Tweedgreen Needs You – Call for Members
Tweedgreen is a voluntary organisation of local people working towards a self-sustaining Tweeddale by promoting local food, encouraging local energy generation and reducing energy use and waste.
Where are we now?
After two years of generous CCF (Climate Challenge Fund) funding, we’re now in a different phase where we have decided not to apply for such major funding for this year but to continue our environmental activities on a more voluntary basis.
Our current projects include…
Schools eco-project … we have a proposal for a substantial 3 year project to support schools in their eco-schools work. For various reasons, mainly to do with change in people’s personal circumstances and pressure on the school curriculum, we are postponing applying for funding for this but we have just taken on two interns to do some preliminary work on a volunteer (expenses paid) basis. The interns will be able to access £5000 of money awarded to us by Zero Waste Scotland, to support schools initially with their waste initiatives. The interns will be based in the Tweedgreen office at the Bridge, Newby Court.
Cycling Scotland has awarded us £4500 to take forward a project to make Peebles a more cycling friendly town, especially in terms of family and commuter cycling. A keen local cyclist has volunteered to work on this, in conjunction with Tweedlove.
we have just set up a food cooperative to order from Green City in Glasgow. Depending on uptake and premises, this may develop into having a local shop or market presence.
we have just been offered the use of a lovely walled garden in the centre of Peebles to develop as a community growing space, possibly in conjunction with New Horizons, a user-led mental health charity in Peebles.
from next year, Tweedgreen has been given the use of a piece of local land to develop a woodlots cooperative.
Wind energy… the Cloich Windfarm group, a spinoff of Tweedgreen, is in discussion with local community councils about utilising community benefit from a potential windfarm.
“You’ve been Trumped” is the film showing the story of the purchasing of one of Scotland’s very special areas by Donald Trump. It’s on at the Eastgate on Saturday 15th February at 5pm and is sponsored by Tweedgreen.
The acclaimed film, “Chasing Ice”, which brilliantly captures the ongoing melting of Arctic ice is being shown at the Eastgate on Thursday 14th March
We have invited Alastair McIntosh, author and environmental campaigner, to speak again at the Eastgate in the spring. He will address the links between violence and war leading to mass migration and environmental degradation.
Where we would like to be…
We would like Tweedgreen to become a membership organisation, and we would like to invite you to join. Membership would formalise a commitment to the aims of Tweedgreen and would give us a stronger voice. The cost is low: £10 annually for families and £5 for individuals over 18.
Please consider taking 3 minutes to fill in the form below.
Joining does not mean that you will get roped into activities that you do not want, or do not have the time, to get involved with. It does mean that you will be in touch with environmental activities locally, and that Tweedgreen will have a clearer idea of who our supporters are and will be able to be more effective.
Do the Math Screening
Thurs 16 May / 7.30pm / Glen House Traquair
Tweedgreen and Tessa Tennant will be screening the short film ‘Do the Math’ made as the result of a tour by Bill McKibben and 350.org in the US illustrating the terrifying maths of the climate crisis.
‘We invite people all around Europe to *screen the Do the Math movie on 16th May, and help fuel our own movement on this side of the hemisphere. We hold a lot of that
“unburnable carbon” the film talks about (particularly through fossil fuel companies’ accounting sheets).
The film will be shown on 16th May, 7.30pm at Glen House Traquair. Donations appreciated and soft drinks and snacks will be provided. For further info please call 01721 721703 or 01721 720854.
There is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from this film, but most usefully it gives an amazing visualisation of the kind of momentum and movement we can build in Europe in the coming months.
The Big Dig
As the snow thaws, Peebles is seeing two new signs of Spring growth. Community Gardens are making headlines across the country, and in Peebles two such gardens are being set up – one jointly by environmental organisation Tweedgreen and mental health charity New Horizons Borders, and the other by Peebles Baptist Church.
Tweedgreen and New Horizons Borders’ Secret Garden is hidden away behind the British Heart Foundation shop, on Dean’s Wynd. The garden will be a space for anyone in the community to enjoy, with fruit trees and bushes, herbs, veggies and flowers. The Secret Garden will also be a space for events, barbeques, quiet relaxation, meditation, or afternoon coffee.
“A community garden in the heart of Peebles is an exciting opportunity. The Secret Garden will be a source of a variety of fresh, nutritious food. More than that, it will play a role in strengthening the Peebles community as people from all walks of life come together to produce good food and to create a space for everyone to enjoy”, said Rachael Millson of Tweed Green.
Rachel Bailey , facilitator of Peebles N.H.B. drop in, added “N.H.B. members are delighted to participate in The Secret Garden, which means they can take advantage of the mental health benefits of gardening; being in the fresh air, exercise and eating home grown vegetables. Working in partnership with Tweed Green is a great opportunity for N.H.B members to learn from experienced gardeners and contribute to a community project which benefits Peebles.”
Meanwhile on the south side of the river, “The King’s Meadow” is being set up on land owned by the Baptist Church behind the Victoria Park Centre. They hope to get local people involved in developing areas for growing fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, space for fun and relaxation, and that would be accessible to everyone from school children to pensioners.
“The environmental benefits of community gardening are clear, but it’s the benefits to the community as a whole that makes this project so exciting for us”, said Ian Gray, pastor of Peebles Baptist Church. “As we’ve talked to people around the area about this idea, we’ve been encouraged by the positive response we’ve had – people really want to get involved.”
The gardens have support from beyond Peebles as well. Jan Cameron of the Redhall Walled Garden in Edinburgh said “the therapeutic benefits of gardening are well documented. We feel calmer, literally more grounded and become stronger and healthier. When we work together in a garden be get these effects not just for ourselves but for our community too. It’s a clear win-win!”
Everyone is invited to the launch of both gardens over a “Big Dig” weekend on 20th and 21st April. The Secret Garden will be opened on Saturday 20th from 2 – 4pm, where there will be refreshments, face painting, seed planting and swapping, and other activities for children. On Sunday 21st, come to the King’s Meadow between 2 – 4pm, where you can find out more about plans for the garden and how to get involved. There will be refreshments, games and activities for children.
Results of Tweedgreen Travel Study 2012
In 2012 Tweedgreen carried out an in depth travel study of Tweeddale. We commissioned Transportation Planning International (TPI) to carry out this study, in April-August 2012. The purpose of the study was primarily to identify baseline transport and travel conditions through a travel survey and to provide ideas on ways to reduce the transport related carbon footprint of the area.
The Tweedgreen Challenge
We want you to take part in the Tweedgreen challenge!
Free Grow Your Own Veg Courses
Saturday 24th & 31st March, 9am to 1pm
Grow Your Own Food Course
Be inspired and ready to hit the growing season running – sign up to this FREE 4 hour course. The course will be facilitated by Peter Upton of Growing Success (you can visit his Facebook page for further information on his work).
This is a half-day intensive course covering:
basic soil knowledge
compost making and the importance of organic matter
weeding and crop care
pests and diseases
harvesting and getting the most from the growing season
…as well as a host of other useful hints and tips to make vegetable growing fruitful and fun!
