Sedgefield Community Life

Neighbourhood Crime Watch, The Trust Projects & The SCA

Community Safety

Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)
Sedgefield News Article We Want to Give You Some Money Residents in Sedgefield are being contacted by organisations who have telephoned or e-mailed to say that they are owed some money and they would like to pay you as soon as possible.
Great news? Not likely! In 99.9% of cases it is a scam, unless you have a dead relative or have won the lottery and in each case you will probably already be aware prior to any official notifications.

However, don’t be surprised if you find it convincing, as these are some very sophisticated scams. One recent example is a Sedgefield man who had owned shares in the past which he had sold but was told he had been given ‘bonus shares which he could now cash in’. A lot of correct data had been acquired about his previous shares, which gave the scam enormous credibility. Thankfully in this case he did not hand over his bank details or he could have found his account emptied very quickly. If someone wants to give you money, there is always a catch. Stick to the principles we have regularly repeated here and never give your bank details to anyone who has contacted you until you have done your own research and even taken independent advice to check their credibility. Take your time. Nothing is so urgent that it needs an answer immediately. If in any doubt whatsoever, reject it.
Our next NHW Meeting is on 4th March. On Sunday 1st March you can come and see us at the Community Stall at the Farmers Market, where you can meet Police Community Officers and we’ll have free security items to give away.
Police Report
Most of you will be aware of the ram raid on the Premier Store in January where a transit van was reversed into the shopfront during the night. The same vehicle was used in other robberies the same evening. Police have made good progress with the investigation.

Following a previous unrelated robbery at the same store a few weeks earlier, the perpetrator was arrested and has been given a four-year jail sentence.

Also, a man from Horden pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries at the Co-op and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. In addition to some other minor incidents, there have been two traffic related incidents where a man was narrowly missed by a speeding car (Police have located the driver) and separately, a six year old boy was knocked down.

Both occurred in the village centre and the boy’s mum has set up a Petition with Durham County Council demanding an urgent review of pedestrian safety, traffic calming and road crossings in Sedgefield. Action is needed BEFORE there is a fatality.
We are asking all residents to sign this Petition. To do so please go to: https://democracy.durham.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay or search Democracy.Durham.gov.uk and select ePetitions in the menu.
Thanks to Crimestoppers Regional Manager, Ruth McNee who gave a presentation at the last NHW Meeting and covered the following: The organisation is an independent charity funded partly by the Home Office, set up in 1988 following the Broadwater Farm riots in which PC Keith Blakelock was murdered.
The telephone line is an anonymous reporting line. The identity of callers is not known to Crimestoppers and no information is held which will identify a caller. The telephone line is open every day of the year for 24 hours per day and is always manned by trained volunteers.
Crimestoppers has partnerships with all police forces in the country, as well as other law enforcement agencies and the commercial sector.
Rewards for information are sometimes offered – usually up to £1000. Campaigns are also run on crime to raise public awareness.
People tend to contact Crimestoppers instead of the police for a number of reasons: fear of retribution; they don’t like to talk to the police; they don’t want to bother the police; it is a delicate family related issue.

Fearless.org also exists as a Crimestoppers Youth Service and has 15 outreach workers in the UK. The aim is to educate and empower young people to talk about crime. If you are under 18 why not take a look and find out more? You never know when it will be useful. Please lock up, stay safe and sleep well.

Local Police: Call 101 to report concerns, seek advice or pass on information. Always keep notes and ask for an incident number.
Crime Prevention Officer: Rona Stocks. rona.stocks@durham.pnn.police.uk
Police Community Cohesion Officer: Faye Callan. 101 Extension 742317. Faye.callan@durham.pnn.police.uk
Confidential email address: John.lamb@durham.pnn.police.uk.
Any information we receive will be developed and acted upon.
Resident of Sedgefield SAVE MONEY...Simples!

Community Life

Steve’s Nature Diary
In between meetings recently, I had a lunchtime walk in Middlesbrough and I heard the familiar sound “chik chik” and there again “chik”. This was followed by a drumming sound - I was listening to the sounds of a Great spotted woodpecker setting up their territory. The “chik chik chik” is a good call to learn, because invariably, if when you hear it you check the tops of the trees, you have a chance of seeing this woodland bird.

