Climate Emergency Event on Saturday

Dear Transitioners

We now have the full details of a great event in Abergavenny on Saturday.  Please come + join us!


Saturday 22nd December 2018

12.00 midday – Meet at Abergavenny Market in the Corn exchange  for a 12.45pm start. See Facebook event page

12.45pm – Drumming starts and we gather outside the Market Hall

1.00pm We start a very slow and solemn funereal procession up High Street towards Shackeltons.  We will then head back down to the Angel Hotel and back to the Market Hall.  We will stop a couple of times for some singing etc and may do this once or possibly twice.  (We figure this is where most people will be in Abergavenny and the drummers can’t move so we want to stay connected with them)

2.00pm – Meet back at the Market Hall for the Declaration of Rebellion as well as a couple of other talks, some singing and a symbolic gesture

2.30pm – We then will head over to the St Johns Square in front of the post office for an informal gathering around a fire where we will lay our wreathes and come together, relax, enjoy each other’s company on a mid-winters evening

The theme will be a funeral procession to mourn the species we have lost and the world we could be leaving our children. The extinction could include ourselves eventually. It’s time for a wake-up call. This procession is raising that. Twelve years to radically change course!

So please can you wear black, black hats and coats and bring an umbrella (black preferably).  If you can decorate the umbrella with the XR logo that would be great.  (Gaffer tape works really well and is fairly simple to do).  We made quite a number of wreathes and banners at a workshop last Saturday but if you want to make one to bring that would be great. There will be lanterns, musical instruments, singing, drumming and mournful silence ( sometimes). People are coming from other communities. Share this with your friends, family, groups you belong to and let people know about the event.  The easiest way would be sharing the event on Facebook. This also contains a map and images of the Market Hall and how to reach the Corn Exchange if you are a stranger to the town

Be prepared for wintry weather, warm clothes and waterproofs

We may also have some face painting for children so please arrive by 12 if you have children who want their face painted and if you can help with face painting that would be great.  The theme will be animals

You are welcome to make something yourself and bring it along, the more the merrier.  Don’t worry if you can’t we will need help with lanterns and banners


Vivien Mitchell

Chair’s Report to the AGM – November 2018

RECS – Renewable Energy Community Schemes with Flood Prevention + Other Benefits: Our Atkins consultants, Andy Gill + Marcus Huband, continued working with us + MCC, NRW, AONB, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Long Forest, the Woodland Trust + others, culminating in the presentation of the final report at a very well attended meeting in June. All the right people were there, + there was great commitment to taking the project forward. NRW + MCC Flood Prevention + Gwent Wildlife Trust decided to proceed with a pilot project at Kingswood, an area that had exercised the mind of Roger Hoggins who has for some time been concerned about the problems that will inevitably result from the construction of a new housing development.

So, in October 2018 there was an initial walk-about at Kingswood.  Those attending included MCC (Flood Prevention, Rights of Way, and Countryside), NRW (Water Courses, and Forestry), AONB (NFM), GWT + others, all guided by Marcus Huband (Atkins).  It was inspiring + exciting.  Never before had so many different interests been brought together.  Never before had there been such an opportunity to understand how one activity impinges on another.  As an example, we discovered that an expensive problem for Forestry was the disposal of wood with no commercial value; however, securing this wood into large ‘woody bundles’ + placing the bundles in appropriate places provided a very cheap solution to ‘slowing the flow’ + aiding flood prevention. It needed the input of others + the experience of our Atkins consultant to come up with all this.  There is great eagerness to have more such sessions as each site is unique with its own particular set of problems + solutions, + more experience is needed in order to successfully establish this new collaborative way of working which, even in our first session, came up with innovative + economically attractive solutions to problems that RECS seeks to address.  It’s worth going on at length about this – because, though the process is now developing a momentum of its own, it was started entirely as a Transition Monmouth idea.

