Thirteen of us attended our Widening Horizons workshop (original blog here) on 29 November where we peered into a Transitioned, sustainable future for New Mills and the Sett Valley. (As well as people from Transition New Mills, we had four or five from Sustainable Hayfield and it was great to be working together.)

We used a process called ‘backcasting’ (like forecasting, except you start in the future and work back to the present) to envision ideal scenarios in ten years’ time (or even, in one group’s case, thirty years’ time) and how we might get there.

Perhaps we’ll have…

  • Sustainable, bio-diverse woodlands enabling the Sett Valley to be self-sufficient in some varieties of fruit and nuts
  • Greenhouses growing local bananas and pineapples
  • Collective community planning on what food needs growing
  • No need for supermarkets
  • Over 3,000 houses generating solar electricity.

But what do we need to do straight away to set us on these paths? One thing that will certainly help is money. Cath Finn shared her valuable experience in securing money for projects, including signposting possible funding sources.

No good meeting is complete without agreeing actions to take us forward. These included:

  • Moving forward on a Sett Valley Corridor Community Orchard in collaboration with New Mills Community Orchard
  • Enhancing and extending a forthcoming Food Hub for New Mills (more details on this coming up in a future blog!)
  • Establishing a regular food festival as a celebration of local food and to share skills related to food
  • Looking into a skills exchange to make best use of locally available people resources
  • Hold another meeting in 6 months’ time with similar objectives to tease out new projects and follow up on projects.

Detailed notes may be found here: Widening Horizons-Notes+Actions-29Nov2014

Widening Horizons WorkshopWidening Horizons Workshop