These Events will be held on:
Saturday the 24th March (9am – 1pm)
Saturday 31st March (9am – 1pm)
Theory work will be done at Tweedgreen’s office, The Bridge (Volunteer Resource Centre), School Brae, Peebles, with practical work to be done on a working allotment (TBC).
Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment..
Please register your interest by replying to this email or calling the Tweedgreen office on 01721729258
Free Film: The Economics of Happiness
Thursday 29th March 7.30pm Eastgate Theatre
Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.
The film shows how globalization breeds cultural self-rejection, competition and divisiveness; how it structurally promotes the growth of slums and urban sprawl; how it is decimating democracy. We learn about the obscene waste that results from trade for the sake of trade: apples sent from the UK to South Africa to be washed and waxed, then shipped back to British supermarkets; tuna caught off the coast of America, flown to Japan to be processed, then flown back to the US. We hear about the suicides of Indian farmers; about the demise of land-based cultures in every corner of the world.
The second half of The Economics of Happiness provides not only inspiration, but practical solutions. Arguing that economic localization is a strategic solution multiplier that can solve our most serious problems, the film spells out the policy changes needed to enable local businesses to survive and prosper. We are introduced to community initiatives that are moving the localization agenda forward, including urban gardens in Detroit, Michigan and the Transition Town movement in Totnes, UK. We see the benefits of an expanding local food movement that is restoring biological diversity, communities and local economies worldwide. And we are introduced to Via Campesina, the largest social movement in the world, with more than 400 million members.
We hear from a chorus of voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Samdhong Rinpoche, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Michael Shuman, Zac Goldsmith and Keibo Oiwa. They tell us that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: we need to localize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. The Economics of Happiness challenges us to restore our faith in humanity, challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.
Free Talk @ Eastgate Theatre: Sacred Natural Sites, Robert Wild
7th March 2012 7.30pm
Robert Wild is a protected areas specialist whose work focuses on community development in the context of nature conservation. He is the volunteer chair of the Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas under the World Commission on Protected Areas. Robert’s book ‘Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture’ was launched in 2010. Robert moved to Peebles in 2006 after 17 years overseas and has been a member of Tweedgreen since its inception.
Courses start on 27 February & 6 March 2012
Carbon Conversations is an inspiring, practical 6-session course on low-carbon living. It was recently featured in the Guardian as one of the 20 best solutions to climate change.
Free Talk @ Eastgate Theatre: Alastair McIntosh – The Pornography of Consumerism
9th February 2012 7.30pm
International speaker, Alastair McIntosh returns to the Eastgate to deliver another thought-provoking and stimulating presentation. Academic, environmentalist, activist and founder member of the Gal Gael Trust in Glasgow, the author of “Soil and Soul” and “Hell and High Water” and regular contributor to Thought for Today on Radio Scotland, Alastiar will explore consumerism and other related topics.
Carbon Conversations – Pilot Project
Next course starts on 23rd January 2012
Beyond the facts – what does Climate Change and Peak Oil mean to us?
Climate change is something which will affect all of us, and something we’re all responsible for. It’s vital we learn more about these issues together: what is it; what does it mean for us; and what can we do?
Carbon Conversations is an inspiring, practical 6-session course on low-carbon living. It was recently featured in the Guardian as one of the 20 best solutions to climate change.
Members explore the basic climate change problem, their responses to it, their ideas for a low-carbon future and the four key areas of the footprint:
– home energy
– other consumption
Tweedgreen has decided to pilot the Carbon Conversations programme in Peebles, to see how it works within our own community. We have set up a pilot project, consisting of two initial courses in September 2011 and January 2012.
Pilot Carbon Conversation Courses start on 15 September 2011 and 9 January 2012
The course is free but we would welcome a small (non-obligatory) donation towards the costs of the materials (up to £15).
To sign-up, drop us an email at email@example.com
What are Carbon Conversations?
Carbon Conversations is an inspiring set of group discussions about and around climate change. Small groups meet for 6 short facilitated discussions, meeting every 2 or 3 weeks, working through activities and games; sharing thoughts, ideas and reflections. It was recently featured in the Guardian as one of the 20 best solutions to climate change.
– are based on the psychology of change
– are emotionally engaging
– are technically rigorous
– use an up to date, attractive handbook, games and materials
The course aims to motivate and support individuals to make progress with cutting their carbon footprints, and to help people talk constructively about these issues together. Going further than just the ‘facts’, the programme is unique for its attention to how making change in our lives is intimately bound up with issues of identity, society and values. Giving groups the space to discuss the more personal side of carbon-cutting, the meetings are designed to develop our insight, as individuals, into our own ways forward with environmental change.
Why not be one of the first to try out the pilot Carbon Conversations programme in Peebles? Your involvement will give you insights into greener living and will also help Tweedgreen determine whether this is an effective tool for educating people about behaviour change in our Tweeddale community.
Carbon Conversations in Cambridge
The Approach: Guardian video
Tweeddale’s Carbon Footprint
Tweedgreen commissioned a baseline carbon survey to understand regional greenhouse gas emissions and allow comparisons in future years. A specialist consultancy, Climate Futures, undertook the footprint and analysed its findings. The baseline footprint covers a sample taken from approximately 7000 households in the Tweeddale area. A random sample of 162 households responded to a questionnaire about energy use, transport, food and shopping habits. Their carbon footprints were calculated and extrapolated, by household type, to estimate the region’s total household carbon baseline.
The findings of the survey have now been released…
Tweeddale’s carbon footprint in 2010/11 was estimated to be 171,645 tonnes of CO2. The emission sources are household energy (62,884 tonnes CO2, 37%), personal flights (51,356 tonnes CO2, 30%), car (23,858 tonnes CO2, 14%), food (17,099 tonnes CO2, 10%) and shopping (16,449 tonnes CO2, 9%). While not usually accredited to domestic carbon emissions, it is interesting to note that business flights accounted for a total of 12,265 tonnes CO2
Fig 1: Average household carbon footprints by source (%)
These figures may seem high, but they are in line with other Scottish communities, and much is being done to bring them down. The Scottish Government has set binding targets to reduce the country’s emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, from a 1990 baseline. Based on the experience of a similar community, Tweeddale would need to reduce its footprint by approximately 25% and 63% respectively, from a 2011 baseline, to match these targets.
The average household footprint in Tweeddale is 24.5 tonnes CO2
You can read a summary of the report here. The full document is available upon request.
Free Talk @ Eastgate Theatre: Weather Matters, Alex Hill, Met Office
19th January 2012 7.30pm
Alex Hill, Met Office Chief Advisor to Government (Scotland and Northern Ireland), spoke on the relationship between the weather and climate change and why we should pay attention to it.
If you weren’t able to attend then you can view slides from the talk here…
Tweedgreen AGM, Eastgate Theatre, 7pm
Tweedgreen will provide an update on our work at the AGM. We are also looking for a new Chairperson and Board Member, so please come if you would like to nominate yourself for one of these positions. of these positions.
