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.

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


Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Support

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

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Free Face Masks

We have mentioned before that a team of volunteers led by Cathy Hancock have been making face masks, initially for workers in the care sector.  A number of these masks are available in the village shop for people who feel they might benefit from wearing one on occasions – a maximum of two per person.  They are free but Cathy is suggesting a donation which will be used to purchase more materials and any surplus will go to NHS Covid-19 charities.

Bank Holiday – Shop opening hours

We have also mentioned before that Friday is a Bank Holiday (for VE Day ) This means that the shop will be operating reduced opening hours and customers are asked to get their orders in a day early if they can, to be sure of getting what they need.

Look out for scams

Unfortunately, there are those who are taking advantage of the current crisis to try to trick people out of their money with a variety of scams and frauds, most of which involve email or social media.. The Home Office have published a guide to the most common scams that are around at the moment, and we are attaching a copy for information. Document 4 Praish Coronavirus Fraud and Scams update May 2020

More activities for families

Finally, Ellie Mains has produced another compilation of interesting and educational activities for families including information about a meteor shower which will be at its best on the night of the 5th to 6th May.  Let’s hope for a clear night. Update for families 4 May (002)


Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Support

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

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

We have two attachments.  One concerns VE day and gives further details of activities on Friday 8th May that Mendip District Council is urging local residents to join in with. The activities are of course all home based because the social distancing rules will not allow public meetings. Mendip VE day

The 8th May is a Bank Holiday this year but in case anyone was wondering it will not affect bin collections the following week.

The other attachment gives details of services offered by Somerset Library Service that anyone can sign up for – you don’t have to be a current member of the library as you can sign in online.  The message from the Library Service also confirms that no one will incur a fine if the lockdown has prevented them returning a book in time. Somerset libraries

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


Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Support

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

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

We hope everyone is keeping safe and well; we have four items here:

VE Day Commemoration

As most will be aware it is only one week to VE Day and although official celebrations have had to be cancelled it is still possible to join in a collective commemoration from the safety of your own home. This notice  from the organisers of the commemoration suggests ways in which people can still participate, including a two minute silence at 11.00 am on Friday 8th May and a toast at 3.00pm the same day.

What can I do under lockdown?

A number of people have talked about a lack of clarity in relation to what can and cannot be done under the lockdown regulations.  That message has clearly got through to government who have today published a set of answers to frequently asked questions about what is and is not permitted.  The guidance is available here

Healthy Start.

Since we published details of the Friendly Society scheme of financial support for individuals and families whose income has been hit by coronavirus our attention has been drawn to the ‘Healthy Start’ scheme which provides free milk and fresh produce for those with children under four who are in receipt of certain benefits.  Since the economic impact of Covid-19 may affect families unfamiliar with aspects of the benefits system we are providing a link to the scheme here.

Last chance to adopt a pole

At the time of writing only two substantially used telegraph poles remain to be adopted – one on Station Road and one at the bottom of Perch Hill; the White Noticeboard on Stoneleigh might also be counted as an honorary pole.  Move quickly if you want to enter the competition for staple recycling

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