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

NOT Neighbourhood Watch Some of you will have received leaflets through your door recently from an organisation which purports to be ‘Nextdoor Sedgefield’. Please note that this is NOT from Neighbourhood Watch and is NOT from a local organisation. There is no organisation called ‘Nextdoor Sedgefield’.
This is seeking to put your details on a database. It is basically a poor quality social media page and those that have used it have found that it is poorly regulated and abuse is common.
DO NOT click on the website and DO NOT enter any personal details.
The information is on a blank sheet of paper with no heading, address or contact details and suggests that their app can be used:
“to find out what is going on in Sedgefield, recover lost pets, find free stuff or sell an old bike, borrow a ladder, share safety tips and much, much more.”
If a sheet with this wording (or similar) comes through your letterbox, ignore it and throw it away!

If you have neighbourhood information to share then please use the Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page.

Season’s Greetings
Merry Christmas from us all at Sedgefield NHW and remember to keep safe, lock your doors and check your light timers. Enjoy your presents, whatever Santa might bring you, then flatten boxes for recycling - boxes left on display are an advert to burglars for the goodies available inside your house.

Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch Committee
The Committee Members are resuming Neighbourhood Watch meetings in the Social Club in 2022 and are planning to meet the second Wednesday of every month at 7pm. The first will be on 12 January and is open to attendance by any Sedgefield resident.

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.

DIDO - Days In Days Out

Over 50 people attended our party to celebrate getting together again - and it really was a lovely afternoon.

Gloria did us proud by entertaining us with her songs and she got us all up dancing and we would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication.

Gloria founded DIDO and has successfully managed it for many years. She is much loved by the members and we can't thank her enough.

It’s going to take all four of us to fill Gloria’s shoes!! Photos taken at the Christmas Party

Farmers Market

Sunday 6th February, 8.30am - 12.30pm
A very happy New Year to our brilliant producers, hard-working volunteers and loyal customers. So, 2021? It’s over - let it go!

A big decision was made after the December market to remove some of this winter’s uncertainty.

Woodland & Wildlife

We wish volunteers & readers a very happy and productive New Year. Hope to see some of you between 10am & noon on Saturday 8th January to help with any real Christmas trees that are kindly donated.

Christmas trees for habitats On 8 January 2022 from 10am – 12noon we will be welcoming people to bring their real Christmas trees to the Woodland & Wildlife site. This year we will use your trees to create a dead hedge and to build more habitats for insects and small mammals.

Drop your tree off with our volunteers or even better, stay for a hot chocolate, help process your tree and have a look round the site.

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

Homework Help

Happy New Year, students and Homework Helpers! We are ready for the new term.

If anyone has made any resolutions about doing a bit more study or volunteering as a helper, feel free to contact us at the usual address or find us on Facebook. We'll be pleased to hear from you.

Energy Switch

Everyone who would have normally switched as a result of the October Auction should have received either an email, if you switch online, or a letter if you receive paper bills. The advice in both advises that you to stay with your existing supplier and let them move you to their Standard Tariff.

You would also have been advised that your registration would be automatically rolled forward to the next Auction in February next year when it is hoped that the energy market will have stabilised. If you have any concerns regarding the information you have been sent, contact our helpline on 07572 502904 for advice. You will be only talking to Sedgefield people and won’t be committing yourself to anything by calling.

If your current fixed term contract comes to an end before the end of April 2022, you need to register for the February 2022 auction. Registration opens Tuesday 30 November 2021 and closes on Monday 14 February 2022, with the auction on the following day. Offers will be issued from Monday 28 February 2022. Remember to have your latest energy bill or annual statement with you when you start your registration.

Regular Feature

Steve's Nature Diary

I was pottering in the front garden the other week and I noticed something strange on the bare soil beneath one of the shrubs. I wasn’t sure what it was, initially I thought it was a pile of cat poo which is a perennial issue in my garden. But it wasn’t - it was a strange looking fungus called an Earth Star. Autumn is the best time to see fungi, but during wet milder winters you can still see a selection. I am quite interested in fungi and spend time looking for them, so finding this in my own garden is a bonus.

I think the one I found was one of the commoner ones called Collared earthstar, (Geastrum Triplex), they have a diameter between seven and ten centimetres. They have between five and seven rays, which crack as they arch and result in the spore sac seeming to sit on a saucer.

It is often found in a number of habitats especially if there is a lot of leaf litter. Initially resembling a small brown bulb, after it splits these open into pointed rays, the collared earthstar is star-shaped. As the rays continue to turn back on themselves they create the ‘saucer’, which the round fruiting body sits on. This fascinating fungus would look at home at the bottom of the sea. It may be small but its transformation from bulb-shape to star, to saucer, to support its delicate spore sac is truly remarkable. The spore sack measures up to 5cm in diameter and up to 10cm when fully outstretched. The spore mass is dark brown and the spores are round and covered in small, spiny warts. They disperse when raindrops fall on the delicate skin of the spore bag. The Native American Blackfoot call the earthstars ka-ka-toos, which means ‘fallen stars.’ They believe them to indicate supernatural events. The earthstar is also used in traditional medicines of the Chinese and Native American cultures.

The fruit bodies of Geastrum Triplex have been chemically analysed and shown to contain a number of bioactive chemicals. Various chemical derivatives of the fungal sterol ergosterol have been identified along with several fatty acids. The earthstar is used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and to stop bleeding and reduce swelling. The Cherokee put fruit bodies on the navels of babies after childbirth until the withered umbilical cord falls off: as a prophylactic and therapeutic measure.

