Our second deep dive discussion took us outside our usual patch into Bawdsey to discuss how we can use and spend less on water, appropriately in a house that had its own hand-pumped well in the back garden.

Anglian Water - Love Every DropIn the  Anglian Water area we each use an average of 145 litres of water every day, in a region which receives less annual rainfall than Jerusalem. Although it would appear to rain here a lot, in fact the UK has less available water per person than most other European countries.

About a third of the water we use runs down the drain or toilet without being used, and just 4% is used for drinking. So the key to water efficiency is reducing waste, using less hot water will save you money on your energy bills too. The Anglian Drop 20 campaign has lots of useful and interesting facts to get you started. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our first session was held in February to discuss how we can spend less on our energy usage.

2012 'Energy Consumption in UK' DECC Report

2012 ‘Energy Consumption in UK’ DECC Report

According to the 2012 DECC report ‘Energy Consumption in the UK’, around 60% of our total domestic consumption is  used for space heating, 18% in heating water, 19% in lighting & appliances, leaving around 3% used for cooking.

Studies have shown that one of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce your consumption is to monitor usage on a regular basis, typically seeing reductions of 5-10% per year. Electricity is easiest to track, with simple and easy to fit monitors available from your local Suffolk library. These electricity meters show your real-time and historical usage, measured in Kwh, £ and CO2. Similar information should also be available on your regular electricity  bills to which should make comparison and switching easier to understand.

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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 »

Suma registration

It’s very easy! And upto 30% cheaper.

Since 2011 a food purchase scheme has been run by the BCG with Suma but many other suppliers are available depending what your group wish to purchase.

A food group can be as small as one household or as large as the number of people who want to join in.  A named person contacts Suma for a customer number and password, which then enables that person to access the prices on the website and place an order.

In Boyton (and surrounding area) we have seven households who regularly place an order, and two people who alternate placing the order. We sometimes split packs with each other so that we don’t end up with too much of any one item. We generally put in an order every other month.

It’s not only food that can be bought in bulk – you can also buy things like toilet rolls, washing powder, nappies, soap and shampoo. Read the rest of this entry »

Image

(C) Robert Stead

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The early shift

Our first pressing…

CHEERS – from the early shift

After a fallow 2012, a windfall of Boyton Scrumpers turned out for a busy couple of hours to chop, mush, press and bottle a bumper crop of apples. With specialist equipment hired, we took a chance with the Autumnal weather and set to work alfresco.

Bags, boxes and barrow loads of locally grown, hand-picked produce appeared. A production line formed. Windfalls, cookers and eaters processed. Two brown wheelie bins of pulp were filled. After spillages, over 50 litres of delicious freshly squeezed apple juice was generated. Read the rest of this entry »

This year seems to be much better than last for some apple trees. If so, why not come and press a few to make your own juice. We have hired a professional masher and fruit press. Tastes delicious with windfalls, cookers or eaters. Freeze blue bags are provided. Suggested donation to cover hire charges is just £3 per household.

Just turn up with whatever you have 2-4pm Saturday 12 October.

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.

After a slow start to the year things are starting to pick-up for the community group with an active calendar of events forming….

  • Beachwatch, the litter pick along the river, will take place on Saturday 16 March, meeting at the Village Hall at 2.00pm. Contact Keith Lilley
  • Peninsula litter pick, Sat 23 March. Most of the villages on the Peninsula have agreed to coordinate a mass roadside litter pick on this weekend to help keep our verges and environment cleaner and smarter for visitors and wildlife to benefit. We hope to improve on last years achievement – see map for details of confirmed pickings. Contact Andrew for details or call 411720.
  • Boyton Inn should resume in April, running through the summer to September – Saturdays at 7.30pm at the village hall. Watch this space and Village Voices for further details.
  • Birds & Brunch is a new event, planned for Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May. This will involve a guided walk around the marshes, village or forest, looking to see what birds are breeding or passing through, followed by refreshments in the village hall. There will be a small charge for this event with all proceeds going towards the community group running costs. Booking will be necessary with charges at £5 per person for Birds & Brunch. For enquiries or bookings contact Gary Lowe on 01394 411203 or e-mail gary.lowe1957@btinternet.com.
  • Apple Day, we hope this year will have a good enough harvest, in anticipation we have provisionally booked the apple press, apple dryer and peelers for Saturday 12 October so hold that date and pray for a mild spring

The community group received a few suggested amendments to the Welcome Pack. A revised version is now available. We want to keep this document up to date and accurate, so suggestions for further changes are always welcome.

For those interested in switching to a green energy provider, please consider using Co-operative Energy. Speak to Andrew on 411720 or e-mail Boyton.co2@btinternet.com for more information. It is possible you and the community group could each make £25 from switching, as well as benefiting from a greener tarrif.

Finally, in our last article, we asked whether there was any interest in setting up a pig project. That did not provoke much reaction but there does seem to be some interest in setting up a Boyton Beekeepers group. Get in touch with Gary, as above, if you want to know more.

For more information, including copies of the Welcome Pack, minutes of meetings and much more of interest, visit the group’s website, as above.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 30 March at Chesterfield Lodge, Boyton, starting at 10.00am and hopefully finishing by noon.

Gary Lowe
February 2013

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