Homemade Beauty Products.

I have been interested in making my own beauty products for a number of years. It is one way of knowing exactly what you are putting on to your skin and is definitely cheaper than shop bought items. This period of lockdown has given me the time and opportunity to have a go.

I have been using shampoo bars to wash my hair for over a year and several weeks into lockdown I was nearly at the end of my last bar. I have never made soap before and had no idea how difficult it would be, so searched the internet for the simplest recipe I could find. This is the recipe for the one I chose to make. Check this hair shampoo link for information. I had to buy a couple of items and alter the recipe a little but it made 2 large bars and I really like the way my hair feels.

Two finished bars of soap.

The items I bought online were a glycerin soap base and a pot of shea butter. I already had olive oil and coconut oil in my kitchen cupboard. I left out the orange and seasalt completely as I didn’t have either of them. I used some essential oils I already had first checking that they would be okay for my hair and skin. The oils I had were rose, geranium and bergamot. As I didn’t have any soap moulds I used some old soap dishes which worked really well. 

I started running out of skin moisturiser a few weeks after lockdown started so again looked for the simplest recipe I could find using the shea butter I had bought for the shampoo bars. I found a recipe and then altered it slightly. My final moisturiser was made by melting 40 gms of the shea butter in a pyrex bowl placed on top of a saucepan partially filled with water over a medium heat.

Once the shea butter was melted I took it off the heat and added 25 gms of carrier oil. I used jojoba oil as I already had some of this but you could also use sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil. I had some vitamin E capsuals so split a couple of these and added the contents as well and a few drops of the essential oils I already had. I let the mixture cool and then put into the fridge for a couple of hours. Once it had become thick and creamy I gave a stir and then put into a sterilised tin ready for use. I have read that a calendula infused oil would also be good for this recipe. I am growing calendulas in the garden so this is an idea to try in the future.

Homemade face cream ready for use.
Calendula flower

I also wanted to make a body scrub and the first one I tried was 50 gms coconut oil, mixed with 50 gms brown sugar and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla essence. I found it best to rub over dry skin and then wash off. It smells delicious. A word of warning however, be careful that it doesn’t make a bath or shower slippy. You could also add sea salt instead of sugar. 

Brown sugar and coconut oil body scrub

One item I tried to make but unfortunately it failed was a rosewater skin toner. Mine did not smell very much like a rose. Here is a recipe which looks good to make rosewater. It is not the one I used so I will try again. I love the smell of roses and they are meant to be really good for your skin.

Wildflowers during Lockdown

I have always enjoyed walking in the countryside and over the years have tried to recognise and learn the names of wildflowers. I have four wildflower books at home but even these do not show every flower as there are so many different ones in our lanes and fields. In more recent years there have been concerns about the demise of our native plants and the loss of wildflower meadows. It is thought that we have lost 97% of wildflower meadows since the 1930s. There is a lot of debate over the picking of flowers but it is important that children learn to love them and this could mean picking a few. This is what Plantlife has to say,

‘Contrary to widespread belief, it is not illegal to pick most wildflowers for personal, non-commercial use. In a similar vein, it’s not illegal to forage most leaves and berries for food in the countryside for non-commercial use.’

Path around the field.

During this period of Lockdown in 2020 we have been allowed to go out each day for exercise but asked to keep within walking distance of home. This has been quite an eye opener to discover all the flowers growing in the fields near Belper. I have been walking virtually the same route each day and have really noticed the succession of our beautiful, colourful flowers.

Looking across the fields towards the A6

Lockdown started on March 23rd and during this month I noticed Wood Anemones and Mouse-ears both small white flowers. Wood anemones grow in shady places and droop their heads at evening time or during bad weather. It used to be said that fairies slept in the flowers closing the petals around themselves. Mouse-ears seem to like a bit more sun and are considered to be a weed but I wouldn’t mind some in my garden. In the hedgerows blackthorn flowers open before the bush grows its leaves .

Blackthorn flowers before the leaves come out.

April is the month when Bluebells and Wild Garlic appear and this year the bluebells seemed to be early, probably because of the warm weather. The fields are bright with the yellow flowers of dandelions and bluebells flower around the field edges and in the hedgerows. Hawthorne flowers open in the hedges and the edge of woods look glorious with Wild Cherry blossom. Cow Parsley starts to wave in the field margins and cuckoo flowers appeared wherever the grass was allowed to grow. It was good to have the time to really observe these flowers as so much of my usual rushing around had to stop. 

