Welcome to Transition Monmouth

November 2016 – planting party on Vauxhall Fields; in the background is our star tree planter, Roger Hoggins
November 2016 – planting party on Vauxhall Fields; in the background is our star tree planter, Roger Hoggins

Transition Monmouth was set up in 2007 to tackle, through community engagement, the myriad problems created by climate change. In the face of declining natural resources, the problems of pollution, the rise of inequality, the increasingly devastating effects of the weather, and the threat to our food supplies, we aim to create a low carbon, resilient community.

Two of us started with the Big Green Monmouth Shopper to discourage the use of plastic carrier bags. We were joined by others and planted the Monmouth Community Orchard, held film shows, took over the management of Claypatch Woods in Wyesham where there is a thriving community clearing and improving the area (they hold great parties too), achieved Plastic Free Monmouth status with its on-going programme of activities with schools and businesses.

Over the years we built excellent relationships with Monmouthshire County Council (very supportive) and agencies that include Natural Resources Wales, Wye Valley AONB, Gwent Wildlife Trust and others. This is exemplified by RECS (our natural flood management) project covering the northeast area of the county; it is technical, but also very practical at a community level – we have over 1000 trees planted by schools and community groups, two more orchards and several wildflower meadows.

Food Sense is our food justice project that pulls together the problems of food poverty, social isolation and waste/excess food. Currently we collect about a ton of surplus food from the supermarkets each month and put it to good use – and that’s before we start our Pantry with storage and fridge/freezer capacity.

Our membership grew to several hundred but October 2018 was a turning point with the formation of Extinction Rebellion, followed by the Youth Strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg. Suddenly it became OK to discuss the fact that unless we all change the way we do things – and ‘we’ includes Government at all levels, and the corporations – life on earth will become extinct quite quickly. Our membership soared, the Town Council and County Council both declared Climate Emergencies, and in Monmouth we saw the emergence of ACE (Action on Climate Emergency) Monmouth with action that includes the Climate Futures Festival, Bike Friendly Monmouth, Green Spaces, Repair Café Monmouth, Our Food Monmouth – and others in the pipeline.

We continue with ‘awareness raising’ events, discussion evenings, Swap Shops, an annual Wassail, and more. Whatever your passion – food, wildflowers, woodlands, electric vehicles, public transport, renewable energy – come and join with likeminded people in your community, if only for the comfort of companionship. You will surely find something that will interest you. Better still, if you have a project idea, come and talk to us and let us see how we can help to make your dream come true!

We meet monthly and also have discussion evenings (with no business). Have a look at our Facebook pages – Transition Monmouth, Transition Monmouth Chat, Plastic Free Monmouth, Wyesham Community Woodland Project, and also ACE Monmouth, Repair Café Monmouth, Green Spaces Monmouth – for the up to date stuff that’s happening here – and around the world.