nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: June 2020

Thrapston Sailing Lake – Permissible Footpath NOT a Public Footpath

Signs have appeared on MNSC land saying ‘NO CYLCING’ so Nene Local Magazine went to cycling thrapston lake

We met someone from the club who was putting up the Blue Green Algae signs (See Welcome to  Thrapston Facebook page for more on this)  and I asked him about the signs about cycling, as we’d been messaged about them overnight.

I can confirm that at the moment there is to be NO cycling round the lake.  You cannot go all the way round, but can get to Bobs Bench fence in a clockwise direction or to the Oundle end of the lake using the town walk going anticlockwise.

no cycling thrapston lake

The footpath is too narrow for cyclists to pass at a safe distance, and with more walkers out and about there have been a few near misses with cyclists going perhaps quicker round the lake than they really should.

no cycling thrapston lake

no cycling thrapston lake

Walkers naturally go at a slower pace and can wait in wider areas for others to pass.

The signs are clear – no cycling all the way round the lake at this present time.

no cycling thrapston lake

As we’ve said before, the lake and most of its footpaths are privately owned by MNSC, please respect ALL their rules.

The path is not a public right of way, the path is a permissible footpath – MNSC give us all their permission to use it.  For that, the majority of residents are extremely grateful and look after the area.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

Lackof respect –  Shocking use of private land

The Sailing Club volunteers are having to pick up more litter, clean up after picnics and BBQs.  The grassy bays around the lake are for club members for fishing.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

These rules have been in place for years

If we all behave respectfully, they will let us continue to enjoy the area for many years to come.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

Followthe rules on this private property and we all get to keep using it.

Enterprise Centre East Northants Celebrates Major Milestone

Construction on the flagship Enterprise Centre East Northants has been underway since summer 2019, and this week East Northamptonshire Council celebrated a major milestone – officially receiving the keys to the centre.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North and Chairman of the Enterprise Centre Working Party, Cllr Glenvil Greenwood-Smith, marked this moment at the site on Monday (8 June) with representatives from ASHE construction, SEMLEP and BizSpace attending a handover the key ceremony.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said:

“We have been working with our partners to deliver this flagship project since last summer, and we are delighted to see the hard work of all those involved come to fruition as we celebrate this major milestone.


“We would like to thank ASHE for all their hard work as we officially receive the keys for the buildings and transfer the day to day operation to BizSpace.


“We look forward to opening the centre this summer, and working with local enterprises over the coming  years to not only succeed in their fields, but to also lead and drive economic recovery across our district.”


Business Development Director at ASHE Construction, Andrew Morris, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in the realisation of this fantastic project. Now, more than ever, flexible workspaces such as these will offer start ups and established companies environments in which they can grow and work differently.

ECEN key handover 3

“Whilst new businesses might see this as a first step into an office/workshop environment, more established businesses may see these premises as an opportunity to maximise their new ways of flexible working between employees homes and an established office set up. Whoever they maybe these buildings offer the very best accommodation in which they can nurture and grow their operations.”


Lucinda Young, SEMLEP Local Growth Fund Manager said “Enterprise Centre East Northants will undoubtedly have an important role in helping local businesses to grasp opportunities as we respond to current economic challenges.


“Having worked so closely to the team delivering the Centre, I’m really proud to be here today celebrating this important milestone with them.”


Khalid Aziz, Marketing Director at BizSpace, said: “SMEs make an important contribution to the economy of East Northamptonshire and the Enterprise Centre marks a significant step for the area. These uncertain times emphasise the need for flexible workspace and this centre can accommodate the region’s SMEs and entrepreneurs as they sculpt their businesses to a new working culture, in a safe and secure space.”


ASHE construction has been constructing the offices and studios, completing the project on the 2 June whilst continuing to work safely throughout the pandemic following government guidance and carrying out regular risk assessments. ENC is working with Total Project Integration (TPI) and R H Partnership Architects to deliver the £8 million project. ENC, which is funding the project, received £1.695 million support from the SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund in order to deliver the centre as part of Enterprising East Northants, the council’s economic plan for sustainable job creation and business growth.


To register your interest or for more information please call: 0808 1787 060 or visit:

ECEN key handover 3

Coronavirus community projects get funding boost

Older people across the Midlands will benefit from a leading housebuilder’s community funding.


The Northampton branch of the Parkinson’s Disease Society and St Giles Church, Cheddington, have each been selected to receive £1,000 from Persimmon Homes to help fund projects to combat isolation and loneliness.

persimmon homes charity

The housebuilder’s Community Champions initiative seeks to support grassroots groups and charities in areas where the company is building. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Persimmon has pledged to focus all its Community Champions funding to help the over-70s, who are most affected by the lockdown.


Claire Dearsley, sales director for Persimmon Homes Midlands, said: “Covid-19 is having a massive impact on older people, so we are pleased to support two organisations taking practical steps to support these members of our communities.”


