Green Coffee
You are invited to the next Green Coffee on Tues 5th February 9.30-11am at the YMCA, 200 The Broadway. We'll be meeting in the cafe upstairs - and there is a lift, so it's fully accessible. All the tea and coffee is Fairtrade.

The Green Coffee after this is March 5th. Please put these dates in your diary.

We had an excellent turnout at the last Green Coffee - and a lot to talk about. Victoria started the session off by telling us about her new monthly Windmill Market in the centre of Wimbledon. This starts on Sat 9th Feb and is a local farmers' and craft market. We covered guerilla gardening, pop-up shops, where to recycle washing machine electrical components – and much more. And plans were made for Transition Town Wimbledon's Upcycling Wimbledon event in April, followed by a Green Coffee-inspired brainstorming session. More details on all of those below.

Some highlights

Green Deal
Would you like to help Sustainable Merton deliver the Green Deal in Merton? Volunteers are needed to help people lower their fuel bills and get a free home energy assessment. 

Upcycling Wimbledon
On April 20th, Transition Town Wimbledon is organising lots of stalls showcasing ideas for doing something better with unwanted food, fabric, furniture. Also, simple sewing and mending advice and tips for windowsill gardening. 

Green Coffee's Festival of Ideas 
On April 20th (following the Upcycling fair), you are invited to tell everyone (in 2 minutes max) what you are doing to make Wimbledon better and greener. Then join a workshop to brainstorm things like  .... how to make Wimbledon more attractive; walking & cycling; saving energy; how to support growing, making and selling food in Wimbledon. This event was an idea put forward by Belinda at December Green Coffee.

Other Topics

with more details below 


What's On?

4.2 from 6.30pm
20's Plenty - meeting
43 Wilton Rd

9.2  10am-2pm
Windmill Market
St Mark's Church Hall

10.2   10am- 12 noon
Make a Difference 
Colliers Wood

20.2  8pm onwards
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet

20.4  11am-2pm
Upcycling Wimbledon
St Mark's Church Hall

20.4   2-3.30pm
Festival of Ideas
St Mark's Church Hall


Main Topics at January Green Coffee

Together, Transition Town Wimbledon and Green Coffee Wimbledon are organising a double event on Sat 20th April at St Mark’s Church Hall in the centre of Wimbledon.
The day will start off at 11am, with stalls showcasing what can be done with things like unwanted fabric, food, clothes and furniture. Before sending them for recycling or composting, think about doing something better…. 
            mend a zip
            make that lovely old fabric into a bag or a rug
            cook up that fading food 
If you would like to help on a stall – or have an idea for a stall, then please contact Juliet at
2-3.30pm    FESTIVAL OF (Green Coffee) IDEAS
This arises from a short discussion at Dec Green Coffee, when it was suggested that Green Coffee organises a brainstorming session. So here is the proposed format for this.
 Green Coffee members and anyone else who is doing things to make this a better and greener community will be invited along. It will start off with groups/individuals telling everyone about their stories. (A suggested maximum of 2 minutes per group/person.)
Then people will go into workshop groups to explore ideas. Here are the suggested topics (to cover the main areas of local environmental activity.)

  • Making Wimbledon look better
  • Saving energy, saving money
  • Supporting local food
  • Crafts - sharing skills
  • Walking & cycling round Wimbledon
Let me know of any topics you’d like to see included, but are not covered by the above. On entry, people could be asked which topics they are interested in and we can make the selection of workshops based on this.  Then we can gather ideas together and people interested in pursuing an idea can link up so that they can continue to discuss and develop ideas afterwards.
Please let me know your thoughts about this event. I’m sure there are lots of great ideas out there!
The Windmill Market
Victoria has organised family-friendly events over the last few years, including the first Wimbledon Frost Fayre in November. The feedback from this was that there was a demand for a regular Farmers’ Market/ Craft Market. The result is the new Windmill Market, on the second Saturday of each month at St Mark’s Church hall from 10am-2pm.
The first Windmill Market will be on Saturday 9th Feb. Although all the stalls have been taken at this, there will be opportunities in future markets. It’s open to food producers and crafts people from Merton and the surrounding boroughs (including Surrey, where there are more likely to be farms). Victoria would particularly like to encourage jam-makers and food processors. She is meeting with Stephen Alambritis, the Council Leader, who is keen to support this excellent initiative.