In May Dandelions gave way to Buttercups, just leaving their whiteish seed heads behind. Cow Parsley continued to open closely followed at the end of the month by the much sturdier Common Hogweed (not to be confused with Giant Hogweed). Also towards the end of the month I noticed large areas of one field turning white with the opening of Oxeye Daisies. Hawthorne flowers faded and the Elderflowers came into bud ready to open towards the end of the month. On the edge of one of the fields was a large patch of Yellow Rattle the first time I have seen this in the countryside. The rest of this field was covered in the yellow and oranges of Bird’s-foot trefoil and the lovely cerise pink of clover.

June so far has seen the Elderflowers open properly in the hedges and some of the fields look red at a distance with the flowering of Sheep’s sorrel. I also notice pink Dog-roses covering the bushes and the small white flowers of Brambles are coming out.

I have really enjoyed walking over the same fields for weeks and noticing how different flowers come into bloom and change the colour of the fields and hedges. I had not really thought about this before and at the moment in June the fabulous Foxgloves are just starting to flower. The fields where the dandelions flowered earlier are now being covered by Rough hawkbit.

I am looking forward to seeing more flowers opening during the month of June and how these alter the colour of the fields.

More About Bees

I am becoming increasingly more fascinated by bees and can report that in my garden I have identified, Buff-tailed-bumblebees, Tree-bumblebees, Garden-bumblebees, a Mining-bee and a Hover-fly which looks very similar to a Honey-bee. Apparently Hover-flies have short antenna and only one pair of wings. One of the best sites I have discovered for simple identification of bees is Friendsoftheearth.uk

Hover-fly that looks similar to a Honey-bee.

A bee has a brain about the size of a sesame seed, (it is 20 times denser than a mammals brain) and they can do so many amazing things. Many scientists have spent years researching their behaviour, Dave Goulson  lecturer at the University of Sussex tells in his book A Sting in the Tale, about four years research he did while working at Southampton University. He wanted to find out how bees knew which flowers had plenty of nectar and which are temporarily low in nectar. He discovered that bees have smelly feet and if a bee had drained a flower of nectar another bee will be able to tell by the smell of the previous bees feet. 

The book I am reading at the moment.

I think bees are very clever and are confusing us all. Looking on the internet I notice more research has been done and some scientists say bees know which flowers to go to for nectar by learning scent patterns. This is what the Independent said in 2018,

‘A team of scientists from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Bristol studied how the arrangement of cells on flowers’ petals are arranged in patterns. These are recognised and learned by bees, enabling them to distinguish between flowers.’

Other scientists at Bristol University have done some research on what they call electric fields around flowers and this was published in 2013. 

The University of Bristol have shown that bumblebees can sense the electric field that surrounds a flower. They can even learn to distinguish between fields produced by different floral shapes, or use them to work out whether a flower has been recently visited by other bees. Flowers aren’t just visual spectacles and smelly beacons. They’re also electric billboards’

In other words we still don’t really know every skill or sense that a bee uses to locate the nectar they need. I have found out however that flowers make more nectar once a bee has had its fill. This was something I had wondered about as there are so many bees in my garden this year. I thought they would be draining the flowers and then have nothing left to eat but that doesnt seem to be a problem. Flowers are also very clever in the way they attract bees and then refill their nectar store to keep the bees coming back.

Bees collect nectar by sucking droplets with their proboscis (a straw like tongue), some bees has short proboscis will others have longer ones. Short-tongued bumblebees are able to extract the nectar from flowers with an open shape, like brambles and raspberries, whereas long-tongued bumblebees can reach nectar deep inside long, tubular flowers such as foxgloves.

This year one of the good things for me having been forced to spend more time at home has been to watch the bees in the garden. I realise how lucky I am that I have a garden and I don’t work in a stressful job. I have also been experimenting with knitting a slightly more realistic woolly bee and so I am adding the pattern to this blog.

Bee with pipe cleaner legs
Bee with crocheted legs.
I am not sure which species of bee this is!

Getting to know Garden Bees

I have to admit that most of my life I have not taken too much notice of bees. I have not been afraid of them because I believed they wouldn’t want to sting me and only do so as a last resort, unlike wasps. My ignorance was so bad that I didn’t realise that there were bumblebees and honey bees. I thought that all bees were black and yellow striped and fluffy looking. When I heard about bee decline and how important they were for pollinating and therefore our survival, I started to take more notice. I was amazed to discover there are several hundred different species of bee in the UK alone and that not all bees make honey, but all I believe collect pollen.

