Sunday, 11 December 2011

Urban Harvest Calendar for 2012

Regular activity on 3rd Sat of the month, with a couple of extra dates.
We’ll also be picking apples for people who can’t pick their own or have too many – join us, or why not leaflet your neighbourhood and do the same?

Activities always subject to change if we have a better idea / a better offer / a wonky season (ie plants don’t grow to our timetable).

Your suggestions welcome - always looking for good sites & cheap venues (indoors for cold weather)
Hopefully Ed will add the odd fungus walk to the schedule

If you're new to Urban Harvest, please read the 'About Us' blurb on our website explaining who we are and what we aren't. You can also sign up to our mailing list for final details of events:

Sat 21 Jan 2012 13:00 Foraging walk Winter Salad Challenge (ie can we come up with a decent bowlful?).

Sat 18 Feb 2012 13:00 ‘Know Your Alliums’. Learning about Wild Garlic and its relations.

Sat 17 Mar 2012 13:00 Nettle Celebration. Eat them, drink them, wear them.

Sat 21 Apr 2012 13:00 Foraging walk. Seasonal Spring specials: Lime leaves; Hop shoots; Dandelions; Hogweed; etc

Sat 19 May 2012 13:00 Ever-lovely Elderflowers.

Sat 16 Jun 2012 13:00 Our annual Edible Flowers Celebration. With floral summer cocktails.

Sat 21 Jul 2012 13:00 Plums. Perhaps loquats & mulberries too?

Sat 18 Aug 2012 13:00 Harvesting summer fruits. We get stuck into the glut of apples, pears, plums etc...

Fri 7 Sep 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Fri 14 Sep 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Sat 15 Sep 2012 13:00 All about red berries. Learn how to tell your hips from haws from crabs from sorbs.

Fri 21 Sep 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Sat 29 Sep 2012 13:00 extra Chestnuts & acorns.

Tue 2 Oct 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Tue 9 Oct 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Tue 16 Oct 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Sat 20 Oct 2012 pm Apple Day Celebration with Transition Crouch End (4th glorious year).

Tue 23 Oct 2012 Apple picking in private gardens

Sat 27 Oct 2012 extra Rediscovering English exotic fruit. Service fruit & medlars.

Sat 17 Nov 2012 13:00 Finding winter greens

Sat 15 Dec 2012 evening Potluck Party

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Bee a Community Champion

Do Something Bee-utifulc
Bee the difference!

Living Under One Sun is a multi award winning community project, run mainly by volunteers and Made in Tottenham. It all started in 2005 with mothers from local communities, to promote healthy living, community leadership and harmony . We aim to inspire across generations and cultures, taking responsibility to build, protect, share and celebrate a positive neighbourhood and environment both locally and globally.

An exciting outreach and community leadership project for east of Haringey to create more places for growing affordable healthy food, supporting all hard working pollinators and setting up more beehives. Then launch Tottenham’s take on the Chelsea Flower Show on 14th July 2012 !
If you are selected as a BBB champion you will get FREE

  • a ‘hands on’ training and support programme in organic food growing, protecting bees & wildlife, running a green project and community leadership
  • a beekeeping course –either evenings or as a weekend option mentoring in ‘adopting’ a beehive
  • a complete training and support pack for you to engage others
  • your confidence and skills built step by step in project management
  • the opportunity to complete the delivery of your own local project from A-Z
  • a portfolio of achievement and reference for your cv, further training and employment,
  • the opportunity to be selected for the BBB flower show competition and win £500 to design your own display entry
  • a contribution to your transport & child care costs
  • CRB check - a special experience of networking, sharing knowledge and skills
  • a chance to reflect and a supported way to create a change in your neighbourhood

You are required to give:
As well as attending the programme, you will give 3 hours a week as a volunteer to work on your chosen local site this could be with a local school, on a housing estate, or with a community or faith group. Alternatively, it could be with us at the LUOS community allotment site.


Organic food growing & community leadership programme
Tuesday 10th January : Deadline for applications
Tuesday 17th January : Confirmation of your place
Tuesday 24th January : Induction 10-2 & Launch & Lunch

Tuesdays 7th Feb to 17th July from 10 am - 2pm:
10am - 12: Organic food growing, biodiversity training and practice.
12..30 - 2 pm: Community leadership - running a community green project.

Saturday 14th July : BBB Festival of Flowers & Honey @Tottenham Marshes

Beekeeping courses
Wednesdays 8th Feb - 28th March 2012 (6-8 pm) at Coombes Croft Library
Saturdays on 17th, 24th 31st of March (10am -2pm) - to be confirmed
Saturdays from 21st April – 21st July (12.30 - 2.30 pm) - Adopt a Beehive Mentoring

Blooming Beds and Bees Competition
Tuesday 16th January - Deadline for submitting flower design proposals.
Tuesday 24th January -10 designs selected and £500 allocated to each
Saturday 14th July - Design display for competition at BBB Flower and Honey Festival at Tottenham Marshes can also find us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Flickr



Wednesday 7th December 2011
All proceeds in aid of the Haringey Churches Winter Night Shelter

Celebrate the year with us - doors open @ 6:30 - come early and network!
   We expect to start the screening after serving those who wish to eat.
Apologies: I made a mistake in the previous email - this is NOT a 'bring food to share' event.
To choose from our delicious menu of mainly local food;
PLEASE order when you arrive!
Short films illustrating local projects

Community Supported Agriculture
The Meadow Orchard Project
Knowing Through Growing
Food Cycle
Time for a dessert from our menu and a drink from the bar...

