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
  • 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 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

Three events you that may be of interest:

  • SCCP Green Deal briefing – Sat 16 Feb
  • Greenprint Forum Launch – Thur 7 Mar
  • Streetwise Transition Streets Training – Sat 20 Apr

SCCP Green Deal briefing event
Saturday 16th February,  12-2pm  at East Green Energy show room.
East Green Energy showroom, 26 Quayside, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1BH

A briefing will cover the Green Deal and how we can all benefit from it – homeowners, tenants and businesses can now make energy efficiency improvements to their home/business – like having solid wall insulation (where no cavity walls exist) and new double glazing installed – paid for by the expected energy savings made on their fuel bill.

The good news is that Suffolk has been selected as one of the few pilot Green Deal Pioneer Places in the UK, and so you can now get a free Green Deal Assessment (normally costing about £100) from our pilot partner and Green Deal provider Aran Services, who are based here in Suffolk. There is extra help for those living in homes without mains gas and/or in properties without cavity walls. Andrew Jackson will also be giving a 5 minute brief on the Community Environmental Action Fund and how it could benefit your community see SCDC website for more information

Please book your place on the event by sending an email John Taylor. Refreshments provided.

Launch of the East Coast Greenprint Forum.
Thursday 7 March, Greenprint Forum, 5.30pm – 9pm,
Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew.

Part of Climate Week and Fairtrade Fortnight.

The Greenprint Forum Steering Group we would like to invite you to the Formal Launch of the East Coast Greenprint Forum.

You will get a chance to talk over food to community environmental support organisations and communities who are ‘doing it for themselves’ in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney and beyond. Indeed you may well wish to put yourself forward as one of the stalls.

Through a talk and open session you will be exploring Fairtrade (Waveney District Council is a Fairtrade Council and Suffolk Coastal will be considering this in due course) and local food. There will also be a workshop on how the Suffolk Hedgerow Survey can be taken forward. Further information and an event programme.

If you represent a community, an organisation, or a group that is making  (or trying to make) a difference in East Suffolk or are an individual looking to start one book your place now to avoid disappointment. Please contact Andrew Jackson or call 01394 444218.

To reduce the amount of travel that people have to do, encourage use of public transport and cater for those that are not able to drive far in the dark we will be trying to link people together for car sharing, please indicate on the booking form if you require or can give a lift.

One of our groups is supporting the Family in Need food parcel appeal – it would be wonderful if you are coming if you could also bring some suitable non-perishables (Families in Need Foodbank).

Streetwise – Transition Streets Training
Saturday 20 April, 9:00
– 17:30.

This 1 day free training course provides the basis for running a Transition Streets (TS) project whereby Street by street behaviour change is introduced which will benefit the people involved and the environment. Transitions Streets originated in Totnes under the name of Transition Together. Based on 468 households from 56 groups the average saving per household is around £570 per year and 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per year’. ‘The greatest benefit of participating was the new social connections and the strengthening of local community.’ Free to attend but you must register as places are limited. See Streetwise flyer for details

Book cover

Book cover

First, some background: Richard Heinberg is an American academic who has written extensively on environmental and economic issues. He works at the Post Carbon Institute and his previous books include ‘Peak Everything’, ‘The Party’s Over’ and ‘Power Down’, all of which look at resource depletion and particularly at our reliance on fossil fuels. This new book draws together many of those issues but looks at them from the perspective of our current recession.

The essential message of the book is that a number of factors are coming together which will mean that there is no long term prospect of continuing to live the way that we do at the moment. Those factors are:

  • Resource Depletion: many of Richard’s earlier books detail the background to peak oil. It is sobering to realise the extent to which our whole way of life is dependent on fossil fuels, from industrialisation to agriculture to transportation, through to the more mundane uses that we take for granted. Our society relies on the huge amounts of stored energy that are being released in the use of fossil fuels and it is that which allows our planet to support a population of seven billion, when the sustainable level is something like two to three billion. The discovery of this energy source has been likened to the humankind winning the lottery – unfortunately it has largely been squandered for short term gain.

While oil is the bedrock of our society, the extent to which we are using up other, non-renewable resources may not be as widely known. The book details a whole host of other irreplaceable elements and compounds that we are rapidly depleting.

  • Environmental Impacts: the effects of extraction and use of resources on the environment has also been well documented and is likely to worsen.
  • Financial Disruptions: a key element of the book’s argument is that the current socio-economic system is reliant on growth that can no longer be sustained. The scale of the world economy that has been created as a result of the availability of the cheap energy source that is fossil fuels means that it has to rely on debt; money is created by debt and to pay the interest on that debt requires constant growth. If the earth’s resources are finite, then it stands to reason that such growth cannot be sustained indefinitely. If it is a bubble that is reliant on oil and oil is running out, then it would seem that we are reaching that stage.

The book goes on to look at the likely effects of innovation and substitution. Having come to the conclusion that these cannot bridge the gaps that are starting to show, it looks at some possible scenarios if nothing is done to change the way that we live. It then moves to look at possible approaches to managing the problem. The conclusion is that we must look to create a sustainable society with a steady-state economy based on more responsible use of our natural resources.

That is all well and good but it begs the question why this is not being addressed in any serious manner by the world’s governments. An interesting part of the book looks at why that may be the case. It cites research that shows that selfish behaviour is an innate survival mechanism that is hard-wired into our brains: we would much rather take a short term reward than plan ahead. Is there any hope? There are learned behaviours of self-restraint and empathy for others but the depressing conclusion is that the short-term, selfish view is likely to prevail until such time as the situation worsens to the extent that action is better than no action. Unfortunately, by then it may well be too late!

This is only a very brief overview of the book. It is meticulously researched and the arguments are well presented. I would urge everyone to read it; if anyone wants to borrow my copy, please get in touch.

Gary Lowe.

published by Clairview (ISDN 978 1 905570 33 1)

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


The isolation, remoteness and sheer raw beauty of this little corner of AoNB and heritage coastline is why many people come to visit Boyton, and the surrounding area. A lucky few even manage to live here and enjoy year round rural idle.

There is a myriad of footpaths and bridleways cutting across the landscape to offer a variety of short and long walks, many of them can be made circular to avoid retracing your steps. See our local map for an indication of where you can go and what to look out for. Suitable for treading any time of the year, especially in the crisp, clear winter air or cooling summer breeze.

Prize for the first person who can correct tell me where each of these footpath signs are dotted around our village. Other suggested local walks welcome too if you’d care to offer your suggestion.

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

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)

BCG Page

Hop straight to the BCG page

Next event

Environment MattersMay 12th, 2019
Next Environment Natters will be on Sun 23 June. The next Oil syndicate order will be end Aug. See website for details.

Forthcoming events ...

No upcoming events

Follow us on Twitter