Haymaking time …..

Dear Transitioners 

There is still stuff to do this month but a well-earned summer break is nearly upon us – phew! – a chance to charge our collective batteries.

RECS – Renewable Energy Community Schemes with Flood Prevention and Other Benefits

Our brief for a feasibility study went out to tender in May with responses required by 30 June.  A total of 22 companies registered an interest, + six submitted quotes.  The standard was amazing + we are flattered that the best consultants in the field took our idea so seriously, + with such enthusiasm.  We will let you know when an appointment is made later this month.  This project just keeps getting better!

In the meantime we are looking for appropriate places to plant more trees over the winter period.  If you have any bright ideas please contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk / 01600 715065 / 07931 849486.  The plantings undertaken last winter appear to be surviving despite the very dry weather, + we have the start of an amazingly successful wildflower meadow at Lancaster Way, Osbaston – so good that it has been audited by Dr Stephanie Tyler as part of a nationwide project.  Talking of which …..

It’s Haymaking Time!

As you all know, the way to develop wildflower meadows is to cut twice a year but it is very important to rake off the cuttings as otherwise the soil will get too rich for the wildflowers to thrive – so help, please!  We are never quite sure when MCC will be able to mow at Two River Meadow, Monmouth Cemetery + Lancaster Way but if you are able to help please contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk or phone 01600 715065 / 07931 849486 + you will get called upon with your rakes in the next few weeks – oh, + again in the autumn.  Thank you!

Our Incredible Edible Bus Stop

You may have seen the fine display of hollyhocks in our herb garden at the bus station.  Well, we’ve left them there because you can eat the petals! – but there’s lots of other stuff – chives, marjoram, sage, fennel, rosemary.  Please help yourself + encourage others to do so.  We had a good write up in the Beacon a few weeks ago, + this was picked up by the editor of Garden News (see their article of 8 July, page 6 entitled ‘Eat While You Wait’).  Apparently there is an ‘Edible Bus Stop’ movement in London, so we are trend setting in the provinces!

What’s On ….

Community Canteen:  Saturday 15 July, 7pm at Holy Trinity Hall, Baker Street, Abergavenny:  This will feature roasted seasonal vegetables + rice, followed by soft fruit + yogurt + biscuits – proceeds for the Farming Community Network, booking essential.  Contact jeremygass@yahoo.co.uk or abercommunitycanteen@gmail.com – + also if you would like to help with preparation starting at 3pm

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 19 July, 7.30 at the Punch House – to discuss our website redesign (please bring a laptop or iPad if you have one), our contribution to the Monmouth Place Plan, progress at Claypatch Wood, RECS (we will know our chosen consultant by then), Chippenham Playground, bus timetables, our 10th birthday party, + anything else

Transition Monmouth Coffee Morning:  Saturday 22 July, 10 till 12 at The Priory, Monmouth together with Swap Shop for seeds, plants + produce, tools from Tools for Self Reliance Cymru, + Fairtrade refreshments.  Help, please! – bake a cake, bring plants/produce, or help on the day – contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk with your offers

Beans Stall:  Saturday 12 August, 10 till 1 in the Blestium Street Car Park:  As ever, we will be handing out free samples of delicious bean meals + recipes.  Please get involved – making a dish, manning the stall – contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can help, or just turn up on the day

Allotment Association Coffee Morning:  Saturday 9 September, 10 till 12 at The Priory, Monmouth together with Swap Shop for seeds, plants + produce, tools from Tools for Self Reliance Cymru, + Fairtrade refreshments

Summer Fun Day at Bridges Community Centre:  Saturday 16 September, 10 till 3:  A day packed with information stands, food, music, games + activities all centred on the theme of wellbeing

Transition Monmouth 10th Birthday Party:  Saturday 23 September, 6.30 at Monmouth Priory.  Please let us know if you are able to help with catering/help on the day.  We will reminisce a little with Simon Brown, + look to the future with Sam Bosanquet + all the wonderful things that he and Colum Pawson are doing at the Dingestow Court Estate

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Usk – Saturday 15 July – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 27 July – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 5 August – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 12 August – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 19 August – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 24 August – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Members’ Meeting next Wednesday, 19 July – with your laptop or iPad if you have one.  You might not hear from us again until  September!

