Transition Cambridge Bulletin: New "Staying Dry" group exploring local solutions to flooding

Hi everyone

After a busy weekend at the Volunteer for Cambridge Fair and the Repair Cafe, there are some more exciting events coming up! Tomorrow (Tuesday), there's a workshop with Cambridge City Council on their climate change strategy, then on Wednesday, come along to a film showing of "Water Blues Green Solutions" and the launch of a new TC group "Learning to Stay Dry" (ie avoid being flooded) - other watery topics are also welcome as part of this group. Tickets are also now available for the Sharing Feast of Song and Liberated Food on 19 March in aid of Transition Cambridge and Cambridge FoodCycle - buy your tickets soon as we anticipate they'll go quickly! And there are various other bits of news - CropShare farm dates for 2016 are now set, we have various volunteering opportunities, and there's a chance to win a Transition T-shirt by sending in your best Transition photos. And lots more below...

CONTENTS

Transition News and Events

  • Wednesday 03 February: Film: Water Blues, Green Solutions + new "Staying Dry" group
  • Tuesday 09 February: Food Group meeting
  • Saturday 13 February: Wildlife Wander, Beechwoods nature reserve 
  • Thursday 03 March: Experiments in Democracy - Speaker event with Q&A
  • Monday 07 March: Experiments in Democracy - Open Space Discussion
  • Thursday 10 March: Localised Flooding Solutions Discussion Meeting
  • Saturday 19 March: A Sharing Feast of Song and Liberated Food
  • Volunteering opportunities with Transition Cambridge
  • CropShare 2016 Farm day dates announced
  • Win a Transition T-shirt!
  • Learning to Stay Dry - Field trip to visit London projects
  • Events for your calendar

Other News and Events

  • Monday 01 February: Cambridge Food Assembly - order local food on-line
  • Tuesday 02 February: Workshop on Climate Change Strategy
  • Tuesday 02 February: Cambridge 38 Degrees General Forum
  • Wednesday 03 February: Talk : Reclaiming the term 'sustainability'
  • Sunday 07 February: Royston Repair Cafe
  • Monday 08 February: Open-air Bike Maintenance Workshop
  • Tuesday 09 February: Cambridge Soup - share+eat+vote
  • Tuesday 16 February: 'The Money' - a cross between a game and a theatrical performance.
  • Sunday 21 February: Colourful Community Ceilidh
  • Thursday 25 February: Talk - 'Fenland Feasts and Fasts - food identity in Cambridgeshire's past'
  • Saturday 27 February: New beginnings: a nature-based workshop to find inspiration and courage
  • Weds 2 and Fri 4 March: Film Showing: The Economics of Happiness
  • Circular Cambridge
  • Events for your calendar

Transition News and Events

Wednesday 03 February: Film: Water Blues, Green Solutions with new TC group "Learning to Stay Dry"

19:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA

A new Transition group is forming, looking at how we can stay dry when faced with changes in climate and increased rainfall. At this first event, we will show "Water Blues, Green Solutions". This film illustrates small-scale solutions implemented by local groups in four American cities, inspiring bottom-up actions to localised flood prevention. We hope to form an action group that can implement small-scale bottom-up solutions to localised flood prevention in Cambridge. Come along to find our more! All welcome, free (by donation). For more information, see the new "Learning to Stay Dry" webpage here. And you can read a great article about this event and launch in the Cambridge News here.

Tuesday 09 February: Food Group meeting

18:30-20:00, CB2 Cafe, Norfolk Street

The Food Group's monthly meeting will firm up our plans for the year (ideas welcome!). So far we have the following - a talk on soil health; a wild food walk and a tour of productive spaces around Cambridge. We'll also review the Seed Swap on 24th January as well as exchanging news on food projects and initiatives in and around Cambridge. All welcome - we'll be upstairs in the library.

Saturday 13 February: Wildlife Wander, Beechwoods nature reserve (1.5 miles from Addenbrooke's Hospital)

10:00-12:00, Meet by Bell Language School, Red Cross Ln, Cambridge, CB2 0QU - this is opposite Nightingale Avenue

Walk to the Beechwoods nature reserve via the green lane beside Wort's Causeway. This is a Wildlife Trust reserve above the golf course and just below Wandlebury. Great for anyone who passes through Addenbrooke's hospital or the Babraham Road Park & Ride, the Beechwoods is where the chalk ridge that runs all the way from the Chilterns comes to an abrupt end as the land descends into the flatter, watery landscape towards the fens. Good for spotting hedgerow and woodland wildlife... More details here.

