Screening of "Play Again" Friday 22nd February

Play Again

Sustainable Bungay would like to invite you to the next film night at the Community centre in Bungay on Friday 22nd February, 7.30pm at Bungay Community Centre.

Play Again is a documentary film exploring the consequences of a childhood removed from nature. The film follows a group of american adolescents as they are taking into the wild,away from the 8 hour average time they would be spending in front of a screen on a daily basis.

Lots more info about the film and to see the trailer :

Many of the films we show are free to screen to the public, but sometimes we pay for the right to do so (generally between £25 and £100), we also hire the room at the community centre. For this reason film nights are £3 minimum donation. You’re welcome to bring your own drinks (we have glasses).

More about our film nights:

In 2013 Sustainable Bungay’s new Film Nights at the Community Centre open with two documentaries about our critical reconnection with the earth. On 22nd January we’re showing Play Again, an award winning Ground Productions film exploring the consequences of a childhood removed from nature, directed by Tonje Hessen Schei. This moving and humorous documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no mobile phone coverage, no computers.

On 12th April Bungay Community Bees presents Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of The Real Dirt on Farmer John. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

Arts, Culture and Well-being in the Community – mapping the year, Sunday 17 February, 4-6pm

What makes up community well-being in a time of financial constraints and climate uncertainty? This was the question twenty five people turned up to explore at Sustainable Bungay’s first Green Drinks of the new year at the Green Dragon. The evening also marked the start of our new Arts, Culture and Well-being sub-group.

Well-being has been the subject of several recent studies, such as the New Economics Forum’s ‘Five Ways to Well-being’, as well as the focus for many Transition initiatives. We live in a culture based around a market economy, and money and material status (or the lack of it), have become the driving force of most people’s lives. However this has done neither the planet, nor ourselves many favours. Apart from living in a badly degraded environment, we are as a collective suffering from ill health, depression, loss of identity and lack of connection to nature and other people.

What would it mean if our lives, instead of being determined by GDP, were based on our mutual well-being and happiness – not just our personal well-being, but within the communities and neighbourhoods we all share? What would it mean if instead of striving for our own comfort and security, we valued sharing our resources and knowledge? How would our attitudes to each other change, and what kind of changes in the environment would that bring?

Much of the work Sustainable Bungay has been doing over the last five years has this co-operative learning at its base – from creating the Community Garden at the Library to hosting Happy Monday meals at the Community Centre, to organising bicycle rides, sewing circles, Give and Take Days and the Pig Club, At the recent Living Together day about co-ops and intentional communities in East Bergholt we found we had over 30 practical skills between us – just in one workshop! As well as sharing these skills, we’ve learned that working together brings a certain kind of happiness you just can’t pay for.

For example, you can go and forage for blackberries on the common on your own, but how much more fun to do it together, share a picnic and then take some to the Abundance table and for a Happy Mondays pudding for others to enjoy. This simple activity has all those five ways in it: connection, action, learning, taking notice and giving. Most of all it involves the place we live in and the wild spaces we are surrounded by. One of the greatest causes of unhappiness is a lack of connection to nature, as our two films this Spring show: Play Again about children’s lack of access to the natural world, and Queen of the Sun, about how honeybees (and other pollinating insects) are affected by our growth-at-all costs industrialised culture. Bungay Community Bees and Save our Wildflowers and Hedgerows scheme are both working hard to reverse this process.

Mapping the Neighbourhood

At our Green Drinks we have focused on the many ways we can reconnect, from learning about medicine plants to the restoration of the River Waveney. In January the ideas were flowing, as people paired up and asked each other what community well-being meant to them and what creative or practical skills they had they would like to pass on to others.

A common thread emerged: well-being meant belonging to a place and not feeling on your own. So plans for a wide range of communal activities were mapped out, from walking and exploring the local countryside to river swimming and canoeing. to sharing skills such as food growing, cooking and meditation. Creative workshops were designed, including storytelling, theatre work and body percussion.

Giving ourselves more time and space to connect with people and the neighbourhood was something people thought was vital and creating a well-being map of Bungay was enthusiastically discussed. Our next Give and Take Day in March will feature a discussion on the Gift Economy – sharing what we have with others in times of austerity and in April we will be walking around the neighbourhood as part of our Well-being map.

To chart the year we are having our first meeting this month on Sunday 17 February at Lodge Farm, hosted by Dano and Jon. Please bring something to share for tea. The meeting will start at 4pm, but if you would like to come earlier there will be some energetic group activity as the pig club fencing will be taken down from 3pm. All welcome.

