Saving the world with a song

Thanks to all who made it to last Friday’s Animated Earth Concert and who helped organise the event – it was a lovely evening of music and animation with lots of laughs and we hope you enjoyed it!

Many thanks also to Camden Council for their help in promoting the show.

Susan’s short review of the evening is below:

Ingredients: Camden Friends of the Earth, a cartoonist, drinks, “A Green Victoria Wood”, Anna Ware from Camden Council sustainability team, Luke Concannon, the Clean British Energy campaign, and a big beautiful church…A recipe for: a fun night of singing songs about making the world a better place!

Last Friday Camden Friends of the Earth hosted the second show on Jess Gold’s Animated Earth Concert Tour, which is touring around England this Autumn. Friday’s concert, in support of the Clean British Energy campaign, included songs on fossil fuels as well as eating less meat, water and how we suffer from an addiction to cars!

You might assume that the show would be a little bit depressing, but cheeky and fun is probably the best way to describe it. Jess got the crowd singing with her argumentative song about flying (“You don’t have to fly…Yes we do!…No you don’t!”) and then lulled us all with a beautiful song about water. “Car Addiction” entertained us with Jess and Haruna Komatsu’s double act on whether a sexy body or a sexy car is preferred! Amongst many other highlights was the live animation accompanying songs, inspired by audience suggestions (which ranged from roast chicken to taxis!).

There are three more London shows that you can catch, and I recommend that you do – in St John’s Wood, West Kilburn and Waterloo on the 18th, 19th and 23rd September, see the tour website for details,

Find out more about the Clean British Energy campaign at

See the video below of Jess and Haruna singing “Car Addiction” at Friday’s show:

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Animated Earth comes to Camden this Friday!

If it’s not in your diary, add it in now! — Our Animated Earth Concert kicks off at 7.30pm this Friday at St Pancras Church, Euston Rd, and all are welcome to join in with what promises to be a fantastic evening of music, fun and animation!

The evening will feature music from Jess Gold and her band, support from chart-topping singer-songwriter Luke Concannon and live cartooning and animation by cartoonist Danny Fenster – whose cartoons will be shaped by suggestions from the audience!  See a mini-animation below for a very brief taster of that element of the show:

The Animated Earth Tour has received great reviews, with audience members of the previous show describing Jess as a “green Victoria Wood”!  We’re sure the evening will be a lot of fun and we hope you can join us on the night.

Proceeds from the show go to Friends of the Earth, advance tickets are £10 from or tickets can be purchased on the door, priced £12.

See you on Friday!

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Animated Earth Concert, 7 September 2012

Join us for an entertaining evening of eco-music and animation on Friday 7 September!

Animated Earth Concert, St Pancras churchCamden Friends of the Earth is excited to present Jess Gold and Luke Concannon in the Animated Earth Concert Tour, Friday 7 September 2012, 7pm, at the beautiful St Pancras church, Euston Road.

Jess is launching her new album “Project Earth Rock” by playing the first ever UK concert tour of unashamedly eco-focused songs performed with the specific intention of making people feel good. Support will be provided by Luke Concannon, the chart-topping songwriter of JCB song/Nizlopi fame, who will be playing music from his hot-off-the-press new solo album. During the show cartoonist Danny Fenster will bring to life audience offerings in the creation of a unique satirical cartoon.

Tickets for the concert are £10 in advance or £12 on the door, and can be purchased online at

Proceeds from the concert will go towards the Friends of the Earth Clean British Energy campaign.

Read more on the Animated Earth Tour website, and check out the Facebook event.

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Bee walk: discovering what’s good and bad for bees

On Sunday 8 July we joined a bee walk in Hackney organised by Hackney & Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth. It was an enlightening walk taking in lots of different areas – a cemetery, residential areas, busy roads, parks, and the canal towpath. We looked at how these different areas are managed, what’s good and not so good for bees, and of course did some bee-spotting along the way too!

If you’re interested in joining bee walks in Camden we’re running them this Saturday 21 July (more info).

Some highlights of the Hackney bee walk…

First bee sighting of the day! In the wildflowers at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (can you spot any bees in this photo?)

We saw the newly-installed beehives at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – which has a big fence around it to keep the bees (and people!) safe:

Beautiful wildflower meadows to encourage bees and other wildlife at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park:

An amazing display of pot plants on a fence in a front garden… unfortunately most of these flowers are just “showy” and look good, but are no good for bees.

Bare allotment area outside Grafton House, E3. This could be a great spot for some bee-friendly planting – and food growing.

Good to see some houses on the very busy Bow Road still have front gardens that aren’t paved over:

Buddelia growing over a fence next to Bow Church station. This isn’t a native species but does attract bees.

Window boxes on Tower Hamlets Registry Office; they look colourful but are a bit lacking in bee-friendly flowers:

Bow Church churchyard. Not as bee-friendly as it could be: where are all the flowering plants, ivy or bee hotels?

An Astroturf front garden on Bow Road. Definitely not bee-friendly.

Plants outside McDonalds at the Bow Rd/A12 junction. Great to see some planting here, but more native species would be better for wildlife…

A plot on Fairfield Rd, next to the railway and managed by Network Rail… this would be a great spot for some bee-friendly plants:

A fantastic example of colourful, wildlife-friendly planting outside Tufnell Court, E3 (Old Ford Housing Association). Looks beautiful and the bees were enjoying the lavender plants!

Ivy-covered house by the canal. Ivy is great for bees as it flowers later in the year.

