Green Coffee       May 2016
Hello <<First Name>>
Thanks to everyone for coming to May Green Coffee - and especially to Alison on her first Green Coffee meeting.

This month, we heard about a new group intending to tender for maintenance of Merton's parks & gardens, an update on Crossrail 2 and how furniture is now collected for recycling by Emmaus (and sadly The Vine Project has closed).

Next Green Coffee will be on Tuesday 7th June at 9.30 to 11am at the Wibbas Down Inn. This is the J.D. Weatherspoon pub with entrances from both 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. The meeting after that will be on Tues 5th July.

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.
Download the latest from:  
Sustainable Merton  HERE
Transition Town Tooting HERE
EcoLocal HERE
SWLEN (Richmond) HERE


news at May Green Coffee

1. Very Sad News

Built Environment & Transport

2. Living Streets
3. Crossrail 2


Recycling & Repair 

4. Bottle Tops
5. Plastic Plant Pots
6. Recycling Furniture
7. Repairing a Vacuum Cleaner
8. Used Stamps
9. Glasses
10. Clean Up and Recycle - Morden

Gardening & Green Space

11. New Group to tender for Parks & Gardens
12. Daffodils in Morden Park

Articles, Books, Campaigns & Events 

13. Articles & Books
14. March Backwards for Climate Change
15. TTIP - details published, benefits unlikely
16. Save the bees - again!
17. Lobbying local politicians
18. Friends of the Earth
19. Fete of the Earth
20. Chris Packham Autobiography

Other Things Local

21. Volunteers rewarded with ValueYou
22. All change at Merton Council
23. Comments on Green Coffee
24. New Member
What's On?

21.5 2-5pm
Fete of the Earth
St Mark's Church SW19

from 11am
Clean Up & Recycle

from 7pm
FILM: Racing Extinction
Kingston Env Centre

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

May Green Coffee - news


1. Very Sad News
We were very sad to hear that Green Coffee member Marianne Zeck had passed away. Marianne was active in many groups around Wimbledon, including Abundance, Transition Town Wimbledon and the Upcycling event. She also worked at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. She will be missed by many. See Wimbledon Guardian article HERE


Built Environment & Transport

2. Living Streets
Living Streets represents the interests of pedestrians and Tom K and Charles B run the local group. In the run up to the London Assembly elections, Living Streets invited candidates to Morden where regeneration is planned. Leonie Cooper (Labour), David Dean (Conservative), Sian Berry and Caroline Russell (Green) and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett (Liberal) came along.

Desmond Bazley campaigned for many years for improvements in Merton and organised a car free day some years ago. He also campaigned against the dual carriageway through Morden town centre and for the removal of barriers. It looks like the plans for regenerating Morden will mean these things are now going to happen. Desmond also campaigned for more crossings on London Rd and happily there is now some progress on this too.

3. Crossrail 2
A 5000 strong petition opposing current Crossrail 2 plans was taken to the London Assembly. The petition in Merton was organised by the Wimbledon Guardian and supported by Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre, Alan of Green Coffee, Cllr David Dean and Richard Tracey (former assembly members for Wandsworth & Merton). See the Wimbledon Guardian article  HERE.

Following Alan's article on tunnelling published in the Wimbledon Park RA newsletter, he was invited to the Wimbledon Society to give his insights into the issues around tunnelling. Alan is an environmental technologist with experience in railway projects. He considers that the current plans would mean huge disruption in Wimbledon town centre for seven years and it would take the town centre 20-25 years to recover from this.

There were around 20,000 responses to the pre-application consultation which TfL consolidated into a publication - HERE. It seems TfL is now considering alternatives to the initial plan for Wimbledon. These include:
  • the Balham route (as opposed to Tooting). It seems that the so-called 'Wimbledon Fault' should not be a barrier to tunnelling. It was mentioned that ground condition surveys have been done in Tooting, suggesting that the Tooting option is still being considered.
  • the District Line could be put underground, freeing up platforms for Crossrail 2.
  • the 'Swirl' option, which includes a fast line tunnel from New Malden, under Wimbledon, to Earlsfield - see HERE
  • some want Crossrail to go to Canary Wharf, but it seems unlikely this idea will be taken up.
It is hoped that the official consultation will include some of these options, but probably not the original plan which was widely petitioned against. MP Stephen Hammond has been vocally supporting less damaging options for Wimbledon town centre. It was pointed out that redevelopment of Wimbledon offers an opportunity to get a better and more sustainable town centre, so we shouldn't completely condemn Crossrail plans. It seems that whatever happens, Wimbledon Bridge needs to be rebuilt - the properties on one side of the bridge are falling down. Raynes Park is a narrow congested station and so additional trains represent a major problem.

Over the next few months, the council will put their Masterplan out for consultation. Also, the Plough Lane football stadium proposal has been called in by the London Mayor which may delay the building for a couple of years. These are both large projects and together with the Crossrail work could mean 15-16 years of disruption for north east Merton.


