Shared County Calendar

A number of the blogs this week are alerts to add some fantastic events to your diaries. A whole raft of inspiring events are being planned at Applewood Permaculture Centre, and here (below) we have early notification about Hereford’s fabulous Seed Swap.

As you will see if you glance at the HGN website home page all of these dates are also on our Calendar – meaning that anyone planning an event can easily see what else is happening around the county on the date they have chosen.

If you already use gmail or Google Calendar you can easily share your own dates with others around Herefordshire. Simply send an invitation to your Calendar. I can then duplicate your events onto the HGN Calendar – and hey presto! there they are for everyone on the network to see.

If you’d like me to talk you through this please let me know. And huge thanks to Chris Evans at Applewood Permaculture Centre for helping me trial this – and demonstrating how easily it works!


so … back to that Seed Swap:

Saturday 3rd February 2018: Hereford Seed Swap

From beginners to seasoned gardeners please come along and swap seeds, plants and tips. Don’t worry if you have nothing to swap, you can still join in and take home some seeds or plants. Cash contributions gratefully received!

There is no entry charge and there will be stalls, a talk, tool sharpening and the regular Courtyard food and drink. With Tools for Self Reliance and a free talk at 11.30am from Chris Collins – Chris is Garden Organic’s Head of Organic Horticulture and is a former Blue Peter gardener, Chelsea medal winner and lifelong promoter of organic growing.

For more information about the seed swap day contact Suzanne Noble on 01531 671004 or visit

World Population – 7.5 billion & rising…

a photo of hiking boots


Join a presentation & discussion upstairs at De Koffie Pot next Wednesday evening.

World population is now 7.5 billion, and projected to rise to 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion by 2050 up to 11.2 billion in 2100!

What are the implications? What are your views? What can be done? Come and hear some details and statistics then listen to and/or join in the ensuing discussion


Wednesday 25th October, 7.30 – 9.30pm … and discussions may continue, DKP closes at 11pm!

Come early – drinks & food available at the bar downstairs.


This is a DKP hosted Discussion Evening, and one of the regular Politics, Ethics & Environment nights held on Wednesdays at DKP.


Build Your Own… Wind Turbine?

community energy image

Build a wind turbine in one day! Get hands-on with a unique wind turbine making experience …. are looking for people who would be interested to join them for a workshop one Saturday in November or early December. The workshop will take place in Worcestershire, and there are just 2 places still available.

V3Power will bring all the tools, materials and expertise. You will leave with practical skills, an understanding of how and why wind turbines work, and a huge sense of achievement. The practical tasks are achievable regardless of skill and experience. The number and range of tasks means everyone stays interested and engaged throughout the day. have spent a decade teaching people how to build their own wind turbine using the reliable Hugh Pigott design and common workshop tools. The Hugh Pigott turbine has been built to power homes worldwide including: India, South America and Scotland. V3Power have developed a new low cost wind turbine to teach the science and engineering behind wind turbines.

This turbine can be built in one day by just ten people for just £70 per person tuition.


What Happens?
Together, your group and the instructor will build a wind turbine to generate electricity using simple materials and a range of hand tools.

All participants carve a wooden turbine blade, wind a copper coil, and
manipulate powerful magnets:

  • Blades; each person hand carves a wooden wind turbine blade with an
    aerofoil shape based on an introduction to fluid dynamics and blade
  • Mounting; each person cuts, shapes & drills a piece of metal to
    assemble as a complete mounting, and the group assembles roller taper
  • Electrical generator; after an introduction to electromagnetism each
    person winds a copper coil, prepares its output wires with solder and
    the group works together to connect them all up into a three-phase
    stator. Each person secures powerful magnets into a rotor to make up
    the other part of the generator.
  • Electrical system; the group learns about the different components
    that make up a safe wind turbine electrical system while wiring them
    all together to make a battery charging circuit.
  • Assembly; the group bolt together all the component parts to complete
    the turbine and learns about the importance of mechanical overspeed
    protection, blade balancing & maintenance.
  • Testing; the group connects the turbine to their electrical system,
    watch it spin and charge some devices!

Please note: although you are welcome to keep and reuse the blades that you make on the day, due to the cost of the other provided components the instructor needs to reclaim the rest of the turbine at the end of the day.

