Abingdon Carbon Cutters
30 East St Helen St Abingdon OX14 5EB Oxfordshire United Kingdom [Map]
We have been a Community Action Group since 2008, working in and around Abingdon to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline, and promote Abingdon as a Transition town.
We created two ‘Bee Beds’ with annual & perennial flowers in Abbey Meadow, with the consent of Vale Of White Horse District Council, and now also run three “Edible Abingdon” vegetable beds which demonstrate what can be grown in a small plot and encourage passers-by to pick their own. One of these Edible Abingdon projects is to grow vegetables, salad and herbs in the centre of town in recycling boxes outside a care home, Old Station House. With the help of Abingdon Naturalists and the Green Gym we have created a glorious Wild Flower Maze on Abbey Meadow.
We promote healthy eating & home cooking using local & seasonal ingredients. We hire out juicing / pasteurising equipment to local schools & the community, and run drop-in juicing sessions in the Community Shop for two weeks in the Autumn.
Our Food Group facilitated weekly cooking sessions at South Abingdon Children’s Centre for parents & children for several years, producing lunch from ingredients from the Food Bank, sharing ideas & skills, and experimenting to put together tasty meals from scratch using limited, ‘left over’ ingredients. This project gave local people ideas on how to save money on their food and reduce waste, and developed relationships between local people, but due to the closure of the Children’s Centre this did not run during 2017. We hope it can run again from Easter 2018 when the centre re-opens under voluntary management. We also ran weekly cooking sessions with Caldecott Primary School enabling children to independently create a meal for their family & learn some cooking skills., but these are also currently in abeyance.
Also at Caldecott School, we have worked with the school & the local community, with financial support from a variety of local organisations, to produce “Caldecott Meadow”, a natural learning environment with an orchard, a wildflower meadow, a native hedge, a hazel spiral and a birch coppice. The children make “bug hotels” and enjoy “forest school”. We also have a project with Larkmead School in which priorities are decided by the children. Developing gardening skills; growing vegetables; extending a gardening project – becoming part of the curriculum for some pupils.
Abingdon Town Council committed to ‘reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020’ & ‘aim to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 by following a programme of energy reduction, carbon offsetting within our town and using renewable energy’. Our energy group formed a community project to take forward a plan to build a hydro-electric scheme at Abingdon weir, but unfortunately had to abandon it after raising nearly £1million, due to escalating costs.
We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm, usually at St Ethelwold’s House (see address), when we have speakers, a film or a practical workshop.
A new group, “Plastics reduction and Recycling”, is canvassing local businesses to gather information and raise awareness of the need to reduce plastic use and increase recycling. They also hope to interest the Town Council in the “Refill.org” scheme to sign up local cafes to offer to refill water bottles with tapwater for free.