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Welcome to West Bergholt sign

West Bergholt is a large rural Essex village located amongst open countryside.  Country walks include the stunning Hillhouse Woods & St Mary’s Old Church.  It is located near the border of Essex & Suffolk and just outside and to the North-west  of Colchester   – Britain’s Oldest Recorded town. The village:

Covid-19 Virus

In 2016 West Bergholt won the Class 2 prize in the RCCE Village of the year competition and overall 2nd place, read the news item for more.

If you need support locally during the COVID-19 pandemic click here for information about our local enhanced Care Network service.  More general COVID-19 support and advice is here.

To find out more about us click here.  Scroll down to see recent news from the village.

What’s Happening

Bear in mind some activities might still be affected due to COVID-19

See more events here.

2022 Dawn Chorus Walk – Where’s the Song Thrush

Steve Hallam reports on the 2022 Dawn Chorus walk.

The 2022 Dawn Chorus walk at Hillhouse Wood took place in the midst of a run of warm sunny days, with cool nights. Except for the morning that we chose, which was cloudy and dull but mild. Nevertheless, the publicity team had done an excellent job, resulting in a very pleasing 30 people turning up. I was particularly pleased to find that Jonathan Jukes, the Woodland Trust Regional Manager responsible for the wood, had dragged himself out of bed at such an uncivilised hour, to join us. With the cloud cover, the night was still fully dark, and thus the birds were relatively slow to get going.

Continue reading “2022 Dawn Chorus Walk – Where’s the Song Thrush”

2022 Spring Flower Walk – but no pea shooters

Some of the spring flowers seen on the 2022 spring flower walk

Steve Hallam reports on the 2022 Spring Flower Walk.

This took place on a day of sunny intervals and a strong breeze; 12 people came along and off we went. Except that we did not go too far, to start with, as the first few yards of the track hold a variety of flowers to be discussed.

  • Daisies,
  • Dandelions,
  • Red campion,
  • Cow parsley,
  • Ground ivy,
  • Yellow archangel (domestic variety),
  • Garlic mustard,
  • Greater stitchwort and
  • Buttercup

… may not set everyone’s pulse racing – but they all contribute to a rich flora and they each have a story to tell. In the hands of a knowledgeable and articulate expert guide, these can weave a fascinating spell.

Unfortunately for the group, however, they had me – you get what you pay for!

Continue reading “2022 Spring Flower Walk – but no pea shooters”

St Mary’s Jubilee Songs Edition

Christian Aid
Join us this Christian Aid Week, and help turn hunger into hope.

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Christian Aid Coffee Morning, announces Jubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church, updates on Church Heating and Hall and other events and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Christian Aid Coffee Morning and Plant Sale

Coffee & cake

Please pop along to the Rectory on Monday 16th May, between 10 am – 12 pm, at 1 Church Close, West Bergholt for tea/coffee and cake and lots of fun and fellowship whilst raising money for Christian Aid. This is an event for all the six parishes and all are very welcome!

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Annual Parish Meeting – 27th April 2022

Will you be attending on 27th April 2022?

Taking place on 27th April 2022, the Annual Parish Meeting is not a Parish Council Meeting, but a meeting for electors of the parish.

It is an opportunity to discuss parish affairs and say what matters to you. Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.

The meeting will commence at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday 27th April 2022, in the Orpen Memorial Hall. Light refreshments will be provided. The Agenda for this year’s meeting, which will be chaired by Councillor Chris Stevenson, Chairman of the Parish Council, is:

  1. Welcome and Introduction from the Chairman
    Parish Council Annual Report 2022 & unaudited Trust Accounts 2021-22 (10 mins)
  2. Heathlands School (Joseph Fielder)
    New Headteacher of Heathlands Primary School (10 mins)
  3. Age Well (Emma Barrow)
    Services & contacts available from Age Well (previously Age Concern) (10 mins)
  4. Jane Gardner
    Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (15 mins)
  5. Parish Council Grant Awards
    Friends of St Mary’s Old Church
  6. Active Essex
    Find Your Active presentation (5 mins)
  7. Tim Simpson (Essex County Council)
    Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Drainage Manager (15 mins)
  8. Robert Strathern
    Innovative farming methods at Fairfield Crisps (10 mins)
  9. Issues from the Floor – Have your say

It would be helpful if you could notify the Clerk in advance if you have any matters to raise during the Issues from the Floor item. Email to [email protected].

