Thermal Imaging Camera Loan Scheme Pilot

Are you based in Ilford and would like to make your home or community building more energy efficient?

Transition Town Ilford is running a pilot scheme.  We will lend you an easy-to-use thermal camera to assess where your home or community building is losing energy. Training provided if required. This will save you money and prevent energy waste.

Please note, this work can only be done in cold weather.  Terms and conditions apply

Interested in the camera? 

General enquiries   www.

Work begins on Valentines Park Forest Garden at last!

About our Forest garden…..

We got the go ahead to start work our forest garden in Valentines Park, earlier this month, from Vision and are using a fabulous grant from the London Mayor’s Grow Back Greener Grant. We are grateful to Simon Litt, the Parks Manager for his support. So last week, on Monday 14th December 2020, we did our first day of action with 20 volunteers and we signed up 18 new recruits! We worked despite facing Covid restrictions of 6 people on site at a time and observing social distancing. We have such a vision for this project and we want lots of our lovely neighbours to get involved but we have to be careful as we move forward during Covid-19.

Over the autumn a group of us from Transition Ilford had been learning online about what is a forest garden and how to go about making it. Our teacher was Rakesh from Goodmayes who is an experienced forest garden trainer.

About the Swales on our Forest garden….

Our first job was to dig a swale. This is a kind of ditch that enables water to be held on the site and nutrients to be captured which can nourish the tree saplings we are intending to plant. We did not want to face the problem we had of 400 saplings we planted in the old pitch and putt earlier in February 2020: the saplings died because of the unpredictable droughts that now affect even London in our hot summers.

But this site is good! It is at the bottom of the hill, where the Cranbrook begins to flow again after being underground for so long.  And we love the site because so many people pass by and there’s so much interest.  We think it is going to be a real community meeting space. 

Here are some you tube clips ,showing how we dug the swale: – What is a swale and how to make one, Making the edges of the swale, Mulching the swale and enjoying the rain\

As you can see, it was a lovely sunny warm December day as we did our work. But in the afternoon as we ferried the wood chip from Perth Road Car Park entrance, the rain came down in buckets and those who were left got drenched. But that was all very good for the swale. We want it to trap the water, to be available to our new plants.

Our plan had been to plant the native saplings we got free of charge from the Woodland Trust on 21st December, to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  However because of Tier 4 we can’t go ahead with the community planting rota we had planned and will be running the event with just 2 on site. 

As soon as we return to Tier 3 or below we will organise another planting event.  Want to find out more? Sign up at for news about the Forest Garden project, the Community Energy project, the Food Coop and more.

(Peter Musgrave)

Our Celebratory AGM is a community gathering opportunity – Sat 7 Nov 3-4.30

35 people joined our inaugural AGM in April last year. This year we have Covid-19 and we see this as an excellent opportunity for a lively online gathering. Join us, see and hear what we’ve been up to, and chat, share your ideas and more. Bring your own refreshments!

Saturday 7 November. 3-4.30.

Our Keynote Listener is Cllr John Howard

Zoom details here. Just turn up! Meeting ID: 899 8153 4022 Password: 051579

Fingers crossed for Frenford funding application to convert all lighting to LED

We launched our LED project in February with support from 2 London energy groups. We are working with a few community buildings in Ilford to raise funds to assist them in changing over their lighting to LEDs. This will make a big impact in that it will be lowering the carbon footprint of the buildings and will save them money.

Frenford Sports Club is currently awaiting the outcome of a funding bid to Veolia, with our support. As a building that is used 7 days a week from morning to night, it is envisaged that this flagship youth club and service can save around £8000 a year. If the funding is successful Transition Ilford will be working with Frenford to run activities and events highlighting energy and climate issues with the young people and other users.

Seems we have secured a site for the Valentines Park Forest Garden! :)

group standing around in the space allocated
From left to right: Ros, Pierre, Rakesh (project leader), Peter, Suhas, Simon Litt (Valentines Park Manager)

After a couple of park visits with Rakesh and about 15 people, here’s a few of the Forest Garden (part 1) trained folk delighted with this piece of land to start the Valentines Park Forest Garden. It’s a patch of land to the left of the Brisbane Road entrance, with the Cran Brook running underneath. It is part of a wildlife corridor with the designated wildlife area to the right of the entrance.

