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  • Action Group News
  • Other News

Action Group News


Communications Group

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Activist Group

In June, a small group of us joined the demonstration outside the Assembly Rooms in Chesterfield before the start of the public enquiry on Ineos’s application for a test well with a view to fracking for shale gas at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane, Derbyshire.

The objectors were very hopeful about winning their case and preventing the drilling but the decision came though in August that the exploration has been approved. Yet again local democracy has been bypassed, the health and well-being of the local population ignored and industrial action approved in the green belt, not to mention the perpetuation of exploration for fossil fuels when the fight against climate change requires that we should not burn all those fossil fuel reserves we already know about, never mind those not yet discovered.

Protests will continue.

The government is intent on exploiting shale gas and plans to make exploration for shale gas a permitted development, treating it like the addition of a small porch to the front of your property or putting solar panels on your roof- no planning permission required! If you object to this, take part in the “consultation” on their plans here and / or here  though, if you respond to any of their questions other than the yes/no of whether exploration should be made a permitted development, your answers could be represented as supporting it.


Waste and Recycling Group

The need to reduce our plastic use is something that has been constantly on our minds for many years. This is now in the forefront of many peoples minds and we are planning to have a campaign in Wirksworth against single use plastics in particular. If you want to help with this, contact

Meanwhile, if you want to reduce your own plastic use, both the butchers in town are happy to use your own reusable containers to pack your meat purchases in. I find that the tubs from takeaway meals make great food containers- it’s still plastic but at least you reuse it many times before recycling it.

The film A Plastic Ocean is available on Netflix.

Sue’s Sustainables is an exciting new business in Belper at The Gatehouse, De Bradelei House, Chapel Street open Wednesday to Friday 11 – 2, Saturday 11 – 4 with occasional later evenings and special events. Take your own containers for re-use. Find them on facebook.


Energy & Homes Group

Much of our work has been involved in securing charitable status for the Community Land Trust. It will own assets on behalf of the communities of Wirksworth Town and Middleton Village. These will include low energy affordable homes for rent to those who cannot afford ownership.

We gained charitable status early summer and are formally launching the CLT at Wirksworth Cricket Pavilion on Wednesday 10th October from 7 to 9pm. The evening will be chaired by Tim Ellis Chair of East Midlands Community Land Trust with a presentation from John Lees on Passivhaus standards. Refreshments will be available and there will be an opportunity to join. A £1 fee enables new members to join for life.

Further information from Noel Mayes

Here’s the press release:  Registered Charity No.1178158

LANDOWNERS in Wirksworth and Middleton are being asked to come forward with land suitable for development.  Wirksworth Transition Community Land Trust is seeking land for the potential development of low energy affordable housing for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton.

Interested landowners have until the 31stOctober to register land. Registered sites will then be considered for suitability.

WTCLT chair, Noel Mayes said ”We have set up the CLT so that we can build affordable homes for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton. By doing this we can make sure the homes remain affordable and the land they are built on is held in Trust for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton. WTCLT is now a registered charity. All the trustees live in Wirksworth and are committed to building low energy Passivhaus standard homes.”

To register your land or find out more about the work of the CLT contact us at the address above, or email

or John Mather   East Midlands Community-Led Housing 01522 785288  or come along to Wirksworth Cricket Club at 7pm on Wednesday 10thOctoberfor the CLT launch and a talk on Passivhaus by Jon Lee of the Ecology Building Society.

Transitioners will also be aware that the government are consulting on changes to the Feed in Tariff.  Please make your thoughts known. The following may be helpful.


The Feed-in Tariff [FiT] scheme is scheduled to close to new applications on 31 March 2019. Existing accredited projects will be unaffected. The Government has stated there will be no new public support for renewable energy until 2025 at the earliest (unless cost reductions can be shown to reduce consumer bills). The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) closes to new projects in 2021 and there is no clarity beyond this date. Meanwhile, the UK is obliged to meet legally binding targets by 2020 for renewable energy and is currently well behind targets for heat and transport. Over-achievement in power would help meet the target. The Committee on Climate Change has stated that we have a ‘Policy Gap’ in the UK regarding how to meet our next target for the Carbon Budget. In addition, the electrification of transport will cause a large increase in the requirement for power, which has been estimated by the National Grid to be around 4GW of new power capacity [equivalent to approximately 2 x new nuclear power stations] by 2030 to charge electric vehicles on the road by that time. Therefore, nationally, there will be a continued need for more renewable power generation to meet the energy gap.

