Sedgefield News

Sedgefield News is distributed at the end of every month by a team of over 80 volunteers

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As lockdown eases, is it time to give back a little?

We are fortunate to live in a lovely part of the world, and one of things that makes it so special is the tremendous sense of community spirit. During the pandemic it was heartening to see so many people volunteering to provide help to their neighbours. In more normal times, our community supports an astonishing number of voluntary groups and it’s one of the reasons people love living here. You can take part in a 5km run, join an art group, plant trees to create a new wood or visit a vibrant farmers market – and all this can be done in a single weekend! The Sedgefield News Diary Page was always full.

But many voluntary groups have had to pause during the pandemic, or adapt, developing creative, often online, solutions to keep going. As we head out of lockdown, many of these organisations may need help to start up again. Some older volunteers will want to step down, their work done, so perhaps it’s time for batons to be passed to the next generation.

But why should you volunteer? What do you get out of it? The evidence is overwhelming, volunteering keeps you physically and mentally active and helps you live longer. It counteracts the effects of stress and depression as well as giving you a greater sense of empathy and appreciation of others. Your self-confidence gets a boost, and it gives you a sense of purpose. Many people appreciate the benefits - over 23% of adults in England volunteer at least once a month in normal times.

As Shakespeare said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Now is your chance to make a difference. Perhaps you have always wanted to try something but there isn’t a relevant group in the area - then why not start a new one? You may find others are interested too. Existing groups may want to recruit new members or find extra volunteers, so if you want to get involved, let us know. We may be able to put you in touch.

A community is made of a lot of things but at its heart are the people and how they interact. Here at Sedgefield News we are ready to help. Over 3,000 copies of this newsletter go out to Sedgefield, Fishburn, Bradbury & Mordon and please remember, we’re here for all of these communities. So send your news!

Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

The popularity of log burners in homes has increased significantly over recent years, the main reason for installing them being to provide a cosy atmosphere and not necessarily as a primary heat source. Understandable - who wouldn't like to relax in the warm whilst watching flickering flames?

But it might come as a surprise that research shows that domestic wood burning has become the single biggest source of small particle air pollution in the UK, producing three times more than road traffic.

Wood burning stoves omit PM2.5, the air pollutant with the greatest impact on human health. Both short and long-term exposure to PM2.5 increases the risk of early death from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and is considered most harmful for the elderly and young children. Tiny particles can enter the bloodstream, be carried around the body and lodge in organs. And it's not only the outdoor air quality it affects. Wood burners triple the level of harmful pollution particles inside homes. Tiny particles flood into the room every time the doors are opened for refuelling.

Approximately 38% of particulate matter in the UK is the result of wood fires and what is really scary is that just 8% of the population cause this pollution by burning wood indoors, but banning the log burners and open fires is clearly not an option anyone would want to consider, so what can we do?

The first and biggest step is to fit an EcoDesign wood stove, either new or to replace any older models. A modern EcoDesign-compliant wood burning stove produces up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less than an over 10 years old stove. From January 2022 all stoves sold in the UK must be EcoDesign - a new standard of efficiency designed to reduce harmful emissions by burning wood more efficiently and completely.

Secondly, burn dry, sustainably sourced, seasoned fire wood ideally with moisture content of 20% or less. Look for ‘Ready to Burn’ labels that ensure good quality dry wood. Government has already taken steps and sales of wet wood in small units will be phased out from February 2021.

Wet wood in volumes greater than 2m cube will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning. Also, sales of bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021 and sale of house coal direct to customers will end by 2023. Alongside wood with moisture content higher than 20%, we should not burn painted or treated wood or any household rubbish. Minimise the release of small particles into the indoor air by refuelling on a hot ember bed as opposed to when flames are present. Have your burner serviced and chimney swept regularly.

With a few adaptations and wise choices we can continue to enjoy a burner’s cosy atmosphere AND benefit from maximising their efficiency.

For news, discussion and ideas on more sustainable living join Greener Sedgefield on Facebook.

We do like to be beside the seaside and with luck, it won’t be long!

Our colleague Judith Edgoose, who organises the distribution of this paper, has been driving her husband, Sam to Hartlepool Hospital recently for some treatment.

Having a valid reason to be beside the sea while she waits to collect him, she has been snapping away at a view that many of us can’t wait to see, so here’s a glimpse. Mm, I can almost smell the sea-spray!

