About Us


We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

NEWS AND RELATED EVENTS... Common Room - Low Carbon Cookbook - Magdalen-Augustine Celebration - Norwich FarmShare - Transition Free Press 4 - Visions for Change -On the Blog Harvest: Looking in the Archive 2009-2013 - Flight of the Butterflies - Where We Are Now

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Transition Circles begin their Second Cycle

Strangers' Circle - Monday 28 June
Over the past months at the Strangers’ meetings we have examined our home energy use, food, transport and stuff and discussed and taken steps to reduce our personal carbon footprints. We decided to look at Resilience in our next six meetings (beginning with a discussion about this key transition concept) and Tully spoke about the feasta report in respect to current non-resilient systems. Charlotte then briefly mapped out a joint project for our low-carbon cookbook and we discussed our Transition Circles Midsummer picnic on 21st June at Mangreen in celebration of our low-carbon year in TN2. At our next meeting we will focus on the subject of Community and make up our second wholefood co-op order. (Mark Watson)

Transition Circle West - Tuesday 29 June,
Transition Circle West has spent the last few meetings discussing the remaining 'conventional' topics of Transport, Food and Waste and, as usual, along with the delicious food many interesting tidbits of information and advice were gleaned - ranging from Remoska ovens to Couch surfing holidays. We have also initiated a tradition of shared meals, being more energy efficient and sociable. So once a month those who want to can eat together, with the head chef and host changing each time.

Having finished all these topics and starting to exceed the capacity of most peoples' living rooms we have been thinking about the circles' future. We have decided to divide the circle geographically, as the eventual aim is highly localised circles. So the birth of two new circles: Transition Circle Earlham North and Transition Circle Earlham South West (catchy, eh!). And the shared meals and Transition cafe offer good opportunities to not lose touch with friends in the other circle. We also decided that rather than going through the topics again we would try out some new ones such as holidays, deadly resistances to change (as discussed in the blog), wild food, personal hygiene and many more. We also remembered our previous plan to set up a sharing database within the circle(s) which would involve both groups. So grand plans on the horizon and we very much look forward to more food, friends and advice to come! (Kerry Lane)

Transition Circle Earlham North will meet on 22 June at Diana's and talk about to discuss deadly resistances (inspired by the TN blog). Transition Circle Earlham South West will meet at Anne's on 29 June and discuss low carbon holidays. the Strangers' Circle will discuss the first topic of their Resilience Sequence - Community and Transition Circle Hethersett will have its first meeting on 9 July.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RELATED EVENTS: National Bike Week - Bicycle Bonus & the Otesha Project – 19-27 June

We are just in the process of signing up businesses to our Bicycle Bonus scheme. So far we have 12 shops/businesses signed up - most from the Norwich Lanes area, including Thorns, Revolutionz and Beaujangles.

Please help!! if you know anyone who works for a local business, especially in Norwich Lanes, please ask them to join the scheme- it is free! All they have to do is decide on a discount or special offer to give to cyclists! They can sign up to the scheme here... http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bicyclebonusbusiness

Please join the scheme yourself. It's free, you get a hi-viz slap band and a personalised travel report!! Oh and did I forget to mention that you get a discount when you cycle in to the city and go to participating shops and businesses! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bicycle-bonus

On the 23rd June there is a FREE bike to work breakfast @ the Forum! Dr Bike, police security marking and of course free breakfast. yum. 7.30am onwards. (Matt Wicks/Transport)

For more info on this and our upcoming bikeweek activities please see
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/where-i-live and http://www.bikeweek.org.uk/

Meanwhile active transitioner Kerry Lane (Reskilling/TN2) is cycling the epic Lands End to John O'Groats for the cause of sustainability this summer with the charity The Otesha Project. She is cycling as part of a group of 17 other volunteers who, as well as carrying their lives on their bikes, will be stopping at schools and youth groups along the way teaching and inspiring them about all aspects of sustainability through theatre and workshops.

She will be writing some updates for the Transition blog on her way, so you can hear all about her adventures. She does however need to raise £1000 to fund the trip so if you would like to donate to a good cause then she has a just giving page and would be incredibly grateful!

To celebrate National Bike Week the TN blog This low Carbon Life is running a whole week to cycling written by Transition cyclists. click here to find all the latest http://www.transitionnorwich.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

RELATED EVENTS: What's Peace Got to Do with Transition? Peace Camp - 26 June

Norwich Peace Camp was partly inspired by the International Peace Cycle, to bring together local peace, community, faith, environmental, charity and other groups, all working in different ways for a fairer more sustainable world.

The first Norwich Peace Camp was in July 2006 and took up just one quarter of the atrium of the Forum. Since then it has expanded and for 2010 the entire atrium has been booked, with great extras including Fusion, where we will grow a ‘Peace Garden’ in the preceding week, and use the Chapelfield screen.

