Summer Litter Pick – 2024

To prepare for the Open Gardens Weekend event, the Parish Council are looking for volunteers old and new, to take part in the Summer Litter Pick between 10th – 16th AUGUST.

This is now organised over a full week to allow volunteers more flexibility to fit it this in with their own schedules and still be covered by the Parish Council’s insurers.

Two councillors will hand out equipment as needed and answer any questions on Saturday 10th at the Memorial Hall between 09:30 and 11:00.

Please contact the Parish Clerk,  | 01359 259 794, to register if you can take part again or would like to take part for the first time.

Insurance cover only applies to those who have registered and confirmed they have read the guidelines and risk assessment which will be sent out after expressions of interest have been received.

Suffolk Police want your views

Link to Survey from QR code

There have been recent reports of various types of anti-social behaviour in and around the village.

If you have similar concerns complete the survey or attend one of the face to face ‘Street Meets’ that the recently re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, is holding around the county alongside his Community Policing Teams.

Or attend a ‘Street Meet’, click on link over image below: The closest to Walsham is to be held on Tuesday 13 August (10.00am – 12.00pm) at Stanton Community Village Hall, Old Bury Road, Stanton, IP31 2BX

A1088 Stowlangtoft Bridge – Traffic Disruptions

Likely Impacts on Walsham le Willows from 8th July to end November 2024 – Updates will be posted as received

  • The circular route including Badwell Ash to Four Ashes and then the Causeway and the St Mary’s Church crossroads has been identified as likely to experience an increase in traffic movements with traffic then going out through West Street although it ti thought tjhis will not be very great, the uplift he uplift coming mainly from local villagers re-routing to avoid the road closure – Stanton people going to Ipswich etc.  
  • Signage will be placed indicating narrow road and 20mph either side of the bridge at the bottom of the Causeway and hopefully the double bends at West Street.
  • The route from the A143 to the Church down Summer Road has been noted as a feeder into the “circular run”. Highways are considering signage warning against using this route.
  • Pending confirmation from UK Power Networks the project appears to be on schedule to start on the 8th of July and Suffolk Highways have booked the A1088 road closure through until the end of November 2024.
  • Main risk to the start date appears to be an undertaking from UK Power Networks that they can isolate / reroute the power lines by the given start date.
  • If delayed the project would have to be delayed a year, as early project work has to be completed in the stream bed before water levels go back up.
  • Suffolk Highways are in close liaison with the National Highways team working on the current A14 works given the undertaking that the A1088 works will only after A14 works have been completed. There may be some overlap.

Relevant notes from the 24th May meeting of the liason group attended by Parish Councillor Nick Mecrow for Walsham le Willows.

  • Start date to be circulated as soon as confirmed.
  • Signage approaching and in Walsham le Willows to be reviewed
  • Stanton area hauliers advised they would be avoiding minor roads during A1088 work
  • District councillors to be included in communications.  Walsham le Willows has requested that our County Councillor is also included.

Highways Closure Grove Road

Suffolk County Council are planning to carry out road resurfacing along Grove Park, Walsham le Willows.

The works are programmed to take place between 8am and 4.30pm from 4 to 6 July 2024.

Whilst the works are underway, a temporary closure will be in place to ensure the safety of our operatives and members of the public. Access will be managed as soon as it is safe to do so. ‘No parking’ cones will also be placed on-site prior to the work commencing.

Any major changes to proposed work dates will be publicised using the information signs on site and our social media channels.

The latest updates on all our works can be found on the website. There may be times that essential emergency works are required to take place on the highway network without advanced notice – you can follow Suffolk Highways on Twitter for the latest emergency roadwork updates.

Please use any contacts within your division or parish to circulate this notification.

If you have any queries on the above, please contact us on 0345 606 6171.

Suffolk Highways

Update on position with The Six Bells

A cream coloured thatched two story building on the corner of one part of the crossroads. Gold lettered sign on side “Six Bells”.

The Parish Council was contacted by the agent for the buyers advising of the bid for the Six Bells and a wish to reassure the Parish Council of the intention to retain and develop it as a pub. An invitation to attend the PC meeting on 8th was extended but no-one attended. Follow up through the agent resulted in call from one of the business partners of the company intending to buy.

