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fens THE

RAMSEY & SURROUNDING

Issue 8 | July 2020

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

New look Same great magazine, less paper!

Inside this issue

Find out how to make a butterfly box Interviewing local wildlife photographer In search of a quiet walk

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

The Fens | July 2020 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TO VISIT REVIEWS

1


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July 2020

WELCOME

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

We’ve changed! Whilst I personally have popped on a few pounds since lockdown started in March (who didn’t turn to food for comfort?), we’ve been busily making our publication decidedly smaller. Why? This edition actually happens to be our 50th issue since we launched The Fens Magazine in June 2016. In those four years we have seen so many changes, but none so drastic as Covid-19. It has affected all businesses without prejudice or elitism. Whilst we were able to continue publishing digitally, we couldn’t at the time print our much-loved magazine. But every problem offers an opportunity, and our opportunity was to look at ways to relaunch with some big changes. We have decided to cut our paper usage and produce a ‘handy’ size publication which over the year will save 24 tonnes of paper (that’s equivalent to one full lorry load). Our new eco-friendlier size also enables us to reduce the costs for our advertisers, meaning during this difficult economic uncertainty, we can actively help our clients reach their customers. The magazine might be smaller, but it is as mighty as ever. It has been a difficult few months, but I couldn’t be happier or more proud of the region we live in. This issue is a celebration of Fenland’s reserve, determination and character. Finally I would like to congratulate Amy Corney (our brilliant assistant currently on maternity leave) on the birth of her beautiful son, Arlo Francis. We can’t wait until we can give him a big squeeze! Stay safe and please enjoy our July issue.

Natasha

fens THE

PUBLISHER

7 Your Neighbourhood News pages 12 Looking good this month 16 Photographing Fenland wildlife 20 Happy news 24 Business tips to survive Covid 30 Discover some new Fen walks 34 Mad about butterflies 40 Great DVD releases 41 Useful numbers

Editor & design: Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk Assistant Editor: Richard Groom richard@pcbonline.co.uk Resident photogarpher: Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk Sales & distribution: 07511 662566 hello@thefensmag.co.uk Cover: Jamie Corney @jamie_corney_photography

GREATER PETERBOROUGH

Issue 50 | July 2020

With thanks to our brilliant contributors

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

@thefensmag www.thefensmag.co.uk

New look Same great magazine, less paper!

Inside this issue

Find out how to make a hedgehog house Interviewing local wildlife photographer In search of a quiet walk The Fens | July 2020 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TO VISIT REVIEWS

1

THE FENS is published by a local team. Care is taken to ensure that the content and information is correct, however we cannot take any responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by any errors. Permission must be granted to reproduce, copy or scan anything from this publication. THE FENS accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | July 2020

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R T U A L S U MM E R Come join us online for some Summer Fun!

We will be providing acƟvity packs for you to follow along at home. The packs include a variety of craŌ materials, you can follow along with our acƟviƟes listed or look out for further videos on our BOSH Facebook page. We will be conƟnuing to monitor the government guidelines and, where possible, arrange for some sessions to run in person.

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The Fens | July 2020


Everyone at Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust hopes you are all keeping safe and well. Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, like all organisations, has had to quickly adapt to the current situation. At the top of this page you will see the logos of the projects managed by Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, all of which are funded by either grants, fundraising or donations. As a local charity it is important that we continue to support the people who live, work and volunteer in Ramsey and the surrounding area. Therefore, on the following pages you will find information about some of the activities and services we are continuing to offer.

FREE Online Training and Workshops place of work or they work from home. This course is for people who work at home, some, or all of the time. It's to keep you safe while you're at work, when your workplace is your own home.

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust’s Phoenix online sewing and clay workshops have been a great success. The clay group are beginning to glaze the creations they started just before lockdown and the sewing class have been making face wipes, an environmentally replacement for disposable products. Caroline, our sewing tutor, is basing her sessions around items everyone may have at home – so no need for any unnecessary journeys, especially for those of you who are self-isolating or on the shielded list. If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please contact Alison – details below. Additionally, Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust’s Phoenix Project and Ramsey Million Partnership have combined forces to offer a series of 12 online courses from iHASCO, a provider of high-quality eLearning with a keen focus on creativity, quality, and simplicity. We have just released the following three courses: Health and Safety for Homeworkers Everyone should have health and safety training, regardless of if they work in a fixed

Infection Prevention and Control Training - Infection Prevention and Control Training is incredibly important. No matter where you work or which industry you work in, the risk of spreading infections in the workplace is ever-present. However, with time, money, and productivity lost to illness and sick days, it’s important that everyone knows the risks, how to stay safe, and keep themselves and everyone around them healthy. Mental Health Awareness Training This Mental Health Awareness Training raises awareness of ill-mental health (particularly stress, depression and anxiety), provides tools and guidance for daily wellbeingmanagement, and aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. It's the only course of its kind to achieve an IOSH Approval and also won the 2020 THS Health & Safety Award. If you think any of these courses will benefit you, your workers or volunteers, and you live/work/ volunteer in Ramsey or the surrounding area, please contact: Alison | rntprojectmanager@gmail.com | Text: 07562 379472 The Fens | July 2020

7


RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOODS TRUST

MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

WE ARE STILL HERE TO HELP Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust continues to offer support to anyone who needs help due to COVID-19. Just phone or message us on our Facebook page and we will see what we can do. Some of you may not have needed support previously but, due to Track & Trace you may find yourself isolated for 14 days with little notice. If you live in the Ramsey area and find yourself without support from family or neighbours, we are here to help. We can also provide Ramsey Foodbank vouchers to those who are having financial difficulties - so do not hesitate to get in touch. Looking for a job, advice or support when applying for work, Job Search in Ramsey is still open to everyone, whether unemployed or looking to further your career Job Search aims to help people at all stages of their job search - from preparing a CV and filling in application forms through to interview techniques. Come and give it a try! Social distancing respected. Online support given. Please contact Alison on 07562379472 | rntprojectmanager@ gmail.com Telephone or Text: 07562 379472 Email: ramsey.covid19@gmail.com Ramsey Foodbank Vouchers: 07548 048471 Facebook: Ramsey.Covid19

Update - Lily’s Marathon Month For those of you who have been following Lily on her ‘marathon’ you will be delighted to know that she (and Mum!) completed her 26th mile on the 26th May. So far she has raised over £1,000 for Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust’s SPARKS Club for adults with additional needs. The club continue to meet weekly online but Lily is looking forward to when they can get together again. She is particularly keen that they have a fish and chip supper and chocolate cake! Lily’s Just Giving page will close at the end of July – so you are not too late to sponsor Lily. Well done Lily! www.justgiving.com/Lilys-SPARKS-Marathon 8

The Fens | July 2020

Hello readers in Ramsey and the Ramsey Villages, I hope this finds you all safe and well. As things change daily, and with new guidelines given what feels like hourly sometimes, now feels like a good opportunity to reach out and say a few words to you all. In the coming weeks lots of our local businesses will be opening for the first time in months. They will be getting used to a new way of trading, all uncharted for many, with rules implemented or thrust upon them. Some may even carry out their own steps to make themselves feel safe, which we all need to respect. Equally some people may be venturing out for the first time in months, after guidelines have been relaxed, and these people may feel extra vulnerable and scared. So, I think now it is more important than ever to take a step back, be patient and keep an eye out for that someone who needs a little more space or reassurance. Over the coming months our local businesses are going to need our support more than ever, lets help them all we can. Our High Street has struggled for years and this isn’t going to help, so let’s try and make a difference by fighting for it and spending locally. But while we do that, we must all be patient and kind to each other too. Finally I want to personally thank all the businesses, organisations and individuals that have managed to stay open during the lockdown, your support for our community has not gone un-noticed. Let us make this our line in the sand and move forward, our fresh start so to speak. We all have that ability within us. Stay safe, look out for each other and be kind. Best regards, Your Mayor, Steve


RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOODS TRUST

‘BOREDOM BUSTER’ PACKS Thanks to a grant from Huntingdonshire District Council’s Community Chest Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust has been able to put together 200 packs that have been distributed to some of our older residents. Many have been isolated for over 12 weeks now and are beginning to feel the strain of not being able to get out and about or have visitors. We wanted to provide some activities they can do at home to keep their

minds and bodies active. Some of our younger residents have drawn pictures and someone else has written a poem which has been included. Everyone enjoys a sweet treat so that was included too. We’d also like to thank the volunteers who helped distribute the packs.

