It's a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world.
Transition is a movement that has been growing since 2005. Community-led Transition groups are working for a low-carbon, socially just future with resilient communities, more active participation in society, and caring culture focused on supporting each other. Their approach is based in the Transition Principles.
In practice, they are using participatory methods to imagine the changes we need, setting up renewable energy projects, re-localising food systems, and creating community and green spaces. They are nurturing the Inner Transition of the cultural and mindset changes that support social and environmental change. They are sparking entrepreneurship, working with municipalities, building community connection and care, repairing and re-skilling. Find out more about the characteristics of Transition.
The community level of scale has huge potential to influence change and is a crucial part of developing and guiding social and economic systems toward sustainability, social justice and equity. There is an increasing recognition that top-down approaches are not sufficient alone to affect change and need to be combined with community-level responses.
Transition Marlborough's past projects include helping to facilitate the founding of Kennet Community Energy and the Bee Roadzz project, which has inspired many people to change their gardening practices and was instrumental in BugLife's mapping of their national B-Lines project.
Below you can find out more about their current groups and projects.
Marlborough Permaculture Group is a friendly group of people who are interested in developing their skills and knowledge of permaculture. Meetings are very informal and are a mix of talks by members or external speakers, visits and practical projects which are often in one another’s gardens. The group also regularly swap surplus seeds and plants.
Meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of the month at 10 am and new members are always welcome.
Marlborough Community Fridge is a partnership project between Marlborough Town Council and Transition Marlborough. A Community Fridge is a place to redistribute fresh, good quality, in-date food that might otherwise not get eaten. Some supplies come from local food retailers and we welcome unopened, in-date foods and home-grown produce from households too.
You can find out more from Hubbub at www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge It is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met to use it so it is open to everyone in the local community. Our plans include a PYO herb garden to complement the fridge and we're composting any actual food waste in a Green Johanna composter on site.
The fridge itself was generously donated and set up costs have been met through fund-raising, including a £500 seed-funding grant from the Transition Network and match funding from the Area Board. A group of willing volunteers have stepped up to help run the fridge and are engaging with local food retailers to build the working relationships needed to supply the fridge with a regular and varied supply of fresh and ambient foods.
Marlborough Community Orchard was started by a group of determined volunteers with a vision of a town among the trees. They wanted to do something about the decline in native orchards over the past 50 years and to make Marlborough a better place to live. They gained the support of local people, community groups and businesses; raising funds for trees and identifying sites for planting. In 2010 the first trees were planted as small whips in the Jubilee Gardens and today there are nearly 100 mature trees throughout the town for everyone to enjoy.
Enjoying the Orchard
Trees support our wellbeing and connect us to nature. Marlborough’s trees have beautiful blossom in early Spring when you may spot bees and other pollinators enjoying this too. Their leaves gradually unfurl providing shade and a place to sit, read a book, draw or have a picnic in the heat of summer. This is followed by fruit which ripens by the autumn and is there for anyone to pick and use. The community orchard includes apples, plums, damsons and medlars with some varieties for eating and others for cooking.
Find information about pruning days and more on the EVENTS page.
Where is Marlborough Community Orchard?
1. The Diamond Jubilee Plantation is at the heart of the community orchard where most of the trees are ancient Wiltshire apple varieties which, along with many of England’s native fruit trees are in danger of being forgotten, due to the pressures of the commercial apple market. It is a quiet spot at the top of Kingsbury Street with plenty of space for a picnic or games where you can see Wiltshire’s oldest varieties of fruit trees, with one over 200 years old.
2. Wye House Garden, Barn Street is just off the town centre and beautifully kept with flowers, a pond, lawns and toddler’s play area. It includes 12 community orchard trees and is open from 9am until dusk.
3. Priory Gardens behind the High Street are a lovely stopping point. They are bordered by the River Kennet where you can often see wildlife. There is plenty of seating and 6 community orchard trees.
4. Roger’s Meadow has an orchard of 17 trees.
5. Waitrose car park – check out the espaliered trees of Marlborough Community Orchard along the wall as you do your shopping.
There are also a number of smaller sites:
How can I get involved?
We welcome volunteers to help us look after the orchard trees at events such as a bulb and tree plantings and with seasonal jobs. Each Spring we check and mulch the trees to encourage their growth. Later in the year we prune (instructions given on the day), thin the fruit and harvest it. We are also looking for volunteers to ‘befriend’ trees in their area, carry out the above jobs and let us know of any problems such as a broken branch.
Marlborough Community Orchard is now overseen by Transition Marlborough. As well as caring for the trees we are actively enhancing the Diamond Jubilee Plantation for biodiversity where the site is under our direct management. We have reduced mowing which benefits both insects and the wildlife that preys upon them and are planting wildflowers to provide food for pollinating inspects in early spring and late autumn when other sources are less available.
We also plan to improve signs and encourage enjoyment of Marlborough Community Orchard through a town trail leaflet and fruit themed events, and to plant more trees in the future.
If you would like to help maintain the orchard, or sponsor a tree, perhaps to remember a special event or person, get in touch.