The cost of a standard stall is £35, but there is also a limited number of half stalls available for those with a smaller amount of stock. Also, stall sharing is an option e.g. one stall is being shared by several Bread Angels
a group of ladies from the Merton and Wandsworth areas who attended a bakery school in North London and are setting up their own bread making businesses.

To take a stall at the Windmill Market, you should have public liability insurance and, if selling food the relevant health and safety certificates. Rosemary already has ‘Country Market’ certification for her range of jams and chutneys and would be happy to advise anyone thinking of getting certification. Contact Rosemary at  
If you would like to have a stall, get in touch with Victoria at
Queen Alexandra Court
Judith is the new manager at this supported housing just off Woodside, in the centre of Wimbledon. There are 76 flats and these are occupied by single women aged 60 and over, who have a connection with the armed forces. Many of the residents are active and happy to get involved in local activities.
Wandle LETS, Alternative Medicine and Guerrilla Gardening
Janet is involved in the Wandsworth & Merton Local Exchange Trading System – Wandle LETS. This allows people to exchange goods and services free of charge with someone in their community. For more information see Wandle LETS .   Janet practices alternative medicine including on a voluntary basis in some homes. She encourages anyone interested to do guerrilla gardening to brighten up their neighbourhood and Wandsworth Council is quite supportive of this.
More on Guerrilla Gardening
In Merton, some people are doing guerrilla gardening – planting and weeding around street trees e.g. in Leopold Rd, removing weeds from planters e.g. in Gladstone Rd and trimming the broken branches of street trees, as well as picking up stray plastic bags. Doing these things openly encourages others to do so.
Making Colliers Wood Happy has an initiative called “Make a Difference” to tidy up (weeding, trimming, planting, bag removing) and to beautify areas of Colliers Wood – a group meets in Colliers Wood at a different location on each 2nd Sunday of the month 
from 10am to 12 noon. There is information about this under “Regular Events” below. It was suggested that a similar group could be set up in Wimbledon. 
When public places are re-planted, flowers are often composted e.g. at South Park gardens.  If people had access to the discarded flowers, they could be re-planted e.g. around street trees, as many would survive. 
Plants from pubs also get discarded. As composting areas are often behind locked gates or people don’t know when replanting is happening, perhaps ways could be found so that these plants are not wasted?
Taking cuttings
Plants at garden centres now often have labels saying “It’s forbidden to take cuttings of this plant.” However, it’s not known how this can be enforced. With seeds too, it’s not permitted to sell them, but it’s ok to have a seed swap. 
Dig Merton – community food growing initiative
Merton Council has produced some maps of public spaces (leisure grounds, parks, green spaces near roads and around social housing) which could be used as community growing spaces. The council is looking at how they can support the project and how people can be encouraged to get involved. Green Coffee will be following this initiative and will let you know when more information is available. This project is being led by Cllr Andrew Judge, cabinet member for the environment. Sustainable Merton, Merton Priory Homes, the YMCA, Deen City Farm and various council officers are involved.
It was requested that some of the community growing spaces should have raised beds, so that people with restricted movement can participate.
Green Deal – update
SM has won grants from DECC to work with Merton Council on some ground-breaking initiatives. Trained volunteers will visit homes and help residents to find cheaper gas and electricity tariffs. During a visit, volunteers can see if people are interested in getting an energy assessment of their home under the Green Deal. 60 Merton residents will receive a free assessment from the Climate Energy group. (These normally cost £150.) Both the volunteer visits and the Green Deal Assessments must be completed by the end of March. 

