Posts by Website Correspondent

The Meadows – Wildlife Haven: Pond Clearance

The recent tidying of the area around the pond in the Meadows orchestrated by the Volunteer Fire Brigade (GVFB) has caused a heated difference of opinion.

Some have suggested that the pond was originally a paddling pool for children and should have been restored as such, but our research indicates this is not the case although some children may have used it for paddling over the years. It is clearly a wild life pond and many residents are concerned at the efforts to tidy the area.

In early September this year GVFB identified the clearing of the pond in the Meadows “as a worthwhile project to improve the village”. Even at this early stage the pond was recognised as a home for Newts during certain times of the year, but not winter, and it was proposed that clearance work should take place while they were away.

Late October saw an announcement on the Parish Council Facebook Page that the GVFB were potentially looking to restore the “children’s paddling pool” by the dog walking meadow. One GVFB officer even went so far as to say that “allowing nature to completely swamp, a purpose built play area” was not a good idea. This announcement provoked a response from some residents about the potential destruction of a wild life space where “wild plants, bugs, water boatmen, dragonfly nymph, damson fly larva and in particular Great Crested Newts had regularly been seen“. Questions were asked about why the pond area needed to be cleared; why Mother Nature couldn’t be left to do her job and the suitability of the dog walk area for local children to play in?

A GVFB member responded that the Brigade had “in writing from the relevant bodies all things newt related” and that “weed clearance had to be completed before the end of February”. Other contributors were supportive of the creation of a paddling pool and an area that families might picnic and enjoy, indicating that the area had needed clearing for some time.

Again on the Facebook page, Saturday, 19th November was announced as the first day for cleaning around the pond area and that “having taken advice from the relative authorities, tidying up would take place in a sensitive manner”. One resident commented that the assurances “to gently clear the pond and little stream of excess over-grown bushes, trees and shrubs, basically a tidy up of that area, so that the pond life and Eco system, with the amazing Great Crested Newts and other pond life can continue to thrive and grow”, were a welcome relief.


River end of pond

River end of pond


Wildlife Trust site visit.

Sadly for some residents the work undertaken over the weekend of 19th/20th November did not appear to match up to expectation and the Wild Life Trust were contacted. All work was stopped as concerns existed that the instructions and advice provided hadn’t been followed.

The GVFB has told its members that “Concern was raised that protected newts may be present on the site, and so advice was sought via the Wildlife Trust and other experts prior to undertaking the work”. Furthermore that “there is no documented evidence of newts being present, or ever having been present, and this is a fact and can be confirmed via the county recorder”.

Mark Rowley, GVFB Community Officer and Parish Council Chair has told that “The GVFB presented their plans to the council at the November meeting and permission was given to do the work as per the Wildlife Trust guidelines with which they’d been provided (GVFB members of the Parish Council abstained from the vote)“.

In view of concerns raised following the clearance work by some residents and a consequent visit by the Wild Life Trust, he (Mark Rowley) says “I met with GVFB representatives to understand what had been done and their plans moving forward“, furthermore that “no work will be done in the area other than clearing the cuttings and branches until an on-site meeting has been had with the Wildlife Trust on what should be done next”.

The GVFB has told that the “Brigade has the best interests of the village and the GVFB at heart”. The GVFB Commanding Officer, Darry Faulds has promised further comment following the Wild Life Trust visit.

The site visit took place on Thursday, 15th December, with members of the Parish Council, GVFB, and concerned local residents attending. The initial view was that the work had not been completed as sensitively as it should and that trees had been cut down without permission, but that steps could be taken to redress the situation. Parish Councillor, Nick Batchelor, took the lead, noting suggestions from the Wild Life Trust to improve the situation and to address the formal recommendations when received from the Trust.

One local resident has commented, and agrees “The efforts of the GVFB in working on many projects for the benefit of the village should be applauded. The clearing out of the pond is an example, however, where the failure to find out what people want has lead to problems“. This is perhaps the main lesson to be learned, good communication and consultation avoids the problems highlighted by what has happened. will provide a further update when information from the Wild Life Trust and the Parish Council is available.