Tree Bumblebee on the cotoneaster

There is so much information today on the internet that anyone who wants to find out more has no excuse. Sites such as the different Wildlife Trusts , Countryfile , Blooms for Bees , and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust , to name just a few. It can be rather daunting however as within one species of bee the Queen, the Workers and the Male bees can be different sizes and have colour variations. As to really get to grips with bees would take a lifetime, I decided that with the lovely weather and restrictions on movement during lockdown, I would try to discover what bees visit my garden and learn to recognise them. 

Just received this by post, published this month May 2020

I have also been reading some really useful books on the subject such as The Secret Lives of Garden Bees by Jean Vernon, hot off the press this spring. It is a most beautifully produced book with fantastic photographs, perfect for anyone of any age who would like to get to know a bit more about the world of bees. There is a book review here, Kids of the Wild.

I have also listened on Audible to the book by Brigit Strawbridge Howard, Dancing with Bees, a journey back to nature. Brigit writes about her love of the natural world and how important it can be for our mental health. She gives us a lot of very interesting information about bees and other garden wildlife. This book was published in Summer 2019. More information can be found here on Brigit’s Blog. I can thoroughly recommend both of these books for a beginner who would like to know more about the world of bees.

Anyway to get back to my garden bees. So far I have discovered four different species which I now hope I would be able to recognise again. The first and probably the one I have seen most of is a new comer to our UK gardens, the Tree Bumblebee. This bee has been very obliging and I have managed to take a few photographs.

I have designed a knitted bee that has a resemblance to the Tree bumblebee. I will add this pattern to my next blog post for anyone who would like to try knitting one. The Tree Bumblebee has only been here since about the year 2000 but does seem to like the flowers we have in our garden. More information can be found HERE

The second species I have noticed in the garden is the Buff-tailed bumblebee. This one is a bit confusing as apparently it is the Queen whose tail is buff coloured but the workers have white tails. They have two yellow stripes not three like the Garden bumblebee. I noticed one of these bees on the cotoneaster but it would not stay very still for me to photograph consequently my picture is very blurred.

Buff Tailed bumblebee

I found a bee lying on its back in our dining room, thinking it was dead I got a piece of kitchen roll to pick it up. When I put my hand near the bee it moved and clung onto the paper towel. I quickly took it outside and placed on some weigela flowers, the bee immediately moved into one of them. It spent about thirty minutes eating and resting before flying off. I believe this was a solitary bee called a mason bee. I have now bought a home for mason Bees and really hope someone moves in https://www.masonbees.co.uk

We also have some bees nesting under our shed but to be honest I am not sure what species they are but could be the Buff tailed. I have noticed a bee on our walks which seemed to like to burrow into hard ground and I think this may have been a Mining Bee.

A small selection of UK bees.

My next blog will have details of knitting your own Tree bumblebee or possibly bee species of your choice.

Learning to Forage

I have been fascinated for some years with the idea of foraging and being able to eat free food from the countryside. Some of the obvious items such as blackberries we have eaten for years and almost don’t think of these as wild. In the last couple of years I have made Elderflower Cordial from the flowers and last Autumn Elderflower Jelly from the berries.

With more time at home at the moment during lockdown I have been trying out other recipes. The first was wild garlic pesto. I found a recipe on line and substituted wild garlic for basil,  walnuts for pine nuts and strong cheddar for parmesan. It was delicious and I used some to flavour pasta and also spread on chunky homemade bread. The flowers of wild garlic can be eaten and these look good as a garnish to decorate salads etc.I posted my efforts on Facebook and was challenged to make a tart which included wild garlic, dandelion leaves and stinging nettles. The recipe suggested seem to use large quantities of all three so I decided to make a cheese and egg quiche and add as many leaves as I could gather. The original recipe was for Wild Garlic, Nettle and Dandelion Tart,  which does have useful information on how to prepare the wild leaves. I then made my usual shortcrust pastry, lined a flan dish, added the prepared leaves, filled with grated cheese, 4 beaten eggs mixed with half a pint of milk, cooked at 180 C until well risen and golden about half an hour. It was delicious.I have always loved dandelions as a flower, they are such a lovely bright yellow colour, the leaves have a most interesting shape and seed heads are amazing.  They are also very important in the Spring for bees and other pollinators but this year I have been even more aware of them in the fields and grass verges. I decided to have a go at making dandelion flower jelly. Altogether it took about 5 hours. One to gather the flowers, 2 to remove the petals, 2 to simmer the petals in water, so not an efficient use of time. I eventually ended up with one jar of jelly. I have since found several recipes for dandelion honey and this does seem quite popular so I may have another try. I am also going to try dying fabric with some dandelion petals.I have noticed that the elderflowers are in bud but not quite out yet so I made some cordial from hawthorn flowers. The recipe is here Hawthorn Blossom Cordial I really love this recipe and the flavour of the flowers, I would even go so far as to say I prefer it to the elderflower cordial.There are so many wild plants that can be eaten but also many that are very poisonous so I am very careful to stick to the plants I can be very sure of.