Ann Eggleton
Chairman

The Great Get Together – June 2017

Dear Transitioners
The Great Get Together

Inspired by the maiden speech of Jo Cox MP in which she said ‘We have more in common + are far more united than that which divides us’, there is a weekend of community celebration to honour her memory.  Jo was just 41 when she was murdered by a far-right fanatic on 16 June last year.  The tribute is particularly poignant after the recent terror attacks in Manchester + London.

Brendan Cox, Jo’s widower, said ‘her killer failed in his aim to drive people apart + instead ensured that her voice was heard more than ever.  It was designed to divide communities + it’s failed in doing that.’

Community is of paramount importance to the Transition Movement, + we are proud of the wonderful community groups who are part of + work with us.  Starting on Friday 16 June, over 106,000 events are planned throughout the country.  Find a Great Get Together happening near you on #GreatGetTogether #MoreInCommon or google The Great Get Together + your location – plenty of events will come up.

In Abergavenny there will be a Community Canteen meal on Saturday, + in Monmouth we will have a Big Lunch Get Together at Claypatch – Wyesham Community Woods on Sunday – details below.  Please join in, or find another event near you.  Have a happy weekend with a community near you!

What’s On ….

Community Canteen:  Saturday 17 June, 7pm at Holy Trinity Hall, Baker Street, Abergavenny:  This will feature a Palestinian meal including olives + other items sourced directly from Palestinian farmers.  Booking essential – contact jeremygass@yahoo.co.uk or abercommunitycanteen@gmail.com – + also if you would like to help with preparation starting at 3pm

Living in a Zero Carbon Barn:  Saturday 17 June, 2pm:  Designed by the resident architects to include a productive garden + biomass coppice.  For the last six years the house has been fully heat + power monitored as part of an ongoing field trial.  Contact www.crsharchitects.co.uk

Claypatch – Wyesham Community Woods:  The Big Lunch Get Together:  Sunday 18 June, 12 till 3, Wyesham Road, Monmouth NP25 3NE:  Come + see this treasure in the heart of Wyesham.  Friends, families, neighbours + local groups are all invited to come along, bring a picnic blanket, food + drinks, to the meadow for a family centred event.  More details at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=wyesham%20community%20woodland%20project or email communitywoodlandproject@gmail.com

Monmouthshire Meadows:  Sunday 18 June, 10 till 4:  Monmouthshire Meadows Group together with Gwent Wildlife Trust will have four meadows open to the public – Llanllowell Meadows, Springdale Farm, Kingcoed Meadows + the Trellech Wet Meadow – further details on http://www.monmouthshiremeadows.org.uk/?p=3027

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 21 June, 7.30 at the Punch House – to discuss our contribution to the Monmouth Place Plan, progress at Claypatch Wood, RECS – our flood prevention scheme, Chippenham Playground, bus timetables, our 10th birthday party, + anything else

Gilwern Barnstorming:  Saturday 24 June:  Designed by resident architect Simon Brown to Passivhous EnerPHit standard.  Please arrive at 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm for a tour.  Contact:  07841 870020, mail@simon-brown.com or www.sustain-by-design.com

Grosmont Cycling Festival:  Saturday/Sunday 24/25 June – full details on www.abergavennyfestivalofcycling.co.uk or contact garysquire.catalyst@gmail.com 

How to Make Aerobic Microbial Rich Compost with the Land Gardeners:  Tuesday 27 June, 10.30 to 3pm at Dingestow Court NP25 4DY – see https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=old%20lands%20csa + http://old-lands.co.uk/grow/events/

Food Group Meeting:  Wednesday 29 June @ 6pm.  Contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you would like to come

Old Lands CSA Open Evening:  Tuesday 4 July, 7.30 to 9pm:  This new Community Supported Agriculture project is amazing – a fantastic walled garden, old orchard + other areas full of the very best organic (of course!) veg.  Contact marcus.perrin@gmail.com if you would like to be shown round by Colum Pawson + hear about his ‘no dig’ method of producing so much lovely stuff

Beans Stall:  Saturday 8 July, 10 till 1 in the Blestium Street Car Park:  As ever, we will be handing out free samples of delicious bean meals + recipes.  Please get involved – making a dish, manning the stall – contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can help, or just turn up on the day

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 19 July, 7.30pm at The Punch House – more details next month

Transition Monmouth Coffee Morning:  Saturday 22 July, 10 till 12 at The Priory, Monmouth together with Swap Shop for seeds, plants + produce, tools from Tools for Self Reliance Cymru, + Fairtrade refreshments

Summer Fun Day at Bridges Community Centre:  Saturday 22 July, 10 till 3:  A day packed with information stands, food, music, games + activities all centred on the theme of wellbeing

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Usk – Saturday 17 June – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 22 June – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 1 July – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 8 July – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 15 July – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 27 July – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Members’ Meeting next Wednesday, 21 June.

