Monday, 17 June 2019

It's That Time...

  • Wilting in the sun of a Hayfield summer ? Huh! But fresh foods do, with (slightly) warming temperatures,which is why Village Greens and Grains Bakehouse have agreed that their Saturday morning 'pop up' outside The Pack Horse is to start and finish a little earlier. So they are now 'open for business' at 9.30a.m. and will leave around 11.30a.m. Please note. It's likely that they will revert to 10-12.00p.m. in the autumn, when the weather's supposed to cool!
  • Early summer means proliferating Himalayan Balsam along our riversides and wet ground. It's invasive, shades out native vegetation and contributes to riverbank erosion. There's a fair bit of it in/around Hayfield but it's relatively easily dealt with: I've just cleared some plants stems from alongside the cricket pitch, and they were but 10% or less than last year's volume, which I also cleared. Those whose gardens abut rivers/streams should look out for it: it's an offence to let it grow! Here is a clear information sheet, kindly put together by Susan Wyatt a year or two ago, giving you the 'low down' on what to do. Please help. Simples!
  • We've reported previously that the Parish Council resolved some weeks ago to, in the light of the climate emergency, to review how it might manage down its carbon emissions in what it does, and others do on its behalf. It set up a working group with Sustainable Hayfield to consider options. I'm delighted to report that this working group has met twice already, has a forward schedule of meetings and has had its terms of reference agreed by the Council. These include considering the carbon emission of the wider parish. We're now turning to the practical actions which can be taken. Discussions have been positive and, we believe, fruitful. We hope to bring you further news of what's happening, as we proceed.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

What A Pool of Local Talent...!

The range of local talent seems sometimes to know no bounds. Consider:

  • the energies of individuals and groups around the reality of a 'climate emergency' has featured on our TV screens very recently, with some signs that the uncompromisingly polite, creative but disruptive Extinction Rebellion activists have shifted public and political mood around 'the climate' significantly. Now in Matlock, this Wednesday, 15th May, at 1.00p.m. at the Council Offices, there's a demonstration/vigil by local activists supporting efforts to get DCC to declare a 'climate emergency', as many councils are now doing. DCC is debating a 'climate emergency' resolution that afternoon, and - if it passes - this will be the biggest council in Derbyshire to commit itself to progressively manage down local emissions, thanks to the energies of creative people - like you! If the House of Commons can do it - without a vote - so can DCC. Be there if you can!
  • back after a week's absence due to May Queen, the artisans of Grains Bakehouse and Village Greens fruiterer/greengrocer will be standing again outside the Pack Horse on Saturday, 18th May, 10-12.00p.m. Order now!
  • from Saturday, 25th May through to and including Monday 27th May, Hayfield Artists will be holding their customary open weekend, at around 11 locations around the village, from individual studios though Rosie Lee's and Throstle Farm, Little Hayfield to The Pack Horse and Ashlar alongside each other in the village centre. This event goes from strength to strength and offers the prospect of fine artworks, engravings, pottery and so much more, all produced locally and for sale! Time vary a little around the core hours of 10-5p.m., but the Pack Horse is open to view from 12 -11p.m. each day. Full details are at and the wider, countywide details -if you're minded to travel - are at
  • the same weekend, Sunday 26th May, Hand Made Hayfield - the village artisan market - is back at the Royal Hotel from 11-5.00p.m., looking to tempt you with handcrafted products from local craftspeople and those a little further afield. Their efforts are always well-supported, so it's wise to get there early!
  • then two, untimed, offerings from Sustainable Hayfield supporters:
    • first, James Ellson from Farlands, Kinder (he of apple tree and near zero home carbon living fame) has secured a deal for publication of his book, a detective thriller called the Trail. James has long had the ambition to get into print and, after a million words spread across several efforts, it looks like he's managing it, with publishers Unbound, telling the story of a missing person enquiry which leads Manchester DCI (James was in the police) Rick Castle to Nepal. Unbound operate by crowdfunding, so promoting books takes place before, as well as after, publication and James has 90 days to pre-sell enough copies of The Trail to make it financially viable to commit to publication, which happens 6-9 months after the threshold has been reached. If you'd like to support a local author, please make a pledge and maybe get your name on the supporters' list, where there are already a good number of villagers. Details are at There's even a short video!
    • second, supporter Stuart Price from New Mills, previously featured in our newsletter has now settled into publishing his writings on 'transitional themes' (as in the Transitions environmental movement) in an accessible and mercifully brief online not-for-profit “magazine”, called Changing Times. It's an erudite and well-researched read, and issue 2 is out now. There's room for reflection in each article, and links made with key commentators and writers in each subject area covered. It's well worth having a look at and can be seen at For issue 3 the current plan is to look at new sustainable models of education.

