Green Coffee       July 2016
Thanks to everyone for coming to July Green Coffee.

We started off with a really interesting discussion about air quality, what Sustainable Merton is doing so that people can reduce their exposure and how to take this forward. (Since then Green Coffee was told the London Mayor has launched a consultation on air quality - find it HERE.) We heard how Pret a Manger is looking for local uses of unwanted food - and consultations on Wimbledon Park and the closure of an important path beside Rutlish School.

Next Green Coffee will be on Tuesday 2nd Aug at 9.30 to 11am at the Wibbas Down Inn. This is the J.D. Weatherspoon pub with entrances from both Russell Road opposite Wimbledon theatre and Gladstone Road, SW19 1QT between Paddy Power and the cycle shop. We have a space right in the middle of the pub between the two entrances. The meeting after that will be on Tues 6th September.


PLEASE NOTE: The Green Coffee Update covers whatever views are expressed by individuals at the meeting. Indeed, Green Coffee members often have different views on topics. The newsletter does not verify information or web links, so it's up to you to challenge views or correct information - and if you can't make it along, you are very welcome to send in your comments for discussion at the next meeting.
CONSULTATIONS & PETITIONS:  
Wimbledon Park Consultation HERE
Path closure near Rutlish School HERE
Dark skies petition HERE
London Clean Air consultation HERE


 

news at July Green Coffee


1. Air Quality - special session
         The problem
         Understanding the air quality picture

         Government action
         Local action
         The plan
         Ideas

         More background information

2. Green Coffee's Link to the house of Lords

Transport

3. Crossrail 2

4. Merton Living Streets

Green Spaces

5. Wimbledon Common

6. Is that a Green Roof at Abbey Rec?

Town Centre Update

7. Redevelopment

8. WH Smith returns

9. Keeping Wimbledon Clean & Tidy
 

Recycling & Waste

10. Green Coffee Brainstorming:
               Wheelie Bins in Terraced Housing


11. Deodorants - now less sustainable
 

Food & Gardening

12. Pret a Manger offers surplus Food

13. Oak Processionary Moth

14. Olio Food Sharing App

15. Lawnmower to offer

FILMS & EVENTS

16. Environmental Stage Show to become a Film

17. EVENT: Stop Trident

18. EVENT REVIEW: William Morris evening

19. EVENT REVIEW: Morden litter pick
 

Petitions & Consultations 

20. Vote for Dark Skies

21. Wimbledon Park Consultation

22. Closure of Path - John Innes Park to Recreation Ground


Other Things Local

23. Nomination for Green Coffee member

24. Abundance - new volunteer

25. Sustainable Merton & Citizens' Science

26. Please Highlight the Environment


 
What's On?

30.7  10am-1pm
Keeping Chickens
Sutton  SM1 3SA

31.7 11am-6pm
Permaculture Festival
Cecil Sharp  NW1 7AY

31.7  11am-6pm
Grand Opening Fete
Fieldgate Lane CR4 3AL

6.8 
8.30pm
Hiroshima
Wim Common

6.8 & 7.8
music & nature

Fulham Palace SW6

20.8 
12.30pm
Car Boot Sale
St Mary's Church Field

17.9  11am-2pm
Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's garden 

22.9 -25.9
env conference

Oxford

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

July Green Coffee - news


1. Air Quality - special session
Tom Walsh joined the Green Coffee group to discuss Sustainable Merton's work on air quality. This generated a lively discussion and some exciting ideas for raising the profile of this problem that is affecting the health and environment of people in Merton and beyond.

The problem
Air pollution is exceeding EU limits across the country and people are becoming more aware of this. (Find the EU limits HERE.) It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people in London die prematurely each year due to air pollution. The particulates emitted by diesel cars are especially harmful, not only to people with asthma and bronchial diseases, but they also exacerbate circulatory diseases as the tiny (2.5 micron) particles permeate lung tissue and pass into the blood. Most people don't understand how bad air quality is in their local area and how they can avoid the worst of it.

