nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: March 2016

An interview with Donna Thomas of DonnaLulu Cooks

We met Donna in Tasty Bite Cafe last week and spoke to her about her business.  We know of Donna, as will you all, from seeing her cheery face at Thrapston Farmer’s Market.  It seems that the start of the towns market was good timing for Donna…


“I’m Donna Thomas and I run my DonnaLulu Cooks business in Thrapston, where we have lived for 16 years. I was born and bred in Oundle and after my schooling years finished, I went onto catering college. I worked in the catering industry for a few years before deciding to leave the unsocial hours behind and try something completely different. So, for the next 26 years I worked in IT gaining my way up to management level. It was a complete change and although it gave me a good career, I never lost my passion for all things food related and trying out different recipes.


I always had a thought in the back of my mind that I would go back into the food industry, somewhere, sometime, somehow. So when I had the opportunity to set up my own business, I went for it and set up DonnaLulu Cooks – my office is now my kitchen! My business start up coincided with the start of the Thrapston Farmers market in 2014, which was great and has been a great event for us ever since – weather permitting of course!

Wealthy Brownie

Wealthy Brownies

I have always cooked and baked from an early age when I used to watch and learn from my Nan and then my Mum. My baking has been tasted by and tested on numerous people over the years and I am happy to say that the majority has been successful but some of it not quite so which led to a bit of refining or even binning! I have a large collection of cook books that I have collected through the years which I do I do look through, but I have never been one to follow recipes to the letter. I tend to use them more for inspiration so I can adapt and create something a little bit different. The DonnaLulu Cooks ethos is baking sweet & savoury cakes & bakes with a twist for all occasions and something for everyone. Something a little bit different, but not so unfamiliar it doesn’t work or people are put off trying it so I am always thinking of new ideas and recipes I can try out.

Salted caramel

Salted Caramel Cake

I like to use local produce and fresh ingredients that are in season or using produce we have picked or foraged for ourselves. It’s important to me to use good quality produce in my recipes for good flavour and good quality end products. I find it inspiring and satisfying to see people of all ages taste the food I have made, seeing their reactions when they taste something a little bit different, talking to them about what goes into it and where the ingredients have come from.

Chocolate & Parsnip Cake

Chocolate & Parsnip Cake

I provide local coffee shops with a variety of cakes & bakes – Tasty Bite in Thrapston being one of them! As well as attending the Thrapston Farmers Market, we have a pitch at Higham Ferrers farmers market and attend other local food events throughout the year. But, you don’t have to wait for the markets to buy your delicious treats as they can be ordered anytime! My aim is to share the deliciousness of good homemade affordable baking whether its for a family gathering, a get together, a gift, an important meeting or just for a treat, DonnaLulu Cooks will be happy to help and provide some cakes & bakes from traditional Victoria sponges to cheese & marmite savoury flapjacks!

I also offer free delivery within a 20 mile radius of Thrapston”.10433108_1152531218092374_3890213368425705132_n

We were hooked by the time we’d chatted and didn’t realise that she would bake for any family gathering and deliver too.  You can view her prices on her website, and we think they offer huge value for money as we like to use local businesses, and with someone who can deliver cake right to my door – well life in Thrapston can’t get any better!

Honeycomb Cake

Honeycomb Cake

DonnaLulu Cooks by Donna Thomas
Facebook; DonnaLulu Cooks
Twitter; @DonnaluluThomas

Scoop the Poop in Colour Co-ordinated Style!

Are you a fashion conscious dog owner? Does your pooch have to have all the best accessories in town?

New from AmbaScarlett are the Doggee Poop Bag Holders. Doggees come in six different colours, each one large enough to fit approximately 12 poop bags inside.
Attached to the Doggee is a handy clip, which attaches the bag holder to your pooches lead, your coat zip, phone or purse.

When the time is right, you just pull the bag from the Doggee, use and bin as usual, whilst the remaining bags stay put within the Doggee for next time!
At just £5 each any trend setting dog walker can afford to buy one to match each outfit!
Available online at or in the Wellingborough store:
AmbaScarlett, within Hunter’s Emporium, Nene Court, Wellingborough.

Are your Tree Stumps a Pain in the Grass?

Aside from being something of an eyesore, tree stumps can be inconveniently located too. Whether a complicated root system is developing dangerously near buildings or simply preventing effective grass cutting. Tree stumps really can be a `Pain in the Grass’. Tree stumps can also be responsible for a number of other problems in gardens and public areas. Left alone they can play host to a number of root diseases, which will spread to neighbouring shrubs and trees.

