June Crime Report

June Crime IncidentsEssex Police - Protecting & Serving Essex - February Crime report

June saw just one incident, with a theft from a vehicle, after an also quiet May.

Theft from a vehicle on the A12

At some time between 03:00 & 03:30 on 7th June, unidentified suspects ripped out the side curtain of a parked lorry and removed a number of lawnmowers whilst the driver was asleep.  When confronted by the driver, both suspects made off in a white Transit van.

Information Releases

Three have come through this month, two with summer in mind, one on general crime prevention, one focussing on garden security, and another on personal safety.

A Bit of Summer Crime Prevention Advice

Hopefully the warm weather we have had already will not be the last and it will be a great summer. Please consider the points below so you don’t become a victim of crime.

If you have unoccupied rooms that are accessible to others from outside or off flat roofs make sure the windows are closed, if you need ventilation in these rooms at least lock the larger window and only have the small window open, even during the daytime. If you only have bigger windows consider a lockable window restrictor, or a small alarm sensor on the window to detect entry.

Leave a door or patio door open and in comes trouble, even during the day. If that door is accessible the sneak thief will pop in and anything lying around will be gone, you may have only popped down the end of the garden or having a quick shower upstairs, it only takes a second.

Before you turn in for the night do the “rounds” and check all is secure, some may think it is a bit over the top but you will feel more confident and less likely to become a victim.

Check the simple things:-

  1. Parked cars – are the windows shut and doors locked (don’t assume that by pressing the button on the remote it is locked, try the handle too)? A lot of thefts are from insecure cars and vans.
  2. Side gate shut and locked, sheds and garages secure?
  3. Don’t leave unattended pedal cycles insecure and out the front.
  4. Doors closed and locked? Don’t forget on that UPVC multi-locking door you may have lifted the handle but until you turn the key on the inside you have not locked all the locks in place.
  5. Don’t forget to check that patio door, someone may have closed it but did they lock it?
  6. Windows – lift the blinds or open the curtains and check they are closed, the sun may have been on the TV and it was hot, so they were drawn with the window open. Remember the advice above re open windows. Make sure in case of fire that keys to windows and doors are readily accessible to occupants but not in view of possible burglars.
  7. If you have an intruder alarm activate the zone for the unoccupied area.
  8. Car keys – don’t take them to bed with you, where possible leave them in noisy drawer/location.
  9. If you do hear a suspicious noise in the house that you are not happy with dial 999, if you have an intruder remember your life is more important than your property, but do get a good description and if possible car index number.
  10. Social MediaWhen using “Facebook” or other be wary of announcing to the world that you are away and your house is empty. Make sure your profile does not contain private information that would identify you or your address to a stranger.

Last bit of advice – Going on holiday? Stop the milk and newspaper deliveries and look after each other, get a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your property, ensure neighbours have contact numbers for a key holder and where possible let them park their car on your drive. Basically if you create the illusion that your house is occupied it is less likely to be broken into.

Stephen Armson-Smith

garden securityGarden Security – Hints & Tips

With the weather steadily improving and with the nights getting longer, it is even more important that your garden is secure from would-be criminals. Making your garden more secure could prevent an intruder from getting into your home, garage or shed.