Peace Camp is a chance to showcase our vision and actions to fellow community activists and public alike. Refusing to fight over oil is just one of its many uniting threads. Here are a few more:

Passionate, practical hard work • Belief in fair shares for all, with the implicit need to reduce our consumption if we are to avoid exploiting our fellow human beings and destroying the eco-systems of the planet. • Wish to find common ground with others• Commitment to community - because it makes life joyful, but also because resilient societies enable us to resist shocks ranging from peak oil and climate change to government policy and depression.• Acting locally is what Transition does best. Campaigning globally is where peace activism comes into its own.

Transition Norwich has booked a stall at the Peace Camp on 26th at the Forum. We have leaflets and banner to start with - and can do much more if we decide to. So if you would like to take part or have any ideas please contact lesley7railway@yahoo.co.uk (Lesley Grahame/Communications)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Heart and Soul - Process Work - 26/27 June

We had a very interesting meeting with Alex in May exploring the theme of ‘home’ in relation to Transition. There was a common thread of longing for a destination that we never seem to quite reach, and at the same time a collective wisdom that what we seek is not ‘out there’ but in the here and now of every moment. A curious paradox.

Do come and join us for our meeting with Helen Wells on Process Work, the Earth and our Shared Experience. This will be on Monday 14 June 2010, 7.30 - 9.30pm at the Bicycle Shop CafĂ©, upstairs room, 17 St Benedict’s Street. The session will involve practicing inner work (or meditation tools) for connecting to your deepest self and where you are the earth — an introduction to a way of processing world issues.

If you feel inspired by this, you might want to join Helen and Louise Warner for a two-day workshop, later in the month: Life Transitions, World Transitions - Saturday 26th June, 10-6pm and Sunday 27th June, 10-4pm. Based on Process Work developed by Dr. Arnold Mindell - an awareness practice for facilitating individual and collective change rooted in psychology, spirituality and social activism, using movement and image-making. Cost: sliding scale from £120 to £60. Contact: Helen Wells 01603 440047 / heavenwells@mac.com

For a full summer programme check the calendar or contact Liz Day: liz@anniemoxham.wanadoo.co.uk / 01603 456220

Monday, June 14, 2010

NR3 - Magdalen Street International Community Arts Fair meeting - Wednesday 23 June

Some of the NR3 group came up with the idea of running a community street arts event in September and are looking for people who are interested in being involved. We felt that this would be a way of celebrating the great local, international shops along the street. As well as the ones involved in sustainability such as the sewing equipment stores, vintage clothing and secondhand goods. There are also a number of artists involved in the NR3 group that could help make the event interactive for the public.

We want everyone to be involved, not just transitioners but all the local tradespeople.

We are having a meeting at Karen's art space on 27 St Augustines Street on 9th June at 7 pm to discuss it further so please come along and invite anyone who may be interested. (Helen Simpson Slapp) Contact helenofnorwich@hotmail.com for more details.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Book Reviews and Previews

Half Gone by Jeremy Leggett reviewed by Mark Watson

At the end of the first Carbon Conversations meeting Christine spread a selection of books and videos about peak oil and climate change on the floor for us to borrow and I picked this one, partly due to TN’s May meeting about solar PVs with Solarcentury (see report in this bulletin), which is the author’s company.

If you want a solid, accessible reminder of (or even introduction to) the facts about peak oil, global warming and the energy crisis, this is a good book to consult. Before starting up Solarcentury, Leggett worked as a geologist for Big Oil in the 80s, and was chief science advisor for Greenpeace in the 90s.

From the five geo-physical requirements for finding oil in the first place (fascinating) to the link between oil depletion and global warming to possible energy solutions via renewables, Leggett combines hard data with his extensive personal experience in the (literal) field. His analysis of the geo-political problems of oil filled in several gaps in this reader’s awareness in a personable book which still resonates five years after its publication.

Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis by Jeremy Leggett (Portobello Books 2005)

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet by Lord Stern reviewed by Chris Hull

(Lord) Nicholas Stern became a household name as the author of the Government review, 'The Economics of Climate Change' (2006). This later book - published a few months ahead of the Copenhagen summit last year - is less well known yet much more accessible and useful.

Nick Stern is an economist, a former Chief Economist of The World Bank, and a strong advocate for poor countries on the world stage. In this regard the book has its roots in a drive to focus on economic management in the richer countries, in order to alleviate the worst effects of climate change on those who are least responsible for it - the poor countries.

It is solid, rather than emotive, particularly when it comes to addressing 'the deniers'. Stern explains just how complex the science is, and where deniers fall into traps by confusing cycles with trends, sea temperatures with land temperatures, short term risks with longer term more serious risks.

Having said that, I personally love the image conjured up here: Stern illustrates the dry science of probabilities of change by pointing out that the 24% probability of a 5 degree temperature rise on earth by the turn of this century (latest Hadley Centre modelling), would be simply unknown territory for a heavily populated earth. " The last time the world was 4 -5 degrees C above where we are now was 30 - 50 million years ago, in Eocene times, when much of the planet was swampy forest and there were alligators near the North Pole" .

Enough said.