AU REVOIR NOT GOODBYE The end of May saw us saying ‘au revoir’ to one of the Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust’s staff members, Ann Cuthbert. You will have read her articles in the local press under the ‘Discover Ramsey’ banner. Over the last few years she has worked tirelessly with local heritage groups, councils, schools and businesses to promote Ramsey and all it has to offer. With these groups she coordinated ‘Heritage Open Days’, organised publicity materials, held events, created the Ramsey brand, set up the ‘Discover Ramsey’ website and much, much more. Despite taking early retirement we are delighted to say that we have not seen the last of Ann as she continues to volunteer for Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust as part of ‘Ramsey Area COVID-19 Support’. There are also a number of projects she had underway when the crisis hit and she will be seeing them through to completion – including a new booklet outlining the history of Ramsey and telling its story as a ‘Journey Through Time’. Work has also been completed on new information boards which will appear around town, once it is safe to do so. Thankyou Ann for helping to put ‘Ramsey On The Map’. Ann will be missed considerably but her work will continue through a new charitable organisation the

BOSH SUMMER IS BACK! At this time of year Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust is usually telling you about our BOSH Summer Playscheme. This year is no different! However, the way children will participate is. Thanks to Ramsey Rotary those who register for the scheme will be provided with an activity pack with everything they need to join in our FREE Facebook online sessions. In addition there will be some Zoom sessions for which places will be limited to 20 children. For these an extra pack will be provided for a minimal cost of £2 per child per session. If your children are between 5-10yrs you can find details on page 6 of how to book onto any of the Zoom sessions or register for a FREE pack. Please book by 17th July. We will be continuing to monitor the government guidelines, and if possible we will arrange for some sessions to run in person.

‘Ramsey Heritage Partnership.’ So keep a look out on the Discover Ramsey Website and Facebook page for further updates. The Fens | July 2020

9


Need a tradesman to carry out work in your home? Here’s what you need to know By Eileen Le Voi, Safe Local Trades THE Government’s easing of some of the lock down measures means that many of our Safe Local Trades members have returned to work; much of it carried out in customers’ homes. Social distancing rules apply in the same way as in other aspects of life as we currently know it. So how does this affect you if you require a tradesperson to visit your property? In simple terms, you ARE permitted to ask a tradesperson to carry out work on your property (inside and out) or in your garden. It is personal choice on the part of the customer, as long as a few simple rules are adhered to: • As of May 4, the Government guidance is that tradespeople can continue to work providing they are well, and they or no-one in their household has COVID-19 symptoms. • If your neighbour has tradespeople visiting their home, they are NOT flouting the social distancing rules simply by having work carried out at their property. • As a tradesperson or cleaner, you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from any household occupants at all times and ensure good ventilation in the area where they are working, including opening the window. • Any households self-isolating due to COVID-19 or anyone with vulnerable occupants cannot reemploy their workers as they risk spread of the virus according to the government guidance. • Before attending a job, maintenance workers should contact families 20 minutes before they arrive 10 The Fens | July 2020

so homeowners can prepare to keep a safe 2 metre distance. • Once inside, they should wash hands for 20 seconds and adhere to the social distancing rules. • Tradesmen may ask households to leave all internal doors open to minimise contact with door handles. • Face coverings have not yet been deemed mandatory but can be worn as a precaution. While the Government’s announcement is welcome news for tradespeople, we do understand that some customers may still feel a little anxious about allowing visitors into their home – particularly when members of their own family are not able to come and see them and the same applies to the family of the individual traders.

All our Safe Local Trades members are aware of the social distancing and other rules around carrying out home improvements at customers’ homes, and the importance of adhering to them. We would advise customers who are thinking about resuming work in their home – perhaps those who put their home improvements on hold prior to the lockdown – to get in touch with the relevant trader through the Safe Local Trades website in the first instance. They can discuss any concerns they may have directly, and our traders will be more than happy to discuss those with the customer. It may also be worth noting that many of our traders will now be looking to complete existing jobs booked before the 20th March, so now is a great time to get in touch if you need some decorating, landscaping, tiling or any other home improvement project which requires a professional, as their services will be in high demand. For the UK Government’s full guidance on trades visiting the home during the Coronavirus pandemic visit https://bit. ly/3dHHlnq


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GOOD THIS MONTH...

WHAT’S HOT IN JULY Each season brings something lovely to spot or to taste. Here’s our round-up this month

WONDERFUL COURGETTES

Courgettes are really easy to grow and with regular picking while they are small, you will ensure a long cropping period. If you don’t have lots of space, courgettes, marrows and summer squashes can be grown in bags or containers, but give them plenty of water as they mature.

FORAGE FOR WILD STRAWBERRY Also known as Alpine or woodland strawberry, these distinctive fruits are tiny but full of flavour. Small woods can be dominated by wild strawberry plants but unless these populations are kept secret they can quickly become decimated by overpicking and uprooting of plants to transplant into gardens. Wild strawberries are small and it’s rare to be able to pick more than a handful. They are best eaten raw, on their own or with a slight sprinkling of sugar (and possibly a dollop of cream). Look for them in deciduous woods, along hedgerows, and on rough grassland on chalky soils. The fruits ripen between June and August. 12 The Fens | July 2020

WATCH THOSE TOMATOES

Although easy to grow and very rewarding, tomatoes can suffer from a range of easily preventable problems at the time of ripening. Keep yours looking lovely and tasting their best by avoiding erratic watering and feeding them regularly to maintain high soil fertility. Special tomato fertilisers have high levels of potassium to encourage good fruit development. This month your tomatoes should be ready to harvest. Enjoy them simply with a drizzle of olive oil. Yum.

LAST CHANCE

This month, protect heavily-laden fruit trees against snapping under the weight. Use a stake or prop to keep them upright. If necessary, prune cherries straight after harvest. It’s also your last to sow French beans and runner beans.


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33 Great Whyte, Ramsey PE26 1HH The Fens | July 2020 15


The wildlife whisperer Jamie Corney is a family man, living at home in Turves with his four dogs, one cat and five chickens. When he isn’t running around after his two boys, Jamie can often be seen hidden behind bushes and trees hoping to catch a glimpse of the Fenland wildlife. His photos have been amazing fans on social media, so we caught up with him between shots to find out more about the man behind the lens WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES JAMIE CORNEY

16 The Fens | July 2020


MAIN FEATURE

When did you start taking photos? I'm a passionate nature fanatic and an amateur wildlife photographer, whether it be animals, plants, insects, sunsets/sunrises, drone photos, macro and landscapes or anything nature related. I've admired nature ever since I can remember and have been taking photos since I was a teenager, but in the last few years I have really taken more of an interest in photographing what I’m seeing. What subject did you start with? I started taking photos of local areas, such as the river running through Whittlesey and the fields down Black Bush. When I was a youngster I remember taking photos of the cows in the fields, flowers along the river and also ladybirds in my garden.    Have you always had an interest in the local Fenland area? I love the Fens, I’m born and bred here! I lived in Whittlesey until I was in my mid 20s and then moved to Turves. It’s flat around here and a mountain or two wouldn't go amiss, but the dramatic sunrises and sunsets we get are unbeatable when they are at their best. We also

have a good variety of wildlife with plenty of good local nature reserves. I also love the history of the Fens, how it was drained and farmed. I find it amazing to think that it was all under water. What camera do you use and what would you advise a hobbiest to start with? My current camera is a Nikon D500 and I also have a Nikon D5300. I have three main lenses, depending on what style and subject I am shooting.  A good starting camera would be something that has auto settings so the camera does all the work for you, then you can enjoy just taking photos. Once you have had a fair bit of practice, you can experiment with other settings, changing the effects by altering the shutter speeds, depth of fields and light. What’s been your highlight? Oooh that's a tough one… Every photo I decide to upload from a certain day out are all a highlight to me one way or another. But I think the recent photograph of the vixen was a real highlight, mainly because I had spent a few weeks leaving my

trail cameras out watching her closely and planning as to where I thought was best to set up one night. It all worked out nicely in the end and I was so happy. Wild foxes are very nervous, unlike their urban cousins who will sit in your garden quite happily not fazed by humans. So for me to get so close to a wild fox was so special. What wildlife have you seen most of? Any surprises? Definitely too many to name, but I’ve seen birds, mammals, insects etc. I was surprised to find cranes on the RSPB Nene Wash, and of course to see three types of deer (roe, muntjac and Chinese water deer).   How has lockdown affected you? It has been an awful situation for everyone and my thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones. I think the one thing lockdown has taught me is that happiness and health is more important than any job or deadline, and that the smaller things in life are what’s more important. Even the simple walks with family or bike rides felt so good and cost nothing. It’s made me realise that if you want to achieve something in life then you should just go for it and try to see what happens. One wise person told me a little The Fens | July 2020 17


The public’s response has been amazing, it pushes me further knowing others enjoy the moments with me. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from my actual photography page too, which is growing in strength weekly.

while ago: "Fate favours the brave” (thanks Natasha), so I’ve been trying to stick to that motto ever since.   Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I’d like to get a decent printer so I can start selling my photos. I plan on taking a lot more trips to places for landscape photography opportunities, hopefully once this virus is under control a bit more, so my online presence can grow from strength to strength and open up many more doors. I think in the current climate though, within the next five years, I just hope everything gets back to normal and everyone is safe again.  How have the public reacted to your photos? 

