News

The latest local news.

contents

local news updates

COVID-19 SHOULD YOU WEAR A MASK ?

Covid-19 information and helper list

West Berkshire Council InfO

pets and covid-19

what to do with your car

Things to do

Home deliveries

police update and scams

Building restrictions

gigaclear

library

climate change

school news

playing field news

Bulletin Past

Food banks

Planting wild flowers

useful links






Local news updates

For your latest local and regional news, as provided by the BBC, click here. Hungerford and area news can be found here.

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CoVID-19. sHOULD YOU WEAR A MASK?

People should wear cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing measures are “difficult to maintain,” such as supermarkets and pharmacies, the CDC advises. It said the masks can be “fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost.” It also warned that surgical masks and N-95 respirators should not be used by the public, as these were “critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.”

The 'Times' newspaper writes - Home made face masks are likely to slow the spread of Covid-19 .... Experts believe that there is some evidence that using masks in confined spaces such as workplaces, public transport and shops, could reduce the risk of passing on the virus. But there is concern about explaining the findings because of fears over jeopardising NHS mask supplies. Making your own mask is relatively simple and it may benefit you without harming NHS supplies.

If it is appropriate to wear a mask you should still maintain a separation of 6 feet from others. Don’t remove the mask until you’re at home or in a place where you can wash your hands after safely removing the mask. When you do remove the mask, avoid touching the front outer part of it in case it is contaminated with Covid -19.

On removal, wash the mask thoroughly, then wash your hands, and disinfect with bleach or alcohol anything you touched after taking off the mask. Never re-use a mask without washing it first. If you can't wash the mask, discard it safely. More complete guidance from the CDC is given here.

Design plans for DIY face masks  can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgHrnS6n4iA

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COVID-19 information

The Government is now instructing people that they should stay at home except for;  shopping for basic necessities,  daily exercise,  any medical need  and travelling to and from essential work or activity. The latest government guidance is given here.

Gatherings in public of more than one non-household member is
PROHIBITED, and in this instance social distancing must be applied.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a range of additional information covering all aspects of Covid-19 including what to do if you or a member of your family becomes infected. The link is here.

The Helpers List

A very big THANK YOU to all of our helpers for the amazing services they are providing and coordinating. This has made bearable the self-isolation that many are experiencing and has very much brought people in our village together. A really good news story.

If you have self-isolated and are in need of help, here  is a list of neighbours kindly waiting to help you. Take your pick and give them a call.

Bell Lane
    Lucy Hutchinson – 07766 065447
    Nikki Pelissier – 07813 334907
Bridle Path and Heads Lane
    Clare Macinnes – 07973 878613
Craven Road
    Anna Bidwell – 07801 027262
    Claire Jones – 07808 773346
    Emma Wordsworth – 07785 292078 – 01488 668600
    Jane Atkey – 07796 716843
The Firs
    Helen Hanna – 07766 915865
Folly Road
    Brian and Nikki Cox – 07423 225426
    Clare Evans – 01488 668534 or 07786 691292
    Karl Prismall – 07879 883148
    Katie Rimmer – 07831 680058
    Pippa and Russ Jeffries – 07887 574112
Heads Lane
    Jane van Ammel - 07740 868536
    Nick Day - 01488 684105 or 07786 075502
    Sarah Marston  - 07976 221847
Post Office Road
    Alex Popplewell – 07834 570962
    Brian Gerhardt – 07787 500217
    Claire Loveridge – 07867 528926
    Ed Loveridge – 07879 472929
    Maxine and Phil Frazer-Reid – 07920 827888
    Phil Day – 07837 537542
    Sonya Donohoe – 07970 197843
Pottery Lane
    Jane Zollo – 07795 320900
The Sawmills
    Sarah Burton – 07949 238458
Trapps Hill
    Taj Woodgate – 07971 191263
Upper Green
    Dave Lester – 07816 177524
    Maridi Baker – 07976 575858
    Marie Waters – 07753 492222
Lawrence Mead, Kintbury
    Jelena Golinska – 07930 424547

For those with just a telephone or those needing a different type of help than that provided by the helpers, you can call 01488 75 74 71. This is just a recording service so please  be prepared to give your name, phone number and location, with a  brief message and this will be forwarded to the most appropriate person or organisation. This is for Inkpen residents only.

