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  • First Steering Group meeting 16th March
  • Action Group News
  • Matlock Food Assembly
  • Dates for Diaries

Change of Dates for your Diary from the last newsletter:

Friday 16th March 6pm to 7.30pm will be the first TW Steering Group Meeting at the Eco Centre, not an open meeting as previously advertised. The main business will be to clarify how the new group will work. See the next item to find out about the changes made at the Open Meeting on 19 January.

[Buses for the Eco Centre: 6.1 leaves the marketplace at 5.55pm. Get off at the top of Steeple Grange and walk up Porter Lane to the Eco Centre. For return, 6.1 from Steeple Grange.]

Report from open meeting on 19th Jan 2018

A well-attended meeting at the Eco Centre reviewed the changes in WT structure in early 2017 which aimed to bring our four separate action groups closer together. We abolished the Core Group and established bi-monthly open meetings, combined with a social, to take place at the Eco Centre. These meetings were well-attended to begin with, but numbers diminished substantially during the year. It was agreed to set up a steering group to take on responsibility for the broader work of WT across the general public and the four action groups (activists, waste, growers, energy/housing). We also reduced the number of meetings to be held during the year, since this work is taken on in addition to all the work done by the four groups.

The new steering group meets for the first time on Friday 16th March at 6pm to 7.30pm at the Eco Centre (without a shared meal). The main business will be to clarify how it will work. The group is to consist of reps from each of the four action groups (who must find an alternative if they can’t attend a meeting), coordinators to organise public meetings and meetings across all Grassroots Wirksworth, and a rep from the communications co-workers. At the open meeting, Brian Hebron volunteered to represent the Energy & Housing Group and Hilary Hebron will take on either/or the Waste & Recycling Group and the Activists Support Group. Rob Tresidder has since agreed to represent Growers and Nick Bristow to represent Communications. Judith Green has also volunteered to be in the group and Cathy Cooke will be asked. John Berry, treasurer, will also be asked. The chair will rotate around the group and Brian Hebron will take minutes. Minutes of Open Meeting 19 jan 2018

(Please contact Mary Ann Hooper ( if you have any queries.)

Action Group News


Waste and Recycling Group

Come to Grassroots Wirksworth’s 8th annual Give or Take Saturday 3rd March, Wellspring Church Hall, Wood Street, Wirksworth

You can donate any item of good quality and in working condition, apart from CRT TV’s and monitors, between 8.30am and 11am.

You can come just to take items for free, you do not have to give in order to take. Open from 9am to 12.30pm.

We ensure that as many unclaimed items as possible are taken to charity shops, donated to Derby refugee centre or recycled. Typically, only a bagful goes into non-recyclable waste.

Any monetary donations will support the work of Grassroots Wirksworth in promoting sustainability.

We need volunteers to help set up, run and clear up after the Give or Take event. If you can help, please contact, saying when you are available between 8am and 1.30pm on the day.

Give or Take Poster 2018

Reducing plastic use

The problem: a mindboggling level of plastic pollution (highlighted by Blue Planet 2).

The Solution: recycle more?

BUT: much of our plastic waste is sent to China for recycling, and China is starting to say NO.

We can’t recycle all our plastic, so it’s likely to be destined for landfill or incineration. The Government has done next to nothing, so it’s up to us; what can we do?

Reduce your packaging:

Always take a reusable shopping bag out with you.

Buy loose veg, fruit etc.

Buy goods such as flour in paper bags rather than plastic tubs.

Choose goods in glass jars rather than plastic.

Choose tins rather than food/pet-food pouches.

Drink tap water…

Make small changes to your habits:

Take your own mug to the takeaway coffee shop- or carry a drink from home.

Use a cafetiere (rather than those pod-using coffee machines).

Use loose leaf tea (teabags contain plastic).

Choose cotton buds with paper stems.

Politely decline the plastic straws you are offered (you can buy reusable ones if you’re a straw addict).

Patronise real cafes rather than those with disposable everything (they know who they are).

Sign a petition or two:

McDonalds is polluting our oceans

Tell Morrisons to ban disposable plastic straws

Iceland have just pledged to eliminate plastic from their own-brand products. Let’s get other supermarkets to do the same:  Demand plastic-free supermarkets

If everyone reading this newsletter takes actions like these and gets their family and friends to do the same, we will all start to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

The Church of England is encouraging people to reduce their use of plastic as a Lent discipline. See more here: Lent Plastic Challenge

Chesterfield Repair Cafe; the next repair day is Saturday 10th March [see attached flier].  Our group would love to start a regular repair day in Wirksworth but we can only do so if people volunteer to mend things. Please contact Hilary at if you might be interested in helping.

