You may have noticed certain people about town wearing a stylish looking t‑shirt with cryptic lattitude and longitude co-ordinates and the PEDAL logo. Have you yet worked out what it all means? (Comments below please) . Continue reading
Category Archives: PEDAL
Great piece on the STV news about our proposed turbine. Also the Evening News has a story on the wind turbine plans. (Thanks to all who’ve registered their support on the Energyshare site — we currently have 227 supporters, and have moved up to 1st place, but we need to stay there, and that aint going to be easy! If you haven’t signed up yet, get on over to http://www.energyshare.com/portobello-leith-community-wind-energy-project/). The Evening News editorial (bottom of this page, under the ‘Sick Kids’ leader) is also helpfully supportive.
There’s also a fascinating article on local currencies by Steve Burgess (with help from Justin and Eva).
When: 7.30 – 9.30pm, Thursday 16th June 2011
Where: Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street (next to the Portobello Bar).
Despite recent funding disappointments, PEDAL continues to go from strength to strength — progressing existing projects, initiating new ones and attracting more and more local people. The loss of core funding — and therefore paid staff and an office — will impact on what we can do in the short term, but PEDAL continue to have ambitious plans to help Portobello become more sustainable.
Please come along to hear about what we achieved last year, exciting projects you can get involved in this year, and what other transition groups around the country have been up to. This is also an opportunity to become a member of PEDAL.
All welcome! Continue reading
As you may have heard, PEDAL didn’t get funding for the projects we hoped to run this coming year, but we thought you’d like to know what we have achieved over the past year!
In an action packed year to 31st March, PEDAL helped Portobello save an estimated 175 tonnes CO2e and involved a total of 893 local people in one or more of our six food-related projects, four energy projects, or other activities.
74 people took part in one of ten Dig In Porty! courses we ran. These covering topics from growing vegetables (3 courses) to cooking with scraps, making pickles, making bread, eating seasonal produce, pruning fruit trees, and mushroom growing.
Portobello Organic Market in Brighton Park has become a regular part of Porty life. Five trial markets were held selling locally-produced and organic food, drink, arts & crafts, and the market now set to continue into the future as a self-sustaining enterprise. Our customer survey showed at least 300 households shop there every month, each buying on average a quarter of that week’s shopping from the 34 established and 16 start-up traders who have had stalls to-date. 27% of customers at the market have increased the amount of organic produce in their weekly shop, and 77% would like to see more organic and local produce stocked in local shops.
As part of our Insulation Hotspot Campaign, run in partnership with Energy Saving Scotland advice centre, 297 people completed Home Energy Checks and 30 homes installed loft and/or cavity wall insulation. A further 20 households in local tenements had home energy advice visits and five tenements had their shared lofts insulated through Portobello Warm Tenements Scheme. We have now published a booklet giving energy saving advice for residents of houses both old and new.
By promoting Edinburgh Garden Share Scheme locally, PEDAL helped 5 garden owners and 7 volunteer gardeners get together to use private gardens for growing fruit and veg. They are now cultivating a total of 327m2 of land. The scheme was run in partnership with Care & Repair Edinburgh.
More food could also be grown in future on some of the five viable small sites and/or three larger sites that were identified through Portobello Community Farm feasibility study. A template community farm business plan was also produced, and can be adjusted for any large-scale site.
291 organic fruit trees have been planted in 82 gardens throughout Portobello as part of Fruitful Porty. This adds to the 90 apples, pears, plums, cherries, plus blackcurrants, gooseberries and a fig tree that are now planted or due to be planted soon at Donkeyfield Community Orchard. We held three fun celebrations plus monthly workdays at the orchard, and 83 school children have learnt about where fruit comes from, how to grow fruit, and make apple juice. They have also made ceramic labels for the trees at the orchard. Once the trees begin to bear fruit, in 2014, Portobello will have 1,944 kg of fruit to use or distribute each year!
