Green Coffee           February  2015
Hello <<First Name>>

Thank you to everyone who braved the snow and came to February Green Coffee. It was a small, select group - but a lively discussion!

We talked about lots of things, from air quality monitoring to this year's Challenge Network project. And of course the forthcoming general election, with some Green Coffee members organising hustings events - see HERE

It looks like Green Drinks will be starting again soon - huge thanks to Abby and Amy from Sustainable Merton for taking this on. So look out for information on this!

The next Green Coffee will be on Tues 3rd March at The Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT. Please do join us at any time from 9.30 to 11am - or at the one after on 7th April.

Download the latest from: 

Sustainable Merton  HERE
Making Colliers Wood Happy HERE
EcoLocal (Sutton) HERE

news at Feb Green Coffee


The Built Environment

1. Air Quality - Colliers Wood

2. The Football Stadium & Checklist for Sustainable Building

3. Crossrail 2, Plough Lane & Gap Rd


Films, meetings and events

4. Celebrating Sustainability

5. What's Going On in Colliers Wood

6. Films - Trashed

7. Publicity at last for Pink Knitting!

Recycling & Waste

8. Wheelie Bins in Mitcham

9. TerraCycling
                Coffee Packaging
                The man behind TerraCycle

10. Old Socks into Glove Puppets

11. Reporting Rubbish

12. Street Waste Bins - the latest

13. Recycling rates in Merton


Energy News

14. Energy Switching

15. Fracking in Merton?


Gardening & Green Spaces

16. The Big Dig

17. Update on the Wandle Park tree planting

Other things local

18. The Challenge Network

19. Wimbledon Library - consultation, little libraries

20. General Election Hustings

21. The Rise of 3G Families

22. MVSC - skills matching

What's On?

13.2 7.30pm
St Joseph's Hall, CW

14.2  2.30-4.30pm
Org Gardening
Donald Hope

14.2 2.30-5.30pm
Restart Party

17.2  10.30am-12pm
Merton Priory
W Barnes Library

21.2 2-6pm
Stitching Blankets
43 Wilton Grove

22.2 10-12midday
Wood Maintenance
Wandle Park

22.2 2-6pm
Wild Thing - film etc.


8.3 from 10am
Habitat management
Wim Common

9.3 1.30-3.30pm

Vestry Hall, Mitcham

21.3  10.30am-2pm
Big Dig
Phipp's Bridge

22.3 from 10am
Myrna Close workday


Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE


February Green Coffee - news


The Built Environment

1. Air Quality - Colliers Wood

Colliers Wood Residents Association (CWRA) would like to measure air quality in the High Street and surrounding area. It hopes to borrow an air quality meter from Sustainable Merton, which has plans to buy one. CWRA wants to understand where air quality is worst. Having this information will allow CWRA to make more informed comment on developments such as the Blackshaw Rd bridge. Wimbledon East Hillside Residents Association is also interested in using the meter.

Air quality improves rapidly as you move away from the main roads, but there will be a different picture for the different sorts of pollution i.e. particulates, the SOx and NOx. Most air quality measurement is done using tubes which have to stay in place for 2 weeks. A tube measures the average air quality over the period and London Sustainability Exchange has trained Sustainable Merton volunteers to use these tubes.

In contrast, an air quality meter measures the pollution at one point in time. By looking at the air quality at different times of day, it can be used to identify when peak pollution occurs and what peak pollution levels are. Many thanks to Curt (Sustainable Merton's Air Quality expert) for the information on the air quality meter.

2. The Football Stadium & Checklist for Sustainable Building

Two groups have now used Green Coffee's 'Checklist for Sustainable Building'. It was submitted by Sustainable Merton and Wimbledon East Hillside Residents' Association, along with their other comments on the huge development in Plough Lane, to encourage the developer to make the proposed development (football stadium, retail unit, fitness club and 602 apartments) as sustainable as possible. This list was put together by Green Coffee members and can be used by anyone. Download it HERE

3. Crossrail 2, Plough Lane & Gap Rd

There are currently some very large developments planned for Merton - Crossrail 2, Plough Lane & Gap Rd. It's important that local people engage in discussions, although this can be daunting given the reams of documents involved in each of those.

