Is your house draughty and cold? Is it expensive to heat?

Transition Town Reading’s draught-busting project may be able to help! The materials could be paid for by a grant from Reading Borough Council if you meet certain conditions and the work is done by the end of March. The work should only take a couple of hours. If you know of people who need our help please contact us. And if you would like to help with this project please join us. We can show you how easy it is to carry out draught proofing for yourself and to help your friends and neighbours do their homes. Please contact AntonyCowling@gmail.com or contact Summreen at Reading Borough Council on (0118) 937 2100.

See TTR’s draught-proofing in action on BBC South Today!

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Press Release: Palmer Park goes nuts for local food


Transition Town Reading begins community food gardening project with Nut Tree planting in Palmer Park.

Transition Town Reading, a local community group exploring life after cheap oil, has begun a program of edible planting projects in public spaces around Reading with a nut tree planting in Palmer Park. The planting took place on Saturday 3rd March with a number of Sweet Chestnut and Walnut trees being planted around the stadium by local residents.

“We’ve been in talks with the Reading Borough Council’s parks department about carrying out edible planting projects around the town for some time, so it’s great to finally get planting.” said Rich Waring of Transition Town Reading.” We see it as a chance to provide free, tasty, healthy, local, organic food for local residents, while sequestering a little carbon, creating a pleasant atmosphere and promoting local community.”

The planting has been “crowdfunded” by donations from local residents and from local groups keen to support local food and community in the area, such as the Newtown Globe.

Saturday’s planting follows a number of edible public plantings which have been organised by other local groups in the area, including community orchards in Swallowfield, Twyford, Wargrave and Hurst. With high food prices driven by the price of oil, more people are now looking to grow more of their own food, and to build community resilience by getting their food from local sources. For others, local food is a practical way to reduce their carbon footprint. Other people are attracted by the idea of public growing spaces as meeting spaces where community events can be held.

Transition Reading has further plans for fruit tree planting in Palmer Park to be carried out later in the year, as well as further edible projects in Prospect Park and Waterloo Meadows. They have also just been granted funds from the Reading Borough Council’s capital fund for a community apple press, which will be available for local residents and community groups to make their own fruit juice and cider. With these planting projects, alongside other community food projects in the town, such as Food4Families’ Reading GrowAllot and Reading’s award-winning community co-operative True Food, local residents should be better placed than ever to enjoy tasty locally-grown produce.

For more information about Transition Town Reading’s edible planting projects go to www.transitionreading.org.uk. To get involved or (use the apple press) email treeplanting@transitionreading.org.uk.

Swallowfield Parish Council’s Community Orchard


I was very happy to be present at the planting of Swallowfield Parish Council’s community orchard last weekend.

The parish council put on a very friendly and social welcoming event for their planting, which took place in a green space owned by the Wellington Estate, just next to Riseley Memorial Hall. They provided delicious cake and biscuits before kindly letting me plant one of their apple trees, (a “Gilliflower” on an M26 rootstock, in case you were wondering). There were around 20 adults and a handful of kids involved in the actual planting and I was surprised to surprised to see how quickly the 40 trees were in the ground and wrapped in tree protectors. The actual planting probably took about 10 minutes and was followed by a lot of socialising, accompanied by sausages and cider. If any local Transition initiatives want to learn about “celebrating” their achievements, I think we could learn a thing or two from Swallowfield.

It was great to see that local people can make this kind of project happen, and to see the practical results of the kind of organisation and planning that we’re putting into the Palmer Park Orchard project at the moment.

Swallowfield’s trees were funded by lottery money which was secured by the Community Council for Berkshire, and the planning and planting were organised by local resident and enthusiast Peter Sampson, a man who could talk almost anyone into almost anything.

CCB are also funding community orchards in Wargrave and Twyford, as well as another 100 fruit trees which were planted in Dinton Pastures country park this week…

Fruit trees planted for Berkshire orchard scheme
£30,000 lottery cash means fruit trees for Twyford

Progress is continuing on the Palmer Park Orchard project as we hopefully move towards the end of the site-planning phase. Following a (sorry) fruitful planning meeting last week, where we were joined by the Chair of Reading Tree Warden Network, Hoyte Swager, I submitted a broad layout of the planting sections to the Reading Borough Council Parks dept this week. We’re awaiting approval on that before going ahead and planning out the site tree by tree.

In the mean time, we’re continuing to reach out to local community groups and local residents and building up a list of contacts and “friends of the project” to help us with the public consultation, fund-raising, planting and maintenance, as we’ve continued to receive lots of positive support.

If you’re not already on the mailing list for the project and you’d like to join, please send a mail to let us know at treeplanting@transitionreading.org.uk

If you’d like to see an orchard planting in progress, the Twyford Orchard planting is going ahead on Saturday the 26th November. People interested in checking it out should meet in the Stanlake Pavillion car park (Stanlake Lane, Twyford) between 10:30 and 10:45 am.

Twyford Community Orchard Group – Recruiting Now!

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing something similar in Palmer Park in the not too distant future!