Found White Staffie/Bull Terrier X

Has anyone lost a male dog, Staffie/Bull Terrier/cross maybe a third breed, about 2 years old – white all over with some black & brown patches on head and ears?

Very friendly and been looked after (e.g. claws been clipped ok) and good natured.  Thursday night 29th January we saw the dog running free around 5:20 PM, WITHOUT any collar, on School Road, just along from Whiteheath Road towards St  Peter/St Paul Bergh Apton church.

As he had no collar, must assume he escaped from home and just got lost/confused.  We eventually took him home to ASM and S Norfolk lost & found dogs collected him same evening.

Roll on summer!

Working from home…

is something I am lucky enough to be able to do, and so on Thursday morning I was sitting in front of a wood burning stove coding (programming). I had started at just after 5 am, and had opened up the stove in the chilly room. By eight o’clock it was toasty.

I’m alone in the house, apart from Brock, who is pining for a bitch in the village. He’s locked in the kitchen sounding like damp chamois leather on a window pane. “Weeek! weeak!”

Out of the corner of my I catch something move. A rat? A Mouse?… A spider!!? – er no!

A common lizard out of hibernation, probably coming in from the woodpile.

lizard in the livingroom
Is it spring yet?

Today Barney contacted the British Herpatological Society to see what we should do. He received this response.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Trevor Rose <>
Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 10:28 AM
Subject: Re: interupted hibernation
To: Barney Mewton <>
Hi Barney,

You obviously know your stuff! I just wanted to be sure we weren’t dealing with an escaped captive, particularly as it is in your house, which is unusual as you say (but not unknown). I can only think it must have been hibernating in the foundations of your house; it would have to be very close by certainly.

It is a bit of a problem that it has awoken. Putting it outside now could be very detrimental unless you know where other lizards are hibernating, and it would have to be done when the temperature is just right (around 6-7 degrees C during the day)

If you wish, I could make some enquiries to find someone who could keep the lizard for a few weeks until the weather warms.

Otherwise, and if you feel able to keep her yourself, here’s what you need to do: you could keep her in a plastic, uncovered box (like the storage boxes you can buy in the high street for £5-8). As long as it is 8 ins or more deep, she won’t be able to jump out. Sand, gravel or even clean soil can be placed in the box as a substrate, a place to hide (a piece of flat stale would be best) and a small shallow water dish pushed in to the sand. Feel free to decorate the habitat anyway you wish, but these are the bare essentials. You won’t need any additional heat as your house will be warm enough, but she would appreciate being near good daylight. If you have a desk-top angle lamp, you could put that over the box for a few hours a day (especially when feeding) then she will be able to bask before hunting as she would in the wild.

Then it is just a question of feeding. You could try small earthworms, placed in a shallow dish (eg. coffee jar, jam jar or other lid). If she goes for these, you’re on a winner as they are very nutritious and easy to find. Any other insects you can find can be tried, spiders are actually their main food source in the wild. Food must be live though. If you are unable to find enough insects (difficult at this time of year), then maybe you have a pet shop nearby that sells crickets? They normally sell for around £4 per tub and should last for some time. The small sizes are best (up to 10mm long). These can be offered around ten or so per day. Feed her in the morning and she will forage for them during the day.

Once the frosts are away and there’s a reasonably warm spell (8-10 degrees C for a couple of days in a row) you will be able to release her somewhere that you have seen other lizards in the past.

Let me know how it goes, and if you’d rather someone else looked after her do let me know.

Good luck!

Trevor Rose
BHS Secretary

Good advice for the lizard in your life.

PC minutes 7th Jan 2015

Minutes of a Meeting of Bergh Apton Parish Council On Wednesday 7th January 2015 at 7.30pm In The Village Hall

  1. Members Present

    Parish Members Present
    Derek Blake (Chair), Bob Kerry, Jacqueline Byford, Richard Herring,
    Karen Myhill, Chris Mewton
    In attendance: Clerk
    Adrian Gunson, John Fuller

  2. Apologies For Absence and Declarations of Interest

    There were two apologies for absence. Derek Blake declared an interest in the planning section as he is a member of the Planning Committee at South Norfolk Council.

  3. Minutes of Meeting Held on 26th November 2014

    The minutes of the last meeting on 26th November 2014 were approved.

  4. Matters Arising

    There were no matters arising.

  5. Public Consultation

    5.1 District Councillor’s Report
    5.2 County Councillor’s Report
    One item – the fading white lines at the Mill Road crossroads which have been reported to the Highways Engineer.
    The Chairman re-opened the Parish Council Meeting.

