January Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Kicking off 2020, XR Chippenham welcomes plenty of new faces. We’ve held 2 busy socials, a packed Heading for Extinction talk and a stall on the bridge. That’s just the beginning…

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(** MUST DO ACTIONS IF POSSIBLE ) ** 

Demand action from Wiltshire County Council – 25 February

Wiltshire XR groups and other concerned parties, will join in an action at Trowbridge County Hall to mark the one-year anniversary of WCC declaring a climate emergency, but to date taking virtually NO ACTION.  During the last Cabinet meeting, WCC confirmed their strategy to spend £200m on new roads and to facilitate planning for 40,000 new houses to be built over Wiltshire woodland and countryside, and yet they plan to spend £0 … i.e. not a single penny … on insulating or upgrading existing housing stock.  Details of the action are being finalised over the next couple of days, so keep an eye on Facebook or our website for updates, but please save the date, plan how you will get there and ask other non-XR groups you’re a member of, to take part.  If you would like to feed into the planning of this action, please contact xrchippenham@gmail.com.

XR Chippenham attends Chippenham Area Board – Monday 3 February, 6pm

XR Chippenham meets socially in Grounded on the first and third Monday of each month. HOWEVER! On 3rd February members and any other interested people are asked instead to attend the Chippenham Area Board meeting at Sheldon School from 6pm.
At this meeting members of the group will be presenting information at a stand.  

IF YOU CAN ARRIVE EARLY: from 6pm and during the exhibition we will need XR people to talk with other attendees about XR, our 3 demands and the work we are doing, much like the action we have been doing on the bridge. We also need to speak to as many councillors as possible to talk about our demands and work we are doing. We need to persuade them to take on a more proactive role in the council, and tell the truth!

AND FROM 7PM: there will be an environmental workshop. We need people to join each table group, so, during discussion, XR’s 3 demands are included and considered. The outcomes from the workshop will be then passed to Wiltshire County Council.

TO HAVE A GREAT TURNOUT AT THE MEETING WOULD BE AMAZING. It will send the message that we are committed and serious about this, and we have a large group within the town. Seeing how much support we have should get councillors to take more notice of us.

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OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT XR CHIPPENHAM

  • People’s Assemblies: are you interested in working in a small team to develop People’s Assembliesto support XR Chippenham’s decision making?  If you have a flair for facilitating groups and care about democracy, please contact Karin.
  • The Hourglass: issue 4 of the XR’s newspaper has landed. Copies will be available at XR Chippenham socials. Please take as many as you can to share with family, colleagues, neighbours and leave at pubs, cafes, transport hubs, doctors, dentists etc.
  • Regenerative Culture: it would be great to grow our capacity in developing a regenerative culture (i.e. taking care of ourselves and each other). If you have skills, ideas, or time to share please contact Jenny. There are many ways your input can be helpful, through occasional conversations, helping to organise a specific event, or becoming a more regular member of the regenerative and wellbeing working group.
  • Lobbying Group: the lobbying group welcomes sign ups on the rota to send brief but powerful emails to Wiltshire politicians.  (If you’re not on Basecamp, please email the lobby group).
  • Barclays Bank action: various XR Wiltshire groups are planning a day of action to draw attention to Barclays investments in fossil fuels. If you wish to join in the planning of the action, or on the day, please contact James

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OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS…

XR Chippenham Socials

Our socials/meetings continue on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month from 7-9pm in Grounded (upstairs).  All dates are advertised on our Facebook page and on our website.  If you are new to XR and wish to find out a little more, please do come along – there will be a warm welcome.   

Wellbeing Walk – Sunday 2 February, 10.30am

On the first Sunday of each month we meet for a walk, starting from the bridge at the bottom of the High Street. These walks are lovely and relaxed, with plenty of time to chat and see some new parts of Chippenham. We finish at 12.30 at Grounded for lunch for those who want to stay. Family and friends are very welcome.  