I think you'll agree... That's a lot of local talent!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

A Varied Diet... For Varied Tastes

A few, upcoming things which may appeal to people with quite different interests:

  • first, this Saturday, May 4th, our Food Group is hosting a Plant and Seedling Swap at the library garden 11-1.00p.m., for those who want to make their gardens more attractive or productive. The idea's simple: you bring along seedlings/plants surplus to your requirements and you take away something you want in return. And, for those with nothing to offer, there'll be some supplies for you too! Sunflower seeds and runner beans will be available to all, whatever your age. A poster's attached as a reminder;
  • second, our friends at Transitions New Mills are hosting a free talk/presentation on stylish and environmentally-friendly 'Retrofits' of private dwellings, Thursday 9th May, 8-10.00p.m. at The Butterfly House, which is part of The Torrs (ex public house), Market Street, New Mills. It will be given by Helen Grimshaw, who works for Urbed, a company with 40 years' experience working on environmental and sustainable buildings, and have strong links to the Carbon Co-op, and by Julian Ashworth, a local resident who's updated his typical house looking at scope to improve its environmental footprint. It should be a really interesting evening, especially for those who are thinking of updating their existing property along environmentally-friendly lines. Again, a potser is attached, giving details.
  • third, most of us know Saturday May 11th is 'May Queen Day'. Because of needs for the space they use outside The Pack Horse, Village Greens and Grains cannot be present that day in Hayfield, so different arrangements are in place for their customers:
    • for Grains, you can double up your order via 01457 862 346 and collect this coming Saturday, May 4th or visit the shop;
    • for Village Greens, you can place your usual order this coming Saturday, or telephone it through (01457 852456 or text 07838 256631) and they'll deliver it to your address on Thursday 9th May or Friday 10th May. Normal service is resumed the following week!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

A Reminder, An Award, and a Proposal

First, a reminder that Grains and Village Greens' delightful produce will be on sale outside the Pack Horse again this Saturday, 10-12.00p.m. as usual - except Grains can't be physically present. But they've arranged for Village Greens to bring their stock of loaves, croissants, pastries etc (thank you Village Greens!). Although there'll be a good range, volumes might be slightly down on normal so it's doubly sensible to order your bakery products in advance, so you can be sure it's wrapped and ready to pick up. Grains can be contacted on 01457 862346, for such orders.

Second, the afore-mentioned Village Greens are up for an award! They're in the running for the Observer Food Monthly Awards, influenced by popular vote. They've been runners-up in the past (Independent Retailer category). It would be great if, on the back of their unstinting support for the 'pop up' service they offer each Saturday in Hayfield, and the quality of their produce, if a good number of us supported them for this award. Will you? Here's the link. Click on this and then on the 'go to' page which then appears below. Thanks!.

Third, the Hayfield Library Campaign Group has now made a submission to Derbyshire County Council, expressing interest in working with the Council around retention of Hayfield library and development of the facility into a 'community hub'. This is not a bid for community management of the local library service, but is intended to be a constructive, alternative approach to augment the library service and use of the building, requiring partnership with and from the County Council. What DCC makes of the 'expression of interest' is to be seen, but we think it relevant that you be aware of what has been submitted. A copy of the 'Expression Of Interest' is attached, for your information.

We hope you have a thoroughly pleasant and fulfilling Easter.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Spring Newsletter

Your spring newsletter is now ready to download. We hope you find it of interest. I'd draw your attention to three things:

  • first, on pages 1 and 2 are details of this Saturday's Great Spring Clean (Litter Pick) which we hope you'll support, by giving an hour or two of your time. Posters are up around the village;
  • second, on page 3 are details of a decision of Hayfield Parish Council agreeing to set up a working group to see how it might reduce its own carbon emissions, as an increasing number of councils are doing. This reflects great credit on the Council, is a very positive development and we hope to work actively with the council in getting practical measures in place;
  • third, on page 6 are details of our imminent 'Repair Workshop' which gives you the chance to develop or practice your 'make and mend' skills, and save money, with expert support. It too is well-advertised around the village. It's on Wednesday 10th April at The Threadmill, Swallow House Lane (not, as I mistakenly wrote a little earlier, on the Thursday. Apologies for that.)

Monday, 1 April 2019

Things To Do

Here's few things you can do in the coming 10-12 days or so, and gain a warm feeling of achievement...

1. You'd be most welcome at a working session at the library garden this Saturday, 11-1.00p.m, to help develop it as a source of good food, from which we all can, let's recall, benefit, by harvesting whatever we want!

2. You may have read about the growing efforts to get public bodies, including councils, to declare a 'Climate Emergency' and put in place plans to ensure their local areas are net zero carbon by 2030 (i.e. in 12 years, which is when scientists say we have to 'put things right' before our climate achieves irreducible 'lift off' toward enormously harmful global rises in temperature). There a petition devised by the new Derbyshire Climate Coalition, groups from all districts in the county, calling on the county council and district councils to declare such a 'climate emergency' and develop steps to curb carbon emissions locally, and in line with the Paris Climate . Agreement. Would you sign here? Though it's hosted by 38 Degrees, it's 'home grown' it's there simply because they have the technology to register names etc. Please sign - if there's one thing you can do, as a Sustainable Hayfield supporter, to get our concerns heard in high(er) places, it's this. Thank you! Please click on the attached link: Climate Emergency and Derbyshire Councils.

