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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        ..... or join us on facebook.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

January 17 Meeting: Claire Morris at the Durban Climate Talks

This month we are very excited to join forces with Abingdon Peace Group to hear Claire Morris, recently returned from travelling overland from Nairobi to Durban for the UN Climate Conference, tell us about her first-hand experience of the effects of climate change in Africa, and the Youth for Eco-Justice training she received in Durban. Read Claire's blog from Africa here A one-off chance!
Note this month's meeting will be on TUESDAY 17th January, not Wednesday as usual, and will be in the Northcourt Centre, Northcourt Road, Abingdon OX14 1NS, not at St Ethelwold's House.
... Read this ...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cultivate Oxford - a new way to feed Oxfordshire

At last, what we have been waiting for! A way to connect food producers in the area with the local population. Follow the link below to find out more, and please fill in a survey here to show your support: http://www.cultivateoxford.org/survey

Cultivate is about new ways of feeding Oxford. We are a not-for-profit social enterprise that will bring fresh, local, organically-grown food direct from farmers to the city and surrounding communities. Our five-acre market garden and other small farms nearby will provide the produce sold in our mobile greengrocery, the Cultivate VegVan, which will set up wherever communities want it.
... Read this ...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to Meet Future Energy Needs Locally

Our next meeting is on Weds 16th November at 7.30pm when we will be thinking about how Abingdon can meet its energy needs in the future. Of course a large part of the equation is reducing the amount of energy we need, for instance by draught-proofing and "cocooning" our houses so we don't waste energy heating the great outdoors.. we will be launching our campaign to take infra-red photos or thermal images of the outside of some Abingdon houses to see where the heat is escaping. Would you like us to photo your house? Email us on carbon.cutters@googlemail.com if you would.
We will also be hearing the latest about the Abingdon hydro scheme (click on the picture above left for more details). And of course eating home-made cake and meeting like-minded people over a cup of tea or coffee. Do join us. ... Read this ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Do come and look for the ACC stall at the Local Excellence market this Sat. It will feature the latest info about Abingdon Hydro, and a display about the Thermal Imaging Camera owned by the VoWHDC and on-loan to community groups in Abingdon until Christmas, so that we can all see where our houses are losing heat. We will also have our usual foodie treats, and a demonstration of an amazing device which peels, cores and slices your apples at the turn of a handle! What could be better! ... Read this ...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Day in South Abingdon Children's Centre

 Bridget of GYO veg and John of the Drayton Road allotment association seemed to be having fun...

 ..as did Nicola Blackwood who helped plant the first apple tree for the community orchard we hope will take root in the Caldecott School field...

 ..while local author and apple expert Ruth Ward diagnosed all the apple varieties brought to her and was not stymied once. You can watch the video of the local news on 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-15327064 ... Read this ...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Apple Week in the Community Shop and Apple Day next Saturday October 15th!!

The Community Shop in Bury Street (where SpecSavers was) is a hive of activity this week with the apple press busy every day and the Abingdon Hydro model whirring.
Come and donate your windfalls, or stay and watch them being pressed into juice and take some home!

Next Saturday 15th October between 11 and 3 we will be in South Abingdon Children's Centre (next to Caldecott School!) for our first Apple Day. Come and join in the fun!

You will be able to:
·      Sample fresh apple juice

·      Try, and buy local produce

·      Enjoy a home-made soup, roll and apple crumble lunch

·      Explore a fire engine

·      Try veg printing, apple bobbing, etc.

·      Meet the MP and Mayor

... Read this ...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apple Fun in the Park

Many many thanks to those who donated apples for today's Fun in the Park event in Abingdon. The weather was kind, and many people stopped to chat at our stall, which was great.

Many people came to the stand and enquired about the possibility of borrowing the apple press to use in their own time.

Booking the press is handled by "Community Action Groups" - the umbrella underneath which all Oxfordshire environmental groups operate. You can contact them here. The press is mostly stored in Abingdon, however.

The calendar of events on this website should be fairly up to date - but as a reminder of the next few upcoming events, here's a brief list:

14th September: Come and listen to Abingdon author Jackie Sherman at St Ethelwold’s House at 7.30pm. Jackie is the author of the newly published ‘Making the most of your Glorious Glut’, a recipe book that focuses on using all those home-grown vegetables and fruit.
There is more information here

21st September: come to the Carbon Cutters' meeting and find out What's going on in Schools - with reports from various activites across the town, and initiatives involving young people.