We are also working to produce a request for funding to the Welsh Government for work around Monmouth. In the suburbs, the recommendations generally fall into the category of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) – stuff like tree planting, wildflower meadows, rain gardens, permeable surfaces. Our approach to this is community based, working with the schools + community groups. For this we are commissioning a range of leaflets for three groups: primary schools, GCSE pupils, + households. It would have been so good to have leaflets to give out when we had working parties so the volunteers could take them away + understand why they were doing our stuff. For children, these leaflets should of course also be suitable as teaching aids. We are in the process of working out quite how much time we still need from Atkins to implement some of their proposals, + also to pinpoint specific sites for inclusion in the LDP.

Food Sense: Our project which aims to link food poverty/social isolation on the one hand with waste/excess food on the other has attracted a wide range of members + other community groups. Much of our energy was devoted to producing 1,092 free packed lunches (in plastic-free packaging of course) for children attending the Summer Play scheme at Overmonnow School; this was an amazing coming together of the community in our effort to help alleviate food poverty in the holidays. We have worked throughout with Mike Moran (MCC) + are confident that he will apply for the WG SHEP (School Holidays Enrichment Programme) next year for Monmouth. We were aware + had been alerted by the Food Bank, HomeStart + others of school holiday hunger, + feared that with the roll out of Universal Credit starting in June, the problem would be worse than usual. In the meantime, having tried unsuccessfully for many months to connect with the supermarkets about the food they send for recycling, all of a sudden they have all started producing crates of bread on almost a daily basis. We are scrabbling round to set up a distribution network! Community lunches (donate what you like) are now happening on a weekly basis, we are looking for a suitable location for a community cupboard, + are generally getting out to the community with projects such as these – most heartening! A new one for us was apple juicing (with equipment kindly lent to us by Ned Heywood of Transition Chepstow) on 13 October, + the possibility of a community pub + soup kitchen (full roast dinner) on Christmas Day.

Local food: Sad that the whole Food Assembly movement has folded, but the farm shop at Square Farm continues to expand. Apart from veg fresh off the fields + meat, dairy, local jams, chutneys + the like, it also now operates a refill scheme for detergents, + dry goods such as rice, lentils etc. Although the Old Lands CSA folded, the little shop at Dingestow Court is well stocked each week (+ is open every day) with produce from the walled garden + all the basics, some from a refill scheme. A new Chamber of Commerce ‘Buy Local’ initiative is welcomed.

Woodland Project at Claypatch Woods: Monthly working parties, as well as other parties, continue with the aim of creating a pond, firepit, etc. There is also a new Bee Friendly Wyesham group to create wildflower areas + plant trees/shrubs – considerable overlap in the membership of the two groups, + great for implementing SuDS.

Plastic Free Monmouth: Started in January, we now have a vibrant group run by an efficient Gang of Five + around 80 others on our email list + 292 followers on a very lively Facebook page. We have been working with the schools (including all five private ones), businesses, community groups etc, + following a film showing on 4 November of Albatross, we expect to have qualified as achieving Plastic Free status. Well, that will be great, but the work needs to continue to just get rid of all that awful + unnecessary single use plastic. We did it with carrier bags – an 87% drop in usage + permanently changed behaviour – + it only took five years – so now for all the other stuff. And it’s so good that we are not alone. We have much enjoyed working with similar groups in other towns, + much appreciate the support from MCC. We await with trepidation to see permanently altered behaviour on MCC property + by MCC Officers.

Children’s Playground on Chippenham Mead: The long + painful + frustrating struggle finally paid off – we are having a playground on a lovely site away from air + noise pollution, with mature trees + a bund which is ideal for the start of a zip wire. Common-sense prevailed – why was it so difficult? Now for the implementation!

Herb Garden by the bus station: This has looked good this year, largely due to the work put in by Diane. It is an ideal site for a noticeboard to promote TM. It is in any case needed to explain what has been done + why – particularly why it is untidy during the summer as we wait for the seeds to ripen. We will look out for opportunities to take this forward through Community Champions, Nature Isn’t Neat etc.

