This month, we have two new exciting traders joining the Market. Balefire are a small family run business with a passion for food. Pete and Jim ,the co-directors of Balefire, are twin brothers, both are professional chefs turned brewery workers and have combined their skills to start their own hot sauce business.

They produce fermented gourmet condiments and are experts in fermentation processes, Laura will be managing their stall and will be able to answer any questions you have about their products, so do come along and see what amazing products they have.

The other trader joining us is Bree'osh, they are a Scandinavian Bakery with over 50 major UK food awards and are soon to be featured on the Channel 4 series - ALDI's Next Big Thing - 2nd week in April 2024. They produce filled brioche bakes , both savoury and sweet, and cover food preferences including vegan, vegetarian, fish and meat. Leeza will be at their stall ready to answer any questions you have about their home baked products.

Finally, we are looking for a volunteer to manage the Sedgefield Farmers Market social media, it should not take up too many hours and would be a tremendous help. If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Lynne at:


Did you know that Crimestoppers is a charity?

We’re an independent charity that gives people the power to speak up and stop crime – 100% anonymously.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe from crime. Whoever you are, wherever you live, from communities to companies. You can contact us by phone on 0800 555 111 and online at, 24/7, 365 days a year.

We also share advice on how to protect the people you care about from crime so everyone can feel safe.

Anonymous means:
• You will never be asked for your name
• Your call isn’t recorded
• Your call or online form cannot be traced
• No statement, police contact, or court appearance

A report is created from the information you’ve provided, and our call handlers check the report doesn’t contain any information which could identify you.

We never attempt to trace or record calls, even for quality control or monitoring purposes. Online forms are sent to us on a secure connection, ensuring you and your computer are anonymous.

You can contact Crimestoppers anonymously about any crime or criminal activity that you know about. We know there are times when you may not feel able to speak to the police, for whatever reason, this is why Crimestoppers exists.

Crimestoppers is not a replacement for 999 or 101, as we’re not an emergency service, we are a charity, but we’re here to ensure people can report their concerns about crime, completely anonymously.

Fleur Brown: Crimestoppers North East Regional Manager
Steve's Nature Diary

I must admit that as gardener, two of the species of animals that do cause me concern are slugs and snails, who often munch away at my seedlings and vegetables! I know a little about their habits but after reading the latest Wild About Gardens guide, I now know a lot more. The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts have given these incredible creatures a reputation makeover.

There are around 150 UK species of slugs and snails and only a small selection pose problems. For something that is so soft and squidgy, especially when it gets stuck between your bare toes on a summer evening, the garden slug or snail holds much menace for gardeners. Described as a tough-skinned terrestrial mollusc, which secretes a film of mucus, it sounds more like a superhero.

Marvel may have missed an opportunity when they didn’t create slug man or snail woman. Among their super powers to help fight against daily garden grime, is their ability to break down anything from plant and leaf litter to mushrooms, dead animals, algae and poo! Leopard slugs are territorial and ward off other species of slug too.

But if you are trying to grow tender plants, they love to devour them, remember they are a food source for other animals - a snack hack for hedgehogs, song thrushes, frogs, toads and newts. We think of pond wildlife as water-loving, but adult amphibians spend a lot of their time on land. Here they hunt a wide variety of invertebrates, including slugs and snails. Newts have even been discovered climbing plants on the hunt for them.

If you want to help provide a tasty meal for birds, make sure there’s at least one nice flat stone in your garden that song thrushes can use to give the snails a good bashing. There are also plenty of ground beetles that feast on slugs and snails – also known as carabid beetles. One of these beetles pokes the front of its head into a snail’s shell and uses its mandibles to tear out chunks; another follows trails of slug slime to find its prey.

But if you want to deter them from feasting on your prize plants try growing alliums, such as, onions, shallots, leeks and garlic. Their strong smell is a great deterrent for slugs and snails. Other useful ways to avoid gastropod gastronomy is to grow seedlings to a larger size indoors before planting out, protect vulnerable produce in a glasshouse or cover with a cloche. Otherwise, venture out into the night if you dare to pick slugs off plants and move them to the compost bin.

To download the new Wild About Gardens booklet on slugs and snails visit

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association
Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

Spring is on the way and SCA continue to work towards some special community events. Do look out for posters on notice boards and around town, as well as local social media platforms for more information.

Easter Monday – 1 April - Easter Picnic and Easter Egg Hunt - 2pm to 4 pm
An ‘eggciting’ and ‘eggceptional’ afternoon for the family (children under 12yrs) with an egg hunt, decorated egg, and Easter bonnet competitions! The bar will be open from 1:30 pm, and families are welcome to bring a picnic. There are prizes and goodies for all children taking part in this free event.

Saturday 20 April – Quiz Night with Pie & Peas - 7:30 pm – Tickets £10
A fund-raising event for 2024 Mediaeval Fayre, with quiz master Peter Hinde. Tickets available in advance from behind the bar at Ceddesfeld or from Pat (01740 620607), Sarah (01740 622185) or Peter (01740 621709).

Mediaeval Fayre - Saturday 18th May - 10 am to 4 pm - Village Green and Ceddesfeld Hall and Lawns
The ‘Dark Ages’ return once again to Sedgefield in a big way! The fayre will begin with a ‘Mediaeval’ walking procession - vibrant, colourful and lively, including children from local primary schools, nurseries, and sports groups.

