Green Coffee         September  2015
Hello All
Thanks to all who came to September Green Coffee. We had an enjoyable meeting - not so much news this month, but it was nice to have more time to dwell on each topic. The next Green Coffee will be on Tues 6th October, 9.30 - 11am at the YMCA cafe upstairs. Juliet will be chairing this meeting, so please contact her at  for further information. November Green Coffee is planned for Tues 3rd Nov.

We had updates on Dig Merton's new herb gardens, reports on cowboy tradesmen and information about recycling plastic bottle tops, plastic bottles, printer ink cartridges and coffee packaging. Green Coffee members reported on the sad but beautiful occasion of Desmond Bazley's funeral.

Since the meeting, the Wimbledon Guardian reported that Green Coffee member Shas Sheehan has been awarded a peerage - so many congratulations to Shas. Green Coffee will now have representation in the House of Lords!
Don't forget to come along to ABUNDANCE FRUIT DAY - tomorrow at St Mark's Church garden (behind Wimbledon Library). Many Green Coffee members will be running stalls, so come along, bring your children as there are lots of appley games - and stock up with jams, cakes and ultra-fresh juice from the fruit press, test your apple peeling skills, make a pie and enjoy the music.

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 you are very welcome to send in your comments for discussion at the next meeting.
What's On?
19.9   11am-2pm
Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's Church garden

weekends to 27.9
Merton Arts Trail

22.9  from 7.15
Community Forum

26.9   12-4
Community Orchard
Fieldgate Lane CR4 3AL

3.10 10.30-12.30
Plants & Produce Sale
Merton Park

PLAY: Baked Alaska

Holy Trinity Church

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

September Green Coffee - news


Gardening & Food

1. Dig Merton - two new herb gardens!
At Phipp's Bridge - Sustainable Merton and local residents have been planting a herb garden in front of Mitcham Medical Centre, Haslemere Avenue. There has been quite a bit of interest from people visiting nearby shops - they were encouraged to look after even just one plant to help the garden thrive and become a communal resource.

A herb garden has also been planted in Merantun Way, at the corner beside Savacentre. So go and have a look next time you are round that way. If you'd like to help look after either of these gardens or find out more, then please contact

2. Colliers Wood Trees
Auriel and Friends of the Earth are looking after the trees planted in Wandle Park, Colliers Wood earlier this year. Auriel is also helping to look after Christ Church Community Garden. If  you'd like to get involved with either of those, please contact

3. Helping Vulnerable Residents
Jane and other volunteers at The Wimbledon Guild are spending their Wednesdays helping people who can't look after their own gardens. Such people can be vulnerable to rogue tradesmen. One elderly resident had her apple tree pruned really badly. Attempts are being made to find out who did this.

A more general point was made about the difficulty of checking out tradesmen. The Checkatrade system of checking can be manipulated. Gas Safe don't seem to intervene - the old Corgi system was much better at this. Merton Trading Standards might be able to do something about rogue tradesmen. You can help vulnerable neighbours who don't have internet access by printing off recommendations e.g. from the Wimbledon East Hillside Residents' Association's newsletter in which residents report on tradesmen they have used.

4. Ideas for a small lawn
Ideas were sought for a small lawn that wouldn't need mowing. Chamomile was suggested - Green Coffee member Curt Brown may be able to advise on this. Also, Age UK has a scheme to encourage people to mow the lawn of any neighbour. It's hoped that a satisfactory solution can be found rather than putting down astro-turf - although the area of grass is quite small and is surrounded by a pesticide-free border with lots of plants, so even with a bit of astro-turf, the space would still support wildlife.


Recycling & Waste

5. Plastic Bottle tops
Green Coffee members brought plastic bottle tops being collected to make prosthetic limbs for a boy in Poland. You can deposit your bottle tops at Holy Trinity, any weekday before noon at the office.

6. Plastic Bottles for the Greenhouse
Joyce has contacted Safia, asking her to collect bottles from Charles and Alice.

7. Excessive Packaging
Alan is exploring how best to approach supermarkets to encourage them to use less packaging. Feedback so far indicates that discarding excessive packaging at the checkout may be counter-productive, just antagonising people.

8. Printer Ink - recycling cartridges, outsource your printing
If you take any empty ink cartridges to Ryman's, they will give you a discount on new ones. However, the discount is small and it may actually be cheaper to buy ink cartridges elsewhere e.g. in Argos. If you have full ink cartridges that you can't use, then advertise them on StreetLife or Freegle and someone will come and collect them from you. Printing at home is expensive so it's often cheaper to use printing and photocopying facilities in the High Street, e.g. Snappy Snaps.

