Something a little different

Dear Transitioners

We hope your Christmas goes as planned – and thereafter you might like something a little different – blow the cobwebs away, get out in the fresh air, get some exercise, and help to improve our environment.  A few dates:-

Wednesday 22 December, 9.30am:  There is the possibility of a 0.25 acre plot (previously planted as an orchard) being gifted for community use.  It runs between Redbrook Road A466 and the Boys’ School playing field in Wyesham.  Meet beside the ‘road speed indicator’ for an on-site discussion of the way forward.  We would particularly appreciate involvement from anyone with a working knowledge of land transactions

Tuesday 28 December, 10am:  Planting whips in Vauxhall Fields to thicken hedgerows and enhance tree cover.  Please bring a spade, your enthusiasm, children and dogs.  Meet behind Vauxhall House (the yellow house in the middle of Vauxhall Fields (What Three Words: flickers, grins, left).  If the weather is too bad or it takes longer than expected, the alternative date is Wednesday 29 December, 10am

Friday 31 December, 11am:  Raking the wildflower meadow at Monmouth Comprehensive School:  MCC have done a ‘cut and remove’ but there is a lot of vegetation on the ground that needs clearing to expose the soil for new wildflowers to grow so please bring a rake, more enthusiasm and children (probably not a good place for dogs).  We will also have wildflowers to plant – ox-eye daisies, marjoram and pilosella – so please bring a trowel, hand fork or spade.  Meet at the bike sheds adjacent to the school’s Visitor Car Park on Old Dixton Road

Sunday 2 January, 11am:  More raking and more planting of wildflowers – same details as for Friday 31 December.  If you would like to come on any other day, please let me know – everyone is welcome, any time

We look forward to seeing many of you!

For the New Year we have much planned – orchard pruning and seed swap events in February (and again later in the year), monthly discussion and awareness raising events, Hustings in April prior to the Town Council and County Council elections in May – with much involvement from the secondary schools as 16-year-olds have a vote for the first time, apple pressings and a second Climate Future Festival in the autumn.  There will also be regular Green Grow/Green Spaces working parties as we have over 20 sites around Monmouth where, over the years, we have already undertaken planting and maintenance is needed, or where there are plans for new plantings.

Watch this space – more details nearer the time for each of these happenings. 

One last thing:  You might like to write a letter of support for a New Planet planning application at Trecastle Wood.  You can see the project documents and make a comment by 28 December using the link:

DM/2021/01823 | Change of use from agricultural to One Planet development. | Land At Trecastle Wood Penyclawdd NP25 4BW (  If there is a problem with that link you can search for it using the application reference:  DM/2021/01823.  The project involves sustainably reducing our carbon footprint and producing low carbon food for the community while increasing biodiversity.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.

It just leaves it for me to say that we hope you have a good break over the Christmas period and that we see you all in 2022 when things must surely be better.  We have learned a great deal on how to operate despite the restrictions of Covid-19 and we will have much for you to enjoy in the coming year.  Above all, take care!

Vivien Mitchell

2022 here we come

Dear Transitioners

At our last meeting we talked about our response to COP26 and determined to be ever more active and take advantage of the increased awareness of the Climate Emergency.  Now we want to harden up on our ideas and aspirations so please come to our meeting on Tuesday so that together we can make a start on a calendar of events for us for 2022.

Transition Monmouth is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Transition Monmouth – December Meeting
Time: Dec 14, 2021 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 858 7943 1548
Passcode: 957505

The agenda (and notes of our last meeting) are included below.  We look forward to seeing you!