The grade two listed St Giles Church in Cheddington is a focal point for the village, organising events to bring the community together and prevent older members from missing out on vital social contact. Persimmon’s donation will support the church’s fundraising for much-needed repairs and improvements.

persimmon homes charity

The Parkinson’s Disease Society is setting up two projects to combat isolation for older people across Northamptonshire – regular phone calls from trained volunteers and lessons in using technology so people with Parkinson’s can contact families and friends through social media. All their normal fundraising activities were stopped by the pandemic, so Persimmon’s donation will help to cover the cost of these initiatives.

Persimmon Homes Midlands makes two donations of up to £1,000 every month. The online application form can be found at

West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Agrees New Task Groups

West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive agrees new task groups to drive forward unitary preparations


The first ever West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive met virtually last night  to continue driving and delivering the plans for creating a West Northamptonshire Council.


Following last week’s inaugural West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority meeting with over 100 councillors taking part in discussions, members of the newly formed executive committee met online to agree terms of reference for a suite of member-led task groups that will drive the unitary plans.

logo northants

These working groups involve over 50 councillors from across West Northamptonshire and a range of political groups. They will help to progress a variety of major work streams such as governance, Council Tax harmonisation, budgets, senior appointments and equalities as well as transformation, which remains a key element of the plans for the new council.


Shadow Executive Leader, Ian McCord, said:  “This is the start of a new era for West Northamptonshire. All four councils are working as one team to create a new council that brings together the very best from the past, but which is also keenly focused on the future. These are difficult times for residents and we remain committed to helping them through COVID but we’re also looking to the longer-term future where we can provide better services to help residents live happier and healthier lives.


“There was a healthy debate around these member task groups and the key activities that they will deliver in the creation of West Northamptonshire Council. We agreed that the achievements of each group will be shared at future executive meetings where members of the public can hear the progress to date including on how we are setting budgets and appointments to key statutory roles including the new Chief Executive.”


A recruitment campaign was recently launched to attract the brightest and the best candidates to the most senior roles in the new West Northamptonshire Council. These include Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Monitoring Officer, Director of Adults Social Care and the Director of Children’s Social Care. A dedicated recruitment website is attracting a great deal of interest as enthusiasm grows for the future of West Northamptonshire.


Cllr McCord added: “I would encourage all interested candidates to take a look at the roles on offer and then tell us why they think they are the best person for the job. Elected members will be involved in the process to recruit the best talent through the task groups and look forward to receiving strong applications.”


These key roles will be filled by October this year well in advance of April 2021 when West Northamptonshire Council is formed. For more details, go to


A recording of the West Northants Shadow Executive meeting can be viewed on Youtube at


Protecting Thrapston Sailing Lake

Yesterday on the Welcome to Thrapston Facebook page there were lots of messages about the new gates being put in around the Middle Nene Sailing Club lake.  Understandably there was a lot of speculation and concern about why they were being installed.

Today I have walked the lake, as you are still able to walk all the way round to investigate where the new gates were, and I have messaged the Sailing Club to understand why they are now in place.

Two gates have been installed.  One by Bob’s Bench and the other fairly near to where the path from the A605 layby meets the lake.

At this point in time the Middle Nene Sailing Club have stated they have no intention of closing off the walk around the lake.  The gates will be used, however, to protect the lake, mainly in the winter when flooding occurs and bank erosion can happen, they reserve the right to close off that section of the path to protect the lake from further damage.  These closures would be in times of heavy rain and flood and so generally people would not want to walk all the way round then anyway.

The sailing club’s car park and boat park are both clearly marked and are strictly private as they always have been.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

I have taken the time photograph the signage at the lake as a reminder for all those who use the space.  The sailing club lake is private property and the public are allowed to use the walks if we abide by the rules.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

These rules have been in place for years

sailing lake thrapston nene local

Follow the 2020 rules on this private property and we all get to keep using it.

In this odd time of social distancing and meeting in outdoor spaces, it is inevitable that the walks are being used more than normal.  Please enjoy the views, the fresh air and nature while respecting the rules.  The lakes are not the place for BBQs and parties.  Just enjoy the peace and tranquility.

sailing lake thrapston nene local

What’s wrong with this picture?

BBQs and fires can destroy nature

BBQs and fires can destroy nature


BBQs and fires can destroy nature

Litter can destroy nature – Photo credit

So in summation, nothing has really changed but please everyone respect this private property so we can always enjoy it together.


What Does Welcome to Thrapston Do?

The ‘Welcome to’ pages…

The ‘Welcome to’ pages all belong to Nene Local Magazine | nene local

The magazine runs all the following pages on Facebook;

  • Welcome to Oundle
  • Welcome to Thrapston
  • Welcome to Raunds
  • Welcome to Rushden Lakes
  • Welcome to Wellingborough
  • Welcome to Northampton

They have a reach of around 50,000 readers.

Nene Local Magazine, like most magazines in the UK is funded by advertising to enable it to continue.  The unique difference is the Facebook pages are not just about the magazine and its contributors but are also community hubs.   It’s a great balance of the promotion of local businesses and helping the community.

