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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Monday, March 29, 2010

Oxford Garden Project - Open this week

The Oxford Garden Project in Longworth will be open from 11am until dusk
on Tuesday-Friday 30th March-2nd April and 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday,
3-4th April.
The OGP is a not-for-profit organisation concerned with growing food and
gardening (organic and low-input), cooking, preserving, composting and
other sustainability issues.
We are opening next week following on from recent talks, to give
visitors the opportunity to look around our organic, no-dig, deep bed
vegetable garden, ask questions, be first to see the dates for our
spring courses and have the opportunity to buy vegetable plants, each
individually grown to organic principles.
Further details can be found on the website, www.theogp.org or by
telephoning 01865 820206

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Oxfordshire Eco-renovation March Update

A round up of recent news and activities, together with some upcoming eco-renovation events, including the ideal Green Home Show, an open house event in Wallingford on 12th April, more eco-workshops from the SEED group, and some upcoming Open Homes this weekend across the Country. If you can help distribute leaflets / posters / e-fliers for the Ideal green Home Show, please email jo@climatex.org and I will forward you the relevant materials.

  1. Ideal Green Home Show
  2. Local Eco-renovation News, updates and events
  3. National news and updates
  4. New resources online
  5. Upcoming workshops
  6. Other Eco-renovation Events

1. oighs_logo_again4Oxfordshire Ideal Green Home Show

Please circulate:

Friday 23rd April, 4-7pm, and Sat 24th April , 10am – 4pm

At: Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BH

Oxfordshire’s second Ideal Green Home Show will take place at Oxford Town Hall on Friday 23rd and Sat 24th April.


  • Over 20 local green building and renewable energy companies
  • Technology introductions from local suppliers
  • Presentations from local eco-renovators
  • Updates about local grants and the recently announced feed in tariffs
  • The opportunity to learn from people who have eco-renovated their homes

For further info about the stall holders and programme of talks, see www.climatex.org/ecorenovation / www.ecovation.org.uk or call Jo on 01865 275 856.

Suggested donation of £2 per adult for entry.

Organised by Oxfordshire ClimateXchange and the Climate Outreach Information Network (COIN), with support from Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

** Volunteers wanted for the show – if you could volunteer at least 2 hours of your time on either the Friday afternoon / evening or Saturday morning, you’ll get in free, and be plied with tea, coffee and biscuits. Please email Jo@climatex.org **

Full programme of events here: http://climatex.org/articles/eco-renovation/ideal-green-home-show/ .

  1. Eco-renovation Club events:

2.1 We had two well attended events in early February:

Solar thermal hot water (from Simon Banks and Jenny Chen WesTech Solar: ukoffice@westechsolar.com

2.2 Solid wall insulation

Ray Foulks talked through his interior and exterior solid wall insulation using Celotex high yield insulation board. www.celotex.co.uk. During the discussion the issue of damp and condensation arose, and David Watsham provided this useful information

Single Room Heat recovery ventilators

http://www.kiltox.co.uk/products/hrv.htm . They retail at £262.60 (inc. VAT) online and according to my source they cost about £9 a year to run (based on an elec cost of 11p/kwh). The payback is £1.31/week for each week you are heating your home, based on 86% heat recovery. So based on a heating period of 31 weeks you are contributing £31.61 to the capital cost and payback in just over 8 years. Online shop: http://www.i-sells.co.uk/kair-single-room-hrv-12v-ac-selv-standard . Here is a general link to Kair’s range of heat recovery ventilators: http://www.kiltox.co.uk/ventilation.htm

In addition to this it is probably worth knowing that if you seal your house up to prevent heat loss by convection then you still need to provide some ‘controlled’ ventilation to maintain a healthy environment. This is best done through a mixture of these SRHRVs and trickle vents, but there are other ways. The requirements for this are complicated but I am happy to talk to people about it if need be.

David can get hold of these and has the tamper proof tool required to install it. Hope this helps everyone.

