Green Coffee                     Jan 2014
You are invited to Green Coffee on Tues 4th Feb at 9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT. So please come along if you can. The one after will be on for Tues 4th March, same place, same time.
At Jan Green Coffee, we had our annual discussion about how Green Coffee is organised and what its aims should be. Most people felt that Green Coffee should focus on local projects and issues - and emails should be kept to a minimum. There are plans for a fruiting hedge at Stanford School and help is needed for this, plus we heard updates on what else is happening around Merton. 

Since Jan Green Coffee, a petition has been launched to ask for more cycling routes around Wimbledon Common - find the petition HERE

The Sustainable Merton AGM is on Thurs 30th Jan at The Guardian Centre. AGM business is at 7.30pm -  then at 8pm there is a SOLAR SPECIAL!   The inspiring Agamemnon of Brixton Energy will be talking about Brixton Energy's success in initiating several solar energy projects funded by the community. Everyone is welcome.


What's On?

23.1  1.30-2.30pm
Winter Warmth
277 London Rd

23.1  7.30pm
Debate: Trident?

Mansel Rd Centre

30.1  from 7.30pm
SM AGM solar special
Guardian Centre

31.3  from 9.30am
Fruit Tree Planting
Phipps Bridge

8.2 & 9.2 10am-2pm
Fruiting Hedge
Stanford School

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

January Green Coffee      
What happened?

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.
Abundance Mitcham?
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
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 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 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/30th
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 
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)
Real Energy
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
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

Climate Week - 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 (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 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
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 or ring 07773 406 105.

Thurs 18th March, usually from 7.15 - 9pm
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


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. This is why Sustainable Merton has set up Merton Green Parents, a group that supports each other in their parenting and sustainable journeys. Also see the Facebook group . Not only is it a good place to swap sustainable parenting tips but it is also a great place to meet other like-minded parents.

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

Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE
Over the last year, Helen has organised Green Drinks and we've had some great meet ups in that time. Helen can no longer do this but it would be a shame if Green Drinks were not to carry on. So Sustainable Merton is looking for people to help with the organisation. Two people have already offered to help but 
they can't commit to being there every month, so 
one or two more people are needed. Green Drinks is a great opportunity for people to get together for a purely social meeting. If you'd like to help keep it going, then please contact

Second Fridays   from 9.30am onwards
John Innes Gardening Group

JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday. To find out where to meet up, please contact  Bring secateurs and a trowel. 

Chick & Pea
Merton Abbey Mills

Buy unpackaged whole foods and home supplies. Bring along glass jars and other containers to fill up with fair trade and organic oats, grains, pulses and dried fruit. Also eco household products for refillable containers. 
every Wed 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 to 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 tel. 07956 170141 

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

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 

Last Sundays   10.30am - 12.30pm
Free Bicycle Surgeries
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor ave Merton Abbey   SW19 2RR
No need to book, just pop into the garden for a free checkup for your bike. For more information, contact Louisa on or tel. 8543 5300.
new mid-week time 
Rag Rug Making
Learn how to use recycled materials to make beautiful bags and rugs. To find out when the next session is, call Thelma on 020 8540 2536 or email
Fridays 2.30-4.30 pm
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. For more information, 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