Hi everyone,

This week's big event is the energy group's forum on wood-burning stoves - come along on Wednesday evening to find out more! Also this Sunday there's another chance to see "The Economics of Happiness" at the Arts Picturehouse in case you missed it last week. Booking has opened for the Permaculture Gardening Course in April - book soon as this is likely to be popular! And lastly, don't miss the chance to hear Transition's founder Rob Hopkins speaking on Radio 4 this Wednesday evening (available on iPlayer afterwards, as this clashes with the forum on wood-burning stoves). Hope to see you at some of these events!


Transition News and Events

  • Wednesday 15 February: Advice on Wood Stoves
  • Sunday 19 February: Romsey Community Garden - work and planning session
  • Sunday 19 February: The Economics of Happiness (film)
  • Thursday 01 March: Growzones introductory meeting
  • Saturday 28 April - Sunday 29: Permaculture Gardening course
  • Calendar of events
  • Rob Hopkins on Radio 4 this Wednesday

Other News and Events

  • Wednesday 15 February: Making Progress Toward Sustainable Societies in the Context of Global Climate Change
  • Saturday 18 February: Alternatives to Economic Growth
  • Wednesday 22 February: Behind-the-Scenes on Building an Eco-Home
  • Friday 24 February: Mad Hatter's Tree Party 2
  • Tuesday 28 February: Talk by Robert MacFarlane in Fulbourn
  • 12 to 25 March: Cambridge Science Festival
  • Monday 19 March: Resource constraints, economic growth and the future of society
  • Wanted in 2012: Toad spotters and bug hunters
  • FoodShare is looking for regional co-ordinators
  • Permaculture Design Course 2012 

Transition News and Events

Wednesday 15 February: Advice on Wood Stoves

19:30-21:30, united Reform Church, Cherry Hinton Road (on the corner with Hartington Grove)

The next Transition Cambridge Energy Group forum will be on wood stoves - how to be warm, cosy and economical using local resources. Find out about: waste wood, smokeless zones, airwash, ceramic heat stores, double skin flues, cleaning, paper logs, fire lighters, integral fans, chimney liners, and more.  Here is a fact sheet we have prepared on wood-burning stoves. More details about the event here. Free (donations welcome).

Sunday 19 February: Romsey Community Garden - work and planning session

13:00-15:00, Junction of Madras and Marmora Road

Help to prepare the garden for sowing in the Spring and give your ideas for what you would like to see in the garden this year! Wear wellies and bring gloves/forks/spades if you have them (we also have some you can borrow). Refreshments provided, and all ages welcome!

Sunday 19 February: The Economics of Happiness (film)

14:30-16:00, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse (St Andrews Street)

By popular demand, the Arts Picturehouse have kindly offered to screen this film again. “The Economics of Happiness” questions whether our current economic model is damaging our well-being. It explores the many negative consequences of economic globalisation – climate change, fundamentalism, economic insecurity and species extinction as well as the personal costs such as stress and depression. It then suggests a solution to these problems – economic localisation. Rob Hopkins (co-founder of the Transition Network) writes: "This passionate film presents a clear and articulate vision of what a shift in the scale at which we do things would look like... Very timely and powerful." Tickets will be available through the Arts Picturehouse box office. You can view the film trailer and learn more about the movie here.

Thursday 01 March: Growzones introductory meeting

19:00-21:00, Friends' Meeting House, Jesus Lane

GrowZones is a national initiative and is a fun and practical way to help households grow food in their garden or allotment. It works by bringing around 6 households together to work together over a season with everyone doing some work in each other's gardens. Growzones is open to all regardless of food growing experience or plot size. Participating in Growzones is also an opportunity to learn more about Permaculture which is an approach to garden design based on the relationships seen in nature. Growzones could be for you if you feel daunted at the work needed in your garden/allotment, need a hand to get started, are interested in exploring permaculture and are free and can reciprocate in April and May 2012. Key dates for the Cambridge project include: Thursday 1 March (7pm – 9pm, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane) for an introductory meeting including two 10 minute films about Growzones and Permaculture; and 15 March for a planning meeting for those who have decided to take part and to agree the dates for working on each garden or allotment - venue to be confirmed. The teams will be working on each others gardens on during April and May 2012.

