Transition Marlborough has joined an ambitious national project to save bees.
The group created Bee Roadzz in 2018 with partners including the farmers of Marlborough Downs Space for Nature. And now Bee Roadzz is joining B-Lines, a project by national charity Buglife.
B-lines is a network of joined habitats so pollinating insects, such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies, can move freely around the British countryside.
Marlborough is in a crucial position at a crossroads in the Swindon to Salisbury and Hungerford to Chippenham B-lines insect network.
“Marlborough and our neighbouring villages, towns, farmers and landowners can make a big contribution to the free movement and survival of essential insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies,” said Milly Carmichael, chair of Transition Marlborough.
It has been predicted that as much as 70 percent of insect species could go extinct if they are stuck within ever decreasing fragments of countryside.
A Community Fridge is a large fridge that is open for the whole community to use – pretty much as simple as that. Following strict food hygiene and safety practice, a group of willing volunteers help surplus edible food from local retail and households to be shared, through the fridge, with anyone who’d like to take it. You don’t have to be member, you don’t have to explain to anyone why you’re using it, there is simply a request that you only take what you need and leave the fridge in the condition you found it (or even better).
There are now over 100 Community Fridges around the country, many part of the Hubbub networkwhich we have joined. They are helping to make use of the enormous untapped resource of surplus and underused food supplies. Perhaps surprisingly, most food waste actually happens at household level and a Community Fridge can play a part in reducing that waste too.
The average household throws away £700 worth of food every year.
Most food waste in the UK is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.
What’s happening in Marlborough?
Working in partnership with the Town Council and drawing on the enthusisam of a good team of willing volunteers, there will soon be a Community Fridge open in Marlborough in the community room overlooking Coopers Meadow playpark, in the George Lane Car Park (behind the public loos).
The team will be contacting local food retailers, caterers, cafes and restaurants as well as connecting with local market stall holders, allotmenteers and home growers to redirect perfectly edible food that might otherwise go unused to the shelves of the fridge to be freely shared.
How you can help
While the fridge cannot take cooked food from private households, you can donate fresh, fridge-able food that is in date and edible. Perhaps you’re going away for a break, have bought more than you need or something you don’t like. No need to bin it – bring it to the fridge instead.
There is a small area of grass right next to the community room and ideas are already flowing about planting up a PYO herb garden, running small-group cookery workshops, even setting up a pop-up smoothie bar when the fridge has lots of fresh fruit and veg. Come next apple season, fruit from the trees of the Marlborough Community Orchard can make their way to the fridge too so everyone can benefit from the super-local goodness of fresh, seasonal fruit.
Watch this space for news and get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
Transition Marlborough wanted to help save the bees so they started joining up landscapes to connect pollinators and people.
This is the story of a small, local project to help bees. They are in trouble, along with all flying insects, and we can all do something to help.
There are 25 native species of bumblebee, over 250 species of solitary bee and one species of honeybee in the UK. Many are in decline, but even DEFRA’s 2014 10 year National Pollinator Strategy highlights that we know very little about many of them, so measuring baselines and progress is a real challenge. Last year German research hit the headlines showing a 75% drop in flying insect biomass over just 27 years across 63 nature protection areas. What a wake-up call.
This year Transition Marlborough hosts its 10th Introduction to Permaculture course. The course will be based on the permaculture ethos of sustainable living through people care, earth care and future care. All sessions will be led by an experienced permaculturist and include opportunities to discuss issues, ask questions and share experiences.
The course will take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month between April and September, starting at 10am and lasting approximately 2 hours. The following topics will be covered:
17 April Soil as a Living System (zoom)
15 May Permaculture Ethics and Values (zoom)
19 June Biodiversity and Pest Management (zoom)
17 July Design Principles and the Permaculture Garden (Marlborough)
21 August Sustainable Living (Pewsey)
18 September Transformation of Waste and the Art of Composting (Marlborough)
The first 3 sessions will be by zoom. Along with many others we used this for the first time last year in response to the Covid situation, and after some initial glitches had been ironed out it worked well. We teach in small groups which helps with communications. We hope to hold the last 3 sessions in person but these plans are based on current expectations regarding the easing of Lockdown, and so may change and will depend upon government guidance at the time. Any recommended safety precautions will be observed.
We are offering the course on a sessional basis on a sliding scale of £10-£15 per session with students asked to pay what they can reasonably afford within that scale. If you have any questions or would be interested in joining please contact email@example.com. For more information about permaculture take a look at the Permaculture Association website https://www.permaculture.org.