Tweedgreen have launched a new website, MTBLiftshare.com
The message board is designed to help mountain bikers visiting the world class trails at Glentress and Innerleithen share their car journeys.
Local project worker Isabelle Clements said: “Every weekend and even during the week, there is a steady influx of cars carrying mountain bikes into the Tweed Valley. Some of these cars are carrying only one solitary biker. We decided to set up this website to help people find other mountain bikers to share their journey with. ”
Tweedgreen carried out a survey at Glentress to understand how mountain bikers currently travel to the trails. Of the mountain bikers interviewed, 91% had travelled 30-200 miles to ride at Glentress. The average distance travelled was 84 miles. One eager biker had travelled a round trip of 400 miles to experience his first ride at Glentress.
Isabelle said: “We were surprised to discover just how far people travel to ride at Glentress. This is a testament to the quality of the trails – and the carrot cake at The Hub!”
Tweedgreen was pleased to see that the vast majority of these mountain bikers had shared their journeys. 78% of riders said they would be happy to use a mountain bike specific website to find others to share their journey with in the future.
MTBLiftshare.com is designed to help mountain bikers share their biking plans, meet up with riding buddies, share their journeys, save fuel, save money, and protect the environment.
As well as reducing single occupancy vehicles, Tweedgreen hopes that MTBLiftshare.com will help bikers with no transport facilities, particularly younger riders and students, to get lifts to the trails and discover the fantastic rides in Glentress and Innerleithen.
Events such as the Tweedlove Festival highlight the Tweed Valley as a prime destination for mountain biking. Chris Ball, founder of Dirt School (photographed with Ben Wills of RideLines and Jaymie Mart of Athleat Nutrition at Tweedlove on 19th June) said: “With so many like minded cyclists heading to the Tweed Valley on a daily basis, initiatives like MTBLiftshare.com make perfect sense for everyone. Not only can we all lower the impact of our day out on the planet but you might get to ride with some new people at the same time.”
OWL electricity monitors are now available to borrow from the Peebles Library, free of charge. These smart devices are easy to fit and allow you to see how much electricity you are using in your home. Our OWL energy monitors provide up to the second information on the amount of electricity you are using in terms of power, cost and your carbon footprint. This means you can see in real time the benefits of turning off electrical devices at home. Whether it’s turning off at the plug rather than just using standby, or simply turning off a light, OWL shows you the cash impact of changing your habits and behaviours which could amount to savings of hundreds of pounds per year. We thoroughly recommend using these. It is fascinating to see how much individual appliances cost to run. You can use them to show your teenagers how much it costs to run their computers, X-boxes, music systems – even they may be surprised by the results. You can see how much it costs you every time you put on the kettle, washing machine, oven, hairdryer. By gaining this insight into the real costs of running your household appliances, you can regain some control over your monthly electricity bills. Try one. They become strangely compelling!
ENERGY SAVING PACKS AVAILABLE FREE FROM THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT
In November, the Scottish Government issued a press release indicating that packs containing an energy monitor and Powerdown plug would be available free to householders via Scottish Gas.
Due to high demand, the Scottish Government has decided that Scottish Gas home energy packs will only be made available to households that:
- are identified as potentially eligible for the Energy Assistance Package
- find it difficult to heat their home
- are spending over 10% of their income on heating fuel.
If you know of anyone in these categories, they will be eligible for the free energy saving pack.
Anyone who has already benefited from Energy Assistance Package is also entitled to a pack. They would just need to contact the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre who can re-assess if they can benefit from any other EAP services at the same time.
How to get the pack:
Householders should contact the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512 012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Saving Trust will post a coupon for the householder to send away. A pack will be sent through the post to eligible households.
Please note that some fuel providers eg. NPower, are also providing free energy monitors. Please check with your fuel provider to see if they provide this service.
Home Energy Audits – Save Money and Carbon
Ever thought about how you could reduce your fuel bills while also saving carbon emissions?
In order to complement the free home insulation scheme currently being carried out in Peebles, Innerleithen and Walkerburn by Scottish Borders Council and the Energy Savings Trust/Changeworks, Tweedgreen has trained 5 local volunteers as Energy Advisors. Tweedgreen ‘s Energy Advisors can visit homes in Tweeddale to carry out home energy audits. Tweedgreen has access to home energy monitors that you can borrow to see your electricity consumption. These monitors are available for loan free from Peebles Library (3 week loan) or from our office. If you require assistance installing and working an energy monitor, Tweedgreen’s Energy Advisors can visit your home to help out. We can install the monitor in your home to help you see how you use your electricity, how much appliances cost to run and to help you identify areas where cost savings can be made. Our Energy Advisors can also provide advice on other measures to help you save energy and save money on fuel bills.
If you are interested in a loan of a home energy monitor or a visit from one of Tweedgreen’s Energy Advisors, please contact the office on 01721 729258 or email email@example.com
Wind Power – Hot Air or Hot Topic?
22 Nov 2011
All you need to know about wind power from the horse’s mouth. Ask those thorny questions that you really want answered and get some honest answers!
Tuesday 20 September
This first meeting looked at the theory behind wind power, how turbines work, come and hear the real facts from independent expert speakers.
Tuesday 18 October
The second meeting explored the legal and preparatory stages you would need to go through to set up a single wind turbine or a farm of them. This included the potential effects on wild life and the surveys that are undertaken.
Tuesday 22 November
The third meeting will look at community involvement, setting up a development company and the the challenges and the benefits to local organisations.
Entry is free (donations to cover costs welcomed)
Are you thinking about installing a wind turbine for electricity production and want to know more? Why not make contact with someone in Tweeddale who has one of these systems already installed?
Tweedgreen may know people with wind turbines up and running and who would be happy to talk to you, or you may already have a working system and would be willing to share your experience with others.
Whatever your position please contact the Tweedgreen Office for details on 01721 729258 or e mail Joanna@tweedgreen.org
Free Village Lunches and Energy Clinics
12th November and 26th November
Free Local Food Village Lunch and Energy Advice Clinics
Come and join us at our village lunches, offering free local food prepared by our Food Group. The Energy Clinic will provide information and advice on energy saving ideas, including insulation and lighting solutions. Mrs Mash the story telling cook will provide entertainment for children. Zero Waste will also provide advice on how to save money on wasted food.
Dates: Traquair Village Hall, 12th November (no Mrs Mash) and Cardrona Village Hall, 26th November (Christmas themed event). Opening times 11am – 3pm.
Tweedgreen Energy Fair, Burgh Hall, Peebles
15th October 2011
Following on from the success of our Energy Fair last year, Tweedgreen are holding another Energy Fair on 15th October 2011. Come and find out all you need to know about renewable energy: from planning, to purchase to plugging in the new technology.
Companies specialising in renewable energy will be on hand to demonstrate the technologies and answer all your questions. Suppliers of all sorts of renewable technology will be present, including: solar, photovoltaics, wind, ground source heat, wood, low wattage lighting solutions and much more.
The Energy Fair will take place in Burgh Hall, Peebles, from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Tea, coffee and home baking will be provided by Border Beasties.
