Community Life

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

Your paper is delivered at the end of each month.


Got a story? Share it with us and feature in the news.

Regular Feature

Community Speedwatch

Further to last month's note, NHW volunteers have been carrying out Community Speedwatch activities in the village. In line with police advice we have only recorded those exceeding 35mph in a 30mph zone.
The results showed that generally around 10% of road users exceed these limits.
Police will make the final decision on what action to take in each case. Whilst this is often an advisory letter, more serious action may be taken against some offenders.
Please be warned, don't be one of the 10%, drive carefully in our Village and everyone will be kept safe and happy.

Keep In The Know
The Keep in the Know email alert system allows those signed up to receive weekly blogs from your local Neighbourhood teams, witness appeals, crime prevention advice, details of scams you may need to be aware of, community initiatives and mapping CCTV.

Residents can select what information they want to receive, meaning they can stay up-to-date with what is happening in their neighbourhood.

It also allows the option to provide feedback and send messages.

Neighbourhood Temp Chief Inspector Andy Reeves, of Durham Constabulary, said: “Keeping our residents up-to-date and informed about what is happening in their areas is vital. Whether we are looking for witnesses or want to make people aware of a scam going around, this system allows us to do it almost instantly.” To sign up, visit

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.
Police Community Cohesion Officer: Faye Callan. 101 Extension 742317.
Confidential email address:
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 5th September 8.30am - 12.30pm
Sociable Sundays are back!
With the new term starting we're expecting more stalls returning - and customers too, after their holidays. In particular, Mellanby's vegetable stall will be welcomed back, and there's also someone new: Cassie's Vintage Kitchen, specialises in scotch eggs, yum! Our sturdy shopping bags will be on sale again, at £4.50.

Bookings are coming in for the charity stall, so if you were thinking of taking this opportunity, act soon. This month's charity is Durham Deafened Support.

There are also chances for you to put yourselves out there! September's music is from Ceddesfeld Ukulele Band.
Both stalls are free but must be booked via email at

Woodland & Wildlife

We recently took collection of some tools, which were given to us through a grant from Durham Woodland Revival. The tools will be very beneficial to the work we carry out on site. Included in the delivery were two scythes, which the volunteers will be using carefully to promote the regrowth of wild flowers and to cut pathways between the trees…once we have had our training!

The project also took delivery of a pile of woodchip kindly donated by John Wright. We will be using it to improve the paths onsite and as mulch around the trees. It’s certainly going to keep us very busy!

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

Homework Help

New term, fresh start As schools and colleges start the new term, Homework Help is gearing up again to share our helpers' experience and knowledge to help students and pupils to understand their topics, to gain confidence and increase competence.

Most of us are not trained teachers and we don't construct courses - we're just offering to help people move forward in their studies. If you'd like help or could offer some, please contact or find us on Facebook. Wishing everyone a great start to the new term.

Energy Switch

Sedgefield Energy Switch is an 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.

Key dates:
- Tuesday 3rd August-Registration Opens
- Monday 11th October-Registration Closes
- Tuesday 12th October-Day of Auction
- Monday 25th October-Offers letters issued
- Tuesday 23rd November-Offer acceptance closure

Days In, Days Out. Sad goodbye to DIDO from Gloria

I am writing this message with a heavy heart, as I am unable to continue to run and organise the DIDO project.

It is hard to believe that DIDO started in 2007, with a grant from Awards for ALL, which is a fund under the umbrella of the National Lottery, and since that time it has been self funding, albeit with a donation each year from Sedgefield Charities and support from Sedgefield Development Trust, who have covered our sessions and outings under their corporate Insurance. We have always had around 70+ members and over the years we have had some great times together, with fun days out which I will sadly miss.

I have been lucky to be involved with such a wonderful set of people, who put up with my singing, and my terrible jokes! I was also very lucky to have a set of volunteer men who helped with heavy lifting and making tea - they even washed up on occasions.

We also supported a line-dancing group run and organised by Angela Bannister, which was ideal for our more energetic members. I sincerely hope we can continue to run both these projects, but we will need a new willing volunteer to take this forward. If you feel ready to take on this exciting project then this is your chance. Please give me a ring on 01740 622447 and I will convince you it will be the best thing you ever did! Gloria Wills

Sew Easy

Now up and running again in the Parish Hall, Dorothy Anderson is now running most of the sessions. However, if you contact Gloria on 01740 622447, she will be able to let you know if there are any places available. At present the group is limited on numbers because of COVID

Sedgefield Development Trust Change of Address

The new postal address of Sedgefield Development Trust is SDT Company Secretary, 3a Front Street, Sedgefield, Co. Durham, TS21 3AT.
Telephone no: 07572 502904 (this is also the Sedgefield News phone number), email:

Regular Feature

Steve's Nature Diary

This week I have been delivering holiday activities at Portrack Marsh in Stockton and we have been doing invertebrate sampling using sweep nets and pond dipping. The children seem to get really absorbed with the activities and left to their own devices would spend all day doing this. When you just look at a grassland area or in a pond you can see living things but it's only when you get the opportunity to use nets, the variety of species present becomes evident.

It would take too long to list everything we found, but one of the most popular finds, of course, were grasshoppers, especially since it takes a little skill to catch one safely and pop it in the viewer for everyone to see. The technique involves listening for the familiar chirping sound before using the sweep net to catch it.

There are 27 native species of grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) and also a number of naturalised species in the UK. They are an order of insects that have enlarged hind legs which accommodate muscles for jumping and are closely related to stick insects, cockroaches and praying mantids. Species found in the North-east are likely to be Field, Common Green, Meadow or Mottled Grasshopper with Cricket species mostly found further south.