Vivien Mitchell

Agenda:  Members’ Meeting via Zoom

Tuesday 14 December 2021, 7.30pm


Apologies for absence

Note taker

Notes of the last meeting (copied below) and matters arising

Diary of Events for 2022:  Over the past few weeks we have come up with a range of activities / events that we would like to undertake in the coming year.  Now is the time to harden up on these ideas, get some commitments and put some dates in the diary for:-

  • Monthly discussion or other events
  • Involvement with schools – especially the secondary schools in the run up to the local elections in May
  • Hustings in April
  • Engage with sports clubs, gardening groups etc
  • Orchard pruning events in February and June
  • Awareness raising events similar to our COP26 gig in November
  • Swap shops for seeds/plants/produce in Spring and Autumn;  we have just signed up to a Seed Swap organised by Wye Weight at Bridges on Saturday 19 February
  • Apple pressing events in September and October

Green Grow/Green Spaces – the way forward

Benthyg/Repair Café update

Any Other Business

Date of Next Meeting

9pm – close of formal meeting – now it’s time to chat ……..


Transition Monmouth Members’ Meeting

23 November 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom

Present:  Bryan Miller, Claudia Blair, Waltraud Engelfield, Vivien Mitchell, Simon Durrant, Clare Catto, Charles Emes, Barbara Cotterill, Richard Cotterill, Cherry Taylor, Haydn Cullen-Jones

Apologies:  Kelly Jackson-Graham, Mary Boase, Beccy McDonald-Lofts, Janine Amos

Note taker:  Simon Durrant

COP26 – our reaction and what do we do now?

There was general agreement that while it increased awareness, the outcome of COP26 was disappointing but our response must be to redouble our efforts in engaging more people.  To this end:-

  • The Labour/Plaid Cymru pact is useful and the Welsh Government Climate Minister is very passionate
  • A regular monthly discussion or other event would help to engage more people with a variety of topics and speakers such as Poppy Stowell-Evans – Chair of the Welsh Youth Climate Ambassadors, and Peter Fox – our AM and an organic farmer
  • Topics should include local issues such as the state of our rivers and flooding
  • We felt our COP26 event was good for engaging with passers-by – and very useful to have the ’18 ideas on how to combat climate change’ leaflet to hand out.  There is enthusiasm to hold similar events every three months or so
  • For the County and Local elections in May we need to get the schools involved especially as 16 year-olds now have the vote.  A hustings, with students submitting the questions (and perhaps also help in the organising) would be good, and the theatre at the Comprehensive would be a good venue
  • We should also engage with the football, rugby and other sports clubs – also gardening groups – Cherry to talk to the National Gardening Scheme
  • The Rapid Transition Alliance has much evidence-based material to draw on
  • George Monbiot talks about a 25% tipping point to get a cascade resulting in real change.  In Monmouth we have probably reached 20%

Benthyg (Library of Things) and the Repair Café

Bryan reported that a training day was held last week with about 12 present and the number of volunteers is growing.  They are specifically looking for a volunteer to do social media.  Benthyg now has a bank account and card reader, and all items are now listed on the software.  Things are looking good for the venture to open shortly.  Laura McCartney is keen to include a Library of Baby Things especially as NCT no longer operates in Monmouth.  Members were reminded that should they need a large number of, for example, gazebos, there has to be adequate notice in order to obtain additional numbers from other Benthygs.  Additional storage in one of the Stables units is under consideration for large items.

It is likely that there will be a merger of some sort with the Repair Café, with the Benthyg premises being used to accept and return items, though community centres might still be used.  Repair Café members are keen to staff Benthyg during its opening hours.

Green Grow/Green Spaces

Green Grow (Transition Monmouth) and Green Spaces (ACE Monmouth) work on the same projects and have two separate groups is probably not the best way to operate effectively.  Claudia described the different ways in which Green Spaces, or an amalgamated group, could work with the Town Council and how funding could be accessed.  The matter will be further discussed at the Green Spaces meeting on Thursday and the ACE Steering Group meeting next Sunday, with a report back to the next Transition meeting

Any Other Business

  • Haydn undertook to ask Peter Fox to attend a Transition meeting to talking to us about the Food and Farming Bill, water and other issues.  This would be a good opportunity for us to engage with the agricultural community and we should encourage wild-life friendly farmers to come along
  • Consideration should be given to using the Bridges electric van for our Community Fridge

Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 14 December via Zoom