Crossrail 2 will involve major redevelopment in Wimbledon town centre when the station is expanded and along the route of the railway track, particularly where ventilation shafts are being inserted and where the tunnelling is being done from. Although it is not definite that Crossrail 2 is going ahead, TfL has started work on 'safe-guarding' pieces of land, so that any development on this land fits in with Crossrail 2 if it happens. Find the map of safeguarded areas in Merton HERE.

If you want to be kept up to date with Crossrail 2, then send an email saying so to Further information is available from the Crossrail website HERE.

If you'd like to see the comments from WEHRA residents' association on these developments, then please look at the documents as follows:   Crossrail   Plough Lane  Gap Rd


Films, meetings and events

4. Celebrating Sustainability
 Green Coffee members were among the 50 or so people attending the Sustainable Merton's Celebrating Sustainability event on 15th Jan. It was described as an excellent event, with speakers from about a dozen local groups giving a short talk on their work. These included:

Wandle Valley Regional Trust
Mitcham Town Community Trust
Abundance Wimbledon (Joyce)
Merton Orchard Project
Circle Housing
Morden Hall Park Nature Group
Squirrels Community Scrap Scheme
Future Wimbledon Competition Winner (Leigh)
Solar Energy Schemes in Merton
Dig Merton

5. What's Going On in Colliers Wood
About 250 people came along to this event on 24th Jan to find out more about what's happening in the area. There were over 40 local groups with stalls - they might be looking for larger premises for next year! The event got excellent coverage in South London Press with 10 photos.

6. Film: Trashed
'Trashed' will be screened in Colliers Wood on Fri 13th Feb - see details below under EVENTS. If this is popular, then it's hoped to show a film once a month. The next film would probably be the 'Conflict and Climate Change' film which Joanna highlighted. Christine has shown this at Dundonald Congregational Church and Juliet may show it at St Mary's.

7. Publicity at last for Pink Knitting!
Part of the 7 mile pink knitted scarf was taken into central London to wrap around the Ministry of Defence, attracting enthusiastic TV and radio coverage. The scarf will now be taken apart and stitched together to make blankets for refugees. The first stitching session will be on Sat. 21st Feb. Find more information below under EVENTS

Recycling & Waste

8. Wheelie Bins in Mitcham
The council has announced that it will test wheelie bins in Lavender Fields in Mitcham. The government is providing some funds for this trial, but at present there is no money to roll it out across the borough. Although wheelie bins can reduce the litter in the street, people are concerned about finding somewhere to put these large bins and their unsightliness in the street. It's expected that wheelie bins would only replace the current boxes in the roads where there is enough space for them. Find out more HERE.

9. TerraCycling

Coffee Packaging
Juliet reported that The Polka Theatre is still collecting coffee packaging (contrary to previous information). So please keep saving your coffee packaging and Tassimo pods and take them into The Polka Theatre or bring them along to March Green Coffee where we'll collect them.

The man behind TerraCycle
At Green Coffee, we've been TerraCycling our coffee packaging for the last 18 months. TerraCycle has diverted 2.5bn bits of waste from landfill, has a turnover of £13m and employs 115 staff worldwide. If you want to find out more about who set it up and see some excellent photos of their (recycled) office space, have a look at the article that Carole spotted recently - HERE

10. Old Socks into Glove Puppets
With an impressive display of imagination, Joanna's unwanted socks are now destined for Colliers Wood, where will be used for glove puppets or some other craft activity.

11. Reporting Rubbish
Kevin described the LoveCleanStreets smartphone App which you can find HERE Using this makes it simple to let the council know when there is a problem of rubbish in the streets or fly tipping. You can just send in the photo of the offending area and you are notified when the problem is cleared up.

