Hastings first community energy investment offer!

Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) have announced the launch of the 1066 community energy offer.

You are invited to join them for the launch event on 13 December 2018, 5:30–7:30pm at East Sussex College, Station Plaza.

This is the first community energy investment offer in Hastings. ESC, in partnership with Brighton Energy Coop, are raising £180,000 through community shares to fund 250 kilowatts of solar panels (roughly 1066 panels as it happens) on East Sussex College. The college will save roughly £4250 per year on its energy bills.

Living in a solar town was something I dreamed of when co-founding Energise Sussex Coast in 2012. And here, hopefully, is the beginning of it.
Richard Watson, ESC director

The offer is open to anyone but they are especially keen to invite as many local residents, local businesses and community organisations as possible to invest in the future of the college and Hastings.

With the transformation of the energy market underway ESC hope that excess power generated during weekends and holiday periods can be sold to local residents in the Ore Valley at affordable prices.

By investing in 1066 community energy you are supporting the transition to low carbon energy and a fairer energy future and will receive a reasonable return on your investment.

Help the LWA Amend the Agricultural Bill

From local, organic food grower Pea Pod Veg‘s Abby Nicol…

“It’s time to amend the agriculture bill. Click on the link below to write to your MP and share the news far and wide. In the face of devastating climate change and widening inequality in society we need a agriculture bill that is progressive and serves everyone and looks to the future. We need to be able to shout about how the solutions exist and not feel embarrassed about calling for agroecology, organic farming, nature based farming, farming jobs, rights for rural workers and more. We need farmers 3 times a day, we must stand up for them and fight for a truly sustainable food system.”

So please take a moment to check out the Land Workers’ Alliance website and have your say before its too late.

AGM 2018 minutes

TTH AGM – Sunday 25 November 2018
White Rock Hotel
Attended: approx. 30 people, including Core Team

Andrea welcomes everyone and explains the structure of organization
Also talks about Healthy Cultures event that he and Sarah attended.

Community Garden
Alison and Chris talk about the garden including events held there and in Warrior Sq (Big Lunch)
Chris explains water problem and funding received from Quakers for water butts

Refill Scheme
Karen presented Refill, within the context of increasing use of SUP plastic bottles, many not being recycled. Refill continues growing in Hastings, with more stations being added all the time

Energy Group – ESC
Richard and Kate updated on recent activities:
meeting in Essen, Germany of community groups from across Europe, shows there is great potential
1066 Local Energy Campaign: old campus of East Sussex College is now a project in which everyone can invest, to install 1066 solar panels. Run by Brighton Energy Coop. Potential for ESC to take back the project if enough local shareholders
Model eco-home
Pier project stalled given the change in ownership
‘Dog poo’ lamp
Opportunity for new volunteers joining
bring new ideas for new projects
FIT ending in April 2019, so still opportunity to install panels on private roofs, or churches, mosques …

Update from Sarah. Inspired by Sustainable St Albans
Micro-festival, culminated in day-event at the Stade
Outlook is to repeat the festival and make it a regular event, with increased involvement of school and other community organisations

Alison asked about Germany
Richard: people invest and don’t ask for a return. People in social housing get no benefit from solar roofs . This is about to change with new legislation – we need to lobby to make sure?
Give and take boxes in Essen, Berlin and Amsterdam
Swap shop aimed at refugees, wanting to find a use for the space to make it financially sustainable

Sherry thanks core group for all their hard work
Sarah thanks all the other volunteers who have been a great help

Q: if one was inspired to become more involved how would we do so, what would we come along to?
Alison: explains our meetings are now private but perhaps we should hold some public ones again
Chris: More film and talk nights, also looking for people who are up for offering time and effort
Karen: Green Drinks is a social event to come along to and introduce yourself and offer help

Andrea explains voting


Andrea announces the re-standing of Sarah as Co Chair, Alison and Andrea as Co Secretarys and Chris as Treasurer.
Sarah nominated Sherry Clarke as Co Chair, firsted by Sarah and Seconded by Julia


Julia Hilton
Julia talks about her Climate Emergency letter which she has drafted representing Hastings Green Party and the people of Hastings to address the threat posed by the recent IPCC report. Julia reads the letter out
Julia asks if anyone knows of
At council meetings any member of the public can ask a question and Julia is encouraging people to email questions.
Encouraging a town wide movement to step up and tackle this issue locally

Sheila – Bee Keepers Association
Explains how people can learn how to keep bees and to get in touch
People can help in other ways if they don’t want to keep bees, planting stuff in your garden to help bees pollinate , and food
Number of websites that have info on which plants to have in your garden
Weve got about 150 members and always welcoming more
Bees for development – help bee keepers in developing country in good practice at keeping bees abd help woth marketing to make it financially viable anf help the environment
Bees get a lot from trees as well as flowers
Q: do you do workshops?
S: Not really but we do courses. Few of us, all volunteers. Training courses every spring. Mantell Farm in Catsfield do course on all sorts
A tray of water with pebbles in (so they don’t drown) will help bees immensely when they’re pollinating
If you let your Ivy flower you’ll have bees all over it
Try and extend your flowering period
Honey bees are the only bees that ‘cluster’ rather than hibernate as a colony
The queens hibernate and some solitary bees
I’ve got leaflets if anyone wants to join

Colin Darbyshire – Surfers Against Sewage
Beach clean representative and
Joined SAS in 2014 because I use the water a lot as a Kite Surfer. Always picking stuff up
My daughter picked up a syringe and put it in her mouth when she was small – made me think about what I could do
Beach cleans regular feature in spring and autmn
93 people at the last one
Community leader since feb – talking with local businesses
9 businesses signed up to get on the road to being Plastic Free
working with community groups including Flag
also with the council and Forshore Trust
Working woth Fishermam now – a lot of rubbish there in old nets etc
Small supervised group doing fishing beach clean
Worked on a small area no bigger than this room and picked up a large mount of rubbish – fly tipping
Plastic Free Schools – phasing out SUPS and educating the next generation on cleaning up our mess
Working with clean up groups in country parks
Looking at acquiring funds from Head Office and FLAG for some signs along seafront
Plastic Free Schools:
Join the Resistance
On the Ground Action
Challenge the Government
Challenging Industry
You are the Resistance
Businesses awarded with recognition for phasing out SUPS with an award and sticker
Hoping to use old fishing nets for projcts by engaging with companies/orgs that make surf/skateboards out of old plastic
Visit Plastic Free Hastings on FB or email me at HYPERLINK “mailto:plasticfreehastings@gmail.com” plasticfreehastings@gmail.com
Q: what about safety of food – platic packaging is protecting food
This is a challenge but it would be about working with businesses to try and source more sustainable packaging
There are problems with that too – many plant-based packaging for example is only biodegradeable in an industrial composter

Sassie Yasamee – Eve Apple Press
Use excess apples to make apple juice so if anyone knows of any apples

Rachel Holtom
We want to roll out community lunches in the daytime – last week was a success. Every 3 months. Share food and share ideas

Doing a PhD in Energy Justice
Sharing Energy
Looking at how to help the energy transition
Want to move the question of energy generation from a concept to a practical step

Daphne Lambert of Green Dining coming in Feb – 30 places at £12.50pp
She knows a great deal about the benefit of a food item on the body but also where it comes from and how exploitative

Chris – Finance
Our account fluctuates from between £1-2K
£1200 funding we received from Tesco’s Bags of Help is set aside for the community Mosaic at the station

Hastings Trust Legacy Archive

As the long-standing, local organisation The Hastings Trust draws to a close it’s now possible to view an online archive of the trust’s work. For over 30 years the trust worked with scores of local partners on hundreds of initiatives to improve the quality of life for people in Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea. The website is a record of that achievement and a resource for those who follow in it’s footsteps. Archive materials featuring 25 years of conservation, environmental improvements and regeneration work includes complete sets of newsletters and annual reviews plus a selection of photos, films, presentations and project documents that are free to download.

Visit the site.

Celebrating sustainable practices at The Big Green Fair

Transition Town Hastings will be exhibiting at the Big Green Fair this Sunday.

We have been working on a new festival launched this month called Sustainability on Sea bringing together local groups and initiatives working to make Hastings and St Leonards a more sustainable place to live. They are tackling important issues like single use plastic, a need for affordable housing and cheaper energy bills, healthy eating habits and growing our own food and using cleaner forms of transport.

The festival closes with The Big Green Fair, an all day event at the Stade in Hastings Old Town which takes place this Sunday, 30 Sept between 11-4. Entry is free.

Expect a variety of stall holders selling eco wares as well as information stalls and activities for families from Source BMX, Bike Lab Hastings, Co-wheels car sharing scheme, Refill Hastings, Plastic Free Hastings, Hastings Furniture Service, Hastings Fermentory, Hastings and Rother Beekeepers Association. Energise Sussex Coast, the organisers of the fair, will have information about how to save energy and money on your energy bills.

Bring along your bicycle to get a free bike check from Bike Lab Hastings. Kids can try out BMX bikes from Source BMX, play solar powered retro arcade games, make pompoms with plastic bags, plant seeds and have a go on bikes that generate electricity. There will be information about ways to make electricity from sunlight, wind, flowing water as well as some unusual ways such as used on Mars, electrostatically, from bent crystals and from lemons (yes, lemons!). The East Hill Sunshine Band and comedian Helen Keen will provide entertainment alongside a solar powered cinema.

Drop by for the programme of talks and demos on composting, plastic recycling, sustainable housing, Alexander Technique, Transition Town movement and permaculture in the garden.

Something for everyone young and old!

Visit the website for more details: http://www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk

Launch of Hastings Refill

Project aims to save people money and reduce plastic pollution

Saturday 22 September, 10am – 4pm, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings: Hastings Green Party and Transition Town Hastings [2] will be launching a new water bottle refill scheme for Hasting next Saturday (22 September) at the Ocean Symposium [3] at St Mary in the Castle.

Over fifty local businesses in Hastings have already signed up to the scheme.

Julia Hilton of Hastings Green party said: ‘The Hastings Refill scheme [4] is part of a nationwide initiative to reduce plastic pollution and save people money by encouraging them to carry and refill a water bottle rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles [5]. Wherever you see one of the blue ‘Free Tap Water Available Here’ stickers on display, you’ll know you’re welcome to ask for a free refill. Or you can download the app from https://www.refill.org.uk, which makes it quick, easy and free to find out where to refill on the go.’

Sarah Macbeth of Transition Town Hastings added: ‘We’ve all heard of the phrase; reduce, reuse, recycle. Often recycle is where the focus lies. But with this scheme, we’re going straight to the heart of the matter: reduce! According to recent research British households are failing to recycle as many as 16m plastic bottles every day – nearly half the total used [6]. By refilling bottles we can help reduce this waste while also taking away the need for recycling, itself a complicated process when it comes to plastics.’

Any café, restaurant or business with easy access to water can sign up to be part of the scheme, either using the online app at https://www.refill.org.uk or by emailing refillhastings@gmail.com.


[1] https://hastings.greenparty.org.uk
[2] http://www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk
[3] The Ocean Symposium will run from 10am – 4.00 pm at St Mary’s in the Castle on Saturday 22 September. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ocean-symposium-2018-and-marine-exhibition-tickets-46801977976
[4] https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-scheme/refill-hastings

[5] https://www.refill.org.uk
[6] ‘British households fail to recycle a ‘staggering’ 16m plastic bottles a day’, Guardian, 15 October 2016,https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/british-households-fail-to-recycle-a-staggering-16m-plastic-bottles-a-day

Sustainability on Sea festival this September!

Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast are jointly coordinating a new festival all about sustainable practices in the local area.

Join us on Sept 21-30 for some inspiring events including nature walks, talks, demos, debates and tips on reducing plastic, a DIY solar workshop and more. We are also proud to promote events by local groups such as Sussex Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, OVESCO, Hastings Furniture Service and Pier to Eternity.

The aim is to promote a sustainable future encouraging positive behaviour change and supporting and promoting those who are playing their role towards this goal.

The festival finale event is a Big Green Fair on the Stade Open Space, Stade hall and Classroom on the Coast. The day will include talks, demos, art workshops, food workshops, bike checks, music, local information stalls and eco products for sale. Not to be missed!

See www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk for more details.

Refill scheme in Hastings

Along with Surfs Against Sewage we’re establishing a Refill scheme in the Hastings area. We’re asking venues, cafes, bars, restaurants etc if they will agree to refill water bottles for free in an aim to reduce the amount of single use plastic being used.

The Refill Scheme is taking the country by storm! Refill recently won Gold at the Global Good Awards for ‘Best Environmental Behaviour Change’. There are now over 1600 Refill stations across the country and that number is set to rise steeply as London joins the movement with the support of Thames Water and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Refill now have a new promotional video which had 150,000 views on Facebook in its first few days.

Refill Hastings now has 23 stations signed up and we will continue to sign up more. We are now receiving support from a newly appointed regional coordinator who is helping us with the formalities and a promotional plan.

We’ve just set up a Refill Hastings Facebook Page  so do give us a like!
Don’t forget to download the Refill App to find all refill stations or to add one yourself! If you want to sign a venue up to the scheme do let us know and we’ll give you a sticker for the window and the necessary info.

Cohousing Talk presentation

On May 11th Julian Howell gave a short talk about cohousing projects and a very clear ‘how to’ to help groups to get started. Julian Howell is a founder member of Sussex Cohousing a Brighton-based community in the making.

After the talk there was a lively discussion about what people were interested in doing locally.  There was an interest in finding ways to live together in a supportive and collaborative way or living with a deeper connection to nature by sharing land. We hope the conversation continues and cohousing projects or land sharing projects can be realised in and around Hastings, a town where good quality affordable housing is hard to find.

Download Julian’s talk here:

About cohousing 2018 – Julian Howell

Sign up to the Hastings Cohousing discussion if you are interested in joining a conversation about cohousing in the Hastings area  – a closed group on Groups.io.

New Economics Foundation have recently published this guide to help groups looking to build community-led, affordable housing development in their area overcome one of their greatest obstacles: acquiring land.


Help keep Hastings Pier in community ownership

Friends of Hastings Pier have been pushed into a corner by an Administration process that is unsuitable for a community-owned asset. They have put forward alternative plans which are exciting and realistic but been told that they won’t take the bid seriously unless we have £1M available. That’s why they’re pushing this crowdfunder. Raising half a million pounds now from individuals and organisations will keep us ‘in the game’ and encourage other funders to invest alongside you to make our Pier a success.

Hastings Pier has been a beacon of community-led regeneration, a pioneer in the world of community shares, and an inspiration to community groups across the country. The hazard faced is not just for Hastings; if the People’s Pier fails perceptions of community ownership will be badly damaged, even though community ownership was never the problem and is definitely part of the solution.

Please help in any way you can – most obviously and most immediately by clicking the link and then spreading the word.