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LEISURE

EARLY SPRING 2020 FREE

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THE SECRET LIFE OF FROGS

Wildlife conservation

SING FOR YOUR HEALTH

Music for wellbeing

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15%

off spa day packages with code LVSPA15 Excl. memberships Ends 30/04/20

Where Tranquillity Begins... The Spa at Hatherley Manor is inspired by our Cotswold heritage and is dedicated to natural well-being and creating a sense of peace and tranquillity. The Spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind, whether that’s in the swimming pool, vitality pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium, thermal suite, relaxation and treatment rooms or in the lounge and café area with champagne bar.

SPA DAYS | SPA BREAKS | MEMBERSHIPS HATHERLEYMANOR.COM 2

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with flowers or gifts delivered for you Beautifu ul hand-tiied bouquets • Pottte ed bulbs, orchiidss & ho ousepla antss Cha ampa agne & Ch hasse Distilllery y • Cho oco olates, ca andles & balloons Order in store, online or by phone Same day delivery on orders placed by 2pm Wholesale flowerrs to order

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Op pen Mond day to Saturrday 9-5 5.30 0. Closed Easter Sunday. Calll 01684 290288 | Visit ww ww..flowershedtewkesbury.co.uk Tewkesbury Garden Centre, Worce ester Rd, Myth he, Tewkesbury GL20 6EB. Ample free parking. Free e delivvery withiin a 4 mile radius


EDITOR’S LETTER The arrival of each new season brings fresh possibilities but of them all, spring has to be the one that most of us cherish. Finally, winter is over and ahead is warmth and light. You only have to spend five minutes on social media to see how deep the collective yearning is for this. Signs of spring might show themselves from as early as January when the first snowdrops make their way through the ground, but it can be a full eight weeks or more – weeks filled with darkness, wind and even snow – until we can be certain that the season has turned. The moment it does - when the days grow properly light again, the air becomes mild and the trees unfurl into a froth of fresh lime green – it’s as if all of us can, at last, breathe out. It’s wonderful to take yourself out of hibernation, get outdoors and enjoy the many fantastic events that take place during spring across our region. This issue we bring you several dates for your diary and ideas for upgrades to your home and garden, so it’s easy to find your fresh. Thanks to our network of local sponsors who have committed to support us during 2020. We always welcome contributions on local life and all aspects of country living so please get in touch if there’s something you’d like to see included. For daily updates please visit our website or join our growing Twitter community @LisaLambon Warm wishes,

Lisa Lambon Publishing Editor

01684 773 135 07776 340 736 lisa@lifeinthevillage.co.uk www.lifeinthevillage.co.uk @lisalambon 4

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EARLY SPRING 2020

Contents Enter our new competition online COMPETITIONS & OFFERS

LOCAL LIFE

LOCAL LIFE

21 Win one of ten pairs of tickets to RHS Malvern Spring Festival

10 Beneath the surface Expert guidance from WWT

34 Let in the light Bifold and sliding doors

64 Money saving vouchers

19 Spring inspiration RHS Malvern Spring Festival

36 Come for the day Spend time at St Richard’s

23 Personal by design Reimagining your hair

41 Release the titans Veteran oaks at Lower Woods

25 Rebrand yourself Personal style advice

45 New regulations for septic tanks Advice from Thomson Bancks

26 Blossom in the Vale Explore your countryside

47 Sing for your health Get a taste of Rock Choir

29 Captured with love Portrait artist Penny Sinclair

50 Turning the Vale green Asparamadness in the Vale

30 Water for wildlife How to create a natural pool

51 Shake up Mother’s Day Four new cocktail recipes from Brockmans Gin

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REBRAND YOURSELF

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33 Weight management Get a free check for your pet

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54 Local policing With CSupt Tom Harding 56 Spring fresh Decorating with tulips 58 My creative life With artist Jane Ware 59 Baking with Meg Rivers Fruit and almond Dundee Cake

THE SECRET S LIFE OF FROG SING FOR TH YOUR HEAL

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THE SECRET S LIFE OF FROG SING FOR TH YOUR HEAL

53 In my diary With Jane Scott Moncrieff

60 Your perfect garden awaits Great days out with NGS Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:52


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EARLY SPRING 2020

With a total of 13,000 copies delivered door-to-door five times a year, our family of four independent lifestyle magazines will help your business, charity or community group meet its goals 3,200 copies of the Avon & Severn edition will be delivered door-to-door from 21st April to: Baughton

Holly Green

Besford & Besford Bridge

Naunton

Bushley

Ripple

Bushley Green

Ryall

Church End

Shuthonger

Deord

Strensham

Drakes Broughton

Twyning

Hanley Swan

Uckinghall

Hill End

Wadborough

Book now to be included in our Late Spring issue Please contact Lisa Lambon on 01684 773 135 or 07776 340 736 www.lifeinthevillage.co.uk 8

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10 -13 MARCH 2020 CHE LTENH AM

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WILDLIFE

Beneath the surface Discover the secret life of frogs and toads and help them thrive with expert guidance from naturalist Wendy Carter of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Common frog. Credit Mark Hamblin 2020VISION 10

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WILDLIFE

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WILDLIFE At about this time each year I phone a few friends. We don our high-vis vests, put on our head torches, grab a bucket and head outside, often in the rain. Admittedly, we get some funny looks from passers-by but in the last two years the effect of our work is that we’ve rescued more than 1100 toads, frogs and newts from south Worcestershire roads. Our activity is linked to a national project called Toads on Roads, which was set up by the amphibian and reptile charity, Froglife, over 20 years ago. As with many species, amphibian numbers are in decline. Frogs, newts and toads face a number of threats including loss of habitat, pollution and climate change. The aim of Toads on Roads is to help them flourish for future generations. It’s a great example of a practical conservation project that takes individuals on a wildlife journey whilst also delivering amazing results for animals. Toad crossings Mr Toad, the reckless car-loving village squire of Kenneth Grahame’s

classic novel, The Wind in the Willows, gives us an amusing insight into the life of toads. Like him, they’re rather discerning. Wealthy Mr Toad occupied his family seat at Toad Hall, rather than living on Ratty’s riverbank, because toads are very particular about their habitat, and not just its location. Whereas frogs will mate and lay their eggs in virtually any shallow, ephemeral puddle, toads require well-established bodies of water that are large, deep and cold. Toads have an incredibly strong homing instinct and it’s estimated that 80-85% of them return to the pond they were born in to mate. Like frogs and newts, they spend a lot of time out of water and will hibernate up to a mile away from their ancestral breeding pond. They while away the winter months on dry land in a deep slumber, tucked into a hidey hole or compost heap, away from prying eyes and hungry mouths, only coming out to forage occasionally in mild weather. One might have found a crevice in that pile of rubble at the bottom of your garden, another may be snuggled into a rotting tree stump or hidden in a hollow under a tump of grass. In late February and early March,

Common toad. Credit Jon Hawkins SurreyHillsPhotography 12

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when the days start to lengthen and temperatures begin to rise, pond water begins to give off a pheromone, a chemical scent that wafts across the countryside with the effect of waking the toads and ‘calling’ them to breed. The migration to the breeding pond begins just after dusk. Toads crawl there, rather than hop, and for this reason alone, the journey represents an incredible achievement. They always follow the route of their ancestors, and are willing to tackle any obstacles in their path, but it’s not easy for them. In the last few decades more than a million garden ponds have been lost from the UK. We’ve built more houses and seen a huge increase in the traffic on our roads so the toads’ ancient migratory routes have been disrupted and become hazardous. Nevertheless, each spring many toads will head off in the same direction and end up, en masse, at a particular spot on a highway near their pond, where they try to cross the road. Inevitably, many are squashed by cars - it’s estimated that around 400,000 (about 20 tonnes) are killed each year on night-time British roads. This is where Toads on Roads comes in. The aim of the project is

