Plant Swap and Salad Day – Saturday 18th May 2013

Tomato plant in potA day of activities for growing and eating local food. Everyone welcome.

Plant Swap and Salad Day
Saturday 18th May 2013
10am to 1pm

Newsome Scout Hall
Newsome Road South
Huddersfield HD4 6JJ 

Plant Swap – 100s of plants for you to choose from: vegetables, salad, herbs, fruit and flowers. You’re very welcome to bring something along to swap, or you can choose some plants in exchange for a donation.

Seed Swap – lots of vegetable seeds to swap or buy.

Windowsill herbs and salads – plant some seeds to grow on your windowsill.

BeeWise with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust – learn all about bees and find out how to grow bee-friendly plants. Includes bee-friendly seedballs and kids’ activities.

Local produce on sale.

Reading Circle book stall with all sorts of books.

Tea, coffee and home made cakes.

Plant pot amnesty – please bring along your spare pots (small sizes especially).

Tool amnesty – share any unwanted garden tools that you have.

Newsome Ward Community Survey results – find out what people think about living here and see how you can get involved in sharing your skills.
Basil growing in a seed tray

Local food lunch:
served from 12 noon to 1pm

Enjoy a healthy lunch at Newsome Scout Hall – with recipes for you to take home. We’ll be serving a selection of tasty salads (including warm salads) from our Spring salad bar.

Event leaflet

Plant Swap and Salad Day leaflet 2013 (pdf)

Newsome Ward Community Plan workshop

Community First logoCommunity Plan workshop
Saturday 17th November 2012
from 1pm to 4pm

Newsome Scout Hall, Newsome Road South, Newsome HD4 6JJ

Help us to plan for the future of our area & decide what kind of community projects should receive grant funding

Newsome Ward Community First are a panel of local people who have funding available for local community projects. The panel are looking for residents of the Newsome Ward to help create a Community Plan. The plan will say what is important to local people and what our aspirations are for the future of the Newsome Ward. 
It will help the panel to decide what to spend their funding on over the next two years – and will also help our communities to look to the future.

Would you like to help? Come to this free workshop to find out what the project is trying to achieve, talk about what skills and resources we already have in our communities, and decide how we can work together to find out what local people think about our area. The workshop will be run by our community research partners, IbyD, who will provide training and support to help Newsome residents develop their plan.

For more details email:
or call Diane on: 07941 652836

Workshop leaflet:
Newsome Community Plan workshop (pdf)

Organised by:
Newsome Ward Community First & Newsome Ward Community Forum.

Free climate course in Berry Brow – starts 10th October

drawing of windmill

Interested in climate issues and energy saving? Groundwork are running free courses in household energy.

Gain new skills and enhance your CV and employment prospects!

This course is for unemployed adults (18+) living in Kirklees, who do not have a similar or higher qualification.

The course starts on Wednesday 10th October 2012 and runs every Wednesday and Friday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm, until Friday 2nd November at:

Newsome South Methodist Church, Birch Road, Berry Brow, Huddersfield, HD4 7LP

You will work towards the City and Guilds Level 1 Award Introduction to Household Energy Efficiency which covers:

  • Fuel consumption in the home
  • Renewable electricity
  • Renewable heat
  • Heat loss and insulation
  • Space and water heating

Free lunch included.


Contact Leah Black to find out more or to book a place:

Tel. 0113 238 0601 / 07730 765555

Groundwork can also run this course free for local groups. Please contact Leah if your group are interested.

Climate Change Course – Newsome (pdf)

Interested in climate issues and energy? Free course…

drawing of windmill

Interested in climate issues and energy saving? Groundwork are running free courses in household energy.

Gain new skills and enhance your CV and employment prospects!

This course is for unemployed adults (18+) living in Kirklees, who do not have a similar or higher qualification. The course takes 8 to 12 weeks to complete, so you can study at your own pace.

You can start ANY TUESDAY between now and Tuesday 18th September 2012. The course is at Voluntary Action Kirklees, Lord Street, Huddersfield from 1pm to 4.30pm each Tuesday.

You will work towards the City and Guilds Level 1 Award Introduction to Household Energy Efficiency which covers:

  • Fuel consumption in the home
  • Renewable electricity
  • Renewable heat
  • Heat loss and insulation
  • Space and water heating


Contact Leah Black to find out more or to book a place:

Tel. 0113 238 0601 / 07730 765555

Groundwork can also run this course free for local groups, on either Wednesdays or Fridays at a place of your choice. Please contact Leah if your group are interested.

Climate course leaflet (pdf)

Wild Food Wombling


A few of our allotmenteers took a gentle walk on the wild side last week. On Tuesday 17th April we joined Chris and Rose Bax from Taste the Wild at their woodland in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. We had the great pleasure of spending the day taking part in one of their wild food foraging courses. We were excited to see what we could find.

