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

Great Ouseburn Beer Festival

The eighth annual Great Ouseburn Beer Festival will be held on Saturday 7th October from 1pm till 11pm.

There will be live music from two fantastic local bands. No Direction take to the stage first, followed by Citizen Smith to close the night. There will be over 20 beers, ciders, Fizz and hot food served all day.

The festival has now raised in excess of £40,000 for local charities including Open Country, Henshaws College, Jennyruth Workshops, Candlelighters and St Michael’s Hospice, along with Great Ouseburn Village Organisations including the Village Hall, Cricket Club, Football Club, Primary School and both Ouseburn Parish Churches. This year we continue to support the Great Ouseburn Village Organisations along with The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Harrogate based Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.

For more information, see



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

Brighter Boroughbridge Striving to make a Difference!

The judges’ comment after the Yorkshire in Bloom Spring judging arrived at the end of May. They have awarded us Silver gilt, just one step below gold!

DSCN0121Everyone who helped should be delighted and the town should be proud of them.
Since the judging we have had a seat installed beside the memorial rose garden and it was sponsored by Charlton’s of Boroughbridge. (Now has its brass plaque in place since the photo was taken). New wooden flowers, from Jennyruth Workshop, have been erected in the circles at Stump Cross, each bearing a bee which is Brighter Boroughbridge’s theme for this year.
Now it is time to try for that elusive gold award in the Summer but we will need help to do this. We were hoping to show the Millennium Garden in the grounds of the Primary school and we have been weeding and planting. We are also working towards a wild meadow area to be finished by the end of June. Our work in that garden is constantly being vandalised, rubbish, concrete blocks, wooden pallets and a chair have had to be removed. This garden is very large and everyone should enjoy it. So we ask the youths that are doing this to please build their dens away from the gate and area we are trying to improve.
If you are able to help, please send an e-mail to John, or telephone him on 01423 323123

The Collared Dove

Drab, boring, alien, ubiquitous. These are four words that have been used to describe the Collared Dove, notwithstanding which they have been part of a fascinating story of natural colonisation from India across Europe to the UK. Ubiquitous it is not though, as continued declines in the Garden Birdwatch counts demonstrate.

Now one of the commonest birds in Britain, it first bred here in Cromer in Norfolk in 1955 having arrived via Turkey and the Middle East in the 1930s.

The Collared Dove is smaller and more delicate than a Woodpigeon. It is creamy grey-buff with a black half collar on the back of its neck (in adults). The typical call is a clear and persistent three note coo-COO-coo, plus a harsh loud screeching call lasting about two seconds, just before landing. Their cooing in early spring is sometimes mistaken for that of early-arriving cuckoos and, as such, a mistaken sign of spring’s return.

The spread of Collared Doves across the United Kingdom was very rapid. Following that first report in 1955 they were found breeding in Kent and Lincolnshire in 1957, also being seen as far north as Scotland. Two years later Ireland was colonised, and by 1970 there were probably 25,000 pairs in Britain and Ireland. The BTO Common Birds Census revealed a five-fold increase in their population between 1972 and 1996.

Collared Doves are bigger than Blackbirds and so are quite conspicuous, meaning that they are popular with predators, often being taken by cats and Sparrowhawks.

As an aside, they have very dusty feathers leading to fantastically detailed prints when they fly into a window. They often show every detail of the individual feathers, the beak and even the eyelids, and are best viewed against a dark surface, and can easily be photographed. If not cleaned off the window they can last for several months, as the dust is oily and quite sticky.

There is little evidence available relating to the drivers of their spread but they seem to have been able to fill an empty niche by exploiting the intermittent seed resources available both in gardens and elsewhere.

The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world, travelling far beyond its native range to colonise colder countries, becoming a permanent resident in several. Its original range at the end of the 19th century was subtropical Asia. In 1838 it was reported in Bulgaria, spreading across Europe to the Balkans between 1900–1920, and then rapidly northwest, reaching Germany in 1945.

Collared Doves typically breed close to human habitation where food resources are abundant and there are trees for nesting. They are monogamous and share parental duties when caring for their young. They are regular visitor to bird tables, and large populations are found around farms with grain stores, or where livestock are fed. They are gregarious and form sizeable winter flocks where there are food supplies such as grain and seeds, shoots and insects. Flocks most commonly number between ten and fifty, but up to ten thousand have been recorded.

The male’s mating display is a ritual flight, which, as with many other pigeons, consists of a rapid, near-vertical climb followed by a long circular glide downward, with wings held below the body in an inverted “V” shape. At all other times, flight is typically direct using fast, clipped wing beats without gliding.

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