Green Coffee
86 The Broadway, London, SW19 1RQ and is right opposite Wimbledon Theatre. 

Thanks to everyone who was at September Green Coffee – and an especial welcome to Ray who came along for the first time.
We heard about untended allotments, unused land in Colliers Wood, the launch of 'Food for Thought' (a series of debates about difficult issues) and opportunities for voluntary groups to build relationships with local businesses, as well as lots of other things. Below is a summary of topics discussed. Before I send this out to the wider Green Coffee network, please send in any corrections - or if you have anything to add. 
Many thanks to everyone who brought a tin of food for the Wimbledon Foodbank - and especially to Christine, for collecting the donations and taking them to the Foodbank drop-off. 

We have to find a new home for Green Coffee and are trying out different venues. The next Green Coffee on Tues 2nd October will be at Reds Bar & Grill. 
We'll be sitting in the room at the back of the restaurant. 
The Green Coffee after is on November 6th at a venue to be agreed (probably at the YMCA). 
Please put the dates  in your diary.

And don't forget to come along to Abundance Fruit Day on Sat 15th Sept from 11am-2pm at St Mark's Church garden! It's a celebration of all the free fruit around Wimbledon.

Some great websites

We Hate to Waste
– lots of great tips on how to reduce waste
– articles cover everything in gardening from dealing with weeds to how to grow vegetables in pots. Set up by local gardener, Phil Geraghty, and input from people all over the country.

Main Topics

more details below

What's On?

15.9 11am-2pm
Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's Church SW19 7ND

14.9 to 16.9

Friends of the Earth Conference
Imperial College

19.9 7-9pm
W'worth Env Forum
Battersea Arts Centre

23.9 11am - 4pm
Apple Day
Morden Hall Park

17.10 from 7.30pm
Launch of 20's Plenty
Raynes Park Library

Main Topics at September Green Coffee

Spare Land in Myrna Close - Would anyone like to plant fruit trees there?

Nature Reserve behind Myrna Close – There used to be lots of wildlife there, but it is now all gone and the pond is full of rubbish. English Nature used to look after it, but is no longer doing so. Colliers Wood Residents’ Association has organized clean ups, but this area needs more ongoing care as it just degenerates again. It was suggested that the London Wildlife Trust might help – Joanna will investigate this.

Love Wimbledon – since being set up earlier this year, progress has been made on providing free recycling to businesses, but it’s not in place yet. There is now a free App, which lets people see on their smart phones what is going in the area. (And Mark will see if Abundance Fruit Day can be added as an event). The Information Desk in Centre Court gives out information on local businesses, as well as groups which support the local community. Go Green is continuing – and Mark will provide the new contact for this.

Tamworth Farm – this is Sustainable Merton’s new project. The land is leased from the council for 5 years only - it is then going to be used as a cemetery. It will be used to teach gardening to children.  Sustainable Merton is holding an event in November to talk about the latest climate change data.

The Foodbank – Christine collected cans of food for the Foodbank at Green Coffee. At present, tinned tomatoes, biscuits and cup-a-soups are needed.

Recycling aluminium cans – Juliet asks if anyone knows a charity that accepts those and earns money from recycling them. The alternative is to just put the cans in the recycling bin. The sorting process separates out aluminium cans and the council sells them.

Untended allotments – many of the plots at the Durnsford Allotments are unused and are now covered in weeds. This allotment site has not taken over running its own affairs and is still run by the council. 

Friends of the Earth Conference – this is in London, for the first time in many years. (Details of the event are given below in ‘What’s On’.) Speakers include Caroline Lucas (the Green Party MP), Vivienne Westwood, Satish Kumar, Polly Higgins (author of Eradicating Ecocide), Neal Lawson (Compass), Pam Warhurst of Incredible Edibles and others.

Green Spaces – are at risk with looser planning regulations.

Food for Thought – a series of discussions, looking at difficult issues. Jointly organised by the CND, Holy Trinity Church and the local United Nations, where they will be held. The themes are:
21st September  ‘ Can War be ‘Just’ in the 21st Century? See the poster HERE.
26th Oct  ‘Equality and Inequality’ (speakers include Bruce Kent and Sam Murgatroyd) and
15th Nov  ‘The Militarisation of Society’

We Hate to Waste – a US website giving lots of great tips on sustainability. See HERE. Rachel may become the local link for this.

Paving Over Front Gardens – in Woodside, 3 houses in a row have paved over gardens. Although there is a council policy to stop this, it does not appear to be applied. There are better options - paving can be made permeable or only laid down where vehicle tracks are. Gravel allows good  permeability and is also excellent at deterring burglars.

