Transition Town Hastings – The story so far

Hastings is well known for its passionate support of the environment, and for addressing the impact of climate change. We realise we are an important part of the solution – lead by example and show others what is possible. Transition Towns are now a global initiative encouraging communities to address the challenges they face by starting locally.

Transition Town Hastings was originally started in 2006, and gathered pace in 2015 when frustrations about an issue no government seemed to be taking seriously came to a head. The Transition Network or Movement offered a productive, all inclusive, a-political approach.

Over the last two and a half years, TTH has run numerous events to raise awareness of the issues. There was an initial Vision Day, on which the public were invited to come along and share their vision for a healthier, more sustainable Hastings. We’ve hosted a number of well attended ‘Pot Luck Dinners’ and shown many inspiring films including ‘Inhabit’ – an introduction to Permaculture which included a Q&A with the director Costa Boutsikaris, and ‘Demain/Tomorrow’ – a story presenting positive solutions to our ecological, economical and social crisis. We have also hosted inspiring guest speakers such as Jeremy Leggett (founder of Solar Aid), Pop-ups at St Leonards Festival, several swap shops and much more.

TTH started a Community Garden at St Leonards Warrior Square Train Station (North Side) which produced its first harvest last year. Feel free to come along to a gardening session (every weekend) to get involved, find out more or pick something for your dinner! There are many exciting plans for this year: the garden will be part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival which runs from 20th May – 4th June and on Sunday 4th June the station community garden will host ‘A Day to Clear Your Head and Clear Your Shed’ from 11-3pm. Donate an old rake or bring something unusual to plant something in. There will be music too.

TTH are also developing a project to tackle polystyrene take-away food packaging and the use of disposable plastic cups given out by local pubs during public holidays and events. We often see these littered on the seafront or on the beach, and when they get into the sea, they cause huge damage to marine life. We’d like to help local businesses come up with a solution.

All TTH projects rely on volunteers. We need a constant flow of people in order to keep these projects moving, so if you want to be a part of something special, either to volunteer on the current projects, fundraise or set up a project of your own please email Equally if you’d like to learn more about any of the above please visit our website or email us at
Find us on Facebook: Transition Town Hastings
Or Twitter: @TTHastingsUK

Our proposal bench at the community garden

Last Sunday, in less than half a day, our team of eager volunteers put together a beautiful garden bench. We created a ‘Proposal Bench’ for the #JaneEyreProject which takes place in St Leonards from Feb 21 to March 7.

We are inviting visitors to the garden to sit, enjoy the space and write a proposal.

So come down to the garden at St Leoanrds Warrior Square (north platform), see what we’ve been creating and write some words.


East Sussex Pension Fund members urged to make their voice heard on fossil fuel investments

The East Sussex Pension Fund – which is administered by the County Council – currently has an estimated £172m invested in fossil fuels. In April, Hastings Borough Council – a member of the Pension Fund – passed a unanimous cross-party motion, calling on East Sussex County Council to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.

Now members of the East Sussex Pension Fund can use the new web tool (available online at to contact the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Richard Stogdon, and urge the Committee to divest the Fund from fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas).

Read more at Fossil Free Hastings.

Co-wheels short-term car hire service launches in Hastings

Two new low emission cars are now available for residents to hire in central Hastings, as part of a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ car club.

Co-wheels logo CMYK PNG-01 copyHastings is the latest car club location to be launched by Co-wheels, the UK’s only independent car club operator, which runs successful car sharing schemes in over 60 locations across the UK. The scheme allows residents to have short term access to vehicles in an affordable and convenient way.

Residents and businesses can join the car club for a one-off fee of £25, which then allows them to quickly book cars online, and unlock them with a smartcard. Keys are kept in the car, and mileage and bookings are tracked with an on-board computer. At the end of the booking time, the car is returned to its bay.

The car club in Hastings has been brought about demand from environmentally-minded residents and community groups who have used car clubs elsewhere, and have campaigned to bring the service to Hastings. The council are not financing the scheme, but have provided two parking bays in Russell Street Car Park, where the cars have permits.

The two Toyota Aygo cars in Hastings can be hired from 30mins up to several days at a time, and are charged at £4.50/hr + 15p mile, which included insurance and fuel. This enables huge savings to be made on the cost of driving compared to car ownership, and studies show that anyone driving less than 6,000 miles per year could save money by switching to using a car club.

