The Story So Far…

To date we have achieved a number of things.  These include setting up and supporting various working groups and social enterprises, establishing a variety of projects, linking with other local organisations and organising many events.  Here is a snapshot of our story so far…



  • Our mailing list is set up using the riseup system
  • Organised talk by Larch Maxey from Lammas on sustainable low impact housing
  • Organised talk by Paul Mobbs, author of “Energy Beyond Oil” (Aug)
  • Ran a Transition Durham stall at the first St John’s Eco-Fest at Nevilles Cross (Sept)
  • Organised a visit by Roberto Perez, Permaculture Activist and star of the film The Power of Community, to visit the North East from Cuba (Sept)
  • Organised public peak oil related film showings including Crude Awakening (Nov)
  • Delivered transition awareness raising talks to various groups including Durham Friends of the Earth (Nov)


  • Organised various public presentations including Climate Activism by Larch Maxey from Lammas , and Carbon Offsetting by Lara Marsh
  • Ran a stall at St John’s eco-fest which included our first public visioning event (June)
  • Organised the first get together for local food activists and created our first Local Food map (July)
  • Re-launched the Durham Local Food Network as a Google group
  • Launched the micro-hydro project to encourage the development of local community owned renewable energy (Aug)
  • Several members attend the first Transition Northern Gathering in Slaithwaite (Sept)
  • Formed a partnership with Durham University, Abundant Earth and the Durham Local Food network which successfully raises funds to pay for Amy Mycock to carry out a Masters to research and develop our Durham Local Food activities (Sept)
  • Supported the first of many new Permaculture courses in Durham (Oct)
  • Organised several public film screenings including The Power of Community, the Age of Stupid, Farming for a Future and Transition Tynedale’s film The Future is Ours
  • Organised several socials at Alington House which leads to the development of our organising group The Hub
  • Co-organised the annual regional Transition Town gathering in Newcastle (Dec)
  • Wrote our draft constitution
  • Started the Durham Fruit Group


  • Developed the Durham Fruit Group and created the Durham Fruit Tree map
  • Organised various public talks including Kristen Glendinning from Sustain on Setting up Food Co-ops (March)
  • Supported the development of our first neighbourhood group (Bearpark Transition) and a community renewable energy group for Durham (Durham CoRE)
  • Provided presentations about Transition to various groups including People and Planet
  • Signed our Constitution (May)
  • Ran stalls in Durham City to promote the Durham Local Food Network
  • Started the Transition Durham website (June)
  • Ran a stall at the third St Johns Eco Fest (June)
  • Contributed to the Permaculture Association / Co-op’s series of northern events on permaculture and transition entitled Yes You Can including one in Durham (July)
  • Organised a trip to Incredible Edible Todmorden (July)
  • The Durham Local Food Website team are successful with their funding application to Durham County Council’s Sustainability Team to create the Durham Local Food Website (July)
  • Opened our bank account with the Co-op Bank because they have a strong ethical policy (Aug)
  • Organised and contributed to various film showings including The Age of Stupid, Food Inc. and In Transition 1.0
  • Supported various courses to help reskill people towards a low carbon society including Seed Saving, Greening your Home, Fruit Tree Grafting, Hedge-laying and Permaculture
  • Registered as an official Transition Town project with the Transition Network (Sept)
  • Several Transition Durham members attend the national Transition Training event in Newcastle (Nov)
  • Co-organised the annual north east Transition Town event in Newcastle (Dec)


