Sustainable Thornbury Logo
Caring about the future of our community
Home pageWho we areWhat we are doingEventsHow to joinMeetingsGroups and ProjectsHints and TipsDiary datesWhat we have donePressUseful linksContact us

This page includes news and background information about Sustainable Thornbury.

Click on the images below to go to our special pages.

Energy-Smart Homes Trail

Homes Trail

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Click here for the
Give n Take website

Reuse and Recycle Directory

Click here for the
Reuse and Recycle Directory


Energy Stall

We are planning several energy stalls over the summer. The first will be in the Volunteer Bureau pop-up shop in the former Julian Graves in St Marys Centre, Thornbury from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5 June.

The stall will ask for energy saving tips, have a questionnaire on possible green changes for Thornbury, and promote:

Fracking talk

We invited about 25 local movers and shakers to a fracking talk by Ian Page in April. The audience included Steve Webb MP, S Glos Councillors, CPRE, FoE and a climate change scientist. It was very well researched and analysed, and we hope will inform any fracking decisions in the future.

Happy City

We have met with Happy City people in Bristol to consider the possibility of a happiness project in Thornbury. They were impressive and keen to work with us.

Bristol Big Green Week

Check out Bristol's Big Green Week, with over 150 events, half of them free. Bristol will be the European Green Capital in 2015 - the first ever UK city to win this award.

New free stuff Facebook page

Someone has started a new Facebook page called Free / Wanted Items Only Thornbury. It is a closed group, so you need to be a Facebook user and to sign up to the group.

Changes to Sort-It doorstep recycling collections

You may not have noticed that South Gloucestershire Council now collects more in the doorstep waste collections for recycling. You can now put yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and plastic punnets with your plastic bottles in the white bag. You can put small electricals and drinks cartons (e.g. 'Tetra Paks') in the green box with tins, glass, aluminium foil and textiles.

You now have to pay for garden waste to be collected in your green bin. Better, why not compost your garden waste and use it to improve your soil and feed the nutrients back into the garden? 

For details see the South Glos Council website or phone 01454 868000. For other reuse and recycling, see our reuse and recycling directory.

Hotbox making workshop

Cooking without using costly energy? It is alive and well in the Thornbury area. We had a second very successful hotbox workshop in March, so another dozen families in Thornbury are using a Hotbox (a modern version of the old haybox cooker) to cook casseroles, soups, vegetables, rice etc. and saving themselves pounds. The ‘cookers’ are made from fabric and stuffed with polystyrene beads. They work like a slow cooker but use no power. See the picture of a hotbox below.

We are planning to put all the details of how to make one on this website. If there is enough interest, we may run another workshop. If you are interested, or know someone else who might be, please email


The Energy-Smart Homes Trail

Energy-Smart Homes Trail banner

Sustainable Thornbury organised an Energy-Smart Homes Trail in Thornbury and Alveston between 12 noon and 6pm on the weekend of 19th to 20th of October. This event was in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council and supported by the Energy Savings Trust

Proposed M48 windfarm

REG Windpower wants to build two big wind turbines close to the junction of the M4 and the M48 near Olveston. Sustainable Thornbury supports the project. Here are the reasons we support this wind farm proposal. They have now applied for planning permission. There is a very active opposition group OWAG that has distributed leaflets and has been sending a stream of letters to the Gazette. The planning application (no. PT12/4071/F) can be seen on the South Gloucestershire Council website and you can respond there.  Contact Alan or ring 01454-416778 for help. We encourage everyone to respond to the consultation, and to the Gazette letters.

Thornbury Give n Take re-use website

A Year of Giving and Taking in Thornbury

Thanks to our generosity of spirit and reluctance to throw out perfectly good "stuff", here in Thornbury we have taken steps to saving nearly one item every day from our rubbish bins over the last year. Thornbury Give-n-Take was launched on at Sustainable Thornbury's 2012 Eco-fair, and has been steadily building in popularity.

It's a simple idea – if you have something taking up space that feels too good to bin, post it up on Give-n-Take, and see if someone else would like it. You won't make any money, but it'll save you the bother of getting rid of it, and you gain both the space and the satisfaction of making someone else's day!