Repair Cafe flier 2018

Activism Group

We have not been on any demonstrations in the last few months but we continue to share online petitions and campaigns, with antifracking still being one of our major concerns. I am very pleased to report that Derbyshire County Council have just voted against supporting the planning application for a test well at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane, though it is no longer their decision as Ineos referred this to the Planning Inspectorate, claiming that the council was taking too long to make a decision. The planning department recommended approval, but the council allowed representations from the many objectors to speak at the meeting on 4th. February and voted 9 to 1 against the application. Over 3,000 objections had been received plus an online petition, signed by over 91,000 people. This is the fourth shale gas planning application to be rejected by local councils in the last fortnight!

Watch the Bramleymoor Lane meeting online here.  Get regular updates on fracking news from the Drill or Drop website

An enquiry has just been launched into whether planning permission for fracking related applications should become a national decision. If you wish to make a comment visit Fracking Inquiry


The Growers have been active this winter in the Community Garden ; building some steps out of recycled bricks and paving slabs, planting bushes, cutting back  young trees around the beehives ,covering perennial weed areas with old carpet  and preparing to removing the  gravel from the sloping path up to the garden prior to replacing it  with crushed stone, which will be safer underfoot. Broad beans , onions and garlic are all growing well in the beds, with sweet peas, pak choi and wildflower plugs growing  in the polytunnel.

A big project this year is improving the soft fruit bed – a grant from Foundation Derbyshire was obtained for a new metal fruit cage as in other years pigeons have broken down the bushes and eaten the fruit before it was ripe- while we have tried netting the fruit, it’s been difficult to then pick and a magnet for bindweed.

We are currently choosing the best Fruit Cage, and also are pruning, weeding and feeding the bushes. As part of the grant application, we are also putting on some summer sessions up at the Garden, showing people some of the ways we can use the fruit- liqueurs, jellies, jams, vinegars, relishes and syrups.

People are also welcome to drop in to our Garden days. February 18th, March 4th and 18th are the next days 11-3.  We always have a shared lunch – often there are about a dozen of us and always lots of food. We pick our veg and share it out.

The Community Land Trust 

Formed following a public meeting organised by the Energy and Housing Group in July 2016, a steering group is still trying to establish the Trust as a charity, so as to open up sources of funding, tax breaks and respectability. They applied to the Charities Commission in August 2017 and received a first response in December, querying whether the application had demonstrated that they are truly charitable. They are in touch with the Commission about what needs to be done. Meanwhile they are working hard to find suitable land in Wirksworth and Middleton to build social housing for residents, and have been learning the ropes on how to achieve this and also build houses to Passivhaus standards which result in very low fuel bills. The group now wants to recruit trustees who will oversee the development of the CLT. If you want to help or find out more, please contact the chair, Dave Brown, on

The Energy and Housing Group TWEHG

Members of Transition will be aware that the appeal to build wind turbines at Griffe Grange was dismissed.  As a consequence there will be no funding to Anthony Gell School from this source to improve its energy efficiency. The school remains enthused with the initiative of TWEHG to improve energy use and we are willing to help the school achieve this.

This initiative is part of the Group’s actions to move Wirksworth to Green Energy and various members of the group remain in contact with energy companies. A recent development from one company is the potential use of biomethane to replace natural gas. At first sight it appears to have many benefits as it claims to use animal and vegetable waste to produce methane gas by anaerobic digestion. However, currently, transport of the organic starting material is by trucks [diesel?] to the processing plant and as any ale drinker is aware anaerobic digestion produces CO2. Furthermore, current processing capacity seems to be exceeding the supply of organic waste and some councils are concerned that animal feedstock [beet and maize] is being used.

It raises the question of whether members of Transition consider the use of food crops for gas to be green. Perhaps one for discussion over a pint of the produce from anaerobic fermentation?


