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Sowing Seeds Locally by Rosemary Blenkinsop. May 2016

As part of the Carnival at the end of the month, some of Grassroots Wirksworth are dressing up as vegetables we can grow locally. I hope to go as a chili pepper- as I love a bit of hot spice in my dinner! And despite the uncertain weather of early spring, now is the very best time to sow seeds for a huge variety of flowers and vegetables. We are so fortunate in this country to be able to grow such a vast selection, and what a marvel it is that a small seed less than your smallest toenail can develop into a gigantic golden pumpkin!

Global Earth Day started in the 1970’s by a collection of people in the States horrified by a great oil-spill in Santa Barbara, California, and wanting to energise mounting concern about the environment with the dynamic power of the Civil Rights movement. The vision of a worldwide celebration of our wonderful Earth could easily have died a death. But instead it grew and grew – gradually at first, then gathering pace. This year we even celebrated Earth Day here in Wirksworth at the Community Garden with a mass planting and wildflower sowing day. All our plants and shrubs are nectar rich and will help insect pollinators to flourish. Some new people joined us, keen to help us build our community. All around the world, many events such as community tree plantings and beach clean-ups took place, and also officials from 170 countries met to finalise and ratify the provisional agreements made in Paris last December to limit carbon emissions. Let us thank them all for that. So from a small seed grew a worldwide movement with great impact.

* According to the government’s latest polling, 81% of people support renewables, and only 4% oppose them. Support has gone up since the last poll, but the number rarely falls below 75%. Things aren’t so good for fracking, only 19% of people support it, the lowest ever.

* Add your name and support to the Interfaith Climate Change Statement:

* This Frack Free Bake Off video with Emma Thompson and the Lancashire Nanas is a fine example of creative peaceful protest and worth a watch if you haven’t done so already + sign the petition here to respect our right to say no to shale gas



Contact: The Core Group meets about every six to eight weeks. Any supporter of Grassroots Wirksworth can join the core group. Contact us to find out more. We facilitate communication between the action groups and our supporters; keep in touch with the Transition Movement and other Transition groups in the area; generate events and publicity about Transition events and issues.

NEXT CORE GROUP MEETING: 11th May 7.30pm. All welcome (8, summer Lane)


Main Contact: Rosemary Blenkinsop:

The Community Garden is on Coldwell Street, opposite Wirksworth Railway Station. To become a Grower, or a Friend of the Growers contact Rosie


Workdays at the Community Garden are the1st Sunday of the month, from 11 a.m (and other Sundays and/or Thursdays as well.)




Contact Rosemary on 07904 783818 to check what needs doing if you want to go up there on your own. All are welcome!


Main Contacts: Judith Green 01629 825675 and Richard Finnigan

* RECYCLING PLASTIC FILM/ PLASTIC BAGS: Lots of  Wirksworthians  are now saving their plastic bags, and other clean plastic film. There are bag recycling bins (like pillar boxes) just outside supermarkets – our closest is Sainsburys at Ashbourne or Matlock, or Morrisons at Belper. Grassroots Wirksworth Rubbish and Recycling Group are campaigning for our local Co-op to provide this.

* WIRKSWORTH CARNIVAL – People can contact Hilary Hebron or Judith Green (above) for ‘kits’ (all made from recycled materials) to make into giant vegetables for the walking float in the parade.  So far only a few have come forward and we do need a ‘critical mass’ to look good in the Carnival procession.  The Carnival is such a good (free) chance to let people know that Transition exists and a little bit about it. Please support our part in it. There will be a costume-making workday at Hilary’s house, 21, Pittywood road on Thursday 12th May from 10am to 5 pm. Drinks and nibbles provided, please bring your own lunch. All welcome; there will be materials provided and an electric sewing machine available.

NEXT MEETING: 7.30 12th May @ 38, Cromford Rd


Main contact – BrianHebron

TEL: 01629 258914. We meet monthly and have several projects on the go aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

* COMMUNITY LAND TRUST – We are very pleased that our town council has supported our vision to set up a Community Land Trust. We have booked the Town Hall on Friday 15 July 6.30pm to 8.00pm, for a public meeting to discuss the Community Land Trust formation.

* AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN WIRKSWORTH – We are looking to discuss generating affordable housing in Wirksworth, energy efficient housing that will reduce the cost of the home over its life, and other projects where a Land Trust may help.

It looks like the public meeting will take place in June or early July.

If you want to help us organise please get in touch.

* THE GRIFFE GRANGE WIND FARM – You may have read that a revised application for the Griffe Grange wind farm is likely to be considered by District Council on 24th May and the developer is looking for letters of support. Our group has drafted letters in support. If any readers feel minded to send a letter of support and would like a draft please contact Brian or express your own views in your own words.

The Reference is 14/00224/FUL and the address to send it to is:-

Development Control

Derbyshire Dales District Council

Town Hall, Bank Road, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN

IF you are interested in finding out more about these and our other activities, please contact Brian

NEXT MEETING: Ring Brian 01629 258914 to find out. OR email as above.


Main Contact: Hilary Hebron:

TEL: 01629 258914 We are an informal group who support each other, share email campaigns and meet when we feel we need to…. We are concentrating our efforts his year on action against fracking and on promoting divestment from fossil fuels.

