Transition Town Totnes Taking positive action together in a changing world Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:30:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Local Entrepreneur Workshops to get you ready for May’s 5th Local Entrepreneur Forum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:14:45 +0000 The Local Entrepreneur Workshop is designed to stimulate, inspire, and support enterprising change makers as they develop their business idea and maybe even to help them prepare to pitch at the next fifth annual Local Entrepreneur Forum on May 12th (2-10pm at the Civic Hall).  This workshop is one night a week for four weeks, from March 23 to April 13, 6pm-8pm at the REconomy Centre. It will focus on four themes: Leadership, Innovation, Business Models, and Pitching Your Plan. The course will be productive and fun with interactive discussion, activities and lots of resources.

Cost is £35 for the course with bursaries available. To book, email

Report back from Oxford Real Farming Conference 2016 Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:53:30 +0000 In January, I went to the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC). Now in its sixth year, the conference showcases some of the best sustainable food and farming techniques and on-farm advice from micro scale farming to large scale over hundreds of acres. The conference runs at the same time as the more mainstream Oxford Farming Conference, but the ORFC now attracts more people.

It’s an amazing feeling being surrounded by hundreds of like-minded foodie passionate people; to hear about the successes and barriers for farming and food systems around the country and the continent.

I learned about how food enterprises in other towns are shortening supply chains. In London Growing Communities is a social enterprise based on ‘community led trade, of which their
major revenue streams are from an organic box scheme and farmers market, comprised mainly of
food sourced from within 100 miles. They also run small scale urban horticulture sites for high value
salad crops, an urban growers’ apprenticeship scheme and a patchwork of microsites for graduate
apprentices to grow salads for their box scheme and market. Their core goal is to create an enabling environment for existing organic grower and new farm entrants, through offering living wages and providing a guaranteed local market for their produce, and focussing on sharing learning and innovation.

For those interested in the ‘re-wilding’ debate, George Monbiot and Rebecca Hoskins of Village Farm hotly debated the principle of land-sharing and land-sparing. A land-sparing approach involves large separate areas of agriculture and wilderness, of which George Monbiot is a strong advocate. Land – sharing involves actively encouraging wildlife and wild areas onto farm land - and recognises the key role that on farm diversity can have for supporting ecosystem services. Rebecca, who farms sheep and pigs in East Portlemouth, describes the farm as a diverse ecosystem first and foremost, where the health of the soil, the animals and many species of flora and fauna that depend on each other are of primary concern. Village Farm is the most ecologically appropriate and high welfare sheep farm I have had a privilege of visiting, where animals graze as they would in the wild, and the fields and hedgerows are teeming with life and vitality as the farmers work tirelessly to build diversity above and below the ground.

Finally, I learned about a current arts project called Field of Wheat, where a collective made up of members of the public, the food industry, farming community, artists and researchers are becoming active stakeholders in a conventionally grown field of wheat in Branston Booths, Lincolnshire, England. The collective will be asked to make key decisions about the farming practices in the field, and are supported to share thoughts and ideas with one another. This project is a creative and dynamic approach to re-connecting people to where their food comes from, and is seeding ideas in the Transition Town Totnes food team about how we could translate some of these ideas in Totnes.

Click here for more information about the conference and videos of some of the talks.

Myrtle Cooper, Food Link manager

South Hams’ consultation on Transition Homes is open! Have your say until Mar 2nd Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:30:20 +0000 A mere 7 years from its initial inception as a project idea, the planning application for Transition Homes’ 27 houses at Clay Park, Dartington was submitted to South Hams District Council in December and South Hams’ planning consultation is now open throughout February, until March 2nd. We encourage you to comment on the application online - follow this link - and will have a decision by May 3rd.

Our planning statement has not yet been uploaded by South Hams District Council. It's a long document, but it provides context for our plans and explains how the design process has been informed by our ethos of sustainability and affordability - you can read it here. It contains all the plans & designs, and a wealth of information.

* If you are using a smart phone, the link will not work. Please search South Hams planning via Google, and in their search facility enter '2927/15' under application number.

The main aim of the project is to provide affordable, sustainable housing for local people in housing need. The application includes plans for 19 affordable houses, with 8 market houses which are required to generate income to help pay for the affordable homes.

The plans

Transition Homes site plan, Clay Park

Transition Homes site plan, Clay Park

The key features of the development include:

  • 27 terraced homes: 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom
  • a community building, and plant room for a wood-fuelled boiler
  • highly sustainable development using low-carbon materials and technologies to minimise environmental impact
  • highly energy efficient homes resulting in low energy costs for residents
  • 19 affordable homes for local people in housing need, with 8 market homes
  • high quality construction – not ‘cheap’ housing – using local, natural building materials, and local tradespeople and suppliers
  • not 'just' a housing development: the site includes food growing areas; renewable energy; community orchard and coppice; shared facilities including a village green, community hub, and laundry; training & education opportunities for locals, building a new community
  • improved biodiversity of the site: hedgerow management and new hedges, native tree planting, orchard, wetland areas, wildflower meadow, nesting for birds and bats
  • community led, not-for-profit. Transition Homes CLT is a registered charity, and the project is run by local volunteers.

Artists impression of the view looking west between two terraces

Artists impression of the view looking west between two terraces


What next?

