nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: February 2021

Nene Valley Featured on BBC Countryfile

Destination Nene Valley was delighted to work with presenters of BBC Countryfile earlier this month when they filmed an episode dedicated to the area which was screened on Sunday, 21st February.


Viewers of the flagship countryside programme watched scenes filmed in the stunning landscape surrounding the River Nene in Northamptonshire, looking at the flooding in the area, its impact on local communities and how the river has shaped the lives of the people and wildlife who live beside it.

nene wetlands

In the programme, Tom Heap was shown exploring the Nene Valley, which stretches from the county town of Northampton through to Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, discovering how farmer John Gent works with the natural ebb and flow of the river and has embraced wetland wildlife to make his land sustainable. Tom also gets hands-on with a project that has unearthed evidence of riverside residents dating back to Neolithic times.
Helena Darragh, Nene Valley Land Adviser for The Wildlife Trust in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire, appears on the programme. She said: “I was speaking from floodplain farmland near Oundle, where in 2019 we carried out wet grassland improvement work for wading birds as part of the Farming for the Future project. The features were created to attract lapwing, snipe, redshank. Unfortunately, the flooding this year meant that the shallow V-shaped ditches we dug with the RSPB’s rotary ditcher were totally underwater, meaning the wet grassland habitat was too soggy for waders to be seen on the day, but demonstrates how the ditches fill up with floodwater, and then retain this water once the floodwater has receded.


“It also shows the carrying capacity of floodplain meadows to hold floodwater – much of which has been lost due to development pressures and intensive agriculture over the past decades.”

Destination Nene Valley is the official tourism body for the area, funded by East Northamptonshire Council, working closely with the Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme. Nenescape is a five-year National Lottery Heritage Fund initiative, which is delivering a number of partnership-led projects tasked with promoting and protecting the heritage of the Nene Valley. Farming for the Future is one of these projects, which involves working with farmers and landowners in the Nene Valley to help restore and create meadow and wetland habitats, as well as undertake vital infrastructural improvements to tackle diffuse pollution and aid water quality, such as the one featured in the Countryfile episode.


Cllr Sarah Peacock, chairman of Destination Nene Valley which was instrumental in bringing the Nene Valley to the small screen said: “I thought the programme did us proud. It highlighted how, in under 40 years, we have uncovered the biggest archaeological site in the country, completed incredible conservation work, reduced flooding and continue to benefit the current settlers of the Nene Valley for future generations.


“Destination Nene Valley is committed to promoting the area as an incredible place to visit, work and live and we hope Countryfile has inspired visitors to discover our hidden valley and all it has to offer.”


Amanda Johnson, Project Manager at Nenescape, said: “We are so grateful to BBC Countryfile for recognising the hard work that is going into restoring and conserving the natural flood plains along the River Nene. Farming for the future, alongside our partner project Resilient River, bring together landowners, wetland managers and charitable trusts to ensure the valley does what it was naturally intended to do by our ancestors and is conserved for generations to come.”


Another Nenescape project that was featured last night was Settlers of the Nene Valley, a three-year project, telling the stories of the people who settled in the Nene Valley over the last 5000 years, from Neolithic to Medieval. Working with local communities and schools, the project has explored, recreated and celebrated the lives of those settlers as they travelled, settled and traded along the river. The project is run by the Rockingham Forest Trust, an environmental charity which has been connecting people and places for over 20 years.


Settlers of the Nene Project Manager, Becky Gill said: “The project has allowed us, working with the local community, to better understand how previous settlers would have lived and how the river would have influenced their lives.”


For more information visit

East Northants Council’s Emma becomes a Volunteer Vaccinator

Emma Matthews, an officer at East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) has completed a St John Ambulance course to become a volunteer vaccinator and fight the pandemic, having worked closely with businesses over the past year who have been deeply impacted by coronavirus.

Emma Matthews

In her role as a Licensing Compliance Officer, Emma works closely with publicans and taxi drivers, as well as those operating licensed animal related businesses, all of whom have been severely affected financially and otherwise by the pandemic and with her sister working long hours for the NHS too, Emma wanted to do more to help those she has met in her professional life, as well as personally.

Emma explains more:


“I have been a first aider since 2010 and wanted to use my skills in a positive way – I had to help my sister and her colleagues, as well those businesses I have seen struggling. I studied hard to complete the online St John Ambulance and NHS training and then spent a day proving my knowledge, whilst learning how to administer the vaccine.