15th October - Abingdon Apple day - 11-3pm at South Abingdon Children's centre. Keep watching this blog for more information

... Read this ...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Foraging for food

We have compiled a list of the places in and around our town to gather, collect or pick things to eat.

Click on the flags on the map below to learn more. If you know of a spot that is not marked on the map, please get in touch - carbon.cutters@googlemail.com

View Abingdon Foraging in a larger map ... Read this ...

Monday, August 29, 2011


             On Sunday September 11th Carbon Cutters will be in the Abbey Grounds from 2pm to 5pmat the "Fun in the parks" event again this year with the Apple press. Bring your windfalls and help us turn them into delicious juice!
... Read this ...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making Good Compost and Wormeries that Work

In the latest in our series of practical workshops. Robert Longstaff of the Oxford Garden Project will talk us through what to put in our compost, and show us how to make a wormery. There will be the usual good company, conversation and home-made cake.
Join us at 7.30pm on Wednesday 20th July at St Ethelwolds House, 30 East St Helen St. Entrance free, donations to cover costs welcome.
... Read this ...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Keep Climate Change on the school curriculum!

Dear Carbon Cutter, Please add your name to the People and Planet online petition on this subject: http://peopleandplanet.org/navid12439The Guardian reports that the government adviser in charge of overhauling the school syllabus in England has recommended that climate change should not be included in the national curriculum.
Awareness of climate change science and an understanding of its causes and solutions are absolutely key to tackling the biggest threat facing the planet, and people on it. Use the e-action below to let Tim Oates and Secretary of State Michael Gove know what you think of this recommendation to exclude climate change from the national curriculum.
Add your name to the People and Planet online petition on this subject: http://peopleandplanet.org/navid12439
... Read this ...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Harvest the Rain!

The latest in our series of local friendly workshops at St Ethelwolds House, 30 East St Helen St in Abingdon.
Come and meet like-minded local people, learn how to add to Abingdon's resilience in the face of climate change, and sample some delicious home-made cake!
What's not to like??
... Read this ...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BIO-DIVERSITY: How to Garden for Wildlife, Weds 18th May at 7.30pm

In this latest of our series of informal evening get-togethers we are lucky to have a speaker, Steve Head, who is passionate about his subject.

Come and hear him explain how to encourage bio-diversity in your own garden, and help the planet at the same time!

As always, entry is free, as is coffee and cake, but a donation towards costs is appreciated.

Bring a friend!
... Read this ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Carbon Conversations NEW GROUP STARTING APRIL 18th!

Following the success of Carbon Conversations series one and two, we still have places available for the next series to be held in Marcham starting in April. Hurry, places are limited! If you'd like to speak to someone who has already attended, we can put you in touch. Carbon Conversations: Looking for a low-carbon future? Join us for six friendly practical meetings about climate change and carbon reduction. The aim is to help you halve your carbon footprint! April 18th... Looking for a low-carbon future May 2nd.......Energy in the home May 16th......Travel and transport May 30th......Food and water June 13th.....Consumption and waste July 11th......Moving on Coffee from 7pm - meetings 7.30 to 9.30 pm. £3 per meeting including coffee and cake! For more information or to book a place please contact: Christine Whild 01865 391270 christinewhild@aol.com OR Nicky Warden 07703 260932 nicky.warden@virgin.net ... Read this ...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Abingdon Green Drinks!! April 7th

Do join us for real ale, organic cider, or just a frank exchange of views about all things green!

For more info get in touch with Paul Buckingham on 01235 550540 or 07802 935827 or email him on paul@sustainablelifestyles.co.uk

... Read this ...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Green Spring-cleaning!

The latest in our series of "How to" meetings, this will be a fun evening of sharing recipes and hints on cleaning with traditional ingredients - lemon juice, vinegar, soda - which can keep your home sparkling without the use of harmful chemicals. Bring your own tips, hints and recipes, and a container if you want to take some home to try!
... Read this ...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Car Club in Abingdon?