After South Hams' consultation period ends on March 2nd, they will then make a decision by May 3rd. Once planning has been granted, we will start the allocations process - you are able to register your interest in living at Clay Park. Please visit Becoming a resident to find our more.

Clay Park, Dartington

Clay Park, Dartington

Any questions

If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact:

By post: Transition Homes CLT, Staverton room, The Mansion, Fore St, Totnes, TQ9 5RP

By email:

By phone: 01803 867358 (Nicola Lang, project coordinator, or Mary Popham)

Celebratory Pot Luck! Friday 5th Feb Tue, 02 Feb 2016 11:13:47 +0000 Put down your gardening gloves and join us for a pot-luck supper to celebrate all the wonderful food growing projects and people who make them happen in and around Totnes. This is a collaborative affair, organised by TTT and the other wonderful food projects in and around the town. We'll be in the Methodist Church Hall between 6.30-8.30pm. Bring something delicious (local, seasonal ...) to share!

Email myrtle at for more info.

TTT Showcase! Thursday 18th Feb Tue, 02 Feb 2016 11:06:16 +0000 Come and join us to celebrate what we do - and if you're not sure what that is, come and find out! Videos, stories, project stalls and a chance to find out the role of Transition in Totnes, as well as the wider world. Also featuring a book launch for Rob Hopkins' 21 Stories of Transition. Come and be inspired by all the possibilities of our post-COP21 world.

We'll be at the Civic Hall from 7-9pm.


Talk: The Republic of Wellbeing? Life beyond GDP. Feb 4th Mon, 25 Jan 2016 19:03:06 +0000 The Republic of Wellbeing? Life Beyond GDP!

February 4 @ 7:40 pm - 9:30 pm

A participatory talk with Lorenzo Fioramonti and Martin Whitlock

7.45pm, Thursday 4th February 2016
Totnes Methodist Church
Entry by donation

What is real wealth?
What are the conditions for growing wellbeing?
How does Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the most powerful number in the world – make growing wellbeing more difficult?

It is time to move on from GDP, but despite the many alternative measures of progress on offer there is little public engagement or government action on the key impediment to the development of a wellbeing-focused economy - GDP itself! It is even enshrined in the treaties of the EU!

rfkProfessor Lorenzo Fioramonti and Martin Whitlock take us on a journey to 'the Republic of Wellbeing', exploring how the focus on GDP obstructs good economic outcomes, and what we can do about it.

Lorenzo Fioramonti is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Pretoria and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation. The author of Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World's Most Powerful Number, he is a global thought leader in the development of the Wellbeing Economy and the Beyond-GDP movement. He is co-founder of

Martin Whitlock is a writer and campaigner, and co-founder of He is the author of Human Politics : Human Value, a detailed critique of the GDP economy and the political, social and economic harms that it causes.

This event is a co-promotion by the Network of Wellbeing and the Totnes REconomy Project. For more information see or call 01803 849107  or text 07702 633687


January 26th film night – Paris COP-21: what happened? Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:19:18 +0000 Paris COP-21 what happened?

An evening of film shorts, news bulletins and discussion around the Climate Talks that took place in Paris last December.  Totnes based Film maker Emilio Mula and Journalist Chris Bird made a unique record of the extraordinary events that led to an unexpectedly positive outcome.  All welcome

Venue: Dartmouth Inn (upstairs), The Plains Totnes.  (please support the bar by buying a drink as they provide a free venue)

Date: Tuesday January 26th. Doors open 7.30pm, film starts at 8pm.  Finish by 10:00pm.

Entry*: £4 / £3 concs  (£1 youth under 25yrs)

We welcome your film suggestions for this year! Please send in your suggested film ideas to this email address ( by Friday 22nd January.  We will be voting at the next Film Night.

* Entry by Membership (no extra charge) – available on the night. More info. about joining TTT Film Club on the night.

Work That Reconnects – workshop starts January Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:22:44 +0000 Totnes Transition Town's Inner Transition Group is excited to announce a Work that Reconnects Six-Week Workshop on Tuesdays from 19th Jan- 23rd Feb from 7.15 - 9.30pm on Lower South Street in Totnes. Journey with a supportive group through this interactive, deep, and experiential process developed by the root tacher Joanna Macy and guided by experienced facilitator and student of Joannas, Della Duncan. Together we will explore our roles in creating a more life-sustaining society. To book, telephone Elly Crichton Stuart on: 01803 847986 or email This workshop is offered by donation. 

Work that Reconnects Poster-page-001

Happy holidays! Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:59:58 +0000 Whatever you're up to, we hope you get to relax and spend time with your nearest and dearest over Christmas.

The TTT office will be closed until January 4th - see you in 2016!


Skillshare Idea-share social January 22 Tue, 08 Dec 2015 11:02:27 +0000 Come along for a drink and to discuss your ideas on the future of the Skillshares project. All are invited!

What would you like to learn? Would you like to host a session? Do you know someone with an interesting skill to share? Would you be interested in being part of a small team to keep the project ticking along? What about funding? Themes? Engaging kids, or older people? There are endless ideas, let's put them together into an exciting new programme of free Skillshares for 2016.

This is the first of our socials for 2016! Each one is an open forum, an opportunity to share ideas. February's will be on cycling.
More information here.