Tag Archives: green

Electric cars that can’t be plugged in…

Since the mysterious addition to the car park in September last year, it seems that the electric vehicle charging point hasn’t been getting a lot of action:

Is year of the electric car driving to a dead end?

Take the example of the London borough of Lewisham (pictured) where the council has put in a dual charging point only to hastily remove it over a ‘hiccup’.

The council, through a contractor, placed the charging point on the wrong side of a car park in the busy shopping area of Blackheath in south London – away from the electricity supply.

About two months ago the point was originally installed with markings reserving one space next to it for an electric car.

However, today while the charging point has been moved to the other side of the car park to get power – the reserved parking signage has not.

Sounds like a bit of a cock-up, but nothing that can’t be resolved with some paint-stripper and a can of brilliant white… Has anyone actually seen a car being charged in the car park?

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Parakeet Alert!


Scrumping apples from the tree outside!

Not going to win any awards for photography, but you get the idea..

See the incorrectly titled older post The Greenfinch Tree for previous sightings!

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The Greenfinch Tree?

The Greenfinch Tree?
Every morning, at about 7am without exception, I see several bright green birds. They’re perched in the trees opposite the Everest Inn. I’ve tried to take photos of them, but my camera phone is rubbish, and they’re too quick. Does anyone know what they are? Domestic parrots that have escaped and gone feral? Greenfinches? Please let me know!
European_Greenfinch_male_female from Wikipedia
(Greenfinch photo from Wikipedia).

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Half a million pounds to go green


As several people have pointed out, Greenwich Council are offering half a million pounds to five projects, including the Transition Westcombe Project. Now they have to decide how to bid for the money. I’m still not exactly sure how the Westcombe Park area is defined, but a good chunk of it seems to be Blackheath, so if you live nearby, why not suggest a few ideas.

My suggestion would be wind. Blackheath has a spectacular wind resource up on the heath. The problem would be how to use it without upsetting everyone. The climate camp really opened my eyes to how much wind was up there, and as frequent readers will know, I spent quite a bit of time up there, finding out what was going on.

The group who set up the wind turbines during the climate camp were called V3 Power, and whilst chatting to them, I learnt that they often hold workshops, to teach others how to build wind turbines. I wrote a transcription of the talk they gave during the climate camp. So I emailed them, and weeks later I received a message saying that they would be holding a Wind Turbine Workshop over a weekend in Shropshire, asking if I’d be interested.

Now, I figured that my craft skills pretty much ended aged 14 in a CDT class breaking a jigsaw on some MDF – not exactly impressive stuff. We never seemed to do anything more exciting than trying to build a clock at school. So this was well beyond anything I had any natural adaptation for. Windows Icon Mouse Pointer, yes. Angle Grinder, Set Square, Welder, Draw Knife, no.

But, I figured it would be interesting, and it’s always good to try new things. Plus it had the backing of Mrs Bugle. So off I went. The course was great – I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in these things – it couldn’t have been more hands on, met some lovely people, and the constant patience and enthusiasm of all involved was totally uplifting.

There are loads of videos here, in no particular order.

Anyway, I think it’s a great idea – it’s a great skill to have. So if Transition Westcombe find themselves richer to the tune of half a million, I’d suggest some windmills on the heath. They were there in the past – they could come back again.

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Rare birds in Blackheath

Female or immature European Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros gibraltariensis)
Matt writes

At the weekend my girlfriend spotted a funny-looking bird on Eliot Place, a bit like a robin but all grey apart from an orange tail. Anyway, turns out it was a Black Redstart, and the RSPB reckons there are only 25-73 breeding pairs in the country. Something to look out for, anyway!

Which is a nice find, and ties in very well with Blackheath being awarded Green Flag status!
Photo from wikipedia

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Blackheath when the oil runs out

Blackheath with wind turbines

Interesting article here about how Blackheath should respond to the coming Peak Oil moment.  http://transitionwestcombe.blogspot.com/2008/12/transition-westcombe-upcoming-article.html

The montage above is by me – I know it’s not great, just to give a sense of how we may end up!).  It is based on a couple of images.  The heath image is by Nicobobinus and the turbines are by jespis.  Both are creative commons licensed, as is my montage.

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Recycling – which is it?

Recycling sign on wheelie bin the Blackheath from Greenwich council

Initially I thought it was a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our wheelie bin.  Our flats have been marked out.  We are officially warned.  Someone has been putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins.  It wasn’t me or Mrs Bugle, I swear, honest…  I’m just wondering if they will start daubing our front doors with paint next.

But the photograph above does throw up an interesting point. Looking at all the blogs around here, you’d think it would be easy to draw a conclusion about how our recycling schemes are going.  The Phantom had a great piece about how the Greenwich Recycling plant works, but then I read in The Last Bus Home that it might not be so great after all. They quote another post by a Lib-Dem councillor who makes the point that the government sets recycling targets by the tonne, not by the quality of the recycling.

This means that they don’t really care what happens to our glass and paper waste, so long as it doesn’t go into landfill.  So our glass doesn’t get melted down back into glass bottles, it gets turned into road gravel.  And our paper doesn’t get turned back into paper, but gets shipped to Malaysia instead?!

I’m still glad that it isn’t ending up as landfill, but the carbon cost must be as much of a concern as the landfill.

Wouldn’t the pollutants involved in shipping all that paper halfway round the world be worse than just burning it in the first place?

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