At about the size of a blackbird, black and white with white shoulder patches and red under the tail, it is often seen perching high at the top of trees that look too flimsy to hold the bird. Males have a red patch at the back of the head. The only thing you might confuse it with is the Lesser spotted woodpecker, which is much smaller (about the size of a sparrow) and not very common in this area. Great spotted woodpeckers eat insects and larvae, probing tree trunks with their extremely sticky tongues to extract them from their nests. In autumn and winter, they will switch to eating berries and nuts, and will visit peanut feeders in gardens. Sometimes you will even get family groups visiting gardens together. It nests in holes that it excavates in trees in broadleaved woodlands, large parks and gardens. The drumming noise you hear is made by the woodpecker hitting its beak against the tree trunk at around 20 times a second. Woodpeckers don't get headaches from pecking. They have reinforced skulls structured to spread the impact force, and their brains are highly cushioned and protected from repeated impacts and jostling. Up until 1926 is was thought that they made this sound vocally until a sound recordist put a microphone in a tree and watched the woodpecker and they synchronised the bill contact with the sound.

Watch one for a while and you will see it has a distinctive, bouncy up & down flight. You can sometimes see them chasing each other, especially in spring when they are setting up territories. If you’re really lucky you might be able to follow them back to their nest site where you can watch from a distance and follow their progress.

The walk I had taken was in Linthorpe Cemetery, one of the largest green spaces in the borough of Middlesbrough, so these were really urban woodpeckers. This is one of Middlesbrough's oldest graveyards and consists of 52 acres. The cemetery is a repository of the town's civic heritage, charting the rise of the town's industrial growth in the 19th and 20th centuries. The cemetery is a designated Local Nature Reserve and the Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery regularly hold history, nature and environmental events throughout the year.

The group has worked with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and other organisations to produce a management plan and because parts of the cemetery are a designated nature reserve, it does appear a little wild in places; this is deliberate, and important for our local environment.

You are likely to hear great spotted woodpeckers in many woodlands. Some of the best local sites include Hardwick Hall Country Park, Houghall, Sunderland Bridge and Durham Botanic Gardens. So next time you are out and about, listen for that “chik chik” call.
Can you spare an hour or two? Do you like being outdoors?
Sedgefield in Bloom is a voluntary group working in partnership with Sedgefield Town Council and their gardeners. Throughout the year, the Bloomers carry out a wide variety of activities – gardening and otherwise - to keep our small town looking blooming beautiful. New Bloomers are very welcome. No specialist knowledge is required, just enthusiasm and a desire to keep Sedgefield looking its best for everyone.
For more information or to join us, contact Bloom Secretary, Norma Neal on 01740 620091 or norma@neal.myzen.co.uk or the Bloom Chairman, Howard Smith smithhb17695@yahoo.co.uk
Citizen of the Year 2019
It’s time for you to help us to find the unsung heroes of Sedgefield. This award celebrates people who go the extra mile to serve the community and is open to anyone who lives or works in the town.

Sedgefield Town Council, Sedgefield Development Trust and the Rotary Club of Sedgefield invite residents of Sedgefield to nominate friends, colleagues or acquaintances who they believe deserve recognition for exceptional contributions during 2019. The successful nominee is chosen by a panel drawn from these three partners plus the previous year’s winner, who last year was Sarah Guest.

Young Citizen of the Year 2019 will be the second year in which we recognise the contribution that our young people make to their community. Victoria Sirrell was the inaugural winner for her contribution to Girlguiding.

A nomination form should be enclosed in your copy of Sedgefield News; extra copies are available at the town council offices on Front Street or can be downloaded from www.sedgefieldweb@hotmail.co.uk The deadline for entries is Thursday, 26th March 2020. The winner will receive their award at the annual town meeting on Tuesday 5th May.
Looking to the future
There was an optimistic tone to the Chairman’s report to the AGM of Sedgefield Development Trust at the end of a successful year. Most projects are ticking over nicely and others, both old and new, have seen astonishing growth. Also, with new trustees making their mark, some recent ventures are striking a chord with children and young people. For the future, ideas on sustainability are being developed. Why not join us?
Farmers Market News
Sedgefield Farmers Market News
Sunday 1st March - CANCELLED WEATHER We have double Charity Stalls this month, with both Neighbourhood Watch and Sedgefield Scouts putting in an appearance. The Scouts are fundraising to send local scouts to Eurojam in Poland later this year. For the rest we simply hope it can match last month’s buzz!

