Transition News

OVESCO Confirmed as an Ashden 2014 Award winner

Ovesco secured an award worth £10,000 at the Ashden Awards ceremony on the 22nd of May for its work on renewable energy in Lewes District.

More on the Ovesco IPS website...
23 May 2014.

Truth, growth and democracy

In 1972 a report was published by the Club of Rome, called Limits to Growth. The writers of the report had decided to come out with something that's perfectly obvious but no-one wants to hear: you cannot have perpetual growth in a closed system. Mankind must reach the limits to growth on this planet eventually; the only question is when.

The report was updated most recently in 2008. I attended a meeting of the All-Party Policy Group on Peak Oil (APPGOPO) at the House of Commons in 2011 when it was shown that the predictions contained in the report closely matched actual events including oil and commodity price rises, food shortages and general economic indicators including the 2008 crash. Read more...

1 Jan 1970.

Vegetable gardening in June



Gardening in June reflects the essential cussedness of life. The warm weather, sunshine and longer days bring one's beds to life; also, of course, they cause weeds to flourish. One is reminded once more that gardening is not an event, but a process. Never sit down and tell yourself that you have done the weeding - you have done Tuesday's weeding, and tomorrow there is Wednesday's weeding to do, and then there are five more days of the week. Read more...

1 Jan 1970.

East Sussex Credit Union

Our local credit union is expanding - more savers are needed so that we can help more people avoid loan sharks and payday loan companies.


Members can now save up to £25,000 and know that their money is being used in the local community. Savers who are under 16 get 2% gross interest, and remember that you can now join online

To find out more, call us at 01273 234 858 or email
20 May 2014.

Summary of IPCC report on Climate Change


  If you find the full IPCC report on Climate Change too much to read, here is a good summary prepared by local resident and expert, Tom Crossett.
29 Apr 2014.

Lewes Pound New Issue

The new issue of the Lewes Pound will launch officially on 3rd May and will be available at our regular stall in the farmers' market and at a special stall in the LDC tent at the Chalk Life Festival up on Landport Bottom, as well as at the Southover Fayre at the Priory on 10th May.

The 3rd coincides with the start of the festivities around the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes and this is referenced by some of the notes. More...

24 Apr 2014.

Grow Cucumbers

    "A cucumber," said Dr Johnson, "should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."  I am inclined to disagree. Very good in a raita, of course, and goes curiously well with peanut butter. They are supposed by herbalists to purify the blood, but I have never quite understood what this means. More...
23 Apr 2014.

What is Aquaponics?


  Aquaponics is a sustainable / closed circuit way of growing fresh vegetables, herbs and fish together symbiotically.  More here...

If you’d like to learn more, Aquaponic Life are a not-for-profit company who are running ‘Introduction to Aquaponics’ and ‘DIY Aquaponics’ courses in East Sussex, they aim to help inspire communities to reconnect with the nature of food and become more self-sufficient. Contact Neil or Emerald at

26 Mar 2014.

A few things you should know about slugs

More food growing tips from Jon...

  We never did get a winter, did we? Autumn went on forever, and now spring seems to be here. Mild, wet and windy weather has brought some beneficial effects for the gardener; however, it probably means that we will have a bumper crop of slugs.

Now, to my mind, slugs are attractive little creatures, with a rather interesting love life... more

1 Jan 1970.

Living with climate change - Chris Rowland's story...

One of the things Transition can bring is the ability to turn 'living with climate change' into inspired and positive action.  We asked Chris Rowland of Ovesco to tell us his story...

12 Mar 2014.

The Climate News Network

A ready-to-use factual service that brings you the latest news of climate change science. You can sign up for emails here...

Read Farming on sand by Kieran Cooke.

12 Mar 2014.

Lewes Food Group

Bulk Buying Food Group - Based in Lewes

Lewes Food Group buy food in bulk from Suma every 2 months.
Good Quality, Ethically Sourced & Organic Food at wholesale prices.

10 Mar 2014.

The Lewes Pound Loves Freedom

  The Lewes Pound is delighted to be sharing in the growing excitement in the build up to the commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes in May 2014.

We are working to bring out the new issue of our notes slightly early so as to coincide with the beginning of the fortnight of Battle-related events starting on 3rd May and hope the designs will reflect some of the themes. More on the Lewes Pound website...