Inspired by this, Leigh sent the council this photo of the recycling bins at the end of Palmerston Rd, spotted as she returned home after Green Coffee. See HERE

12. Street Waste Bins - the latest
What happens to street waste was discussed again at Green Coffee and we are awaiting a response from the council to further clarify this.

13. Recycling rates in Merton
The Surrey Comet reported that, at 39%, Merton's recycling rate is lower than most other south west London boroughs. Whilst recycling rates have declined in most boroughs in recent years, Merton's rate has held up. (Looking at all London boroughs, Merton is just above average for domestic recycling rates - see HERE)

Not recycling as much as we could is costing us money - each 1% increase in the recyclng rate saves the council £80,000. The Surrey Comet highlighted some tips from Transition Town Kingston on how to reduce your waste, including a link to the popular Rubbish Diet - see HERE


Energy News

14.Energy Switching
There was another opportunity for Merton residents to club together and get a better deal from the energy companies with the Big London Energy Switch (but this closed today 3rd Feb). With time, people have been getting better savings from the scheme - the latest estimate was that Merton residents who switched under the scheme were saving £220 per annum. However there is no green option.

Energy companies give new customers a better deal than existing ones. But it was reported that some energy companies are now willing to switch existing customers to the better deal. So it's worth phoning up to ask!

15. Fracking in Merton?
Linda reminded us that Merton and Surrey were in the news a few months ago as potential sites for fracking- see HERE. Find the petition to stop fracking in London HERE


Gardening & Green Spaces

16. The Big Dig
If you have a community growing space, then why not have a Big Dig event on Sat 21st March. This is the national Big Dig Day. By being part of it, you'll get free publicity, help with recruiting volunteers - and there may be some funding available if you're having an event. There will be a Big Dig event at the Phipps Bridge Community Garden - see EVENTS below.

17. Update on the Wandle Park tree planting
The trees intended for the Memorial Woodland have not been planted yet. Suitable locations for planting the trees around the edge of Wandle Park have been identified and planting could go ahead now at these locations. However, if the trees are to be planted as a woodland, then this will have to await the outcome of a consultation to look at provision of open space in Colliers Wood and a decision is unlikely to be made before mid-February. For more information, see December's Green Coffee newsletter HERE


Other things local

18.  The Challenge Network
The Challenge Network is operating again this year. So it's inviting groups from around Merton and Kingston to get in touch to request help from a Challenge Network team of young people. The mode of operation is slightly different this year with smaller teams of about 13 young people working closely with each community group to help fund-raise and raise awareness. If there is a big job, then several groups could of course work together.

There will be 350 sixteen and seventeen year olds from all sorts of backgrounds. The aim is to build their confidence in dealing with all sorts of people, to gain working skills and to raise their awareness of the voluntary sector. The young people will be available to help throughout July and August, as well as at weekends in September.
This is part of the government's National Citizens Programme.  So if you have a project that Challenge Network teams could help with, please get in touch with Clare at

19. Wimbledon Library - consultation, little libraries, station libraries
If you don't use Wimbledon Library and want to tell them why, then take part in the consultation HERE. This is an opportunity to shape the future of the library. For example, Leigh has asked for a Green Box at the library, which would be a focus for sustainability information, advice and workshops. However, there are concerns that if more is happening in the library, there also needs to be plenty of quiet areas for readers too.

'Little Libraries' is a way of recycling books, where people put a box of books outside their home, so that others can borrow and deposit used books - see HERE. A good sustainable project would be to turn old wine crates into mini libraries. Any volunteers for this, apply here!

Some time ago, people were encouraged to deposit unwanted books in Raynes Park, Wimbledon, Motspur Park and Wimbledon Park stations so that others could read them. Green Coffee members asked if this was still happening.
Anthony Fairclough (who helped set up the original scheme) said
the Wimbledon Station book swap is still alive and well in its new home on Platform 8 - see HERE. It's actually a better place for the scheme, and gets loads more books. I think it's because people wait there longer than a couple of minutes.

