Green Coffee       March  2016
Hello <<First Name>>
Thanks to everyone for coming to March Green Coffee, with an especial welcome to Aine, who was there for the first time. Also a big thank you to Sue for chairing this meeting!

Major town centre developments - the YMCA & Crossrail - continue to occupy Green Coffee members. We also heard about tree planting in Wimbledon Park and how Open Garden Squares Weekend is searching for suitable gardens - as well as Sustainable Merton's plans to measure air quality around Merton.

Please note there is a new venue for April Green Coffee!
The next meet up is on Tuesday 5th April at 9.30 to around 11am. This will be at the Wibbas Down Inn, the J.D. Weatherspoon pub which has entrances from 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. (For info about the venue, phone 0208 5406788.) The meeting after that will be on Tues 3rd May - venue to be confirmed.

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.
Jobs bulletin
May Project is seeking a Community Gardener and Cook. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone with experience of working with local communities.  Find out more HERE

Let Love Wimbledon know what you think about their work. Complete the Annual Survey HERE

Download the latest from:  
Sustainable Merton  HERE
Transition Town Tooting HERE
Merton Tree Wardens HERE


news at March Green Coffee

Built Environment, Transport & Air Quality
1. YMCA Redevelopment
2. Measuring air quality
3. Crossrail 2 - update
4. More on concreting over front gardens

Recycling & Waste
5. Collecting plastic bottle tops for charity
6. Recycing coffee packaging – no collection points in Merton!
7. Cloth Nappies & Menstrual Products
8. Piano Sheet Music anyone?

Gardening & Green Spaces
9. Morden Hall Park Nature Group - fish facts & walks
10. Recreating Capability Brown's Landscape
11. Schools getting into gardening
12. Open Garden Squares Weekend

13. Butterfly Survey – would you like to take part?
Other Things Local
16. Meeting Places to Hire
17. Green Coffee Ambassador
18. Getting involved – a great way to network
What's On?

17.3 from 7pm 
Talk - fish in the park
Morden Hall Park

18.3 to 24.3  

Food Growing Course

from 10am
Myrna Close, Colliers Wood

20.3 10am-1pm
Canons & 3 Kings Piece

2.4 11am-2pm
Moreton Green SM4 6HU

3.4 11am-1pm
Ravensbury Park

from 16.4 for 6 wks
Food Growing Course

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

March Green Coffee - news

Built Environment, Transport & Air Quality

1. YMCA Redevelopment
Rebecca Stockman, YMCA Centre Manager, came to talk to Green Coffee about the proposed redevelopment of the present site. It started with a discussion about the type of accommodation required in the area. The YMCA is thinking of upgrading from having 10 rooms in a corridor with shared facilities to having self contained units including toilet facilities and cooking facilities. Green Coffee members were concerned that this would drastically reduce the amount of accommodation on offer at a time when all accommodation was vital.

Rebecca asked what communal facilities the centre should offer in terms of the gym, children's soft play area and cafe - and explored what people would like to see changed. It was suggested that there is a need for more meeting rooms which can be used by community groups in the area. Rebecca said the centre already had meeting rooms. Carole suggested that if the YMCA is looking for sustainability ideas, it should look at the website for Sydney Harbour YHA - where most strikingly, everything was built around sustainability from recycling bins in the bedrooms to refusing to sell bottled water. See HERE

Rebecca requested the Green Coffee building sustainability check - find it HERE. If anyone has any further suggestions about the new YMCA, please contact and 020 85446671 or mobile 07767 354575

2. Measuring air quality
Sustainable Merton has indicated a desire to purchase an air quality monitor but no-one knew if they had actually done so. Both the local council and TFL have a statutory requirement to monitor air quality and should have monitors, so it was suggested that people should write to the relevant department at the council and TFL raising their concerns about air quality. If you do so, then please send a copy to Green Coffee to prompt others to join in the campaign and send their own requests.

POST MEETING NOTE: Sustainable Merton has now bought an air quality monitor for measuring airborne particulates (of size 2.5 to 10 micrometres). It will be working with the London Sustainability Exchange, Cycle Training UK and Merton & Richmond Councils to monitor air quality at new sites. Ten of those sites will be in Merton, where Sustainable Merton will be using its new meter to measure particulates, along with diffusion tubes to measure nitrogen dioxide levels. Sustainable Merton plans to
provide air quality readings for local groups wanting to understand air quality problems in their localities and is looking at how best to do this. Find more details HERE

3. Crossrail 2 - update
It seems that the implications for Wimbledon are far bigger than originally thought. There are plans to create a Metropolitan Centre with a luxury office city, amongst other suggestions. The local MP Stephen Hammond has invited heads of the local residents’ associations to join in a discussion group. This is the first time that home owners have been invited to air their views on this project. Leigh will be attending these meetings and the findings will be reported back at the end of March.