Free Village Lunch & Home Energy Fair, Broughton
8th October 2011
- Broughton Village Hall, Saturday 8th October, 11am to 3pm
- Enjoy delicious homemade local food with home baking and coffee
- Come and find out about energy saving tips and see our display of insulation materials and low energy lighting
- Talk to Zero Waste about saving money by reducing waste
- For the children: Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook will tell tales at 12 noon, 12.45 and 1.30pm
Family Apple Picking Day
2 October 2011
Come and pick apples from this beautiful orchard. Press your own juice. Take apples home for cooking and eating.
Traquair House Orchard, 2 October, 2-4pm
Walk-in energy clinic and village lunch with Mrs Mash Storyteller
24 September 2011
The walk-in clinic will cover insulation, energy saving tips, lighting display and information. The village lunches will be made from local produce and are free! Waste Aware will help you with your composting queries and Mrs Mash will entertain the younger visitors.
Kirkton Manor Village Hall, 24 September 2011, 11am to 3.30pm.
Further information about our Walk-in Energy Clinics can be found here
Bike Train from Peebles to Kirkton Manor
24 September 2011
Thank you for joining our bike train ride to celebrate Moving Planet Day, sending out the message of the importance of taking action on climate change and the fun that can be had riding a bike instead of sitting in your car. People all around the world cycled, walked, skated, asking their governments to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. (www.moving-planet.org). The Bike Train from Peebles to Kirkton Manor was our contribution to this global event.
We had a beautiful ride, blessed with perfect weather. 25 of us, of all ages, cycled together through stunning scenery. Thanks to all for a fantastic day. We look forward to the next voyage of the Tweedgreen Bike Train. Watch this space!
Bike Train Etiquette
We aim to create a friendly ‘safety-in-numbers’ space on the road to enable more people to cycle. We don’t intend to hold up other road users, we do intend to be an assertive presence on the road. Other vehicles will be able to overtake easily when we get to pre-arranged passing places.
Stay together: We will go at a reasonable speed (not too slow) but it’s important to keep together, keep up at the back, don’t go too fast at the front. If the ride gets split, the forward section should either stop and wait or continue slowly so that the rear section can catch up. This depends on the extent of the split and what feels safest.
Stay legal: Obey the rules of the Highway/Country Code when riding. Please follow the marshall’s advice and instructions for everyone’s safety and enjoyment. And look out for sheep on rural roads!
Stay safe: We aim to be highly visible with stewards at front and rear wearing hi-vis vests. Keep a safe distance from the cyclist in front. Avoid sudden movements. Shout “stopping” if you need to stop. We may need to pull into a passing place or move to single file to allow vehicles to pass. Please listen to the marshall for instructions. Look out for each other, especially any children on the ride.
Stay friendly: Keep calm, be friendly and considerate to all road users.
Have fun: This is a chance to meet like minded people or catch up with friends. Enjoy! THANKS!
The Bike Train model is used regularly in Brighton and has recently been launched in Bristol. Here’s an article on the Bike Train model in Brighton.
A Taste of Peebles
10 September 2011
Tweedgreen Event to Celebrate Local Food
Enjoy a Taste of Peebles, an opportunity to sample local food during the Tour of Britain.
On the evening of 10th September, Peebles High Street will be a blur of activity, as professional cyclists race around town competing in the Scottish Borders Exhibition Criterium Race. To heighten the festive spirit of the Tour of Britain, and to provide refreshments to spectators and competitors alike, Tweedgreen is organising a street food fair. “A Taste of Peebles” will be held on School Brae from 5.30pm to 8.00pm.
Gary White, Tweedgreen Project Coordinator said: “The Taste of Peebles event is designed to showcase our local food producers, retailers and suppliers. The event will be an opportunity for local food traders to provide a sample of their delicious food during Saturday’s Tour of Britain programme”.
The Taste of Peebles event will provide opportunities for families to relax and enjoy the evening in a relaxed, lively atmosphere and try samples from some of our most famous restaurants, cafés and local food retailers.
The Taste of Peebles event is also a part of Blasda, a national local food feast initiated by the Fife Diet group. (Blasda is Gaelic for tasty!). Tweedgreen is proud to have been selected as one of 12 groups nationally to take part in Blasda. For more info on Blasda, please click here
Entry is free
PLEASE NOTE: THE FAMILY FUN RIDE HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS
TweedLove: The Peebles Sprint and Family Ride
14 June 2011
Tweedgreen is supporting the The Peebles Sprint and Free Family Ride on Tuesday 14th June. We’ll be there on the day and you’ll be able to find out more info about Tweedgreen, and our campaigns.
Visit the TweedLove site to find out more about The Peebles Sprint and how to get involved in the family ride.
Tripshare Borders – Win tickets to The Wickerman Festival
Register and share a journey before 1 July 2011
Liftsharing in Peebles has gone up by nearly 100%, according to a recent survey carried out by Tweedgreen.
A survey carried out at peak time outside Peebles in September 2010 showed that only 9% of cars carried a passenger. The same survey carried out in March 2011 showed that 16% of cars contained a driver and at least one passenger.
Tweedgreen Project Coordinator Isabelle Clements said, “The ever increasing cost of petrol has encouraged people to look into alternatives for reducing their travel costs. Many people who in the past thought car sharing was too restrictive have changed their minds as they see how much money can be saved by sharing even just a couple of days a week. We are delighted to see that the people of Tweeddale are car sharing informally with friends, neighbours and via TripshareBorders.”
Scottish Borders Council is offering two pairs of weekend camping tickets to the Wickerman Festival, in Dumfries and Galloway, on 22-23 July 2011, to those who register and share a journey using www.tripshareborders.com. Join TripshareBorders before 1st July and you could win tickets to the Wickerman Festival.
Philippa Gilhooly of Scottish Borders Council said “This is a great incentive for people to overcome their reservations about liftsharing and register with TripshareBorders. The more people who register, the more chances there are of finding a match for your journey. At Scottish Borders Council headquarters, the number of staff regularly car sharing has increased from 60 to just over 170 in the last year. We are all far more aware of our carbon footprint, pollutants and emissions these days and car sharing is an excellent way of saving money whilst adding to your green credentials.”
Now is the time to register with TripshareBorders and join the increasing numbers of smart people who are sharing their journeys to work
Survey: How green is Tweeddale?
Return your survey by 17 June to enter our prize draw!
We’re working on an initiative to find out just how much carbon dioxide is emitted in Tweeddale.
Tweedgreen has designed a three page questionnaire looking at our lifestyle choices and consumption patterns to determine how much carbon dioxide we are currently producing. The questionnaire looks at the choices we make in our homes, our transport, our food and our leisure activities.
Local project worker Isabelle Clements said: “It is important that we have a good understanding of our current emissions so we can track our progress over time.”
According to estimates by the International Energy Agency, emissions of dangerous green house gasses continue to rise. The report published last week shows the highest levels of carbon dioxide in history pour into our atmosphere: a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide was released into our air, mainly from burning fossil fuels. This represents a rise of 5% on 2009.