I’m very happy for this project to go ahead. I needed to be sure that this project is going to have enough volunteers and local interest, and I feel confident that it has. Simon Litt, Valentines Park manager

There are more training courses with places we want to fill. Forest Garden online design course part one, and part two. Please contact Rakesh of Roots N Permaculture for more information or email/text us. This course and this project is very exciting and…

We want to find and harvest far more Ilford folk – help us find those who are ripe for the picking and want to join the courses in October and November/December


To be included our our regular mailings or to find out more please email ilfordtransition@gmail. com. or text 07957 534908.

Film and discussion night – Forest Gardens – 20 August 7pm

How to enrich nature while growing foodan online gathering to bring forest gardens to Ilford and beyond

Do you want to know how to grow your own food in a low maintenance way that is environmentally friendly, encourages wildlife and biodiversity?  Transition Ilford is starting a conversation about how we can do this and make plans to create forest gardens in public places and private back gardens.  Our focus is on creating a community forest garden in Ilford – however this event is open to all, to enable forest gardens all over. 

Join us for a documentary that introduces us to the concept, followed by a discussion facilitated by Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” of Goodmayes, a Transition Ilford member and experienced international forest garden and permaculture teacher.  He will guide us through the intricacies that is forest gardening.  He says it’s not just about planting trees. More like an art, a science and spiritual journey of sorts. Of systems thinking, of returning to Nature.

Thursday 20th August 7-9pm – Film night and discussion

Design training course run by Rakesh: 4 x 4-hour sessions. 

Thursday 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th September – either 2-6pm or 6-10pm (to be decided)

Food forests are probably the pinnacle of (ecological) permaculture. Bill Mollison, its founder says that if 10% of the UK started growing food in this way, we could produce 50% of what the country needs. So, we are excited about what if we worked together to create community forest gardens? Well… the next generation starting to learn about regeneration, contributing greatly to wellbeing, making sure no one goes hungry, and weaning ourselves off our addiction to fossil fuels…and the plan is to get everyone involved, building real community life.

At the end of the film and discussion evening, we will make a plan for how we move forward with our community forest garden.  Those who want to register interest in attending the international training course can do so.  We need designers who’ve done the course and also we need willing people to help and be involved – the more the merrier.   Rakesh has been doing this all over the world, and now we are using his expertise on his home patch.  Imagine a forest and the abundance and biodiversity that it creates with ease. Never needing to be watered, ever evolving into a regenerative ecosystem.

To join the film night you must register in advance:  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (You will need to have zoom installed on your laptop, mobile or tablet to attend this film night and discussion. )

We hope to see you there. And do spread the word!

Growing & Preserving Food Workshops

Transition Town Ilford Workshops 2020

An open invitation to attend our monthly workshops on growing, eating and  preserving food

When:  10-30am to 12-30am on the following Saturdays 

Where:   Vine Community House, 6, Holstock Road, Ilford IG1 1LG (near McDonalds in central Ilford) 


March 21st :  How to make seeds germinate successfully with Shilpa Patel

In this workshop we will  prepare seeds to go into the  “womb” of the earth   

April 18th:  Growing herbs in containers, inside and outside with Ruth Musgrave and friends

In this workshop we will plant herbs in containers, plant microgreens using free or cheap seeds, soil and containers, and learn about herbs growing in the  community garden.

May  16th: Fermenting Vegetables and Fermented drinks with  Begonia Belmonte

In this workshop we will explore a few ways to ferment vegetables; mostly cabbage, carrots and beets. We’ll also look at milk kefir

June 20th:  Compost and Cuttings with Peter Musgrave

In this workshop we will create and turn  compost and  make some cuttings(weather permitting this will be outside)

July 18th:  Bread Making with Fr. John Brown 

In this workshop we will make, bake and eat some bread using traditional methods and ingredients

August 15th: Jams and pickles with Shilpa Patel  and Denise Prior

In this workshop we willshow you how to preserve fruit and vegetables threw making jams and pickles 

Sept  19th:  Cooking with Seeds.(poppy, linseed, basil, sesame etc) with Begonia Belmonte

In this workshop  we will look into creating seed crackers with your favourite seeds as well as sprouting seeds.

