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

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE THIS CHRISTMAS!

According to the Department of Transport an estimated 8680 people were killed or injured by drink-drivers nationally last year. Local Police Officers are once again taking part in a national campaign to target drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol over the Christmas Season.

During December they are carrying out random vehicle stops and intelligence led enforcement in a bid to remove drivers who are under the influence, from the roads. Police will be out morning and night to catch those who may be flouting The Law. Inspector Jamie Bell from the Durham and Cleveland Specialist Operations Unit said, “Whilst pubs and restaurants remain closed at the moment, there will be people who fancy a tipple at home over the festive season, which is absolutely fine as long as they don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle whilst over the limit.”

“People will also need to be mindful of driving the following day; they will need to leave enough time for the alcohol to leave their bodies to ensure they can safely use the roads.”

Drivers risk up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving above the legal limit. Anyone who causes death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years imprisonment.

CHRISTMAS SURPRISES
We all want a surprise this Christmas, but make sure it’s a nice surprise left by Santa and not a nasty one from a burglar. Take some simple precautions:
- Put your lights on a timer for these early dark nights.
- Use sensor operated outside lights.
- Secure your car and park off the road, nose in. (Thieves don’t like looking for reverse gear).
- When you’ve opened your presents, flatten boxes and tear off labels and wrappers that advertise the contents. (Burglars are observant).
- Keep your doors and windows locked.
- Don’t answer the door to strangers arriving uninvited. (Just because someone knocks, doesn’t mean you are obliged to answer.)
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND STAY SAFE

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 3rd January 8.30am-12.15

To our customers and traders, very best wishes for a Good New Year. We hope to see lots of you at our first Market of 2021, having acquired something of a reputation for being a hardy lot, battling through, whatever the weather!

So here’s good health to you all in 2021.


Energy Switch

Let us help you reduce your energy costs. Registration for the next auction closes on 8th February.

Next auction is in February 2021
Registration opens on 1st December 2020 & closes: 8th February 2021
Auction: 9th Feb. Offers will be issued from 22nd February.

To register on line, click here then fill out your details. Remember to have your latest energy bill or annual statement with you when you start your registration. If you can’t apply via the internet, contact our helpline on 07980 134 594 and we will complete registration for you. You will be only talking to Sedgefield people and won’t be committing to anything.

Don’t forget, if you are already part of the scheme and your existing energy contract comes to an end before the end of April 2021, you do need to register for this auction.



Woodland & Wildlife

A reminder that volunteers will be at the Woodland & Wildlife site to recycle your real Christmas trees on both January 9th & 16th from 10am – 12. You are welcome to bring your tree to us during those times, or to use the Sedgefield in Bloom collection service for residents in Sedgefield.

Do you have spare time on your hands? We are always looking for new volunteers to carry out the many tasks that can be carried out all year round. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact Melissa - woodland@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk or join our facebook page, Woodland & Wildlife Sedgefield, for more information.
Merry Christmas!


Homework Help

We hope that students and volunteers alike have benefitted from the holidays.

We will be up and running with renewed oomph in the new term. If any new students or helpers would like to get in touch, please email homework@sedgefielddevelopmentt rust.co.uk or find us on Facebook. Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and confident New Year.
As ever, Homework contact us on Facebook or email homework@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk.

Regular Feature

Steve's Nature Diary

At the time of writing, as well as opening Christmas cards, one of the highlights of 2020 (and with Covid there certainly haven't been many!) was opening a parcel containing the Cleveland Bird Report 2019. Published by Teesmouth Bird Club, it is compiled by volunteers who summarise records of both common and rare birds seen in the Cleveland area. Not only does it make an interesting read, it is a useful tool for analysing species records since the club was formed in 1960.

It is intended to be a repository of interesting and historically worthwhile ornithological local observations within the unitary authorities of Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. It also includes a monthly summary with a commentary on birds seen, as well as the weather. It is useful to see what was happening in January 2019 and what we might see in January 2021 - obviously nothing is guaranteed. It was a cold January with an icy north wind bringing snow showers on the 17th and night time temperatures were regularly below freezing during the last week of the month. All areas of freshwater froze to some extent, the lowest temperature being -7oC on the last morning of the month. Reed beds are well worth a visit at this time of the year.

They are a very specialist habitat and animals that live here are often secretive and hard to see. One of the commoner species you might see is the Reed Bunting, a streaky brown bird about the size of a sparrow. The males have black heads and black throats, with a white collar and white 'moustache'. Female Reed Buntings are non-descript and can be difficult to tell apart from other buntings such as Yellowhammer. You can often see the birds calling from the top of the reeds. Other specialist reed dwellers to watch out for include Marsh Harrier, Bittern and Bearded Tit. These birds are adapted to breeding in reedbeds and in the previously mentioned report, 2019 was a bumper year one of these, the Bearded Tit with birds being seen throughout the year at Dorman's Pool, The Long Drag, Portrack Marsh and Coatham Marsh.