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ANYONE that has tried to remove an established tree stump will know how arduous it can be. Even small stumps can involve hours of digging, chopping and pulling, resulting in muscle strain or injury. The Tree Stump Removal Company takes all the hard work out of removing stumps, by using advanced machinery to grind stumps and surface roots to below ground level. The resulting grindings can be easily removed, or can be used as mulch for borders.12096075_882235831862700_3371231998323204226_n

Unlike other stump grinding companies, The Tree Stump Removal Company use machines with pneumatic tyres, which are far more surface friendly than those on tracks. This ensures minimal disturbance to lawns and surrounding gardens.12047163_880855938667356_3796041115596276334_n

Stump grinding services will appeal to keen gardeners, as well as landowners, local authorities, tree surgeons, fencing contractors, land management companies, builders and golf courses.

Company owner, Kevin Foskett comments: “Removal of unsightly tree stumps will make mowing easier, create more space in a garden and allow greater flexibility in garden design. Many tree surgeons recommend stump removal to prevent regrowth and to prevent and manage the spread of tree diseases, such as honey fungus”.11949509_868999803186303_7471421201472754651_n
For more information, contact The Tree Stump Removal Company on
01763 448095 or 07599 549363

Free quotes can be given over the telephone and are based on the size and volume of the stump. The company is based in Cambridgeshire and covers the whole of the UK.


Discovering DonnaLulu Cooks

We will shortly be writing our article on the Farmer’s Market favourite – Donna Thomas – watch this space….

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AmbaScarlett opens new shop in Thrapston

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Colour-in Fun for Easter! WIN loads of LEGO!!

Get creative this Easter (2016) with our Colour-in Easter Egg Hunt Tablecloth.

Win a box of Lego and a pile of Phoenix goodies (approximate value £75 / €110 / AU$150 / NZ$170)
Send a photograph of your completed Tablecloth to us, by email, to by 29th April 2016
Make sure you include the following information in your email:
• Name
• Address
• A contact email address
• Age
• Trader ID of parent (if applicable)

Please also ask an adult to share a photograph of your coloured-in tablecloth on social media with the hashtag: #phoenixeastercomp2016
• On the Phoenix Trading Facebook page.
• Don’t forget to add a description and the hashtag #phoenixeastercomp2016
• On your Pinterest account.
• (To upload and tag a photo, click the + button at the bottom of Pinterest and click Upload a Pin. Click Choose Image and find the file on your computer. Pick a board for your Pin and add a description with the hashtag #phoenixeastercomp2016. Click Pin It.)

We will also try and compose an album of all the entries and post them on our Facebook Timeline, as well as re-pinning to a Phoenix competition board.
The winner will be the best young artist who shows the most promise, as chosen by the Creative Team at Phoenix Trading.
The competition is open to children aged 14 years and under.

Take part today by buying one of our Easter Egg Colour in Tablecloths – delivery will take 3 – 5 working days.



General Terms & Conditions
Entrants must be 14 years and under and residents of the UK, France, Australia or New Zealand. The contest is open to the families of Phoenix Traders but is not open to employees of Phoenix Trading or their immediate family. By entering the contest, you agree to be bound by these rules.
Closing date for the competition is 29th April 2016
Only one entry per child and entrants may not submit a previous years entry.
The competition winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd May 2016 on Facebook and will be contacted by email.
In the event of any dispute regarding the Rules, conduct, results and all other matters relating to this Competition, the decision of Phoenix Trading shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
The prizes are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Phoenix Trading reserves the right to substitute products of equal or greater value at any time.
The prize winner’s name can be obtained by email or by sending an SAE to: Phoenix Trading, Unit 6, 307-309 Merton Road, London SW18 5JS after the competition closing date.
Competition entry and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use the winners’ name for promotional purposes, without additional consultation.
Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them.
The Promoter of the Competition is Phoenix Trading, Unit 6, 307-309 Merton Road, London SW18 5JS. All correspondence and queries should be sent by mail to this address.
The Promoter reserves the right to cancel the Competition or amend these Terms and Conditions without notice in the event of circumstances outside its control.
The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of Entrants and check their age and identity.
By entering, Entrants agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges, Promoter and these Rules and to comply with all laws and regulations. Promoter, and those working for Promoter or on behalf of Promoter, will not be responsible for internet, computer hardware and software, phone, and/or any other technical errors, malfunctions, and delays or any human error which may occur in the receipt or processing of the entries. The Promoter may refuse to award the Prize, or seek its recovery, in the event of an Entrant’s fraud, dishonesty or non-entitlement under the Rules. In the event of a dispute concerning who submitted an entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorised holder of the email address / Facebook account from which the entry is made.
The Winner(s) may be required to participate in promotional and publicity materials at the reasonable request of Promoter. As a condition of being awarded the Prize, the Winner must consent and agree, (i) where requested to do so, to participate in promotional and publicity materials in connection with the Prize, and (ii) the exploitation thereof by Promoter in any and all media throughout the world in perpetuity without any payment to the Winners or their chosen companions whatsoever.
In the event of any fault, mistake, misunderstanding or dispute concerning the operation of any part of the Competition, the decision of the Promoter shall be final.
The Promoter is not responsible for any payment of any taxes or other costs associated with the receipt of the Prize.
The Rules shall be exclusively governed by the laws of England and Wales and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any disputes arising there from.
By entering this Competition, you give the Promoter all necessary consents in relation to your personal data (e.g. your name, email address, photographs) in order for us to operate the Competition. Any personal data relating to Entrants will be used solely in accordance with current data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without your consent.

