Katie Cycles to School

March 7th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

21st Century Butcher’s Bike

February 27th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

MK1 – Tilt-action cargo trike from Butchers & Bicycles, Copenhagen from Butchers & Bicycles, Copenhagen on Vimeo.

Bike Love

February 20th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

bike ♥ from RICK DARGE on Vimeo.

Sugar and Spice

February 13th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

BikeLand from Alex Seefried on Vimeo.

You could volunteer for thermal imaging!

February 12th, 2015 by J-P No comments »

We’ve run a longstanding project to thermally image people’s homes (this is its third season) and we’d like new volunteers to be a part of the team. Could you help others reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty?

Over winter, usually in November and February, we accept requests to photograph the outsides of people’s houses, looking for heat escape that might indicate something they can improve in their property. By March this year we’ll have visited over 200 houses, and we hope to have given extra in-person advice to around 80 of those householders.

Interested? You’ll need to have several evenings free in November and February, to spend 2+hrs walking around Witney estates with another volunteer. Good photographs are strongly dependent on clear, cold, dry, not-windy weather, so you might need to be on email at fairly short notice when the weather forecasts come out. You’ll be given training in using the camera and advice on how we as a group usually use it.

The more volunteers we have on a roster, the simpler it gets to find enough evenings where at least two are free. So we’d love it if you could contact us, or come along to the feedback meeting on Tuesday 10 March to see what it involves.


February 6th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »


Reminder: our AGM on Wednesday 11 February

February 2nd, 2015 by J-P No comments »

A week on Wednesday, Sustainable Witney has its yearly AGM: and you’re all invited!

We’ll be in a room in St Mary’s Church, off Church Green, from 7.30pm and we’ll be discussing both our successes for 2014 and plans for 2015, and also electing new committee members: more details on the event’s own page. See you there?

Pick Me Up

January 30th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

#OneLessStranger Air BnB – Ander Muntadas from Ander Muntadas on Vimeo.


January 23rd, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

Minions – Training Wheels from Sydney Fernandes on Vimeo.


January 16th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

Béret Baguette 2013 from Benjamin Donadieu on Vimeo.

Getting Back to Normal

January 12th, 2015 by psyklyn No comments »

Moment De Légèreté: Paris from Melissa Bamford on Vimeo.

Dinnertime returns to Witney, this Wednesday

January 11th, 2015 by J-P No comments »

It’s a bit short notice, I know, but: Dinnertime returns to Witney on Wednesday 14 January. This is a fun afternoon of cooking together and free food.

At Tower Hill school volunteers, raw ingredients and utensils will all be available 3.15–6pm. All you have to do is book a free place (see below) so they’ve got an idea of numbers, and come along to roll your sleeves up and get cooking.

For more information and details on how to book, check the event’s own page.

Urgent: Oxfordshire’s CAG network is under threat

January 9th, 2015 by Kate Griffin No comments »

Did you know that Sustainable Witney is part of a network of community action groups (CAGs) in Oxfordshire? The CAG (Community Action Group) project supports local groups and links us together. Thanks to the CAG network, Oxfordshire has one of the most thriving networks of local sustainability groups in the whole of the UK. The CAG project doesn’t have a particularly high profile – they just get on with supporting us behind the scenes. Despite that, the project has received over 50 local and national awards for its work. And now it’s under threat.

Oxfordshire County Council are now proposing to cut the budget of the CAG project, with the long-term aim of removing all funding by 2018. This would mean that small volunteer-run groups like Sustainable Witney would be left with no support network. There would be no formal structure linking us to – and helping us work with – other groups in Oxfordshire. No more fruitful skillshares. No more help with administrative issues like sorting out public liability insurance for running our events.

Please email ask@oxfordshire.gov.uk to object to the proposed cuts.

The cuts are being made for financial reasons – but the numbers don’t add up. The project costs £96,000 a year to run, which sounds like a lot until you realise that this covers:

  • two incredibly hard-working full-time members of staff
  • a support fund for groups like Sustainable Witney to run events and initiatives we couldn’t afford otherwise
  • grants for very hard-up groups
  • insurance for events (which is a very significant cost if you’re a small group)

In addition, calculations show that the work of the CAG project has put around £800,000 of financial benefit into the county’s economy. That’s in addition to helping to create up to ten jobs in Oxfordshire by helping to kick-start projects that didn’t exist before. Cutting the funding might make short-term financial sense, but it’s a crazy idea in the long term.

But the real negative effects are harder to measure. Right now Oxfordshire is seen as a national leader in carbon reduction. That has a lot to do with the sustained, full-time work of the CAG team. Leaving this innovation to small groups working alone (wonderful and committed as we are!) will not achieve the same results. Right now we have a county bursting with exciting, innovative low-carbon and waste-reduction schemes. So many volunteers are putting their energy into running these projects in their spare time. Taking this small but crucial amount of support away sends a very negative message about the kind of place Oxfordshire is, and it won’t encourage any new volunteers.

The consultation about the proposed cuts ends TONIGHT at 11:59pm. Please take five minutes to email ask@oxfordshire.gov.uk and object to the proposed cuts.


Tis the season to get crafty

December 19th, 2014 by Kate Griffin No comments »

cork snowmen on craft tableChristmas is a time for giving…but also for making. That’s why Sustainable Witney had a stall at the Cogges Winter Fayre, where we demonstrated different ways to get crafty at Christmas.

Over 40 children came to our stall over the course of the day to make their own Christmas tree decorations. The snowman option (pictured) was particularly popular. The bodies of the snowmen are actually made from wine corks painted white, so if you want to try this at home you might have to open a bottle! As an alternative, some children wove mini-baskets out of paper.

Another way to get creative at Christmas: not with the actual gifts, but with how you wrap them. Shiny wrapping paper is very difficult to recycle, which means it’s not a very sustainable choice. We were demonstrating the Japanese art of furoshiki, which basically just means wrapping gifts in cloth rather than paper. It’s not as difficult as it sounds but it looks very impressive – and it’s easy to find inexpensive scarves in Witney’s charity shops at the moment. If you’re intrigued by the idea and you missed our demonstration, there are instructions online.  If you find the concept a bit daunting but you want a more sustainable alternative to shiny paper, why not try plain brown wrapping paper from the Post Office? Or even wrapping gifts in newspapers or magazines?

volunteers at the stall holding up scarvesOur busy day also involved giving out paper copies of the Green Travel Map for West Oxfordshire and signing people up to get their houses thermal-imaged. On breaks from the stall, the Sustainable Witney volunteers also found time to browse the rest of the fair and do a little Christmas shopping. Our thanks to Cogges Farm for organising such a well-run Christmas event and giving us the chance to be part of it.

Reminder: Christmas social, tonight!

December 17th, 2014 by Kate Griffin No comments »

Just a reminder that the Sustainable Witney Christmas social is tonight. We’re meeting in a room at St Mary’s Church on Church Green at 7:30pm. Non-members are very welcome; you don’t have to bring anything or commit to anything, just come along to meet us and enjoy some refreshments. If you’re coming, please do let us know so that we can be sure of bringing enough mince pies for everybody!