The Potwell Dyke Grasslands Action group was set up in January 2004 when the agreement between Southwell Town Council and the Countryside Commission was coming up for renewal.

Nottinghamshire's county-wide Open Studios events are running again, this time between 3rd May and 15th June, with over 150 artists & makers taking part.

I am writing to thank you and your readers for the support you've shown so far for East Midlands British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops Spring Clear Out campaign.

A special all-inclusive celebration will affirm the 'Best of British' in Southwell Minster on St George's Day, to mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of British Citizenship Ceremonies.

Readers may recall a mention of a homeless, blind cat called Angel last year who needed a home. 

A total of 14 new jobs are to be created at Nottingham's Malt Cross after the venue received more than £1.38 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The 2014 Wonderland festival features THREE themes in ONE fantastic event : 45 Years of the Ford Capri ~ 50 years of the Ford Mustang ~ Lewis Collins 'Bodie' Tribute

Manor Farm is holding an Open Day on Saturday 12th April, 10am - 4pm for you to come and find out about all the exciting things they have to offer.

View the beautiful Gastro dining area and Function room, take a peek at the Shepherd's Hut accommodation or try the hands-on Baking Workshops. There will be tasting samples of the Gastro Dining food and other special offers to collect on the day.

Caroline, Andrew and their team look forward to welcoming you.

The 2014 Wonderland festival features THREE themes in ONE fantastic event : 45 Years of the Ford Capri ~ 50 years of the Ford Mustang ~ Lewis Collins 'Bodie' Tribute

Taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June, on the banks of the River Trent at Ferry Farm, Hoveringham. Traders, food outlets, children's entertainment, camping, plus a 20% discount entry for festival visitors to the neighbouring Farm Park, make this is a festival for enthusiasts & the family.

FREE entry to all exhibitors on Saturday (arrivals from 2pm) open to the public 4pm to 8pm with live local band 'Beggars belief' + Bar + Disco. Also on Saturday night there will be a 'Car of the night' prize package featuring a 'Frankie & Benny's' Hamper worth over £50. 

Tickets on Saturday (for non-exhibitors) cost £2.50/Adults U16s FREE and on Sunday £5/Adults U16s FREE. For further information see ad (right), call 01623 490605 or go to


Staff from the Making it! Discovery Centre jumped at the chance to get involved in a project that saw Scouts from across the region making draught excluders to give to those in need this winter.

CEO Susan Walters of Making it!, a Mansfield based family attraction located on Littleworth, and Crafts Coordinator Linda Boult acted as the crafts experts at the E.ON led project to show the Scouts how to create a draught excluder using recycled materials, whilst offering creative inspiration and helpful advice to help develop the children's skills.

Part of the Making it Industrial Heritage Trust Ltd, Making it! is an independent charity that supports disadvantaged children by providing a fun, educational family attraction to help them understand how everyday products are invented, designed and made. Making it! also offers craft activities of their own in their Brewhouse Crafts workshop, providing a fun, safe environment for children and adults to learn and develop creative skills.

Walters commented "This was a great opportunity for us to show our support for such a worthy cause. The Scouts we worked with were an inspiration to others and should be congratulated for all the hard work they put into supporting their communities." Making it! are preparing for their upcoming craft workshops and events so they can provide a fun family day out during the School holidays.

See full details at

Our children's financial future is under strain. They need to save and invest whilst living their life in an environment where all the basic outgoings are increasing rapidly.

Whilst there is some fabulous information on the web, without knowing the right questions to ask most people will flounder and thus take no action.  My talk will focus on the options open to parents and grandparents, including the basics, tax breaks and Will planning.  It's a world away from 'Moneysupermarket 'etc. See ad above for details.

Martin Chapman


The National Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC in Birmingham takes place from 27th - 30th March, featuring celebrity experts such as Piers Taylor, award-winning RIBA architect and co-presenter of BBC2 series 'The House that £100k Built', Michael Holmes, editor-in-chief of Homebuilding and Renovating magazine, and Charlie Luxton sustainable architectural designer and presenter of More4's 'Building the Dream'.

Competition Time

The Bramley has three pairs of tickets to the show to give away absolutely free. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is 'like' our facebook page: and then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and address.

If you are picked you will receive a FREE pair of tickets worth £34. Tickets allow entry into both The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show and The Home Improvement Show, taking place in the same hall at the NEC for the first time. Tickets are limited to one pair per winner.

