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BAT Project rolling (and walking) on!

As we mentioned last time we wrote in the News, the Sedgefield Bicycle Users Group that was originally set up in response to increased cycling in the village during lockdown has re-branded as Sedgefield BAT – Bicycles and Active Travel. This follows lots of conversations with people who, in addition to taking up or re- starting cycling were walking or running more and had ideas for improving the facilities for those who wanted to get around on two feet as well as two wheels.

The Facebook page now has 143 members - you can find it by searching Facebook for Sedgefield Bicycles and Active Travel – and we would love to hear from you there if you have any ideas about improvements we can work towards. Some of the ideas raised already include:
· A 20mph speed limit throughout the village.
· Increased cycle parking, including a pop-up bike park at the Farmers' Market.
· Improvements to the traffic 'chicanes' in the village to allow cyclists to get through more safely.
· Introducing traffic restrictions to make cars use the bypass rather than cutting through the centre of the village.
· Improvements to dropped kerbs and pedestrian crossings.
· Joining up the shared cycleways/paths around the village and the local area.

We would love to hear any opinions you have about these ideas or other thoughts you have about how to make improvements.

We are still waiting on news regarding the A689 cycleway improvements which have gone to Parliament and we will keep you informed. We also have one member of the group who is interested in starting a Bike Bank to recycle and lend out bikes to people to try before they decide what is best for them. We had our stall at the Farmers Market in May, and will be there again next time where we will again be offering basic safety checks, so if you've just got your bike out of the garage or want it adjusting for you do please come over to see us!


Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

As a practical solution to the ever increasing global problem of plastic pollution, the use of eco bricks has been suggested as one way to tackle it. Eco brick is a plastic bottle tightly filled with non recyclable plastic, basically any plastic from household rubbish that can't be recycled, and used in construction for building shelters, garden furniture or even playgrounds. It is regarded as a fun family activity and even having a therapeutic impact.

Sounds like a good idea? Let's dig a bit deeper.

In many parts of the world where there are no proper recycling facilities and the locals are drowning in plastic pollution - often the fault of other countries, trying to use the plastic rubbish in a practical and productive way is definitely a solution - at least a temporary one. With the help of eco bricks, shelters and housing can be provided at a low cost and plastic kept out of landfill and waterways. However, critics say it's just a diversion from the fight against plastic pollution. There are several concerns about eco bricks, which critics say should be called bottle bricks instead as there isn't much "eco" about them. One of the main worries is that if the eco bricks are not packed tightly enough, they are not reliable building material, as they may collapse under the weight of the construction, jeopardising people's safety as well as releasing all the plastic back into biosphere.

Another concern is that if the plastic inside the bottle is not clean, food debris can cause methane to build up which can break the entire brick. Often eco brick buildings have at least part of the bottle exposed which reduces the life expectancy of the construction even further as plastic gets brittle in the UV light and breaks down. And we can't ignore the fact that eco brick making takes some recyclable plastic out of circulation.

So are the eco bricks/bottle bricks good or bad? There are definitely (temporary) benefits in some parts of the world until a better solution is found, but things are completely different here. Much of the plastic we stuff into eco bricks is recyclable here - bottles collected with kerbside recycling, bread bags, carrier bags, even the inside of cereal packets taken to supermarkets for recycling.

Even crisp packets are recyclable under TerraCycle scheme, although it's not easy to find drop off points for these nearby. Anything that isn't recycled is incinerated, providing heat for homes. Nothing ends up in landfill. Eco bricks may be a solution elsewhere but they make no sense here. And we should definitely not fill bottles with our rubbish and dispatch them to other countries, which are already suffocating under our rubbish.

Walk For Autism: Update and a huge THANK YOU

As the final day for fundraising comes to a close, I'd like to share the fantastic achievements for this cause. The school, pupils and staff are proud to say that the final total was, including gift aid, £10,995.

We set out to raise £100 and my hope was to simply raise awareness of autism and try and help the charity along the way.

This total and the numbers that have got involved in whatever capacity has blown me away. I just wanted to let you know how the story has played out. I now hope to keep the momentum going here at Sedgefield and keep raising awareness with our young people in the hope we, as a society, can support people with a diagnosis of autism to lead as normal and fully inclusive life. Pic: Some of the staff and students from Sedgefield Community College


Go Well Heart Challenge

Some of the staff and students from Sedgefie d Community Co ege who participated in a for Autism Over the last few weeks at Sedgefield Hardwick, we have been taking part in the 'Go Well Heart Project'. Some of our children have been selected to take part in a 'top secret' research mission! They have been provided with their own bag of special sporting equipment including footballs, tennis rackets, skipping ropes, frisbees and training cones, and each week they need to complete two challenges aimed at keeping everybody fit and healthy!

So far, these challenges have included 'Through The Gates', where our researchers had to accurately direct a ball through cones in order to score goals, and 'Mountain Climber', where the researchers had to climb enough steps to scale Roseberry Topping or even Ben Nevis!

Researchers in Year 3 have especially liked being able to design their own tasks. "It gave me a good challenge to see what I could do and what I had learnt from the other tasks!" said one researcher. All of our participants of the Go Well Heart Challenge are super excited to complete the final challenges in the programme and report back with their findings!


Bikeability at Sedgefield Primary School!

