EPICH – A New Broom!

We are sad to announce that our chairman, Maureen Powles, has had to resign due to pressure of work. She had a very productive spell in office, developing excellent links and projects with Hurworth and Croft Primary Schools. She also recruited a number of new members, two of whom have now joined the committee. We have much appreciated her efforts.

Happily we have managed to find a new chairman in the shape of Wilma Campbell. Wilma has been associated with EPICH for some months now via the bee project. She is one  

of our local bee experts and has been helping us to run the bee project funded by a £3.1k grant from County Durham Community Foundation. Additionally, Wilma has just retired from the deputy headship of Polam Hall Junior School, which, fortunately for us, permitted her to accept the EPICH chairmanship. With her intimate knowledge and understanding of schools, Wilma is ideally placed to consolidate the links with our own local schools, certainly one of her expressed interests in working with EPICH. We wish her every success and longevity of tenure.

As well as the schools and bee projects we are also looking at, and have started, developing an area behind the scout hut at the Grange for an amenity area, comprising seats, picnic table, bird feeding unit and landscaping. Early days yet but the area has started to be cleared.

We are talking to the Priory (ex Hurworth Prep School) regarding, amongst other things, the possibility of creating a wildflower meadow. Again early days, but progress is being made.


Work continues on the footpaths around the Grange. In order to try and remove this from the “Forth Bridge” syndrome where you finish at one end and start again at the other, we are now firstly laying down a permeable weed preventative covering before applying the wood chippings. So far this is proving very effective with a noticeable increase in the durability of the paths. Again, we would like to put on record our thanks to Peter and Guy Foster for the many piles of free wood chippings they have supplied us with.

Our thanks are also due to Hurworth Parish Council for ring fencing a sum of money to fund us when any grants or donations might not prove adequate to do the envisaged projects. We like to think of ourselves as the volunteer environmental arm of HPC, be that the case or not.

We are still working on “Jean's” and “Ken's” gardens, plus tending to the fruit orchard at the Grange with John Buxton's kind assistance. We also now have a very impressive young webmaster in the form of David Alban. The fruits of his labour can be seen at www.epich.org.uk with many things in flower and some in bud. Our thanks to him.

Most of all though, we would be delighted to see new members, all ages welcome, for out and out labouring, be it physical or mental. We welcome all ages. If you are interested please contact our secretary John Martin via john@epich.org.uk or 07766 713736.

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