Haringey Churches Winter Night Shelter
A year of Green on the Screen
Community Fire Celebration
Edible Landscapes London
The Compost Giveaway
Food from the Sky

We invite you to bring a wrapped 'no longer needed' recycled gift.
We'll exchange gifts after the film screenings.
Anything left over will be donated to the Homeless shelter

World Cafe

News & Updates

  • Come see the 'must see' film of 2012! Post your choice in our film suggestion postbox at Moors Bar on GOTS nights and yours could be one of the nine we plant/screen in 2012!
  • The next three films we expect to screen are below - your suggestion could be there too:
  • February: The Transition Movie
  • March: Ecomonics of Happiness
  • April: Water, the great mystery

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sustainable Haringey Winter Gathering

Sustainable Haringey
Winter Gathering
Saturday 26th November
4pm to 7pm
Union Church Hall
Corner of Weston Park and
Ferme Park Road, N8 9PX
(W3 and W5 buses stop outside,
41 and 91 buses stop in Tottenham Lane)

4pm to 5.30pm

Hear what all the groups affiliated to Sustainable Haringey have been doing and what they are planning in the future.
Hear about Haringey Council’s 40:20 campaign.
Displays of literature, posters and films.

5.30pm to 7pm
Food and drink including Urban Harvest cocktails.
Please bring contributions of sustainable vegetarian food (savoury and sweet) for everyone to share.

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Big Bill What can we do about the high costs of energy?

The Big Bill 
What can we do about the high costs of energy?
A Fuel Poverty Action teach-in at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Rd, Tottenham N17 6QN Saturday 5 November 2011 12.30 - 5:30 pm  
In the winter, thousands die of the cold in Britain – a scandal in a country where power companies are reaping record profits, and £850 billion is spent on bailing out banks.  A large proportion of the population do not have access to decent heating or good housing, and many also have so little money that it’s a hard choice between heating, eating, or paying the rent.

Launching the new group - Fuel Poverty Action - a project of the Climate Justice Collective
 , this teach-in will be an opportunity for climate activists, local organizers and everyone concerned about high energy bills to discuss what high prices and poorly insulated homes mean for all of us, and see what we can do to ensure that everyone has fair access to heating and electricity.

As climate activists, we do not buy the lie that fuel prices are inflated by the need for green energy.  The same vampire companies that are hiking up prices are spewing out the greenhouse gases that threaten a climate catastrophe.  All they care about is their own bottom line, while millions of families live in cold homes and pay even higher rates for their gas and electric than people in big warm homes pay on direct debits. 

At the same time, energy companies are seeking out increasingly destructive ways to extract and produce energy like tar sands, shale gas, deep sea oil and gas, new nuclear, biofuels, opencast coal mining and mountaintop removal mining. A cleaner, sustainable energy economy controlled by people for people – not for profit – could release families from the dilemma of having to choose between food and warmth.  Sun, wind, and tides will not run out, and do not cost the earth! 
12.30: Introduction including “What is fuel poverty? And “what's the climate got to do with it?” – with a chance to introduce what you have been thinking and doing.

 Who pays? Living with high energy bills, bad housing, and unfair pricing policies. 
1.30: Who gains? The market, the "Big Six" energy companies, who’s profiting from high fuel prices, government subsidies and greenwash, and Frankenstein Fuels

3.00: What can we do about it?
 Intro and group discussions. Including: Knowing your rights / Cooperative energy schemes / Exposing the profiteers and their friends in high places / Fighting for the right to a secure, draught-free, energy-efficient home. 
5.00: What next? Including information on the 22 November Winter Deaths Demonstration, and moving forward with the campaign. 

Let us know
You are welcome to just turn up on the day, but it would be really helpful if you can let us know in advance if you’re likely to come, or if there’s something you’d particularly like to discuss, by emailing
 Lunch: There’s a good Turkish restaurant/take-away just over the road (they do falafels!) Or please feel free to bring your own food or food to share – we know people will want to eat while we get to know each other during the introductory session.  Hot drinks, snacks and a microwave will be available. 

Kids Space: Please let us know 
in advance by emailing if you would like to bring children with you and we will do what we can to take care of their energy needs!Getting there: Tottenham Chances can be found at 399 High Road, Tottenham, N17 6QN.  It’s near excellent transport links.  A map can be found here: thing: Please tell other people about the event. Pass on this message or invite people to:

Monday, 31 October 2011

Frack Mob / Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline Demo / Climate Justice Collective‏

1. FRACK MOB - the UK's first mass action against fracking
Wednesday, 2 November, 3PM - 6PM, Copthorne Tara Hotel, Scarsdale Place,
Kensington, W8 5SR

Join us for a 'frack mob' at the 'Shale Gas Environmental Summit' - an
industry greenwash love-in. This conference a is all about large companies
shafting the planet in the name of profit.

Fracking companies drill for gas by blasting water, sand and corrosive
chemicals deep into the ground to crack the bedrock. Fracking poisons
tapwater, causes earthquakes and releases more greenhouse gases than coal.
Fracking is in it's infancy in this country, if we are going to kill this
thing it has to be now. We still have time to cut through the bullshit,
scare the investors and tell the companies to FRACK OFF!

Lets expose this Greenwash. Bring gas masks, anything that makes a loud
noise, green body/face paint, chalk and a desire to have fun!

More info:
Facebook event:
Twitter: @frack_off

2. KEYSTONE PIPELINE SOLIDARITY DEMO - stopping tar sands in its tracks
Sunday, 6 November, 11am-1pm, US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London

In the US, activists will encircle the White House, demanding President
Obama rejects the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Encircling our own
miniature White House, we will stand in solidarity with US climate
activists for what could be one of the biggest turning points for the tar
sands battle so far. This action builds on August's Keystone XL pipeline
protests, one of the largest ever civil disobedience climate actions,
resulting in over 1200 arrests in Washington DC. If the pipeline is built,
companies already have plans to ship the dirty oil to new markets
including the UK and Ireland. Stopping this pipeline would be a major win
for the planet: the first step towards stifling the exponential growth of
the tar sands industry.

