Transition New Mills March Newsletter

Local Giving Match Funds Deadline
Any donations through our Local Giving site will be matched using lottery funding… but only until April 2017. This could give us up to £500 of free cash!
Needless to say, we are very keen to reach this target, and being an environmentally based group there is flexibility over the projects for which we can use the money. The more we can raise, the more we can do!
Don’t put it off any longer: please help us reach this total in a very efficient way by donating as much as you feel comfortable at Transition New Mills | Localgiving

The Plan for 2017/18
We’ve been busy over the winter period putting together our action plan for 2017! We are going to:

  • continue balsam bashing,
  • continue to fund the Incredible Edible New Mills project and help them to build edible planters for New Mills and also to fund further outside classrooms like the one built at New Mills Primary.
  • bring exciting speakers and films to New Mills
  • continue to make appearances at New Mills Carnival and, for the first time, at the New Mills Festival.

No doubt the plan will evolve further as the year progresses but it is shaping up to be a busy year!!

Incredible Edible update
Things are hotting up now Spring is on the way:

  • Incredible Edible New Mills have also announced plans to restore the Paths For Peace planters that many of you may have seen around New Mills. They plan to plant hem with herbs and edible flowers. They are look for volunteers to help look after them thus providing New Mills with free herbs. Contact us for further details.
  • New Mills Community Orchard Forest Garden site preparation event 12:30-16:00 on Sunday 5th March in the New Mills Community Orchard, next to High Lea Park. Bring a spade and gardening gloves if you have them.
  • New Mills Veggieheads – a social group where like-minded individuals can eat delicious local vegetarian food. You can find them on their Facebook page.
  • IENM are also planning to have their own Incredible Drinks – the first being at 7.30pm Wednesday 8th March at The Beer Shed on Market Street. Join them if you can!

These are great practical projects; if you want to get involved, email us at

Can we help your employer?

It was fantastic to hear from Stockport engineering design firm Wilde Analysis Ltd, who approached us for opportunities for their staff to make a positive impact in the community through volunteer work. Time is one of the things Transition New Mills is particularly short of, so this proposal benefits everyone!

There are some great opportunities coming up, including balsam bashing and Incredible Edible planting, but there are lots more things we could branch out into with more people. If you think your employer would be interested in following Wilde Analysis’ lead, please raise it with them and ask them to get in touch with us.

War on Waste

The second topic in our practical short series of top eco-tips deals with waste and shopping. There’s a lot more to this than just knowing what you can recycle – with the aim of throwing as little away as possible in bins of any colour.  There will be something in these suggestions for everyone, and again, they’ll save you money and lower your carbon footprint.

Government spoils New Mills School’s solar party

Closely following the great news in October of New Mills School’s new solar panels, the Government is now unbelievably proposing a new business rate tax on solar power. This would diminish or even wipe out any savings that business and schools hoped to make by doing the right thing and investing in cleaner energy. In a further outrageous twist, this would affect state schools but leave public schools exempt because of their charitable status!

If you agree that this is both unfair and counterproductive, please sign the national petition (be quick, it will be handed in on Thursday 2 March) and write to our conservative MP Andrew Bingham.

Story time for the Discussion Group

The Discussion group will turn to fiction for the next meeting at 8pm on Monday March 20th. This concerns the  real life issues of water pollution and foreign aid in Bangladesh as set out in The Inheritance Powder by Hilary Standing.  Email us for further details on

We hoped you liked the newsletter – let us know what you think at

Forthcoming events

New Mills Community Orchard
Forest Garden site preparation

Sunday 5th March, 12:30-16:00
To lay out the site and fencing for the Forest garden pilot.
Please bring gardening gloves and a spade if you have one.

Incredible Drinks
Wednesday 8th March, 19:30, downstairs at the Beer Shed
Social get together for supporters of Incredible Edible New Mills.

Transition Drinks
Thursday 16th March, 19:30, downstairs at The Beer Shed
Come and discuss the latest projects, football or whatever.