The canal towpath – wildflowers on the towpath grow where the verges aren’t mown:

Roundabout by Victoria Park, planted with flowers:

As you can see, we saw habitats that are both good and bad for bees, and we used some of the good and bad examples that we saw to suggest ideas for a local ‘bee action plan’.

Join a Bee Safari Walk in Camden this weekend!

This weekend we’re tracking bees and bee-friendly habitats in Camden! Join us on a Bee Safari walk this Saturday 21 July at the London Permaculture Festival.

On a short walk we’ll discover how we can help bees, track discoveries on camera/phones, do some bee-spotting and help input into an important Bee Action plan for the area. The Bee walks will run at 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00 for about half an hour (look out for our volunteers dressed in bee costumes). Also visit our bee stall at the festival to take part in a bee quiz!

For more info email

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Film screening: Vanishing of the Bees

Join us for a free screening of ‘Vanishing of the Bees‘ at Camley St Natural Park (behind Kings Cross) on Tuesday 10 July and learn more about the disappearance of honeybees, what this means, and what we can do about it.

When? Tuesday 10 July, 6.30pm
Where? Camley St Natural Park, Camley Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4PW

Free entry, donations encouraged
All welcome!

Doors will open at 6.30pm with introduction at 6.45pm, refreshments will be available. Following the film we’ll have a couple of guest speakers sharing what we can do to help bees.

Join the Facebook event for the screening. If you need any further details email

Vanishing of the Bees trailer:

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Bee-friendly gardening

You may have seen an innovative lawn-mowing technique at St Martin’s Church, Gospel Oak, last month, thanks to Sergio from our group:

Bee friendly lawn at St Martin's church, Gospel Oak
Bee friendly lawn at St Martin's church, Gospel Oak

It got a special mention in the church newsletter from Revd. Chris Brice:

“Sergio cut our grass & hedgerows with a bird & insect friendly eye: hence the attractive islands of wild flowers & grasses”.

This is an easy way to help bees – and councils can do this too by making sure that grass verges and areas in parks are not cut short, ensuring bee-friendly wildflowers can grow. It certainly helped attract bees in Gospel Oak:

Bee at St Martin's church, Gospel Oak

Find out more about the disappearance of bees and ways we can help them at the Vanishing of the Bees film screening on Tuesday 10 July.

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Awarding CBEs for Clean British Energy

Camden Friends of the Earth was up bright & early (very early…!) this morning to participate in a UK-wide CBE “award ceremony”. Along with groups across the UK we helped award medals to Great Britons including Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Dr Samuel Johnson, Laurence Olivier and Queen Victoria.

Laurence Olivier with his CBE for Clean British Energy

The CBE medals were awarded to recognise great British achievements and to inspire us to show innovation and leadership with Clean British Energy.

In total over 40 medals were given out across the UK, including a few in the borough of Camden. Did you see any? See the full set of Clean British Energy statues.

Have you earned your CBE?

You can take action online to support Clean British Energy and earn your CBE in two ways:

If you’d like to get involved with the next steps of the Clean British Energy campaign to promote renewable energy in Camden and beyond, come along to our next monthly meeting.

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Bee Cause at the London Green Fair

Did you spot any of the dancing bees at the London Green Fair this weekend?
Bee gives our stall a thumbs up at the London Green Fair

The bees were out to promote our Bee Cause campaign. We had a great response with almost 600 petitions signed asking the government for a National Bee Action Plan. Everyone who signed got some info on practical actions to help bees, and there was a guessing game to spot which food was not pollinated by bees (lots of people found this difficult!). We also collected donations for homemade (bee-pollinated!) jams and ran a bee quiz.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stall and who helped out! And if you haven’t yet signed the petition or if you’d like some more info on how to help bees please check out

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Buzzing about bees!

Jess on our Bee Cause stall at the Farmers Market We had a great start to our Bee Cause campaign with a stall at Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market on Saturday 12 May. It was a lovely sunny day and we had a fantastic response from shoppers and stallholders interested in how to help save bees.

We gave away bee badges, ‘20 things you need to know about bees‘ guides and got lots of signatures to support a National Bee Action Plan. The flower posters and bee-friendly wildflower seeds were very popular too!

We have a few more Bee Cause campaign stalls (as well as bee walks and a parade!) lined up this summer, starting this weekend at the London Green Fair:

  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June: London Green Fair – Join us at the fair in Regents Park, pop by and see us from 12 noon onwards in the campaigns area!
  • Saturday 14 July: Somers Town Arts Festival – We’ll be dressed up as bees as part of a parade down Euston Road and we’ll have a stall at the festival, on Chalton St, Somers Town
  • Saturday 21 July: London Permaculture Festival – We’ll have a stall and we’ll be running bee walks to explore how bee friendly the local area is!

Feel free to pop by and say hi, or if you’d like to help out on a stall, get in touch at

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Camden joins the Big Green Bike ride

Camden Friends of the Earth is joining the Big Green Bike Ride this weekend, with Alex from our group bravely cycling 65 miles from London to Cambridge on Sunday 6 May.

Big Green Bike RideThe Big Green Bike Ride is a 6-day bike ride from London to Edinburgh raising money for Friends of the Earth.

As if cycling 65 miles is not enough, Alex is challenging himself further by cycling on a veteran single speed bicycle!

Good luck Alex!

Please sponsor Alex at Justgiving (80% of money raised goes to Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland; 20% will go to our local group).

You can follow updates on the bike ride at the Big Green Bike Ride blog.

Update - Congratulations to Alex who arrived in Cambridge amongst the first 20 out of 100+ riders, great achievement!

Alex on the Big Green Bike Ride to Cambridge
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