David Watsham, Jigsaw Complete Building Projects Ltd http://www.jigsawcbp.com/ e: reachus@jigsawcbp.com t: 01235 884994 f: 01235 884995

2.3 Charlbury and DRARA events

In addition Charlbury have been holding events at their Farmers Market, and Divinity Road Area (DRARA) have held another event for their group:

“We had our second meeting yesterday evening, when we invited Richard Twinch, a local architect who advises people on energy efficiency (http://www.twinchdesign.co.uk/ ). He gave us a quite in-depth run through different approaches/ materials for insulating roofs, walls and floors, which was really informative and useful. One couple in our group are seriously considering having some external wall insulation on their semi-detached Victorian house in Divinity Road (they've already had a 'Passiv Haus'-inspired energy audit of their house, which revealed that they are losing 30% of the house's total heat through their conservatory - so are quite keen to take steps to tackle that!) Other, more modest, projects discussed last night included insulation on loft hatches, which is obviously something quite easy and straightforward that more people could, and hopefully will, do.”

2.4 Open Home in Wallingford Mon 12th April, 6-8 pm

This evening will take a whole house approach to show how a family home has been renovated with:

  • solar hot water;
  • rainwater recovery;
  • underfloor heating;
  • insulation;
  • glazing systems;
  • temperature control;

Venue: Wallingford, Oxfordshire

10 places available, sign up here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G2J7P2M

This venue is not accessible by wheelchair.

  1. National News and Updates

3.1 Feed in Tariffs (or Clean energy Cashback schemes), will be introduced on 1st April this year for electricity generation. Read the low down here: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy/Sell-your-own-energy/Feed-in-Tariff-Clean-Energy-Cashback-scheme

3.2 Local Micro-generation Coordinator

The local EST provider has a Micro-generation Coordinator : Ruth Wharton, ruth.wharton@est-tvs.org.uk , who will be able to answer your questions about Micro-generation and the Feed In Tariffs. She’ll also be at the Ideal Green Home Show to present the info and answer questions.

3.3 More announcements from DECC:

Government announcement on whole house funding

Further info: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn2010_037/pn2010_037.aspx

Boiler Scrappage Scheme now closed to new applicants.

Further info: www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/PN10_050/PN10_050.aspx

Ecobuild online:

If you didn’t get to Ecobuild earlier in March, there’s a heap of information now online here: http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/ .

  1. New resources online


Thanks to some great volunteer work (thanks Mim and Sue), you can see a guide to some eco-renovation online case studies here:


We’ve also got hard copies of case studies available in a folder, so let me know if you’d like a copy for your community group / upcoming event.

4.2 New Case study: A terraced house in Minster Road, Oxford, gets a makeover. Read the case study here: http://climatex.org/articles/eco-renovation/case-study-minster-road/

4.3 New resource: Choosing Micro-generation suppliers

Thanks to Sue for putting together this guide for some questions and things to consider when choosing Micro-generation: http://climatex.org/articles/eco-renovation/choosing-micro-generation/

4.4 New web-page: Introduction to Energize Oxford.


4.5 New website: USEA

United Sustainable Energy Agency, the local Energy Saving Trust service provider, have launched their new website here: http://www.usea.org.uk/

On it you’ll find details of Cocoon, the insulation referral organisation – now with special deals for residents in West Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council. You can read about the Sheep’s Wool Insulation that was delivered as part of Cocoon here: http://www.usea.org.uk/section/content/?pageID=36


5.1 New local product:

Lime technology: - Hemp Technology Breathe™Insulation http://www.hemcore.co.uk/insulation.htm?dm_i=DOB,3YUJ,1MVOUF,CBKF,1

5.2 Oxford Building Control surveyor – David Clayton

If you’re an Oxford Resident and are considering solar PV / solar thermal, please check with Oxford City Building Control, who have recently drafted some guidance. You can contact the Building Control Surveyor, David Clayton here: e.daclayton@oxford.gov.uk t.01865 252332 http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decP/Building_Control_occw.htm

  1. Other Upcoming Eco-renovation events

6.1 Superhome Spring Openings: Open Homes events coordinated b y the Old Home Super Home network: http://www.sustainable-energyacademy.org.uk/get-inspired/superhome-locator

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

New workshops from the SEED group, who have delivered great Eco-Kitchen workshops:

Going Green: Re-inventing Family Homes & 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:

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

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Request for gardening help

A plea for help for the lovely St Ethelwolds Garden, where we have our meetings.

