Transition West Hampstead is green for go

It is a craze which has seen vegetables grown in hotel car parks and foragers rummaging for food on Hampstead Heath. Now the Transition movement has celebrated its latest addition – West Hampstead.

Fifty people attended a public meeting last month to kick off a new Transition Initiative for West Hampstead.

They watched the film A Farm for the Future, listened to speakers from neighbouring Transitions, and discussed peak oil and the fragile financial system.

Transition is a community centred movement aiming to create a happier, greener, less polluted and less stressful future at a local level.

Alexis Rowell, one for the founders of Transition Belsize, the first group in Camden, spoke at the meeting. Enthusiastic for the future of Transition, the former Camden Council Eco Champion said: “There was an amazing sense of optimism and goodwill in the room.

“This movement really is spreading. What we do is fun, useful, and social. Transition is different because it is about doing the positive stuff. It is about local solutions to huge growing problems like climate change.”

In north London there are now at least a dozen active Transition initiatives including Hampstead, Kentish Town and Belsize.

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To create a new Transition Mr Rowell said: “The starting point is the handbook written by Rob Hopkins. It is a comprehensive manual full of positive ideas for making a difference. A few people have to read the book, have a public meeting and see who shows up.

“Transition is a completely grass-roots organisation. It is about non hierarchical decision making. Everyone has to be in agreement. It is tough, and requires a new way of working for most human beings.”

Currently, the West Hampstead group is in the planning stages. David Abrahams, one of the organisers, said: “We had a really good response. People are eager. There will be a series of educational film nights. We are establishing a food growing group and one to address energy issues.

“Everyone needs to change the way they live in order to meet these challenges.

‘‘I think we can do that better as a community group than as a bunch of individuals on their own.”

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