Isabelle said: “This astonishing figure should serve as a wake-up call to us all. It is clear that if we do not look at our lifestyles and start to make changes to reduce our personal carbon emissions, we are seriously threatening our hopes of keeping global warming at safe levels. What kind of legacy will we leave for our children and grandchildren if we do not start to act now? Small changes can and will make a difference“
Using a random selection method, Tweedgreen has sent the survey to 1,000 households in the Tweeddale area. Representatives of Tweedgreen will also be doing face to face surveys on the streets over the next few weeks.
If you are interested in helping work out the carbon footprint of Tweeddale or in finding out about your own personal carbon footprint, please fill in the survey. Completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw for a host of local prizes. Surveys will be collated and analysed by experts at Climate Futures, and the report outlining the current carbon footprint of Tweeddale will be finalised by 30th June 2011.
The first step is to find out what Tweeddale’s carbon footprint is. The next step is to make smaller carbon footprints in the future.
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TweedLove: The Glentress Seven
11 June 2011
Tweedgreen is supporting the The Glentress Seven on Saturday 11th June. We’ll be there on the day and you’ll be able to find out more info about Tweedgreen, and our campaigns.
Visit the TweedLove site to find out more about The Glentress Seven.
SBC Development Plans for Peebles
Get your comments in before 12 May
SBC is currently undertaking an appraisal of transport related options associated with the development of Peebles. They are currently consulting with key stakeholders, local interest groups and the general public.
SBC commissioned transport consultants MVA in 2010 to appraise and report on a number of transport related options.
Key issues included:
– volume of traffic on key routes within Peebles
– road safety concerns
– queuing traffic on some of the key road junctions
– parking management in Peebles
– reliance on Tweed Bridge
– the effect of future development on the town
A public consultation exercise was held at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, on 30-31st March 2011. Click on this link to see a copy of the presentation, for your information. Unfortunately, the scanned document is not in colour, therefore the keys for maps are difficult to read. Tweedgreen has colour, hard copies of the presentation available at the office, so if you would like to see these, please feel free to pop in.
Tweedgreen has been requested to provide comments on the potential options by 12th May. As a community based group, representing the community of Tweeddale, we welcome feedback from residents of Peebles. We will consider incorporating any comments we receive into Tweedgreen’s official feedback to Scottish Borders Council. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12th May.
Tweedgreen Secures Scottish Government Funding for 2011-12
Tweedgreen is delighted to announce that our application to the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund for 2011-2012 was successful. Tweedgreen is one of the 130 recipients of government funding allocated for community based work to reduce carbon emissions.
Here is an outline of our proposal and the activities to be funded by CCF from April 2011-March 2012:
AIM – To cultivate a low carbon community in Tweeddale
The overarching aim of our project is to raise awareness of the options for reducing carbon consumption within our community empowering people to change their behaviour. We will obtain accurate quantitative and qualitative information that will underpin all our activities. A key focus will be community outreach activities, thereby attracting new members to join our initiatives and effect wider change.
1) People reduce the amount of food waste they generate
2) People make climate friendly food choices
3) More people understand home energy use reduction and implement effective change.
4) More people make low carbon travel choices
Activities for Outcomes 1 and 2: FOOD
The food project in 2010/11 focussed on encouraging people to buy more local food, through appealing to a sense of pride in the local community. We propose to extend our focus to incorporate additional high-impact climate-friendly food choices. We will extend our reach via our village lunch project and cookery classes.
The results of our food survey demonstrate community desire for increased local food availability in shops and supermarkets. We propose to conduct a land-use survey identifying primary and secondary producers in the Borders to identify products currently being supplied elsewhere (e.g. exported/supplied to central wholesalers) which could be sold locally, increasing local resilience through re-localisation. This survey would also identify potential land for allotments. We will engage with local NFU, Scottish Borders Food Network and Tweed Valley Tourism Consortium and Scottish Borders Council (SBC). This builds on CCF-629 by increasing local produce availability.
Food Events: Promoting climate-friendly food choices
– Six “village lunches”: social opportunities to discuss and enjoy low carbon food choices,as modelled by the Fife Diet.
– Targeted campaigns focussing on a different food group per month (in association with Village Green)
– Five climate friendly cookery workshops (cooking with leftovers, vegetarian cooking, vegan cooking, pickling and preserving, cooking wild food), each run twice.
– Facilitate increased growing opportunities through engagement with Scottish Borders Council and Forestry Commission Scotland regarding land for growing.
– Provide 4 courses in beginners gardening
– Reducing food waste
– We will reduce food waste in our community through a targeted kitchen canny project, with the local schools.
These activities will be supported by an interactive, improved website which incorporates electronic copies of the local food directory and recipe book from last year’s project, revised pledge pages and an interactive message board, increasing community engagement and ownership of the project.
Activities for Outcomes 3 and 4: ENERGY
Insulation and energy use analysis clinics – Household energy use reduction will be championed through delivery of “Walk-In Clinics” every fortnight from the spring to winter across the Tweeddale area. Our staff and trained volunteers will assist the public with queries on insulation and energy use and offer temporary installation of energy monitors in Peebles (CCF-629 monitors are installed in Innerleithen).
Activities for Outcome 5: TRAVEL
To date, Tweedgreen travel subgroup has worked with local eco-schools to promote cycling and walking, put Liftshare on the agenda for local commuters and mountain bikers and held public events. In our rural town, 86% depend on their cars to commute to work. To reduce car dependency, we propose to develop:
Low Carbon Travel Campaign
Tweedgreen will develop a campaign encouraging people to sign up to low carbon travel for a specified number of days per month. This will be launched at the Beltane festival in June and continued with a fuel free day in the autumn term, involving local school children and cyclists in a highly visible and fun “reclaim the streets” event. Tweedgreen will extend our successful Liftshare campaign, targeting local businesses, Edinburgh employers and by promoting the Mountain-biking Liftshare.
Green Transport Plan
We will commission a travel survey to develop a comprehensive community led sustainable transport plan. This will identify obstacles to decreasing car dependency and practical measures to remove these obstacles and promote sustainable travel. Transportation Planning International (consultants) will deliver targeted research, community focus group discussions, online surveys, and engage with SBC.
Green Travel Guide
Tweedgreen will produce a green travel guide which will collate relevant green travel information highlighting the benefits of low carbon travel choices, providing maps of cycling and walking routes and sources of information for bus and public transport information.
Cycle Path Feasibility Study
A feasibility study will be carried out to allow continuous access along the River Tweed to cyclists and pedestrians. Funding for any recommended works would be sought from Paths for All.
Outcomes 1-5: COMMUNICATION AND LIAISON
Carbon Conversations: Tweedgreen plans to increase its outreach within the community by introducing Carbon Conversations. This highly successful model explores personal carbon emissions through changing high carbon lifestyle choices. Carbon Conversations engages people on an emotional level and leads to extremely high levels of personal carbon emission reduction
Baseline survey and low carbon strategy:
Tweedgreen will commission a brief baseline survey (Climate Futures), using a Reap Petite based questionnaire, and analysis of existing qualitative data to obtain a definitive carbon footprint and to help develop a strategy for the short and medium term.
