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After several years building our community resilience and promoting environmental causes (refer to all the previous blogs and projects) we feel it is time to re-focus and go back to our roots in the transition town principles…

transition2_logoTo do so we will wind down our meetings to two or three times a year for a general discussion/ debate on environmental matters and how they may apply in our rural setting.

If you are interested to contribute, have an idea or just want to learn more then please join us at our AGM at 2pm on Sat 16 July or one of the future meetings as advertised in Village Voices and this website.

Andrew
BCG Chair

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Emergency life line; community asset; or ugly liability?
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Spot the difference… Have you noticed our new information board outside the village hall?

Thanks to all the hard work planning, designing and funding a replacement noticeboard for the village, we have finally managed to make it so. Using locally sourced skills the fruits of our labour were realised by Ray Cooke, the village handyman, with a little assistance from Charlie his ‘apprentice‘.

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Stop Fly TippingOur third annual roadside litter pick was both successful and at the same time a bit depressing. Despite the purge of 2012 (in the wet) and 2013 (under snow), just as much roadside litter was collected this year. Hopefully our deep cleanse will make it easier in the future (if only we didn’t have to do it at all)

Capel St Andrew & Butley turned out in the morning to do The Clumps and other roads, collecting around 13 sacks of rubbish plus tyre, carpet, paint spray, broken metal roadside signage frame and broken Dyson vacuum. Thanks to Jean Dean for coordinating this team.

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Streetwise

Today a group of seven households started a Transition Streets journey to a lower energy lifestyle, thanks to support from SCDC Greenprint Forum, building on an earlier pilot and training course in Suffolk led by David Greenacre.

This should help us to save money, reduce our carbon emissions and minimise our reliance on fossil fuels, whilst building a stronger community.

Over the next few months we shall explore our household habits, bills and opportunities in the areas of ENERGY, WATER, WASTE, TRAVEL and FOOD. Read the rest of this entry »

The Community Herb Garden has been looking lovely in the summer sunshine and the herbs planted last year are now well established.  At the last work party, a line of lavender was put in to form a back boundary.  Thank you to the villagers and relatives who donated plants.

The Boyton Oil Syndicate bulk order in June was the biggest yet!  32,000 litres and 32 customers, who each saved over £49 on a 1000 litre order. That’s £1,568 on the whole order that is still in people’s pockets!  The order was delivered promptly in two 20,000 litre tanks – so there were fewer tankers rumbling through our lanes – an added saving.

Boyton Inn was open in June – and there was just enough sun to sit out with a glass of Pimm’s! Table football, games of Jenga and visiting dogs made for a lively evening – and there were excellent snacks too.  A mystery has yet to be solved though: who has the ‘silver spoon’ that was awarded for the tastiest snack at the last Inn of 2012? Can we have it back please, for next time?
The next meeting is on Saturday 27th July, 10 am at Chesterfield Lodge (411203). All welcome as always.

Mountain of rubbish

Mountain of rubbish

Following the successful road side litter pick 2012, this year all the villages from across the Bawdsey Peninsula agreed to take part in a co-ordinated litter pick on Saturday 23 March.

Despite the appalling weather, most of the Parish Councils managed to get out before the relentless snow covered everything. Between them all we cleared over 50 sacks of rubbish from the roadside verge, making a mountain of black bags to add to the huge pile of detritus that the SWT group collected earlier in the week from Lower Hollesley Common. Had the snow not fallen I dread to thing just how much more would have been retrieved from the roadsides.

Some of the strange and dangerous items found included: 25 car tyres; loads of part used motor oil containers; broken washing baskets; a headboard; carpet and underlay; a rusty wheelbarrow, and lots more.

This was all made possible thanks to each Parish Council who nominated a lead for their village to do what they could –

Please Don't Dump

This is a ‘pile of rubbish’ sign

Alderton, Bawdsey, Boyton, Butley, Capel St Andrew, Hollesley, Shottisham, Sutton & Sutton Heath, as well as a working party from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Plus the generous support of Suffolk Coast & Heaths who kindly provide all the equipment needed to make it easier for communities to just get on and do it, as well as Suffolk Coastal District Council waste services who kindly collected everything we found.

Below are a few more pictures from this years efforts – sadly due to the weather people didn’t hang around long enough for me to get any photos of the real hero’s who turned out despite the weather and make such a positive contribution to our pretty little corner of Suffolk… thank you all – you know who you are (and enjoy your cream egg).

Should anyone else be inspired to do something similar there is a useful online guide on the Ipswich Borough Council website for community litter picks. Radio Suffolk continue to run their successful Don’t be a Tosser campaign and can help you too.