This list will be updated as further information becomes available. If you are under 70, in robust health and wish to be added to the list of helpers, please email: parishcouncil@inkpenvillage.co.uk. If you volunteer and you start to feel unwell, you MUST stay at home and look after yourself first - this will also protect the most vulnerable that we are trying to help. If you are unable to continue as a helper for whatever reason, please contact parishcouncil@inkpenvillage.co.uk so that you can be removed from the active helpers list. Official advice to helpers is provided here. Thank you. All help, particularly at this time, is very much appreciated.

Prescriptions and GP surgeries
If you are in a recognised medically vulnerable group or you are over 70 and are self-isolating, and you require help with a prescription please email Jo Kempster at jkempster966@btinternet.com or, if you can't email, contact either Jane Zollo (07795 320900) or Sarah Marston (07976 221847).

There is now a prescription collection rota system in place for collection from either Boots (Hungerford) or Woolton Hill Surgery. All you need to do is provide your name, address, post code and a brief description of where your house is within Inkpen. Your prescription will be delivered by one of the Inkpen Helpers. (If the prescription is for Woolton Hill surgery you also need to include your date of birth).

Collections from Boots are on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from Woolton Hill on Wednesday or Friday.

Boots pharmacy, Hungerford
- Hours have been reduced to 10 to 1 and 2 to 4 (10 to 12:30 and 1 to 3 on Saturday). Be prepared for a long wait.

GP surgeries
. The Woolton Hill GP Practice is operating on a triage protocol, with Hungerford offering telephone consultations. Kintbury surgery is closed. More information regarding access to GP and broader medical advice is displayed on the respective surgery website.

Covid-19 Symptoms ?
All people with flu-like symptoms - a fever above 37.8C or a persistent cough - should self-isolate (stay at home, away from other people) for seven days and call 111. Don't spread it around !

Your Protection
Assuming that you are well, here are 10 ways you can protect yourself, your loved ones and your community:

1. Discuss with household members, other relatives, friends and neighbours, what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
2. Visit this website or the Inkpen social media page to maintain access to neighbours, information, and resources. Alternatively, share phone numbers and email addresses particularly with those who are isolated or vulnerable.
3. Consider establishing a ‘buddy’ system within your community to ensure everyone stays connected to COVID-19 related news, services and can receive support safely, such as essentials deliveries.
4. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications.
5. Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy.
6. Learn how to self-isolate. Guidance can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
7. Create a list of local organisations that you and your neighbours can contact in the event that one of you need access to information, healthcare services, support, or resources. Consider including organisations that provide mental health or counselling services, food, and other supplies.
8. Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbours, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
9. Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or childcare facility, and your employer’s emergency operations plan.
10. Practice everyday preventive actions including regular hand washing.
i.   The NHS provides guidance on how to wash hands: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/.
ii.  The World Health Organisation provides guidance on basic protective measures: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
iii. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on handwashing for families https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/handwashing-family.html

Please note: whilst we encourage you to follow advice from UK Government we are also sharing links to organisations such as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention an agency which works 24/7 to protect the safety, health, and security of America from threats here and around the world. Some of our key points above have been sourced from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ home/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also published (14th February 2020) Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities which you may find useful: https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html.

Mental Health Support for those of 11-18 years
West Berkshire Council has set up a dedicated telephone helpline for young people experiencing issues and concerns relating to the pandemic - 01635 503587.