Recycling, Waste & Ethical Buying

4. Bottle Tops
Juliet kindly collected plastic bottle tops for taking to Sacred Heart Church (Edge Hill), where they are sent off to a cancer charity. Lush also collects plastic bottle tops, which they recycle to make containers for their products. However, they can only use grade 5 plastic and other plastics are sent to the recycling centre. Lush supports other green issues including the long pink knitted scarf which highlighted nuclear weapon manufacture.

5. Plastic Plant Pots

Most Councils will not accept them, but if you are going to RHS Wisley, then take them there and leave them in the two containers in the cycle area of the car park. Thanks Susanna for this. Find other recycling points HERE

6. Recycling Furniture
The Vine Project has closed - see article HERE. Being located in Sutton, the closure does not seem to have been reported in the local press. The Vine Project collected furniture from Sutton and Merton, mended it and sold it to people in need.

Unwanted furniture is now being collected by Emmaus, a charity based in Wallington (105 Stafford Road SM6 9AP
). It collects furnitire from Merton, Croydon and Sutton, as well as north Surrey. There is a big warehouse in Wallington, where people can find furniture, homeware, clothing, books, records, oddities and collectibles. Emmaus is an international organisation, founded in France in 1949. It has operated in various locations across the UK for over 25 years. People are employed to mend furniture and to do gardening. Find out more about the Wallington organisation HERE

Following an attic clear out, Joanna contacted Emmaus and furniture was collected at an arranged time. Emmaus seems to prefer old brown furniture, rather than flat pack type. As well as making inexpensive furniture available to those in need, Emmaus provides furniture to the theatre which pays for it and then donates it back to Emmaus, when no longer needed.

7. Repairing a Vacuum Cleaner
Having a vacuum cleaner in need of repair, Juliet contacted McLeod Electrics. However McLeod's were unable to mend the vacuum cleaner and a quote from elsewhere was almost as expensive as buying a new one. See the 'Where to Get Things Mended' list HERE.  

8. Used Stamps
Take them to Oxfam. These are sold to dealers, to raise money.

9. Glasses
SpecSavers collects old spectacles and these are sent to a charity. Dollond & Aitchison used to collect old glasses and these were sorted out by ex-offenders. But it's not known if they still do so, since they got taken over by Boots.

10. Clean Up & Recycle - Morden
Merton Green Party and Merton Park Residents' Association are jointly organising a clean-up and collection of recyclables.  Many thanks are due to Councillor Peter Southgate for making this possible.  It will be on Saturday 25 June at 11am in Morden - see EVENTS below. The footpath between London Road and Kenley Road adjoins an area strewn with rubbish including loads of recyclable bottles and cans.  It's a private road so not the Council's responsibility to clean.  We aim to collect as much recyclable material as we can and move the rubbish to the main road for the Council to clear.  Contact Tom Killick if you'd like to help -, 07821 882380.


Gardening & Green Spaces

11. New Group to tender for Parks & Gardens
The decision to outsource management of Merton's parks and gardens has been a controversial one, with much concern about what quality of work any contractor would deliver. All of this has not been helped by discussion details being kept secret (reportedly because of commercial confidentiality). The maintenance of these spaces has relied on many volunteers working alongside council staff. It is not at all clear that volunteers would wish to continue helping any commercial contractor or that a contractor would work successfully with volunteers.

At a recent meeting, grounds maintenance staff from the council along with community groups formed the People’s Park Service and this group intends to tender for the contract. Find out more from the front page feature in this week's Wimbledon Guardian - HERE

12. Daffodils in Morden Park
Last year, children from Morden Primary school planted bulbs in Morden Park. They returned in recent weeks to see the wonderful display of daffodils. See the Wimbledon Guardian article HERE  Well done to Liz for organising this great venture!


Articles & Campaigns 

13. Articles & Books
Interesting articles & books on radio and TV:
  • Costing the Earth - How should we eat to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet?  Listen to it HERE
  • Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivor - describes the life of an oak tree. Watch again HERE
  • The Running Hare - Radio 4 Book of the Week - a fascinating examination of what happens when wheat is grown with wildflowers in a field over the period of a year.
  • The "Doing Good Better"  book recommended by Leigh provides statistics so that people can understand what choices generate the most benefits, when deciding what to buy or what charity to support. See a review of this book HERE
14. March Backwards for Climate Change
Friends of the Earth and other groups will be marching backwards through the centre of London, starting at 12pm at Nelson's Column on Sun 8th May. This is to highlight the retrograde steps taken by this government, including cuts to clean energy, support for fracking and nuclear, and plans for new roads and airport runways. Find out more HERE

15. TTIP - details published, benefits unlikely
TTIP is the proposed trade deal between the EU and the USA - and it is feared that the deal will dilute environmental and social protections. The contents of the deal have been kept secret. Although MEPs are allowed some access to the documents, they are not allowed to discuss them in public or copy any information. However, Greenpeace in the Netherlands has claimed it has received a leak of the documents. These were retyped (so that the source of the leak could not be traced) and published on their website - see HERE