More info:
Facebook event:

3. CLIMATE JUSTICE COLLECTIVE - new directions for climate action
Sunday, 6 November, 2 - 6.30 PM, Tottenham Chances, 399 HighRoad, London,
N17 6QN

The Climate Justice Collective (CJC) was formed by people from Camp for
Climate Action who wanted to explore new forms of anti-hierarchical
organising that would free us up from some of the conflicts and
frustrations of the past. Our first efforts have been focused mainly on
working out organising structures and principles to do this, and on
setting up a new campaign against fuel poverty - an issue which unites our
long and short term interests in social justice and conserving energy. It
is now time to open out and include people who would like to be involved
and help develop these possibilities. This meeting will be a chance for
you to get involved - or get back involved!

More info: email


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Thursday, 13 October 2011


1) Occupy the London Stock Exchange. (Sat 15th Oct)

2) Festival of Ideas (Oct 29 - 30th)
3) Africa demands climate justice (14th Oct)
5) Defend Welfare Gathering (23rd Oct)


Occupy the London Stock Exchange
15th October
St Paul's Cathedral

#Occupy LSX
The words 'corporate greed' ring through the speeches and
banners of
protests across the globe. After huge bail-outs and in the face of
unemployment, privatisation and austerity we still see profits for the
rich on the increase. But we are the 99%, and on October 15th our voice
unites across gender and race, across borders and continents as we call
for equality and justice for all.

In London we will occupy the stock exchange. Reclaiming space in the face
of the financial system and using it to voice ideas for how we can work
towards a better future. A future free from austerity, growing inequality,
unemployment, tax injustice and a political elite who ignores its
citizens, and work towards concrete demands to be met.

Assemble in front of St Pauls Cathedral at Midday ­ please try to be on
time and not early or late. When you are there be ready and attentive.
Make sure to follow @OccupyLSX on twitter for updates on the day. If you
don't have a smartphone, sign up to twitter text updates for the day (see
how below).

Try to come with a friend or group of friends. If you are thinking of
staying for a while bring plenty of food and water, wrap up warm and you
may want to bring tents and a sleeping bag.

Bring your energy and excitement, and be ready to create a better world!

Check out this call to action from Jody Mcintyre:

Signing up for twitter text updates, see how here:

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch
Twitter: @OccupyLSX

For press enquiries please email:


Festival of Ideas

I thought that you and your colleagues may be interested in hearing about
this year's Battle of Ideas festival, taking place at the Royal
College of
Art, London on October 29-30. During the course of the weekend, over 2,250
people will be participating in 75 different debates involving hundreds of
incisive and thought-provoking speakers.

This year's festival programme includes strands of debate entitled
for the World, Battle for Morality, Food Fight, Society Wars, Battle for
Our Brains, and Reassessing Politics and Sporting Contests.

It also features keynote debates on: The Battle against the Fates,
Profiting responsibly? Business in the big society, Creativity and
curiosity: do we make stuff up or find it out? Has tolerance gone too far?
Loyalty in an age of whistle-blowing and Wikileaks, Is individualism bad
for society? as well as many more discussions on current themes in the
arts, science, health, parenting, education, design, international
relations and religion.

Internationally renowned speakers include: David Aaronovitch, Jonathan
Aitken, Decca Aitkenhead, Anne Atkins, Simon Baron-Cohen, Daniel Ben-Ami,
Katharine Birbalsingh, Melvin Burgess, Christopher Caldwell, Matthew
Collings, John Cooper, Claire Fox, Giles Fraser, Frank Furedi, Maurice
Glasman, Tom Holland, Mick Hume, Sue Ion, Rebecca Jenkins, Simon Jenkins,
Irma Kurtz, Philippe Legrain, Dame Ann Leslie, Kenan Malik, Paul Mason,
Joyce McMillan, Tim Montgomerie, Brendan O’Neill, Ruth Padel, K.A.S.
Quinn, Jeffrey Rosen, Jenni Russell, William Saletan, Fiona Shaw, John
Sutherland, George Szirtes, Ray Tallis, GM Tamás, Mark Vernon, Tom Watt,
Zoe Williams, Alison Wolf, Martin Wolf, Cathy Young and over 300 more.

To provide a taster of the festival, a series of standalone Battle
Satellite events will be held across London, the UK and worldwide. Topics
for debate range from happiness in Athens and the future of Indian
democracy in New Delhi, to Croydon after the riots. The Battle Satellites
look to address the challenges facing society in a fast-changing and
increasingly globalised age. Foyles at Charing Cross Road will host
debates on the oversexualisation of children, and what boys should be
reading. The Battle Satellite programme will begin on Friday 30 September
with a special free debate on the future of manufacturing at London’s
Victoria and Albert Museum Friday Late, and with over 25 national and
international events, the boundaries of public debate will certainly
continue to expand beyond the main festival weekend.

Visit to view this year’s festival
programme, including satellite events, as well as carefully selected
readings for each session and videos of previous years’ sessions.

** School students aged 16-18 are able to attend a day of the festival for
free (the second day costing only £10) email There are also a limited number of
HALF PRICE Student Champion tickets, allowing university students full
access to the weekend festival for just £27.50. Click here to purchase
discounted tickets. **

Tickets are available through online booking, or by phone: 0207 269 9220.

We hope to see you at this year’s Battle of Ideas.

Best wishes,


Claire Fox
Institute of Ideas
Signet House
49-51 Farringdon Road
London EC1M 3JP
020 7269 9220
020 7269 9223 (direct)


Africa demands climate justice

Thursday 13 October, London

More than ever before, rich industrialised countries are using the UN
climate talks as an excuse to advance corporate interests. In the run up
to the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, this December people across
Africa and the world are demanding climate justice.

As part of our climate justice speaker tour, join us to hear Desmond
coordinator of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Maria
Adebowale from Capacity Global and Kirsty Wright, World Development
Movement climate justice campaigner.