It was a miserable-looking day when we set off from Huddersfield. We arrived in North Yorkshire slightly soggy to find Chris standing tall at the entrance to the woodland, being his own landmark. And the sun came out. So we found ourselves suddenly in a sunny, peaceful woodland full of Rose’s wonderful wood carvings and the sound of birds in the trees. Every Tuesday should be like that.

Throughout the day, Chris and Rose showed us lots of plants that are easy to find and easy to use, from thistle stems to delicate wood sorrel (both to be handled with care, although only one of them fights back). We also found out what the law says about foraging. Along public rights of way, you can forage without a problem, so long as it’s for your own use.

Theft Act 1968 Section 4(3) states that:
A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose. For purposes of this subsection “mushroom” includes any fungus, and “plant” includes any shrub or tree.

What you shouldn’t do is dig up roots without the permission of the landowner, or deprive the owner of the whole plant by taking all the foliage. You should also pick from several different trees or shrubs if possible – and remember to leave some for the birds.

Foraging is getting quite popular (you might have noticed more funny ingredients popping up on the Great British Menu this year) and Chris thinks that there might be a backlash at some point from people who are worried about the countryside being plundered. But foraging is very much about getting to know, understand and respect the natural environment.

Chris Bax showing us wood sorrel Many plants have only a very short time of bounty. You need to be watchful, to know the right time for harvesting, so that you can use and preserve as much of this bounty as you can. Chris told us about the first smell of the elder blossom each year and his expectation of it. For him, this is what’s magical about foraging.

Chris said that there seems to be a trend towards enjoying the countryside at breakneck speed – people want to ride through it, or run through it, or drive through it. He told us about the importance of just stopping to look at what’s there. Foraging is all about observation.

You need to know the land, to experience it, using all your senses.

We learnt about the sad affliction of ‘forager’s anxiety’, caused by people wanting to find something so much that they take leave of their senses (or rather, they forget them). Chris told us not to rely only on our eyes, because when you really want to see something, your mind can start to see what isn’t there. This causes people to identify plants incorrectly, sometimes with painful consequences.

However, forager’s anxiety is soon avoided by just stopping and thinking about it. We learnt about the importance of smell – fir smells like a citrus fruit, and if a plant doesn’t smell of garlic then it won’t be wild garlic (even if it looks like it). Places are also important. A plant that looks right but which is in completely the wrong habitat is very unlikely to be the thing that your eyes might think it is, because habitat influences what type of plants will grow.

Timing is important too. Wherever a plant is directing its energy at any given time of the year is also where the goodness is. Burdock has a two year life cycle. When it is sending up flowers to create new seeds, the plant will be using all its energy to do that, so the parsnip-like roots will no longer be good to eat.

At the end of the afternoon, we gathered a basket-full of greens to make a snack with.

Platter of foraged greensOur feast included nettles, thistles, jelly ears (a type of mushroom), goosegrass (also known as stickywilly or cleavers), reed  mace and rose bay willow herb. Perhaps that might not sound too appetising, but we made some delicious Tibetan momos together and Chris fried the willow herb in butter and oil, which was another tasty revelation.

When I told Andy that I was going on this course, he described it as ‘nutritious wombling’. I’ve since discovered that the term wombling is used in statistics (thanks to statistician William H. Womble). It describes techniques for ‘identifying zones of rapid change, typically in some quantity as it varies across some geographical or Euclidean space.’ This made me think about the pace of change that some of our edible wild plants have, and how people will miss out on this fleeting bounty if they’re busy hurtling through the countryside at a rate of knots.

But the ‘real’ wombling is of course done by those little pointy-nosed creatures who potter about in green spaces and make good use of the things that they find. The Womble motto is: “Make Good Use of Bad Rubbish.” I think that cooking rose bay willow herb, scourge of our allotment boundaries, fits that description very well.

Photos of our wild food foraging day
Wild plant identification sheets (pdf)
Tibetan momos recipe

Grow Your Own course – 12th May 2012

harvesting salads in the garden

Grow Your Own course
Saturday 12th May
11am to 3pm

Church of God of Prophecy, Stile Common Road, Primrose Hill, Huddersfield, HD4 6DE

This is a free workshop organised by Altogether Better Kirklees (part of Kirklees Council) for anyone who is new to growing their own food.

The course is aimed at volunteers, unpaid carers and members of community organisations that work with adults and would like to become voluntary Community Health Champions.

This is a fun, practical based hands on workshop with lots of opportunities to learn more about how to grow your own fruit and vegetables. It will include things like:

  • planning and starting off a small vegetable patch
  • growing things undercover
  • how to look after plants
  • how to make good use of recycled materials
  • growing in raised beds

There will also be opportunities to:

  • link up with other groups and have access to a wide range of resources
  • find solutions to specific project issues
  • get support with applying for funding for your project
  • learn about the health and safety aspect of working with groups
  • find out how to adapt gardening techniques for people who have health needs or mobility restrictions.

