Archive for the ‘Cogges’ category

ReFashion Event Update

November 18th, 2015

Thank you to those who took part in the successful ReFashion event at Cogges Manor Farm, Witney, on Sunday 1st November, hosted by Charlbury Green Hub, Transition Eynsham Area (TEA), and Sustainable Witney.


The ever popular ‘swishing’ (clothes swapping) event amazingly saved just under half a ton of perfectly good and wearable items of clothing from going into landfill. What a great result!

Suitable leftover items were collected to be distributed to the refugees in Calais. The remaining leftover items were donated to the African Children’s Fund.


There were seven workshops in total, including dressmaking, rag rug making, jewellery making, how to make wreaths from used material and denim clothing, and Christmas decoration kits.


Thank you to everyone who came along to this popular event or volunteered on the day. Your contribution helped save a lot of perfectly good items of clothing from landfill and inspired lots of people to repurpose or revamp their existing and unloved clothing.

Autumn event schedule: Swap Shop, Dinnertime, Cogges Christmas, committee meeting…!

September 21st, 2014

We’ve come back from our summer break with a great schedule of sustainable events for Witney in autumn. We’re not finished yet, but here’s what’s already planned thanks to SW and other CAGs and like-minded organizations:

  • The committee is having its quarterly meeting at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday 15 October. All welcome: you don’t have to volunteer if you come along.
  • There’s an autumn Swap Shop at Cogges on Sunday 26 October. Come along, get rid of your old (working) stuff, and maybe find a bargain.
  • Dinnertime returns to Witney on Sunday 19 October. Click through and have a look at that amazing food they cooked last time; and then let Ellie know you’re coming along via the contact link on that post.
  • We have a stall at Cogges Christmas fair on Sunday 7 December, where we’ll be demonstrating sustainable Christmas decorations!

We’re also planning a sustainable drinks some time in the autumn, an informal social evening where we don’t have to feel like we’re organizing or doing specific tasks. Keep informed of this, and all our events, by registering to subscribe to our news feed.

Swap Shop at Cogges

September 20th, 2014

On Sunday 26 October we’ll be organizing one of our swap shops at Cogges.

Bring unwanted but usable items from around your home; or come along, browse and pick up a bargain: all for free and with no obligation to bring before you take!

Items can be dropped off from 9am; doors are open to browse 10am–12.30pm. We accept books, clothes, electric items (we’ll PAT-test them) and even old bras to send to developing countries. If we can divert it from landfill, it’s suitable for a swap shop!

SW at the Cogges Christmas fair

September 20th, 2014

Sunday 7 December sees the Cogges Christmas fair, and Sustainable Witney will have a table there.

Along with our usual information, leaflets etc. we’ll be hosting sustainable Christmas decorations! More on that closer to the time.

Two for one entry at Cogges for cyclists this Bike Week

June 16th, 2014

To celebrate Bike Week 2014 (happening this week!) the lovely people at Cogges are offering 2-for-1 entry to the museum and gardens for cyclists, all week.

You and a friend should turn up on site using some kind of bicycle or similar, to take advantage of the offer; I’m reliably informed you don’t actually need to wheel it all the way round the museum! There are bike racks just outside the cafe and shop area; more exciting news about them to follow later….

Upcoming events: energy efficiency, cycle users and swap shop

March 31st, 2014

This is just a quick reminder of three Sustainable Witney-related events happening this week:

Something for everyone this week! Kind of. But you should put those in your diary if you haven’t already; and if you want to be kept abreast of local and related meetings and news, you should definitely register for the Sustainable Witney website. In return you’ll email notifications of our posts.

Our April Swap Shop at Cogges is fast approaching

March 13th, 2014

We’re organizing another Swap Shop on Sunday 6 April at Cogges, five minutes’ walk from the town centre, Madley Park and Cogges itself. Doors open at 9am for bringing, and 10am–12.30am for taking away.

What’s a swap shop, you might ask? Well, we’ve run a few before so we’ve got it down to a fine art by now:

  1. you can bring usable items you no longer need (if you like)
  2. you can take other people’s items away (if you like)
  3. but there’s no obligation to bring before you take, or vice versa

Ultimately the goal is to divert as many unwanted goods from landfill as we can, by pairing them up with people who need them and will make use of them. At the end of the day we partner with local charities to ensure as many items as possible are given a new lease of life.

At a rough estimate we’ve diverted around a ton and a half of waste from landfill through our past few swap shops, and they’re also a great way to envisage the things you own, and the very ideas of second-hand and reusing, in a different light. Come along if you’re available!

(Oh, and if you’d like to support the swap shop, here’s a poster you can print off and put up in your workplace or wherever you like!)

Free compost this Fri/Sat for local residents

March 9th, 2014

If you live locally and want free compost, you should get down to Cogges Manor Farm this Friday and Saturday. In return for everyone giving WODC green-bin waste for processing, there’s now compost being delivered free!

Edit: breaking news; the compost will be delivered at 12 noon on Friday!

Each of the two days, a lorry will drop off the compost at the disabled car park for Cogges Farm. If you’re local to Witney, you’re welcome to bring your own sacks and get some free compost, for your garden or allotment. Bring your own sack and take it away.

But do look sharp: when it’s gone, it’s gone!

Thanks to WODC and SW’s Sian Stokes for organizing: if there are more compost drops in the future, we’ll definitely keep you posted, so why not register for updates?