Thursday 03 March: Experiments in Democracy - Speaker event with Q&A

19:30, The Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road, CB1 1JW

Are our current democratic systems fit for purpose? How can we improve our democratic processes to support better decision-making, particularly in relation to climate change, sustainability, the natural environment, and our future? Come along to this event to hear four leaders of democratic thought and action come together to inspire and challenge us. Our speakers include Pete Macfadyen (author of Flatpack Democracy and part of Independents for Frome), David Babbs (founder of 38 Degrees), Manuel Arriaga (author of Rebooting Democracy) and Marie-Louise Holland (independent councillor for Castle Ward in Cambridge). The talks will be followed with question and answers and drinks. Please book here. The event is free, with a suggested donation of £3-5 to cover costs. The event will be followed on 7th March with an open space discussion event. This event is coorganised by 38 Degrees Cambridge, Pivotal - Cambridge Festival of Change, and Transition Cambridge.

Monday 07 March: Experiments in Democracy - Open Space Discussion

19:30-21:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA

This Open Space event follows on from the introductory "Experiments in Democracy" event taking place on 3 March 2016, which features speakers from 38 Degrees, Reboot Democracy, Independents for Frome, and Cambridge City Council. However this is also a stand-alone event (i.e. no need to have attended the other event first). Why, when climate change is evidently a pressing issue with potentially disastrous consequences for our planet and all its inhabitants, are we so slow to enact the changes required at either local or national levels? Could the problem lie in our system of governance, e.g. insufficient political will to take unpopular decisions in the face of short-term periods in office, or a dysfunctional system which doesn't allow politicians to follow the will of the people they represent? This "open space" style discussion will focus on the question: "How can we improve our democracy?" Participants are invited to bring along particular topics/issues/ideas they feel strongly about or simply come along with an open mind to take part in the discussions. There will be at least one group discussing how to stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming city council elections. All are welcome to this free event (suggested donation of £2-4 to cover costs). This event is co-organised by Transition Cambridge, 38 Degrees Cambridge and Pivotal - Cambridge Festival of Change.

Thursday 10 March: Localised Flooding Solutions Discussion Meeting

19:30, Six Bells pub, Covent Garden, off Mill Road CB1 2HS

This is the first discussion meeting of the new TC group "Learning to Stay Dry". Climate change, flood prevention and green infrastructure are all huge concepts, but when these concepts and terminologies are broken down and discussed, they become easy to understand. Our March discussion aims to be part of this process and evolve solutions with like-minded people. If you are interested in these topics, please come along! We hope to form an action group that can implement small-scale bottom-up solutions to localised flood prevention in Cambridge. For more information, see the new "Learning to Stay Dry" webpage here. All welcome, free.

Saturday 19 March: A Sharing Feast of Song and Liberated Food

19:00, St Paul's Church, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1JP

An event to celebrate the joys: of spring, of Transition Cambridge, of FoodCycle, of great singing, of our projects and hopes. This event hopes to bring together delicious local food, some wonderful singers, and the songs and toasts of the Georgian 'Supra' tradition. The conversation will be rich in all that is being done and shared, the food will be great fresh produce, some donated direct from local farmers, most that would otherwise have not been used. There will be singing from our superb local community choir ‘Resound’. And trios of singers from local and London Georgian choirs will be offering to us the rich and wonderful harmonies of Georgian singing. So we hope you can come for a great convivial and fun evening. The basic cost is £12, with additional donations towards Transition Cambridge and FoodCycle very welcome! More details and booking information is here - book soon as we anticipate this event will fill up quickly. And feel free to invite your friends! https://www.transitioncambridge.org/sharingfeast. We'd also love to hear from you if you'd like to volunteer on the night as there'll be lots to do! Contact Kati here.

Volunteering opportunities with Transition Cambridge

We had a great day at the Volunteer for Cambridge Fair on Saturday, and we made a sheet of current volunteering opportunities with Transition Cambridge - so if you'd like to get more involved, have a look through and see if anything appeals! New ideas are also always welcome...

CropShare 2016 Farm day dates announced

We have now announced the dates when you can come and join us on the farm in 2016, getting stuck into all sorts of jobs needed to help run a 65 acre organic veg and fruit farm. Check out this link for more info and hope to see you on the farm soon! More details here.

Win a Transition T-shirt!

We have some of the original Transition Cambridge T-shirts to give away - there are various colours and sizes, with text reading "Changing because we want to, before we have to". All you have to do to win one is to send in your favourite photos of Transition activities or events from the last couple of years. (If they're too big to send by e-mail, get in touch and we can give you dropbox details or we can arrange an exchange by memory stick.) Even if you don't really want a T-shirt, we'd still love to receive your photos as they are the best way of documenting what we've been up to in Transition this last while, and they can inspire others to get involved. Send photos to transitioncambridge@gmail.com. Thanks!