The helpline, which is linked to its Emotional Health Academy (EHA), will offer the district’s young people self-help support, advice and guidance from trained EHA workers. It came into operation on 6 April, and will be open between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday, providing an opportunity for children and young people (aged 11 to 18) to express their concerns and talk about issues directly affecting them during the current Coronavirus crisis. EHA workers will use active listening skills to support young people in dealing with difficult feelings around Covid-19 and provide signposting and self-help support for their general wellbeing.

This local helpline is a short-term service and will be available only during the pandemic, to provide ‘in the moment’ support to children and young people. It will provide access to trained EHA workers who can offer advice and self-help tools and provide support to manage ‘low level’ problems. It is not a crisis line and does not replace other services such as the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

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West Berkshire Council have set up a support link reflecting the information given on this page. They have published a letter to communities on changes to help for communities, individuals and businesses.  The Community Support Hub update is here. If you are a resident seeking additional support, click here. And if you want WBC updates sent directly to you, click here. The Public Protection Partnership - PPP - briefing is available here.

West Berkshire Council Information sheets on Parks and Open spaces, and Managing or Organising Funerals.

West Berkshire Council Facilities
Council Offices, household Waste Recycling Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres and Family Hubs are all closed and bulky waste collections have been suspended in line with national social distancing guidance. Anyone who comes across workers from Veolia, please respect the very important job that they are doing.

West Berkshire Council are asking residents across the district/borough to think of others and not light bonfires during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic lockdown because many people at home are vulnerable and may have respiratory issues, or even be fighting the Covid-19 itself. During this difficult time we are asking that their needs are put first. Bonfires can also get out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services. Anyone having a domestic bonfire that causes a nuisance  may be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To report an incident of a bonfire please use our on-line reporting form here.

Non-essential shops to re-open.
Some non-essential businesses such as certain shops have been advised that they may re-open on 1st June whilst continuing to comply with social distancing guidance.
We have made a number of resources available to help businesses to do this safely including posters and other advice at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/covid19-businesspack . This will ensure that businesses have clear and consistent advice and signage available to them as they begin to welcome customers for the first time since they were advised to close in late March. We have also issued an order to close parts of Newbury town centre to traffic temporarily in order to assist with queuing and safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the town centre.

Fly tipping
is the illegal dumping of any waste or rubbish on public land or sites which are unauthorised to accept waste. If the rubbish is dumped on private land, the landowner is responsible for removing it. If you find or receive notification of fly tipped material on private land you will need to inform the landowner. Landowners unfortunately will have to pay for the cost of disposal of fly-tipped materials. To report an incident of fly tipping please see links on PPP website here.

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Pets and covid-19

The British Veterinary Association stresses "owners should not worry" about the risk of infection from pets. But, veterinary scientists have recommended cat owners keep their pets indoors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus among animals.

An animal's fur could carry the virus for a time if a pet were to have come into contact with someone who was sick with Covid-19. Practise good hand hygiene, try and keep cats indoors.

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Keeping your Car ready for use

Keeping your battery healthy, your tyres inflated and giving your car a thorough clean could make all the difference when isolation measures are finally lifted.

The best way to make sure your car makes it through long-term storage or significantly reduced usage, is to keep its battery healthy. Using a battery conditioner, or trickle charger, is the most effective way to do this. It will keep immobilisers and other energy-sapping components of your car from draining your battery completely.

You’ll also need to inflate your tyres to the maximum recommended pressure found on the tyre sidewall, as they will lose pressure over time even if they’re not being used in motion. If left for a long period of time this can lead to flat spots and your tyres losing their round shape, especially on older tyres.

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Things to do during self-isolation

Something for Youngsters
Brain Pop offers resources on maths, English, science and more, and starting on 20 April, videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles will appear on BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button, BBC Four and BBC Sounds. If your children are into Minecraft try Tynker. And, for craft resources, from knitting to jewellery-making, drawing and origami, try  Creativebug. BBC Bitesize also has tons of content for ages 3 to 16+, and for Youtubers there's Freeschool with plenty of fun videos to watch - something that even the older audience might like.

