Chippy Emergency

We’re in a climate and ecology emergency, and like others across the UK and worldwide, Chippy people want to help! Here is where you can get started: Fill in the short survey, sign up to stay in touch by periodic emails, and register with our Facebook page. Lots to learn, lots to do – it’s going to be a quite a ride!

Town Survey – register your views on the best direction, and give us a mandate for action by completing this short survey – click here: tiny.cc/tcnsurv.

Sign up for emails – click here: tiny.cc/tcnemail.

Join an action – see Actions on this site for more info and options

Join the discussion; stay in touch on Facebook: FB.com/TransitionChippingNorton

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Can Chipping Norton be a Sustainable Enterprise Town?

“Nothing ever changes in Chippy”. Disillusioned locals have said this for decades. Yet 400 years ago, the small settlement of Norton won its independence and transformed itself into a citizen-run enterprise zone. ‘Chipping’ comes from an Old English word referring to commerce. It speaks of economic enterprise – using and sharing available resources for citizens’ prosperity and security. The resources they had were far less than we have today. And their actions were sustainable – only using things that wouldn’t run out or pile up problems for the future. They left a lasting legacy that we enjoy today. Sustainable enterprise is Chippy’s DNA.

We have recognised we are in a climate and ecological emergency. On our current course, much of what we hold dear today will be gone, and life for hundreds of millions will be literally unliveable where they are now. This has profound implications for our own, and our children’s futures.

We have also seen how deeply many other aspects of ‘business as usual’ are threatening us. Imbalances and abuses of unaccountable power have made our livelihoods and our economy fragile and vulnerable, with wide suffering in pollution and health, inequality and discrimination, alienation and disempowerment, stress and anxiety. In so many ways we are mindlessly ‘following the algorithms’ to our own detriment and destruction.

To address existential threats, we must bring our best human capacities to bear. Arguably this requires each of us, working together effectively at all levels; individual and household, street and neighbourhood, town and region, and playing our proper part at national and international level.


To avoid severe consequences we must go for specific, substantial improvements (like ‘20% for 2020’) in each area of our activity, at every level from your household or workplace to top-tier government. We must coordinate effectively, or we won’t get anything like the future we desire. But at every level there is a role that you, as an individual, must play.


Where are we now, one year after Chippy recognised a Climate Emergency? Before Lockdown, dozens turned out to do drama, literature, music, astronomy, gardening etc. These are all good; to be celebrated and continued! But we have a priority problem: even though we’ve recognised we’re in an emergency, very few of us have come to learn, plan or act on things that would safeguard our (and our children’s) future. It looks as if little has changed. The signs suggest business more or less as usual.

The limitations of existing efforts by town or district councillors, or organisations like TCN, are easily criticised. But if we can see faults, we must be responsible to offer help.

Whatever we may say or think, our actions or inactions express a choice. That choice may be ‘leave it to others’, ‘it’s not really important’ or ‘nothing can be done’. The weighty consequences mean we must be really clear what we’re choosing, and very sure our choice is justified. If we’re not happy with our choice there are things we can do. We can choose to give this top priority, to the true extent of capacity. If we truly commit, that capacity may surprise us.


History shows how humans have astounding capacities. Overwhelmingly they are realised by working together. In this way humans have overcome many massive adversities, and much that’s good today results from this.

There’s a lot we can do too for local livelihoods and economy today. To ‘rapidly rebuild better’ in the wake of Covid and other corrosive 21st century forces requires really creative, committed action. We need many people: to help run events, spread messages on media, design and build, manage schedules and contacts, track and deploy resources, crowd-source funding, and so on. We can wait for others to do it, or we can play our part ourselves. How much of our combined human capacities are we bringing to bear, to build what we wish to see? Does Chippy have the capacity, and the will? Do we have what it takes to transform Chipping Norton into a true Sustainable Enterprise Town? What would our forbears say?

If you want to commit, here’s how you can get started:

  • Take ten minutes reassessing our environmental footprint (or do one for our workplace: tiny.cc/tcnfp)
  • Take an hour to seriously assess your capacities and priorities, and make some clear commitments (tiny.cc/tcnactionlist)
  • Make yourself accountable for those commitments: log and track our pledges (tiny.cc/tcnpledges), and join an ‘eco buddy’ pair or group for your households, street or workplace, to plan some meaningful actions for this next year
  • Ask for help, where your’re uncertain or stuck
  • Offer help – promise something definite, within your capacity, that you will commit to do (tiny.cc/tcnpledges). If we all log these online, we can properly assess where we stand as a community, and make meaningful plans to face up to our emergency.
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Great showing at the Town Meeting on the Climate/Ecology Emergency

Great to see so many people and such enthusiasm at the Town Meeting on the Climate and Ecology Emergency last Wednesday. Here is Dr Karsten Haustein’s very stimulating talk: the future of our climate is in our hands!

Lots of great suggestions too from the discussion time – here’s the full list (thanks to Ben for transcribing and organising this so well):

If we’re serious about ‘our bit’ meeting the Emergency, there’s lots to do and we need ‘All Hands on Deck.’

Here is where you can get started: Fill in the short survey, sign up to stay in touch by periodic emails, and register with our Facebook page. Lots to learn, lots to do – it’s going to be a quite a ride!

Town Survey – register your views on the best direction, and give us a mandate for action by completing this short survey – click here: tiny.cc/tcnsurv.

Sign up for emails – click here: tiny.cc/tcnemail.

Join an action – see Actions on this site for more info and options – we will be developing this further, so keep watching!

Join the discussion; stay in touch on Facebook: FB.com/TransitionChippingNorton

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Clean Air for Chippy – join the Action Group

A newly re-vitalised Action Group, ‘Clean Air for Chippy’, will pursue effective action to keep dangerous and polluting HGVs out of our town centre.

