Guildford ZERO Centre now open

We have to reach Zero

The new ZERO Centre is now open. It’s run by Zero Carbon Guildford with support from Guildford Environmental Forum – in a huge shop at a prime location at the bottom end of the High Street.

The Grand Opening, Saturday 20th November 2021 – the *real* work starts now…

I’ve just installed a display in the Biodiversity area there promoting dragonflies as indicators of climate change and environmental health, encouraging local people to get active recording and appreciating them.

British Dragonfly Society promotion in the Biodiversity area

And there’s plenty more to see. They take hard-to-recyle items – see Terracycle – and have a no-packaging food products shop, a wellness zone, a café, and promotions of all kinds for low-carbon alternatives and energy saving, with interactive displays and people on-hand to advise. The total space is huge and if you have a Guildford-related carbon-saving project of any sort that isn’t featured do talk to the management team.

Visit the ZERO Centre website

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Transition Bounce Forward

What is the context for the next 5 years of Transition? 

Beautifully timed to coincide with week 2 of The Rebellion, the Transition Town Network are hosting amazing series of webinars “Bounce Forward”.

I’ve just been one of 500 participants in the first of 3 webinars this week. Brilliant key speakers; an inspiring experience; highly recommend.

See for all the information on this. Webinars will be recorded and available on the website.

Monday 7th September. 7pm – 8.30pm BST. Free.

Join Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre), Nick Anim (TT Brixton) and Eva Schonveld (Transition Scotland Hub) to explore the challenges and the framing that will shape the next few years of the Transition movement.

How best to be in service to the scale of ambition the climate emergency demands of us, the urgency of demands for racial and social justice, as well as the need to ensure individuals and groups have the emotional and collective resilience for times that will be turbulent, fast-moving, and always surprising? Hear the thoughts of our panel and their conversation, while also bringing your own questions and reflections. 

Chaired by Rob Hopkins of Transition Network. 

Free to attend.

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Transition Bounce forward – What is – What is – What next?

Source: Transition Bounce forward – What is – What is – What next?

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Webinar on Community-Led Housing and how it can provide affordable homes in Farnham

If you are concerned about the HOUSING CRISIS and how it affects your family and friends, then this upcoming webinar may be of interest to you. How can we increase the permanent stock of genuinely affordable homes in Farnham? If interested, please click on link below to register.

The webinar will explore the potential for community-led housing in Farnham. This approach to housing can be very effective in providing affordable homes for local people. Some have also found it to be an effective way to provide suitable homes for downsizing. Community-led housing is inspired and run by the community and is becoming more and more popular. A community-led housing project is now emerging in Farnham.

The webinar will be hosted by the Surrey Community Housing Partnership, a partnership between Surrey Community Action and a number of Surrey Boroughs and Districts including Waverley. Visit our website at

The webinar will explore the opportunities that community-led housing creates for individuals and communities and discuss the process and challenges. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion. We will also hear about the ‘Homes for Farnham’ project which is seeking new members for its steering group.

Time: 10:30am Wednesday 29th July 2020, finishing by 12:00pm.

Location: Online – Register using this link

Do get in touch if you have any questions and feel free to pass on this invitation.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

David Cowan

Community Housing Project Manager

Surrey Community Action, Astolat, Coniers Way, New Inn Lane, Burpham, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7HL

Tel: 01483 566 072 Ext:215 Direct: 01483 447115

Email : Website:

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Community Energy Revolution

Please support the Local Electricity Bill.

The Bill would strengthen local communities’ economic and environmental resilience by enabling new community-scale renewable energy projects to spring up throughout the UK, creating more local jobs and keeping more money circulating within local economies.

Change in the UK’s energy sector is urgently needed. Renewable energy has the potential to be a leading player in the economic recovery post-Covid 19, but it currently accounts for just 11% of the UK’s energy generation. The Bill aims to unlock this potential by empowering community energy companies and co-operatives to sell their electricity directly to local people.

On 10th June the Bill was successfully reintroduced into Parliament; to become law, much more public support is needed. We therefore ask that you help our campaign.

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Surrey’s Housing Crisis – be part of the solution Tickets, Thu 6 Feb 2020 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Don’t just talk about it, be part of the solution to the housing crisis in Surrey.

Find out what you can do to contribute to the growing Community Led Housing Programme and how community led initiatives can have such a positive effect on the design and planning stages.

Keynote Speaker – Richard Bacon MP Richard was the founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, Custom & Community Housebuilding and Placemaking, and in the last Parliament he successfully steered into law his Private Member’s Bill, now called the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, to make it easier for individuals and groups to obtain land to build their own homes

Nicholas Boys Smith, co-chair of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, founding director of Create Streets and commissioner of Historic England. Nicholas is an inspiring and expert speaker who has written extensively on development, planning and the links between design, wellbeing and public support. He’s led ground-breaking research on urban design and community engagement and studied what people want in the built environment finding correlations between built form, social outcomes and valuations.