This term, a thrilling event took place at Sedgefield Primary School – Bikeability arrived! The pupils found this an exciting event as they knew how much fun lay ahead of them. This important lesson taught the children how to safely and securely ride a bike on the road. Two experienced instructors trained pupils in Class 5 for four continuous days. The aim was to pass levels 1 and 2.

The first level was taught in the school playground and focused on teaching the children how to safely ride their bikes and use hand manoeuvres. However, level 2 was a bit more challenging as they were taking their skills onto the public roads around Sedgefield.

The wise and safe instructors taught the eager children how to do many important and useful biking skills: checking over their bikes using the M check, signalling to cars when turning, checking over their shoulders and how to be correctly positioned on the road. It was vital that the children were sensible and respectful to the demonstrators, otherwise they would be unsure on what to do and make a mistake on the road! Instructors informed teachers that Sedgefield Primary pupils' behaviour was exemplary!

Yvie Gibson, age 10 stated, "I found Bikeability very exciting and it was very refreshing to be out in nature for half a day throughout the week."


Cricket crazy!

Lucy Pringle from Chance to Shine spent several weeks working with Years 2,3,4 & 5 to improve the children's cricketing skills, whilst having fun. Our staff also benefitted from an evening of whole staff training.

The whole school is looking forward to a cricket competition on 7 July on the school field where we will enjoy several competitive games of fun cricket throughout the day. It is great news to have these events returning to school life at Sedgefield Primary.


BUSINESS UPDATE

First for UK anatomy at NETPark The UK's first Stratasys J750 Digital Anatomy 3D Printer has been installed at CPI's National Healthcare Photonics Centre at NETPark by UK company Laser Lines.

The 3D printer can produce incredibly realistic body parts based on actual patient-specific scan data. For example, surgeons who want to be able to practise before an operation takes place can print an exact replica of the patient's organ. The surgeon can print the part as many times as needed before the procedure. The anatomical models, let surgical teams, consultants and their patients make better-informed decisions before embarking on surgery or a treatment regime.

The materials can be printed to different sizes, strengths and resistances to create accuracy down to a thickness of 14 microns – just a bit bigger than the width of a red blood cell! This makes it an invaluable tool as part of the design and prototyping phase of medical device development. As the first facility in the UK to offer access to this capability, CPI's National Healthcare Photonics Centre will enable its partners to create more personalised MedTech innovations, verify new devices quicker, and minimise associated costs. This important addition could help accelerate the development and commercialisation of new medical devices.


William of Durham and Walter de Merton by Alex Priestley-Leach

Sedgefield's position in global history is mightier than most, having played host to a President of the United States of America and regular convergences of news crews during every election. This is recent history however, and Sedgefield's prominence can be found to stretch back further; with two residents founding colleges that have educated a prime minister, a president, the breaker of the four- minute mile and the writers of the waste land, the Chronicles of Narnia, Ozymandias, and I'm Alan Partridge. Referred to here are alumni of two Oxford colleges – University College and Merton College, founded by William of Sedgefield/Durham and Walter de Merton respectively. Both have links to Sedgefield that could be and should be embraced. Unfortunately, owing to these colleges being founded in the 13th century, the founders' lives are somewhat difficult to patch together, explaining how their historical links have been lost to mists of time.

University College was founded when William left money to support education of divinity after his death in 1249. In many records he is known as William of Durham – this is how he is referred to during his time being educated in Paris, as an archdeacon in Caux and practicing in Rouen. However, one record differs.

In a Durham Assize Roll of 1242, there is an entry concerning our man of the cloth. 'Ecclesia de Warmue esse debet de donacione domini Episcopi. Magister Willelmus de segefield eam tenet de dono Ricardi Episcopi secondi'. For those that find their school Latin lacking, do not worry, the Sedgefield News is nunquam non paratus, translating it as 'The Church of Wearmouth ought to be from the gift of the Lord Bishop. Master William of Sedgefield holds it from the gift of Bishop Richard the Second [Richard Poore, Bishop of Durham (1229-37)].'

The founder of University College was rector of Bishopwearmouth (Church of Wearmouth) in the 1240s and thus can be assumed to be the same William. It has been suggested by the college archivist, Dr Robin Darwall-Smith, that William was 'of Durham' when travelling to places that might not know of Sedgefield so as to avoid confusion (fortunately, in the 21st century information age, residents never have to simplify to such an extent).

Here then is strong (for medieval standards) evidence of an Oxford college founder coming from Sedgefield. But our town has never been afraid of punching above its weight. See next month for the conclusion of Alex's study.

I thank Dr Robin Darwall-Smith archivist of University College Oxford and Julian Reid archivist of Merton College Oxford for their help in digging out these links. The Durham Assize Role can be found in the Surtees Society Vol. 127 (1916) p.33 (which can be found online). AP-L


Bitten off more than you can chew?

Bought a puppy during lockdown and thinking you might have bitten off more than you can chew? We might be able to help. If you've found yourself in the position of no longer being able to care for your pup, it could be the perfect opportunity for it to become a new police recruit.

Our Dog Support Unit is looking for new dogs to join the team, working with officers as Specialist Support Dogs on a wider range of jobs like PD Lottie was doing this morning. If your dog likes to play, then they could be an ideal candidate for the next course starting later this year.

Officers are specifically looking to recruit from working dog breeds such as Labradors or Spaniels, that are 12 months to a maximum f two years old. If you would like to put your dog forward, please email Ann Younghusband at ann.younghusband@durham.police.uk for more details.




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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.

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