Sedgefield Community Life

Neighbourhood Crime Watch, The Trust Projects & The SCA

Community Safety

Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)
Resident Survey Thank you to all who took the time to return our survey, telling us what concerns you most and we should prioritise at Neighbourhood Watch.

2500+ leaflets were printed and distributed to every household in Sedgefield at no cost thanks to our volunteers. We are still assessing the feedback which ranges from burglaries to too many ducks but initial indications are that your concerns are:
• Resolving/controlling anti-social behaviour.
• Speeding through the village.
• Inconsiderate and illegal parking.
• Burglaries
• Drug use
• Littering and dog fouling

Our initial priority is to increase and improve the NHW Signage throughout the village and we are currently applying for funding to achieve this. NHW representatives attended the Durham and Darlington Area NHW AGM and we registered with the National NHW movement (which provides support and advice). It was clear that NHW are strongly supported by Durham Constabulary, who were represented by Crime Prevention Officer Rona Stocks.

Due to concerns raised by residents, we flagged the slow response on the 101 helpline to the AGM. The advice is to use the Crimestoppers helpline 0800 555 111 as an alternative. (in emergencies always use 999).
Neighbourhood Watch Website Sedgefield NHW are setting up a website to allow residents to raise concerns. This will be monitored by NHW and issues flagged directly to our Police contacts for investigation. We expect this to be up and running soon – more detail next time.

Cyber Security NHW is arranging a presentation on Cyber Security for the benefit of residents. The session will be run by Durham Police and attendance will be free. More details next time. Further to previous notes about HMRC and TV Licence scams, we thought it worth offering some simple checks:
1) Often, scammers will take the real emails and amend them. Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if:
* it’s too casual or familiar, or unusually formal;
* odd words are used together in sentences which are hard to understand;
* there are spelling mistakes and missing full stops;
* there are mistakes with capitals or other grammatical errors.
2) Fraudulent emails try to catch you off your guard by panicking you into taking action immediately. Emails from genuine companies will never do the following:
* email you to tell you that you’re entitled to a refund;
* ask you to pay additional money for services, e.g. when you’re buying a TV licence or changing your details.
* You will never be asked for your mother’s maiden name or your date of birth
3) Check how scammers address you - it's hardly ever by title and name:
* Does it say: ‘Dear Customer…’
* Does it say: ‘Dear Sandia9097@hotmail.com...’

IF you spot any of the above, delete it immediately and stay vigilant. Oops. What if you think you have already put your personal details on a fake site? Report it to the Action Fraud Helpline or call them on 0300 123 2040. If this included card or bank account details, talk to your bank. Please lock up, stay safe and sleep well.

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. rona.stocks@durham.pnn.police.uk
Police Community Cohesion Officer: Faye Callan. 101 Extension 742317. Faye.callan@durham.pnn.police.uk
Confidential email address: John.lamb@durham.pnn.police.uk.
Any information we receive will be developed and acted upon.

Register before 11th February

Community Life

Steve’s Nature Diary
Sedgefield News Article
If you go for an early walk in March, you may be rewarded by the sight of the fastest land mammal in the UK; the Brown Hare. With their incredibly powerful hind legs, Brown Hares can travel at speeds of up to 45mph. Similar to Rabbits, they are much bigger, 52–60 cm compared to 30-40cm. Brown Hares also have much longer ears with black tips. They are usually a russet-brown colour with a white underside and the tail is white underneath and black on top. Brown Hares prefer open areas such as grassland and arable habitats where they forage nocturnally, but they will use nearby woodlands and hedgerows to provide cover during the day. You can see them locally in Bishop Middleham and at Saltholme where they have been seen to plough through shallow water and to swim. They do not use burrows like Rabbits but shallow depressions called ‘forms’, to provide cover while they rest.

Brown Hares are most active during the early morning and at dusk, but in March they can be seen more regularly during the day as they conduct their traditional “mad March hare” boxing matches. For a long time, it was assumed that it was rival hares fighting it out for a chance to mate with the watching females. But we now know that it is a female fighting off the amorous intentions of a sexually charged male. These signal the start of their breeding season. Females produce up to 4 litters each year and because the young (known as leverets) are born in the forms rather than in safe burrows like Rabbits, they are born with fur, with eyes open and active almost immediately so they can escape from predators, such as foxes.

Hares figure prominently in mythology across the world as animals of great guile and are often associated with the supernatural. There is a widespread notion that they can disappear into thin air, because of their ability to crouch low to the ground and thus seem to vanish. Their familiarity is reflected in several place name references in the North East, such as Harelaw, Hareshaw Common, Harehope and Harewalls.