Learning to Stay Dry - Field trip to visit London projects

Following the February launch of the new "Learning to Stay Dry" Transition group, we hope to organise a field trip in spring/summer for interested people to visit solutions implemented in London. This will be a chance to meet with other local groups and to learn about their successes and failures. If you are interested in coming along, please get in touch with Dawn and she will coordinate dates.

Events for your calendar

Other News and Events

Monday 01 February: Cambridge Food Assembly - order local food on-line

Book by midnight on Monday, pick up produce on Weds 17:30-19:00, Espresso Library, 210 East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1BG (round the corner from the Fire Station)

Cambridge Food Assembly is into its fourth week, and they're passionate about making the best local, sustainable food more accessible in Cambridge. Their on-line system allows you to order local food (weekly deadline is midnight on Monday) and then you collect your order from Espresso Library (East Road, by the Fire Station) on Wednesday evening between 5:30 and 7:30pm. Several local producers are selling through Food Assembly, and you can buy veg, cheese, bread, meat, beans and more! To find out more and place an order, register on the Food Assembly website here. Please support this great initiative, and spread the word! Follow them on Facebook here.

Tuesday 02 February: Workshop on Climate Change Strategy

18:00-19:30, The Guildhall

Cambridge City Council has a Climate Change Strategy for how to reduce energy use and carbon emissions not just from buildings in their own estate but from homes and business in the ares. Also the strategy covers transport emissions, reducing waste and changes we can make to reduce the impact of climate change. The plans for 2016 to 2021 are now in draft and the council seeks our views and ideas - at this workshop we will hear about the draft plan and discuss it directly with council officers. There will be tea and coffee and sandwiches available from shortly before and during the event. If you are likely to attend please email the council to let them know, just for catering numbers. More details including the agenda here.

Tuesday 02 February: Cambridge 38 Degrees General Forum

19:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA

The Cambridge 38 Degrees General Forum will meet at 7.30 to discuss whatever it is you want to talk about! No gripe too big or small! We'll hear from the bee group which has developed significantly and also there will be a talk about public transport which we could also campaign for. You will also hear about the Cambridge Climate Fellowship and some of the work that they've done since the last forum. We will see trends beginning to emerge! Come along and find out what's happening. Why not start your own campaign or join another! Full info here.

Wednesday 03 February: Talk : Reclaiming the term 'sustainability'

13:00-14:00, Lord Ashcroft Building (LAB 027), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

This talk by Ray Cunningham on reclaiming ‘sustainability’ is based on the book ‘Sustainability: A cultural history’, by Ulrich Grober (Green Books, 2012), which Ray translated from the original German. It argues that the term ‘sustainability’, although diluted and abused almost to death in recent years, is too valuable to be abandoned, and that the best way to defend and reclaim it is to gain a fuller understanding of its meaning and value by investigating its origins and the history of its use over time. The book takes us from the Old Testament via medieval Venice, the court of Louis XIV and the silver mines of 18th century Saxony to the West Coast hippies of the 1960s and finally to contemporary economic and environmental policy-making. This talk is a whistle-stop tour of the highlights. More details here.

Sunday 07 February: Royston Repair Cafe

10:00-13:00, Market Hill Rooms, Market Hill, Royston, SG8 7JL

If you missed the Repair Cafe in Cambridge last Saturday, but have items that need mending - bikes, clothes, jewellery, toys, tools, electrical and IT equipment including printers, small pieces of furniture etc - bring them along to the Royston Repair Cafe this coming Sunday, a free event where you can learn how to mend your broken items. It's simple - bring an item (we might be able to look at a second) that you think still has life in it. The item will be assessed and, if it can be mended there and then, we'll show you how it's done! Note: this is a clinic not a hospital - if it needs more attention we'll refer you to a local repair business - we are not a replacement for the professionals. It's free but we ask you to book a place in advance and to tell us a little about what you'll be bringing. This is to make sure we have a repairer available to assess your item. If there's a lot of interest in the event, we may have to allocate you a time slot to reduce queuing (although there will be tea, coffee, cake and chat so time will fly). Book here.. For event updates and other news on repair and re-use see the Royston Repair Cafe facebook page.

Monday 08 February: Open-air Bike Maintenance Workshop

12:30-15:30, Newnham College, Rosalind Franklin Building Lawns

There are three spaces available for an open-air bike training, covering the basics of bicycle maintenance with Outspoken Cycles. Cost is £23, and it will run from 12.30 to 3.30pm, in Newnham College. All welcome (you don't need to be a student to come along!) Please book and pay here and you can view more info about the event here on Facebook. Organised by Sarah O'Brien, the green officer of Newnham College.

