Public consultation – cycling and walking infrastructure

Babergh and Mid- Suffolk District Councils have just launched a public consultation around cycling and walking Infrastructure to give residents and communities the opportunity comment on desired improvements to local walking and cycling routes and facilities. The consultation will feed into the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

Given recent ideas about connecting the Sports Club to the village with a new footpath you may like to comment on this.

For more information and context about the consultation, and the links to participate, please visit:

Click on “View map and comment” to identify the location your comment/suggestion refers to, and then the “Have your say” button at top right to answer a few short questions about how Walking or Cycling could be improved.  

Open Gardens Weekend – Update May 2021

Image of blue cornflowes in white vase on table loooking through open gate in red brick wall out to The Street beyond

The Committee have been agonising over whether this year’s event can go ahead and have sadly concluded that once again the 40th anniversary celebrations will have to be delayed, to the August BankHoliday in 2022.

The decision was not an easy one but continued uncertainty and the concerns of garden owners and volunteers have been taken into account.

The good news and something to look forward to, is the the Gardens Weekend Committee are planning to organise and fund a Village Celebration in and around St Mary’s Church to re-launch the Open Gardens Weekend for 2022.

So put Sunday 29th August 2021 in and watch the Observer for more details.
If you have anything you would like to contribute to the conversation you are invited to email or telephone: or | 01359 259061

Memorial Hall Update – April 2021

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

With the Government 4 step roadmap out of lockdown going ahead, the village hall is gradually coming out of hibernation. As of the 12th of April some activities will be permitted, with the coffee shop starting this week outside in the garden each Thursday 10.30am till 12 midday.

As Government guidance is issued at each level, the hall will hopefully be able to hold more activities. To keep abreast of events and classes in the hall keep an eye on the website and information in the village Observer.

Footpath Closed – Wattisfield Road Development

red triangle roadworks sign with work person in centre

Walsham Le Willows Footpath 006

12 April — 07 May

Delays unlikely – Road closure

Works location: From Wattisfield Road to 100m past the junction with FP 007

Works description: Connections Projects: Installation of a new electricity supply for a customer: Installation of a new HV customer connection

Responsibility for works: UK Power Networks

Current status: Advanced planning

Works reference: EC30081301321

Campaign for Rural England – Goverment forced into u-turn on planning proposals

The government has been forced to backtrack on one of its most damaging proposals to deregulate the planning system that would have led to thousands fewer affordable homes being built in rural towns and villages across England.

Collective action as he been successful this time and for now, but there will probably be more to do, so remain vigilant.

Continue reading “Campaign for Rural England – Goverment forced into u-turn on planning proposals”

Yoga with Julia at Walsham WildWood

Julia, our local yoga teacher, is hoping to offre occasional yoga classes at Walsham Wild Wood. Two very successful classes took place last year and Julia would like to hear from anyone who may be interested to this year.
The classes will be on Saturdays 11 am – 12 midday and there will be a £ 5 charge.

You will need to bring your own mat and wear appropriate clothes for the weather. Compliance with Covid restrictions will be ongoing.

Once it becomes clear how many people are interested, dates can be suggested. Julia would take a decision on the weather for each class.

Please contact Julia on

Neighbourhood Plan – Eco Update – April 2021

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has been looking at two main themes. Planning and Environment. They both involve understanding local needs and what we’re looking to protect as a community. Below are some interesting examples from our research into what’s happening across East Anglia and locally.

If you are interested in getting involved or have suggestions please contact or visit our website or find us on Facebook!

Suffolk Wildlife Trust, together with Suffolk Biodiversity Services, is working towards a 30% target for land and sea to be protected and connected through maps of wildlife corridors and reserves by 2030. This provides some of the ecological information for our NP.

The Hive Eco-Forum is a hub for diverse groups including Parish Councils, other nearby Neighbourhood Plan groups, schools, businesses and food growers working together in West Suffolk.

Wild-East is supporting pledges from individuals and groups to take care of areas for the benefit of biodiversity and re-wildling. It includes an interesting map detailing all of landscapes pledged.

Greener Growth’s Bury Green Spaces Project is a collaboration of many smaller organizations that invites residents to highlight areas on a map and via a questionnaire to help to identify and create wildlife corridors.

The Oak Tree Farm is a model of a local community membership scheme with one full time farmer and volunteers creating a veg box scheme, other local produce and community events.

Update on the 40th Open Gardens 2021

Walsham-le-Willows Open Gardens weekend signage

Pandemic lockdowns meant the planning for the 40th 2020 anniversary had to be postponed. The committee are hoping that the 40th will now go ahead in 2021, if at all possible, but are very much aware of the genuine concerns about the safety of the event for many garden owners, volunteers and, of course visitors.

