Climate Change Group 17th May 2022
The Parish Council has declared a Climate Change Emergency and a group of interested residents has been formed in the Parish to decide how to take this forward, and help individuals make a contribution – no matter how small. The group is called Swarland and Newton on the Moor Action on Climate Change or SNAC.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 17th April 2022 at 7pm at Percy Wood Country Park. Just go into Reception and you will be directed to the meeting room where chairs will be suitably spaced out.
Contact Jan Anderson for if you have any queries 07775060430 or Carolyn Letts: email@example.com
SNAC has its own website where more information is available: www.snac.online
Cowslip Survey – April 2022
Spring is well on its way and soon our pastures, meadows and hedgerow banks will be adorned with cowslips. Whether you know them as ‘Cowslops’, ‘Fairy cups’ or ‘Bunch of keys’, cowslips are one of our best known spring flowers, not only celebrated in folklore but a welcome sight in April and May as clusters of cup-shaped, yellow flowers, nod on tall stalks.
Plantlife are urging the public to continue the legacy of Charles Darwin this spring, by taking a close look at the inside of cowslips to judge the genetic diversity of the flowers and the wider health of their meadow habitat.
Surveying cowslips like this can help us understand the health of our grasslands and meadows to see how fragmented they have become or how disturbed their populations are. Wildflower meadows and species-rich grasslands are hugely important habitats, capable of significant carbon storage and one of our most biodiverse landscapes, but now cover less than 1% of the UK land area.
The cowslip survey was launched in the UK last year and is part of a European study which started in Estonia, looking at the centre of flowers and recording which of two types of cowslip they see.
The difference is in the flowers:
- The “S-morph” has the male parts of the flower (the stamen) which are easy to spot
- The “L-morph” has only the top of the female part (the stigma) visible
In healthy cowslip populations, there should be equal numbers of both S and L types of flower to enable successful breeding. However, this 50:50 ratio becomes imbalanced when cowslip populations become small and isolated due to loss of habitat, or if there are changings to grazing and other agricultural management.
Initial findings both here in the UK and in Estonia show that the S-morph cowslip flower are more dominant, with various factors possibly impacting on the survey results such as Geography, distribution and climate.
There is still much to learn so we are appealing for even more people to take part in the survey this year – please do let your communities, outdoor leaders and local groups know. You can use the hashtag #lookingforcowslips to join the conversation.
Click here to get more details about the survey: HERE
News from the Felton Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG)
Our New Surgery Progress continues to be very slow. For commercially sensitive reasons the contractor, Assura, has been asked by the Practice to put things on hold temporarily. The details of the planned new surgery will eventually appear on Assura’s website and there will be a consultation process too.
The dropped kerb on Robson Grove adjacent to the surgery land is likely to be the entrance, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The waiting area at Widdrington has reopened, with separate queues for pharmacy and reception; face coverings should still be worn to protect the vulnerable, please. The practice is conducting a review of more efficient methods of working. Front desk staff are looking at better ways of contacting us by phone. Their calls showing ‘number withheld’ are often rejected or ignored. Making their number visible will help overcome this. The PPG thought that on balance this was a good idea. There are complexities about which number would be shown and this will be taken into account when the telephone contract is renegotiated very soon. The practice is also looking at asking us for our preferred method of contact (landline, mobile, text, email etc). This will ideally be the quickest way, as speed is often of the essence. There have been several instances of patients having their Covid booster at a pharmacy and then being invited to a booster clinic. This was caused by a national computer communication glitch which has been resolved recently, so it shouldn’t happen again.
The Covid and ‘flu double vaccination programme is an enormous task and will take a lot of time. There are twice as many of us to vaccinate now that the over 50s age group has been included for ‘flu. Two jabs for each person means quadruple the number of injections. Clinics will be in Amble, 2 days per week, using 5 rooms. Covid boosters cannot be done until a minimum of 180 days after 2nd vaccinations (6 months as a quick guide). Qualifiers can phone to be booked into clinics now while there are spaces. Amble Covid booster / ’flu clinics currently available to book run until 15th December. For those of us who have had their Covid boosters at a pharmacy, or who will not be eligible for a Covid booster for some time, there will be ‘flu-only clinics in due course. These will be at Widdrington, although there may be ‘flu clinics at Middle Farm Surgery on a similar basis as last year. We are all are urged to be patient in view of the scale of the task.
The Practice was recently reviewed by the Care Quality Commission. Once received, the final report will be on the Practice website at www.feltonsurgery.nhs.uk .
Comings and Goings
We have a new Practice Manager, Victoria Burnip, who takes up the role on 18th October following Jackie Smith’s departure. Our new member of reception staff is Jackie Fowkes. Alison Gallico has now resigned from the PPG and we would welcome new members. We are keen for all patients to be represented fairly however we do not have any participants from Longframlington, Newton-on-the-Moor, Shilbottle or Longhorsley at the moment. Please let us know if you would like to be involved by contacting our Chair, Suzanne Beddow, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Our full Terms of Reference will be agreed at the next meeting and will be also available on the Practice’s website, as are the notes from our meetings.
Sylvia Allan [posted 18.10.21]
CITIZEN’S ADVICE BUREAU NORTHUMBERLAND – LATEST CONTACT DETAILS OCTOBER 2021
At Citizens Advice, you may be aware we support people struggling with all sorts of issues, we have teams who deal with debt, energy, benefits and people in need of consumer advice. Our team also includes a Macmillan Benefits Advice team, who can support families after a Cancer diagnosis.
Most of our offices across Northumberland are now open for drop in appointments and the days and times can be found online at https://www.
Please find attached our general information leaflet with our updated contact details. Click HERE.
BE AWARE HAWKERS CALLING DOOR to DOOR IN PARISH
Residents in Newton on the Moor have been called upon this week (wb 19.7.21) by Hawkers selling various household items and claiming to be on a rehabilitation scheme in Stockton-On-Tees. Safelocaltrades.com offers advice. Click HERE.
NEWS! NEWS!NEWS! PIZZA’S! PIZZA’s! PIZZA’S
Back on site in the car park at Vyner Park, Swarland. A PIZZA VAN – Collect your orders between 4PM-8PM. (information correct as at 25.3.22)
RING: 07949 698330. The ‘La Cabina’ van will be on site ALTERNATE Saturdays. Order by Noon the day before. The van is collection only.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Citizens Advice Northumberland – updated contact details
Citizens Advice Northumberland is a registered local charity which provides the people of Northumberland with free, confidential, and impartial information and advice on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt, financial capability, fuel poverty, housing and employment matters. For contact details click HERE.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Red Squirrels The Parish Council has received a letter from the publicity officer of Berwick Save Our Squirrels who are keen to recruit more volunteers to help with monitoring and protection. We have Red Squirrels living in parts of the Parish (see picture below) so if you are interested read Hilary’s article.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
Action to be taken on speeding An issue was raised by a Swarland regarding roads on Nelson Drive, Kenmore Road, and Percy Drive being damaged by builders trucks which are also speeding. It was agreed that more evidence is needed of how widespread the problem is. If any residents have any information please could they contact the Clerk.