Our Solar Porty Scheme identified 98 households who were interested in finding out whether solar hot water panels would work for their home. Nine households were surveyed for their suitability and 10 more are awaiting surveys. 400 people completed Water Efficiency Checks and 20 took part in water saving training delivered by Energy Saving Scotland advice centre.
Our plans for a community owned wind turbine hit a big stumbling block when we found out that the project couldn’t work at the site we were looking at for health and safety reasons. However, our new consultants are exploring the potential for a large wind turbine at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works and so far the studies look very promising. This ambitious project will continue to develop over the coming year.
We also gave out 43 Kitchen Canny kits to help people reduce their food waste, held an Energy Fair and a Gardening & Growing Fair (each with over 120 people attending), and gave talks to local schools and churches plus Transition groups in other communities.
We recently submitted a funding bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Portobello, Plot to Plate, a local food heritage project that will be delivered in partnership with Portobello Heritage Trust. This will identify, record and make available oral history, documents and artefacts relating to food production and shopping in and around Portobello since 1900.
We hope you’ll agree it’s been a busy and productive year for PEDAL, and we will do what we can to pursue sustainability projects on behalf of Portobello in 2011-12.
We’d like to give a huge thanks to the staff team and all our volunteers who put in countless hours to make the above things happen!
With very best wishes,
All at PEDAL
Portobello Transition Town
Unfortunately we have just heard that PEDAL’s bid for Climate Challenge Funding for the coming year was unsuccessful. The current funding ran from last April to the end of March this year, and despite this year’s projects meeting and exceeding targets we were not granted further funds for April 2011 – March 2012.
It is very disappointing news, as we were hoping to build on the successes of this year and develop several new projects, but we understand the competition for this round of CCF was very high.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed and taken part in our projects this year, and made them such a success.
PEDAL will of course continue on a voluntary basis, and aim to carry on developing local growing, reducing fossil fuel use, low carbon travel and working towards zero waste.
To work towards a sustainable Portobello we need as many people as possible to get involved, so please get in touch if you have ideas, time and energy to contribute.
PEDAL’s purpose is to support our community to build social, economic and ecological resilience. Even if we manage to establish all the infrastructure needed to ensure our children are fed and warm when food and fuel prices go through the roof — all the community gardens, insulation and turbines in the world aren’t going to be much use if we don’t know how to sort things out and be able to live with each other.
Here are some personal reflections on what we might learn from the community divisions generated by the proposal to build a new Portobello High School on the Park.
In 2006 PEDAL made an initial objection to the school being on the park: not because we prefer green space to kids’ education, but because we didn’t see the need to choose between one and the other. We wanted a new school and wanted the best for our kids, including being able to convert green space to food growing if peak oil makes that necessary.
However, we changed our position to one of neutrality, as we became aware of just how divisive and embittering the issue was becoming for our community, as well as because (given the way the choice was being framed – a new school on the park or no new school at all) many of our members were strongly for the new school being on the park and others strongly against. We didn’t want to be part of a process that was pitting one part of the community against another. We decided that we would not take a position but would make suggestions to help improve the school.
We were advised that we needed to frame our suggestions as objections to be taken seriously. If that was right, then I believe we made the right call since those comments were intended to improve the school and ensure such a big new development can help make Portobello less vulnerable rather than more vulnerable to fast rising fuel prices. If our understanding of how we should frame our suggestions was wrong, then that was a serious mistake. I have subsequently sought advice from those involved in planning and the answer is not clear. On the one hand all submissions – whether framed as supportive, neutral or an objection – should be taken into consideration; on the other hand, given the number of comments a planning committee receives, much greater consideration is (in reality, although not in theory) given to comments framed as objections, since they might lead to permission not being granted.
On reflection, the key point for us is less whether we framed our suggestions in the best possible way, but whether we engaged in the process constructively. What has become clear is that Pedal does not need to take a position on divisive issues, but needs to engage in community consultations in a way that can help build community consensus to ensure we get the best for our community.