The parade will culminate in demonstrations and performances, with mediaeval knights, country dancers and some rather large bubbles!

Two SCA tombola stalls, will be full of bottles, gifts, and vouchers (donated by very supportive local businesses), whilst around the Green there will be various craft and gift stalls as well as the traditional fun fair.

In the showground arena, mediaeval knights will demonstrate combat skills, local groups will do battle in the tug of war and a fantastic falconry display will entertain the crowds - not to be missed!

Ceddesfeld lawns will be open, for everyone to enjoy. Attractions include Walworth Falconry, face painting, circus skills workshops, Chi Taekwondo workshops, ACLE and Escafeld Living History, with ‘Knights Table’, candle making and displays.

True North Trades (have a go at working on the anvil) and ‘Viking Realm’ artefacts, have been added to this year’s attractions. In the main hall, a varied menu of delicious hot and cold food, prepared by Lesley, Neil and the team from Sedgefield’s own ‘Mess Charcuterie’, will be served throughout the day.

The bar will be open from 11am.

Business Community Support and Volunteers – Mediaeval Fayre 2024
The SCA Mediaeval Fayre is organised by a small committee, who wholly rely on local people as well as various community groups, organisations, and businesses to get involved; to engage and volunteer to help in making the event successful and sustainable.

Several local shops, services and groups already get involved every year, which is fantastic. Without donations and sponsorship as well as practical help from volunteers with setting up, taking down, manning stalls, running activities, etc. the event could not take place.

Please do get in touch if you, your business, organisation, or your group, can offer any help with the activities.

For more information on Ceddesfeld Hall events, regular activities, room hire and bar opening times, contact Wendy on 01740 620206, Pat on 01740 620607, John on 01740 620042, Sarah on 01740 622185. Visit us on Facebook or see the SCA website,

Mayor's Corner

I am now entering the last lap of my second year as Mayor and what a ride it has been. There have been many highlights this year, as I have been spreading the good name of Sedgefield far and wide in the North East, at prestigious venues including:
- a chartered steam train ride from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope and back
- a guided tour of Hylton Castle in Sunderland
- the Mencap Nativity in Durham Cathedral
- a talk on artist Norman Cornish, given by his son in Spennymoor Art Gallery
- spending open day at the Aycliffe & District Vintage Bus Museum.

In addition, it has been my great pleasure to arrange entertainment for our villagers with 6 different groups including:
- The Moondogs
- The Jersey Boyz
- Top Dollar
- The Gastric Band
- The Travelin’ Band
- The Cardiac Dodgers
Finally, my grateful thanks to Annette Lawson, who has accompanied me at almost every function, and to everyone who has donated gifts or bottles, helped me set up the Parish Hall and clear up afterwards, baked cakes, served coffee or attended my many events. It’s been an absolute blast!
David Jasper

Your Letters

Bicycle racks

At meetings of the sadly now defunct Neighbourhood Watch, a local cycling activist used to campaign for provision for cyclists to park their bikes when visiting cafes etc in the village centre.

Eventually, the council spent a decent amount of money and installed bike racks by the bus stop opposite the Black Lion and various shops. I was never convinced this was a good use of taxpayers money, but its been spent now.

Yesterday (5 March), I drove past and saw some adult cyclists with their bikes at the café.

I tried to park (but that’s another story) to speak to them. By the time I did get parked, they had started to move off. There were six of them!!!

That’s an awful lot of bikes cluttering up the pavement, and the cycling season is just starting. I do wish the aforementioned cycling activist would speak to his compatriots and ensure they use the expensive racks provided. Alan Patterson

eConsult - a personal view

I’ve used eConsult twice recently, first when desperate to get through to the surgery on a Monday morning (you know how that feels!) With phone still in hand, I switched on the computer and logged onto SystmOnline. Sadly, no appointments that day, but I was really feeling ill.

Seeing a link to the NHS website, I found myself facing an eConsult questionnaire. I confess I almost gave up at that point but wait! Didn’t I fill in something similar last year on 111 which saved my husband’s life?

Ticking myself off, I returned to the questions. Within minutes, an email popped up on my phone to say my case was being triaged by doctors at Skerne Medical and a little later a phone call followed with an appointment.

I dressed and dashed out. It had worked perfectly, and after seeing a real person, I was collecting medication at Sedgefield Pharmacy. A week later, my second eConsult gave me an appointment with a specialist nurse who was able to explain more and prescribe the next course of treatment.

To me, it’s a no-brainer - a way to make contact and explain your predicament without wasting your own or anyone else’s time. eConsult must help a busy GP practice to keep us well. I realise that not everyone has a computer or smartphone but, if those who have use it, we’ll free up the phone lines for those who can’t.

My advice - contact Skerne Medical Group or call at the surgery to register for online health services. Sandy Clubley

Sedgefield News

Would you like to get involved in one of our projects?

Sedgefield News is put together and distributed each month by an intrepid band of volunteers and is paid for by advertising, so that it can be read for free in well over 3,000 homes, businesses and public locations in the local area.

If you would like to help, write a letter or article (or send us some encouragement!) you can drop us a line at news@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.