Past Events

This page gives you an idea of the events and activities Transition MK are involved in....



Permaculture workshop with Nigel Crawley - April 2017

On a lovely Saturday in April, supporters of Transition MK were lucky enough to enjoy an informative and insightful exploration into the world of permaculture. The event was led by permaculture practitioner, Nigel Crawley, who shared with us his experiences as well as some of the key principles of permaculture. 


The session was really interactive and there were lots of opportunities to share and network over a homemade soup lunch.


Thanks to all who attended, and of course, a huge thanks to Nigel for such a great session. If you would like to find out more about the permaculture movement, visit the Permaculture Association website.  

'Tomorrow' film screening - March 2017

We had a great turnout for the film screening of 'Tomorrow', a film which followed a group of people who travelled the world to explore the innovative solutions local people are finding to overcome some of the challenges in their community.  Examples included growing local food, with examples like Incredible Edible and Detroit Urban Farming movement, providing alternative currencies like Bristol Pound and Totnes pound, generating clean energy in Iceland and a mass recycling project in San Francisco. 



The film was a great showcase of the massive impact of 'people power' and shows what local communities can achieve when they work together. 

A big thanks to everyone who came and supported the event, and to Independent Cinema MK and MK Gallery who co-organised the event with TransitionMK.


The Divide Film Screening - Jan 2017

Transition MK joined a number of other community groups and movements for a showing of 'The Divide' - a documentary directed by Katherine Round which tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in the modern day US and UK - where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. 

Top and bottom: Networking with local groups
Middle: Q&A with Katherine Round

The film was inspired by the best-selling book 'The Spirit Level' by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. It provided a thought-provoking, and at times, emotional look at the issues facing people as inequality widens, and provided the audience a chance to think about what actions they might take to help reduce this divide.  The film was followed by a Q&A session with Katherine, which included questions around her experience of creating the film, the impact it had on her, and how inequality might be tackled in a turbulent and changing economic environment.

Katherine taking questions from the audience

Thanks to all partners who were involved in putting this event together - Community Action: MKThe People's Assembly MK, MK Peace and Justice NetworkMK Community BankMilton Keynes Green Party and Momentum MK

The Divide is available on Netflix. 

Transition MK Film Evening - the Story of Stuff

Around 20 of us gathered in Centrecom for an evening themed around the 'story of stuff'. We watched 2 films; 'The story of stuff' which looked at production and consumption patterns, and exposed the link between consumption and some of the associated social and environmental impacts. 

We then watched Dame Ellen MacArthur's story of how she sailed around the globe single-handed, and the surprising lessons this raised for her in terms of not using more than you need. We also had some great conversations about what its like to live in a world with finite resources, and what we can do to ensure that we aren't living beyond our means.

Thank you to everyone who came, and we hope to see you at our next event on 24th November....details to follow! 



Vegan cheese tasting and lunch (June 2016)

We all, 38 of us, had a great time last Saturday at the vegan cheese tasting and lunch. Many thanks to Dawn from MK Vegans for organising all the food. There were 8 different commercial vegan cheeses to taste: Tesco make their own brand under the name of “free from” made from soya and they also stock Violife which is soya and dairy free and made from coconut oil. Holland and Barratt stock Violife and Sheese and Cheezly. Dawn bought several of the cheese from the wholefood shop at Bedford bus station as we don’t have such a shop in MK. Daily bread in Northampton stock three Sheese varieties and deliver to MK on Thursdays.

There were also some wonderful homemade vegan cheeses that were very popular and some incredible meringues made from chick pea water.

I feel we barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful foods that are vegan. We had a freshly prepared bulgar wheat, avocado and vegetable salad, followed by an assortment of cakes including carrot and chocolate cakes. This event demonstrated that it is still possible to have tasty meals whilst minimising environmental impact from the food we consumer

Many people came via the MK vegan society and Mark French brought along a selection of recipes and books at bargain prices. See their facebook page MK Vegans which is a public group. 


Our thanks also goes to Bletchley Youth Centre for the use of their hall and their help on the day. 


TMK hold first AGM (May 2016)

Last night (4th May), Transition MK held our first AGM, which was attended by 6 people. Michael Sheppard and Hilarie Bowman were re-elected as Chair and Treasurer respectively, and Hannah Mills was appointed as Secretary.

