Why are we doing this?
Before the 1970s there were dozens of shops and farms selling food in the Downton, Hale and Redlynch areas. Who remembers the market gardens in Goggs Lane and Whiteshoot? The general stores at Woodfalls Cross, Grove Lane, Quavey Road and in Slab Lane? The flour mills on the corner of Vale Road and at Breamore? The butcher's shop in Morgans Vale? There were bakeries in Orchard Road, Harthill, Besomer Drove and School Road, and milk was collected or delivered from local herds.
Today most of us shop in enormous supermarkets where the food travels hundreds or even thousands of miles, often criss-crossing Europe to be processed, packaged and sold. This food supply system wastes huge amounts of energy, generates unneccessary carbon emissions and is clearly unsustainable. What will happen when the price of oil rises, as it is predicted to do when supplies soon start to tail off?
The Hale & Redlynch Transition Group is striving to rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil - raising awareness and working towards solutions to some of the environmental challenges we're facing. We want to encourage more people to think about the benefits of shopping and eating more locally, and to try to move their consumption patterns away from supermarket foods which are grown on the other side of the world, highly processed and over-packaged, towards foods which are grown or raised in your own garden or on local farms, or bought from the shop down the road. More about Transition...
This project has been a voyage of discovery - we've learnt something of the pressures of modern farming and the economics of food production, made new contacts and encountered massive enthusiasm for making changes to our oil-dependent system.
We hope that this project makes the people of our five villages - Hale, Redlynch, Lover, Woodfalls and Morgan's Vale - think more about where our food comes from, and how we can boost our local economy for the benefit of all of us. Thank you for your support.