Understanding the air quality picture
  • Air pollution is very bad near busy distributor roads.
  • Queuing traffic is particularly polluting. This is reduced if vehicles turn off their engines
  • Air pollution can be reduced by two thirds by moving 50 metres away from main road to a side one.
  • The height and density of buildings can trap pollution, generating pollution hot-spots.
  • Pollution is generally worse at low heights (especially particulates), so the height at which you measure pollution is a relevant factor. It also means that babies and small children are taking in more polluted air.
Government action
Improving air quality requires action by national and local governments. All local authorities are required to have air quality monitors in place. Merton has two - one at Morden's Civic Centre (not working at present) and the other in Merton Rd in South Wimbledon. The measurements can be seen HERE - you can download an App to get real time air quality measurements on your phone.

The new environment spokesperson in the London Assembly is our local representative Leonie Cooper. She and Mayor Sadiq Khan are considering a big extension of the low emissions zone to include everything inside the north and south circular roads and increasing the congestion charge for diesel vehicles. There are also proposals to pedestrianise Oxford St, which famously exceeded the EU limits for peak NO2 levels by 5th January; make all London taxis and buses low carbon; and require all new car engines to switch off automatically when the vehicle is stopped.

The new Mayor of London is workng with London Sustainability Exchange and has already convened a meeting of 100 or so experts and activists to work out what to do. One immediate outcome is that LSx has set up a petition asking for a new Clean Air Act. The original Clean Air Act made a huge difference when it was introduced 60 years ago, putting limits on industrial pollution and the burning of coal, saving thousands of lives. However, we now need a new Clean Air Act to deal with the current situation. This is particularly urgent since there will be no sanctions on the government for failing to meet air quality standards once we leave the EU. You can sign the petition for a new Clean Air Act HERE (don't have the link yet)

Local action
Locally, we can enable people to reduce their exposure to harmful air pollution by informing them of the local air quality picture. With this knowledge, walkers, runners, parents and cyclists can make informed choices that could have a big impact on their health. 

We can also lobby for changes to traffic flows and large developments. Knowing the figures and understanding how pollution levels change from one location to another will also let us make more convincing arguments for changing driving habits, designing a town centre or deciding where to locate new schools.

The plan
Sustainable Merton has started by conducting a pilot study to measure NO2 levels in 13 sites across the borough - see the results HERE. Over 20 sites have now been tested. Sustainable Merton wants to work other groups to identify where to put further monitors (NO2 diffusion tubes) - and asked Green Coffee members for ideas. The Mitcham Society and LoveWimbledon have identified some locations and monitors have been installed there and at other places identified by Green Coffee members.

After the summer, Sustainable Merton is planning to work with all schools across the borough to help them understand air quality issues in their area and to work out 'walk to school' routes. Children's developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to air pollution.

Ideas
  • Lobby for signs at railway crossings to encourage people to switch off their engines. A clock showing how long until the barrier goes up would let people know when to get ready to move. The Willington School has a sign asking people to switch off their engines when waiting for children. This could be rolled out to other stretches of road where traffic queues. (Apparently police cars can't switch off, as they contain so much electronic equipment that they need engines to keep running!)
     
  • Measure real time pollution levels and put this up on a display board. Currently the only real time information on air quality is from the two existing monitoring sites at Morden Civic Centre and Merton Road. A device for measuring different substances can be hired for around £100 per week. This would immediately raise awareness of the air quality problem, especially amongst parents.
     
  • Launch a campaign to highlight the problems of air quality. Explain how children are most at risk, what actions people can take and highlight the work of SM and other groups to provide the information we need to reduce our exposure. Enlist the help of the Wimbledon Guardian and do a weekly column.
  • See if the London Mayor's office would let Merton be a test bed for initiatives, such as a mobile real time monitor and display (which could then tour the other boroughs). Combine this with a sign giving 2 or 3 top tips e.g. walking via side roads reduces your exposure
     
  • Contact Cllr Martin Whelton, who is the new cabinet member for the environment and ask for his involvement.
More background information
NO2 diffusion tubes cost £10 each and this includes the cost of analysis. Although it would be good to measure at face height (5ft off the ground for adults, 2 ft for small children), there is a risk that people interfere with tubes and so initially the tubes are being put at 7ft. Many years ago, Merton Friends of the Earth measured air quality in Haydon's Rd and Plough Lane.