We are looking for gardening volunteers to help us maintain the garden here at St Ethelwold's. There is lots to do, most of it just general clearing and tidying, and not many of us to do it so any help would be welcome.

If you are interested then please contact us as below.

Kind regards

St. Ethelwold's House
30 East St Helen Street
OX14 5EB

01235 555486

Registered Charity No.284865

Office opening hours are 12-5pm Mon to Fri. Please ring between these times if possible.
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Grow your Own classes at Peachcroft

Dear Carbon Cutter,

David Perrow, one of our members who goes to Bridget's gardening class at Peachcroft, has asked if we can circulate this poster/flyer for Bridget's Thursday morning gardening classes at Peachcroft Farm. Contact her on 01865 735078 or gyoveg@hotmail.com

Happy growing!

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European Food Declaration

With the European Common Agricultural Policy under review, it is a suitable time for people concerned about how our food is produced and distributed to come together in an attempt to influence the course of that policy. Signatures are sought for a 'European Food Declaration': please see the web link below. Here, only the first five paragraphs are reproduced from the web site.


> European food declaration:
> Towards a healthy, sustainable, fair and mutually supportive Common Agriculture and Food policy
> Covernote of the “European Food declaration”
> We are a broad range of organisations -see list in "who are we"- – who are concerned with the future of food and agriculture in Europe. As in other regions in the world, the number of people and organizations that are working towards a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable food system is growing. Many of them are actively engaged in building a viable alternative to the current food production, distribution and consumption - from the bottom up. This new system of food and agriculture is firmly grounded on equity, the universal right to food, good governance and transparency.
> A wide range of renewed activities such as increasing local food production, local markets, local procurement, seed swaps and so on has been emerging and growing across Europe. In addition new movements, such as the Transition Town movement, GM-free regions and national and local debates on food policy show increasing public support for another form of food and agriculture.
> Yet, grassroots activities and local movements are not enough. We believe it is time to build a broad coalition of groups at the European level to challenge the current Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the European Commission’s and our governments’ avowed plans for a renewed CAP in 2013. Their vision is, to keep the global ‘competitiveness’ of Europe’s food industry as the chief objective of Europe’s CAP. The political process for the new CAP 2013 is starting now. We believe a strong message is needed, not only for EU policy makers, but for policy makers in our countries – a vision for a CAP suitable for the 21st century.
> We have created a “European Food Declaration: towards a healthy, sustainable, fair and mutually supportive Common Agriculture and Food Policy”. It outlines what we think the policy objectives of a CAP for the next decades should be. We invite as many organizations, groups and individuals as possible to sign this declaration and to use it as a tool to promote the discussion about what kind of food and agriculture policy we need. We also ask you to share this declaration with other grassroots, civil society, environment and food organisations that are actively engaged in building a better food system.
> Our aim is to collect as many signatures within our different networks before the end of February 2010. Early February, we will invite the public to sign the declaration.
... Read this ...

Newsletter from a local group

The "Sustainable Wallingford" group's latest newsletter is available here for anyone who's interested to read it. ... Read this ...

The People's Millions

The People's Millions - the popular partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV - is now open for applications for 2010.

This is your chance to win up to £50,000 to improve your local area. Come up with a new and original idea that will make life better for people where you live, and you could be on ITV this November, competing for viewers' votes.

The application form and further details can be found at www.peoplesmillions.org.uk

Be quick though, the deadline for entries is 12pm on 14 May 2010.

Thanks and regards

The People's Millions team
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Abingdon Freewheeling 11th April

Freewheeling is a unique cycling event for all, to promote cycling for health, fun, the environment, and just a great way to tour around the beautiful countryside surrounding Abingdon.

The cycling revolution in Abingdon starts on the 11th April.
As the first event for bike week, we have organized 3 supported rides, 4, 10 and 27 miles.
There will be entertainment, cakes stalls on the rides, and free bikes to borrow from Marin and Wilier (supplied by Behind Bars cycles).
We have support from Sustrans, CTC, and the local council and Police.