Saturday 28 April - Sunday 29: Permaculture Gardening course

09:30-17:30, The Pavilion, Paget Road, Trumpington

Join us for a weekend course in permaculture principles and how to use them in your garden, allotment or community growing project. The starting point is observing natural systems, and developing good design principles. As well as classroom sessions, we'll be getting hands-on with mulching and planting polyculture veg. Cost £85 (£65 unwaged) More info here.

Calendar of events

Rob Hopkins on Radio 4 this Wednesday

Wednesday, 8:45, Radio 4 (full details here). Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Culture movement, believes that "engaged optimism" is the best way to face the global challenges of the future, be it climate change, oil supplies running out or the economic downturn. He believes initiatives enabling people to produce their own goods and services locally - from solar powered bottled beer to micro currencies like the Brixton pound - are the best way to build community resilience. Four Thought is a series of talks in which speakers give a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Related News and Events

Wednesday 15 February: Making Progress Toward Sustainable Societies in the Context of Global Climate Change

18:00-19:30, Engineering Department, Trumpington Street

A talk by Don Huisingh, regarded by many people as the father of the Cleaner Production concept. He is dedicated to interdisciplinary education and integrated approaches to defining and solving society’s problems. He has addressed topics ranging from toxic substances and hazardous waste in industry and the home to the philosophical, ethical, and political implications of improper land-use management, human population growth and control, and energy use. Part of the 10th Annual Sustainable Development Lecture Series. More details here.

Saturday 18 February: Alternatives to Economic Growth

10:00, St Paul's Centre Hills Road

Chaired by Tony Juniper and featuring, in the morning session, prominent speakers Molly Scott-Cato, Rupert Read, Miriam Kennett and a voice from the New Economics Foundation. How can we escape the dependency of a system based on continuous economic growth? What alternatives are there? The afternoon session will turn to grass roots initiatives (contributions invited) and an inspirational Open Space workshop to stimulate thought and action. More details here.

Wednesday 22 February: Behind-the-Scenes on Building an Eco-Home

19:30-21:30, Home on Madingley Road (address provided upon booking)

An exciting chance to go behind the scenes on a newly constructed Eco House. Join the owner in his new home for the complete story of the building of a house in the back garden of his former home (dating from 1930), complete with comparison energy bills, graphs showing savings, thermal imaging photos. A tour and refreshements will also be included. The house can’t accommodate more than 25 people, so please contact to reserve your spot! More details here.

Friday 24 February: Mad Hatter's Tree Party 2

19:00, The Missing Sock

Following on from the massive success of the Mad Hatter's Tree Party 1, we are presenting a whole new line up and gig at the Sock. We want to continue raising money for the establishment of the forest garden at the Sock (planting will begin mid March, watch this space), and raise awareness for sustainable garden farming in our local community. We have...the wonderful, sublime and always ridiculous, Jonny Marvel Shaky Navalbones Rebel Icons Alex Iamb; East India Company (tbc) Jessica Dolby; and introducing.... Kate Parsonage. Food, teas and coffees will be served by the fire! The Missing Sock bar will be open. In the Wisdom room, there'll be forest garden planning, films and literature. Suggested donation £3. A minibus will pick people up from the Six Bells pub, Covent Garden between 7 and 8. £5 return. Bring yourselves and any contributions you would like to share. For more info call Rosie on 07979757843. For more information and a map, see our facebook page.

