Oil Palm Exhibit at Eden

The Eden Project is currently featuring a brilliant display on work being done to prevent the destruction of tropical rain forests due to the massive expansion of oil palm. This oil, as we know, is high yielding and is used very very widely. Global demand means pressure on growers to produce more, and that means cutting down those precious tropical rainforests and replacing them with palm oil plantations.

So what can we do? Our wallets are our weapons!

  • Check labels
  • Buy products containing sustainable palm oil
  • Use alternative oils
  • Support projects working to make a difference. There are people out there doing it. Farnon Ellwood for example, spends much of his time in the canopy of the rainforests in Borneo. A wildlife heaven but under threat of the hell of destruction. He tells miraculous tales of experiences among the orangutans and being accepted by them up in the canopy. He is researching whether birds’ nest ferns can help in the journey to making palm oil sustainable.

“While we cannot prevent oil palm expansion, we can encourage development that considers the importance of biodiversity and the well-being of local people. It’s time to move away from extreme positions on oil palm and focus on identifying ways to ensure production is sustainable.”
– Dr Farnon Ellwood

Next time you’re at Eden, have a look at the display in the Tropical Biome, or have a read here.

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Knitted Christmas Pudding ‘Recipe’

Some of you who came to Tea & Tinsel yesterday asked for a pattern for the lovely little knitted Christmas puddings on the tables (made by our own clever Federation Chairman, Margaret Johns0n).

The puds hold a Ferrero Rocher (or similar) chocolate and are perfect little gifts. Why not give it a go? The “recipe” is quite simple.

Brown and white double-knitting yarn
Size 4mm knitting needles
Green felt
3 red seed beads
1 chocolate
A few inches of glittery thread (for hanging loop)

Using the brown yarn (leaving a long tail for sewing up), cast on 20 stitches
K1 P1 rib for 8 rows
Change to white yarn
Knit 3 rows
Purl 1 row
Start decreasing: K1, K2 together along row until last stitch, K1
Purl 1 row
K1, K2 together along row
Purl 1 row
Cut off thread (leave enough to sew up, thread through stitches on needle)

Sewing up:
Pull stitches on white knitting tight, with right sides together sew up
Start from the other end and sew up the brown
Fasten off the end securely
Using green felt cut out a tiny holly shape with 3 leaves (keep it all in one piece)
Sew 3 red seed beads on and securely sew the whole thing to the top of the pudding
Thread glittery thread through top of pudding and tie securely on the inside; make sure it is long enough to hang on the tree

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Christmas Came Early to Chy Noweth

Fifty WI members from all over Cornwall descended on Chy Noweth today for an early taste of Christmas.

It was ‘Tea and Tinsel’, always a popular event for CFWI. The Board of Trustees served members a delicious afternoon tea of sandwiches, sausage rolls, scones, cakes and meringues. Once the crackers were pulled, Nigel Skews entertained the group with songs, some old favourites and some festive Christmas numbers.

It wasn’t long before we had a visit from a very special guest. The man himself appeared and handed out presents to everyone. A few members were particular taken with his beard!

Everyone went home full and with smiles on their faces!

You can see more Tea and Tinsel photos here.

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Mawnan WI Celebrates UK Parliament Week

To commemorate the centenary of the first women being given the right to vote, Mawnan WI marked UK Parliament Week by mounting a celebratory montage of women in the South West who campaigned for equal voting rights. The montage is on display in Mawnan Memorial Hall.

UK Parliament Week is a UK-wide festival held in November, which aims to engage people from different backgrounds to have a say in their democracy. Sally Annan, Mawnan WI President, said: “We are excited to join thousands of organisations across the country getting involved in UK Parliament Week 2018 and getting more people involved in playing a vital role in their democracy. We hope that all the users of the Hall will stop to look at our montage and read about these inspirational women.”

Mawnan WI has held several community events to celebrate this centenary including holding a march from the centre of the village to Trebah Gardens and showing a free screening of the film “Suffragette”.

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An Afternoon Tea for Falmouth WI

Falmouth Wl enjoyed an elegant afternoon tea this week as their centenary year winds to a close.


