News & Events

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Blaxhall Newsletter

Spring 2007 Edited by Joyce Iszard

News from the Common by David Mason

Once again a busy winter season has come to a close and has seen the clearance of scrub and trees by Suffolk Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers on the Common. Woodlark are alrady singing over the cleared areas and the annual programme of monitoring is underwayfor them and other key species including Antlion, Adder, and, when they return for the summer, Nightjar and Tree Pipit. Dartford Warblers have been heard on site during the winter and may breed this year. Many of these birds are rare and protected by law, but they are vulnerable to disturbance as they nest on or near the ground. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 protects your right of access to the common but requires dogs to be on a short fixed lead between the 1st of March and the 31st of July to help protect these birds. Please help by following these rules and advising others.

Plans are in progress to reintroduce the Silver Studded Blue Butterfly to the northern end of the Common this summer. This is a characteristic species of the Sandlings heaths and if succesful they will hopefully colonise other parts of the common and surrounding heathland. The project is being undertaken and monitored by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation under the watchful eye of Natural England.

Please contact me if you would like to help with management or for more information:

David Mason
Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Sandlings Manager
Foxburrow Farm
IP12 1NA
Email David Mason

Election 3rd May

Nominations are now open for Parish Councillor elections and close 12 noon on the 4th of April for election on the 3rd of May. Would you like to become a Parish Councillor and help with decision-making? For the nomination forms contact Suffolk Coastal District Coucil, or myself, nine councillors are needed, and it would be great if more of you would come forward to force an election so those that make the decisions will know that they have your backing. Suffolk Coastal's telephone number is 01394 383739 or mine Joyce Iszard 01728 688452.

Village Hall Update

Although there has been little obvious activity since the extension structure was completed, much hard work has been continuing on fundraising. The exciting news is that we have now received confirmation that a total of more than £22,000 has been awarded in grant support for the project. This means that we can confidently plan the commencement of phase two and in this respect tenders have been issued for the electrical and internal building works. Hopefully we will be able to commence this work in early May. In addition to these grants we have also received from HM Revenue and Customs a total of £1300 which is the Gift Aid tax relief for all your generous donations.

Here's a thought - have you ever considered organising a small event, e.g. a garage sale or similar, perhaps with friends or neighbours, and donating the proceeds to the village hall? It could be a sociable and fun way to support your community. Although a total of more than £50,000 has now been raised, there is still much work for which we need funding and two further grant applications are being submitted during April. If these are successful, the funds should be available from July and this will ensure continuity for the remaining stages of the project.

The committee tries hard to organise events that will appeal to everyone in the village but please let us know if there’s something special that you'd like us to try and arrange. We're arranging a working party over the Easter weekend (weather permitting) to paint the outside of the new building. Please let Joyce know if you’re able to give up a few hours to help the cause during the bank holiday weekend - we’ll supply the paint!

I’m looking forward to being able to announce the the final completion of the refurbishment - hopefully before the end of this year. In the meantime, thanks for your continued support.
Nigel Suckling

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Did you know that there are approximately 38,000 people living in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)? If, like us, you enjoy living and working in this special area you will know how important it is to conserve the distinctive and diverse variety of landscapes, coastline and towns and villages. With this in mind we need your help. We would like to tell people living and working in the AONB who we are and what we do to look after this special area.

Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit
Dock Lane
IP12 1PE
Tel 01394 384948

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of 41 AONBs in England and Wales and a landscape given special protection in recognition of its distinctiveness and quality. Together with out Heritage Coasts and National Parks, AONBs make up some of the finest countryside in Britain.

Eyke V C Primary School

Eyke school would like to offer its covered swimming pool for the parishes out of school hours for the Great British Summer of 2007. They propose that the pool be used by groups, i.e. families, young children, the elderly etc. Someone with a "shallow water certificate" must be present for each use of the pool. The school will pay for individuals to gain a certificate, it is a 2 hr training session and the certificate is valid for 2 years.

Changing rooms and a new access to the pool from the Eyke car park will be available. There will be a modest charge to help with the running costs. Anyone interested please contact Joyce "blizzard" Iszard on 01728 688452 for further details as they become available.


Tuesday 27th March 2007 saw the launch at Ufford Park of some very significant changes in the way our local Police force will be working for us. They will be called the Safer Neighbourhood Teams Wilford Division for our area, and based at Woodbridge Air Base. The start of this will be operational in about 3 weeks.

Instead of having just one Police officer serving Blaxhall and the large surrounding area, there will also be community support officers and other Police staff, working with parish councils and community groups. It’s hoped that with the high impact of extra officers and by listening to people’s concers, Suffolk will become even more of a safe place to live, it being one of the safest in the country already. At the time of writing there are no telephone numbers or contact details available but when received will be posted on the notice boards.

Blaxhall Festival

This will take place over the weekend of Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July.

St Peter's Patronal Festival is on the 29th June, so this is the obvious weekend to join all the villages together for the activities planned. In the Church will be the patronal flower festival, with entertainment in the evening. At the church during the day tea/coffee will be served with cakes, lunches will also be served on both days.

