Green Coffee           April  2015
Hello <<First Name>>

We had an excellent Green Coffee meeting at the YMCA last week and are planning to hold May Green Coffee there on 5th May. The one after is on June 2nd, venue to be confirmed.

At April Green Coffee, we heard from Craig about the incinerator and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - find out more about these issues below. There was more on the general election hustings and about plans for Wimbledon town centre. And it's that time of year again - so lots on the gardening and planting front.

Why not come and help with the planting of the new Memorial Woodland in Wandle Park from Thurs 16th to Sun 19th. Also on Sun 19th, there is a draught proofing workshop in Colliers Wood.

Finally, a big thank you to June for bringing two lovely cakes to Green Coffee - chocolate & beetroot and chocolate & sweet potato cake. Both delicious. And to Juliet too for bringing bay tree cuttings. All were greatly appreciated!


Download the latest from: 
Sustainable Merton  HERE
Making Colliers Wood Happy HERE
EcoLocal (Sutton) HERE

Job vacancy - head grower/tutor
At the Community Food Learning Centre in New Addington, Croydon. More info HERE

news at April Green Coffee

The Built Environment
1. New Walk to School target
2. Future Wimbledon
3. Cycle Path - Raynes Park to New Malden?

Recycling & Waste
4. TTIP & the Incinerator Campaign
5. In Kind Direct
6. Clean Up Pledge
7. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

Gardening & Food 
8. Tools mended/free tools
9. Is your garden in need of a makeover?
10. Taxing sugary drinks in Merton
11. Help plant the Memorial Woodland
12. The Big Dig - Colliers Wood
13. Buying Seeds
14. Family Action Day at Fieldgate Lane
15. Plant around your street trees

Energy News
16. Archimedes Screws in Teddington Lock

Films, meetings and events
17. General Election Hustings
18. "In Time for Tomorrow"
19. "Food" - National Geographic & Chiller Chains
20. Climate Coalition asks Parliament
21. Green Drinks - new time & place
22. Put your event in Summer Guide

Other things local
23. Environment Sub Group - March meeting
24. The Challenge Network - volunteers & apprentices



What's On?

15.4 7.30 - 9pm
Hustings: UNA
Mansel Rd Centre

16.4 to 19.4 10am-4pm
Memorial Woodland
Wandle Park

Restyling Bus

Wimbledon Piazza

18.4 10am-3pm
Gardening Day
Deen City Farm

19.4  2-4pm
Draught Proofing
St Joseph's SW19 2HS

21.4 7.30-9pm
Mansel Rd

28.4  12.30-2.30pm
Road to Dignity
Wilberforce House

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

April Green Coffee - news


The Built Environment

1. New Walk to School target
According to Living Streets, government is setting a target of 55% of school children to walk to school - and it may set a target for older people too. Find out more HERE

2. Future Wimbledon
Leigh of Wimbledon East Hillside Residents' Association is working with Mike Morris of Sustainable Merton on developing a masterplan for Wimbledon town centre - see HERE. They may also enlist the help of reknowned landscape architect Martha Schwartz.

This work is being done so that when major development is planned, the community is ready with some worked through ideas. Work is progressing on the following:
  • a tall building strategy - currently the YMCA is the tallest building. Each new development tries to go a little higher and this should be stopped. See some ideas about tall buildings HERE
  • a movement strategy - rather than blocking off streets, there should be a strategy for people, cyclists and traffic (including mass transportation and delivery vehicles) through the town centre. By planting trees down The Broadway, this would lower carbon emissions and make it a more attractive boulevard. Careful planning is needed to select low maintenance trees (London Planes need to be pollarded regularly) in the right positions. Find some ideas for a movement plan HERE
These ideas are just the starting point and are meant to stimulate conversation. So if you'd like to contribute your comments/suggestions about what you'd like to see happen, please contact Leigh at

3. Cycle Path - Raynes Park to New Malden?
Adam told us of proposals for this new cycle path. Part of it will be paid for with the money won by Kingston in the Mayor's Mini Holland competition. The proposed route could start behind Waitrose in Raynes Park, through Raynes Park sports ground, across the A3 and some Thames Water land. The plans are being put together by Sustrans, which is already doing the Kingston work.


Recycling & Waste

4. TTIP & the Incinerator Campaign

The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)
This is an agreement being negotiated between the EU and the USA to reduce barriers to free trade, but the details of this agreement are not made public. The fear is that big business has had too much influence and public services could be sued, if government policy (to e.g. protect the environment) reduces commercial profit.