What are your top locations? Anywhere around the Fens with fields is a good place to start, or places with ponds etc. Even your back garden! But if you’re looking for actual nature reserves then we have plenty of choice. The best thing is to Google local wildlife parks in your area. Woodland Trust sites and Wildlife trust sites are useful too. My top sites are:  Wood Walton Fen - near Ramsey RSPB NENE WASH - Eldernell in Coates

Holme Fen - Holme Kings Dyke Nature Reserve - Whittlesey (membership required) ... You can follow Jamie on social media by searching ‘Jamie Corney Photography’. He is a regular contributor to the ‘Nature of the Fens’ Facebook page. You can also follow Jamie on Instagram @Jamie_ Corney_Photography or get in touch by emailing jamie.corney. photography@gmail.com

JAMIE’S TOP TIPS 1. Grab your camera and get out as much as possible. Take 1000 shots of one subject until you’re happy. 2. Watch as many videos on YouTube and read as many books as you can for tips and tricks. The internet is a blessing if you use it right. 3. Learn from your mistakes, if you’re getting angry because it’s not right then that means you’re passionate, but use your passion wisely and don’t give up. 4. Get familiar with certain areas. Often I will just go for a walk and sit still to see what appears. Have patience. Ideally you want to be able to get in and out unnoticed. Safety comes first. Let friends or family know where you’re going in case something happens. Always carry a mobile!   5. Have fun, any time spent outdoors is good for your mental and physical health. 

18 The Fens | July 2020


SAVOUR EVERY MOMENT

With our delicious frozen meals and desserts, prepared by award-winning chefs and delivered free by your local team, you’ve more time to enjoy doing the things you love. For your free brochure visit wiltshirefarmfoods.com or call 01476 571582 OVER 300 DELICIOUS DISHES FREE FRIENDLY DELIVERY TRUSTED LOCAL SERVICE The Fens | July 2020 19


OUT AND ABOUT...

HAPPY NEWS

We wanted to create a new page dedicated to sharing positive news or a place to thank somebody for doing something great. If you would like to share your happy news about someone or another business, email hello@thefensmag.co.uk

WINNING WADES!

RAMSEY.COVID19

BACON SANDWICHES!

Wades have gone over and above to service everyone in lockdown. They really have stepped up their social media marketing with great posts, competitions, funny videos, etc, which I really think has brought the community together.

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust staff, the Mayor of Ramsey and town councillors should be thanked for coming together to form Ramsey.Covid19 and the 60+ residents who volunteered. The volunteers have been fabulous.

M Collins Butchers and Windmill Bakery remain the two essential businesses serving our town no matter what. No one would survive without a bacon sandwich right?!

#trywadesfirstmate - Nanny Janny

- Hannah Tuck

- Jodie Montgomery

DISTANT VOICES COMMUNITY CHOIR Streaming live on Facebook and Instagram every Thursday 3:10pm. Catch up later on YouTube or Facebook. Contact us through social media or distantvoices2020@gmail.com. Suitable for anyone of any age from anywhere! - Sarah Carr

Rotary in Ramsey news We are beavering away just like many other Rotary Clubs in the area, supplying various items for The Love of Scrubs, and also support for local Care Homes. At present we have a team of 10 "Ladies who sew" and to date have made up 82 scrubs (42 having been dispatched to local Care Homes) and 142 bags, 20 of which have gone to Addenbrookes Hospital, and the remainder to For the Love of Scrubs. Much of the 20 The Fens | July 2020

material has been donated by local residents and all have been made to a very high standard. Our team is headed by Rotarian Charlotte Dodden. Already a considerable amount of money has been donated to our Rotary in Ramsey JustGiving page. To donate please visit www. facebook.com/groups/ ForTheLoveOfScrubsUK You will be supporting the wider community.

In total there are around 68,000 volunteers in hubs around the country helping staff in healthcare, GPs and other primary workers in hospices, air ambulances, etc. FTLOS initiative was the initiative by A&E Nurse, Ashliegh Linsdell, a previous speaker at our club Zoom meetings. - Richard Hyde MBE


Personal Care • Medication Support • Convalescence Care • Domestic Support • Transportation to Appointments • Meal Preparation • Dementia Care • Sitting & Nights Calls • Participation in Hobbies • Respite & Palliative Care 8 ANGEL HOUSE, EASTGATE, WHITTLESEY PE7 1SE Telephone: 01733 686850 or 07486 402644 Email: suereeves@dreamelitecare.co.uk www.dreamelitecare.co.uk

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Telephone 01487 842282 Rollins Farm, St Ives Road, Somersham PE28 3ET www.rollinsfarm.co.uk The Fens | July 2020 21


CELEBRATE LOCAL

Responding to an uncertain world:

The Fenland I

Roaster

Despite the challenge of operating in a world hit by COVID-19, a truly Fenland business has recently completed a fantastic first decade

WORDS RICHARD GROOM

n 2010 Richard Jones turned his love of cooking into a business, encouraged by friends and family who had tasted food he prepared for garden parties and the like. We’ve since become used to seeing ‘The Fenland Roaster’ serving food at events across our region. Initially Richard’s speciality of hog roasts and barbecues dominated, but he soon started to provide a wider range, including hot and cold buffets. Investment in premises and equipment including a £15,000 Rational combination oven soon followed. This enabled Richard to take on everything from corporate hospitality to weddings, and village fêtes to sporting events. Things were continuing in the same vein until quite recently. However, as so many other businesses in the catering and hospitality sector found, measures to combat COVOD-19 meant that everything changed. Thousands of events were cancelled, devastating the sector overnight. I asked Richard where the sector, and his business, will go from here: “In short, I don’t know. I don’t think anybody in the sector knows at the moment. The whole industry could be completely different for the next year or two. It’s certainly throwing a challenge for me in terms of how I take the business forward.” When Richard’s busy schedule of event catering suddenly came to an end in late March, he quickly rebooted the business as a local food delivery service. He has been bringing a range of bread, sausage rolls, pasties, homemade ready meals, pies and cakes to Whittlesey and surrounding villages. As well as parking up and setting his stall out at set locations on a regular schedule, he is also individually delivering food orders to people who are isolating. On the face of it, as the COVID-19 situation eases off, the need for such a service could tail off. But Richard isn’t so sure.

22 The Fens | July 2020

“It’s proved to be an invaluable service for many people and that could continue in some form,” he says. “It feels a bit like a return to the days when the grocer, butcher, baker and so on all had a delivery service. I have a feeling that people will still want a service like that, especially as many are steering clear of busy supermarkets for the foreseeable future.” CHANGING THE WAY WE SOCIALISE Virus restrictions are of course also affecting how people get together and caterers like Richard are responding. An example is very small garden parties for just a few people, within social distancing rules. “People are tired of always cooking for themselves,” Richard explains. “They welcome the option of having someone provide food for a handful of family or friends.” Business customers are also adapting: “A local firm recently asked me to provide breakfasts as a thankyou for its 20 key workers. Each breakfast was delivered individually wrapped. The same thing can be done for buffets, ploughman’s lunches and so on. I also expect to be


doing barbecues this summer for companies who have the available space.” The hog roast will hopefully remain Richard’s speciality as that can also adapt to the new situation: “I can roast and carve the pig at my premises and deliver everything in individual portions.” As a member of the Nationwide Caterers Association, Richard has access to their extensive COVID-19 resources such as best practice guides and risk assessments. These have enabled him to assess his facilities and systems, making the necessary changes to remain compliant with latest guidelines.

