Unfortunately, the car park at Kielder Castle was used as the location for an overnight party over the Bank holiday weekend. Those attending burnt timber items from the car park and left behind a tent and large amounts of rubbish. As a result, rangers will be forced to work longer hours and Elf Kirk and Skyspace car parks will remain closed until further notice. Overnight camping (including in motorhomes) is currently forbidden and barbeques/fires are not allowed. If you spot a campfire or see an illegal camp, please call 999 as soon as you have phone reception – it seems that, sadly, this is the only way to protect the area.
All visitors, whether they are simply wanting to enjoy a walk around the parks, or enjoy a day’s fishing, should be allowed to do so without having to contend with those who do not wish to observe the rules and while Kielder Water and Forest Park does not have the powers to enforce social distancing, it does maintain the right to review the opening of its sites for the wider public good. It would also urge anybody who does choose to visit to be respectful of the local communities, to stay away from village and residential centres, and strictly observe Government guidelines on social distancing wherever they are.
In spite of Dominic Cummings’ recent jaunts around the country, the advice for the rest of us remains in place: as much as possible, please continue to stay local and exercise close to home.
The 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War has been commemorated by a new exhibition at the Heritage Centre, Bellingham. Once the Centre re-opens, you will be able to visit physically, but for the moment, you can explore virtually via their new website (there is a link on the first page). https://bellingham-heritage.org.uk/
You can hardly have failed to notice the sheer number of visitors to the area over the last few days – and in fact, visitor numbers at beauty spots across the entire region have been unprecedented, with many car parks being full to overflowing. Of course, this has given rise to major concerns about the increased risk to local residents – many of whom have been shielding successfully for the last seven weeks. The vast majority of visitors have been courteous and have been carefully observing social distancing advice, but please do carry on with your safety and hygiene routines.
A massive thank you must go to Helen Brown and the rest of the unnamed but vital team who have, with their drive and enthusiasm, made the Tarset News such a popular part of Tarset life over the years. In fact, its influence spreads far beyond Tarset, with subscribers all over the country.
As most of you already know, for its Summer edition, due out in early June, the Tarset News will be getting both a new Editor (Chris Reekie), a new look and a new name: the Tarset Diary.
For the first edition, Chris is looking for your wedding photographs. For some, it has *ahem* been quite some time since their wedding days, so the idea is for readers to see if they can guess who the people in the photographs are. If you can’t send photos electronically, just let Chris know and he will hopefully be able to help.
Of course, there’s a somewhat inconvenient ‘bug’ doing the rounds which may present difficulties for printing and distribution of this new-look magazine, but Chris will make sure that there is an online version and will try to have a few hard copies printed for those who don’t have access to the internet (if you are one of those people, please let Chris know asap so he can add you to the list).
Please send your contributions (news, local interest, fun stuff, tales of lockdown madness, VE day celebrations, etc.) plus any photographs you would like to share to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01434 240947. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 17th May, so you still have a few days!
Here’s hoping the Tarset Diary will continue to be the hugely successful and well-subscribed newsletter it has become over the years under Helen’s leadership, and we wish Chris all the best for his new role!
On Sunday 27th April, on Radio 4, there was a genuinely lovely programme ( ‘The Dam’) about the damming and flooding of Kielder, and the role of music, dance and song within the valley. Presented by Alistair Almond, it featured, amongst others, Mike and Kathryn Tickell with playing by Georgia Russell. If you didn't catch it, it is repeated next Saturday on BBCR4 11.30 pm, or you can listen to it on the BBC Sounds website ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hmxn ).
Swallows and Martins are back in the area now, as are many of our other avian Summer visitors. Bullfinches are gorging themselves on the buds of my fruit trees, Long-tailed Tits have also visited the garden and have been loudly squabbling (as is their wont) and I have had have heard reports from elsewhere of Redstart, Chiffchaff and Stonechat, amongst others. Adders are active now that the daytime temperatures have risen, so please be careful on walks with your dogs - especially if you are going ‘off-piste’ so to speak. Ticks and tick nymphs are also plentiful at the moment, so make sure your pets’ tick medicines are up to date and check your animals after they have been outside (with your ‘tick twisters’ at the ready). If anybody in the area has any unusual or new nature sightings – or just things for people to be aware of, please do feel free to let me know.
A quick reminder that a lot of local business and social activity is being carried out online with church services, concerts, choirs being available online and even some Parish Councils managing to hold their meetings online. Local shops and businesses, as well as the church, continue to provide exceptional levels of support. Contact numbers for all those services can be found on the Tarset website (https://www.tarset.co.uk/).
Archive: Upper North Tyne Village Notes - 23rd April 2020
It looks like ‘social distancing’ is likely to continue for a few weeks yet but thankfully, people are extremely resourceful in providing amusement and entertainment for their fellow prisoners. The brains in Tarset have come up with the excellent idea of challenging all who are on the Tarset Mailing list with a series of short quizzes. Initially, these were daily, but they will be weekly from now on, so look out for the next one popping into your inbox on Friday at 5pm. If you haven’t already subscribed to the Tarset Mailing list, you can do so on the Tarset website (https://www.tarset.co.uk/) – just scroll down to the bottom of the home page and click on the link to join.
The weather continues to be excellent, although gardeners may be bemoaning the frosts which are happening overnight at the moment. The very weather, combined with some somewhat contradictory and unclear advice issued by the police, however, means that there are once again quite a few visitors to the area, so it’s worth being aware that you may need to take extra care to wash your hands frequently and be careful to avoid contact with ‘vulnerable’ friends and neighbours. The police advice re. travel appears to be at odds with the Government's directive - which basically repeats the 'stay at home' and 'only travel when it is essential' mantra.
A huge thank you to all who attended Margaret Bird’s needle felting course days in mid-March, and to Margaret herself for organising them. She has let me know that the workshops raised a healthy £80 for the Great North Air Ambulance, which has been sent off to them.
A call to all young folk musicians: EDFSS (English Folk Dance and Song Society) will be running its Youth Folk Sampler Days online in May 2020. The physical events have obviously been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they are encouraging young musicians to take part from home. The National Youth Folk Ensemble team will deliver virtual workshops introducing young musicians to folk tunes, techniques and creative ideas, with a planned mix of pre-recorded tutorials and interactive activities using readily available online technology. Please register for your preferred Sampler Day date via their website: https://www.efdss.org/learning/young-people/national-youth-folk-ensemble/sampler-days . Each date is still tied to the venue where it would have taken place – but wherever you live in England, you can now apply for any of the eight dates. Young musicians can still audition for the 2020-21 National Youth Folk Ensemble by registering for a Youth Folk Sampler Day and it is hoped that the final auditions will still happen in person at Cecil Sharp House on 11 and 12 July 2020. If this is not possible, an alternative will be arranged. Further information will be added to the website as soon as it is available.
Finally, and right on time, the Swallows are starting to reappear. The earliest recorded in the North Tyne Valley were in Falstone and Tarset on the 10th April, but they have started arriving in numbers now with new arrivals at Charlton on the 13th. I am still waiting for 'our' Swallows to arrive (they are normally here around the 14th or 15th), so it's eyes to the skies at the moment as we wait for signs that Summer is on its way!
Welcome to the new Upper North Tyne Village Notes page. Following various recent changes to The Hexham Courant, this page has been made available to publish the North Tyne Village Notes in full each week, so you can see further detail about what's happening in the area.
Of course, we are now in the full grip of the 'Stay at Home' policy due to the government's attempts to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so there isn't much in the way of Arts and Entertainment currently physically happening locally (with Village Halls, Schools, Pubs, Cafes, Guest Accommodation and Churches all officially closed). However, there is plenty going on online both locally and nationally. I watched an episode of 'Have I Got News For You' a couple of nights ago where presenter and contestants were all at home in their respective living rooms broadcasting live via Zoom. The marvels of modern technology!
One of the amazing things about the unprecedented situation we currently find ourselves in is the ingenuity and sheer generosity of people in our local community. Shops and businesses are adapting and staying open, making deliveries and selling things they would never normally sell in order to help make sure they and their communities are able to carry on with as little disruption as possible; new shops are opening to serve their local communities; musicians, artists, choir leaders and teachers are making the most of technology and are performing from their living rooms and balconies and using online meeting programmes (such as Zoom) to hold online training sessions. Everything from Church services to meditation sessions is on offer online both locally(!) and nationally, and social media is finally coming into its own, allowing people to connect with friends and family.
Keep watching your Tarset Mailings for further information and if you haven't already joined the mailing list, instructions on how to join can be found here.
I hope you will find this additional information useful. It also means you can let me have more information than you normally would, as well as even (*gasp*) some pictures if you would like those included.
If you have anything you would like me to include in the Upper North Tyne Village Notes, just give me a call on 240767 or email me the relevant information on email@example.com
In the meantime: Here are a few useful numbers for our area. Thank you to Caroline Waitt, who compiled the initial list:
Gary Cant: Milkman. Tel 604674 or 07485 091877. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Gary will deliver milk in glass bottles, juices, yogurts and free-range eggs.
Bellingham Pharmacy: Caroline Waitt has arranged with Bellingham Pharmacy for herself and a team of volunteers to collect and deliver prescriptions and toiletries within the Tarset and Greystead Parish while they are self-isolating. Phone Caroline on Tel 240210 to discuss.
Boe Rigg: Takeaways, delivery only, between 12-8pm every day. Tel 240663. Menus can be found at www.theboerigg.co.uk
Phillip Troop: Tarset Fresh Produce on Facebook or by Tel 240407 is doing home delivery of veg, fruit, bread and milk etc.
Falstone Tea Rooms: on Facebook - Tel 240459. They have set up as a local shop and will deliver around the Falstone area.
Jennings Fruit and Veg: on Facebook - Tel 07497 583309. They will deliver across the area.
Brett Pet Shop: on Facebook. As well as pet food, they will supply (and deliver locally) basic foods and supplies.