Green Coffee – aims and organisation
This started off with the suggestion that the major topics to be discussed at a Green Coffee could be highlighted beforehand. (This could be done in the reminder email.) However, people were generally keen for the format to be kept flexible, so that people felt able to introduce any relevant topic. The round table format gives everyone a platform.
It was suggested that some national campaigns could be included in discussions as they are so important. Also, what is happening nationally and internationally affects what happens locally. However, as everyone has their own range of interests, it was generally felt that we should stick as much as possible to local, green projects and issues. After all, this is the only place where these can be discussed and the Green Coffee network can potentially have more impact on what happens in our local area. People who want to get involved with national concerns will already be doing so and there are other places to have those discussions.
People like getting the record of discussions and the information is useful. It was felt important to limit the number of emails from Green Coffee to around 2-3 every month. So details of events should be sent to Joyce for adding to the Green Coffee email and will not usually be sent out separately. Although the venue today was quite noisy to begin with, every public venue has this problem and it was felt we should keep meeting in a public space as this makes Green Coffee more accessible.
Before Christmas, there was a first meeting of people interested in setting up a fruit picking/sharing group in Mitcham. Around 10 people have shown an interest, including Green Coffee's Jane SW. If you'd like to get involved in this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wimbledon Brewery Plans
There are plans to start a brewery (presumably micro) in Wimbledon. One idea is for people to grow hops in their gardens and then collect those for making a truly local beer. Brixton Beer set up a scheme for doing this and a similar model could be used here. For more information, see Brixton Beer
. Get in touch with email@example.com
if you want to be involved.
Solar panels - Wandsworth
Janet applied for retrospective approval of her solar panels in September 2013, but has still not had a reponse.
Knitting for Wool against Weapons
Throughout the Green Coffee meeting, Joanna and Christine were knitting and Margaret was crocheting to contribute to a huge pink scarf which will be stretched between the sites where nuclear weapons are made - Aldermaston and Burghfield. Afterwards the scarf will be cut up, made into blankets and sent to people in need. Find more information HERE
A fruiting hedge at Stanford School
The plan is to plant a fruiting hedge at Stanford Primary School on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of Feb from 10am to 2pm. The gate to the field where the hedge will be planted is at the junction of Chilmark Road and Hassocks Rd. If you’d like to help or find out more, please contact Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org
or ring 07773 406 105.
In December, Jane SW organised a tree planting session. The whole school got involved and the opportunity was taken to explore the history of the area. One large walnut tree was planted, supplied by Barcham’s Nurseries of Ely and funded by the Tree Council, to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. Jane P applied for a grant from the Big Tree Plant for a woodland belt of native species which was put along the field boundary by the pupils and Tree Wardens.
Tree Warden Group Merton
This is a borough-wide volunteer group. This winter has been less busy than anticipated. Plans to remove the conifers at the A3 edge of Wimbledon Common and replace them with a strip of native trees have been delayed. Elsewhere, work has continued with the help of local groups, including the Morden Mosque.
The council’s tree surgeons deposit wood chippings for volunteers to spread around newly planted trees. So now the contractors don’t have to transport the chippings to a licensed tip and avoid paying recycling charges. Fresh chippings provide a great mulch for the trees, retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, but would not be suitable mulch for garden plants.
Wimbledon Food Bank
Mary and Christine provided information on the increasing use of Wimbledon foodbank. This is despite more foodbanks opening in the area - there are now four foodbanks in Wandsworth. Food is collected outside of supermarkets and at many of the churches. Anyone can deposit food at Holy Trinity Church - just ask at the office. (Bang on the door if it is closed, but the office, next to the door, is clearly open).
Read on to find the details of how much food was collected and distributed at the Wimbledon foodbank:
2.5 tonnes at Tesco on Nov 29th
1.8 tonnes at Waitrose in Raynes Park and Wimbledon
0.27 tonnes from Merton and Morden Sainsbury’s community fund
Over 12 months to March 2013: 1881 people (including 861 children)
Over 6 months to Sept 2013: 1383 people (including 539 children)
With the help of local groups, Wimbledon Foodbank provided 500 hampers of food to feed 2500 people over the Christmas period.
Some Green Coffee members signed the petition started by Jack Munroe, who has first hand experience of food poverty and published ultra-affordable recipes for free. The petition led to a parliamentary motion which was defeated. Find Jack Monroe recipes HERE
A similar book is ‘Cooking in a Bedsitter’ by Katharine Whitehorn.
The Chelsea Fringe
You can register now for 2014 Chelsea Fringe - see HERE
. This will be from 17th
May to 8th
June. It’s hoped that there will be some entries from Merton this year. If you have an idea for a garden installation for next summer, Curt is happy to talk this through with you – email email@example.com
The Greening Business Programme
This is Merton Chamber of Commerce’s project to help businesses to become greener. They also help voluntary organisations e.g. the Morden Mosque was given water saving devices and other free help. Find out more HERE
Herbert Rd & Dig Merton
Over the next month or two, the plan is to plant some fruit trees in Herbert Rd in memory of Belinda. Jil is clearing this with the council and the aim is to get local residents involved in planting and caring for the trees. It is hoped that this will be the first Dig Merton project – Sustainable Merton is helping the council start this off to encourage people to use local green spaces for growing edibles.
