Archive for April, 2010

Biketrain

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Biketrain successfully launched last week.

Biketrain passengers!

The bike train is a new SLACC initiative to encourage more people to cycle to work.  It takes place every third Friday of the month.  Meet at Kendal Library at 8am for a commute to Staveley, or at Staveley Spar at 8am for a commute to Kendal or Windermere.

Don’t have lycra? Wear casual, comfortable clothes!

Enjoy a Free Bicycle Powered Smoothie in Burneside when you join the Bike Train between Kendal and Staveley  – Fri 21st May!

Interested? Email us

Ruth and Rachel: info@staveley-gti.co.uk
Rory: rory@thedesignworks.co.uk
Call 01539 822202 or visit www.biketrain.org.uk

SLACC tt/FSC skills share – Sat 22nd May

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Are you interested in environmental education and raising awareness with young people? Come along to our skills share day organised by SLACCtt and the FSC (Field Studies Council) on Saturday 22nd May. Meet like minded folk, try out new ideas and see what goes on at the centre – check out the plastic bottle greenhouse!

You are welcome to come just for the morning/afternoon session and get in touch if you have any skills you’d like to share with others.

The day will be held at the Castle Head FSC Centre, Lindale near Grange.

Contact Ruth for more information and booking – jennings_ruth@hotmail.com 07851719444

Kendal Wild Food Walk – Sunday 9th May

Friday, April 30th, 2010

A 2hr walk along the river Kent in Kendal looking at the various edible wild plants available.  A variety of tastings, such as nettle soup, dandelion burgers and sorrel pudding will be on offer to taste (tastings may differ on the day).
 
Time: 10am-3pm  Grade/length: Easy, rough ground, 2 miles Start: Kendal Fire Station, Busher Walk, LA9 4RH

Booking: A SLACC Towards Transition event. Booking required, limited places. For information tel 01539 740694 or email sonnykhan@hotmail.co.uk

Cost: £3  Public transport available to Kendal.

Slightly burnt dandelion root burgers

Apple blossom

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Our Staveley Apples for All trees are starting to come into blossom and we’re very excited! Some of the trees are between 1 & 3 years old and these are blossoming a lot quicker than the newly grafted trees, but its very rewarding to see the grafted trees sprouting – like magic!

'Tower of Glamis' blossom

For more info or to get involved contact Lorna or Ruth on tsl.abundance[at]gmail.com or 01539 822165

Seedling Swap next Saturday (8th May)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Come along to Underley Road allotments on Saturday 8th May for a seedling swap organised by the Grow-Your-Own helpline group. A great way to get more plants for your garden or allotment, bring along your spare seedlings and swap them or give a donation and have a look around the community orchard while you’re there. The swap will take place from 10-3 and there will be tea and cakes available.

Directions: Heading north out of Kendal on Windermere Road, turn right onto Garth Brow, 1st right onto Hallgarth Circle then 1st right onto a little crescent road by a green. Halfway around the crescent there is a lane between houses, the allotments will be signposted from here.

South Lakes WDM Highlight RBS & Tar Sands

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Around 8 members of South Lakes World Development Movement yesterday held a demo outside the Kendal branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to highlight their involvement in the Canadian tar sands – the most environmentally destructive and polluting project on the planet.

Tar sands footsteps were stuck on the pavement leading into RBS and volunteers handed out leaflets to passers by raising awareness of what RBS is up to.

RBS was bailed out during the financial crisis with billions of pounds of public money and is now 84% owned by the British public.  RBS has used our money to get involved in finance worth £10 billion for projects and companies linked to human rights abuses and climate change.  These include the devastating tar sands oil extraction projects in western Canada, labelled ‘blood oil’ by the region’s indigenous communities (see blog below for more details).

Despite being propped up by the public, RBS’ top executives are still being rewarded with bonuses for financing deals that destroy lives.  Incredibly, the Treasury’s response thus far has been to turn a blind eye.  As public anger grows, the Chancellor must now demand that RBS puts taxpayers’ mone into socially useful investments, instead of dirty and destructive schemes like tar sands.

Food & Agri meeting

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Food and Agriculture sub-group had its quarterly meeting last Saturday in Rydal. 20 people turned out for a lovely, lively afternoon which started with a tour around Rydal Hall’s Community Garden – thanks to Ian for showing us around!

We headed down the hill to the Badger Bar for the meeting itself that included updates from The Red Shed growing project at QKS in Kendal, the Cumbria Forest Foods network, Kendal Grow-Your-Own group, Staveley’s Apples for All, and an allotments update, plus feedback from the March 3rd SLACC TT launch. There’s lots of exciting projects on the go with this sub-group!

If you’d like to join the Food mailing list or find out more about any of the above projects please email tsl.food@gmail.com or watch this space for details of the next meeting.

Thanks to everyone who car-shared and cycled (we squeezed 6 bicycles on the train to Windermere)!

May Transition Living – build a bike trailer

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The plan for the Transition Living workshop in May is to build a bike trailer for the Abundance group.