The business (Paradoilia Group) is made up of 5 friends. They have various business interests ‘at different stages of development’. Some of the business partners work as mortgage advisors and one also provides accountancy and stocktaking services to the pub trade.

The business has another pub which has been leased and run for 20 years with a resident manager. And we were advised that completion on another pub in Kings Lynn was imminent.

Paradoilia Group intends to lease out the Six Bells to tenant manager. Plan still have to be drawn up but the intention is to install a commercial kitchen and refurbish –including a re-thatch etc.  An interim manager would be put in place whilst the development plans are drawn up.

The ‘Asset of Community Value’ status is there to allow anyone, community groups included, to mount a bid, with 6 months to do so if the initial expression of interest is submitted to MSDC by 14th June.

The Parish Council has publicised the position widely and to date has not heard anything to suggest there is a serious  ‘community group’ bid in the offing although there was a contact from someone who may have been interested in purchasing if a community group came forward with a satisfactory formed plan.

Suffolk Local Nature Recovery Strategy Surveys

You can share your thoughts about which aspects of nature in Suffolk are most important to you. by visiting, a survey which closes on 30 June 2024.

Your responses will feed into Suffolk’s plan to help reverse the decline in nature across the county, and to connect and expand existing areas that are important for wildlife and the landscape.

  • Nationwide, wildlife species have declined by 19% since 1970 (State of Nature report)
  • One in six species in Great Britian are at risk of extinction (State of Nature report)
  • Up to 70% of Suffolk’s 22,000 ponds are neglected or abandoned (Suffolk Wildlife Trust)
  • Norfolk and Suffolk have over three times less ancient woodland than the national average (Natural Capital Evidence Compendium for Norfolk and Suffolk)

To address this decline and to help nature recover, government has introduced legally-binding commitments. There are 48 of these Local Nature Recovery Strategies across the country, led in Suffolk by Suffolk County Council.

Together, they will form a national ‘nature network’, proposing actions such as the creation of wetlands, restoration of peatlands, planting of trees and hedgerows, and more sustainable management of existing woodlands and other habitats like grasslands

Members of the public are invited to complete a survey to gather their thoughts on nature recovery across the county, whilst landowners and managers, including local councils, are also encouraged to submit practical, achievable proposals to support nature conservation.

All responses will be used to help build a picture across Suffolk to help protect and enhance our environment.

Alchohol Licence Request for Linton House

A request has been submitted to Mid SuffolK District Council for an alcohol licence for the ‘Sale and Supply of Alcohol for consumption OFF the Premises’, at Linton House on The Street.

If you wish to submit a representation the notice below advises how to do so and this has to be received no later than 13th June 2024.

Representations must be made in writing for the attention of the Licensing Team, Mid Suffolk District Council (as the Licensing Authority) at Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX, or by e-mail to

Find the detail sof the application here:

Application | Plan | Location | Guidance on how to comment

Six Bells For Sale

The owner (Admiral Taverns) of The Six Bells Public House in Walsham le Willows has given notice that they intend to dispose of the property. 

Because the Six Bells has been registered as an Asset of Community Value, a six week ‘interim moratorium’ has now been triggered during which it cannot be sold. This allows eligible community groups to submit an expression of interest to bid. 

The ‘interim moratorium’ will end on 14 June 2024 unless Mid Suffolk District Council receives a valid expression of interest during the period, which would trigger the ‘full moratorium’ period of six months delaying the disposal of the asset before 3 November 2024.

If you are a local community group having an interest this process is designed to give you time to mount a bid. For more information please contact Simon Lanning Communities Officer at MSDC | 01449 724628 | 07729 108592

More information on assets of community value

More detailed information on the process

Suffolk Walking Festival 2024

Created in 2007 the festival is one of the largest and longest running walking festivals in the country.

It is held every May over two weeks and celebrates Suffolk’s natural landscapes and built heritage with guided walks in every corner of the county.

