All Topics at March Green Coffee
1. Haydon’s Rd Orchard
Six fruit trees have been planted on the strip of grass near the entrance to the station by local man Patrick, who lives nearby. Neighbours will be leafleted to tell them about the trees and to ask for their help in caring for them. Unfortunately, two trees have already been vandalized
2. Bees for Centre Court?
Centre Court is looking at putting a beehive on the roof. Leading Wimbledon Bee-Keepers, Alison and Debs, advised on how to get advice and training. They cautioned that bee-keeping requires a considerable input of time and commitment, although having a well-looked after hive is a rewarding and worthwhile venture.
3. Horticulture in the National Curriculum
Horticulture and learning how to cook look set to become part of the National Curriculum in schools, being included as a key activity in Design and Technology classes for children ages 5-14 (Key Stages 1-3). The draft National Curriculum says children should “understand food and nutrition and, where possible, have opportunities to learn to cook”. The final version of the National Curriculum is due to be published in August 2013. Find out more from Garden Organic HERE
4. The Green Deal
Under the Green Deal scheme, representatives will measure your energy bill, assess your house to see what energy-saving measures you can take. They will then put together a plan for installing these measures and for paying for them. Once energy-saving measures are installed in your house, you should be using less energy and have lower bills (although there can never be guarantees). The savings on your bill can then be used to pay for all the work done. Everything done should pay for itself in 20 years or less.
However, there are some outstanding issues. There is a concern that contractors doing the work might persuade people to buy extras and this sort of behavior has to be discouraged. Also, the interest rate on the loan will be 7% pa, above currently available rates.
You can get the assessment done for free by contacting Sustainable Merton now. (Free assessments are only available up to the end of March.) Otherwise, the charge for an assessment is likely to be £100 – 150. If you have an assessment done, you are not obliged to take it any further. However, if you do go ahead with the plan, you won't have to pay for the assessment. The government has made £125m for providing cashbacks to the first households to sign up to Green Deal plans, so early adopters could get over £1000 cashback – see HERE
If you would like to help Sustainable Merton launch the Green Deal, please get in touch with Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or else call the Sustainable Merton on 020 3417 0476 – and leave a message if the office is closed.
5. Big London Energy Switch
Merton is one of 17 London boroughs signing up for the Big London Energy Switch. If lots of people sign up, it should be possible to get a very good deal from energy companies. Signing up does not commit you to anything – it’s just means you are interested in finding out what deals are available.
Sustainable Merton is encouraging people to look for a better deal. So contact Mike to sign up for the Big London Energy Switch by emailing email@example.com
or phoning 077884 32489. OR you can register direct on www.biglondonenergyswitch.org.uk
(and please do let Mike know if you have done this, as he is collecting the data).
A number of other points were made around choosing an energy supplier.
6. Environmental Education
Some energy brokers are offering a different sort of deal, whereby they will switch a business to the best energy deal available at the time.
The Big London Energy Switch looks at the cheapest deal, rather than the greenest deal. If people don’t want to switch away from green electricity suppliers, it was suggested that they just switch their gas, as there are no green gas suppliers.
There could be a rebound effect. If energy is cheaper, people might use more. SM is going to look at whether this happens.
Energy supplier Ecotricity not only provides green electricity, but also treats customers very well. Also, you can be confident that as it gets more customers, additional green energy is generated. (Ecotricity has just announced that it is building a new, unopposed windfarm.) If you switch to a green energy contract with one of the large energy companies, this can result in less green energy being supplied to its mainstream (non-green) customers - so no overall increase in the amount of green energy generated.
Abby is on maternity leave from a being Schools Project Manager at Global Action Plan, the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity, helping businesses, schools and communities to reduce their impact on energy, waste, water and travel. Abby has worked on a water project at Bishopsford School and is happy to help with educational work in the area. Abby is also helping Alison with 5-13 year olds at the Wimbledon Common Nature Club.
7. Mitcham Carnival & Anti-nuclear Marches
The Mitcham Carnival is on Sat 15th
June, at Three Kings Piece in Mitcham. Joanna hopes to get together a group of decorated bicycles to take part in the parade, similar to the group at the Winter Wonderland Parade. On the second anniversary of Fukushima, the Japanese community and friends are holding a large protest march. Also coaches will be going to the Aldermaston anti-nuclear weapon protest on easter weekend. For further information on any of those, please contact Joanna on firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Myrna Close
Meg is attending a meeting today (5th
March) with council officers and councillors, to see if something can be done about the mess at Myrna Close. The fly-tipping and general rubbish in the area has been a problem for several years. There is now a major problem with blue green algae, but the council won’t do anything about it, as this is not council land. Also, installing litter bins has meant rubbish being piled up near the bins.