Car clubs also help to lower emissions and improve air quality in towns, as well as adding social value by providing access to cars for those unable to afford their own, or who need a second car occasionally.

Richard Falconer, Managing Director at Co-wheels said

“We are delighted to be expanding our service in response to demand from residents in Hastings. The car club will enable a new level of transport flexibility in the town, whilst encouraging people to think differently about car ownership.”

Residents can find out more about the scheme, and claim £10 free driving credit at

Household sustainability talk

It’s quite hard to get your head around which of our actions create the largest CO2 emissions. Also how much do we need to reduce to keep temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels?

Ian Smith’s talk on Household Sustainability at Nico’s Kitchen last Saturday provided some answers. Many thanks to Nico’s Kitchen for hosting.

The talk, which you can download below, encouraged us all to consider our personal contribution to global carbon emissions.

Did you know that travelling on a cruise creates more CO2 than flying in a plane?*

Also, turning your thermostat down by 1°C could save 8-10% on your heating consumption?*

However, we all need to make big changes to our lifestyles to reach the ideal target of 2 tonnes of CO2 a year!

Download Household sustainability presentation file.

*Statistics above and in the presentation come from Carbon Conversations.

We’d really like to hold some Carbon Conversations for local residents. Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.

Energy meeting minutes – Thursday 28 Jan

It was very inspiring meeting and underlines what a broad range of interest and expertise there is in the community.

The minutes are quite detailed – mainly because we covered a wide range of potential local projects that we could promote, preferably with the backing of Amber Rudd (A divestment fund for energy, a school booklet, a Big Switch, a District Heating or Hospital scheme, an Open Homes event…).

more “Energy meeting minutes – Thursday 28 Jan”

Jeremy Leggett talk on The great global energy transition

There was a great turn out on November 26th at the Observer Building to hear Jeremy Leggett talk about the ‘great global energy transition‘.

The donations collected online and on the night raised over £400 for Solar Aid!

Thanks to OST Energy and Energise Sussex Coast for sponsorship, Dublin and Holland for giving the Observer Building for free and doing a great job setting up the event.

You can view or download his presentation here.

Download Jeremy’s book for free.

Waste Meeting Minutes 24/9/15

As many more new people attended we introduced ourselves and what our interests are:

SM- Too much packaging on food! Discussed the over use of plastic bags and so HEN campaign was mentioned. Hastings Environmental Network wants to start a Takeaway Packaging Campaign.  Also, legislation will be passed on Oct 5th to have supermarkets charge for plastic bags. Food compost-where to put it? (Presently keeps it in freezer and a friend takes it away in bulk!) Would like to lobby HBC for food waste collection.

GH- Interested in everything TT/waste. Part of the problem is we’ve been brought up thinking a throw- away society was good, it created jobs etc.

FL- Just moved here as a HBC (Hastings By Choice), used to live in Germany where they had 9 bins outside for various recycling bits! Then lived in Manchester centre where there was no recycling at all…Interested in food waste collection too and in the sense of utilising left over but perfectly good food. Would like to form a partnership with COOP maybe, to use their food waste? (Rose Ratcliffe?)

KD- As an architect, interest in energy waste in buildings. Would be up for giving energy saving advice on old buildings.

David Almer- Interested in solar panels and other forms of renewable energy.

Tom- aerobic digester, small ones cost approx. £5,000, the problem is where to put them? Discussed how Government subsidies for renewables are being cut by about 90%. This will effect people’s investment in it in terms of buying into renewable energy and will impact the industry as many envisage their businesses ‘going under’.

AC- Heard on radio was saying Gov. subsidies too expensive as renewables have been so popular and proving efficient so too many people want the subsidies. (Wasn’t that the point!!).

William- Impressed by the book Waste by Tristram Stuart, William knows him and I thought we should connect him and Chris Coverdale together? Discussed how people are using old cooking oil to re-use and generate energy. Some guy from Rye is selling oil to takeaways, paying them back a bit to take away the used oil and then selling it on again as bio-deisel!!!

KD- talked about how to get oil tanks around Hastings for people to put their used cooking oil in, but it wouldn’t be enough for just residents it would need to be on a larger scale or not viable. And how would you police it? Someone will chuck something else in it. Talked about asking Southern Water to donate as they have problems with people putting oil down the sink-but it has to benefit people’s pockets for them to bother doing it?

Discussed Food compost campaign and talking to HBC
Discussed No Plastic Bags Campaign/helping HEN with theirs?
Discussed using food waste from supermarkets