Paul Milton , Lead campaigner on strategic planning and devolution for the CPRE. He holds an MA in town and country planning, is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI) and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)

Alison Ward, hub manager at Community Led Homes, and associate at Wessex Community Assets. Alison has been a community-led housing advisor since 2010 and has worked with the National Community-Land Trust Network and others to ensure community groups can be sufficiently resourced and supported to deliver housing for their communities. As well as supporting community housing organisations she now oversees the development of advice ‘hubs’ across the country.

Source: Surrey’s Housing Crisis – be part of the solution Tickets, Thu 6 Feb 2020 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

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Powering Parks — Possible

Source: Powering Parks — Possible

This is an interesting project of Possible – the new name of 10:10 Climate Action (set up in 2008). The pilot project is in Hackney. Could it work for parks and open spaces under local authority management in Waverley?

There is a report pdf Powering Parks Unearthing the ground source heat potential from parks and public green spaces across Great Britain. Download from the website.

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Upcoming Event: 12.30 – 14.30 tomorrow Friday 6th December The Studio at URC, South Street, Farnham

Making it happen: Affordable Eco-Homes for Farnham

Fed up with expensive developer-led housing and the lack of any local alternative that meets the housing needs of lower income households? Then this would interest you. 

Eco-Homes for Farnham is a proposed community-led housing (CLH) initiative aiming to provide permanently affordable, zero-carbon homes for local people. Set up by people from the local community, it will be an alternative to developer-led housing and to the short-term affordability of corporate social housing. There are successful models of what can be achieved across the UK as well as support and expertise now available to bring local CLH initiatives through to completion. Typically projects are relatively small scale but diverse and flexible in terms of the kinds of housing built.

Here is a short video about Community Led Housing Affordable housing in Surrey – another way

We’re going to give this a go in Farnham. We believe that there is need for affordable, quality homes to house keyworkers in the area as well as innovative co-housing to meet the down-sizing needs of older people. Different housing needs such as co-operative self-build and self help renovation can also be made affordable through the CLH model that puts the community in control.

In order to make this happen we’ll need to create and incorporate the community group that will ultimately run the show. The very first step, then, is to set up a Steering Group with the objective of deciding how the group will run and govern itself and what legal form to take.  Fortunately we have a good local model in the Haslemere Community Land Trust whose experience we can tap into.

To this end we have organised a meeting on Friday 6th December starting 12.30 in the Studio at the Spire/URC in South St. The meeting is hosted by Transition Town Farnham and will be chaired by David Cowan, Community Housing Manager, Surrey Community Action. It will be an opportunity to introduce and update you on the development of Community Led Housing, as well as deciding what we need to do and setting up the Steering Group.

We’ve had to do this at rather short notice and at a busy time of the year, however please come if you can and if you can’t, but want to be involved/supportive, please respond to this email and we’ll let you know of further meetings going forward.

Further links for you to explore:

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Resilient Adaptation and Climate Action: talks and discussions to explore ideas.

Cohousing and Community Led Housing: presentation and discussion.
2.00pm Tuesday 15th October at The Garden Room, Farnham Museum, West Street. Free Event.

You are invited to join a group of people to talk about starting a cohousing or other community-led housing project in Farnham.

A number of people have expressed interest so we want to see if people can come together and share what they want to achieve with a view to starting a project. I know some are interested in cohousing – -cohousing/

Others are interested in the provision of affordable housing along the lines that the group Homes for Hersham – – is working so if could be that we choose to start more than one project.

David Cowan, the Community Housing Project Manager, from Surrey Community Action will be making the presentation –

Do come, if you can. This discussion will build on previous meeting earlier this year and promotion at the Sustainability Festival in June.

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Transition at Farnham Sustainability Festival

Here are pics of our show at the Festival. David brought Big Foot along to get people interested in Population Matters. In the tent we had boards displaying our two new initiatives: Farnham Climate Emergency and Homes for Farnham. It was a very busy day; this shows one of the few quiet moments so you can see the displays clearly. We also promoted the relaunch of our monthly Green Drinks at The Albion. We now have over 130 signatories to the Petition (we need a 1,000) and sufficient interest in Homes for Farnham to set up a pioneer group.

Tent with Big Foot

David canvassing for Population Matters
David with Big Foot
Homes for Farnham attracted a lot of interest
In the sunshine!

There are pdfs of the board displays on the Farnham Climate Emergency and Homes for Farnham webpages on this site. Each pdf presents a key website link to let you explore further and get better informed.

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