If you are an Amazon customer then there is free childrens content here.

FREE Audio books for All Ages
If you have children at home from school why not try free Audible audiobooks for children . No sign-up required.

The BBC's Sound website and app offers a really extensive range of audio books. Something for everyone from here.

Opera and Theatre
There's a wide range of quality musicals, theatre plays, some opera and even a bit of ballet here, all for free. For older listeners there's something too, not to everyone's taste but available none the less, Nightly Met Opera streams in HD. Our National Theatre is also providing content for free whilst the theatre is closed - click here.

You might also like to have a look at archive.org. This provides audio, music, TV, images, films, even old time radio. I can't vouch for this content but worth a look.

Crafts
And don't forget Stitch and Knit. If you are self-isolating, Jan Honey will email you patterns and instructions on how to make a range of things: small knitted Christmas decorations, beginners crochet, and how to make small hand sewn items. Give her a call on Inkpen 668222 or email jan@honeydesign.co.uk.

Puzzles and Games
If crossword puzzles are your thing, then there are masses on-line - printable and otherwise, they'll even provide the answers. For sudoku try sudoku.com. Windows 10 users will find a range of free games in the Microsoft Store (an icon in the task bar), including mahjong and solitaire. There's even a jigsaw game. Paid for games are also freely available.

Quizzes
Whilst you can't visit the pub, you can still have a go at a Pub Quiz. Get out the crisps and pour the lager, then go to https://readymadepubquiz.com/. There are bound to be other and better pub quiz sites - let me know when you find them.

Cooking
If all that fails try a bit of gardening, or have a go at nettle soup. We all have to eat so ring the changes, look for recipes on-line such as those on the BBC  or those on your favourite supermarket site such as Waitrose. I like the 'spaghetti with greens, capers, anchovies & lemon dressing' - can you make it without spaghetti ?

Exercises
Many of you might be missing Yoga so try here for a few free exercises. If you've tried Pilates before have a look here, but if you are a beginner try the NHS Pilates for Beginners site. The NHS also provides a range of general fitness exercises - why not give it a go, but don't overdo it.

Holidays from your armchair.
Go to google maps, pick a destination an then go to street view. That's all you need for your own virtual holiday, except maybe for an espresso or a glass of wine. You can take a tour of the Louvre, visit the Taj Mahal or even Machu Picchu. To get away from it all, why not join the International Space Station and see what they are seeing now, live.

Night time Activity
At present, the night sky is quite clear. Weather permitting you might like to get out and do a bit of stargazing. A starters guide can be found here.

If you've any suggestions as to other stay-at-home activities, email them to parishcouncil@inkpenvillage.co.uk.

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local Food deliveries - to your door

If you are self-isolating and need someone to help do some supermarket shopping or get a prescription, for example, please check out the Helpers List.

Fisher of Newbury

If you are NOT in an at-risk group and want to get some fresh fruit and veg that you can collect yourself, you might like to try Fisher of Newbury. They do fruit and veg boxes which you can select on-line and collect if you get a delivery slot. They have quite a range of items and are based at Hambridge Road in Newbury.

Got a self-isolating neighbour ? See if you can get a veg and fruit box for them at the same time.

Take-away service with a difference

The John O Gaunt Pub is offering a take-away service with a difference. You order and pay over the phone. The food is delivered to the customer - FOC - and the customer receives a call to say "it's on your doorstep". The service is free, the food is not!

The menu link is: https://www.facebook.com/John-OGaunt-Freehouse-Hungerford-152058648286949/?epa=SEARCH_BOX. and the contact number is 01488 683535

Hungerford traditional butcher.

The traditional butcher in Hungerford is taking orders over the phone for delivery to Hungerford and the surrounding villages - that means Inkpen. If you are interested, details of the items for sale and the contact number are to be found here.