Consumers considering installing renewable energy schemes are protected by maintenance of data bases [MID] and accreditation of installers to schemes [such as MCS and RECC], which must not be lost.

Other parts of the UK are actively supporting renewable energy. Scotland has recently introduced an interest-free or heavily subsidised loan programme for small-scale renewable installations. This could be extended to include energy storage devices as this would benefit the system as a whole and the consumer in terms of maximising savings. Locally, Wirksworth is the third poorest fuel poverty area within the three counties of Nottingham, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. On-site renewable energy is an obvious way to reduce energy bills in households facing fuel poverty.

The simplest solution is to continue ‘Export Tariff’ Payments

This provides recognition of the power supplied to the grid, which would otherwise not be compensated for at all. Maximum generation takes place during daylight hours when consumption is also high. The tariff is paid for by the larger electricity supply companies directly, as they sell on the power procured to their retail customer base, at a higher price than they purchase it.

Existing owners of small scale projects will favour this rather than giving the electricity they generate, free, to the big 6 power companies.

Other options include altering the tax system for renewable energy and recognition of the importance of carbon reduction in new build. For example, the carbon reduction benefit delivered from increased self-consumption could be used to in calculations to grade the Energy Performance Certificate. This would encourage new-build developers and building refurbishment contractors to install such measures as a means of achieving the required Certificate. Building regulations should be strengthened to encourage the use of renewable energy on-site at new housing and commercial developments. For example, a target could mandate a percentage of the building’s power consumption be provided by solar PV on new buildings. Similarly, a revival of the Government’s Zero Carbon Buildings programme would be enormously beneficial at no direct cost to Government.

Small-scale renewable energy must be supported in the England. It is widespread across Europe, and not only delivers clean energy, but also jobs and investment as well as transitioning us to a low-carbon, flexible energy system.

The Fit consultation  closed on the 14th September.  Further information from Brian Hebron



Other News


Stoney Wood Volunteer afternoon 13th October 1pm-4pm Meet at the Community Orchard.


The national Transition Network has recently changed its statement of purpose following a review.


The Woodland Trust is offering free trees to schools and communities. To be delivered from March 2019.


Trafford Hall, the home of the National Communities Resource Centre in Chester, is running a series of reasonably priced courses for community volunteers. See the website.


Posted by & filed under Interim news.

On 9th May Transition Wirksworth hosted a public meeting about local bus services with speakers from Trent Barton and from Derbyshire County Council. Here are the notes of the meeting.

Better by Bus Public Meeting Notes

At the end of the meeting the possibility of a car share scheme was introduced and 2 handouts made available. These are here:

wirksworth car share transition town

Car club benefits

Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.


  • Minutes of First Steering Group meeting 16th March
  • Action Group News
  • Dates for Diaries

First Steering Group meeting 16th March 2018 – summary


The newly proposed steering group met on 16th March 2018 and agreed that its primary role was as a co-ordinating group with a named representative from each active group (or a deputy) plus the Treasurer as fixed members plus representatives of those organising public meetings.  It should also be open to other Transition Wirksworth members who wished to attend.   It will be renamed the Co-ordinating Group (CG).  The named representatives will find a deputy if he or she cannot attend.  Its roles will be to:

  1. Ensure that what each group is planning to do is shared with other groups;
  2. Identify gaps and opportunities that groups haven’t yet identified to promote the transition initiative;
  3. Agree a calendar of events some of which will be organised by individual groups and others will be organised by the Communications Group;
  4. Organise the annual gathering;
  5. Network with other groups within the town and with other local or national transition groups.

The meeting also agreed some dates for future meetings/events and the role of the Communications Group.  The full minutes of the meeting: Draft Minutes of the First Co (1)

Action Group News


Waste and Recycling Group

The March Give or Take was postponed due to bad weather and will now take place on Saturday 7th April.  Flier

You can donate any item of good quality and in working condition, apart from CRT TV’s and monitors, between 8.30am and 11am.