I’ve ever taken I’ve asked myself that question. When I started as The Fenland Roaster, I did feel that it would be a business for the long term, although I couldn’t have imagined the direction it took and how it’s grown.” The challenge now facing Richard and other businesses providing a food service shouldn’t be underestimated. There’s extra time and cost involved in the more It feels a bit like a return to individual service now required. Catering to the days when the grocer, smaller numbers of people butcher, baker and so on all also has a big impact on had a delivery service income. But I feel that whatever happens, in one way or another, Richard’s smiling face will be bringing good food to people across Fenland. - You can find out more about Richard’s TAKING THE LONG VIEW local delivery service and event catering at With his anniversary in mind, I asked Richard thefenlandroaster.co.uk/food-delivery-andwhether he thought he would still be in business in collections and his Facebook page. ten years when he started: “I think I did. Any job

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www.thefenlandroaster.co.uk

The Fens | July 2020 23


BUSINESS ADVICE

Marketing during Covid Small business expert Natalie Brannigan talks us through why it’s crucial to continue to promote your business

Your marketing is a longterm strategy and it needs to continue. By marketing your business, even during these uncertain times, you are keeping your business firmly in the minds of your target audience. Many businesses are cutting their marketing budgets. It makes sense, if your income has gone down you want your outgoings to go down too. However, there are two reasons you shouldn’t cut your marketing budget. Firstly, marketing has a long-term impact on your business. By stopping it you are damaging some of the marketing you have done and making it harder to restart in the future. Secondly, many other businesses are cutting their marketing budgets too, which means there is more room for your voice and more people that will see it while your competition are keeping quiet. More people are spending

time online. By marketing our business on social media and uploading new blogs, videos and good quality content to your website, you will give these people online something to look at. Those people with reduced hours or on furlough will be spending hours on the internet. Make sure it is your business they are seeing when they go online. BE CONSISTENT I always talk about consistency being key to marketing for your business. By stopping and starting your marketing you are not being consistent. Challenge yourself to marketing your business at least once a day. This could be a post on social media, an article in an online magazine, attending an online networking event, contributing to a business forum or uploading a new blog post for example. Have a plan in place as to what you are going to do.

Being consistent with your marketing will pay off. Consider ways to adapt your business to the current climate. I’ve had customers who run events take their events online via Zoom. Businesses who offer services have adapted their services to offer an online version. Another business took to a crowdfunding campaign and other catering company began offering a takeaway service. Hairdressers and beauty salons have offered gift vouchers and sold their products online. Although we see this as a short term solution, some businesses are now seeing this could really work long term too. STAY IN TOUCH Don’t forget your existing customers during this time. Stay focused and make sure you keep them updated during lockdown. Use the extra time to check in with your customers and this will help build better

relationships with them when you come out the other side. YOUR MARKETING Now is a great time to revisit your marketing strategy. This will help you stay one step ahead, you will be more focused and in control of your marketing and feel less overwhelmed. I have created a checklist, ‘10 steps to creating your marketing strategy’ to get you started. If you would like a FREE copy email info@ thelittlemarketingcompany. com Remember not to give up; focus on what you can control and think outside the box. As always, if you need any support with your marketing, whether it’s a launch to reopen, adapting a service, writing your marketing strategy and anything in between, I would be more than happy to help.

- Natalie Brannigan is the owner and founder of the Little Marketing Company. She’s an expert at helping small, medium and start-up businesses to grow, evolve, and reach their true potential through effective marketing strategies and activities. Find out more by visiting www.thelittlemarketingcompany.com or you can contact Natalie direct on 01733 204359 or info@thelittlemarketingcompany.com 24 The Fens | July 2020


The Architectural Designer Studio YOUR LOCAL ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNER COVERING RAMSEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

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Cromwell ARC specialises in tailored rehabilitation programmes to help get your pet back on their feet. We welcome pets from all veterinary practices.

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Huntingdon (36 St Johns Street): 01480 52601 St Neots (1 Linclare Place): 01480 216612 St Ives (Unit 4 Burleigh Centre): 01480 300389 Ramsey (57 Great Whyte): 01487 814789 Cambourne (4 High Street): 01954 715161 Sawtry (56 Green End Road): 01487 800199 & the Cromwell ARC (56 Green End Road): 01487 800199

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24hr Emergency Service: 01480 52222 The Fens | July 2020 25


Serving the Eastern Region for over 90 Years

Scam Alert We have warned several times that unscrupulous criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to defraud businesses and individuals. Writes Chris Kelly. Among the most common examples, scammers claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs offering financial support as a result of Covid-19. Quite simply, if you receive an email, text or call claiming to be from HMRC that asks you to click on a link or give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it’s a scam.

There are many others: Doorstep crime: Criminals targeting older people on their doorsteps and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return. Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus. Online scams: E-mails designed to trick people into opening malicious attachments, so placing information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Refund scams: Companies offering fake holiday refunds for people who have been forced to cancel their trips. If you’re seeking a reimbursement, be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Whiting & Partners offers core accounting services with specialist expertise in:

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Agriculture Construction Contractors Manufacturing Property Retail Road Haulage Technology

Ramsey Office 108 High Street, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. PE26 1BS Telephone: 01487 812441 ramsey@whitingandpartners.co.uk

Telephone scams: As more people self-isolate at home, there is an increasing risk that these scams will rise with criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company. Scams can be identified in a number of ways. There is additional information on our website whitingandpartners.co.uk as well as on the websites of HMRC and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards department.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | St. Neots | Wisbech

26 The Fens | July 2020


MENTAL HEALTH

Going back to work? Are you faced with the uncertainty of returning to work during coronavirus? Mind have some really useful tips to help you manage If you have to leave your house to go into work during the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like a difficult and stressful time. You may need to go into work during the coronavirus outbreak because you're on the Government's list of key workers (also known as critical workers), and you're continuing to do important work to help and support other people. Or it may not be possible to do your job at home, and your employer has asked you to continue going into work. When you're busy doing important work, it might not feel possible to take care of yourself. But even doing small things for yourself can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing, and there are lots of ideas you can try. UNDERSTANDING DIFFICULT FEELINGS

If you are going into work during the coronavirus outbreak, you might experience some difficult feelings. These may be new feelings, or things you've experienced in the past. These feelings might be hard to deal with if the people around you don't share your experiences of going into work. Or they might have different reactions to similar experiences. There is no right or wrong way to feel or react to your situation. But these are some common feelings that you might experience during this time: • Stress • Anxiety • Guilt • Anger TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING If you are going into work during the coronavirus outbreak, you may find it hard to take care of your

mental wellbeing. This may feel very difficult if you come into contact with people who may have coronavirus when you go to work. Or you may be struggling if you are working long hours or under a lot of pressure. And even though you are going into work, you may have people in your life who you can't see for now because they are staying at home. These are some tips to help support your wellbeing: • Connect with people • Use available support • Make time for yourself where possible • Try to keep active • Look after your physical health PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR GOING INTO WORK You may be worried about how coronavirus is going to affect your

work. Or you may have questions about what to do if you need to take sick leave or care for children or others who you support. These are some ways to find practical guidance and support about going into work during the coronavirus outbreak: • Find out your rights while going into work • Find out about social distancing while at work Remember you are not alone. If you need help or support please do reach out. Here are just a few helpful numbers:

Mind 0300 123 3393 Samaritans 116 123 Text SHOUT to 85258 Care Network 0330 094 57450 Help at Home 01223 714433 Fenland Community Navigators 01354 695208 The Fens | July 2020 27


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This month’s Book Review

Resident author Eva Jordan shares her latest reads...

DEAD INSIDE By Noelle Holten; Published by One More Chapter “The crash at the bottom of the stairs woke me instantly… I didn’t want to move. I couldn’t, I was paralysed with fear. I had always accepted the verbal abuse that was thrown at me. I could take that. It was the physical abuse that filled me with shame.”

Dead Inside is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson Police Procedural Series and debut novel of writer, Noelle Get in touch to see how we can help Holten. T: 01733 844165 M: 07506 844826 Written in the third person tcmcleaning@hotmail.co.uk (except the prologue), the www.tcmcleaning.org central theme of this fab debut is domestic abuse, a subject the writer handles with great sensitivity and professionalism. The cast of characters is large, so it’s important to keep up with who’s who; otherwise you run the risk of becoming a little confused. However, the chapters are short and snappy, which makes it easy to read and also adds to Home Improvement Home Improvement Specialist theSpecialist pace of the storyline. There are, I would Property managementargue, and installation Property management installation From the smallest toand biggest jobs! two main protagonists in this killer thriller, Home Improvement Specialist Home Improvement Specialist namely Lucy Sherwood, who, based on Noelle’s Specialising in all internal work, includingis a probation officer, and DC Specialising in all internaland work, including own experience, Property Property installation management and installation Homemanagement Improvement Specialist Home Improvement Specialist Maggie Jamieson. In her professional life, Lucy Property management and Property installation management and installation Home Improvement Specialist Home Improvement Specialist Bathroom & Kitchen Plastering & comes across as a tough, no nonsense individual: Specialising in all internaland work, Specialising including in all internal work, including Property Property installation management and installation Homemanagement Improvement Specialist Home Improvement Specialist specialists Decorating a given for a probation officer speaking to Specialising in all internaland work, Specialising including in all internaland work, including Property management Property installation management installation Interior Renovations Tiling offenders who have abused their partners. A fact Specialising in all internal work, Specialising including in all internal work, including that’s also rather ironic when juxtaposed to Lucy’s Complete Conversions Flooring Specialising in all internal work, Specialising including in all internal work,life. including private Maggie too, is a strong individual. With