Cooking during Lockdown

Since the 23rd of March 2020 we have been told to not go out except for shopping or work, if you cannot work from home. I have never liked to go to the supermarket and load a trolley full of food to last a fortnight or even a month. I like to shop locally for things as I need them and consequently do not waste food. We are now being told to go out as little as possible even for shopping. Buying necessities has become a nightmare as you often have to queue outside and then when you do get into a shop many of the shelves are bare.

It has meant we have had to adapt and change many of the things we eat and the way we shop. It became difficult to buy bread and if we did manage to find some there was very little choice. I am not a bread maker but luckily for me it was something I had intended to do one day. I had a tin of dried yeast in the cupboard and some bread flour that was only three months out of date. Looking on the internet for a recipe, I was very pleased to find that you could make bread in a slow cooker and it worked. Here is the recipe Slow Cooker LoafThis has worked well now four times and I will continue even when bread becomes easier to buy. I have also made these bread rolls which do not need yeast. They do not look like the photo on the actual recipe but they do taste good and  seem to last up to three days. Roll Recipe.Buying fruit and vegetables has become more difficult as the local green grocers is a small shop where social distancing was not really possible. The shop decided to close and offer home delivery. We have been able to have them deliver fruit and vegetable boxes. The downside of this is you cannot choose all the items in the box. My first vegetable box contained both parsnips and a swede. Items my other half refused to eat under any circumstances. The challenge was to change his mind. I started with the parsnips and discovered a recipe for Parsnip Cake. I didn’t have all the ingredients but the cake still worked with a few changes and has now become our favourite cake. I used almonds instead of pecans, honey instead of maple syrup and lemon instead of orange.I thought the swede would be more difficult as at least parsnips are sweet and therefore lend themselves to cake. Having asked on Facebook, what to do with a swede? The recipe Spiced Swede Cakes, was suggested and once made it became another favourite. We were disappointed this week not to receive another swede.I have been foraging locally for ingredients to add to recipes and wild garlic is one of my favourite. This year for the first time I made wild garlic pesto which was added to pasta and also spread on bread. I will write more about this in my next blog.

#showthelove Event Belper

Belper’s first ‘Show the Love’, Eco Event took place on Saturday February 15th in St Peter’s Church. It was a very wet and windy weekend but this did not deter people from attending which was fantastic. The idea was to have a variety of organisations for the public to talk to about the issues of our changing climate and how we can each take a few steps towards living more sustainably.We are not all going to agree on all the issues but it is important to have conversations and then decide what we feel is our personal next step forward. Maybe the biggest thing we can do is consume less and consequently waste less, working towards saving both money and our planet.
Last Saturday we were challenged by India to consider eating Edible Insects and if this was not something you could do, what about your Pets? The Guardian newspaper published an article which said that 25% of the impact of meat production comes from the pet food industry. Is it time we changed what we feed our cats and dogs? India had a selection of Edible Insects from Crunchy Critters at Ilkeston and had baked some chocolate brownies made with cricket flour.George with his Belper Beats Plastic stand had hints and tips for reducing plastic but also asked people to sign his petition. The petition hopes to persuade Amber Valley Borough Council to give better information on items that can be put in our household recycling bins. George is concerned that many people may be contaminating their recycling unintentionally  causing lorry loads to end up in landfill. He also wants the council to take food waste and turn this into compost.Marisha and Andy had information and examples of things that can now be recycled through their small business Hidden Potential Recycling.Sue from Sue’s Sustainables had lots of help and advice on changes we can make to live more sustainably. She also started the food waste initiative, Sharing not Wasting and of course runs Belper’s first almost plastic free shop.

