Countrycare Easter Scavenger Hunt

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Sports, Travel, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Looking for something fun to do with the  kids Wednesday 3rd April? Why not Join Epping Forest Countrycare for an Easter Scavenger hunt!

10am until 12pm. No need to book just turn up. £4 per child. Starting point Reserve Entrance at the end of Pike Way, North Weald, CM16 6BL.

For more Countrycare events download our Coutnrycare Events List 2013

 

 

 

Communities, partnerships and young people feature in Civic Awards

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Countrycare, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

The Epping Forest District Citizen of the Year 2013 is Diana Collins of Theydon Garnon. Jaymey McIvor from North Weald was named Young Citizen of the Year when the Annual Civic Awards were presented at Gilwell Park on Friday 15 March.

Citizen of the Year 2013 Di Collins and Young Citizen Jaymey McIvor with District Council Chairman, Brian Rolfe at the Civic AwardsThe evening hosted by the chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe was dedicated to the many thousands of  volunteers who work behind the scenes and often without recognition across the district.

The awards were covered live by the Epping Forest Guardian with local reporter Zoie O’Brien tweeting as each winner was announced.

Presentations took place in the presence of Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Christopher Palmer-Tompkinson, High Sherriff of Essex and Eleanor Laing, Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Epping Forest. Young people, partnerships and community spirit featured strongly in the awards with presentations also going to Youth Councillors Olivia Tinker, Carina Sander, Ella Foster and Hamzah Qadri.

Epping Forest Youth Councillors at the Civic Awards 2013High Commendations where received by Alan Burgess from Roydon, Keith Campen of Loughton and John Duffell of Epping, each of whom has contributed significantly to the welfare of the district’s young people.

Other presentations were made to council stalwart Richard Morgan and the retiring Chief Executive of the Scouts Association, Derek Twine CBE.

Councillor Rolfe presented his latest contributions of £1,500 each to his Chairman’s Charities, The Dream Factory and Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs as well as raising another £1,070 during the course of the evening.

Deborah Hall of the Riding Trust and Linda Clark of The Dream Factory receiving cheques of £1,500Speaking of his experience as Chairman of the Council,  Councillor Rolfe said: ”

Anyone driving through the district can see we are blessed by the forest, the countryside, our towns and villages. But what they don’t see are the hundreds and thousands of people shaping and building our community through kindness, patience, consideration and compassion for others.

These people usually don’t have titles. They don’t often publicise what they do and they can be very hard to spot. They go about their business quietly and often without reward. They don’t expect any recognition.

But these people are the life-blood of our district. As a family turns a house into a home, they make Epping Forest a community. That’s why it is so important to protect, nurture and recognise the invaluable work they do.”

Guests listened as Master of  Ceremonies Robert Persell described some of the work carried out by Di Collins, who is better known in her former capacity as Leader of Epping Forest District Council. Among the credits for her voluntary work were support for Epping Forest College, local PCT health services, the League of Friends for St Margarets and Abbeyfield, the NSPCC, RNLI, Red Cross and Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell. Di’s house is frequently used as a venue for fundraising events.

Congratulating Di Collins on her award, Councillor Rolfe said: “Di, I think you are a marvellous choice as our Citizen of the Year. It seems incredible, knowing the time and commitment you have made to the District Council for so many years, that you found the time for so many other roles. The Civic Awards is one of the few nights in the year when we put politics aside and I think this award for all your other contributions is absolutely fantastic.”

Councillor Rolfe continued: “I hope Di will not mind me saying this, the Citizen of the Year tends to be a slightly older person. But one of the things I love most about the Civic Awards is the focus on our younger citizens. I would like to congratulate our four Youth Councillors, Hamzah, Carina, Ella and Olivia.

High Commendation Keith CampenThe establishment of the Youth Council some years ago now, was one of the best things I think this council has done. I know that Di Collins was strongly in favour of its foundation. Anyone who thinks our young people can be a soft touch or don’t care, should spend an hour or two with the Youth Council as our new Chief Executive Glen Chipp and our Member of Parliament Eleanor Laing have both done recently. The Youth Council is an impressive and formidable group of young people.

High Commendation Alan BurgessAnd what can one say about Jaymey McIvor – our new Young Citizen of the Year?  What an incredible young man. Jaymey is a credit to himself, his family, his school and our district. While we can produce young people like Jaymey, the future is assured.

And it is important to stress that while Jaymey and our other young award winners may have been singled out, they represent a much larger group of young people. I am sure Derek Twine, as someone who has dedicated his private and professional life to our younger generations will agree, High Commendation John Duffellour community is blessed by the rich contribution our young people make.

I don’t know if it was a co-incidence or something deeper, but the spirit of mutual support and respect between the generations seemed to flow through tonight’s awards. Alan Burgess, Keith Campen and John Duffell, have each in very different ways made such a large and positive impact on the lives of our younger people.”

Epping Forest District Civic Awards 2013 winners

Epping Forest District Civic Awards 2013 Front L-R Councillor Richard Morgan – Distinguished Service, Diana Collins – Citizen of the Year, Derek Twine – Distinguished Service. Back L-R Carina Sandler – Youth Council, Alan Burgess – High Commendation, Hamzah Qadri – Youth Council, Jaymey McIvor – Young Citizen of the Year, Councillor Brian Rolfe – Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Kevin Haywood – Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, John Duffell – High Commendation, Keith Campen – High Commendation, Ella Foster – Youth Council, Olivia Tinker – Youth Council

Countrycare Events For 2013

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Countrycare will be running a series of kids events again this spring and summer.

Join Countrycare on one of our Local Nature Reserves and branch out into birds on Roding Valley Meadows, go barmy over bugs at Weald Common or nutty over newts at Nazeing Triangle. Our kids events are aimed at ages 4 to 12, we aim to teach them a little about their surrounding countryside and the wildlife that lives there and have a lot of fun too!

We will be kicking off with an Easter Scavenger Hunt at Roughtalley’s Wood on 3rd April. Find and solve the riddles hidden around the reserve to win some chocolate eggs!

Click Countrycare Events 2013 for a list of all our events in 2013.

The ones that got away

Written on . Posted in Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Supporting business, Your area

900 fish were released into Roding Valley Lake on a sunny but chilly March morning. Members of the Roding Valley Angling Club helped release the fish by the lakes fishing platform.

The fish, 600 bream and 300 roach, all around 10” in length, were released on Thursday 14 March 2013 to help restock the lake.

The Fisheries Section of the Environment Agency (EA) funded the improvements and worked with Epping Forest District Council with the installation of aeration units to help oxygenate the water and the planting of reed bed filtration systems to improve water quality following the substantial loss of fish by natural causes in 2007. This year they provided an additional £10,000 for fish restocking at the lake.

Neil Winter, technical officer from the Environment Agency fisheries and biodiversity section said: “We are here today at Roding Valley Lake to introduce bream as part of the partnership project with Epping Forest District Council and the Roding Valley Angling Club. These fish were funded through rod licence payers money and we are here to introduce a range of species into the lake.”

Photos of the day

Tip – to view all the photos in a slideshow, click on a picture then click start slideshow (in the bottom right of the frame).

No fish were harmed during the transportation and all were successfully introduced into Roding Valley Lake.

Want to know more about angling?

The Roding Valley Angling Club are looking for new members, contact them for details by their Facebook page.

 

Love our British birds on Valentines Day

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment

National Nest Box Week is great for birds. Starting on 14 February, St Valentine’s Day, it’s the time we remind ourselves to provide homes for dozens of species, from Blue Tits to Barn Owls.

Nesting Blue Tit
Nesting Blue Tit

The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired.

National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997 and since then thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5 to 6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.

Whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden.

Build a nest box

If you’ve never built a nest box before, why not give it a go this year? Or if you haven’t got the time, it’s easy to buy one. Go on, give Britain’s birds a valentines day gift this year!

Making your own nest box

If you want more information about nests and nest boxes, contact nnbw@bto.org.

Learning with Countrycare

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chairman, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Doing business with the council, Epping, Health, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Playschemes, Procurement, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Countrycare launches environmental education service to show young people the value of the green spaces and wildlife around them.

The Countrycare team is offering an environmental education service to schools that can work with their curriculum, in both science and arts, to help engage young people with the environment. Environmental education sessions can be run on Local Nature Reserves, in classrooms or in school grounds, and we cater for all ages.

We want young people to grow up not just enjoying the countryside but respecting it as well.

Learning with Countrycare

We offer a range of projects including

  • Creating wildlife sanctuaries in school grounds
  • Building bird boxes
  • Practical projects on Local Nature Reserves
  • Tree ecology
  • Tree planting
  • Invertebrate identification
  • Guided walks

If none of these activities fit in with your syllabus we can mould lessons to fit your needs.

Find out more

Download the brochure Learning with Countrycare (pdf 1MB)

For more information about the environmental education service at Countrycare and the competitive costs call 01992 788203 or email contactcountrycare@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Find out what other work Countrycare does the website at http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/

You can also follow Countrycare on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EFcountrycare/

Countrycare volunteer day Tuesday 22 January cancelled

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Chigwell, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Due to the adverse weather the Countrycare volunteer day on Tuesday 22 January 2013 has been cancelled.

Countrycare is sorry to disappoint those of you who were intending to jump in a pond and clear some reeds tomorrow in North Weald, but the task has been cancelled due to weather conditions. We apologise to anyone who had been looking forward to an ice cold dip. Thursday’s volunteer task is still expected to go ahead.

Countrycare restores parish boundary hedgerow at Bobbingworth Nature Reserve

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Health, Local plan / planning our future, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Volunteering opportunities, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Last Thursday, 10 January 2013,  21 volunteers and Countrycare staff planted 600 trees on the Bobbingworth Nature Reserve (former landfill site) to mark the parish boundary between Moreton and Bobbingworth. A study of old maps confirms that the area of the reserve that lies in Moreton used to be a wood, Moreton Wood. The wood disappeared sometime between 1886 and 1912 but the parish boundary remains the same.

Moreton parish boundary 1843 to 1893

Moreton parish boundary 1843 to 1893

Moreton parish boundary 1891 to 1912

Moreton parish boundary 1891 to 1912

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This addition of 600 trees makes the total of trees planted on the nature reserve close to 6,000 since 2008. Native species were locally sourced and dominated by hawthorn with a scattering of hazel, dogwood, dogrose, spindle and guilder rose.  Shallow rooting species were used as the planting was mainly on the “cap”, the membrane that covers the former landfill area.

In time the hedge will provide shelter and food for birds and also a natural corridor across the site for movement of wildlife.

Volunteers worked tirelessly in very cold and muddy conditions. An enormous “thank you” to them all from Countrycare staff.

If you would like to volunteer with Countrycare call 01992 788203 for more information or email contactcountrycare@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

 

Record year for Countrycare volunteers

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

2012 proved to be a record year for the number of volunteers attending the Countrycare Thursday working parties. For the first time ever the equivalent of over 700 volunteer days were worked during a year.

The volunteers were made up by a core team of 30, and a further 20 volunteers who came to help out on special projects. A total of 51 working days were organised, working out to be an average of 14 volunteers each day.

Countrycare volunteers at Nazeing Triangle LNR

With this number of people attending regularly Countrycare was able to tackle more ambitious work and increase the amount of management work carried out on the 9 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) and the many other Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) in the district.

The work carried included woodland, grassland and pond management. The volunteers worked tirelessly in all weathers to help Countrycare achieve its aims. The Countrycare Team would like to express their gratitude for the effort and enthusiasm that the volunteers put in week in week out. They hope to continue to see such a good turn out on all of its Thursday tasks in 2013.Countrycare volunteer days for 2007 to 2012 - 2007 505 - 2008 571 - 2009 539 - 2010 603 - 2011 642 - 2012 733

Trees planted at Roding Valley Meadows

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Loughton, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

750 trees were planted by local volunteers and residents of the Oakwood Hill Estate in Debden. They joined Essex Wildlife Trust and Epping Forest Countrycare to plant trees along the boundary between Oakwood Hill and Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve.

The tree planting is part of a larger project aimed at improving this area of the nature reserve, creating a more inviting and picturesque place for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

Over 30 volunteers turned up to help with the planting. They included local families, councillors and even Police Community Support Officers.

Earlier in the year the large patch of bramble which had grown along the boundary line was cleared, litter removed and a new post and wire fence was erected by the Reserve Warden and his volunteers. The latest stage in the project was to plant a native mixed species hedgerow along the fence line.

Species planted included hazel, field maple, hawthorn, dogwood and dog rose.