When: Thursday 13 October, 7pm
Where: University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY.

Find out how you can take action against the UK’s unfair policies
that are
prioritising corporate profits via discredited institutions such as the
World Bank. Not only will this fail to tackle climate change, but it will
also deepen existing global inequalities.

Desmond D’Sa is coordinator of South Durban Community Environmental
Alliance, which mobilises local people against industrial pollution. A
veteran campaigner on local and global environmental justice issues,
centrally involved in organising the alternative civil society space
during the UN talks. He will be speaking in Brighton, Bristol, London and



WHAT: With BAA still scheming for expansion at Heathrow and Grow Heathrow
up in court, we'll be getting together for a weekend this October to show
them we're here to stay. We'll be... Pizza-munching, Apple-scrumping,
Chutney-making, Face-painting, Cake-baking, Scaffold-sculpture-making,
Potholing, Tyre-rolling, Fire-stoking, Jam-stiring, Night-singing,
Lake-swimming, and much, much more.

WHEN: Weekend of the 14th/15th/16th of October 2011, from Friday evening.
Come for the day, an hour or the whole weekend. Bring a tent or at least a
sleeping bag if you're planning on staying over. Some limited indoor bed
space is available, so get in touch early if this is the only option for

WHERE: Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton, UB7 0JG
Train from London:
Trains run from London Paddington to West Drayton Station and the site is
a short bike or bus ride from there.
Bus from West Drayton:
Take the 222 from outside West Drayton Station (towards Hounslow). Get off
at the 'Harmonsworth Lane' stop in the village of Sipson. Turn left just
after the King William pub and you're there!

Site Phone : 07890 751 568

As well as all this - The UK Tar Sands network will be joining us. On the
Saturday October 15th we unveil the first Tar Free Community in the UK -
Tar Free Transition Heathrow!

What does it mean to be a tar free town? How can your community become tar
Find out when we celebrate with you all on October 15th at Grow Heathrow,
3pm - the movement for a tar free future begins!


BHP Billiton: Dirty Energy

Public meeting, Wednesday 19 October 2011, 7pm to 9pm, Room 1, Upper
Corridor, Houses of Parliament

London Mining Network in association with Colombia Solidarity Campaign,
Down to Earth and PIPLinks

BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified resources company. It made
record profits of $23.6 billion over the past year. It is listed on the
London Stock Exchange. Many British workers' pension funds, British banks
and insurance companies have investments in it - but most British people
have never heard of it.

BHP Billiton is heavily involved in the production of minerals for energy:
coal, oil, gas and uranium. It makes a massive contribution to worsening
climate change and is creating deadly radioactive pollution for hundreds
of thousands of years to come. Its operations contribute to or benefit
from involuntary relocation of communities and the destruction of rural
communities' livelihoods.

Main speaker: Julio Cesar Gomez, President of FECODEMIGUA, the Federation
of Communities Displaced by Mining in La Guajira (Colombia)
BHP Billiton owns one-third of the huge Cerrejon opencast coal mine, which
has displaced many communities and threatens to displace still more.
Displaced communities have united in FECODEMIGUA and are demanding

Other speakers will talk about BHP Billiton's coal and uranium mines in
other parts of the world

All are welcome to this meeting. Please arrive at St Stephen's Gate (the
main entrance to Parliament) in plenty of time to go through security,
which can take a long time if a lot of people are waiting to enter the



Defend Welfare Gathering
Sunday 23rd October, 11am-5pm
Somers Town Community Centre, 150 Ossulston Street, London, NW1 1EE
(5 minutes walk from Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross stations)

Wheelchair accessible

Join us for a meeting with like-minded people to share ideas and
strategise to stop the government's attacks on welfare.

Welfare is being systematically attacked:
Unemployed people are being forced to work without pay.
Disabled people are being deprived of their entitlement to benefits
through the devastating Work Capability Assessment process.
People can now be left destitute for up to two years through benefit
The right to housing is under attack: Housing benefit cuts are set to make
thousands homeless. The right-wing called for evictions in response to the
riots, even before courts had found people guilty.
Private companies stand to make millions through bullying claimants on the
Work Programme.
Legal aid cuts make it harder to challenge bad treatment.
The only benefit that was available to people under 18 – EMA –
has been
abolished by this government.
Single mothers are being forced to be job-seekers when their children are
at an even younger age.
Asylum seekers are forced to survive on incomes far below benefit levels,
which are already set at subsistence level.
The full impact that the Universal Credit will have is yet to be understood.

But people across the UK are organising to defend welfare. The Boycott
Workfare campaign recently forced the “Making Work Pay”
conference to
relocate at short notice. Atos, the private company responsible for
depriving hundreds of thousands of people of sickness benefits, has had
many of its offices occupied, costing it thousands of pounds. Claimants
are sharing information on how to challenge the bullying and
discrimination that is rife in the new set-up.

This gathering is open to everyone who wants to take action to defend
welfare. We are a claimant-led network - our response to welfare reforms
is led by people who feel their effects the most – but the attacks on
welfare will affect us all whether we are in work or may need welfare as
parents, if we become unemployed, due to sickness or disability, or as

We plan to run the day with lots of discussion and chances to share ideas
and information in workshops and an open space session where we can set
the agenda on the day. If you can offer a workshop or would like to
propose something for the agenda, please get in touch.

Please help make the day happen!

Let us know you can make it!

The network does not have any funding, so if your group or union branch
can make a contribution to the costs of the room or participants' travel,
please help raise funds for it. Groups and individuals may want to
approach union branches or organise fundraisers to raise funds for your

Let us know if you can help with food, childcare or facilitation on the day.