A great way to discover parts of Suffolk you perhaps never knew existed, learn about the county’s fascinating and ancient history, and make new friends. There is something for everyone, from short walks to long walks, family walks to history walks, even night walks.

Find out more

Norfolk & Suffolk Nature Recovery

A new survey has been launched to find out which aspects of nature in Suffolk are most important to you.

Your responses will feed into Suffolk’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy, a plan to help reverse the decline in nature acrossthe county, and to connect and expand existing areas that are important forwildlife and the landscape.

The survey will close on 30th June 2024.

Telephone Landlines Switch Off

Digital Voice BT is being introduced because the analogue network that most home phones work on today is no longer fit for purpose and can’t keep up with the demands of modern life. That outdated network will be switched off for all phone providers by 2025.

If you are reliant on your landline contact your telephone provider now.

BT are running roadshows throughout Suffolk, see below for dates and venues. No booking required, just turn up to speak to a representative to find out more.

SCC Funded School Travel – Opt-In 2024

Message to parents

If your child is eligible for SCC funded school travel you will need to opt-in by 31 May 2024 to receive travel for the start of the 2024/2025 school year.

If your child already receives SCC funded school travel you still need to opt-in every year.

If your child is starting secondary school in September 2024 and they are eligible for SCC funded school travel you will be contacted by the end of March 2024. You will need to opt-in if you would like your child to use this service.

If your child is starting primary school in September 2024 and they are eligible for SCC funded school travel you will be contacted by the 10 May 2024. You will need to opt-in if you would like your child to use this service.

More information on the SCC school travel policy and getting your child to school

Parish Council distributes remaining Community Infrastructure Levy funds

Over the period 2021/22 to 2023/24 the Parish Council has received Neighbourhood CIL grants from MSDC totalling £84,507.41. 

CIL is generated by a levy on the developers of new housing to fund improvements to the infrastructure alongside the increased housing.  Neighbourhood CIL is paid to parish councils at a rate of 15% of the available total collected from developers where there is no adopted Neighbourhood Plan.  As we now have and adopted Neighbourhood Plan any future development will generate grants at a rate of 25% for the Parish Council. 

CIL BIDS granted and paid by the Parish CouncilAmount (net of VAT recoverable)
Streetlighting phase iii5,680.31
Churchyard Wall Major Repairs7,478.00
Allotment Shed Repairs1,000.00
Village Sign Replace & Repair247.50
Memorial Hall Stage5,628.25
Wild Wood Platinum, Jubilee Bench (materials)179.81
Professional Kitchen equipment Memorial Hall2,500.00
Play Area Development30,000.00
Surfacing of allotments track1,540.25
Streetlighting phase iv7,979.53
Container for gym equipment at Sports Club8,000.00
Priory Room7,500.00
Memorial Hall Solar Project2,267.00
CIL BIDS granted but still to be paid 
Bowls Club electrical work2,258.00
PCC Path Lighting2,248.76

Flower Power February 2024 update

Work on knitted and crocheted flowers for the church wall for The Open Gardens Weekend, continues apace by a large and enthusiasic team of volunteers from WLW and surrounding villages.

Crochet is a series of loops worked with a single hook in one hand and yarn tensioned over the middle finger of the other.  Knitting is done on two needles with transference of stiches from one to the other through a series of rows.

The organiser’s grandmother learnt from her mother who was an expert crocheter and made lace using the finest of hooks and cotton thread. Older folks can probably recall those doilies and runners that graced tables back in the day. Modern crochet techniques have evolved with the use of thicker yarn and larger hooks. 

Younger learners in the group (age range 17-94) have taught themselves to knit and crochet using You Tube and social media.

Recent media articles have flagged up knitting and crochet as valuable techniques in reducing stress and anxiety. They are meditaive pursuits currently being trialled by the medical profession along with other stress busters such as gardening, as useful therapies in addressing mental health issues for all genders.

Each flower that created represents an hour or so of work. 400 flowers have so far been added to a sample 2m piece which many saw displayed at the 2023 christmas fayre.