Bearded Tit is a nationally rare breeding bird and it has turned out that 2020 was even better that 2019 with reports of them breeding in Cleveland. A total of 11 juvenile birds being seen in June 2020 probably from 2 broods. So, if you do take a walk on a cold crisp January day keep your eye out for this small handsome bird which is cinnamon-brown with a long brown tail, a grey head with a black 'moustache' (rather than a beard) and a yellow bill and eyes.

Regular Feature

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

50 Years of the SCA – Moving Forwards! SCA will be relieved and pleased to see the end of 2020, a year of unprecedented crisis and upset for all families and communities. Certainly not the best year in which to celebrate a ‘Golden Anniversary’ but we will celebrate as soon as it can be safely arranged, hopefully during autumn, 2021. With hope on the horizon, SCA is looking forward to re-opening Ceddesfeld Hall as soon as possible. Due to the extended closure this year, the annual membership fee will not be collected until January 2022. The fees are small: Adults £8, Over 60s £7, Under 18s £4, and anyone in and around Sedgefield may become a member. If you wish to create a new activity or interest group in the coming months, once we are re-opened, please get in touch.

The Regular Activities Section on the SCA website sedgefieldsca.org.uk provides information relating to all groups and sections, and there really is something for everyone. The bar staff (run wholly by volunteers of the Social Section) will be pleased to be get back to serving great real ale and a wide and varied selection of other drinks, at very reasonable prices. A new card payment system will also be available. New volunteers will be very much welcomed. Sedgefield Squash Club is a very active section. They will be glad to get back to running a very busy youth training/league schedule, in their newly improved building. They also enjoy social events and activities at Ceddesfeld. It will be great to welcome everyone back!

All clubs have missed their usual activities and the important social interaction that regular meetings provide. Some groups have been able to arrange virtual meetings, practices, and quizzes and even an on-line drama festival, over the past months. SCA Craft Club despite not being together since March, provided the lovely display of knitted/crocheted poppies around the War Memorial. People have done their best in these difficult times. SCA are grateful that Sedgefield in Bloom members have continued their valuable work around the village and particularly their care of the gardens surrounding the Hall and car park. A lit tree in the grounds is part of village Christmas lights.

The Trustees sincerely hope that events and activities will return as soon as possible in 2021 and SCA will work hard to that end. Realistically, we feel this may be towards the late summer into autumn. National health and safety procedures are going to take a while to roll out and because of this a decision has been made to cancel the 2021 Mediaeval Fayre which was due to be held on May 15th. There remains much uncertainty and apprehension regarding large social events and to be fair to all stakeholders, we need to inform all participants in good time, hence the decision to cancel now. However, the date for 2022 is saved!


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


A tribute to Billy Cooper

I’m sorry to hear of the death of Billy Cooper. He did a lot for the village with his work, not only for the Golden Lion, but for Sedgefield Racecourse and organising other things.
Best thing was when he gave all men over 65 a slap-up dinner after Christmas, a good five course meal and a sing-song to finish. Women of the village did the voluntaries for this cause.
He gave me a job on the number board at Sedgefield Racecourse. And his delivery of beers to your house on a weekend was superb. Coopers of the Golden Lion, in peace and war, will always be remembered.
L J Butler


Your Flu jab is important!

People with breathing conditions are being urged to take up their free flu vaccine offer to protect themselves and to help reduce pressure on the NHS this winter. Many in County Durham have not yet taken up the offer, putting themselves and their family at greater risk from this potentially life-threatening illness.

People of all ages with a chronic breathing conditions like asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are all eligible for a free flu vaccine. They have a greater risk of being seriously affected by flu, and seven times more likely to die of it than someone without an underlying health condition.
v Keeping the number of flu patient in hospital as low as possible, the NHS will be better placed to cope with the pressures of coronavirus during the winter. Also, getting the flu vaccination now helps to ease the burden on those who must administer the Covid vaccine.


Sign up for the 2021 Garden Waste Collection scheme

The first collection from Durham County Council’s service will take place in late March or early April this year, followed by fortnightly collections until November, when the season ends.

Those who sign up before Sunday 14 February will receive all 17 collections during the year, dependent on Government advice on coronavirus.

The fee is £35, except for those who subscribed to the scheme in 2020, who will be charged £30.90 per existing bin subscription for 2021. This is due to Covid19 causing a late start in 2020. Go to www.durham.gov.uk and search for garden waste collections.


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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.


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Key dates:

  1st December 2020-Registration Opens
  8th February 2021-Registration Closes
  9th February 2021-Day of Auction
  22nd February 2021-Offers letters issued
  23rd March 2021-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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