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet by Nicholas Stern (2009)

Transition Books: Local Money & Transition in Action

Just out are two essential Transition reads (to be reviewed in the next bulletin). Local Money by Peter North (Transition South Liverpool) is an inspiring and practical book about local currencies, as well as an overview of money itself and how it works. As Rob Hopkins says in his introduction: "What is key is that as humanity begins its inevitable shift away from energy-intensive, globalised, corporate economics to a more human-scale, localised version, the way we ‘do’ money will need to catch up. This book identifies a number of possible tools, and doubtless there are many more yet to be thought of."

Transition in Action by Jacqi Hodgson with Rob Hopkins is based on the Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan and is the first community-based guide to reducing local dependence on fossil fuels, covering 15 key sustainability areas. The EDAP is the 12th step of Transition (known as the Resilience Plan in TN) and engages the community in the creative process of preparing for resilience and facing the biggest challenges civilisation has ever had.

Local Money, £14.95 and Transition in Action £19.99 (Green Books, 2010)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reskilling- Report and second Rag-rug Making session - 14 June

There were two lovely reskilling workshops held in May. The Rag Rug making workshop was great fun with lots of us squashed into Karen's shop learning how to weave beautiful arty looking (mini) rugs out of old bed sheets and rags and we hope to run a follow up session in early June of crocheting Rag Rugs so that we can make round ones too! There was also much hilarity and tea drinking and we managed not to talk about knitting for more or less the entire evening! I made my two mini rugs into a bag (see photo).

The clothes swap was also very successful with all of us leaving with lots of new garments (although hopefully slightly less than we came with!) and having a delicious bring and share lunch. We also managed a bit of clothes altering amid all of the chatting about natural clothes dyes and green living.

Keep your eyes open for the next round of workshops in the autumn on the theme of food. And go and support Norwich Pride at the Knit in at St Lawrence Textile Centre, St Benedict's Street at 11am on Sunday 6th June. All abilities welcome, needles and wool can be provided.(Kerry Lane, Reskilling/TN2)

UPDATE! Due to popular demand the reskilling group are running another rag rug session, but this time we will be learning how to make round ones by crocheting them. It is going to be held on Monday 14th June at 8pm and will be in Kerry's house which is near to the university.

There are 8 spaces on the workshop and it is first come first served, so don't delay in letting Kerry know (kezereky_the_first@hotmail.com) if you are interested.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Transition Circles Midsummer Party - 21 June

To celebrate a year of Transition Circles, The Strangers’ Circle are hosting a party in their heartland, the Norwich hinterland. It will be a giant picnic on the longest day of the year and a great chance to meet everyone involved in the projects. Do bring along a rug and a low-carbon dish to share. Oh, and there’ll be some music too and Naomi has promised a wizard carbon-cutters' quiz! Everyone welcome. How to get there: it’s a lovely cycle ride to Mangreen (3 miles) and there are also buses (15 minute walk). Parking available . . . for car sharers! Further Transport details posted on calendar. (Charlotte Du Cann/TN2)

Transition Circles Party, Mangreen Hall, Mangreen, NR14 8DD (01508 570 444‎) from 6pm. For further details contact Naomi at mangreen@freenetname.co.uk or http://www.mangreen.co.uk/

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TN2 -One Year In Transition

What if we only had three years to save the planet? was the question Tully posed to the whole of Transition Norwich on June 16 last year. Inspired by the Transition Conference in London, he wrote a challenging paper Transition 2.0 and called an extraordinary meeting where a more urgent, ambitious and bold approach to creating a better world was laid out. 54 people came together to step up personal action in the face of climate change. Out of this the Transition Circles were born, followed by the TN Blog, this Low Carbon Life, The Transition Cafe and the Low Carbon Roadshow.

A year ago I proposed a bold vision for transforming Norwich to a radically low-carbon city. I suggested that we had years, not decades, to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, and that we could do this by creating small groups of people willing to make radical lifestyle changes, and growing the numbers of those groups very rapidly – for example to include a thousand people within a year.

A year on, and TN has laid some wonderful foundations. We have three Transition Circles – strong communities of people who share their experiences and insights into low-carbon living, encouraging and supporting each other in questioning our relationship to our carbon emissions and consumption in general. We’re running our fourth Carbon Conversations group, offering a more structured approach to measuring and understanding our carbon emissions and making formal plans to reduce them. TN is also finding new, creative ways to reach out to the wider community with messages about peak oil and climate change, for example through the Low Carbon Roadshow and the Millenium Babies project. And we’re exploring ways of offering all these through schools, libraries, businesses and so on. I feel TN is a great bunch of people pouring a great deal of creativity, energy and integrity into this work.

That leaves the question of whether we’re making enough of a difference, quickly enough. We haven’t achieved the rate of growth I suggested last year the planet needs. In my more optimistic moments I hope the world will give us more time – through economic downturn, Icelandic volcanoes or whatever. And that our effort flows into a much bigger river, and that it is enough. (Tully Wakeman)

Tully will be co-facilitating a Transition Circles workshop called Getting Personal: small groups working on personal carbon-reduction at the Transition Conference held this year in Newton Abbot, Devon, 11-14 June.