Notes from Monday’s meeting

Ten of us met in a full and crowded kitchen on Monday night — a new venue for the group in the north west of Farnham.

We spent the first part of the meeting sampling home-made or locally-produced items brought along to the event, including carrot soup and bread from the host, ginger beer from Chris, luxury chocolate biscuits from Joyce and mead from Alex.

Paul’s ‘Farnham Windfall’ apple juices were traded and most of us sampled a rare old-english delight: ripe Medlar fruit.

For reference, the butter was South Downs brand, available on the Bookham’s stall at Farnham Farmers’ Market. So we more or less realised a long-cherished dream: eating a meal while discussing what matters to us.

Thanks to Taff for chairing the meeting and providing these notes. The chair for next week’s meeting has not been chosen.

Transition Movement: Is It Working?

Alex read out part of an article from Permaculture magazine on how well the Transition Movement is achieving its goals. We each recognised our own group both in the dynamics and challenges described. Alex’s take is that we need more public appearances in the centre of Farnham and fewer private meetings further out. (Possible venues were discussed later.)

Interstitial Spaces Project

Ian summarised the chequered history of his attempts to grow veg in a piece of ground just outside his house. We then discussed various possible sites for ‘greening’, including Folly Hill Estate, the river meadows (currently on the market) and land at Badshot Lea, though several members urged caution due to the high risk of failure if well-meaning schemes are foisted without adequate local support on other areas. One suggestion was to concentrate on a single project.

Ian is keen to finish his document and present it to Waverley and we agreed to help with:

* comments on the document;
* precedents and case studies;
* identification of possible sites;
* maps.

The new annexe to Farnham Museum would be the ideal venue for launching the project.

We discussed the river meadows in some detail and considered how our aims might overlap with those of the newly-formed committee for their preservation, as featured in The Farnham Herald.

Elstead Eco-home visit

We agreed to meet at 14:00 this Sat. 7 Nov. to visit a high-quality eco home in Elstead. Details from Tom.

Slow Food

Rob reported back from a successful Slow Food conference in London. The movement is especially keen on promoting Taste Education in schools.

Alice Holt

A meeting was held on 2 Nov. at Alice Holt concerning the arboretum and the works needed to restore it. Rob suggests that a Community Interest Company is the best vehicle for accessing money not available to local government itself, both for the initial restoration and future management. Contact Rob if interested in this project.

Alice Holt is also being asked to manage former aggregate mining land at Runfold, possibly as a SANGS (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) that would allow Waverley to continue housing developments in the Farnham area, especially close to the heathland SPAs. This needs to be watched.

Ning Group

All present agreed to use the Ning group instead of the Google group. Chris proposed that this should be contingent on both moving existing content (suitably pruned) from Google to Ning and that the Google group, which is featured on the publicity leaflets, be set for some while to redirect to the Ning group instead of being shut down.

Where To Meet

Chris reported that the Maltings upstairs foyer can be used but we need to check and book in advance because it will be shut if there are no other events on that evening.

Alex promoted the youth club ’40degreez’. We have not yet found out about The Barn.

Provisionally, we agreed:

9 Nov: Youth Centre; 2nd choice: The Plough, West St.

16 Nov: The Barn (already booked)

23 Nov: 12 Three Stiles Road


Tom asked for new places, having finished the current ones. A discussion followed on what Loftbusting is, who can do it and what the benefits are. Taff suggested that Adult Ed. could promote a half-day practical course at someone’s house. This project should have a page on the Ning site.


– We were sorry to hear that Mary Hay, influential and inspirational FLFI horticulturist who also helped out magnificently at the film showing a year ago, has recently died after several months’ illness.

– Printing: FCCT may subsidise printing for local groups. Chris/Taff to investigate and apply.

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