2. Green Coffee's Link to the house of Lords
Last year, Green Coffee member Shas Sheehan became a member of the House of Lords. Shas told us that she is still reading the Green Coffee newsletter, so is keeping up to date with local issues. As deputy chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution, she would be happy to hear about any issues or questions we would like to raise about this important problem. She is also on the House of Lords EU and Environment Sub-Committee, so can raise more general environmental questions here too. Contact Shas at shas.sheehan@btinternet.com



Transport

3. Crossrail 2
It is not known whether Crossrail 2 will go ahead following Brexit.

POST MEETING NOTE: Crossrail 2 published their response to the consultation comments earlier this year. Find it HERE. The new transport minister is Chris Grayling, who was a Merton councillor some years ago and is MP for Epsom & Ewell. The London Mayor would like to hear your views on air quality in London - take part in the consultation HERE.


4. Merton Living Streets
Tom K reported that Merton Living Streets had sent an email to Merton Council to ask about progress with plans for Morden town centre.


Green Spaces

5. Wimbledon Common
Tom K was contacted by a lady concerned about management of part of Wimbledon Common. The golf club is required to look after the natural environment around the courses, however it is claimed that the undergrowth has been removed and replaced with grass. John Boyd is looking at this issue.

6. Is that a Green Roof at Abbey Rec?
Abbey Recreation ground is used for cricket and other sports. The changing room can be seen from the entrance from Morden Rd. It looks like a green roof has been installed there, along with glass domes to provide natural lighting. Although it's a small project, it's great to see such initiatives happening.


Town Centre Update

7. Redevelopment
The Slug@Wimbledon pub to be demolished to build a seven storey hotel with no parking.

8. WH Smith returns
Green Coffee members were pleased to hear that WH Smith will be returning to Wimbledon town centre, opening in the lower ground of Centre Court. This follows the announcement that Waterstones will open in the Broadway, opposite the Piazza. Both shops had to move when their premises were let to MetroBank.

9. Keeping Wimbledon Clean & Tidy
The June newsletter from LoveWimbledon listed what it, the council and partners have been doing to keep Wimbledon town centre clean. These are:
  • Jetwashing the streets and ‘grotspots’
  • Deep cleaning the bus stops
  • Removing gum from the pavements and promoting responsible disposal of chewing gum
  • Reporting all graffiti and ensuring it is removed in a timely manner
  • Removing flyposters and reporting flytipping with daily patrols
  • Working with the council on timebanding to remove waste bags from the streets when footfall is at its peak
  • Working with Merton Council to improve street cleaning
  • Reporting empty tree pits and damaged trees
  • Encouraging the planting of more trees and the development of ‘tree wardens’ for regular watering
 

Recycling & Waste

10. Green Coffee Brainstorming: wheelie bins in terraced housing
The wheelie bin pilot in Lavender Fields was successful, with an 89% satisfaction rate and 81% of residents saying the streets were cleaner. The plan is now to switch to wheelie bins across the borough, under the new joint contract for waste collection across Merton, Croydon, Sutton and Kingston. However, in some streets e.g. those with terraced housing, the wheelie bins* will have to be kept in the front gardens. There is a lot of concern in these streets, as the bins are unsightly and will take up much of the very limited space in these small gardens.

At Green Coffee, we are looking for ideas for addressing this. An idea could just be something to make the bins look more attractive - or it could be a radical new way of collecting waste from these areas. Please do send in your ideas!

Some ideas so far:
  • could wheelie bins be shared? Some households don't produce enough waste to warrant 2 wheelie bins. 
*There will be two wheelie bins for each household. If the bins are the same size as those used in the Lavender Fields pilot last year, there will be a 240 litre bin for recycling and a 180 litre bin for non-recyclable waste.