  • Launched the Durham Local Food Website (Jan) which includes the first ever online directory of local food businesses for County Durham at a special event at Alington House, which also includes a seed swap, local bread tasting, clothes swap and music
  • Supported local independent projects including business loyalty card scheme Tagpassiton, local exchange trading system Durham Exchange, Durham University’s Green Party Society and People and Planet group, Durham City Fairtrade Partnership, environmental education centre Harehope Quarry, community renewable energy company Northern Community Power, the launch of the Durham Food Coop (May), Old Church in Sacriston, Abundant Earth, Alington House, the People’s Bookshop, the Durham Green Belt Campaign, Claypath Deli, Newcastle Community Green Festival and food waste campaigners Foodcycle
  • Supported the development of neighbouring groups Transition Derwentside to get started and Transition Tynedale in their successful bid to raise funds for a feasibility study of a micro-hydro site in Hexham
  • Organised a variety of film showings including a Farm for the Future, In Transition 1.0, Home and Ecovillage Pioneers
  • Ran and supported talks on various topics including community owned renewable energy (Northern Community Power), surviving and thriving on the land (Rebecca Laughton), developing an energy descent action plan and how to be a permaculture nomad (Tomas and Jed)
  • Supported the development of a regional alternative housing programme called Living for a Future which organised talks and presentations on living on the land, housing coops and co-housing, promoted funding for alternative housing opportunities and a short course on economics and the future of money by Mary Mellor
  • Accepted as one of ten transition initiatives to be part of the national Transition Re-conomy Programme. We organised a public event to explore new sustainable livelihoods (March) and started a new working group on economics and livelihoods
  • Durham Fruit Group received funding to build a fruit tree nursery at St Johns, Nevilles Cross and processed apples into fruit juice for sale for the first time on National Apple Day and at the Durham Food Festival (Oct)
  • Supported Masters Student Louise Senior to help us widen our community and engagement with the public which resulted in a week long event, called “What, no oil?” in an empty shop at the Gates shopping centre. The event included a kids activities with recycled materials, a big map to gather transition ideas, craft activities, launch of our Energy Descent Action Blog and our very first AGM (June). The results of the event are fed into the Durham Area Action Partnerships Climate Change Group and enabled us to develop an Outreach working group and a regular newsletter
  • Ran a stall, showed films and continued developing our transition map at the Neville’s Cross Eco Festival (June)
  • Durham Local Food Network builds a big cake using local food ingredients in the shape of the Cathedral for the EAT festival Cakebook event – it comes second! (June)
  • Launched our Transport working group (Sept) and supported the Bearpark Action Group to oppose the new roads building plan by Durham County Council
  • Tried to develop a Micro-hydro project for Durham which includes putting pressure on the owners of the Durham City Ice Rink site to keep and renew the existing micro-hydro facility


  • Contributed to the organisation of and delivery of the annual regional Transition Town gathering in Newcastle (Jan)
  • Held our annual visioning event for our members (Jan)
  • Started to rent Room 11 at Alington House on a full time basis and used it for a wide variety of meetings including our Hub meetings
  • Promoted courses and workshops in the region including: Governance and Legal Structures for Coops and Social Enterprises, Bread making, Fruit Tree Grafting and Sustain’s Real Bread Campaign.
  • Promoted and helped to organise a variety of talks, presentations and film showings including: Derek Wall from the Green Party, the Mary Mellor economics course, Jonathan Dawson from Schumacher College, Paul Chatterton from LILAC, Plan Local from Bristol’s Centre for Sustainable Energy, a showing of Growing Change and the Bee campaign by Friends of the Earth,
  • Transition Durham members Jules, Fiona, Amy and Valentina take our Fruit Group to the next level by forming the social enterprise Fruitful Durham (Feb)
  • Co-organised the Permaculture and Transition area for the Newcastle Community Green Festival (June)
  • Supported independent transition related projects to keep thriving including Living for a Future (regional alternative housing programme), Abundant Earth and the Durham Food Co-op
  • Organised a cycling event as part of our Wot No Oil! program, developed a Vision for our Transport group and supported opposition to the proposed Western Bypass
  • Promoted co-operative events as part of the International Year of Co-operatives
  • Supported the launch of the Durham Community Woodlands Network, the development of Transition Derwentside, the launch of the first Transition Durham Tour as part of the Autumn Permaculture Course and further activities on our Reconomy programme
  • Held our second AGM in September and developed a vision for our Housing group


