Alternative estuary No.06 is back from the printer:)

Our latest printed ‘zine has come back from our friends at Oxford GreenPrint and is ready for distribution. As our finances mean we can only afford a limited print run, we’re making it available online as a downloadable PDF:

Alternative Estuary No.6

PLEASE NOTE – For the best viewing experience, we recommend that you download this PDF from DropBox to your PC/laptop/phone.

We’re also making all the content and images available below in this post:


Here are the themes we cover in this issue… We look at how a growing number of people are moving beyond putting a tick in a box every few years and instead, are getting involved in a range of grassroots, community orientated projects. This is backed up by an example of how this works in practice – The Gloucester Park Community Group in Basildon. We then have a two pronged call to arms regarding what needs to be done to start regaining control of our food supply so we don’t end up in a dystopian situation where what we eat is solely controlled by faceless corporations. We also look at how we can start to get off the unsustainable consumer treadmill. For further inspiration, there’s a list of our publications which are available online and in print. Last but by no means least, there’s the back page which lists a number of grassroots projects along the estuary in the south of Essex and the north of Kent along with some useful resources. Once you’ve read this issue of Alternative Estuary, we hope you’ll be inspired to get stuck into a grassroots project that will go some way towards building the new world we want in the shell of the dysfunctional and dystopian one we currently have to endure:)

Not apathetic at all…

After the local elections back in May, particular attention was paid to the low turnout with 70% of the electorate choosing to not exercise their right to cast a vote for a local councillor. For a range of reasons, people have little or no faith in their local council. One of them is the perception that the real power lies with the senior council officers who are unelected and pretty much unaccountable. That was certainly one of the key reasons for the low turnout in Thurrock.

Does this mean people don’t care about what happens in their community? A superficial analysis would suggest that’s the case. A more in depth look at what actually happens at the level of the community paints a completely different picture…

While people may not have a lot of trust in their council, many do care and are willing to get stuck into a wide variety of grassroots, community orientated projects. You only have to take a look at the back page of this ‘zine to see the number of initiatives that are operating along the estuary. Bear in mind that this is far from a comprehensive list – it’s just scratching the surface and we’re doing what we can to add to it as and when we’re alerted to the existence of a project.

A growing number of people are concluding that meaningful change will not come from sticking a cross on a ballot paper every year or so. Instead they’re organising to bring about change in their neighbourhoods on a whole range of fronts.

These range from residents taking over the running of their local park and transforming it into a vibrant community hub, through setting up community gardens all the way through to operating repair cafes, running school uniform banks and food banks. All of these fill the gaps that are left by dysfunctional local authorities. Some achieve aims that a local council wouldn’t even have considered. More importantly, these projects bring people together and create a sense of solidarity and cohesion.

Also, they give participants a sense there’s something they can collectively have some degree of control over. Each in their own way bring a little bit of power down to the grassroots. It’s this feeling of empowerment and achieving results at a neighbourhood level that’s one of the vital building blocks in creating the world we want rather than having to endure the dystopian one we currently exist in.

In essence, this is what the Alternative Estuary project is about. Encouraging grassroots projects that make a difference and empower those who take part in them. It’s about a quiet revolution at the level of the neighbourhood that has the potential to bring about meaningful and long overdue change.

Put something back at your local park


The Gloucester Park Community Group

The group is for people who love the park, with the aim of improving it and protecting this beautiful place for future generations to enjoy.

It has been set up by users of the park who are working with the council and other partners to improve its environment, making Gloucester Park a great place to visit.

You can find us on Facebook:

We are discussing improvements and organising litter-picking and work parties. Come along and get involved – there’s information about this on the Facebook page.


As a consequence of lockdowns and tiered restrictions having limited where people can travel to since March 2020, many have discovered what’s on their doorstep in their local park. Some have already decided to put something back by volunteering to help keep their park looking good and being a nice place to visit. Gloucester Park in Basildon that’s featured above is just one of a number of parks in the region we cover that has its own ‘friends’ group to help achieve this. The more of these groups that can be set up, the better, because not only do they play a role in making our parks better, they also empower the residents and users of the park who get involved.

To get you inspired, these are some posts we’ve published on the Alternative Estuary blog about the benefits of residents and users getting involved in volunteering at and running their local parks.

Valuing our parks – May 1, 2020

Staying grounded… – June 21, 2019

Hardie Park getting the recognition it deserves – May 20, 2019

A sense of urgency is needed right now!

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) a.k.a. the Great Reset aren’t conspiracy theories. They’re really happening and if we don’t take action right now, we’ll be locked into a dystopian, techno-fascist hell where our food supply and our diets will be owned and dictated by vast faceless corporations. Once these bastards have control of our food supply, they have control of our lives. Think about the move to a cashless society, some form of state controlled Universal Basic Income (UBI) and a system of social credits and you’ll get a clear picture of the direction we’re being pulled in.

We’ve said this before but make absolutely no apologies for repeating it – whoever controls the food supply controls the lives of the population. Well, we sure as heck don’t relish the prospect of our food supply and lives being controlled by massive profit focused corporations or psychopaths such as Bill Gates thank you very much.

Putting it simply, the more of our food we can grow and process as individuals or collectively as part of a neighbourhood grassroots project, the more control we have over our lives. What does this mean in practice? Basically get digging right now!

If you live in a block of flats, get together with like minded neighbours to see if there’s a plot of land that can be guerilla gardened. If you have a balcony, stick as many pots of what takes your fancy on it – every little bit makes a difference. If there are allotments available in your area, get hold of one. If a plot seems like too much work, team up with neighbours/friends to take it on.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a house with a garden, the solution is right outside your backdoor. Turn over what you can to growing your own vegetables and fruit. We have a relatively small backyard and have managed to achieve three months self sufficiency in vegetables from that. We’re aiming for at least four months this year – more if at all possible.