9. Coffee Packaging
Green Coffee members continue to collect coffee packaging. The YMCA is considering whether it will set up a TerraCycle collection point for this.


Energy & the Built Environment

10. Council website encourages energy efficiency
A new webpage on the LB Merton website encourages builders to go beyond minimum standards, which is great. However, the advice to locate a soakaway 5 metres from any buildings might be desirable, but not very practical in London where space is so limited. Also, rather than just 'dealing with water', developers should collect water and used it for irrigating trees and vegetation. Charles is building a rainwater storage facility on his allotment and is working out how to power an irrigation system using energy from a PV panel.


Events & Articles

11. Abundance Fruit Day
Don't forget to come along to Abundance Fruit Day a celebration of local fruit. It's on Sat 19th Sept. 11am-2pm at St Mark’s Church garden (behind Wimbledon Library) and entry is free.

Here is a list of stalls, many manned by GREEN COFFEE MEMBERS
  • Jams, Jellies & Chutneys – made with fruit from local gardens  CAROLE & ALISON W
  • Fruit Press - buy some lovely fresh juice - bring a bag of your own apples for pressing  JULIET
  • Pie-making demonstration – put a fruit pie together + take it home
  • Cake Stall – cakes, tarts and sweets made with local fruit   AMY
  • Information Stall - expert advice on caring for a fruit tree
  • Children's Fruity Games - imaginative & fun 
  • Jam Tasting - taste lovely jams & jellies 
  • Honey - wonderful Wimbledon honey  ALISON P
  • Spinning fruit dyed yarns   ALICE
  • Longest peel – test your skills 
  • Fruity plants – range of fruit + other edible plants
  • Composting fruit waste – from Sustainable Merton   RUTH
  • …... and featuring  ♫ The International Ukulele Orchestra ♫
  •  teas & coffees from The Toasted Pip
 Don’t miss the Grand Opening by The Mayor at 11am

12. TV: Build an Ecohouse for £60,000
This episode of Groundforce was shown again recently and is well worth seeing. It features how Tommy Walsh built an eco house using permaculture principles in 60 days for just £60,000, showing that building future-proofed housing is possible for ordinary people on an ordinary income. See an article about this HERE

13. BOOK: Doing Good Better
By William Macaskill. Presents a framework for measuring how much good your charitable donations are doing, using a metric the QALY - the quality-adjusted life year.

14. Celebrating Age Festival
Age UK is holding a Festival for Over 50s from Monday 7th to Sunday 27th Sept. There is an impressive list of activities including 'Getting the Best from your Retirement' on Fri 11th Sept at the Methodist Church in Griffiths Rd. See the brochure HERE


Other things local

15. More on Swifts
To take forward the campaign to get nesting sites for swifts, more volunteers are needed. If you'd like to help, please contact Green Coffee and we'll put you in touch with Louise who is already campaigning. Find out more about swifts and providing nesting sites for them HERE

16. GP Surgeries promote Community Projects
With a more joined up approach being taken to healthcare, councils have taken over responsibility for public health and there is more emphasis on disease prevention. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are now responsible for paying for healthcare and the local CCG is located in The Broadway.

Doctors are now taking more positive action to help patients to live a healthier lifestyle, through social prescribing. Wide Way Medical Centre in Mitcham is encouraging local groups to publicise their events on surgery noticeboards (see HERE) and the GP practice in High Street, Wimbledon Village is allowing this too. So why not check out noticeboards in your local GP practice to publicise your events.

Also at the the VSC Health and Social Care forum on 9th Sept 10am - 12.30pm, the Merton CCG will be encouraging people to input to a CCG Vision and Strategy for Merton. It would be great to ensure that environmental concerns e.g. regarding air quality, were taken account of in this vision. Find more details HERE

17. Desmond Bazley
Several Green Coffee members attended the funeral of Desmond Bazley, Joanna's husband. For many years, Desmond campaigned for causes including a nuclear free world and the rights of pedestrians. He was also greatly involved in music. Green Coffee members remarked on how beautiful his funeral was, with the coffin being walked from his home to the church where a secular ceremony was held and a choir of 180 performed a wonderful full Fauré's requiem, with a stunning solo by his daughter Harriet.  The funeral was very well attended and Green Coffee members wished to express their appreciation for Desmond's life.​



Sat 19th Sept  11am - 2pm
Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's Church garden & hall (behind Wimbledon Library)

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 Ukelele Orchestra. Please do come along - it's FREE ENTRY. Please contact For more details see the website - HERE.

