Our early autumn update profiles an exciting project to quantify the value of Lewes' trees in support of FoL's Urban Arboretum project. Plus we report on the recent open day for the Neighbourhood Plan, helping to create a resilient and community-driven future for our town.
If you'd like to help with the Lewes iTree survey, please email Colin Tingle. If you'd like to help with the Neighbourhood Plan please eMail Susan Murray. Here's the latest update from Lewes & Ouse Valley eco-nomics...
|Overall Lewes Eco Open Houses had nearly 800 house visits for the 16 houses opened and, not surprisingly, the newer houses saw the most people.|
Feedback from householders and volunteers indicated that visitors were very focussed on getting practical information to do jobs themselves, especially the low cost – high impact ones such as Magnetic secondary glazing and LEDs. This was really heartening as we all got the impression that we were inspiring people to change. This is dramatically borne out by the figures from the feedback forms, where we asked the question ‘Do you intend to make your home more energy efficient?’. More...
Lewes MP Norman Baker officially launched Lewes Eco Open Houses, which will be held over the weekends of 13-14 and 20-21 September.
Sixteen homes in Lewes, Barcombe, Ditchling, Rodmell and rural areas, will be open to the public to see how you can save money on energy and water bills, whilst staying warm and comfortable and reducing your carbon footprint. With fuel costs rising and changeable weather patterns increasing, the Eco Open Houses trail is an invaluable way to see first-hand how to make your home cheaper to run and more comfortable. Details of all the houses and opening hours are at www.lewesecoopenhouses.org.uk
Local currency provider opens first business account at East Sussex Credit Union
Left: Nikki Plummer 0f East Sussex Credit Union with Susan Murray of The Lewes Pound.
East Sussex Credit Union, the county's leading 'not for profit' savings and loans co-operative has confirmed that The Lewes Pound has become its first business member. The news comes hot on the heels of the credit union's recent announcement that it would be opening its doors to the local business community, since when there has been growing interest from firms across East Sussex. More...
Do you still have copies of the previous issue of the Lewes Pound in your purse or wallet? They might be the special issue celebrating the Mumford and Sons event or they might be our beautiful LP1 notes featuring designs based on Harvey's Brewery or Keere Street by young people. Or maybe you even have one of our LP10 notes featuring the then newly open Linklater Pavilion.
Now is the time to swap them for our even more beautifully designed 2014 issue notes, including the LP5 and LP1 notes designed by a local schoolgirl as part of the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes and the LP 10 celebrating the South Downs National Park. You can take your old notes into any of our issuing points and they will be happy to swap them over for you.
You will then be ready to carry on supporting local businesses by spending our own local currency until 2020.
At his workshop in Lewes last month, Rob Hopkins called the supermarkets "extractive industries" because they export wealth from the town. It can be estimated that Lewes people spend about £21 million pounds a year on food. (1)
Most of that, maybe £16 million, does still go to the supermarkets despite the growth of the Farmers' Market and Food Market.
Rob talked about the enormous potential of diverting even a tenth of those millions to local businesses. Think what a transformative effect even £2 million would have in terms of local jobs - and much of this money would again be spent locally.
Spending £10 in a local shop is worth £25 to the local economy because of local re-spending. And local food shops employ three times as many people for the same amount of turnover.
It is possible to obtain virtually all food needs in our local independent shops and markets. See Where to buy And price need not be a barrier for many people - see Lewes Food Market's price comparison
The practice of community currencies is at a crucial point in its global history - never before have there been so many initiatives, models, theories and widespread hopes in the field as today. People are turning to currencies as solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges in their communities - whether communities of traders, local residents or health and social care providers.
By creating new ways to exchange time and goods, new currencies provide a valuable addition to conventional money and the narrowly profit orientated economies it supports. They allow people to build connections that don’t depend on how many pounds you might have in your wallet, purse or bank account. Thanks to advances in technology and a big increase in the awareness of the need to form economically and environmentally sustainable communities, discussions on how to make money work better for people are now entering mainstream policy debates. READ MORE
The East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) are definitely a local good news story, based on the negativity and horror stories that we have seen lately. These include the serious operational and general issues surrounding high interest lenders and loan sharks and the horrendous effects that their actions are having on unsuspecting borrowers. Read more...
You might like to read this inspiring edition of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) journal Clean Slate; it covers all the bases about climate change, divestment and our response. Recommended by Ann Link of TTL.
A big thank-you to everyone who supported Transition Town Lewes' seventh birthday at the wonderful and unique Zu Studios on 12 June.
|A packed venue heard from Transition founder Rob Hopkins (left) on how ‘just doing stuff’ really can make a difference (and got a whistle-stop tour around the greater and lesser-known similarities between Lewes and Totnes. Did you know both towns are exactly 6 miles from the sea? Thanks Rob, neither did we.)|
East Sussex Bach Choir provided some rousing community song while legendary prog-rocker Arthur Brown performed two specially-penned songs in aid of Phoenix Rising's alternative community development bid for the North Street industrial site. READ MORE...
Read Rob Hopkins blog: We kick off our month on 'Transition and Celebration' with 10 Tips for great Transition celebration...
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...|
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...
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...
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 onlineTo find out more, call us at 01273 234 858 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.|
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...
|"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...|
|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 Aquaopnic_life@icloud.com
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
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...