And finally, a couple of feedback comments received – feel free to add your own using the feedback entry below…

“…if I can please ask you to pass on our sincere thanks to all involved in whatever way. We are very grateful for the massive contribution to looking after this area of the AONB, but as always it’s such a shame that this kind of effort and activity is needed at all.”
Lynn Allen – Countryside Officer, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

Impressive stuff – must be great to get such a tangible action done.”
Simon Amstutz is the Dedham Vale AONB Manager and Planning & Development Officer.

We had another fun start to the festive season with another carol service with live music thanks to Miles as well as a silly hat competition – photos will be added to our facebook page. Our next Village Inn activities will resume after Easter once the warmer weather arrives, when we hope to try a Dine Out in Boyton evening, so watch out for further details nearer the time.

Christmas Cake

In addition to welcoming in the New Year we have recently welcomed some more newcomers to Boyton too and we would like to say a very warm welcome to you all – at 1 Cottons Acre, April Cottage and Ayanday! We hope you enjoy your Welcome Pack and find it useful.

The Community Group will be reviewing the Welcome Pack in the near future, and on a regular basis.  If you have any suggestions for any updates or amendments, please email Gary Lowe by 25th January.

Progress continues with the Herb Garden; those passing will have noticed that the post and rope along the front is finished; those that haven’t can see from the photograph.  A frosty morning on our last work party day means lavender planting will have to wait!  Next steps are to include a bench and eventually a new noticeboard.

The group has been running a wholefood bulk purchasing scheme for eight households for a while now.  ‘Wholefood’ is something of a misnomer as a wide range of food and household products can be purchased. A typical saving comparing the same items bought in a shop is about 25%. We have not rolled the scheme out more widely as it does involve a little bit of time, mainly in co-ordinating the order and sorting out the goods when they arrive. Ruth Hatchett has said that she may be prepared to set up a group in Hollesley. Please contact Ruth if you might be interested.

As you know, we run a quarterly bulk oil purchasing scheme. On the back of this success we are thinking about extending the idea to bulk purchase of electricity. More details will follow soon.

Small scale pig-rearing, organised by local communities and schools, is becoming more popular. If anyone is interested in such a project in Boyton, please contact Gary Lowe

Next regular meeting of the group will be on Saturday 26 January 2013 10.00am at Papaver (Andy 411720).  As ever, all are welcome!

Gary Lowe

There might not have been enough apples to press for juice this year, sadly, but there are plenty for the seasonal ABC

 

How was your crop this year? What is your favourite apple (or blackberry) dish? Did you ever go (and admit to) apple scrumping?

If you do have enough apples to press for juice then there are some events around the area throughout October. Just don’t go and upset the cart.

 

Herb garden pathing nearing completion

After all the hard work, nearly there.

Progress on the Community Herb Garden in August has been very visible, with the brick path snaking its way through the three beds, freshly planted out with a great variety of herbs. The work has all been done by enthusiastic volunteers (12 this month!). Bricks and wood and plants and even the earth to fill the beds have all been donated by supporters.

A true community effort – many thanks to all those who have donated their time, brains and resources to make this possible for all the enjoy.

The next work party is Saturday 8th September at 10:30 am.

The Welcome Pack, produced by the Group (with Boyton Parish Council) has been distributed to every household in Boyton. If you would like something similar for your village, contact Andy Cassy on 411720 to discuss how it was done. Residents are invited to amend or add to the pack to keep it completely up to date: (contact Andy).

Our AGM marked the end of our first year as a formally constituted association. The formal roles were ‘reshuffled’ in the elections. Gary Lowe stepped down after an amazingly successful year as Chair and took over from Brenda Williamson as Secretary. Brenda, who has done great work with all the paperwork, moved on to be Vice Chair. Our Treasurer, Richard Jesty (also Chair of Boyton Parish Council) having set the Group on a firm financial footing, handed over to Andy Cassy and I have become the new Chair.

We were lucky to have Nick Grimwood from Green Energy Felistowe – an expert in renewable power. He talked us through the options: wood burning stoves with a back boiler; photovoltaic (pv) panels (which generate electricity from sunlight); solar thermal systems (which use the heat of the sun to generate hot water); ground- or air-source heat pumps (which use clever technology to extract heat from the ground or the air, to provide hot water even in really cold weather) and a new, efficient type of boiler powered by wood pellets. For information please contact Gary Lowe, 411203.

Boyton Inn at the Village Hall is on Saturday 15th September from 7:30 pm – bring your own drink and food to share – win the silver spoon trophy for dish of the month. We have a BeachWatch work party being planned too.

And finally our next monthly meeting will be at Chesterfield Lodge is on Saturday 29th September – from 10 am. Do come along and help decide what the Group does next!

John Carpmael

PS – we’d love to hear from you if you attended the event or have any photos to add to our library on Facebook

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