Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

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

Until now Somerset has not been seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but the signs are that we are now beginning to catch up with the rest of the country.   It seems a good time therefore to summarise the information from NHS England about the symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you feel unwell.  The information in the attached sheet has been specially prepared for us by a qualified doctor and emphasises the need to self-isolate if it seems you might have the disease or have been exposed to someone who has.  We would remind everyone that we have sufficient volunteers available to ensure that anyone needing to self-isolate should have no need to leave the house other than for emergency medical attention.

COVID Advice if unwell at home_ (002)

As well as the physical consequences of the disease, self-isolation and anxiety about the illness and its consequences can give rise to mental health issues.  We are therefore also drawing attention to a helpful guidance note from the government on supporting children’s and young people’s mental health during the current crisis.   It is available here  and we can make summaries available for those not on-line should they so request.

Butterfly of the Week 15th April 2020




Orange tip: This butterfly is a delightful harbinger of spring. It over winters as a pupa on dead low growing vegetation near its favoured food plants. These are Lady’s smock – a pale pink flower of damp meadows and roadside verges or the white flowered weed, Garlic mustard, found in all sorts of disturbed ground. The males with their orange tips are conspicuous and travel long distances seeking out the females which do not have the orange tips but do have the same green-seeming network on the underside of the hind wings. When the butterflies roost, this green netted underwing provides excellent camouflage.   Females will often be found near suitable egg laying sites where the food plants are relatively large, and in unshaded, isolated but sheltered sites. It has only one generation each year so the pupa formed in June will hibernate until the following spring.

John Ball   Sean Pritchard   Peter Bright

Poem of the Week

For those of a more literary bent Chris Harris is proposing to post a poem of the week and is challenging Westbury residents to compose a verse or two reflecting our current situation. Chris is one of our more prolific poets as anyone who has walked past her cottage on Old Ditch will have noticed, and to launch the scheme is offering one of her own recent creations ‘Not daffodils’ (see attached) Those wishing to take up the challenge should send their contributions to

Not Daffodils

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage


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

Tuesday 21st April

There are two things in our update.

1. We are attaching a copy of the latest briefing document put out by Mendip District Council which includes information on grants to support businesses, fly tipping and several other matters. Of particular interest may be the request from the Council for people to be considerate to their neighbours and where possible avoid having bonfires. They point out that smoke can cause problems for anyone with respiratory conditions and the lockdown means that it is not so easy for people to go out for an hour or two to escape smoke. It is recognised that stopping the collection of garden waste may cause difficulties for some households, but the Council encourages people to consider composting as a more environmentally friendly solution to the disposal of green waste.

ISSUE 3 MDC Parish Briefing 18 042020 FINAL

2. There are many ways in which people are helping others deal with the pandemic and locally a small team led by Cathy Hancock have been making face masks. A report on their achievements to date is given below –

Our group, Mask Force Wells, has sewn and donated over 200 washable cotton masks so far. They have gone to shielded individuals, drivers, and a large home carer company in Somerset and Wiltshire. They were extremely grateful as official PPE is hard to come by and often runs out. We have helped Weston Super Mare set up a satellite group to make masks for their care homes too. By making these masks we hope we are helping to reduce demand on the official PPE which is desperately needed for frontline medical staff.

We are making these masks out of recycled materials as much as possible to reduce costs. We now need more fabric. We are recycling fine cotton fabrics from old shirts, skirts, sheets, pillow cases etc and also T shirts; also white sewing thread, interfacing and pipe cleaners are all needed. If anyone is able to donate any of these, please put in the plastic box in my front garden (you are welcome to knock on the door to say hello too!) It’s Cottage Farm, The Hollow. Many thanks to everyone who has already donated.

We donate these for free. Those who wish however can make a financial donation to Love Musgrove Covid 19 fund, which is buying equipment for patients and staff to make their job a bit easier, as well as offering ongoing counselling support to the staff, to help them cope in this gruelling new world they are working in. See for info and how to donate.

Could I ask anyone who is dropping off completed masks to leave their name so I can contact them.

Finally, if anyone would like to sew for us, or to contact me please Email Cathy

3. Wildlife enthusiasts may have noticed that Peter Bright has started to publish Butterfly of the week on the Westbury Village Website (if you haven’t noticed it is here ).


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


Can you recognise the different white butterflies?

The adults of Large and Small Whites are pests of our domestic Brassicas.  The large white caterpillars are black and yellow and easily visible and very destructive.  They are protected from predation by birds by the warning colours and a nasty taste.  The small white caterpillars are green and lie along the veins and are very inconspicuous.  The third of this trio the Green-veined White is not a pest of our vegetable patch cabbages but lays its eggs on a variety of wild Brassicas like garlic mustard.  See if you can sort out which is which?

Coronavirus-Covid-19 : Community Support


For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

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

Saturday18th April

Anyone who has been out walking recently will have noticed the increased numbers taking their daily exercise around the village and taking advantage of the relative lack of traffic on our lanes. It seems a good time therefore to remind people of the Westbury Walk leaflets all of which are available in the village shop (50p each or 3 for £1, – additional notes for the village walk cost another £1). All the walks start and finish at the cross just next to the shop so no need to get in the car.

Austin Little, one of the authors of the series, has provided a helpful summary of some of the most accessible walks for those wishing for a change from their usual route indicating their length and a rough guide as to how far they involve stiles and gates. We have already put out guidance on keeping safe while walking in the countryside for those for whom it is relatively novel but as a reminder it is attached again here and it is still available on the village website.

Countryside_ 2

Walks that are relatively short are as follows

No 12 Lodge Hill: around 2.3 miles with 5 gates and 2 stiles

No 15 Ramspits: about 3.6 miles with 7 gates and 5 stiles

No 8 Hollybrook: a tiddler of around 2 miles but with 9 gates and 5 stiles

No 1 Millway / Broadway Hill – around 3 miles with 2 gates and 10 stiles

Once you get into longer walks, then the numbers of gates and stiles tend to rise, so that you have:

No 4 Priddy Veal Lane: about 5.5 miles with 12 gates and 8 stiles

No 10 Easton Levels: around 3.5 miles with 4 gates and 15 stiles

No 16 Ebbor Wood: again around 5.5 miles with 7 gates and 19 stiles

No 18 Barrow Wood Lane: about 6.5 miles with 13 gates and 9 stiles.

There is some ambiguity about whether one is permitted to take more than one walk per day and the National Police Chiefs’ Council have put out a helpful statement covering exercise and also other issues such as what might be seen as essential shopping. This seems to suggest a ‘common sense’ approach to what it is reasonable to do rather than a legalistic one and we are therefore attaching it for information.


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

Butterfly of the Week 1st April 2020


Peacock:  The adults that are seen in this week went into hibernation last August/September/October in our garages, woodsheds, log piles. Last autumn they fed avidly on the nectar of flowers like Buddleia and Michaelmas daisy to build up the fat stores they need to see them through to the spring. They can be seen on the wing at anytime through the winter if there is a warm spell after which they return to hibernation. They come out of hibernation at the end of March or beginning of April. The males currently are seeking out suitable territories perhaps near suitable large clumps of nettle that are sheltered but in full sunshine that are favoured egg laying sites. Passing females are pursued and mated with.   Eggs will be laid from late April through into May.

Peter Bright photo

Coronavirus-COVID-19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

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

Friday 17th April

We have one big item in this update concerning the Village Shop and one late Easter surprise, mainly for younger children.
The new systems at the shop are bedding down and there are a few reminders about the collection and delivery services which the shop management would like to bring to your attention. A letter from the shop is set out below (in italics), and an updated description of ordering arrangements is attached (and is also on the Shop’s webpage).

Shop Ordering Info (issued 17th April)

A message from the Chairman of Westbury Community Shop

Good evening,
As another 3 weeks of social distancing and self-isolation are about to begin, the village volunteers have been busy helping out alongside the regular shop team. I would like publicly to thank all those who are working so hard in the shop and we are very grateful for the many letters of appreciation we have received.
For shop orders and prescriptions it would be really helpful to have as much notice as possible. We go once a week on Tuesdays to Tesco and later in the week on a Thursday to Boots Priory, but we are reluctant to put our volunteers at risk by going more often. Please don’t wait until the last minute to put in a repeat order, and do make sure that it is waiting and ready to be collected when we get there. Please don’t order too far in advance either as then the pharmacies won’t make up the prescriptions! We have had several trips when prescriptions were not ready, which is frustrating for the pharmacist, as well as the volunteer who we are aware we are asking to go into a risky situation.
The Village Shop and the volunteers are working hard to process orders as quickly as possible. By setting up an account you can have your order made up ready to collect, but please wait until you get a phone call before arriving at the shop in order to save waiting and to self- distance.
Our last shop update was the 28th March and we have refined the system since then; please look at the shop attachment and note our changes.
We look forward to seeing you at the Westbury Community Shop,
Simon Reece, Chairman

The village Easter Egg competition has now been judged and the talented winners have received their prizes. The standard of entry was very high and the runners up have also received a prize. Pictures of the winning eggs are available on the village website.
Although Easter is officially over Andy Jones from the Westbury Inn has kindly donated a box of crème eggs so that every child aged 12 or under in the village can have a late Easter surprise. Parents can collect eggs for their young ones from the village shop (no need to produce evidence of offspring – we trust you ) and when they are gone they are gone. It’s a nice gesture from Andy; and if you want an easy way to thank him you could do worse than order one of his excellent take away meals (see the website for the latest menu)

Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531)

Coronavirus-COVID-19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website WsM Covid-19 webpage

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

Thursday 16th April

As widely expected, the government announced that the ‘lockdown’ will continue for at least another three weeks. This means that the rules on social distancing and self-isolation will remain in force and the restrictions on movement will remain the same. The full transcript of the Foreign Secretary’s speech is here If anyone needs to remind themselves of the detailed advice they can find all our summaries and links on the Westbury parish council website

We are fortunate in Westbury to have so many willing volunteers prepared to help their neighbours, and hope that no one will feel they are being a burden on the community by asking for assistance however trivial it may seem; sometimes a tiny thing can make a huge difference .

As the next few weeks progress, we are aware that self-isolation for whatever reason will become more difficult and we would stress that villagers should not hold back from asking for any help. We would also ask that you let us know of anyone who might be feeling lonely or under any stress at this time.

In our last update we alerted people to a new single helpline providing access to all the services provided by the County and District Councils in Somerset. We are attaching a poster describing the service. One Number Poster

Finally many people welcomed sight of the letter from Rev. Paula a couple of days ago and a number passed back questions about life in London at this difficult time. Her answers are attached. replies from Paula

Best wishes

Mick Fletcher

01749 870 531

Mobile 07958 217829 (out of the office only)