Forward this invite to anyone else you know who might be interested, post
it on your blog or social media; mention it at meetings, and help spread
the word!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Looking forward to Apple Day 2011 Saturday 15 October 3-6

Apple Day 2011
Hornsey Vale Community Centre
Saturday 15 October, 3-6pm
The theme of this year’s Apple Day is abundance.  In Crouch End alone, there are numerous apple trees growing in allotments, parks, school playgrounds and residents’ gardens.  In many cases the fruit has been left unpicked, a pity since the warm spring weather this year has led to a bumper harvest.
Apple Day looks at ways to ensure that good use is made of this bounty.  The Urban Harvest will showcase drinks and produce made from apples, pears and plums, which the public can taste and try.  Local residents are encouraged to bring along their own fruit to juice: even windfalls can be turned into a delicious drink.  Transition Crouch End will also be juicing apples from Weston Park School, which otherwise would have gone to waste.  In future years, the group would hope to form a partnership with residents and community groups, offering advice on pruning in exchange for apples.

For apple addicts, there are over twenty different varieties of apple and pear to sample.  Some of them have never tasted before, and a poll will identify the most scrumptious in a campaign to persuade local greengrocers to stock them.
Apples are an infinite source of magic, myth and lore and this will be reflected in various activities on the day.  There will be a children's play area, run by Anna Konarska, craft stalls and a Find the Rotten Apple Competition.  The top prize is an apple tree from the Blackmoor Estate, who willl be providing the apples for the sampling table. 
Apple Day is sustainable event which seeks to minimise waste.  All apple mash will be composted at the Meadow Orchard Project and the cafe will use washable mugs and plates rather than plastic.  There will a free beverage to anyone who brings their own cup.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The proposed disposal of Haringey's Bereavement Services

We request that the Cabinet defer the decision on the report until adequate information has been provided, consultation has taken place, and there are effective guarantees regarding residents' interests, and environmental sustainability. 

Submission on the proposed disposal of Enfield Crematorium, and Tottenham and Wood Green Cemeteries.
  1. Sustainable Haringey is very concerned that the Bereavement Services Disposal report (Cabinet 4th October) recommends that the contract for Enfield Crematorium and Tottenham and Wood Green Cemeteries is awarded to the company which scored lowest in both quality and proposed approach to the management of biodiversity and conservation, with a score of less than 20% on biodiversity and conservation (see para 5.9).
  2. We are also very concerned at the proposals in the current report for the Final Heads of Terms to be delegated to the Director of Place and Sustainability (para 3.6), without any public scrutiny or involvement and without even Cabinet scrutiny and we urge the Cabinet to reject this course outright.
  3. We requested that we be provided with copies of all the appendices and draft Heads of Terms, if necessary with company names and financial information redacted, so that residents could see for themselves the basis for these proposals and have the opportunity to engage meaningfully with the decisions being taken.  However our requests have so far been refused.
  4. We also requested copies of other background documents, in particular the details of how each of the companies intends to deal with sustainability and biodiversity issues relating to the running of the 3 sites.  This was also refused without any real explanation.
  5. The decision to transfer the Crematorium and Cemeteries to the private sector for 50 years will last beyond most of our lifetimes, yet there has been no public consultation or even public awareness of the final proposal, with the limited report released without public notice just 7 days before the Cabinet meeting.  For such a far reaching decision there should be proper opportunity for scrutiny and comment on the proposals.   Sustainable Haringey made extensive submissions at the time of the original Cabinet meeting in November 2010 (see attached), yet were not notified or invited to comment in any way before this Cabinet meeting.
  6. We request that the Cabinet defer the decision on the report until adequate information has been provided and consultation has taken place.  The proposed lease is for 50 years, not just 5 or 10, and therefore deserves proper consideration and scrutiny to ensure the interests of residents and local sustainability are being best served.  A month or so for proper consultation is not long when compared to 50 years. We also ask how meaningful consultation can take place (para 7.6) with staff or with residents, if the final decision to outsource the service has already taken place.
  7. During our earlier discussions with the lead Cabinet member and officers it was said there would be opportunity to address some of our concerns and consult more widely at a later stage, yet we are not even allowed to see documents relating to how these sites, including Tottenham Cemetery, a designated Ecologically Valuable Site of Borough Grade 2 Importance, which has significant nature conservation value and which is also a historical asset to Tottenham, will be maintained and protected and what environmental practices will be in place.  There can be no good reason for such secrecy, and we do not believe this secrecy is in the interests of Haringey residents.
  8. There are also huge doubts over whether the proposed course of action represents the best solution financially.   The supposed costs of keeping the service in house are said to be £13.4 million investment (para 4.1.1), but this is based on including costs of a new car park and massive concrete burial chambers. 
  9. According to the Council's own figures, the cost of 3 new cremators & abatement equipment is in the region of £1.2m (email from Tim Baker to Sustainable Haringey 20 Dec 2010).  Company A is proposing to replace the four existing cremators with two abated cremators (para 10.8).  So if this option was pursued in house by the Council the total cost of becoming mercury compliant would be less than £1M.  According to the response by Tim Baker to Sustainable Haringey's submission, "'Invest to Save' prudential borrowing schemes are usually only approved by the Council if the payback is no more than three years". As the Bereavement Service has an annual surplus of well over half a million pounds, the payback period would easily fall within this.  Whilst undoubtedly some improvements were needed to the facilities, no real evidence has been demonstrated for the level of investment suggested.  Some of the improvements could be part funded by the money raised from the sale of Grenville Cottages, which raised £400,000 (para 5.2).
  10. The expensive proposals for extensive car parking, rather than promoting public or shared transport options, were not compatible with the Environmental Considerations section of the Options Appraisal (S12) "it is noted that opportunities should be explored for improving public transport links to the site, and reducing the need to access the site by car".  Environmental sustainability would be best served by improved public transport access to the Crematorium, not increased car parking.
  11. As to the huge cost for development of burial facilities, in para 5.12 of the report it is stated that 'the tendering process did not demonstrate that the site value would be greater with planning permission for a new burial facility', so the planning application was not progressed.  The report is silent on whether or not the private operator will in fact develop additional burial facilities at the site, who will profit from this, and what controls will be in place to protect residents interests.  It also leads to a situation where the in house option costs of £13.4m (of which burial facilities were £5.4m) are not being compared like with like with the private operator option.
  12. The proposed course of action also gives Tottenham and Wood Green cemeteries away at a peppercorn rent (para 7.3), when over £450k was spent last year on Wood Green Cemetery to create 132 new burial plots which were expected to last for 2-4 years.  According to the report for the Cabinet meeting last year, plots are sold for £3600 - £4700, so this appears to be a substantial gift of income to the private operator from Haringey's reserves.  [see burial charges at p 5 and Wood Green expansion at p3 & 5 of
  14. The report is also silent on re-use of graves, which could be a potential huge source of income for the private operator, and a huge loss and source of controversy to the Council.  In the response to Sustainable Haringey's submission last year, Tim Baker (consultant employed to facilitate the disposal of the service) stated:  "Public resistance could be a big factor when determining whether grave re-use should occur and it is likely that this would apply regardless of whether the Council or someone else proposed its use. Therefore, the Council isn’t necessarily losing out on this as a potential income source. Because the current situation regarding the re-use of graves is not entirely clear, we have not attempted to factor in any financial implications or benefits that may accrue either to us or a private operator."
  15. So if the private operator decides to re-use graves on any of the 3 sites, they have the potential for a massive source of income, while the Council and residents will be left to deal with the controversy (as has occurred with other privatised cemeteries in the past).
  16. The section on sustainability issues in the report (paras 10.2 - 10.8) refers to addressing some of the concerns Sustainable Haringey raised previously.  However the whole section is lacking in detail and does not provide any real re-assurance that sustainability issues will be taken seriously by the private operator, particularly in light of the fact that Company A scored just 1.6% out of a possible 6.7% on their proposed approach to the management of biodiversity and conservation (para 5.9), the lowest score of the 3 companies, yet was still selected as the preferred bidder.
  17. For example under the draft Heads of Terms the clause 'Manage the property in accordance with the principles of good estate management'could be interpreted in any number of ways, there would be a vast difference in opinion between operators trying to manage in a sustainable way, and those who might seek to minimise staffing costs by extensive use of chemicals, yet argue that the estate was tidy and therefore well managed.
  18. There is reference to maintaining biodiversity in accordance with conservation management plans and biodiversity report recommendations, but these are not set out.  Then in para 10.6 we are told that Company A has proposed to formulate it's own action and ongoing management plan, according to 4 listed principles, which are so vague as to be virtually meaningless.  Such self regulation by a private operator cannot be relied on to protect the interests of Haringey residents and the environment.
  19. The break clause only refers to terminating the lease because 'certain covenants' have not been complied with.  Those covenants are not specified, nor are the consequences of the termination set out - would there be financial costs or penalties involved?
  20. Additionally, while the clauses set out in para 10.4 are included in the draft Heads of Terms, we have no way of knowing or ensuring that they will be included in the final Heads of Terms.
  21. The report to Cabinet makes little reference to reduction of carbon emissions or 40:20 objectives, with no detail on what reductions will be made (para 10.8) and it is unclear to what extent these were considered during the decision making process. 
  22. Without the provision of the information requested we can have no confidence that sustainability, biodiversity and conservation issues will be taken seriously by the proposed operator or that the interests of Haringey residents will be protected by the lease and disposal of the sites for 50 years.