Website & Media
Tweedgreen will maintain and enhance its bespoke website. It will enable collation of community responses to our campaigns. We will continue our weekly newspaper column and a programme of talks, lectures and public events supporting our campaigns.
Our project completion report for our CCF Phase 1 funding is available here. To find out information on the activities that we carried out in May 2010-March 2011, please feel free to have a look at this extremely comprehensive report.
Fuel Efficient Driving Challenge
Interested in saving petrol, saving money and helping the environment?
Join the Tweedgreen Fuel Efficient Driving Challenge, 14th March 2011
Fuel prices have increased by 15% compared to this time last year. It now costs over £20 more to fill a family car than it did just two years ago.
Against the backdrop of rapidly increasing fuel costs, Tweedgreen is proud to announce the launch of this unique driving challenge. We are delighted to say that this challenge has been developed with the full support of our local Esso and Shell stations. This unprecedented collaboration sees Tweedgreen, your local environmental and sustainability group, working together with our local garages to help demonstrate the benefits of fuel efficient driving.
Through this experiment, we aim to quantify how much fuel and money can be saved through fuel efficient driving. A similar experiment was carried out by the AA in 2008: a group of 50 AA employees saved an average of 10% on their weekly fuel bill, with the best achieving an incredible 33% saving. We are hoping to replicate this experiment in Tweeddale in 2011, to see how much fuel, money and carbon the residents of Tweeddale can save through adopting fuel efficient driving techniques. As well as saving money and fuel, eco-driving will help you drive more safely and reduce wear and tear on components like tyres, clutch and gearbox.
If you are interested in learning how to drive fuel efficiently, save money and help the environment, join our challenge now.
Top tips for fuel efficient driving
1. Shift to a higher gear as soon as possible
2. Anticipate road conditions and drive more smoothly
3. Maintain a steady speed in as high a gear as possible
4. Drive a little slower
5. Switch the engine off if you’re stationary for more than a minute
6. Keep your tyres properly inflated
7. Switch off air conditioning
8. Close your windows if travelling at 50mph or more
9. Remove roof boxes and rack if not being used
10. Remove unnecessary luggage to reduce weight
To join our challenge, pick up a leaflet from our two local garages. Leaflets will be available from 4th March.
In the Tweedgreen Fuel Efficient Driving Challenge, we are asking people to:
Week 1: Drive normally, record your mileage and fuel use on the Tweedgreen form attached to the leaflet
Week 2: Try fuel efficient driving. Record your mileage and fuel use on the Tweedgreen form
By 28th March: Drop the form off at either of the Peebles filling stations or at the Tweedgreen office.
Completed forms will be entered into a prize draw to win 5 pairs of tickets to the Eastgate Theatre.
We look forward to hearing the results of your fuel efficient driving experiment. Happy eco-driving!
ALSO: We think this article about fuel-efficient driving recently posted on the BBC website is an interesting read.
Tweeddale Free Insulation Scheme
Don't Miss Out - Offer ends 31 March 2011
Tweedgreen is supporting the Tweeddale free insulation offer.
Loft and cavity wall insulation is being offered free of charge to householders in the Tweeddale area. Homeowners and private tenants in Peebles, Innerleithen and Walkerburn will have received a letter (download here) in early November from the council and the local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre which explains the offer.
The benefits of loft insulation: the house on the left has poor/no insulation and is losing so much heat through the roof that the snow is melting. The house on the right is properly insulated, and is therefore retaining its heat.
Tweeddale Free Insulation Scheme
Ends 31 March 2011
Offer ends 31 March 2011
Letter from Scottish Borders Council and Energy Saving Scotland advice which explains the offer
Tweeddale Free Insulation Scheme letter
Tweedgreen Local Food Champion
Tweedgreen is looking for a dynamic individual to champion local food in the Scottish Borders. We are a community organisation of local volunteers working towards a self-sustaining Tweeddale by promoting local food and reducing energy use and waste. We have again been awarded Climate Challenge funding and are looking for an energetic and self-motivated person to join our small team and take our food projects forward. We would like to engage someone with an understanding of, and commitment to, the issues, good communication skills and, ideally, previous experience in implementing food related projects. If you care about climate change and would like to help the Tweeddale community make a difference, please email email@example.com for more details.
Full-time post until end March 2012, based in Peebles. Some flexible working hours required. Salary £2,383 per month. Closing date for applications (CV and cover letter) 11th April. Interviews to be held on 21st April. Jobshare applications considered.
Your county needs you!
Tweedgreen needs volunteers to help with occasional jobs – like handing out leaflets, small surveys and questionnaires. If you think you can help sometime – please get in touch. It needn’t be a regular commitment.
Renewable Energy Talk – All Things Water
24 March 2011
Micro hydro generation in Tweeddale
24 March 2011, 8pm, Eastgate Theatre Studio
Renewable Energy Talk – Energy from the Sun and the Earth
17 February 2011
PV, solar and ground source heat
17 February 2011, 8pm, Eastgate Theatre Studio
Alastair McIntosh Talk
10 February 2011
Author of “Hell and High Water” and “Soil and the Soul”. Leading campaigner in the community buyout of the island of Eigg and the Harris super quarry. Come and be inspired by this exceptional speaker.
10 February 2011, 7.30pm, Eastgate Theatre
Renewable Energy Talk – All Things Wood
20 January 2011
From logs to wood pellets, from wood stoves to biomass boilers, expert speakers will be on hand to answer your questions. Plus local suppliers and installers.
20 January 2011, 8pm, Eastgate Theatre Studio
Eco Drive Simulator – Drive more efficiently and economically
Various Events in 2010
Tweedgreen provided eco-driving simulators at various events around Peebles in July, October and November of 2010.
The simulator demonstrates how to drive more fuel efficiently in a fun, interactive way.
It is clear that living in a rural location like Tweeddale, with no train link, most of us need our cars. When we choose to use our cars, we can also choose to drive efficiently. This not only saves money each time we fill up our petrol tank, it also saves on carbon emissions.
The eco-drive simulator was available during our Get on Your Bike and Eco Drive Day, 31st July. 17 people tested their skills driving the simulator and received invaluable advice from a specialist Sustainable Transport Advisor from the Energy Savings Trust. Many of these people will now be adopting more fuel efficient ways of driving and experiencing substantial savings on their petrol costs.
Tweedgreen Food Group Book Launch
23 November 2010
Last night the Tweedgreen food group launched its…
Recipe Book and Local Food Directory Book with speakers Mike Small and Fiona Houston.
“Building a Local Food Movement”
Mike Small is the Founder and Director of Fife Diet, a network of people committed to relocalising food. Its members aim to source and eat food from Fife alone. Fife Diet was set up in 2007 and now boasts over 1000 members. Fife Diet has won a host of green awards, including the Ethical Contribution of the Year 2009 in the Observer Food Monthly.
