70th British National Ploughing Championships & Country Festival

This national event, which is held in a different part of the country each year, takes place at Mindrum Mill on 9 and 10 October 2021. Featuring heavy horses, vintage tractors and giant steam ploughing engines, this is a rare opportunity to see how farming has changed over the last 300 years. As well as the ploughing competitions, there are trade stands, displays and demonstrations, country crafts, shopping, food stalls and tractor and trailer rides, all of which make it a great day out for all the family. Car parking is free, admission each day is £12 per adult, and children over five years old pay just £1. For more information, including the full programme of events, visit the Society of Ploughmen website. The first event of each day is at 08.45 hrs and the last event starts at 17.00 hrs.

Gigabit Broadband Survey

Northumberland will be one of the first counties in England to benefit from a UK Government project to provide next-generation gigabit broadband to hard-to-reach homes and businesses by 2025. Gigabit broadband is ten times faster than superfast broadband, at 1,000 Mb per second. Northumberland County Council is working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and telecoms providers to thoroughly research and map the county for its existing and future broadband infrastructure, to help it identify hard-to-reach premises. To ensure that Carham parish’s connectivity needs are included and not overlooked, please complete the DCMS survey, and please encourage others to do so, too – particularly those who live in outlying farms and communities. The survey deadline is 11 June.

Census 2021

The census is carried out by the Office for National Statistics and takes place every ten years. Census day is Sunday 21 March, and census forms need to be completed on that day or as soon as possible afterwards. You must complete the census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000.

You can complete the census online or you can complete a paper census questionnaire.

To complete the census online, you need a unique access code. This will be sent to you by post. If it does not arrive, or if you mislay it, you can request a new access code by going to https://census.gov.uk and scrolling down the page to If you don’t have an access code. There is other useful information about the census on that page.

You do not have to complete the census online. You can request a paper census questionnaire by phoning the free helpline 0800 141 2021 or by going to https://census.gov.uk and scrolling down to If you want to fill out a paper census. Alternatively, you can ask someone you trust to order a paper questionnaire for you.

It is all right for someone you trust, like a family member or friend, to help you to complete the census, either online or on paper.

Census 2021

The Office for National Statistics is hiring field staff across England and Wales for the 2021 Census. It is looking for individuals who have a good knowledge of their communities, with time to spare in March and April this year, for temporary Census Officer roles. We have not been able to establish whether jobs are available in this particular part of the county, but we have been told that it can be difficult to find suitable candidates to cover the more rural areas, so there may be opportunities that are within reach of those who live in Carham parish. To apply or to register your interest in this or another Census 2021 job, visit the census recruitment website.

Wark Play Park

The play park in Wark is open again for local and visiting children to enjoy. Guidelines for users are on the fence next to the gate and on the Parish Council notice board. These guidelines are to manage the risk of potential Covid-19 transmission, so please follow them if you and your children are using the play park. The Parish Council has provided hand sanitiser, which is by the gate.

High Sheriff of Northumberland

The May 2020 issue of the Carham Parish Council newsletter featured a piece written especially for it by the High Sheriff of Northumberland, Tom Fairfax of Mindrum. In case you missed it, here is what he had to say:

“High Sheriffs in Nomination are always told that our job-spec is a blank canvas! This is truer than ever this year as much of the job traditionally involves face to face engagement – something which is not currently an option under current rules! As a result, I have spent some time with a hot towel over my head to establish new ways to serve my term in as effective a manner as possible. Against expectations, the current conditions have actually been liberating … having listened in awe to the exploits of many of my predecessors – a number of whom are from this parish – it became clear that everything and anything is possible.

“The role of High Sheriff is not really about uniforms and swords; it is about finding amazing people who are doing incredible things. The exciting thing is that these incredible things are happening all around us. Whilst the current conditions have made direct contact with people challenging, they have provided perfect conditions for people to step forward and be exceptional. We are surrounded by brilliant folk who are quietly doing the jobs that are in front of them, and who are stepping forward to add value.

“This year we commemorate the 75th anniversary of both VE Day and VJ Day, which mark, respectively, the end of the Second World War in the European and Far East theatres. Some will remember those days, but most of us can only imagine what it must have been like. It is, perhaps, ironic that we commemorate the end of one global crisis whilst in the grip of another. The 1939-45 world war had a profound effect on the world and particularly this country. Whilst it carried with it a huge cost in many areas, it was a time when the country pulled together and prevailed. It re-enforced the resilience that this nation has repeatedly shown in times of crisis.

“As we face the current period of uncertainty, a deliberate focus on the positive outcomes around us enables us to overcome the negatives, and whilst there are things we cannot control, there are many that we can. All we have to do is to be live to the opportunities that present themselves and to seize them when they arise. We are surrounded by folk who are seizing these opportunities and doing amazing things – we can but try to live up to their example!”


The May 2020 issue of the Carham Parish Council newsletter has been published and we are distributing it as best we can, bearing in mind Covid-19 distancing guidelines. We may not be able to reach every household, so we are putting a small stock of newsletters into the phone boxes at Carham and Wark. Please help yourself to a copy and, if you can, let your neighbours know that they are there. The newsletter is also available online.

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.