Marton Village, Warwickshire

Growing Healthier Together (project report)

willow dome care

Despite obvious Covid-19 set-backs, in 2020 Marton Parish Council succeeded in creating living willow sculptures and community edible gardens with grants from Severn Trent and Warwickshire County Council.

These provided the local community with transferable skills for employment, quality volunteering opportunities, fresh community-grown food, a focus for working in the outdoors (with its wellbeing benefits) and a much-needed sense of purpose and positivity during a very difficult year.

The WCC Councillor’s Grant funding was for £1050 and the Parish Council was successful in securing £5597 additional funding from the Severn Trent Community Fund to extend the project’s wildlife improvements and community involvement.

All Marton residents – more than 450 people in about 200 households – were invited to apply for willow sculpture training (three were funded to attend) and to volunteer with planting (52 generously gave many hours). Volunteer numbers were lower than might have been in an ordinary year as we had to manage very small and safely distanced groups and couldn’t hold any open events, but the project still created a much-needed sense of cohesion and activity at an otherwise lonely and anxious time.

During the work, volunteers spoke about how good it felt to ease out of lockdown by helping the community and safely working outdoors with others again. Residents also commented on how uplifting it was to see activity after lockdown had hushed the village.

“…there could hardly have been a more important time to provide new areas in the village for play, gardening and appreciating nature.”

Raised bed soil

Going forward, everyone in Marton will benefit from the additions of wildflowers to improve plant and insect diversity, a willow dome to broaden the range of play options on offer and large raised beds for community gardening. The raised beds (which are high enough for elderly or mobility impaired residents to use) have already been well used by residents planting herbs, sowing and harvesting salad crops and looking after rhubarb.

Thanks to additional clearance and rewilding work, The Orchard housing is now better linked to the playground and playing fields area, encouraging more use of these for healthy lifestyles and more appreciation of the benefits of nature.

The project has created a sense of community cohesion, hope and activity during a very difficult year. The focus on wellbeing and outdoor activity has been invaluable during Covid-19 awareness, even though the social side of volunteering has had to be scaled-back to keep everyone safe. This has made the project management complex but there could hardly have been a more important time to provide new areas in the village for play, gardening and appreciating nature.

MPC Meeting 10 November 2020 Minutes

Minutes from the Marton Parish Council Meeting held via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 10th November 2020.

Please note these are draft minutes, formal approval of the minutes takes place at the next MPC meeting.

Covid-19 New National Restrictions from 5 November

The following covid-19 update is taken from www.gov.uk
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area. No new areas will move in the LCAL Very High restrictions between now and Thursday.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Protect your loved ones. Download the App.

Please download the NHS App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November

There is separate additional guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection

Contents

1. Stay at home
2. Staying safe outside the home (Social Distancing)
3. Meeting with family and friends
4. Businesses and venues
5. Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
6. Going to work
7. Going to school, college and university
8. Childcare and children’s activities
9. Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus
10. Visiting relatives in care homes
11. Travel
12. Financial support

Planting Progress

volunteers raking

The parish council has just submitted its interim report to Severn Trent for the funding received for planting and biodiversity improvements in the village. Looking back on the last six months for the report has brought home just how much has been achieved in incredibly difficult circumstances.

We applied for the funding in January, obviously unaware of covid-19 and the restrictions and impacts that were to come. The funds have to spent within a year so we had to find a way to adapt our plans and work within guidelines, so we could still use the project to safely bring people together and to make positive additions to the village.

It’s unfortunate the focus had to change from public meetings, mass-volunteering events and launch parties, to creating opportunities for people to plant/volunteer in small bubbles, but it’s been more important than ever to provide a focus for residents to be able to be outdoors and either engaged safely in volunteering activities or tending plants in their own time.

willow dome planting

Back in February, living willow training for three volunteer residents went very well and, with three additional volunteers, a willow dome was planted to expand the children’s play area (and is now growing well despite a recent set back of vandalism).