Free compost: available from Cogges Farm for two days only

March 9th, 2014

Free compost, made from green-bin collections, will be delivered by WODC to the disabled car park of Cogges Manor Farm, from 12 noon, on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 March.

Local residents (including allotment holders) are invited to help themselves to a sack of free compost: bring your own containers. First come, first served!

Got into the garden yet?

February 13th, 2014

Between the floods still clustering along the Windrush, and the sleet hanging menacingly in the air, you might not feel ready to begin a season’s gardening. But, trust me: spring is just round the corner. If you’re thinking of growing your own this year or even next, then a few small jobs completed in the next month or two could reap big rewards.

If you’ve got an allotment, you probably already have a list of tasks as long as your arm that you know your have to tackle. There are plenty of non-growing tasks, although the local garden centres (usually so keen to hurry onto the next season) don’t have much in the way of spring supplies in yet: trust me, I’ve tried! But you can also already start planting hardy veg like carrots, and broad beans, and even kick off your leafy greens, tomatoes and herbs indoors: have a look at sites like for more ideas, and don’t forget that past editions of Gardeners Question Time are available in perpetuity!

If you don’t have an allotment, or indeed much existing space to grow your own, you’ve still got time to build a square-metre raised bed from waste wood (the best garden investment I ever made.) And if that doesn’t suit, then Edible Gardens meet every second Monday of each month in the coffee bar of the Methodist Church on the High Street. They’re a local group who aim to help bring grow-your-own to everyone, with a public veg bed project in the town centre alongside the flowers, and plenty off ideas about how you might, say, share growing space with someone, in return for helping out with digging….

Finally, don’t forget that this Saturday is the pre-season volunteer open day at Cogges. Along with 2014’s first volunteer-run “Big Dig” in the Victorian kitchen garden, there’ll also be an opportunity to chat to existing volunteers from all areas of the farm museum. There’s no better way to learn gardener’s lore or essential skills than by actually gardening, alongside other gardeners, and hearing what they have to say. When you do decide to take the leap and grow your own, a stint helping out at Cogges might give you the edge in that first season!

After all, they might say the best gardening is done with pen and paper in the kitchen; but surely the best result is to have managed, all by yourself, to put food on your plate for next to nothing. 2014 could be your year for doing just that.

Introduction to tree pruning workshop at Cogges

July 20th, 2013

On Saturday 31 August, Cogges will be running a workshop for summer fruit-tree pruning. Along with a tour of the fruit trees in Cogges, you’ll be taught techniques for healthy and sustainable management of your fruit trees through pruning.

Starting at 9.30am, it’s a ticketed event: tickets are £10, but the proceeds will go to a new greenhouse for the garden. Bring secateurs, gloves and something for taking notes!

Cogges August Big Dig

July 20th, 2013

On the middle-most Saturday of every month, Cogges plays host to the garden volunteers for their Big Dig, and you can join them!

This August, they’re meeting up on Saturday 17, 9.30am-1pm, to maintain, crop and plant in the organic Victorian garden. Come along wearing clothes suitable for gardening, and help out. No experience necessary: if you want to pick up some skills, and you’re willing to put your back into a bit of digging and weeding too, then you’re more than welcome!

Introduction to herbs workshop at Cogges

July 15th, 2013

On Sunday 4 August there’ll be an introduction to herbs workshop at Cogges, 10am-4pm.

Concentrating on the growing of herbs in the Victorian walled garden, and their uses in the Victorian kitchen (with examples to hand!) the day will cover the basics of growing and using herbs at home, and include both the history of herbs and practical tips for growing herbs at home as well as harvesting and storage.

It’s a ticketed event, so you’ll need to book ahead.

Cogges beer and cider festival

July 15th, 2013

Cogges, the living, breathing Victorian farm and food museum on your doorstep, is having a beer and cider festival on August 2-3.

Along with over 40 locally brewed beers and ciders, there’ll be a pub quiz, barbecue, Aunt Sally and other games, and even live music: Eloise Rees, Roukes Drift, The Lash and much more. £8 advance / £10 on the door; over-18s only; doors open from 6pm each day till 11.30pm. Price of ticket includes a commemorative Cogges tankard and two free half pints!

Also on Saturday 3 August, Witney BUG will have its regular afternoon meeting at Cogges. There’s every good chance that, all business having been conducted, it might segue into the beer and cider festival….

February gardening events: Cogges and Edible Gardens

January 30th, 2013

They say that the best winter gardening is done by a fireside with a big mug of tea, and a pen and paper. While it’s up to each individual gardener to follow that route in their spare time, I propose that the next-best winter gardening is done by chatting and learning new skills with fellow amateur gardeners. And in Witney there are two opportunities to do that very thing in February!

First on the calendar is the local Edible Gardens group, who are meeting on 12 February. This group helps support people who: want to start using some or all of their garden space for food; are looking for spare land or someone to help them grow on the land they already have; or are just interested in sharing tips and advice about growing your own food.

The weekend after that, the farm and manor house at Cogges is opening early for a volunteer open day, on 16 February. On the same day is 2013’s first Big Dig, where volunteers all help out to plan out, and start digging on, the fine Victorian walled garden. If you’re interested in helping out at Cogges, and especially if you’d trade a couple of hours’ hard work for a share of the wisdom of all the other volunteer gardeners, then you should definitely come along.

(And if you still want that warming mug of tea to go with your winter gardening, I dare say both of these events can provide…!)