  • Helped to promote a variety of talks and presentations including Derek Wall and Natalie Bennett from the Green Party, the Food for Thought event organised by the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, a visit to Incredible Edible Todmorden organised by Transition Tynedale, an event for the People’s Assembly in Durham, a visit to the first Passivhaus in Northumberland and anti fracking films and talks
  • We moved on from Alington House and started touring our Hub meetings around our various associated organisation’s venues including Fruitful Durham, Old Church, Lionmouth, Brandon Village Community Garden and Empty Shop
  • Supported our associated organisations including Harehope Quarry, Abundant Earth and Fruitful Durham
  • Held our annual Visioning event in Empty Shop, ran our third AGM at Alington House, created a welcome document for new members and launched our Research Marketplace
  • Helped individual members to become more sustainable by finding help through our network, this included finding local wood for fuel
  • Ran a variety of stalls and supported once again the now well established Neville’s Cross Eco Festival
  • Supported the running of courses and workshops in a variety of subjects including basket making, African drumming, wild food foraging, fruit pressing and the launch of the Festival of Thrift in Darlington
  • Supported the development of our new project Incredible Edible Durham City


  • Our Hub meetings continued to tour the area and included presentations and talks, such as a talk by Mark Siddall from LEAP about passiv-haus retro fits at the Hive in Ushaw Moor, the story of Dark Mountain, a community bike workshop plan, fruit tree planting with the new Incredible Edible group based in Durham and a visit to the new Fruitful Durham HQ in Bearpark
  • We promoted activities by related projects and associated organisations including Coal Action Network, living willow courses by Joanne Bolton of Abundant Earth, the launch of the Ideas Hive, wild food foraging courses at Harehope Quarry, Potato Day run by the Durham Organic Gardeners Association and a Forest Gardening talk by Rachel from Old Sleningford Farm
  • Fruitful Durham go from strength to strength running a variety of events and courses which included fruit tree grafting and waissailing, as well as selling their jams, juices and chutneys
  • We supported the development of various new projects including the computer re-using project by Mark in  collaboration with the North East Linux User Group and Unite the Union’s Community Branch, a new upcycling project by Eve, the new Co-Housing group for Durham, Climate Change North East, plans to encourage Durham University to divest from fossil fuels and plans for the planting of fruit trees in Wharton Park as part of its refurbishment programme.
  • We co-organised the permaculture and transition area of the Newcastle Community Green Festival and once again ran stalls at the Neville’s Cross Eco-Festival
  • Our Book Group is launched to the wider membership with monthly meetings
  • Recyke Y Bike arrives in Durham next to the Bus Station, as does Club Resistance at the Peoples Bookshop
  • We hold our 4th AGM in December at Fruitful Durham HQ in Bearpark


  • Our Hub meetings continued to tour the area and included popping into various locations such as Jumping Bean Cafe, People’s Bookshop, Alington House for a talk from Philip on his passive house in Weardale (which we also visit) and Woodpile
  • Events we supported included the second Plough Sunday, Landworkers Alliance meeting, DOGA’s Potato Day, Ideas for Change by the Social Entrepreneurs Network, Climate Change lobby in London, Living the Dream event with the Co-Housing project, Cycle Forum, open days at Abundant Earth, various events by the Durham Energy Institute, activities at Harehope Quarry, Pole to Paris run and a Climate Change demonstration in the Market Place.
  • We get quite involved in Footprint Modulation, an art event exploring the effects of climate change on migration
  • We organised film showings of Voices of Transition, an Open Mic night on Climate Threat at Empty Shop, an orchard planting at Wharton Park and a survey to explore the possibility of regular seed swap and plant swap events
  • Our Durham Local Food Team started to map out allotments across the region with the support of a contract from County Council to identify privately owned allotments
  • Various groups continued to develop and grow including the Book Group, Incredible Edible Durham, Fruitful Durham, and the Vegan Cafe at Alington House
  • The debate around Divestment really takes shape with various meetings and petitions, and we are taken aback by the High Court’s ability to squash the Inspector’s report against the County Plan. The Inspector’s report had been particularly supportive of community opinions.
  • With the support of Durham Upcyclers we created a new banner for ourselves using scrap materials
  • Re-f-use is launched, a real junk food cafe, by two members of Transition Durham. Several pop up cafes are run in the area.
  • We hold a stall once again at the annual St. John’s Eco Festival at Neville’s Cross
  • our Book Group continues to meet on a monthly basis and explores such books as Small is Beautiful, the End of Nature and the Monkey Wrench Gang
  • Big changes with Fruitful Durham this year as their membership declines to one director but they still manage to juice lots of apples and run some courses
  • is formally launched with upcycled laptops available for sale


  • We did lots of things we just haven’t put them here yet