The season of mellow fruitfulness, and back into action!

Dear Transitioners

Welcome back from what we hope was a good summer break for you all.  But now it’s back to fighting for our lives!

On Friday 20 September there is the Global Climate Strike, with Youth Strike students from Monmouth Comprehensive School starting at 9am outside the Shire Hall.  Please come and support!  Youth strikers across the world are calling on adults to join them as part of a massive global day of action.  If you want to join a different protest or for further information see https://www.campaigncc.org/climate_strike_20_september.

Then, starting on Monday 7 October, Extinction Rebellion and allied movements will peacefully shut down Westminster until the Government acts.  Sign up now at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/international-rebellion-london/ or contact xrabergavenny@gmail.com to be kept up to date with local information – it’s more fun if you go with a local crowd!

We held the second ACE (Action on Climate Emergency) Monmouth meeting in July, formed a Steering Group and settled on taking forward three projects, Action on Climate Emergency Festival of the Future, Cycle Friendly Monmouth, and Green Spaces.  If you would like to be involved with any of these groups details are:-

ACE Festival of the Future:  Next meeting:  Wednesday 18 September, 7pm at the Robin Hood.  Contact: dillyboase@hotmail.com – with email subject ‘ACE MONMOUTH FESTIVAL’

Cycle Friendly Monmouth:  Next meeting:  Thursday 19 September, venue to be confirmed.  Contact:  rachel.jupp@yahoo.com

Green Spaces:  Inaugural meeting:  Wednesday 25 September, 7.15 for a 7.30 start at the Robin Hood.  Contact:  vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk

There is a new Facebook page for ACE Monmouth –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/329198128016245/?epa=SEARCH_BOX so you can keep up to date with the news and chat.

Apple Pressing:  We now have our very own apple pressing equipment.  We would normally do apple pressing in October but apples are ready to press early this year – why? – climate change?  So we have brought the dates forward to the weekend of 21/22 September – details below.  The equipment is available for other community groups to borrow – contact Bryan Miller – bm6565@gmail.com – for further details.  Other apple pressing events will be advertised on Facebook page ‘APPLE PRESSING EVENTS MONMOUTHSHIRE’.  Bring apples, pears etc if you have any but please bring bottles to take juice home with you.

Now for those dates for your diaries:-

Grosmont Harvest Market:  Saturday 14 September, 10am till 2pm:  BBQ – brunch + lunch, local produce, hand made craft, children’s craft table

Usk Show:  Saturday 14 September:  Visit the County Council’s tent.  Plastic Free Monmouth will be there

Repair Café Abergavenny:  Saturday 14 September, 11am till 2pm at the Abergavenny Community Centre, Merthyr Road:  Typical repairs include electrical items (toasters, kettles, vacuum cleaners etc), clothing/textiles, bikes, wooden items.  Further information from repaircafeabergavenny@gmail.com or Facebook

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 17 September, 7.15 at the Robin Hood to hear about Nature Isn’t Neat, other updates, discuss future events, fundraising etc – all welcome!

ACE Festival of the Future:  Planning Meeting:  Wednesday 18 September, 7pm to 9pm in the Stable Room at the Robin Hood.  Come with your ideas!  There are already plenty on the table and much enthusiasm to make this an event of very high impact.

Cycle Friendly Monmouth:  Thursday 19 September at 7.30;  venue to be confirmed. Contact Rachel – rachel.jupp@yahoo.com for further details or if you want to be added to the email list

Climate Strike:  Friday 20 September, 9am at the Shire Hall, Monmouth.  Come and support this and the Youth Strike pupils of Monmouth Comprehensive School

The Diet that Could Save the World:  Saturday 21 September, 3pm to 4pm at the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny:  Pamela Mason in conversation with Professor Tim Lang.  This is a JUST FOOD free event but you need a ticket available at the Theatre Box Office or online at https://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com/programme-2019/the-diet-that-could-save-the-world

The Future of Farming:  Up in the air or down in the ground:  Sunday 22 September, 11 am till noon at the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny:  A debate between Patrick Holden, an organic farmer and Director of the Sustainable Food Trust, and Professor Chungui Lu of Nottingham Trent University, a proponent of soil-less city hi-rise farming.  This is another JUST FOOD free event but you need a ticket available at the Theatre Box Office of online at https://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com/programme-2019/the-future-of-farming-a-debate/

Green Spaces:  Inaugural Meeting:  Wednesday 25 September, 7.15 for a 7.30 start.  We will be looking at developing an interactive map of green spaces, planting on the Kingswood Estate and other planting/growing projects.  It’s up to you as to what we do – come with your ideas!  Contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for further details

ACE Monmouth:  General Meeting:  Thursday 17 October, 6.30 to 9pm, to hear updates on the projects and discuss further actions / other projects.  Venue to be confirmed.  Contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for further details or to be put on the mailing list

Big Swap:  Saturday 19 October, 11am to 2pm at Monmouth Priory.  Yes, another Big Swap event for clothes, books, toys etc as well as the usual seeds/plants/produce.  Please start keeping stuff ready to swap.  We will serve coffee, tea and cakes as usual but also soup and bread so you can relax over a light lunch.  If you would like to help with soup making, this will take place that morning at the Priory starting at 10am.  Offers of help please to karin@chandler.wales

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon!
Vivien Mitchell

Climate Emergency Action…..