So what are you waiting for? Send your entry today! Closing Date: Thursday 20th March.


What is the first sign that winter is over? For the staff at Upton Hall it is the sound of clocks striking! It may not be widely realised outside the walls of Upton Hall but during the winter months the clocks are stopped and a silence descends on the building.

From the end of February curator, Alan Midleton, begins checking each clock to make sure it is in working order and then starts the winding, a weekly task throughout the summer months; as each clock begins to chime it is as if the whole building is waking up. By the end of March, when the clocks change to British Summer Time, all is ready for the public to wonder at the fabulous collection of clocks and watches built up over 155 years.

Mothering Sunday the 30th March is the date this year when visitors will be welcome to see the original Speaking Clock, dating from 1936; timepieces dating from the mid 17th century to the innovative triple pendulum designed by members to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the British Horological Institute in 2008, and the beautiful and very intricate detail in the movements of pocket watches.

Also undergoing restoration during the winter have been the watercolour paintings by Thomas Wright, builder of Upton Hall. These were only acquired in October last year and being views of England, Wales, Switzerland, Austria and Italy represent Thomas' travels in Europe at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.

Although on display for the October Open Day they were in need of some work to ensure there was no further deterioration. This has now been completed and the paintings, framed, will once again hang in the house Thomas built to display works of art.

Throughout the day knowledgeable experts will be on hand to answer any questions visitors have on horology, the BHI collection, Upton Hall, and membership of the British Horological Institute.

A special all-inclusive celebration will affirm the 'Best of British' in Southwell Minster on St George's Day, to mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of British Citizenship Ceremonies.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire is working with the Dean, the Very Revd John Guille to make this an occasion for all to celebrate the richness of our national life.

13,000 people from all over the world have already participated in these ceremonies in Nottinghamshire alone.

The Dean says: "It will not be a religious service but a 'Celebration of British Citizenship' and an opportunity to affirm the contribution of many thousands of people who have become British citizens in the last decade."

Entry to the event on 23rd April will be by ticket only, limited to 500 and obtainable from the Registry Offices in County Hall, the Council House in Nottingham, in Mansfield and Newark or by email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Tickets are free and the ceremony will be open to anybody who wants to join the celebrations, which begin at 7.30pm.

The programme will include a welcome by the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Sir John Peace, and music, dance, poetry and prose of the British tradition. The ceremony will feature interviews with three individuals who have become British citizens and are making a significant contribution to our national life.

English apple juice and Scottish shortbread will be served in the Crossing after the ceremony.

A total of 14 new jobs are to be created at Nottingham's Malt Cross after the venue received more than £1.38 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It was announced at the start of the year that the former music hall on St James's Street had successfully secured the funding, which will form an integral part of a £1.7m Heritage Outreach and Engagement Project to create a major new attraction for the city.

Bringing to life two unused floors and an 11th century cave underneath the Malt Cross, the six-month renovation will result in a new state-of-the-art heritage education, tourism, arts, crafts and music centre.

Now the Malt Cross Trust, which runs the historic venue, has revealed that it has started recruiting for eight new full-time roles and six apprenticeship opportunities. This will see the current team expand by 40 per cent.

Amongst the new full-time roles being created are the positions of marketing and fundraising manager, heritage engagement worker, and music, arts and events manager.

In addition, apprenticeships will be offered in: fundraising, administration, catering, hospitality and heritage, arts and crafts. An apprenticeship in music and events will also be on offer, in conjunction with the Confetti institute of creative technologies in Nottingham.

Jo Cox-Brown, chief executive of the Malt Cross Trust, is delighted to be able to bring such a high number of new roles to the city:

"It's a sad fact that many charities across the UK are shrinking because of a lack of access to funds. The investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund has allowed us to buck this national trend and we now find ourselves in the position of being able to significantly expand our team.

"The apprenticeship opportunities are particularly exciting for us. We are looking forward to working with the successful young people to give them the best start possible in their careers, whilst helping them to continue to expand their skills sets.

"Since the HLF announcement was made, we've seen a wealth of new customers coming through the door and it's great news that so many people are keen to engage with the Malt Cross and its history. There will certainly be plenty more opportunities to do this over the coming months."