Shared space: We had for some time, through Monmouth Partnership Forum, been looking at ways of making the town centre more pedestrian friendly – but decided in the end that it was a job for a professional. It was 1 May 2007 when we first got Ben Hamilton-Baillie along to tell us about shared space – a great turnout including Roger Hoggins + Dave Harris. Ben produced a fine plan but, we’re not sure why – did MCC concentrate on Chepstow + Abergavenny? – nothing to date until at last – next January our pinch point in Monnow Street is to be implemented, followed by Agincourt Square within a couple of years. The ducks, at last, are in a row + Roger just has to get final approval from his masters.

iNeed Festival: iNeed supports refugees + we were fortunate they chose Monmouth for their festival this year – 500 refugees from South Wales + 500 local residents. It operated on the basis that everything was free of charge – entry, food, music, activities; well, refugees don’t necessarily have the money to pay for their children to have their faces painted. We supported it as best we could + much enjoyed doing so. There was no support from Monmouth Town Council on the basis that they didn’t see what was in it for the town! We have some good Councillors who didn’t see it that way, knuckled down + did what they could.

Nature Isn’t Neat: We are working (we were brought in at a late stage as partners) with Monmouth Town Council + Bees for Development on this RDP funded project which provides two days a week of Alison Howard’s time starting August 2018. Little progress to date, + we are concerned at the lack of willingness to involve the community, let alone comply with the FGA. Strong input from the Transition members of the group is beginning to have a productive influence; it may turn out well. We will continue to try to influence.

Other stuff: The coffee mornings, Swap Shops, Food Bank support (we pay for a fresh fruit + veg delivery each week) continue. It’s clear we have an ever-increasing ability to work with an ever-increasing number of community groups.

The Wider Context: While our members on the whole are interested in rolling up their sleeves + doing things, there is also the need to consider the wider context – so we continued with our discussion evenings. Topics to date include electric vehicles, the Internet of Things + how to use data to make better environmental decisions, carbon consciousness + carbon saving (a project at Aberystwyth University) – plenty more on the menu as well as film shows.

Ann Eggleton

Climate emergency – but there’s hope!

Dear Transitioners

We had a lively AGM with our new Chair, Karin Chandler – welcome, Karin, + many thanks to Ann for the last three years.  We celebrated all that we achieved last year, + came up with suggestions about what we should be doing in the coming year to make it even better.  At our meeting next Tuesday – 18 December, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – we will hone down to a calendar of events though, as well intentioned as this may be, there are bound to be diversions along the way.

And – there is reason for good cheer.  People around the world are taking on board the recent IPCC report which states, in no uncertain terms, that the world has to get to grips with averting catastrophic climate change.  We have just 12 years in which to do this.  We can each individually do our bit, but it’s Governments + corporations that must undertake huge changes.  At COP24 – the UN climate change conference in Katowice – things aren’t going as well as we had hoped with the major oil producers USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia + Kuwait scuppering the adoption of this crucial report.  They have been dubbed as ‘climate villains’ by the rest of the world, but it leaves 189 member states endorsing the report.

In the meantime, around the world, climate change protests have erupted.  The Extinction Rebellion started with a rally in Parliament Square on 31 October but numerous other rallies have already been held in the UK + the movement has spread to 35 other countries.  A rally was held at COP24 last week with several thousand climate campaigners from a host of different nations in their act of ‘peaceful civil disobedience’ aimed at policymakers who are failing to take appropriate action.  We have local XR branches in Abergavenny + Hereford – each with a Facebook page if you would like to get involved or email Rob Proctor at

Locally, last week the Forest of Dean District Council unanimously approved a climate emergency motion – full text at the end of this newsletter.  Well done, FoD!  Now to get all the councils in Monmouthshire to adopt similarly, the County Council too, + all the other councils in the land!  For a start we are working on this with our local Councillors + hope to bring you good news soon!

