The Watercress Queen

Waterside Clothes swaps has been running swaps in the Waterside area for the last two years. And very sucessful they have been at helping our local community swap clothing and reduce the amount of money they need to spend on new clothing, as well as raising money for local charities.

All but the first swap have been in the Hythe sea scout hut whic works really well as a venue. But sadly the hall got flooded this spring, and the floor is not going to be in a fit state to cope with the heavey use a clothes swap brings.

So this is our opportunity to try out a new venue!

The next swap May Clothes Swap will be at Blackfield Baptist church. This gives us the chance to try out a new location, with a longer term goal of running more swaps per year and in more locations to reach as many people as we can.


Most of our swaps have raised money for other local charities, but we have always had the vision of doing more, being able to be part of a more circular economy that helps people and planet.

The way we hope to do this is by having a container situtated at the Baptist Church to act as a storge for the clothes between swaps, as well as a clothing bank that people can be refered to for clothes, and on top of all that clothing can be turned into new items of clothing or useful items.

How can you help?

Supporting our swaps, come along and have some fun, fnd new clothes, and make a donation you can afford on the way out.

Making a donation 

The upper estimated costs of getting a conatiner in place and fitted out is £5000. We hope it will cost a lot less than this, but have to know we can fund the whole project before we start. There is the possibility of help with the bulk of the funding, but we have to show there is community support, so we have a fundraising goal of £500 to apply for the help with funding. We are 2/3rds of the way there already, can you get us over the line?

Our decicated clothes swap online donation portal


Thank you - together we can do this !

15:27, 29 Apr 2024 by Lucie Mann

Earth Day. 22nd April 2024


I do love the idea we have a day to celebrate the earth, and it brings joy to my heart to see how many people are engaging with it. 


The theme this year is earth vs plastic,  and when you look around at just how much more plastic there is it is a good theme to have chosen.  We need to get the conversation around plastic going again. Little things have changed. It is now easy to buy paper stick cotton buds in high street shops, and takeaways mainly come in non plastic containers, but we still have more plastic circulating round us and our world than ever before.


My journey with trying to do something about plastic in my world started on Christmas day 2017.  I was aware of and wanted to do something about plastic many years before then, but life didn't allow It. 


Finding ecobricks has given me direction on how to deal with that plastic.  But far more than that, following the ethics and principles behind ecobricks in my daily life has given me a way to live more in harmony with the cycles of the earth and to live  in reprociety with our shared home. 


What does this look like in daily life? From the outside looking in it may not look much different to everyone else, but the fundamental change is how I think. 


Changing how we think can take time and be quite hard, especially when no one  else around you is thinking the same way. 


Some call it systems thinking where you are conscious of every process that goes into an item you think you need, both before and after it comes to you.  This can be quite exhausting, especially when faced with the amount of temptation thrown in our faces each day.


And for quite a while this was what I was doing for everything, but then I realized I need to take the next step to give my brain and heart a break. 

The next stage was to call myself a non consumer, my goal being to not be responsible for using the earth's resources up. 


But then I knew I needed to do more. 

I truly believe from the last 7 years of my deep Dive into plastic transition that one of  most important solutions is to be Responsible for positive inputs into the planet's resources. 


So not just refusing that plastic carrier bag, but helping to make it easier for more people to have access to an upcycled cloth bag, or composting everything that is organic that comes  from my household, and then sharing with others easy ways to do the same.  


Giving value to and presence to the things we already have, to know when we have  enough. 

To value each other and all life, to understand how life works and survives when everyone's contribution is valued. 


When we do this, taking care of the plastic is easy. 

Ecobrick principles

Go deep and read more 

TRACTATUS AYYEW - An Earthern Ethics

17:49, 22 Apr 2024 by Lucie Mann


Sometimes I find myself stuck

Getting stuck physically is what is going on in this picture. I was trying to load as many crates as possible in our van of hot cross buns, just some of the hundreds and hundreds of packets the Waterside Food Project and Waste not Want Not ( the other local food project we work alongside) had to deal with over the Easter period.  My mistake here was reaching over one crate to push the others to the end of the seat, whilst being a short person! There was no way I was ever going to reach, and as a result the single crate slipped off the seat pushing me down and trapping me! 

Thankfully I had my phone with me and could call my son to get me out, which he did once he had taken the picture. 


It was surprising the number of bruises I ended up with, and just how painful this was. It is not the first time I have hurt myself doing the food collections, my stroke affected brain often get things wrong, so I trip or fall, but this was the most painful.


So what other types of stuck do I find myself in? 


Financially stuck is the one that I find myself in the most. Running a very small non profit that has so many parts to it stretches the non existent money further than you could ever imagine. 

We could achieve so much more far quicker if we had more financial support. 


Physically stuck,  all of our projects have visions for the future, but all of them require people to physically get involved, be engaged and present. That way we can all support each other and create that strong resilient community we all need. Without people we cannot run the projects as they are, nor move them forward. Thankfully we have an amazing group of volunteers, but more are always welcome and would reduce the number of times we get stuck for help. 

 I am without a car at the moment, and so I often find myself physically “stuck” and not able to get to where I need to be. 


Mentally stuck, not often do I find myself stuck in this way, and for that I am very grateful as it could have been very different, the damage my stroke did was nowhere near as bad as it could have been.  It is still frustrating, and the times when it shows itself can cause me to appear mentally stuck. There are times when like everyone I get stuck on what to do next or where to go next, and that's where the people in our community help. Just knowing that there are people who help with everything else, helps me unstick. 

But I see so many others who are stuck in a train of thought that is holding them back, or limiting the choices they could be making. We can't change the way someone is programmed to think from birth, but we can help them feel welcome and part of community now matter how they feel. Do reach out if you feel stuck and we can unstick ourselves together. 


If you would like to help New Forest Aquaponics CIC achieve its goals of building a strong vibrant community that helps each other and our planet get involved! 

Follow  this link and tell us where you would like to volunteer.

19:22, 17 Apr 2024 by Lucie Mann