12th to 27th Sept
Merton Arts Trail

Launch: Saturday 12 September – 2pm on Piazza, Wimbledon Broadway. Balloon release, Bollywood drummers, tee shirt or tote bag printing, have a go at Drawing and Collage. Over 100 artists are working hard to get their studios and exhibitions ready for the two Open House weekends starting on 19 September in over 60 venues around the borough.  Check out the full programme of activities including walks HERE
Tues 22nd Sept  from 7.15pm
Wimbledon Community Forum
Mansel Road Centre, Wimbledo
Have your say on local issues. Your opportunity to get answers from council officials and councillors.

Sat 26th Sept  10.30am - 2pm
Spider Man at Mitcham Common!
Mitcham Common, Croydon Road, Mitcham CR4 1HT

Find, catch & identify spiders (and conquer any fears) with the official recorder of spiders for London, Edward Milner. Cost: £3   Enquiries/Book: 020 8288 0453 /

Sat 26th Sept   12pm - 4pm
Mitcham Community Orchard & Gardens
Fieldgate Lane, Mitcham CR4 3AL

Lend a helping hand to manage the weeds, mow the grass and get planting and harvesting. Refreshments, cake and tools provided. Enquiries:

Wed 30th Sept  9.30am - 1pm
Lavender Avenue Community Garden
Lavender Avenue CR4 3HH

Join the Dig Merton team and local volunteers to help spruce up the community garden. Enquiries:  or contact Dig Merton on Facebook.

Sat 3rd Oct  10.30am to 12.30pm
Autumn Plant & Produce sale
The Coach House, Melrose Road, Merton Park

Organised by the John Innes Society. Come and buy compost, bulbs, autumn/winter bedding plants, perennials and shrubs, garden produce and jams & chutneys made from home grown fruit and veg. Or just join us for coffee and cakes.  All contributions are welcome e.g. divided plants, collected seeds and jams & chutneys. Leave clearly labelled donations at 21 Poplar Road in the week before the sale. For more information, contact Ann Redfearn ( or 020 8286 9983).Entry is free.

Mon 5th Oct
PLAY: Baked Alaska
Holy Trinity Church, 234 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB

This is a vivid, sharp and deliciously entertaining production by Riding Lights. Baked Alaska serves up the realities of climate change  in a high energy, seriously funny style. Space is limited so book early. Find other tour dates (St John's Waterloo on 6th Oct) and book tickets from the Riding Lights website HERE. Also tickets soon to be available from Holy Trinity Church.

Sun 11th Oct  from 2pm
People's Pilgrimage
Morden Hall Park

To beat climate change, every step counts. This is part of a worldwide initiative to bring attention to the Paris Climate Change meeting in November. Some are walking to Paris, many are walking in their local area. All are welcome to join this walk. Enquiries to Find out about People's Pilgrimage HERE


Regular events

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.

second Tuesdays  from 8pm
Green Drinks

At the Charles Holden Pub (opp Colliers Wood tube station) 198 High Street, Colliers Wood SW19 2BH
The perfect social event for those interested in sustainability issues and wanting to meet other like-minded people is back! The new venue is a lovely pub at the entrance to Wandle Park. Easy to get to from Wimbledon via the 200 bus - and Colliers Wood tube station is just across the road.

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 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.

Coffee in the Wood has cakes from local bakers, nice coffee and sometimes live music! It is also a Recycling Point for baby wipes and baby food packets.

third Wednesdays  8 - 10pm
Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD

All are welcome at this new group to discuss issues including climate change. You'll hear more about the ongoing local Bee Campaign and how you can help with general maintenance in Wandle Park. Enquiries:

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. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email 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

every Friday 10-12am
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Auriel and Tom for some gardening at this friendly group. For more information, contact Tom at

second Fridays   from 9.30 - 11am
John Innes Gardening Group

JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday. Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact 

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


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
Friends of the Canons - Workday
The Canons Recreation Ground (meet at the pond)
at 10am
Come along and help maintain this beautiful area. Including clearing trees and beds of invasive species and surveying important parts of the site. Tools and refreshments provided. Please wear stout shoes and bring gardening gloves. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, contact John Davis: 020 8640 4578 / 07739 513948.

fourth Sundays
Fish Pond Wood & Beverley Meads - Workday
meet in Beverley Meads car park, Barham Rd at 9.30am

Maintenance work. Organised by the London Wildlife Trust Merton Group. For more info, contact Steve Parish 07949 400298 or email or Glyn Williams 0777 5773400