Council Tax – Precept Consultation

The Parish Council is currently considering what level of precept it needs to make for the next financial year. The precept is the local, Parish element of Council Tax. This time last year the precept was set at £9,000. This level is seen by the Parish Council as almost the minimum needed to run the council and pay for what is termed as minor repairs.

This year several projects that have been put forward and would require precept funding:

  • An extension to the Village Hall car park,
  • Upgrade to the path connecting the village hall to the tennis and bowls clubs,
  • Improving the entrance to Newton to make it safer.

Unfortunately, these projects are not cheap. The current thinking is that an increase to the precept from £9,000 to £20,000 would be required. This would give the council the funds over time to complete the projects without putting an unnecessary burden on residents to complete the work in one year.

The cost to each resident would go from £14.83 for a Band D home to about £33 per year.

Numerous different views have already been voiced and a final decision is due at the Parish Council meeting to be held on 9th January 2017 so is supporting the consultation exercise by encouraging more residents to comment.

What is your view on increasing the precept?
Are these the right projects?
Are there other projects that should be considered?

Comments to the Parish Clerk Email:

If you have questions that you would like to put to the Parish Council, the next Parish Council meeting is at 7.30pm, Monday 12 December in the Village Hall Lounge.

Confirmation at St Mary Magdelene

Confirmation in the Holy Spirit

St Mary Magdalene Church was the host church to a Confirmation Service on Saturday 1st November, that set a new record in this century. A total of fifteen people were confirmed in this service, this number not seen since the early 1980s.

Alice Pierce, Ministry Intern, has sent this report and images.

“On November 1st we had a wonderful Confirmation Service at St Mary Magdalene’s Church. At the service there was a diverse mix of adults and children excited and eagerly awaiting to be confirmed. They had been preparing for weeks with Fr Rob and it was a moving occasion seeing them take this next step in their journey of faith.Confirmation 2

The confirmation marked an important milestone for the fifteen involved where they affirmed the vows made at their baptisms and declared their commitment to be Disciples of Christ in the world.

The service was led by Bishop John of Brixworth who gave an engaging sermon relating fireworks to the Saints and, by extension, to Christians now, and then proceeded to confirm the candidates. Bishop John laid hands on them as a symbol of the Holy Spirit being passed on to them and then they were anointed with Holy Oil to ‘seal’ in that Holy Spirit.

It was very fortunate that the Confirmation Service fell on November 1st, which is All Saints Day – a day where we especially celebrate the lives of Christians of the past and pray for the saints of today. Some might say it was a nice coincidence; but then we all know that coincidence is simply God’s unsuccessful attempt at remaining anonymous.

Confirmation 1Overall it was a fantastic day with lots of support from family, friends and the parishioners and there will always be a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to visit St Mary Magdalene’s and enjoy more great days like this!”

Welcome to a new Parish Councillor

In February, Doug Hodkinson was co-opted onto Geddington Parish Council. In a conversation with, Doug explained his reasons why he came forward and at the same time he gave a very full explanation of his experience.

“Last November I arrived in Geddington, but I was also returning to Northamptonshire after practically 38 years away. My late wife and I began our married life in Wootton, Northampton in 1969,  just after I had got a job with the County Planning Department. Initially it involved working on future development policies for Kettering and nearby towns along the A6 – back in the days when the A14 was no more than a bright idea in a recently published government Green Paper! My career then took me on to Coventry Council and to a new home over the boundary in Warwickshire. Read more →

St David’s Day

1st March 2014 – St David’s Day

People in Wales and those of Welsh origin celebrate the life of their patron saint, St David, and the Welsh culture on March 1 each year. Many people pin a daffodil or leek to their clothes and some, especially children, wear traditional costumes.

St David is the patron saint of Wales. March 1 is a day of celebration of both St David’s life and of the Welsh culture in Wales and in countries such as Canada and the United States.

St David plays a very important role in Welsh culture, but little is known about his life. It is believed that he lived to be 100 years old and that he died in 589, but the first texts on his life only appeared around five hundred years after his death. This means that it is difficult to tell which aspects of the St David’s story are true and which are legend. He was supposed to have been very gentle and physically strong and tall despite eating a frugal diet. His parents were Sant, the grandson of a prince of Ceredigion in south-west Wales, and Non, a niece of the legendary King Arthur.

