Transition Kentish Town Newsletter
We are springing into action this month with lots of inspiring projects and ideas for you to get involved. And yes…we are now even starting to plan events!
First of all, please do join us next Saturday 17th April at the new community hub we are involved with as part of the KT Makers group: 19 Highgate Road, NW5.
Join us between 11am-2pm for a socially distant, mask wearing, fun event.
You can expect to learn all about ramsons - wild garlic - with Rita’s wonderful Ramson Stall. There will be tasters.
Nifty Nettles – did you know that nettles have at least 10 beneficial uses? No? Well come and find out and try some nettle soup. A great source of vitamins and minerals.
Dr Bike and Camden Cyclists will also be on hand to fix your bikes, and tell you about a bike buddy scheme. There will be a climate café for chewing over your concerns. Kids – come and sow a pea seed, take it home, and get growing your own pea stalk story. There may even be music!
Free Market at '19'
Some Saturdays, alongside the amazing refugeecommunitykitchen.org, who are also based at '19', we host a free market where we give away surplus vegetables and other goodies. We really need YOUR help setting up and running this market. It has a lovely atmosphere and is a great way to meet new people. If you can help for a couple of hours get in touch. We are all volunteers! Contact:
Talking about the Refugee Community Kitchen, during March they repurposed over a tonne and half of surplus food through 19 Highgate Road, and served over 1200 hot nourishing meals to those in need. For more info, and to donate, see: https://refugeecommunitykitchen.org/donatemoney.
The new weekly evening meal outreach in Kentish Town got off to a great start last Wednesday. Do pop along to the canopy by Kentish Town Station on a Wednesday between 6-7pm to say hi, and have a cuppa. And please spread the word about this free meal service to those in need.
2. Tinu’s Wild Garden and Veggie Patch
Interested in helping us to green urban spaces? If so, join our GrUbS group (Greening Urban Spaces). We provide advice and coaching to help any new local greening projects get off the ground and/or support established projects. We work closely with Camden residents to find all sorts of ways to improve our local environment for wildlife.
GrUbs will be hosting a weekly drop in workshop at 19 Highgate Road every Wednesday 5-6pm from 28th April. Come and learn how to grow veg at our pop-up allotment, and learn all about wildflowers. Also, here are two projects you might like to join:
1. GrUbS is delighted to be working closely with St Mary’s Brookside to try enhancing the local environment to support swifts! Camden’s ‘Sky Rippers’ need our help! Every year, the summer skies above Dartmouth Park’s streets are graced by large groups of screeching sooty-brown swifts. These agile visitors have migrated from central and southern parts of Africa and beyond to discover, and often revisit, previous nesting sites in the roofs of the area’s numerous old, tall buildings, in the gaps and holes in roof gables and eaves. Sadly many of us don’t like the idea of such things in our roofs anymore and modern building practices strongly favour hermetically sealed buildings! As a result, birds arriving from Africa in the early summer to breed are increasingly unable to find suitable breeding places.
One way to help swifts is to install a swift box. Once in place, these require virtually no maintenance. Swifts are not a protected species and so there are no complications in moving a box if needed. Once a swift pair have adopted a box, they tend to return in successive years. They are a social species, and prefer to nest with other swifts close by. So more than one box makes sense (to them!). Could any of you reading this run a workshop on how to make them?
Do you want to make a difference to Camden’s wildlife? Will you join us to help out with a new wild-gardening project? We are meeting on Saturday 24th April from 2pm on the Rochester Estate, NW1. Tea and cake will be available.
