.simpol.org.uk (UK site)

1.3 Live blog: Ed Miliband and Franny Armstrong's green election road-trip


1.4 Tiempo magazine – weekly magazine covering climate and development


1.5 Crowd-sourced energy

A London-based architectural research firm, Facility: Innovate, is developing an energy harvester for crowded areas such as sports arenas and shopping centres. The technology will be invisible to the people it feeds on: they will simply walk over what looks like a normal floor tile. But their steps will push down on a pneumatic device that drives air through a turbine to generate electricity. The company plans to install its first device later this year in a US shopping centre, with a UK site to follow soon after. See:


1.6 Goldman Environmental Prize - videos

The U.S.-based Goldman Environmental Prize is the world's biggest award for grassroots environmentalism. The prize was begun in 1990 by philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman to encourage environmental protection. Check out what this year’ s prize recipients have to say, by clicking on their profiles:



2.1 Check out the new imeasure web-interface when you put in your meter readings this week! http://www.imeasure.org.uk/

2.2 Introducing: SMEasure www.smeasure.org.uk

SMEasure’s energy monitoring website is free and has been specially designed for small and medium sized businesses. The site comes from the Energy Research Group at the Oxford University’s Centre for the Environment so all data also contributes towards research undertaken by the University, whilst illustrating where businesses can save energy, reduce carbon emissions and essentially, cut bills.

SMEasure will provide you with an indication of your building's energy overuse/under-use and overspend/under spend and provide you with a free A-G rating which will provide an excellent indication of the rating you would likely receive with an official DEC, without the investment.

2.3 Travel planning

Going on holiday? See the LoCO2 10:10 travel planning tool here:


2.4 Oxford Cycle Challenge

The Oxford Cycle Challenge is a fun and free workplace based challenge that encourages people to give cycling a go! The CTC has selected a handful of cities to take part in the Workplace Challenge, and Dan from Oxford Cycle Workshop is coordinating the challenge for Oxford. The challenge is based on workplaces and departments signing up and their employees recording their cycling journeys as you all compete for some exciting prizes (including a beautiful bike worth £600). Organisations across Oxford will compete from Monday 7 to Sunday 27 June 2010 to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike for just 10 minutes or more. See more: http://www.oxfordcyclechallenge.org.uk/

2.5 Beyond the Pole

A fun film which looks worth watching: http://beyondthepole.com/

2.6 Ecomodo

Ecomodo is a new online service that enables people to lend and borrow

everyday objects, skills and spaces. www.ecomodo.com . It's free to register and open to everyone in the UK. Please sign up and invite all your friends, colleagues and neighbours to join in too.

2.7 Go for the green quiz!

Take the green quiz here:



3.1 Challenge North Leigh scoops £20,000

If you haven’t already heard the fantastic news – North Leigh has reduced its energy consumption by 10% and met the target set by Challenge North Leigh. Scottish and Southern Energy have agreed to pay the £20,000 prize money. Well done to all parishioners and keep up the good work! Further info: http://www.challengenorthleigh.org/

3.2 Beechcroft Road DIY Streets

Beechcroft Road residents Association has been given the go-ahead to implement their DIY Streets scheme – including cycle racks and trees. Further info: www.beechcroftroad.org.uk

3.3 Green Communities newsletter

See the latest Green Communities Newsletter: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/cafe

3.4 Sustainable Witney: Check out their website on: http://sustainablewitney.org.uk/

3.5 Transport Funding Available

An opportunity has arisen to secure £5000 of funding for a transport specific community based project. The judges are looking for original ideas in three areas: Vehicles and Fuels, Smarter/Eco Driving and Reducing Car Use.

If you think your community has some good ideas or projects I would encourage you to apply. Further info: www.lowcvp.org.uk/communitychallenge .