20. General Election Hustings
There will be hustings for Merton's two parliamentary constituencies. Thanks to Charles and the Centre for Indpendent Living, Age UK, Merton Seniors Forum and Mencap for organising hustings in both constituencies. Also thanks to Colliers Wood Residents' Association for organising hustings too. Hustings allow the rest of us to meet the local candidates and to question them. The details so far are:

Mitcham & Morden - sitting MP is Siobhan McDonagh
  • Mon 9th March 1.30-3.30pm at Vestry Hall. Find details HERE
  • Tues 14th April - we are awaiting details of this. Being organised by Colliers Wood Residents' Association.
Wimbledon - sitting MP is Stephen Hammond
  • Thurs 9th April  10.30am-12.30pm at Holy Trinity Church. Find details HERE
  • Tues 21st April  7.30pm - we are awaiting details of this event.
Alison reported that it looks like a hustings on 15th April will not be possible, as the Labour candidate can not make it that day and the Conservative said that they were already attending two hustings. So this event may become a public meeting on the topic 'The UK: a Global Force for Good?' with the Liberal Democrat and Green candidates. Questions will be invited on all aspects of foreign policy and Britain's role in the world.

21. The Rise of 3G Families
Having three generations living together under the same roof can mean more sustainable living and can have advantages for young and old. However, this is not a suitable model for everyone. The right support mechanisms still have to be in place to support these 3G families and to provide services to people who don't have this family structure.

22. MVSC - skills matching
The MVSC can tell you about the different voluntary groups around Merton and what sorts of volunteering jobs are available. You can tell the MVSC what you are looking for by filling in the form HERE or else go to their offices for a chat.



Fri 13th Feb 7.30pm
Free public screening of the film "Trashed"
St Joseph's Hall, Park Rd, Colliers Wood

Merton Friends of the Earth are screening this excellent film starring Jeremy Irons, who sets out to discover the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This enjoyable and thought-provoking film will be followed by an opportunity for discussions about waste disposal and the proposed incinerator in South London. Download a poster HERE

Sat 14th Feb & Sat 14th March  2.30-4.30pm
Free Organic Gardening Class
Donald Hope Library,
Cavendish House, High Street, Colliers Wood   SW19 2HR
With master gardener Jenny Mortimer from Merton Adult Education. With funding from the Merton Partnership. To book call Keith on 07982 721 496 or e-mail

Sat 14th Feb  2.30-5.30pm
Restart Party
Mushkil Aasaan, 220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW (next to Nandos)

Do you have an electrical or electronic item that needs fixing and don’t want to have to throw it away? The Restart Project is a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer. Sounds interesting? Then come along.

Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own gadgets and data, so please don't forget to take any back-ups beforehand. If possible arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing! Find out more about Restart HERE

Tues 17th Feb  10.30am - 12.00pm
"Unearthing a Hidden Treasure: the Story of Merton Priory"
 West Barnes Library, Station Road, New Malden, KT3 6JF

John Hawks, Vice-Chair of the Merton Priory Trust, will give a talk on the 900 year history of the Priory and its estate lands and the plans to increase access to the remains and displays in the Chapter House. Admission free.

Sat 21st Feb 2-6pm
Stitching Blankets for Refugees
43 Wilton Grove

This is the first stitching session to turn the giant pink scarf into blankets for refugees. This 7 mile scarf was stretched between Aldermaston and Burghfield, sites of the UK’s two nuclear weapon manufacturing plants. A section of it was then wrapped round the MoD. Tea and cakes supplied. Find more details from

Sun 22nd Feb from 10am - 12midday
Woodland Maintenance - more help needed
Meet outside Colliers Wood Tube Station at 9.50am

Come along and help to prune, tidy and litter pick in and around our community woodlands behind Tesco Express in Wandle Park.  Please wear suitable clothing and footwear.  Equipment will be provided.  This event is organised by Making Colliers Wood Happy. So for more information, please contact or call Keith at 07982 721 496. More help would be appreciated.