Discussion Group
Monday 20th March, 8pm
The Inheritance Powder by Hilary Standing.
Email for details

Transition New Mills December Newsletter

Season’s Greetings to all Transition New Mills supporters! There have been strong signs of hope in what has often been a difficult year. Frequently these have come as a result of ordinary people doing wonderful things for their own communities. New Mills is fortunate to have a good number of active citizens, contributing in their own ways, without whom all our lives would be much poorer – so thanks to you all! Transition is all about local action, and there are some opportunities below. Please contact us on if you’d like to get involved!
Incredible Edible update

Some progress has been made on the projects mentioned in October’s newsletter, and we hope to be able to bring you some positive results on all three in the New Year:

  • New Mills Primary School are working on a funding package for improvements to their edible garden capabilities, including the installation of a greenhouse ,
  • a proposal has been tabled for the creation of a series of planters around the town with edible plants
  • funding has been committed by New Mills Community Orchard for the creation of a Forest Garden trial; a planting session will be arranged for spring 2017.

These are great practical projects; if you want to get involved, email us at
Egg Map

In addition, we are working on a town egg map. This will map the locations where you can buy locally produced eggs, normally using an honesty box. In future, this concept can easily be extended to cover many other locally produced items, ending up with a local directory, maybe something like Falmouth’s. If you know of any locations, or you want to sell eggs or other sustainable local produce yourself, let us know and we can put it on the map.

Discussion Group Next Meeting

The group is tackling the Universal Basic Income as its next topic; an attempt to get away from linking income with work or benefits. Here’s a short introductory video explaining the concept.
Sue will also give a report on her recent visit to Marrakech during COP22. The meeting is on Monday 12th December at 8pm; all are welcome. Please contact us on for details if you want to go.
New Transition movement website

The Transition Network now have a brand  new website! It’s not just a re-design; they have started afresh, making it more readable and accessible, and are introducing new features and lots more specific content.  Check it out with this link to our launch blog from Rob Hopkins, where he explains some of the key elements of the new site, and helps you find the things of greatest importance to you.
The Gift of Death

Before you buy any further Christmas presents; just bear in mind the consequences!  I’ve recycled one of my favourite George Monbiot articles from a few years back on what does and doesn’t make a good Xmas gift.
How to Save Energy and Be Warmer

Dreading the next fuel bill? A few years ago I participated a Global Action plan project on everyday household sustainable living, and created a series of handy ‘top tips’ guides, with a range of solutions to suit different interests, abilities and pockets. Rather than waste them, we’ll be offering them up in the newsletter at intervals, and putting them on our website. Check out this month’s, topically on energy use, and make it your New Year Resolution to try some out.

Local Giving

Any donations through our Local Giving site will be matched using lottery cash. This offer lasts until April 2017, and could give us up to £500 of free cash! Needless to say, we are very keen to reach this target, and being an environmentally based group there is flexibility over the projects for which we can use the money. Please help us reach this total in a very efficient way by donating as much as you feel comfortable at Transition New Mills | Localgiving

Forthcoming events

Discussion Group Monday 12th December, 8pm On the Universal Basic Income. Email for details
Solstice Stroll, Wednesday 21st December, 6-9pm Come and celebrate the Winter Solstice, with a gentle stroll visiting some of New Mills’ pubs, from the Masons Arms, through the town centre, to the Rock Tavern. May involve litter picking on the way!

October Newsletter

At a time of rather depressing national and international news, the Transition movement aims to put power and hope into ordinary people’s hands, undertaking local action which collectively will change the world.  The possibilities of what we can create in the communities around us is really exciting and empowering, and if enough of us do it, it can lead to real impact, to really jobs, and to real transformation of the places we live and beyond. So don’t just read this newsletter; take up one of the actions. If you don’t fancy any of the suggestions, create your own and we’ll help you make it happen!

Incredible Edible update

The growing season might have ended for the year, but the Incredible Edible group haven’t! Plans are afoot in the winter months to:

  • install a greenhouse at the New Mills Primary School edible garden,
  • create a series of planters around the town with edible plants
  • help New Mills Community Orchard create a Forest Garden trial

These are great practical projects; if you want to get involved, email us at

Subsidised Centre for Alternative Technology Trip

Take a trip with Sustainable Hayfield to the world renowned Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Wales, on Sat/Sun 12th/13th November.

