Aiming to tackle the big issues of climate change, peak oil, sustainability and scarce resources at a local level

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Furzedown Low Carbon Zone AGM, Friday 27th Feb

All welcome to the FLCZ annual general meeting
Friday 27th February 2015, 7:00pm to 9:00 pm


The AGM is at the Furzedown Project, 93 Moyser Road, SW16 6SJ
Join us to help make exciting plans for 2015 and beyond.
For info, please contact us at furzedownlowcarbonzone@gmail.com

Also concerned with making low-carbon living a reality now:

Ecobuild is running next week FOR FREE for 3 days at the Excel Centre - 3rd-5th March. It's a remarkable event!
If you have not attended before, it partly a gigantic trade show, and partly a superb series of seminars and lectures with experts.

For example - here's the link to Green Energy talks on the Tuesday. There is so much going on, organised into key themes....some technical, some community-oriented, some very creative - or all three.
Taking part is free - details on the Ecobuild site. See you there!

Monday, 23 February 2015

It was a Wild Afternoon in Tooting, and worth it

The games:
A beautiful sunny Tooting morning.....,
.....and guess what time the really cold rain started yesterday? 

Yes, exactly as we started the games. 

Nevertheless, adults were seen and heard up trees, and a 2-year old was soon playing hug-tag (come next time to find out how to play that game..). That brave family deserves our respect!

There will be a next time, with the monthly Tooting Field Days starting on Sunday April 19th - we will share all the details soon. 
Many thanks to Rachel and Dan from fanSHEN Theatre...brrrr.

The Project Wild Thing film:
It was great to see this - the film covers many current opportunities and challenges in getting us all outdoors more, through the storyline of our hero having a few months to become 'Marketing Manager for Nature'. Why? What's the product? What are young people's perceptions? Who wants to be involved? Who can advise and help? The result became the 'Project Wild Thing' group, with good resources for all here.

Meeting local groups: 
A nice extra outcome of the afternoon was meeting Anthony & Kirsty, trustees from The Woodfield Project. The project is restoring a building, and making new relationships, and offering new outdoor-oriented courses right by Tooting Common.
It's really valuable for TTT to meet local allies, so we can work together on these important objectives which are good for Tooting people and the whole neighbourhood.

Courses are being developed with Fabiola from Groundwork London.
She gave us a hand-made poster of some of the local events being offered in April and May.

We'll put it up at the Community Garden, Fabiola. Really great topics, and we'll keep in close touch and promote these events.
For more detailed information, contact her here

Thanks again to the supporters for this event: The Wandsworth Council Eco-Fund, Mushkil Aasaan, and the Friends of Streatham Cemetery.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

WHY A Wild Afternoon in Tooting? Part 3

We've had two posts about WHY? we're offering this urban 'Wild Afternoon' on Sunday (details in Events Calendar opposite).
The first post was about making the commitment to get outside more - and enjoying the benefits of chance discovery here in Tooting. 
The second post looked at some of the ways young people can take part in the outdoors - including examples of structured programmes. This post looks at connecting the outdoors to health & wellbeing.

We'll see the Project Wild Thing film on Sunday at 4pm. Another of their projects is developing information for maternity units, to help staff and mothers explore the value of being outdoors from week one: 

Looking at all age groups, there's a well-researched family of actions to promote wellbeing.  The 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' is a practical shortlist: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give
These activities are simple things we can do in our everyday lives.
The '5 Ways..' were developed from evidence gathered in the UK government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing and published in 2008 by the New Economics Foundation.

For example: In the second WHY? blog post we saw the young people from The Challenge group connecting with nature in a way that was new to them as they dug for potatoes; they were certainly being active, taking notice, and inquisitive about flowers and seed sowing. Yes they were learning and giving. Actions to benefit our wellbeing are simple and accessible, and outdoor opportunities are all around us.

Here's a great example from the National Wildflower Centre which summarises the '5 Ways' as outdoor actions, and on a 'loyalty card':

 
Brilliant, I wish I'd thought of this!
It's very neat method for reinforcing these positive actions. It makes me want to borrow this idea for the outdoor learning activities we do with Gatton School...there's a lot to explore on just one small card.

Come along on Sunday 22nd for a top-up of your natural 5-a-day.

Finally: the Project Wild Thing film talks about how to 'present' nature to people who have lost the habit or fluency of getting into the outdoors. 
Does nature need a local marketing campaign?
TTT, fanSHEN Theatre, the Tooting Community Garden, the Friends of Streatham Cemetery and other partners will all help with that locally. Please join us. - Charles

Friday, 20 February 2015

WHY 'A Wild Afternoon in Tooting'? Part 2

This is the second in our mini-series of 3 blogs about 'why' experiencing the urban outdoors can be valuable and significant for many people....something we'll enjoy on Sunday (see the events listing opposite) in an informal way, based on fun and games.

This blog is just a snapshot of a big subject, looking at another way for young people to experience the outdoors: participating in structured or formal programmes aimed at a very wide range of needs and using many methods. 

One formal programme that happens right here in Wandsworth is The Challenge National Citizenship Scheme for 15-17 year olds. Read all about it at http://www.ncsthechallenge.org/ 
There is still time to sign up for 2015!
Tooting Community Garden has been involved with The Challenge for the past two years, providing practical experience of a community project, in our case in the outdoors.

The 2013 group tackled our bread wheat - threshing, sifting and then grinding into flour to be baked into Foodival sourdough. It was an active day full of energy!