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COLUMNISTS

A Q&A With Award Winning Blogger, and Author, Noelle Holten Although we’ve never met in person, I’ve been an online friend of Noelle’s for over 5 years now, and like many bloggers and writers, I’ve found her to be both extremely supportive and encouraging to all those linked with the book world. Today we get to know her a little better…

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I was in awe of their talent to pull a reader into a Welcome Noelle, thanks for chatting to me. story and I wanted to see if I could do the same. So Can you tell our readers a little bit about far, so good! yourself – I understand you used to be a probation officer? How does writing compare to probation? Hi Eva! Thanks so much. A little about myself – The only murders I now have to deal with hmmm. By day I am the PR are those I create myself and Social Media Manager on the page! Probation at a leading digital publisher can be a very stressful and in the UK - Bookouture and by If you don't have a thick skin... emotionally draining job. night I write the DC Maggie develop one! You need to be Even though I left in 2017, I still Jamieson series for Harper able to accept constructive consider myself a probation Collins imprint, One More officer – albeit an ex one! Chapter and read/review on criticism, rejections as well What I love about writing my blog: CrimeBookJunkie. as negative reviews is I can still be 'involved' in Yes, I was a Senior Probation probation and other criminal Officer for nearly 18 years. I managed two teams of justice fields – without the stress. officers and one of the teams was based in a police station. I And finally, for anyone left in 2017 when my dream of thinking of starting a blog, working for a publisher came or becoming a writer, what true! advice would you offer? For starting a blog, I'd say – just go Did you always want for it! Be yourself, read and review to be a writer, and if so what you love and make it your what writers inspired you? own. There are no rules! The short answer to that is no! I always wanted to work in the In terms of writing, read as many criminal justice field. I used to books in the genre you want to write morbid, teenage poetry write about as you can. See how in my youth and a few short your favourite authors keep you stories in high school but I never turning those pages. I would also believed I could actually write a novel myself. I suggest, if you seek any advice, take it on board, was an avid reader from a young age and my but find what works for you. If you don't have a favourite genre has always been true crime/crime thick skin... develop one! You need to be able to fiction. My interest in writing came when I was accept constructive criticism, rejections as well as about 44/45 yrs. old and every crime author I read negative reviews. And finally, persevere! (there's been a lot) are the ones who inspired me.

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3

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- Eva Jordon is a mother of two and published local author of 183 Times a Year, All the Colours Between and Time Will Tell. You can find out more about her by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter.com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter The Fens | July 2020 29


EXPLORING THE FENS...

Searching Searchin for shade After baking (and maybe burning!) in spring’s record-breaking sunshine, some nature walks in shady woods could be a good idea this summer WORDS RICHARD GROOM

Lady’s Wood, Upwood courtesy of Amy Corney

Living out in the Fens means walking for me is mostly through open countryside. That’s fine, as I love the huge skies and far off horizon, but it’s good to mix things up sometimes. Thankfully, there is plenty of woodland left in the Fens so you can enjoy some relief from the sun. Even better, these are places to experience animals and plants that are rarely seen out in the open. And of course, for children they can be mysterious, magical hangouts for exploration and adventure. Four of my favourites are just a walk, bike ride or short drive away. So as lockdown restrictions hopefully continue to ease, why not make time for a woodland walk this month?

lucky you may also spot a water shrew or water vole. The reserve is just the right size for an hour or two’s exploration. Dogs are welcome but best kept on a lead. Just make sure you keep track of where you are walking as it is possible to get a little lost for a while among the many paths that crisscross through the woods. (I know this from experience!) - More info at wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/ lattersey and facebook.com/pages/LatterseyNature-Reserve

LATTERSEY NATURE RESERVE, WHITTLESEY

Make your way down New Road past the allotments and recycling centre, and you’ll find a real gem. Split into two parts by the road, Lattersey Nature Reserve is a disused quarry that’s a secret slice of woodland on the edge of open Fen. It’s a haven for wildlife. The ponds and trees attract many species of birds, including ducks, woodpeckers, reed bunting and tawny owls. Dragonflies and damselflies are plentiful. If you are 30 The Fens | July 2020

Lattersey Nature Reserve courtesy of Marian Dunham


LADY’S WOOD, UPWOOD

Great Fen courtesy of Wildlife Trust BCN

HOLME FEN, HOLME

A visit to Holme Fen - part of the Great Fen area gives you lots of options for a walk. Take the ‘Last of the Meres Trail’ and you’ll be out in the open for much of the eight miles. Alternatively, follow the ‘Lost Lake Discovery Trail’ for a pleasant mile exploring the silver birch woodland. Or you can just let your senses guide you around the miles of pathways that meander through the woods. The reserve features meres (lakes) with bird hides and is home to a variety of wildlife species. You’ll certainly see plenty of birds and dragonflies, and maybe even some deer. The woods are of course also home to shade-loving plants: huge ferns dominate for much of the year, while apparently there are more than 500 types of fungi to be found. While you are there, make a point of visiting the famous Holme Posts. At 2.75 metres below sea level, you will be standing at the lowest land point in Great Britain. Dogs are welcome but need to be kept under control, preferably on a lead when livestock are around and in the spring when there are ground nesting birds. - More info at greatfen.org.uk/ holme-fen and facebook.com/ GreatFen

Famous locally for its magnificent display of bluebells each April, Lady’s Wood is worthy of a visit at any time of the year. Once again, it provides shade on hot summer days, while in the autumn you can pick a few blackberries during your walk. The wood is home to tawny owls and woodpeckers, among others. Trees that were felled in the 1950s have been left lying in the wood, providing a perfect home for all kinds of insects and fungi. Dogs are welcome but need to be on a lead at all times. - More info at wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/ ladys-wood and visit upwood.org/index.php/walks for details of a six-mile ‘Upwood Ramble’ that also takes in the nature reserves of Upwood Meadows and Raveley Wood.

HINCHINGBROOKE COUNTRY PARK, HUNTINGDON

A wonderful 170 acres of grassland, woodland, wildflower meadows and lakes. The local wildlife includes otters and kingfishers, although you’ll need patience and luck to see them. Even if you don’t, it’s just a great place to walk with plenty to see. There are hard-surfaced paths, making it suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. Some paths can become muddy or flooded in wet weather, so bring your wellies if we have a wet spell. My cocker spaniel loves it as there are large grass areas for tennis-ball fetch games, as well as plenty of places to have a good sniff. Please put your dog on a lead where appropriate, such as in the designated wildlife areas or wherever wildlife might be disturbed. - More info at huntingdonshire. gov.uk/leisure/parks-naturereserves-and-green-spaces/ hinchingbrooke-countrypark and facebook.com/ hinchingbrookecountrypark

IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19

All the sites mentioned here were open at the time of writing. However, we suggest that you check before visiting as due to COVID-19 some sites may be closed or have limited access or parking. If you arrive at a site and find it especially busy, come back on another day to minimise crowding and the impact this can have on people and nature. Sites may also have a reduced workforce or volunteer presence, so please take your rubbish home as bins may not be emptied as often as usual.

The Fens | July 2020 31


OUT AND ABOUT...

SHARE THE LOVE

Fenland is an area rich with wildlife, beautiful landscape and wonderful skies. This month we asked you to share your favourite wildlife walks over the past month and you didn’t disappoint.....