Sun 22nd Feb 2pm-6pm
A Wild Afternoon in Tooting & FILM: Project Wild Thing
Streatham Cemetry SW17 0DX & Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW

Organised by Transition Town Tooting. A free and fun wild afternoon in Tooting. Starts with outdoor games at 2pm at Streatham Cemetery (at the gate from the north end of Broadwater Road).

Then tea and samosa plus the wonderful film  'Project Wild Thing' film at Mushkil Aasaan. The film is a passionate and witty exploration about how to enable young people (and the adults who may not be sure how to help make this happen) to get outdoors - and swap screen time for wild time. Have a look at the Project Wild Thing website HERE to get the flavour. Come for the whole or part of the afternoon. Book for free HERE. Or just drop in on the day. See the poster HERE

Sun 8th Jan
Farm Bog, Wimbledon Common - workday
meet at car park, near Springwell Cottage at 10am

Come and help with habitat management at this important site. For more information, please contact Andrew Harding 07500 101820 

Mon 9th March 1.30-3.30pm
HUSTINGS: Mitcham & Morden constituency
Vestry Hall, Mitcham

Come along and hear the candidates for the Mitcham and Morden parliamentary seat. Ask them questions and find out their policies on things that matter to you. Organised by the Centre for Independent Living, Age UK, Merton Seniors Forum and Mencap. For more information, see the poster HERE

Sat 21st March  10.30am-2pm
The Big Dig
Phipps Bridge Community Garden
and lots of other locations
The Big Dig Day is all about getting people involved in their local community gardens. Events will be happening across the UK and we are hosting our own Big Dig at the Phipps Bridge Community Garden. Everyone is welcome to come along to help plant potatoes and other crops, weed, prepare the ground etc. Enquiries:

Sun 22nd March
Myrna Close - workday

Meet at bridge in the middle of the Reserve which is between Myrna Close and Victoria Road at 10.00 (Morning only). Transport: Bus 470, 200, 152. Tube Colliers Wood. Task Leader Fiona Sydney

Thurs 9th April 10.30am -12.30pm
HUSTINGS: Wimbledon constituency
Holy Trinity Church, Wimbledon Broadway

Come along and hear the candidates for the Wimbledon parliamentary seat. Ask them questions and find out their policies on things that matter to you. Organised by the Centre for Independent Living, Age UK, Merton Seniors Forum and Mencap. For more information, see the poster HERE

Sat 11th April (& for next 5 Sats)  10.30am-12.30pm,
Food Growing Course

Carshalton Community Allotment (Access between 33-35 Colston Avenue) SM5 2PW
Find out everything you need to know to confidently grow your own fruit and veg. including
preparing your growing area, planning what to grow, taking care of your plants, harvesting and storing produce. This course is AQA level 1 certified, and certificates can be provided for an additional fee. Cost is £75. Will be repeated from Sat 19th Sept. Find out more HERE

Tues 14th April
HUSTINGS: Mitcham & Morden consituency

Organised by Colliers Wood Residents' Association. Look out for more details.

Tues 21st April 7.30pm
: Wimbledon constituency
We are awaiting more details on this one too.

Sat 30th May
Morden Hall Park

An exciting day of events that will engage people, especially children, in the natural world. Current plans include a bat walk, moth trapping (and display then release), small mammal trapping, a bird walk and lots of activities for children. Organised by Morden Hall Park Nature Club with Surrey Wildlife Trust.


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.

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 - the next march in the 'Campaign Against Climate Change' is on 7th March in London. Find more info HERE  You'll hear more about the ongoing local Bee Campaign and how you can help with general maintenance in Wandle Park. See above EVENTS The next meeting of Friends of the Earth is on Wednesday 18th February. 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 Keith, Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. Also workshops on cookery and healthy living. For more information, contact or call Keith at 07982 721 496

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

second Saturdays 10am - 2pm
The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library   SW19 7ND

The local market in the centre of Wimbledon. A range of food and crafts from local businesses and artisans. Now free entry. To find out more or to book a food or craft stall, please contact

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