However, during the day you will learn about building and erecting wind turbines, so you will be left with a set of working turbine blades, and all the theory to get you kick started on making your own wind turbine.

For more information or to book a place contact Duncan Bell with an expression of interest:

Permaculture at Applewood

Applewood is a 20 acre smallholding in the beautiful hills of North Herefordshire. The owners, Designed Visions partners Chris Evans and Looby Macnamara, are developing a low-impact permaculture demonstration and training centre.

With permaculture, you need to see it to believe it, and then need to be able to learn it, and then acquire the resources (seeds, plants, books, friends and networks) to do it! The site at Applewood includes woods, pasture, a lake, kitchen garden and an orchard of heritage apples. These diverse habitats make for an incredible wildlife and people sanctuary…  a converted barn & outbuildings provide indoor accommodation for courses, and the grounds a peaceful campsite.

And for those who are especially interested, Applewood Permaculture Centre offers an extra emphasis on social permaculture.

Follow the links below for details of 2018 courses: 

Introduction to Permaculture course
Weekend Permaculture Design Course
Observation & Mapping course
Fruit Tree Grafting and Pruning Workshop
Residential Permaculture Design Course
Forest Gardening
Cultural Emergence Design Course

.. and keep an eye on the Designed Visions website & Applewood Facebook page for updates.
Any enquiries or questions to Chris & Looby 01584 831195 or this email

£1000 TravelFund Grants

TravelFund grants are currently still available to Herefordshire businesses and organisations, offering up to £1000 for workplace facilities to support sustainable commuting and business travel.  This includes facilities such as pool bikes, changing facilities, video-conferencing, and home working IT equipment.

The closing date for this year’s funding  is 31 October 2017 – so act soon!

Funding can be offered for up to 100% of the cost of the facilities and installation.

Further details and the application form are available online


If you have any queries, or would like any advice on what sort of facilities would be suitable, please do not hesitate to contact Tina Kilner from Herefordshire Council’s Choose how you move team



Both this scheme and the Cycle Stand scheme are part of the Choose How You Move (Access Fund) project, funded by the Department for Transport, supporting access to work and education in Herefordshire.

FREE Cycle Parking

Herefordshire businesses and not for profit organisations are being offered the chance to receive FREE workplace cycle parking! The scheme is run on behalf of Herefordshire Council by cycling charity Life Cycle UK.

Businesses, community organisations and shops in Herefordshire are eligible to receive up to 4 FREE cycle parking stands – enough to park up to 8 bikes.

The stands will be supplied and delivered for FREE. The stands can even be installed for FREE. It’s that simple.

To apply for your free cycle parking stands, visit:

For more information, contact Life Cycle UK: 0117 353 4580

Keep Herefordshire Warm

Please share this message from the Keep Herefordshire Warm team with anyone who you think might benefit from this help over the coming winter months:


Get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017-2018 under the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme

Thousands of households in Herefordshire may be eligible for a £140 reduction to their electricity bill if they act quickly. For winter 2017-18, some energy suppliers are closing applications soon and householders are being urged to seek advice and apply now if they think they may be eligible.

The discount is available to those on a low income, and in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. As long as your energy supplier on 9 July 2017 was part of the scheme, you may be eligible if you or a member of your household receives employment related benefits, is over 65, or has a disability; if you live with a child under 18; or if you spend a significant portion of your income on energy bills. The criteria varies between energy suppliers, so if you think you may be entitled to the discount, Warmer Homes Stafford are advising you to contact them to check your eligibility.

The discount is also available to those receiving the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit, in which case an application is unnecessary as this ‘core group’ will be contacted in Autumn 2017 by the government.

In recent months, the UK’s ‘Big 6’ energy providers have announced electricity price increases that look set to cost their customers an additional £100 in household energy bills each year. To those who are eligible, the £140 Warm Home Discount can help to negate this increase.

Oliver Rothwell, Project manager for Keep Herefordshire Warm said:

“Those households who have the least to spend on energy bills are likely to feel these price increases the hardest, including households on the lowest incomes or where particular health conditions call for extra heat at home. We are delighted that the Warm Home Discount is returning and is able to benefit some of Herefordshire’s most vulnerable households”.