To contact the Market, use farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk and for Charity stall & Music use charitystall@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk DON’T FORGET TO GO GREEN WITH ONE OF OUR FAB JUTE BAGS!
Woodland & Wildlife
Sedgefield Woodland & Wildlife
It has been a very busy year for the project which has seen an increase in interest from the community, resulting in the number of Facebook followers rising to 88, many of whom have volunteered onsite, as either one off or regular volunteers - as well as others who like to follow the project's news. The work carried out on site has included planting around 400 more native trees in March 2019, totalling around 1200 since the project began. This has involved our hardy and valuable volunteers in many hours of maintenance jobs.

Then, as well as looking after what existed prior to planting, we have created a variety of habitats such as scrapes and log piles to encourage greater biodiversity.

Notable species on site this year include buzzard, kestrel, marsh harrier, smooth newts, pipistrelle & noctule bats and voles, plus the many different wildflowers, insects, butterflies and moths. A visual record of flora and fauna is kept on our Facebook page.

In February we started spending the funding from the AAP East Durham Rural Corridor. This was spent on a shipping container and a selection of tools. More recently funding was secured from Discover Brightwater, spending has only just begun, but it is hoped that the money will open up new opportunities and allow us to promote the project to the community, as well as give us some more practical resources.

Other positives this year were seeing the site from the eyes of a drone and Inspiring North East TV making a short film of the project.
Spring is on its way! To mark the Spring Equinox we are having an open event. Join our friendly volunteers for a morning to spot the signs of spring, make some bug homes or get stuck in and give the Woodland & Wildlife site some essential tender loving care.
When? Saturday 21st March
Time? 10am - 12 noon
Where? NETPark, TS21 3FH (follow green sign/arrows from Discovery 1 and 2 car park)
Sedgefield Energy Switch
Sedgefield Energy Switch
No report this month but note, we are very happy to help save you money or your energy bills.
The Bees at Hardwick
There may be space here for more beekeepers, subject to you having undertaken beginners training with a recognised association. Aycliffe Beekeepers Association is running a beekeeping course for beginners at Moore Lane Eco Centre in Newton Aycliffe on the 16th/17th May.

It covers the history of beekeeping, the beekeeping year, how a hive is put together, how to spot & control pests & diseases, what to do when bees swarm, how to stop them, and further education & literature.

Open to all ages, the cost is £50 for an individual, £75 for a couple. All equipment provided + a cup of coffee. Bring your own lunch. To discuss further/reserve a place please call Chris Barker on 07421 471581 or email training.aycliffebka@gmail.com.

For an informal chat about the Bees at Hardwick, call Ian or Clare Midgeley on 01325 308283.
Sedgefield Energy Switch
Sedgefield Homework Help
Homework Help warmly welcomes its latest kind volunteer, who already has a pretty full schedule of sessions! Many thanks to the generous soul who donated some maths course books at the library for our use - they are already proving helpful. I don't know your name, but you are much appreciated.

Katie, Gary and the library team are, as ever, being very helpful and they accommodate our growing numbers creatively. We're hoping to branch out into sessions on Tuesdays, if we can find a suitable venue.

Students and helpers are working hard - we hope that Homework Help helps! That's our simple goal.
Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association
SCA are very pleased to welcome Sedgefield baby & toddler group. It runs every Tuesday from 9.15 am to 11.15am in term time. All preschool children, parents and carers are welcome. It is £3 per family and refreshments, as well as lots of good fun, are provided. Enquiries can be made via Facebook or email sedgefieldplaygroup@gmail.com

On Saturday March 7th at 7.30 pm, Ceddesfeld Ukulele Band will hold their Spring Kanikapila. The event is free and all are welcome to join us in a happy evening of popular songs and tunes.