Funds for Green Initiatives
MVSC (Merton Voluntary Services Council) will fund a range of things including “implementing ‘green’ initiatives”. To find out more and apply for funding, see HERE
You’ll have to be quick as THE DEADLINE IS MONDAY 20TH JAN.
In Leamington Spa, there is a Sue Ryder shop in the recycling centre. The shop gets first pick of items brought for recycling and sells them. The Weir Rd site had a shop and a sale day, but there is nothing like this at Garth Rd. It may be that a shop is possible on a smaller site, but not in a large site like Garth Rd, where pedestrians are not allowed access due to health and safety concerns. (Perhaps this could be tested by lodging a complaint with the Health & Safety Executive’s Myth Buster panel – see HERE
Agnes is interested in all things green - in particular in helping people to choose more environmentally friendly products (nail varnishes, foods, home products) through her Real Energy initiative. If you'd like to find out more, please contact Agnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial for Barbara Bampton
Barbara was a very active member of the community. She campaigned on many things over many years. One of her successes was getting a pedestrian crossing over Kingston Road at its junction with the Wimbledon Chase pedestrian/cycle path. There are plans to plant 3 trees in Bushey Rd in her memory.
...and finally, some other local news
- if you want to register a project for Climate Week (3rd-9th March 2014), you can do so HERE
. This will raise your profile, making your project part of a national event, you can enter the Climate Week Challenge or win an award.
The Windmill Market
is taking bookings for 2014. So if you want to book space for a food or craft stall, email email@example.com
(The February market is now fully booked.)
to Sunday 26 January 2014
Christmas Tree Collections
Merton Council will be collecting real trees for composting during the above dates. They ask that you please remove all decorations and place your tree at the front of your property from 6am, where it is clearly visible from the road (but not on the pavement). If your tree has not been collected by the 27th January, please call 020 8272 4902.
Thurs 23rd Jan 1.30-2.30pm
Winter Warmth & Wellbeing
277 London Rd, Mitcham CR4 3NT
One of a series of talks at Age UK Merton. Includes comparing energy suppliers and practical steps to save energy. Free
information & goody bag, plus book your home assessment visit. Afternoon tea & cake £1.50 Find more information HERE
Thurs 23rd Jan 7.30pm
Does Britain need to renew Trident?
The Mansel Road Centre, Trinity UR Church, Mansel Road SW19 4AA
Join Wimbledon CND for a lively debate between Stephen Hammond MP and Dr Rebecca Johnson,
an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Come prepared with questions for both sides of the argument!
All are welcome.
Thurs 30th Jan doors open 7pm, speaker at 8pm
Sustainable Merton - AGM and solar special!
The Guardian Centre, 67 Clarendon Rd SW19 2DX
Everyone is welcome to come along. The evening starts at 7.30pm with a review of SM's year. Then from 8pm, SM is delighted to welcome Agamemnon Otero from Brixton Energy. He will speak about how the group has had remarkable success erecting several arrays of PV panels with funding from the local community. The talk is anticipated to last about 20 minutes followed by time for questions. The event closes at 10pm.
Amidst all the negative news, it's so encouraging to hear from an organisation leading the way to a low carbon economy!
Fri 31st Jan from 9.30am
Fruit Tree Planting
Rock Terrace, near Frensham Court, Phipps Bridge Mitcham
The National Trust has donated 8 fruit trees to Sustainable Merton and these will be planted on a grassy area in the Phipps Bridge Estate. These are substantial trees and lots of help is needed. Spades and forks will be supplied - just come in your gardening gear (including gloves). If you think you'll come, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to give an idea of numbers. The event is unlikely to be cancelled in the event of rain.
Sat 8th & Sun 9th Feb 10am to 2pm
Plant a Fruiting Hedge
Stanford Primary School, Chilmark Rd SW16 5HB
Thurs 18th March, usually from 7.15 - 9pm
We would be very pleased if you can come and help us plant a fruiting hedge. Come at any time - you do not have to stay for the whole session! The entrance gate to the field where the hedge will be planted is at the junction of Chilmark Road and Hassocks Rd, SW16. (This is near Streatham Vale but in the Borough of Merton). If you’d like to find out more, please contact Jane at email@example.com
or ring 07773 406 105.
Wimbledon Community Forum
Drake House (a Wimbledon Guild venue), 44 St. George's Road SW19 4ED
Have your say on local issues. Your opportunity to get answers from council officials and councillors. Find the venue HERE
The first market of 2014 will be on Sat Feb 8th. All stalls are taken in the Feb market, but to find out more or to book a food or craft stall in future months, please contact