Michael gave a short update about our group's successes over the past year which include: 
  • becoming a constituted organisation and undertaking a 'health check' to show the strengths and areas of development for the group
  • running a series of successful events including a discussion evening with climate change communication specialist George Marshall, running a Climate Change Gathering to show MK's support for action on climate change and hosting a series of film and social evenings
  • Raising the profile of the organisation by having a presence at other 'green' events across MK such as MK Feast and through our work with campaigning organisation Citizens MK.
Over the next year we plan to build on this work, and extend our group's reach into MK by developing a series of events and activities which involve a wide range of MK residents.

To find out more about our group, please contact us or pop along to our regular meetups at John Lewis which are normally held on the first Wednesday of the month.

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Two events in November show local commitment to addressing climate change


Local environmental group, Transition MK, are celebrating two successful events which aimed to raise local people’s awareness of climate change and encourage residents of Milton Keynes to take action to show their support for more sustainable living.



The first event, a talk and Q&A by leading Climate Change communications expert and author George Marshall, attracted around 60 people to hear how we can better talk about this important issue, and how best to support people to make sustainable and practical changes to reduce their carbon footprint.



Hilarie Bowman of Transition MK group said:


'George Marshall gave me a fresh view and new pointers for reaching the people still unmoved by the plight of the polar bears.'

This was followed up with the MK Climate Change Gathering on 28th November, which was supported by the MK Community Foundation and attended by representatives from local groups, including Citizens:mk, MK Peace and Justice Network and Milton Keynes Quakers, and Wolverton Community Energy.



Over 50 people joined Transition MK in Campbell Park to show support on tackling climate change and pledge individual actions they would take to reduce their carbon footprint. Pledges included eating less meat, growing their own food, using ‘greener’ transport and taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.



Cllr Pete Marland, who joined the event, pledged to: “to make MK the greenest city in the UK by 2050”!




Michael Sheppard of Transition MK said:



'The response on the pledge cards demonstrate that large numbers of people in Milton Keynes are prepared to help in tackling climate change by making changes in their everyday lives. I think it’s important that our political leaders realise this.'



These pledges, along with others collected from the wider MK community were then shared with local MPs, asking them to put climate change much higher on the political agenda; particularly before the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) which began in Paris on 30th November. MPs were also asked for a reversal of the recent decision to abolish support for wind, solar and biomass energy. The pledges, 139 in total, were delivered to the MPs’ office on a bike-trailer, kindly provided by Cycle Saviours on Monday 30th November.




David Miller of Transition MK said:



'I’ve been impressed by the pledges made by people who I wouldn’t have expected to respond, and by the range of commitments they have agreed to make. It makes me more optimistic that we really can pull together to address climate change.'



The response from Ian Stewart and Mark Lancaster following the delivery of the pledges was:



'Thank you to Transition MK for handing in the Climate Change Pledge Cards. We will take the thoughts and concerns of Transition MK to the PM and relevant Ministers. We both hope that the Climate Change Conference in Paris this week will produce a programme that all Governments will take away and deliver on.'



For more information on the work of Transition MK please visit their website:www.transitionmk.com or find us on social media: Twitter: @TransitionMK or search:#climatechangeMK.





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Visit to Marston Vale Windfarm 
July 2015 
Possibly the largest landowner in Bedfordshire is the Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Begun in a small way in 1991 as a community forest where industry had previously 'damaged' the environment, it has grown massively and will cover 61 square miles once complete. The 45,000 people who visit the centre each year may now find that damage hard to believe! 

On 14th July, Transition MK and the Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum brought together 45 visitors to hear James Russell, Forest Director, showcase 3 examples of renewable energy; biomass, solar and wind. In 2009 underfloor heating at the centre was installed powered by a biomass boiler fed with wood chips from forestry work in the Vale and on the Woburn Estate. In 2011, 400 square meters of the centre's roof was covered with 215 solar panels, providing £4000 saving a year which can be used to plant more trees. In 2014 the Marston Mill wind turbine, researched since 2005, finally became operational. It dominates the landscape, but is no higher than the Stewartby chimneys nearby, which unlike them, provides energy. The highlight of our visit was walking to the base of the giant turbine.  The hub is 85m high, and the turbine can create enough electricity to power the centre and 900 standard homes. After this, James took us back for refreshments and a slide show about the centre, followed by networking. 

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Film and Social Evening on Alternative Currency and Trading
June 2015
In June, we hosted another very successful film night; this time on the topic of Alternative and Complementary Currencies. We began the evening with talk a from Hilarie Bowman on MK LetNet, a group which enables local people to give and receive all kinds of services without the need to spend money. Peter Hughes from MK Community Bank (part of Swan Credit Union) then told us about the Credit Union and some of the challenges they face in reaching the people who could benefit from this service. This was followed by a lively discussion about what we could do as a group to support these fantastic services. 