“Vaccination is the key which opens the door to me saying ‘yes, your business can re-open’ and is our way out of restrictions. It is the key to my sister and every other NHS and key worker being able to sit down and have a well-deserved rest.”


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


“Emma really is an inspiration to us all, everyone at ENC has been working so hard for the past year to help residents and businesses through this tough time and Emma has gone one step further by volunteering to be a vaccinator. This really is a wonderful, selfless act which should be commended.”


Once Emma’s final screening checks have been completed by the St John Ambulance, she will be able to book her first shifts and starting vaccinating.


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer vaccinator, you can find out more at:


True Wish Fabrics Based in Thrapston

Many of you have been asking about the new fabric shop in Thrapston.  Lots of plans are afoot for them, including some sewing workshops for adults.  Of course, much of what’s in the pipeline depends on the government’s latest guidelines about us being able to get together indoors.

True Wish Fabrics is our new fabric shop, based in Unit 5 y Watson’s on Cottingham Way.  Currently open so you are able to purchse by looking on their website and collect from the door.  I know many of you will be exicted by a fabric shop within walking distance of home!

We were able to collect some photos from them today and got very excited by the many designs available;

You can find their facebook page here  Or join their Facebook group here whee you can post pictures of what you’ve made – they love to see them!

Unsure how to get there?  We’ve taken some photos as we walked to pick up our fabric this afternoon…


As soon as Boris let’s us visit them to browse…. I’ll let you know!


true wish fabrics

Planning Applications: 15 February 2021 WEEKLY LIST

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website or click the link below to go directly to the article you require.


Notice is given that the following applications have been received together with the last date for making representations

Notice is given that the following applications have been received:



(16 March 2021) (CA) Demolition of existing out buildings and erection of detached triple garage (Re-submission of 20/00389/FUL) 6 Addington Road Woodford

Applicant: Mr Bob Lockley



(16 March 2021) (NS) Installation of 1 phone signal booster antenna to exterior of the Enterprise Centre Enterprise Centre Michael Way Raunds

Applicant: East  District Council



(16 March 2021) (LB) Proposed single storey extensions to curtilage listed building 2 Ketton Road Collyweston

Applicant: Mr and Mrs McKinney



(16 March 2021) (ART15)(CA)

 Alteration and conversion of four disused Agricultural buildings into four residential Dwellings (Class C3), to include extension works,new car ports, associated site layout and landscaping works, and diversion of public footpath PA10 Manor Farm High Street Twywell

Applicant: Tata Steel (UK) Ltd



(16 March 2021) (LB) Listed Building Consent for the external and internal alterations to these barns to facilitate their conversion to four residential dwellings Manor Farm High Street Twywell

Applicant: Tata Steel (UK) Ltd



(16 March 2021) (CA) Proposed single storey extensions 2 Ketton Road Collyweston

Applicant: Mr and Mrs McKinney



(16 March 2021) (LB)(CA) Extend the Existing Steel railings around the  perimeter of the Church wall The Holy Name Of Jesus Church West Street Oundle

Applicant: The Diocese Of Northampton – Mr D Wilson



(16 March 2021) (CA)(LB) Replacement Of patio doors to rear of house, window to bedroom at rear of house,  oors to annexe at rear of house (retrospective) Michaelmas Cottage Main Street Apethorpe

Applicant: Dr Duncan Perry



(16 March 2021) (CA) Variation of condition 3 to allow for revised plans that reflect the completed works on site

pursuant to 19/01534/FUL Alterations to existing bay window with detached covered carport and Fence. Internal

alterations and modernisation to mill house Brigstock Condition 3 – Due to construction methods the roof has been modified, patio line has been altered and the fence height raised to accommodate raising site ground levels. Mill House 18 Latham Street Brigstock

Applicant: Mr Max Marsden

Kings Cliffe


(16 March 2021) (CA) To erect a Pagoda with shed/store room under part of the canopy 3A The Dovecote Park Street Kings Cliffe

Applicant: Mr Glyn Aspinall



(16 March 2021) (CA) Proposed single storey rear extension; and addition of 2 cabrio dormer windows to existing rear elevation Crantock House High Street Islip

Applicant: Mrs Claire Anstey



(16 March 2021) (CA) 1 1/2 storey rear extension, new front and side porches and alterations to include  replacement of doors/windows The Stocks Main Street Apethorpe

Applicant: Mr And  Mrs Brassey

Higham Ferrers


(16 March 2021) (CA) Change of use from residential to osteophatic, physiotherapy and sports therapy clinic 11 Market Square Higham Ferrers