Anyone living near the tunnel portal will suffer up to 3 years of noise and disruption on a 24 hour basis during the construction phase. The tunnelling machines are never closed down and bore continuously with the resultant associated services, including the transporting of soil and rubble waste from the boring activity. Normally, planning conditions only allow building activity from 8am to 6pm, but these will not apply and there will be no cessation of work once boring begins.

4. More on concreting over front gardens
Following the discussion at Feb Green Coffee, Christine kindly sent in further information from the London Wildlife Trust. Three times as many front gardens are now paved over compared to 10 years ago in the UK, leaving one in three gardens without a single plant growing. Read the blog about the danger this poses to London's wildlife HERE


Recycling & Waste

5. Collecting plastic bottle tops for charity
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the bottle top collection at Holy Trinity Church has come to an end. Alison W is now collecting bottle tops on behalf of Sacred Heart Church in Edge Hill, Wimbledon. Following a question about how these will be recycled, Alison will find out and report back to Green Coffee.
6. Recycing coffee packaging – no collection points in Merton!

Unfortunately, Terracycle has decided not to add any more collection points at present, so the YMCA and Gooseberry Bush offers to collect coffee packaging have both been rejected. There is a collection point in New Malden (at the Fire Station, 180 Burlington Road KT3 4RW), so you could take your coffee packaging there if you are going that way. Find out more HERE

7. Cloth Nappies & Menstrual Products
Heather reminded us that environmentally-friendly nappies and menstrual products are available - find more information on the Luxury Moon website HERE or email

8. Piano Sheet Music anyone?
Joanna has a large collection of sheet music which is destined eventually for the Royal College of Music. The music is currently at her home and anyone interested in borrowing sheet music is welcome to use it until needed for the college. This may be useful for music teachers or people learning to play the piano. If interested, contact

Gardening & Green Spaces

9. Morden Hall Park Nature Group - fish facts & walks
The next meeting (March 17th) will feature a talk by Theo Pike, chairman of the Wandle Trust and is open to the anyone interested. He will be talking about the natural history of the various fish found in the waters of Morden Hall Park. MHPNG is also planning themed walks in the park, with topics such as trees, butterflies and bugs. Find details of the meetings and walks HERE. Public walks are also planned at Watermeads - there are details on the gate at Watermeads and hopefully they'll be put up on the MHPNG website HERE too.

10. Recreating Capability Brown's Landscape
Carol thanked Jane Plant for all the work she does with tree planting. Wimbledon Park is on the site of a Capability Brown landscape and the trees are being planted to regenerate an area of woodland originally planted up by him. It is the 300th anniversary of his birth and there are a lot of initiatives around the country celebrating his birthday.

11. Schools getting into gardening
Rutlish School has recently cleared a piece of land originally acquired from the John Innes Park some time ago. The land had been turned into a formal garden but had been left to go wild. They are now planning to regenerate the area. Poplar Primary School is very involved in gardening, has a variety of garden areas including an allotment and will be drawing on their experience to help Rutlish School.

12. Open Garden Squares Weekend
During Open Garden Squares Weekend (OGSW) you can visit any number of gardens not normally open to the public. Sue is coordinating things in SW London and will investigate suggested gardens for suitability. Currently there are no Wimbledon gardens in the scheme. So please keep an eye open for gardens that are not normally open to the public. Elsewhere, gardens in schools, convents, care homes, libraries, private blocks of flats and clubs are taking part. Please do get in touch with Sue with any suggestions at The tickets are on sale now for OGSW 2016 on June 18th and 19th. See HERE.  They would make good gifts for Mother’s Day and other celebrations. 
POST MEETING NOTE: Southside House has agreed to open its garden for Open Garden Square Weekend. Well done Sue!

13. Butterfly Survey – would you like to take part?
The London Natural History Society is conducting the London Butterfly Survey, which aims to survey the distribution of butterfly species throughout Greater London.  This will inform improvements for butterflies and of habitats for other species within the capital. Find the briefing sheet that provides information on how to participate HERE


14. TALK: Climate Change
Dr David Cotton author of “Climate Change: What You Need to Know” spoke at the Sustainable Merton AGM. He is now coming to the Wimbledon Congregational Church and everyone is invited to hear him speak.

The CND march in London recently has reinvigorated the debate on nuclear disarmament and brought the issue to the attention of the national newspapers. There is a conference planned in Geneva which will be attended by 130 non-nuclear states. Nuclear states, including Britain have boycotted the conference but it's good that the issue is now being debated once more.


Other things local

16. Meeting Places to Hire
There was a request for the MVSC list of local places that can be hired for meetings to be sent out again – find it HERE 

17. Green Coffee Ambassador
Christina who attended Green Coffee for the first time in February has been fired with enthusiasm for the aims of our group. She is spreading the word to her friends in Spain and has become much more involved and aware of recycling and sustainability.