Crown and Garter - general food store.

We're evolving the coffee shop at the Crown and Garter, into a general food store as we adapt to support our local community.

In addition to our current offering including our bread, tea, coffee, cake, pasties, pies and soup we are also developing a range of food available to takeaway. The current stock list / delivery order form is here. We are adding new things every day and our fruit and veg rotates daily as well so that we have a good selection. If there is anything that people need that we don't have on list then we can still order it in for them depending on our supplier’s stock levels.

All customers are asked to follow a conscious purchasing policy with regard to some items so that we are able to support as many people as possible.

Opening hours are Monday - Saturday 9am - 2pm. Shut on Sunday. Some delivery is available outside of these hours.

If you are self isolating or unable to get to us, we are accepting orders for delivery. Please contact us directly on 01488 668325 or via email at crownandgarter@honestygroup.co.uk if you can't get through on the phone. The phones aren't manned all day.

Not everyone within the community will necessarily have access to the internet or social media so we are asking you to help us reach them and get this message out there.

We want to reassure you that we are doing everything to mitigate risk and manage this situation as best we can. The welfare of our staff and customers is of paramount importance to us.

Cobbs Farm Shop

At their Hungerford farm shop, you will find fresh fruit and veg, a delicatessen, butchery, fishmonger and florist. They work closely with a large number of local producers to offer customers a whole host of products including luxury dairy ice cream, freshly baked bread, honey, preserves and chutneys, cheese, dairy, flour, eggs, cereals, tea, smoked fish and meats, juices and biscuits. And let's not forget their home-grown award-winning English Sparkling Wine - Alder Ridge.

If you are in a vulnerable group or over 70 and you want to place an order with Cobbs, and have it delivered to your door, please contact Claire Jones for details - 07808 773346.

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Police report



Message from Our Chief Constable John Campbell on Coronavirus - 25/03/2020

Please see below a link to a video message from our Chief Constable on our policing response during these extraordinary times and how we all have a role to play in combating Coronavirus in the Thames Valley and across the nation.

To view the video, please visit the Thames Valley Police YouTube channel or click the following link: https://youtu.be/VIUZREEmj-w

Message Sent By Emma Tarry (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

Message from Joanna King - Please keep reporting stuff to us - We sometimes find that news travels fast round a community, especially via various social media channels but if no one tells us, we don’t know about it. You can report online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk , but if it is urgent please continue to call on 101 (non-emergency) and 999 in an emergency. Our team email address is: hungerfordanddownlandsnhpt@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk. Please be aware this is not monitored 24/7 and should not be used to report a crime. You can also follow us on twitter @TVP_westberks.

If you would like any further information or advice, please contact me on 07814852137 or email  Joanna.king@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk”.  Please be advised I cannot take reports of crime over the phone. These need to be reported using the online form or via 101.”

SCAMS

Be aware of scams. Download "The Little Book of Big Scams".  For home security, download "Secure your home".

Message sent on behalf of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAMB)

We are aware of a voice message being shared currently on social media regarding the ambulance response to coronavirus. The alarmist information being shared in the message is not correct. We would urge people to disregard the message and not share it further.

In line with our ongoing plans during this challenging time, we are continuing to follow national guidelines regarding the ambulance response and thank the public for their ongoing support in following the government’s advice.

People who shop at Tesco have been warned not to fall for a scam email claiming to give them free shopping and vouchers. In emails addressed to customers of the supermarket, scammers have attempted to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis by offering them the chance to shop for free online or in store and to click on a link to register their details.

Similar scams too purporting to be from Morrison offering free vouchers and other scams such as free Dettol or Gillette samples or competitions. They are all trying to get you to like or share which gives them details on your contacts etc. Never click on any links from uninvited emails. If in doubt on any scams, please contact your Bank or other organisations to check whether they have been sent by them.

Other recent scams are a text from O2 saying that a payment had failed and to avoid fees, visit the website using the link in the text and to then sign on using another screen asking for all the security details that the person used followed by credit card and bank account details. The fake website looked exactly like the O2 official site so some people could easily fall for this scam.

Royal Mail scams via email advising that your parcel has arrived but the Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you. The email then asks you to pay £3.95 for this to be re-delivered and to click on a link to give your bank and other details.

Also Emails saying that the recent payment for your vehicle tax failed because there is not enough money on your debit card and that your vehicle is no longer taxed. They suggest you use a credit card instead to avoid any other consequences and again this is a way of trying to obtain your Bank details.

There are various ways of reporting scams.

A new initiative called Cyberawaregov has launched SERS – the suspicious email reporting service. They say that if you have received an email which you are not sure about, to forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk There is further information on the website: www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails

Scams can also be notified to Action Fraud on 03001232040 or via their website or to the National Trading Standards Scams Team on 03454 040506.

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Out of hours Building works

The law - and frequently planning permission as well - regulates the hours during which construction can be carried out, typically between 8am and 6pm weekdays, 8am and 3pm on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays. Outside those hours you have the right to complain to the council, who will come and investigate and may take action against persistent offenders. Contact WBC at ehadvice@westberks.gov.uk (Tel. 01635 519192) or planningenforcement@westberks.gov.uk (Tel. 01635 519111).

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gigaclear news

Gigaclear remedial works are now at an end. If you are looking to change from BT to Gigaclear, you should now be able to do so.  If in doubt, have a word with a neighbour that has already made the switch. Inkpen is one of the few places in the country to have access to Ultra Fast broadband.

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Library - Pass It on

The service has been suspended following Government advice, but will call in Inkpen at Craven Rd. from 2.30 – 2.50pm and at Inkpen School from 3.05 to 4pm when the service resumes – the mobile library should have been calling on 21st April so watch this space.

Our Libraries Service is currently offering a new online service to residents so that they can continue to enjoy new books and to share their love of reading without leaving the house. They have set up a new Facebook group called West Berks Reads, which is a useful, alternative way for people to share their thoughts and pick up ideas for what to read next.

They also hosted their first YouTube Storytime on 8th April, with author Rachel Jane reading one of her ‘Campervan’ stories. You can watch this again on their YouTube page and keep an eye out for further dates, which we will promote through social media.

Meanwhile, the digital resources and e-library services are continuing 24/7 and understandably being very well used at this time. Why not go to the Libraries page on our website and discover a new book or magazine?

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Climate change

Official reports suggest that our climate decline is rapidly accelerating. Although we are a small community and many feel that we are too insignificant in the grand scheme, there are things that we can do to make a positive impact.

Obviously we can plant more trees and hedging and the IMPFT  is this month planting more than 300 hedging plants along Post Office Road. But individually we can make a difference by leaving some of our gardens to become wild spaces. We can be more careful in our use of pesticides and herbicides and hopefully use insect friendly alternatives. Remember, Your Climate Needs You.

Following on from the work of Bob May and Bernard Harris, to encourage wild flowers on the Lower Green Triangle, we are hoping to transform other areas of public land in Inkpen in the coming years, with an emphasis on natural flora and their insect inhabitants. Why not set aside a small patch in your garden for beautiful, natural, wild flowers. Have a look at  this  to get a bit of encouragement.

These links might also be of some interest. Trees and Insects. Remember, insects are at the bottom of the food chain - if we lose them we lose all that depends on them!

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school news

Our Headteacher, Jane Kanisius, writes:

I hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas and that all is set fair for a happy and successful 2020.

The new year in Years 5 and 6 started with the delivery of a tank of baby trout from ARK for us to look after. The children have taken to parenthood like a duck (or trout) to water and are doing a fabulous job of changing the water, feeding and checking all is well on a daily basis. We look forward to releasing as many as possible into the River Kennet at the beginning of March.

This week, the children enjoyed an afternoon of road safety information and activities. The highlight of the visit though, was a very large lorry on the playground. Using the lorry, the children were taught how much space it needed before it came to a stop, as well as how difficult it can be for a driver to see a child if they are close to the cab. Such an interesting and fun way to deliver an important message.

Also, this week, as I write, our Archery team are wearing the new Inkpen Primary School PE kit as they attend a tournament at Park House. I am sure you will agree that they look very smart and we are very grateful to the Parish Council for thinking of us and donating the funds in order that we could buy them. Thank you.

INKSPOTS EARLY YEARS PRE-SCHOOL

Our setting is reasonably small, taking up to 12 children at present, and is set within Inkpen village primary school. Our primary objective for children is creating a happy and relaxed environment, enabling them to explore and learn independently. Children have access to many of the school’s facilities giving them several outdoor spaces to play in, including nearby woodlands when doing forest school.

We welcome children from their third birthday and also accept West Berkshire grant funding. We are open Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s 9am – 3pm. We are flexible with sessions (half day or whole day) and can also accommodate split funding with other providers.

We have spaces still available so if you would like to pop in and have a look round, please contact the school on 01488 668219 or Hannah, our Manager, on mobile 07765 535391 or email: inkspots@inkpen.w-berks.sch.uk

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playing field trust (impft) news

VE'75 DAY. Sadly, we were not able to hold a village event on the playing fields to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. As you will know, this was due to COVID19 restrictions. We did however place crosses by the flag pole in recognition on the day, and as a thank you for the gifting the playing field to us as a living memorial of those who lost their lives.

Pavilion News. Many of you will have noticed the works going on at the Pavilion. We are thrilled that we have been able to start Phase 1 of the works which is the renovation of the changing rooms and the end extension to include two new toilets and a referee changing room. ARK Homes Limited have ensured that their working practices are in line with the Government guidelines not only in relation to general construction health and safety but also the new COVID19 construction restrictions.


The work on Phase 1 is due to be complete by the end of July / early August. We then very much hope to start Phase 2 straight away. The tender for this will hopefully go out in the coming weeks with a decision by the Trustees at the end of June.

Residents have given very generously, but we are still short of our funding target by £9,181.24. This target reflects the amount needed to release the matched funding from The Good Exchange. If you wish to donate please either visit www.thegoodexchange.com or give a cheque made payable to: IMPF Fund Raising, to Gloria Keene or Claire Jones. Every penny counts now and any donation is very much appreciated. We hope to have the pavilion completed by November this year.

Sadly, all activities are on hold but it is great to see young and old out walking, running and cycling. Do remember that mental health and general well being will be key issues at this time so do try and talk with neighbours who may be alone and families struggling with a house full with little release.

Playground News. The good news is that the new roundabout has been installed and is a fantastic addition to the playground. The bad news is we still cannot open the playground due to Government restrictions relating to COVID19. We will however open it as soon as we can.

We have had our annual playground ROSPA report and as a result we are having to repair some of the equipment, which Peter Kersey has kindly offered to do. The ‘speaking flowers’ stems have also been painted. Thanks also go to Bruce Armstrong for ensuring that the required playground fencing was in place, ready for the ROSPA inspection.

Woodland Playground. Bruce Armstrong is continuing to weed this area ready for the planting in the autumn. We are continuing to fund raise for the equipment and thanks go to Diane and Dave Lester and family who have helped with a Crowd Funding Video which we will share with you all soon.

It is our hope that the woodland playground equipment and planting will be in place by November this year. We feel that this will be a very important asset for the children of our village. Research shows how essential outside play is for children, their mental health and general well-being.

A huge thank you to the Richard and Charlotte Bampfylde who have ensured that the playing field and playground grass is cut and maintained. Sadly there are no team sports being played at the moment due to COVID19 but it is great to see the tennis courts being used again.

