Community Life

Read about the latest community life stories,
including, Neighbourhood Watch, Police report, SDT Projects,
Ceddesfeld Hall, Nature Diary and your letters.
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Regular Feature

Lovely to see you

Thanks to those who visited us on the Sedgefield NHW Stand at the Farmers Market on 6th June 2021 and especially those who purchased home security equipment from us. Not only are you making your home safer but you are also supporting a community cause.

We will be resuming meetings shortly, the first is planned for 15th July 2021 at 7pm in the Social Club. All are welcome. Please bring a mask and adhere to social distancing.

We are also commencing informal meetings with Sedgefield Police at the Station on a monthly basis to re-establish our links, with the aim of supporting each other in fighting crime."
PCC praises the work of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers
Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has praised the work of County Durham and Darlington’s Neighbourhood Watch volunteers for their vital role to protect local communities.

She said: “On behalf of the people of County Durham and Darlington, I would like to say thank you to all the Neighbourhood Watch volunteers who do so much to help keep people safe. Neighbourhood Watch Week 2021 is a tremendous opportunity for us to build on the connections we already have with our neighbours and work together to make positive change in our communities”.

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.
Regular Feature

A round up on the Trust projects

Keep up to date with the latest news about the Development Trust projects.

Farmers Market

Sunday 4 July: 8.30am - 12.30
Look for another new trader this month - Theo Farquharson, of Staindrop’s Hedgehog Bakery. Theo was to be invited to the market early in ‘20, but lockdown put paid to that plan. Now at last we can give him a hearty welcome to Sedgefield.

The SDT information stall returns this month, with volunteers on hand with project information and spare copies of Sedgefield News. And at last another chance to purchase one of our beautiful, sturdy shopping bags - yours for just £4.50!

Of course we will continue to provide for your COVID19 safety as long as necessary and we are grateful for our shoppers’ loyal support and helpful attitude.


New home for our Bicycle & Active Travel Project

It has been a busy month for the BAT project. Lots of people visited our stall at the Farmers Market and we were able to help several people with their bikes, give advice about routes and found out a bit more what people want.

The big news though is that the project has a new base at The Hive! Several of the group members met with Carole Lawford to discuss moving the bike refurbishment and exchange side of things to The Hive, and we now have volunteers getting set up and starting to work on the bikes that have been donated. As bikes become available we will let people know via the BAT Facebook Page.

We are also setting up an information station at The Hive for to use to find out more about cycling and routes they might like to try. If you have a favourite route or destination that can be reached by bike or on foot do share them with us and we can prepare route cards for people to take on their ride or walk.

We have discussed ways to use The Hive bike area for bike parking too, so keep an eye out for that in future weeks. In the meanwhile, if you own one of the local businesses, please check out http://ow.ly/DuYx50DJyq3 to find out how to apply for a grant for a free cycle stand outside your business!

The BAT project is also now affiliated to Cycling UK so we will be looking to see how we can use their influence to build the project.

We are still open to volunteers to help
at the Hive, and if you have other skills or ideas to share, do get in touch. When we are ready for more bikes to refurbish we will let you know via the usual channels, but if you have any spare tools we would love to have them to use in the workshop. Just drop them in the bucket at The Hive.

We look forward to sharing more news soon. Please look out for us at the Farmers Market again this month, and don’t forget to check the Facebook page – just search for Sedgefield Bicycles and Active Travel.


Energy Switch

Keep on supporting the Energy saving scheme.


Woodland & Wildlife

Hedging the view to the west At the beginning of May we planted a 100m mixed native hedgerow to make up the site's western boundary.

Yes, it's been another busy month for the volunteers at the Woodland & Wildlife Project. The 420 trees were donated by The Woodland Trust as part of their 'free trees for communities' initiative. The wildlife tree pack included blackthorn, hawthorn, rowan and hazel which were planted as a hedge. The pack also included silver birch and oak which were planted across the site. Our last group session focused on mulching the new hedgerow with woodchip that NETPark no longer required. Although it was hard work it was a great morning working in the sun and chatting with a fantastic group of people.