Running Welcome to Thrapston (and all the other pages too) certainly keeps us on our toes and we thoroughly enjoy the comments, posts and helping the local community.  We do have to delete any swearing and suchlike but at the same time appreciate the passion that goes into those comments – when people truly care.

During the Pandemic

2020 has seen a change in what we are posting to the pages and also the number of messages we get, so we thought you might find it interesting to see ‘behind the scenes’.

We still share news from the local businesses who advertise with us, as that is part of their package, although as we moved through February and into March we sadly noticed a few of these businesses were having to close albeit temporarily putting a strain on the business owners.  Thankfully, we now see some reopening and are enjoying seeing lots of businesses now start to thrive once again.

We share news from charities, local sports clubs and on seeing the rise in local businesses offering free services to the community we post about that.  All ‘not for profit’ and charity news is shared as much as we can.

Welcome to Thrapston is our busiest page, because it’s also our hometown.  We love being the community hub.

charter fair thrapston

During lockdown we’ve helped with many things

It’s fair to say Amazon and other online companies have been in great demand and we’ve lost count of the number of letters and parcels we have reunited with their rightful owners.

As more people have ventured out and about on their walks, we’ve been sent photos of found keys, phones, child’s toys and more – and found their grateful owners.nene local | second walk

The Nene Local pup and Helen have loved writing about more walks for people to try, and had many messages from people who would otherwise be commuting to work saying how they are loving exploring Thrapston and its surrounding areas – being introduced to new places to walk with our maps and photos.

Welcome to Thrapston usually gets a couple of messages per week, during these last few months we get a two or three per day.  People have needed help with all sorts of issues.  We’ve pointed them towards the church and other volunteer groups as they have launched to help with shopping if they are shielding, we’ve collected prescriptions ourselves to help, and ensured people have been pointed towards the support they need.

It’s been interesting to see that we have an uplift of messages from outside the area, often people wanting to help or surprise a Thrapston family member by finding a shopping service or ordering afternoon tea.

Of course, we always help where we can with animal rescue!  Cats on roofs, lost dogs and even a lost cockatiel – having Welcome to Thrapston means we can get information out and about in a quick way to be able to help.

We’ve had a few messages about how people are enjoying the Watch Parties we’ve shared recently.  One of our partners Inspired to Change Hypnotherapy does a morning motivation and an evening wind down for adults and a lunchtime kid’s meditation too.  The staff at Nene Local Magazine were gaining a positive mental benefit from using these and enjoyed seeing lots of readers also tune in.hypnotherapy | nene local

Get involved

What makes our job here at the magazine worthwhile is helping our local community.

Nene Local Magazine is based in your town, Thrapston.  We’ve always shopped local where we can – Who remembers the Thrapston Wedding Challenge? (Just coming up to five years ago!)

wedding | nene local

We adore walking round the lakes, shopping at the market and on the high street and being part of the Thrapston community.  We’ve clapped on our doorstep.  We’re missing the TADS productions and missing our weekly classes that keep us fit, but 2020 has brought out the best in most Thrapston folk, and we feel privileged to live and work here.

We’d like you tothrapston lakes | nene local

  • Keep sending in your photos from your walks
  • Your old photos of a past time in Thrapston
  • Share your stories with us
  • Tell us what your local group or charity is doing
  • Tell us important news when you see it – local traffic, the lake and algae updates, local crime – we will report on things that Thrapston home owners need to know.


And most of all, remember we’re here to help – especially this year.  In times if difficulty message us with your concerns if you need to.  We’ll help or point you to an organisation or people who can help.

If you’re in business and need a publicity platform, consider Nene Local Magazine.  We are unique in the way we can publicise what you do.








Local Zoo Helped by Young Cyclists

Local Children help Hamerton Park Zoo

A group of young friends from Thrapston have been so touched by news stories that during the Coronavirus lockdown, zoos are finding it challenging to raise the funds they need to keep the animals fed, entertained and looked after, that they are stepping up to help.
The intrepid eleven from six families, who range in age from very nearly nine to three, are getting on their bikes for 10 days to raise money for their local animal park Hamerton Zoo, near Sawtry.
The ten boys and one girl, who have all been friends since babies, aimed to clock up 300 miles between them and wanted to raise £300.

The children,unable to cycle together at the moment

The children, unable to cycle together at the moment

A few days in, they have already exceeded their sponsorship target five times over and are now setting their sights even higher.
Lisa Hughes, mum to Euan, aged 8, who suggested the fundraising idea to his friends, said: “We are so proud of them for wanting to help their local animal park through these tough times. They’ve all visited there many times and were concerned to hear it is struggling to attract the funding to keep it going without the money from visitors.
“They’ve all loved being out on their bikes during lockdown for their daily exercise and so it seemed a good opportunity to help raise some funds.
“People have been so generous, and it is really spurring them on knowing they have so much support.”

After just three days they had clocked up 236 miles already between them with bike rides to Rushden Lakes and back and many times around the gravel pits!
If anyone would like to make a donation to help them on their way, you can do so via