Avon Needs Trees Talk (with Nikki Jones) – Monday 10 February, 7pm

Avon Needs Trees is a registered charity based in Bristol that is buying land in the Bristol-Avon Catchment Area for reforesting. Planting trees will sequester carbon from the air, enhance bio-diversity and give us natural flood management, as well as water and air quality improvement, and more public amenity space.  Details of the talk are on Facebook and our website, please share far and wide!

Art Workshops – Monday 24 February, 7pm

XR Chippenham Art Workshops are back in the barn at the Old Road Tavern.  We have a new project to make a Tree of Life which can be used to hang pledges, messages, wishes, protests, you name it. The idea is that it will attract attention at events and be a way the public can engage.  EVERYONE WELCOME please bring any old brightly covered fabric, it can have patterns, but not be heavy – no curtain or denim weight.  Also old wire if you have it.  

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Rebel for life,

XR Chippenham

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Heading for extinction talk

On Monday 13th January XR Chippenham organised and hosted the popular Extinction Rebellion talk, “Heading for extinction and what to do about it”, presented by Rosie Jones at the Old Road Tavern.

In the first half of the talk the topics discussed included the science of climate change and ecological breakdown as well as the current and future consequences for life on Earth. After a break for reflection and discussion the talk continued. The second part looked at research into movements for social change and how non-violent direct action had been the most successful strategy historically.

The talk was very well-attended and generated much interest around the idea of upgrading democracy with citizens assemblies and questions about the experience of being arrested.

We hope to host this talk and other talks in the not-too-distant future, so if you missed this one, keep an eye on our events calendar.

December Newsletter

Welcome to our end of year newsletter, and what a year it’s been!

At this reflective time of year, you might like to have a read through all the positive actions we have achieved since XR Chippenham started in May..

  • We joined thousands for the Autumn Uprising in London. Two members staying for 2 weeks, and one for 1 week. With others spending days (and sleepless nights) supporting the movement
  • Set up an excellent lobbying group doing fabulous work lobbying Chippenham Town Council, Wilts Council and local MPs
  • Held 2 public outreach events on the bridge in Chippenham
  • Put on several well-attended talks and training (Non-Violent Direct Action)events
  • Went to protest in Bristol during the 5 cities uprising in the summer
  • Handed out flyers at the Chippenham Folk Festival
  • Chalked the streets for the soap box derby
  • Put up 2 banners over the M4 to highlight the need to act over air pollution and CO2 emissions
  • Opened a Facebook page, email newsletter, a website and Twitter account
  • Held numerous socials and regenerative activities
  • Held our first people’s assembly
  • Went on walks and picked litter
  • Established working groups for lobbying, actions, arts, regenerative culture, talks & training, and media & messaging
  • Set up a lively Basecamp group
  • Made connections with other groups
  • Held creative workshops to make some very popular bees , plus flags and banners
  • Talked our socks off, argued, laughed, hugged, got things right, got things wrong
  • Attended climate strikes in Bath
  • Cut down rapeseed on Chippenham roundabout

It’s amazing when you look back on what we’ve done together – so many thanks are deserved to all who have got involved!

We have the events below already planned in the new year, then we have the exciting task of deciding where to focus our energy for the year ahead. 



Upcoming events…

XR Chippenham Socials

Our socials / meetings continue on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month from 7-9pm in Grounded (upstairs).

All dates are advertised on our Facebook page and on our website

If you are new to XR and wish to find out a little more, please do come along – there will be a warm welcome.   


Wellbeing Walk – 5th Jan

Join us for a relaxed wander and a chat and see how the river changes with the seasons.

If you have them, it would be useful to bring: XR patches, hi-vis vests, litter pickers, gloves, a bag for rubbish and a bag for recycling (we do some cleaning up as we go).

Feel free to bring friends and family.

Meet at 10.30 on the bridge at the bottom of the high street. There’s an option to go for lunch at Grounded afterwards for those who wish.


Outreach Event  –  11th Jan

Following the success of our outreach and awareness raising events in October and November where we met lots of people on the bridge in the centre of Chippenham, we’re planning to do another on 11th January . 

If you haven’t yet signed up but would like to help the team, please contact xrchippenham@gmail.com.