To be fair, our original 2006 submission was pretty comprehensive, positive and made substantial suggestions not only in terms of the building but also in terms of the kind of education our children need to face the future. Subsequently we have been so over-stretched with all our other projects – from the orchard, to the market, to energy saving and energy generation to … — that we just didn’t have the time engage in the school process.… we have realised that in future we should either engage far more fully in potentially divisive issues or we not engage in them at all.
But how can we best engage constructively and non-divisively in contentious community issues?
I am heading to Kenya to work with six communities who are seeking to develop a ‘community protocol’ that can enable them to present a united response to the threatened building of a huge deep-sea oil terminal. I am hoping to learn from them, but meanwhile in PEDAL we are aware that we need to consult much earlier and deeper and to look at issues in the wider context of a fast changing world.
How do we do this?
One way would be to proactively bring together a small group of people who are interested in consensus building, perhaps kicking off with people who have not been at the forefront of the school and park debate, but who are interested in establishing a process that can model for our children how to resolve disputes in a way which treats each other with respect. Anyone interested?
Justin Kenrick — justin AT yahoo.co.uk
The Next Portobello Organic Market is this Saturday!
March 5th 10am to 2pm
Come along and get all your lovely local, organic produce for the week, and maybe sneak in a yummy cupcake or two! We also have some new stalls, including veggie snacks and upcycled clothing (that is lovely new clothing made with recycled materials).
Stallholders for March
The survey we did last month showed that at least two thirds of you walked or cycled to the market, so keep up the good work! If you drove, maybe you could walk instead and burn off the cupcake calories on the way home?
Dear PEDAL members and supporters,
Several people over the last day or so have asked questions about PEDAL’s submission regarding the planning application for the proposed new school in the park. All submissions are open to the public, and a copy of the letter which PEDAL sent is below.
This response was debated long and hard within the Board. We felt that the energy and transport issues were so much part of PEDAL’s core purpose that not to comment on them would be odd and not in line with our mission. However, we decided not to comment on the core issue of the school being built in the park as we were aware that our members had such diverse views on this matter. Our submission was not that we were opposed to the school in the park, but that we and our children deserve better if we are ever going to move towards a more sustainable future. Continue reading
PEDAL — Portobello Transition Town is recruiting two workers to help deliver our carbon reduction initiative.
- Low Carbon Living Co-ordinator (£28152 pa, 35 hours per week)
- Office Manager (£23,000 pa pro rata, part-time, 21 hours per week)
Both posts are subject to confirmation of funding by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and will be time limited until end March 2012. If our funding bid is successful, the project will start as soon as possible after April 1st.
If you would like to apply for either job, please download the documents below:
- Letter to Applicants
- Job Description (Low Carbon Living Co-ordinator)
- Job Description (Office Manager)
- Application Form (both jobs)
- Project Information (both jobs)
Please return your completed application form by the closing date of 5pm Monday 14th March by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to PEDAL, Unit 1A The Stables, 38 Baileyfield Road, Edinburgh EH15 1NA
Please note that we will only be able to contact applicants whom we shortlist for interview. Interviews will be held during the week beginning 21st March.
For an informal chat about either of these posts please contact Tom Black on 0131 258 4483 or or Jane Lewis on 0131 669 5591.
Local Food Links
Tuesday 25th January from 7 – 9pm
Portobello Community Centre
At the last Local Food Links get together we talked about what we wanted to to achieve in a years time…now we want to get things moving!
We want to bring together as many people as possible who have been involved in PEDAL’s food projects, and people who are interested in local food but haven’t yet managed to get involved. Folk will be able to choose the topic they’re most keen on and work with others to plan what can be done over the next year.
There are existing projects like Fruitful Porty or the Portobello Organic Market, which has been incredibly successful, but is only funded until the end of March, so it needs volunteers if it is to continue being the great community event it is. As well as ideas for new projects raising local food awareness or setting up a community shop.
So, if you are interested in the future of local food in Portobello, come along!
We hope to see you there!