St David travelled widely throughout Wales, Cornwall, Brittany in France and possibly to Ireland and Jerusalem.  He founded several churches and a monastery in Wales and eventually became an archbishop. St David was canonized in 1120 and March 1 was included in the church calendar as St David’s Day. People started making pilgrimages to St David’s monastery after he was canonized. A cathedral still stands on its original site.

St Davids Day

NCC Emergency Response Corps

Northamptonshire County Council has asked to publicise their recruitment programme for their Emergency Response Corps programme.

The Council’s Marketing Specialist, Sara Wilson, explains:

We are recruiting to our Emergency Response Corps – a group of trained volunteers who assist in the event of an emergency.

We are also encouraging residents to look at advice for preparing for emergencies such as flooding in their home or community. Your parish councils have already been sent a Community Emergency and Flood Plan Template and Guidance to assist with this.

Sara’s contact details are below, but click on the image below to go to the NCC’s Emergency Planning page where more details about this programme are available, as well as the application form.

Northamptonshire County Council

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Northamptonshire Best Village of the Year Competition 2014

Northamptonshire Best Village Competition 2014

VoY Award picture

Geddington – the award winner 2006/7

Remember this?

We were proud winners of the Calor Village of the Year for 2006/7.

You may recognise the oval, green enamel award, on the right of the picture, as it is displayed above the Post Office doorway.

Now is our chance to do it again!

The Parish Council has received the invitation to take part in this year’s competition, which is hosted by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). (See documents at the bottom of this post.) Read more →

Northamptonshire & the Floods

Don’t be a Numpty!

Is the message from Northamptonshire County Council following the flooding of various parts of England. Whilst Northampton hasn’t been flooded this year, the following is the source for flood safety information:

We (the NCC) have put together an information page on our website to help residents find current flood warnings, to report a flood, and to prepare for flooding:

It also hosts a light hearted video intended to help spread the safety message:  Keep out of floodwater.”

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We have included in the Photo Gallery, a number of  photos of the floods in Geddington, taken over the years.
If you have any photos that you would like to add to the Flood Category, please send them as .jpgs, via email to

Celebrating a New Ministry

St Mary Magdalene Church
on Sunday 12th January
saw the licensing of
The Reverend Robert Thomas Parker-McGee
in The Benefice of Geddington & Weekley,
by the
Bishop of Peterborough
and the
Installation by the Archdeacon of Oakham.

 In a packed church, Father Rob was officially welcomed to our village by His Grace, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Dean of Peterborough, Leader of the Council Jim Harker, Head Teacher Sue Spooner, Treasurer and Churchwardens of Weekley Church and by Geddington’s Scout Group.

An attendance of approximately 200 people, swelled by a  coach load of Father Rob’s former parishioners, watched the ancient, hour-long service unfold.

Towards the end of the service, the new Priest-in-Charge, was led to the bell tower, where he tolled a bell. Finally, at the door of the church, the churchwardens gave him the keys of the two churches.

An excellent buffet,  provided by the many members of the congregation, and organised by Margaret Leaton and Jane Rowley, was held afterwards in the School Hall.

And finally, a few words from Fr Rob:

“Sunday was a lovely welcome to the parish and to have so many people attend from the village and from various corners of the country was truly humbling. I feel very privileged to be asked to work amongst a thoroughly welcoming, active and vibrant church community and such a friendly village. Thank you to one and all for all of their care and friendliness. Over the coming years, I hope to be able to serve this community in the same. With much love and many blessings, Fr Rob.”

Order of Service

Order of Service

Speeding towards 20mph – still !

According to our posting on 7th December, we were expecting to see the 20mph and weight limit signs up in the village by the end of that week.  However, they didn’t appear perhaps because of an unexplicable or unexplainable delay.

But the good news is that according to Matthew Barrett of the Northampton County Council’s Highways Department: ” The signs will be put up either on the 8th January or by the end of the week.” He added that: “The switching on of the lighting will take place either on 20th January or the 28th January.”

We await the outcome.20mph


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