If you would like to receive the IMPFT Newsletter which is sent out monthly, please visit the IMPFT website (impft.co.uk) and subscribe. For more details of IMPFT activities, please visit the IMPFT website, impft.co.uk.

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APPRECIATION FOR BULLETINS PAST

Many of you will have contributed to the whip round we had in Inkpen to buy something for Gerald and Elsa Atkinson to thank them for producing this Bulletin for over 33 years.

Your generous contributions enabled us to buy them hugely deserved gifts of appreciation: a 5’ wooden garden seat with a brass plaque duly inscribed, plus cushion and cover. We were also able to buy vouchers for the Watermill Theatre, Champagne, flowers for Elsa and a healthy cheque with the balance.

Perhaps the most valued gift was the card that so many had signed, thanking Gerald and Elsa for their hard work over the years. I’m thrilled to tell you that almost 200 people either signed the card or were represented on it! Someone wrote, “every village should have a Gerald and Elsa” – some probably do, but in Inkpen we are lucky enough to have the real McCoy!

OVERWHELMED!

Secrets do get out and Elsa and I were aware that people in the village were being given the chance to contribute to a 'leaving present' as we finished our time on the Bulletin. But we never expected this! Truly overwhelming. So, our most sincere thanks to all who made a gift and for your most kind words on the biggest ten page ‘Thank You’ card we have ever seen. It means so much.

Finally, total thanks to Gilly who on her own initiative organised the whole thing. What a joy it is to live in such a lovely village with so many kind people. Thanks again and God bless you all both now and in the times that lie ahead.

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FOOD BANKS

Please do remember our local food banks. They are desperate for food and funds at this time. People and companies are donating less while worrying about stock piling food supplies for their families. The Newbury Soup Kitchen is desperate for financial donations via The Good Exchange so that they can buy food where and when it is available. You can also donate to The West Berkshire Food Bank on-line. Thank you.

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Lower Green Triangle

We are now in the fourth year of encouraging and bringing back wild flowers to the Triangle as originally envisaged by Mary Harper and Co over thirty years ago.

Regular readers will recall that we started this effort to save the Triangle and its habitat from the ravages of close mowing and the liberal application of weed killer to the paths and sets which resulted in the near killing of the Copper Beech tree in the centre. As a last ditch attempt to save the tree we have cut out the dead and dying wood and we much just hope that divine intervention allows new life to spring forth.

We have been much encouraged by our success and with the wild flowers. Despite the extremely wet weather, on the plus side we are having a very mild winter resulting in early growth, although a little sunshine would much improve the strength of the plants.

The whites and pale yellows of snowdrops and primroses in early January have been enhanced by the stronger colours of fritillaries, aconites (celandines) and now the blues and purples of crocuses. We are looking forward to the emergence of cowslips, spotted orchids, sainfoin and a wide variety of wild grasses. We are also hoping that a few of the hollyhock seeds will survive. They seem to grow anywhere at the Swan Inn but don’t seem to like the soil at the Triangle.

Please make use of the bench on sunny days – ideal for quiet contemplation while the flower and grasses sway in a gentle breeze.

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Useful links

Many thanks to Tim and Ali des Forges, editors of the Inkpen and Combe bulletin, for providing bulletin copy for this website.  You can contact Tim and Ali by phone or email thus - aliedesforges@yahoo.co.uk or ring them on 01488 668496. You can also  download a copy of the Inkpen and Combe bulletin here

To report potholes, go to www.westberks.gov.uk/pothole. For other road or pavement issues including overgrown verges, go to www.westberks.gov.uk.

To join Laine's heating oil delivery club, email Lanie.

To report a water leak, go to www.thameswater.co.uk and for loss of electricity, go to www.ssen.co.uk. Both Thames Water and SSE provide priority services for those needing help to cope should there be a loss of service. This includes the elderly and those with special health needs.  Thames Water priority  service can be accessed on-line, here and for SSEN, the details are provided here.

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