Ann Eggleton
Chairman

Transition News – May 2017

Dear Transitioners

Our new website – We are very fortunate that Chris Were has offered to design a new website for us after our beloved old one fell apart in the name of progress.  Chris has made a start but we want your input on what should be included – so, please visit https://transitionmonmouth.org/ and give us your ideas + comments or, better still, come to our next Members’ Meeting next Wednesday, 17 May @ 7.30 pm in the Punch House to discuss.  We have produced a discussion paper – email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a copy.

One suggestion is that we include a section devoted to ‘Occasional Essays’ whereby you can write about something about which you feel particularly passionate.  We will be starting with ‘Our Future Lives’ – written by John Payne + inspired by our discussions on the Monmouth Place Plan – yes, we have interesting, + occasionally inspirational, discussions at our Members’ Meetings!

Monmouth Food Assembly 

Calling all foodies – five more members needed + we will get our very own Monmouth Food Assembly – see https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/8971 to see what you could get for pickup on Thursdays, 4pm to 6pm from the Shire Hall.  You will, without a doubt sign up – at no charge! – to get meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy, cakes, sauces, difficult to get items such as raw milk + raw butter, + more so you can eat the most delicious + freshest food available, all sourced locally, with no commitment to buy.

The producers are passionate about growing + making food, + when you pick up your order you get to connect with them, your community + your food.  Do join up + give it a try!

General Election on 8 June

Please make sure you vote.  If, by any chance, you aren’t registered, you have until 22 May – just over a week – click on https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  Friends of the Earth are providing an opportunity for you all to see, hear + question the candidates for the Monmouth Constituency on Friday, 2 June, 7.30 at Bridges Community Centre.  Questions in advance, please, to haydncj@hotmail.com

Some dates for your diaries:-

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 17 May, 7.30 at the Punch House – to discuss the Transition Monmouth website, the monthly Beans Stall + summer activities;  please bring an iPad or laptop if you have one so we can look at the website while we talk

Monmouthshire Bee Festival:  Saturday 20 May, 11 till 4 in the Nelson Garden, Monmouth:  Organised by Bees for Development + Bee Friendly Monmouthshire – bring along any seeds, cuttings, plants or other bee related goods for sale.  There will be bee related activities throughout the town + a competition for the best bee related jokes with prizes handed out by our very own Miles Jupp

Monmouthshire Food Festival:  Saturday/Sunday 20/21 May at Caldicot Castle + Country Park, 10 till 4.30 – demonstrations, producers market, children’s area – entry £5, under 12s free – see www.monmouthshirefoodfestival.co.uk for more details

Foraging from the Garden + the Wild:  Wednesday 24 May, 7.30 at Chepstow Leisure Centre – a talk by Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods.  This is a CADGAS – Chepstow + District Garden Appreciation Society – event;  £4 at the door

Community Canteen:  Saturday 27 May at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Abergavenny, 7 for 7.30, to raise money for Abergavenny Transition Town’s public liability insurance which, inter alia, provides cover for the Community Canteen.  Please book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited – email community-canteen-group-1@googlegroups.com

Hanley Landshare Open Day:  Sunday 28 May, 10 till 4, next door to the Hanley Farm Shop on the A48.  Want to grow your own fruit + veg but don’t have the skills or space?  The community plot at Hanley Landshare can help you – free produce in return for your time!  And there’s lovely organic food in the Farm Shop + Café

Hedgerow Manifesto:  Tuesday 30 May at the Shire Hall, Monmouth:  Further details from Bees for Development

Food Group Meeting:  Wednesday 31 May @ 6pm.  Contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you would like to join in

Green Hustings:  Friday 2 June, 7.30 at Bridges Community Centre, Monmouth – come + hear + question your General Election candidates – organised by Friends of the Earth.  Questions in advance, please, to haydncj@hotmail.com

General Election:  Thursday 8 June – please make sure you go out + VOTE!