So why not plan an early walk and see if you can catch the mad March hare boxing! Some of the information for this month’s diary was taken from an article by Rhia McBain and Ian Bond in the book Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles of the North East produced by the Northumbria Mammal group.
SDT Annual Report
Great progress In February, Sedgefield Development Trust (SDT) held their eighteenth AGM during which the chairman’s annual report outlined the activities and progress of the community groups within SDT.

The Trust’s newspaper, Sedgefield News, has been updating recently, using a lighter silk finished paper and images reproduced in full colour. This does not come without a cost of course. A modest 10% increase in advertising rates, which have not changed for ten years, will defray the costs and leave the finances of the trust in a stable condition. The Farmers’ Market continues to grow with the number of stalls reaching record levels last year. Producers are now requesting places rather than having to be persuaded to come. New equipment for stalls has been purchased and Sedgefield Farmers’ Market branded, reusable bags will be on sale to help remove the need for plastic packaging and at least reduce its use at the market.

Other projects continue to thrive. DIDO’s numbers have recovered from a small dip and a full programme of events is planned for this year. Energy Switch has remained a worthwhile exercise despite some `shenanigans from the winning company recently.

`The Bees of Hardwick’ and `The Wildlife and Woodland’ groups have both grown; production of honey has been good and another tree planting programme is planned for March. The Homework Help programme and the Sew Easy Group continue to be well used.

In the coming year, the SDT will assist and oversee continued development of all of these groups. The trust is also talking with the North East First Credit Union about establishing a Sedgefield Community Bank and hopes to have news on this soon.

Once again the trust will again raise funds for Sedgefield Folk Festival to put on an event specifically for housebound and elderly people who cannot ordinarily get to a show. Finally, the trust’s website, sedgefieldweb.co.uk has just recently been given a fresh look and an easier to use appeal and now represents the range of the trust’s activity more fully.
Farmers Market News
Sedgefield Farmers Market News
Sunday 3rd March
In line with our push to make the market as green as possible, we’ll have our new, ecofriendly shopping bags on the SDT stall from this month. Beautifully designed by Neil Edmundson, we are pleased to offer them at £4.50. The small surplus we make will go towards supporting the market and our other projects. The more the bags are used, the fewer plastic carriers will be needed, and after all, that’s everyone’s target in these dangerous days of plastic pollution.

Newcomers Screaming Chimp, specialising in all things chilli, should warm things up! Dog owners also have something to look forward to - Evie’s Pupcakes, with handmade dog woofins and biscuits! The Great North Air Ambulance will be on our community stall on 3rd March.

Do come along and support them - and of course, explore our Farmers' Market! Send enquiries to farmersmarket@sedgefieldweb.co.uk
Energy Switch News
Sedgefield Energy Switch News
Watch this space for exciting news next month.
Homework Help News
Sedgefield Homework Help News
Homework Help can now offer help with Spanish as well. Whatever the subject, to ask for help, to volunteer or to find out more, please contact homeworkhelpsedgefield@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.
Woodland Wildlife News
Sedgefield Woodland Wildlife News
Wow! Here we are 1 year on. How did we get here and what’s next? The idea of a conservation project in the area originally came from Tamzin Lafford and Roger Clubley. With support from Sedgefield Development Trust, NetPark, Durham County Council and local volunteers, the idea became a reality.

This time last year the first packs of native trees, given to us from The Woodland Trust, were being planted on site by a group of hardy volunteers. The continuing support from all involved is very much appreciated and allows the project to grow and develop. At the end of March we will be receiving another ‘wildlife’ pack of 420 trees. Planting will possibly happen on 23/24th March, a more definite date and time will be advertised on Facebook and there will be posters up in the village. Hopefully the weather will be more favourable than last year! We will also do a litter pick during the planting days and volunteers will be on hand to talk about the project should anyone new wish to know more.

During the winter we have welcomed many new volunteers, who range in age, talent, knowledge and the time they can give. As the weather warms up and spring activity starts on site we look forward to meeting and working with everyone who has expressed a recent interest. So, what else does the future hold for the project?

As well as weed clearing, we will carry out another botanical survey to measure our impact; we also hope to carry out a wildlife survey, which may involve installing motion sensor cameras. Continuing to build wildlife habitats is also in our plans, so do get in touch if you have ideas of how to support and develop the ecology of the site.