Planning Applications: 16 March 2016

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website and search for the application number.


Chelveston cum Caldecott
16100377/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) New extraction system (air handling) for kitchen area at The Star And Garter The Green Chelveston NN9 6AJ
16/00395/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Demolition of bungalow and erection of a four bedroom replacement house at 53 The Drove Collyweston PE9 3PU
16/00376/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) First floor extension over existing bungalow and garage at Woodlands Main Street Cotterstock PES SHD
15/00119NAR (16/04/2016)> (ArtS)
Variation of condition 4 to substitute approved Development Framework Plan (ref. BBD001/DFD/01 Rev C) with drawing ref. BBD036-005 Rev T pursuant to application
04/01326/0UT: ‘Mixed use: Urban extension to Corby, including residential (up to 5,100 units), Employment (up to 14ha, 1 District Centre, 2 neighbourhood centres, Schools (1 Secondary, 3
Primary), Hotel, Formal and Informal Open Space, together with changes to the operating regime at Rockingham Motor Speedway, at Priors Hall Site, Kirkby Lane, Deene, Corby,’
dated 10.02.2012- Amended plan and Environmental Statement received at Priors Hall Site Kirby Lane Deene Corby
16/00436/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Demolition of single storey lean to and replacement with two storey and part single storey extension together with the demolition of the detached barn outbuilding. at Hill House Chapel Lane Denford
NN14 4EA
16/00407/FUL (0510412016) (Info) Two storey extension to rear and first floor extension above garage at 1 Perkins Road lrthlingborough NN9 SPY
16/00380/LBC (16104/2016) (LBRegs)
New front driveway gates; works to waterproof basement; and works to existing external terrace to include resurfacing and increasing the height of the retaining wall; alterations to the existing jetty/river frontage at Islip House Chapel Hill Islip NN14 3JP
Kings Cliffe
16/00466/FUL and 161004331LBC (16/04/2016)(LBRegs)
Replace the single glazing of eleven windows with discreet double glazing units at 16 West Street Kings Cliffe PES 6XA Little Addington
16/00291/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Rear, side and front single storey extensions at 6 Weekly Close
Little Addington NN14 4FB
16/00393/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Extension to provide indoor pool building and associated facilities together with detached car
barn. at Longbrook Farm Winwick
Road Thurning PES 5RG
16/00345/FUL (09/0412016) (Info) Side porch and rear single storey extension at 32 Kings Road Oundle PES 4AX

16/003491FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) New dwelling: substitution of
house type for plot 7 on the approved development
12/01614/FUL at Herne Lodge and Land Ashton Road Oundle

16/00371/FUL (09/0412016) (Info) Garage conversion and single storey rear extension at 35 St Christophers Drive Oundle PE84HU

16/00432/FUL (09!04/2016) (Info) First floor mezzanine office to existing workshop, including provision of two windows at first floor level and new first floor door and external access stairs at Unit
4 Herne Park East Road Oundle

16/00439/PNT (30103{2016) (Info) Installation of a 15 metre lattice mast topped with two dipole antennas(height to top of antennas 17.8m) a 600mm diameter dish attached to mast at 14.5m to centre of dish along with a 1.6m x 2.6m equipment cabin and development ancillary thereto including meter cabinet, 2 GPS antennas attached to proposed cabin and overhead cable gantry on poles all within a 2.4m high palisade fenced enclosure at Communication Mast Stoke Doyle Road Oundle
16!00268/FUL (16/04/2016) (LBRegs)
Conversion of barn into a 3 bedroom dwelling adjacent to 42 Grove Street (Revised scheme to
that permitted under 09/01214/FUL) (Retrospective) at 11A Streather Court Raunds

