A celebration of the transfer of land from Strongvox to Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group (YACWAG) was held on Friday 18thMarch on site at Cobthorn Way, Congresbury, with the Chair of North Somerset Council, Cllr Richard Westwood, unveiling the site interpretation board with Bill Richardson, Planning Manager for Strongvox , and Tony Moulin, Chair of YACWAG.
YACWAG’s new Cobthorn Reserve in Congresbury is being created especially for bats. This ground-breaking new project has been facilitated by North Somerset Council working with Natural England through the planning process, and has resulted in the developer Strongvox giving a field of about two and a half hectares to YACWAG to manage for bats forever.
When 38 new houses were built in Furnace Way, a larger area of farmland was lost as a feeding ground for bats. In order for Strongvox to gain planning permission on this sensitive site, North Somerset Council ruled that the developer had to compensate for lost habitat by creating a nature reserve on part of the site to give the bats continuity. There are only about 12,000 Greater Horseshoe Bats in the UK – which is their stronghold – and amazingly 500-1000 of them are living close to Congresbury. Their preferred landscape is one with grazing animals and tall, wide hedges with scattered flowering trees that attract insects. The Cobthorn Reserve will provide this kind of habitat. Grazing by livestock is especially important in this project because young bats need a particular kind of dung beetle to feed on. YACWAG members have been busy thickening up the hedges with additional hedge plants and their graziers, Jo and Andy Milward, will be providing the animals to produce the essential dung.
Councillor Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Business, Economy and Employment at North Somerset Council, said: “I’m pleased to see the Cobthorn Reserve in Congresbury come to fruition. It’s a fantastic example of how planning can be used to have a positive impact on wildlife. This type of protection is important to North Somerset Council and is carefully considered throughout our Local Plan.”
YACWAG Chair, Tony Moulin, said, “We are very excited and immensely proud of the achievement for wildlife at Cobthorn. Local people can be assured that the nature reserve will never be built on, that they will always have ‘nature as their neighbour’. We hope that more such schemes will follow this excellent example of planning gain for biodiversity. It is exciting that we will be able to give these rare bats a handy ‘eat-in restaurant’ on our new reserve with plenty of dung beetles on the menu.”
Local people will be able to find out more about the reserve at an Open Day to be held on Saturday 14th May.
For more information please contact Tony Moulin 01934 834282 or 0744 384 35
A new delicatessen opens in Broad Street on Saturday.
Ziggy’s Deli & Kitchen is owned by John and Fiona Anderson who have lived in Congresbury for 26 years and say that they both felt the time was right for a career change. John is currently a primary school teacher and Fiona has worked for the NHS for the past 32 years as a midwife and nurse.
Prior to his teaching career John trained and worked as a chef and restaurant manager in London and Bath. “We both enjoy food and drink so thought it was time to go back to his roots.” said Fiona. “We spend a lot of time choosing all the foods and drinks you will find on our shelves and specialise in high quality local produce, aiming to support small local businesses.”
Ziggy’s will be opening on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 10.00 – 18.00 serving take out homemade sweet and savoury treats and hot drinks.
Later in the year Ziggy’s plans to provide sit-in small plate or tapas style dishes in the evening.
Stockists will include Somerset Charcuterie, Bristol Cheesemonger. Marks Bread, More Wine Co Ganley and Naish Cider, Moor Beer, Arbor Ales and Wiper and True Ales,Naked Wines and The Community Farm.
Congars Cafe in Broad Street is looking to offer more to the community as trading starts to return to normal after the past two years.
The cafe can be used as a meeting place in the evenings for groups, especially art or books groups. It could also be used as a lunch venue for weekly or monthly group meetings, if that is of interest.
A third possible use would be to provide catering of cold finger buffets for events such as wakes or christening parties. This can either take place at the cafe outside opening times or at other local venues.
“We are very open to any ideas people have about services we can offer to help not only residents of Congresbury but surrounding areas,” says Sonya Stocker who is happy to discuss plans with anyone interested. Sonya can be contacted at the cafe or email email@example.com
A new year and for you it could be a new start in an exciting new job. Congresbury Parish Council is seeking a clerk who will be at the centre of a great community, implementing the council’s goals and projects to help our village prosper. Find out more from the parish council website at:
Re:Store Congresbury needs a new team member… we’re hiring a Retail Associate. You’ll be warm and friendly, enthusiastic and inquisitive, and reliable and loyal. Working three Saturdays every month, your new role sees you taking care of Re:Store customers by ensuring that their journey to sustainability is as easy, stress-free and fun as possible.
Taking a practical approach to plastic-free, your interest in living in an eco-friendlier way will shine through. You don’t shy away from responsibility as you open and close the shop, serve customers, restock shelves and keep the store spick and span.
Vine Counselling is looking for a new fundraising trustee to join their team. This is a key role and if you think you have the skills, knowledge or experience, Vine Counselling would love to hear from you. For a role description and more information, please contact director Liz Linnitt by DM or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Congresbury Singers are BACK with a new musical director Graham Coatman. The Show Must Go On with popular music is on Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm in St Andrews Church. Tickets are £10 including refreshments and are available from the Post Office in The Precinct or on the door. Booking is advisable.
The volunteer led community café is open a couple of mornings a week and alternative Saturdays. It provides freshly brewed hot drinks and homemade cakes. The surplus profits go back into the community to support village groups and activities.
Congresbury Community café Ltd is a charitable community benefit society which runs Congresbury Community café. The café has been open for two-and-a-half years and operates in rooms and a courtyard which are kindly donated free of charge by Debbie Fortune estate agents’ Congresbury office.
Run entirely by volunteers it was initially set up to raise funds for a new village hall. When that project closed down, the project team in liaison with Debbie Fortune Estate Agents agreed to retain the popular café. The surplus profits are now used to support the community, by helping fund village organisations and activities. Details are available on the café website www.congresburycoffee.org .
The café will also run sessions to support organisations such as Macmillan Cancer support, The Air Ambulance and local hospices. The café is open on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 till 1pm and alternate Saturdays from 10 till 3pm (next opening Saturday 11th). It also runs a Glut Market where donated surplus vegetables and plants are available for a donation to the café.
The St Andrew’s school PTA are the first group to receive funding from café sessions. Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Zoe Gartland, on behalf of the school and PTA said: “Thank you so much to Congresbury community café who have kindly donated £423 towards our new playground equipment.
“During lockdown, the children of St Andrew’s were tasked with a challenge to design a new Key Stage Two play area. The school council worked closely with Pentagon Play to ensure the children’s ideas were incorporated into the final build. In the last weeks of term, the children were able to see their designs become reality with our wonderful new equipment.
“The school were able to fund the vast majority of the scheme but needed to raise a final £1500. With the PTA’s help and generous donations from local businesses, we are almost there.”
Ian Sheppard for the café said: “It was disappointing when the village hall project closed down in October last year but the café allows us to fulfil our vision of putting money back into the community. But it is not all about the money, the café is a community facility where people can meet up in a safe environment as well as enjoying freshly brewed hot drinks and delicious homemade cakes.
“We would not able to do this without the generosity and continued support of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in allowing us use of the rooms and courtyard. “
Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group are creating a new reserve in Congresbury. ‘Cobthorn Reserve’ is at the end of Cobthorn Way, bordering the new Furnace Way housing development.
Planning permission for Furnace Way was granted by North Somerset Council (NSC) with a proviso that an area of the procured land was set aside for the benefit of Greater Horseshoe Bats – a protected species that use this land for foraging. The area is only small part of the original habitat available to the bats in this location – much has been lost to the housing and its associated amenity area.
The original developers, Sunley, did not want to undertake the maintenance of this mitigation area which would involve planned grazing and careful management. NSC suggested they contact YACWAG to see if they would be interested in taking over the land in perpetuity for the benefit of bats. Following discussions between Sunley, NSC and YACWAG an outline agreement was reached. Sunley subsequently passed the development over to Strongvox, who continued with the agreement and YACWAG are hoping that the legal transfer of the land will happen later this summer.
With the support and help of Strongvox, the reserve is being adapted ahead of the legal transfer. Separate sections have been fenced off to allow for flexible grazing by cattle and sheep and new hedgerows have been planted. Further hedgerow and larger tree planting is planned, which will help transform the reserve. Information lecterns will be installed within the next couple of weeks and it is hoped Dexter cows will soon be grazing there.
For more information about the bats, a plan of the site location and how to contact YACWAG if you would like to help with the project, clickhere.
In liaison with Debbie Fortune estate agents, who generously donate the use of their premises and facilities for Congresbury’s Community Café, surplus profits from the café, will go back into the community to be used to support village organisations and village activities. More details and how to apply can be found on the café website Supporting the community (congresburycoffee.org)
For the next two weeks the surplus profits from the café sessions will go to help the school PTA to fund new playground equipment at St. Andrews school.
The cafe at Bridge House in Broad Street is open on alternate Saturdays, from Saturday 17 July; the opening times for Saturdays only will be 10 till 3pm. The café is also open on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 till 1pm.
Welcome to Re:Store Congresbury! Based in Congars Cafe, we’re open Thursday, Friday (08:40-16:00) and Saturday (09:00-16:00) and are stocked to the rafters with everything for your sustainable shopping needs. We have a wide range of refill foods across cereals, pasta, rices, pulses, flours, sugars, herbs, spices, sweet treats, oils, teas and much more. Plus eco-friendly and refillable household cleaning products and lots of plastic-free toiletries, handmade gifts, locally made skincare and lots more!
You can bring your own containers or we supply in paper bags. And the best bit is you can buy as little or as much as you need You can shop in-store or online at www.restorecongresbury.co.uk
Congresbury Youth Partnership are gearing up for a post-lockdown summer and looking forward to welcoming old and new members aged 8 – 14 back to our base at Congresbury Youth Club next to the ball court and the river, writes Alex Ballard.
We have a pool table, table tennis table, games consoles, Raspberry Pi’s and computers, and access to the adjacent ball court for games and the mobile skateboard ramps and jumps.
We have a couple of part-time youth workers, but the majority of our activities are supported by adult volunteers. Covid has rather knocked the stuffing out of many of our 70+ year-old longstanding volunteers, who don’t feel confident to come back, at least for the moment.
Some of us have been doing it for close on 18 years, and maybe don’t feel it’s our job any more anyway . I would hate to see things close down, but we’ve reached a point where some younger ones do have to step up. Are you reassessing your work opportunities and patterns post Covid, and thinking you could find time for us?
There are loads of fun things for you to do and share with young people including after school sessions, a Code Club, plus weekend and school holiday activities. Contact Alex on 07894338995 for more information and to let me know how you could help us.
As many of you may know our nearest sports centre at Churchill Academy has closed and is not set to reopen. A group called Mendip Villages Fitness has been formed to try to look at options for the Centre and is in discussions with North Somerset council to try to find a way forward. As part of our plans for opening a revitalised and much-needed sports facility on the site, we are sending out a survey to gauge opinions on the closure and asking local communities what they would like to see provided if and when the sports centre reopens.
Situated at the rear of Debbie Fortune estate agent in Bridge House, Broad Street, and generously donated by Debbie, the cafe is attractively furnished and is totally manned by volunteers. Offering a variety of speciality teas, coffees, and other drinks, together with a choice of delicious homemade cakes, baked by villagers.
The cafe is now open on Wednesdays and Fridays 9 – 1pm and alternate Saturdays 9.30-1pm. Approached through the high double wooden gates on Broad Street, there is a charming enclosed courtyard, with 4 tables in the gazebo and 4 not under cover. Dogs are not allowed in the café but may be left in the courtyard where water and tying up facilities are available.
Community Connect is a free Council funded service in North Somerset for people over 50 offering information. It offers advice and support to help people live independently at home, improving well being and addressing social isolation and loneliness. The service is provided by the local village agent.
The Village Agent can help with a wide range of issues including accessing care support, claiming benefits, providing safety equipment in the home, support for carers, transport issues, befriending and issues of social isolation.
This free and confidential service can be accessed by contacting Congresbury’s Village Agent, Maxine Gilman, on 0796 734 4766 or by email on email@example.com.
The Parish Council has advised us this letter has been circulated widely in Congresbury. It is linked to an app. Concerns have been raised regarding the security of products and services sourced via this app. Users submit their real names and addresses which can be accessed by other users including commercial enterprises. Please read, research and make your own judgement. Stay safe on line.
Two comments were made about this on Facebook. Dave Robins There is nothing wrong with this social Media App… it has 285 people in congresbury and 444 people in Yatton and 80 in Kingston Seymour alone using it daily as we speak…
it has been live in this area since 2018 and world wide since 2008…. Facebook and Apple have tried to buy it but were refused…. the person who has posted this has just followed the misinformed local rumour mill like Chinese whispers…the letter may or may not be a scam as described but the App is international…. maybe Google the App and have a look on wikipedia….or the recent BBC article which described the App as the Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg wished he had made.
Love Congresbury As was reported yesterday, the app is genuine and can be used well, but it uses people’s names/addresses without express permissions and can be a site for fraudsters-there are safer ways to help your neighbours during this time.