Charlotte continued to promote the Refill Belper, scheme and sell reusable water bottles. She has worked hard to persuade cafes and other businesses to fill the publics reusable bottles so that less single use plastic bottles are bought and then very quickly end up in the bin.There were stands with information about local initiatives and volunteering opportunities. These included Belper Parks Wood Volunteers, St Peter’s Community Garden, Belper Permaculture Network, The Woodland Trust and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. We we’re encouraged to consider how we manage our own gardens and consider leaving areas to grow wild for insects, birds and small mammals. There were free wooden blue hearts and fabric blue hearts, plus packets of free seeds. The idea of the blue heart is to show that an area is being left and why, hopefully to encourage more wild areas in the town.Noah gave away Show the Love badges, made and designed by India. He also encouraged people to give donations for some Eco booklets written by four young people and the money raised was given to The Woodland Trust.Derby Greenpeace had information on electric cars among other things and we were very lucky to have two parked at the front of the church. The Derwent Valley Trust had a map of their proposed Cycleway along the valley thus making cycling a safer and more enjoyable option.Transition Belper had a very informative stand detailing their many projects in the town. Through them households can get help and advice about their energy use. They also promoted Belper Goes Green which this year will happen on the last weekend in May 2020.Its important that we help to educate young people about the effects of climate change and they need knowledge about what their personal carbon footprint is. These are issues that will effect them all but we need to be careful not to frighten.  One way of doing this is through story books such as ‘Carbon Monster’. Katherine Wheatley author of this book helped to run a children’s activity and gave us the exciting news that her second book will be published in April this year.There was an opportunity for anyone of any age to print a design of their choice with Jane a member of Derby Extinction RebellionKim and Heather had lots of information and examples of sustainable fabrics such as wool, linen and flax. Heather had examples of yarn she had spun from banana skins and mint tops and Kim had examples of how she uses sustainable fibres in her work.There was a cafe area and plenty of time for people to chat.The conversations about caring for our environment will continue in Belper and hopefully we will all work together as a community who cares.

Show the Love

Every February since 2015 the Climate Coalition have encouraged people from all walks of life to join in one of the biggest climate movements yet to Show the Love for our earth. This is what they say on their website,

‘Join us in 2020 to start new climate conversations, and in making and sharing green hearts to #ShowTheLove for all the things you want to protect from climate change. It has never been more important to make your voice heard to the people who have the power to make a world of difference.’

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/show-the-love

In February, Belper will be holding a series of events and courses related to climate change. These are:-

Our Carbon Footprint: 1st of February at Strutts 9.30-12.30. 

Transition Belper and Belper Town Council are presenting a free course to be held at Strutts, Derby Road on the 1st of February from 9.30am – 12.30pm. The course, Our Carbon Footprint: Understanding and Managing the Impact, will be presented by Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency. This is an opportunity to find out more about the threats we face from climate change, and what we can do about them. The course is free, but you will need to reserve your place through eventbrite.  Transition Belper     Belper Town CouncilShow the Love Event at St Peter’s Church – 15th of February 16.00-18.00

This is a drop in event suitable for everyone who would like more information on groups that are already active in the Belper Area. Come along to find out more about how each one of us can make a difference. We will have free Blue Hearts and Wild Flower seeds to re-wild parts of your gardens, information on the new Belper Community Orchard, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust and the Derwent Valley Cycleway. There will be a chance for the brave to sample edible insects and talk to kids from the Nature Savers Group. Ideas on living more sustainably, cutting down on single use plastic, local recycling initiatives, find out more about Extinction Rebellion and possibly print your own T-Shirt. Katherine Wheatley author of the book, Carbon Monster will lead some craft activities and have some books for sale. There will be refreshments of tea/coffee/squash, homemade cakes and biscuits. St Peter’s Church, Belper.

Zero Carbon Training at Fleet Arts – 22nd and 23rd of February 9.30-16.00

The course aims to further knowledge and deepen understanding of the climate crisis and inspire the change we now need, with examples of carbon neutral projects. It will include a combination of education, discussion, participation and fun! (Play the Carbon City Zero game). It will take many of us pulling in the same direction to enable change, and each of our actions can contribute to making a zero carbon future happen. http://fleet-arts.org

Climate Change is an issue that it is difficult to ignore as it is regularly  in the news showing us some of the devastating effects of Global Warming. I feel  it is important that we try to understand what is happening and then work with others to make a difference. There are things that we as individuals can do  but it is also an issue where communities can work together to make a difference. We need to be careful not to get bogged down in despair but look at all the amazing things going on worldwide and work with others to make a difference. There is hope and many amazing people rising up to lead campaigns.

Greta Thunberg https://www.facebook.com/gretathunbergsweden/ a young person who has inspired many to take the issues of Climate Emergency more seriously.