Talk – Climate Change: Heading for Extinction (and what to do about it) – 13th Jan

In this public talk, members of Extinction Rebellion will share the latest climate science, discuss the current psychology around climate change, and offer solutions through the study of social movements.

Everyone is welcome, although due to space constraints, please ensure you reserve your place via Eventbrite.

Entry is free, but donations towards speaker travel expenses will be gratefully received.

The venue is The Barn at the Old Road Tavern. This can be accessed from either the Old Road or New Road side of the pub.


XR Chippenham attends Chippenham Area Board – 3rd Feb

On 3 February members and any other interested people are asked to attend the Chippenham Area Board meeting at Sheldon School from 7pm.

At this meeting members of the group will be giving a brief presentation.

More information to follow on the Facebook page..


Avon Needs Trees Talk (with Nikki Jones) – 10th Feb

A Talk by Nikki Jones from Avon Needs Trees.

Avon Needs Trees is a registered charity based in Bristol that is buying land in the Bristol-Avon Catchment Area for reforesting.

Planting trees will sequester carbon from the air, enhance bio-diversity and give us natural flood management, as well as water and air quality improvement, and more public amenity space.

Everyone is welcome.

Entry is free, but donations towards speaker travel expenses will be gratefully received.

The venue is The Barn at the Old Road Tavern. This can be accessed from either the Old Road or New Road side of the pub. 


Demand for action from Wiltshire County Council – 25th Feb

The aim is to mobilise all Wiltshire XR members, as well as other local groups who are aware of the Climate & Ecological emergency, to join XR in an action at Trowbridge County Hall around 8:30am on Tuesday 25-Feb-2020. This is to mark the one-year anniversary of WCC declaring a climate emergency but to date, taking virtually NO ACTION at all;  WCC are continuing with Business as Usual.

During the last Cabinet meeting, WCC confirm their strategy to oversee a spend of £200m on new roads and to facilitate planning for 40,000 new houses, to be built over Wiltshire woodland and countryside. And yet they plan to spend £0 … i.e. not a single penny … on insulating or upgrading existing housing stock. There is no regard for County CO2 emissions, or ecological destruction in this strategy.

The rough outline is to assemble from 8:30am at Trowbridge train station, walk with banners, bands and colour to Trowbridge county Hall prior to the 10:30am Full Council meeting, then make our presence known outside county hall, inside the public atrium and in the council chamber. It is crucial to get the numbers to show that the people of Wiltshire understand the magnitude of the Climate & Ecological emergency, even when WCC don’t, and demand Action from our local government function. 

So, three things to do please:

1.       Save the date in your diary and plan how you will get to Trowbridge for around 8:30am on Tuesday 25-Feb-2020.

2.       Call on all of the members of all the non-XR local groups which you are a member of to go too – it’s important and powerful to stand out and ‘be counted’

3.       Consider how to best use your talents to personally demand that WCC councillors stop talking and take Action

What Greta Thunberg said in her powerful words at COP25of national Government (“without pressure from the people, our leaders can get away with basically not doing anything”) is also true, right now, within our County and Town governments, and time is running out.

There is an organisers meeting on 25-Jan-2019. If you would like to feed into the planning, please contact xrchippenham@gmail.com.


Art Group


The Art Group will return to the barn at The Old Road Tavern in the new year to create new projects.

Details later.


And finally…. we wish you a happy and restful festive season.

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We would love to see you in 2020.

Rebel for life,
XR Chippenham



Meeting the public in Chippenham – Saturday 30th November

Cathy, Sue and Terry meet the public.

Following the success of our similar outing in October, members of XR Chippenham have been out meeting the public again today. We were accompanied by a small swarm of homemade bees, banners and flags, some describing XR’s principles and values.

Offering flapjack, cake and insights into the climate crisis, we engaged with passers-by to understand their views of the climate crisis and suggest ways they might get involved.

A team of volunteers of all ages rotated throughout the day, found out what the people of Chippenham think about the climate and ecological crisis and let them know about out free talk in January.

“Heading For Extinction and what to do about it”, 7pm 13th January @ The Old Road Tavern