We’ve got some plans from a chap who’s designed trailers to be made out of bamboo for developing countries, check out this webpage for his full story www.carryfreedom.com/bamboo, its a nice story! He gives the plans to anyone who asks as long as they send him photos of the finished product being used for his website, so bring your bike along, take the trailer for a spin and we’ll get some good pics.

Bamboo is all well and good in some parts of the world, but we’re not keen on it growing in Cumbria, especially when historically this area has had huge amounts of native coppice woodland. So we’re gonna make our bike trailer out of locally coppiced wood and recycled materials.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the URC hall on Tuesday 11th May, 7pm-9pm, £3. Please book your place by emailing tsl.abundance[at]gmail.com or call 01539 822165.

What is 350?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Creative awareness raising in Kendal, April 2010

350-as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.

Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 390ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.

see www.350.org for ideas for solutions.

Latest: www.dragonfly1.plus.com now has a CO2 graph incorporating the March CO2 ppm as well as a link to a BBC animation with graphs.

LEAVE OUR BOGS ALONE!

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Thursday 15th April 2010:

Campaigners from Earth First! including two members of SLACC have today stopped peat extraction work at Peel Holdings site on Chat Moss in Greater Manchester by chaining themselves to machinery.

One SLACC member said

“We’ve been here about ten minutes and right now one of the workers has got into the digger and is trying to move it which is putting my safety in jeopardy” he said “They have been quite threatening and I understand that the police are on their way but we’ll stay here as long as we can to stop the destruction of the peat bog…”

Another colleague has chained himself to a lorry on the site, while other protestors are also trying to stop peat removal. The direct action by Earth First! comes as a direct response to the lack of environmental guts by Salford City Council which has stood by and allowed the destruction of one of the top rated sites of biodiversity in the North West.

For many years locals have been trying to draw attention to peat bog destruction on Peel Holdings owned land on Chat Moss. Now Earth First! have taken direct action to physically try and stop the extraction by occupying the site today.

Peat bogs have recently become the focus of international attention because they act as huge ‘carbon sponges’: as peat is formed it locks away carbon that has been absorbed by plants as they grow, thereby helping to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and slow global warming. The draining and extraction of this unique habitat causes the release of thousands of years worth of stored carbon. Globally, peat bogs cover just 3% of the world’s surface but store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined.

The greatest threat to peat bogs is from peat extraction for use in horticulture.  An area the size of 250 Trafalgar Squares is dug up every year for the UK horticultural industry, with 70% of this demand coming from amateur gardeners.  This is despite the fact that there are a wide variety of good quality peat-free commercial composts, meaning that there is no need for the UK to consume any peat at all.  The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, for instance, has been peat free since 1992.

One local campaigner said

“We are stopping the destruction of Chat Moss bog to protect this site for the benefit of present and future generations.  Peat bogs harbour a wide variety of birds, plants and animals that can be found nowhere else.  Instead of protecting this valuable habitat Peel Holdings are vandalising it in order to  ake a profit when there are countless alternatives to peat for use in compost, as well as more sustainable jobs in those industries.”

One Earth First! protestor added

“The Council tell us they are serious about climate change and the environment yet allow valuable sites like Chat Moss to be bulldozed. They say they will protect the Green Belt but it’s all just hot air. We have come here today in solidarity with the local Save Our Greenbelt campaign, and to protect this valuable habitat and to say enough is enough – leave our bog alone!

UPDATE: An account of the day by one SLAC member:

“We locked on around 10:30am. Some of the workers initially reacted aggressively, trying to move the digger while people were on it, using abusive language and assaulting one of our group – though we were emphasising that we were peaceful and that they were breaking the law by acting dangerously towards us.

After about twenty minutes of several members of our group talking calmly to them, they stood down and waited for the police to arrive. The police turned up shortly after, trying to talk us down, but we stayed locked on until the Tactical Aid Unit arrived with bolt cutters to extract us.

Interestingly, it seemed they wanted everyone else out of the way, so they could ‘deal’ with us and get the job done as quickly as possible. We’ve found out that lots of local people tried to join us, but were being stopped by the police well out of visible distance.

The police Tactical Aid Unit also showed little regard for our safety – their intention was to simply remove me from the digger by any means necessary – which was effectively to try to throw me off it. An ambulance also turned up pre-emptively, which suggests they were anticipating that our extraction would necessitate the use of force, and unnecessary harm to our persons.

We managed to stay there for several hours to halt the destruction of the bog and to get the message out.

After the police released us, we met up with some of the local campaigners from Save Our North West Greenbelt, who’d had a meeting in the evening, which was really empowering.  They were very very supportive and thankful.

At first I was arrested for aggravated trespass, but then de-arrested and re-arrested after being cut free under new charges. We’ve been charged, oddly, under Section 4A of the Public Order Act, which covers using words/behaviour to cause harassment/distress, even though our protest was completely non-violent and good humoured.

Our court date is May 10th, 9:30am at Salford Magistrate’s Court – a solidarity demonstration is being planned for this date, and any support would be gratefully welcomed!”