Sustainable Haringey
4th October 2011

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sat Sept 24th 'Moving Planet' was incredible

Watch the video and pass it on! 
180+ countries. 2000+ events**. A single day to move beyond fossil fuels. Check out the video to get a sense for what happened on September 24, and if you're not already getting emails, sign up below to get looped into this global movement.

** Including the successful Lordship Rec Sporticulture day - sports, horticulture and cycling here in Haringey!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Haringey Sustainability Month - June 2011

Haringey Sustainability Month is now over half way through, with some fantastic events having come and gone. Here's the remaining events and activities in the programme. In particular there's our very own Summer Gathering to which all are welcome:

Sustainable Haringey Summer Gathering
Sun 26th June, 1pm-5pm:

Reducing Waste and Increasing Recycling
All welcome to come and join in this discussion as part of building up Haringey's borough-wide green groups, projects and networks.
@ Railway Fields Nature Reserve, Green Lanes, N4 - opposite Harringay Green Lanes


Wed/Thurs/Sun each week, 11am-4pm: Living Under One Sun Community Allotment: Volunteers Wanted - Come and help grow fruits and veg, Share and gain skills and knowledge, Meet neighbours, share ideas and get some exercise, Find practical ways to do good by our planet, Celebrate harvest festivals and food from around the world. @ East Hale Allotment, Mill Mead Road, N17 Buses: 41, 123, 230, W4. Contact: Lyn 07722051414 Leyla 07414545640

Wed/Thurs each week, 10am-1pm: Visit the community tree & plant nursery - Green Routes, Finsbury Park, N4. To the right of the Manor House entrance as you enter the park. Come and help with whatever needs doing, find out about the project over a cuppa and meet others. More info:

Sat 18th to Sun 26th June: UK Bike Week - everyone encouraged to get on yer bike more throughout this week!