16/003811FUL (09104/2016) (Info) First floor extension over existing garage and link. Single storey extension to side at 5 Primrose Gardens Raunds NN9 6PG
16/00420/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Single storey rear extension at 63 Butts Road Raunds NN9 6JG
16f00445NAR (09/04/2016) (Info) Variation of Condition 13 • Plot 2 – new dwelling to have a maximum footprint of 120 sq m including the garage (as per plot 1) or 88 sq m excluding garage (the garage to plot 2 is detached) pursuant to planning permission 13/00289/0UT dated 26.7.13
Outline: Two 2 storey detached dwellings and a detached garage, and widening of the existing access (allmatters reserved except access) at22 Rotten Row Raunds NN9 6HU
16/00408/FUL (14/04/2016) {Info) First floor extension at 6 Carlow Road Ringstead NN14 4DW Rushden
16/00189/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info)
Proposed two storey side and rear extension following demolition of existing garage at12 Park
Avenue Rushden NN10 9NP

16100286/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Change of use of staff shelter to temporary agricultural workers dwelling, retention of boat mooring landing and decking areas, storage sheds, container and alpaca shelter (all retrospective) and the erection of a new agricultural building at Glebe Meadow Fishery Ditchford Lock Ditchford Lane Rushden NN81RL 16/00416/FUL (16/04/2016)
Construction of new portal frame industrial unit to include storage and office space at Land Used
For Storage Norris Way Rushden

16(00431/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Single storey rear extens’1on at 199
St Margarets Avenue Rushden NN10 9PN
16/00441/FUL (09/04/2016) {Info) Extension to existing bungalow to create two storey dwelling including demolition of car port and workshop at 184 Avenue
Road Rushden NN10 0SW

16/00446/FUL (16/04/2016)
Change of use from retail to residential and alterations and extension to rear at 70 High Street Rushden NN10 OPQ
16/00378/FUL (09/04/2016) {Info) Two storey front extension at 5Collingham Close Stanwick NN9

16/00443/FUL (09/04/2016) (Info) Erection of single dwelling house and associated works at 17 High Street Stanwick NN9 6QA
16/00326/FUL (16/04/2016) {ArtS) Demolition of working mens club and proposed residential development of eleven dwellings and associated access at 18 – 20 Chapel Street Warmington PE56TR

16/00368/FUL (09104/2016) (Info) Single storey extension to front of bungalow and single storey
extension to side at 5 Broadgate Way Warmington PES 6UH

Like to Eat Out and Eat Healthy?

Choosing a restaurant serving tasty, healthy meals could soon become a lot easier thanks to the launch of Eat Out Eat Well.Eat Out Eat Well

Eating out is part of everyday life, but it shouldn’t always have to involve unhealthy eating. We’re used to making choices based on calorie content and other factors when we buy and consume our food, and eating out shouldn’t be any different. Having healthy options on the menu are important when making the decision to eat well and stay healthy.

That’s why East Northamptonshire Council is introducing a new award scheme called Eat Out Eat Well that rewards caterers for offering healthier food choices to customers.

Most catering premises that serve food to the public are eligible for the award, including restaurants, cafes, hotels, workplace and hospital restaurants and pubs. The level of award is based on a scoring system that takes into account the type of food on offer (plenty of fruit and veg and less sugar and salt), cooking methods (grilling not frying), and how businesses promote healthy choices to their customers, particularly on children’s menus. The higher the score, the higher the level of award.

Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, says: “We have some great restaurants and cafes in East Northamptonshire and we want to work with them to provide healthy options for customers who enjoy eating out with family and friends. We hope that more caterers become part of this initiative to ensure that in East Northamptonshire, there are always healthy choices on the menu.”

Principal Linda Brooks of the Manor Learning Trust adds: “We are very proud to receive the Eat Out Eat Well award as food and nutrition is our catering manager’s passion. We want students to not only recognise the food on their plate, but to develop an understanding of their health and nutrition, and the impact this has on their learning and education.

“It is extremely satisfying for us to be recognised for our commitment in promoting healthy eating to our students. Well done to our catering manager and the catering team for making this possible.”

To find out which businesses in East Northamptonshire already have the award, go to our website or look for the award sticker in catering establishments that are part of the scheme.

Council continues to crack down on fly tipping

A Bedford man was fined £1100 this month for allowing his waste to be dumped in East Northamptonshire and ignoring his £300 penalty.

East Northamptonshire Council’s (ENC) waste services team was called to a fly tipping incident in Rushden, last April. Officers found a large pile of waste material, including black sacks, kitchen items and light fittings scattered on the ground in the car park at Ditchford Lakes.