Do you remember any of your early experiences with nature? I have always been interested in natural history and my enthusiasm was fuelled by a science teacher who used to run a nature club. Whether actively engaging with wildlife, or just spending time in wild places, developing a connection to nature from a young age is so important for health, wellbeing and for attitudes towards nature. But did you know many students spend less time outdoors than maximum security prisoners?

That's why The Wildlife Trusts are calling for learning in and about nature to be embedded across the curriculum, for all ages and throughout all subjects. They have launched an e-action to show policy makers that there is widespread public support for this ambition. You can find it here

Regular Feature

Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association

Due to concern around the Omicron variant and the rising number of COVID cases, SCA thought it safer for all, to cancel the larger events in the run up to Christmas.

We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused to those involved in the preparation and to those who would have come along. We sincerely hope that events planned for spring 2022 will go ahead as scheduled, and we remain committed to organising a special music event in late February as well as the Easter celebrations and family activities in April. Mediaeval Fayre Saturday 21 May 2022.
Save the Date!
Planning and preparations are going well. SCA will soon be writing to its sections, groups, and members and to local businesses and organisations who will be asked to support the event by volunteering to help, provide sponsorship or donate gifts and prizes for the special SCA tombola which will replace the community stalls.

We already have several craft stalls signed up and would welcome any new stall holders. We’re looking for something a bit different, creative, or unusual, (jewellery, fashion items, scarfs, foods, jars, pickles, candles, leather goods, etc. that would appeal to a wide range of visitors.

If you, or anyone you know may be interested, please contact Sarah, on the number below, or through the SCA email page. Sections and Groups: Subscribe to the SCA! SCA would like to take this opportunity to thank the various sections, health and hobby groups who continue to plan and organise a very varied timetable of special interest and social activities in service of the community.

There really is something for everyone! In January, SCA will begin to collect the annual subscription fees, the first since January 2020. The fees are £7 for over 60s, £8 for adults and £4 for young people and students.

The benefit of SCA membership provides reduced cost for room hire as well as insurance protection for any group’s activities and events. The annual fees are important, because they provide SCA with necessary funds to go towards the running and upkeep of Ceddesfeld Hall, for the community. Anyone can become a member – just ask at the bar or contact any of the numbers below.

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,

Sustain Sedgefield

Water water everywhere!
At this time of year when we seem to have far too much water falling from the sky, it is difficult to remind ourselves what a rare and precious resource it is. Water is essential for life. It takes energy to collect, clean, store and pump to where it is needed. So using water wisely will reduce carbon emissions and limit environmental impact.

Average water consumption per person in the UK is about 150 litres per day in the home for things like washing, cooking and flushing the toilet, so what can we do to reduce it?
· Wash vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap. Then use the same water to water plants.
· Choose energy and water efficient appliances, and wait until they are full rather than doing half loads in the washing machine or dishwasher.
· Shower rather than bath. Restrict the flow on a power shower.
· Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
· Reduce the toilet flush capacity, and flush less often - ‘If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down’ Outside:
· Collect rainwater or use grey water for watering plants
· Use mulches or let the grass grow longer to conserve moisture
· Avoid power washing
We also need to take into account ‘embedded water’ that is water used in the production of food, textiles and manufactured goods. Making these processes more water efficient is mostly down to the businesses that make them.

There are lots of examples of embedded water in different products for example 700ml of beer uses 208 litres as opposed to 870 litres in the same volume of wine. Processed foods will use more than home prepared. Items which come from water stressed areas of the world such as flowers from Kenya should be avoided. Use water intensive products like cotton, paper and metal sparingly, and prolong the lifespan where possible.

Repair Cafe: Are you a fixer or a mender?

Do you enjoy getting handy with a hammer or a needle?
Is there something you want to fix?

Would you like to share your skills and learn new ones?

You are invited to Sedgefield Repair Café open meeting on January 18 2022 at 7pm in the Parish Hall, Sedgefield.

We will share ideas for setting up a repair café locally, look at what skills people have and what they want to learn. For more information email

Rain stops play at Carols in the Car Park

As the PA and Event Manager, Gary, sat in Sainsbury’s café watching the rain pour down as it had done all day on 5th December, the sad decision was reluctantly taken to cancel Carols in the Car Park this year. We were so disappointed! But the PA gear could not be set up in such wet and windy conditions.

Volunteers and people who had booked places were contacted promptly, and the information was rapidly posted on sedgefieldweb and on social media by helpful souls (you know who you are – thank you!). The word spread effectively, and come the time, only a few cars turned up to a dark and damp car park, to be met by a couple of stewards well wrapped up against the weather. Some lessons there to learn for next time.

Huge thanks to everyone who was involved in organising the event and ready to stage it – your willingness, effort and community spirit are precious. Goodwill makes the world go around. Sedgefield Area Churches Together, Gary at PLW Event Management, Nic and the team at Sainsbury’s, Richard who was going to give the message, Fishburn Band, singers from the Lyric Singers and Lirica, Chris and all the stewards he gathered, Gary from Radio Tees, and others – you are much appreciated.

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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 November -Registration Opens
  Monday 14th February 2022 -Registration Closes
  Tuesday 15th February 2022-Day of Auction
  Monday 28th February 2022 -Offers letters issued
  Tuesday 29th March 2022 -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