Transition Bath September 2016 newsletter

Climate change hustings | Foraging walk & picnic | Chelsea Road

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Transition Bath

September Newsletter

In this newsletter, along with other local sustainability news,  we are very happy to announce that Transition Bath have been awarded a £7K grant by the Open Data Institute, to develop a website to teach primary schools children about energy and energy saving.

We have also acquired an allotment at Bloomfield Road.

And, we are looking for new trustees to help oversee the work of Transition Bath – if you have the time we would very much welcome your help.

Transition Bath wins £7,000 grant from the Open Data Institute to develop a Schools’ Energy Competition Website


Transition Bath in combination with Bath: Hacked, Resource Futures and B&NES Council have been awarded a grant by the ODI to develop a website which aims to teach primary school children about energy. The website will provide graphs of schools’ smart meter data, and allow schools through an intra-schools’ competition and gamification to compete to save energy. The aim is to reduce energy usage in schools and teach primary school children about energy, through behavioural change, leaving them with life-skills often lacking in adults. More information is available on our website.

If you are interested in the project please come along to an Energy Group meeting on Tuesday 18th October, where we will be discussing it. We are currently looking for additional funding to develop educational resources for the website, and to run a competition starting in January, including prizes for winning schools . if you know of any potential sponsors please let us know ?

Transition Bath now has an allotment plot at Bloomfield Road


Transition Bath has four “guerrilla” community gardens, i.e. small unused spaces around Bath which have been planted up to grow fruit and veg. Each garden has a lead grower who looks after it and organises volunteer sessions, thus providing an awareness that fresh produce can be grown in small places and tastes delicious – yes, passers-by can help themselves to the produce.

To provide back-up for the gardeners and to be able to respond when opportunities to demonstrate veg growing – even a new garden, we’ve taken on a quarter-plot allotment on Bloomfield Rd allotments (where surprisingly there are vacant plots) to raise fruit and vegetable plants. Up until a few years ago, the plot was notoriously overgrown with brambles, etc., but it was divided in half – the new gardener creating a beautiful plot on her half and putting down weed-suppressant tarpaulins on the other half. That’s the half that we’ve taken on – relatively weed-free and without any brambles!

So far, we’ve been given a compost bin, a second-hand ‘solar shed’ (a hybrid shed-cum-greenhouse, into which we’re going to insert more glass) and GoodGym Bath have pulled back the tarpaulins and started marking out the beds. The beds are in multiples of 4 ft with paths in between. We are currently looking out for pieces of wood that are a minimum of 4 ft in length, and ideally 6” in width, to edge the beds. If you have any suitable wood you’d be willing to donate, we’d be very glad to hear from you (

Have you ever wondered what the other local community energy groups are up to?

At the Bath Community Energy Forum event on September 8th 2016, local community energy groups gave short talks on what they were currently working on. Keynsham Community Energy have a number of renewable energy projects in progress, including discussions with Waitrose to install solar PV on their roof. Saltford Environment group would like to make their church and village halls more energy efficient by installing LED lighting and solar panels. Energy Efficient Widcombe are working with 4 local businesses to make them more energy efficient and with the students at Ralph Allen School.
Transition Bath’s Energy Group focus is currently thermal imaging, blower doors, schools energy and our try-before-you-buy LED kit in Bath Central Library. BWCE are now moving away from renewable energy generation because of changes in government policy towards becoming a local energy supplier, and investing battery technologies and smart grids.

All the groups, including Age UK, agreed one of their biggest challenges was to communicate with those in fuel poverty and those disengaged from the subject of climate change and making our lives more sustainable. A complete list of groups and the projects they are working on is available on our website.

Vegmead – under new management!


Vegmead, the veg garden we created in a circular flowerbed in Hedgemead Park in 2011, is now being looked after by a different group and is thriving. Earlier in the year, the Council’s Parks department asked us to improve the look of Vegmead and we replanted it, using plants we’d raised from seed or dug up from our allotments and others donated by Bath Organic Group and Alice Park Community Garden. Parks gave us permission to continue on the site until the end of this year, pending a review. They had suggested a move to Kensington Meadows, which we rejected.

A young couple with experience of managing a similar project in London offered to look after Vegmead and we transferred the project over to them at the beginning of August. Although the Parks’ review suggested that a heritage park wasn’t a suitable location for growing vegetables, Jodie and Adam have successfully persuaded the Council to allow them to continue cultivating Vegmead until the end of 2017. They’ve collected team of new helpers and we fully expect Vegmead will be acknowledged to be an asset to the park over the next 12 months.

To follow Vegmead’s progress, catch them on Twitter @vegmead, on Facebook as Vegmead Community Garden and on their website.

Batheaston Old Mill Hotel: BWCE waterwheel construction progressing well

Work in continuing apace on the water wheel on the River Avon at Batheaston. Much of the construction work for the race has been completed, and construction of the wheel itself is in progress in Germany – see photo above.