The latest in our series of meetings. Cliff Jordan helps run the very successful car-share club in East Oxford, Common Wheels. Come and hear how we could set one up in Abingdon! Get all the convenience of car travel when you need it, with none of the hassle and expense of keeping your own car!
... Read this ...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Abingdon Green Drinks

This Thursday sees the first session of Abingdon Green Drinks. Come along to the King's Head and Bell any time between 7.30 and closing time and meet up with fellow "greenies" for a pint or two and a chance to put the world to rights, or at least start reducing our carbon footprints! ... Read this ...

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Insulate Your House: Carbon Cutters Meeting Weds 16th Feb at 7.30pm in St Ethelwold's House, Abingdon

Our next meeting is a really practical session for this time of year: "How to Insulate Your House (and Avoid Problems)". As we all know, it doesn't make sense to spend money on renewables unless and until you have stopped losing all that lovely heat through your roof, walls and floor.... Richard Twinch is a local architect with vast experience of adding insulation to existing homes. Come and fire your questions at him! ... Read this ...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carbon Cutters to have a stall at the Local Excellence Market this Saturday!

We will be handing out FREE tasters of delicious home-made soup from our stall at the Local Excellence market this coming Saturday 29th January. The soup is going to be all made by volunteers, from locally-grown, organic veg. Free recipe leaflets will accompany!
If you'd like to try your hand at soup-making, here are the recipes below.
The market runs from 9.30am to 2pm. Come and join in the fun!
To run a stall yourself, talk to Choose Abingdon

Pumpkin and Beetroot Soup (adapted from Jamie Oliver)
Serves 4 - 6
• 1/2 onion,
• 2 cloves garlic
• olive oil
• ½ med pumpkin or squash
• 2 tomatoes or 1/3 of a tin
• Seasoning
• 1 ¼ pints of veg stock
• Approx 2 beetroot (1/2 as much as the pumpkin)
• Balsamic vinegar
• Feta cheese (optional)

• Roast the beetroot in some olive oil at 190 with a sprig of thyme.
• When it is roasted take it out of the oven and pour in a dessertspoon or two of balsamic vinegar and stir around.
• Meanwhile soften the onion on a slow heat, add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.,
• Then turn up the heat and add the chopped pumpkin until it begins to brown
• Add the stock and tomatoes and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.
• Add the cooked beetroots
• cool a little and liquidise
• Add the juice of half a lemon and more thyme leaves and seasoning to taste
• Adjust the thickness with more stock if necessary
• It should be thickish and velvety.
• Add parsley or chives before serving and Feta cheese if liked
Minimise the use of energy by roasting the beetroots when you have the oven on anyway to cook something else. Alternatively you can just boil them but the flavour is better when they are roasted.

Curried parsnip (simple)

Serves 4

25g butter
500g parsnips peeled (unless organic) and chopped into 1” dice
1 med onion
1 tsp med curry powder
1 Lt stock
250 mls milk
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

• Soften the chopped onion and parsnip in the butter for about 10 mins.
• Add the curry powder and cook for 2–3 mins.
• Add the stock and the milk and simmer gently until the parsnips are soft – approx ½ - ¾ of an hour
• Cool slightly before liquidising
• add more stock, water or milk to adjust thickness
• Add plenty of chopped parsley before serving.

Curried parsnip (slightly less simple)

Serves 6

700g parsnips peeled (unless organic) and chopped into 1” dice
50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 med onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1.5Lt vegetable stock
1 heaped tsp each of coriander and cumin seeds
6 whole cardamom pods (seeds only – cut off the end and squeeze out the seeds)
1 rounded tsp each of turmeric and powdered ginger
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

• * Dry-roast the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds in a small saucepan for 2–3 mins and then crush finely in a pestle and mortar.
• Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan and soften the chopped onion for 5 mins
• add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes
• add the crushed spices and the turmeric and ginger and cook gently for 5 mins
• add the parsnips
• .stir well and then add the stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour
• .seasoning to taste, remove from the heat and liquidise
• add plenty of chopped fresh parsley before serving.

*Dry roasting the spices gives a more genuine flavour than curry powder

You can turn this into Apple and Parsnip by grating a peeled Bramley apple into the soup after it has been liquidised and simmering for a further 5 mins ... Read this ...