Nursery School Faces Up to Challenging Times

Hambledon Nursery School has met and resolved a host of challenges as it remains open during the latest lock-down to provide early-learning to local children, in accordance with Government policy.

With junior and senior schools all shut, head teacher Kate Walford and her team, assisted by the Trustees, have had to deal with a range of issues in recent months including anxiety among staff and parents, several cases of Covid-19, and the difficulties posed by teachers having to cope with providing home-schooling for their own children.

The school has had to close one of its two classroom, but continues to provide a safe and happy environment for those youngsters still in attendance.

The Trustees, the Parish Council, the Church and parents have each expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Kate and her colleagues for keeping going in such difficult times.

Here Kate provides the village with her latest report.

The start to 2021 is one where the phrase ‘things can only get better’ springs to mind.

We are all aware that the new year brought with it further challenges as we weather the storm which comes with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For Hambledon nursery school this signified an uncertain start to the spring term as the third national lockdown was declared. We have had to close our provision for the 2-3 year olds due to staff shortages at this very difficult time. However, we hope this closure will be short lived and that we will reopen the room for this age group after the February half term.

Adjusting to life in a lockdown can be very difficult and the cause of much anxiety.

I have heard it said that although we are all in the same storm, we do not all nave the same tools to ride the storm out. Some are fortunate to have access to strong boats with sturdy sails, others have but flimsy canoes to try to keep themselves afloat.

We find that at the nursery, though we may feel adrift in this storm, we are once again lucky enough to work in an environment that is an island of calm in the storm. Here the important business of play, joy, laughter and learning through having fun continues as it should and brings those of us fortunate to work here much hope for the future.

I think that spreading a little of that hope and joy within the community of Hambledon is most important. The nativity trail in December 2020 which ran into early January 2021 was met with many happy responses. The nursery received some wonderful feedback about the children’s many different crafts which represented different elements to the nativity story and how they had brought much enjoyment to those who walked past.

Following the success of this trail we certainly hope to make more in the future. At the end of this spring term our usual Easter service will perhaps not be possible and so I would hope once again to make an Easter trail to spread the message of hope and of new life that comes with that time of year.

I firmly believe by that stage we shall have many more reasons to be positive and hopeful in the form of the expanding vaccination programme, reduced rates of infection and the very gradual but very tangible return to normality for us all.

 

New Windows for the Village Hall

Those who read the parish magazine will already know that the Village Hall Committee have been planning on replacing all the existing single-glazed windows at the hall with double glazed ones.

This is in order to reduce heat loss to make the hall warmer, less damp and reduce our carbon footprint. We hope that it will also mean a reduction in heating expenses.

We have looked at various options and have decided that replacing them with wood-effect UPVC is best. The main consideration is the reduction in the need for upkeep in the future with UPVC. Wooden windows need repainting every few years and the committee feels that it is important to reduce annual costs as much as possible now and for future committees and Hambledon residents.

The windows will be in the same style as they currently are, which is casement for the entrance hall, store rooms and toilets and sash windows for the main hall. The kitchen window has already been replaced with UVPC and we are very pleased with that. It is now draught-free and looks almost the same as the original.

We are in the process of applying for a grant for the cost of the work.

Hydons Ball – Action to End Inconsiderate Use

The National Trust, assisted by local volunteers, is taking measures to prevent a small number of downhill mountain bike racers from damaging heath and woodland on and around Hydons Ball.

All countryside locations owned by the Trust are currently experiencing a big increase in visitor numbers during the Coronavirus lock-down and Hydons Ball is no exception. Walkers are urged to exercise only in their local area, to only use established footpaths and to avoid packed car parks and leaving litter. Horse riders are asked to only use bridle paths.

Additionally, a section of mountain bike enthusiasts who seek the thrill of riding down steep slopes at speed, creating their own trails, are damaging flora and fauna as well. Locally this is a problem on Hindhead Commons, the Devil’s Punchbowl and on Blackdown. Here in Hambledon a group of volunteers called the Friends of Hydons Ball have put up posters asking people not to create new paths and trails, or dig jumps and berms.

With the support of the NT, they have placed brash piles and dead tree trunks across unofficial paths. Matt Cusack, lead ranger for the area, said: “This is a national issue, but we are concerned about what has been happening on Hydons Ball and are grateful for the assistance of local volunteers.” Bikers trails, which utilise steep slopes, bumps, dips and jumps, have been blocked and brash placed in hollows and on mounds. Matt has felled several small scrub trees to create additional obstacles to downhill biking.

Downhill mountain biking is a major problem, he said, and the Surrey Hills has become a popular destination. “This is very damaging, but there are signs that the measures we are taking at Hydons Ball are achieving results. They seem to have moved on.”

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Brown Bin Waste Collection Suspended Indefinitely

Waverley Borough Council has announced that it has suspended its “Brown Bin” fortnightly household garden waste collection service until further notice.

This is due to the impact on staffing levels resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Collections stopped from this Monday (January 11, 2021).