Hints and tips for securing your garden

  • Installing strong fences or gates will act as a deterrent, preventing intruders getting into your garden.
  • Ideally any gates, fencing, walls and hedges at the front of your house should not be more than 1.2m (4ft) so the front of your property can be seen by passers-by.
  • A standard 1.8m (6ft) wall or fence at the back of your house is sufficient. Increase the height to 2m (6ft 6in) if there is public access on the other side – any higher than this will need planning permission.
  • Trellis fixed to the top of a fence is not only decorative but can provide extra protection as it is difficult to climb over, breaking easily and noisily.
  • If there is an access point to your garden at the side of your house a strong lockable gate will act as a deterrent.
  • Garden gates should be at least the same height and strength as your fencing with hinges securely attached to the gateposts.
  • Fit good quality locks to gates that cannot be reached from over the fence.
  • Remember to always lock your gates.
  • Planting prickly plants or a hedge, such as firethorn, climbing rose or hawthorn, around the perimeter of your garden can be a powerful deterrent. For more information about plants which can help protect your property go to (link to page on our internet site).
  • Gravel on paths and driveways can act as an alert to someone coming towards your property.
  • Install dusk to dawn security lighting. The low energy lamp stays on in the dark and switches off when it starts to get light.
  • Secure garden furniture and wheelie bins so they cannot be used to climb on and gain access to upstairs windows.
  • Do not leave ladders lying around – they could be used by thieves to climb into an upstairs window. Keep them locked in a garage/shed.
  • Do not leave tools, gardening equipment or debris lying around in the garden as they could be used to smash windows.
  • Keep your garden neat and tidy so it looks cared for.
  • While working in your garden, make sure doors and windows are locked to stop unwanted visitors.
  • Do not use barbed wire, razor wire or broken glass on walls or fences to protect your property – you could be held legally responsible for any injuries caused.

Article courtesy of Northumbria Police

Personal Safety

Live Life Safe - Suzy Lamplugh TrustEssex is a safe county and the chances of you, a friend or a member of your family becoming a victim of violent crime are low.

However there are a number of steps you can take to keep yourself safe. Planning your journeys, staying alert and avoiding poorly lit alleyways and car parks are just a few.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is a charity devoted to providing practical support and personal safety guidance. Visit the trust’s website for detailed advice and take a look at our tips below.

Plan ahead

  • Before you go out, think about how you are going to get home. Avoid travelling alone and set aside some money in advance. Can you travel home with a friend? What time does the last bus or train leave?
  • Think about what you need to take with you. If you must take valuables with you try not to keep them all in one place. Instead place valuables such as wallets in an inside pocket.
  • We all have the right to wear what we want but it’s worth remembering that you can help to reduce the risks by wearing clothes you can move in easily. Carry a personal safety alarm.

Stay alert

  • Be extra careful when using cashpoints. Make sure nobody is hovering nearby and don’t count your money in the street.
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings – if you’re chatting on your mobile phone or listening to your iPod you won’t hear trouble approaching.
  • Trust your instincts if you think you are being followed. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you and head for a busy area where you can tell people what’s happening. If necessary, call the police.

Walking alone

  • Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks.
  • Try to use well lit, busy streets and use the route you know best.
  • Whenever possible, walk facing oncoming traffic to avoid kerb crawlers.
  • If you are at all worried, try and stay near a group of people.
  • Avoid passing stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them.
  • Beware of someone who warns you of the danger of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This is a ploy some attackers have been known to use.
  • Never accept a lift from a stranger or someone you don’t know very well even if you are wet, tired or running late.

Open Gardens a success

Nicola and Richard Bowdidge
Nicola & Richard Bowdidge
Tom Bowdidge Team at Open Gardens 2014
Tom Bowdidge Team at Open Gardens 2014

Open Gardens 2014

Sunday 22nd June was a glorious day.  The sun shone and over 400 people turned out to visit 13 open gardens and the allotments in West Bergholt.  Apart from the beautiful gardens, some small, some large, there were donkeys to feed, a vintage Jaguar to admire and a 1960’s jukebox to listen to.  The church halls laid on refreshments, as did Garlands Farm.  Plants and other produce were on sale at the allotments and some gardens.

Fantastic Fundraising

The event, organised by the West Bergholt Gardening Association, raised over £3,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.  In addition Tom Bowdidge’s family raised over £400 for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation at his grandparents open garden. To find out  more about these charities visit   www.teenagecancertrust.org or www.facebook.com/thetombowdidgefoundation.

Far flung visitors

The event drew visitors from other villages and even from far flung places such as Ipswich (a charabanc full from their allotment society!) and Leigh-on-Sea.  The organisers would like to thank everyone who took part including the visitors.  They welcome comments, both positive and negative, please send to [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

The Association are looking to make this an Annual Event .   Watch this space!!!