You can come just to take items for free, you do not have to give in order to take. Open from 9am to 12.30pm.

We ensure that as many unclaimed items as possible will be taken to charity shops, donated to Derby refugee centre or recycled. Typically, only a bagful goes into non-recyclable waste.

Any monetary donations will support the work of Transition Wirksworth in promoting sustainability.

Activist Group

We have been heartened by the recent refusals of planning permission for test wells for shale gas in Woodsetts and Harthill, both near Rotherham and and by the lack of government approval for fracking at Kirby Misperton, where Third Energy is removing some of their equipment and now has no plans to frack this summer.

A coalition of environmental organisations, community groups and academics has written to the Prime Minister in support of the National Trust in its legal fight against INEOS, who are seeking a court order to force the National Trust to allow seismic tests in Clumber Park. The letter questions the need for fracking in this country and disputes that this technique is environmentally sound in relation to climate change. Some of the Activists have felt moved to add their own letters to the PM.  Read the coalition letter here: Coalition letter

However, the government are also trying to force minerals planning authorities to approve planning applications for shale gas by sneaking in changes in the National Planning Policy Framework, now out for consultation. This is mainly about housing but, tucked away on page 56, paragraph 204, they direct that ” Minerals planning authorities should: a) recognise the benefits of on-shore oil and gas development, including unconventional hydrocarbons, for the security of energy supplies and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy; and put in place policies to facilitate their exploration and extraction;

  1. b) when planning for on-shore oil and gas development, clearly distinguish between, and plan positively for, the three phases of development (exploration, appraisal and production) ”  If you disagree, send your comments to the government before May 10th. See here.

We continue sharing e-petitions, many concerning the reduction in use of disposable plastic items.

To join us, contact


Wirksworth: better by bus An evening exploring the future of transport in the Wirksworth area and surrounds. Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 7.30pm at Wellspring Church Wood Street DE4 4DS. What would encourage you to use the bus more? Do people in Wirksworth want bus services? How do we support Community Transport? Speakers: Vicky Williams, Commercial Manager, Trent Barton Buses & Chris Hegarty, Senior Project Officer, Public Transport Unit, Derbyshire County Council.

Please make this event known and come along. Flier here: Better by Bus flier Topics include what type of bus Trent could be running in future and whether Derbyshire Connect is a better way of serving the villages and linking with Wirksworth and much more.

See the recent Report on the Derbyshire Bus Partnership here   We seem to be more fortunate than most. See February press article  ‘Britain’s bus coverage hits 28-year low’

Other News

  • The Government has issued a consultation document on proposed legislation for a national planning framework that states a presumption for sustainable development but which is very loose. See here and the full policy.
  • See the Transition Network site for latest national and internal news and views.

Dates for Diaries

7th April: Give or Take.10 – 12 at Wellspring Church. See Flier.

22nd April: Earth Day. Transition will be manning a stall at Mount Cook, where many activities are taking place in conjunction with the Stone Centre and the Eco Centre. Our topic will be reducing plastic use. Will anybody who can help, either to prepare the display or to man the stall, please contact

9th May: Wirksworth: better by bus at 7.30pm Wellspring Church (See above under Transport)

12th May: Rotary charity plant sale. Transition Growers are growing lots of herbs and vegetable plants to complement Rotary’s flowering plants so come and buy, grow your own food and support local causes at the same time.

28th May: Carnival with Transition Wirksworth presence.

1st – 3rd June: Belper Goes Green is Transition Belper’s ECO Festival that aims to share simpler, low carbon and environmentally friendly ways of doing things in a relaxed and uplifting way that puts a smile on the face of Belper. They will have 2 solar-powered stages of, mostly, acoustic entertainment, a CAMRA Beer Festival with 40 real ales and ciders, hot and cold food including plenty of delicious veggie/vegan options, toys and activities to keep the little ones happy, crafts and community art projects to get stuck in to, a wellbeing area to relax and find peace, energy and low carbon travel advice, craft and recycling stalls galore, a whole range of community groups, charities and campaigns plus a whole lot more! Further info can be found here.