One idea is to encourage residents’ associations to hold a front gardens competition to raise awareness of the contribution green front gardens make to the neighbourhood. Mark will see if the Chamber of Commerce would be interested in supporting this.

Upgrading a home in Woodside – Leigh has employed Parity Projects to manage the work and aims to reduce energy use in this home by 80%. Once the work is underway, it might be possible to allow visits to see the work in progress.

Parking Consultation – the council is currently consulting on parking and comments put forward through this consultation will influence future parking policy. So it’s really important that people take this opportunity to put forward their views. Find the consultation document and more information HERE. Comments need to be in by 18th Sept. This consultation is mainly about cost and availability of parking, but there is a space near the end of the document to put in your own comments. 

Parking at Bertram Cottages – parking was not allowed outside of these Victorian cottages, until quite recently. Now there can be 9-10 cars parked for free in this area, and the traffic wardens ignore this.  Can anyone suggest what can be done about this?

New venue for Green Coffee – September Green Coffee was held at Elys on the top floor. Background noise meant this was not an ideal venue. At the end of the meeting, Gillian, Rachel, Juliet and Joyce visited Bill’s, Reds and the YMCA. It was decided to hold the Oct meeting in the room at the back of Reds and probably the Nov meeting in the YMCA. If this is felt to be too far away from the town centre, then we should try Bill’s.

Business-voluntary sector links - Merton Chamber of Commerce – Ray Kinsella is the new business engagement manager and has responsibility for strengthening links between the voluntary sector and businesses (at least until Sept 2013).  Given that funding from the public sector is likely to dwindle, voluntary groups should be aware that there could well be funding available from businesses. Businesses are approached all the time by voluntary groups – so it’s best to understand what businesses are looking for. Large businesses have well formed views on what relationships they want with the voluntary sector. Small businesses are often uncertain about what sort of relationship they want and may not find the time to think about it. The first step for a business is to form a relationship with a voluntary group. Businesses might donate staff time and resources – and once committed to a voluntary group or project, they may then provide long term funding, rather than just give money upfront.  In return, a voluntary group should keep the business informed. Often the impetus to develop voluntary sector relationships comes from the staff, rather from the top. (WSM, the accountants in Hartfield Rd, are an example of this). There are just 200 NEETS in Merton.

Getting rid of unwanted property – a 5 foot futon. Try Freegle and the Vine Project.

Vertical Garden for “The Tower”? – a meeting in Colliers Wood this evening will decide whether to apply for funding from Boris for a vertical garden up “The Tower” – voted the ugliest building in London.
What’s on

Sat 15th Sept   11am-2pm 
Abundance Fruit Day
St Mark's Church garden, behind Wimbledon Library  SW19 7ND

Lots of jams, chutneys, fruit cake, lovely fresh juice from the fruit press, make a fruit pie and information about looking after your fruit tree. Featuring the International Ukelele Orchestra. For more details see the website - Find the venue HERE.
Fri – Sun 14-16 September
Friends of the Earth’s Conference
At Imperial College

Speakers include Caroline Lucas and Polly Higgins, (author of Eradicating Ecocide). Learn more about current campaigns – the Bee Cause and Clean British Energy – and sign the petitions HERE. For more information, see HERE
Wed 19th Sept 7-9pm
Wandsworth Environmental Forum - cycling in your neighbourhood
Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill SW11 5TN

Ask the panel questions about cycling. Panel includes representatives from Wandsworth Council, The Times newspaper and Wheels for Wellbeing. If you would like to attend this public meeting, please RSVP via

Sun 23rd Sept 11am-4pm
Apple Day
Morden Hall Park

Discover more about the great British apple with apple displays, apple tasting and apple printing. More Information: Susie Williamson, 020 8545 6850,

Wed 17th Oct from 7.30pm
Launch of Merton's 20's Plenty Campaign
Raynes Park Library

Come along to the launch of the campaign to make Merton's roads safer and better for all road users. Speakers will be Transport Minister Norman Baker, the leader of the national 20’s Plenty campaign, Rod King, as well as local input. For more information, please contact

 new mid-week time 
Rag Rug Making

Come along and 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 Joyce. 

now on the third Wed
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE

Everyones is welcome at the new 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 18th Sept. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.

Fourth Saturdays, 11am-1pm (usually - but check the date)
Community Market
Dundonald Congregational Church

Bring along home-made cakes, pies and jams as well as local produce and bric-a-brac to sell at the friendly community market on Dundonald Road . Stalls are only £5. Next one is on 
Sat 22nd Sept. Contact to book a stall. Find the venue HERE
Community Gardens - Christ Church & Fireplace

There are regular work days throughout the summer - to find out when the workdays are, get in touch with or see HERE.

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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