Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Re-SPARKLE! and SewVember

TTT's last two monthly public sessions in Tooting have both been         all about making - creating things, making time with other people, learning some new skills.
SewVember was a great success, and here's some pictures from last Saturday's Reduce, Re-use, Re-Sparkle! crafts event run together with colleagues in the beautiful Tooting Library:

You'll see we made bird decorations, reindeer, wallets from juice cartons, scrap paper bags for gifts (or to keep), and small worlds in jam jars....and more. We'll post a slide show of more photos was a great afternoon, and thanks to all the helpers and participants.
Looking forward to the next time!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Reduce, Re-use, ReSPARKLE!

Please join us on Saturday 15th December from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for an exciting afternoon of Christmas making in Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road. This time we'll be focusing on what we can do with paper: folding, cutting, glueing, decorating...
All welcome: drop-in activities for all ages. No need to book. For flyer, please click here.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wildlife Gardening Forum, London

Two of us from TTT joined the Wildlife Gardening Forum on 28 November - a hundred people face to face from many sectors and all sizes of organisation: government departments, researchers, urban farmers, scientists, community enterprises, architects, 'green infrastructure' experts...and individual gardeners.

The programme (see it here.) was an excellent fit with local steps to a sustainable Tooting - at the very practical level of bringing more of nature into all our lives, and appreciating nature's relationship with our wellbeing, as well as responding to global challenges like the growth of cities and climate change.

For interest: do you know...
That over 60% of the area of the City of London is roofed - a third of which is suitable now to become 'green roofs' growing native plants, cooling the environment, and looking beautiful?

The Forum aims to share practice, knowledge, and science, not hot air - and that reminds me, the meeting was held in a retrofitted tram shed which has been developed to the 'passive house' standard: super-insulated, airtight...and with no supplementary heating at all. Great to have the location, and the topic, all joined up!

It left me with positive examples of things we can do together locally. In particular it was great timing in relation to the current community consultation on plans for Springfield Park, and the opportunity to make sustainability and biodiversity the foundations for all the activities of the new Park.
We'll follow up with more about that - for now, see

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Green Gown Award presentation 27th November

Sadiq Khan MP presented the 'Best Newcomer' Green Gown Award from the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges to Sue Rimmer, Principal of South Thames College, at the Furzedown Project in Moyser Road.

This local project with the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone involved many partners, including Transition Town Tooting.

The Award citation described the project as 'an excellent example of a local sustainability alliance: learning with and learning from other organisations and sectors'.

Andy Marks, Head Teacher of Eardley School, outlined the new project starting in the school: the first step is an energy efficiency evaluation being carried out this week. 
And we had an excellent celebratory cake!

Many thanks to all the project's participants and supporters - we will share more updates soon. For more about the Award, please see the more detailed posting below in this blog.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Vision & Pathways 2012

Some of the hands that contributed to this weekend's Vision & Pathways Day, again held at the fantastic chapel in Streatham Cemetery.  Thanks to everyone who contributed, especially Malik Gul of WCEN and Graham Peterson of the Greener Jobs Alliance who both joined us over lunch.
Will Tooting begin to look like this imagined plasticine scene some time in the near future?  (Where Jane claims dogs will rule ... which might fit with Jasmine's petting zoo ...)

And what a lot of potential projects we have to develop in 2013 (see left)  How will we choose?

Lots of food for thought ... & a great selection of home made food brought by everyone (thanks Mal for organising).

We did some listening:

some stretching:
and some prioritising:
One of our next steps will be to refine TTT's StrategyWe'll share when and how we'll do that: all welcome to contribute.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Day of Stories in Tooting Library - Visions for Tooting on a big jigsaw

On Saturday 3rd November TTT helped Tooting Library run a drop-in Day of Stories.
Library staff and volunteers read engaging stories, Alison offered a participative 'live' story, and Jane & Charles ran 2 hours of making and crafts that also told a story: 'What would you like to see in Tooting?'

Children and adults took part, and there was a great atmosphere on the first floor of the Library - the sun streaming in the windows, mixed ages busy on different activities on the carpet or tables, a row of other young people on the computers, storytelling in the middle of the space: all in all, certainly what we love to see in Tooting! 

Many thanks to Liz, Bill and Heather in the Library. We are hoping to be be offering crafts and making again on Saturday December 15th in the Library - more details to follow, and please come along.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Green Gown Awards 2012: the winner is our shared project in Tooting's Furzedown Low Carbon Zone

South Thames College has won the prestigious 2012 Green Gown Award in the 'Best Newcomer' category, from a strong field of 5 other finalists.

