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December 3, 2008

Communities prepare for the day when the oil runs

The Transition Towns movement is for communities that have recognised that the point of ‘peak oil’ is either near at hand or already with us. ‘Peak oil’ is the point where demand for oil outstrips the available supply. A growing number of communities across Scotland have started to take steps to ensure that when this starts to impact, they’ll be ready for it

Falkland in Fife

One community, Falkland in Fife, gives an account of the work they have been undertaking…

It has been a busy and exciting six months for the emerging Falkland transition town group. This article review’s what has happened so far and to informs on our latest plans for the immediate future.

Quick review of achievements so far…
It has been a great founding year for the group…some highlights include the hosting of the National Transition Gathering at the Big tent in July, a local food picnic in August, film nights in September and the very successful information sharing evenings in October and November. These most recent gatherings took place in the community halls of Falkland and Newton on Falkland and they attracted between twenty and thirty people each evening. Other folk have been busy with other activities, planning future activity and modelling low carbon living!

Climate Challenge Fund
At the Big Tent in July, an officer from the Climate Challenge Fund gave a talk about the fund. This talk inspired a group of Falkland-ers to get together in August and submit a proposal for some exploratory work on the practical solutions our community will need to address peak oil and climate change. In November we heard that Transition Falkland had been successful in securing £9,500. from the Climate Challenge Fund to take forward our work. We don’t have charitable status or a bank account so The Centre for Stewardship in Falkland was very helpful to us in acting as an auspice for this grant, which lasts from the end of November 2008 to the end of February 2009.

The activity will fall into four areas of work and three local people have been hired to lead each of these areas.

At a recent meeting of the funding group it was agreed that the following areas were the most pressing.
• Wood Pellet production and wood fuel supply chain
• Local Food Growing/Allotments
• Domestic Energy Efficiency, specifically examining solar hot water panels.
• Transport. Looking at smarter travel choices.

The work will take place in two phases:
First phase: December 2008/January 2009
Our consultants will focus on researching as much information and resources as possible.

Second Phase: January to Mid February
This will take the information garnered above as a basis for a Community consultation. A trained team of community members will act as door to door researchers asking a series of carefully put together questions about the level of community interest in various proposals.

Sustainable Saturday, 13th December.
As part of this project, there will be a community awareness raising session and celebration on the 13th December, 2008 at Falkland Village Hall, where there will be a half day “Sustainable Saturday” community event. This will run from 2pm until 11pm, with activities for families and children, and live music and dancing in the evening. A pre-christmas swap shop, Local food, local brewing, local entertainment and short films and the event will be free of charge. There will also be information on the projects underway on local energy, local food, and local transport.

We hope to attract a large proportion of the community over the day and it is very much part of our belief that the transition initiative we are embracing should be very much within the reach of our whole community.

The new year holds many challenges, but our group are inspired, creative and daring, and with that in mind we move forward to tackle the twin challenges that peak oil and climate change pose to our own existence and lifestyles, and indeed to our planet, with hope in our hearts, and very excited smiles.

Wish us luck.

Aislinn Haszeldine, for and on behalf of Falkland Transition town group.

For more information on Transition Towns in Scotland