3.6 Garden Guardians wanted

Barracks lane gardens is looking for more Garden Guardians so we can ensure the garden is open every weekend from Easter to autumn. Could you offer 3 hours of your time, once a month? If so, contact Julieanne at barrackslanegarden@yahoo.co.uk or 01865 236 088 for further information Further info: http://www.barrackslanegarden.org.uk/


Are you looking for more volunteers? v involved Oxfordshire can help you recruit volunteers aged 16-25 to help! We promote part time / full time and one off events to our volunteers county wide! + if you would like support to develop volunteering opportunities for young people FREE support & training is available. For more information contact Claire Jones - Youth Volunteer Development Manager - Claire.jones@ocvys.org mailto:Claire.jones@ocvys.org 07825 232 500 / 01865 600983 (from ONCF update)


4.1 £99 Insulation Deal

For a limited period, local homeowners and private tenants can get cavity wall or loft insulation fitted for a standard price of £99 each. At this low price insulation pays for itself fast in reduced energy bills.

The Council’s £99 deal is subject to funding and is being managed exclusively by Cocoon, a long standing partner of the Council. You may have to pay more if your property is larger than average for the number of bedrooms, or access to walls or loft is restricted or extra vents are required.

To find out more, call 0800 8048 777 and ask for the ‘Oxon Deal’ or visit www.cocoonyourhome.co.uk

4.2 Energy Auditing for Old and listed Buildings

Sustainable Charlbury have arranged training by EST on Tuesday 25th May from 9.45 – 4.30 pm. You will need to be registered as Green Communities members before the course. You can do this by going to http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/cafe/Green-Communities/About-us/Become-a-Member-or-Update-Profile . There are a limited number of places available to external delegates and these will be offered on a first come first serve basis. Please fill out the application form which can be accessed here: http://climatex.org/articles/news/community-events-may/ and forward to greencommunities@est.org.uk. For further information please call 0844 848 0077.

4.3 Energy Auditing for Community Buildings

The Energy Auditing for Community Buildings will take place in Oxford on 26th May, led by an expert from EST Green Communities head office. There are 20 spaces available, and final details are presently being confirmed. Please email Mathew.Roberts@est-tvs.org.uk if you’re interested in attending, and he will email you final details and booking information

To subscribe to the Oxfordshire Eco-renovation Mailing List email jo@climatex.org with ‘Ecoren_subscribe’ in the subject line

4.4 Researcher seeks households who have considered renewables

Wanted: - Some who tried to put renewables in their house, began to think about it and then stopped because of several reasons. (I need to find around 5 to 10 households in this case)

-Households who did it while a refurbishment (those are the most important number in my research,that is to say around 20)

I would like to understand why they chose to put a renewable, what does it reveal from their interests, how they did and what happened before, during and after the installation. Also, I would like to understand throughout the process, who can have help them, or at the opposite, slow the installation.

It is possible for me to call them, or to see them wherever they want, I don't want to enter in their privacy so I would perfectly understand if they prefer me not to come in their house, but to see them in a public area.

If you care interested, contact: Marjorie FILLIASTRE mj.sorbonne@gmail.com 07500 805 800

4.5 The Ideal Green Home Show went well last weekend. You can check the details of exhibitors, and download the newly updated Oxfordshire Eco-renovation Directory here http://climatex.org/articles/eco-renovation/ideal-green-home-show/

A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers and stall holders, and to North Aston Organics and Veg In Clover for help distributing info.

4.6 Sheffield's green roof safaris: audio slideshow

The Yorkshire city has started a programme of 'green roof safaris' to show how topping new and regenerated buildings can improve the environment and encourage biodiversity

See the video at:


4.7 Ecoworkshops http://www.ecoworkshops.co.uk/

Going Green: Re-inventing Family Homes and Lifestyles

This workshop is perfect for homeowners undertaking their own home redesign or briefing builders or Architects. Use SEED-groups professional knowledge and years of experience to help inspire and inform your eco design. This is a unique opportunity to ask eco advisers questions; meet like minded people and build your network of sources and recommendations.

