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Thanks to funding from Turning Tides, we are able to offer a FREE Window Box Planting event to brighten up our area!

Come along on Saturday 11th July, 10 am – 12 pm at St Mark’s Centre, Princes Street, Westcliff and plant up a free window box or pot to take home, filled with growing salad, herbs and edible flowers!
Please text Eleanor in 07748 583418 to register your attendance, giving your name, number of people coming and the ages of any children that will be attending.
In association with Milton Community Partnership and Transition Westcliff

Emerge – Easter egg hunt and veg/herb growing

For a larger version click on the poster.

Added by Kamil

Southend YMCA veg patch

more and more people and groups in Southend are understanding the importance and benefits of growing their own veg, one example below and more coming

Organic Vegetable Growing Course

Click the poster to find a bigger version.

Try out  their garden maintenance team and check out the plants they sale.

Sack Growing and keyhole gardens

This free demonstration will include how to construct and maintain both keyhole kitchen gardens and sack gardens showing how easy and sustainable these methods are, and how small spaces can be used effectively.
Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th March 2009 10 am – 5 pm
At: Lindisfarne Florist (near Chalkwell Hall Schools, 935 London Road, Leigh on Sea SS9 3LQ
Tel 01702 471157
Advice, information and kits to make the gardens will be available at the venue. Fur further information please call: 01702 479031
This is organised by Cicely Morris, who is the South Essex Ambassador for Send A Cow, a charity that is successfully solving poverty in Africa by practical gardening methods, upheld by teaching and support. Send A Cow are also in the UK encouraging people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Scrumping – do you know a lonely fruit tree?

Have you seen fruit or nuts lying around in yours, maybe the neighbours garden or in some public space? Apples, pears, plums etc just rotting on the ground while they could be gathered up and made into some delicacies by those who need them? Don’t have time to pick them up or there are just too many in your garden. Get in contact with us. We will gather up the fruit and leave you a fair share to enjoy:)

We don’t know yet what exactly we’ll do with them. Share your ideas. Maybe distribute the bounty among charitable projects or schools and nurseries promoting healthy eating?

Why waste if it can taste? Other succesfull Scrumping projects: London Sheffield Manchester Toronto Powell River Fruit Tree Project Portland Why waste if it can taste?


Add Southend’s fruit trees and food sources

Edible Garden Crawl

Don’t have an allotment but thinking about starting work on your back garden? What to grow and how? Do you want to see local back gardens in bloom full of veg and fruit? We want to!

Join us as we will go around local back gardens and see what is being grown there and how. Get inspired by the variety grown in small spaces with diverse methods maybe even on your own street. Ask questions and learn. If you want to help get in contact, open your garden to us or volunteer to help with the guided tours. Planned for summer. Map mind over here.

First Organic Gardening Seminar

Women’s Environmental Network – film screening, community allotment, plan for 2009

Transition Town Westcliff is supporting local groups and projects leading our locality to a greater resilience. Check here about the community allotment and have a read below.

Christmas is behind us, we’ve welcomed the New Year, and our sights are now set on our WEN programme for the coming year.

We’ve started our Growing Your Own Food project at the Manchester Drive allotments, Leigh on Sea, so the main part of our first meeting for 2009 will be taken up with the showing of a dvd  ‘The Allotment’ which demonstrates the benefits and fun of growing your own organic fruit and veg alongside other members of your local community.  Even if you only have a small veggie patch you will be sure to find lots of useful tips.

We’ll also have a short ideas session starting at 7.30 pm because ….

  • We need to get cracking with planning our Earth Day 2009
  • We hope to have a ‘make your own cosmetics & toiletries’ evening soon
  • Will we be marking ‘Real Nappy Week’ this year?

If you’d like to be involved in planning any of our 2009 WEN events or if you just want to come along to hear about the allotment, to see the dvd (starting soon after 8 pm) and meet up with our local WEN group you will be very welcome.

We meet this coming Thursday, January 15th, at 7. 30 at Fresh Horizons, Ditton Court Road, Westcliff (very close to Westcliff Station) – look forward to seeing you there!