If you would like to attend this free workshop please contact Farah Majid:

Tel: 01484 225103

Grow Your Own poster 12th May (pdf)

Think and Drink

Kettle boiling

A series of informal events organised by the Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change

Come and join us to find out about climate change issues and socialise with others. All welcome.

Coffeevolution (Basement)
Church Street
From 6.15-pm to 7.45 pm

Thursday 3rd May
‘Permaculture your life: How Edibles are trying to put permaculture principles into practice through a local food growing project.’ Steve Smith, Edibles

Thursday 31st May
‘The One Million Climate Jobs Report and Campaign’
Martin Empson, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

Thursday 5th July
Oxfam’s ‘Grow Campaign’
Jaynee Moon, Leeds Oxfam group.

Thursday 13th September
Contraction and Convergence: A model for a fair, international deal on cutting CO2.
Tim Padmore, Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change

Thursday 4th October
Growing Newsome
Diane Sims, Growing Newsome project.
New venue: Cafe Society, 15 Byram Street, Huddersfield  HD1 1DR

Thursday 1st November
Cars: Reducing dependency through car clubs, de-motorization and the move to low carbon vehicles.
Chas Ball, Chief Executive of Carplus.

Thursday 6th December
Think and Drink Xmas Social
Venue to be confirmed.

Think and Drink April 2012 (pdf)

For more information contact

Join Growing Newsome at Stirley Farm

Planting potatoes at Stirley FarmThis year we’re holding a series of food growing get-togethers at  Stirley Farm, especially for residents of the Newsome Ward. These are informal practical sessions where local people can meet each other and learn something new at the same time. Everyone is welcome.

Throughout the year we will be preparing the ground and planting seeds, then tending the crops as they grow – and sampling the results.

Please come along to join other local food growers who are learning how to grow together.

You can join in at any time.



Growing Newsome at Stirley Farm:

Potato planting – Saturday 17th March, 1pm to 3pm
We will be planting seed potatoes in the veg beds at Stirley Farm.

Frantic sowing – Saturday 14th April, 1pm to 3pm
We’ll be doing lots of sowing and potting on in the veg beds at Stirley.

Summer sowing – Saturday 12th May, 10am to 12 noon
We’ll be sowing more seeds in the veg beds, for Summer cropping.

We hope to see you there. Just meet us in the farmyard at Stirley on the day.

Planting a row of potatoesOn foot, you can walk across the fields from the bend in Hall Bower Lane, or use any public footpath.

By bus, the 354 stops at the junction of Hall Bower Lane and Lady House Lane. The 341 stops on Ashes Lane, at the top of Cold Hill Lane.

By car, access to the farmyard is via a steep track off Ashes Lane.

Growing Communities – CHANGE OF DATE

Unforeseen circumstances mean that we must postpone the Growing Communities workshop planned for Wednesday 23rd November 2011. We’re really sorry for the short notice.

On the same day, Kirklees Council are holding a special meeting at which members of the public can hear about and comment upon the Local Development Framework (LDF), including plans to make more land available for building houses. Many people who would like to attend our Growing Communities event also want to attend the council’s LDF meeting. We understand that priority.

Growing Communities – Saturday 18th February 2012

We want to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to participate, so Growing Communities will now be held on Saturday 18th February 2012 at Newsome Scout Hall, Newsome village. The event will start at 10am and will include a local food lunch and a visit to Stirley Farm.

For full details see:
Growing Communities – local food workshops

If you have already booked for the event, you will retain your place – if you can’t make it on 18th February, please contact to let us know.

The booking form will remain open for anyone else who would like to book:
Growing Communities – book your place here


Group visits to Stirley Farm

We have also made arrangements for those of you who would still like to see Stirley Farm in the meantime. If you were relying on seeing the food growing project at Stirley for bookings and activities for your group, please email Kim Warren at: by Monday 21st November and she will still provide a short tour and information on request.

David Browning – Kirklees Environment Partnership

Diane Sims – Growing Newsome

Kim Warren – Stirley Farm and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Community Reporters workshop – 22nd November 2011

Community Reporters workshop
Tuesday 22nd November
10.30am to 12.30pm

Stirley Farm, off Ashes Lane
Stirley Hill, Huddersfield

Got a story to tell about your community?
Alongside the “Stirley Stories” event at Stirley Community Farm, we are running a free Community Reporters workshop where you can find out how to share stories about your local community.

You don’t need any experience to take part – just enthusiasm.

A collection of “Stirley Stories” will be recorded on the day by our local community reporters and workshop participants. You can take part in the Community Reporters workshop to learn how to record your stories using simple audio and video. The results will be made into a film about Stirley Farm.

The workshop is suitable for:

• Local groups who want to promote their work
• People who want to learn how to tell digital stories
• Any local resident with an interest in their community

The workshop will be run by People’s Voice Media, with support from the council’s Web Development Team.

To book for the free Community Reporters workshop, please contact Diane Sims on 01484 414823 or email:

Stirley Stories + Community Reporters workshop (pdf)

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