19 Feb 2014.

Lewes Neighbourhood Plan

Lewes Town Council is developing a Neighbourhood Plan, and has invited TTL to join a community steering group which will define its vision, priorities and content.  If the Lewes community and council accept the Plan, it becomes statutory planning policy and any development in the area will need to conform to it.  This could be an opportunity to encourage and promote sustainable design and construction, reducing energy demand in existing buildings, local community energy, sustainable transport networks, local small businesses, and more! 

TTL is forming a small group to explore responses to the Plan as it evolves over the next year, drawing on Transition Town principles and practice.  If you would like know more or to join the TTL group, please contact Dirk Campbell on 01273 479018.

22 Nov 2013.

The Burning Question

By Ann Link and Juliet Oxborrow

Late November saw Guardian journalist Duncan Clark speak to a capacity audience about his book The Burning Question at a public meeting organised by Transition Town Lewes.

  The Burning Question explores how the world has any chance of keeping within the critical 20C temperature rise agreed at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, given that carbon emissions keep rising exponentially.

In his talk, Duncan explained that burning fossil fuels has so far put 2,000 billion tonnes of CO2 into the air. To have a 50/50 chance of staying within the two-degree limit, the world can afford to emit only an additional 1,600 billion tonnes of CO2 (or just 700 billion tonnes for a 75% chance).  Read it here...

Useful links and information

Why can't we quit fossil fuels?
Alternatives to the big energy suppliers
– a comprehensive guide to renewable suppliers.
Burning Question – Actions to take

1 Jan 1970.

Switching to an independent renewable energy supplier

Send a message to the Big Six energy companies: switch to an independent renewable supplier. It can be easier than you think, and prices are competitive.

26 Nov 2013.

Worth Watching - The Story of Stuff

Take inspiration from these short, fun clips about the life cycle of stuff we consume. There may be a way of using these to spread awareness of the issues and if you have ideas and are keen to work on a project relating to this, TTL would be happy to hear from you.

The Story of Stuff from The Story of Stuff Project

18 Nov 2013.

News from East Sussex Credit Union

If you have long been meaning to join the East Sussex Credit Union, there is a new opportunity! You can now join online and save and borrow knowing your cash is staying local and going to help the community in East Sussex. You can still visit the Brighton office on weekdays between 10am and 3pm, and the Lewes help point is open on Wednesdays from 10am to 12 noon in the community flat on De Montfort estate. For more help points see website

Our Credit Union also offers Workplace Savings & Loans Schemes, with payments made direct from employees' payrolls.  These are currently available for staff at ESCC, Lewes and Wealden District Councils, Eastbourne Borough Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, Brighton & Hove Buses, University of Brighton and  Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals Trust, among others.  Anyone working for these employers can contact us to arrange membership and take advantage of the services on offer. Further details can be found on the Workplace Schemes page of the ESCU website.

We are also looking for willing employers to join this scheme, as we believe that this offers a valuable service to employees.  Please get in touch if you think your place of employment and colleagues could benefit.

18 Nov 2013.

New ways of thinking and a new word to match: 'Naturegain'

Naturegain  is a word who’s meaning captures what nature does for us and how we can help. As an example:

All our water comes from Nature. But did you know that, in Lewes, we don’t get all our water from reservoirs; much of our water actually comes from groundwater? This is because of our setting in the local chalk hills and is influenced by the way the chalk landscapes are managed. Rainwater percolates through the chalk rock and then comes out from springs or is pumped from bore holes. We pay the local water company because they provide the infrastructure and management (pumps and pipes and ‘stuff’), but behind the engineering, water is a product of naturegain.

Clean air is also a product of naturegain. It is natural processes – principally living plants – that produce the oxygen we breathe. Perhaps less obviously, the economy comes into it too! According to one of the Senior Managers at Deutsche Bank, naturegain (although he calls it ‘natural flows’) is a very important part of the ‘invisible economy’ (more). Without naturegain, our economies would not function as we know them. However, its contribution is invisible because it is not given a monetary value by conventional economic measures and indicators. Naturegain is an ‘externality’, which means it is not accounted for in the economy.

And here’s the other side of the equation! Past a certain point, we only gain from nature if nature gains from us. We need to invest in nature to get what we need from natural processes and systems. So naturegain includes the gain that nature gets from us! The problem here is that because it is invisible in the economy, normal economic progress and growth often leads to destruction or degradation of nature. This is a bit like cutting off the legs of a chair in order to put wood on the fire and then expecting to be able to sit on the chair to enjoy the warmth of the fire. What is needed then is to re-gain nature.

All this is what naturegain says in one simple word! (watch it as a slideshow for best results)

1 Jan 1970.
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