If you have a house with a garden, then you as an individual are empowered to grow your own food. It will certainly make a difference. However, what will really shake the foundations of the increasingly technocratic, dystopia we’re being driven towards is if people organise the cultivation and growing of their food collectively. These techno-fascists want to control every aspect of our lives. They want to reduce us to atomised, passive consumers. Organising collectively to grow our own food reinforces vital social bonds, builds community cohesion and starts to build the new world we want instead of the one we’re currently obliged to endure.

Longer term security can also be secured not just from growing your own food but also from saving and nurturing seeds for the following seasons. This is how a wider variety of crops can be ensured. This can be enhanced by collectively starting up a seed bank with like minded people. This is not just to save and conserve seeds but also to exchange expertise and to learn.

Gaining control of our food supply at the grassroots is not some nice, feel good add on to our lives. It’s certainly not virtue signalling. If we want the freedom and autonomy that we need to live a truly human life, it’s an absolute necessity. This is what the Alternative Estuary project is about – doing what we can to encourage, support and facilitate those taking the first steps towards growing their own food. It’s one of the first steps in what ultimately has to be a full on revolution that will rid us of the techno-fascists once and for all. To re-iterate – we are NOT a fluffy feel good project!

Alternative ways of subverting the system

A lot can be done in the here and now to start building the kind of world we want to bring about. What we’re talking about is starting to set up parallel systems and where possible, move off grid.

The consumer treadmill is one place where we can make a start. Rather than constantly upgrading, disposing and renewing, how about repairing and making instead?

Do you really need to upgrade the smartphone? Given the growing possibility of digital vaccine passports and eventually digital ID, will you even want a smartphone that will keep you plugged into a system of increasingly ubiquitous surveillance? Would a so called ‘dumbphone’ or ‘burner’ phone be a better and safer option?

Rather than be a slave to the latest in computer technology, why not forget about the latest shiny iMac and opt for a second hand desktop or laptop where’s it’s possible to repair it yourself? Heck, why not get a typewriter and go back to analogue? If as an activist, you want security of communications, typed missives are a lot safer than hackable computers!

There’s a growing repair movement where people meet up, bring along the items and appliances they want fixed and are either shown how to repair them or matched with someone who has the skill and expertise to fix them. Not only does this extend the life of your items, it’s social and a way of forming a collective of like minded people.

Assessing your real needs and cutting down on unnecessary consumption is a way of undermining an economic system that’s dependent on you staying plugged in and buying. What can the government of the day and the corporations do about it? At the moment, absolutely nothing!

Our publications


“The Fourth Industrial Revolution a.k.a. the Great Reset isn’t a conspiracy theory as some would have you believe. This is happening and if we don’t step up to the plate and take action right now, we’ll be locked into a dystopian, techno-fascist hell where our food supply and our diets will be owned and dictated by vast faceless corporations.”

Guerilla gardening… Just do it!

“We live in uncertain times where there’s more potential for disruption to the food supply and a question mark over the quality of the limited choice of food we’re left with. Rather than give into despair or naïvely hold out the hope that things will turn out okay in the end, why not join up with your neighbours to start your own community vegetable and fruit garden?”

Putting the politics into veganism

“Veganism used to be radical. It used to be seen as a challenge to the choke hold big business has on our food supply. Now it’s been co-opted by the brands and retailers and turned into another lifestyle option they can exploit for profit.”

Taking back our land

“Land ownership is a means of exerting power. Taking back the land from the owners and re-purposing it as a community asset is a challenge to that power.”

Not feeling safe in your neighbourhood?

“Way back in 2007 and 2008 when we stood in the local elections for the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) in the Stanford East & Corringham Town ward, one of the issues that was frequently raised on the doorstep was community safety…”

In an ideal world, all of the above would be getting distributed when we attend various radical/community/vegan fairs. However, the dislocation since March 2020 means we can no longer rely on these as a way of handing out our publications. Which is why we’ve made them all available as digital downloads from this page on our blog:

Projects and resources

Brenna Quinlan (permaculture illustrator) – Facebook:

Fields in Trust:

People’s Land Policy: Land Reform from the Ground Up:

Permaculture Association:

Seeds For Change:


The Land:

The Right to Roam:

Local initiatives


Billericay Community Garden –

Breathing Space South Essex – Facebook:

en-form The Colchester Environment Centre – Facebook:

One Love Soup Kitchen – Facebook:

Passionate About Hardie Park – Facebook:

Riverside Community Grays Big Local – Facebook:

South East Essex Organic Gardeners:

Southend In Transition Community Allotment – Facebook:

Southend Storehouse – Facebook:


Northfleet Big Local – Facebook:

Stream Walk Community Garden, Whitstable – Facebook:

The Retreat – Animal Rescue:

Windmill Community Gardens – Facebook:

Let’s grow this list!

We know this is not a comprehensive list of what’s happening across the south of Essex and north Kent. If your project has been left out, please accept our apologies. Alternative Estuary is a work in progress and is evolving all the time. We want to link to more grassroots community projects on our blog. If you want to be included, please send us a description of what you do along with aims and ethos plus the all important link to your website/blog/social media page. If it fits our criteria of a progressive grassroots initiative that’s making a difference, we’ll be more than happy to put up a link to it.

Where we are on the Net


Alternative Estuary:

Estuary Stirrings:

The Thurrock and Basildon Heckler:

Social media

Alternative Estuary – Facebook:

South Essex Radical Media – Facebook:

South Essex Radical Media – Twitter:



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