Beans Stall:  Saturday 10 June, 10 till 1 in the Blestium Street Car Park:  We will be handing out free samples of delicious bean meals + recipes.  Please get involved – making a dish, manning the stall – contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can help, or just turn up on the day + sample

No Dig Gardening with Charles Dowding + Colum Pawson:  Saturday/Sunday 10/11 June at Dingestow Court NP25 4DY – see http://old-lands.co.uk/grow/events/no-dig-gardening/ +

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=old%20lands%20csa

Coed Cefn Open Day:  Sunday 11 June, 2 till 6:  Come + take a stroll around the walled garden, chess terrace, wildlife area, orchard, laburnum tunnel, lakes – all organically + sustainably managed with energy saving a high priority.  Refreshments (local, organic + Fairtrade as appropriate) by Transition Monmouth + Swap Shop for seeds/plants, + Tools for Self Reliance Cymru with Fairtrade + refurbished tools.  Signposting from the A40 at Raglan to Tregare NP25 4DT.  Proceeds for Gwent Wildlife Trust

Claypatch Woodland Open Day:  Sunday 18 June:  Come + see this treasure in the heart of Wyesham and meet some of the local community groups in the area.  We will be there with our Swap Shop for seeds + plants.  More details at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=wyesham%20community%20woodland%20project

How to Make Aerobic Microbial Rich Compost with the Land Gardeners:  Tuesday 27 June, 10.30 to 3pm at Dingestow Court NP25 4DY – see http://old-lands.co.uk/grow/events/ + https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=old%20lands%20csa

Old Lands CSA Open Evening:  Tuesday 4 July – further details next month

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Grosmont – Saturday 13 May – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 20 May – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 25 May – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 3 June – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 10 June – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 17 June – 10 till 1

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Members’ Meeting next Wednesday, 17 May – with, if possible, your iPad or laptop.

Other Transition Treasures are on the website https://transitionmonmouth.org/ (currently being rebuilt) + on the Transition Monmouth Facebook page

Ann Eggleton
Chairman

April 2017: Meeting on Wednesday … + other stuff

Dear Transitioners

With a bit of a struggle against the elements we got most of those trees planted last month.  The hedge at Wonastow Industrial Estate now includes dog rose + dog wood.  We made a start on Chippenham Mead to provide a screen against the beastly A40;  the area is prone to vandalism so we planted prickly stuff – holly + dog rose.  If this survives we will start on an evergreen screen in the autumn.  And Lancaster Way now has about 200 trees including a small orchard with almonds, apples + some very beautiful Harry Baker crab apples.  Thank you to all the valiant souls who came out to dig + plant!

This is the immediately practical side of our flood prevention scheme, RECS.  We have also been working with our principal partners – Monmouthshire County Council, Natural Resources Wales, Wye Valley AONB, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Green Valleys CIC, Long Forest – in developing a brief to put out to consultants for a plan for Monmouth + the surrounding area.  If you would like a copy of this brief please contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk / 01600 715065 / 07931 849486 – + if you would like to discuss the project there will be a special meeting to do just this:-

On Wednesday 3 May in the Stable Room at the Robin Hood, Monnow Street, starting at 6pm

At our next Members’ Meeting – 7.30 at The Punch House next Wednesday, 19 April – we will be discussing the Transition Monmouth website.  Our old one fell apart + we had to bid farewell to a dear friend who had served us well + was the envy of other Transition Groups.  However, Chris Were has come to the rescue + made a start on an entirely new one – see https://transitionmonmouth.org/.  It’s up to us now to tell Chris how we would like it developed so – please look at the website + come to the meeting with your ideas, + if you have a bit of modern equipment to view the website at the meeting, please bring that along too.

If you don’t know it, Claypatch Wood is a treasure in the heart of Wyesham.  It had become dreadfully overgrown + neglected but two of our members, Richard + Kirsty Garner, have taken things in hand.  Tree clearance, rubbish removal etc are well in hand together with plans for mud-proof paths + other infrastructure.  The next working party is on Sunday 7 May – details at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=wyesham%20community%20woodland%20project – come + join the fun!