  6. Finance
    1. Precept for 2015 agreed at £3796.00
      Made up of £196 South Norfolk Council Grant therefore Parish Precept requirement is £3600. The amount shown on bills will be £20
    2. Grant Request for Churchyard Maintenance agreed £150
    3. Grant Request for Bergh Apton Newsletter agreed £50
  7. Anglian Water Compensation

    Letter has been received from Anglian Water apologising for the water supply interruptions. As a gesture of goodwill they will be crediting the accounts of affected customers with £20, roughly equivalent to the cost of one month’s water supply and they will also donate £1,000 to a local charity or community project in the parish. There was some discussion about how best to use the £1,000 donation – one ongoing project is the football goal posts at the Village Hall – Jacqueline Byford is to meet up with Kevin Utton who is the Sales and Marketing Manager of Harrod UK Ltd the UK’s leading goal post manufacturer who lives in Bergh Apton and has kindly offered to assist with advice and the purchase of the goal posts.

  8. Village Hall Management Committee

    No report

  9. Planning Applications
    1. Oakdene, Mill Road 2014/2438 – Proposed two storey extension & single storey store – this planning application is in Alpington, so just for information
  10. Planning Approvals

    Cherry Tree Cottage, Bussey Bridge – Approval with conditions 2014/1954
    West Five 1 Mill Rd 2014/2117 To use one room in house as hairdressing salon – retrospective – Approved with Conditions
    1. Retain use in accordance with plans
    2. Personal permission – no additional employees
    3. Hours of operation Mon, Thurs, Fri (9.00am – 12.00pm and 1.00pm
    – 5.00pm) and Sat (9.00am – 1.00pm)
    4. Retention of car parking
    5. Scheme of fencing to be implemented within 3 months – details to be agreed by officers

  11. Defibrillator

    This will be looked at in May following the election

  12. Events and Correspondence
  13. Items for Future Agendas

    Dates of future Meetings:
    18 March, 22 April, 20 May (AGM/APM), 15 July, 16 September, 18 November

Local History Post no 1

 First post … to  last post

When using the website, posts may be written containing all sorts of stuff

Parish Council Minutes 26th November 2014

Minutes of a Meeting of Bergh Apton Parish Council

On Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 7.30pm In The
Village Hall
Members Present
Parish Members
Derek Blake (Chair), Bob Kerry, Jacqueline Byford, Richard Herring,
Karen Myhill, Chris Mewton
In attendance: Clerk

  1. Apologies For Absence and Declarations of Interest
    There were no apologies for absence. Derek Blake declared an interest in the planning section as he
    is a member of the Planning Committee at South Norfolk Council.
  2. Minutes of Meeting Held on 9th September 2014
    The minutes of the last meeting on 9th September 2014 were approved.
  3. Matters Arising
    There were no matters arising.
  4. Public Meeting to discuss the village website
    Chris Mewton has kindly volunteered to relaunch the village website. There was a lot of discussion
    from members of the public who are very supportive of the project. It was decided that Chris
    Mewton would meet with representatives from all the various organisations and businesses in the
    village who wish to be represented on the website so that they can be ‘trained’ to add their own
    content to their own section on the website. Derek Blake reported that there are 53 small
    businesses in Bergh Apton!
  5. Public Consultation
    The Parish Council was addressed by the applicant from West Five, 1 Mill Road who is seeking
    retrospective permission for use of one room in her house as a hairdressing salon. They were also
    addressed by the neighbour who is opposing this application, on the grounds of the noise and her
    loss of privacy and her residential amenity being affected by the change of use from residential to
    retail business.
  6. The Chairman re-opened the Parish Council Meeting.
    1. Planning Applications
      6.1 West Five, 1 Mill Road – retrospective permission for use of one room in house as hairdressing
      salon 2014/2117
      The following was the response from the Parish Council to the planning department. Bergh Apton
      Parish Council was unable to reach a consensus over the balance between the increasing intensity
      of the business and its impact on the neighbour. There clearly is an adverse impact on the
      neighbour but the Parish Council felt unable to suggest appropriate conditions should the District
      Council wish to approve it. This application will now be heard at the main planning committee on
      10th December.
    2. Site BER 1 Cookes Road
      Julian Wells from FW properties addressed the Parish Council meeting with an update about the
      site opposite the Village Hall. A planning application has not yet been submitted but he anticipated
      one would be in the Spring. If this proposal was to go ahead it would be for 10 or 11 new homes
      including some affordable homes. They would plan to start building late Summer 2015. He explained there were technical ways to deal with the surface water drainage issue of that land
      which would help all the residents along Cookes Road. The inspectors final report is expected early
      2015 and there will be an open meeting for all to attend.
  7. Planning Approvals
  8. Finance
    1. Grant for football posts
      Jacqueline Byford will meet with Maggie Smith, Chairman Village Hall Committee to agree the site
      for the football posts at the Village Hall. The Parish Council agreed to look after the grass cutting
      around the posts and any upkeep needed. The small neighbourhoods grant from South Norfolk
      District Council will be available in the Spring for this project to go ahead.
  9. Defibrillator – Derek Blake
    Derek Blake agreed to look at possible grants for the funding of a defibrillator in Bergh Apton site to
    confirmed – possibly in the phone box at Sunnyside or most likely at the Village Hall.
  10. Events and Correspondence
  11. Items for Future Agenda
  12. Dates of future Meetings:
    18 March, 22 April, 20 May (AGM/APM), 15 July, 16 September, 18 November