Clubs, Societies & Groups

Share your thoughts, plans or concerns about how to emerge from lockdown to and we will give you each a space to speak to our readers.
Send your Dates & Details to
and your Events to the Arts Page:


Staff from Skerne Medical Group have been busy ensuring that registered patients have benefitted from the Covid Vaccination Programme close to home. Both clinical and administrative staff have been involved in vaccination sessions at our local vaccination hub in Spennymoor since late December. The availability of Astra Zeneca (Oxford) vaccine has enabled the team to offer vaccinations at Sedgefield and Trimdon Colliery surgeries to eligible patients.

By March 6th, tireless efforts by surgery staff have enabled 2,124 patients to have their vaccination at the surgery, while 142 housebound patients have also been given their vaccination at home, enabling the District Nursing team to focus on their vital work in our community.

Figures from March 12th show that 6,186 patients have received their 1st Covid vaccination and 312 patients are now fully vaccinated. Normal service at the surgery continues alongside the vaccination efforts, and many staff have offered extra hours to help this important cause. The Skerne team will continue to play their part in local vaccination delivery, as the photo shows. When your turn comes around, please get vaccinated.

Above, some of the team prepare for a Sunday vaccination session. 13/03/21

Walk for Autism Challenge

To help raise awareness about autism, staff of Sedgefield Community College have taken on the 'walk for autism challenge'. The Challenge is to complete a minimum of 10,000 steps each day from the 26th March to the 2nd of April. Pupils and carers have also been contacted to see if we can spread understanding and compassion for those who have a diagnosis of autism.

This information has only been live for 12 days and staff have raised over £4,698 and are helping spread awareness far and wide. SCC joined the challenge to support assemblies on autism awareness in school and were aiming to raise £100 so to be looking at second place on the national league table for monies and awareness raised is a phenomenal achievement. I'm exceptionally proud to work at a school who come together in such a united way to not only support pupils within our school but to support others in our community and across the country.
A.M. McGowan

The Case of the Hardwick Booksnatcher

We had an amazing day on Thursday when we celebrated World Book Day at Sedgefield Hardwick. We had to solve a mystery - The Case of the Hardwick Booksnatcher!

Poor Mrs Newton had been locked up to stop her releasing some new books and we had to work with the world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his ‘adequate assistant’ Dr Watson (helped by the puppet Pinocchio!) to crack the case, find the criminal and release Mrs Newton.

We watched CCTV evidence for vital clues and then voted which suspects Holmes and Watson should interrogate! These suspects ranged from Maleficent to the Beanstalk Giant and Bellatrix Lestrange, amongst others! As with all good mysteries, there was a shocking twist in the tale!

Head over to to watch the full mystery unfold!


The last year has been hugely difficult for everyone and of course it has had a tragic impact on people in our community, which we should never forget. However, there is now optimism that we can finally and fully emerge from this crisis as 2021 progresses, and we all hope that the provisional timetable in the government's roadmap does not move back.

As restrictions are eased, Sedgefield Business Network looks forward to resuming some activities and initiatives (watch this space for news on that front), but in the meantime, we want to help support business in our community as things open up. Our decision to restore the paper to full size is based on the urgent need to restore community activity on all fronts, safely of course, but with confidence.

We have already seen the strong appetite to support local trade - Sedgefield Farmers' Market has been able to restart and has never been more popular! The market is run by Sedgefield Development Trust, which also publishes this paper and the News wants to help other local businesses to thrive again.

Over the years our advertising has helped many local traders, as well as keeping the News in print and providing an income for the projects of Sedgefield Development Trust.

Occasionally we have been able to feature a new business, but what we propose now is to establish this Business Update as a regular feature, working with partners such as Sedgefield Business Network and NETPark. As you will see at the very top of the front page, our area of interest includes Sedgefield, Fishburn, Bradbury and Mordon. We will keep you informed, bang the drum about business in these communities and hope to encourage you to “shop local.” In short, Sedgefield News will do what we can to help our vibrant, varied local economy to emerge from these difficult times and to thrive once more.

CPI cleans up

CPI, based at NETPark, has announced its participation in Waste2Fresh, a multinational project to improve the sustainability of textile manufacturing.

The wastewater associated with these processes, which is often left untreated and discharged into the surrounding environment, can release toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The project aims to recycle the wastewater involved in the process, dramatically reducing damage to the environment.

CPI will play a key role in bringing together the technology providers and textile manufacturing companies while also providing expertise in process engineering.