Sadiq Khan MP will celebrate the Award with a local presentation to Sue Rimmer, Principal of South Thames College

The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken in tertiary education across the UK
This award was won for the project carried out in the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone with the Greener Jobs Alliance, Transition Town Tooting, and other valued local partners.
That's fantastic recognition of hard work, and will help enormously with the profile (and funding!) of further projects.

For all the detail, see the Winner's brochure: on page 4 there's the detail about our project -  including a picture of a TTT Carbon Conversations workshop in action in Furzedown. Go to the Awards website at

We made this video in spring 2012 about the project - do have another look at

Award celebration:
There's a celebration on Tuesday November 27th from 6 to 7pm at the Furzedown Project, 91-93 Moyser Road, SW16.
Sadiq Khan MP will present the Award to Sue Rimmer, Principal of South Thames College
All welcome for some celebration cake!
Details in the Events listing here on the TTT blog, and for a .pdf copy of the celebration flyer, click here.

For more information, email us at 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Day of Stories in Tooting Library: Saturday 3rd Nov

Tooting Library + Transition Town Tooting present a free Day of Stories. Saturday 3rd November. Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road, SW17 9PD. Phone: 020 8871 7175
Come and celebrate the magic of stories at Tooting Library!
Throughout the day staff and volunteers will be sharing some of their favourite stories in the specially-created Story Zone, featuring classics and new favourites. And, help put together a visual story of a sustainable future in Tooting!

The Day of Story at Tooting Library marks the launch of Transition Town Tooting's Imagining Tooting project, which is gathering together views and ideas on a flourishing local future for Tooting, from many voices in the community.

Programme for the day:
10:30 am. Story: Handa's Surprise, and Handa's Hen
11:00 am. Story: Peace at Last and The Tiger Who Came to Tea
11:30 am. Story: The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child

12:00-2:00pm. Crafts & making with TTT. Come along and use the craft materials provided to make props and illustrations for a creative story about our shared future in Tooting.
For all ages - families, individuals, children and young people are welcome to join in. Drop in or stay as long as you like.
No art experience necessary - just bring along your interest in Tooting, and try out some fun techniques with TTT.

2:00 pm. Story: Local storyteller Alison Royce presents her Stories of Wonder and  Surprise, for ages 7-adult.
2:30 pm. Story: Mog the Forgetful Cat and The Rainbow Fish
3:00 pm. Story: Dog's Don't do Ballet and Goldilocks and Just the One Bear

Children's and adults' book-sale all day

Friday, 19 October 2012

Coming up: arts and energy - last weekend it was food and growing

Starting on Saturday 20th October, there's an interactive installation developed by local school children and artists at Sprout Arts, 74 Moyser Rd. Details here.
Come along this weekend if you would like to get involved with making and creating, and from Monday 22nd, this story of the Three Little Pigs continues as an exciting exhibition.

Coming up on Monday 22nd October, there's the latest meeting of the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone, at 7pm at the Furzedown Project, Moyser Road. Details here
One exciting project we'll report on is the brand-new Archimedes screw turbine that is now producing power in the River Wandle at Morden Hall: enough for 16 households' annual power use.
What can we do locally to generate some community energy?
Please do come along!

Last weekend, TTT had a stand at St George's Community Open Day on Sat 13th October. We displayed pictures of the community garden, met many interested people, and played the carbon food-chain game made of recycled boxes.
Come and try it at another are two groups of young people arranging the boxes in rank order of 'food miles':

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Growing in the City - October 8th

On October 8th we had our TTT monthly open public meeting, focused on Growing in the City - growing plants, food, relationships, skills, connections, enterprises, awareness of nature...

We looked at a dozen examples of diverse local London garden and growing projects.....
We discussed what they are aiming to achieve, and what 'drivers for change' (urban biodiversity loss, or people's wish for local food) that these gardens are responding to. We looked at some global responses to the same urban challenges, and made links to the origins and activities of Transition Towns.

We continued with a planning discussion for the Tooting Community Garden, revisiting its purpose and our own separate and shared reasons for spending time in the Garden, and explored some questions:
> How complex do we want the project to become?
> Could we commit to producing salad or herbs for a local restaurant? (A real challenge, because a request from a supportive local restaurant owner was put on the table)

We'll summarise the notes of the meeting, and share them. If you would like to be involved with the Community Garden group, come along to 5 North Drive on the south side of Tooting Common (look for us behind the large house) between 11:00 and 1:00 on Sundays, and join our planning get-togethers too.
Email Adrian at for any more info.
All welcome!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Transition Town Tooting on the web

Each day in the week of October 1st, the Transition Network website posted informal reports from different London Transition groups.
Here is the link for a report from Transition Tooting:
To view the other London accounts, click on 'Guest Bloggers'.

TTT appears in another Transition blog, in an account of a session we offered during the Transition Conference held in Battersea on Saturday Sept 15th. It was a section of the Treasuring Tooting Walk. There's that photo of feet in the Lido again!