Departing after breakfast on Saturday, returning tea time Sunday. Free transport provided in Hayfield Community Minibus. Accommodation at nearby Plas Dolguog country house hotel from £45. Entry to CAT £8.50 (£7.50 concessions).

Transition New Mills will pay for entry for any TNM supporter who is willing to write a blog or do a presentation following the visit.

To register, email or ring Laurie on 07867 578326

Local Giving

Any donations through our Local Giving site will be matched using lottery cash. This offer lasts until April 2017, and could give us up to £500 of free cash! Needless to say, we are very keen to reach this target, and being an environmentally based group there is flexibility over the projects for which we can use the money. Please help us reach this total in a very efficient way by donating as much as you feel comfortable at Transition New Mills | Localgiving

New Mills Secondary Solar School

Solar PV panels have finally been installed at New Mills School. Electricity generation started on Sunday 18th September from a 21kW array on the Maths and Swinburn Buildings. Back in 2013 Transition New Mills supporters contributed over £400 of the £7,800 raised, through our ‘Clock New Mills’ walking challenge. The school will benefit from cheaper electricity, and the PTA will get an annual interest payment on the investment. Well done to everyone involved; another step closer to a low-carbon New Mills!

Forthcoming Events

Transition Drinks, Thursday 20th October From 7:30pm, The Royal Oak
Come along to talk about Transition projects, Incredible Edible, the football or whatever!

What Do You Think of the One World Festival? Wednesday 19th October, 7:30pm Open meeting upstairs at the Beehive to share thoughts and ideas for next year’s festival.

Buds, Berries and Leaves Survey Moors for the Future Partnership Friday October 21st, New Mills Volunteer Centre, 10am-2:30pm Free training sessions for anyone who would like to take part in the new survey on ‘Buds, Berries and Leaves’.

New Mills School Goes Solar!

It’s great to hear that Solar PV panels have finally been installed at New Mills School. Electricity generation started on Sunday 18th September from a 21kW array on the Maths and Swinburn Buildings.

In late 2012 the PTA launched the Solar Schools Project at New Mills to raise funds (aim £12,000) to install Solar PV panels. The school and PTA would benefit directly in the form of:

·    free electricity generated to the school

·    income to the PTA from Government incentive payments (FITs)

Approximately £7,800 was raised by the end of 2013, and Transition New Mills supporters raised over £400 of this through our ‘Clock New Mills’ walking challenge.

The Solar PV (much more than the school previously anticipated) has now been installed by the Schools Energy Co-operative. Although the financial model has changed, the PTA and school will still benefit by:

·    electricity generated sold cheaply to the school

·    PTA earning an annual interest payment on money invested in the Co-operative

Well done to everyone involved; another step closer to a low-carbon New Mills!