As for the proposed new swimming pool, we are totally in agreement that it is neither fit for purpose nor matches the plans agreed with the community in 2015.  To this end we are working to change the economics through installation of solar PV + thermal panels, + thus be able to fund the improvements that are so obviously necessary.  No promises – but we are doing what we can + have the support of the MCC Chief Executive, Paul Matthews, + the Future Generations Commissioner.

Some dates for your diaries:-

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 19 April, 7.30 at the Punch House – to discuss the Transition Monmouth website, the monthly Beans Stall + summer activities;  please bring an iPad or laptop if you have one so we can look at the website while we talk

Swap Shop:  Saturday 22 April, 10 till 12 at Monmouth Priory:  Seeds + plants to swap or buy, tools from Tools for Self Reliance Cymru, + refreshments by the Two River Meadow Group

Snowdrop Planting:  Tuesday 25 April, 3.30 at the end of Elstob Way with Pip Jenkins + children from Attik – more fun – please join us! 

Overmonnow Networking:  Wednesday 26 April, 3.30 at The Riverside Hotel – refurbishment of the old St Thomas’ Church Hall is nearing completion + this group has been formed to develop plans for its use – all welcome, but to please contact stevejmartin52@btinternet.com if you would like to attend

Spring Greens Fair:  Saturday/Sunday 29/30 April at the Court of Noke:  A wide variety of talks, activities + entertainments for all the family – https://springgreens.org.uk/

RECS – Renewable Energy Community Schemes with Flood Prevention + Other Benefits:  Wednesday 3 May, 6pm in the Stable Room at the Robin Hood to discuss what we want our consultants to do – but before the meeting contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a copy of the draft brief

Election Day:  Thursday 4 May – whatever your inclination, please make sure you vote for the representatives of your choice for both the County Council + the Town + Rural Councils – one vote for the County Council but you will probably have several for the other councils – eg four in Wyesham for Monmouth Town Council.  Use all of your votes, or forever hold your peace!  There are many excellent candidates out there

Beans Stall:  Saturday 13 May, 10 till 1 in the Blestium Street market:  We will be handing out free samples of delicious bean meals + recipes.  We intend to be there every second Saturday throughout the summer.  At the first stall, on 8 April, over one hundred market shoppers were persuaded to give the dishes a try, + all were surprised (some more than others!) at just how appetising they could be.  Please get involved – making a dish, manning the stall – contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can help, or just turn up on the day + sample

Members’ Meeting:  Wednesday 17 May, 7.30 at the Punch House – we hope to have Jo Draper, MCC Planning, to discuss the planning procedure.  If you have a particular issue / speaker for a subsequent meeting that you would like, please let us know!

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Abergavenny – Thursday 27 April – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 6 May – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 13 May – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 20 May – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 25 May – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Members’ Meeting next Wednesday, 19 April – with, if possible, your iPad or laptop.

Ann Eggleton
Chairman

Members meeting change of date to 15 March

Dear Transitioners

Members’ Meeting: Date Change to Wednesday 15 March

Because there is an important meeting at Bridges on Wednesday 8 March we have postponed our own Members’ Meeting for a week. We hope this note gets to you all in time!

Women’s Rights in Post Brexit Wales Access to Justice, Education, Jobs, Security

Wednesday 8th March, 7pm-9pm – Bridges Community Centre, Monmouth NP25 5AS

Speakers include:-
Frances Beecher, CEO of award winning homelessness charity Llamau
Julie Morgan Assembly Member for Cardiff North
Katie Palmer, Sustainable Food Cities Coordinator, Public Health Wales
Dr Sarah Lloyd Jones, Director People and Work Unit, Cardiff

They will discuss the potential impact of Brexit on our lives + how we need to prepare ourselves for the future. Followed by Q + A

Tickets: Suggested minimum contribution of £3 per head, payable on the door; proceeds to Llamau – http://www.llamau.org.uk

Contact: Penny Simcock: p.simcock123@btinternet.com

We hope to see you, hopefully at the Members’ Meeting on Wednesday, 15 March – + maybe also at Bridges this Wednesday!

Other Transition Treasures are on the website http://www.transitionmonouth.org (currently being rebuilt) + on the Transition Monmouth Facebook page

Ann Eggleton
Chairman