Tue 21st June, 8pm: 'Avoiding Heffalump Traps' - presentation and discussion about world population growth. Part of Highgate School’s Environment Week - open to all. @ Dyne House, Highgate School, Southwood Lane, Highgate Village, N6

Sat 25th June, 12noon: Demonstration to defend Haringey's public services and oppose cuts. Assemble Wood Green Civic Centre. March to Tottenham Town Hall. Or join in as the march passes Turnpike Lane and Seven Sisters tube stations. Bring banners and things to make a big noise as it passes key community facilities and services under threat. Organised by Haringey Alliance for Public Services (supported by Sustainable Haringey)

Sat 25th June, 2-6pm: Solar power and home insulation - stand at the Methodist Church Garden Party The 39 solar panels which Muswell Hill Sustainability Group have installed will be on public display for the first time + information on solar energy and home insulation. On the lawns behind the building known as North Bank, 28 Pages Lane N10 1PP. Organised by Muswell Hill Sustainability Group

Sat 25th June: Launch of 'The Bus', a living memorial to Nigerian writer and campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered in Nigeria for calling for environmental protection for communities being exploited and destroyed by oil exploitation by multinational corporations. There were international protests in response: 'The Bus' is by artist Sokari Douglas Camp. @ Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Rd, N15. Exact details to be announced. +

Sun 26th June, 1-5pm: Reducing Waste and Increasing Recycling - the Sustainable Haringey Summer Gathering All welcome to come and join in this discussion as part of building up Haringey's borough-wide green network. @ Railway Fields, Green Lanes, N4 - opposite Harringay Green Lanes

Wed 29th June, 7-9pm: Road to Redemption: talk on the history of ale-brewing in Haringey. @ Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, N17

Thurs 30th June, 7pm Film: 'Inside Job' – the banking crisis exposed! Rips apart any idea that the banking crisis that started in 2008 was a mistake by stupid bankers. It exposes the greed, corruption and political involvement that resulted in the biggest financial collapse of our times with devastating consequences for millions. The savage cuts in public spending are realities we all face, while those who caused the crisis not only go unpunished but made obscene wealth out of it. [Entry £3 / £2] @ Haringey Independent Cinema, West Green Learning Centre, West Green Road N15 3RB.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

North London Bike Power Workshop

A great collaboration between Transition Crouch End, Green Lens Studio and Magnificent Revolution led to the North London Bike Power Workshop being held on Saturday 11th June, part of Haringey Sustainability Month . The event was well attended with fourteen people engaged in learning all about generating electricity through pedal power. There was an interesting assortment of reasons for attending and possible end uses for applying this knowledge. These included a teacher and a university lecturer wanting to involve their students in experiments with pedal power; desires to use this technology to enable an off-grid lifestyle or to power a theatre production, and as an awareness raising tool for demonstrating the considerable effort needed to produce energy.

The workshop begun with an explanation of the physics involved in electrical energy to explain what is required in order to achieve successful power generation. We then split into three groups to start putting theory into practice. There were three practical exercises demonstrating different end uses of the generated power and each group had the opportunity to try out each example. The three methods being:
· Generating power to charge a battery
· Generating DC electricity to directly power appliances
· Passing generated current through an inverter to produce AC power

The workshop also provided useful information on designing the generation system to be appropriate to what you want from it. It also considered the problems with batteries, the pros and cons of DC and AC power, as well as giving essential safety advice.

The day was packed with activity and knowledge sharing but was much enjoyed by all. Much praise goes to Adam and Simon from Magnificent Revolution for putting together and delivering such a fun and accessible workshop. Thanks also to Yev of Green Lens Studio for providing such a delightful venue and of course Gillian of Transition Crouch End for organising and promoting the event. 

If there is anyone out there interested in attending a future Bike Power Workshop please get in touch via and as soon as sufficient numbers show an interest, we shall arrange another workshop.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Try out an electric bike with Muswell Hill Sustainability Group - Tue 14th June

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group invite you to an evening of sustainable transport
Tue 14th June, any time between 6.30 and 9.00pm
CUFOS, top of The Avenue (behind Alexandra Palace), Muswell Hill N10 2QE (

The MHSG Low Carbon Buying Group is now launching the electric bikes disount with Spencer Ivy - see here for info. The bikes will be available to trial around Alexandra Park at this event. You can also bring your bike along for a free Dr.Bike MOT and find out about safe cycling, car clubs, electric vehicles and charging points.

Please RSVP if you would like to attend or are interested in the electric bikes offer.
Kate Allardyce
En10ergy and Muswell Hill Low Carbon Zone
07798 835738

Real Farm Festival, Church Farm, Ardeley 17-19 June 2011

Real farming, what’s the big idea?

If everyone in Britain is going to enjoy safe, healthy, natural food, often referred to as Real
Food, we need a national Real Farming movement. ‘We all farm every time we eat’ says Tim Waygood, farmer and entrepreneur. We Britons need to take responsibility for our food and how it is farmed.

We need to abandon factory farming and the GM industrial agriculture advocated by British and American governments, corporates and banks, and invest in healthy, ecologically sound ways of farming that produce the food that people want to eat at an affordable price.

On Saturday 18th June, Real Farm Festival invites people to take part in a series of conversations on the science, philosophy and practicalities of farming for real food. We welcome speakers from the Soil Association, Organic Research Centre, Campaign for Real Farming, Self Knowledge Global Responsibility, Pesticide Action Network, FARM:shop, Agrarian Renaissance, and Ecological Land Co-operative.

The IAASTD, United Nations and HRH Prince of Wales have all this year advocated “agroecology” as a practical way of feeding the world’s growing population, but British government scientists refuse to acknowledge that it can be done.

British people need to get clued up on farming if they are to hold the government to account, to demand research is directed towards ecological farming and to implement change at the grassroots level regardless of political will.

Questions we’ll be putting to the presenters at the Real Farm Festival include: How bad is GM? What are the alternatives? What is polyculture? What will it take for Britain to become ecologically farmed?

Real farming needs a new focus for agricultural science, new appropriate technology and potentially different economic structures to ensure farms nourish people and planet, before profit. People are invited to come down to Real Farm Festival and contribute to the big ideas.

Church Farm is a mixed, high welfare 175-acre farm run predominantly by young people (80% female) who care about the future of real food. Get a taste of how ecological farming is possible, have a go at farming, take part in various workshops (such as the Biodynamic Stirring Party, Wild Cultures - art of fermentation, Peg Looming) enjoy and take part in lots of live music, performance and games, eat great food fresh off the farm, and really get stuck in to some big ideas.