Dear Transitioners

Action on Climate Emergency Monmouth – ACE Monmouth
Meeting on Thursday 18 July:  6pm drop-in, 7pm for start of meeting

At the first meeting of what is now called ACE Monmouth we discussed ideas for action under the four headings of:-

Awareness and lobbying
Reduce, re-use, repair, recycle
Active travel, private transport, public transport
Green spaces 

Of the many ideas (listed in full at the end of this email), the top 20 were:-

  1. Tree planting – various locations
  2. LED lighting show site
  3. Cycle friendly Monmouth
  4. Electric car charging points
  5. Buses for commuters
  6. Railway station for Monmouth
  7. Car free days
  8. Solar panels on buildings
  9. Climate Emergency Action festival
  10. Reduce carbon emissions by Monmouth Town Council
  11. Set up a Repair Café
  12. Set up a Library of Things
  13. Wild flower areas and community gardens
  14. Business awareness theme
  15. Energy advice for households
  16. Schools events / information sharing
  17. Community fund for projects
  18. Plastic Free for Life
  19. Anaerobic digester for dog poo
  20. Community composting

So that we have an idea of who is interested in what, please complete the survey (even if you cannot attend the meeting) at https://gwentenergycic.org/mace-survey/ – and please let us know if there is another project that you would like to see taken forward, especially if you want to actively participate.  We want to get on with action as quickly as possible!  There is a new Facebook page for ACE Monmouth – https://www.facebook.com/groups/329198128016245/?epa=SEARCH_BOX so you can keep up to date with the news and chat.

Now for some other dates for your diaries:- 

XR ‘Operation Mushroom’:  15 to 19 July:  Operation Mushroom will take place in five cities across the UK including Cardiff.  This will be the biggest action yet seen in Wales and will aim to ensure that all Governments and Councils act.  We have had enough talk!  Basically this will be a London-style event holding an area round Castle Street for maximum effect and publicity.  The theme is the Canary – a warning sign of catastrophe.  Further information and sign up at

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-for-operation-mushroom-15th-19th-july.  A huge amount of work is involved and all help is welcome.  Please contact xrabergavenny@gmail.com to be kept up to date with local information

ACE Monmouth:  Thursday 18 July at Bridges Community Centre:  6pm for drop-in, 7pm start to the meeting when we will settle on projects for Climate Emergency Action in Monmouth

Rewilding:  A short video by George Monbiot followed by discussion:  Sunday 21 July, 2pm to 4pm at Rockfield Community Centre.  Bring the children – there is a playground adjacent to the Centre.  More details here 

Climate Change Champions:  Wednesday 31 July, 6.30 pm at County Hall to review progress on the Climate Emergency Action Plan for the County – all welcome;  contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a car share

Garway Fun Day – Green Living + Plastic Free:  Saturday 24 August – further information nearer the time on the Garway Community Centre Group Facebook page

Viridor Energy from Waste Facility:  Wednesday 28 August:  Minibus transport from Chepstow, Monmouth and Raglan to arrive in Cardiff at 12 noon.  The facility diverts around 95% of residual waste produced in South Wales from land fill;  it takes all of Monmouthshire’s waste for incineration – see https://www.viridor.co.uk/energy/energy-recovery-facilities/cardiff-erf/ for further details.  Places are limited and it is essential to book by contacting hello@gwentenergycic.org.

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you before the holiday break, but in any case, have a happy summer!

Vivien Mitchell

Farewell, Bethia ….

Dear Transitioners

The Climate Emergency news continues to roll in, some good, some bad.  While on the one hand the Government announced that the UK will set a new legally binding target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, on the same day they gave the go ahead to a third runway at Heathrow.  Do they not understand what net zero means?  It means no more airport expansion, no fracking, no new gas or oil, no new roads.  It means doubling tree cover in the UK, and building cleaner energy and transport systems.

