TRANSITION LADOCK AND GRAMPOUND ROAD MEETINGS
Are held on the first Thursday of every month alternating between the Falmouth Arms in Ladock and the Cricket Club in Grampound Road. All are welcome and there is no charge!
Ring Chris Jones on 01726 882268 for further details.
THE TRANSITION MOVEMENT
The transition towns movement began in October 2005 when Rob Hopkins and a group of friends launched Transition Town Totnes as the first step in a move towards a low carbon future for their community. They designed a number of steps that people could take to prepare themselves for energy scarcity and a changing climate. The culmination of this would be an ‘energy descent plan’.
Soon the news spread and in Cornwall the first area to respond was west Cornwall, setting up Transition Penwith in 2006. This was followed rapidly by others, including Transition Falmouth, Transition Truro, and, in April 2007, our very own Transition Ladock and Grampound Road. At the time we were the 75th transition community and the smallest in the world!!
There are now 780 transition towns, villages, parishes and neighbourhoods all over the globe – in fact, in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA, and Wales. You can see more details at http://www.transitionnetwork.org/
The transition network has established a number of training courses, and there is a growing pool of transition trainers capable of supporting transition initiatives in many countries and languages. There is also at least one conference each year if you’re keen!
For us here, we have followed a slightly different path to the normal initiatives. We started with an energy audit of Ladock, and with talks to children at Ladock and Grampound Road schools about the climate crisis and peak oil, before launching a series of practical ideas. Here they are:
The first development was a monthly village market in Grampound Road, which followed the pre Transition market in Ladock – now in its 3rd year of operation and getting busier by the month.
A postcard giving times dates and locations of the Ladock, Grampound and Grampound Road markets has been a great success. Cornish cheeses, local vegetables, cakes, eggs, bread, pasties, pork products, plants and preserves are among the regular stalls at the Grampound Road market.
Locating funds to plant a community orchard in the grounds of both our schools in 2009 was a first step in re-introducing traditional Cornish apple varieties into the area on a wider scale and now provides a resource for study ( and eventually fruit!) for the school and parents. Further plantings, funded by a grant from the Co-op are imminent at Grampound Road and other sites in the parish are being sought for late in 2011.(see item on the Cornwall Sustainable Village Competition)
A monthly joint oil-buying scheme has continued to be instrumental in reducing wasteful single deliveries and as an added benefit has kept the cost of domestic heating oil to a minimum over the last 6+ years.
We are encouraging residents to plant trees for firewood coppicing, following a visit to a nearby farm in Tresillian in 2009 where a first cut of ash and alder had just been made, after 5 years’ growth and 75 ash whips were planted.
The field opposite Parc-an-Dowr in Grampound Road was opened up for allotments. There are now 18 allotment holders. (Recently land has become available in Ladock for more allotments near the Falmouth Arms car park.)
New permanent mixed pasture has also been established at Woodland Valley Farm thus increasing our carbon sequestration capacity (by an est. 330 tonnes y.e. April 2010)
We have held a number of talks – most recently by Mike Haywood on the Global Financial crisis – although fewer now because of the high level of activity and the number of public meetings associated with the Low Carbon Challenge (below).
We have opened a dialogue with our MP to make her aware of what measures we feel are needed to make Cornwall more sustainable and gain an understanding of how Localism and the Green Deal will actually work. The first step was a meeting at the end of February.
We were fortunate enough to win the Cornwall Sustainable Village of the Year 2010. The cash part of the prize £1000 will be used to plant more trees and shrubs in suitable places in the parish in the Autumn. Recently the Falmouth Arms in Ladock won the South West Sustainable Pub of the Year award from St Austell brewery.
Our greatest financial success resulted from a collaboration between Community Energy Plus in Redruth, Kabin the Cornish Co-Operative support organisation run by Paul Martin and TLGR as a result of which we won the Low Carbon Challenge.
Despite very tight timescales a comprehensive bid was made to the Labour government in December 2009 for £500,000 for a wide range of equipment installations designed to reduce carbon and to give a basis for study of behaviour change and equipment efficiency.
Houses of different types, ages and situations + 4 public and 3 commercial buildings were chosen. The technologies cover, dry lining, insulation, solar thermal, photovoltaics, air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, biomass boiler, log burner and a 15kw wind turbine. All households/ buildings taking part had to be willing to let people come and talk to them about the equipment and how it performed – effectively to act as demonstration sites and an open day at one property is planned in March 2011 as part of this programme. A full Open Day took place in July 2011.
Both halls, both schools, both pubs and around 8 other properties have taken part and their feedback and involvement in future plans has already been invaluable. (Reviews took place in October 2010 and again in January 2011).
Organisations have been set up to hold and share out the income from the Feed in Tariffs (paid by electricity companies for energy generated by the photovoltaics and wind turbine). This will be supplemented subsequently with payments on solar thermal and other energy generating installations. Anyone in the parish – and beyond – can buy shares and become members of these organisations and have a say in how this money is used to benefit our community for the next 25 years at least. To date more than 167 people have signed up and bought shares.
The elected management groups of these organisations are working to put in place the criteria to be used in allocating income to new low carbon sustainable projects and installations in Ladock, Grampound Road and their surrounding areas.