POST MEETING NOTES: Given the concerns about wheelie bins, Joyce has written to Cllr Ross Garrod who is the Cabinet member responsible for waste collection in Merton, pointing out the problems of storing wheelie bins at terraced housing and the difficulty of moving these large bins when there are steps to the street, especially when a householder is elderly or infirm. Let's see if we can get some more information on this!

FURTHER NOTE: Tower Hamlets has installed underground waste bins. See HERE. So has Cambridge council, at a cost of £9m for 3,000 homes. All homes involved are less than 35 metres from the communal bins. See HERE


11. Deodorants - now less sustainable
Until recently, some deodorants were available in glass containers. However, these now seemed to have been replaced by plastic containers, which are more difficult to recycle. This seems a retrograde step.

 

Food & Gardening

12. Pret a Manger offers surplus Food
Pret in Wimbledon is sending its surplus food to charities to neighbouring boroughs. It would save on food miles and help local people if this food was directed towards local charities. It was suggested that the Faith in Action centre might be able to use some of the food. Please send in any other ideas.

13. Oak Processionary Moth
Following the discussion about oak processionary moth at June Green Coffee, there was an article in the Wimbledon Guardian - see HERE.

14. Olio Food Sharing App
This is a free app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. This has now been extended to include toiletries, cleaning products and other unwanted household items. Find out more HERE

15. Lawnmower to offer
A Green Coffee member offered her lawnmower, which is no longer needed. It was suggested that, if there are no takers, then try Freecycle or Streetlife.


FILMS & EVENTS

16. Environmental Stage Show to become a Film
The stage show Baked Alaska will now be made into a film for school children. This was shown at various locations last year including Holy Trinity church in Wimbledon Broadway.

17. EVENT: Stop Trident
Some Green Party members are joining the Stop Trident Parliamentary Lobby on 13th July to ask government how Trident contributes to national security and to reconsider their commitment to it. Trident can not be used to combat terrorism, cyber warfare or any of the other things that have been listed by the National Security Risk Assessment as the UK's main threats.

18. EVENT REVIEW: William Morris evening
The evening went well. There were various short presentations from Juliet on Abundance, Dave on Palestine, Friends of the Earth, plus a quiz and drinks.

19. EVENT REVIEW: Morden litter pick
This went well and Tom K thanked Morden Park Residents Association and Merton Green Party members for their help. The bottles and cans collected were recycled. Tom is now asking where else a pick and recycle event could be organised.

 

Petitions & Consultations 

20. Vote for Dark Skies
Watching the stars at night is a joy to many - and it's becoming more difficult. Careless lighting means that our night skies are flooded with light from various sources including carelessly mounted household security lights and excessive sports lighting. LED lighting has a high blue content, which is particularly disruptive to the health of people and animals. There are concerns about Mayor Sadiq's plans to illuminate all 17 bridges over the Thames. The Commission for Dark Skies was set up by members of the British Astronomical Association and it is asking people to sign a petition to persuade local councils and organisations to ensure "the right amount of light and only where needed". Sign it (before 24th July) HERE

21. Wimbledon Park Consultation
Merton Council is looking at how to improve Wimbledon Park. The park was designed by Capability Brown - the lake and just one tree remain from his time. The park is owned by Merton Council, although part of it stretches into Wandsworth. The council wants to develop a long term plan for the park. One of the things being considered is moving the athletics stadium away from the lakeside to improve the view. Also, the toilets are poor. A series of consultations is underway, led by Chris Parsloe - the next being on Tues 26th July 4.30 to 7.30pm and then Sun 14th August  11am to 3pm. Take part in the consultation HERE and find a helpful Wimbledon Guardian article HERE

22. Closure of Path - John Innes Park to Recreation Ground
Merton Council is consulting on whether this path should be closed. This is in response to concerns from Rutlish School about security, as the path crosses school grounds. It is not possible to re-route the path. The point was made that this looks like an over-reaction. Being a senior school, most children make their own way to and from school, so they have to deal with the general public every day. An alternative approach could be to introduce swipe cards to ensure that the general public can not enter school premises. If you want to input to this consultation, do so before it closes on 25th July - HERE .