Moving On, a public meeting, date to be confirmed in May, at 7.30pm at the Wellspring Church, Wood Street, Wirksworth.  We have a speaker from Trent Buses available and from Derbyshire County Council Public Transport Unit. They will speak about the future of the Sixes routes and about new buses to comply with air quality standards in Derby. They will also talk about the development of Derbyshire Connect and a more flexible approach to public transport. (See Derbyshire Connect )

Other News

Matlock Food Assembly

Established in 2017, Matlock Food Assembly aims to make buying from local food producers as easy as a weekly online shop from a supermarket.

Being part of your local Food Assembly is a fantastic way to shop. With fewer food miles, it offers the freshest food available. By pre-ordering online, it is convenient and limits food waste. While picking up your order from The Remarkable Hare you can meet your local producers and like-minded neighbours.

The Food Assembly movement started in France in 2010 and has since spread across Europe. The first one in England was set up in 2014 in London and there are now over 80 assemblies spread across the country. For the producer the advantage is that food is pre-sold to customers, and the pick-up event is a one hour slot, so produce can be sold efficiently.

The aim is not to replace the monthly farmers market or high street shops selling local products. As many of you will know with a busy life, this form of shopping often becomes a rare treat rather than your usual weekly shop. The Food Assembly gives farmers and customers an alternative way of connecting on a regular basis, in addition, and not instead of local shops and markets. This means a wider audience can enjoy local produce more frequently and easily.

The system is simple:

  1. JOIN MATLOCK FOOD ASSEMBLY – Sign up to the Food Assembly website and join your local market.
  2. ORDER & PAY ONLINE – Choose from a wide range of local products: vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, beer, spices and much more… it is up to you how much you buy and how often! Order by midnight on Tuesday.
  3. COLLECT YOUR ORDER – Collect your produce from The Remarkable Hare in Matlock between 17:30 and 18:30 every Thursday.

For further information, please look at the Food Assembly website:

If you are on Facebook have a look at Chesterfield Climate Alliance Group.

Dates for Diaries

Saturday 24th of February from 10.00am – 1.00pm Transition Belper’s February Green Exchange will take place at No 28, Market Place, Belper on the theme “Pointless Plastic”. There will also be a seed exchange in time for the coming growing season.

On the same day in Leicester, an Eco Church Conference will be organised by A Rocha, a Christian charity working for the protection & restoration of the natural world. See their website for details of this and read around about their UK and international work. Churches in Wirksworth are trying to engage with the issues in their premises and activities.

Saturday, 3rd March 9-12.30, Wellspring Church Hall, Wood Street, Wirksworth. Wirksworth’s 8th annual Give or Take event. (more info above)

Thursday 8th March Transition Buxton is showing the highly recommended film WE THE UNCIVILISED in association with the University in the Dome at 7.30 pm.  Suggested donation: £4 towards the cost of screening.

Saturday 17th March 1-4.30pm Spring Work Party,  Stoneywood Community Woodland. In order to keep the woodland and grassland as diversely full of summer flowers as possible, and pleasant to walk around, we need to regularly remove some of the scrub (hawthorn, dog rose, blackthorn, brambles ) from the grassland and from the paths through the woodlands. We also need to cut down and burn some non-native buddleia trees which could easily spread and out compete our native trees. Please come and help us with this vital conservation work. Bring tough gardening gloves if you have them. We have tools you can use. Meet at the fire pit. We will finish the session gathering round the fire with tea and cake. Contact: Rosemary 07904 783818 

Saturday 24 March at 8.30pm join millions of people around the world in Earth Hour  the World Wildlife Fund’s global switch off.

  • End of February 2018 Newsletter.
  • Next newsletter will be in March 2018.
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4 Responses to “TW Newsletter February 2018”

  1. glennie kindred

    well…. I think that is a fantastic news letter!! and proves that Grassroots Wirksworth is alive, active and a very vital part of our town. I loved all the additional news about things happening near by too….. so just want to send a resounding well done everyone for keeping on and not giving up! Huge respect and loud cheers of appreciation for all transitioners and for the new communications team!!
    Lots of Love
    glennie XX
    (I will be back when the book is done!!)

    • Michele Simms

      Thanks Glennie. It seemed a scary thing but was actually fun – in the end! Thanks for cheering us on. Huge thanks to Mary Ann for her patient and thorough coaching too!

  2. Shirley Mann

    I agree, a really interesting newsletter to keep people like me who bob in and out of TT meetings to keep in touch. Thank you


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