Our projects and groups are ever-changing, evolving, and in transition depending on the motivation and energy of our members.
All our activities are involved with some aspect of the environment: climate change, and improving resilience to it, and building a sense of community.
As individuals, there is a lot we can do to reduce our contribution to climate change. Here are some of TTB’s members’ activities:
When we renovated our house we installed solar PV panels, solar thermal heating and an air source heat pump. By purchasing our electricity from Good Energy, all the energy we use in our house is now renewably produced.
For me, TTB continues to be a wonderful way to get together with lovely people to take positive action for our community. I’ve made some great friends, set up new projects like the Green Events Team and learned loads that I've been able to take home - I'm growing more of my own food, being more careful with our energy and car use, and generally taking more joy in where we live.
Living lightly on the planet
We’re vegetarians. We mostly travel by train, including when we go to Italy. We buy organic and local. We grow food in our garden which is designed for insects. We buy products and services recommended by the Ethical Consumer. Ecotricity supplies our power and gas. Our house is well insulated and has double glazed windows. We support GM Freeze and Soil Association.
Being part of the TTB group and the Transition movement opened my eyes to the possibility that I didn't need to commute and work for someone else 9-5. I now have my own business and cycle down the road to my office each day, and have a lot more freedom and fulfilment.
As a newer member of TTB it has been great meeting people with shared interests and concerns about our environment. The group has supported my recent “No Idling” campaign to encourage all vehicles to switch off their engines when stationary. Alongside this, we are monitoring the invisible and dangerous air pollutant, Nitrogen Dioxide, across our town. As a group, we get together with other community volunteers to tackle a much more visible pollutant, litter, and organise regular litter picks.
As a founder member of TTB I have had support to develop my life now as a disabled person particularly in wilding my lawn by not cutting it very frequently so that insects, butterflies and birds live there in profusion feeding off wildflowers. The support and friendship of TTB members is invaluable.
Some things we've got going on right now that you can get involved in:
Concerning the Environment
Solar Panels on Ashlyns School: TTB worked with the Schools Energy Co-op to fund a substantial solar panel array on the roof of the new school sports centre. To join, contact: schools-energy-coop.co.uk
Green Events Team: TTB have been supporting our local music festival, BerkoFest, to become a 'greener' event for many years, and set up a new community recycling initiative with them in 2013. This continues to grow with the team supporting a range of music, cultural and other community events, including Berkofest, Ashlyns Festival and Berko BeerFest.
Creative activities for children and families: In 2017 we introduced the new ‘Create Zone’ at Berkofest, where the TTB team continues to run a programme of recycled and natural craft activities for children and families.
Community litter picks: TTB ran its first community litter pick in 2019. With support from Dacorum Borough Council, we provide equipment and materials for individuals and families to help keep local parks and paths clear of rubbish.
Save our Swifts: TTB hosted a joint event with Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust in May 2019 with the aim of raising awareness of the diminishing number of local swifts event. TTB have subsequently supported local initiatives like St Mary’s Primary school in Northchurch who installed four new swift boxes in August 2020. This has both supported swifts as well as help educate children to the amazing lifecycle of the swifts.
Community wildlife areas: TTB has supported Berkhamsted Town Council to create new space for wildlife as part of the local response to the climate and biodiversity crisis. With guidance from the Berkhamsted Gardeners’ Society, TTB volunteers planted 3000 wild garlic, bluebell and winter aconite bulbs in a new community wildlife area at The Moor in Berkhamsted in November 2020. This planting is due to continue. To get involved contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working together and raising awareness
GUTSI: Grand Union Transition Sustainability Initiative, where TTB have formed a working relationship with the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership to assist the councils in the county in their strategic thinking on Carbon, Biodiversity, Water and Transport. To get involved: contact John Bell email@example.com
B-Hive: When the local police station was to be sold, TTB mobilised the town to voice their ideas as to how to best use the town centre, including running a “charrette” where 1000+ residents contributed their ideas to a professionally produced report on the possibilities, which continues to have influence to this day. Read more.
A few of TTB’s Previous Achievements
The Ashlyns Lectures: TTB has hosted a series of well-attended talks with influential people in the field of sustainability, including Fran Boait of Positive Money; Ian Roberts discussing Energy Glut; Polly Higgins on stopping Ecocide.
What on Earth Shall we do about Climate Change: TTB hosted a Question Time style debate with prominent representatives of finance (HSBC), energy (Shell), academia and NGOs (RSPB).
Transition National Roadshow: TTB hosted the national Transition Roadshow 2015, with many events around the town over the day, culminating in a theatre of people discussing Transition with Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Towns movement.
Public film nights: Over the years TTB have hosted large events to sell-out audiences to see films such as ‘The Age of Stupid’ and ‘Demain’.
Fresh Local Accessible and the Dacorum Local Food Initiative: TTB worked with Sunnyside Rural Trust to create an initiative to promote local food, including obtaining funding to employ a local food coordinator for a number of years.
Community orchards: TTB facilitated the planting of two community orchards, one in and one adjacent to the Dellfield allotments. Contact Berkhamsted Town Council re allotments.