Photo by Amy Eagling at Lattersey Nature Reserve

Photo by Erika Harvey at Shouldham Warren

Photo by Becky Daines at Barnack Hills and Holes

Photo by James Cook

32 The Fens | July 2020


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Common blue butterfly, courtesy of seeing.org and Terry Longley

Beautiful butterflies Wildlife Trust’s Caroline Fitton looks at the wonder of butterflies and explains how we can all help play our part in ensuring their survival

Butterflies and moths are incredible creatures that instantly trigger memories of sunshine, flowers and long summer days. However, this might not always be the case: sadly, during the last century four butterfly species and more than 60 types of moth became extinct and 75% of British butterfly species are in decline. The main cause is the continued deterioration, fragmentation and loss of habitats in combination with changes in weather patterns, particularly in summer. Butterflies can also tell us a lot about what’s going on in an area, and the Wildlife Trust in Cambridgeshire monitor their presence at many nature reserves, as well as creating conditions that each species need to thrive. They are very sensitive to environmental change and react quickly due to their short life cycles, therefore they are valuable as what's called an 'indicator species', and by monitoring them the Trust can gain a better understanding of how native wildlife is likely to respond to environmental factors such as climate change (eg hotter, drier summers and wetter winters) and increased urban development. If butterflies are in trouble, there is a good chance that a wide range of other insect species will be struggling too, and this will have knock-on effects further up the food chain. To help halt the decline in butterflies and moths everyone can help restore their populations and for this to happen the wider countryside needs to be managed in a more butterfly-friendly way. 34 The Fens | July 2020

Helping butterflies in gardens can make a big difference, and by encouraging butterflies and moths into gardens there's a double bonus: colourful butterflies and moths, and a beautiful garden. Any garden, no matter the size, can easily attract butterflies and moths: just one vital ingredient: nectar, nectar and more nectar! By planting suitable nectar-rich plants, this will quickly attract up to 18 species of butterfly and many moths. PLANTING FOR BUTTERFLIES Butterflies can fly surprisingly long distances in their search for the right breeding site, and nectar provides essential sustenance at this time: they locate nectar flowers by following scent and colour. Generally, both native and non-native flowers are suitable as nectar sources, so there's lots of choice of what to plant. It is important that the nectar is accessible – simple, shallow flowers are best. Butterflies cannot reach the nectar in deep flowers such as foxgloves. Flowers can be grouped to create a ‘butterfly border’: butterflies like warmth, so go for sheltered, sunny spot sand try to pick a mixture of plants that flower throughout the year. Obviously, don't use any insecticides or pesticides as these will kill butterflies and many other important insects. For summer planting many flowers work well: especially bramble, Buddleia (butterfly bush),


Brown argus butterfly courtesy of .Martin Swannell

candytuft, dandelion, golden rod, heliotrope, hemp agrimony, knapweed, lavender, French marigold, marjoram, mint, nasturtiums, oxeye daisy, perennial wallflower, purple loosestrife, scabious, sweet rocket, sweet William, teasel, thyme, toadflax, valerian and yarrow. Looking into autumn go for alyssum, black-eyed Susan, buddleia (deadhead to prolong season), hebe, heliotrope, ivy, michaelmas daisy, scabious, verbena, yarrow. Butterflies will also feed on ripe and windfall fruit, root sap, tree trunks, cuckoo spit and even wine! Enjoy these wonderful pollinators for the next few months. Learn how to attract butterflies to your garden www.wildlifebcn.org/actions/ how-attract-butterflies-yourgarden

WILDLIFE TRUST RESERVES TO SPOT BUTTERFLIES The Great Fen – the Last of the Meres circular walk passes through meadows of wildflowers where butterflies feed on nectar and glide among the flower heads www.greatfen.org.uk/ www.greatfen.org.uk/explore/walks-trails/lastmeres Upwood Meadows, near Ramsey – three beautiful ancient wildflower meadows rich in species of wildflower – and the butterflies that love them www.wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/upwoodmeadows Chettisham Meadows, another ancient meadow full of wildflowers and butterflies - orangetip, holly blue, marbled white, brown argus and small copper to name but a few www.wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/ chettisham-meadow

The Fens | July 2020 35


REGULAR EVENTS

We try to keep these pages as up-to-date as possible. At the time, many of the regular events might not be running. Please check beforehand. For up to date information about news and events please visit www.discoverramsey.co.uk

MONDAY Acorn Cancer Support Group 1st Monday of the month (2nd if Bank Holiday) 11:15 - 1pm. Rainbow Resource Centre. [ For details call 07739 934524 Ramsey & District Garden Club 3rd Mon of month, 7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre. [ 01487 710702 Women’s Section Royal British Legion 3rd Mon, 7:30pm, British Legion. [ 01487 812143 Ramsey WI 2nd Mon of month,7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre Time Out 2nd & 4th Mon 9:30am11:30am Great Whyte Baptist Church. [ Peter + Valerie 01487 812323 Ramsey Senior Road Runners Every Mon & Weds 7pm9pm, Bedford Room, One Leisure Centre. [ 01487 812829 Bingo - Mereside Village Association Mon fortnightly, 7:30pm Mereside Village Hall Trekkers (7-11 years) Every Monday term time 6:30-7:30pm, School Room, Salem Baptist Church. [ 01487 815568 Handbell Playing Every Monday 7-9pm Upwood Church 1st Bury Brownies Monday 6-7:30pm, Bury Church Hall. [ 01733 844850 Toddlers Every Mon 9.30-10.30am Thomas a Becket Church 1st Bury Guides Monday 7:30-9pm, Bury Church Hall. [ 01733 844850 Sweaty Mamma’s 10 -10.45am, Mereside Village Hall. [ Rosie - 07963 468740 Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 710851 / 814633 Ramsey Tennis Club Every Monday 6pm, Abbey Grounds. [ 01487 36 The Fens | July 2020

209369 Caring Together-Ramsey Family Carers Hub 3rd Monday, 11am-1pm, Ramsey Library. [ 01480 499090 Yoga Class Every Monday 7-8:15pm, Ramsey Junior School. [ Debbie 01487 812218 Ramsey Rockets, Netball Club Every Mon 8-9pm One Leisure Sports Hall [ Jo.rose4@btinternet.com Little Miracles, After School Sports Every Mon 5-6pm One Leisure, Ramsey [ Amy 07715 306112 TUESDAY Crossroads (4-7 years) Every Tuesday term time 3-4:30pm, School Room, Salem Baptist Church Christian Meditation Group Every Tues, 7.30-8.30pm Sacred Heart Church [ mrsestorey@gmail.com Line Dancing Every Tues 8-9:30pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Ladies Meeting Every Tues 2:30-4pm Great Whyte Baptist Church [ Peter/Valarie 01487 812323 / Pauline Nixon 814030 Ramsey and District U3A 2nd Tues 2pm Ramsey Community Centre [ Jane 01487 814984 ramseyu3a. org.uk Ramsey Child & Family Zone, Stay, Play & Learn 10 - 11.30am, Ramsey Community Centre, £2 [ 01480 372700 Rotary Club of Ramsey Every Tuesday 7:30pm Ramsey Golf Club [ 01480 460843 511 Air Cadets, Ramsey Tues & Thurs 7-9pm Redebourn Lane, Bury [ 01487 710776 Bell Ringing, St Thomas a Becket Church Tues (Except Holy Week)

7.30-9pm [ Cathy 01487 814860 [ Paul 813372 Ramsey Child & Family Zone Bumps & Babies 1.30pm-3pm, Ramsey Library [ 01480 3727000 Ramsey Senior’s Lunch Club Tues & Thurs Rainbow Resource Centre [ 07748 837899 Toddlers, Mereside Village Association Every Tues 2:30pm, Mereside Village Hall [ 01733 844816 Food Bank Every Tues,10am - 12noon, Thomas a Becket Church 1st Ramsey Rainbows Tuesdays 5.15 - 6.30pm, Ramsey Methodist [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 1940s Volunteer Day Every Tues 10am, The Camp, Wood Lane [ 07881 730047 2nd Ramsey Brownies Tues 6-7:30pm, The Scout Hut [ Ann Patmore 01487 815878/ Wendy Nicholls 814547 Upwood Table Tennis Club Tues 7:30-10pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01487 815833 Ann56dea@gmail.com Ramsey Cycling Club Every Tues & Thurs 7pm, Bus Bay, Abbey Road, Ramsey [ Paul 07707 598621 WEDNESDAY Ramsey St Mary’s WI 3rd Weds, 7:30pm, The Barn, Ashbeach School [ 01480 453137 Upwood Table Tennis Club Wednes 2-4:30pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01487 812923 hollyhouse.upwood@ tiscali.co.uk Ramsey Senior Citizens Club 1st Weds 2pm (Except Jan & Aug) Bury Village Hall [ 01487 711649 www. ramseyseniors.wordpress.

com Dementia Cafe 1st Weds of month 10-12pm Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01487 415235 Bingo St Mary’s Church, Ramsey St Mary’s 2nd Weds, 7:30-10pm, Ashbeach Barn [ 01487 711548 Wistow WI 2nd Weds, (Except Aug) 7:30pm, Wistow Village Hall [ 01487 822828 Becket Senior Lunches 3rd Weds St Thomas a Becket Church [ 07763 205042 Ramsey & District Stroke Support 3rd Weds 2pm, Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01487 815274, Parkinson’s UK Ramsey Support Group - Medication Review Clinic 2nd Weds, 2-4pm Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01480 896735 Ramsey Rangers Alternate Weds, 8pm9:30pm Royal British Legion Club [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 1st Ramsey Scouting Group, Beavers Every Weds 5:45-7pm (Term time only), Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 01487 813435 1st Ramsey Scouting Group, Cubs Every Weds 7:10-8:30 (Term time only), Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 01487 813435 Bury Carpet Bowls Weds 7:30-9.30pm [ 01487 815363 / 822450 Upwood Brownies Weds 6-7:30pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01733 844850 Coffee Morning 1st Weds, 10-12pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Noah’s Ark - Mums & Toddlers Every Weds 9.30 -11am Term Time, Great Whyte Baptist Church Hall [ 01487 812689 Young Farmers Club Every Weds, Various