Other Things Local

23. Nomination for Green Coffee member
Everyone congratulated Alison Pelikan for her nomination for a Merton Volunteer award. Alison has worked tirelessly over the years to improve the local environment and inspire others to love nature. In particular, Alison has mentored children with poor self esteem and is well known for her interest in bee-keeping. See the Wimbledon Guardian article HERE

24. Abundance - new volunteer
Abundance Wimbledon is delighted that Green Coffee member Alyson had now taken over the media role, so will be sending out news releases to local groups and the press. Thank you to Alyson.

25. Sustainable Merton & Citizens' Science
SM is supporting citizens science, which means using simple science to give people the information they need to make change happen. The Community Champions programme of training will continue over the summer, with basic training on climate change, waste & resources, water, pollution/air quality, energy, food,travel/transport and bio-diversity. If you would like to become part of this team, please see HERE

Green Coffee was delighted to welcome Serena, a year 12 student at school who is doing work experience at Sustainable Merton over the summer. She hopes to go on to study geography and sustainability at university - and we look forward to hearing how she progresses in her career.


26. Please Highlight the Environment
The Environmental Centre in Morden Hall Park is a valuable space and is used for various activities. However, when being used for an event, there appears to be no information about the environment in the centre. The centre is owned by the National Trust and they should be encouraged to display information about the environment in the Environmental Centre.


 
 
Events 

Sat 30th July  10am - 1pm
Keeping Chickens
Benhill Allotments, Benhill Road, Sutton SM1 3SA
Learn the basics for keeping your own chickens, including: Where and how to house them, daily maintenance and what to feed them. Also get the chance to see and handle a range of breeds. All welcome and no experience needed. Book HERE


Sun 31st July, 11am - 6pm
London Permaculture Festival

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road NW1 7AY
Come along for workshops (intro and advanced), ‘how-to’ sessions, music and song, films, a stalls market and a ‘families at the festival’ zone. Enjoy discussions, networking and learning about creative solutions for a sustainable, healthy future. Tickets cost £6/£4 concessions • Under 18s freeOnly available on the door

For more details go to http://londonpermaculturefestival.com/

Sun 31st July  11am-6pm
Grand Opening Fete
Fieldgate Lane, Mitcham CR4 3AL

Mitcham Community Orchard & Garden celebrates the transformation of the site to a beautiful garden and orchard - and a hub of the local community. Come and join the celebrations and get a taste of the countryside in Mitcham. BBQ, bar, mini-farmers' market, music, beekeeping demo ... and much more.

Sat 6th Aug    8.30pm
Hiroshima Commemoration
Rushmere Pond, Wimbledon Common (near the War Memorial)

At this beautiful and moving annual ceremony, candles are floated on Rushmere Pond to commemorate the 200,000 people killed by the world's first atomic bomb and to vow 'never again'. You are welcome to come and take part. Further information about Wimbledon WDC/CND HERE (don't have the link yet).  Also a peace table at 11am outside of Wimbledon Library.

Sat 6th & Sun 7th Aug  from 12pm
MUSIC: Caught by the River Thames
Fulham Palace SW6

Festival of music and nature. Local brewers. Includes a talk by Chris Packham and Springwatch, stalls. Featuring Beth Orton, Super Furry Animals & many more. Find out more HERE

Sat 20th Aug  8am to 12.30pm
CAR BOOT SALE
St Mary's Church Field, Arthur Rd, Wimbledon
Find treasures and bargains at this annual fund-raiser for Merton's United Nations Association. Admission only 50p (or £1 before 9am). For more information, please call Alison (not the church) at tel. 8944 0574 or email alisonwilliams@btinternet.com See the poster HERE

Sat 17th Sept  11am-2pm

Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's Church garden & hall
Lots of jams, chutneys, fruit sweets & cakes, lovely fresh juice from the fruit press, ‘Longest Peel’ and other games for children and adults. Featuring the International Ukulele Orchestra. We need lots of help - such as help on a stall at Fruit Day or by donating jam, cake or plants. Please contact abundancewimbledon@gmail.com. For more details see the website - HERE.