For map and directions see comment to post from Dano (below)

 For further information about the group email Mark Watson

Images: well-being in the community is mapped out at Green Drinks in January; Living Together workshop on consensus-decision making in East Berghold; Mark leads a Plants for Life walk in April 2012

Bees, Bees, Bees ….they're alive!

I’m always a little apprehensive at this time of year; will the bees have survived? Did they have enough stores? Have they been able to maintain colony temperature? Did the woodpeckers get a tasty meal? Can the bees cope with any varroa load? Has anything knocked/dismantled the hives? And the list goes on… This year my apprehension was even greater as it’s our first year overwintering in horizontal Top Bar Hives (hTBH’s), so the parameters of ‘survivability’ were even vaguer than usual.

I worry when it’s warm the bees will be more active and use stores quickly and when it’s cold they’ll freeze or not be able to access their stores easily. SO, it was a huge relief to check the three hTBH’s and one National to find bees alive in all of them. All were looking light on stores though so they got a lump of sugar fondant to be going on with. Not that surprising considering three out of four were swarms we hived late in the summer.  I love having a glass viewing panel – so reassuring.


There was quite a collection of dead bees inside the hTBH’s, whether they will be cleaned out in warmer weather by the bees themselves or whether we will have to get a brush and pan out I don’t yet know. Unfortunately a woodpecker had paid a visit to one of the hives but thankfully the damage was not enough to compromise the integrity of the nest cavity. Although a little repair work around the entrance will be needed in spring. All of our hives in known woodpecker areas are now netted. Note to self: ensure hives are netted earlier next year…


Bungay Beehive Day 2012: Snapshots

We had a great time at this years Bungay Beehive Day (even with some last minute tent hitches), many thanks to all those that participated. I have put together a few photo’s to give a flavour of what went on…

 Heidi Herrmann from the Natural Beekeeping Trust discussed why swarming is not only a natural but a necessary part of having healthy honeybees for the future:

Heidi demonstrated the Sun Hive. She has several at home and there are some in use at Tablehurst Farm (more about this in the up-coming post about the Natural Beekeeping Conference):

Bob and Sally Spruce from the Waveney Beekeepers Association were kind enough to bring an observation hive and all their enthusiasm and knowledge about bees to inspire others…

Listening with a stethoscope…

Neals Yard showcased their products, chatted about bees and even gave a demonstration making lipsalve with beeswax:

Our Bungay Community Bees plant stall – all bee-friendly plants!

Gathering for one Mark Watson’s ever popular Bee and Flower walks, this time exploring central Bungay:

Charlotte Du Cann reading from her recently published book ’52 flowers that shook my world: a radical return to earth’. Bringing together bees, landscape and our environment from a personal perspective.

Making bee and bug houses:


Enjoying tea and cake courtesy of Bungay Community Kitchen:

Once again the Iceni Microscopy Group brought some interesting samples for people to have a go at seeing under the microscope:

Orchard End Organic Herbs brought some of the plants most favoured by bees:

Dressing up (and smelling my gloves which are covered in propolis – yum)

Making mobiles, finger puppets and masks:


Discussing the newest version of our  horizontal Top Bar Hives with their designer and creator Mike Southern:

Our very own Plants For Bees information wall:



Friends of the Earth have recently launched the Bee Cause (it’s great, look it up if you aren’t already familiar with it…) and came along to share information. I bought one of their lovely posters:

Watching ‘The Queen of the Sun: what are the bees telling us?’. A great film, we shall be holding a dedicated film night in April for another opportunity to see it.


An overview of bees, reasons for their decline and who’s doing what to combat it by Bungay Community Bees (Elinor)

Playing Bees…

Lesley and Charlotte from Bungay Community Bees

A happy gardener, ready to make her own patch even more bee-friendly!

The February – April issue of our newsletter is out now!

Issue 16 of our quarterly newsletter is out now! You can pick it up in the library, and at other places around Bungay. You can also download it HERE

This time we’ve changed the format and printed on A3 making it more of a news sheet than a news letter. It’s an experiment aimed at matching our newsletter with the new Transition Free Press (out now) in order to circulate both locally. We’d be interested in your feedback (feel free to comment below).

As usual our news letter is packed with reports from our projects, plans for the future and our diary for the next 3 months.

The newsletter will also be on sale alongside the new national newspaper at all our events, £1 (all profits to Sustainable Bungay). Several SB members have been involved in launching this pioneer publication, so do support us if you can:

24 colour pages of news, reviews, comments and cartoons from Transition initiatives all round the world, including dedicated pages on land rights, education, energy and food. Don’t miss!

If you would like to distribute copies of Transition Free Press do get in touch with Mark Watson