Toad crossing sign. Credit Linda Pitkin 2020VISION

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WILDLIFE

Toadlet. Credit Pete Walkden

to register sites as Toad Crossings and help coordinate local Toad Patrols – teams of volunteers who can apply to their local council for road warning signs to be installed and actively help our amorous amphibians to safely reach the pond side of the road. As we help them cross, we count how many toads, frogs and newts make it (and how many don’t) then submit our records to Froglife’s national database. We look after five such crossings in the Pershore area and know of numerous crossings nationwide. Mr Toad Squat with dull brown, relatively dry and warty skin, toads have a humble, almost prehistoric appearance. Behind their eyes they have glands that exude a poisonous toxin to deter would-be predators. Since they have no teeth they gulp and swallow their food of slugs, worms, spiders and insects, whole, through powerful jaws. They’re

Common toads mating underwater. Credit Linda Pitkin 2020VISION

Toad underwater with spawn. Credit Linda Pitkin 2020VISION

Common toad crawling. Credit John Bridges

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WILDLIFE

Common frog. Credit Guy Edwardes 2020VISION

Common frog. Credit Dale Sutton

Common frog - male croaking. Credit Richard Burkmar 14

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often considered to be lacking in charm but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, as always with nature, there is much to admire in these copper-eyed creatures. Their bulbous metallic eyes are magnificent. In years past it was thought that a precious gem buried deep in their skulls gave them their golden colour – of course, it’s not true but many poor specimens lost their lives as a result of people trying to prove that it was. Like migration, the act of mating can be fraught with danger for toads, especially if there is a shortage of females. Once they manage to complete the journey to the breeding pond, the males establish a chorus of romantic squeaking to attract the females who are much larger and swollen with eggs. If they locate one in the water, they will rush towards her all at once, fuelled by testosterone, and clamber on her back to mate. What often results is a frenzied revolving ‘toadball’ of up to twelve males who sometimes unwittingly smother the female, causing her to sink and drown. Frog Prince Distinguishing a frog from a toad is easy once you know what to look for. The best way to spot frogs is to go out one evening in March or April when they are busy breeding; being nocturnal they are much more active at night. Frogs are able to breathe through their skin as well as their lungs, which means that many spend the winter hibernating, buried underneath decaying leaves and mud, at the bottom of ponds. Frogs are much more dependent on damp conditions than toads so are more likely to be found near water all year round, either in a pond or in the long grass or marshy areas on its margins. Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:52


WILDLIFE Frogs are smoother, shinier, brighter and more varied in tone than toads. Their vivid colouring moves through shades of grey, green and yellow and they can alter the shade of it, depending on their surroundings. Their skin is often mottled, with dark barring on the legs and a tell-tale stripe across the eyes and ear-drum. They have powerful legs that enable them to hop, whereas toads crawl. Like toads, male frogs climb onto the backs of the bigger females and embrace them in order to mate. The ‘nuptial pads’ on the feet of their forelegs help them maintain a strong grip, something I can testify to; if a frog takes a liking to one of us when we’re patrolling a crossing, it can be remarkably hard to prise their powerful grip from our finger. The spawn of frogs and toads also differs. Male frogs fertilise female eggs as they are laid on the surface of shallow water and most people will be familiar with the clear tapioca-like clusters that have small black eggs at their centre. Toads lay larger jet black eggs in bead-like strings that are often found in deeper water, wrapped around submerged vegetation. Once hatched, toad tadpoles remain black while frog tadpoles are speckled greenish grey. Tadpoles take about sixteen weeks to make the miraculous transformation into adults so if you find a pond rich with spawn locally this spring, try returning to the same spot in summer; with the help of Toads on Roads, and a little luck, you might just find a precious new generation of froglets or toadlets.

because they’re a natural source of pest control, gobbling up less popular visitors such as slugs, snails and mice. Advice on creating nooks and crannies for all wildlife can be found on our website www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/ wildlife-gardening • Install a pond. Even a small water body in your garden will help wildlife. For ideas and inspiration, you can download a free Ponds for All booklet from our website http://bit.ly/Ponds4All • Don’t relocate spawn. Don’t worry if you have a lot of spawn in your pond, you won’t be over-run. Females can lay 2-4,000 eggs but just a handful of them will survive – they’re food for dragonfly larvae, birds, hedgehogs and fish if you have them. Relocating also poses the danger of moving disease or invasive plants between water bodies. • Help toads on roads. If you’ve noticed lots of toads crossing a road near you, visit www.froglife.org/ what-we-do/toads-on-roads/ you’ll be able to find out if there’s already a patrol or perhaps you could set up your own. To discover more about Worcestershire’s wildlife or get involved follow us on social media or visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk

Helping frogs and toads • Make a toad abode. Providing shelter for toads and frogs in your garden is important to conserve them but is also great for gardeners lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 15

Frogspawn Credit Ross Hoddinott 2020VISION

Common froglet. Credit Ross Hoddinott 2020VISION

Tadpole with legs. Credit Richard Burkmar 15

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WILDLIFE

What’s On ■

Thur 5 Mar – Britain’s Wildlife – Ups, Dow wns, Vanished Species and New Arrivals with Brrett Westwood and Stephen Moss. £15+booking fee, Malvern. Booking essential.

Wed 8 Apr – Feathery Friends Easter Farm Trail. 11am-3pm £2. Lower Smite Faarm Wed 15 Apr – Wildlife of Orchaards. 7.30pm £2.50, Worcester Sat 18 Apr – Wonderful Wetlannds. 10am free, Upton Warren Wetlaand Reserve

Sat 14 Mar – Spotlight on Bees. 12-2pm. £6. Lower Smite Farm. Booking essential.

Wed 18 Mar – All About Barn Owls. 7.30pm £2.50, Worcester

Thur 2 Apr – Beavers in the Forest of Dean. 7.30pm £2.50, Malvern

For furtheer details about these evvents and more visit www.worrcswildlifetrust.co.uk/ k/w /whats-on

Sun 3 May – Tiddesley Wood Open Day. 10am-55pm £3 adults £1 children, Pershore

Common Toad. Credit Jason Curtis

Get involved ■ Join more than 60 people in southeast Worcestershire who’ve pledged their patch to help wildlife ww www ww.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/ w k/pledge-a-patch / 16

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The UK K is one of the most nature-depleted countriess in the world. Help us to secure a Wilder Future for us all ww www ww.wor w rcswildlifetrust.co.uk/ k/wilder-future / ■

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WILL It’s never too late to leave a gift in your Will and support the future of hospice care in Worcestershire. To find out more, call 01905 763963 or visit

www.strichards.org.uk/gifts-in-wills

• Decorating your day with exquisite bou uquets, buttonhole es, cake and table flowers. Book you ur compllim mentary y personal consu ultatiion •

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EVENTS

LITV PROMOTION

Celebrate RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s 35th anniversary with tens of thousands of plants, a stellar guest line-up and two spectacular evenings of performance Taking place from May 7th-10th at Three Coun nties Showground, Malvern, with h headline sponsorship from boutiquee travel company Great Little Brreaks, the four-day event plays hoost to RHS Gold Medal winnin ng show gardens, specialist plant and floral exhibitors in the beautifu ul Floral Marquee and appearances from some of the UK’s top gardening and food heroes. New for 2020, the Malvern Hills will be alive with the sound of music. On Friday 8th May, the 54-piece English Symphony Orchestra led by Lesley Garrett will perform a special VE Day commemorative concert. On Saturday 9th, join Jo Whiley’s Garden Party as she plays music chosen by the show’s special guests. After last appearing in 2018, gardening national treasure Alan Titchmarsh will be back, joined by Gardeners’ World stars Carol Klein and Joe Swift, alongside RHS Malvern show ambassador Chris Beardshaw, Sarah Raven and Jonathan Moseley.