The problems at Myrna Close came up at Sept 2012 Green Coffee and afterwards Joanna and Meg made some enquiries. It appears that the London Wildlife Trust is not responsible for this site, as was thought. It is public land and the council has a limited programme for looking after it. It was suggested that the The Challenge Network or the Youth Reparations team could help with tidying up the area – however the reparations team is no longer doing such work, as in the post-riot period young people were being challenged by the general public.
Charles joined Meg to meet the council representatives. Cllrs Nick Draper and Laxmi Attawar attended. One outcome is that the council's Public Realm Manager is organising the clear up of the existing flytipped material at Myrna Close.
9. From Living Green Centre to Greening Business
Caroline was the co-ordinator for the work being done at the National Trust’s Living Green Centre in Morden Hall Park. She is now in charge of Merton Chamber of Commerce’s Greening Business Programme. Under this, 12 hours of free support are offered to businesses, as well as charities, churches and other organisations. Typically an organization would have 5 or more employees, however support is also available to smaller groups including micro-businesses. The programme spans six boroughs, including Merton, Wandsworth and Richmond. Find out more HERE
or else email email@example.com
10. Dig Merton
This is the name for the council’s community Food Growing initiative. The council and Merton Priory Homes have identified land around Merton that could be used for growing food and flowers. The council has made available some maps, showing where potential growing spaces are and some of the maps can be downloaded below:
all parks + open spaces
Colliers Wood parks
Lower Morden parks
Merton Park + Morden parks
Merton Priory Homes - Carters
Merton Priory Homes - Cherry Tree + Phipps Bridge
Merton Priory Homes - Hatfield Mead
Merton Priory Homes - High Path
Merton Priory Homes - Watermead
11. Tamworth Farm Allotments
This is a new project for Sustainable Merton. Nearly 4 acres of land are being cleared of brambles and rubbish to create 65 new allotments. This project is receiving over £77,000 of funding from the Big Lottery’s Food Fund. For more information, see HERE
. There is going to be a big litter pick at the site on Sunday 17th March (as long as it’s not raining). Find details of how to get there under EVENTS below. For any queries, contact Ruth on firstname.lastname@example.org
12. Fairtrade Fortnight, Earth Hour & Night Shelter
It is Fairtrade Fortnight
from Mon 25 February to Sun 10 Mar. At Holy Trinity Church, the Fairtrade message is being given in the services and there is a stall after services offering Fairtrade products for sale.
This year, Earth Hour
is on Sat 23rd
March at 8.30pm. People around the world are asked to switch off lights for 1 hour, as a sign of concern for our planet and the environmental challenges it faces.
The YMCA's Night Shelter
closed on March 7th after an extended period of action over the winter months. Many local churches, the synagogue and a mosque have helped to provide a warm bed for the homeless.
13. The Polka Theatre
The theatre is always looking for ways to become more sustainable. In October, there will be a project to highlight climate change and the challenges it poses. There will be a production and activities for children. The Polka Theatre now has a community garden for its staff and already has 3 fruit trees planted there.
14. The Challenge Network
This is a national charity to provide opportunities for 15-17 year olds as part of government’s National Citizens Service. It aims to bring together young people from all backgrounds through practical action, beginning with an intense 3 week period to build confidence and skills. The first week will be spent in Wales on outdoor activities. Then volunteers design a fund-raising activity and a campaign on a local issue they care about. The aim is for volunteers to improve their CVs and become more tied to their communities.
The Challenge Network in Merton is partnered with Sustainable Merton, and has done fund-raising and projects such as helping at Tamworth Farm Allotments and lots of other projects around Merton. If you have a project you would like volunteers to help with, then get in touch with Jen who is the new Challenge Network manager in Merton. Her email is email@example.com
This could be to organise a Project Action Day – normally involving 12 young people and up to £150 of funding (it will include an induction hour). Or a Big Challenge – involving 60 young people, and up to £400 of funding. Examples of projects are clearing an allotment of brambles, painting a fence, campaigning for free bus travel.
15. Borrowing Gardening Tools
Merton Tree Wardens have gardening tools, which can be lent out. Spades, forks, trowels, secateurs, loppers, saws, barrows etc.can be collected from Jane Plant, Kingston Rd. Contact Jane at email firstname.lastname@example.org
or mobile 07773 406 105.