In 2005 Fiona Houston (aka Fi Martynoga) was challenged to prove her claim that people ate better two hundred years ago than they do now. In order to keep to the almost entirely local food of her rural ancestors, she immersed herself for a whole year in the lifestyle of the 1790s, writing about it each month for The Herald. She has since brought out a fuller account, The Garden Cottage Diaries, and continues to lecture about her year’s experiment , not simply for its historical interest but because it reflects on how we currently live. Fi is a member of the Tweedgreen Food Group.
Tweedgreen Inaugural General Meeting
23 November 2010
Tweedgreen held it’s Inaugural General meeting in The Eastgate Theatre on Tuesday 23rd November 2010.
The agenda was as follows…
To be held in the Studio, The Eastgate Theatre, Eastgate, Peebles on Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 6.45pm for the following purposes:
To receive a short report on the projects and progress of Tweedgreen Limited.
To receive a short report on the financial position of Tweedgreen Limited
To appoint Lesley Morrison as a director in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and, being eligible, offering herself for election as a Director of the Company.
To appoint Michael Matthews as a director in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and, being eligible, offering himself for election as a Director of the Company.
To appoint Lorna Slade as a director in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and, being eligible, offering herself for election as a Director of the Company.
To appoint Michael Perks as a director in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and, being eligible, offering himself for election as a Director of the Company.
To elect the Directors as office bearers in the positions of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
Note: A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his or her place.
Energy Fair 2010
6 November 2010
In November 2010 Tweedgreen held an Energy Fair at the Burgh Hall in Peebles.
We had a wide range of companies exhibiting alternative and renewable energy options, including solar, PV, wind and heat source. You were able to find all you ever wanted to know about renewables and the best options for you and your home.
The Energy Saving Trust attended with literature, advice and their Eco-driving machine.
Planning Aid Scotland were also in attendance to help you with any planning issues connected with the addition of renewables to your home.
|Solar Power Scotland||Solar & PV|
|On-site Generation||Heat pumps, Solar, PV, Consultancy & Training|
|Tweed Renewables||Solar equipment|
|Eco-Living||Heat pumps, woodstoves|
|Border Eco Systems||Air to water, solar thermal, biomass|
|Wind Turbine Ltd||Wind & PV|
|Inherent Energy||Solar, PV, Wind|
|Gaia Wind||Wind turbines|
|Energy Saving Trust||Information, Grants, Insulation|
|Planning Aid Scotland||Planning information|
|BCCF - Zero Waste Scotland||Composting, peat free compost|
|Border Architects||Advice on eco building|
|Simon Lockwood||All things wood|
|Pentland Biomass||Biomass boilers and biomass fuels|
Don’t Waste October 2010
Reduction of waste, production and disposal, business and domestic, is a crucial part of any sustainability plan for Tweeddale. Tweedgreen will be launching a waste awareness month in October – ‘Don’t Waste October’.
One of our initiatives building up to October is a focus on small business waste. We are partnering with Green Business Partnership (Zero Waste Scotland) and Tweed Valley Tourism Consortium to offer waste and energy audits for 10 or more small businesses in Tweeddale over July and August. We hope to enrol a wide range of businesses (farms, shops, restaurants, barbers, pubs!) to pioneer this scheme. It will be very instructive and improve efficiency and reduce costs for raw materials, water, waste and energy for all those businesses concerned.
Anna Scott from Green Business Partnership says: “We would be very happy to conduct reviews for the 10 businesses that you mentioned to identify opportunities for improvement. An experienced adviser will analyse the companies’ costs and levels of raw material use, waste production, water and energy use and will identify simple steps to reduce impact on the environment and at the same time make cost savings.
Following the review, we produce a comprehensive report clearly outlining opportunities that are specific to the business and quantify the potential cost and environmental savings from these recommendations. Most businesses that receive assistance through the programme make significant cost savings which impact directly on their profitability”. If you would like to sign up a small business for this scheme please contact the Tweedgreen office. Or if you have any other ideas for ‘waste initiatives’ for Don’t Waste October – let us know.
Local Food Week 2010
18 – 24 September 2010
The Tweedgreen Local Food Week 2010 took place from 18 – 24 September.
|Local Food Event - Sat 18th / 10am–4pm|
|Eastgate Theatre||Drop-by information stand||Information on local food and tastings|
|Family Apple Picking Day - Sun 19th / 2pm|
|Traquair House, Traquair||Family day out||Family apple picking at Traquair. Pick and take home. Entrance fee to Traquair Gardens payable on the day. Tickets for apple picking (FOC) available at Tweedgreen Office (The Bridge, School Brae) or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Food, Inc. – Tue 21st / 7.30pm|
|Eastgate Theatre||Film||Food Inc. - An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. You’ll never look at dinner in the same way again. Featuring after-screen Q and A session. Tickets available (FOC) at the EG box office.|
|Pickling & Preserving Workshop – Wed 22nd / 7pm|
|Whitmuir, the Organic Place, Lamancha||Workshop||Join the Whitmuir Chef for a Pickling and Preserving workshop. Learn how to preserve and store seasonal produce for all-year-round enjoyment. Tickets available (FOC) from Whitmuir, the Tweedgreen Office or email email@example.com|
|Local Delights – Thu 23rd / 7pm|
|The Drill Hall, Peebles||Demonstration and workshop||Learn how to make delicious local delights, including ice cream, yoghurt, barley bannocks and many others. Tickets available (FOC) at Tweedgreen Office or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
What would Peebles High Street look like with an extra £1.5 million per year?
This is how much would be brought in if every household in Peebles spent just £5 or £10 of their weekly food budget in the local shops. Across Scotland only 6% of our retail food budget is spent in our independent shops. Buying local means that more money is recycled within our community rather than being taken out of Tweeddale.
Food smiles, not food miles!
Local food often has a lower carbon footprint – not just because of the energy used to transport food, but also because it uses less energy in refrigeration, processing and packaging.
Let’s take one million cars off the road
That’s the equivalent carbon saving as you’d get from converting all UK farmland to organic. Nitrous oxide (300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) is released from the soil as a result of fertilizer use. Buying organic significantly reduces emissions of this dangerous greenhouse gas.
Love life? Love local food!
Eating locally has a positive impact on your health. It means eating the freshest, in-season ingredients, packed with nutrients, and avoiding most processed food. This means we are reducing our intake of salt, sugar and harmful additives.
What can I do?
Eat 1 meal (or more!) per week from local produce. Join us, and hundreds of others and find out how you can support our local retailers and producers, get healthier and reduce your carbon footprint.
A Green Twist on the Peebles Guizards’ Play
28 August 2010
Historic Peebles Street Play raises funds for victims of Pakistan’s floods:
Peebles shoppers were met by strange sight on Saturday, one not seen for many a long year on Peebles High Street – the ‘Peebles Guizards’ – complete with juggling, longsword dancing and traditional music. The Peebles Guizards were townsfolk that performed a local variant of a guisers or mummers play and the last known performances were somewhen between 1820-1850. Guisers plays were performed in the Borders and other parts of Britain at Hogmanay and other times, in return for refreshments and money.
Rooted in traditional culture but with a modern message the Peebles Guizards 2010 version performed in association with Tweeddale’s sustainability network – Tweedgreen, has a ‘Green Twist’. It is an adaptation of the original Guizards Play incorporating parts of the similar Seguisers Play from Biggar.
