Sustainable Bungay 2009

planting apples at greengrow on valentine's day

January 2009 

Sustainable Bungay has so far this year presented a talk on Peak Oil and Climate Change to the Rotary Club, which sparked lively interest and discussion. Also two of our core members attended a steering group meeting in Beccles where they were invited to share their experiences in the setting up of a Transition Town. 

February 2009 

We held a Sustainable Bungay strategy day on Sunday 1st at Josiah and Ellie’s house, where about a dozen of us looked at the events and activities planned for 2009. These include our Unleashing, to take place in May, and The Big Green Market in September. 

After the above meeting Josiah set up a google group for SB, where there are discussions, files and pages. It’s already pretty active so do have a look (there is a link in the right hand side bar). You can see the notes of our strategy day in the Files section. 

Several members of Sustainable Bungay went to GreenGrow’s Apple Tree planting day on Saturday 14th in Ilketshall St. Andrew, a village just down the road. It was the first clement weather for ages, and we all joined in with the plantings, which was instructive and good fun at the same time. We learnt about varieties of apple (Ashmeads Kernel, Suntan) and about grafting varieties onto rootstock, as well as how to use a sledgehammer! (for the stakes). 

the first transition east gathering at downham market

March 7th 2009 Transition East Gathering 

The East Anglian Transition Gathering in Downham Market. There were several of us from Sustainable Bungay present at this day long intensive in Downham Market, organised by Transition Downham Market and Villages. There were several Open Space sessions in the morning and a World Cafe in the afternoon (for more on these meeting tools see The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins). This gave Transitioners from all over the region a chance for us to meet each other, network and swap experiences. Plentiful, delicious and sustainable food was provided by the hosts as well as those visiting. 

March 15th 2009 The Age of Stupid 

The Age of Stupid Film Premiere, Norwich. Six of us car-shared up to Norwich for the premiere of this British film about climate change seen from the year 2055 looking back to the present with documentary footage showing how human-caused climate change is already seriously affecting the earth and all life upon it. 

We also launched our first quarterly SB newsletter this month to be distributed throughout the town and to the local press. 

March 21st 2009 Give and Take Day 

We gave the first of our community resource sharing days with social enterprise Bright Green. Here is the press release:  

Old is the new new! With worries about climate change, peak oil and an economic recession, now is the time to value our waste. It’s great to recycle, but it’s even better for the planet to reduce and reuse. To encourage us all to help the environment and our pockets, Sustainable Bungay is hosting a Give and Take Day on Saturday, March 21st, 2009 from 10am-1pm at Bungay Community Centre. A Give and Take Day is a chance to get rid of things that you don’t want or need anymore and to pick up something that you do – all for FREE! 

Bring along any useable unwanted items from 10am on the day. These can be household and garden items, such as books, toys, bikes, tools, kitchenware, bric-a-brac, plants, furniture and clothes. If you don’t have anything to bring, just bring yourself and you might find something useful that you need. There will be information stands about a range of environmental issues, as well as fair-trade teas, coffees and locally baked cakes for a small donation. 

the give and take crew outside the community centre

With help from Bright Green in Lowestoft, Sustainable Bungay will even be able to collect bulky items, such as furniture, from your home in Bungay on Friday, March 20th and can deliver these items to their new homes on the Saturday afternoon if you can’t transport them yourself. A team of volunteers will be on hand to record items donated and taken and to sort anything left over at the end of the event. Most of the remaining goods will be donated to charity shops and similar organisations and some may be sent for recycling. We hope to have nothing to send to landfill. If you would like to be a volunteer, please contact us. 

For more pictures of the day click here

 April 4th Spring Tonic Walk

Mark leads a medicine plant walk in his wild neighbourhood in Reydon for SB and members of theTransition Norwich Heart and Soul group.

“I’d been working with plants, especially wild and medicinal ones, for many years and in many places. So I organised a Reconnection with Nature walk with Charlotte in coastal Suffolk where we live and invited fellow Transitioners from Transition Norwich and Sustainable Bungay, where we’ve been most active, to spend the day with us getting to know some of the neighbourhood plants. The main thrust of the day was to inspire others to get in touch with the plants and trees growing where they live.

We based the day on three Transition plants, Nettle, Cleavers and Dandelion – traditional herbs used to spring clean the system and help the body “transit” from winter into Spring. The walk itself was an introduction to many food and hedgerow medicines such as burdock, hawthorn, rosehip, ground ivy, damson and garlic mustard, and a guide to the main native trees. The day also featured a slide show and a delicious shared lunch, including Nettle Soup and a Cleavers Plus Tea.”

From This Low Carbon Life, the Norwich Transitioner’s blog



For a full slide show of the day click here.

April 9th 2009 The End of Suburbia 

As part of the lead-up to the Unleashing on 9th May we showed the seminal Transition documentary about Peak Oil, THE END OF SUBURBIA at The Fisher Theatre (Gallery) at 7.30pm, with a discussion after the film. 

shaun chamberlin and the sb unleashers by the bungay timeline

Saturday May 9th 2009  The Great Unleashing 

Bungay Community Centre, Upper Olland Street, 7pm 

 This is the Transition rite-0f-passage where the inititiative “unleashes” itself into the wider community and invites everyone to celebrate. We decked the hall with branches of blossoming trees and May flowers and sat at tables with different themes, ranging from Food and Farming to Reskiling. Our guest speaker was Shaun Chamberlin, author of the just-published The Transition Timeline. Kate and Josiah introduced the evening and after Shaun’s talk we engaged in round-table discussions about our Transition themes and added our insights to the Bungay 20 Year time line. En route we enjoyed Bungay tapas (locally grown, produced  food cooked by ourselves), drank local beer, cider and elderflower cup, listened to  music and lively conversation. 

