Newsletter October 2013

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Future events: Ceilidh October 18, 2013

DTA is pleased to announce that we’re having another Ceilidh (strictly an eCeilidh or English Country Dance) on Friday 18th October at St Mary’s Hall, Dawlish Warren from 7.30pm to 11.30pm. All welcome! We’ll have the same band – ‘Spinach for Norman’ – as for the last highly successful event in February. The band comprises two fiddles, a guitar and a bass, plus a caller. Their wide repertoire of dance music draws on Celtic, English, Yiddish, European and American folk traditions. Tickets are only £7.50 or £10 with food (soup and rolls). To contact us, ring 01626 862063 or go to Contact Us

Sustainable Travel: Cycle Trail

One project DTA has been promoting for some time is the completion of the cycle trail between Exeter and Dawlish. For the past two years we have been engaged with County Council and Teignbridge Council officers to agree what needs to be done. We are currently in the process of applying, in partnership with Dawlish Community Trust, to the People’s Postcode Trust: Dream Fund, for £250,000 (towards a total requirement of £350,000) to enable the gaps in the trail to be filled, and for cycle parking facilities, and possibly also hire and repair services, to be provided at Dawlish station. We will keep you posted on progress, and advise our supporters if and when personal lobbying of decision makers is likely to help. Sustainable Transport to and from Dawlish is going to be even more crucial in future. The outcome of the recent public examination of the proposed Teignbridge Local Plan indicates that in future Dawlish is likely to be regarded by planners primarily as a dormitory/ commuter town for Exeter. Therefore over the next ten years we are likely to get even more new houses than the very large numbers discussed in earlier versions of the District Plan and in the Dawlish Neighbourhood Plan (which seems to have been largely ignored). But there don’t appear to be any firm proposals to improve the transport infrastructure to accommodate the larger numbers of commuters and other residents undertaking local journeys. This means that local efforts to enable and lobby for a more sustainable approach to local transport, are more important than ever.

Garden Share scheme

Our Garden Share scheme aims to connect people who can’t or don’t wish to manage their own garden with people who would like to grow things but have no access to a garden. For some time we have had a list of people seeking a garden to work on, but only recently have we been approached by garden owners, and we now look forward to helping some owners and growers to reach mutually beneficial garden share agreements. We are also still pursuing the possibility of establishing Community Gardens and Orchards in different parts of Dawlish.


Our neighbouring group, Teign Estuary Transition, is cultivating a community garden at Mules Park and they have decided to use a Permaculture design approach, the rationale for which is described on their website at We are planning to arrange for George Sobol, a highly experienced Permaculture teacher based in South Devon, to come to Dawlish in early Spring to give a talk on the practical application of Permaculture design to gardening - a date for this will be announced in the next newsletter. Meanwhile, if you are curious, the Permaculture Association website ( is a good source of further information.

Transition Training

Our group is currently called ‘Dawlish Transition Ambition’ to reflect that, whilst we have an active core group which has put on events and set quite a few projects going, we are at a fairly early stage of development as set out by the Transition Network. (See The Network provides training for groups to help them progress towards the aim of ‘mov[ing] from running small community projects to thinking and acting much bigger’. If we were to take part in the courses provided, we could potentially set up social enterprises, to become ‘developers, banks, energy companies’ and so on. (See for what the Energy Group in Totnes is working on.) At present, we are undecided about taking part in the training courses offered, which are quite expensive, so either participants have to pay as individuals, or DTA will need to raise funds for this. If you are interested in receiving any of this training with a view to expanding our horizons, please get in touch.

Climate Change

The recently published report by the IPCC, the UN’s expert panel on climate change, reinforces the urgent need to minimise the future use of fossil fuels to avoid potentially catastrophic disruption to the world’s climate and ecosystems by the end of this century. Many people’s reaction is to turn away from such news, perhaps hoping for future technological ‘fixes’, or feeling they are powerless to do anything useful. But we feel that even very small scale initiatives at a local level can raise wider awareness of the need to start adapting our lifestyles now to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. As with many similar voluntary organisations, since it was launched early in 2011, most of the work of DTA has been done by a handful of people. We would now like to be able to develop the range of work we undertake, so that we can become a fully fledged Transition group and can describe Dawlish as a Transition Town. For this we really need a few more people prepared to take on new projects - this need not necessarily involve a great deal of time, and assistance to get started will be available from other members. If you are interested please contact us by email or ring 01626 862063 in the first instance, or just come along to one of our meetings. We meet on the last Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in the back bar of the Swan Inn, 94 Old Town St, Dawlish.