The government commissioned a report on the costs and benefits of TTIP and then sat on it for three years. The report concludes that the deal is unlikely to generate economic and political benefits, but could impose significant economic and political costs - find the report HERE  

16. Save the bees - again!
The EU banned the widespread use of neonicotinoids, however the UK government has been lobbying for the ban to be raised. It seems that the ban on neonicotinoids does not appear to have reduced the yield in oil seed rape as many farmers had predicted, however some farmers have stopped planting oil seed rape due to such concerns. If you would like to keep the ban, see the petition HERE  

17. Lobbying local politicians
Juliet wrote to council leader Stephen Alambritis to express concerns about the reduction in funding for adult social care and she was invited to meet Mr Alambritis. He said that he could not avoid the cut as he had promised not to raise council taxes. Also it was not possible to increase council tax paid on the most expensive houses, as the banding is decided by the national government.

Juliet also contacted MP Stephen Hammond to encourage him to make sure that the UK ratified the climate change agreement on 22nd April.

18. Friends of the Earth - no more
Due to small numbers attending meetings, Merton Friends of the Earth meetings have been stopped in the meantime. The newsletter will continue to be produced. If you would like to receive this, please contact Auriel at  Auriel will continue to run the Wimbledon Common Nature Club, along with several volunteers. The next meeting will be on Sun 5th June and will include a nature trail. Find out more under REGULAR EVENTS below.  

19. Fete of the Earth
This is being held in the afternoon of the 21st May - find more details under EVENTS below. Bring any donations along to St Mark's Church Hall from 11.30 on the morning of the event - or else take them to Joanna at 43 Wilton Grove. Green groups are welcome to have a stand at this event. Please contact Joanna if you are thinking of doing this. You will have to supply your own table and gazebo.  

20. Chris Packham Autobiography
This conservationist and TV presenter will be talking about his new autobiography at the Natural History Museum on 11th May 6.30pm. This tells the fascinating story of his life, including how he befriended a kestrel from the wild. Please contact Auriel of you'd like to go along. This event is primarily for members and those thinking about becoming so. Find out more HERE.  

Other Things Local

21. Volunteers rewarded with ValueYou
Volunteers doing 100 hours or more of charitable work can now be rewarded through the 'ValueYou' scheme. People receive a card which gives discounts at hundreds of independent businesses across London. Merton Council is providing funding for the scheme and Merton Voluntary Service Council will be adminstering it. 
POST MEETING NOTE: Volunteers for groups which are not registered as charities are eligible. Find out more HERE

22. All change at Merton Council
Cllr Andrew Judge has lost his role in cabinet and Nick Draper is now the council member responsible for Parks and Greenspaces. Also Judy Saunders (cabinet member responsible for environmental cleanliness and parking) has been replaced by Cllr Ross Garrod. Find out more HERE  

23. Comments on Green Coffee
Members discussed how they enjoy the atmosphere at Green Coffee where people can just put forward information and ideas, without having to reach decisions. Cristina's email described how coming to Green Coffee had been an inspiration and is now recycling a lot.

24. New Member
Green Coffee welcomed new member Alyson, who is thinking of getting involved in community projects and is keen to get a better understanding of which actions are good environmentally e.g. is it best to take garden rubbish to the dump or to burn it at home? Alyson has a background in project management.


21st May 2-5pm
Fête of the Earth
St Marks Church, Wimbledon (behind the library)
Annual plant sale and recycling objects for the CND.  Donations of seedlings, plants, books and bric-à-brac all gratefully received. This is the big annual fund-raiser and social event for WDC-CND. Entry is only 50p. If you'd like to help in some way, please get in touch with Joanna at

Sat 25th June  from 11am

Clean Up & Recycle - Morden
Footpath between London Rd and Kenley Rd  SW19 3EP
Come and help clean-up this area, currently strewn with rubbish. Loads of bottles and cans which will be recycled. Organised by Merton Green Party and Merton Park Ward Residents Association. Thanks to Councillor Peter Southgate for making this possible. Contact Tom Killick if you'd like to help -, 07821 882380."

Mon 27th June  7pm arrival for 7.30pm  start
FILM: Racing Extinction
Kingston Environment Centre 1 Kingston Road  KT3 3PE
This documentary follows undercover activists trying to avert the man-made mass extinction that is currently underway. More info at tel 020 8942 5251

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.

on hold at present!
Green Drinks
The location of Green Drinks is under review. Watch out for new information on where and when.

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.

meetings suspended

Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD
Meetings have been suspended forthwith. 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 SW19 2NY
Join local volunteers at the weekly workday to help with general maintenance and upkeep of the garden. For more information, please contact Lesley via Or 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  from 10am - 12 noon
Wimbledon Common Nature Club
Information Centre in Wimbledon Common
Fantastic nature club for children 6-14 years. Different topics covered each month e.g. pond dipping, shelter building, fungi foray and nature walks.
For more information, please contact Auriel Glanville, Club Leader, on 020 8540 6154 or

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.