New Mills Town Council have declared a climate and ecological emergency. Transition New Mills is pleased to be in partnership with the Town Council to take this forward; come and be part of the conversation to explore what this means for you and your community.
New Mills Town Hall, Saturday 7th March, 10am-4pm
New Mills has a proud history of change: from the start of the industrial revolution, through the Cooperative movement, to reclaiming the Torrs and Mousley Bottom.
Now it is our turn for the history books! What would we like New Mills to be like in the future? How will it look, sound and feel? This is our chance to reimagine our Town and help create a positive vision for us all.
Last year we experienced:
• moorland fires in February
• record breaking temperatures in July
• intense rainfall in August putting us at threat of flooding from the near collapse of the Whaley Bridge dam
Instead of feeling disempowered and disconnected, our community can start to build a response. We need to build resilience to future threats and actively create new and positive ways of living. What would you like future generations to thank you for?
Our Community Conversation will be imaginative, creative and, we hope, inspiring to all who attend.
We want to include as diverse a range of people as possible so please encourage colleagues, clients and friends to register their interest too; we are hoping to have a creche area also to help children contribute. This is not a one-off process, and there will be plenty of opportunity to develop the plan further in the future, so if you cannot come but want to remain in touch please let Transition New Mills know.
In the spirit of the day, it is proposed to have a ‘bring and share’ lunch. If you can, please bring a little food to share. If you have specific food allergies, we do recommend bringing your own food. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be provided. If you have additional support needs please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you
It would be really helpful if you could let us know if you intend to come by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook events page.
We have set up a new page on the Transition New Mills website which will be updated with the latest developments.
Here’s an update after a very busy summer, and a look forward to exciting new projects kicking off now to keep us busy over winter!
Transition is all about local action, and there are lots of opportunities below. Please contact us on email@example.com if you’d like to get involved!
Those of you who have been following Liz Longden’s plastics blog series will know we have a new campaign: Rethink Plastic New Mills. This is in response to the growing problem of plastic use (and especially single use plastics), which is building up in oceans and on land, and which is largely unnecessary as alternatives to single use plastics exist in most cases. There are plans to share what we have found out about how to reduce use with people and schools, and also encourage businesses to offer alternatives. The first element of the campaign is Refill (see below and our new Facebook site).
Transition New Mills will be out on the Prom on Market Street on Saturday morning (14th October), so come along and find out more about it!
Refill New Mills
This offers an alternative to single use bottled water by publicising locations where people can refill their bottles free of charge. Using the Refill app, users can locate participating outlets, which could be cafes, restaurants, or even farms. Look out for the poster in participating businesses. At the moment, the following businesses are part of the scheme, so why not pop in and tell them what a good idea it is!
Goia Mia cafe
Sett Valley Cycles
As the growing season comes to a close for this year, Incredible Edible can be very proud of its achievements:
Torr Top car park walls have been planted up with edible plants and flowers, available for anyone to harvest. More is planned for next year.
‘Planter for Peace’ has been replanted at The Printers at Thornsett
New Mills Primary have had a successful year’s growing, learning (and eating!), and are awaiting the outcome of a funding bid for a polytunnel and raised beds
A good working relationship has been established with High Peak Borough Council, and New Mills Town Council
A popular stall at NMCO Apple Day giving away herbs and seedlings, and promoting the project
New Mills Community Orchard have created a trial Forest Garden with perennial fruit and vegetables
These are great practical projects; if you want to get involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Balsam Bash!
Anyone who has bashed some balsam this year is invited to join us at this year’s celebration alternative balsam bash lunch at Pulse, on 21st October at 12:30 – it’s great we have so many helping hands for this and it would be nice to celebrate our achievements after a summer of grafting! Let us know on facebook if you’re thinking of coming.
This year we concentrated again on 3 main areas : the Torrs, the Picker and Mousley Bottom. The areas we have worked on in past years are much clearer and hopefully next year we shall be able to extend to neighbouring areas.
There have been about 20 organised bashes with around a dozen people involved in total, starting in mid-May and finishing in mid-August when the balsam began to set seed.
However we have seen evidence of individual freelance bashing and have been encouraged by the interest of passers-by and an increase of awareness of the problem in the general public. We have now got leaflet dispensers in the Torrs, Mousley Bottom and Hague Bar, in addition to leaflets in the Heritage Centre and the Library which have to be replenished regularly.
Next year we will be greatly helped by New Mills Town Council who have purchased a mowing arm which will be particularly good for the rampant areas of balsam in Hague Bar meadows.
Discussion Group Next Meeting
Next meeting on Monday 16th October in New Mills will look at Naomi Klein’s ‘No Is Not Enough’. Just email us for location if you want to go on email@example.com
As part of New Mills Festival, we screened and discussed Demain (Tomorrow): an inspiring film exploring agriculture, economics, energy, education, democracy and bringing together some real life solutions to our current environmental problems. It was great to see so many people there, including many new faces.
There were lots of positive suggestions and ideas from the audience; what we need now are people to help make them happen!