There’s a link to a very clear presentation describing the problem, here.

You can sign a petition, here.

A very active and determine group has already started working but we need more people to help record traffic and assist with other actions – if you can spare an hour or more, email gordon.aum@gmail.com or call 07887 735011.

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Should Chipping Norton declare a Climate and Ecology Emergency?

There’s a town meeting on this; 7:30pm Wednesday 19th June, in the Methodist lower hall.

With recent ‘climactic’ events in parliament, media and public, many things previously unthinkable, now suddenly seem achievable! Change in our emissions, environment and communities is now urgent, but our concern and ambition have also dramatically increased. Who would have dreamed a few weeks ago that all parliament would declare a climate emergency, and a global science panel (IPBES) announce that species loss seriously threatens our future?

The town meeting will discuss these points:

  • Should Chipping Norton declare a climate and ecological emergency?

  • What actions can we take locally, as ‘our part’ in UK’s response?

  • Should Chippy hold a citizens assembly, to devise measures that work for all?

  • Can we come together on a timely local strategy for this?

There’ll be a short address from Oxford climate modelling expert Karsten Haustein, a platform for some local youngsters to express concerns and wishes for their future, a Q&A and brief group discussions to review our thoughts and feelings. Come and share your ideas and views!

If any queries, email TransitionChippingNorton@gmail.com.

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TCN’s new Plastics Action group

Concern about the harmful consequences of our waste is very topical today; almost daily we see new studies showing the level and impacts of waste plastics in the land and marine ecosystems which provide our food and sustain our lives in many other ways.

To thrive in the 21st century, we need to move promptly from a ‘consume and throw’ society into a Caring Circular economy, which re-uses all our precious resources in more efficient and effective ways.

Plastics have given great benefits, such as fresh hygenic storage of products, and lightweight, durable articles that use less energy over their lifetime.

But it’s now becoming clear that indiscriminately consuming and throwing away materials is causing all kinds of problems, and we need to quickly move to a Circular Economy, where resources are re-used more effectively.

Progress is quite challenging, since current alternatives may even be worse; for example conventionally grown cotton has a very harmful ecological footprint involving pesticide, energy and water consumption, and even compostable plastics have a high processing footprint.

We need better understanding and action at all levels, including our own families and communities. Transition Chipping Norton has started a Plastics Action group, where we work together to share inspiration and encouragement on how we each can best improve, signpost people to useful sources and resources, and discuss with and persuade local retailers, cafes and pubs to give better options and more responsible practices.

Transition Chipping Norton has started a Plastics Action group, where we work together to share inspiration and encouragement; how we each can best improve, signpost people to useful sources and resources, discuss with and persuade local retailers, cafes and pubs to give better options and more responsible practices.

For more information or to join in, email transitionchippingnorton@gmail.com, or visit FB.com/TransitionChippingNorton or TransitionChippingNorton.org

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Welcome to Transition Chipping Norton

We are a community group for the Chipping Norton area, promoting and developing Local Solutions for Sustainable Communities – actions that help our local communities to thrive and be resilient in the face of challenges and changes to our climate, environment, economy and society. We recognise that it is our natural environment which sustains life in the long term, and we are committed to reducing our own adverse impacts on this environment.

You can find out more about our activities on these pages and on our Facebook page. Forthcoming events are also listed on Facebook.

We are part of the worldwide Transition Network, with other similar organisations across the UK and worldwide taking positive practical actions to help villages, towns and cities ‘transition’ to a more sustainable future, using current challenges as a real opportunity to envision and create the kind of communities that ordinary folk really want and need.

We are also part of Community Action Groups Oxfordshire, a local network of over 50 groups across Oxfordshire who are at the forefront of community led climate change action, organising events and projects to take action on issues including waste, transport, food, energy and biodiversity. The network runs over 1,000 events per year, attended by over 60,000 local residents.

We work closely with Hook Norton – Low Carbon, who share similar aims to ours and who offer many good things for the Chipping Norton area, including a Car Club, energy saving advice for homes and buildins, and a low/zero-interest ‘eco loans’ scheme.

We would love to hear from you – drop us an email at TransitionChippingNorton@gmail.com or via our Contact Us page.

 

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Our Community Allotment has started

We have now started work developing our new Community Allotment – plot 59B on the William Fowler allotments, by the school, almost opposite Glyme Hall.

We want our community allotment to be a place that will encourage and help people who are new to or unsure about growing their own produce, to more easily explore what is involved or get started. Often it’s more enjoyable and less difficult to do as part of an open group. We’d like to develop some information displays and activities that help introduce people to growing things, or explore new ideas and approaches. We hope it will aid and inspire more people to have a go!

Where feasible we would like to design and run the allotment on agroecology/permaculture principles (making a more self-sustaining and resiliently productive system, by imitating how natural ecosystems work). This includes a greater emphasis on perennials, minimum tillage, ‘forest gardens’ and mixed plantings, (for example we can inter-plant low plants and ground-covering plants with fruiting shrubs). We also want to encourage better biodiversity in our space (for example, bee and beetle ‘hotels’, plants to encourage butterflies and other pollinators or attract good insect predators).

It will take a bit of time to get properly up and running, but where feasible we would like to organise activities like these:

  • Open events with educational/informative displays or interesting activities where people can come for ideas or inspiration.
  • Simply join in with whatever is going on each week
  • Or perhaps take on some area to see what you can do with it
  • ‘Taster’ introductions for people who want to explore
  • An ‘easy entry’ for new starters, with help if growing plants seems new or scary
  • Fun educational activities and displays for children
  • And perhaps activities or information for other adult groups including people with disabilities
  • Opportunities to discuss or explore new ideas and approaches
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