Under similar agreements with Uruguay and Australia, tobacco companies are suing governments for introducing restrictions on tobacco advertising. TTIP disputes would be settled in the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This is a private court, meaning that details of court cases can be kept secret and the legal system used is not the legal system of the country involved. So countries will no longer be able to enforce their own laws on safety and environment. Find out more about the TTIP HERE

The Stop the Incinerator Campaign
In 2013, Sutton Council gave approval to Viridor to build an incinerator at Beddington and this area will become part of the Wandle Park. Instead of sending waste to landfill, Merton council along with Sutton, Croydon and Kingston will send their waste to this incinerator to generate electricity and (possibly) heat.

Craig Nicol of the Stop the Incinerator campaign discussed his concerns with Green Coffee members and the following points were made:

a) Particulates - filters will not remove all particulates, especially the smallest nano-particles which can pass throught the skin. These particles will contain heavy metal and when filters break, unfiltered emissions will be released. (Contracts such as the Beddington Lane ERF, typically allow 4 hour violations of recommended safe pollution levels, for up to 60 hours per year.) The chimney was raised from 85m to 95m to disperse the pollution more widely.

b) Health impacts - studies have linked higher rates of infant mortality and malformation with incinerators in Coventry HERE and Japan HERE. A government report on the safety of incinerators has not been published although it should have come out in March 2014. This report has been criticised for not taking into account the type of incinerator, weather and the topography - see HERE.

c) Smell - in France and Japan, a big problem is the awful smell around incinerators. People have to keep their windows closed even in summer.

d) Efficiency - incineration with energy recovery generates electricity and heat. Such a plant is only environmentally efficient if the heat energy is captured and used. (In practice, very few sites have delivered on the heat provision part).  The plan is to pipe the heat to the Felnex housing estate 1 mile away, but there is a closer source of heat to Felnex which should have been considered first.

e) Recycling rates - incineration produces highly toxic by-products, so recycling is a better option for disposing of plastic - see p39 table 26 of the WRAP report HERE. When incineration is introduced, the level of recycling declines, as shown in fig. 1 HERE. There is concern that TTIP could be used to prevent policies to reduce the amount of waste sent to the incinerator and lower commercial profits.

f) Waning support - Norfolk has recently cancelled plans to develop an incinerator at Kings Lynn, using technology similar to the Beddington incinerator. The EU will shortly be producing updated guidelines on Best Available Technologies and it's likely that the technology proposed for Beddington will be considered inadequate.

g) Other options - we should focus on achieving Zero Waste, as in San Francisco. Meanwhile, if an incinerator is to be built, then it should be half the size.

The problems associated with incinerators were vividly highlighted in the film 'Trashed' - you can borrow this film for a personal viewing from Juliet at The last chance to stop the incinerator is on 28th April, when people are encouraged to support an appeal hearing, by gathering outside the Royal Courts of Justice - find out more HERE. If the incinerator goes ahead, then the Stop the Incinerator campaign will focus on the negative impacts e.g. air quality. The first step would be to measure air quality before construction begins.

5. In Kind Direct
This charity redirects surplus non-food products to local charities. The range includes toiletries, cleaning products, clothes, work and office equipment, toys and sports gear. So if you are with a charity, social enterprise or not-for-profit organisation, go to the website, register and look at the range of items you could get for free to make your money go further. See HERE.

6. Clean Up Pledge
Do you want to help keep your street clean? The council is asking for people and businesses to take the 'Love your Street Pledge'. Do it HERE Keith has some litter pickers, so if you want to borrow them, contact him at

7. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
Don't forget to collect 2 litre clear round plastic bottles for Safia who is constructing a greenhouse in St Helier. Alice has been collecting bottles - a total of 1500 are needed.


Gardening & Food

8. Tools mended/free tools
You can take broken garden tools to Capital Gardens nurseries. The branch at Morden Hall Park has closed, so the nearest is now Neal's Nurseries, Heathfield Rd (off Magdalen Rd) in Wandsworth SW18 3HR. From there, the tools are taken to Wandsworth Prison where they are mended. These tools are then made available to community groups and schools through the Tool Shed on the Conservation Foundation website - see HERE.

9. Is your garden in need of a makeover?
The BBC is looking for a suitable garden or outside space for a visit from The Instant Gardener. See the WimbledonSW19 website HERE

10. Taxing sugary drinks in Merton
Have a look at Sustain's calculator to see what impact a 20p tax on sugary drinks would have on diabetes, heart disease and healthcare costs in Merton. Find it HERE

11. Help plant the Memorial Woodland
At last, we have dates for planting the woodland in Wandle Park. Planting is over four days from Thurs 16th April to Sun 19th from 10am to 4pm. Find out more under EVENTS below.

