The Transition movement is a worldwide network of people who are concerned about the future. As fossil fuels are burned up and carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, we are already experiencing unpredictable, and in some cases catastrophic, climate events such as floods, droughts, big freezes, heat waves and storms. We are also seeing shortages of crucial raw materials and the destruction of vulnerable ecosystems.
The challenge is to find ways to live our lives sustainably: ensuring the well-being of future generations; not using up finite resources or creating insurmountable problems; and making our towns and villages better places to live. Each Transition Initiative finds a way of working that is appropriate to the individuals and the community involved.
In Transition Chesterfield we started in February 2008 and began attracting interest by showing inspiring films, hosting discussions, providing opportunities to socialise and creating means to communicate. We soon found that there were lots of people who shared our concerns and who wanted to know more and join in practical local activities.
We wanted to reach as many different people as we could and help them to take manageable practical steps towards living more sustainably. We established an email list which soon grew to hundreds and sent out a newsletter to promote our events. We meet for Green Drinks in a town centre pub where people can get to know us in a relaxed, social environment, and hold regular open meetings for business, talks and discussions.
We have identified people with skills that they are willing to share, and organise low-cost workshops where anyone can learn an array of cooking, gardening, craft and other skills. We hold potato days where gardeners can buy their favourite varieties of seed potatoes and people who have never grown anything can buy a few tubers and discover the delight of growing. We have organised an Abundance project to harvest apples that would otherwise be wasted, and purchased a press to produce apple juice. We facilitate formal and informal produce swaps.
We encourage people to walk, cycle or use buses rather than rely on cars for transport, producing walking guides, providing adult bike safety and maintenance training and working in partnership with others to identify the key walking routes into town. We are currently working on a guide to a circular route from the train station to the Royal Hospital.
We have had stalls at community events, written and produced a piece of street theatre on insulation, and held repair cafés where people could get their broken things mended.
In 2015 we decided that it was time to put our energy into a bigger project as well as continuing with all the established activities. The idea that received most support among our core group was to identify a piece of land and set up a demonstration permaculture plot. This is now a flourishing charity Inspire Community Garden. However its continued existence is threatened by the proposed redevelopment of Ashgate Carpark that will block vehicular access to the garden. Click here for our objection to the planning application (Oct 2018).
We’re a completely voluntary community group, and new members are always welcome!