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BBC Radio 2’s resident gardening guru, Terry Walton, will also make a comeback, as well as former Blue Peter gardener, Lee Conelley - better known as the Skinny Jean Gardener. Advance tickets for day entry to the festival itself are now on sale, with prices starting at just £20 for RHS and Three Counties members, or £22 for the general public (plus 75p transaction fee). Children under 16 go free. Group tickets are also available. For further information visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk or call 0844 811 0050.

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PRIZE DRAW

Win one of ten pairs of tickets to RHS Malvern Spring Festival 7th-10th May WHERE SPRING BEGINS Set against the magnificent Malvern Hills, our spring festival is a celebration of flowers, food, crafts and family fun. Enjoy innovative show gardens created by top designers, appearances from national gardening treasures and talks from the UK’s top florists and chefs. See award-winning displays in the Floral Marquee and source specialist plants and flowers to take home. It’s a great family day out, with something for every kitchen, garden and budget. Find out more www.rhsmalvern.co.uk

HOW TO ENTER

It’s easy! Just visit www.lifeinthevillage.co.uk by midnight on Sunday 19th April 2020 and enter your details as requested.

Terms & Conditions One entry per household. UK residents only. Competition closes on 19/4/20. Winners will be notified by email by 24/4/20. Tickets are valid for Sat 9/5/20. Judges’ decision is final. Not redeemable for cash. No correspondence will be entered into.

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Bredon’s Norton Lambing Day Come and see the newborn lambs, pigs, cows and chickens Refreshments Tombola Free parking Adults £4 Children £2 Family Ticket £10 Home Farm Bredon’s Norton Tewkesbury GL20 7HA

All proceeds raised in aid of Bredon’s Norton Church

Sunday 19th April 2020 12noon to 4.30pm Pregnant women are advised not to attend

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HAIR & BEAUTY

LITV PROMOTION

Personal by design Book your complimentary hair consultation for samples, a skin test and advice

Every great hairstyle begins with a conversation suggests colour specialist Graham West

Getting to know you Our approach is all about helping you create the best version of yourself. The time we spend talking about your hair is as important as the time we spend cutting it so we begin by sitting back and listening. We want to know all the frustrations you have with your hair, as well as the things you like about it. We ask you about the looks you prefer and your lifestyle, including how much time and money you want to invest in maintenance. Finally, we assess face shape, skin tone,

Image courtesy of Oway

If you are stuck in a hair rut take a cue from the natural world and consider a fresh new look. Reimagining yourself is hard and often, clients don’t know where to start. Following trends can be fun but hair has to be wearable too. Evolving a new style has to start with you as an individual, especially as you get older and have a clearer sense of who you are. It’s one of the reasons we offer all new clients a complimentary consultation - fifteen minutes to discuss your hair, with take home samples, a skin test and advice. It gives you the chance to visit the salon, meet us, and ensure you are comfortable before we touch your hair.

eye colour and the texture of your hair, make suggestions, and ask for feedback. As professionals, we’re trained to know what shapes will flatter and soften your features and how colour can enhance your cut. Easy and convenient Our approach is the result of 25 years of experience, working in London and the Cotswolds. Our

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lovely Fladbury salon, located between Pershore and Evesham, offers easy access, free parking and three late nights. Having a fresh new haircut can transform how you look and feel about yourself. Call today on 01386 860361 or visit us online to book your complimentary consultation with samples, a skin test and advice. www.grahamwest.salon 23

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EARLY DAWN LANDSCAPES Wo ld yo like a new ocal point or yo r garden or a new garden layo t?        

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STYLE

Rebrand yourself Personal style advice from Kate Evans, Image Consultant and Coach Just as a business benefits from rebranding from time to time, we need to rebrand as people at various stages in our lives. All of us, but especially women, go through physical changes as we age, affecting body shape, colouring and self-esteem so it’s easy to become confused about our personal style. A rebrand can be a useful process; the chance to take stock and think about who we are, what makes us comfortable and how we want to be perceived. Having clarified these issues and made adjustments to our look, we can go back out into the world feeling confident about our identity. Rebranding a product or service usually involves giving it a new name or image, often to try and change the way that people think about it. My work as an Image Consultant and Coach, both with individuals and teams in businesses, helps clients achieve this – ensuring the way they present themselves supports their company branding so that the message they send their customers is clear. A great example of a personal rebrand is Victoria Beckham. Compare images of her younger self circa 2005 with hair extensions, highlights and fake tan to the more mature, sophisticated look she has today. Her current style both reflects and strengthens her luxury clothes brand; we understand what it offers because she conveys it so succinctly.

Similarly, your personal image will influence what people see and how they think about you. At work, most of us have a sense of how we want to be seen to achieve certain responses. So ask yourself, are you projecting the right image or is it time to change your look? Is your hair colour and style making the most of you or do you need an update? Have you got a

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positive daily routine that ensures you always look good? Do your clothes flatter your body shape or should you change your style? A personal rebrand begins with thinking about yourself then reflecting this in how you dress and, as I often see, it can bring incredible results. For more style advice join me @kateevansstyle and visit www.kate-evans.co.uk 25

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EVENTS

Explore the blossoming Worcestershire countryside this spring, suggests Angela Taylor There is nowhere better to experience fruit blossom than here in the Vale of Evesham which offers the UK’s only blossom trail. For a few weeks between mid March and mid May, our countryside bursts into life, gracing the fields with the soft pink tones of cherry and apple blossom and exquisite white blooms of plums and pears. The enchanting trail that criss-crosses the river Avon and meanders through our idyllic villages continues to attract thousands of visitors. A 50 mile AA A signposted route taking in the open countryside, towns and villages can be explored by car, coach, bike or on foot. There are amazing farm

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shops, nurserries, pubs and eateries where you caan stop along the way, many of which create products and dishes featuring local produce and the fruits from the blossom.

Blossom Bikeaway Lose yourself in the countryside as you cycle through the stunning blossom colours on Sunday 19th April. Setting off from Hampton Ferry in Evesham, the ride off ffeers a fun day out for all ages whilst also raising funds for local charities. There are three routes which offer a variety of intensity and distance; 11, 26 or 57 miles, and are ideal to enjoy with family and friends. For more information please visit ww www ww.bikeawayv w yventures.co.uk. v Spring time in the Vale coach tours These popular tours, provided by Dudley’s Coaches and Evesham

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EVENTS Photo credits: Angela Taylor & Stuart Purfield

Vale Tour Guides, return on Thursday 9th and 16th April. The tour gives you the opportunity to visit some of the best viewpoints whilst also providing historical and entertaining insights into blossom and The Vale. It’s a great value day out. Pick up points are sited at various locations throughout the county. For more information and to book your seat call 01386 792206 or visit ww www ww.dudleys-coaches.co.uk w

Image Supplied by Vale Landscape Heritage Trust

The Blossom Blossom doesn’t last long, which is why we have carefully crafted a blossom trail guide to provide you with not only the very best locations to see the Vale’s stunning blooms, but also information as to when each blossom type can be seen. A virtual guide can be found at ww www ww.valeandspa.co.uk/ w k/blossom / or order a free copy from Curtis Somers on 01386 565564. For any other queries about our spring events, please contact Angela Taylor on 01386 565373. lifeinthevillage.co.ukk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 27

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Saturday 7 March 2020, 7.30pm St Edward’s Senior School, Cirencester Road, Cheltenham E

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LIFESTYLE

LITV PROMOTION

Captured with love Artist Penny Sinclair creates portraits of pets and people with care and attention to detail How long have you been painting? Over 40 years now. I started as a child, did a foundation course in Worcester and have painted professionally all my adult life. Like most artists I’m essentially self-taught; I spend hours experimenting with pencils and brushes in my lovely garden studio, and also run workshops for small groups. It’s the best way to develop your own personal style. What’s your area of focus? I love animals and working with portraits so much of my work is with pets, mainly dogs, cats and horses. I also paint people and I’ve even painted a cow! The point is to capture a likeness that expresses something of the individual’s character. That is subjective so I’m

never satisfied until the client says they are delighted. The work is so rewarding because a portrait makes a memory that can be kept forever. It’s a wonderful gift for a special occasion. How does a commission work? The process takes about three weeks. It’s great to meet clients and they will often bring their pet to my studio to meet me and have photographs taken. However, people who live far away can just

