A Mighty Oak or a commuter bus route!‏ Latest from Stapleton Allotments, Bristol

“When the last tree has been felled and the last crumb of soil has been
paved over will we realise that we need local food and wildlife habitat
more than commuter bus routes?”

Rising Up Press release. Sat 14th March. 9.30 am

A Mighty Oak or a Commuter Bus route!

The “rescue” of protestors from the mighty oaks who have been
protecting these trees for 43 days is sadly in process. We are hoping
that the rough assault tactics witnessed yesterday will not be repeated.
The row of poplars ares still full of tired, cold yet high-spirited
protesters. The operation may take some time with one determined
“squirrel” currently suspended in mid-air between the oaks and the
poplars, dangling in a hammock!

These defiant acts are a sign of strength of conviction and resolve of
the individuals in Rising Up that this destruction is wholly wrong on
every level. The Council’s attempt to justify this for a “green
transport” benefit is totally pathetic. The destruction of the planet
in the name of “progress” has dire consequences – as we see in the state
of our planet today. Truly sustainable development must integrate
environmental, social and economic aspects ensuring one does not
sacrifice one for another.

The MetroBus scheme — with only 3 bus routes with low predicted
passenger figures, mostly existing bus users, could still go ahead
WITHOUT THE BUS ONLY JUNCTION on Stapleton by simply using existing
Junction One, as does the Parkway Park & Ride and other buses. Yet the
Council refuse to contemplate this.

Belinda Faulkes, a Rising Up spokesperson states: With MetroBus, our
democratic systems have failed us and many thousands like us who have
called for a rethink of this junction at every stage. We challenge the
current system of a top-down development strategy at the expense of
local communities and valuable habitats. Whether people are “rescued”
from the trees or not we we still continue Rising up to challenge these
wrong doings in every way we can and we call on all people to join us.

The Rising Up question to Bristol City “Green Capital 2015″ Council
and all of those involved in the mindless act is this:

“When the last tree has been felled and the last crumb of soil has been
paved over will we realise that we need local food and wildlife habitat
more than commuter bus routes?”

SE Essex Potato Day 2015

What a day! Here and now! Thought of the day! Potato Day! Were they all after the “Princess of
Athona”, the Celtic precursor of the later Hispanic introductions? OR is this myth? Like the Duke of
Dengie – a dark watery spud?

We had 40+ varieties to buy by the tuber (nine organic) collected from Julian`s team for East Anglia`s Potato Day on 14 February. Collected by Jane, Vic and Ron with Growing Together`s truck.

Friday 20 February: Prepare the polytunnel – tables, boxes, labels (from Graham O-R) and the potatoes stored in the sales hut with the gazebos from Leigh Town Council, with help from Vic and Mike. Vic later returned with Carole (from the Leigh market) to prepare the orders.

Saturday 21 February: 8.30.am – gazebo put up at the polytunnel entrance to keep the northerly wind
away from Graham at the door collecting monies; Mike, Gill, Carole, Ray (onion sets, garlic, potato
fertiliser), and Vic as early helpers. Growing Together`s café, raffle, tea and cakes in the Cheryl Centre set up and the potatoes in the oven, urns hot.

Then people starting to arrive – 250 for the day – some from London; two women from Kent wanting to do the same for Sevenoaks, so talk of cascading from East Anglia to South Essex to Kent next year?

Singing – Graham Burnett, local writer of Permaculture/vegan growing – entertaining with Clash,
Chumba`s Marley and “Going Organic So Don`t Panic”, then GT`s own Rob, Allen, Dan with Marley,
their own and more.

Really good atmosphere, weather kindly again -buying, chatting, networking, eating, raffling, laughing, singing.

What a good day!

So thanks to all who make such an event happen and people who come and show that it is a needed
event. Many spuds there be!

We shall be selling what’s left at the next Rochford Farmers Market and at Group Night.

More on Growing Together at www.trustlinks.webs.com

Helen Connerton’s Charity Walk: Long way down – John O’Groats to Lands End

SEEOG supporter Helen Connerton is walking from John O’ Groats to Lands End, starting in May and finishing in August.

She has asked if we can circulate her funding page to anyone who would sponsor her.

Helen hopes to walk Hostel to Hostel to keep costs down as she is trying to raise funds for Mental Health Association and Age Concern.

Her web page is http://longwaydown.weebly.com which tells you why she is undertaking such a HUGE task.

Wassailing at St. Laurence Orchard; Eastwood: Sunday 8 February 2015

The first wassailing day to be held in South East Essex for many years was a great success as more than 200 people joined Trust Links, the Southend-based mental health charity, to celebrate their Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant at St Laurence Orchard in Eastwoodbury Lane, Eastwood.

The orchard was thronged with people, joining the procession through the trees led by local storyteller and musician, Kiti Theobald. Toasted bread was placed in the trees to encourage birds into the orchard and traditional songs and exultations to the trees were sung to ensure a good crop in the Autumn. Two new walnuts trees were planted, too.

You can see more photos at this link: