The Coleridge Lectures 2015: Radical Green

In 1795 Samuel Taylor Coleridge gave a series of radical lectures in Bristol which questioned religion, attacked the slave trade, condemned the war with France and criticised taxation. They promoted wide debate and were attacked by the city’s merchants.

A new Festival of Ideas series, the Coleridge Lectures, looks annually at a theme of interest to the city. To mark Bristol 2015 we present a series on Radical Green, in association with Bristol 2015 and the Cabot Institute, University of Bristol.

All events in this series are free of charge and take place in the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Queens Road, Bristol.

All places must be booked via the event page. Booking opens six weeks before each lecture. For further information on the series please email

If you require additional support for any of the lectures, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Laura Bagley at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your request.


Poetry, the land and nature

Kathleen JamieKatheleen Jamie

17 Feb

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
Romanticism looked at nature and the natural world in new ways and embraced a sense of place. Kathleen Jamie – a nature poet who has also covered Scotland’s independent spirit – asks how human beings can live the right relationship with the natural world. Her poetry and her books of essays, Sightlines and Findings, have been at the centre of the revival of nature writing in recent years. Finding nature in the tiny cracks of daily life, as well as Orkney in midwinter and twenty-first-century flotsam on a shoreline in the Hebrides, Jamie helps us all renegotiate our relationship with the natural world. She will read from her work, and talk about this relationship.

Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland. Her poetry collections to date include The Overhaul, which won the 2012 Costa Poetry Prize, The Tree House which won both the Forward prize and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. Kathleen Jamie also writes non-fiction including the highly regarded Findings and Sightlines.

You will need to book for this event.

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Green and social justice

Anna CooteAnna Coote

23 Feb

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
Anna Coote of the New Economics Foundation sets out the case for a new social settlement which recognises that society, environment and economy are intimately linked. She argues that the primary goal of policy should be sustainable social justice, meaning the fair and equitable distribution of social, environmental, economic and political resources between people, places and generations. Any meaningful radical green programme would therefore need to address such issues as how we shift investment and action upstream to prevent harm, instead of coping once harm has occurred; redistributing paid and unpaid time; and valuing the ‘core economy’ which consists of all the unpaid activities and relationships in everyday life, without which the formal economy would grind to a halt. It would also seek to build a fair, sufficient and sustainable social security system; to develop co-production as the standard way of getting things done; and to ‘future-proof’ policies to safeguard the interests of generations that come after us. Anna Coote puts forward a radical green agenda, based on newly published work from NEF, for a new settlement that can meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Anna Coote is Head of Social Policy in the New Economics Foundation (NEF). She is editor of Time on Our Side (NEF, 2013) which explores the case for a shorter working week. Other recent publications for NEF include The Wisdom of Prevention, Cutting It: The Big Society and the New Austerity, and 21 Hours. A leading analyst, writer and advocate in the field of social policy, Anna was responsible for ground-breaking work on health and sustainable development as Commissioner for Health with the UK Sustainable Development Commission (2000-9). She led the Healthcare Commission’s work on engaging patients and the public (2005-8) and was Director of Health Policy at the King’s Fund (1998-2004). Earlier posts include Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) from 1989-1998, Editor and Producer of current affairs television for Diverse Productions (1982-6), and Deputy Editor of the New Statesman (1978-82).

You will need to book for this event.

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What a green government could do if it really tried

George MonbiotGeorge Monbiot

25 Feb

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
David Cameron promised his government would be the greenest government ever. George Monbiot says he’s failed – and failed badly. There’s clearly a need for radical change. But what could a green government do if it really wanted to be green? George Monbiot looks at what a green government’s programmes and policy could be examining,including among others, food, transport, energy, wildlife, rewilding, nuclear power and climate change and the impact this would have on individuals, communities, cities and the world. He presents the case he would make to parliament, the country, and the international negotiations on climate change.

George Monbiot studied zoology at Oxford, but his real education began when he travelled to Brazil in his twenties and joined the resistance movement defending the land of indigenous peasants. Since then he has spent his career as a journalist and environmentalist, working with others to defend the natural world he loves. His celebrated Guardian columns are syndicated all over the world and his website ( receives a quarter of a million hits a month. Monbiot is the author of the bestselling books Captive State, The Age of Consent, Bring on the Apocalypse and Heat, as well as the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man’s Land. Among the many prizes he has won is the UN Global 500 award for outstanding environmental achievement, presented to him by Nelson Mandela. His latest book is Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding.

You will need to book for this event.

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The only true conservationist is a Conservative

Roger ScrutonRoger Scruton

5 Mar

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
The Left makes the running on environmental issues – seeing the threats to the earth being international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources. The truth is the only true conservationist and environmentalist is a Conservative. The environment is the most urgent political problem of our age; the problem is that most environmental problems are generated and resolved by ordinary people often ignored by the environmental movement. Conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism; rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy NGOs and international committees, Scruton argues that we must all assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty. People must be empowered to take charge of their environment, to care for it as a home, and to affirm themselves through the kind of local associations that have been the traditional goal of conservative politics. This is the right path to take to ensure the future safety of our planet and our species.

Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher. He has specialised in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist. He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues. Among many other books he is the author of Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet.

You will need to book for this event.

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Coleridge, The Ancient Mariner, Bristol and beyond

Professor Richard Holmes OBE, FRSL, FBARichard Holmes

12 Mar

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
The publication of the Lyrical Ballads in Bristol in 1798 launched the Romantic poetry movement. Richard Holmes, author of the great two-volume Coleridge, and also of The Age of Wonder, looks at the life and work of Coleridge in Bristol and the Quantock Hills at this critical moment. What originally inspired the writing of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and what has this great and mysterious poem come to mean to us now? Holmes explores its varied interpretations, the revealing history of its illustrations, and its powerful emergence as a modern eco-fable. The poem speaks urgently to our own time about our duties towards the earth and the animals, and the spiritual – not merely physical – fate that may befall us should we fail in our stewardship, “alone on a wide wide sea”..

Richard Holmes is a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and was made an OBE in 1992. Coleridge: Early Visions won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year, and Coleridge: Darker Reflections won the 1999 Duff Cooper Prize and the Heinemann Award. Holmes was Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia 2001-2007. His other books include Shelley: The Pursuit, Dr Johnson & Mr Savage, and two studies of Romantic biography and autobiography, Footsteps and Sidetracks. His group biography of Romantic poets and scientists The Age of Wonder won the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2009 in the UK, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction 2010 in the USA. His latest book is a highly unconventional history of Romantic ballooning: Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air.

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Animals ‘in the Fraternity of universal Nature’

Andrew KellyAndrew Kelly

26 Mar

6 – 7 pm, Wills Memorial Building
The Romantics took great interest in science, the natural world and animals. In his utopian community the Pantisocracy (the all-governing society – where labour would be minimised and time devoted to study, liberal discussions and educating children) Coleridge said animals were to be brothers and sisters ‘in the Fraternity of universal Nature’. His poem ‘To a Young Ass’ hailed the animal he had befriended in Jesus College as ‘Brother’. Though mocked at the time for these views, animal rights and animal welfare were debated widely amongst the Romantics and remain controversial issues today. Andrew Kelly looks at the views of the Romantics and current campaigns for animals.

Andrew Kelly is director of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and Bristol Festival of Ideas, and is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England. His projects include Brunel 200, Bristol 800 and the annual Bristol Great Reading Adventure. He is the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, the Story of a Film (1998) and Cinema and the Great War (1997) among 12 other books. In 2014 he directed Bristol’s programme marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, the largest UK programme commemorating the centenary. He has campaigned on animal welfare and other social and environmental issues for 30 years. He speaks in a personal capacity.

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Re-imagining the city

Melissa HarrisonMelissa Harrison

2 Apr

6 – 7.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building
Think of ‘nature’ and most of us think of the deep countryside – but the natural world can live side-by-side with us in cities, too. 82% of us now live in urban areas, and in this richly imagined journey through one day in a British city novelist and nature writer Melissa Harrison will bring to life a world that most never know is there, and explore the social and ecological benefits of reimagining our relationship with our wild urban neighbours.

Melissa Harrison worked in non-fiction publishing for several years before moving into magazines, first as an editor and then on a freelance basis, with clients including Vogue, Time Out, Stuff and Mixmag. In 2008 she began spending more time on her own writing, and she won the John Muir Trust’s Award for Wild Writing in 2010. Melissa’s first novel, Clay, was published by Bloomsbury in January 2013. It was selected as an Amazon Rising Star, won the Portsmouth First Fiction Award, was named by Ali Smith as one of her books of the year and has been put on the HSC curriculum in New South Wales, Australia. Melissa writes for The FT and The Times, where she also contributes to their weekly ‘Nature Notebook’ column; her second novel, At Hawthorn Time, is published in April 2015.

You will need to book for this event.

Bristol 2015 European Green Capital programme announced

Bristol 2015 European Green Capital is today launching the initial programme that brings together the events, projects, summits and conferences that will shape the city’s year in the spotlight and a lasting green legacy. Bristol is the first UK city to be awarded the prestigious title and the programme promises to be the best-funded and most-comprehensive launched by any European Green Capital.

Already featuring 40 entries – from grassroots events in each of Bristol’s neighbourhoods, to projects from world-renowned artists that bring sustainability to life, an international green tech festival, national schools’ programme and wide-reaching volunteer scheme – the 2015 programme is designed to give everyone the chance to get involved in making Bristol an even happier and healthier place to live and work as well as a catalyst for change.

Bristol 2015 Ltd, the organisation set up to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, is working with two key partners in Bristol City Council and the Green Capital Partnership. Joining them are hundreds of partners and volunteers from across the city, including artist Luke Jerram, Business West and Low Carbon South West, to create the expansive programme that will be added to as the countdown to 2015 continues.

A handful of highlights from the initial programme for Bristol 2015 include:

  • Greentech Camp (March) – The camp will provide children and teenagers the opportunity to learn about and explore how technology can be used for green goals.
  • Filwood Green Business Park launch (March) – marking the city’s first BREEAM outstanding-rated business park and providing space for new and existing companies to set up shop in South Bristol, aiming to create around 350 new jobs.
  • Bristol Blue Whale (opens April 2015) – people from across the city can help to create a life-size ‘sculpture’ of a Blue Whale made from recycled materials. The Blue Whale will present the beauty of ocean life, and the growing human threats it faces.
  • Bristol 2015 Youth Summit (April) – bringing together the next generation for TED-style presentations, debates and workshops, followed by a rally on Earth Day (22nd April) that will send to a message from the young people of Bristol to the world.
  • Solar Balloon (Aug) – Cameron Balloons will unveil the world’s first modern solar powered balloon to launch at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
  • Community Tree Planting Week (Nov) – to mark National Tree Week, Bristol’s Tree Pips scheme will run a special community planting week where it will aim to plant as many trees as possible. Overall the scheme will see 36,000 new trees in Bristol by spring 2016.
  • Festival of Future Cities (Nov) – drawing commissioned writers, artists, filmmakers, poets, architects and others to the city. The festival will seek to bring together all the lessons learned during the year.

New project details will be added throughout the year.

As part of this, Bristol 2015 is inviting community groups, local businesses and voluntary organisations to join forces and become an official part of the city’s year as European Green Capital. From today, the programme can be added to by individual groups and organisations, meaning as many people as possible can get involved in 2015 – not just in attending events or taking advantage of projects, but by creating their own.

The full programme of activity is available to view on the Events section of this website. To register an event or project as part of the Bristol 2015 programme go to our Get Involved page.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is a great start. It is an initial programme which really gives people a feel for what to expect during our year as European Green Capital. We’re talking new jobs, exciting events, long-lasting environmental projects, better environmental education, more energy efficiency offers, more protection for green spaces and on-going improvements in our transport infrastructure.

“What you see today is only the beginning of what will be a city wide set of initiatives. There will be many more announcements to come, each adding something special to the comprehensive programme. Now that we’re inviting others to take part we can also expect hundreds of community events planned through the members of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, local businesses, voluntary organisations, community groups and individuals. 2015 is already looking special, and will be further enriched by more and more individual and community initiatives. I have no doubt that Bristol will be the most extensive and engaging Green Capital that Europe’s yet seen.”

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015, commented: “Throughout next year, Bristol will be home to a wide-reaching programme of activities and events that will showcase Bristol’s achievements and ambition. Today we have announced the initial programme which will grow over the year. There will be opportunities for all individuals, communities and organisations of all sizes to get involved and now we’re calling on the city to get behind the year by adding their own events to the programme too.”

To keep up to date on all the latest news and events from Bristol 2015 you can also follow Bristol2015 on Twitter or join the conversation on Facebook

Co-operative Skills seminar: Effective meetings and decision-making

Venue: Hamilton House 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, Avon BS1 3QY

When: 10th July 2014 10am – 5pm

This seminar will help you improve your participation and/or facilitation of effective meetings and improve decision-making within your co-operative. The seminar covers: roles in meetings, basic facilitation techniques for idea generation and decision-making tools with an emphasis on reaching consensus. Trainer: Phill Burton (Dynamix)



• to identify a range of different ways to make decisions & the different stages of decision-making

• to identify underpinning co-operative values in decision-making

• to explain consensus and the processes of consensus decision-making

• to explore different levels of decision-making and review this in the context of your own work

• to introduce a toolkit of methods to keep meetings effective

We are taking the innovative approach of flexible pricing to reflect worker co-operative principles of equity. The standard price for the professionally delivered, full day training is £75.
We would really appreciate that members who can afford to pay the supporter price of £100 should consider doing so, this will help struggling members attend at the hardship price of £50. The hardship price is aimed at members of Co-operatives UK that genuinely can’t afford it, but would benefit from the training.  Please note that we require sufficient numbers to attend at the £100 rate for this to be financially viable.

Walk your Talk 2014

Bookings now open 14-16 March (TBC)

at Buckland Hall

‘Leadership & Responsibility – How can we best act on our inspiration’?

An alliance of ‘Good Causes’ is currently forming to encourage politicians, media and economists to recognise social and environmental imperatives by asking different questions about what creates a ‘better economy’. At this Walk Your Talk, we invite people who lead networks, groups or organisations to delve into ways we can work most effectively together to inspire the mainstream with ideas of better economy.

Walk Your Talk is designed for those actively seeking more sustainable ways of living and working. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an executive, an artist, activist, inventor or investor, a consultant, student or a policy maker, you’ll leave feeling re-vitalised, more motivated and clear. Without fail, at least one person has some kind of transformative experience inspired by the rest of the group, which in turn inspires us all. Here’s how it works:

Walk Your Talk events are held in ‘Open Space’, a lightly facilitated process in which there are no designated experts or leaders. You steer your own course as the day(s) unfold, and shape your own agenda to suit your purpose and need. People learn together by walking and talking, sharing passions, curiosities, hopes, expertise and questions.

Drawing on each other’s wisdom, experience, encouragement and support, we all help each other with practical tips, connections, ideas, and advice to help overcome challenges and realise inspiring dreams. Many people leave with personal action plans of specific changes for their life and work.

Walk Your Talk is invariably a moving, productive, inspiring and refreshing experience. It’s all these things because we decide to give ourselves (and each other) enough time to get really deeply into the things that matter to us most. So although it seems hard to justify time ‘off work’ and away from families, it is precisely this gift that clears our heads, relaxes us, and takes us to a depth of understanding and relationship that eludes us from day to day. Have a look at the feedback from previous events, and ask yourself why you don’t deserve a fantastic working break in beautiful space, with wonderful people..

Secure your place by mailing now!

To share this invitation with others who might benefit from joining us at a Walk Your Talk event, click here to send them an email.

Click here to read what people said about Walk Your Talk.

The Walk Your Talk organising team is Mike Zeidler ( and Kate Jones (

Bristol starts its own Repair Cafe!

What do you do with a chair when the leg has come loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or a woollen jumper with moth holes? Toss it? No way!

You can repair it at the Repair Café.

Bristol’s Repair Cafe had an amazing first event with over 100 people in attendance.

Repair Cafe Bristol wants to help reduce mountains of waste, help neighbours get in touch with each other in a new way, and show that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home!

To find out more, visit

aSALT COURSE Nourishment For Change Activists

Are you a ‘food activist’ working for justice, peace or coexistence with nature? Are you transitioning from working for others to self-support?

The collaborative inquiry aSALT course (Spiritual Activist Leadership Training) may help you sustain your efforts. A Schumacher Institute learning programme, aSALT stands alone and fits well with Pale Blue Dot, the Sustainability Tool Kit and Shift.

“aSALT helped me take a leading role in PSC and East Side Roots as I’d learned to create an environment which engaged constructively with conflict” (Marian Connolly).

One evening, one day a month, Jan-Dec 2014, 10 sessions. Setting agendas together, activities include allotment, dialogue, creativity. Cost £600 payable in installments.

Facilitator: David Mowat.

Workshop – Real World Economics: Kick-starting the new economy on your doorstep

Hamilton House, Bristol

December 7 & 8

Cost: sliding scale £20 – £100

It’s the end of ‘business as usual’. The time has come to weave together a new social reality in alignment with our values, and to create an economic system that benefits us all. A system fit for the real world.


Based on the Human Scale Development framework of Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef, this workshop offers the chance to come together and dive deeply into the challenges we are facing and gain a new perspective on what is possible. It includes practical tools to engage your community, thought provoking presentations, group discussions and fun interactive exercises that will equip you to be an effective change-maker in your community.


You will learn:

• Models that integrate economics, ecology and wellbeing

• How concepts like ‘Gift culture’ and ‘Re-localisation’ fit into a new economic paradigm

• How to incorporate the concept of ‘Fundamental Human Needs’ into project design

• A range of practical tools for catalysing local innovation and enterprise


“Our focus has always been the wellbeing of our community. With this training we have acquired practical guidelines for meeting people’s fundamental needs as well as the tools to create successful projects.” Maria, Spain


Green Canoe logo Jay Tompt Inez Aponte Workshop leaders Inez Aponte and Jay Tompt are experienced facilitators. They are deeply involved in a number of education and community regeneration projects with Transition Town Totnes and work with groups across Europe.

To book ring 07906 262301 or email

Permaculture weekend course in Bristol

11th and 12th January 2014, 10am to 5pm

Coexist, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY

Looking for ways to live more sustainably but are unsure of how to take action?

Join us for a two-day permaculture course that offers positive and practical solutions.

Permaculture is a regenerative, ethical design approach that replicates natural systems, to tread lightly on the Earth. Whether designing a community garden, or your urban window ledge, the principles of permaculture can guide you in your journey to a truly sustainable lifestyle.

Inspiring, informative and interactive, this two-day course will equip you with an understanding of the fundamentals of permaculture, including the ethics, principles, and practical design methods.

Who is it for?: This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in permaculture, sustainable living, or are just curious and wanting to develop their understanding. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the basics of permaculture and leave with ideas of what you can do next and how to apply what you have learnt. No prior knowledge or experience necessary.

Cost: £100 (£60 concessions)

Booking: For more information and to book email or call 07789 147545

Eastside Roots – Sale of Fruit Trees and Bushes

Friday and Saturday 20th and 21st December 2013
Friday and Saturday 3rd and 4th January 2014

At Stapleton Rd Station, Easton, BS16 1AU

• Bare root apple, pear, cherry, gage and plum
• Rhubarb
• Thornless blackberry
• Raspberry
• Blackcurrant
• Loganberry
• Honeyberry
• Blueberry
• Gooseberry

All trees and bushes are UK grown

Very competitive prices

Orders taken
Complete an order form to prevent disappointment.
(We cannot hold an order after 4pm on 4th January)

For further information contact:

Sustainable Redland AGM 19th November

Susredland’s AGM this year will be on Tues 19th Nov, 7.30, at Rob Haward’s
house 7 Exeter Buildings. Drinks will be available.

We want as many as possible to come this year as the present officers are
standing down and we need to elect a new Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
If you’d like to stand for any of these roles or nominate someone else to do
so, please let me know in advance ( And do
remember how much we pride ourselves on the brevity of our formal AGM
business. It’s always been less than 10 minutes.

We want to use the event to celebrate Susredland’s achievements over its
eight years existence, and have invited a number of people to talk very
briefly about different activities we’ve initiated or been involved with,
such as the Farmers’ Market, BS6 Open Streets, the CRAG and Mapping projects
and so on.

As our survival is dependent on looking forward we decided we wanted to
increase the mailing list, streamline the website and make an accessible
archive available for new members. We also wanted to look at the Monkey
Survey study carried out to see what it tell us.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is just out, and
it doesn’t make easy reading. One thing is clear though – people in power
will do nothing to curb carbon output unless we the voters tell them, and
this is where grassroots organisations like ours are essential. We spread
the word, take initiatives, cajole, urge, set examples, push boundaries,
inform, tell the truth and ask questions. It’s us who keep up the pressure,
and to do so we have to keep ourselves involved, strong and active.

Susredland’s at an interesting new stage. The public are generally better
informed about climate change than when we started eight years ago, but the
obvious evidence about say car usage, the government’s dash for gas or
increasing demand for flying suggests most prefer to remain in denial about
the climate change effects of their behaviour. Better the devil you know.
Our job is to keep up the pressure against this background above all through
example, and keeping on doing the things we do in as many creative and
imaginative ways as possible.

So…please come to the AGM, and bring a friend too.

Hamish Wills