Gardeners Association Meeting

The club’s next meeting will be on the 15th September when DEBORAH HART will give a talk on Hanging Baskets and Winter Containers. 7.00 for 7.30pm.   Why not come along to the Orpen Hall, all are welcome.   There is a small charge of £3 including refreshments , also gardeners raffle.

Gardeners May Update

Waddesdon Manor
Waddesdon Manor – excursion 19th June

The West Bergholt Gardeners Association had a relatively quiet May, although hosting one of it’s big annual events, and has much to look forward to for June & July.

The Club held its annual Plant Sale on the 19th May and many members of the public came along to sample the excellent display of shrubs and plants which were all on sale at attractive prices.  Overall sales amounted to over £600 and this will augment Club funds as well as allowing contributions to be made to local charitable organisations.

Although this was the only public involvement in May, much was being done behind the scenes to organise future events.

Future events

Excursion to Waddesdon Manor

The excursion to Waddesdon Manor is all set for the 19th June and most seats on the coach have now been filled, although  seven places remain. Interestingly Waddesdon Manor has been featured on two BBC programmes in recent weeks – Countryfile and Bargain Hunt .

West Bergholt Open Gardens

Final arrangements have now been made for the West Bergholt Open Gardens event on Sunday 22nd June between 1pm and 5pm when local gardens and an allotment will be open for viewing.  Programmes are £4 per person (accompanied children – free) and are available for purchase on the day at the Methodist Chapel Hall and St. Marys Church Hall as well as from any of the open gardens.  Refreshments are available to purchase at the halls.  All proceeds are to go to the Teenage  Cancer Trust. It is hoped that many will come along to support this worthwhile charity.

Summer Outing

On the 31st July the Club Members are having a summer outing to  Rob & Denise Sherriff (Dahlia specialists)  at The Tye Barn, Honey Tye, Lavenheath CO6 4NX at 2.00pm –Visitors welcome.  There will be a guided tour of the site and cake and tea/coffee will be served.  Anyone interested please phone 241256 Terry) or contact [email protected].                                                                       COST £4.00

Next Speaker

15th September will bring us Deborah Hart talking about Hanging Baskets and Winter Containers.  All are welcome to our meetings although there is a small charge for non-members.

Gardeners April update

Richard Ford, BBC Gardeners World Display
Richard Ford, BBC Gardeners World Display of Hostas – see below for details of his recent talk

Gardeners April Update – Upcoming events

The West Bergholt Gardeners Association recently advised their 2014/15 programme as follows:

Speakers’ topics  for 2014/2015

  • 15th September – Deborah Hart – Hanging baskets and winter containers.
  • 20th October – Darren Tansley – The mammals of Essex.
  • 17th November – Rob Sherriff – Dahlias
  • 8th December – Ric Staines – Gardeners Question Time,
  • 16th February – Jonathan Jukes – Marks Hall History and Progress.
  • 16th March –  Jeff Harrison – Through the year in a nature photographers garden.
  • 20th April –  Bryan Thurlow – My Perennial Mr.Potter.

Annual plant sale

Our Annual Plant Sale is on 19 May at 7:30pm; some of the funds raised are donated to local charities.   Held at the Orpen Hall, most most interests are catered for with bedding plants, Shrubs, trees and vegetable plants all on sale. Also a gardening Bric a Brac stall for more bargains.

Waddesdon ManorAnnual coach trip

The annual coach trip this year is to Waddesdon Manor, Allesbury, on the 19th June leaving the Orpen Hall at 8.30 am and leaving Waddesdon at 4.30/5.00 pm this wIll allow time to see the house and gardens including the Aviary, water gardens and the extensive wine cellars.  Tickets are available to Members and Non Members £25.00 (Coach and Admission). N.T. Members £12.50.  Subject to £12.50 deposit.   Some tickets available, for more details and booking contact Terry 01206 241256.

Open Gardens

The West Bergholt Open Gardens is on Sunday the 22nd June 13.00-17.00 – 13 local gardens and allotment will be open for viewing. Programme is £4 per person (accompanied children free) available for purchase on the day.  See posters around the village for points of sale.