21st July: Visit to Whistlewood Common. More details and sign up in next newsletter.

  • End of Mar 18 Newsletter.
  • Next newsletter will be mid June 2018.
  • Click here for website Home Page.
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Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.


  • First Steering Group meeting 16th March
  • Action Group News
  • Matlock Food Assembly
  • Dates for Diaries

Change of Dates for your Diary from the last newsletter:

Friday 16th March 6pm to 7.30pm will be the first TW Steering Group Meeting at the Eco Centre, not an open meeting as previously advertised. The main business will be to clarify how the new group will work. See the next item to find out about the changes made at the Open Meeting on 19 January.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.


  • First Open Meeting of 2018 – Friday 19th January – Eco Centre – 6pm social and 7.30pm business meeting.
  • A quiz on Shopping Locally in Wirksworth.
  • A selection of Good News from 2017.
  • Dates for diaries.

Friday Jan 19th: Open Meeting at the Eco Centre, Porter Lane, DE4 4LS

The meeting is in two halves – do come for one or both. At about 6pm, join us for a pleasant social over a light meal. Bring some finger foods and drink if you can, but if you can’t, do still come and we’ll share with you! (Finger foods because the Eco Centre doesn’t have much crockery and cutlery.)

Our business meeting starts at 7.30. Bob Ledbury will be chairing, with minutes taken by Brian Hebron.

[Buses: 6.1 leaves the marketplace at 5.55pm. Get off at the top of Steeple Grange and walk up Porter Lane to the Eco Centre. A later 6.1 leaves at 6.40pm. Get off at the beginning of Middleton Village and walk down Porter Lane to the Eco Centre. For return, last  6.1 of evening leaves Cromford at 9.43pm to Wirksworth via Steeple Grange.]

We will be reviewing the changes we made a year ago, in which we disbanded the core group, began holding an Open Meeting bi-monthly and set up an Events sub group (a former task of the core group) for organising public meetings. Some things have worked well, but some things haven’t, so we need as many people as possible to talk about how best to strengthen our set-up.

The final agenda will be available at the meeting. If you have any items you would like added, please email Bob Ledbury on

Minutes of the last Open Meeting on 15 September: Open meeting 15 Sept

Quiz on Wirksworth Shopping Locally

Use the Leave a Reply at the bottom of the newsletter for your answers.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.

  • Twin town Die’s upcoming conference on everyday sustainability (Die Ecologie au Quotidian) 
  • Highlights of the recent Annual Gathering (& link to minutes)
  • Derbyshire Divestment Campaign
  • Dates for diaries (including our Social on December 14th)

Join us for the Die Ecologie au Quotidian (Die’s annual sustainability conference)

So far, three Wirksworth residents – John Horak, Alastair Clark and Rob Tresidder – have agreed to go to the upcoming annual eco festival in Die, which Alastair told us about briefly at the Annual Gathering in November. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.

This issue includes the Annual Gathering on 15 November, the Parish Rooms funding application, Haarlem Artspace talks, our Energy & Housing Group and the next bi-monthly Open Meeting in January.

Transition Wirksworth Annual Gathering

Come to our Annual Gathering on 15 November at 7pm in Wirksworth Memorial Hall. Bring finger foods to share! Read more »

Posted by & filed under Past newsletters.

This newsletter includes items on the Re-wilding talk, activism against fracking, recycling in Wirksworth, a Transition Network survey, the Transition Regional Network project, setting up a Renewables company in North Derbyshire, and APPLES!

Wolves in Wirksworth?

You may already have seen Moira Knowles’ visionary poster around town, but just to remind you – please come along on Wed. 18th October 7pm to Memorial Hall to find out more about local attempts to preserve and protect other species in our local landscape…and to contribute you own ideas!

We also need;

Meeters and greeters to be there about 6.30 pm; one or two people to bring apple cake and serve cake and soft drinks – elderflower cordial etc – at the break.Please contact Rosemary on or on 07904 783818 if you can help. See you there!

Frack Off!

Read more »