With the support of Sedgefield Development Trust and NETPark, the Woodland and Wildlife Project continues to develop a space for nature and the local community.

If you would like to know more or to volunteer with us, please contact Melissa at woodland@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk or join our facebook page - Woodland & Wildlife, Sedgefield.


Homework Help

Heartfelt thanks to all our helpers and students for all your hard work this academic year, and for your adaptability in the face of covid restrictions. Well done, for all the good progress made.

Homework Help generally takes a break over the summer holidays - but if you need a little booster help with something, or could offer your experience to help someone else, please get in touch and we'll do our best to arrange it. If you'd like help with (or could offer to help with), contact homework@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk.


Regular Feature

Steve's Nature Diary

The other night, on one of those balmy hot nights we have sometimes in June, we were in the garden with friends listening to the swifts reeling around the dusk sky. It's quite an evocative sound which many of you might be familiar with.

Swifts are easy to spot as they look like an arrow whirling through the sky, and often fly in groups. We even reported our sightings on the Swift Mapper App. Originally they would have nested in trees or cliffs, but they now prefer the roofs of old buildings like churches. They spend the winter in Africa but travel to Britain every year in April and May to feast on small flying insects by catching them in flight. Insects are collected in a special pouch at the back of the swift's throat, where they are bound together by saliva until they form a kind of pellet known as a bolus, which can be regurgitated and fed to chicks.

A single bolus can contain over 300 insects, with some holding over 1,000! Swifts spend most of their lives flying – even when sleeping, eating and drinking – only ever landing to nest. They like to nest in older buildings in small holes in roof spaces. Specially designed nest boxes help this species to survive in our towns and villages, where renovation work often blocks the small holes they use to access their nest sites. To discover more about swifts and the range of boxes available, visit www.swift-conservation.org.

Flying amongst the swifts as it got darker we noticed something else - it was a large bat. I quickly got the bat detector out and set it to 25kHz and as the bat flew over our heads we heard a strange ‘chip-chop’ sound as the heterodyne bat detector converted the sound the bat makes into a sound that we could hear. It was a noctule, our largest bat.

Like all bats they are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Noctules roost in holes in trees and bat boxes, but rarely in buildings. During the summer, females form maternity colonies and have just a single pup. You can see Noctules feeding on insects over the tree canopy; they particularly enjoy eating flying beetles, such as the large cockchafer. They are normally the first bat to appear in the evening just before it goes dark.

Later, I retuned the bat detector to 45kHz and this time we heard a different sound - “clicks and a slap and a buzz" - as the bats homed in on their prey. These were our smallest bat - the pipistrelle. Pipistrelles are the commonest and most widespread of all British bat species. They were flying in a fast and jerky flight as they dodged about, pursuing small insects just above our house and garden. The next time you have barbeque, don’t forget to look up as it goes dark. You never know what you might see.

Regular Feature

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

The newly announced date for a possible Step 4 re-opening is 19 July and all we can do is wait! Groups that have come together within the current indoor distancing restrictions, have been able to resume activities happily and very safely.

It has been great to see the toddler group sessions re-open, and there is an increasingly high demand for places. The group is going to continue at Ceddesfeld Hall (Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11am) over the summer months until September, and then they will move across to the Methodist Hall. To contact the organisers, visit their Facebook page via the following link.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sedgefieldplaygroup. Several groups: musicians, artists, the youth choir, and community support groups such as Durham Deafened Support (DDS), have managed to get back to activities, within the Step 3 restrictions. There is disappointment from several larger sections, but all fully understand that for a while longer, the strict safety restrictions must remain.

The opening of the bar has now been scheduled for Monday 2 August.

Provisional bookings from July are pencilled in the diary. We are just waiting. The hall is looking great - quite spick and span. Sedgefield Bloomers have been busy creating their magic in the grounds and car park area. We look forward to some relaxing, family fun, summer activities at the hall and on the lawns. Fingers are still crossed!

SCA are holding a virtual AGM (over ZOOM) on Thursday 15 July at 8pm, following the usual board meeting, which begins at 7.30pm. Notification will be sent out to all sections and groups and all members (not attached to a section or group) are invited to email info@sedgefieldsca.org.uk if they would like to receive the link invitation to join the meeting.