Price £65.00 Book this workshop by choosing a date below:

4.8 Renewable energy coalition releases 12 step manifesto

With the general election approaching, nine of the UK’s leading renewable energy trade associations have signed up to a joint Manifesto, outlining proposals for the timely delivery of 2020 targets and urging the Government to act now on the looming energy and climate crisis. The 12 proposals would help ensure Britain delivers 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020, fulfilling its EU obligations and building a thriving ‘green collar’ industry sector in the process.

For the full text of the manifesto, see:


4.9 Build Your own wind turbine Oxford, 14-18th June

An introductory, hands-on course for anyone thinking of building their own turbine, as well as some hands on fun for anyone interested in wind. Delivered by www.v3power.co.uk

Further info: http://climatex.org/media/attachments/early_2010_courses.pdf

  1. JOBS

5.1 New post: Energy Officer at Cherwell District Council.

Closing date 6th May, full details here: http://www.environmentjobs.co.uk/job.cfm?id=7934 or contact jo.colwell@cherwell-dc.gov.uk


More events on www.climatex.org/ and a full list of Environmental lectures available here: http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/oxfordenv/index.php

6.1 Mayday Plant Swap, Saturday 1st May

1pm-4pm. This Local food event is for novice and expert gardeners alike. Please bring excess seeds, seedlings or plants to exchange. Don’t worry if you have no plants to swap, just make a donation. There will be a presentation about some methods for plant propagation at 2pm. Entry by donation. There will some refreshments available.

6.2 Feeding Oxford - Tues 4th May

Come to a debate on food supply: Feeding Oxford: Investing in a Food Supply Fit for the Future. Speaker: Mark Winne

Tuesday 4th May, 8pm at Vaults and Garden, Radcliffe Square, Oxford

Admission is Free, but space is limited, so RSVP to: Ruth West info@CampaignForRealFarming.org (see attached flier for more details)


Events on Thursday evenings, further full info on:


Thurs 6th May 7.30 pm – An ABC of the Climate

Thurs 13th May 7.30 pm – Earth’s Changing Climate

Thurs 20th May 7.30 pm – Climate Change and the Developing World

Thurs 27th May 7.30 pm – The Future of Farming

6.4 Wolvercote Wander – Sun 9th May

On Sunday 9th May, come with neighbours & friends on the Wolvercote Wander. See http://www.wolvercote.org/LowCarbonWolvercote/LCW.htm . It's a celebration of the small, low-tech things, as well as the big projects so if you have any ways you're living a lower carbon life, tips, stories, etc - please tell Michael Buck (tel: 515777; e-mail: sheilabuck@btinternet.com ) so that they can be mentioned, and perhaps pointed out, during the Wander. http://bit.ly/awolvercotewander

6.5. 7th - 9th May 2010 Power – Up London: 2010, A training weekend on the planning system and your legal rights
For full details go to: http://www.foe.co.uk/community/news/power_up_22627.html

Power Up is a weekend of workshops and networking to empower people to make a difference.
Find out how to use the system effectively. Learn how to confidently use legal and planning knowledge and share your ideas with others. Gain
the tools, confidence and contacts to help make your community a cleaner, healthier, fairer place to live.

6.6 Monday 10th May 2010 Book Launch: Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change, by Clive Hamilton

Location: Blackwell’s Bookshop Oxford, 48-51 Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BQ (map) Time: 6:45 for 7pm Speakers: Clive Hamilton and Chris Goodall

Tickets: £2*

Full info: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/Portals/0/pdfs/Oxford_10th_May_2010.pdf

A talk by CLIVE HAMILTON will be followed by a live interview of Clive by CHRIS GOODALL (author of How to Live a Low-carbon Life – now in its second edition), and then Chris will chair a Q & A with the audience.

Are we all climate denialists...?

