Who Wants to Join the Snow Patrol?

Snow Patrol Volunteers might be needed this winter

Snow Patrol at Orpen Hall 2018

If you remember the Beast from the East in 2018, you will remember what a sterling job the Snow Patrol did in keeping the village running. Looking at their faces, it seems they also took pleasure from the task in hand.

2018 was the first time for about three years that we have had any appreciable snowfall.  Thanks to a team of about twenty volunteers (and a just sufficient supply of salt), the Snow Patrol kept pathways to the key points of the village generally clear.

Is Snow Coming This Winter?

Continue reading “Who Wants to Join the Snow Patrol?”

Environment & Highways – 12th March 2015

The Environment & Highways  Sub-Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 12th March 2015 when they discussed a range of issues including village handymen, beacon, potholes, dog poo and footways.

Environment & Highways Report

Sub-committee Meeting held on Thursday 12th March 2015 in John Lampon Hall

Councillors present  Harry Stone, Jenny Church, Phil Walby, Rosemary James
Apologies  Rachel Howard, Murray Harlow.


1 Village Handyman
Road signs have been cleaned by Steve. Harry has held a Performance review with Steve.Ivor is arranging to cut the hedge at the Methodist Church. HS
2 Traffic Safety Plan
All proposed yellow lines and road signs and 20mph limits have been signed off. The yellow lines apparently will be done in April and the speed limit signage in July.
3 Potholes
Potholes and surface problems in Chitts Hill highlighted. Ask for resurfacing in the future.Potholes and surfacing in New Church Road needs attention.Hall Road problems have been somewhat alleviated by hedging and ditching. Potholes need attention. The road leading up to the Old Church would benefit from the sweeper. HS
5 Dog fouling
A dog bin has been ordered for the Brewery site. An item for the March Bulletin has been sent in encouraging dog walkers to help keep the village clean.Phil will meet with Marcus and the dog warden on Friday 13th to discuss problems. PW
6 Beacon
Steve is arranging for a pole to be bought and the sign will be placed near the Village sign at the area adjacent to junction of Chapel Road and Colchester Road. Ivor to be asked to assist Steve with transporting beacon to the site. Brian Butcher to monitor site for placement. HS  & BB
7 Areas of work in village
Agreed to produce a map showing sites of our responsibility in the village. HS
8 Footways in village
A resident has proposed that a footway along the Nayland Road would make it safer for children walking to school. It seems unlikely that money will be available for this as a project.
9 Grit spreader
Although the grit spreader has not been required for snow clearance this year, it is not functioning efficiently. Harry to contact Tuckwells for solving the problem. HS
Date of next meeting – to be notified


As winter takes hold

Get ready for winterAs winter takes hold

Autumn is nearly over and winter taking it’s grip, it is, then, perhaps timely to think about the prospects for snow especially since some papers are already forecasting serious drops in temperature with increased prospects for snow, for example, on 3rd December the Daily Mail (online) was saying:

Get set for coldest day of the year: Arctic blast set to sweep across Britain by the weekend with temperatures plunging to -5C.

As ever our village Snow Patrol volunteers will be preparing for serious snowfalls, but all can do their part in helping clear paths & footways.   The Government publishes guidance about clearing snow outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces, this guidance (see link below) says that there is no law stopping you from doing this.

The advice confirms that despite some media reports to the contrary, it is extremely unlikely that someone who has attempted to clear snow in a careful manner will be sued or held legally responsible if someone slips or falls on ice or snow at their property. People should not be deterred from performing a socially responsible act, such as clearing a path of snow, by the fear that someone may subsequently get injured slipping on the path.

Though the person clearing the snow does have responsibilities when doing the job, mainly to ensure that they are not making the area more dangerous, it is important to note that those walking on snow and ice have responsibilities themselves. A common sense approach is encouraged as is community involvement.

Useful links

As well as HMG’s guidance on snow clearance, the Met Office also runs a useful website on behalf of the government that hosts a wealth of useful information:

Ready for Winter? Join Snow Patrol.

Members of West Bergholt Snow Patrol pictured in early 2012
Members of West Bergholt Snow Patrol pictured in early 2012

Snow worries?  For the past 2 years we have had a brave band of “Snow Patrol” volunteers who have worked to keep the pavements in key areas clear of ice and snow during bad weather.

With early indications suggesting a colder winter than average for the UK, we hope the current volunteers will again join the team this year.  Any new volunteers would be very welcome to help as well.   We aim to keep the pavements clear for access to essential community assets such as:

  • Shops,
  • Pharmacy,
  • Doctors Surgery,
  • Heathlands School,
  • Bus Stops,
  • Orpen Hall,
  • Places of Worship, etc…

Anyone who is willing to participate can phone Harry Stone on 241026 or email [email protected]

Snow Clearing

Last autumn the Parish Council agreed a severe weather policy in the event of the winter conditions we experienced last year. Until the first week of February we thought this had done the trick as it seemed to keep the snow away.

No such luck.

Last Sunday (5th February) about twelve volunteers swung into action with the aim of clearing pathways in some of the key areas of the village. In a short time they made an impact by removing the loose snow before it became hard packed and then spreading salt and grit which had been supplied by Essex County Council.

Without knowing how long these conditions would last the hope was that this would make movement about the village easier and safer. The feedback shows these efforts were appreciated and the entire village is grateful to those who volunteered. It was a great example of what can be achieved by communities working together and hopefully on the next occasion more will be willing to join in. Snow was cleared from the pathways to the shops doctors’ surgery, bus stops, Heathlands School and around the Playschool. Just imagine what could have been achieved with more volunteers. If you would like to help then contact Harry Stone on 241026.

This material has been developed for the West Bergholt Village Website at http://www.westbergholt.net

It’s never too early to plan for severe weather

Although we are now only just coming towards Autumn, West Bergholt Parish Council have been hard at work developing a ‘Severe Weather Policy’ in anticipation of a return of last winter’s dire weather. The policy has been formulated with the intention of mitigating the hazardous effects of snow and ice that occurred in key areas last winter.
Priority areas have been identified as follows:-

  • School and Heath Land approach paths. 
  • Orpen Hall area paths 
  • Shop approaches
  • Bus stop areas 
  • Unpaved roads 
  • Doctors Surgery approach paths 

The Parish Council is investigating the number of grit/salt bins in the village and identifying areas where we may need more.

Clearing equipment will be required e.g. snow clearing boards/shovels, gritters, safety cones, high visibility jackets, safety gloves. Essex County Highways department and Colchester Borough Council will be contacted regarding support for this policy and supply of equipment.

Volunteers please. 

If we are to mitigate the hazardous effects of winter weather we will need volunteers from village residents to set up teams to put plans into action when necessary.  If you are able and prepared to help with implementing this policy we would be pleased to hear from you, particularly if you live in the vicinity of the priority areas listed above.

Please contact:- David Short, Chairman of Environment Committee, Parish Council. Tel: 241715 or the Parish Clerk by email – [email protected]

 Meanwhile let us hope for some sunny weather before we need to put severe weather plans into action.

This material has been developed for the West Bergholt Village Website at http://www.westbergholt.net