Saturday’s performances were held in the Burgh Hall Quadrangle and outside the Tontine Hotel. The Play starts with the lines;
Here stands I Old Oak Tree
For countless years here I be
Right in the middle of Wild Wild Wood
Keeping Earth a’turning just as I should
Then in comes Talking Man and six dancers dressed in colourful green ‘tatters’ and sporting tree masks performed what can be considered Scotland’s ‘lost’ dance form – the Longsword (see more below). Then the cast of nine get started with Old Oak Tree and with Talking Man introducing the players, the fighters Black Knight, Turkey Snipe, Galatian and Beelzebub. In the battle Old Oak Tree is killed and an innocent Young Man was falsely accused this heinious crime of ecocide! Fortunately good Dr. Brown saved the day and brought Old Oak Tree back to life to much rejoicing, and reminding us we need to restore the planet’s tree cover. The dancers are also accomplished jugglers and then performed synchronized and individual juggling performances culminating with a ‘lets not juggle with our future’ performance getting the over the message that we need to bring our consumption footprint to within that Earth can sustain. The current footprint of humanity is 1.4 planets – not something that can be kept up for long! Finally Johnnie Funny made a collection and £145 was raised for the Pakistan flood victims, reminding us that we are all in the serious business of climate change together.
Accompanying the dancers were suitably ancient, modern and world instruments including unique large and small ancient ‘single’ bagpipes – such as depicted in stone in Rosslyn Chapel, a flute and the west African djembe hand drum. Historically the first record of the British longsword dance come from Edinburgh in 1590; Elgin in 1623 and Perth from 1617-33. In Elgin five masked sword dancers were arrested for performing in a Kirkyard! As living traditions Longsword Dance survived in Shetland on Papa Stour and in Yorkshire, but is rarely performed in Scotland at the present.
The play is one variant of a Guisers’ or Mummers’ plays that were performed in the Borders and other parts of Britain at Christmas and other times, in return for refreshments and money. The basic plot is that two heroes fight and one is killed. A quack doctor is engaged to bring the fallen hero to life – this he does having all made friends and amends the company sing and dance together. The play is in the tradition of the Bottom and his homespun mechanicals performance of Pyrimus and Thysbe in a Mid Summer’s Night Dream complete with ham acting and poor jokes.
The play has 9 short parts and takes 10-15 minutes. It can be performed with fewer people although 5 is probably the minimum. The play is performed on the streets or in pubs and there is minimal costumes. Each actor is responsible for his own and carries it with him/her during a tour.
The Peebles 2010 version is adapted to have a Green Twist, and is combined with some of the Biggar Seguisers Play – New Millennium edition.
Long Sword Dance: The Guisers’ plays were often accompanied by a British Long Sword dance – this is Scotland’s forgotten, almost lost dance tradition and not to be confused with Highland Sword Dance. It is a hilt and point circle dance where the dancers hold the tips of their neighbours swords and dancers weave in and out in a way similar to some Scottish dance figures. As living traditions Long Sword Dance survived in Shetland on Papa Stour and in Yorkshire. The earliest known sword dance records from Great Britain come from Edinburgh, 1590, Elgin, 1623, and Perth, in 1617-33. The record from Elgin is where five sword dancers were arrested for performing in a Kirkyard. The tradition was likely to have been heavily suppressed during the reformation. The tradition we shall attempt (enthusiasm permitting) is the Goathland Plough Stots from North York Moors (see video below).
For more information on Guisers go to: http://www.folkplay.info/index.htm
For the original Peebles text go to: http://www.folkplay.info/Texts/84nt24cr.htm
2 July – 28 August 2010
The Tweedgreen Exhibition ran from 2 July – 28 August 2010 at Tweeddale Museum & Gallery, Chambers Institution, Peebles.
It celebrated our local community in Tweeddale: past and future. Local food, recycling, local energy generation, low energy transport. The exhibition, organised by Tweedgreen explored these aspects of our community’s life and raises questions about the way forward
Some things to ask yourself:
- Food is central to our lives.
- What can we learn from the past?
- From footsteps to carbon footprint.
- What can we learn?
- Next time you get into your car, will you consider whether to cycle, walk or take a bus?
- How can we best fulfil our responsibility to the web of species that shares Tweeddale?
- Why not buy: more local food and support local farms and businesses?
- Why not get gardening? Sacrifice lawn or flowerbed and start becoming less dependant.
- And, finally, have you made your sustainability promise? Enjoy keeping it!
You can download a PDF of information panels from the exhibition here
Bike-a-Brac: Donate Unwanted Biking Items
31 July 2010
Our Bike-A-Brac stall was available on Saturday 31st July at Tweedgreen’s ‘Get on Your Bike Day’ which took place at the Burgh Hall on Peebles High Street (31st July 2010).
It was kind of like a Saturday Swap Shop for bike bits and pieces. Everyone was welcome to bring along any old bikes, parts or accessories that they’d been hanging on to but were never going to use again. Removing that bike related clutter from their garage and helping to find a new home for it.
Get On Your Bike & Eco-Drive Day 2010
31 July 2010
Tweedgreen launched its sustainable transport campaign at “Get On Your Bike and Eco-Drive Day” on Saturday 31st July 2010, at Burgh Hall, Peebles.
TWEEDGREEN BIKE DAY AT THE BURGH HALL
Tweedgreen rickshaws on Peebles High Street, free bike servicing, bike exchange and the chance to try out the Eco Driving machine were just a few of the attractions at Tweedgreen’s Get-On-Your-Bike and Eco-Driving day in the Burgh Hall last Saturday. (31st July)
Many people took advantage of a free ride home in one of the Tweedgreen liveried rickshaws, over twenty lucky riders had their push-bikes checked over and sorted by our two professional Bike Doctors, from B-spokes and Glentress Bikes, completely free. Unwanted and outgrown bikes were donated to the Bike-a-Brac stall and were quickly snapped up by happy new owners, who also took advantage of the free bike checks.
There was much hilarity as folk tried their hand at “Eco-driving” on the Energy Saving Trust’s driving simulator, the somewhat vague steering making careful ecologically sound driving quite testing. The read-out later was useful as it showed the ideal gearing for optimum fuel consumption. There were also displays with detailed information on the relative costs of travel in cars, buses and bicycles. This ranged from 30 pence a mile for cyclists to £2.40 per mile for private car users when depreciation, servicing, repairs, helmets etc are taken into consideration.
Amongst all the good fortune was also a serious message about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint in Tweeddale. Tweedgreen are working towards local sustainability in all areas and that includes getting more of you out of your cars and on to your bikes. We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful part of the country with relatively low pollution and Tweedgreen have a series of competitions coming up to encourage you to dust off your cycle helmets and help to keep Tweeddale green! There will be Bums-on-Bikes competitions aimed at school students and Bike-to-Work aimed at businesses in Tweeddale running into the Autumn. The prizes will include new bikes and bike related goodies for the successful schools and businesses.