Compost Giveaway on May 10

Hounslow Council is celebrating Compost Awareness Week by giving away free compost on Saturday, 10 May, 2014. Bring a shovel and a maximum of four containers to pick up your compost at Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve, TW4 5RB (access via Frampton Road car park) from 10am to 1pm.

And there’s more. You’ll have the chance to learn about home composting, how to obtain a subsidised home-compost bin and how to make biodegradable newspaper plant pots for your seedlings. Be sure to bring the kids along to meet our mascot, Composting Claire.

Compost helps to improve soil structure, holds moisture in the soil and adds valuable nutrients to the soil – all of which helps your plants to grow.

A Not So Rubbish Trip

Illustration from Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (1851).

London dustman. Illustration from Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor (1851)


When Rosie Oliver says she’s going to take you on a rubbish trip, she means it literally. Rosie, a lawyer, lecturer and presenter specializing in environmental law and policy, created and leads a two-hour walk from Mudchute on the Isle of Dogs to Greenwich on the theme of rubbish and how it has influenced the landscape. Woven into her commentary are stories about the people who collected the rubbish and how the rubbish has been treated and transformed over the centuries.

One example is Mudchute Park, the site of the former mud chute that spurted silt dredged from Millwall Docks into “settling ponds”, a type of landfill for waste mud. Also, the Victorian homes we passed and structures like the railway viaduct were likely built using materials that included rubbish: the dust and ash from people’s fireplaces from burning coal and domestic rubbish, which was collected by dustmen and taken to brick factories in Kent where it was mixed with clay, fired and brought back to London to be used for building.

In the 21st century, the need to reuse, recycle and reduce the rubbish we generate is greater than ever, Rosie says.

The walk includes a visit to the Mudchute city farm, where we saw one of nature’s recyclers in action – a magnificent pig – and we finished on the banks of the Thames at Greenwich, a veritable treasure trove of historical rubbish.

Rosie’s company is called Dotmaker Tours, and she offers the rubbish walk to the public once a month, and at other times to private groups: http://dotmakertours.co.uk/page10.htm.

Film Showing: Gasland 2 on 16th March

Ealing Transition

Sunday 16th March, 7.30pm. Film Showing: Gasland 2 hosted by Ealing Transition

In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film GASLAND, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humour to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now being carried out in 32 countries worldwide including the UK.

GASLAND 2 shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing the planet. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are, in his words, “contaminating our democracy”.

With the UK government solidly behind the development of the fossil fuel shale gas industry, there has never been a more urgent need to make the case for clean, green energy.

Do join us for this important film, which has only just gone on general release in the UK. You can watch the trailer at http://www.gaslandthemovie.com

There will be the usual hot drinks, cakes and discussion afterwards, and an opportunity to talk about the various initiatives we have running including changing your electricity supplier, and energy efficiency measures from DIY secondary glazing to ‘passive house’ retrofit.

As ever the event takes place at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road Ealing W5 5RH. Entry is free but we will ask for donations to help us cover the cost of staging the event.

Green Screen Film Club, Ham

Ham United Group are launching a monthly film screening at Ham Library new community annexe. This will be called Green Screen and will focus on environmental and innovative films.

The free launch is a screening of Plastic Shores on Wednesday 29 January at 7pm, refreshments available (free). This is a thought provoking film on what happens to plastic when thrown away. Continue reading

Eel Pie Island Artists Christmas Open Studios

On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December, 11am-6pm.

Eel Pie Christmas Open Studios offers an opportunity to buy or commission original arts and crafts directly from the artists in the unique surroundings of Eel Pie Island.

Access to the island is via a footbridgge from The Embankment, Twickenham. Follow the arrows. the studios are situated in a working boatyard so children must be supervised at all times.

Eel Pie Island Boatyard
Eel Pie Island

Twickenham TW1 3DY

For more information please call 07932 453990 or visit EelPieIslandArtists.co.uk

Buy crafts, try crafts!

Saturday 30 November, 10.30am – 4pm

Craft Fair at Montague Public Hall, Montague Road, Hounslow TW3 1LD

Buy crafts, try crafts!

Items for sale by local crafters and workshop/activity sessions for all ages

Free entry. All welcome. Refreshments available.

Organised by Disability Network Hounslow members and volunteers

Supported by funding from LBHounslow Community Partnerships Unit

For more information contact Virginia on 020 8847 0016 or virginia@disabilitynetworkhounslow.org

Discover the Sounds of Brentford

Local musician and BRAG member Doug Benford has created a sound installation, with sculptor Rob Olins, that is currently up in the Riverside Gallery at the Watermans Art Centre until 23rd November.

The work comprises a series of acoustic mirrors and speakers created by Rob that are arranged in such a way as to create a soundscape through which the audience can navigate. The sound is focused all around you when you stand in the right spot.

This show features purely sounds from Brentford and environs which Doug has been gathering over the years: from sparrows (rather rare now!) and other birds, the musical and steam museums, the market, the sounds under/from umpteen bridges, planes, lawn mowers, the various trains including steam trains, fireworks, bats, church bells, the football stadium, footsteps in the snow, parks, building works, to other river/canal sounds.

Dough said “it’s a nice ‘snapshot’ of Brentford today, with many of its hidden quirks, I think”.

Previously Rob and Doug have had similar shows – again using sounds from specific areas – in Swansea (featured on BBC Radio Wales), Clacton-On-Sea, Stroud and Chelmsford, as well as smaller installation in South Kensington and Shoreditch.

The artists will both be there for a ‘special viewing / listening’ on Wednesday 13th Nov, from 6.30-8.30pm; do come down then if you like, for a drink in the next door bar, or visit anytime.

Invitation to AGM

You are invited to the fourteenth Brentford Recycling Action Group Annual General Meeting. It will be held on Tuesday, 19th November 2013, at 7.00pm at the Docking Station, 108 High Street, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 8AT.

As you probably know, BRAG (Brentford Recycling Action Group) is a voluntary, non-political community waste action group made up of Brentford residents. We work to raise awareness of waste issues and to promote activities and facilities to improve the local environment for the benefit of local people. Continue reading

Watch “Mother” at the Docking Station

Population Matters and Ealing Friends of the Earth invite you to a showing of Mother, an eye-opening documentary about population growth on Saturday 26 October, from 7pm at the Docking Station.

Mother

Mother is a groundbreaking and award-winning film that reveals the compelling challenges we face in a world of 7 billion. It tells the story of Beth, an American mother and child’s right activist, and her journey to make sense of how and why the empowerment of women and girls around the world is so intricately linked to our fate on this fragile planet. Mother features world-renowned experts to help explain one of the most persistent controversies in our culture that touches gender equity, religion, reproductive health and the environment. It is a film of hope and shows the strength of the human spirit to make a better world.

After the film there will be a panel-led discussion of the issues. Entry free (donations welcome). Pay bar.