We then watched 2 films; the first explored the Brixton and Bristol Pounds, which are traded as complementary currencies in those areas. We then watched a film from Positive Money which suggested 3 changes that could be made to the current financial systems to make them fairer for all. The evening was so jam-packed that we didn’t get chance to look at our final film which proposed changes to the current financial system so here it is
Thanks to everyone who came along to this lively and informative event!

For our next Transition MK event we are in contact with the Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum (BCCF) to organise a visit to the Marston Vale Forest Centre on 14th July. Details to follow once confirmed......


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Film and Social Evening on Seeds and Growing Your Own

March 2015

We enjoyed a lively evening exploring a number of aspects of growing food. There were no spare seats available as we filled the room for a splendid introduction to the evening from Hilarie Bowman who explained some of the environmental consequences of our current UK agricultural practices and illustrated how a different model of land usage for growing food would make a difference, but would involve us adopting a change to our diets.

We then watched some short video clips from the Soil Association about seed collection and how to make and use a seed bomb, and learned some useful tips on organic food growing. We also saw a short film about a Californian family living on a tenth-of-an-acre urban farm.

Several folks introduced us to local gardening/food growing groups – Bletchley Garden Club (which meets monthly and arranges seed swaps twice a year), Windmill Hill Allotment Association (membership of which entitles you to discounts on gardening items), the Urb Farm in Wolverton (whose Growing People project provides the opportunity for ordering and collecting a weekly box of salads/vegetables).  We were also given a brief insight into herbal remedies by David Hammond from Windmill Herbal Clinic

The evening successfully engaged people as most stayed behind for some time afterwards to chat to the speakers, look at the displays and publicity, buy some of the plants from the Urb Farm or take some sample seeds that others had collected from their own gardens or allotments.  A few started their own gardening season off by planting a few seeds into the compost and pots provided and taking them home afterwards! Thanks to everyone who supported this event! 

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Film and Social Evening on Local Food

January 2015 

We had a great evening finding out where it is possible to source food produced within a 50 mile radius of Milton Keynes and saw a map showing where these were located.   

Several local food producers brought along samples for us to eat and drink.  The Virtual Orchard brought apple juice with apples coming from over 60 sites in and around MK. The homemade apple and damson cakes used Shipton Mill flour from Gloucestershire, and some flour grown and milled at Waitrose's farm, honey from hives at Westbury Farm Arts Centre, local free range eggs, rapeseed oil grown and processed by Farrington oils in Northamptonshire, English butter from Sainsbury's and locally grown fruit. The chocolate cake came from Think Food, a local social enterprise.  And the TeaPigs tea was from Brentford (we couldn't find any loose herb teas)
We learned about the CO2 emissions associated with the transportation of food by various means and why aiming to source food locally is therefore useful.
We watched an inspiring video showing how Todmorden, in the north of the England, has transformed many odd corners of the town into spaces for growing food for the local community to enjoy. 
More than 40 people came to the event which resulted in us having to show the film in two sittings!

You can view the films we watched (links below):

Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes

Pam Warhurst: TEDxSheffield 

A list of local producers and suppliers is available on our homepage
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Chasing Ice Film Showing, Chrysalis Theatre
January 2014




We had a great turnout - around 70 - for the showing of the film Chasing Ice at the Chrysalis Theatre on 26th January, an event made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship by the Co-operative.  The film featured some stunning images of ice-bound landscapes in the arctic.  The photographer, James Balog had set up cameras to record changes to the ice sheet over a period of months and had captured some amazing shots of huge chunks of glacier breaking off and disappearing into the ocean to make their contribution to rising sea levels.
After the film Dr Martin Hodson talked for a short while about the latest thinking on climate change and took questions from the floor.
Local groups providing displays included the Co-op, MK LetNet, MK Friends of the Earth, and Transition MK.
The screening was repeated in April at Arts Gateway, and as a result we are now planning a series of film screenings there starting in the autumn. More information to follow shortly....
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Apple Day, Stony Stratford
October 2013
The Town Council held an event, attended by members of Transition MK. The purpose of this event was to celebrate the community orchard and allow people to reflect on the history of the area, which contains many ancient orchards. 

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Urb Farm Open Day 
October 2013
The Urb Farm hosted an open day, attended by Transition MK. There was live music, local craft stalls, locally sourced refreshments and other entertainment