We continue to support Extinction Rebellion (with local groups on Abergavenny and Hereford) and the Youth Strikes to keep public awareness in the front line.  Please let us know if you want contact details for these groups.  The County Council will be holding a meeting on 1 August to update us on their progress with actions – details below, and Monmouth remains committed to action through the new group, ACE (Action on Climate Emergency) Monmouth.  Representatives from 21 local groups attended the first meeting last month with lively discussion and many ideas on projects.  We will start to develop these ideas into actions at the next meeting on Thursday 18 July.  Drop in starting at 6pm, meeting to start at 7pm at Bridges Community Centre.  Further details to follow.

We end on a sad note however.  Bethia Smith, one of our founder members, died last week.  Bethia was our first Treasurer and for ten years she was our main fundraiser, ran all of our coffee mornings and did much more besides.  She was always the stalwart, the quiet one, always the one that put her hand up to say ‘yes, I can do that’ – and you were confident that it would be done competently and with no fuss.  Her illness prevented her from active participation for the past two years but she remained interested in all that we were doing.  We owe her a great debt.  Her funeral will be at the Forest of Dean Crematorium at 12.30 on Tuesday 9 July followed by refreshments at Monmouth Priory.  Please contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk if you can offer or need a car share.

But the show goes on.  Here are some dates for your diaries:-

XR Action at Abergavenny Barclays:  Saturday 6 July.  More details here.

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 9 July, 7.30 till 9pm at Claypatch Woods, Wyesham – but the Monmouth Community Choir plans to give their vocal chords a whirl in the woods – warm up starting at 6.30 so you might like to come earlier.  The Wyesham Community Woodland Group will be showcasing their work so this should be a fun meeting.  Wear suitable footwear and bring warm layers.  You might also like to bring drinks and finger food to share.

Extinction Rebellion Planning Meeting:  Tuesday 9 July, 7pm at the King’s Arms, Abergavenny – to plan the action campaign for the summer months

XR Non Violent Direct Action Training:  Friday 12 July, 6pm-9pm at Abergavenny Community Centre.  More details here

Walk + Talk at Old Lands – with ecologist Sam Bosanquet:  Saturday 13 July – see Old Lands on Facebook for further details of this three hour walk through fields and parkland where more than 3000 different species have been recorded.  Places limited, booking essential

Claypatch Woods Fun Day:  Sunday 14 July, 10 am – loads of fun for all the family – bring a picnic and enjoy!

XR ‘Operation Mushroom’:  15 to 19 July:  Operation Mushroom will take place in five cities across the UK including Cardiff (15 to 17 July).  This will be the biggest action yet seen in Wales and will aim to ensure that all Governments and Councils act.  We have had enough talk!  Basically this will be a London-style event holding an area round Castle Street for maximum effect and publicity.  The theme is the Canary – a warning sign of catastrophe.  Further information and sign up at

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-for-operation-mushroom-15th-19th-july.  A huge amount of work is involved and all help is welcome.  Please contact xrabergavenny@gmail.com to be kept up to date with local information

ACE Monmouth:  Thursday 18 July at Bridges Community Centre:  6pm for drop in, 7pm start to the meeting when we will settle on projects for Climate Emergency Action in Monmouth

Rewilding:  A short video by George Monbiot followed by discussion:  Sunday 21 July, 2pm to 4pm at Rockfield Community Centre.  Bring the children – there is a playground adjacent to the Centre.  More details here

Climate Change Champions:  Thursday 1 August, 6.30 pm at County Hall to review progress on the Climate Emergency Action Plan for the County – all welcome;  contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a car share

Garway Fun Day – Green Living + Plastic Free:  Saturday 24 August – further information nearer the time on the Garway Community Centre Group Facebook page

Viridor Energy from Waste Facility:  Wednesday 28 August:  Minibus transport from Chepstow, Monmouth and Raglan to arrive in Cardiff at 12 noon.  The facility diverts around 95% of residual waste produced in South Wales from land fill;  it takes all of Monmouthshire’s waste for incineration – see https://www.viridor.co.uk/energy/energy-recovery-facilities/cardiff-erf/ for further details.  Places are limited and it is essential to book by contacting hello@gwentenergycic.org.

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you before the holiday break, but in any case, have a happy summer!

Vivien Mitchell

Monmouth Climate Emergency – come + join in the action!

Dear Transitioners

Monmouth Climate Emergency:  Community Consultation
Thursday 6 June, 7pm to 9pm at Bridges Community Centre

Following the declaration of a Climate Emergency by Monmouth Town Council last month, there is to be a consultation on:-

  • How the Council can achieve the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 within its own activities
  • Inform, promote, support, encourage + resource the local community to implement actions to achieve this goal
  • Promote + campaign for action + legislation at all levels of government – locally, nationally + beyond – to achieve this goal

Much to do!  This is a great opportunity for us to participate, + hopefully to get others participating in the projects that we already have in hand.  Please come!  So that we have an idea of the numbers to expect perhaps you could email Dee Lovering at clerk@monmouth.gov.uk or phone 01600 715662.  The invitation has gone out to as many groups as we could think of – farmers, schools, WIs, churches etc but if there is a local group or person that you think might be interested, please pass on this information.  We want to attract as much local energy + expertise as possible!

