Transition Town Lewes is sad to announce the death of Dr Colin Tingle, a member of TTL’s steering group, community campaigner, environmental scientist and much loved friend.

Having been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer nine months ago, Colin died on 18th May at St Peter and St James hospice, surrounded by close friends, love and music.


Colin on the Downs


Colin was loved and admired by many friends and colleagues for his unwavering support for local environmental and community causes, his welcoming openness and his determination to live by his beliefs. He is perhaps best known in Lewes for leading the Lewes & Ouse Valley eco-nomics group (L&OVe). This ground-breaking group looked to promote ‘eco-systems services’ – the benefits that a local community and economy gets from our environment, such as pollination, water purification, flood protection and climate regulation. He created ‘naturegain’ walks and workshops where he skilfully drew out participants’ awareness of connections between the environment and the economy, community and personal well-being.

As part of this practice, he helped to shape the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan, putting ecosystem services at the heart of future planning decisions in the town and creating a new methodology for assessing the importance of green spaces.

Colin also developed Rodmell Food Forest, turning a dry, windy, elevated location on the South Downs into a vibrant, fertile permaculture garden, with a tree corridor extending up the hillside. He brought together permaculture experts and created a community of international WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) volunteers who were enthused and inspired by his gentle sharing of wisdom and his wonderful cooking.

He also saw local currencies as a potentially revolutionary economic force. He was a Director of the Lewes Pound, and almost all his household shopping was done at shops that accepted the Lewes Pound.

As an environmental consultant, Colin advised the Gatwick Diamond Authorities on carbon and eco-footprint reduction practices and guidelines – a Toolkit for Footprint Reduction.

Earlier in his career, Colin was instrumental in assessing the impact of pesticide use in Africa. He was co-leader of a project in Madagascar on the environmental effects of the pesticide Fipronil, which led to a Presidential Decree to ban Fipronil for aerial spraying against locusts. He was also part of scientific team to investigate the environmental effects of DDT use for tsetse fly control in Zimbabwe. Publication of their report coincided with the withdrawal of DDT use for tsetse control in the country.

Colin’s funeral takes place on Monday 12 June. Further details here…



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