Applicant: Mr Steven Bruce




(16 March 2021) (ART15) Change of use from B8 warehousing and distribution to B2 manufacturing (light  industrial) to enable an increase to capacity and number of employees (circa 150) (No external changes) Unit 4 Express Business Park Shipton Way

Applicant: Prestige Homeseeker Park And Leisure Homes – Rachel Stallard

Duddington With Fineshade


(16 March 2021) (CA) Single-storey rear extension in a traditional orangery style Churchgate Cottage Church  Lane Duddington

Applicant: Miss Fowler


20/01600/LBCand 20/01599/FUL

(16 March 2021) (LB)(CA) Restoration of existing curtilage listed glasshouses and installation of swimming pool associated with the residential use of the land and provision of associated soft and hard landscaping. The Cottage The Green Ashton

Applicant: Charlotte Lane



(16 March 2021) (CA) Construction of No.2 timber storage sheds. Lime Grange Barns Wakerley Road Harringworth

Applicant: Mr Justin Bell



(16 March 2021) (CA) Part conversion and redevelopment of existing former stable block to form a granny annexe for ancillary use to the main dwelling Church House Caldecott Road Chelveston

Applicant: Mr and Mrs P Mommersteeg



What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and Who Needs One

We asked Sally Power, from Hunt & Coombs Solicitors, about organising a Lasting Power of Attorney

Reassurance that your wishes are carried out whatever happens to you

Sally Power

Sally Power

At some point in our lives, any of us can be temporarily or permanently unable to manage our finances or care. What can you do to ensure that you are looked after by people you trust?

Sally Power is a Private Client Associate in the Oundle office of Hunt & Coombs Solicitors.  In this article Sally discusses the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney and how having them in place can ensure that you are looked after by people you have chosen, should you ever lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that, depending on which one you have, allows you to appoint up to four people, who are called attorneys, to make decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so yourself.

Why should you have an LPA?

The current COVID pandemic has shone a light on the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney during a time when visiting and/or being with loved ones has been anything but straightforward and in many cases just not possible.  Having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place gives the reassurance that a person’s attorneys can look after them and take care of their financial, health and welfare needs even if they cannot physically be with them, ensuring bills are paid, they have food and also being able to be involved in medical and health care decisions.

How do LPAs work?

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Affairs and the Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare.  Both are extremely useful if properly drafted.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This type of LPA allows you to nominate someone to make decisions on your behalf about your money and your property. For example, they could deal with your bank account, pay bills and even buy and sell property on your behalf.  Your attorney can also act for you while you still have the capacity to make your own decisions if it has been registered and you give your consent.  This can be useful if for example you are out of the country for long periods of time, have physical difficulty when managing your affairs or would just like some help with your financial paperwork.

Health & Welfare LPA

This type of LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions regarding your health and welfare, for example what medical treatment you should receive and where you should live, if you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself.  In addition you indicate in the form whether your attorney should be able to give or refuse consent to life sustaining medical treatment on your behalf.   I believe that this LPA is just as important as the Property and Financial Affairs LPA and allows you to have people in place that you trust to step in and act in your best interests should the circumstances arise.

With both LPAs It is important to note that an LPA can only be used, even in an emergency, when it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

How can we help?

As with Wills, we can take your instructions for Lasting Powers of Attorney remotely, either by telephone or a video call if meeting in person is not possible.  We will advise you and guide you through the entire process ensuring the LPAs do what you need them to and are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

hunt & coombs logo

For more information and advice about Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney please get in touch with Sally either by email:, or by telephone on 01832 273506.

Freemasons Invited to Volunteer for Vaccination Drive

The Freemasons are encouraging its 200,000 members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the population.

To help protect all UK citizens during this difficult time, the Freemasons have also offered their lodges to administer the vital jabs and many buildings are being used as Covid-19 vaccination centres.

More than 100 Freemasons from Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire have volunteered with St John’s Ambulance to help the NHS Covid-19 vaccination team. St John’s Ambulance is providing full training for the volunteers, while the Freemasons have made their buildings available to the St John’s logistics team.


NHS frontline staff members are also administering the jabs at the Freemasons building in Essex. Meanwhile, Freemasons in south Wales are opening the doors of Barry Masonic Hall to local medical practices to help in the mass vaccination against Covid-19, from 21 January.

Two halls are also being used as vaccination centres in west Kent. At the Westwood Masonic Centre in Welling, more than 2,000 people were vaccinated on 9-10 January 2021, while the Tunbridge Wells Masonic Centre opened its doors for vaccinations on 14 January.

