Avonbourne Trust – Earth Charter Awards 2018

On Friday 6th July Avonbourne Trust held its annual Earth Charter Awards, at the Green House Hotel in Bournemouth. The Earth Charter is an international declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society and these align with the Transition values of respecting resources, creating resilience and promoting inclusivity and social justice.

Avonbourne Earth Carter Awards 2018 winners

The awards ceremony is the culmination of a process in which Avonbourne and Harewood College students were asked to nominate, judge and award local businesses and organisations that go above and beyond in instilling green principles and human values.

This year’s winners were:

Transition Bournemouth – Award for most environmentally friendly ethos
Bournemouth University – Award for engagement in sustainability
LV= – Award for respecting and valuing employees
Rotary Club of Bournemouth (East Cliff) – Award for best community footprint
Lush – Award for considerate management of waste and recycling
Bournemouth Centre for Voluntary Service – Award for enabling equal opportunities

Avonbourne Earth Carter Awards 2018Angela and Kim collected the award for “Most Environmentally Friendly Ethos” on behalf of Transition Bournemouth at a special ceremony. Avonbourne students were there to reveal the winners and hand out the prizes.

Thank you to all the students who nominated and voted for Transition Bournemouth and to the Avonbourne Trust for your continued work with The Earth Charter to encourage students to care for our local community and our planet.

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Transitioning to… a Better Way of Travelling.

One of the fundamental principles of the Transition movement is to respect resources and reduce reliance on fossil fuels and I wanted to see how I could incorporate this more into my daily life. So a year ago I made the bold step to sell my car (and not replace it!) to make a concerted effort to travel more sustainably.

bike-by-beachI’ve always cycled and regularly enjoyed getting out and about by bike. Bournemouth has some great corridors for cycling away from traffic (think Bournemouth Gardens, the Stour Valley, and not forgetting the seven miles of coastal promenade). However, my cycling was very much of a fair-weather variety. It was very convenient with a car parked outside my front door, and for me at least this was a huge barrier to choosing the bike over the car as my primary mode of transport. Even though I logically knew the advantages of cycling vs driving; better for my health, cheaper to run, less CO2 emissions, better for the planet, it was often the car that won out.

The excuses I would come up with were endless. ‘I’ll go by car. It looks like it might rain.’ ‘I can’t go by bike. I need to pick up some shopping on the way home.’ ‘I’m running late. It will be quicker by car.’ ‘It’s too hot today for the bike.’ ‘It’s too cold today for the bike.’ ‘I’ve got too much to carry.’ ‘It’s dark’.

If you’ve ever had to make the choice between a car and a bike then I’m sure you’ll recognise my predicament. However, once I removed the car I found solutions instead of excuses. Rain – I bought some waterproofs. Shopping – it’s easier to park at the shops on a bike. Late – most of my journeys by bike take the same time or are indeed quicker, particularly at rush hour. Hot – Go a bit slower and wear sun protection. Cold – Layer up, pedal fast and you don’t feel the chill. Carrying stuff  – Panniers are a life saver, how did I live without them for so long!? Dark – A good set of lights and reflective clothing work a treat, and I’ve actually discovered that I enjoy cycling more at night as there are far fewer cars on the road and there is a real sense of freedom as I navigate I way home by the light of the moon.

Stargazing at night is just one of the pleasures I’ve enjoyed. I’ve also delighted in the change of seasons. I notice things more on a bike. I feel connected to the natural world in a way you never possibly can in a car. I spied animals at close quarters, buzzards, foxes, pheasants and rabbits. I noticed the scent in the air when blossom appeared. I felt the breeze on my skin, the warmth of the sun, and observed leaves from the trees gently falling around me.

There were a few occasions when a bike just didn’t fit the bill, and I would take the bus, or use the train for journeys further afield. I also joined the Co-Wheels car club, a social enterprise membership scheme, where you can borrow a car for anything from an hour to a week. This was really helpful for getting to more rural parts of Dorset. Car sharing is far more sustainable as it reduces the amount of cars on the road, most of which are left standing for 95% of the time. Public transport is also more environmentally friendly as it alleviates congestion and improves air quality.

