Library Services Public Consultation

Northumberland County Council is seeking views on the library service. It says: “We would like to understand how you use the library service at the moment, what services are important to you and how we can improve these services in future. You do not need to be a regular user of library services in order to complete [the] survey – we are interested to hear your views whether you use the library services regularly, just occasionally or even if you have never used a local library service. Your feedback will help us shape both the future direction of our library services and how we will deliver them.”

For more information and to complete the survey, go to the Library Services Public Consultation page on the Northumberland County Council library site.

Snow Wardens

Northumberland County Council is introducing a Snow Warden scheme to allow an individual or a group of community volunteers to sign up to help clear snow and ice from public footpaths in their local areas.

A statement on its website says: “By carrying out voluntary snow warden duties you will be helping to keep your community safer during severe winter conditions. In return we will provide you with a snow warden kit which comprises a snow shovel, bag of salt/grit, a thermal hat with a head torch, a pair of thermal gloves and a hi-vis vest.”

For more information and to download an application form, visit the Winter Services page on the Northumberland County Council website, and scroll down to Snow Wardens.

Next Footpaths Group Walk: Farm Walk at Mindrum

The next walk organised in association with the Footpaths Group will be on Sunday 20 October 2019 at 1 pm. The walk, led by Tom Fairfax, will include part of the bridleway and the Scottish border, and will explore some of the ecology and history associated with the farm at Mindrum. The terrain is on paths and grass, with a gradual climb up to 650 ft and, weather permitting, stunning views from the top. The walk is just under five miles, with opportunities to shorten it if preferred. Everyone is welcome; well-behaved dogs are welcome, too, provided they are kept on a lead. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing and meet at Mindrum Farm at 1 pm. For more information, contact Tom Fairfax

Private Water Supplies

If you have a private water supply and take more than 20 cubic metres of water a day, you are now likely to require a licence from the Environment Agency – even if you have not needed one before.

Changes to the licensing system came into effect on 1 January 2018, when a number of licence exemptions were removed. These included the exemption for groundwater abstractions of between 20 and 227 cubic metres a day, and the exemption for surface water abstraction within the Till river catchment.

The licensing system applies to domestic users as well as to a farm or a business that takes water from a river or the ground. With regard to domestic users, a collection of houses on one borehole, well or spring supply may need a licence – see this Environment Agency leaflet for information.

The deadline for applying for a licence is 31 December 2019. For more information and to apply, visit the Environment Agency website.

Open Gardens 2019

Mindrum Garden will be open for charity on Sunday 23 June, from 2-5 pm. Entry is £5 for adults and the proceeds are going to North Northumberland HospiceCare and the National Garden scheme.

Kirky Cottage in Mindrum will open in aid of the National Garden Scheme on Saturday 6 July, and in aid of the British Red Cross on Sunday 7 July. Entry on both days is from 11 am to 5 pm and is £4 for adults. Children go free.