Any volunteers who would like to get involved with community events and activities, please do get in touch.


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


Fishburn & Bishop Middleham Circular Walk

Experience a rare landscape and ancient species, and journey through the first stronghold of the Prince Bishops.

Discover Brightwater have published a circular walk starting on Front Street in Fishburn, passing the airfield and going on to Bishop Middleham Quarry, a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The walk continues through Bishop Middleham across to the River Skerne and through Carr Wood following the River back to Fishburn. A Discover Brightwater walk suitable for families. Find the guide at www.discoverbrightwater.com/roamfromhome. Distance 11.7km/7.3 miles


Sedgefield in Bloom

Sedgefield in Bloom are immensely grateful to the brilliant Find and Fix team from Durham County Council, photo right, who transformed the centre of the village in just six days in June. Team leader Jeremy, along with Shane, Paul, Dan, Aven and Phil took advantage of the fine weather to spruce up all the benches in the vicinity of the green and beyond, and to paint the handrails on the church steps and outside the social club. They even gave the bus shelter a bit of a make-over and titivated litter bins and lampposts as necessary.

Bloom secretary Norma Neal said, ‘Nothing was too much trouble for the team and their efforts have given a real boost to the centre of the village. Along with our elegant new lampposts and other attractive property developments, as well as emerging summer colours, Sedgefield is truly coming back to life after lockdown.’


Ploggers meet the Wombles

The Fishburn Wombles, Trimdon Wombles and Sedgefield Ploggers joined forces to clear up footpaths that run alongside Salters Lane. Together, they filled dozens of bin bags on Sunday morning and plan to work together again in the future.

The Fishburn and Trimdon Wombles have both been litter picking since March 2021, regularly meeting up in their villages and the surrounding areas. Founded in 2019, the Sedgefield Ploggers combine jogging with litter picking, tidying up sections of the town together at a sociable pace, with residents of all ages getting involved. The Wombles and Ploggers made contact with each other earlier this year and decided to join forces to clear up the roadsides together.

Richard Wanless of Fishburn Wombles comments: “It was a fantastic joint effort by all Wombles and Ploggers, helping to clear the roadsides all the way from Trimdon Colliery, through Trimdon Grange to Trimdon Village, Fishburn and the roads to Sedgefield and Bishop Middleham. We collected another good haul of rubbish and the area certainly looks so much cleaner.

“Both Fishburn and Trimdon Wombles are going from strength to strength and even if people can't take part in the litter picking events, just showing support by joining the groups on Facebook and keeping in touch with what they are doing is fantastic. The more members and support we have, the better. Help us create litter-free villages and towns for everyone to enjoy and be proud of.”

Chris Lines of Sedgefield Ploggers adds: “It was really good to team up with wombling friends from Fishburn and Trimdon. ‘Many hands make light work’ is a cliché for a reason and our ploggers enjoyed meeting the Wombles to clear up long stretches of the roadsides. Everyone in the Sedgefield Ploggers and the Fishburn and Trimdon Wombles loves where they live and this was an excellent example of how our communities can work together to keep the whole area looking great. We’ll definitely be joining forces again soon!”

Find out more about the groups by searching Facebook for “Fishburn Wombles”, “Trimdon Wombles” and for “Sedgefield Ploggers”.

Photo: Sedgefield Ploggers and Fishburn Wombles.


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Save Money

Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust.

Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills. Sedgefield still continue to have the highest switching rate in the country.


Registrations 1670
People Registered 790

Key dates:

  Tuesday 30th March-Registration Opens
  Monday 17th May-Registration Closes
  Tuesday 18th May-Day of Auction
  Monday 31st May-Offers letters issued
  Tuesday 29th June-Offer acceptance closure

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Buy Local

Sedgefield Farmers Market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The market has about 20 stall holders each month, varying throughout the seasons, providing meats, vegatables, Handmade pies, pastries and cakes, Fish, Spices, Cheeses and more.

To book a stall call Roger Clubley: 01740 620609, email Farmers Market: farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk


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