Here is our press release. For a full write of the evening click here. 

Sunday June 28th 2009 Summer Picnic 

Sustainable Bungay enjoyed a shared picnic on the Old Grammar School field. This was an informal get together open to all to enjoy this community space while it’s still there. Food was shared and everyone, adults and children alike, played games on the field during the afternoon. 

Summer issue of the SB Newsletter now out! 

July 2009 

Working with CRed Suffolk and the UEA Sustainable Bungay began work on  a carbon audit of Bungay. We’ll take a sample of the town’sresidents based on the type of house they live in and ask acouple of dozen easy to answer questions. The analysis ofthese questions will provide us with a bench mark against which we can measure change and develop new projects (forexample, it could become clear that insulation bulk buying groups are a priority if very few people have adequate roofinsulation). The results will feed into the Town Plan that is being prepared by the Community Partnership. 

 We also continue meeting twice a month: every last Tuesday at the Library and every third for Green Drinks at the Green Draagon. Green Drinks provide an informal opportunity to meet and chat with people who are interested in green issues – everything from social justiceand the environment through to alternative economics and sustainable building. There is a Green Drinks network all over the world. In Bungay we meet at 7.30pm every third Tuesday of the month. All welcome. 
September 6th  Greenpeace Fair
The 20th Waveney Greenpeace Fair held at Hulver Farm at St Michael South Elmham was a lively fundraiser. Because of new restrictions on car parking any more people walked, cycled, took the bus and car-shared to this colourful, good-natured Fair and enjoyed its wide range of stalls, local bands and beer, campaign info and children’s activities.Transition Initiatives from East Anglia, including Sustainable Bungay, shared a stall in the tea-tent (which they also helped organise and run) to talk about the projects they are actively engaged in across the region.
  We are offered an opportunity to work with the Bungay Library to develop their courtyard as an activity space and growing area. Nick puts up an SB community noticeboard in the entrance and organises a set of shelves for books on the triple crunch.
September 22nd Car-Free Day
We  are celebrating World Car Free Day by cycling to Geldeston Locks to meet and greet the Zero Carbon Caravan (ZCC) as it passes through Bungay on its way to the UNCCC in Copenhagen (see Diary) . The ZCC travels from Wales to Copenhagen without using fossil fuel transportation; it has been welcomed (and joined) by many Transition Initiatives in East Anglia including Bedford, Downham Market, Cambridge and Norwich; on Wednesday it will proceed to Leiston, with some Bungay folk hitched to it.
Says Kate Jackson who organised last year’s Bungay Carfree Day with local schools: “In the positive spirit of the Transition movement we thought this evening’s bike ride to welcome the Caravan would be a good way torecreate the joy of biking together and engage everyone in the small thrills of zero-carbon travel.”
October 4th Energy Day 
We hold an Energy Day at the Library with a solar panel demonstration, alternative energy information, our work-in-progress carbon audit and of course cake!
“We will have a demonstration of alternative energy technology and be on hand to discuss different ways of reducing fossil fuels. We will also be introducing  our community carbon and ecological footprint survey. The results will provide a baseline figure for Bungay, allowing us to measure the success of our projects and to help us develop new ideas – from car clubs to group buying of solar thermal panels. And Gemma Parker (now resident cook at the Three Willows nursery) will be providing some delicious cakes and teas! You can also check out our lively notice board and selection of books about climate change and peak oil and what we can do to make ourselves and our communities more resilient.”
(from our Autumn Newsletter now out)
 November 14th Transition East 2nd Gathering
Sustainable Bungay form part of the Transition East Support Group and help organise the 2nd Transition East Gathering in Diss.
“We had a great day. In spite of the torrential weather 55 people from 18 different initatives travelled from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and converged in Diss. Here we are (most of us anyway) just at the end of our plenary in which we summed up the events and the conversations we had enjoyed together.
In the morning we mapped ourselves in time and space. We said outloud where we were 1) along a time line according to when and how our initiatives began and 2) where we were within the Eastern Region and what our plans were for the future. We then had an Open Space session, conducted by Rachel from Downham Market, with twelve different subjects from Insulation to Abundance schemes to Communication with the Media.
The main slot of the day was Transition Troubleshooting in which we posted our troubles on the wall and set about finding ways of dealing with them in five different groups led by the Transition East Support Team. These included Group Dynamics, Communication (inter-group and media), Facing Profound Lifestyle Changes, Burn-Out and Fall-Out and Dealing with Officialdom. This was a new creative move within the Transition process that rippled across country to Totnes (see Rob Hopkin’s post on today).
(from transitioncircleeast a regional blog created this month by Charlotte  to report on local news and log all the initiatives in the Eastern Region)
December 5th The Wave  
waving at the wave

Thousands of people flowed into into London to take part in a national demonstration called The Wave, organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, to call for action on climate change ahead of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Sustainable Bungay coordinated a Waveney Valley coach thanks to generous support from the Co-op.

Earlier organisers, Kate and Rita flew the SB flag at the Climate Emergency Rally in Norwich and spoke about some of the solutions we were engaged in. On Dec 6th both starred in BBC’s The Politics Show, talking about Transition and the Bungay Allotments.

On December 23 we all meet for a Christmas Party at Kate and Rita’s to celebrate our very full Transition year.