You can even use Give-n-take to request an item that could be gathering dust in another Thornbury loft or garage. Items don't even have to be working - if you think your broken whatnot might be useful to someone, list it and find out. Give n Take can be used for items not acceptable to charity shops, such as electrical and electronic goods, furniture, plants, food, building materials and car parts. The taker takes 'as seen' and entirely at their own risk. Items must be offered free, and usually the person taking the item collects. All items must be legal. 

Since Give-n-take began, over 350 items have been posted as offers or wants, from chest freezers to Star Trek fact files, and even a kitchen sink!

To join in the fun, visit and click on Give-n-take.

You can see and download the Give n take poster.

Back to the top...

Fresh local vegetable box scheme

Camphill Thornbury Farm and Gardens Box Scheme is now running as a delivered box scheme, although you can still collect if you want to. The scheme (previously called Thornbury Harvest Co-op) is run by the Sheiling School and The Hatch in Thornbury. They grow biodynamic vegetables and deliver organic and biodynamic vegetables every Tuesday afternoon to the Thornbury area.

For more details and prices see the scheme leaflet (PDF 480kB) and sign-up form (PDF 193 kB).

To contact them email or phone 07788 997488.

Back to the top...

Local Energy Statistics

At an ST meeting in October, The Converging World and South Gloucestershire Council showed us local statistics on energy use on a public web site. The data gives gas and electricity use for some parishes, including Thornbury, and other data for South Gloucestershire. The data can be seen on The Converging World energy hub. The latest data is for 2010.

For more details see our energy statistics page.

Back to the top...

Facebook page and Yahoo group

ST now has a Facebook group. and a Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, you can get news from our Facebook group by joining it. Anyone can see our Facebook page.

ST also has a Yahoo group called SustThornbury, which is an opportunity to exchange ideas and chat with other ST members. To join click on the graphic below. You need to be signed up to Yahoo groups, which you will be if you are on Freecycle.  

Click to join SustThornbury

Click to join the Sustainable Thornbury Facebook group

Free membership

At the last AGM, the members decided ST membership should continue to be free. Please join if you want to hear about and support what we are doing. 

Back to the top...

Discussion and planning

Our monthly discussion and planning meetings are on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Chantry starting at 7:30pm. For a list of dates please see the the diary dates page.

Back to the top...


If you want to receive our Bulletin by email, please become a member. It is sent out by email about every two or three months.

Thanks for grants

We thank solar panel installer Ethical Solar for donating £1000.

South Gloucestershire Council has generously given us more grants of over £1000 under their community grant scheme and environmental grant scheme, and is our partner in the Energy-Smart Homes Trail. We are very grateful for their support. The grants were to help with a range of running costs, including organising the EcoFair and the Community Supported Agriculture scheme. The Energy-Smart Homes Trail is also supported by a generous grant from the Energy Savings Trust.

Back to the top...

Background information about Sustainable Thornbury

Who we are

Sustainable Thornbury is a community group focussed on the market town of Thornbury and the surrounding area in South Gloucestershire, England. We are concerned about global warming and peak oil, so we are trying to make our town more sustainable. We are a Transition Initiative. More ...

What we are doing at the moment

The group is currently working on energy. We also have a Grow-your-own-Food self-help group.  More ...

If you want to receive regular news, you can get our Bulletin by email. To do this, please become a member or give us your contact details. You can also see what is happening on the What We Are Doing page, and our Facebook page.

What we have done

We have run projects and campaigns on waste, local food, energy efficiency, reducing plastic bags, developing skills and reusing goodsMore ...

Events and meetings

We sometimes have public talks, film shows and discussions for anyone who wants to know more about climate change, energy, food, waste, transport and related topics.

Most of our projects and campaigns are run by working groups. We get together most months, usually in the evenings, for the whole group and for each of the working groups. If you would like to come to meetings and help out, please contact us. A list of planned meetings and events is on our Diary dates page.

How to join

We need more members so that we can show we have the support of local people. Membership entitles you to get our email bulletin, so please join us.