Amongst this rubbish, they found evidence relating to Mr Shab Uddin, who admitted to paying an unlicensed carrier to take his waste away. Shab Uddin accepted a fixed penalty of £300 for failure to produce the correct documentation for the transportation of waste.

Unfortunately he failed to make any payments for this fixed penalty so the matter was referred to Northampton Magistrates’ Court. On 1 March he was found guilty and ordered to pay £1100 in fines and costs.

Steven North, Leader of ENC, explained: “Residents should take care when employing anyone to remove waste from their property. It is the resident’s responsibility to ensure that any waste material is disposed of correctly.

“Any reputable waste carrier will be able to provide you with their waste carriers licence information and leave you with some documentation which clearly states what type and how much waste there is, who you have transferred your waste to, details of their waste carriers registration and the address the material has been collected from.

“If your waste is found to be fly tipped and you cannot provide this information then you may be liable for a fine or prosecution.”

ENC’s Waste Manager, Charlotte Tompkins, added: “There are two ways to make sure your waste is going to be disposed of safely. Firstly, there are details of licensed waste carriers on the Government website. So don’t book a removal before checking there first.

“Secondly, we offer a service to collect bulky items from any doorstep in East Northamptonshire. For less than £26 we’ll take away up to seven items, such as furniture or carpet, and leave residents with peace of mind that their rubbish won’t come back to haunt them.”

To find out if a company is a licensed waste carrier visit and search for ‘access the public register for environmental information’.

For more information about ENC’s household bulky waste collection service, visit or call 01832 742026.

If you see someone fly tipping, or know of a fly tip in East Northamptonshire, please report it online or by phone 01832 742026. If you can, please let ENC know:

• The time and date of the incident
• The location of the incident
• A description of the person/s involved (e.g. sex, height, age, build)
• A description of the vehicle used (registration number, make and model, colour)
• A description of the waste being fly tipped (quantity and type of waste)

The more information you can give the better chance ENC has of prosecuting.

Council offers free microchipping at ‘5000 Paws Challenge’ event

East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) is offering free microchipping to anyone who takes part in their ‘5000 Paws’ dog walking challenge this March.

A new law which makes it mandatory for owners to microchip their four-legged friends comes into force on 6 April 2016.

Visit Stanwick Lakes on Tuesday, 29 March or Barnwell Country Park on Thursday, 31 March, 11am – 3pm, to take your hound on a healthy long ‘walkies’ and complete the 5000 Paws Challenge. Once you have clocked up 5000 steps on a free pedometer and signed up to the Council’s free Green Dog Club, you will receive a voucher for your pooch to be microchipped – either on the day by Wood Green Animal Shelter or by appointment at Rushden Veterinary Surgery or Oundle Veterinary Surgery.

Owners who fail to microchip their pets after 6 April will be guilty of a criminal offence and could face a fine of £500.

Steven North, Leader of ENC, said: “This legislation could save local authorities and charities millions of pounds each year and microchipping saves a lot of heartache by helping owners be reunited with lost pets faster. In fact, microchipping technology helped our dog warden reunite 11 lost dogs with their owners in 2015.”

ENC’s Dog Warden, Julia Wills, added: “The 5000 Paws Challenge was organised to help our residents be responsible dog owners and get out and about with their best friend. Now that spring is here, it’s the perfect time to banish the winter blues and join us and Wood Green Animal Shelter for a fun-filled day in our lovely parks.”

Wood Green Animal Shelter will be on hand to offer microchipping, expert advice and fun activities for all the family. Carla Leete, Community Engagement Officer at Wood Green, explained:

“We’re delighted to be working with ENC on this initiative to encourage responsible pet ownership.

“On 6 April, it will be law that all dogs must be microchipped, so this event has come at the best time for those who still haven’t gotten around to microchipping their dogs. Each year, Wood Green sees around 450 stray dogs. On average, less than 40% are microchipped, and over half do not make it home to their owners! Why take that risk with your beloved pet?

“The day is also for those who have already microchipped their dogs and want to take part in something fun together with their pooch. Walking and training with your dog not only provides your pet with what they need every day to be happy, it strengthens the bond and helps build a better relationship between you and your pet.

“We will be there on the day with microchipping, fun games and activities for children and the wonderfully fun ‘School for Dogs’. Can your dog pass with flying colours?”

To find out more about the Challenge, please email or call 01832 742068. For more information about ENC’s dog warden service, visit

If your dog is already chipped, please make sure your contact details are correct on the database. It is vital that the national database is kept up to date, so remember to let your company know if you move address or change telephone number.