Monthly Archives: September 2014

Transition Redhill – September Update

Transition Cafe FishguardTransition Cafe Culture

Could we have one of these in Redhill?

The Transition Cafe in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire is part of Transition Bro Gwaun’s surplus food project. Since it opened they estimate they have saved around 100 kilos of food per week from going to landfill. The cafe sells affordable and healthy meals and also provides some local employment (the employment opportunities are presently a bit limited, but the project is still exploring ways to achieve its long term aim of becoming a viable social enterprise).

A couple of us recently visited the Transition Cafe while on holiday, and have posted a report of our visit here.

Fresh fruit and vegGrowing Redhill Autumn events

  • Monthly watering and tidying the Merstham Station planters. Bring gardening gloves if possible.
  • Warwick School food growing project. More details when the autumn term starts.
  • 5 – 20 September Memorial Park Redhill sensory garden planting. We are likely to design and plant one of the large planters.
  • Saturday 11 October. Memorial Park Redhill Community Day. We will provide a stall.
  • Saturday 25 October Free Fruit Day stall on Reigate High Street from 10.00-15.00 (see below).

If you are interested in getting involved with any of these events, please or call Debbie Fox on 07717 678968.

Free Fruit Day 2013Free Fruit Day – 25 October

Once again this year, members of Transition Redhill and Growing Redhill will be organising Free Fruit Day on Reigate High Street. This year it is happening on Saturday 25 October. We will be re-distributing local fruit, with a take home message to “grow your own”.

To make it happen, we need volunteers to help with picking fruit, collecting fruit donations, putting up posters and manning the stall. Please see the event page on our website for more information, and get in touch if you think you can help out.

Raw milk and other dairy products

We recently received this inquiry about raw dairy products via our food group’s website:

“I’m in the area and I do my best to get raw milk/cream/cheese for my family, though as you are most likely aware, few places sell it. Plaw Hatch Farm – about 40 minutes drive from Reigate has a great range of products and I sometimes drive out there to pick things up. However, its a fair drive to get things just for myself, and I find myself going less often than I would like/need to because of this. Do you think there’s any possibility of anyone else in your group having an interest in getting raw milk/milk products and if so, any possibility of setting up an arrangement whereby people take it in turns to go and purchase for a few people at a time? The farm do not deliver to the Redhill/Reigate area.”

If you are interested in getting involved in a group to purchase raw dairy products, please get in touch – – and we will pass on your details.

Waste Plan Residents Survey

The Surrey Waste Partnership (made up of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils in the county) is revising its plan for waste management, and has published a short survey for residents, soliciting views on how best to reduce, reuse and recycle more of Surrey’s waste.

You can access the survey here (the deadline for completion is 12 October).

Join the global day of action on September 21stPeople’s Climate March – 21st September

The global People’s Climate March is fast approaching. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have already signed up to make it the biggest climate mobilisation in history. If you haven’t signed yet, you can do so here.

Protect the Green Belt

From our friends in Transition Dorking…

Sunday 12 October
“Protect the Green Belt” walk, starts at Pippbrook Council offices, 10:00am.
Come along if you would like to see and learn more about some of Green belt sites proposed to be developed to meet the government’s housing targets. The tour includes talks on the history and wildlife of the sites, and a performance of Linden Lea by the fields which inspired local composer Vaughan Williams. Meet at the Pippbrook Council offices for a 10 mile walk, or come for one section only. This event is organized by Mole Valley Green Party but open to all.  Visit for the schedule.

GuitarAcoustic Music Sessions at The Garland

A quick reminder about the monthly acoustic music session that takes place at the Garland on the second Saturday of every month from 3pm-6pm. The event is a very informal session involving musicians of all standards. It combines a jamming group and a songwriting group, and new members are more than welcome.

Details from Sue Fenton on 07931 541369 or, or find the Reigate and Redhill Songwriters Club on Facebook.

When: Saturday, 13 September 2014 @ 3:00pm – 6:00 pm
Where: The Garland, 5 Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 6PP (Map)

3 pintsTransition Drinks

Our monthly Transition Drinks. All welcome.

We will be in the main bar at the Garland. Come along for a chat and see what we have been doing and what we have planned. We are always keen to hear new ideas, and if you have a project you think we could help with, please come and tell us about it.

We’ll be there from 8, probably until about 9.30 or so, so drop in any time in between.

When: Tuesday, 16 September 2014 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: The Garland, 5 Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 6PP (Map)

Waste not, Want not, Way out west

We are just back from our summer holiday in west Wales, where we discovered the lovely Transition Cafe in Fishguard.

Transition Cafe FishguardThe cafe, which was opened by Transition Bro Gwaun in June 2013, collects surplus food from local shops and businesses – within a 4 mile radius to minimise the food miles – and turns as much as possible into affordable and healthy meals for sale. The menu changes daily – while we were there it included quiches and pasta bakes. All main courses are served with a large portion of salad, and the average price was around £3.

The cafe is run by 30+ volunteers with the support of 2 part-time paid staff (and has achieved the highest hygiene rating going from local Environmental Health inspectors).

Surplus food can’t cover all the cafe’s requirements, and it does have to buy in things like butter, cream, coffee, tea, flour, sugar, rice, pasta, and cleaning and hygiene products. But they estimate that they save 100 kilos of food from landfill every week – half of this is cooked and sold in the cafe, while the other half goes for composting or to a bio-digester (with some used for animal feed, where appropriate).

The project is still exploring ways to achieve its long term aim of becoming a viable social enterprise, able to provide secure employment to local people. At present the cafe is only making sufficient money to employ one young person two days a week and cleaners once a week. Start-up costs and renovation of the premises were achieved through the generosity and hard work of many local businesses and volunteers, and grants from several organisations, including Environment Wales. The cafe building is owned by the local Co-op supermarket, and is provided rent-free.

Blackboards outside Transition Cafe FishguardMore than just a cafe though, the premises act as a community resource, holding Food Safety training courses, as well as musical and other events. It is also well stocked with leaflets and books on waste reduction and sustainable living and information about other local events and organisations.

What about Redhill?

So…could we do something like this in Redhill? The following quote from the Transition Bro Gwaun website highlights why people might want to get involved:

“The project has been particularly successful in attracting volunteers from a much wider cross section of the community than have previously engaged with Transition Bro Gwaun activities.
“In addition to traditional Transitioners, it has attracted people who just can’t abide food waste, people who want to see low cost healthy meals available in the area, people concerned about poverty, people who want to see empty shops put to good use, people who want new and different initiatives to energise and regenerate the town, organisations who want more work experience opportunities for local young people, and finally, but most importantly, creative cooks who just love the challenge of having to make a meal out of whatever odd assortment of food comes through the door.”

Obviously this isn’t something we could set up overnight, and it will need quite a few volunteers to get it going, but if you think it sounds interesting, please get in touch – leave a comment on this post, send us an email ( or pop in to one of our meetings in The Garland on Brighton Road (3rd Tuesday of every month – as of writing this article the next one is on 16 September, but see the event list on the right for future meetings).

More information on the Transition Cafe in Fishguard can be found here.