So how does this affect you?
  1. You can volunteer for Sustainable Merton.  You can help Merton make the Green Deal a reality by volunteering for Sustainable Merton. Full training will be given and visits to homes can be daytime or evening.  If at the end of training you find it’s not for, that’s ok too. (The training itself will be a valuable experience.) This is a pioneering project, which will help show how the Green Deal can bring down energy usage and if successful could be rolled out in other parts of the country. So it's really important that this project gets as much support as possible. 
  2. Get advice on finding a cheaper energy tariff .  A Sustainable Merton volunteer can visit you at home, look at your current deal and give advice.
  3. Get a free home energy assessment. Once assessed, people will get expert advice (from Climate Energy) on how to make their home more energy-efficient and how to access funding to cover any up-front costs. 
  4. Ask a Sustainable Merton volunteer to explain 1 - 3 to your group. If you belong to a church, residents' association, book group, PTA, childminders’ group etc., then why not get someone from the Green Deal team to come to a meeting and explain all of this to your members. 
 If you are interested in any of the above (or just want to find out more), please contact Tom Walsh at or tel.  O7779879091.   
Love Wimbledon
This is the Business Improvement District for Wimbledon and will last 5 years. Every business in the town centre has signed up and is paying an extra 1% on top of their business rates to promote and improve the area - making it greener, cleaner and a more attractive destination. The BID covers the town centre from Mansel Rd to just beyond the Polka Theatre, including the side streets. Provision of a free business waste recycling service by a single provider helps make this an attractive project for most businesses.
LoveWimbledon is run in partnership with the Merton Chamber of Commerce. Besides galvanizing the business community, Love Wimbledon engages with local residents to encourage people to work and shop in Wimbledon, putting on events like a Halloween pumpkin hunt, the Winter Wonderland event and markets in The Piazza (Italian and French). A food festival is planned for March in The Piazza. (The intention is not to clash with the new Windmill Market.) Love Wimbledon can also help to quickly sort out problems in the town centre e.g. related to road works or a mess on the pavement.
Kingston BID started earlier and is larger, so gets involved in doing more things. It would be good if something could be done about chewing gum mess in Wimbledon, especially on the new station forecourt.
Pop-up Shops
Love Wimbledon is looking at having pop-up shops in the centre of Wimbledon. This would entail an agreement with the owner of empty premises to allow the use of the premises for a specified period of time. Small local traders or groups could use the premises for a block of time e.g. for a couple of weeks. Love Wimbledon will keep Green Coffee informed of what is decided on pop-up shops.
Helen is helping to develop Sustainable Merton’s volunteering strategy.  She also runs a volunteering broking business matching up people in businesses with volunteering opportunities. If you need volunteers, then get in touch with Helen at and she may be able to help.
The Challenge Network
Following Rachel Solomon’s visit to Green Coffee last year, she got in touch again to let you know that she is moving on and Jenny Leonard is taking over from her. So if you need volunteers in Merton, get in touch with 
The Challenge Network can provide teams of 15 and 16 year olds. Large teams (12 or 60 young people) will take on one off projects and small teams/individuals can provide help on an ongoing basis. Over the last year, their volunteers have helped clear ground at Sustainable Merton’s new allotment at Tamworth Farm and at the Sutton Community Farm.
There will be an event on Friday 18th where you can find out what else The Challenge Network has been doing in Merton and discuss future link-ups. Details of this are below under ‘What's On’.
The Winter Wonderland Parade
Charles thanked everyone who took part in the Winter Wonderland parade in November. He offered his rickshaw and trailer for use at other events – contact him on
20’s Plenty for Merton - Update
This campaign is to get a 20mph default speed limit on residential roads across Merton.
The London Co-ordinator, Jeremy Leach, will be attending a meeting on 4th Feb to tell people what is happening in boroughs across Wimbledon. There is more information about where and when under ‘What's On’ below.
John Innes Society – gardening in Merton Park
A small gardening group has been gardening in a small area in Merton Park for some years. Since the cutbacks to environmental services, this group is now acting as a partner to council services, helping to look after the general gardens.
Food Buying Groups – SUMA and Colliers Food
Joanna belongs to a organic food-buying group, which puts in an order to SUMA. Customers pay wholesale prices and the minimum order is £200. There is no difficulty in reaching this amount, when orders are put in every few months.
The origins of Colliers Food are in a food-buying group, buying from Infinity Foods. The plan is to develop this into a co-operative shop in Colliers Wood/Merton High Street. Belinda noted that there are 17 supermarket outlets within one mile of her home off Kingston Rd, which limits the choice of food available. Also, organic food is being deliberately edited out of supermarket shelves, meaning that customers wanting organic food have an even narrower choice. There is an 11 year difference in life expectancy for men in different parts of the borough, and 9 years for women. So providing good quality food to the less prosperous areas is really important.
Colliers Food is getting business support and advice from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub and help has been offered by the council leader. Colliers Food is awaiting information on suitable premises and access to grants. The group will look at taking a stall at Love Wimbledon’s Food Festival in March and The Windmill Market, to publicise the initiative. Meanwhile, Colliers Wood will carry out a survey to provide market research information.
Improving Putney High Street
This is a Putney Society initiative and will look at improving air quality, widening pavements, smoothing traffic flow, de-cluttering, addressing traffic volumes and the lorry delivery free-for-all, 20 mph and other pedestrian/cyclist friendly measures. At a meeting on 24th Jan, speakers will include Jeremy Leach (London co-ordinator of Living Streets) and Jon Irwin (Wandsworth Environmental Forum) as well as councillors. More information about this is given under ‘What's On’ below.
Recycling - washing machine electrical components
These can be taken to Garth Rd. Although Garth Rd does not allow people arriving by foot or bike onto the site, items can be handed to the person at the gate. An alternative is to take small electrical items to the large Sainsbury’s (Savacentre) in South Wimbledon. There are rows of large recycling bins outside, some of which take small electricals. Merton Council waste collectors will not take electrical items from the kerbside.
What’s on
Mon 4th Feb, from 6.30pm
20's Plenty for Merton campaign
43 Wilton Rd
Meet Jeremy Leach, the co-ordinator of the London-wide campaign who will be speaking this evening. This campaign is about making Merton's roads safer, cleaner and better for all sorts of users. So come along to find out more. All are welcome. For more information, please contact