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Do You Know the History of the Cornish Cream Tea?

Producers are currently working on a new series of Inside the Factory for BBC2. As part of an episode, they are very interested in featuring the history of cream tea in Cornwall and how it relates to the invention of steam trains and the growth of tourism. If you know anything about it (or know anyone who might know anything about it), please contact producer Sarah-Louise Ball on 02031 415951

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Royal Cornwall Show 2019

We invite WIs to enter the 2019 Royal Cornwall Show Cup competition, A Celebration of Cornwall.

There is plenty of time for you to don those thinking caps and come up with something truly original to mark this occasion. It might include a special place, story, person, landmark or typical Cornish event. You can really go to town with this title, and with one of the items being a craft in any medium, there is a chance for lesser-known crafts to be exhibited and discovered.

If you have never entered before, make this the year you begin. Besides the fun of WI members working together as a team, it can be ticked off on your Centenary Passport – another plus!

The 2018 Barbara Reed Trophy competition winning entry.

What we’re hoping to see is some original thinking and some items that are instantly recognisable as Cornish. Notebooks out then and get cracking!

In addition, 2019’s Barbara Reed Trophy competition calls for a craft item on the theme of ‘Iconic Cornwall’ – there’s lots of scope for some real creativity! The Barbara Reed Trophy competition is for the work of an individual member, unlike the group effort of the Royal Cornwall Show Cup competition.

If you’ve been to some of our wonderful floral arts workshops over the past year, you might want to enter some of the fantastic Floral Arts competition at the Royal Cornwall Show. As always, there’s a Novice category, so if you’ve never entered before, why not have a go?

The full schedules for all RCS competitions are available here.

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A 70th Birthday Celebration for Germoe & District WI

Virginia Laity, Anna Harry, Jan Semmens and Sheena Thomasson

Germoe & District WI members celebrated their 70th birthday at their November meeting by holding a buffet supper with invited guests. Liz Anderson, CFWI Adviser, joined members from Sithney & District WI, Perranuthnoe & District WI and several ex-members, including founder member Virginia Laity.

The membership carries on down the generations from original founder members – present were Jan Semmens, daughter of Joyce Trudgeon; Anna Harry, daughter of Audrey Edwards; and Sheena Thomasson, Germoe & District President, granddaughter of Edith Hobson who was also onetime President.

A huge array of delicious food was provided by members; Maureen Gibson was responsible for the decorations, invitations and keepsakes with a theme of pink roses; and Sue Rayment made the cake decorated with 70 pink icing roses.

The enjoyable entertainment was provided by The Buccas Four, who then joined the company for supper. A big thank you to you all – especially the washer-uppers!

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WI Members of a Feather Flock Together

After an early start and on a rather grey and mizzly day, a group of WI members set off last week on a Federation birdwatching trip. They headed to a new venue for us all, the RSPB reserve at Bowling Green Marsh Exeter. Accompanied by Roger Hooper, a knowledgeable and enthusiasic volunteer for RSPB, the gruop walked almost 6 miles, enjoying the views and taking time to look at the different species of birds on the marshes.

After lunch, there was even time for a little retail therapy at Darts Farm, and then onto Powderham Castle to look out over the estuary.


Thank you to Roger for giving up his time, driving the mini-bus and putting up with 16 WI members! And a big thank you to our Activity & Leisure sub-committee for organising the event.

You can see more photos of the Birdwatching Day here.

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Mawnan WI’s Bras Head to Africa!

When Mawnan WI asked their members and the village community to donate bras for girls and women in Africa, they didn’t expect such an incredible response! How many bras do you think they collected? Nearly 700 bras were handed in to the collection points at the local café and the village primary school whose help was greatly appreciated. Many of those involved did not know that wearing a bra confers status to girls and young women in Africa, and consequently it helps to protect them from assaults and rape. The project originated in response to WI members being asked for ideas of how to mark World Kindness Day. To celebrate the success of the initiative, members hung some of the bras on lines stretching across the Memorial Hall at their November Monthly Meeting – they are now on their way to the charity ‘Smalls for All’ for distribution.

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