Totnes, transition town

Ed Thompson

2011-04-14

Totnes, Devon, England. Just over 23 thousands inhabitants, is the most ecologically developed city in the world. According to the good authority of “Observer”. Exactly, Totnes is the first of Transition Towns. This project was devised years ago by Rob Hopkins, perfect applied in the green Devon, and repeated all over the world in 35 communities. In Italy something similar is in Prato allo Stelvio. Solar panels on the roofs, chimneys and wood stoves, vegetable gardens in the house gardens, fruit trees on the sidewalks, advanced (and respected) waste recycling’s schedule, electric public transports, electric cars, electric bicycles. These are the strong points of Transition Towns, that, besides environmental sustainability, let save a lot of money. Today Totnes is a technological artistic and unique laboratory in the world as well a model that should be assumed in all.

  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Steve Kellas and Catherine Sentence with their children Riley and Willow at the Kingsbridge Hill allotments. 

'WeÕre here preparing the allotment today, weÕve had it a year, the Kingsbridge hill allotment started only a year ago and was just a sheep field, so everybody thatÕs here using the allotments has constructed these terraces. WeÕre getting in our first lot of peas, beans & carrots. We wanted to grow our own food, which is really rewarding, and also we live in a terraced house with no garden, so itÕs a great way for the kids to get outside, dig in the mud, and learn about where their food comes from.' - Steve Kellas © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. The view of Totnes Town showing the Devon hills and River Dart. Totnes is a market town at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England. It dates back to AD 907 when its first castle was built. © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Totnes Lantern Procession started in 2006, theyÕve made processions celebrating earth, water, air in 2009, and this year 2011, is fire, which completes the square of the elements, after that they tell me that there is only the quintessence, but theyÕre not sure how to do that, so they feel their work is done © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. A man holds a pet ferret at a local Totnes farm © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Steve Kellas and Catherine Sentence with their children Riley and Willow at the Kingsbridge Hill allotments. 

'WeÕre here preparing the allotment today, weÕve had it a year, the Kingsbridge hill allotment started only a year ago and was just a sheep field, so everybody thatÕs here using the allotments has constructed these terraces. WeÕre getting in our first lot of peas, beans & carrots. We wanted to grow our own food, which is really rewarding, and also we live in a terraced house with no garden, so itÕs a great way for the kids to get outside, dig in the mud, and learn about where their food comes from.' - Steve Kellas © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Inside the Totnes Civic Town Hall on one of their market days. The indoor market was a 'vintage mix' selling various vintage items from clothing to teddy bears © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Portrait of Holly Tiffen. This farm is part of Transition Town Totnes Food link initiative. This is a project that aims to increase the availability of local food, by linking local farmers and producers with retailers and restaurants in Totnes.  In the Southwest there are many small-scale farmers producing bountiful quality food that has helped the area to build up it's reputation as a place rich in fantastic food and foodie outlets.  Despite this most of the food produced is sold outside of our region, travelling across the country to distant consumers.  At the same time, much of their food purchased locally is brought in from far and wide. 

The Food Links project aims to build a more resilient local food economy by building confidence and loyalty between producers and retailers within the locality. The project is funded by The lottery's Local Food Programme and is managed part-time by Holly Tiffen.  "I am keen to get all of the parties involved in food production and their end-markets talking together, in order that everyone understands each other's issues and what is currently preventing greater availability.  By getting everyone around the same table to discuss these issues jointly, we hope to come up with creative solutions that maximise the amount of locally sourced food in the town." © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. A couple sit having a picnic in the Dartington Hall grounds. The Dartington Hall Trust is a charity specialising in the arts, social justice and sustainability. The grounds are located just outside of Totnes © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Ivana Barclay at her cob house home. 'It took three and a half years to build the cob house, my husbandÕs not a builder, he had never done anything like this before so it was a real challenge. We stayed on site for a few years make the plans and checking the location. Then we built the foundations and made the cob in ten lifts, so ten sessions. We got the roof on and left it six months to dry. It was an amazing experience following all the traditional methods. I wanted to build a natural home as my grandparents are from Italy and the lived in an old stone and earthen house and as a child I was inspired by how simply and beautifully you could live. Rob Hopkins was part of our inspiration for the build, we went to Ireland to see the cob house he had made and how someone with no experience could do it.' - Ivana Barclay © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. A young girl working with leather at a local farm © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Peter & Merlin. Peter works at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm located just outside of Totnes Town. Merlin is a Siberian Eagle Owl © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Portrait of Mary Popham, a member of Transition Town Totnes and runs their Transition Streets initiative. Transition Streets is a way for people in Totnes and Dartington parishes to work together to save money on bills, heat their homes more cheaply and maybe even earn an income from a solar-PV system on their roof. It is also a great way to make friends and live more sustainably. ItÕs funded through a grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change to help their community reduce its carbon footprint. Transition streets households get     * energy and water bills cut by a third
    * low-cost wall and loft insulation, and heating system upgrade
    * free home energy check and support
    * Transition Streets solar-PV system grants © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon.  A young girl sells cakes next to a bicycle repair station. Markets are regularly held at the Totnes Square, where you can buy anything from second hand goods, to locally grown produce/food © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon.Totnes has a population of around 7,000 is a thriving centre for music, art, theatre and natural health. It has a sizeable alternative/new age community, and is known as a place where one can live a bohemian lifestyle © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. A portrait of Becky Brine - the Jazzeoke Queen, performing on the sunny streets of Totnes outside St Mary's Church © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. There are a number of PV type solar panels that have been installed as part of the Totnes Transition Town initiatives. This is the digital read out for the PV solar panels installed on the Civic Town Hall roof © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. There are a number of PV type solar panels that have been installed as part of the Totnes Transition Town initiatives. Totnes resident Abi leans out of her attic window © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Susie Greenway, part of Transition Town Totnes and one of the vegetable oil powered rickshaws © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Portrait of Rob Hopkins. Totnes has become a Mecca for sustainability studies due to its establishment as a pioneering Transition Town. The Transition Town concept emerged from work of permaculture designer Rob Hopkins. He looked at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of energy production, health, education, economy and agriculture as a Ôroad mapÕ to a sustainable future for the town. The idea has been adapted and expanded in Totnes, his home town, since 2005 © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Totnes has a full scale steam locomotive and train that runs between Totnes and neighboring Buckfastleigh © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. The Castle Meadow allotment. There are two allotments used by Totnes residents and both are part of the Totnes Allotment Association © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Angelika, a resident of Totnes works on her allotment on a friday morning at the Castle Meadow allotment. There are two allotments used by Totnes residents and both are part of the Totnes Allotment Association © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. Steve Kellas and Catherine Sentence with their children Riley and Willow at the Kingsbridge Hill allotments. 

'WeÕre here preparing the allotment today, weÕve had it a year, the Kingsbridge hill allotment started only a year ago and was just a sheep field, so everybody thatÕs here using the allotments has constructed these terraces. WeÕre getting in our first lot of peas, beans & carrots. We wanted to grow our own food, which is really rewarding, and also we live in a terraced house with no garden, so itÕs a great way for the kids to get outside, dig in the mud, and learn about where their food comes from.' - Steve Kellas © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto
  • Transition Town Series. March 2011. Totnes, Devon. A sheep stands by the Castle Meadow allotment. There are two allotments used by Totnes residents and both are part of the Totnes Allotment Association © Ed Thompson / LUZphoto