Oct  17th:  Love Food Hate Waste with Olcay Aniker and Ghazala Mohammed

In this workshop we will make soup with  leftover vegetables and try  recipes for using other leftover food

Nov  21st:  Eating and Growing Raw Foods with Siobhan Ramjham

In this workshop we will share the benefits of including Raw foods and juices in our diet and how you can do this

The workshops are free but at each session there will be a box for donations to help towards costs.

To give us an idea of numbers please register at  Eventbrite  or email

400 hundred trees planted in Valentines park.

On  Wednesday, 19th February,  400 trees were planted in the old Pitch and Put area of Valentines Park, Ilford,  by around 40  local volunteers. The event  was timed  to coincide with “Show the love”  month and was organised by Nature Conservation Redbridge and  Transition Town Ilford.
Parents brought their children along and those taking part ranged from 2 to 70 plus! We even had a 3 month old baby in his pram!

Volunteers ready to start planting.

We began with warm up exercises and simple songs about  planting trees,  along with an explanation by Francis Castro, of Nature Conservation Ranger Team, about the benefits of  nature and trees. We then got stuck in to planting the trees, kindly donated by the Woodland Trust. Working together the trees were soon planted. We wrote on green paper hearts what we love about nature which we don’t want to lose, hung the hearts  on the trees and enjoyed home made cake and  hot drinks. It was great to see parents so interested in giving their children a practical opportunity to do something to care for nature and make Ilford a greener place to live.

Cut your community building costs and join our LED pilot

We have recently launched a community energy scheme with support from other London Boroughs.   Our aim is to set up an Ilford solar community energy project in the longer run. 🙂

Our first pilot project is to support a few Ilford community or faith groups to change over to LED lighting. LED lights are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs and installing them is a quick and simple way to save money on energy bills whilst at the same time reducing carbon in the environment.

We are looking for suitable community or faith buildings to take part in 2020.  We will assess your building for suitability, raise the funds to purchase the LEDs, help you to install them and, if you wish, offer ongoing support with other energy saving measures.  We can help to publicise your participation and can help to involve your users/worshippers in the project if you would like us to. 

LED lights are at least 75% more efficient than conventional bulbs and more efficient and effective than conventional energy saving light bulbs.  By switching all your bulbs over to LEDs you can save up to 75% on your lighting bills and greatly reduce your energy demand. (Crew Energy London)

If you would like to find out more, please do speak with a member of the community energy group or email  us at  For information on similar projects in other parts of London: South East London Community Energy and CREW

We want a building to create an environmental and community hub in Ilford

Ilford is in desperate in need of a community hub as a centre for environmental and community projects.  So many people have been saying it for many, many years. 

We know there are unused or under-used buildings in Ilford that we could transform, by collaborating with other local groups in a grassroots way.

We believe that there are owners or landlords (private or council or other) that would love to gift us the use of their building as their contribution to flourishing community life and cooperation in Ilford.

We want:

  • A permanent building or fit-for-purpose space for no rent in Ilford, in or near the Commonwealth estate, and the resources to get it ready.

What we will do with it:

  • Create a friendly and inclusive space that is a hive of activity
  • Set up a community café
  • Enable environmental projects based on sustainability: recycle-reuse-repairs, community energy, reduce food waste, get growing, food coops, upcycling, green technology and more
  • Enable community and arts projects to help wellbeing, inter-generational contact, skills learning and sharing, and more
  • Involve wide cultures, religions, ages, genders
  • Create community spirit and a sense of belonging in Ilford
  • Build the local sharing and money economy

How we will do it

  • Involve our 150 members
  • Build on our local community sector partnerships
  • Visit neighbouring London boroughs to learn from them
  • Start small with a big vision
  • Get help, take advice, learn from mistakes
  • Develop at a pace we can manage
  • Income-generate, fundraise and raise support and sponsorships

Anyone with ideas or contacts of offers, get in touch! Join this grassroots transformation plan for Ilford.

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