Locations [ Jordon 07717 723266 / Tris 07743 655337 1st Ramsey Brownies Weds 5:30pm-7:00pm Ramsey Junior School [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 2nd Ramsey Guides Weds 7-8:30pm Royal British Legion club [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Urban Dance Academy 3 to 4 years, 4-4:30pm 5 to 6 years, 4:30-5:15pm 7 to 8 years, 5:15-6pm 9 to 10 years, 6-6:45pm 11+, 6:45-7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre [ UDA 07776 122841 Indoor Carpet Bowls Every Weds 7:45-10pm Ramsey Forty Foot Village Hall [ 01487 813085 Ramsey Junior Road Runners Weds 7:30-8:30pm Bedford Room, One Leisure Centre [ 01487 812829 Craft club Every second Weds, Ramsey Mereside Hall [ 01733 844459 Junior Youth Club Weds (1st, 3rd and 4th of each month) 5.45 7.15pm Ramsey Mereside Hall [ Louise Clark themeresider@aol.com Senior Youth Club Weds (1st, 3rd and 4th of each month) 7.30 - 9pm, Ramsey Mereside Hall [ Louise Clark themeresider@aol.com 1st Warboys Rainbows Weds Warboys Church 5-6pm [ 01733 844850 1st Warboys Brownies Weds Warboys Church 6.15-7.45pm [ 01733 844850 Ramsey Friendship Centre Weds (except first week in month) 10am-12noon. Ramsey Methodist Church hall. Transport available [01487 711330 THURSDAY Messy Church - Fun & Food for Juniors Second Thurs 3.30-5pm Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 07859 594227 Warboys Friendship Club 10-11.30am, Warboys Parish Centre [ Ann Doyle

01487 823176 Salem Baptist Chapel Oasis (People over 50) 2nd & 4th Thurs 2pm High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Abbey WI 1st Thurs, 2pm Bury Village Hall [ 01487 813848 Little Lambs Toddler Group Every Thurs 9:30am, Salem Baptist Church, High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Ramsey Choral Society Every Thurs 7:30-9:30pm, Ramsey Junior School [ 01487 813819 Ramsey Camera Club Fortnightly (Except School Holidays) 8-10pm, Ramsey Community Centre [ 01487 711706 Ramsey Rural Museum Open Day Every Thurs 10-5pm, April to October, Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 815715 Ramsey Reading Ring Book Group 1st Thurs 10:30am, Ramsey Library [ 0345 0455225 Papworth Trust Fun United Youth Club - for young people with additional needs Every Thurs 7-9pm Holy Cross Parish Church Hall [ 0800 952500 Ramsey Yarners Every 3rd Thurs 2pm, Ramsey Library [ 0345 0455225 Knit n Natter Alternate Thurs 10am– 12pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall So nSews Alternate Thurs 10am12.30pm, Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Ramsey Forty Foot Brownies 6-7:30pm, Ashbeach School Barn [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Line Dance Classes Every Thurs 1:45-3pm Warboys Sports & Social Club [ 01487 824143/ 494367 Ramsey Bridge Club Every Thurs 7-10:30pm Bury Village Hall, [ 01487

824002 Food Bank Every Thurs,10am-12noon, Thomas a Becket Church Abbey Ukuleles Every Thurs 7-9pm Ramsey Golf & Bowls Club [ 07887 622077 FRIDAY Hunts Mind Fri, 10-11am, Ramsey Library [ 01480 470480 Bury Table Tennis Club Every Fri 7-10pm Bury Village Hall [ Roger Albone 01487 813428 Rhymetime at Ramsey Library Fri (term time)10.30-11am (0-2ys), 11.15-11.45am (2+) [ 0345 045 5225 Child Health Clinic Frid 9.30–11am Ramsey Library [ 01480 357152 Great Fen Little Bugs Club (term time only) Every Fri, Wildlife Trust Countryside Centre, Ramsey Heights,10.30am12noon [ 01487 815524 SATURDAY & SUNDAY Ramsey Rural Museum (April - October Sat & Sun 2-5pm, Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 815715 Open Door - Drop in for Coffee 3rd Sat 10-12pm, Ramsey Methodist Church [ 01487 813833 Salem Baptist Chapel Sunday School - 9:45am Morning Service -10:45am. Evening Service - 6pm. High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Ramsey Walled Garden Every Sun & Bank Holidays Easter - Oct, Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 813054 Little Miracles, Family Session Every Sat 10:30 -12pm Ramsey Methodist Church [ Amy - 07715 306112 Bury Rainbows Sat 9:15-10:30am Bury Church Hall [ 01733 844850 Yvonne AA Every Sat 7pm Thomas a Becket Church Great Fen Wildlife Watch Every 2nd Sat 10-12pm

Countryside Centre. (No meeting in Aug). Taking children from Primary Schools, parents must stay with children. £3 per child or £5 a family (siblings) [ 01487 710420 Ramsey Mortuary Chapels First Sun, Easter-Oct 2-5pm Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 814304 Heritage First Sunday First Sun April to October discoverramsey.co.uk Great Whyte Baptist Church Sunday Service, 10.45am [ 01487 812323

JOB SEARCH Mon & Wed 10am-12pm Ramsey Library [ 01487 814897 ALL-A-BOARD GAMES CLUB Mon 2-4pm, Ramsey Library SPARKS Mond 7-9pm, Ramsey Methodist Church THE DOG’S MEET Tuesday 10am-12pm, Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 BOSH Thurs (Term-time) 4.30-6pm Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 CRUNCH Thurs (Term-time) 7-9pm Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 COMMUNITY MARKET Sat & Thurs 7am-1pm Great Whyte [ 01487 814897 TODDLER TIME First Sat, Ramsey Community Centre [ 01487 814897 RAMSEY CRAFTERS Mon 12-3pm, Ramsey Library [ 01487 814897 BOXING FITNESS Weds 6-7pm (7-10yrs £1.50 per session) and 7-8.30pm (11-16yrs - £2 per session), Ramsey Methodist Church Hall [ val.rntoffice@gmail. com The Fens | July 2020 37


THIS MONTH’S RECIPE

CLASSIC SCONES

John McGinn, head chef at Dog in a Doublet, shares his classic scone recipe INGREDIENTS 250g self-raising flour good pinch of salt 50g caster sugar 50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced 1 medium egg 100ml buttermilk, plus extra if needed (you can use 2tbsp natural yoghurt made up to 100ml with milk)

THE TWISTS You could add some dried fruit to your scones such as figs or even some nuts. How abut filing your scone with buttercream (clotted cream can be hard to get hold of) and then adding some mashed bananas? The options are endless.

METHOD 1. Turn the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper. 2. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the pieces of butter to the bowl and toss them in the flour to separate and coat them. Rub the butter into the flour using just the tips of your fingers until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. 3. Beat the egg with the buttermilk and then stir this mixture into the crumbs using a palette knife to make a fairly soft but not wet dough. If there are dry crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, or the dough feels dry and seems difficult to bring together, add a little more buttermilk (or milk) a teaspoon at a time. The dough should look a bit rough so don’t overwork it and try to keep a light touch.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead the dough very gently for just a couple of seconds so it looks slightly smoother. Roll the dough out to about 3cm thick. 5. Using a cutter, stamp out rounds. Don’t twist the cutter as this will result in an uneven rise. Gather up the trimmings, press them together and stamp out more rounds. 6. Arrange the rounds on the lined baking sheet, giving them space to grow, then dust them lightly with flour. Bake for about 12 minutes or until a rich golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Eat warm from the oven, spread with clotted cream whipped lightly with vanilla essence and icing sugar, and some strawberries turned in some jam.

Eat, drink, stay!