Back in the Saddle

With the lockdown due to ease soon, the equine world is one of many breathing a cautious sigh of relief. The pandemic has had far-reaching effects on the sector. Owners have been unable to see their horses, as some stables locked down; many events have been cancelled, losing essential income for many; horse enthusiasts have been unable to ride and there have even been reports of riding schools selling horses to afford care for the rest.

We spoke to Jen Green, a local accredited professional coach (BHSII) who also runs a mobile unit for HorseWeighUK. She described the increase she has seen in horse obesity as owners struggled to exercise their horses with the restrictions in place. She also described how, although financial support and grants have been available, this has not been enough for stables, with continuing costs such as vets, farriers and dentists.

Many riding schools will be opening for lessons to the general public again from the start of April and they will have high hopes for a better year ahead for horses and their riders!

Unforgettable Experiences

Unforgettable Experiences provide personalised care and technical support to help older adults to access live, creative, and interactive artistic sessions online. To date the organisation has supported over 70 older adults to access art, music, dance, drama, creative writing, history, and photography twice per week with professional artists.

Sessions are open to anyone who is struggling with their mental health, dementia or neurological conditions, and helps their loved ones to connect with like-minded people who share similar interests. Digital Activity Buddies act like a technical befriender offering support to solve any complex technical issues to get you online and support you to access sessions each week. The service is currently free to anyone living in Sedgefield. For more information call 01325 238007 or visit

Poets of Sedgefield

The Arts page editor has received some superb contributions from the local community in response to his request for writing inspired by lockdown, but because of their length it has not always been possible to include them in the paper. If you follow Sedgefield News on Facebook, or you could ask someone who does to let you see it, we are preparing to post more on the page, to give the work the audience which it thoroughly deserves.

Two contributors we would particularly like to thank are Maureen Legender and John Taylor, of Wykes Close. Some of Maureen poems are almost epics, and John’s contribution written as the millennium turned, was fascinating

Sainsbury’s Easter Art!

CHILDREN - Sainsbury’s Sedgefield want to see your art!

To brighten the store this Easter they would like to fill their entrance with children’s artwork. They will display children’s Spring or Easter pictures from 27th March to 10th April, so please come by and drop them off in the Easter box at the entrance. We will share some of the best entries next month.

A roadmap to the Ploggers’ Return

With the government's recent announcement about the roadmap out of lockdown, Plogging should be able to resume soon. The plan is to give Sedgefield a spring clean early in April and we'll do that in a way that follows the rule of six, whilst allowing many Ploggers to participate.

Meanwhile we know that some of you Ploggers, and other residents, have continued to do your bit to keep Sedgefield looking lovely. Great work everyone, as always!

The "s106" pot of money

Although there is some discussion at present regarding the use of Section 106 money, much of the talk has probably been beneath the radar for most people, so in this article we will try to clarify the topic, which is of great importance to communities. Section 106, often abbreviated to s106, refers to the section of the Town & Country Planning Acts which regulates how developers in receipt of planning permission may be required to put money into a 'pot' to help with local needs particularly exacerbated by their development.

Typically, a house builder might be required to contribute money to increase the capacity of a school required to accept more pupils; or perhaps to increase sports provision or open space to meet the needs generated by their development. Within Sedgefield, recent planning permissions for housing have lead to developers paying, or committing to pay, considerable sums into the 'pot'. It is important to know that in effect the 'pot' has compartments too; some for education, some for sport, open space, or community use etc. We have received a table from Durham County Council, setting out the commitments from developers for recent approvals of housing in Sedgefield.

Some Sedgefield money has been committed to education but some significant sums in other parts of the 'pot' have yet to be allocated and other sums are still many months away from being received.

So what is the process by which funding is allocated, and how do you engage with it?
Initially an application is submitted to the Action Area Partnership (AAP), who are supported by Durham County Council's Partnership and Community Engagement Service. A consultation will follow with all the appropriate bodies including DCC elected members, the AAP and the local Town or Parish Council.

As an example, by the time you read this, proposals to use some of the sports part of the 'pot' may have progressed, as an application for support for the Athletics Track, detailed opposite, is under consideration.

In the Woodland and Wildlife section, we have outlined another possible application by Sedgefield Development Trust, on behalf of the Woodland & Wildlife project. At this stage we do not know of any competing proposals for the funds designated for sport or open space, although they may, of course, exist.

We hope that these two examples will help to throw light on how s106 funding works.

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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:

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Event Posters