Sedgefield News-Volunteers Required

Volunteer needed for a key role in delivering the paper each month. Firstly grateful thanks to everyone who volunteered to deliver Sedgefield News during Covid, and especially to those who have agreed to continue and relieve those of us who are older and in some cases unable to continue.

I am now looking for a someone to drive 22 packages of Sedgefield News to the individual deliverers.

Most go to volunteers around Sedgefield itself, but one goes to Foxton. If anyone feels able to help, please get in touch with Judith Edgoose email j.s.edgoose@gmail.com or text on 07899 984464.

P.S. Quick reminder to our delivery volunteers, please do not leave the News sticking out of letterboxes. Thank you.

Repair Café update

Over the last few months a group have been meeting monthly at Sedgefield Parish Hall to look at holding a local repair café. We wanted to share an update with the wider community, and answer some basic questions:
What is a repair café?
A repair café serves two main purposes. It reduces the number of items going to landfill, and it is an opportunity for people to come together to develop their practical skills. Individuals with repairing skills offer their services to try to repair broken items brought to the café by members of the public. The items would be repaired there and then if possible. At the moment we are planning to hold a monthly meeting, probably on a Saturday for 3-4 hours.

What can be repaired?
It depends on the specialisms of the repairers! At the moment we have people with a range of skills including sewing, technical, woodworking, ceramic, bikes, lawn mowers and fishing rods. The skills available would be advertised in advance of the monthly meeting so that people would know what was available.

Are there any restrictions?
Yes! Items needs to be small enough to be brought to the venue. The repairers assess the item and decide if it can be repaired – which will not always be the case. We want to encourage repairing, so we have spoken to local repair services to make sure we are not taking business away from them. We would not repair white goods – there are many commercial repairers offering that service.

How much will it cost?
The repairs would be carried out on a ‘pay as you feel’ donation basis. We want to encourage repairing as a culture and recognise that people have different financial circumstances. We don’t want cost to be a barrier to coming along.

What about safety?
We don’t want to put anyone at risk of injury either repairers or public, so will do all we can to make sure everyone is safe. Electrical items will need to be PAT tested when they are brought in and before they are taken home to make sure they are safe. People bringing items in for repair will be advised of the risks as part of the first contact.

How can I get involved?
We are building up a bank of volunteers to help run the café. If you have particular repairing skills, or would be willing to help out with the general running of the café get in touch. We are also looking for donations of good quality tools which are surplus to requirements . There will be a stall to take donations of tools and answer questions at the next Sedgefield Farmers Market on 1 May.

When will the Repair Café be open for business?
We are looking at venues and sorting out the paperwork and volunteers, but we aim to hold our first repairing event in June or July. Keep an eye out for more details.

Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch Committee

Spring is here!
As we move into spring and the weather starts to get warmer people are more likely to spend time in their gardens and leave their doors and windows open. Walk-in burglaries do increase during this time, so don’t be complacent.

If you are out enjoying your garden, remember to shut and lock all windows and doors on the front of your property. If you cannot see the door or window, then it should be shut and locked.

Always put away gardening equipment, tools, play equipment, bikes, and furniture when you've finished using them. Prune any bushes or shrubs that block the view of your front garden as this could provide cover for anyone wishing to hide. It is recommended that you keep bushes and shrubs below 1 metre to allow good visibility.

Check that your insurance covers the contents of your shed or outbuildings from theft.

If you are away from home, make your house look occupied, use a timer switch to operate lamps or a TV simulator and leave a radio on. Keep your shed and gates securely locked by using strong, closed shackle, padlocks to BS EN 12320 standard. Use coach bolts or nonreturn screws to secure door hinges, hasp and staples. Install LED dusk to dawn lighting to make sure that your garden, especially doorways, are well lit at night.

Keep your garden fences in good repair and consider adding trellis to discourage anyone climbing over. Plants such as firethorn, climbing rose or hawthorn can be a powerful deterrent. At the rear and sides, taller fencing with a height of 1.8m – 2m and a lockable gate is recommended to prevent easy access.

Consider gravel driveways and paths, this will make sure you hear anyone approaching your property

To report anything suspicious in your area call Durham Constabulary on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

To report concerns, seek advice or pass on information call 101. Keep notes, ask for an incident number. Information received will be developed & acted on.