We would also like to follow the lead set by Cambridge City Council + South Cambridgeshire District Council – both are supporting the transition to zero carbon by 2050 (as compared to a national target of an 80% reduction) in their next local plan.  The design of new homes, transport links, waste + recycling services, energy supplies + land use will all be taken into consideration.  Again, something for MCC to consider in their new Local Development Plan?

We have recently hooked into a weekly email that summarises new + soon to close Welsh Government consultations with hyperlinks to each – – and we are keeping an eye out on Extended Producer Responsibility – well, we’re doing what we can to cut down on waste but what about the producers?  They will only do it if it costs them –

And a post-Christmas thought when you are ready for a bit of fresh air + exercise.  Charles Boase has well-rotted, year-old leaf mould for collection free of charge from Vauxhall House.  Phone 01600 715076 to arrange collection.

So – just a couple of dates for your diaries to round off 2018:-

Members’ Meeting + the Year Ahead:  Tuesday 18 December, 7.30 at the Robin Hood to mull over the suggestions made at the AGM + forge ahead with a calendar of events

Christmas Day:  The Robin Hood, in good community fashion, is putting on a free Christmas dinner for those that could do with a roast dinner, good company, + some cheer – but it’s a lot of work, + it costs.  Can you help? – prepping on Christmas Eve, driving on Christmas Day, sponsorship or donations?  Also, do you know someone who would like to have that Christmas meal?   Please email with offers or suggestions.

Thank you all for giving Transition Monmouth a great 2018.  We hope to see you on Tuesday at the Robin Hood to plan an even better 2019!

Vivien Mitchell
creative community action…for life after oil

Facebook:  Transition Monmouth, Transition Monmouth Chat, Wyesham Community Woodland, Plastic Free Monmouth

Motion put to Forest of Dean District Council by Cllr Chris McFarling on 6 December 2018:-

MOTION – To declare a climate emergency

Full Council notes:-

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise.  It informed us that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. Refs 1, 2
  2. The World Meteorological Organisation in their annual bulletin (November 2018) state that carbon dioxide levels hit new highs of 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015, levels not seen for millions of years. They warn that “the window of opportunity for action is almost closed”
  3. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people
  4. Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C from pre-industrial levels and they are still rising rapidly, with impacts being felt around the world today
  5. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050
  6. In order to reduce the very real risk of runaway global warming and the dramatic impacts on the global environment, society and us as individuals, it is imperative that we take the boldest steps to reduce our CO2 emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; Ref 3
  7. Society needs to help individuals reduce their own carbon emissions by changing its laws, taxation, infrastructure, policies and plans, to make low carbon living easier and the new norm
  8. Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption
  9. For these reasons, authorities around the country and the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency now

Full Council acknowledges that:-

  1. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority
  2. To meet the urgent challenge outlined in the IPCC report, we all have a part to play.  It is important for us all in the Forest of Dean that the local district council commits to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;  FoDDC needs to take a lead and act now
  3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide)
  4. The Forest of Dean is well-placed to champion rural decarbonisation.  The district has huge carbon sequestration potential with 27,000 acres of public forest estate (21% of the total district area), and abundant clean renewable resources (solar, wind and tidal lagoons) to become 100% self-reliant on zero-carbon energy.

Full Council calls on Council to:

  1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’
  2. Aim to make the Forest of Dean District Council and the district carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3), Ref 4
  3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to successfully meet the 2030 target
  4. Work with other councils and organisations (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C; Ref 5
  5. Work with partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources
  6. Produce a fully costed action plan to meet the carbon neutral target by 1st July 2019


  1. World Resources Institute:…/8-things-you-need-know-about-ipcc-15-…
  2. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC:
  3. Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017:…
  4. Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained:…/scope-3-indirect-carbon-emiss…
  5. Bristol…/bristol-plans-to-become-carbo…?


The motion was passed unanimously – yay!