Work on the Malt Cross renovation, which is the only surviving saloon music hall still functioning outside of London, will begin in April and is scheduled for completion in September 2014.

For full details of the full-time and apprenticeship opportunities available at the Malt Cross, visit

Readers may recall a mention of a homeless, blind cat called Angel last year who needed a home. The initial good news was that Angel was rehomed - but sadly owing to a change in her owner's circumstances, Angel has been returned to the local charity which helped her.

Whilst change is challenging for any animal, especially a rescue one – imagine being blind and facing this upheaval? Volunteers at local charity, Animal Accident Rescue Unit, are keen to get Angel a permanent home promptly.

Her blindness aside, the volunteers agree that there is so much to Angel! A beautiful dark 'tortie' cat, she has 'an adorable character' and loves company and is suited to a home without other cats, dogs or small children. Whilst taking on a blind cat may seem challenging, as one of the volunteers, experienced with blind cats, highlights: 'Given time, patience and kindness Angel will soon learn her new home; she's a quick learner. All she wants is a lovely indoors home to enjoy a settled life.'

Blind cats use their whiskers with heightened other senses to navigate with surprising ease. Indeed the charity's experienced volunteers provide practical advice on caring for blind cats and agree it is easier than expected.

To be in with chance of providing that fabulous home for Angel call 0115 9984307 - this number is only for queries about Angel. Leave a message with your contact details and postcode for the Adoption Volunteer to respond – or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For emergency calls or other matters, call the lifeline on 0115 9321555, or email as above. The charity is always in urgent need of new cat fosterers.

A vicar from Notts is kicking off a year-long Twitter campaign for the Church of England.

The Church wants to tell its story through the eyes of its people, providing a daily insight into modern faith in action.

The Project - @OurCofE - will see bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers taking a week each to tweet about their life inside the Church.

The Revd Kate Bottley, vicar of the churches of Blyth, Scrooby and Ranskill, and Chaplain to North Notts College, is tweeting this week.

Followers of the account will get an insight into the work that goes on in the day to day running of a church community, from schools to chaplaincies to cathedrals. Followers will be able to peek behind the scenes as they get a feel for daily life in parishes.

The Revd Bottley said: "I'm really excited to be asked to be part of the @OurCofE project.

"The project provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the rich diversity of life in the Church of England. It's great to think that these tweets might paint a colourful picture of the day to day running of the Church, from morning prayer to afternoon tea, Our Fathers to Mother's Unions, from food festivals to food banks, this Twitter project gives a glimpse of the glorious diversity that is the life of the Church of England.

"Will 140 characters be enough? I can't wait to get started."

UK Champion for global food security, Professor Tim Benton, will be asking how we can feed the world in the future, at a thought-provoking lecture in Southwell Minster on 13th March, jointly hosted by the Cathedral and Nottingham Trent University's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.

Nearly two billion hungry or malnourished people, recurrent food price spikes and socio-political unrest, climate change, degradation and scarcity of natural resources - coupled with a decline in rural communities and livelihoods - have placed food security high on the development agenda.

Professor Benton will outline the challenges for food security (providing enough food for all) and the difficulties of doing it on less land, with less water and with climate change being a really potent force. He will discuss that sustainable production is needed to protect future generations and that this is itself a challenge and will end with discussion that for the most part the solution is for us to change our eating habits and demand less and waste less.

Says Tim: "We all need food, but demand for food is beginning to outstrip our ability to supply it, and this may continue getting worse as climate change increasingly bites. At the same time, more people around the world are suffering ill-health from over-consumption than ill-health from under-consumption. Compared to other sectors, globally, food uses more land and water, creates more climate change, and damages the environment more. What is the future of food, who will win and who will lose, and can we make it more benign?"

The Dean of Nottingham Trent University's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Professor Eunice Simmons, says she is delighted to be hosting this talk jointly with the Minster, as food security and supply are critical issues in which we should all take an interest: "Education and research in this area is vital and the School has been increasing its work in both food and agriculture over the last three years – to some extent returning to Brackenhurst's founding principles. We very much look forward to Professor Benton's talk and also to hearing from his audience on this topic - and if you want to see our progress for yourselves, you are most welcome to Open Farm Sunday at Brackenhurst on June 8, 2014"

'Feeding the world in the future: Can we do it?' starts at 7pm for 7.30pm. The lecture is open to all and admission is free.