Stockland’s Successful Haiti Coffee Morning

We went to this event in our local village last Saturday and had a lovely cuppa and some cake, had a look at the shelterboxes and tents. Bought some very pretty second hand curtains for a draughty window in our spare room and Tasha found a huge seashell (which has a roaring ocean inside). Great to hear they raised over two thousand pounds. That is amazing. Well done Stockland.

Luppitt Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

I attended the ‘Renewable Energy in the Blackdown Hills’ meeting this evening in Luppitt Village Hall (with fellow East Devon Green Party member Kerry Gibbons). The public meeting organised by Luppitt Parish Council started at 6pm and I could only stay until 8pm so may have missed a few questions at the end, but I came away thinking it was an extremely positive event. I would say approximately 80 people were there.


There were six speakers who explained their involvement in the Blackdown Hills and/or planning in the area. Then at about 7.30pm the floor was open for questions to the panel. I’ve blogged about this issue previously in Luppitt Renewable Energy Meeting explaining that this has all come about because of local Farmer Gavin Brake wanting to apply to have a single wind turbine on his farm, some distance from the village of Luppitt, which is in the Blackdown Hills, area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

I learnt a lot this evening about how local organisations seem to be very supportive and even proactive where renewable energy is concerned. Here’s a few snippets of interest which caught my attention this evening:

Paul Baker – the director of DARE, the Devon Association For Renewable Energy started the meeting off talking about what DARE does and it’s part in RE4D Renewable energy for Devon. Paul explained that they do all they can to promote renewable energy in Devon.

Amanda Newsome from Natural England talked about how Natural England gives areas the AONB status. Amanda made clear that climate change is a serious threat to the world today and that they support low carbon energy alternatives in “appropriate locations”. They only comment on planning applications of national significance not micro generators (like the one proposed in Luppitt).

Lisa Turner, a planning officer for the BHAONB – the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty told the room how 37% of the region is a National Park or an AONB, which both have the same status. There are 36 AONB’s in the UK which is 15% of our land. Their policies support renewable energy as long as other factors are not affected.

Andy Carmichael – from the EDCC (East Devon District Council) planning department explained how microgenerators were now removed from planning and don’t necessarily even need permission anymore.

The R.S.P.B.’s senior conservation officer for the south west region Gavin Broomfield shared the view of Natural England in that climate change is the biggest threat to all life on earth. They predict that by 2050 15 – 37% of the world’s species will have become extinct. Gavin’s section was so interesting – I’ll have to write a dedicated piece on it but basically he said that “the R.S.P.B. welcome and support wind farms”.

Questions came at the end and far from a strategically thought out wave of objections, or at least a bit of furore which I’d expected, there wasn’t really anything very interesting said against renewable energy or putting up a wind turbine in the area. I believe there is a group against wind turbines in the village and surrounding areas but after listening to the overwhelming support from the 5 professionals on the panel, I hope that maybe they all went home to digest what they’d heard before thinking about whether to oppose any applications.


Please add your comments below about the Luppitt issue or wind turbines and wind farms in general.

Photo credits: Luppitt Summer Madness by Nigel Lenton

Wind Turbines by

Showing of Home and Presentation in Sidmouth Friday 26th February

250px-HOME-SHOTFriday 26th February 2010
7pm at All Saints’ Hall, Sidmouth
A showing of part of the beautiful documentary ‘Home’ by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Followed by Sidmouth College students presenting their ‘Carbon Challenge’ campaign and EDDC (East Devon District Council) showcasing its ‘Zero Waste’ project – plus tips on how to save money through energy efficiencies.
Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The movie was released simultaneously on June 5, 2009 in cinemas across the globe, on DVD, Blu-ray, television, and on YouTube. Opening in 181 countries, the film broke the world record for the largest film release in history. The film was financed by PPR, a French multinational holding company specializing in retail shops and luxury brands, as part of their PR strategy.
More info about this evening on

South West Climate Change Trade Fair

A trade fair for Farmers in the South West focusing on how your business can benefit by taking action on climate change. It’s on 10 Feb 2010 10:00 until 17:00 at Exeter RacecourseKennford, Exeter EX6 7XS

The first trade fair in the South West for Farmers focusing on how your business can benefit by taking action on climate change and being part of the solution.