Confidential email address: amy.jorgeson@durham.police.uk. Any information we receive will be developed and acted upon.
Steve's Nature Diary

As the weather warms up many of us will be spending more time in our gardens and gardeners are being encouraged to install nest boxes and to create habitats that boost insect numbers to help swallows, swifts, and martins as part of a new campaign Wild About Highflyers, which is a joint initiative by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

This campaign aims to boost numbers of these charismatic migratory birds. I often hear swifts reeling around Sedgefield and have house martins nesting on my house. I didn't realise that swifts and house martins were recently added to the UK Red List, having suffered serious declines in recent decades. It is estimated that almost 60% of UK swifts have disappeared over the last 25 years. Huge declines of insects, habitat loss, and the impacts of climate change – with extreme weather affecting breeding cycles and migration – are the main challenges affecting migratory birds.

You can download a new guide that provides gardeners with tips on how they can help swallows, swifts, and martins. Suggestions include:
- Creating a ‘bog garden’ with plants like marsh-bedstraw and purple loosestrife. Bog gardens provide valuable habitat for frogs, dragonflies, and a wealth of insects, as well as materials that swallows and house martins can use to build nests.
- Adding a swift box to an existing house or including a swift brick in any kind of new build. Ideally, swift boxes face north/north-east to help regulate the internal temperature and are at least five metres above ground.
- Letting a patch of grass grow long, providing vital habitat and food for insects and other wildlife.

Every May I take part in the Plantlife campaign "No Mow May" which basically means the lawnmower stays in the shed for the month of May and I let wildflowers in my lawn bloom, providing a feast of nectar for hungry pollinators. At the end of the month, on the Bank Holiday Weekend, I take part in the “Every Flower Counts” survey, to receive my very own “nectar score” for my lawn. Plantlife are also working with local councils to encourage them to not cut the grass so often, leaving parks and road verges to go wild.

They also encourage farmers to consider creating meadows - a three-acre meadow can be home to 9 million flowers producing enough nectar to support ½ million bees every day.

If you are lucky enough to share your homes with nesting swallows, swifts or house martins you will understand how magical these birds are. But also, how vulnerable; with the numbers of those returning each summer dropping year on year. The UK’s 30 million gardeners have an important part to play in helping revive their populations - from tailoring planting choices to include insect favourites and embracing bare patches for the benefit of nest building; people can make small scale changes that will reap big rewards. How sad it would be if future generations never know the joy of seeing these wonderful birds in our gardens and green spaces.
You can download your Wild About Highflyers booklet at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk

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

All the fun of the Fayre
Saturday 21 May sees the return of Sedgefield’s popular Mediaeval Fayre on the Village Green and Ceddesfeld Hall. See news article.

Your Community Needs You!

Mediaeval Fayre – Saturday 21 May To transport, set up and take down 20+ gazebos (on the green & lawns) & to man stalls (rota)
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Saturday 4 June To set up and decorate 12m x 4m marquee on the lawns – set up furniture in the main hall and marquee
Beer Festival – 8 & 9 July – to serve, collect glasses & sell tickets. To set up festival bar on Wed 6 July & take down on Sun 10 July

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, www.sedgefieldsca.org.uk

Your Letters

80 years of St George

For most people, April 23 passes by just like any other day of the week. No special celebrations or even a passing nod to England’s patron saint and dragon slayer, Saint George. Not so for one revered Sedgefield couple, Les and Marjorie Butler, who recently celebrated their 80th St George’s Day together.

A dance at Hardwick Army Camp, (now site of Hardwick Road estate) hurriedly created at the outbreak of war in 1939, provided the occasion for their first meeting. After dancing to the wartime melodies of Sedgefield’s Fernley Mitchell Band, Les, a new young recruit from Birmingham, walked Marjorie to the gate of her family home at The Hunt Kennels, within sight of the army camp - 565 Searchlight Battery.

Appropriately enough, having signed up with the Royal Artillery, the men of Hardwick Camp had to swap their cap badges for those of the Northumberland Fusiliers - George and the Dragon. Married in 1943, the happy couple celebrated Les’ 100th birthday in fine style last year. Maybe Saint George has been keeping a watchful eye on them all these years.

Norma Neal

Mothers Day at St Edmunds

Daffodils, which were very kindly donated by Sedgefield Sainsbury's, were handed out by Rory Gandy and Oscar and Charlie Allen to all mums who attended the Mothering Sunday service at St Edmund's Church.

Chris Rowsby