Day 1 of (Soft) Lockdown

Day 1 - Play Equipment ClosedDay 1 of (Soft) Lockdown

As you might imagine, as we sit here in our homes on Day 1 of a relatively soft lockdown, advice and news keep flowing.  This update summarises some of the most relevant:

  • Allotments remain open to plot-holders who can access them ‘for exercise purposes’ once a day.   Observe social distancing!
  • CBC has suspended Garden Waste collections, read more below.
  • Bonfire Warning, read below.
  • Parks closed and use of play equipment not permitted by Government Order.
  • Halls are also closed unless:
    • they are being used to host pre-schools being kept open for key workers, or
    • designated as emergency centres.
  • Charity Commission & Government advice on charity employees.
  • If you are an older person, living alone, and generally feeling the need for support then The Silverline is a useful resource.  The Silverline also offers advice on protecting yourself from COVID-19 and is open 24 x 7.
  • It has been agreed nationally that all VE Day celebration due to be held in May are to be postponed.  It is possible they will be held in August near VJ Day.
  • Concerts by Resonate Choir and Comrie Singers scheduled for Old Church in June are now highly unlikely to happen.

Garden waste bagsGarden Waste Collections – CBC Announcement

Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), we made the decision to stop our garden waste collection service from tomorrow (24 March) for the foreseeable future.  We’ve taken this decision so we can focus on public health, safety and community support, whilst prioritising the remainder of our waste and recycling service; food waste, black bags/bins and paper, plastic, cans, glass and textiles recycling.

We’re aware spring is a busy time for gardeners and apologise for any inconvenience this causes but we hope that you will understand our decision and make use of some of the ideas and tips below.

Do not report garden waste collections as being missed during this time. Find out more about garden waste collections being suspended.

  • add garden waste to your home composter or ask your neighbour about adding it to theirs
  • use grass cuttings as mulch
  • cut up and compact your garden cuttings and clipping as much as possible to reduce the volume and help store your garden waste
  • hold off on some or all of your gardening tasks until the service resumes

Composting at home is a quick, easy and cost-effective method of clearing away garden waste and making a free supply of compost to use in your garden.   For advice about home composting, including how to make your own composter, visit Love Essex’s website

Other ideas to reduce your rubbish and recycling

A bonfireBonfire Warning

West Bergholt Allotments have halted their monthly bonfires in support of those with respiratory diseases.  These people, of all ages, are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 so please follow the allotments lead.

You might be tempted to light a bonfire because of CBC halting garden rubbish collection; please resist the temptation!  Compost or store your garden rubbish ready for collection when they restart or to take it to the tip when it reopens. 

Advice for charities with employees

The Charity Commission has issued advice to all charities regarding employees, holding meetings and AGMs, using reserves etc – please follow the link:

The Government has included charities in its help for directly employed workers and you should consider designating them as ‘furloughed’ workers registered with HMRC, please see the guidance:

This link also gives guidance if your workers are self-employed.