2017’s Christmas Gift

In December 2017 some surprising turnarounds took place. The World Bank and other financial institutions announced their withdrawal from fossil fuels. The Daily Mail announced a campaign against plastic waste. Both these issues have been central to Green policy for decades, and they are now being adopted by the financial establishment and the political right. What’s going on?

Read the full article by Dirk Campbell here...


  Dirk Campbell


The Plastic-Free Lewes project

Sick of single-use plastic bags, drinking straws and overpackaging? Depressed by stories of plastic pollution in our seas? Want to do something about it? Join Transition Town Lewes and partners in a new project to cut plastic use across our town.


The Plastic-Free Lewes Project is an initiative by Transition Town Lewes, Depot Cinema, Lewes District Green Party, Lewes Liberal Democrats, Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust and Making Lewes. We want to take forward the ideas that local people most want to get involved in to cut unnecessary plastic use in Lewes and do our bit to tackle this growing global challenge.

Second workshop at the end of January:

Plastic Action Workshops
Linklater Pavilion, FREE, register to attend.
Wednesday 31 January, 7.30pm-9pm
We will be holding a second open space workshop to further explore initiatives to get Lewes using less plastic, whether it’s in the home, eating out or shopping. Come with all your great ideas and suggestions. With your help, we’ll take forward the most popular proposals.

The workshop is free but places are limited, so please let us know if you'd like to attend by emailing enquiries@transitiontownlewes.org

To keep up with all the latest activities, join the Plastic Free Lewes Facebook Group

If you have a business or organisation that would like to partner on this project, we’d love to hear from you. Email enquiries@transitiontownlewes.org

Facts about plastic pollution:

The world is now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
 Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
  A plastic bag has an average ‘working life’ of 15 minutes.
  14% of all litter comes from beverage containers.
 Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.

Source: Plastic Oceans


Water fountains for Lewes

You might like to sign this petition to reduce plastic consumption and pollution in Lewes and surrounding towns by asking the Councils to install water fountains so that no-one needs to buy bottled water. Please sign and share wherever you can.  We need 1500 signatures from local people to get the District Council to debate this.



Litter-Free Lewes

Litter-Free Lewes is a new project that aims to reduce litter and clean up our area. Here's how...


1. Carrying out regular litter pick-ups - fortnightly if possible, minimum once a month
2. Preparing educational workshops, then delivering them to local schools and colleges 
3. Encouraging and helping local business to make their packaging more 'green' - both takeaways and supermarkets
4. Working with local authorities to improve signage and bins
5. Working with local artists to create anti-litter stencils (with respect to the local environment)
6. Tentatively looking in to bottle deposit scheme / refillable water bottle schemes.

Please let us know if you'd like to get involved, join a litter pick or think you could help create an engaging workshop to be delivered in schools. Contact litterfreelewes@yahoo.com or join the Litter-Free Lewes Facebook group for regular updates.  Read more about Litter-Free Lewes


Seedy Saturday Lewes

Saturday 3 February 2018, 10am to 3pm, Lewes Town Hall. Adults £1, kids free.


Seed swap, children's activities, community growing projects, cafe, usual and unusual seeds and plants...

Workshops: tool sharpening, willow weaving, wildflower Lewes.

Advice corner: share your problems and successes growing flowers and vegetables.

Top tips for seed-saving here...



The Lewes Divide

Lewes for a Living Wage has produced a leaflet about poverty in Lewes: The Lewes Divide was launched at the group's Lewes Depot showing of I, Daniel Blake. In the discussion afterwards panellists confirmed that scenes from the film are typical of what is happening in Lewes. This is not good enough, and means we are far from being a resilient community. Almost 50 of the packed audience signed up to keep in touch and do more. Read a copy of the leaflet here, and for a longer account of the film event see here. Contact: leweslivingwage@gmail.com  

There's a live-streamed video of the discussion on Facebook



Putting Lewes on the map as a Sail Cargo town 


In October the engine-less classic sailing ketch Nordlys (built 1873 on the Isle of Wight) shipped 1000 litres of olive oil into Newhaven, from Porto, Portugal. This was the culmination of many months work, connecting us via the sea with our wonderful growers, the Reigado family, and bringing their delicious oil to the homes of our sail cargo pioneers - people who pre-ordered 5 litre tubs. This allowed us to pay the Reigados a fair price upfront, 40% of the sale price. We offer full transparency, with each tub including a breakdown of where the £10/litre goes. We have some oil left, in 750ml glass bottles (£10) and 5litre plastic tubs (£55) which you can order here...  

 ... We're looking for people to get involved with promotion, port logistics and planning and ideally sourcing a river boat to trans-ship the cargo into the heart of Lewes on the Ouse. So if you're interested in putting Lewes on the map as a Sail Cargo Town and working towards zero emissions transport we'd love to hear from you!  Read more



Shedding some light on our streets

I was curious about how much of our street lighting is now LED. Not only do LEDs save money in terms of electricity consumption but also in maintenance because the bulbs last so much longer. I asked Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe what she could find out.

Her reply was that the key layer of Government in all this is the County Council. The District Council only has very limited responsibility for lighting in parks.


The head of the Lighting section at ESCC says that ESCC street lighting is currently approximately 50% LED / 50% traditional discharge lighting. LED units have been introduced through various projects during the last five years.

A further energy saving project is planned for the new year, with a further 2000 lanterns on the main roads being converted to LED. ESCC are also looking at future projects in which LED lanterns would replace the 4000 low pressure Sodium (orange) lanterns currently in place throughout the County.

Looking at the inventory there are currently 2005 ESCC street lights in Lewes of which 814 (41%) are LED units. The number of LED units will increase as and when the projects outlined above are progressed on site and through the replacement of individual lanterns that are changed through maintenance.

As Ruth says, it is good to know that concerning LED lighting, ESCC appears to be at about twice the average already (10:10 estimate that the current figure is still only 20%) and that these projects to continue to increase that percentage are already planned and being put in.

Julia Waterlow







Lewes area renewable energy sites

Transition is about the creation of resilient communities. It's not about campaigning but designing. It's about putting in place systems that will help us to deal with the big changes that are on the way. Those changes will be in three main areas: energy, the economy and the environment. Read more and get linked in to the bigger picture!

Tell everyone you know about Transition Town Lewes
Together we can achieve so much more. We’re fuelled by local ingenuity and a passion for positive change in challenging times. This is our town, our future, so get in touch to share your ideas and be involved.

Take a look at our events, read some news and hopefully, get inspired by what you find here.



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