In the village hall the annual art exhibition will be held with numerous local artists exhibiting. There will be a marque at the village hall where Blaxhall Archive Group will have a display of the project to date. In addition some of the residents of the village will have their gardens open.

Let's hope the weather is kind to us and that you are all able to visit what promises to be a very good festival.

Blaxhall Fete

Blaxhall Fete will take place on Saturday August 18th this year.

At a meeting to organise the fete last week no-one came forward tot ake the position as chairman to replace Clara Jenkins who retired after last year's fete, having organised the fete for the past ten years. It was a unanimous decision by those present that the fete should be held this year, and Clara Jenkins with the help of Joyce "blizzard" Iszard will again organise this.

There will be all the usual stalls: bottle, books, craft, draw, pancakes, produce, teas and cakes tombola and white elephant. The activities, some of which still have to be booked will include ice creams, bowling for the ham, breaking china, coconut shy bagpipes and more. In addition Phyl Heard and Amy Hobbs will be organising the vegetable and craft show that has always been such a success, so get planting for all the groups you can enter. Schedules will be available at a later date, and don't forget your allotments.

Anyone who is willing to help before or on the day please contact either Clara 688588 or Joyce 688452.

Blaxhall Ship

By now I think most of you will know that the Ship has been sold and should be up and running by Easter.

A new website for walkers in Suffolk

There's no doubt about it, walking is good for you. It's good for your heart, it's good for your lungs, it's good for the muscle and bone growth of your children and it's good for your feeling of wellbeing! Strong sientific evidence now supports the many benefits to health of regular walking; it is recommended that we take at leadt 10,000 steps a day.

Studies show that walking can:

Walking offers a great way to help kids get the active habit. If parents express excitement about a walk in the countryside, they are more likely to to transmit this feeling to their childrn. It's important to treat the walk as an exploration or adventure and go at the child's pace, no matter how often they want to stop and look at things; take treats to eat and plenty to drink; and head for some landmark that will appeal to them such as a castle, a playground, an ice cream van or a boating pond. (Could this BE any more patronising? - JMC) If children experience walking as part of a fun activity they are more likely to want to go again.

So, how do you find out what is on offer? John Harris, a keen walker, became fed up with the lack of information on walks in the county. So, he decided if he couldn't find what he was looking for he had better create it! It was a steep learning curve (not having had anything to do with websites before) but eventually came into being. The website gives you all the information you need for the best walking in the county:

Guided Walks
Local groups who offer guided walks are listed together with links to their websites
Books of Walks
There are nearly 50 books for walks of the county. All details are here
Leaflets of Walks
Over sixty leaflets are produced around the county, many of them difficult to find. Not any more! lists them all.
Walking groups
Every walking group in the county is listed

There are also links so that you can check out the weather for your walk, other useful sites and how to get to your walk by public transport. More is being added all the time, so check out this commercial adsite being shamelessly promoted by my mates (Ooops! -JMC) and get walking!

Top Ten Carbon Saving Tips

  1. Buy locally grown, in season food where possible. Buying locally grown and seasonal produce reduces the miles the food travels and is good for the local economy. Even better why not grow your own?
  2. Buy electricity from a renewable energy source - ask your energy provider for more information about their "green" tarriff
  3. Take a low carbon holiday. Explore East Anglia and the UK and let the train take the strain. Reducing your air travel can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint. A flight from London to Manchester emits over 6 times the amount of carbon per passenger than the train.
  4. Hang your washing on the line to dry and wash at lower temperatures. In the UK, using washing machines. tumble dryers and dishwashers produces 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
  5. Insulate your home. 25% of the heat lost from your home is through the roof and a further 35% through the walls. Robot mice from Betelguese are also making off with at least 10%. Keep the heat in. Cavity wall insulation is quick and easy (not if you don't have a cavity it isn't - JMC) and it could save you £130 -£160 a year on your fuel bills. Fitting loft insulation could save £200 and a ton and a half of CO2 a year.
  6. Invest in radiator panels. These panels are placed behind your radiators to improve efficiency. A saving of up to 11% on your heating bills can be obtained. No really.
  7. Open your curtains and have light coloured walls; this will reduce the level of lighting needed and save on electricity. Make sure that you draw curtains at dusk to stop heat leaving your home through the window and prevent busybody neighbours from peering in.
  8. Get on the path to energy independence. Be the envy of the street with an elegant solar hot water heating system covering 60% of your ugly terracotta weathered pantile roof
  9. Replace your old boiler with a young Thai bride and burn old copies of the Ecologist to keep warm
  10. Minimise unnecessary flannel in newsletters thereby saving paper

Your Parish Councillors are:

Maureen Adie Not standing for election
Gary Borrett 687562
Graham Bowles 688192
Phillip Dunnett 688273 Chairman
Lyn Gash 746425
Shirley Leeks 688220
Steve Smedley 688751
Nigel Suckling 688317
Joyce Iszard 688452 Clerk