Camden resident Tinu is taking her first steps in an inspiring new project to restore a piece of neglected land on the estate. Until recently, this walled space was completely overgrown with brambles. With the help of Camden Green Gym, these have been cleared. Now she needs some helping hands and ‘boots on the ground’ to take the restoration to its next stage - digging out bramble roots, preparing a vegetable patch and planting some CamdenForest2025 trees. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go on! Be a GrUb. Let’s get GrUb-ing! To join the fun, email:
Camden Council’s Biodiversity Strategy
Also on the subject of greening up, here’s an important message from Camden Council’s Biodiversity Department: “Nature needs our help. We are witnessing an ecologicial emergency that threatens our health and wellbeing, the wider environment and the economy. In response, we are developing a new Biodiversity Strategy on which we would like your views”. Do you have any ideas for this council Biodiversity Strategy? If so, fill out this form:
Some of you might agree with us that the FIRST thing the council needs to do in response to the ecological emergency is to STOP SPRAYING HERBICIDES AND PESTICIDES on public land. How can the council justify continuing to do this, having declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency back in 2019? The boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham banned the use of glysophate in 2016. Lambeth council is phasing out its use this year. Camden Council have been procrastinating over the last two years every time this subject is raised. Come on Camden Council, what are you waiting for? As was said by AA Milne’s Eeyore: "Weeds are flowers too once you get to know them”.
Visioning Camden 2030
Following the publication of our community wraparound in the Camden New Journal back in January, we have formed two groups to develop projects and roll out your visions across our wonderful borough. Firstly, we are having great fun planning the publication of a book consisting of all the contributions you have made, to be completed later this year. We are also working alongside the council’s ‘We Make Camden’ team,to plan some great summer trails.
Interested in all things foody, we will be holding a meeting on Thursday 22nd April at 7pm to discuss sustainable and affordable food in Camden. We would love for you to come to give your insights and thoughts on the big question 'How can we offer sustainable and affordable food in Camden for all?' For more information, email: VisioningCamden2030@gmail.com.
Think & Do
As part of the T&D network we are excited to be involved with the setting up of a Toy Swap Shelf at 19 Highgate Road, NW5. The idea behind this is to bring a toy, and take a toy. Please note, that we DON’T want donations, but the aim of this is to get swapping! Together, let’s help develop a circular, sharing economy across the borough. Do you live in a housing estate with an under-loved TRA hall? Could we help you set up one there? Please do spread the word about our first toy swap shelf.
PUNL awarded London Community Energy Fund grants
Power Up North London has been awarded several grants from the London Community Energy Fund to enable energy efficiency and carbon savings on two important projects in Islington.
The Caxton House Project aims to reduce carbon emissions from space and water heating for the community centre by installing an air or ground source heat pump. The heat pump will reduce carbon emissions by c80% and gas consumption from the grid (for heating and hot water) by 100%. The heat pump will deliver estimated net carbon savings of 21t – 23t a year. The grant is for £50,000. In parallel PUNL is working with Caxton House to improve energy efficiency by replacing windows, fixing draughts in doors, and upgrading the building management system. The work complements the former and is for £13,400.
The Paradise Park Children’s Centre Project is for LED lights to achieve financial and carbon savings. The lower electricity consumption will help reduce electricity costs by c30 – 40% and the savings will be used to improve service provision. It is estimated that the project would save £1,256 annually in running costs. The grant is for £2,252.
In other PUNL news, it is recruiting for a business development manager, releasing a film on projects including Hampstead School and has submitted a report on community energy and technology to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. More details are on the on PUNL website.
Alongside the council’s tenants and residents engagement team, we recently put an offer out for residents to grow free wildflower seeds in pots. We were amazed that over 275 residents requested our seeds. Let’s all go wild for wildflowers!
Think & Do is piloting the launch of a postcode-limited Climate Café. This new group based around NW1 9-- held its first meeting in late March to share an understanding of climate change and what we can do to respond to it. The group will next look at a specific issue - bottom trawlers releasing carbon in our home waters - and the personal actions we can all take. If you live in this postcode area and would like to join this group, get in touch. To set up a postcode-limited climate café where you live, see
Next month we will be sharing with you an update on how our Camden Forest Project, which started in late 2019, will have given out almost 1,000 bare root tree whips to our tree guardians. To join our wonderful Camden Forest Group, use the contact form on the Camden Forest website.
We hope to see you at one of our events, please do remember we are all volunteers and urge each of you reading this to play your part and join the fun!