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms 38 The Fens | July between 2020 River Nene, Thorney & Whittlesey | 01733 202256 | doginad.co.uk


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Nathan Smith from the Luxe cinema looks at a look at some of the best films money can buy

Lockbuster Video

Back in March, we were all asked to remain indoors and films on disk made a comeback to pass the time, so I thought why not put my Blockbuster Video hat back on and pick out some fantastic films for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home. First up we have Dark Waters, a cracking thriller based on the real investigation into DuPont’s Teflon production by the lawyer Robert Bilott (played brilliantly by Mark Ruffalo) after a town was poisoned by unregulated chemicals. Directed by Todd Haynes, who directed 2015’s Carol, this brings the fascinating true story to life. Dark Waters is released on July 6th. When cinemas closed their doors, many were displaying posters for the sequel to the surprisingly cheerful Trolls and now you can own the movie that grabbed all the headlines as Universal took the decision to pull from cinemas all-together. Trolls: World Tour features an epic adventure to save their world from a tribe of Rock loving Trolls who seek 40 The Fens | July 2020

to destroy all other music. The home release will also include a new short film, ‘Tiny Diamond Goes Back to School’ when it releases on July 27th.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that most films, however outlandish or anachronistic are filmed in real locations and when Armando Ianucci’s adaptation of Dickens’ The Personal History of David Copperfield was filmed they utilised locations in Kings Lynn and Norfolk which makes for great fun playing ‘Spot the Town’. With a colour-blind cast including Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel, the film is a warm and self-aware feature which rewards those that know the original text, whilst not alienating newcomers and it is Out Now to buy. This year’s Academy Awards saw one film breaking new ground as Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite became the first film to win both the Best Picture and Best International Feature Film (as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay). Believe me, the fuss is entirely justified. The Kim family live in a small basement apartment at the end of a grotty street while the Park family live a

life of luxury at the top of the town. When the Kims see an opportunity to infiltrate the household by posing as various highly-qualified individuals, but something happens that turns the whole film on its head and elevates it from *a* foreign film to *THE* must-see foreign film. Parasite is Out Now. Finally, my Cult Classic pick is Flash Gordon which is getting a stunningly lavish special edition in time for its 40th Anniversary. Not only do you get the campclassic in stunningly remastered form, you also get the Queen soundtrack, booklets, art cards, a poster AND a sew-on patch! This exceptional boxed-set also includes extensive behind the scenes features including a look at the original plans for the film, back when Don’t Look Now director Nic Roeg was due to helm AND perhaps even more exciting a feature commentary from man/fog-horn hybrid Brian Blessed himself! Altogether now.... “GORDON’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVE!!!”. You can order your copy now ahead of its August 10th release date.


HANDY NUMBERS

USEFUL NUMBERS 24 Hour Emergency Number Age UK Cambridgeshire Care Network Cambridgeshire Caring Together (Carers Trust) Citizens Advice Bureau Cromwell Vets Huntingdon Job Centre Hunts Forum Life Amid Debt (LAD) Locality Luminus Group Muir Housing One Leisure Police Emergency Police Non Emergency Ramsey Child & Family Zone Ramsey Community Bus Ramsey Community Warden Ramsey Food Bank Ramsey Library Ramsey Million* BOSH/CRUNCH Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust* Ramsey Post Office Ramsey Volunteer Bureau The Bobby Scheme Stagecoach Swearers Funeral Services The Ramsey Initiative WI Centre

01480 52222 0300 6669860 01480 423065 03452 410954 0344 2451292 01487 814789 0843 5092446 01480 420601 07768 681564 01480 376209 0345 2669760 01480 453234 01480 388111 999 101 01480 379420 01487 711330 07900 340265 01487 812818 0345 0455225 01487 814897 07955 817137 01487 814897 01487 812549 01487 814117 01480 413311 01223 433250 01487 812239 01487 813612 01480 453137

Health Addenbrookes Hinchingbrooke Hospital Peterborough City Hospital Rainbow Surgery Ramsey Dental Surgery Ramsey Health Centre

01223 245151 01480 416416 01733 678000 01487 710980 01487 812312 01487 812611

Need a local number? Our handy numbers are worth keeping close by. Or better still, keep your copy of the magazine on your coffee table until the next one pops through your door...

Village Halls/Community Centre Bury Village Hall 01487 813848 Ramsey Community Centre 01733 844816 Ramsey Forty Foot Village Hall 01487 814637 Ramsey Mereside Village Hall 01733 844459 Upwood Village Hall 01487 815475 Wistow Village Hall 01487 822708 Schools/Child Care Abbey College Ashbeach Primary Bury C of E Primary Bury Play Group Busy Bee Day Nursery Head Start Nursery Ramsey Pre School Ashbeach Ladybirds Pre School Ramsey Junior School Ramsey Spinning Infants The Ramsey Day Nursery Upwood Playgroup Upwood Primary School

01487 812352 01733 844262 01487 813784 07733 360836 01487 711643 01487 711122 01487 710160 01733 219900 01487 812500 01487 813587 01487 710422 01487 813510 01487 813510

Councils Ramsey & Bury County Councillor County Cllr. Adela Costello Ramsey & Bury District Councillors District Cllr. Steve Corney District Cllr. Jeff Clarke District Cllr. John Palmer Warboys District Cllr. Jill Taverner District Cllr. Graham Bull Ramsey Mayor - Cllr.Steve Corney Ramsey Town Council Parish Council - Clerk Bury Parish Council Wistow Parish Council

01487 813124 07795 057440 07802 398259 01487 814063 01487 823082 07780 511928 01487 814957 01487 814957 01487 812447 01487 813278 01487 812877

Editorial Policy Summary •All items are included entirely at the discretion of the editor who reserves the right to edit or refuse to print any item submitted. •The Fens Magazine cannot accept any liability for omissions, errors or mistakes which occur in production. •All materials contained within are strictly copyright, all rights reserved. Production in whole or part without permission of The Fens Magazine is prohibited. The Fens | July 2020 41


COLUMNIST

The Fenland Mum

Our first escape, part one... New columnist Hazel Beecroft shares her journey of motherhood whilst living on the edge of the Fens (during lockdown)

I

have not left the property in over eight weeks, except for one stroll through the village to place a book on a doorstep. I have been marooned within the boundary of my home without a grudge, blessed with outside space and the ability to video call the people I love. I quite enjoy being a hermit. Only my husband has ventured out, in true (modern) hunter-gatherer style, to conduct socially distanced food shops (when he gets home I quiz him, fascinated by the outside world and strange new supermarket rules). When he leaves Verity stares out of the window in awe and asks “where’s daddy gone?” When restrictions relaxed, after the television told us we could reclaim a small portion of normality, and I announced it was time to go on an adventure, it struck me just how much lockdown affected my toddler. I thought she was protected from the change, and at least she is sheltered from the most terrifying parts – dreading the evening news, processing gut-wrenching statistics and worrying about the mortgage. Although the smallest person in our family, she is the most perceptive. She has been stuck at home away from friends, bored with her toys, watching television alone so we can crowbar in work around childcare, yet she’s still singing the ABC song and setting up teddy bear picnics with invisible tea and plastic macaroons. She has appeared to make do, a tiny little dot exhibiting admirable British spirit, but when I watch the swirl of emotion pass her face at the news of our imminent departure from her safe haven – her prison – it hits me that she’s masking uncertainty, just like me. We’re going out? Is the first reaction – shock, disbelief – and then there’s joy. She’s exhilarated at the thought of using the front door instead of the back. But then I see doubt, fear, and uncertainty creep in. 42 The Fens | July 2020

She grows quiet and fidgety as I dutifully pack our bag. She’s itching to go but also afraid I’m going to tell her it’s time to put on her wellies. There is a half-smile frozen on her lips, threatening to turn into a frown. The outside world is ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hazel Beecroft grew up around scary. At two years Cambridgeshire and lives with old, she had only her husband, daughter and just started to get two horses on the edge of The used to it before it Fens. She is a self-published was taken away author of equestrian fiction and became - complete with romance, mysterious once conflict and drama (to keep more. My face the protagonist busy) - all set in mirrors hers. I the Fens. Find her books online haven’t driven at Amazon.co.uk, available in in weeks. When both paperback and e-book. I pull out of Follow her on Facebook the driveway @HazelBeecroftAuthor or Instagram @hazel_beecroft for I discover I still remember what regular updates on her riding the pedals do. and writing. But the verges look different, I no longer recognise local roads because winter turned into spring; the grass is waist high and trees no longer bare. We wind our way to Holme Fen, with Verity asking “are we there yet” from the moment we leave our village, a coy smile on her face because she somehow already knows that joke. We bounce over the railway line then turn right, and as we cruise past the darkened pub I remember we’re not quite back to normal yet…


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Massive site revamp this year, bigger car park, new stone area, new display areas and Hollies Tea Room!

WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES IN PLACE We are a traditional garden centre specialising in... Home grown bedding Pots and planters

HOLLIES TEA ROOM OPEN FOR TAKEAWAYS

Bagged stone Huge range of trees Specimen plants and shrubs for instant impact

Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 4pm 01487 840397 www.parkhallgardencentre.co.uk Parkhall Road, Somersham PE28 3HW 44 The Fens | July 2020

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