We have signed up again to the Localgiving site which allows us to receive donations online, as well as offering match funding opportunities. However, the way these work is not as straightforward as last year, so if you intend to make a donation we recommend waiting until we can give further advice on how to maximise the match funding element.
3rd in the series of blogs from Liz Longden:
We have been making some progress in the past week. Just over a week ago we held a meeting for interested people who might have a stake in this campaign. As the time approached I have to confess to an attack of the jitters. What if nobody came? What if only a couple of people came, what if we couldn’t attract interest of input from the people there? What if I was completely incoherent, fluffed all my lines? However, none of these things happened, we had a good turn out from other New Mills groups, and input from a HPBC councillor, resulting in a successful meeting.
Among other decisions we now have a name for our campaign: RETHINK PLASTIC NEW MILLS. Maybe not that original, but it seems to fit the bill. It describes what we are trying to do, and it doesn’t ask us to aim for the impossible. We are all aware that we cannot get rid of all plastic, nor is it necessary to do so.
All this has had me musing on the nature of campaigning. People tell me that campaigners are more likely to be successful if we show rather than tell, suggest rather than instruct, encourage rather than harangue. Knowing this doesn’t stop me wanting to accost folk in the supermarket buying multipacks of flavoured water, bottled in plastic and wrapped in plastic. I don’t do this obviously, but I so badly want to get through to them. What can we do that we are not already doing? There is so much information out there now. David Attenborough is talking about it. How can people not be listening? What stops people listening? How can we help people to change their habits?
Transition New Mills are going to be on Market St Promenade next Saturday morning, the 14th October, (unless the weather makes it too difficult) with lots of information and ideas about why you might want to reduce your plastic footprint and ways you can do so without too much disruption. I hope we are going to show, suggest and encourage, rather than the other. Above all I hope we are ready to listen. We would really love you to come and see us. Any ideas you might have would be more than welcome. If we just get some people to go away thinking, it will be worth the effort.
So I hope to see you there!
Spring is now well underway, and the plants are growing vigorously. This is a good thing for our Incredible Edible project, but not great where himalayan balsam is concerned! Both offer good reasons to get out and active though. Follow us on Facebook or our blog to be kept up to date of opportunities.
Incredible Edible update
Here’s what’s been happening recently:
- The walls of Torr Top car park are being planted with edible plants and flowers, which look and taste great, and seem to have gone down well with people in the town.
- Work has started refurbishing some of the Paths for Peace planters, at Hurst Lea Rd and Thornsett
- New Mills Primary School are back up and running in their edible garden now the growing season has started again
- New Mills Community Orchard have created a Forest Garden trial in the lower section of the orchard; further plants to follow
These are great practical projects; if you want to get involved, turn up to an event, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Events are mostly on Monday evenings; check the Facebook page for details
Bash Some Balsam
The new season gets underway with a series of bashes in May:
- Monday 15th May 6.30pm, meet at Archie (Torrs Hydro) in the Torrs
- Sunday 21st May 2.00pm, meet at bottom of High Street ( to do The Picker)
- Monday 22nd May 6.30pm, meet at Archie (Torrs Hydro) in the Torrs
More dates are being added all the time – keep checking Facebook and the blog. If you can’t make these, remember you can pledge to clear a patch that you want to be responsible for near you, or pull as you walk. For advice on balsam bashing see our website.
We are always after new leaders for bashes – contact us if you want to help run an event. We will provide training and equipment.
Discussion Group Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Transition Discussion Group is at 8pm on Monday May 15th in Whaley Bridge (lifts will be available)
We’re going to watch a short (about an hour) film ‘Carnage’ by Simon Anstell about veganism, and discuss a short article proposing VAT on meat which was recently in the Guardian
Please contact us on email@example.com for details if you want to go.
Top Tips (and free gadgets): Reducing Water Use
We’re in a very dry period at the moment (cue the start of a miserably wet summer!), so it’s worth making changes to save water (and money if you have a meter). Have a look at the latest in our series of top tips on the Useful Links web page, with something for everyone including free water saving gadgets!
Make Sure You Vote!
This election will be crucial for your quality of life and the environment we depend on, so it is really important to vote. Transition New Mills isn’t going to tell you how to vote, but we strongly urge you to take account of the parties’ positions on the following key issues when deciding who you’ll vote for:
- climate change: their commitment to meeting the Paris climate deal and pushing for further reductions
- Brexit: ensuring the environment and workers rights are protected or enhanced in legislation
New Mills Carnival
Transition New Mills will be getting the message across at this year’s carnival on the afternoon of 10th June, although the Disney theme may prove a little difficult for us! If you can help out on the stand on the day, if only for a short while, that would be greatly appreciated – email us if you can, otherwise see you there!
Keep the evenings of 20th, 27th or 29th June free in your diaries for the AGM, subject to venue and speaker availability. We’ve a few ideas for speakers but if you have any suggestions please let us know.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
We hoped you liked the newsletter – let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org