All tickets and info are on the website,

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Strawberry time

A local resident grazing on Priory Common N8, where we're going to plant a low maintenance orchard on a plain grassy patch. Let's fill haringey with edible and useful plants. Come to to learn how.

Friday, 27 May 2011

More street markets in Haringey?

I think this is great news and something that network should be supporting. Street markets are an important part of a sustainable local economy, even if they are not "farmers' markets". At the very least they don't involve a whole lot of chiller cabinets without doors!

It's funny how little study there is of the impact of street markets - try finding something about it online, and all you find is neo-liberal economics about the efficiency of "the markets", meaning financial markets. Time for some proper action-oriented research on real markets.

Urban bees in Hong Kong

Re-posted from Harringay Online - beautiful three minute film.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Transition Crouch End Steering Group Minutes 16th May 2011

Steering Group Meeting, 16th May 2011, 8.00pm at The Maynard Pub
Present:  Steering Gp: Rebecca, Andy, Gillian (chair), Tilly (minutes)
 Visitors: Amanda, Brad, Kristen, Pamela, Jacki, Fred, Kate
and  Anna O’Brian from Transition Network
Minutes from last meeting (14-03-11) agreed. Bike Power Workshop (Gillian)
This is going ahead:
Saturday 11th June 10.00-5.00pm at Green Lens Studio, 4a Atterbury Rd, N4 1SF
cost: £40.00. To book a place call 07931840771
There may be funding for one of our group to go, contact Gillian.
Agenda Items
1) Meadow Orchard Project- MOP (Kate Allerdyce)
Kate reminded us of all the different activities now happening at the Meadow Orchard. The regular day for anyone who wants to go along to volunteer is Saturdays, 11.00am onward.
Saturday 9th July is MOP Open Day with talks, workshops, activites
Tuesday 19th July is the MOP AGM, details to follow
2) CSA Community Supported Agriculture Project- Church Farm  (Gillian)
Current collection point for the Farm veg boxes is 6.00-7.00pm at Haberdashery cafe,Middle Lane.
Gillian is arranging for  another collection option, which will be starting soon at Hornsey Vale Community centre (HVCC). The plan is to have an outside area at the front  of the Centre, where the boxes can be stored securely for later collection. Further details from Gillian.
Camping sessions are also offered at the Farm- details form Rebecca.
3) Green on the Screen (Fred, Rebecca, Tilly)
The last screening on 4th May was another success,with over 40 people attending.
Gillian suggested we should do a write up after each film and post it on the TCE website.
GOTS Planning meeting: Weds 25th May evening; further details from Rebecca/Tilly/Fred.
4) Hornsey Vale Community Centre  HVCC (Tilly, Gillian)
Transition Garden:The new Spring Newsletter for HVCC is out now and features a picture of our Transition Kitchen garden at the Centre. We plan to start on stage two of our garden, ie building a first raised bed over the summer and autumn.
HVCC May Gala 2.00-5.00pm 30th May: Last year we helped run the cafe at this event. For the last two years we have had a Transition Crouch End stand at the gala- and also volunteered help with the event. We need to decide if we can have a stand this year, if there are enough of us able to participate. Contact Gillian if you can be involved.
September Reuse/ Recycle/ Tabletop Sale event  Date to be confirmed.We will run this event jointly with HVCC. From a Transition perspective we can plan on how to use the day to raise awareness about reusing, recycling materials etc. Tilly hopes to approach Hornsey Girls School to see if they would like to take part.
Contact Tilly if you would like to help.
Apple Day 15th October  This will be our third Apple day- our biggest public event. Agreed that the sooner we start planning for this day, the better we can make it. 
5) Haringey 40/20 Event (Kate Allerdyce)
Initiated by Friends of the Earth, Haringey Council will hold an event on
 Saturday 11th June, Sixth Form Centre, White Hart Lane
Many agencies are involved and the Council welcome input from all groups.
6) North London NLETS (Andy)
Andy gave a quick introduction to NLETS the local trading scheme, which covers Highbury, Islington, Enfield and Barnet. This scheme has been running for 10 years and promotes the Transition principle of keeping value within the local economy. The trading unit is called a Pledge. Pledges are used instead of money and can be used to buy goods and services. There are now a wide range of services on offer, including woodwork,opticians, gardening, solicitors and complementary therapies.
Trading days take place 4 times per year.
Details from Andy
7) Transition Crouch End Communications Update (Gillian)
Our website is currently directed at the TCE Blogspot, administered and updated by Gillian, who also puts information on our Facebook page and Twitter (@transitionce) .
We are working with Ed Crompton who is helping us develop the website.
Gillian mentioned the transition gmail as another way we communicate with each other, details from Gillian.
Gillian also thought  it would be a good idea if we had a TCE monthly newsletter.
However, it was aknowledged that maintaining the Blogspot, Facebook and Twitter is already an essential but demanding, time consuming job for Gillian. Jacki kindly agreed to get involved and offer help with this area.
For general information on the Transition Movement go to or
8) Crouch Hill Development (Amanda)
Amanda mentioned her residents group are being consulted about the proposed development due to take place at Crouch Hill, in the area where it intersects with the Parkland Walk. Ashmount school will move to this location. Community and foodgrowing projects are also being discussed for this site, so it may be appropriate for TCE to get involved.
Further details from Amanda.
9) Foodcycle (Rebecca)
Rebecca is doing some work with Foodcycle. They run a cafe every Friday lunchtime, 12.00-2.30pm at the Mind Centre at Ferme park rd, near junction with Lancaster Rd, Parkland Walk bridge.
Next Steering Group Meeting: 8.00pm, Monday 13th June, Maynard Pub, Park Rd, N8.