Community Carols

carolsatthehallThere will be Community Carols at The Coronation Hall Sunday 10th December at 6pm. Organised by All Saints Church, Kirby Hill. Mulled wine, orange, & mince pies! There will be a collection in aid of Candlelighters.

Evening of Traditional Carols at Aldborough

carolsAn evening of Traditional Carols including Carols from Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Dorset! Friday, November 24th, 7.30pm at Aldborough Village Hall. What an exciting way to start your Christmas preparations.Come and join us singing and playing these carols, share a light supper, and meet old and new friends – or just come and listen. Bring your instruments and join the band. Everyone welcome. For more information, please ring Jane Barber on 01423 325808 or email chair @

Jennyruth Christmas Fayre

image002Jennyruth Workshops, is holding a CHRISTMAS FAYRE OPEN AFTERNOON at Unit 5, Red House Farm, Bridge Hewick, Ripon, HG4 5AY on Friday 8th December from 1.30pm to 4.00pm.

We will have a large range of Christmas items and handmade
gifts for sale. There will be music and mince pies and hot drinks to enjoy as well as displays of work. The Ripon Walled Garden will be selling some of their products, such as wreaths, seasonal plants as well as planted containers & baskets. So, don’t miss it, it is always a fun event, with a great atmosphere and open to all. Enquiries: Tel. 01765 606620 or email info @

New Volunteers for Boroughbridge Feathers Badminton Club

Volunteers BB 001Andrea Bryson and her family Jessica and Mackenzie are the new volunteers for the “RACKET PACK”   Badminton Group for Primary aged children 5-11yrs. They will assist Badminton England Coach Margaret Taylor with the delivery of these fun and learning sessions.
The group started in September at Boroughbridge Sports Centre, at the High School YO51 9JX. The New BADMINTON England sessions are designed for Primary age children and include games with learning skills needed for early badminton play.
The “RACKET PACK” meets on Thursdays 5.30pm to 6-15pm at the Sports Hall in Boroughbridge High School.
It is a place where youngsters can learn the skills of badminton and have fun. The players can use the club lightweight rackets of varying sizes which are suitable for this age group.
For information about the “RACKET PACK”

The Junior club age 11-18yrs meets following this group at 6-15 to 7.30pm. This is suitable for those who have played a little badminton and wish to improve their skills.

The Badminton Club also has an adult group who play socially.
This begins at 7.30pm until 9pm. Come and give it a try!

Further Information about any of these groups please get in touch with Margaret Taylor 07711 496005 or ma.shuttles @

The Story of Christmas

StoryXmaspicYou are invited to attend a new ambitious production at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday 2nd December at 7.30pm. This has been specially written for Ripon Cathedral to help raise funds for the Cathedral Choir and Music Trust. This will be a powerful interpretation, through acting, dance and singing carols, of the story of The Nativity with local actors bringing to life an adult version of the Story of Christmas and the journey to Bethlehem.

John Middleton (retired vicar on Emmerdale and awarded actor) will be the narrator and three dances are being choreographed especially for this evening by the Academy of the Northern Ballet. Evocative and reverent music will be accompanied by The Cathedral Choir and the Ripon Grammar School choir. The production will also feature a donkey a belly dancer and a few other surprises along the way!

Tickets are available to buy online and from the Cathedral Shop

Boroughbridge & District Community Awards 2017

awardsTime to start making your nominations!

Closing date for nominations:

December 31st 2017

A. Volunteer community group of the year ~ The group that makes a difference

B. Volunteer community worker of the year ~ The individual that goes the extra mile

C. Young volunteer of the year ~ Must be of school age

D. Community spirited shop or business of the year ~ The one that supports local events and has the ideas and vision

E. Community event /project of the year ~ The most appreciated event/project that has made a difference

F. Community Achievement Award ~ The special person who has served their community over many years and deserves to be recognised


Award ceremony early 2018 – to be announced

Downloadable nomination forms are available from or – and then send them to Or collect and post from Council Office Hall Sq, Bailey’s, Pybus Newsagent or Boroughbridge Library, or ask your local Parish Council.

Benefits of Feeding Garden Birds

I suspect that most people get a lot of pleasure from feeding the birds in their gardens, as I do. It’s something around a third of us are involved in, usually on a regular basis, and on which we spend rather more than £200 million a year; a serious amount of money!

Siskins enjoying some sunflower hearts. (M Gray)

Siskins enjoying some sunflower hearts. (M Gray)

Inevitably such a phenomenon has attracted the attention of various social research groups who are interested in finding out why we do it and what the benefits might be. A recent article in the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch magazine Bird Table caught my attention, and I decided to have a read around the subject and see what I could find out.

You’ll not be surprised to hear that different people find different aspects of watching garden birds attractive. For some it is just movement and life in the garden – it’s the number of birds attracted rather than the species that matter. For others it’s looking for something different to tick off on their personal list, and it’s certainly true that the more you look the more you see. Certainly there are many occasions on which a particular bird is only in the garden for a matter of seconds: if you’re not looking at that moment you don’t see it. That in turn makes you wonder what else you might be missing – an addictive circle of curiosity thus forms!

Either way, it would seem that being out in the garden with birds all around you, or just sitting watching them visiting feeders and doing the things that birds do, reduces stress levels and improves mental health and general well-being.

But which birds are our favourites? There seems to be a spectrum, from Magpies and Sparrowhawks which many people hate, to Blackbirds and Robins, the latter crowned as our unofficial favourite, which almost everybody loves, possibly because they interact most closely with us, via Sparrows and Starlings which elicit mixed feelings, being boisterous, noisy and often greedy.

Apparently too, those birds we can name give us more pleasure and have a stronger beneficial effect on our well-being. (Do I hear a chorus of “how on earth do they work that one out” at this point?) Anecdotally it is also claimed that the knowledge needed to identify even many of our better known species is declining. This has a bearing on activities such as the annual Great Garden Bird Watch where anything small and brown is a sparrow – the wee brown jobbies as Billy Connelly probably never called them. Maybe bird recognition should go on the national curriculum!

Another aspect of all this feeding is the effect it has on the birds themselves. Our neighbours in Europe have quite a different take on feeding birds, a matter I’ll come back to in a future article. But there is clear evidence in a BTO study of Blackcap migration using Garden BirdWatch data, which shows that a combination of climate change and garden feeding has caused the majority of German Blackcaps to overwinter in southern England instead of around the Mediterranean as they used to. I’m far from sure that human activities which change the habits of supposedly wild birds can be called positive.

Nevertheless, I hope that you will continue to enjoy your garden birds!

If you find the lives of our garden birds to be of interest, and would like to join in and count the feathered occupants of your garden, please contact me or visit the BTO Garden BirdWatch website ( If you know of a local organisation who would like a talk on garden birds call: Mike Gray 07596 366342 or