If we achieve 7,500 signatures countywide, that's enough to trigger a motion debate in the council. Any motion agreed would affect all the activities within the scope of influence of councils - transport, buildings and housing, land use planning, energy (including fracking),forestry etc. It will also create a culture that will influence pension committees and divestment.

3. One of our supporters, Graham Hirst, is preparing to speak at the next meeting of Hayfield Parish Council, (Tuesday April 2nd, 7.15, St Matthew's Church Hall) on the wish of many of us to see our local council commit to actions which will reduce its own carbon footprint, and possibly that of others. It would be tremendous if a number of Sustainable Hayfield supporters were to attend in silent support of Graham's efforts. Can you be there? Graham will speak briefly at the start of the meeting, so there's no expectation you would need to be there for more than 15-20 minutes if you didn't wish to be. There is some hope the council may agenda a motion addressing this issue at its May meeting (details to be shared later), and it would be excellent if councillors knew that, in doing so, it had the support of our wider community. Please try to attend.

4. Posters/banners are up for The Great Hayfield Litter Clean Up, Saturday 6th April, 10-2.00p.m. Last year, around 70 villagers – a great turnout – helped us gather around 50 bags of rubbish, of which we separated a part, to avoid recyclable items going to landfill. We’d love it if we had the same number of volunteers again this year, giving an hour or more of their time.

It works like this. Volunteers go to the Village Hall and are given a ‘territory’ (a street or two, or an area of open ground) and litter pickers and waste collection sacks. Having gathering what they can, they return to the Parish Council offices, hand over their finds (is there a prize for the most unusual?) and return their litter pickers to the Village Hall for reissue, and where they can get a tea or coffee as reward for their work. We’d stress that most people give an hour or two of their time, not the whole stretch from 10.00 -2.00p.m. If you've not been involved before, please consider joining in. There's a good buzz about the event, and we can all see what we've achieved - a tidier, healthier parish!

5. On the same day, Saturday April 6th, Hayfield School PTA is hosting its Easter Eggstravaganza at the school, also from, 10-2.00p.m. Amongst the many attractions on offer are: a) the 'Chicken Run' adults fell race (registration opens at 10.15, race at 11), b) a 'mini mudder' assault course for children, c) face-painting, d) Disco Dome and bouncy castle, e) entertaining orienteering 'egg' hunt, f) Easter craft activities for all ages, g) children's toy sale, h) children's book sale, i) Easter market gift and produce stalls and j) cakes and refreshments. It's a prime fundraiser for the school, offers a good time and is worthy of support. Why not drift down there after or before the Litter Clean Up?

6. A few days later, our Repair, Re-Use and Recycling group is holding a (clothes and textiles) Repair Workshop at The Thread Mill (in the old Slack’s Mill) off Swallow House Lane, 7.30-9.30p.m. on Thursday April 10th. We all know how little effort is put in these days to mend clothes that are damaged, frayed or just a little worn-out. As a result, there's been a huge rise in the amount of almost-serviceable clothing going to landfill. This workshop is the chance to learn, or practice if you already know, how to make cost-saving and quality repairs. Simple ideas on recycling clothes will also be shared. If you want to know more, contact Pennie Roberts on or on 07749 710127

There will be demonstrations on how to recycle clothing and people can bring along clothing /soft furnishing needing repair and ask advice and possibly undertake the repair whilst there.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Big and Small

  • Today, some young people around the UK are gathering to protest the risks of humankind not doing enough to stem unalterable climate change. So it's worth letting you know that individuals and organisations are meeting in Derby next Tuesday evening, February 19th, to consider what can be done to get Derbyshire County Council to declare a 'climate emergency' and commit to greater efforts to achieve zero carbon status in the medium term, as other councils have already done. A group of folk are going from Hayfield, via a minibus organised by Graham Hirst. It leaves The Royal car park at 5.45p.m. and costs £7. There are still some seats left. If you'd like to be involved, please contact Graham at
  • A reminder that Village Greens and Grains will be outside The Pack Horse as usual, tomorrow, Saturday, 10-12.00p.m., with their delicious foods. This week, each V Green vegetable box will also contain a dessert recipe this week (roasted pineapple with chilli syrup). And there's the healthy, multicoloured fruits and veg we know!
    Grains will bring an exotic range of breads, rolls and cakes, as well as their delicious staples. Look out for flavourful cheddar & cumin, olive & rosemary, walnut, focaccia, and Danish pastries as well. Can you afford not to be there? Can you please bring your own shopper bags (about half of you do), since Grains want to cut down on the bags they have to issue – and we know that makes all-round sense! As ever, to be sure, order in advance (V Greens 01457 852456, Grains 01457 862346), and then just collect!
  • And we in Sustainable Hayfield need someone to help our established team source, cultivate and support an appropriately varied range of stallholders and activities, to help ensure our Apple Day offers a vibrant and appealing range of attractions. Could this be you? Do you have (some) time to give? To begin with, you’d be shadowing someone experienced in this field, so you'd find out about what’s needed, before taking on more responsibility. If you’re interested, and want to become part of our ‘team’, please contact me in the first instance for a chat. I'm on 01663 745940 or 07867 578326 and at Thanks very much for considering this!