Tuesday 28 February: Talk by Robert MacFarlane

19:30, Swifts Meeting Room, Haggis Gap, Fulbourn, CB21 5HD (in the same building as the library)

Put on in conjunction with Fulbourn Forum for community action, this is a presentation by the author of The Wild Places (2007) and Mountains of the Mind (2003), both award winners. In The Wild Places, Robert embarks on a series of beautifully described journeys in search of the wildness that remains in these islands, commencing and finishing with a surprising connection to an area of landscape right on Fulbourn's parish boundary. "A beautiful and inspiring book ... when Macfarlane moves in to the realities of the landscape, he makes them sing ... a deeply stirring book" - The Independent. Dr Macfarlane lives in Cambridge and is an English fellow of Emmanuel College. He knows our local environment well. If you would like to read The Wild Places in advance, the Fulbourn library has three copies to lend. Free entry. This talk is part of the Fulbourn Village Library Author Talk Series.

12 to 25 March: Cambridge Science Festival

Cambridge Science Festival 2012 celebrates the Olympic and Paralympic Games with the theme ‘Breaking boundaries’. There are over 180 mostly free events to showcase the boundaries that are being broken in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Volcanoes, Antarctica, maths, nature, health, comedy, events for children and something for everyone. More details here.

Monday 19 March: Resource constraints, economic growth and the future of society

19:30-20:30, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1 1PT

Join Aled Jones to explore: how do limits in the availability of certain resources impact on governments and business and what does this potentially mean for society, our pensions and our savings? This is a Science Festival event. More details here.

Wanted in 2012: Toad spotters and bug hunters

Here at The Wildlife Trust, February is fast becoming our favourite month; we have dusted off our New Year blues, love is in the air and we are excited to announce the launch of our Garden Watch survey for 2012. We need local residents to start or renew their nature quests in their gardens, allotments or on their balconies to report to us the whereabouts of certain species throughout the year. To kick start this year’s survey, we have chosen the common toad as the species to seek in February and March. As February warms up, the courageous common toad will wake up from its winter slumber in its cool dark home and begin the perilous and daring journey to the nearest pond to find a mate. Once they arrive, often en masse, the males will warm up their voices to gently coo at the females to find a mate. To find out more information on this fascinating creature and to submit a sighting, please visit the Garden Watch webpage or call the Wildlife Trust on 01954 713500. In 2011, we received thousands of new wildlife records which helped the Trust immensely in its work to map the distribution of species and their movements across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Later in the year we will be asking for records of butterflies, birds, mammals and spiders so keep an eye on the website for the latest news. To find out more about the Trust please visit

FoodShare is looking for regional co-ordinators

Are you passionate about growing food locally and does food waste make you go tomato-red? Are you passionate about ensuring all children learn this life skill for the future? Do you believe in the power of local community and sharing? Do you want to make a difference in creating a more sustainable world? Do you want to help nurture a new generation of Food Philanthropists? Do you have a big heart? You do?! Read on! Foodshare ( is looking to build it’s core team of superheros! Foodshare HQ is a small team of enthusiastic volunteers dealing with a rapidly growing charity that is capturing the nation’s imagination. We are currently are looking for dedicated individuals who have lots of time to spare and bags of enthusiasm and passion to become one of our Regional Co-ordinator as Foodshare roles out nationally. If this role is what you are looking for, and you can dedicate a minimum of 15 hours a week for at least 12 months, please email us!

Permaculture Design Course 2012

18 Feb or 21 April (introductory weekend), West Norfolk

This practical course is for anyone who believes that we need to find ways to care for ourselves, for each other and for the Earth. Permaculture offers a perspective on all aspects of building a sustainable future. It encourages us to use our individual skills, knowledge and interests, whilst drawing on traditional wisdom, science and our innate ability to observe and learn from the world around us. Hannah Thoroughgood will be teaching this Permaculture Design Course in West Norfolk - full details here. The cost will be £60 for the introductory weekend (two possible dates) and £250 for the following 5 weekends (non-residential, pleas ask if you need accommodation). For booking information, contact Rachel Bodle or phone 01366 381507. Organised by Downham & Villages in Transition.

Hope you've found something of interest in this newsletter! And if you'd like to get more involved, get in touch - there are lots of opportunities! 


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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