We are now on twitter and already have many followers. It is comforting to see we are among others trying to make a positive difference by making space and time for nature. “When it comes to wildlife, caring is no longer enough, we’ve got to take action. Getting out, getting connected and getting involved in good citizen science is one great way of doing this.” Chris Packham, Naturalist & Winterwatch presenter.

If you are interested in joining in the activities of the Woodland and Wildlife group, would like to join in the conversations over e-mail, or for more information, please contact sdtwwcontact@gmail.com. Alternatively, if you are on Facebook please search for 'Woodland and Wildlife - Sedgefield' and then request to join the page.
Ceddesfeld Hall: Home of Sedgefield Community Association
Sedgefield Community Association News
Activities for 2019 are in full swing at Ceddesfeld Hall. We are fortunate to have such a variety of interest groups who meet regularly. There really is something for everyone!

A new ‘Spiritual’ group has recently been set up and is proving very popular. Meetings take place every Sunday evening from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm in the main hall and the cost is £3. The meetings include: Tarot Cards, Dowsing Crystals & Rods, Reading Tea Leaves, See, Measure and Feel Auras and Talk with Spirits. For further information contact Jason Smith (Medium & Psychic) on 07422 504745.

Ceddesfeld Hall now has a Facebook page: facebook.com/ceddesfeld. Posts about activities, group meetings and events feature regularly, which include photographs and videos. It’s an easy way to find out about what is going on, share events with friends and to keep in touch. Recent posts feature Ceddesfeld Art group (Thursday morning 10 am to 12 pm), Sedgefield Lyric Singers (Friday evening – 7.30 pm to 9 pm) and Ceddesfeld Bowls Club, who meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday afternoons – 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and Thursday evenings for matches or internal competitions.

Sedgefield Local History Society are very proactive in promoting what they do, so their schedule often leads the way! It is a community page, so feel free to ‘Like’ Share’ and ‘Comment’. The FB page is also streamed to the SCA website which provides further information.

SCA are looking forward to upcoming events. The very popular Ceddesfeld Ukulele Band have a concert on Saturday 23rd March at 7.30 pm. The event is free and it’s an evening of popular songs and happy music; always great fun and very entertaining. More on the Easter Picnic (Monday 21st April) in next month’s article. SCA are very keen to attract increased sponsorship for SCA’s biggest event, Mediaeval Fayre.

We would love to hear from local firms & businesses, pubs and restaurants, who have much to gain from getting involved.

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, www.sedgefieldsca.org.uk
Grandpa’s letter
I had never intended to be part of the Twinning experience, but when I served as Mayor of Sedgefield we decided to take the plunge, and are very glad that we did. I often write long, illustrated letters to our grandchildren, and after one of our visits to Germany my grandson Ben received one about how, too often, people don’t do new things because they think it might be difficult or they won’t enjoy them.

Well, I suspect that twinning might be one of those things, but Sedgefield has been connected with Hamminkeln for more than 30 years, and during that time many exchanges between individuals, families and groups like the Youth Choir, Scouts and Guides have been enjoyed. Now Sedgefield Harriers have joined the fun.
If you are interested in having a go at twinning, contact Judith Edgoose on 01740 320342 or 07899984464
Congratulations on 40 years!
Our Playgroup has been running in the Methodist Hall since 1966, with the help of local mothers, to provide a place for 2-3 year olds to socialise, learn and play. One of our members of staff, Barbara Smith, has just reached the milestone of having worked for Sedgefield Playgroup for 40 years!

Barbara first started working at Playgroup in January 1979, after her children had attended. Barbara originally trained as a teacher before having children, so immediately took to the job. Barbara has seen many children come through the doors at Playgroup and in recent years, their children too! Barbara still has great enthusiasm for the job and always has fantastic craft ideas and skills for the children to learn. Congratulations Barbara! Jane Jones (Playgroup Chairman)
Parking pressure
I was just wondering when did Sedgefield become a car park for commuters from outlying areas? It’s bad enough that in the village during the day parking space is at a premium. The same vehicles are there every day, all day, regardless of the parking signs saying there is a limit of 2 hours.

But we now have vehicles being parked on the roadside going down towards Cunningham Court and on housing estates. I personally watched a vehicle being parked on the Winterton estate and then saw the gentleman stood at the bus stop outside the Community Hospital.

Where are the traffic wardens that we used to witness occasionally around the village? or maybe we could have some double yellow lines in the appropriate areas (the road going down towards Cunningham Court is not the widest of roads). Sue Congreve
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