The annual Egg Hunt (under 12’s) takes place on Easter Monday 13th April. As well as a hunt for Easter eggs hidden in the grounds, there are prizes for different age groups and an Easter bonnet and decorated egg competition. The afternoon begins at 1.45 pm in the main hall with the selection of the Mediaeval Fayre May Queen and her attendants (raffle ticket draw). The egg hunt begins at 2 pm. This is a free event, sponsored by SCA and the Mediaeval Fayre Committee. The bar is also open.

St George’s Dinner, a fund raiser for the Mediaeval Fayre takes place on Saturday 25th April. The evening starts with a drinks reception at 7 pm, followed by soup, chicken casserole & vegetables, dessert, cheese board and coffee or tea and mints to finish. Entertainment is provided by the very popular Lirica. At a very reasonable price of just £20, tickets are going fast. To book a place please contact Pat on 01740 620607 or John on 01740 620042.

SCA welcomes Northern Creators Wedding Fair on Sunday 3rd May from 1 pm to 4 pm A wide range of fabulous displays and exhibits are planned for the main hall, upstairs and in a marquee on the lawns, including a donkey and an alpaca! All enquiries to Amie Davies. Email diy-a-wedding@hotmail.com.

On Friday 8th May, a special VE Day 75th Anniversary community event will take place at Ceddesfeld. A day of entertainment for all the family is planned. Much more on this next month but put the date in your diary!

Sedgefield Mediaeval Fayre is on Saturday 16th May and SCA are keen to hear from local companies who wish to offer sponsorship.
For more information on Ceddesfeld Hall events, regular activities, room hire and bar opening times, contact Wendy on 01740 620206, Pat on 01740 620607, Sarah on 01740 622185. Visit us on Facebook or see the SCA website, www.sedgefieldsca.org.uk
Sedgefield Mediaeval Fayre-Saturday 16th May 2020 SCA are very keen to attract increased sponsorship for this, our biggest event and would love to hear from local firms & businesses, pubs & restaurants, who have much to gain from getting involved. For more information on Ceddesfeld Hall events, regular activities, room hire and bar opening times, contact Wendy, 01740 620206; Pat 01740 620607 or Sarah 01740 622185. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website, www.sedgefieldsca.org.uk.
When is Easter?
This year the date of Easter Sunday is April 12. Last year it was April 21 and next year it will fall on April 4.

In fact, the date of Easter Sunday can be as early as March 22, which last occurred in the year 1818 (the next one being in 2285) or as late as April 25. You’ll have to wait until 2038 for that one and it last occurred in 1943. So why? Well the answer is very complicated!

A simplified definition is “Easter is the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring on or after March 21” - but lurking behind that definition is a minefield of astronomical & religious complexity, involving the date March 21 and the definition of a full moon!

Our Gregorian calendar is based on the movement of Earth around the sun (our planet’s orbit) i.e. the time taken for one orbit = one year. Christmas has a fixed date because it is simply defined as occurring on a specific day in the solar calendar. However, the definition of the date of Easter is determined by an attempt to relate the motion of the moon around the earth (the lunar calendar defined by the phases of the moon) to the solar calendar. If the motion of the moon around the earth was synchronised with the motion of the earth around the sun, then relating a phase of the moon to a specific date in the solar year would be predictable. But the moon orbits the earth about 29.53 times in a solar year. Similarly, there are not a whole number of rotations of the earth 365.242 days. This results in any attempt to nominate the date of an event, in terms of harmonising the solar and lunar calendars, is destined for trouble! The date of that event is inevitably going to wobble around from year to year! So the dates of Easter, the Chinese New Year and other religious festivals, change each year.

So why not use a set date in the solar calendar as we do for Christmas? The quick answer is religious history. Firstly, it has to occur on a Sunday; according to Christian teaching, Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday after the Feast of the Passover. Secondly, March 21 was chosen as it is the date of the Spring (Vernal) Equinox, significant in several religious festivals. How much simpler if the Easter Act (1928) were to be enforced! This Act of Parliament was introduced as a Private Members Bill, defining the date of Easter as “the first Sunday occurring after the second Saturday in April” but though the Bill successfully passed through Parliament and received the Royal Assent, it has never been activated.
Perhaps it should?
Allan Fletcher
Please email your details