For more info contact Eileen 01268 752264 or Carol 01702 342148

submitted by Kamil

‘Grow Your Own’ film night at Springfield Drive Allotments, 19th June 2008

Transition Town Westcliff celebrated (nearly) the Solstice by showing the wonderful film ‘Grow Your Own’ in the Springfield Drive Allotments canteen on the evening of June 19th. Based on true experiences, this homegrown British comedy drama tells the story of what happens when a group of refugees are given allotment plots as therapy for the traumatic events they have witnessed, and the reaction of the established plot holders. A truly entertaining film, it also carries an underlying message about the mutual support and value of the sort of resilient communities to be found on our allotments. Amazingly however such communities are becoming an endangered species as short sighted councils and developers continue to sell off prime growing land rather than getting serious about responding locally to the threat of global food insecurity, or indeed heeding the current demand for allotments from would-be ‘Good Lifers’ in search a chance to grow fresh organic fruit and vegetables (Springfield Drive currently has a waiting list of some 25 people as I write, and many Londoners I have met speak of 10 to 15 year waiting lists!!)

After the film, which I have to say was very positively received, Kamil facilitated a lively discussion around climate change, peak oil and local food security for Westcliff, and introduced the ‘Post It Note Tool’, whereby participants were given four different- coloured post-it notes. They were asked to write on them accordingly: Pink – One thing I can do Yellow – One thing Westcliff can do, Orange – One thing the Government can do, Green – One other thought.

These were then stuck up on the wall for everybody to read – or would have been if they didn’t keep falling off! Kamil has the notes and has promised to write them up when he returns from his family visit to Poland, but some ideas that stick in my mind include; “setting up a local garden share scheme to link up people who have gardens they can’t or don’t want to look after with people who can’t get allotments but want to grow food” and “More films in the allotment canteen!”


Kamil here: The write up from the Post It Note Tool. People at first said they don’t have ideas, they don’t know what to write, maybe the problems are to complex, maybe we don’t know enough and then they wrote…

One thing I can do : grow own food, compost, organic, invite you to our open day in August – where you can have a stall and talk to the many people who visit the show, start growing my own food and spread the word, buy locally grown produce, grow your own, grow fruit and veg in garden (non GM), I can grow more food, support Transition Town etc. , encourage schools to get children involved in growing veg., I’m doing it www.savepriorypark.org, talk to people, use farm shops,

One thing Westcliff can do: share food surplus, exchange food/skills, people need to come out of denial, support local growers, local production, involve local radio BBC Essex, provide more cycle paths, don’t allow allotment to close, involve local schoolchildren – re-educate, all ‘green groups’ should provide leaflets and local talks to community in Westcliff advising people regarding issues on growing their own food, sharing journeys by car, spread the message via the schools, talks, engagement, buy only local grown produce where possible, get council and housing associations to encourage and support tenants in growing and sharing, replace the urban trees with nut trees, do not buy food not grown in england, more bike only lanes, excess produce to be shared out, protect gardens from planning,

One thing the Government can do: listen, empower local councils to provide more land to enable people without gardens to grow their own, the government will not change – they are the problem, the gov should educate us with more information about how to conserve energy, subsidizing local growers, educational programs, literature etc., all new developments should meet sustainable criteria – not just buildings, not tax fuels made at home eg. diesel substitute made from cooking oil, promote organic, return us to self sufficiency – currently less then 30%, encourage the return to traditional farming, stop the gov building on farm, change attitudes to quality of life, stop building on green land, reward people who cycle, share car journeys, grow their own, incentives will work

One other thought:more meetings like tonight aimed at general public, continue talking to everyone and setting an example, turn over unused/unwanted land to food production – share among local people, thank you, cooking oil to help the fuel situation MORE FILM NIGHTS,

Looks like plenty of ideas to me:)

As this write up shows people of Westcliff can be creative in finding ways to overcome peak oil and climate change. We will look into the above mentioned ideas and they will inspire our work and hopefully we can together grow some projects out of them.