The committee are focused, as always, on ensuring a successful and safe event. With this in mind a decision has been postponed until after the 12th of April when the way out of lockdown will hopefully be clearer and planning might be possible with more certainty.

If you have anything you woudl like to contribute to the conversation then please email or call on 01359 259061.

John Stebbing
Secretary Walsham le Willows Open Gardens Trust

Village Hall Update – April 2021

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

With snowdrops, daffodils, primroses and other spring flowers coming up in the garden at the village hall and the Government roadmap out of lockdown going ahead, it is hoped to open the Coffee Shop in the garden once again (weather permitting) from Thursday the 15th of April, 10.30am until 12.00.

The highest priority is making sure you feel safe so, in line with Government COVID 19 secure conditions, table service and the Rule of Six will be in operation. The Coffee shop will again coincide with the post office van’s visits to the village hall every Thursday, so why not pop to the Coffee Shop, catch up with friends or make new ones and sort out your post and banking at the post office van.

From Monday the 3rd of May Mairi Barclay will be running a musical theatre class for children at the hall. So for all the young thespians, dancers and singers out there, here is a chance for you to shine, learn and just have a lot of fun. The first class is free and then £5 for each class after that. For more information contact Mairi via email at mbbmusicaltheatre@gmail,com. These classes can run in line with the four steps out of lock down, with indoor children’s activities being allowed after the 12th of April including dance classes and musical actives.
Unfortunately the yoga classes, adult exercise classes and indoor coffee shop will have to wait until after the 17th of May in line with Step Three, when it is hoped these can start again.

The food bank continues to be well supported and new referrals from agencies continue, thank you to all those who donate.

We will continue to monitor Government and ACRE guidelines and information to allow the hall to reopen safely at each step.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in these extraordinary times.

Amanda Ellis

Fly-tipping at Memorial Hall reported & punished

An incident of fly tipping at the Walsham le Willows Memorial Village Hall car park in January was reported to Mid Suffolk District Council via their online portal.

Evidence as to who may have been responsible was provided to the Environmental Protection Officer.

A £200 Fixed Penalty Notice was issued to a local resident, and was paid within 10 days so reduced to £120.

Imminent Road Works

red triangle roadworks sign with work person in centre

Wattisfield Road, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 03 March — 05 March   Delays unlikely – Some carriageway incursionWorks location: Misty View   Works description: [Utility repair and maintenance works] Stoptap Replacements…   Responsibility for works: Anglian Water  Current status: Advanced planning   Works reference: AD03158597826  

Sheepgate Lane, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 08 March — 12 March   Delays likely – Road closure   Works location: The full length of the road…   Works description: Carriageway patching 07.00 to 16.00…   Responsibility for works: Suffolk County Council   Current status: Advanced planning   Works reference: LY3015463-1          

Sheepgate Lane, Badwell Ash, Suffolk 08 March — 12 March   Delays likely – Road closure   Works location: The full length of the road…   Works description: Carriageway patching 07.00 to 16.00…   Responsibility for works: Suffolk County Council   Current status: Advanced planning   Works reference: LY3015463      

Ixworth Road, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 09 March — 11 March   Delays likely – Road closureWorks location: The lawn   Works description: [Utility repair and maintenance works] New Connection…   Responsibility for works: Anglian Water   Current status: Advanced planning   Works reference: AD03010616770    


Imminent Kerbed Gutter Sweeping in Walsham le Willows

We are advised that kerbed gutters will be swept in Walsham le Willows on Thursday 4th March, starting with The Street at 9am.

If you own a car that is kept on the highway and you are able to move it on the evening of 3rd March until evening of 4th March this would help to ensure a clean sweep which also helps to reduce the amount of debris washed down the drains.

Please let the Parish Clerk know if you feel your street does not get swept.

A Message from the Neighbourhood Plan Group

What are the silver linings in the midst of this horrible period?

Participating in the neighbourhood planning group, our focus has been on seeking an appropriate route forward for the right housing development within the village but the next stage in the Plan is to consider what might improve our existing footpaths, wildlife corridors or even our long-term contribution to global warming by planting more trees.  We are incredibly lucky in our local farmers with the many footpaths well maintained and also their general use of environment schemes for the benefit of wildlife, however changes in the support mechanisms after Brexit means new opportunities will occur.

Continue reading “A Message from the Neighbourhood Plan Group”

The Parish Council requires a Village Presentation Orderly

Otherwise known as a pavement sweeper and litter picker.