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 29

telephone and send their own. We agree on the size, style and materials which can be acrylics on boxed canvas or watercolours, pencils or pastels mounted on paper. You can even capture your pet in cartoon style; I’ve recently been working on some quirky illustrations of dancing chickens that people love - a bit of humour is always good. To find out more please call 01386 832733, email penny@pennysinclair.co.uk or visit www.pennysinclair.co.uk

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GARDENS

Water for wildlife RHS Chelsea Gold medal winning designer, Richard Mercer, on how to create a natural pool in your garden

Constructing a pond has the power to transform your garden, bringing colour, fluidity and an essential sense of calm. Creating a mirror for the sky, with the reflections that it brings, fundamentally changes both the look and feel of any space. Since the earliest times, gardeners have understood that the way we use water can dramatically affect our mood. As one of the five elements and the essence of life, it is integral to any natural landscape. With its almost mystical ability to affect our senses, it is often the missing ingredient in a garden that doesn’t feel quite right. Used as a pond, still water quietens and soothes our senses so is

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ideal for an area of the garden where you would like to sit and relax. It’s the single most important feature to include if you want to attract wildlife. Even the smallest of ponds can bring in damsel and dragonflies, frogs, toads and newts. It could also act as a feeding ground to support birds, hedgehogs and bats – all natural pest controllers. A pond can take many forms, large or small, formal or informal, from a vast wild pool surrounded by a meadow to a tiny geometric container. Combining a pond with a cascade, pump and ultraviolet filter ensures the water constantly circulates to optimise its health, quality and clarity.

Contrasting the liquidity of water with a solid backdrop of rock, metal or timber gives a pond the sense of being grounded in its landscape. Planting it up with a carefully selected combination of marginal, floating and submerged plants will soften the look, making it pleasing to the eye and helping balance nutrient levels to ensure algae is controlled. Plants can be chosen that will maximise the benefits to wildlife, bringing birds, insects and small mammals to your garden. Having trained at Pershore College over 25 years ago and been awarded an RHS Chelsea Gold Medal, the WaterStone team has completed projects of all sizes,

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


GARDENS

LITV PROMOTION

RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner

domestic and commercial, across the Cotswolds and beyond. We focus on one project at a time and I am always on site to personally oversee

the process. To book a free initial consultation about your garden please email rm@water-stone.co.uk or call me on 07860 603598.

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 31

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Weight management Vet Brad Cooper invites you to get a free weight check for your pet Preventative health care is central to the Folly Gardens approach and one of the simplest measures we can take as owners is to carefully manage the weight of our pets. This spring we’re encouraging you, whether you’re currently registered with us or not, to pop into one of our three clinics and check the weight of your cat or dog. You don’t need an appointment with a vet or nurse. It’s a two minute job to pop your pet on the electronic scales in the waiting area and ask one of our friendly reception team to create a record for you. Weight control is critical to health so it’s one of the routine checks we offer, along with worming and vaccination services, to all pets and included within our Folly Care Club. We know that it’s easy for the pounds to creep on, especially after neutering, during winter when it’s harder to get outdoors and as your pet gets older. However, carrying excess weight raises the risk of diabetes and all the potential complications linked to that. It puts stress on joints, leading to or exacerbating arthritis. And it can mean that

Weight control is critical to pet health so check it quarterly

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Winter 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 33

your dog or cat is less playful and energetic than they could be. If you’re unclear about your pet’s weight, our qualified nurses use specialist charts to help assess it and calculate what’s ideal for each cat or dog. If any weight loss is needed, they can work with you to create an individual nutrition and exercise plan and help you monitor it. Often, simple measures such as reducing portion size, altering the number of meals, minimising snacks and increasing activity will achieve the desired change over a period of months. It’s important that any weight loss is gradual, continual and supervised as dramatic diets can have a detrimental effect on health. It feels great as an owner to know that you’re doing the best for your pet. Please bring your dog or cat in to be weighed or for any other advice call us on 01684 292244.

Tewkesbury 01684 292244 Bishop’s Cleeve, Cheltenham 01242 679880 Leckhampton, Cheltenham 01242 234392 Home Visits 01684 292244

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HOMES

Let in the light Create a seamless divide between inside and out with bifold or sliding doors suggests John Lannen Bring in the sunshine, make the most of your views and move effortlessly between indoors and out with the installation of bifold or sliding doors. Originally from Europe, these thermally eďŹƒcient glazing solutions that combine large panes of glass with innovative sliding and stacking systems, have become increasingly popular over the last decade. They are ideal for our changeable climate, offering the flexibility we all want to move easily between the house and garden.

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New options Recently, advances in engineering have opened up new design possibilities including larger sliding doors and slide and turn panels. You can even opt for pocket sliding doors where a large framed glass panel retracts into a slim cavity hidden in the wall. Using oversized panes in these simple yet sophisticated ways can transform a property, whether period or modern, maximising light, increasing the sense of space and framing panoramic views. Optimise your outlook There is nothing to match floor to ceiling glass if you enjoy views over rolling countryside. Not only will it blur the boundaries between inside and out, it enables you to seamlessly extend your living space onto your

patio. When designing an extension, a large expanse of glass can make a real statement. Quality installation Homes that enjoy stunning views are often exposed to the elements, meaning the quality of the installation and integrity of the product (including a high weather rating) is critical to its functioning and longevity. L+L recommends Sunflex, as featured on Grand Designs, one of the world’s leading producers of specialist door systems, with stylish design and practicality built-in. Sunflex has supplied a wide range of award winning and superior quality windows and doors for over 30 years, manufactured to the individual requirements of each project. Made by hand to the

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


HOMES

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highest quality, they are one of the few entirely German-designed and crafted systems on the market. They also comply with British standards. Frames are made from aluminium which is light, strong and stable, with slim profile sections to minimise the visible framework and maximise the glass area. It’s an ideal material for the most exposed locations as it’s virtually maintenance free. Bifolds and sliding doors The advanced German design and engineering, slim sightlines and contemporary square edged profiles ensures the Sunflex bifold door range looks superb and performs perfectly, year after year. With

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larger glazed panels and frames that overlap, the sightlines of sliding doors are even slimmer than that of bifold doors. With so many configurations available, from a single pane to an opening 24 metres wide with eight sliding panels, they look great all year round, ensuring a flush, seamless look with no reduction in weather rating. Unique to you Frames come in three standard colours: Slate Grey, Graphite Black or Anthracite Grey matte, and more than 200 aluminium RAL colours and finishes. Colour matched handles in line with the frame are designed to almost disappear whether the door is open or closed. You can even have a dual colour system with different colours on the inside and outside faces of the doors - perfect for matching the doors to both your internal and external decor of your property. All products have elegant profiles, low thresholds (making them less of a trip hazard) and excellent child safety and security features.

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 35

Ten year guarantee Like all L+L products, Sunflex products are installed by our team of experienced craftsmen and covered by a ten year guarantee and free annual inspection. With over three decades of experience, we have the expertise to combine modern technology with the traditional skills of a local family company, ensuring a refined installation. To book a free home survey or find out more call 01684 295038 or visit our showroom at Red Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 5BQ open Monday to Thursday 8:30-5, Friday 8:30-4 and Saturday 9-1. www.ll-installations.co.uk

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HEALTH

Spending the day with St Richard’s Hospice, with Helen Griffee, Communications Manager The Living Well Centre at St Richard’s Hospice is home to therapeutic and informative sessions, groups and activities – held in a relaxed and supportive environment. Patients can join for the full day, or attend out-patient clinics, Living Well courses, social groups and information sessions. These services are free and open to patients living

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with serious, progressive illnesses who are registered with a south Worcestershire GP. The Living Well Centre has recently been redeveloped and expanded, as part of the charity’s Build 2020 project. Build 2020 is creating a bigger hospice, with more space for a wide-range of support and activities for patients and loved

ones. The larger hospice will allow more people to be supported, alongside growing the range and depth of the charity’s caring services. A new space to live well Since the start of the year, the hospice has been able to welcome patients, their carers and loved ones to its new Living Well Centre.

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


HEALTH

The centre is now a light, spacious, modern and comfortable place. It has more room to hold a widerange of activities, from adapted tai chi, to courses in Nature Art, managing breathlessness and understanding pain. At the Living Well Centre, the hospice team aims to help people earlier on in their illness through using education, exercise, therapies, creativity and group support to give them skills and techniques to manage their symptoms. With the new space, the hospice can increase the range and depth of services on offer – helping patients to benefit from greater independence, confidence and quality of life.

emotional, social and spiritual needs. On offer during the day is medical advice, nursing services including symptom management, psychological support, physio, occupational, complementary and creative therapies, spiritual support, hair and nail care, jacuzzi bath and referral to other hospice services. A healthcare professional can refer someone to the Living Well

What is involved in attending the therapeutic day? Patients can come to the Living Well Centre one day a week, on a four to twelve week therapeutic programme designed to support physical, lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 37

Centre by contacting our referral Gateway Team on 01905 763963. One patient who attends the therapeutic day in the Living Well Centre said: “I have spent 6 weeks with the most-kindest people I have ever met. They treat me with so much care. I always thought of St Richard’s as a place where you passed away but how wrong was I?” Garden transformed It’s not only the inside of the Living Well Centre which has been transformed. A courtyard area adjacent to the centre was turned into a garden by 40 apprentices in less than a week. The Western Power Distribution Apprentice Challenge saw volunteers build raised beds and seats in the garden to create a peaceful haven. Webbs Garden Centres completed the transformation by planting a whitethemed display of plants. The new garden is a space which can be seen 37

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HEALTH

and enjoyed by patients attending the therapeutic day, alongside families, carers, volunteers and staff. Build 2020 The beautiful new development has only been possible thanks to the support of the community, donating to the hospice’s Build 2020 Appeal. Stage One of the Build 2020 project created the first part of the Living Well Centre – and work for Stage Two began in January. This part of the project will see more specialist rooms added – including an exercise studio, art studio and horticultural

therapy space – to help the hospice grow its care even further. To find out more about the project, visit www.strichards.org.uk/build2020 About St Richard’s Hospice St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,400 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire. St Richard’s is an independent

charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS. The hospice is also raising funds for the Build 2020 Appeal and is part way through developing a bigger hospice, enabling more patients and families to be cared for in Worcestershire. The total cost for expanding and redeveloping the existing building in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, is £5.3m. For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit www.strichards.org.uk

The work of the hospice St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. These include cancer and neurological, respiratory, cardiac and renal conditions. It also supports their loved ones. St Richard’s offers free care and support for people in the hospice, at home in the community, in GP surgeries, at clinics or by telephone. All its services are available to people registered with a South Worcestershire GP. The St Richard’s In-patient Unit cares for people across Worcestershire. In 2019/20 St Richard’s has a predicted expenditure of £9.4m for the organisation. The majority of income is from public donations; this includes gifts in Wills, one off or regular donations, fundraising events and personal challenges, trading, legacies and grants from trusts and business sponsorship. 38

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Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


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WILDLIFE

Veteran oak. Credit: Ross Hoddinott 2020VISION 40

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Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


WILDLIFE

Release the Titans A host of super trees is to be unleashed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 41

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WILDLIFE Deep in Lower Woods, one of the nature reserves under the care of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), some tree titans are desperate to be released. Lower Woods is one of the largest ancient woodlands in the south-west of England, covering 300 square kilometres. It’s a green oasis, home to a wide diversity of plants and animals, with over 2,500 species from bats to more than 50 species of bird. During the 1940s and 1950s, non-native trees were planted in Lower Woods, including a large swathe of Norway spruce. These spruce trees have grown to dominate a number of native oak trees in the south-east part of the woodland, significantly limiting the biodiversity there.

Many mature oak trees at Lower Woods are now not developing to their full potential due to overshading from the spruce trees. A mature oak tree can be home to over 30 bird species such as the spotted flycatcher, over 1,000 insect species including the oak hook-tip moth, and over 700 species of lichen. However, this requires the oak tree to be in an ideal environment where its boughs can develop and spread out towards the sunlight. The presence of the over-shading spruce trees is not only affecting the development of these oak titans, but the biodiversity that these supressed trees are able to support. What’s more, the nonnative spruce trees that are now dominating the canopy in this area do not support the same diversity

of species as the local oak; this is because the insects and fungi found on older oak trees have not evolved alongside the spruce trees. A GWT project, part-funded with a £12,000 grant from Ibstock Enovert Trust, has now started to release these mature and veteran oaks from the overshading of spruce trees gradually over two years. This will enable the oak tree canopies to expand to their full magnitude and enable the trees to support the many species that could call these special titans home. 25 of the most suitable mature and veteran oaks in Lower Woods have been selected and the spruce around them will be felled to let in more daylight and remove the competition for water and nutrients.

White admiral on oak leaf up in tree. Credit: Nick Upton 42

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WILDLIFE

PJ Photography/www.shutterstock.com

Senior Wildlife and Farming Manager, Tim Bevan, comments: “Many visitors to Lower Woods will have experienced the wonders of an ancient mixed deciduous woodland and the huge mix of wildlife it supports. The south of the woods is less well known; but it is here that support from the Ibstock Enovert Trust is being used to clear nonnative trees; planted to meet the need for soft wood immediately post second world war. These plantation trees need to be carefully removed from around the native oaks still remaining so they can flourish once again and be seen in all their glory.” Angela Haymonds of Ibstock Enovert Trust comments: “Lower Woods Nature Reserve is a really special place and the Trustees of

The presence of the over-shading spruce trees is not only affecting the development of these oak titans, but the biodiversity that these supressed trees are able to support Ibstock Enovert Trust were delighted to be able to contribute a third grant to the site to ensure optimal conditions for these mighty oaks to thrive alongside the many species they support.” The project will also extend the woodland rides in the south of Lower Woods. These are grassy strips of land between the trees, and this work will improve access and

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open up areas to increase space and light around the oak trees, as well as benefiting ride-loving species like the white admiral butterfly. The space provided by the removal of the spruce will also enable light to reach the woodland floor, encouraging plant growth and the natural regeneration of native tree species, which is vital for the future health of these special woodlands. A peek into Lower Woods’ future might now reveal enormous, ancient oak trees spreading out far and wide, not only illustrating the remarkable history of Lower Woods, but its incredible diversity as well. If you would like to volunteer to help this project, please contact Donna Cavill on 01452 383333 or email info@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk 43

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New regulations for septic tanks If your home is served by a septic tank, you need to be aware that the environmental regulations have changed, explains James Leyland, solicitor at Thomson & Bancks Septic tanks which discharge to surface waters, such as a water course or ditch, are technically no longer permitted as of 1st January 2020. In such circumstances, your alternatives are to: 1. install a modern, more efficient sewage treatment plant which complies with British Standard EN12566-3; and/or 2. replace the surface water discharge with a drainage field system. Please be aware that there are additional restrictions on the positioning of new drainage field systems too. For example, you are not allowed to situate one within 50 metres of a well or stream used as a domestic water source. The Environment Agency has the power to prosecute and, potentially, levy fines for breaches of this legislation. However, as late as October 2019, the 1st January deadline was relaxed in most cases. The Environment Agency is now stating that most septic tanks that discharge to surface water must be ‘brought up to code’ within a ‘reasonable period’.

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The latest Environment Agency guidance suggests that a ‘reasonable period’ means no longer than twelve months from 1st January 2020. However, the rules will be enforced on a case-by-case basis. Be warned therefore that the Environment Agency can require action to be taken, in some circumstances, earlier than the twelve month deadline. It is recommended that in order to avoid possible prosecution and fines, you should make plans now. In all cases where your septic tank drains to surface water, such as a watercourse or ditch, you need to upgrade that discharge as soon as possible, or by the end of 2020 at the absolute latest. If you have any concerns, the Commercial Property Law experts at Thomson & Bancks Solicitors are happy to help.

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HEALTH

Sing for your health Rock Choir is the largest contemporary choir in the world, with over 30,000 members in almost 400 locations in the UK. Even though the numbers are huge, it’s the individual community choirs, the friendships created and the that joy singing brings that are the vital ingredients, explains Olivia Cooper

Toyah Willcox who collaborated on a concert with Rock Choir at Birmingham Symphony Hall

Rock Choir, the unique contemporary choir, offers people all ages an alternative experience to a traditional classical or community choir. Open to all; it introduces members to feel-good pop, rock and contemporary chart songs, pioneering a new approach to vocal training. There’s no audition and you don’t need any singing experience or musical ability to join. You’ll never have to sing on your own or be under any pressure.

The uplifting ethos of fun, friendship and community spirit is a huge part of Rock Choir’s attraction where members enjoy a dynamic and busy new social life whilst connecting with others. At an individual level it helps improve well-being by building self-confidence and self-esteem, which in turn improves mental and general health. This was even scientifically proven when in 2018, the BBC TV programme ‘Trust Me I’m

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 47

A Doctor’, used members of Rock Choir for an experiment to find out if singing, cycling and dancing boosted levels of endocannabinoids – neurotransmitters thought to be the cause of the ‘natural high’. These chemicals have only recently been discovered and are similar in structure to the chemicals found in the cannabis plant. As well as giving us a ‘buzz’ these chemicals are linked to improving mood and reducing anxiety and 47

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HEALTH stress. Under the direction of physiologist Dr Saoirse O’Sullivan, the group of Rock Choir members were tested in each activity over four days with interviews and blood taken to monitor their levels of endocannabinoids. The end result was fascinating. Whilst dancing and cycling raised their happiness levels by 20%, singing raised them by an extraordinary 40%; an exciting discovery that could help enormously with our approach to mental health. Rock Choir was founded in 2005 by music teacher and singer, Caroline Redman Lusher, who had seen the effects music had on her pupils. Since then, she’s seen many examples of Rock Choir making a huge impact on the well-being of its members. “It’s brought joy to all of us. I’ve seen first-hand how being part of Rock Choir has improved lives; some of our members have reported that they’ve come off antidepressants, found new confidence in themselves and found pure happiness again. Their well-being has impacted their relationships around them too, with their family, friends and colleagues, and they will continue to feel better and stronger the longer they sing!” The Rock Choir team consists

Book your free taster session

Caroline Redman Lusher on stage at 02

of over 140 individuals including 80 professional musicians and performers, the leaders, who each

The mental health benefits of singing collectively are proven deliver weekly Rock Choir rehearsals in their own local communities. Helen Jones, Rock Choir leader for the Worcester, Tewkesbury,

Helen Jones with the Worcestershire choir 48

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Great Malvern and Droitwich Spa choirs says: ‘Leading our local Rock Choirs is a privilege – the choirs become an extension of our families and I am proud of how much the members have bonded and how much joy they get from singing together. We are always looking for new members and we hope to welcome some new faces – and voices – this year. The mental health benefits of singing collectively are proven so we encourage men and women of all ages and abilities to consider joining Rock Choir as a new adventure in 2020.’ Regionally, there are also choirs in Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon. Rock Choir has appeared on many TV and Radio shows including The One Show, Britain’s Got Talent, Good Morning Britain, This Morning, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Radio 2’s Michael Ball Show, Clare Balding’s Good Morning Sunday and many more. As well as supporting local communities it raises money for charities through performances and events. To find your closest Rock Choir and book your free taster session, visit www.rockchoir.com

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:53


Tewkesbury’s Theatre & Cinema

Explore the full line-up, including all current films, at www.rosestheatre.org

Worbey & Farrell

UK Pink Floyd Experience

John Ilsley of Dire Straits

Andy Parsons

Jeeves & Wooster

The Manfreds

Steve Davis

Richard Jones: Escape

Flamenco Express

Acclaimed concert pianists Fri 13 Mar 7.30pm

The “Healing The Nation” tour Fri 27 Mar 8pm

The snooker legend Thur 9 Apr 7.30pm

A true celebration Sat 21 Mar 7.30pm

in Perfect Nonsense Tues 31 Mar 7.30pm

The BGT-winning magician Fri 17 Apr 7.30pm

A fascinating insight Thur 26 Mar 7.30pm

The Hits, Jazz & Blues tour Sat 4 Apr 7.30pm

World class music and dance Sat 25 Apr 7.30pm

RosesTheatre the.roses.theatre @RosesTheatre

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EVENTS

LITV PROMOTION

Turning the Vale “Green for the Gras”

The Vale of Evesham continues to celebrate its horticultural heritage and delight in showing off its famous asparagus. Now part of the elite group of PGI protected foods, it has achieved a level of culinary prestige and superiority. St George’s Day sees the launch of the British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham – from

then until 21st June the whole area will be going asparamad and turning “Green for the Gras” with events providing numerous opportunities to taste, buy, cook and learn about this most sought after delicacy. For further information call 01386 565373 or visit www.britishasparagusfestival.org

Photo credits: Angela Taylor & Stuart Purfield

An abundance of Asparamadness is about to invade the Vale of Evesham from 23rd April. Don’t miss it suggests Angela Taylor

Asparadates Thursday 23rd April Great English Asparagus Run From The Fleece Inn, Bretforton

Sunday 10th May Asparagus Sunday Lunch, Eckington Manor

Sunday 17th May Asparagus Family Colour Run, The Valley, Evesham

Thursday 21st and Thursday 28th May Asparabus Coach Tours

Sunday 24th and Sunday 31st May Famous Fleece Asparagus Auctions at The Fleece Inn, Bretforton

Monday 25th May Asparagus Family Fun Day

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FOOD & DRINK

Shake up Mother’s Day Treat your mum this Mother’s Day, Sunday 22nd March, with a spring inspired cocktail from Brockmans Gin. So smooth it can be enjoyed neat with ice, this gin brims with botanicals including blueberry, blackberry and the dry, bitter-sweet peel of Valencian oranges. If your mum is a cocktail-lover a range of stylish merchandise can be found online at the Brockmans Shop www.brockmansgin.com/shop Purple Spring 50ml Brockmans Gin 45ml Beetroot juice 200ml Wild Berry Cider Add 50ml Brockmans and 45ml beetroot juice to a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a stemmed Copa glass (bowl glass) filled with ice. Then top with Wild Berry Cider and give it a gentle stir. Garnish with a very thin slice of dehydrated beetroot and an edible flower for a touch of spring.

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Herbal Sour 50ml Brockmans Gin 25ml Lemon Juice 12.5 Gomme White of one egg Fresh ginger Muddle a large sprig of tarragon and 3-4 slices of fresh ginger in a shaker. Add all the other ingredients. Dry shake. Wet shake with large ice cubes. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of tarragon and a slice of fresh ginger.

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FOOD & DRINK

Brockmans Negroni Blanco 35ml Brockmans Gin 35ml Luxardo Bitter Bianco 40ml Sparkling grapefruit (20ml grapefruit juice / 20ml soda water) Fill a tumbler glass with ice cubes then add 35ml Brockmans Gin and 35ml Luxardo Bitter Bianco and top with equal measures of grapefruit juice and soda water (40ml in total) Give it a gentle stir in the glass. Garnish with a thin wedge of pink grapefruit.

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Brockmans Sundown Vermouth 35ml Brockmans Gin 25ml Rosso (red) Vermouth 15ml Lejay Triple sec Fill an old fashioned glass with ice cubes pour in 35ml Brockmans, 25ml Rosso Vermouth, 15ml Lejay Triple Sec and stir in the glass. Garnish with a thin slice of dehydrated orange. For more recipes visit www.brockmansgin.com

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:54


LIFESTYLE

Jane Scott Moncrieff PR consultant turned garden designer, Jane is preparing to create a VE Day memorial show garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 7-10th May I retrained in garden design at Capel Manor College, graduating in 2018. Before that I was in PR for 25 years, looking after high end property and creative clients. It was the creatives who inspired me to move into something more visual myself - my A’ levels in Art, Biology and Geography proved to be the ideal foundation for learning about plants and gardens.

of ‘Churchill’s Secret Army’ agents, Violette Szabó GC. Violette was an amazingly courageous young woman who parachuted into occupied France in WWII to help the Résistance. The 75th Anniversary of VE Day takes place on Friday 8th May 2020. The planting is feminine, with pinks, purples and creams, and there is a rustic ‘Normandy’ farmhouse typical of the house Violette would have sent her secret radio messages from.

2019 was my first full year in business and it started with a bang! Nine projects in Norfolk, where I live, and one in London. I was also lucky enough to be awarded a Gold Medal at BBC Gardeners’ World in June. I work from a studio in my garden and also have a tiny greenhouse where I grow plants and keep my tools. My favourites are my Felco secateurs and Goldleaf gloves, both gifts from family. I love everything about the design process, from taking a brief to the initial sketches, plant research, visiting nurseries, creating scale drawings and the final construction. The best part is my clients’ reactions – they have taken a huge leap of faith and seeing the happiness that comes from our collaboration is just fantastic.

I visit as many gardens as I can for inspiration, from private NGS open gardens to the grandiose

My biggest challenge is always time. There is so much to think about; sourcing the plants, trees, and other elements, finding contractors, and making sure the schedule will work. I began this project last August and can’t wait to get started on site with my team in midApril. One thing I know; plants definitely bring out the best in people. www.jsmgardendesign.co.uk

Currently I’m working flat out on my Show Garden for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival (7th-10th May). It celebrates the life of one lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 53

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LIFESTYLE

Local policing With Chief Superintendent Tom Harding, Head of Local Policing for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fewer burglaries We’ve seen some steady reductions in acquisitive crime, crimes such as burglary and theft, in Worcestershire recently, especially in our rural communities, with burglary at its lowest level for three years. This is encouraging, although of course, it doesn’t mean we’re ever complacent. One thing I’m committed to is constantly looking at ways we can improve the service we deliver and make sure we have an organisation that is fit for purpose. As criminality evolves it is important that policing also evolves and modernises to meet new challenges. The announcement of an increase in officers made last year is obviously something that is welcomed; we anticipate this will mean additional officers for West Mercia and are already considering plans for how our workforce may look going forward. Beware fraudsters Towards the end of last year we unfortunately recorded a considerable number of fraud offences, committed both by email and telephone, with fraudsters trying to scam people out of money. The most common scam we saw

Beware ‘courier fraud’ where criminals pretend to be police officers

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was what’s known as a ‘courier fraud’ where criminals pretended to be police officers. Fraudsters can often be incredibly convincing and give you no reason whatsoever to think they aren’t genuine so I want to reiterate our advice that we will never ask you to withdraw money from your bank account. If you are ever approached for money and want to check if the request is legitimate, check it online, don’t ring back on the number the caller has given you. If in any doubt, ring police on 101. It is often the case that fraudsters will specifically target someone who is elderly or vulnerable and I would ask you pass this message on to any elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours you may have.

We are continuing to put significant resources into our investigations into these offences with a number of people arrested. With your help we can make huge steps to put them out of business completely. For more information about the scams fraudsters use and how to avoid falling victim visit www.actionfraud.police.uk For regular updates on local policing matters please follow me on Twitter @CSuptHarding www.westmercia.police.uk

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:54


MONARCH HOME IMPROVEMENTS

helping you create a home you love

Hard Landsca ing  Garden Makeovers  Ground Maintenance

Fencing • Turfing • Decking • Patios • Block Paving Groundworks inc. Levelling & Terracing • Tree Felling Ground Maintenance • Soil & Hardcore Removal Logs & To Soil For Sale

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sta lis ed ears For furt er information or a free uotation Call Simon Rose

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07739 968032

Windows, doors & bi-folds

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Garage doors & conversions New conservatory roofs - warm or lantern

Call Neil Hunt for a free survey 07970 979831 | 01386 861256 www.monarchhomeimprovements-evesham.co.uk 55

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HOMES

Spring fresh Anyone can create a stunning floral display with tulips

Tips & tricks Choose tulips in a colour to complement your vase and invest in some cut flower food. If your tulips seem limp once home it may be because they have been without water. Wrap them in newspaper and leave it in a vase for a couple of hours before arranging

it. When you remove the bunch, the tulips will stand up tall. Fill a clean vase with water and add the flower food. Cut the tulip stems at an angle and remove any leaves that will sit below the surface of the water. Remember that the stems of tulips will continue to grow in the vase. Arrange the tulips casually for a

rustic look. For large bouquets, add twigs from the garden to keep the structure in place. Place tulips out of direct sunlight and away from your fruit bowl. Refresh the water often to keep them looking good for longer. Learn more about bulb flowers at www.ilsysays.com

Images www.ibulb.org 56

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Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:54


Chiropractic Can Help Back Pain Neck Issues Pain, Discomfort, Stiffness in Joints Migraine Headaches Arthritic Pain Minor Sports Injuries

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for new patients of Hannah Cork

The gentle nature of the McTimoney method makes it especially suitable for people of all ages including children, pregnant women and the elderly. Registered with most major insurers.

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Anti-aging and holistic treatments with a natural approach • CACI Non Surgical Solutions • • Monu Skincare & Wraps • • Tranquil location & free parking •

Call 01684 275569 or book online www.beautyatthebarn.com 57

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12/02/2020 10:54


LIFESTYLE

Jane Ware Kinsham based artist Jane Ware is currently preparing for an exhibition at the newly opened Dove Gallery in Winchcombe 20-26 March I gave up my day job in finance in 2018 to work full-time on my art. It’s challenging, exciting and scary, not having a regular income, but the rewards are immense and each day is now a happy surprise.

I love art, music, literature and travel and often visit galleries, exhibitions, museums, theatres and festivals. Last summer I enjoyed my first venture into Open Studios with fellow artist Sarah Jemmett. We now paint together every week, to develop and explore techniques and keep focused.

My introduction to art started at Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School, Stourbridge, which offered progressive teaching as a balance for the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each child. I moved to Cheltenham as a teenager and have exhibited annually at Art in The Park since 1975 when I sold my very first painting of a poppy for £6! I’ve been a committee member for eighteen years and we celebrated our 50th anniversary last summer with an opening speech from renowned artist PJ Crook MBE RWA FRSA. My paintings are inspired by Cotswold landmarks, jazz culture, cafe conversations, and holiday memories, from seagulls in St Ives to sunsets in South Africa. Working mainly in watercolour and ink, I also enjoy experimenting with colourful acrylics, and developing New York cityscapes from sketching with my daughter, who lives in Manhattan. 58

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I’m always seeking opportunities to exhibit locally, offering affordable art for all

I’m currently preparing paintings, prints, cards and gifts for my forthcoming Exhibition of Art and Jazz at the newly opened Dove Gallery, Winchcombe. Please come and enjoy a glass of fizz at our launch ‘Evening of Art & Jazz’ on Friday 20 March 5.30-8.30pm. The event will also showcase original vibrant abstract acrylics from Sue Jolley, plus jazz merchandise and limited edition behind the scenes and live performance photographs by Ron Milsom of saxophonist and vocalist Kim Cypher. The exhibition runs 10am to 5pm daily at Dove Gallery, 6 High Street, Winchcombe GL54 5HT until 3pm on 26 March. It’s a stunning setting in which to appreciate these creative offerings and have first pick of your favourite pieces. Entry is free and all are welcome. www.kimcypher.co.uk www.janewareart.com www.ronmilsomphotography.com Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:54


RECIPES

This almon nd fruit cake from Cotswolds based Meg Rivers Bakers of Happiness is Meg’s veersion of an old Scottish recipe. Dundeee cake was first sold commerciaally in the nineteenth century by Keilleer’s, a famous marmalade producer, as a way of keeping their staff busy wh hen oranges were out of season. Lightly fru uited and with a high ground-almond content, this is a lovely cutand-come-again cake, ideal to eat at any time of year.

INGREDIENTS 175g salted butter, soft 155g caster sugar 4 eggs, lightly beaten 210g ground almonds 140g plain flour 365g sultanas 115g mixed candied peel 25g crystallized ginger, chopped 24 blanched almonds, to decorate 7 inch round cake pan, lined with baking parchment Se erves 10-12 METHOD

• Preheat the oven to 150c (3300f ) or Gas 2. • Cream the butter and sugarr together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy ffy. y • Add the beaten eggs in twoo stages, stirring to a smooth batter each time. With a wooden spoon, fold in th he ground almonds and flour, stirring until smoooth.

40% off handmade cakes, delivered as a gift or for you, with code VILLAGELIFE until 30/9/20*

*One per customer. Excludes any charitable products and cake club

• Add the sultanas, mixed can ndied peel and ginger and stir until evenly distributed. • Spoon the mixture into thee prepared cake pan and smooth level with a paalette knife. Decorate the top of the cake with the almonds. Bake in the preheaated oven for about 2 hours - th he cake will turn a good colour well before this, but be patient - and test the miiddle with a skewer. Only when the skewer com mes out clean is the cake ready. If it doesn’t come out clean, give it another 5-10 minutes. The high ground-almond content in this recipe means there is often an oily, under-cooked appeearance to the cake when first removed from th he oven, but don’t worry - the skewer does not lie and the oil will re-absorb into the cake on cooling! • This will keep for up to 14 days in an airtight container. www.megrivers.co.uk

lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 59

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GARDENS

The National Garden Scheme opens over 3,700 stunning private gardens for charity. Explore their website with its handy local garden finder and find yourself a fantastic day out Whitlenge Hartlebury, DY10 4HD Three acre show garden of a professional garden designer with a large variety of trees, shrubs and plants. Features include a twisted brick pillar pergola, a solid oak moongate set into reclaimed brickwork with four

cascading waterfalls, a deck walk through giant Gunnera leaves, plus ponds and streams. Extensive plant nursery and children’s play/pet corner. Enjoy locally sourced home-made food in the studio tearoom. Open: Sat 4th & Sun 5th April 10am-5pm Admission: adult £4.50, child £2

Shown on Alan Titchmarsh’s Love your Garden programme 60

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GARDENS Little Malvern Court Little Malvern, WR14 4JN Open: Friday 13th, 20th & 27th March 2-5pm Admission: adult £5, child free

Brockamin Callow End, WR2 4TQ Open: Sun 22nd March 2-5pm Admission: adult £4 child free

Each year the NGS donates about £3 million to nursing and health charities. Find more fantastic gardens to visit at www.ngs.org.uk lifeinthevillage.co.uk | Early Spring 2020 LITV Avon ES 20.indd 61

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GARDENS Bridges Stone Mill Alfrick Pound, WR6 5HR Open: Sun 19th April 2pm - 5:30pm Admission: adult £6, child free.

Rothbury North Malvern, WR14 1QS Open: Sunday 19th April 2pm - 5pm Admission: adult £3.50 child free.

In 2019 the NGS donated £3million to nursing and health charities. Find more fantastic gardens to visit at www.ngs.org.uk 62

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GARDENS

Did you know? Some owners will arrange a personalised visit for your club or group on a date to suit you. See individual garden entries online for details. Spetchley Park Gardens Spetchley, WR5 1RS Spetchley was one of the first gardens to open for the NGS in 1927 and, apart from during the war, has opened every year since. Featured on BBC Gardeners’ World, it’s a place for all tastes and ages. Holding one

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of the biggest private collections of plants outside the major botanical gardens, it offers many rooms and vistas, a magical trail for children, plant sales, gift shop and tea room. Open: Friday 3rd April 10.30am-5pm. Admission: adult £8, child £2.50

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MONEY SAVING VOUCHERS £5 OFF A PET FIRST AID COURSE £5 off a Pet First Aid course – £50 (usually £55) until 30/4/20

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*New patients only until 30/4/20. Please present voucher. T’s & C’s apply. 01386 725 461 The Acupuncture Clinic, Park Farm Cottage, Kemerton, Tewkesbury GL20 7HZ

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Call 01684 293103 Worcester Rd., Mythe, Tewkesbury GL20 6EB www.tewkesburygardencentre.com

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54 24 20 68 30

25

Portraits Penny Sinclair Animal Portraits

29

44

Restaurants & Cafés Brown’s Garden Restaurant

17

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Spa Hatherley Manor Hotel & Spa

20

Pensions & Investments Fresh Approach

Image Consultant Kate Evans

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68

Theatre The Roses

44

Insurance Fresh Approach

Rural Supplies Tewkesbury Garden Centre

46

Human Resources Cluer HR

2

46 22 55

Painting & Decorating Gary Williams Building Services

Ponds, Pools & Aquatics Early Dawn Landscapes Park & Landscapes Tewkesbury Garden Centre WaterStone

Hotels Hatherley Manor Hotel & Spa

Roofing Affordable Roofing LCM Flat Roofing Monarch Home Improvements

Volunteering St Richard’s Hospice Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

18/36 10/67

Water Gardens, Ponds & Pools Early Dawn Landscapes Park & Landscapes Tewkesbury Garden Centre WaterStone

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Weddings Hatherley Manor Hotel & Spa Meg Rivers Bakers of Happiness The Flower Shed

2 59 3/18

Windows & Doors Cloudy2Clear L+L Installations Monarch Home Improvements

32 5/34 55

Wood Burning Stoves The Fireplace Gallery Vale Heating & Plumbing

24 20

Early Spring 2020 | lifeinthevillage.co.uk 12/02/2020 10:54


Get involved We are looking for people like you to help us create a wilder Worcestershire...

Our Volunteer Nature Reserve Managers work alongside our conservation team to manage our nature reserves. From leading our practical conservation volunteer work parties to helping with the management of the site, this is a great opportunity for you to get hands on at a beautiful place near you. If you want to make a real difference for wildlife in your area and help us create a truly living landscape, we d love to hear from you.

Find out about opportunities near you call Helen 01905 754919

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Helping you make your garden sustainable • Potted bulbs for gorgeous spring g colour • • NEW! Tools from Burgon & Ball • • Grow-your-own essentials • • Lo Local ocal fo food ood & drink drink • • We eber BBQs •

15% off Chase Gin of the Month Starts 1/3/20 while stocks last

Bird images © CJ Wildlife 2019

Open daily except Easter Sunday, Mon-Sat 9-5.30, Sun 10-4. Call us on 01684 293103 | Visit www.tewkesburygardencentre.com Tewkesbury Garden Centre, Worcester Rd, Mythe, Tewkesbury GL20 6EB. Ample free parking

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Profile for Lisa Lambon

Life in the Village - Avon & Severn - Early Spring 2020  

Life in the Village - Avon & Severn - Early Spring 2020

Life in the Village - Avon & Severn - Early Spring 2020  

Life in the Village - Avon & Severn - Early Spring 2020

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