Blackdown Hills Transition Article July/August 2015

The Blackdown Hills Transition Group held its June AGM to appoint officers, appraise the last year and take a brief look forward. Set up about 6 years ago, we look at sustainability for ourselves and local communities as a response to climate change and depletion of carbon based energy resources. We cover the whole of the Blackdown Hill parishes and regular members attend from a Upottery, Churchstanton, Clayhidon, Honiton, Buckland St Mary, Feniton, Yarcombe, Dunkeswell and Hemyock.Some have undertaken Transition training at Totness and are registered with the Transition Movement. We meet bi-monthly, have a Constitution and Officers 

Our aims are: 

To act as a hub to resource, facilitate and supply Transition tool kits, knowledge awareness and mentoring for sustainable change for communities in the Blackdown Hills

To promote links with interested parties, Parish and District Councils and encourage transition and green issues. A representative sits on the Blackdown Hills (BH) AONB Partnership Committee.

What we achieved in 2014/15:

We successfully secured a grant from the BH AONB Sustainable Development Fund for additional apple pressing equipment, an electric crusher and pasteuriser to add to the manual presses and crushers for use on Apple Days and for loan to communities and individuals in the Blackdown Hills.
Three successful apple crushing days held at Otterhead Lodge and Stentwood Farm in October
Attended events in order to support and encourage, including Churchinford Plant Sale, Woodland Fair in June2014 and the BH AONB organised “Goodlife in the Blackdown Hills “ event in Hemyock.
Two Seed swaps in March at Stentwood Farm and at Churchinford Market.
Organised a local Husting event at Dunkeswell Throgmorden Hall prior to the General Election focussed on Blackdown Hills issues and concerns.
Monthly articles of Transition topics for publication in Blackdown Hills Parish Magazines and Newsletters. Maintained the Blackdown Hills Transition Website.
Supported Community Schemes for example Upper Culm Community Land Trust application for a grant from DECC Community Energy Competition for the provision of LED lighbulbs to Hemyock and Clayhidon residents.
Supported and participated in bi-monthly Honiton Community Café film nights focussed on ecological and environmental issues.
Individual’s participation in the preparation of local Neighbourhood Plans in a number of parishes. 

Looking forward to the year ahead we will continue our stated aims and look for new opportunities and events. Local sustainability remains our primary objective in meeting modern challenges particularly renewable energy production, encouraging local food production reducing food miles and recycling.

Our next Transition Meeting is August so please consult the website for date and venue.

If you fancy meeting others with a concern for local resilience to meet the challenges of climate change and energy depletion come along and join in or contact us via the website.

Jim Rogan Chair Blackdown Hills Transition Group