Please look at the link below for more details and a full statement:

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/200084/recycling_rubbish_and_waste/1273/garden_waste_collection_service

Lane End Closure – Latest

Work is now well underway at Lane End to replace old gas mains, and the road is closed to all traffic.

The parish council has been in regular contact with SGN, the gas provider, and has asked if the road could remain open to vehicles, perhaps with traffic light control.

However, as the photos show, wide trenches are being dug and space must be allowed for use by machinery and to allow for safety and the required social distancing under Coronavirus rules.

The work, which started on Monday, is expected to last for 12 weeks, with vehicles diverted via Milford, a distance of approximately three miles. For those heading south, an alternative is Vann Lane, Pockford and Chiddingfold.

A footpath beside the excavations has been provided and access to adjacent properties will be maintained. The road closure is between the Wormley Lane and Cricket Green/Vann Lane junctions on Lane End.

Robin McKeith, the Hambledon Parish councillor with responsibility for highways and maintenance issues, said: “Following a slow start to the roadworks on Monday the 4th January, the gas main work has progressed significantly, and a large trench now stretches as far as the bus stop.

“The Parish Council is in regular contact with the engineers responsible for the maintenance, and will continue to monitor the progress of the work to keep the village updated on the committed 12-week timetable. 

If you have any concerns, please contact the Parish Council”.

The council has asked SGN is it can provide a schedule of work so that residents can be assured the timetable is being adhered to and the work completed as swiftly as possible.

For more information about the project please look at previous news stories on this website.

 

 

 

Lockdown 3 – Where to find help and advice

The Government has announced that England is to enter a third lock-down from today (Tuesday January 5th) and the message is to stay at home wherever possible.

As with the previous lock-downs, this presents many challenges.

Please use the Coronavirus Village Information and Coronavirus Support Funds links on the right to find out where help is at hand.

Here in Hambledon, our village shop will remain open and orders can be placed online for home delivery within the area. Please use the Product List and Ordering link on the right for details.

The nursery school can remain open as early-years learning is excluded from the order for schools to shut. St Dominic’s is likely to remain open, catering for children with special needs.

Hambledon church services remain on-line, but weddings and funerals can be held within limitations.

The village pub, the Merry Harriers, must remain closed. Local take-away outlets can stay open, but for food and soft drinks orders only.

Local food shops, garden centres, and building supply businesses can remain open, all others must close. Doctors, dentists and vets are open.

This website has links on its right-hand menu to organisations offering help and advice. These include Hambledon Parish Council, and if anyone has any specific problems that they cannot resolve, please contact Stewart Payne on 07831 393561 or any other parish councillor. Please note that Mike Parry has resigned and his place has been taken by Ali Scott-Bishop, so if you have kept the advice leaflet delivered to all homes at the start of the first lock-down, please amend accordingly. 

All parish councillor numbers can be found on this website together with many others which may be helpful in the weeks ahead.

Please remember that the Foodbank is always grateful for donations and the various support funds welcome financial contributions to enable them to continue to their work. 

Finally, the Government’s latest National Lockdown Guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/949536/NationalLockdownGuidance.pdf

 

Lane End Long-term Road Closure- UPDATE

Work to replace old gas mains at Lane End, Hambledon, started on Monday (Jan 4th), as previously announced, and will result in the road being closed for the duration of the project, which is expected to last 12 weeks.

Road closure and diversion signs are in place. Once excavation work gets under way the road will be closed at all times, the parish council has been informed.

The closure involves the section of Lane End, between Wormley Lane and Vann Lane/Cricket Green. Diversion signs instruct motorists to divert via Petworth Road (A283), Milford and Station Lane to Hydestile, and the same route in reverse for those leaving the village.

This is the quickest route for most, but for those living on Vann Lane and Upper Vann, a diversion via Pockford and Skinners Lane to the A283 on the outskirts of Chiddingfold may be more convenient.

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Lane End – Road Closure due from Monday January 4th

Work to upgrade household gas mains in the Lane End area of Hambledon is due to start tomorrow (Monday Jan 4th), and will result in long-term road closures.

SGN, the gas supplier, has previously stated that the work will take up to 12-weeks and that the road from Wormley Lane to Vann Lane will be closed, although access to properties in the immediate area will be maintained.

Hambledon Parish Council has contacted SGN to seek further information. It asked if the road will be completely closed throughout or will it reopen overnight; can pedestrians pass at all times; will there be some periods when the road will reopen; can the council have a detailed programme of works.

It is hoped more information will be available on Monday morning, so please check back with this website.

It may be that the road will remain open as the contractors set up. The one.network website which maps roadworks, shows the initial closure as being between Vann Lane (Cricket Green) and the village hall. 

https://one.network/?119435733&fbclid=IwAR0vWWAbFW_SH3pL5hG14P7308d7y2fyTb-l_ByXgNwj3uMp-meyfUMl1Yc

This website also indicates that there will be roadworks with traffic light control on the Petworth Road, at Phillips garage and half way up Wormley Hill, and, unrelated to Hambledon but worth noting, at Dunsfold between Loxhill and the A281.

 Further information about the Lane End roadworks was published on this website last week and can be found here: http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=14246