Getting through the winter months was challenging, although the times I did travel by car it felt very claustrophobic and I became frustrated like the other angry drivers, having to sit in traffic jams and wait in queues that I could easily nip past on a bike. Journeys by bicycle are by far more relaxing and I’ve also enjoyed cycling holidays and even tried out an electric bike.

bike-by-lochOver the past year I’ve travelled well over 1700 miles on my bike. I’ve reduced my CO2 emissions by around a tonne, which is more than 10% of my total annual carbon footprint. I’ve also saved well over £2000 on the cost of running a car, which is a real financial incentive for keeping it up. I feel much healthier and far more alive, and as the snow melts away and Spring finally begins to arrive I’m truly glad to be on my bike.

Angela Fendley
Count On Me project coordinator

Slades – A Year In Review

On the whole we’ve had another lovely year in the Slades Farm Community Wildlife Garden, helped by around 70 volunteers over 2017. The fruit trees are growing well, the hedge is establishing well, the prairie garden was very colourful, the pond was choc full of frogs! I have never seen so many frogs in one space! If you like frogs, make a diary date to come along in March 2018!

We planted apple trees around the veg patch to train as espaliers, and put up the fence and training wires to make that happen. We had a fantastic harvest of beans and courgettes, a monster turnip, and the peas did well too!

However, after 5 pretty trouble free years, we finally have had a bad bout of vandalism. Most of it started after we installed a lovely picnic table and benches. A number of items got trashed – the water butt and two fruit trees – but the trashing of the fence round the veg patch was the final straw. Reluctantly, we have removed the picnic table and bench in the hopes that the vandals will now go elsewhere to congregate and cause mischief.

Still, we are looking forward to 2018. We have lots of hedging and bramble bashing to get on with, as well as repairing the damage the vandals have done. It may mean that the veggies get planted out a bit later this year – it all depends on how much help we get!

Have a look at our Slades 2018 dates and see if you are free to come along !

South England Regional Transition Networks Workshop

On the 25th June some members of Transition Bournemouth went along to an all day workshop in Southampton run by the international Transition Network. The aim of the workshop was to explore the idea of setting up a Regional Transition Network / Hub in the South of England.

Bournemouth, Poole, Southampton, Farnham and Petersfield Transition Towns all came together. We went through a series of excises to help us get to know each other, to discuss what helps our groups to thrive and the challenges we face and what a regional hub might look like and be used for.

It was a great opportunity to meet other Transition groups and to find out what exciting projects and events they have planned. Watch this space for more information about a possible regional hub and for invites to events hosted by our new friends!

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Transition Bournemouth will be running/attending a variety of events during 2017:

Sat 18 Jun – Moore Avenue Park Family Fund Day
Sat 24 Jun – Bournemouth Repair Cafe in West Howe
Sat 15 Jul – Kinson Festival of Music
Sun 16 Jul – Slades Farm Festival 16th July 2017l
Sun 29 Jul – Making Picnic bench at Slades Farm Community Garden
Sat 5 Aug – Bournemouth Repair Cafe in Boscombe
Sat 9 Sep – Cherry Tree Nursery Plant Sale
Sat 4 Nov – Bournemouth Repair Cafe in Boscombe

If you can lend a hand for an hour or two at any of these events please do get in touch! Comment below or e-mail transiitonbournemouth@gmail.com

New Sustainable Dorset website!

Sustainable Dorset is the central hub of all sustainable and resilient activity across the county. They aim to raise awareness and so increase interest and involvement in sustainability. They connect people and communities, supporting individual well-being, community enterprises and businesses in order to nurture resilience. They bring together the many and diverse sustainable activities across the region, and showcase to the world at large what we are already achieving.

Check out the new Sustainable Dorset website for inspiration, news, local events and much more: www.sustainabledorset.org

sus dorset