April Speaker – Richard Ford on Hostas

Members came along to hear Richard Ford talk about his favourite plants—HOSTAS since with his wife Mary he set up Park Green Nurseries in 1983 Hostas being their main speciality.  Their displays have won some 180 Gold Medals, including 7 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The popularity of Hostas is worldwide, attractive throughout the season.  They are useful garden plants with some newer species having attractive flowers and resistance to slug and snail attack.  One must not forget landscaping and indoor displays where potted plants are extremely attractive features.  It was in the 1800s that Hostas  originated in Japan as part of the daily diet, being eaten presumably as vegetables.  It was the 1950/60s when their popularity became evident in both the U.S.A. and the U.K.  The growth in the U.K.resulting in hostas being in the top ten of our garden plants.

Hostas are best grown in semi-shade or dappled shaded areas – not in deep shade!  The latter particularly if wet, leading to rot and slug and snail damage.  The plants prefer a moist soil and plenty of humus and bonemeal to encourage growth. General slow release fertilizer is best for established plants rich in nitrogen and potash used twice a year.

Propagation is carried out by lifting the plant and cutting straight through from the centre with a sharp knife.There are 50 species and some 10,000 cultivated varieties, some having the advantage of thicker leaves and more upright growth tolerating open positions and given some sun will bear flowers.  They will also be less attractive to slugs and snails.  However steps should be taken to control vine weevil and hosta virus.

An interesting talk well received by the Members who were able to purchase specimens from a well stocked plant table.

Gardeners February Newsletter

RHS AffiliatedWest Bergholt Gardeners Association – February Newsletter

Some fifty members attended the first meeting in 2014 and enjoyed an informative talk by Eddie Harris upon his search for plants in South Africa.

Eddie appeared to have visited the area around Cape Town several times and was in no doubt of its attractiveness although Cape Town itself is prone to rain.  He covered both the geography of the area as well as illustrating the plants that flourished in the climate, and undercover in one of the largest conservatories in Cape Town itself.

The local population considered the plant collector as mad as they viewed many of the plants as weeds. Exploring further inland and the mountainous regions to the west was always difficult as only dirt tracks existed off the main roads.  Palms and Aloes grow to considerable size while more minute pebble flowers are to be found on the ground.  (Such pebbles plants can be purchased in the UK).  When visiting Worcester he discovered a Reptile Farm and “enjoyed” seeing snakes of all sizes, from a respectable distance.   All in all a wide ranging talk on his subject.

Club News:

Summer Coach Trip to Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks.

19th June . Depart Orpen Hall, West Bergholt 8.30am.  Visiting the House, Gardens (Including the Aviary garden, and the water garden) and the wine cellars.  Over 300,000 visitors come to Waddesdon every year to see the house, shops, restaurant café, wine cellars and plant centre.

TICKETS £25  (National Trust Members £12.50) deposit £12.50. phone 01206 241256

Next Months Speaker

Geoff Hodge who will talk to the Club on the subject of  LUSCIOUS LAWNS – LAWN CARE FOR PERFECT LAWNS.

In view of the affect of the last two months wet weather the Association is sure that Geoff’s talk will be well received by members who suffer from moss and mud on their lawns at this time of the year.

17th March 7.00 for 7.30

All are welcome to the Association’s meetings – small charge for non-members.

Gardeners’ Spring & Summer Update

Recent talks

Woodland TrustThe West Bergholt Gardeners Association report that they ended 2013 with interesting talks by Sally Hepher on the Woodland Trust and Barry Kaumann-Wright on his former occupation of Wildlife Crime Officer with Essex Police.

Sally Hepher’s talk illustrated the value of the Woodland Trust in creating new woodland, restoring old woods and in particular protecting ancient woodlands from the pressure of todays road, rail and housing developments. It was becoming increasingly important to retain woodland to save endangered species and their habitats for future generations.The talk was well appreciated by the Members and it is more than likely that she will be asked to return to give a further talk on one of her varied interests.

Badger cubsBarry Kaufmann-Wright described the ongoing work aimed to protect our wildlife population from both man and machine. He talked of the protective works which had been carried out to save several species.  He referred in particular to his knowledge of both newts and badgers, the former still threatened by new developments and the latter from man and illegal baiting. In all an interesting as well as an educative talk.