And - remember the wonderful Tooting Transition Shop in Upper Tooting Road in May? A video of the nine-day project has been posted at

Happy viewing!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Latest TTT email 1st October

The latest TTT email has been sent today - please click here to read it.
Or sign up to receive it, by emailing
PS: Join this bee and visit the Community Garden! 11-1 on Sundays; public meeting Monday 8th October at The Selkirk - details in TTT mail

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I Grew This ...

Together we grow this!  A big thank you to all the donors of lovely fruit and veg at today's Foodival.  Don't miss the cooked up dishes tomorrow at Tooting Market.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Transition Network Conference 2012

Between the 13th and 17th September, the Transition Network Conference ran on Tooting's doorstep at Battersea Arts Centre. The network links together more than a thousand Transition Town initiatives worldwide. 
Designing a city with the enterprises we want
As you would expect it was extremely full - with the different days focusing on different themes from early until late in the evening, and over 250 people coming along from all over the world for the parts of the conference they chose.

For me, the surprises were valuable - for example in one 2-hour period 60 self-selected small groups met for an hour each, having identified common topics of interest on the spot through 'open space'.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Tooting Foodival Poster and Flyer

Hot of the press - here is the Poster and Flyer for the Tooting Foodival on the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd.
To download a .pdf version of the Foodival poster, click here

The Flyer: To download a .pdf version of the Foodival flyer, click here

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Community Garden

The TTT Community Garden looked a hive of industry when I dropped by this lunchtime.  As a result of our intrepid garden volunteers' efforts lots of lovely-looking vegetables are ripening or already ready to harvest.  Here we have potatoes, tomatoes, radishes and even wheat; could a Tooting loaf soon be a possibility?
There should be loads ready for September's Foodival in only 4 weeks time.  What amazing local dishes await us I wonder?  Can't wait.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Foodival 2012

This year's Foodival takes place over the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd September.  As in previous years we hope all you local gardeners and food growers have been as busy as this bee and will be able to donate any surplus produce you can spare.  Local chefs and restaurants will use your hard won local produce to cook up delicious local food. Watch the  Foodival site for full details over the coming weeks.

Saturday 22nd - Food collection & Pop-up cookery demo at Mushkil Aasaan 11-4pm

Sunday 23rd - Local food from local restaurants, exciting stalls, live music & competitions at Tooting Market 12-4pm

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday Lunch in 3 steps

Much too hot this weekend for a complex posting from us!
Just in case anyone doubts the pleasure to be found in growing urban food: here's three easy steps from the ground to the bowl today:

These Desiree maincrop potatoes were planted during Treasuring Tooting in May, and this weekend they were calling out to be tested.
Come along the Tooting Foodival on 22 & 23 September to try them!

Two...ready to cook
Three... add nasturtium: enjoy
Plus: all welcome to come and join in at the Community Garden on Sundays 11:00-1:00. It's behind the large house at 5 North Drive, on the south side of Tooting Common.
Email Adrian at for any more info.
- Charles

Friday, 27 July 2012

Sustainable Making and the Arts - on the map!

Following the success of the Trashcatchers' Carnival in 2010, and a strong arts and making presence at the yearly Foodival and in this year's Treasuring Tooting wellbeing walk, Tooting is gearing up to discover and acknowledge just how important arts and making is to Tooting's transition steps.

Smart stands for Sustainable Making and Arts Tooting.
We're a branch group of Transition Town Tooting, and had our first meeting last week.
Mapping making and the arts in Tooting
We shared some of our work, and then mapped out what we have happening in the arts in Tooting (which as you can see in the picture is rather a lot), and finished by imagining what we could do in the future and how we might achieve it.
We will need to get making for this year's Foodival which is on the 22nd & 23rd September.
Smart are meeting again on the 16th August (venue to be announced), and if you think you would be interested to join us for the Foodival or beyond please drop an email to me:
- Jeni

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Eight days, six meetings

If good meetings take practice, then in the past week we've been rehearsing for a team yellow jersey with six meetings in eight days -sometimes an uphill climb, sometimes a sprint!

There was the last workshop of our sixth series of Carbon Conversations; our monthly TTT co-ordination get together; inaugurating the new 'SMART' artists' group; streamlining our web presence and communications; Community Garden planning; prep for the fifth annual Foodival (22 & 23 Sept).
Our last TTT email out said 'come and help us plan'...we will share more on the content later (& do come along next time to find out more).
For now, I'm simply sharing some images of people engaging, listening, challenging, laughing, connecting.
Sitting around tables may not sound like a priority when you think of the challenges we're all facing - but while planning isn't a goal in its own right, it's so important to do it as well as we can, and enjoy it together!   - Charles