* CREATING A FRACK FREE CORDON AROUND THE PEAK DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK We are currently liaising with other anti-fracking groups to create a frack-free cordon around the Peak District National Park in order to try to prevent fracking underneath the park. Volunteers in this endeavour would be much appreciated.

* This is the link to the Government petition to reverse the decision to frack under national parks.

* May 9th Monday CHESTERFIELD – INEOS, THE FRACKING COMPANY, WILL BE HOLDING A BRIEFING MEETING FOR COUNCILLORS ACROSS THE REGION in Chesterfield. Several anti-fracking groups from Derbyshire and Yorkshire will be holding a peaceful gathering outside – so please spread the word as we would welcome more people to show opposition to fracking in the region. Judith would like a lift if anyone is going 01629 825675

NEXT MEETING: We hope out next meeting will be with representatives from other groups who are against fracking in derbyshire but we have not arranged a date yet. Contact us to find out if you would like to come along or join our e-group.


Contact: Chris Bristow:

If you want to hear about what’s happening in Stoney Wood – “like “ our Facebook page.


Time to prune the damsons, also deal with invasive weeds, and look at the fruit set on the apples with a view to thinning out if necessary.

Bring gloves and secateurs, and something nice to eat and drink for a bit of a picnic at our lovely new benches! All Welcome!



MAY 7TH WIRKSWORTH FARMERS MARKET Local produce, local crafts, local musicians and plenty of local friends! – A great morning out!

May 12th Thursday – Carnival Costume-Making Workday at Hilary’s house, 21, Pittywood road from 10am to 5 pm. Drinks and nibbles provided, please bring your own lunch. All welcome


May 25th Wednesday – The film called The Divide – is showing at Northern Lights at 7.15  Made of the book The Spirit Level, there is to be a Q & A after the showing given by the books authors (who have local connections).  The book deals brilliantly with the ‘divide’ in society caused by the uneven levels of financial and other social and educational possibilities in life.  Xsitioners should turn out en masse to see it and talk to the authors.  Get your tickets now!

May 28/29/30, Bank Holiday weekend – Six artists and designers will be at the Coach House Studios as part of the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend. The artists taking part are: Jane Bevan, Matthieu Leger, Helen Leaf, Wild Rice Designs, Angie Salfield and Dianna Lee ‘Artywood’. Entry is free and visitors are most welcome! There is a facebook page for the event, which will give information about parking, the artists and other things that are happening in town that weekend:

The full event brochure is free from various places around town, or can be downloaded from

MAY 30th – Wirksworth Carnival – Join Transition’s walking float!

June 4th and 5th BELPER GOES GREEN – Transition Belper’s Eco Festival at the Rugby club, Strutts playing Fields. Find out more:

June 3rd – BLUE ROSE CODE at Coach House Studios Wirksworth, Derbyshire “Blue Rose Code is a very important emerging singer/songwriter” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2 “This is simply beautiful, I am a folk convert” Emma Freud, BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends

“Imagine John Martyn meeting a young Van Morrison and being shipwrecked with a crate of Chet Baker records” Time Out London

Tickets £12 plus booking fee on sale now

JUNE 4TH WIRKSWORTH FARMERS MARKET Local produce, local crafts, local musicians and plenty of local friends! – A great morning out!

Thursday June 16th 7.15 for 7.30 – Town Hall.


The future of newsletters and communications in Wirksworth. A group is hoping to keep Community Fayre going but can only do so if more people help. Are you interested? Or would you prefer something online? Or both? Can be revived? Come to find out more and to give your views.

 June 19th – BROOKS WILLIAMS at Coach House Studios, Wirksworth, Derbyshire “Pan-Americana Roots ‘n Blues, doused in Moonshine alt-Billy and delicious Dixie” Net Rhythms
Brooks Williams is ranked one of the world’s Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists and is a richly diverse and entertaining performer, a proverbial triple treat, with fiery guitar playing, smooth-as-silk singing, and stunning songs. fRoots says Williams is “absolutely beyond criticism!
Tickets £10 plus booking fee on sale now
Tickets without booking fee for both gigs are also available now in person from Le Mistral, Wirksworth, 01629 824840

June 18TH – DERBYSHIRE ECO CENTRE SUMMER FAIR  – SATURDAY  11AM – 4PM. A celebration of Green Living and Green Learning including a wide range of demonstrations, have-a-go activities, stalls and entertainment. There will be catering and a bar selling local beer and the evening will be a fancy dress ball – tickets for this will be available to buy soon.

JUNE 25th & 26th Saturday and Sunday – OPEN GARDENS

July 16th – Grassroots Wirksworth Community Garden Barbecue   At the Community Garden. More details coming soon!   

September 10th  – Green and local market in Wirksworth as part of the festival.           Cont………Contact Judith Green:

IF you wish to add events that you think would be of interest to Grassroots Wirksworthers please email

The Transition Network ~ is a grass roots world-wide movement, aiming to help increase local resilience and community initiatives in the transition from our dependency on fossil fuels. Subscribe to the inspiring and informative Transition Network Newsletter


The Transition Wirksworth E-Newsletter team meet in a café in town on the first Tuesday of the month 11.30 am –12.30pm. Do pop by for a chat and to bring any items for inclusion (or email them to glennie (

Next Newsletter Meeting: Tuesday MAY 31st – in Mercia

 Hope to see you there! (I know….. that is the last Tuesday of the month!! But this is a necessary exception!)


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