Once lockdown started we could only plan remotely: designing new playground signs, commissioning a biodiversity report from resident expert Nick Steggall, delivering flyers in the one-a-day walk asking for feedback and writing updates for the newsletter.

Once guidelines permitted, in July, we organised two small working-parties, creating large community raised beds with composting in the playground, installing pavilion rain water harvesting and new welcome signs.

rotovating

During the work, volunteers spoke about how good it felt to ease out of lockdown by helping the community and safely working outdoors with others again. Residents also commented on how uplifting it was to see activity after lockdown had hushed the village.

A wet and windy August delayed progress on the wildflower areas, which then became the focus in September, with essential help from Gordon Robson followed by volunteers divided into small groups to tackle overgrown hedgerows, soil preparation and sowing.

Everyone worked so hard and we were very grateful for kindly lent machinery from Priory Tool Hire and extra help from Reg at the cricket club. The areas look shockingly brown and barren now but, thanks to all the hard work and a bespoke mix of seed made especially for Marton’s conditions and needs, we’ve been assured that next year it will be transformed and each year after it will get better and better.

There are still a few elements to come (like the ‘hard to recycle’ scheme) but so far an incredible 52 volunteers from the village have given more than 1,600 hours to the project. We thank all of you for your hard work and enthusiasm!

Marton Playground & Outdoor Gym

In line with Covid-19 Government guidelines, outdoor playgrounds and gyms were included in list of facilities that would be allowed to open from the 4th July if they are safe, as lockdown measures will be relaxed across England.

Marton Parish Council will be re-opening the play area and adult gym from Saturday 4th July (tomorrow).

However, for the facilities to open safely we are asking residents, parents and carers to take reasonable precautions:
If you are in an ‘at risk’ category you are advised not to use the equipment

  • Use hand sanitiser before, during and after using the play area
  • Use your own wipes/spray to clean touch points on equipment
  • Maintain social distancing at all times
  • Come back later if the playground is busy
  • Take your litter home and dispose of wipes, masks and gloves responsibly
  • Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home
  • Please avoid eating and touching your face if possible during your visit.

    If you or anyone in your household have signs of Covis-19 you should self-isolate and seek advice at NHS.uk/coronavirus.

Please also be aware, if you plan to visit on Sunday 5 July, as part of our growing together grant a small group of volunteers will be installing some raised beds in the play area from 1.30pm.

Marton Parish Council Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/2020

Notice of Public Rights 2019_2020
MPC Expenditure 2019_2020
Certificate of Exemption 2019_2020
Accounting Statement 2019_2020
MPC Variation 2019_2020
MPC Variation Explanation 2019_2020 – Box 3
MPC Variation Explanation 2019_2020 – Box 4
MPC Variation Explanation 2019_2020 – Box 6
Annual Governance Statement 2019_2020
Annual Internal Audit Report 2019_2020

Marton Butterflies and Birds

We now have a new Website Groups page on here called “Marton Nature”. You can also find it in the top menu on this site (see above). Below is an example of the photos taken.

These butterflies will be present in your gardens soon and some will already be there! What are they? Which plants do they love in your garden?

And what about these birds? What are they? Can you identify them?

Coronavirus COVID-19

The coronavirus situation is fast-moving and there is an increasing amount of misinformation online. We should be using government advice to inform decisions and be checking that advice regularly.

National – Government Guidance
The government’s main source of advice on coronavirus includes information on the social distancing alongside a wide range of other information.
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Rugby Borough Council
Latest information from the government and NHS, and essential service updates.
https://www.rugby.gov.uk/homepage/66/coronavirus_covid-19

Warwickshire County Council
Coronavirus Information & Guidance.
https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus

Public Health England
FAQs that will be updated regularly.
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Community Led Support Groups – Warwickshire
A directory of the local ‘community led support activity’ that has emerged across Warwickshire in response to the global crisis.
https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-966-2051

Mental Health Advice
Information from Warwickshire County Council for individuals to support their emotional and mental wellbeing through this situation.
https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus/mental-health-advice-coronavirus-pandemic/1