Keep Herefordshire Warm are urging householders to apply as soon as possible, as some applications are set to close as early as October. Funding is allocated on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis, so those who meet the criteria must act quickly to confirm their receipt of the £140 discount.

“It is vital that applications are made as soon as possible to ensure that Herefordshire residents don’t miss out” said Oliver.

If you think you may be eligible, please contact Keep Herefordshire Warm for free on 0800 677 1432

If an eligible applicant is successful, £140 will automatically be deducted by the provider from their winter 2017-18 energy bill by the end of March 2018. The Warm Home Discount is separate from, and will not affect, any Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments.

Inspiring Cars!

On Sunday morning at De Koffie Pot we were treated to a view of riversimple’s latest model – the Rasa. This very beautiful hydrogen fuel cell car glided in futuristic blue onto De Koffie Pot’s courtyard, where it basked in sunshine for a few hours while riversimple’s CEO Hugo Spowers chatted to us about the radical and inspiring work of his company. The conversation inevitably came round to the need for the global transport industry to shift away from the sale of a ‘product’ (with all the awfulness of its built-in obsolescence…) towards the purchase of mobility, milage and an ongoing process of recycling and renewal.

If you are inspired by this, riversimple are looking for drivers with a regular local mileage to beta test the Rasa. If you would like to grab this opportunity get in touch with them asap:

And if you are inspired to think more generally about alternatives to fossil fuel transport, have a look at this article from the Guardian. Much of this information was covered during our discussions at DKP on Sunday morning led by local EV expert Gordon Coppock.

h.ENERGY! 14 – 15 October 2017

This year h.Energy is brought to you by New Leaf Sustainable Development in partnership with our own Herefordshire Green Network. Massive respect to Gordon Coppock (Kington KLEEN) and Jackie Jones (Pomona Solar) for the hours they have put in organising a fabulous line up of talks and discussions at De Koffie Pot (DKP).

This year’s event is a fusion of ecology and art, music and discussion … with the h.Energy Marketplace, a comprehensive programme of inspiring talks, and the Riversimple hydrogen car at De Koffie Pot, plus art & craft activities and a fun run (Queenswood).

De Koffie Pot also hosts ‘Make, Do & Mend’ for all the family with members of The Big Skill and Etsy, plus ‘Craftivism’ antics for all ages. On Saturday at 10.30 and at 7pm there will be a full performance of the stunning puppet show “The Selfish Giant” from Sealegs Puppet Theatre. This is a real treat – beautiful and uplifting, and suitable for all the family. After the puppet show on Saturday evening Weirdshire Earth Lore is a combination of folk song & tale followed by MASH Cinema and Salt Road VJ & music from Jus’Jay DJ.

Visitors to Queenswood will find a combination of sports and arts fun for all the family. A 5k fun run through the beautiful woodland setting, or a more leisurely contemplative art walk led by local artist Celia Johnson. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust will be providing craft workshops in the woodland and degree students from Hereford Art College have created land art installations.

Around the county you will find films, discussion forums, permaculture explorations and nature sculptures (see postings below for full details)…

Huge thanks as always to h.Energy sponsors & supporters:

Please come & support the mammoth effort that has been put into the creation of this weekend. This year h.Energy has been an entirely voluntary effort….


But what is h.ENERGY?

Whether it’s the energy we use at home or work, our personal energy to be creative, capturing clean, renewable energy, energy to get ourselves moving, the energy to get on track for a sustainable future – h.Energy 2017 has it covered!



Because the next 2 weeks really are all about h.Energy, here is the listing for De Koffie Pot again – so you can make your plans…

h.Energy @ De Koffie Pot: Stalls, talks, films, music, craft & fun for all the family 


In the DKP Courtyard: The h.Energy Market. Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm

including ….

The KLEEN Energy Bikes – come and feel what its like to generate your own electricity, light up bulbs of different types, pump water, and try to fry and egg!

Marches Energy Agency – providing info to help reduce your homes energy costs

Super Nourished – delicious handmade raw chocolate

Growing Local – sales of gorgeous local veg grown by children at the Tillington educational garden

The Woodee –  handcrafted fire pits and artisan tools

Size of Herefordshire – come & join Herefordshire’s battle to save the rainforests

The Nappy Service – information and advice about reusable nappies, continence and menstrual wear.

New Leaf Design – beautiful handmade herbal bodycare.