These trees will be planted and poppies sown in memory of 240 young men from Colliers Wood who died in the First World War. There will be a mix of wild cherry, silver birch, rowan, hawthorn, dogwood and hazel to provide year-round colour, improve biodiversity and help air quality. There will be refreshments and maybe even entertainment. This significant local event will be filmed, the trees recorded and local press invited.

12. The Big Dig - Colliers Wood
Colliers Wood Community Garden took part in the Big Dig. This event helped to inspire people to plant seeds and to recall gardening experiences from years past.

13. Buying Seeds
The Ethical Consumer magazine has lots of useful information, including how 79% of seeds we buy have been treated with neonicotinoids which are so harmful to our bees. So please try to avoid those and use open pollinated seeds i.e. pollination by birds, bees and the wind. After all, seeds collected in your own garden are free!

14. Family Action Day at Fieldgate Lane
Once a dumping grown, this green strip of land has been transformed into an orchard and garden by local people. Thursday 9th will be the third workday organised by Sustainable Merton. The land is situated near the old gasworks, opposite Asda.

15. Plant around your street trees
When you put compost around street trees and put in flowers, people are less likely to drop rubbish. However the area around some trees is sprayed with weed killer even when it is just grass, making it impossible to grow flowers. This could get worse when green spaces maintenance is outsourced.

Energy News

16. Archimedes Screws in Teddington Lock
Plans have now been submitted by Teddington and Ham Hydro for three Archimedes Screws in Teddington Lock. When the screw was designed by Archimedes, it used wind or manpower to lift water into irrigation ditches. By reversing this technology, water-power turns the screws to create renewable energy. The scheme will produce 1.6GWh of electricity, enough to power up to 600 homes, saving 1000 tonnes of carbon emissions. A fish pass and an eel pass are included in the plans. This will be a community-owned project and you can find out about investing in it HERE


Events & books

17. General Election Hustings
Take this opportunity to ask questions of your local candidates - not only on local issues, but on international issues, as MPs take these decisions too.

Mitcham & Morden - sitting MP is Siobhan McDonagh. (The first hustings was on 9th March.)
  • Tues 14th April - 7.30pm at St Joseph's Church in Colliers Wood.  Being organised by Colliers Wood Residents' Association. Find more details HERE
Wimbledon - sitting MP is Stephen Hammond
  • Wed 15th April   7.30-9pm at the Mansel Rd Centre. Organised by Alison for the UNA, discussing "The UK - a Global Force for Good?" Find details of the meeting below under EVENTS. Download the poster HERE
  • Tues 21st April  7.30-9pm at Trinity United Reformed Church, Mansel Rd SW19 4AA (next to Wimbledon High School). 
18. "In Time for Tomorrow"
A new edition of the Carbon Conversations manual from the Cambridge Carbon Footprint. It lays out a programme for teaching people to come to terms with climate change. Find out about it HERE Or else contact Leigh at, as she has a copy.

19. "Food" - National Geographic & Chiller Chains
The National Geographic is featuring food - see HERE for lots of interesting articles. Food is transported around the world in refrigerated  containers - but these are not insulated at all, wasting a lot of energy, so we should be raising awareness about this.

20. Climate Coalition asks Parliament
Join the Climate Coalition on 17th June to ask the new Parliament to make climate change a priority! With the next key climate change conference happening in Paris this November, it is essential that governments do a lot more to reduce our carbon emissions.

21. Green Drinks - new time & place
Green Drinks will now be on the second Tuesday of each month at the Charles Holden pub. The timing was changed to avoid a clash with the Friends of the Earth meetings. Find out more details below under REGULARS.

22. Put your Event in Wimbledon Summer Guide
LoveWimbledon puts together a Summer Guide of events in Wimbledon and this will be published in the first week of June. So if you have a community event happening this summer, then get in touch with Tracy at or Danielle at The deadline is 1st May. Find out more HERE


Other things local

23. Environment Sub Group - March meeting
The third meeting of the Environment Sub Group was held last week. This forum encourages businesses, public services and community groups to work together on projects benefitting the environment in Merton. Part of the meeting focussed on food - and there are plans to link up local charities providing food for the vulnerable with free food from FareShare or FoodCycle. Another outcome was that information on air quality and respiratory disease in Merton could be used to plan where to plant trees in the borough.

24. The Challenge Network - volunteers & apprentices
If you would like help with a project this summer, then don't forget that the Challenge Network has teams of enthusiastic young volunteers who can assist.

Also, The Challenge Network has 4000 18 year olds who are looking for apprenticeships with local organisations. So help a young person into employment and gain a valuable new member of staff! Contact Clare at for more information.



Wed 15th April  7.30 - 9pm
HUSTINGS: The UK: a Global Force for Good?