September Newsletter

Welcome to the first Transition New Mills newsletter, straight to your inbox as requested by the vast majority of people in our survey earlier this year.
It will also be posted on Facebook and the blog for those who would prefer to access it this way.
Here’s the top stories for September:
New Mills Primary School Edible Garden nominated for New Mills Community Award!
Transition members who worked with New Mills School to create the fantastic Edible Garden have been recognised in the New Mills Honour Awards. The project, covered on the Incredible Edible New Mills facebook page, has been really well received by the school and the children, who have grown some fantastic vegetables and used it as a learning resource. Many thanks to all the wonderful Transition New Mills members who made this happen; we look forward to further developments next year.
If you or your organisation would like to get involved in the next stage of the Incredible Edible project, please drop us a line at
Incredible Edible at Apple Day
Transition New Mills Incredible Edible have been invited by the New Mills Community Orchard to have a stand at the annual Apple Day celebration in the High Lea Orchard 2-4pm on Sunday 25th September. The event is part of the Festival, and is a very popular, family oriented occasion.
It’s a great opportunity to encourage people to get involved with the Incredible Edible project in the town’s premier example of local community food production, but we need your help to make it happen.
If you can help create or man a stall, or have any good suggestions for fun interactive activities, please let us know on
Quizit for Transition – Thursday 15th September
Transition New Mills will be the beneficiaries of the popular New Mills Pub Quiz at 9pm on Thursday 15th September, at The Pride of The Peaks.
Really hope you can get a team there, or join ours if you want.
Hope to see you there!
Reading Group Date
The Reading Group will meet at 8pm on Monday Sept 12th, for another round of stimulating discussion based on books that some members have read recently, including ‘Inventing the Future’ by Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, and ‘Postcapitalism’ by Paul Mason.
All are welcome, please email for details.
Local Giving site
As you know, membership of Transition New Mills is now free, but we’re encouraging donations of as much as you want to give, through our LocalGiving site. This has a number of advantages – they will match your donation using lottery money so it’s got twice the value, it’s easy, and secure. If you haven’t got round to donating yet please do, as we rely on this income to get projects off the ground. we’re concentrating on getting Incredible Edible off the ground, and continuing tree planting and the balsam project as funding priorities this year.
You can donate quickly easily and securely here (and double your money!):
Free Seeds!
Here’s a couple of free and easy things you can do to help biodiversity:
  • We planted hundreds of trees last year at Thornsett School. This year, we’d encourage you to collect a few tree seeds such as acorns, ash, beech or conkers that you see lying around, and plant them in a bit of compost in a small pot. Keep them outside over winter, they’ll start to grow in Spring and then we can plant them out.
  • Grow Wild are giving away packets of wildlife seeds, so if you’d like to transform an area of your garden and benefit wildlife, register for some here:
Another Type of Balsam Bash
Calling everyone who has kindly helped bash the balsam this year – we are celebrating the end of the season with a curry – probably the weekend of 1st/2nd October. Pencil it in your diary for now and we’ll have more details nearer the time.
Our friends at New Mills festival help us with insurance for balsam bashing events. As the festival gets into full swing, they are really keen to get volunteers for the famous Lantern Parade 24th September 6.30-9pm. If you can help, please let them know on
Feedback: we’d love to know what you thought of the newsletter, and what sort of things you want to read about in future editions. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future articles, please let us know on

Membership is now free; but donate online and we’ll double your money!

Membership of Transition New Mills is now free; but you can donate online and we’ll double your money!

At our recent Annual General Meeting, we voted to make it easier for people to become members of Transition New Mills. So we scrapped the annual charge and made membership free, as we felt that this was a fairer and more inclusive way of doing things.

Being a member needn’t mean doing anything more than what you do already as a supporter of Transition New Mills. Of course we hope that you’ll get actively involved in some projects, and vote at the AGM, but if you’re just interested in what’s happening and nothing more, that’s fine.

We’ll be checking with all our supporters on our contact list, and any new contacts, to make sure they’re happy with this and still want to be kept in touch with a new monthly newsletter. We’ll also check that they’re all still eligible: basically, as long as you either work, rest or play within New Mills, then you can be a member.

We have also made donating to Transition New Mills much easier and fairer.  Now you can donate online whenever you want, for whatever amount you are comfortable giving. And in a fantastic introductory offer, we have teamed up with charity Localgiving and the Peoples’ Postcode Lottery to match any online donation, doubling our income at a stroke!*

We’d really love to take maximum advantage of this offer, so that we can do more of the things you want to see and do, such as:

  • expand Incredible Edible New Mills – more outside classrooms, more planters around the town and more edible plants
  • more organised balsam bashes and equipment
  • more visiting speakers
  • keep the website running and up to date
  • improve publicity

Many thanks for being a supporter; together we can go from strength to strength to make the town stronger and greener. Please do check out the Localgiving page at:

Transition New Mills | Localgiving

* Up to £500, and until April 2017

2016 AGM Highlights

The Transition New Mills 2016 Annual General Meeting was held on 30th June. Here are the highlights:

  • Membership of Transition New Mills is now free to all. This was in response to relatively low paid membership levels, and to generate a wider sense of ownership and involvement. Most other Transition groups also offer free membership. All known supporters will be contacted and made aware of the change.
  • To counteract the loss of income for vital project set-up and routine administration costs, online giving is now possible at . This site has received lottery money to double any donation received in the first year, up to a total of £500.
  • Phil Frodsham and Julian Ashworth were elected onto the Administration Committee, leaving one vacancy. Sarah Brooks was subsequently co-opted as Treasurer until a replacement comes forward.
  • The reports on achievements, membership and finances (see blog post of 8th June) were noted.