2014 Spring & Summer Programme

So we embark upon a new year, full of sunshine(?) and gardening promise. It is hoped that the program for the next six months will encourage people to come along to one of our meetings and participate in our outings – you may well like to join the Association.

  • 17 February   Eddy Harris    Looking for plants in South Africa
  • 17 March    Geoff Hodge      Luscious Lawns – Lawn Care
  • 14 April     Richard Ford     Hostas
  • 19 May       PLANT SALE – all proceeds to Charity
  • 19 June     Day Trip        Waddesdon Manor
    (Includes House, Gardens and Aviary, Woodland also Shops, Restaurants & Wine Cellars).

We welcome new members and anyone that may be interested in either joining the Club or participating in our summer outing should telephone 01206 241256 or email at [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Tom Souter (Publicity)

Open Gardens 2014 – have you a garden to be proud of?

Your village needs you - call for open gardensThe West Bergholt Gardeners Association are looking for gardeners in the village willing to take part in an Open Garden Day in June 2014.  The organizer, David Withnall, is looking for interested parties to contact him as soon as possible but preferably before March 2014.

The Association will consider all types of gardens whether big/small, formal/wild – if it is a garden you are proud of and willing to share they would be pleased consider its inclusion in the programme.

If you would like more information about the Open Garden day and how you can help, please contact David Withnall on [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or 07854 763977.

Gardeners AGM & Programme of Events

Gardeners Association is RHS AffiliatedThe West Bergholt Gardeners Association have released details of their 2013/2014 meeting programme.  This starts with their AGM which is to be held on 16th September.  The programme is:

  • 16 September   –  Thady Barrett   –  Selecting the right fruit for your garden.
  • 14 October   –  Eddy Harris   –  Introduction to cacti and succulents.
  • 18 November   –  Sally Hepher   –  Woodland Trust.
  • 09 December   –  Barry Kaufmann-Wright   –  Role of Wildlife Crime Officer.
  • 17 February   –  Eddy Harris   –  Looking for plants in South Africa.
  • 17 March   –  Geoff Hodge   –  Luscious Lawns – Lawn care for perfect lawns.
  • 14 April   –  Richard Ford   –  Hostas.
  • 19 April   –  Annual Plant Sale.
  • June    –   Member’s Open Garden Evening.
  • July   –   Coach trip.

For further information, please check out their webpage at https://westbergholt.org/village-life/clubs/gardeners/ or contact the Treasurer on 01206 241256 – [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Art for a good cause and Gardens update

For those who enjoy their gardening this news update will be of interest, also to those who are keen to show their artistic side.

Little Bentley Waterways & Gardens

This annual show, which runs from 1st June, is one of the largest annual garden shows in east Anglia, regularly seeing over 8,000 visitors.  This year, there is an opportunity for your artwork to help raise funds for a local charitable organization.  Austin Hicks explains:

The Rotary Club of Colchester Centurion has been invited to run a fundraiser at The Little Bentley Waterways and Garden Show on the weekend of 1st & 2nd June. We are calling it ‘Art on the Run’ and we are hoping to collect 400 pieces of original Art and, in return for a donation of £10.00, visitors will pick a ticket and be guaranteed a piece of art. Funds raised will be donated to Rotary charities, particularly East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH).

We are interpreting the word ‘art’ in its widest sense – paintings or drawings, sculptures, photographs, pottery, wood carvings, embroidery or tapestry, quilting or any other item that can be admired for its creativity. Anything original or limited editions would be much appreciated.

For more information about the Garden Show please go to http://www.littlebentley.net.

We are well on our way to the 400 items but time is getting short.  If you feel you can help, please contact [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]

West Bergholt Gardeners Association – Annual Plant Show

This ever popular event is taking place this year at 7.30pm on Monday 20 May  2013 at the Orpen Hall, West Bergholt.

There will be a large selection of plants at reasonable prices as well as a Garden-related bric-a brac stall.

Payment is by Cash or Cheque ONLY.   Enquires to  01206 855450 or 242124