All species can be identified by their sound (song) which they make by scraping their legs together – often called chirping, you can even download an app which enables identification. During the pond dipping sessions we caught lots of small fish, which excited the children along with quite a few smooth newts. Other captures included Whirly-gig Beetle, Dragonfly and Mayfly larva and pond snails.

The final catch of the day was the most exciting – for me anyway – a Water Scorpion. The Water Scorpion is dark brown with large, pincer-like front legs, a flattened leaf-shaped body, and a long 'tail', giving it the appearance of its namesake. An underwater predator, the Water Scorpion hides among dead leaves where it waits to ambush its prey with its grabbing pincer-like legs. It is known to bite, but it's not very painful for humans. It lives in still-water ponds and lakes and is common around the shallow edges of garden ponds. It is not a true scorpion and is a poor swimmer, preferring to move by walking. In the trays you could see the Water Scorpion hanging in the water with its tail sticking out of the water enabling it to breathe (like a siphon) – very impressive.

So, the next time you glimpse into a pond or walk through a meadow remember underneath the surface there is a whole world waiting to be investigated.

Regular Feature

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

Sedgefield Community Association Since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in July, Ceddesfeld Hall has been open to all sections and groups, but with room capacity limits. From 1 September 2021, the hall will be fully open without any restrictions on numbers. We do, of course, urge people to be respectful of others, cautious and sensible in their approach to mixing indoors.

The situation will remain under regular review. SCA are delighted that after almost 18 months of closure, Ceddesfeld Hall bar finally opened again for business on Monday 2 August.

At 7.30pm on the allotted day, the first customers were able to buy a drink for the first time in just under 18 months. Thanks must go to the volunteer bar staff who have enabled this to happen. SCA bar committee haven't been idle, with a new python, cask jackets and font heads being fitted, plus a complete Covid-19 deep clean to ensure the opening is safe. A new card reader payment system is now in place.

The bar offers a variety of cask ales each week plus the newly installed Atlantic IPA and Carling. Prices are extremely reasonable (£2.60 a pint, £2.30 for a glass of wine) and we're open 5 nights a week, Monday to Friday. For a clean, warm, and friendly service please feel free to call in and enjoy a pint.

The bar is manned by volunteers without whom it would not open. We really do need the help of any persons over 18, who would enjoy being involved in a new activity, to meet and make new friends and to help to keep open a highly valued community asset by working the occasional evening. If you feel this could be you, please email:, and we will get in touch. It has been fantastic to see the place being used again, with many groups now filtering back to activities. The Pop-In (see pic), Bowls, the Art Group, music and craft groups are nearly back to full strength and the momentum is building. We hope to have most groups back after the summer break. Some special celebration and training events have also been able to take place and the calendar is already looking busy through to December.

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,

Your Letters-Track dilemma

I find myself in a dilemma! As an educator, parent and volunteer for Sedgefield Harriers I fully endorse all the reasons put forward for a track in Sedgefield. Childhood obesity is on the rise and needs to be tackled, children spend more time indoors and need improved fitness, children should have the opportunity to learn new skills and then to progress and a healthy body does impact on a healthy mind. I am not against a track in principle.

However, I do have grave concerns about the location and what we are teaching our children about caring for their environment, enjoying nature and appreciating the beauty on our doorstep. 

The location chosen off the B1278 at the bottom of the NETPark is , to my knowledge, the only area of wildflowers, unspoilt, unmanicured green space we have left in Sedgefield. It is a haven to wildlife including buzzards, kestrels, barn owls and a huge variety of bees. Are we teaching our children that just because we can, we should? Who is the voice of the wildlife, the planet, the plants and the insects that will all disappear forever and cannot be replaced?  We hear all the time on the television that the wild areas and green space are shrinking, there are national campaigns to save the bees, key to our existence. 

Alongside the need to teach our children about exercise we need to ensure they love and care for their environment, the land chosen would be the ideal place to do this. It is enjoyed by walkers, dog walkers, those exploring nature and children playing with their friends. It provides much needed space away from crowds (Hardwick Park is always so busy). It was a vital space for many to exercise safely during lockdown and to get away from the stress and strains of life. If we take such places away, we put more pressure on ourselves and other locations.

My second concern with the chosen location is children's safety and traffic. The B1278 is crossed daily by children going to Carmel on a morning and afternoon and by children going to the Community College. there are no crossings or traffic calming measures in place and the road is fast and dangerous. The Carmel bus children cross on the bend. The new housing has already increased traffic and I believe the Track would increase traffic further especially at home times potentially putting children's lives in danger. I hope the County Council will put crossing in place if the track were to go ahead.  My third concern is the sustainability of the track. Tracks need maintaining and resurfacing every few years, can this be financed regularly and is there a plan to ensure that if it goes ahead? This may have been planned for but if not, it must be considered.

Again, I am not against a track, but I feel the chosen location is wrong. Isn't it better to spend more money to have a track in a safe place that doesn't disrupt a beautiful haven of wildlife, affect traffic on a small B road and then teach our children that sometimes we have to wait for what we want and balancing the need of everyone including wildlife which doesn't have its own voice is democracy?

Surely fields near to Le Raaj or the new housing developments could be considered. Yes, we would have to pay perhaps but money isn't everything. Moving forward the track needs to be the best for everyone. 
J. Wilson

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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 3rd August-Registration Opens
  Monday 11th October-Registration Closes
  Tuesday 12th October-Day of Auction
  Monday 25th October-Offers letters issued
  Tuesday 23rd November -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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