Environment & Highways 14th April 2022

Highlights of Environment & Highways Meeting on 14th April 2022

Bluebells - Environment = April 2022

The Environment & Highways Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 14th April 2022 with topics including:

  • More new trees,
  • Plaques for trees,
  • Spraying of ponds in accordance with Environment Agency process
  • Repairs to Village Sign,
  • Handymen activities including mowing & Heath &
  • Preparations for Lighting of Beacon.
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The return of guided walks at Hillhouse Wood

Two Guided Walks Return to Hillhouse Wood

Guided walks return to Hillhouse Wood

After a gap of three years, guided walks return with two great walks to enjoy with Steve Hallam in the next few weeks.

  • Spring Flower Walk on 23rd April, and
  • Dawn Chorus Walk on 7th May.

Spring Flower Walk

The last Spring Flower walk took place in 2019 in the company of Storm Hannah! Despite the weather, 22 folks assembled for the walk and thoroughly enjoyed themselves; the comic highlight possibly being when Steve was pretty much blown over by the force of the wind! The walk is normally conducted at a gentle pace (storms permitting).

In a typical year you are likely to see the following flowers:

Continue reading “The return of guided walks at Hillhouse Wood”

Casual Vacancy for a Parish Councillor

Do you want to guide the future of West Bergholt?

Attributes of a good Parish Councillor - current vacancy

Following the resignation of a councillor, West Bergholt Parish Council currently has a vacancy.  Would you make a good parish councillor, or perhaps you know somebody else who could? In either case, why not visit a council meeting to see how it works? The next one is on 27th April at 7:30 pm in the Orpen Hall.    Contact the Parish Clerk – Laura Walkingshaw – at [email protected] for more details if interested,.

About the Parish Council

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Not registered? Deadline is Thursday 14th April

Register to Vote by Thursday 14th April

Your Vote Matters - Don't Lose it - Register to Vote by Thursday 14th April

Local council elections give you the opportunity to have your say on local issues that matter to you. Don’t miss the opportunity!

To vote, you must be registered by 14th April! Go to gov.uk/register-to-vote today – it only takes 5 minutes.

Who Can You Vote For?

The following candidates have been nominated to stand for the Lexden & Braiswick Ward of Colchester Borough Council:

Continue reading “Not registered? Deadline is Thursday 14th April”

Daniell update and The Minories next up

The Minories – The Characters & the Context

The Minories

The next Local History Group meeting will learn about The Minories in Colchester. Max Fox will lead this meeting which will take place on April 13th starting at 7:30 pm. Max has been a Tour Guide in Colchester for 28 years, a former Minories manager for Colchester Institute and a traveller through many ruins who has a passion for history.

As ever, all are welcome for a modest charge of £2 for members and £5 for visitors. Next month the group start their summer visits, the first being to Harwich Museum on Wednesday 11th May. If you would like more information about talks or visits please contact [email protected].

The impact of the Daniell Family on West Bergholt’s development

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Open Gardens 2022 – Are You Proud of Yours?

Are you proud of your garden?

Proud enough of your garden to enter open gardens?

If you are proud of it, you might want to consider adding it to this year’s Open Gardens. The Gardeners Association are now working to finalise details for the event. Contact [email protected] to find out more.

Entry by programme

Programmes for entry to all the gardens and the allotments will be on sale beforehand in shops and businesses; on the day also at the Orpen Hall. The Gardeners Association also plan to have a stall selling plants in the Hall on the day; they would welcome plant contributions to sell.

Also proud that charities benefit

Continue reading “Open Gardens 2022 – Are You Proud of Yours?”
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