18. Getting involved – a great way to network
Joanna joined the tree planting in Wimbledon Park and had been able to find a person to lead a bird walk for a local group. Getting involved in a local activity is a great way to network and meet like-minded people.


Thurs 17th March  from 7pm
TALK: Theo Pike talks about fish in Morden Hall Park
Snuff Mill Education Centre, Morden Hall Park

This talk is by Theo Pike, chairman of the Wandle Trust and is open to the anyone interested. He will be talking about the natural history of the various fish found in the waters of Morden Hall Park. Organised by Morden Hall Park Nature Group. Find out more HERE or email Or phone Martin on 07980 095152 

18th March to 24th June
Learn about growing food!
in 3 locations (Balham, Tooting, Wandsworth)

Learn about growing your own food in our Transition Town Tooting local series of FREE gardening classes. These start on the weekend of Fri March 18th-19th-20th and run through to the end of June. Everyone's welcome, and no previous gardening experience is necessary. Lots of useful information on our website HERE
Or phone Martin on 07980 095152 

Sun 20th March & Sun 5th June  meet at 10am
WORKDAY: Myrna Close
Colliers Wood
Help is needed to maintain this valued local green area. 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

Sun 20th March 10am - 1pm

WORKDAY: tree maintenance
The Canons & Three Kings Piece, Mitcham

Help is needed with spring cleaning the Walled Garden at The Canons – deadheading and pruning shrubs.
Also, the fruit hedge at Three Kings Piece – pruning fruit trees, litter picking & weed removal. Tools and refreshments provided. This workday is organised by Merton Tree Wardens. Meet at rear of Canons house. Find more about this workday and all the latest news on trees and training to be a tree warden HERE

Sat 2nd April  11am - 2pm 
WORKDAY: tree maintenance
Moreton Green, Middleton Rd SM4 6HU
Note the later time for this. Help is needed with litter picking & weed removal from new tree planting. Meet at play area opposite Middleton Rd. This workday is organised by Merton Tree Wardens. Tools and refreshments provided. Find more about this workday and all the latest news on trees and training to be a tree warden HERE

Sun 3rd April   10am - 1pm
WORKDAY: tree maintenance
Ravensbury Park
Help is needed with with various tasks. Meet at bridge over River Wandle in centre of Ravensbury Park. This workday is organised by Friends of Ravensbury Park & Merton Tree Wardens. Tools and refreshments provided. Find more about this workday and all the latest news on trees and training to be a tree warden HERE

Tues 5th April  5.30 - 7pm

DISCUSSION: meeting the climate change targets of Paris
Garwood Lecture Theatre, South Wing, University College London WC1E 6BT
British Pugwash discussion meeting entitled ‘Climate change: can the world meet the targets agreed in Paris?’, with two speakers – Dr Christopher Watson and Dr Ian Crossland. The speakers will describe what technology options are available and their economic and social implications for attaining the goals for greenhouse gas reduction set at the Paris conference. Find out more HERE

Sun 10th April, 8th May & 19th June  meet at 10am - morning only
Bennett’s Hole, off Willow Lane, Mitcham
Come and help with general maintenance. Transport: Bus 127, Rail/Tram Mitcham Junction. For more info, please contact Task Leader Alan Gray tel. 07903 157118.

Sat 16th April
The Big Dig

The Big Dig Day is all about getting people involved in their local community gardens. Events will be happening across the UK and by joining the Big Dig, your event will get wide publicity. To register your project and find out more, see HERE

starting Sat 16th April for 6 weeks  10.30am - 12.30pm
Food Growing Course
Carshalton Community Allotment (access between 33-35 Colston Avenue) SM5 2PW

Over the six weeks you will get hands on experience as well as theoretical knowledge and the support of an experienced tutor. This course is AQA level 1. Cost is £75. Find our more and book HERE
7th May 10.30am – 12.20pm

John Innes Society Annual Spring Plant Sale
5a Sheridan Road, Merton Park
Help is needed – so can you donate plants, help with setting up, selling and clearing up? Contact Ann Redfearn ( or 020 8286 9983). On the day, come along and buy plants, cakes, refreshments and meet your neighbours.

21st May 2-5pm

Fête of the Earth
St Marks Church, Wimbledon (behind the library)
Annual plant sale and recycling objects for the CND.  It is not too soon to start sowing seeds, splitting plants and sorting books and bric-à-brac for this great event. This is the big annual fund-raiser and social event for WDC-CND. If you'd like to help in some way, please get in touch with Joanna at


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.

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. No meeting in August. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email  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

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 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

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

Pyl Brook Reserve - workday

meet at the entrance on the path from Rutland Drive
Contact Dave Morgan tel. 0208 648 4112 for details.