Thurs 22nd to Sun 25th Sept
CONFERENCE: One Earth, One Humanity, One Future
Worcester College, Oxford
A three-day special event celebrating the environmental magazine Resurgence's 50th anniversary. Over 50 speakers will share their ground-breaking solutions relating to climate change, ecology, etc. Find out more and book HERE




Regular Events 

Mondays
first Mondays  7.30pm
Wimbledon Beekeepers' Association
The Snuff Mill, Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD
The Wimbledon Division of the Surrey Beekeepers' Association is an organisation of Beekeepers, who operate in the London Borough of Merton and its surrounding areas.  Each year, they organise beginners’ courses and a variety of educational and social events for members.


Tuesdays
on hold at present!
Green Drinks
The location of Green Drinks is under review. Watch out for new information on where and when.


Wednesdays
every Wednesday morning 10am - early afternoon
Phipp’s Bridge Community Allotment
Join Gillian and her friendly group to grow fruit and vegetables. Disused land has been turned into a productive garden through people working together. You are welcome to join in, regardless of your gardening expertise - and you'll have the opportunity to take home some lovely fresh produce. If you would like to come and have a look or get involved, then please contact  Gillian at gillianuk@btinternet.com Find out more HERE

every Wednesday at 10.30 am

Merton Green Parents
Coffee in the Wood, 99 High Street, Colliers Wood
How do you balance the demands of being a parent and leading a more sustainable life? It can sometimes be difficult. Merton Green Parents provides a place to swap sustainable parenting tips and meet other like-minded parents. To join the group and for information about meet up times, visit the Merton Green Parents Facebook page  or follow them on twitter @MGreenParents.

meetings suspended

Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD
Meetings have been suspended forthwith. Enquiries: auriel.glanville@btopenworld.com



Thursdays
first Thursday of the month at 8.00pm
Merton Cycling Campaign meeting
All Saints Centre, All Saints Road, SW19 1BX
Meet other cyclists, find out about rides and other events and the latest on campaigns. No meeting in August. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email info@mertoncyclists.org.uk  or see website HERE for more details.

third Thursdays   from 7pm

Morden Hall Park Nature Group
Snuff Mill Education Centre, Morden Hall Park
Find out more about the animals, vegetables and minerals found in Morden Hall Park. Or else share your knowledge with other like-minded people? The meeting is open to anyone interested in the work of the Nature Group. Find out more HERE or email NatureGroupMHP@gmail.com



Fridays
every Friday 10-12am
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood SW19 2NY
Join local volunteers at the weekly workday to help with general maintenance and upkeep of the garden. For more information, please contact Lesley via lesleygelbart@aol.com. Or contact Tom at sustainablemerton@googlemail.com

second Fridays   from 9.00 - 11am

John Innes Gardening Group
JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday of the month. Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact joanna.bazley3@blueyonder.co.uk 

every Friday & Sunday  11am - 4pm

May Project Gardens
159 Middleton Rd, Morden  SM4 6RW
Join Ian and the team. Very friendly gardening group, music, training and lots of other activities too. To volunteer or find out more, contact zara.themayproject@gmail.com



Saturdays
every Saturday, 9am-1pm
Wimbledon Farmers’ Market
Wimbledon Park Primary School, Havana Road, SW19 8EJ
A chance to get your groceries direct from local farmers. Find out more HERE



Sundays

first Sundays  from 10am - 12 noon
Wimbledon Common Nature Club
Information Centre in Wimbledon Common
Fantastic nature club for children 6-14 years. Different topics covered each month e.g. pond dipping, shelter building, fungi foray and nature walks.
For more information, please contact Auriel Glanville, Club Leader, on 020 8540 6154 or auriel.glanville@btopenworld.com

first Sundays
Friends of Ravensbury Park - Workday
meet at the bridge over the Wandle in the middle of the park at 10am
Help is needed to give your local park a general cleanup. Tools and refreshments provided. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, call Jane tel. 07773 406 105.

third Sundays

Pyl Brook Reserve - workday
meet at the entrance on the path from Rutland Drive
Contact Dave Morgan tel. 0208 648 4112 for details.