This should be a good fun, do come and join in!
Could you all do me a favour and spread the word.
If you could forward the attached Flyer to anyone you think would like to come, then that would be great?
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Oxfordshire Ideal Green Home Show 23&24 April

Another chance to see eco-home owners and business people in the flesh and buttonhole them about your own particular eco-problem! I went last year and it was fascinating.
More details at www.ecovation.org.uk
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UK AWARE - 16th & 17th April, Olympia, London

UK AWARE is the UK's only green and ethical lifestyle exhibition, have a look what's on offer this year. http://www.ukaware.com/

Discounted tickets available here
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Monday, March 15, 2010

How to be a good vegetable grower - 17/03/2010

Dear Carbon Cutter,
You are warmly invited to our next meeting on Weds March 17th at 7.30pm in St Ethelwolds House, OX14 5EB.
If you know of a notice-board where this lovely poster would look good (or even in your window!) please print one out and put it up. Bring your friends and fellow allotment-holders too!
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Fun activities

A recently-joined member is organising what sounds like some really fun activities for children of all ages.... see below.

Dear Carbon Cutters
I thought you might like to know about 2 events I am running. Please feel free to pass the details on to anyone you think might be interested.

* come and learn how to make a “fedge”, dome, tunnel, wigwam or
archway out of living willow Sunday March 7th 10am – 12pm for
information and to book please call Nicky on 07703260932 or email

* *Mucky Pups* *outdoor fun for pre-school children** **? **plant a
seed ? make a bird feeder ? hunt for bugs ? fish for tadpoles ?
bring teddy for a picnic ? puddle jump ? get your hands dirty!**
10am – 11.30am 2nd monday of the month starting March 2010.
Minimum age 2 yrs. If you are interested please call Nicky 07703
260932 or email nicky.warden@virgin.net
** (if you'd like to come but
can't make this time/day please call anyway as I may be able to
run more sessions)*
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2 talks, and some links.

Two short (and very relevant) talks to watch on your computer:

* David Mackay of "Sustainable ENergy without the Hot Air" fame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRQB2YXUxvY
* Rob "Transition Town" Hopkins giving a TED lecture: http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_hopkins_transition_to_a_world_without_oil.html

And two recommendations if you want to put solar photovoltaics on your roof:

(Forwarded from a Carbon Cutter in Blewbury) :Dear all, An excellent website, giving a lot of details of all home microgeneration systems, seems to be:
http://www.yougen.co.uk It also lists installation firms, and allows readers to recommend them. regards, Eric Eisenhandler
Hi Sally, Just to let you know we have forged a close relationship with Chris Jardine and Jo Matthews of JO JU and I can highly recommend their services in conjunction with any type of PV installation. http://www.joju.co.uk/ (And don’t forget Heelas Heating is right here in Abingdon offering free site surveys/advice on solar thermal, boiler/heating upgrades and heating maintenance. Speak to you soon, Kind Regards, Dan Heelas http://www.heelasheating.co.uk/ )
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SWAPSHOP - 24th April

I thought the Abingdon Carbon Cutters might be interested to know that Long Furlong Community Association will beholding a swap shop on 24th April 10am to 11.30am, at the Long Furlong Community Centre, Boulter Drive (Abingdon). Would anyone from ACC be interested in helping at this event?

We already have the scouts, cubs and guides on board and some folk from Christ Church Abingdon, alongside the LFCA committee, and would be extremely happy to welcome people from ACC to help on the day. This will be the fourth time we've held a swap shop and it is usually busy and buzzing.

I look forward to hearing from you idc.

Kind regards

Gill (gill.turner17 AT btinternet.com)
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Oxfordshire Science festival

There are lots of Oxforshire Science Festival events, starting today. Thought
some might like to know about these:

Focus on Low Carbon Living - talk on Fri 12 March, exhibition on Sat 13 March:

Energy webcasts - this is a school event, Mon 15 - Fri 19 March

There is also a schools event on climate change at the Botanic Gardens, Wed 17
March, but it's not on the web site
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