More news about the project is available on the BWCE website. BWCE’s AGM is on 29th September, and they should be launching this years BWCE Community Fund in October.

Cleveland Pools evaluating renewable energy options to heat the outdoor pool, including a water source heat pump

As part of the renovation of Bath’s Georgian Cleveland Pools the trust which owns the site which has attracted a £3.7million heritage lottery grant, is looking to heat the pool with renewable sources of energy.

They are looking a 3 options; a water source heat pump (WSHP) using latent heat from the River Avon, air source heat pumps (ASHP) and a hybrid system comprising an WSHP or ASHP combined with gas fired boilers. More information is available on our website, including capital costs and the payback periods for each of the options.

Bear Flat Community Market

Several Transition Bath core group members live in the Bear Flat area of Bath, and have been running a monthly community market in a church hall for the past three years.  The idea behind the market is to promote local food, to provide an outlet for people making delicious edibles at home and to act as a hub for local residents to meet up. In other words, the market ties in with Transition practice – act locally, use local resources and grow with the support of the community.

Regular food stalls include:

  • A range of sour-dough loaves by Bear Bread, baked the night before
  • Julie’s Jars, unusual preserves
  • Orchardshare apple juice (from Bath community orchards)
  • Vegetables from Gerard Rich’s market garden in Batheaston
  • Divya’s pickles and chutneys

From time to time, we have other local makers, e.g. chilli sauces, hand-made chocolates, etc.
We run a café selling home-made cakes and there are craft activities for children, and sometimes for adults too. Each month we have a different ‘swaps table’, e.g., books, plants, craft materials, CDs, where people can donate to Julian House instead of swapping. Local crafters and members of Bear Flat Artists also take stalls, which only cost £5 for a small table, £10 for a trestle table.

The market is always on the third Saturday of the month, the next one being on Saturday 17th September, from 9.30 – 12.30, at the Methodist Church Hall, Bruton Avenue.  The swaps this month is ‘haberdashery and wools’.

Do you have lots of spare apples? We have a press you can borrow to convert it to juice


If you have lots of spare apples this year, Transition Bath has a crusher, press and pasteuriser available for hire  (£6 per day, £10 for a weekend),  To get hold of the kit email .

The hirer needs to be trained in use of the equipment so, if you haven’t attended an apple juicing workshop before, please contact Virginia at the above email address who will arrange a training session for you.

Transition Bath is looking for new trustees 

Following many years of service as trustees for which we are very grateful Ailsa Masterton and Paul Stansall who are stepping down from their roles. We are therefore looking for new trustees.

The role involves meeting 2 to 4 times a year for about 2 hours, and ensures that Transition Bath meets its commitments as a charity, its guiding principles and liaison with our Core Group who manage the group’s projects. Trustees are vital to us running Transition Bath and important in making Bath more sustainable. If you are interested in helping us, please contact our chair Peter Andrews.

Other news

  • Grants, Loans and Financial Support to make your home more energy efficient: grants for solid wall insulation (£1000), room in roof insulation (free) and cavity wall insulation (free) are still available – more information is provided on B&NES Council’s “Energy at Home” website



If you are aware of any events and sources of events we have missed and should add to our calendar please let us know by emailing

Upcoming events include:

Wed 14 Sep 2016 AllDay Cycle to work day
Wed 14 Sep 2016 10.00am Planning Inspectorate Review of B&NES Placemaking Plan Response to Climate Change
Wed 14 Sep 2016 8.30pm Bath Green Drinks
Thu 15 Sep 2016 7.00pm Transition Bath Transport Group Monthly Meeting: B&NES officer presentation on air quality/pollution
Mon 19 Sep 2016 7.30pm CfBoA Talk: Battery storage and inverter upgrades for residential solar PV – Gary Weston
Wed 21 Sep 2016 7:30pm Lecture at BRLSI: From Science to Policy: The long road to the US Ozone standard of 0.075 ppm and beyond
Thu 29 Sep 2016 6:45pm Bath & West Community Energy AGM
Sun 9 Oct 2016 11:00am Freshford Apple Day: apple shredder, press & pasteuriser for juice making
Wed 12 Oct 2016 5:15pm Bath University Lecture: Prof Scott Barrett: How to (and How Not to) ‘Save the Planet’
Wed 12 Oct 2016 8:30pm Bath Green Drinks
Thu 13 Oct 2016 7:00pm Climate Change Week: Bath University Communities Event
Sat 15 Oct 2016 10:00am Climate Change Week: Bath University Families Event
Sun 16 Oct 2016 2:00pm Orchardshare’s Apple Day
Tue 18 Oct 2016 7:00pm Transition Bath Energy Group Meeting: Schools Energy Efficiency Competition and Blower Door projects
Thu 20 Oct 2016 7:00pm Transition Bath Transport Group Monthly Meeting
Fri 28 Oct 2016 8:00pm Simon King Lecture: Enough: How knowing the difference between what you need and what you want can change the world


Please contact group convenors if you’d like to get involved, plan an event or start a project:

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