Tuesday 09 February: Cambridge Soup - share+eat+vote

18:00-20:00, The Box Cafe, 47 Norfolk Street CB1 2LD

The concept of CambridgeSoup is simple; people come to share their ideas, eat soup, discuss and vote. The winning project takes home the proceeds from the £5 door charge, and comes back next time to tell us how they got on. The events facilitate seed funding and micro-crowdfunding for small start-up businesses, groups and ventures that are working for social good in the local community and the wider City of Cambridge. This exciting new approach provides a unique opportunity to effect the changes you want to see in your community, and to support the businesses you would like to see thrive. If you are interested in pitching your idea in the future please email Future Business More details here.

Tuesday 16 February: 'The Money' - a cross between a game and a theatrical performance.

19:30, Cambridge Guildhall, Market Square

You can choose to be either a Silent Witness and watch or a Benefactor and take part in coming to a unanimous decision about how to spend a pot of real cash. If you decide before the clock ticks down then you get to spend it, if not it rolls over to a new group. Become a Benefactor by donating as much as you can (minimum £10). Work with other Benefactors to decide what to spend the group’s money on. You have 90 minutes to come to a decision. If you don’t decide unanimously in the allotted time you relinquish your privilege to spend the money and the money rolls over to the next group of Benefactors. Or you can become a Silent Witness (£12, £8 concession) and watch as the group of Benefactors attempt to decide how to spend the money they’ve donated. And if you want to voice your opinion you can always become a Benefactor and buy your way in. More info, reviews, video clips and book tickets here

Sunday 21 February: Colourful Community Ceilidh

14:00-17:00, St Phillips Church, Mill Road, Cambridge

A simple ceilidh, bring your own food + drink (no alcohol) and plates and cutlery. Three hours of fun and laughter with Moon Carrot (the band)! Under 16's FREE, over 16's £7. After paying for venue and band any remaining funds will go to the Transition Cambridge coffers. Please use Thoday Street entrance to the church. Please wear very colourful clothes and stay to help to tidy up at the end! For more information email Iain

Thursday 25 February: Talk - 'Fenland Feasts and Fasts - food identity in Cambridgeshire's past'

19:00-20:00, Castle Street Methodist Church, CB3 0AH

We know the importance and impacts of local food, but what heppened in the past? Town, gown and rural hinterland; people’s experiences of Cambridge and its surrounds can be radically different. This lecture explores how regional food traditions have shaped identity for Cambridgeshire residents and visitors over the last 600 years. From students feasting on swan to monks paying tithes in eel, Dr Gray reveals how food can play a fundamental role in shaping views of the self and of a region. Food historian Dr Annie Gray is a specialist in English food from c.1600 to the twentieth century. She’s the resident food historian on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, as well as appearing frequently on TV. She’s currently working on a book on Queen Victoria and her food. Tickets are £7.50/£5 to include a glass of wine, booking via eventbrite here A Cambridge History Festival event. More details here.

Saturday 27 February: New beginnings: a nature-based workshop to find inspiration and courage

10:00-17:00, Newnham Croft Primary School, Cambridge CB3 9JF

Spring is a time of new beginnings. Maybe you have an idea for something new you'd like to start this year? e.g. a new Transition project or a sustainability-related business? Come along for a day of light-hearted connection with others and a chance to spend time with nature while developing your ideas. Free (by donation). This workshop will be led by Katherine Dixon and Anna McIvor. Come dressed for spending time outdoors! Please book here.

Weds 2 and Fri 4 March: Film Showing: The Economics of Happiness

20:00-21:00, Stapleford and Sawston

2G3S (Green Groups in the Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston) are proud to present ‘The Economics of Happiness’, an inspiring and uplifting film which describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions: while government and big business push for a globalised economy based on high technology and increased trade, people all over the world are working from the grassroots to nurture smaller scale, ecological, local economies. We hear from a chorus of voices from six continents including Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of Tibet's government in exile, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten and Zac Goldsmith. Made by the inspirational Helena Norberg-Hodge and the Local Futures organisation, ‘The Economics of Happiness’ restores our faith in humanity and challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world. There will be two showings, the first in the Jubilee Pavilion, Gog Magog Way, Stapleford, Weds 2 March 8 pm, and the second in Sawston Free Church, High Street, Sawston, on Friday 4 March 8.15 pm. Admission by optional donation (£4 recommended), to include tea/coffee and biscuits. For more details, contact Linda Whitebread here.

Circular Cambridge

Last Monday saw the launch of a new Cambridge initiative from Cambridge Carbon Footprint, called "Circular Cambridge". How can we encourage Cambridge to adopt a circular economy, i.e. how can we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, and then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their useful life? (There's a nice definition and schematic on the WRAP website.) Circular Cambridge is a season of events that celebrates progressive ways to design, manufacture, access and reuse the things that we want and need in our lives. Their new website, circularcambridge.org, explains all, and they welcome everyone's involvement...

Events for your calendar

Have a great week!

Anna and the bulletin-writing team

Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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