Sat 20th April 11am-2pm & 2pm-3.30pm
Upcycling Wimbledon & Festival of Ideas
St Mark's Church Hall   SW19 7ND

11am - 12 noon Come along and find out about upcycling - doing something better with food, fabric, clothes before discarding. Lots of ideas - how to mend clothes, cook something with food reaching its use-by date, make a lovely shopping bag or rug with beautiful old fabric, and lots more. Stalls until 2pm. If you would like to help or have an idea for a stall, contact 

2-3.30pm A brainstorming workshop - to look at what can be done to improve Wimbledon; to make walking and cycling a better choice; saving energy; encouraging crafts ... or any other topic. There will be time at the start for groups/individuals to tell everyone what you are doing. For more information or to let us know you are coming along or if you have any other ideas, contact

 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

Second Sunday   10am - 12 noon
 **  Make a Difference  **    NEW EVENT  
This group meets up at a different Colliers Wood location each month. At the last meeting, everyone got together in the alleyway between Devonshire Road and Myrna Close to tidy and prune and plant lavender, cyclamen and spring bulbs. For information on where to meet up in subsequent months, see HERE.
Second Saturday  10am - 2pm
 ** The Windmill Market **  NEW EVENT 
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library   SW19 7ND
This is a new market organised by Mums on the Go. This market will showcase local arts, crafts, food and other artisan products. The first market is on Feb 9th. If you would like to take a stall or want more information, contact

Third Wed, from 8pm 
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE

Everyone is welcome at Green Drinks, now in a central Wimbledon location. If you are interested in green and other sustainability issues, then this is an opportunity to exchange ideas, find out what's happening and just have a chat with like-minded people. The next Green Drinks is on 20th Feb. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.
Community Gardens - Christ Church & Fireplace

There are regular work days throughout the growing season. The Christ Church garden is in West Wimbledon and the Fireplace Garden is just off Kingston Rd. To find out when the workdays are, get in touch with or see HERE.

Fridays 10am - 12noon & 2.30-4.30 pm; Saturdays 10am-12noon
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church hall, in Colliers Wood

Join Keith 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 the venue HERE
Every Saturday, 10am-3pm
Morden Hall Farmers’ Market
Morden Hall Park  SM4 5JD

Fresh fruit and veg, free range meat from Kent, tasty preserves & relishes, Somerset cheeses, cakes & bakes, artisan bread. Organised by City & Country Farmers’ Markets and the National Trust. Also Arts and Crafts stalls. For more information, see HERE.

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