Mobilising action on the Climate Emergency + the Biodiversity Emergency will clearly be our focus in the coming months.

In the interim, here’s some other stuff for your diaries:-

Grosmont Summer Market:  Saturday 8 June, 10 till 2 – loads of stalls – food, clothes, plants, Little Green Refills for household + toiletry products (bring your containers to get them refilled), flowers, etc etc

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 11 June, 7.30 till 9pm at the Robin Hood – action on the Climate Emergency will be on the agenda but we also want to arrange Discussion Evenings + other events

Repair Café Clothes Mend:  Sunday 16 June, 10 till 1 at the Rockfield Community Centre, Cornwallis Way, Monmouth NP25 5DN – learn how to mend your clothes, patch + darn, crochet a scrubby – helpers + sewing machines on hand.  Queries or further details from plasticfreemonmouth@gmail.com

Facing Difficult Truths:  Adapting our Culture to the New Climate Reality:  Saturday 22 June, 2 till 5, at Horfield Quaker Meeting, 300 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8PD:  A Conversation + Exploration on survival, love + hope – a collaboration between the Green House think tank + the Climate Psychology Alliance – free of charge (donations welcome) but you must book through Eventbrite – further details at https://www.climatepsychologyalliance.org

Claypatch Woods Working (+ playing) Party:  Sunday 7 July, 10 till 12

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon!
Vivien Mitchell

All systems go on the Climate Emergency – at last!

Dear Transitioners 

It’s all go on the Climate Emergency front, at last!  On 7 May, the Environmental Affairs Committee of Monmouth Town Council declared a Climate Emergency, + then on May 16, a similar motion was carried unanimously by Monmouthshire County Council.  Well done to all who worked so hard to achieve this!

But what we need now is action!  We heard at the Town Council meeting from three Indy Councillors who had attended a Climate Emergency Summit at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology) of the Machynlleth experience where they started by calling a public meeting.  This was very well attended + resulted in the formation of 12 Theme Groups, each tasked with developing possible actions.  Yes, this sounds good.  We need as many people involved as possible + we need to tap into all the considerable local knowledge + expertise that we collectively have.

Monmouth Town Council formed a small Working Group from those present at the Environmental Affairs meeting.  Membership + attendance at the Working Group meetings is currently restricted to those few initial members.  Their first meeting is at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 22 May in the Punch House.

We don’t yet know how the County Council plans to proceed but we need to keep up the pressure for action.  One way you can do this is to support the Youth Strike next Friday, 24 May – assemble at 9 am in St Mary’s Churchyard but stewarding help is needed – please let us know if you are up for it or just come to the Churchyard at 9am prompt, wearing high viz if you have some.  The route + procedure will be explained to you then.  There will be an opportunity for children/young people to make a speech outside the Shire Hall.

Now for some stuff for your diaries:-

MTC Working Group on the Climate Emergency:  Wednesday 22 May, 6.30 in the Punch House

Stories of Rebellion:  Thursday 23 May, 6.30 to 9pm at the Abergavenny Community Centre, Park Street:  Hear all about the Fortnight of Rebellion from those who were there, + bring food to share

Youth Strike:  Friday 24 May:  Assemble at 9 o’clock at St Mary’s Churchyard – more details above – bring high viz if you have some even if you don’t wish to steward

Wyesham Community Woodland – Claypatch:  Sunday 26 May, 10 till 12:  Working party to prepare for the Big Lunch on 2 June

Family Picnic – a festival to get to know the Laurie Jones Community Orchard in Abergavenny:  Thursday 30 May, 10.30 onwards – pond dipping, story telling, learn about wildflowers, birds + bugs – bring a picnic, something to sit on + yourselves!

Wyesham Community Woodland – Claypatch Big Lunch:  Sunday 2 June, 12 till 3 – bring food to share + have fun with the country games!

Nature Isn’t Neat:  Tuesday 4 June, 5.30 in the King’s Head – more on the Action Plan

Grosmont Summer Market:  Saturday 8 June, 10 till 2 – loads of stalls – food, clothes, plants, flowers, etc etc

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 11 June, 7.30 till 9pm at the Robin Hood – undoubtedly the Climate Emergency will be on the agenda but we also want to arrange Discussion Evenings + other events

Repair Café Clothes Mend:  Sunday 16 June, 10 till 1 at the Rockfield Community Centre

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon!
Vivien Mitchell