Hooray for 2011!  Hello to 2012!

Happy New Year to you from the Coordinating Group of North Howe Transition Toun!

Now that the gales have blown the cobwebs from our minds and a return to work distracts us from playing with the children’s toys, we look back on the last year and forward to the next.

2011 was certainly action packed for NHTT-

  • In completing the energy saving CaRB Project, the Energy Group showed they’d really helped many homes keep warm and many households save money
  • NHTT helped build the Letham Park Shelter – which was an inspiring example of what NHTT is able to achieve by working in partnership with other groups and with all ages in our community. The wonderful opening event was a joyous celebration of this.
  • The Food Group established a new community bakery. This is a seed that shows the potential for NHTT to foster new local businesses that create employment and benefit the environment.
  • the Transport Group began the Paths Project, helping connect our communities and promote sustainable transport

All of these projects were developed by members of the community using NHTT as a vehicle to make our place a better place. In this way we achieve much more by working together than any of us can individually. A really important fact that is often overlooked is that we only achieve these things because we also have fun doing them, along the way making new and deeper friendships with our neighbours.

The quality and diversity of the work of NHTT was recognised in October at the prestigious Scottish Green Awards 2011, where we were taken aback to win the award for Best Green Community Initiative. Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland and chair of the judging panel said: “the judges were particularly impressed with the comprehensive approach taken by NHTT to making their area more sustainable. From energy use to transport and food the group have had great ideas and followed them through over the last 2 years. North Howe Transition Toun provide a superb example of how even a small community can get to grips with what climate change and high oil prices will bring.”

So what will 2012 look like? Really that largely depends on you. NHTT is a member-led organisation and we only do things  that local people are bothered or inspired enough to make happen. This is why our focus is always shifting, with and new ideas always coming along.

The fantastic Paths project will complete in the spring and we will oragnise an fun event to mark that – expect an invitation to come on foot or bike on sunny day! If the paths are popular, maybe we could try and do more? Where would you like a new path?

The Doorstep Bakery will grow and may get bigger premises. They are looking for new customers, so do give them a try if you aren’t already receiving your weekly delivery of fresh bread. Contact doorstepbakery@gmail.com

The new Wood Group will take forward the plans for community ownership of Letham Wood – lots of intersting things could flow from that. This is a new group  that would welcome anyone interested in woods in the area.

We are planning to support work with Letham Primary School on some eco landscape projects – again led by a new group of local parents. This builds on the partnerships with the school fostered through a number of projects last year.

Everyone is very welcome to get involved in any of these existing projects to help make them happen by adding you own energy and wisdom. Equally, there are opportunities to develop new ideas if you have a good one and want to make it happen. Come along to the individual groups next meetings – everyone is always welcome. We will be announcing the next meetings for all the groups over the coming weeks, so why not come along and give your bit.

First try the Bakery Group who are meeting on Wednesday 20th January at Collessie Village Hall, for a nibble and a chat. Come and try a range of tasty titbits and find out what’s going on.

The core group of directors is also developing, as old members move on and new ones come in. We are always looking for people who can contribute by helping with admin, or things like running the apple press or just posting newsletters through letterboxes- so if you have a bit of spare time and what to contribute, do let us know. It’d be especially great to have someone from Collessie or Giffordtown!

Well that’s how it looks from the Chair at the start of the New Year. Another year of friends and fun to look forward to.

Best wishes, Tom

Chair, NHTT