Amy and Ella Meek, young people leading a campaign against single use plastic. http://www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle climate issues, pledging “a decade of action to repair the Earth”. https://earthshotprize.org

David Attenborough who tirelessly campaigns  so that we can better understand what is going on. Sir David’s facts-on-climate-change

There have been many inspiring and worrying films in the last few years including TOMORROW and A PLASTIC OCEAN both shown in Belper. There is a new film 2040  by Damon Gameau is an upbeat documentary predicting our best selves saving the planet which we hope to show later in the year. 2040 Trailer

Belper’s Woollen Advent Calendar 2019

The idea for creating Belper’s first Woollen Advent Calendar came from seeing how the Six Streets Community in Derby organised  their window Advent Calendar. A different house unveils their decorated front window each day of advent. This is something that takes place in towns and villages up and down the country and the Eden Project have written a guide as to how to organise one.

In Belper we decided to do it differently for two reasons, firstly it was difficult to think of an area where there were enough houses with windows near the pavement and secondly we have so many groups and individuals who already enjoy the idea of Yarn Bombing. The trees chosen were in the main shopping area of the town along King Street, Campbell Street, Strutt Street and the Memorial Gardens.A list of trees was made with measurements, permission granted from all the relevant authorities and then an appeal put out on Facebook. In true Advent Calendar style 24 trees were decided on and these were adopted by shops, care homes, schools, churches, social/craft/news  groups and individuals. On November 30th  woollen squares with the numbers 1-24 were attached to the trees and leaflets were placed in shops, the library, cinema and churches. The leaflet informed the reader who had made each tree, gave websites and titles where they had been chosen.The Belper Woollen Woods facebook page was updated each day with that days tree. Each tree was unique and delighted the Christmas shoppers in the town. The trees will stay in place until January 5th so that people can have the opportunity to see the completed Community Advent Calendar.

The Advent Calendar has been a fantastic Community project with some truely amazing trees. A huge THANK YOU to all who were willing to be part of this.

1 Belper Nailed editor Clare Washbrook.    https://nailed.community                                              This tree included hats & scarves for people in need.

Chronic Creatives                                                  www.facebook.com/groups/chroniccreative

3  U3A Charity Crafting Group www.u3asites.org.uk/belper/groups

4   Belper Baptist Church Unto Us a Child is Born    www.belperbaptist.org

5   Belper Methodist Church www.belpercentralmethodist.co.uk

6   Chatterbox Belper  www.facebook.com/Chatterboxbelper7   Spencer Grove Care Home                                         www.milfordcare.co.uk/spencer-grove

8  Diane Strauther, Joy Meakin & Jan Sheppard               While Shepherds watched

9   Holbrook School for Autism                                        www.holbrookautism.derbyshire.sch.uk

10   Christine and Jo   Waiting for Father Christmouse

11   Belper North Mill      www.belpernorthmill.org.uk

12   Whitemoor Day Opportunities                                    12 Drummers Drumming       www.facebook.com/whitemoordayopportunities   13   Marianne Hulse

14   Helen Pridmore    Hedgehugs   www.hedgehogstreet.org

15   Suz Hennessey & Tracey Crawford                            The 12 Days of Christmas

16  Christchurch Church         www.christchurchbelper.co.uk

17  Air Ambulance Shop   www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk/shop/wndlr-belper

18  Milford Care Home              www.milfordcare.co.uk19  St Peter’s Church         We Three Kings    www.stpetersparishbelper.org.uk

20  Belper Gardening Club      www.facebook.com/groups/belpergardeningclub

21  Oxfam Shop          www.oxfam.org.uk/shop

22  Cynthia Lenham & Christine Moorcroft                        Santa’s Favourites

23  Openwoodgate Preschool www.openwoodgatepreschool.co.uk

24  Transition Belper          Hang the Stockings   www.transitionbelper.orgPhotos kindly taken by Syd Greig.

Woollen Woods 2019

This year, 2019 the Woollen Woods were slightly later than usual and this turned out to be a good decision as we were once again very lucky with the weather. As has happened in previous years some pieces were seen for a second time such as the stripy snakes.Most of the trees were decorated with new pieces however, with many trees being taken on by local groups. Transition Belper put up a Bee Kind to Nature Tree with an amazing beehive suspended high above our heads. A line of bees could be seen flying back to the hive and on close inspection a Queen Bee could be seen wearing a small handmade silver crown.  Continue reading Woollen Woods 2019