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It may have rained in London but for all those who stayed in our local neighbourhood and turned out on the night it was the most perfect evening…

All the contributions for firewood and fireworks were enjoyed by well over 60 residents from Boyton, Capel and Butley – and many more further afield given our elevated position. Not since the previous jubilee celebrations has there been such an event on Burrow Hill – once an island, with evidence of settlements from the Neolithic, Bronze & Iron ages onwards (further details in the fascinating book Untold Tales by Valerie Fenwick & Vic Harrop). Thanks to the current landowner farmers, Jamie & Andrew Greenwell, for allowing the community to use it once again.

Robert Stead

Full moon rising over Butley Creek

After the sun went down, the air and river appeared to stand still as if holding their breath in awe of the full moon rising over the Ness. The earlier winds and rays had thankfully dried out sufficient straw and wood to get a really good burn going without too much trouble. By this time many faces, old & new, young & old, had managed to find their way up t’top and other vantage points around this ancient mound.

Robert Stead

At the alloted time we lit the firework cakes (great choice from the Firework Emporium on Foxhall Rd, but do not leave it too late or they sell out of the best stuff – not cheap but well worth it as vouched for by all those who attended and saw our show). Whizz, bang, whoosh. Oooooh, aaaaahhhhhh, hurraahh. Then time to savour the magic, finish off the celebratory drinks and wend our way back home after a most memorable evening (if only for the sodden wet feed after trapsing through the long grass).

For further photos of what we got up to for the Jubilee celebrations see our Facebook page – BoytonSuffolk


I was really please I cycled the twelve miles or so to Saxmundham this afternoon to visit the GreenerSax skills share event.

They had local experts on hand to explain about a wide range of skills, including: bee keeping, preserving, foraged food, plumbing, bike repairs, uni-cycle riding, life coaching, silk ink printing, art, massage therapy and more. I admire those with these ‘traditional‘ skills which we are losing, and was inspired with confidence to tackle that dripping tap after a chat with a very knowledgeable lady plumber (thank you). Now, what I really want to share with you is this cool web service which could be used to help us all to share our own possessions, spaces and skills with confidence…

Ecomodo is a free online service that I have recently stumbled across that allows you to lend and borrow everyday objects, skills and spaces with ease. This site is a cross between LETS, Freecycle and eBay, allowing you to choose to lend for free, for a fee or for charity. The clever bit that they have sorted out is all the legal, contractual stuff that might otherwise put you off doing this yourself, and simplifying the payment process too – acting as a secure escrow (third party) with payments made via PayPal.

Ecomodo website

Ecomodo website

What I like about this service is that you can set up your own lending circles, as you are more likely to loan or hire items to people you know or who live close by. With payments going to any PayPal account you can even make payments to community group funds or charities if you wish. This is an excellent example of the different kinds of business models we need in the future to help reduce unnecessary waste & purchases by fully utilising what we already have/own, rather than squandering precious time, money or resources on buying new stuff which is then under-used. Just what we need in these times of austerity and environmental dangers. Win. Win. Win.

Did you know: apparently, the average power drill is used for just 12 minutes of its life. This is very wasteful, expensive and inefficient, which is where Collaborative Consumption comes in. Rather than being consumers of goods and services, we can use the benefits of community citizenship to lesson our impact on precious resources and the environement whilst helping our neighbours. Another example would be WhipCar where we you can hire out your own vehicle to create an income for times when you don’t need it – Q: how many vehicles are there in your household? and how often are they left unused?

So, whatever skill, object or spaces you own, use Ecomodo to help you share them with minimum hassle. The more of us who join these services the better the chance we can find or offer what is needed. I have set up circles for my own community at ‘Boyton’ as well as for members of the GreenPrint Forum and my own work.

So check it it out:

  • What could you offer or need to borrow?
  • And what circles could you grow in your neighbourhood, work or other groups?


PS – thanks to Jenny and Michael for sharing a lift back in their car (and to you for reading this far)

Having seen the roadside close up when cycling home to Boyton I noticed there is a LOT of rubbish on the road side from Sutton Hoo to our local villages. With the support from Boyton, Hollesley, Sutton Heath Parish Councils and Hollesley Bay we are organising this litter pick – probably one of the longest in Suffolk (if not the UK!?) if we manage to complete the full 8 miles – see google map for details.

To do so we need help from volunteers to do a pincer movement by four teams walking along the verge collecting rubbish, converging for a mass litter mountain at Upper Hollesley Common picnic site (and to receive a cream egg for your efforts).

Please register your participation and obtain further details by contacting either:

  • Andrew Cassy, overall coordinator & Boyton lead
  • Michael De May for the Sutton Heath stretch
  • Tony Baynard for the Hollesley stretch

Litter Pick Volunteers

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