The 2014 group had a damp day moving from "Am I expected to actually touch this earth..?" to "Wow, digging potatoes is like finding buried treasure" and putting their photos on Instagram.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

WHY we're offering our 'Wild Afternoon in Tooting' this Sunday 22nd Feb: Part 1

All welcome to the two parts of our free half term Wild Afternoon in Tooting:
at 1400: participative outdoor games for all the family
at 1600: showing 'Project Wild Thing' film  

All the details on our events calendar to the right of this blog page.
It's going to be a fun and engaging afternoon, even if it's damp outdoors in the first part when we try out some games.
  
Being outdoors in the city should be fun, available and accessible, and is valuable for us all. 

For the next 3 days, we want to illustrate some different aspects of why we believe it's important to offer ways to enjoy being outdoors - including the personal and informal as well as more formal examples.

Why go outdoors in Tooting? Part 1 
Rachel from fanSHEN Theatre will be helping run the games this Sunday. fanSHEN are also developing a 6-month series of free Tooting Field Days, which kick off in April in partnership with TTT.

"As a warm-up to the Tooting Field Days, we’ll be helping out at Wild Afternoon, playing some games invented by the awesome San Francisco New Games Foundation. 

Why? In August last year, our fanSHEN team spent almost every Saturday walking around Tooting, looking for good routes for the audio walks we were making. We had some ideas about what the routes might be, landmarks they might take in, how long they might take - but mostly we walked around to see where might be fun or interesting. 

Flourishing in February
 When we got tired, we stopped at one of Tooting’s brilliant restaurants or cafes and refueled on egg kothu or samosas or 
coffee while we pored over a map to see where we hadn’t tried yet. 
We stumbled on places and met people 
we wouldn’t normally. 
Maybe because it was August and 
everyone else was away, it felt a bit like a holiday, exploring a place without the pressure of needing to be in a 
certain place at a particular time.



Monday, 9 February 2015

Make time for making at this Wednesdays Meet & Make

The first Meet & Make of 2015 is happening this Wednesday 11th from 6.30pm at Sprout.

It’s a sewing session so bring along a project from home you already have on the go (or ready to start) and SMArT will provide a sewing machine and all the sewing paraphernalia you are likely to need to do the next few steps or indeed to finish it.

SMArT will also be providing a featured activity of self made scrunchies equipment materials and guidance to create your own hair bobbles from fabric odds and ends.

Please bring if you can a (voluntary) small cash donation to go towards Sprout running costs and snacks to share if you feel like it. Hot tea will be provided by SMArT.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Wild Afternoon in Tooting 22nd Feb

The film is a passionate and witty exploration about how to enable young people (and the adults who may not be sure how to help make this happen) to get outdoors - and swap screen time for wild time. More information on the Project Wild Thing website.

Booking: Come for the whole afternoon, or for either of the two parts. So we can make plans for numbers of participants, please book in for free here. Or of course drop in on the day.

More details on Project Dirt.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Insect Hotel - Project Complete, first invertebrates move in!

A lot has happened since the insects last blogged: 3 sessions with Gatton Primary, Christmas, New Year and most all of January! High time we caught you up.

The last 3 sessions with the school where filled with habitat creation. Each week we looked back at the 15 minute "mini-hotels" during the first 4 sessions and were delighted to find lots of tenants. Wood lice, worms, centipedes and millipedes had moved in to the nooks and crannies.

On Tuesday January 20th, we convened a celebration with 7 student reps and 2 VIPs... our local Councillor from Wandsworth Council, Candida Jones and Chris Young from RHS Campaign for School Gardening. TTT contributors to the project also came along, as did teachers from Gatton School. We're delighted you could all come, thank you for sparing the time.

The Insect Hotel is named! The 7 Student Reps with Rifat Batool, Headteacher and Chris Young, RHS  Regional Campaign for School Gardening Advisor, London.
Read on to read the words of the Student Reps, what was their experience?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Birds, stories, a volcano, willows: a winter day in the Community Garden, Sunday 25th January

All welcome to join us for a winter day this weekend in the 
Tooting Community Garden at 5 North Drive, SW16 1RN

Brave the cold outside, 
and swap screen time for wild time


1030-1130

Shhhhh…take part in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch

1145

Bird-themed storytelling with Emily Duizend

1200

Tea making with the volcano kettle

1230-1330

Get active adding willow to our living willow yurt  

>Come for any part or all of the day
>For all ages 5-105
>All materials provided
>The activity area is wheelchair accessible
>Nearest toilet to the garden is at Tooting Athletics Track
>To see the poster: click here 
>Updates: Tooting Community Garden or Transition Town Tooting on Facebook
>Many thanks to Emily Duizend: www.storyisland.net


We started the willow yurt 3 years ago
Any queries, please comment on Facebook or email us here

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Community Celebration at Parliament

It was great to attend Sadiq Khan's community group celebration at the Speaker's house at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. These gatherings of the many different Tooting and Wandsworth community groups are a great opportunity to make contact and network. Just for example, connections ranged from meeting Sudha, Ramesh and Kanta of the Hindu Society in Garratt Lane who run a programme for senior citizens on Thursday lunchtimes to meeting Tooting tweeters Alice and Andrew, alias Tooting About; the evening was full of interesting chats.
We also got to wander around the amazing rooms steeped in hundreds of years of history, the walls adorned with pictures of the Speakers down the centuriues.  We heard a polished and witty presentation from current Speaker Jon Bercow and applauded some Sadiq-selected Community Heroes. Here's hoping that there is more collaboration and cross-fertilisation of all our area's local groups in 2015.