In addition, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales, is encouraging Freemasons to donate their time and efforts to help fight the virus. It also emphasised that those volunteering should not participate if they are in an at-risk group.

Freemason Alec Hurley is a retired RAF senior medical officer and a self-employed medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority. During these difficult times, he is back on duty working 12-hour shifts three times a week for clinical Covid-19 assessment, and as a clinical supervisor at the Stevenage super hub for vaccinations.

In many provinces, Freemasons are volunteering to help. In Devonshire, Lincolnshire, Leicester and Wiltshire they are assisting at vaccination sites, while in Dorset they are driving ambulances and working as volunteer vaccinators.

More than 100 Freemasons from Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire have volunteered with St John’s Ambulance to help the NHS Covid-19 vaccination team. St John’s Ambulance is providing full training for the volunteers, while the Freemasons have made their buildings available to the St John’s logistics team.

Meanwhile, in Cheshire, Freemasons are working with the Clinical Commissioning Group to provide the local Masonic Hall as a major vaccination hub to protect patients.

The UGLE campaign is being carried out through its monthly email to members and official social media channels. The idea is to reach as members as possible, to encourage them to help immunise the population.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “In 2018, more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work were undertaken by Freemasons. Now that we have the vaccine in the UK, it is crucial that we help in every way we can to protect the population. If the NHS needs people, then we are happy to encourage and emphasise the importance of this to our members.

“We want to support the NHS and show our gratitude for its people’s efforts and the amazing job they have done during the pandemic. Freemasons always stand behind our core values of friendship, integrity, charity and respect – and we are proud to help so many people.”

According to the NHS, more than six million people had received a vaccine by 28 January. Britain has ordered 140 million vaccine doses – enough to protect the entire population. But the NHS faces a race against time to protect everyone before a possible new wave.

More than ever, efforts to vaccinate those most at risk from serious illness are now paramount, and there is a need to ensure that the NHS has as many volunteers as possible. To help the NHS in the vaccination campaign, volunteers should sign up at:

Volunteers will then receive an email with login details to sign up online and be asked to download the GoodSAM app, which will match the person to their area.

Opportunity Knocked for Val Adaway

Val Adaway joined UW Utility Warehouse in 2008 in an effort to help supplement her State Pension.

Val had left a well-paid job as she was finding it increasingly frustrating and having run her own Motor Racing Business for 16 years in the 80’s and 90’s, and then a director of an small engineering company, Val decided she wanted to work for herself again.    val adaway UW Partner

UW seemed to be the answer.  Val did not drive back in those days, but she managed to grow her business and started to enjoy the income and the various incentives (she loved the free holidays, and so much more).  Soon Val qualified for a UW Mini meaning she learnt to drive at 65, and she’s never looked back!    Val loves to help others …. so she adds….

Utility Warehouse is an amazing opportunity for our current economic climate, where many people have lost their job and income.    UW do offer a very flexible opportunity for anyone at any level.

During the pandemic UW have revolutionised the opportunity for their partners.  It has enabled some members to be able to pay the mortgage at the end of the month and keep anxieties at bay and so much more.

UW are fully supportive with a well-managed and updated website, full training and many resources and including your Personal Public Liability Insurance are all available.

Val adds “It is completely risk free with a full refund of your registration fee if you find that it is not for you. “

“I love the opportunity to help others and help yourself at the same time.” She says.

Val Adaway Authorised UW Partner says “When we are constantly being told “You can’t!”.   This is an opportunity to say “Yes I can”.  It does not matter what age, race, colour you might be, there is no discrimination.   It is fun, there is a lot of personal development and you will make new great friends along the way.”

Do you know of anyone that Val could help?  She’s on the look out for individuals that might have lost their job or are struggling for income, especially during the pandemic.


For More Information

UW has a short information opportunity presentation which runs 24/7 every 15 minutes which can be watched in the privacy of your own home

Val Adaway can be contacted on 07853 189194 or



Calling all Helpful Knitters

Are you a knitter and have some spare time to knit a pair of fingerless gloves?

Our Winter Well-being Appeal raises money to award funding to local community groups and charities whose projects support older and vulnerable people in supported environments to stay warm, well, active and fed over the winter months.

Are you a knitter and have some spare time to knit a pair of fingerless gloves?

As suggested by one of our donors and supporters of this appeal, wearing a simple pair of fingerless gloves can help keep an older or vulnerable person warmer and enable them to be able to do simple tasks such as lifting a kettle.


