Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sustainable Harborough Project

In November 2011 the Transition Harborough volunteers heard of a new fund from the Big Lottery called the “Communities living sustainably” fund and set about the creation of a vision that we could submit as our Expression of interest.

Our volunteers invested hundreds of hours into the development of our ideas and the submission of the form, this was all undertaken in the incredibly short time window between the announcement of the fund and the submission date. We also needed to find a Charity partner who would hold the funds and were glad to recieve an offer to become the Lead organisation from the Rural Community Councl (Leicestershire and Rutland)

The Sustainable Harborough project has many elements that all add up to create an environment for a more sustainable community. The are all so interlinked that categorisation is difficult but here is a basic list:


  • Harborough Buying group becomes the basis of the Harborough Local Food hub
  • Community Farm
  • Community supported Agriculture
  • Growing places
  • Virtual Orchard


  • Energy Services Company- local investment in community owned renewable energy production
  • Woodfuel Cooperative
  • Transition Schools in partnership with the Leicestershire County councils ScoPe
  • State of the town report

Housing efficiency

  • Harborough Superhomes network including the Seven Locks Eco house
  • Energy Club – DIY efficiency improvements
  • Insulation Retro fit installations Co-operative
  • New home owners booklet


  • Re-conomy project
  • Local currency


  • Planting Woodland for amenity and wildlife
  • Green roofs
  • Restoration of the course of the river Welland
  • Buzzing borders – Bee Guardianship


  • Community Champions volunteering opportunities and advice giving
    • Energy advisers
    • Water advisers
    • Master composters
    • Waste advisers
    • Financial advisers
    • Green Deal adviser
  • Big lunch advocate



Darrens Challenge Challenge

My challenge Challenge
In recognition of a new year, the commencement of the “Sustainable Harborough Challenge”, the fact that every Ounce of CO2 compounds the cumulative affect that is climate change and the timely discovery that Sustrans have fixed the exit at the Northampton end of route 6 known locally as the Brampton valley way, I have decided that I am going to attempt to regularly commute to work by bicycle.

At this point I am only going to aim for once a week with the caveat that It will also be a fair weather venture as I don’t want to complete the 18.5 mile (According to Google maps) journey and be too dishevelled before work.

View Larger Map

Why only once a week, initially fitness but until I know an accurate journey time to and from work I have the issue that I might not see my 2 year old daughter. I would have to leave before she wakes and could possibly not get home until it is nearly her bed time.

I am giving myself a week to work my bike up to speed, slime filled inner tubes and lighting will be important factors in this… lots of light to cycle in the dark on an unlit route. I have already started this process, when I bought my bike about 9 years ago the shop gave me a light unit that came without battery pack or charger. I have cobbled together a 6v 4 amp lead acid unit and an old 6v 500 mili-amp charger that took about 2 days to charge the battery from scratch with… is there a better spec for the charger or is that about right?

My first ride target date is a week today, Tuesday 15th Jan.