The meeting was followed by an entertaining and inspiring talk from the successful New Mills Foodie Friends café. The aim of the café is to ‘fill bellies not bins’ by providing a cheap, sociable meal for anyone, using food rejected by supermarkets. It was particularly interesting to learn how they had delivered their project, and we will explore ways to work together in future. Many thanks to them all.


Transition New Mills July Dates

Here are the remaining dates for Transition activities in July:

Transition Drinks: Thursday 21st July, 7:30pm, Royal Oak

Come along whether it’s to talk about next steps for Incredible Edible, to float your latest idea or to preview the coming football season.

Balsam Bashing:

Sunday 24th July 10:30-12:30. Mousley Bottom. Meet at bottom of Station Road, working along riverside path area.

Monday 25th July and Monday 1 August 18:30 – 20:30. The Picker. Meet at bridge between Dye House Lane and  Hyde Bank Rd

Hope to see you at one or more of these!

Balsam Bashing New Dates

Happy bashers at the Picker

Happy bashers at the Picker

We are now well into our third year of trying to clear the New Mills area of the invasive alien weed Himalayan Balsam which is swamping our native flora. We are concentrating on 4 main areas : the Torrs, Goytside, the Picker and Mousley Bottom. We have already had 8 bashing sessions with over a dozen people involved.

We are really encouraged to find that there is a lot less balsam in the areas we have cleared over the last 2 years, and a variety of native plants are recolonizing the areas quickly – so we really are making a difference.

 Balsam bashes are easy and a great way to relieve stress! We would love to see you at one of the forthcoming events:

Sunday 3rd July   10.30 – 12.30   The Picker     Meet at junction of High St, Dye House Lane and Hyde Bank Rd    Leader : Chris Moore

 Monday 4th July  6.30 – 8.00pm  The Picker   Meet at junction of High St, Dye House Lane and Hyde Bank Rd  Leader : Chris Moore

 Sunday 10th July  10.30-12.30  Mousely Bottom  Meet at the bottom of Station Road  Leader: Julian Ashworth

 Monday 11th July  6.30-8.00pm  Goytside   Meet at Torrs Hydro  Leader: Julian Ashworth

Wear stout footwear. Long sleeves and gardening gloves are preferable (we can supply gloves if necessary)

If you can’t join us on any of these dates, please help by coming on a future organised bash, pledging to Pick a Patch of your choice or just pull as you walk. But please remember not to leave pulled and crushed plants on the path!

 Contact us on or

All Go with Transition New Mills!

The polls are coming to a close on the EU referendum, but there’s another chance to cast a vote next Thursday at the Transition New Mills AGM.

We are looking to elect 2 new committee members, and are seeking nominations for these posts. We rely entirely on the goodwill, time and enthusiasm of volunteers for all our activities, and without them, nothing will happen. So if you’re interested in getting involved in the running of the group, let us know by 18:30 next Thursday if you want to stand.

The AGM will start at 19:30, Thursday 30th June, at the Volunteer Centre on Union Road. Business will be completed by 20:00, at which point we are pleased to be able to bring you a talk and discussion by Father John Baines on the recently launched and very popular Foodie Friends Café, which uses surplus or rejected food from supermarkets to rustle up a great value 3 course meal in convivial surroundings for anyone who wants it.

The weekend before this, there will be a balsam bash at  10:30-12:30 on Saturday 25th June, in Mousley Bottom, around the riverside path. Meet at the DCC Rangers Hut.

And a few days after the AGM, on Saturday 2nd July, we will be having a stall at the One World Festival in High Lea Park, between 12:00 -17:00. We also need volunteers for this, even if you can only spend an hour or so – please let us know if you can help us out on this occasion.

Hope to see you at one or more of the above events!