It’s easy to ridicule the conspiracy theories of denialists, but how many of us have truly faced up to what the scientists are telling us? If we accept what the experts say then it’s the end of progress as we know it and we are heading into a very unpleasant future...So what are we doing about it?

This event is with tickets only. Please quote ‘Requiem event’. Tickets cost £2 and can be obtained by visiting the Customer Service Department on the Second Floor of Blackwell Bookshop, by phoning 01865 333623, or e-mailing oxford@blackwell.co.uk.


Blake Lapthorn Solicitors, Seacourt Tower, West Way, Oxford, OX2 0FB

Free 7.30 am reg for 8am business

Speaker: Mark Lynas, climate change specialist.

The aim of the Green Breakfasts is to encourage a discussion of environmental issues and opportunities surrounding climate change in a lively and relaxed forum. For bookings, contact kelly.benfield@bllaw.co.uk or call 01865 253268

6.8 Lubbock Lecture & Open Day
Professor David MacKay FRS
The Department of Engineering Science is delighted to announce that its 36th Maurice Lubbock Memorial Lecture entitled "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air," will be given by Professor David J C MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The Lecture will take place on Thursday, 13th May 2010.

Further info: http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/events/lubbock/

6.9 Climate Reach 14 MAY and 21 MAY 9.15am - 12.15pm

The Old Music Hall, 106-108 Cowley Road, Oxford

What is it? Climate Reach is a crash course in climate change using creative learning approaches to engage people, increase awareness and support positive action on something that affects us all.

Call ReachAbility on 01865 403 129 or email us at info@reachability.co.uk. We need to receive your payment at least one week in advance. These 2 sessions are linked so we encourage you to attend both if you can. However, it’s still OK to take part if you can only make one morning.

See directions on the Contact Us section in our website www.reachability.co.uk


Weekend workshop facilitated by Nick Totton , Grove House in Iffley. Further info: http://www.grovehouse.info/

How do we accept the unacceptable? How do we come to terms with the imminence of irreversible change facing our world? Suddenly it feels as if time is running out, and that no one knows what to do – or rather, it’s obvious what to do, but we seem unable to do it. This workshop, at a brightening time of the year and a darkening time for the planet, is a space to think, feel and talk about these issues that are so close to our hearts. A space to grieve, rage, feel terrified, immobilized; to find creative energy and to move forward. See event flier: http://climatex.org/media/attachments/Nick_FallingLight_72.pdf

6.11 Fri 28th May: Oxford Nappy Free Baby Workshop:

Create a unique bond with your baby learning how to recognise and respond to baby's toileting needs. Find out more about this eco -friendly ( and baby-friendly) alternative to full - time nappies. Last Friday in month at Barracks Lane Community Garden. For more info see www.oxfordnappyfreebaby.co.uk or contact Amber Hatch at amberkhatch@yahoo.co.uk

6.12 Oxford Energy Futures

11 June Rewley House, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA

A conference focusing on cutting-edge energy topics given by researchers at Oxford University and with contributions from scientists and practitioners at other organisations and businesses. Cost: Full fee £75, students £40. Free places available to Oxford postgraduate students who present a poster (poster space limited). Fees include refreshments and lunch.


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

Jo Hamilton
ClimateXChange Coordinator

Environmental Change Institute
Oxford University Centre for the Environment
Dyson Perrins Building
South Parks Rd
Oxford OX1 3QY

t: 01865 275 856
e: jo.hamilton@ouce.ox.ac.uk

Come to the Ideal Green Home Show 23-24th April 2010, Oxford Town Hall. Full details: http://climatex.org/articles/eco-renovation/ideal-green-home-show/

See our latest update: www.climatex.org/whats-new/

Subscribe to our fortnightly email updates : send a blank email to: climatex-subscribe@climatex.org

This is the Oxfordshire ClimateXChange Newsletter and Update Mailing List, moderated by Jo Hamilton and led by the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.


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