The corner of his eye


A day cold as sea shells, his breath smokes and the silence sings in his ears. It is the Winter Solstice, one of the hinges of the year. It is foggy and frosty and the day, young as yet, seems to hold its breath. Winter is bolting and barring the door to the coming of the Oak King. The lane is flanked by high banks and the winter weary tussocks of grass lie long and lank. The hedgerow at the top of the bank is a huddle of black shadows. Late autumn had buttered the field maple leaves and, alone of all the trees in the hedge, it held stubbornly on to them. Now and then a stir of air brings two or three floating down and he catches them, a handful of fairy gold and, like those deceitful coins, they will soon shrivel and turn to dust. Rain runnels lace the high banks and knuckled roots have elbowed through. The little Holly King, the robin, perches among them singing his wistful ritual song to the Solstice. The banks and lane are like a suburb of the wood, they know different changes of light, lives briefly lived, seasons which keep the balance of the year, changes of weather, they are a constant in continual change. The wood keeps its secrets to itself, fox, deer and mouse know, sparrow hawk and pigeon know but they too stay mum. Scrambling to the top of the bank he looks out over the field. Rain has filled ruts and hollows, furrows and folds and it reflects the light, calligraphic swirls over the skin of the land telling of more secrets. Out of the corner of his eye he catches a movement in a big sprawl of brambles and there is a wren, quick and quiet as a thought it moves. Then, there is another, a pair of cutty* wrens. They search the thorned stems moving deeper inside, living up to their name ‘Troglodytidae’, a cave dweller. In a few days time he thinks it will be St. Stephen’s Day and for generations it was traditionally the day when a wren was hunted and killed. Its body was fixed to the top of a pole and a great wreath of holly and ivy surrounded it. The Wren Boys went from door to door singing their song:

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St. Stephen’s Day was caught in a furse,
Although he is little, his family’s great
I pray you good lady, give us a treat.

The story tells that Stephen had been preaching and he was running for his life from those who would kill him because of this and he hid. A wren near where he was hiding from his pursuers began to sing very loudly and attracted their attention, Stephen was discovered and stoned to death. Hence the hunting of the Cutty Wren. In the song he is referred to as the king of the birds, another story in which the birds held a competition to see who could fly the highest and be given the title of King. Up they all flew and away the eagle soared, high as a giant can hurl and just as the birds were going to call him the winner, above him who should be flying but the wren! He had held onto the eagle’s back, not just cutty but canny as well! Hunting the Cutty Wren died out in the early 1900’s, other days, other ways. However at Middleton in Suffolk a similar tradition was born and the wren this time is a carved from wood and is honoured and celebrated by song, dance and story by a side of Molly Dancers, ‘The Old Glory’.

‘Cutty’ means small or short. You will doubtless have heard of the ‘Cutty Sark’, she is the last of the tea clippers and is preserved in dry dock in London. The name comes from a poem by Robert Burns which tells of a witch, Nannie, who wore a ‘cutty sark’, a short shirt. The clipper’s figurehead is the witch.

Pat Mlejnecky

Yule Be Sorry

Walking the dog yesterday morning I noticed this pretty flower… which I’m told is a perrywinkle.
What is it doing flowering in December and will it be “sorry”?

Periwinkle in December 2014

Merry Christmas

A huge thank you to the Bergh Apton elves that got together a Christmas parcel for us.
christmas hamper
In some ways this has been a difficult year, and yet it has also bought moments such as these.
Moments that drive home how lucky we are to live in such a loving and supportive community.
Thank you and Happy Christmas one and all.