Come along and speak to the experts and businesses who can help you to:

  • Be more efficient with your farm resources
  • Save costs on fuel and energy
  • Generate your own renewable energy
  • Manage water more efficiently

The event is FREE to farmers – Others £5

The day will give you the opportunity to talk to the experts and exchange ideas with other farmers and find out about grants available to help you take action

The day will also include a series of seminars funded by VTS.

Sidmouth Community Market backs “Meat-Free Monday” campaign

On Saturday 16 January, the Vision Group for Sidmouth will be holding a Community Market with a difference! This time the event will have a “meat-free” theme, to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption and provide information on the wide variety of alternatives to meat-based meals.

Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for at least 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector. According to the head of the UN climate change panel, Rajendra Pachauri, “People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming.”

In May 2009, Ghent City Council in Belgium attracted worldwide media and public attention when it announced that it would promote one meat-free day a week for environmental and health reasons. Meanwhile, the “Meat-Free Monday” campaign continues to snowball around the world, led by high-profile chefs and celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney.

Now Sidmouth too is doing its bit to support this important initiative. According to the market organisers, “Going meat-free one day a week is an easy step we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint – and it’s good for your health, too!”

The market takes place as usual from 10 am – 12.30 pm at St John’s Ambulance Hall. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables and the other usual stalls, shoppers will find a vegetarian food stall, information on meat-free alternatives, recipes and free food samples.

For further information on the “Meat-Free Monday” campaign including weekly recipes, see

Transition Groups Together Event

Transition Groups Together

On Saturday 9 January 2010 Transition Town Exmouth will be marking what promises to be an exciting new year for Exmouth with the Transition Groups Together Event from 2.30pm-5.30pm at Glenorchy Church Hall in Exeter Road. This is a chance to get together, and discuss ideas, with guests from Sidmouth, Exeter, Ottery and other local transition groups. All are welcome – and people from all around the area – bring unwanted gifts for our Unlucky Dip. More details from Pete on 01395 224605.

Transition Town Exmouth also meets every month for Green Drinks

Green Drinks in Exmouth is hosted by Transition Town Exmouth at the Park Hotel, Exeter Road, Exmouth on the first Wednesday of every month.  It’s a chance to meet people in the local Transition movement and others and discuss green issues – and non green issues – in an informal environment.  Just ask at the bar where we are.

Sustainable Seaton – a Transition Town

Did you know Seaton is a transition town?

But what does this mean? Well…transition means ‘the process of changing from one condition to another’ and with transition towns that idea is applied to the whole community. A transition in order to adapt to a world affected by climate change, and an increasing price of oil etc.

The Seaton transition town group is called Sustainable Seaton and it wants to prepare Seaton for a time when oil may not be so readily available. The group wants to create a positive outcome by planning for the challenging future events which have been predicted.

Transition Town status is a very positive and fast growing reaction to planetary destruction that is taking place in the modern world. It will assist the Government to meet environmental targets; help re-build communities, provide local employment, promote health and well-being, as well as cutting down on CO2 emissions etc. It gleans the best of the modern and combines it with the good practice from the past. It endeavours to re-cycle, re-use and localise where ever possible. The Seaton group strives for a way of life that is more resilient, more fulfilling and more equitable, with a dramatically lower level of carbon emissions.

Here’s the link to the Sustainable Seaton website

Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 20th January from 7pm – 9pm at The Community Centre, Fore Street in Seaton.

First (Founding) Meeting of East Devon Green Party

Following the meeting in Sidmouth on Saturday 12th December organised by Ricky Knight (thanks Ricky), Sharon Howe and myself have set a date for the first East Devon Green Party meeting. It will take place at the same venue as last time – at Twyford House in Sidmouth at 2pm on Saturday 16th January 2010.

There’s a community market in Sidmouth that morning – which should be finished at about 1pm if you fancy combining the two events – I know I will be!

We still need at least three founding members to set up the group – so if you think you could commit to being the treasurer, the coordinator/local party contact or the nominating officer PLEASE contact me asap. My email is