How can you help?


The pandemic has given many people more free time in which many have learnt new skills or taken up new hobbies such as crochet or knitting. If you can knit and would like to make and donate a simple pair of gloves to our appeal, please visit the Winter well-being page on our website to download a simple fingerless glove pattern or email Rachel Cooke to receive a copy of the pattern.


The gloves will be donated to local community groups and charities who have been funded by our Winter Well-being Appeal who support older and vulnerable people in our communities.


You can be as colourful as you like, materials and supply permitting. We’d love to be able to pass these gloves on to those in need this month but we know that materials may be in short supply therefore if you could please send your finished gloves to our offices by the end of March.


Thank you for supporting our Appeal and we look forward to seeing your creations.


Northamptonshire Community Foundation | 18 Albion Place | Northampton | NN1 1UD


Telephone: 01604 230033



Walk the Cransley Way

Cransley Hospice is inviting everyone to join them for a fabulous NEW adventure walk, along The Cransley Way between the 1st and 30th April.

Cransley Steps Challenge

The 100-mile virtual route is around the same distance walked by a Cransley Hospice nurse during a month. Participants will be able to track their distance along the path, posting a “Cransley Way postcard” from each point via their social channels to let people know that they have reached the next milestone and as a reminder of why they are doing it.

Whether walking, running or whizzing on two wheels, The Cransley Way winds its way to the summit of Snowdon (9 Miles), along the historic Hadrian’s Wall (25 miles), to trek the Brecon’s (62 miles) and through the rolling countryside of Northamptonshire (50 Miles). Each point equating back to the number of days or weeks that a nurse would take to cover the same distance.


Getting outside and getting daily exercise is good for both our physical and our mental wellbeing. But it’s not always easy. The nights are still long and it’s chilly but a daily walk is just what we need to put the spring back in our step! By April spring will be blossoming so whether you walk alone or as a household, jog or do a few laps of the garden, there couldn’t be a better time to dust of the trainers, to get out, get active and walk The Cransley Way from wherever you are!


The Cransley Hospice team have been working throughout the pandemic, adapting to the challenges, but still providing the specialist end of life care for patients and supporting their families at one of the most difficult times.


Registration is £10 for individuals or £20 for a household (up to 6 people) and Cransley Hospice Trust is hoping that people will aim to raise £120 or more which is the average cost of a nurses’ day shift.  Participants can set their own goals and register their places via the Cransley Hospice website:


Once registered participants will receive a special fundraising pack with their downloadable postcards so that they can let everyone know how well you’re doing, and how far they have got along the Cransley Way and why they’re doing it. Everyone completing their challenge will receive a special celebratory Cransley Hospice trophy.


Anyone wishing to use the Cransley Way as a warm up for something bigger, or looking for an adventure in 2021 can find out more about the Cransley Challenge Event programme via the website:


GOPO for Joint Health – We use it!

GOPO Joint Health 


GOPO has been evaluated in numerous rigorously-conducted, placebo-controlled, clinical trials involving hundreds of patients with difficult-to-treat chronic joint conditions, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Efficacy results have been consistently positive and evidence supporting the benefits of GOPO has been presented around the world at numerous clinical meetings and many studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals. 




Laboratory studies into GOPO have demonstrated that it can switch off certain genes responsible for producing proteins and enzymes that have been implicated in inflammatory joint destruction and switch on genes that help to produce collagen and cartilage, which are essential components of a healthy joint. This suggests that when taken long term, the galactolipid GOPO may protect cartilage cells and help to rebuild joint tissues.

High levels of the galactolipid GOPO are found only in GOPO Joint Health.

 gopo joint health


GOPO® Joint Health is also rich in vitamin C which is essential for normal collagen formation, needed by the body for healthy bones and cartilage

When I received my sample

I googled all the great benefits of Rose Hip – and found it was not only high in Vitamin C and great for joint health, it was also fabulous for the immune system too – so in the current climate, why would I not try GOPO!  The tablets are quite large, but you are allowed to open the capsule and sprinkle the conents on cereal or something if you struggle to take them.  I’ve found after around three weeks on them, my knees have improved.  My knees would actually squeak when I went up stairs – they are now silenced!  I am however, awaiting improvement in a dodgy elbow, but would add that a three week trial is a little short so far, so expecting improvement soon.

GOPO Joint Health is available from Boots, Amazon, supermarkets and independent chemists nationwide and is priced at £19.52 for 120 capsules and £29.60 for 200 capsules. 

Visit for further information.