The Mansel Centre, Mansel Road, Wimbledon SW19 4AA
Is this country a Global Force for Good?  What are we doing about Climate Change? Fair Trade?  Reducing Poverty and Empowering the Marginalised? Protecting the vulnerable and supporting  good governance?  Abolishing nuclear weapons and promoting common security?  How well are we justifying our position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council? The Merton Branch of the UN Association and WDC/CND welcome your questions on these and related issues. 
Download the poster HERE

Thurs 16th to Sun 19th April  10am - 4pm
Planting the Memorial Woodland
Wandle Park - behind the Istanbul Restaurant

Organised by "Making Colliers Wood Happy". Come and help local residents, schoolchildren and local groups plant hundreds of trees in memory of 240 young men from Colliers Wood who died in the World War I.  Help plant the trees, spread the mulch and scatter poppy seeds. You can be part of this part of this historic local event by helping with planting, refreshments, filming or record keeping. Please contact Keith at tel. 07982 721 496 or e-mail 

Sat 18th April
Restyling Bus
Wimbledon Piazza

Bring along your small electrical goods for repair. Organised by the Vine Project with help from Merton Mega Recycle and Sustainable Merton.

Sat 18th April  10am-3pm
Community Gardening Day
Deen City Farm
, Windsor Ave
Enjoy a day out and help get in the plants at the community garden. All ages are invited along to help. Tools and tea provided. For more info, tel. 020 8543 5300

Sun 19th April  2pm-4pm

Free Draught-Proofing Training
St Joseph's Church, 30 Park Rd, Colliers Wood  SW19 2HS 

Draughts & heat-leaky homes cost you money!  Free DIY workshop - take home a free draught-proofing kit and advice sheets.  Numbers limited, so be sure to email to reserve your place to   Refreshments provided.
See the poster HERE

Tues 21st April 7.30-9pm
HUSTINGS: Wimbledon constituency
Trinity United Reformed Church, Mansel Rd, Wimbledon
This is a chance for local residents to hear from the candidates standing for the Wimbledon constituency ahead of the general election in May.
The Conservative, Labour & Lib Dem candidates for our constituency are attending, and the Green Party & UKIP have also been invited. The event is open to all.

Tues 28th April 12.30 - 2.30pm
UNA Merton: The Road to Dignity
Flat 11, Wilberforce House, 119 Worple Rd  SW20 8ET

This United Nations Association meeting will promote tolerance and reconciliation. RSVP is essential by contacting Alison at or tel. 020 8944 0574.

Sat 30th May
Morden Hall Park

An exciting day of events that will engage people, especially children, in the natural world. Current plans include a bat walk, moth trapping (display then release), small mammal trapping, a bird walk and lots of activities for children. Organised by Morden Hall Park Nature Club with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Sat 6th June
Fête of the Earth
St Mark’s Church Hall

Donations are needed. 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 

Sat 13th June  8am - 12noon
Car Boot Sale
St Mary's Field

Sell your unwanted household goods, clothes, plants etc. Or come and find a bargain! All money will go towards the UNA and the Refugee Agency. For more info, contact Alison at or tel. 020 8944 0574. Or see the flyer HERE

Sat 13th June  10am - 12.30pm
Wimbledon Community Conference

If you are with a community group who see themselves as ‘the heart and soul of the Town Centre’ and want to take part in planning our future Town Centre, then get in touch with Leigh at  We hope to have about 20 groups take part (£10 per table, to cover costs).  The event will be open to the public and is non-partisan.

Wed 17th June
Climate Coalition asks Parliament
Outside of Parliament

Join the Climate Coalition to ask the new parliament to make climate change a priority, in advance of the important Paris climate meeting in November.
More details to follow.


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.

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

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. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email 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 Keith, Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. Also workshops on cookery and healthy living. For more information, contact or call Keith at 07982 721 496

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 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

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

The local market in the centre of Wimbledon. A range of food and crafts from local businesses and artisans. Now free entry. To find out more or to book a food or craft stall, please contact

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
Friends of the Canons - Workday
The Canons Recreation Ground (meet at the pond)
at 10am
Come along and help maintain this beautiful area. Including clearing trees and beds of invasive species and surveying important parts of the site. Tools and refreshments provided. Please wear stout shoes and bring gardening gloves. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, contact John Davis: 020 8640 4578 / 07739 513948.

fourth Sundays
Fish Pond Wood & Beverley Meads - Workday
meet in Beverley Meads car park, Barham Rd at 9.30am

Maintenance work. Organised by the London Wildlife Trust Merton Group. For more info, contact Steve Parish 07949 400298 or email or Glyn Williams 0777 5773400