Coronavirus Community Support – Update 15.05.2020

Update 15.05.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page


There are only two items in our update tonight.  There is a short message from the Chair of the Parish Council, thanking those residents who are simply being good neighbours as well as those who have volunteered for specific tasks: Westbury PC chair’s message May 15 copy (002)

and a slightly revised Countryside Code being issued by the AONB in the light of the coronavirus crisis.  As more people are now allowed to drive into the countryside to take exercise we can expect to see more people on some of our favourite walks around the outskirts of the village.   The revised code reflects the need to stay safe as well as respect the rural environment.

Alternative Corona Countryside Code poster v3 (002)


Have a good (and safe) weekend


Sue Reece (870618)  Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council.)

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 13.05.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page

Update 13.05.2020

Clap for carers

Many people in the village join in with the ‘clap for key workers’ on Thursday evenings but what do the workers themselves think.  We print below a personal response from one village resident whose work is on the front line.

This is just a quick note to say thanks to everyone for joining in with the Thursday clap for Key Workers. It really helps to give us a lift in these challenging times. 

I drove a patient into the Royal United Hospital last Thursday as the time was approaching 8pm and we had a standing clapping noisy ovation for the journey through Bath which literally brought tears to our eyes – fantastic.

It is so great to know that our efforts are appreciated in these difficult times.

For your information all hospitals in our area are running well and have lots of space and capacity. A+E attendances are low along with 999 call outs. If you are ill and feel you need to visit a hospital, please try not to worry and either attend or call 999 if needed as you would before this outbreak. 

All ambulance crews wear fresh PPE for every call out and Patients with Covid concerns are placed in separate areas of the hospital, so the chances of transmission are as low as possible. So, if you need medical help please seek it.

Thanks again for all the support.

Paul Wylie, Lead Paramedic – Glastonbury Ambulance Station and Westbury-sub-Mendip Resident 


Another way people in the village have been supporting front line staff is by making masks.  Cathy Hancock and her team have now supplied 500 facemasks both to care home staff and local residents – they are available for free in the village shop (maximum two per household, donations appreciated)  The government has come round to recommending the use of face masks in enclosed public spaces ( see ) but emphasises that they are not a substitute for hand washing, social distancing etc., should not be worn for prolonged periods and should be carefully washed after use.

If you would like to help, Cathy is looking for donations of clean unwanted T shirts, men’s cotton shirts or cotton dress fabric.  Leave them in the box in her front garden at Cottage Farm,  the Hollow.

Spending time outdoors

There is also revised guidance from the government on spending time outdoors which you can find here As well as being able to spend an unlimited time outdoors people are also now free to drive to other places for the purpose of recreation. While this will be welcome, we should remember that social distancing rules are unchanged, and that the freedom to travel may bring more people from outside into the Mendips making distancing harder.

Butterfly of the week

Finally, when spending time outdoors, people may want to identify some of the butterflies that appear to be particularly abundant this year.  Peter Bright’s butterfly of the week posted on the village website is the Brimstone.  Find it, together with all previous examples, here

Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher  (870531)  on behalf of the parish council

Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Shop

Community Shop

We thought it would be helpful to reissue the Shop opening hours here Shop Opening Sign as a reminder of what we are now offering. Please note that the Post Office hours have been restored and that the Shop and PO we are closing at 5.00 pm to allow staff to spend longer thoroughly cleaning and clearing up at the end of each day. We are glad that we have managed to keep restrictions to an absolute minimum and very grateful to all our customers for their understanding and on-going support. Shop Local -Stay Safe!

Butterfly of the Week 13th May 2020



Brimstone: That this butterfly is the origin of the word ‘butter-fly’ with its abundance and colour, flying early in the year, is a lovely story. Brimstones over-winter as adults in woodland and hedgerow places such as amongst ivy. They can appear at any time in January or February flying on warm sunny days but will inevitably return to hibernation. They emerge properly in late March and April and will wander widely in search of mates, and for the females, in search of purging buckthorn around Westbury and alder buckthorn in parts of the country with more acidic soils. The males are bright yellow and unmistakeable, while the females are a much paler greenish cream colour – resembling large whites in colour and size. However, once they settle, with wings always closed, the lack of black wingtips and the pointed shape of the wings make them easy to recognise. Having found a suitable buckthorn shrub, the female will flutter around until exactly the right places have been found and then lay one egg in each of them. These eggs hatch to produce a green caterpillar which can be found quite easily by looking closely at the leaves of a buckthorn bush. The pupa is formed on the underside of a leaf and has the appearance of a folded leaf. By the end of June the adults that flew in April and May will have died and during July and August the new generation of adults will have emerged from their pupae and will be feeding up on nectar from flowers, often purple or blue, such as knapweed and buddleia, before going into hibernation for the winter. There is just this one generation a year.

Photos Peter Bright

Azure blue damselfly

Another species to emerge this month, the Azure Blue damselfly is more often met with in garden ponds than the Common Blue, which prefers large ponds and lakes. Not easy to distinguish, but the Azure Blue has blue shoulder stripes narrower than the black lines below them, unlike the Common Blue. This is a male, the females are usually more greenish on the back.

Westbury Inn Takeaway menu for week Monday 11th to Sunday 17th May

2020.5.11 Takeaway Menu PLB version

Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Support

No major announcements are expected from the government before the weekend, so this update focuses mainly on local matters.  For those who are keen to look at the data which will inform the government’s decisions however there are interesting figures in the set of slides released today by No. 10.( See )   They show for example that the South West continues to have the lowest number of Covid-19 related hospital cases of all UK countries and regions.

The poster competition attracted eight entries and the standard was so high that our team of judges was unable to decide on a winner.  They all share a joint first place therefore, and copies of their work will be displayed on the newly cleaned up telegraph poles around the village.  Congratulations to Iona Halls, Ivy Halls, Chase Ives, Susannah Wylie, Simeon and Toby Wylie (joint effort), Chloe Bateman, Blake Reece and John Barkle.

The telegraph pole clean up however produced a clear winner – Julie Romeo extracted 94 grams of metal from the pole at Mortar Pits; at current scrap metal prices that is worth around one penny!  Julie has asked for her prize money to be given in the form of a donation to the foodbank so items to the value of £25, funded by an anonymous benefactor, will be provided from the village shop.  The Silver Medal goes to Pavla Love who took 73 grams from the pole outside the school and Bronze to John Field with 43 grams from Station Road.   All in all, 9 poles were cleaned and look much better for it.

Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher  (870531)  on behalf of the parish council.


Butterflies of the Week 6th May 2020



Large and Small whites:  These are the ‘Cabbage Whites’ that are a gardeners’ nightmare. There are two separate species the Large and the Small. They both over-winter as pupae formed at the end of August or beginning of September and emerge in April the following Spring.

The Large White lays eggs in batches, particularly on the leaves of domestic Brassicas, up to 150 at a time. They hatch into caterpillars that feed particularly on the outer leaves of ‘cabbages’ and, being so exposed, their bold black and yellow colouring indicates to predators their unpalatability. There is some help for gardener’s in the form of the ichneumon wasp, Cotesia glomerata. These wasps lay between 15 and 80 eggs into young large white caterpillars. These wasp larvae feed on the caterpillar’s fat reserves without killing it and finally, when fully grown, break out of the now dead caterpillar forming a collection of yellow cocoons around the corpse.

The Small White lays its eggs singly and the caterpillars move onto the underside of leaves in the heart of the plant doing considerable damage. Being green in colour and being on the underneath of leaves makes them well camouflaged. In the same way as for the large white there are a variety of parasitic wasps (including Cotesia rubecula) that lay eggs inside young caterpillars.

To tell these whites apart look at the front edge of the forewings. In the Large White it goes all the way around the point of the wing as unbroken black. In the Small White the black is almost entirely on the front edge of the wing. Large White females and males and females of Small Whites have two more or less conspicuous black spots on the upper surface of the forewing. Male Large Whites have no such spots. Generally, the Large Whites are distinctly larger than the Small Whites, but they can each vary being extra small or large in size. You might think of Large Whites as being Peacock sized and Small Whites as being Small Tortoiseshell sized.

For both these Whites there are 2 generations each year with the butterflies flying in April and May laying eggs that become the butterflies flying in July and August whose eggs will go on to produce the overwintering pupae.

Photos   Peter Bright   Mick Fletcher


Broad-bodied chaser

Male broad-bodied chaser (females are brown), the second of our damsel & dragonflies to appear in spring. Males patrol ponds and aggressively chase way other males that appear.

Poem of the Week

This week we return with a Shakespearean bent, the opening to The Scottish Play with a village twist!  Village ode

by Bob Dolby

Chris Harris

PS. to see all Poems of the Week, click on the ‘Poetry’ Category on the website News page, or click here Poem of the Week