The clues are in the title but there is more to it than just pushing a broom around.

To really make a difference, you will be expected to remove weeds, including those at the base of walls adjoining the pavements, maintain boundary edges between pavements and banks (there are not many and these are mostly minor), and as you might expect, picking up litter, leaves twigs etc and of course, thoroughly sweeping the full width of the pavements, taking all the arisings to the refuse bin, currently situated on the Memorial Hall Car Park.

The Parish Council has just purchased a brand-new street orderly barrow and will provide all equipment required. 

The Parish Council needs this work to result in a demonstrable difference to the presentation of the village for which much appreciation has been expressed in the past.

Continue reading “The Parish Council requires a Village Presentation Orderly”

Spring Litter Pick – Keeping Walsham le Willows beautiful

Have you been subject to lockdown for too long? Want to get out?
Want to help keep our village looking good?
Volunteer to assist with the Spring Litter Pick taking place on 6/7th March.

All equipment bags, litter pick sticks etc. and hi-viz will be provided. A Litter Pick Guidance sheet will be provided in advance along with the contact details for the people who will co-ordinate the operation including the areas to be covered.

If you’d like to help, please contact the Parish Clerk at or on 01359 259 794 who will put you in touch with the Parish Councillors who will co-ordinate.

The litter pick will take place with due regard to social distancing and appropriate open-air Covid precautions.

Consultation on Plans for New West Suffolk Hospital

Local hospital plans need you!

Help to shape future plans of West Suffolk Hospital

As the plans for a new hospital for West Suffolk get underway it is important that as many people are involved in developing the proposals as possible.

Download a poster to help to publicise this campaign.

The vision for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) project is to ensure the way that health services are delivered is fit for the local population’s current and future needs and the team need your help to do that. The new facility is for West Suffolk people and is to be designed by West Suffolk people.

Continue reading “Consultation on Plans for New West Suffolk Hospital”

Pre-Development Request for Comments on the Proposals for the Play Park

The Parish Council will soon finalise and sign the lease and be in a position to start development of the Play Park in Townhouse Road.  There are already some funds set aside for the development and the Council will be bidding for further funds.

The consultation that took place a the end of 2018 resulted in a proposal for a number of prioritised phases for development. As the consultation was conducted some time ago, before going ahead, the Parish Council are interested to hear villagers’ views on the proposals and any other suggestions.

Phase 1 was development of a Younger Children’s Area

Including a large centre piece, several activity areas, e.g. Large Wooden ‘ship’ or ‘fort’ with a slide, log climber, rock climber, log ramp etc.  Cradle Swing with 2 cradle seats, a Horse Safari Springer and a Two way Shark Springer.  Combined picnic table and seats.

It was not thought necessary to enclose this area in fencing, but we welcome your views.                                                                                                              

Phase 2:  Zip Wire

A timber 20m Zip Wire with a 2m platform     


Phase 3:  Adults and older children’s Outdoor Gym Area    

Several stations such as a Double Slalom Skier, a Double Health Walker, a Double Squat Push, an Arm and Pedal Bicycle, and a Combination Pull Down Challenger & Power Push.

Existing equipment will be refurbished. Grounds and wooded area will be tidied and developed, hopefully with the help of local volunteers.

There could be later additions such as a Sunken Mini Trampoline, as and when further funding becomes available.               

Please comment here or alternatively email the Parish Clerk at

2021 drive to help residents get re-cycling right

From Monday 25th, a leaflet drop started to every household in Suffolk, ‘together we can get our recycling right’ leaflet

Suffolk County Council has a new wesbite with information on the campaign.

The three main messages are:

  1. Put glass in a bottle bank, not in your wheelie bin
  2. No bagged items. Keep your recycling empty, clean and dry
  3. Keep all food out of your recycling bin. Put any food you cannot eat or compost in your rubbish bin

Download / print the pdf leaflet

Memorial Hall Update – Lockdown Closure

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Memorial Hall is having to remain closed to all members of the public.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing we have no information as to when the hall may reopen and obviously all activities and projects have had to stop for the time being.

We will update you all with information as soon as we are able to.

Possible Disruption from Grain Store Construction & Dog Fouling

Bag it and bin it dog fouling sign

A new grain store has been given permission and construction will (lockdown allowing) start soon and run through until May or maybe longer. This could affect parishioners, especially those using the footpath that will have to be diverted and will of course also potentially add to the the traffic throught the village.

It is noted in the letter that dog fouling along the footpath may pise a health risk to contractors. Coudl all dog onwers please take note for the sake of the contractors and as eveer, for others who walk the footpaths.

Read the letter from Jeremy Nunn of Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd