Birds, Oceans and Flowers

22nd Sept’ – 5th Oct’ Tuesdays to Saturdays

Exhibition of Bird carvings, oceans and flowers are just some subjects of paintings and wood carvings on show at the attractive Malthouse Gallery at East Lambrook Manor Gardens South Petherton. Sheila Bowman and Lee Allen have painted and exhibited their paintings together successfully at this venue 3 times and have been reunited once again- this time together with Peter Waterfall and his unusual woodwork/engravings & carvings.


Somerset Residents Enjoy a Berry Nice Weekend

West End Farm, 21st July – over one hundred local residents turned out to enjoy Ribena’s Big Berry Bash on a beautiful sunny day in Stoke Sub Hamdon, Somerset.

Activities on offer included a farm tour, the opportunity to see blackcurrants being harvested, pick-your-own, an inflatable tractor and a hog roast. Visitors also saw first-hand how the estate has worked with Ribena to protect local wildlife, protecting special habitats on their farms which protect threatened native species such as barn owls, yellow hammers, grey partridges, bees and brown hares.

Second generation blackcurrant grower, Derek Morris commented: “My family have been growing blackcurrants for Ribena for two generations, so it was fantastic to be able to show the people of Somerset what really goes on behind the scenes and where 90% of Britain’s blackcurrants end up.

“Attendance at the event surpassed our expectations and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend to enjoy great food and celebrate the magic of blackcurrants.”

For more information about Ribena and its blackcurrant growers visit


August Message from Cath Holloway, the former Village Agent

My role in the community has changed. I am now working with unpaid carers who care for their families and friends. I am supporting unpaid carers in South East Somerset to connect them with community resources, support groups and personal support around benefits and allowances. The funding cycle for Village Agent in South East Somerset has come to an end. CCS are looking for new funding opportunities to maintain this Village Agent position. In the meantime we have a new team of Community Agents and Village Agents in South Somerset. Two Village Agents are funded by the CLICK federation of Doctors surgeries, 2 Community Agents funded by Somerset County Council and 2 Village Agents funded directly by their parish council. For more information please visit and 07968521746

Hi All,

August brings the summer holidays!

This can be a joy but also can have some additional strains. The 6 week school holiday may increase your stress levels, perhaps with finding child care, entertainment on a budget for parents and meeting the demands of “at home” kids. For those who are older and don’t get tied up in child care provision, the summer holidays means that the local places to visit such as social groups, National Trust venues and supermarkets are suddenly packed with children with energy to spare! I can almost hear those clattering feet and screams of joy along the supermarket aisles as I sit here typing!

At least the daily commute will be quieter for a few weeks.

Another potential strain is that this is the time that most people take their annual leave (me included) and so it begins to feel like nothing gets done! Appointments are thin on the ground and groups take their annual break.

Farmers will be working hard to bring in the crops or worrying about the quality of their harvest if it is wet.

The best stress relief is free and all around us. So take advantage whilst the weather is good (Oh I hope I haven’t jinxed the weather by saying that!)

Take time to sit under the shade of a tree and appreciate the way you can feel the temperature drop on your skin as you move out of the sun. If it is raining, look out of a window and look closely at the patterns of the rain on the windows. Take time with children to look closely at nature. I whiled away several hours with my daughter once, banging the earth to bring up worms and studying their movements. We then watched the way the ants run in circles and work as a team.

Belly breathing is an amazing way to slow and reduce stress. Take 5 minutes to stop and slowly breathe in, inflating your stomach, holding for a count of 10 and then breathing out for 10 for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times, listening to your breath and imagining breathing out all the bad air and feelings, and bringing in the new. There are many apps to help you do this such as “calm” and “Headspace”. I found it very difficult to breathe slowly enough and at first would count very fast and finish quickly but discipline and practice has helped me slow down and I find it really works! There are also some lovely children’s meditation videos that you could complete as a family so you don’t get disturbed mid breath!

Don’t under estimate the power of a smile. Pulling your face into a smile when you are feeling frazzled can immediately pour good feelings into your system. Just trying to take your face from a grimace into a smile can inject a little humour into yourself. Perhaps google some laughter therapy videos for some amusement.

Enjoy the long days of summer and relax!



Arc Homes application refused !

Arc Homes, the developers at the Stanchester site (Shuldam’s Fields), recently put in an application to the District Council to be released from building six affordable housing units and from paying a developer’s contribution of just over £110,000 towards community facilities. Their reason was that the site is commercially unviable.

The Parish Council are pleased to announce that the District’s Area North Committee have supported our village in rejecting this application. We had always maintained a very strong opposition to Arc Homes’ attempt to be relieved of community responsibility. We attended the Committee meeting on Wednesday 27 September to speak on behalf of our residents and to put forward our technical reasons why this application should be refused. Our new statement can viewed by clicking here. We understand that the District took expert legal advice and research and as a result rejected Arc’s application.

A word of caution, before we all break open the champagne! Arc Homes have the right – and probably will – appeal against the decision. Area North form0ally advised Arc Homes that they expect them to consider re-negotiating the Section 106 obligation, rather than just appealing for the decision to be simply overturned, sending a very strong message to the developers that community interests are always important in new developments. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The Parish Council is proud to have been part of such a very positive first step.

Barbara Brooks
Stoke sub Hamdon Parish Council
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Sarah Moore
Parish Clerk
Stoke sub Hamdon Parish Council
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