Electric Cars …? – come and have a look for yourself…

Browse the stalls or join a Foraging Walk led by Tim Kaye (Clan CIC) along the river banks. Setting off from DKP at 12:45pm (on Saturday only).

Also in the Courtyard, New Leaf presents Treasure Trees, a Heritage Lottery Funded interactive touch screen dark tent on the Women’s Land Army.


In Gwynn House: Make Do & Mend. Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm

Join local creative artists, repairers and craft makers just off the DKP Courtyard.

With felting from FfolkyFfelt, textile upcycling & fun with GinnsCreative, “Nozbug” scrap metal workshops with Tinkan Designs, and more to be confirmed soon.


Upstairs at DKP:

h.Energy talks, shows & craftivism


Puppet show: “The Selfish Giant” Saturday only, 10.30am & 7pm

An eerie & beautiful retelling of Oscar Wilde’s tale from the brilliant Sealegs Puppet Theatre. Suitable for ages 4 and upwards.


Craftivism in the Gallery. Saturday & Sunday, 11am onwards

Come and join in with some craftivism creation in the DKP Gallery. Curated by New Leaf & Salt Road. Suitable for all ages.


Upstairs at DKP: The h.Energy Talks, 12 noon – 5pm

Saturday Talks Timetable

The theme for the first part of today is creating a more comfortable home that has impact on the environment

12 noon – Um – but where do I begin? So you want to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient. But how to get started? Jackie Jones

12.15pm – A pioneering passive solar house. Local energy consultant David Olivier introduces his own home

12.45pm – What works? – your chance to quiz a panel of people who have upgraded their own homes about what’s worked for them

1.15pm – B-R-E-A-K

2.15pm – Struggling with a cold house? How to get some help. Sometimes a cold house is not just uncomfortable, but has a huge impact on finances and health. Davina Allen of Marches Energy Agency/Keep Herefordshire Warm is here to help

3pm – Why home solar makes real sense Solar PV feed-in tariffs are not what they were – but nor are costs. Gordon Yole of local installer Solar Kinetics will be answering questions on the pros and cons of solar PV right now. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Renewables and the bigger picture…

3.45pm – Herefordshire’s clean energy strategy Our county is making truly impressive progress on producing clean energy and dramatically cutting use and expenditure. Ben Boswell (Herefordshire Council Energy and Active Travel Manager) explains

4.15pm – How about community energy? How it works, how to get involved  Local community energy groups

4.30pm – We need to talk about K… limate  Enough of Kevin for now, There’s another big subject we need to discuss. Gordon Coppock brings us up to date on climate science, and how effectively we are reducing carbon emissions


Upstairs After Dark at DKP: Wierdshire Earth Lore, Saturday 7pm onwards 

Stories, folklore & film exploring our connections to the land. With music, performance and puppetry from local artists and folklorists.

Opening the evening at 7pm today’s second performance of The Selfish Giant from Sealegs Puppet Theatre.

Followed by music and folk tale with Sproatly Smith, Bill Laws, Libertine Spragg & Mark Stevenson.

And from 10:15pm Mash Cinema and Salt road present Treeline a range of audio visual works including New Leaf commissioned artists from the Art Council. With music from Jus Jay DJ.


The h.Energy Talks, Sunday, 12 noon – 4.30pm

Sunday Talks Timetable             

We need our trains and buses and bikes – but let’s take a look at where we are going with CARS

12 noon – River Simple hydrogen car Hugo Spowers of River Simple explains his thinking on fuelling vehicles with hydrogen – and introduces his revolutionary vehicle. Is it time for us to H2Go?

12.45pm – Confessions of a former petrol head – why electric cars make sense right now  Gordon Coppock

1.15pm – What works? Your chance to quiz a panel of people who drive electric cars or vans locally about how it works for them


Personal, local and global …

2.30pm – Creating a sustainable livelihood and career Dave Prescott explores opportunities to make your passion into your work, and explains his own professional path

3.15pm – How about community energy? How it works, how to get involved  Local community energy groups

3.30pm – The Solar Age: Global Energy Futures Local energy expert Richard Priestley explains the massive global uptake of clean, renewable energy and looks at where we are going next….



Check the other blog posts below to see whats happening at Queenswood & around the county…

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