16. Growing Sweet Potatoes in Wimbledon?
Sweet potatoes can be grown here. The best thing to do is just to plant a whole sweet potato, preferably one grown in the UK so that it is a variety that can cope with our weather. Alternatively, there are sweet potatoes in the Garden Organic catalogue.
17. Cycling in Merton
The Cycling Weekend
at West Barnes Library went well. This was organised by Merton Cycling Campaign and Friends of West Barnes Library. It would be good to roll this out across Merton libraries, but more volunteers are needed to help with this.
is meeting once a month, on the first Monday. It has asked the council to adopt 20mph as a default speed across Merton, but this has not been accepted. The current administration opted to evaluate the existing 20mph zones, to find out what this has cost and what the impact has been. Individuals have written to the Wimbledon Guardian and this stimulated discussion. Letters are more often published when they respond to a previous letter or to a recent event. Another way of trying to get change is to ask the council’s scrutiny committee to look at this – suggestions are currently being accepted, see HERE
. People can also write to their local councillors. However, councillors usually just vote along party lines, so may not be very responsive to public pressure. For enquiries about the London Cycling Campaign, 20’s Plenty for Merton and Living Streets, please contact Charles at email@example.com
18. The Chelsea Fringe
Curt has received a number of suggestions about where to put his gardening-linked display and will keep Green Coffee updated. If you would like to become part of the Chelsea Fringe, then it’s not too late. Just get in touch with the organisers HERE
. Or else contact Curt for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can see a list of things to see across London HERE
. This year, projects are being submitted from outside of London and even from abroad.
19. Candle Wax – what to do with it
Holy Trinity Church is renewing its candles and wants to dispose of some leftover candle wax. It was suggested that Freegle could be used to find someone who wants candle wax. Or else the church could return the remaining candle wax to the supplier.
Sat 6th April 10am-5pm
Free training for campaigning on climate change
St Paul's Community Centre, 23 Inner Park Road, Wimbledon Park SW19 3SX
This is a one-day event in Wimbledon Park, where you can build your skills and knowledge on how to use the media, build networks and influence people. Find out the latest on how climate change is impacting food, the economy and energy. This event is hosted by Stop Climate Chaos and Practical Action. Find out more and register your attendance HERE
Sat 20th April
Upcycling Wimbledon & Festival of Ideas
St Mark's Church Hall SW19 7ND
11am - 12 noon UPCYCLING FAIR
Come along and find out about Upcycling - saving money and doing something better with food, fabric, clothes before discarding. Lots of ideas - refashioning clothes, recipe ideas for that food at the back of the fridge (also free pancakes!), grow food for free and lots more. If you would like to help or have an idea for a stall, contact email@example.com
2 - 3.30pm FESTIVAL OF (GREEN COFFEE) IDEAS
A brainstorming workshop to look at what can be done - to improve Wimbledon; to make walking and cycling a better choice; saving energy; helping people to grow, make and sell food in Wimbledon ... or any other topic. There will be time at the start for you to tell everyone what you (or your group) are doing to make Wimbledon better and greener. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a poster HERE or ask Juliet or Joyce for a paper copy. We'd be grateful if you could publicise this event to your networks. Find the venue HERE.
Mon 29th April 2-4pm
Make Your Own Shopping Bag
in the Chapter Room at St Mark’s Church (behind Wimbledon library)
Come along and join this friendly group. Learn some basic sewing techniques or help others to do so. Bring your own fabric or select from the range provided. Find the venue HERE.
Sow and Grow Local
Salt & Pepper Café, 177 Replingham Rd SW18 5LY
Join Tim for a fun evening talking about how to plan growing fruit, salads and vegetables in your garden or on your windowsill. Seed swop and lots of tips. Get in touch with your food chain ! Cost is £6 per session. Refreshments are available. Find out more by contacting Tim tel. 07836781498 or email@example.com
Download more information HERE
Second Sunday 10am - 12 noon
Make a Difference
This group meets up at a different Colliers Wood location each month. The group plants, trims trees, tidies up plastic bags, does weeding - whatever is needed. For information on where to meet up, see HERE
Second Saturday 10am - 2pm
The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library SW19 7ND
This is a new market in the centre of Wimbledon, with local food & drink and craft stalls. The next market is on April 13th. If you would like to take a stall or want more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Wed, from 8pm
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 Mar. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here
. Find the venue here
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 email@example.com
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 or just want more information, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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
** Morden Hall Market has closed for the time being**
Discussions are ongoing about how to re-launch it. Find out about the relaunch on the National Trust website - HERE