700 flowers have yet to be tied on with 130m of perimeter wall to complete. The group are planning some summer “Pimm’s and tying on” garden parties for which anyone can volunteer, even if not skilled in knit or crochet.

A second coffee, flower making morning at the Blue Boar was very successful and well attended. Beginners were given a crochet tutorial. It was very relaxed, friendly and a good time was had by all.

Dates for your Diary

05.03.24  10.30-12.30 Walsham Sports Club Flower Power Project meet up with hooks and needles.

Organiser | | 07966 550753    

East Anglian Traditional Music Trust Event

EATMT are a charity funded by Suffolk County Council’s Locality Budget. Ever wondered about what went on in East Anglia before the delights of digital screen entertainment? The Trust collect, archive and perform music, song, dance, and stories which have been passed down through generations.

The group held a very successful afternoon of entertainment in Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall last year and are back again for 2024 on March 24th with entertainment which will include Suffolk and Norfolk step dancers, tales told in dialect, and music and songs from a variety of musicians. Jig dolls will be on display too and anyone will be able to have a go at making them dance.

An informal occasion to sit back and enjoy the entertainment but if you have a story to tell or wish to sing or play please see the compere on entry to be included.

Doors will open at 13:30, get a cuppa and a piece of cake, take a seat for the start at 14:00 through until 16:00. Entry is free, although any donations will be gratefully accepted.

There will be a raffle and a small charge for teas, coffees and cakes.

Contact Jan Robinson on 07539 651 175 or visit the EATMT website

Annual Parish Council Question Time – 2024

Monday 11th March 2024
from 6.30 pm until 8.30pm
in the Memorial Hall

Informal ‘Question Time’ format following last year’s successful event.
Everyone welcome.

Make your questions, ideas and views known to Parish, District and County Councillors as well as other members of your community.

Hear about the work of the Parish Council & progress on 2023/24 priorities.

Inform the deliberations of Parish Councillors on priorities for 2024/25.

Submit questions in advance to the Parish Clerk

Subscribe to email communications about the Annual Question Time Meeting. Unsubscribe at any time.

Asian Hornet Watch – Report it!

Stowmarket and District Beekeepers Association are asking for help to combat the invasive Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina), also known as the Yellow-legged Hornet. It is a voracious predator and will eat nectar, wasps, bees, flies, butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, fallen fruit and carrion. They are such efficient hunters that they will completely suppress all insects within 1km of their nest. Sadly, honeybees are a favourite prey and they will devastate an apiary if they find one. Not surprisingly beekeepers are keen to repel these invaders but you can do your bit to help our native insects which are at risk.

If they can be identified now, they can be eliminated to prevent them gaining a foothold.


Info leaflet

Flower Power Project

February 2024 Update

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Can you knit or crochet? Would you like to be part of a historical community event? The Flower Power Project is a not-for-profit community of around sixty-five friendly knit and crochet volunteers aged between 16 and 94 years old, from the village and further afield, who have joined together to create a knitted and crocheted textile tableaux of joyous, colourful amassed flowers to adorn the outward facing wall of St Mary’s Churchyard for the “Gardens” weekend. Starting at the Priory rooms the work will flow along the wall and around its perimeter.

700 beautiful and diverse flowers have already been made and the goal is several thousand pieces. The group is working in collaboration with Walsham Open Gardens Weekend 2024. Visitors to the 2024 gardens weekend will see the installation as they leave the car park as a welcome and a prelude to this successful and much-loved event.

There are no particular flower patterns to follow so you are free to select your own; any yarn or size and the brighter the better! It’s a great way of using up your yarn ends and a cosy fireside project for the winter months. Your enthusiasm, creativity and ingenuity will dictate the outcome. The Facebook Group Page is “The Flower Power Project. Local drop off points have been set up for contributions and a yarn donation/swap initiative, plus a series of social events planned for members.

Not on facebook? Get involved by emailing to add your name to our e-bulletin list for regular project updates.

Dementia Friends

The Dementia Friends sessions are run by volunteer ambassadors and staff with Dementia Connect, run by the Suffolk branch of the Alzheimer’s Society. These sessions are a free method of promoting dementia awareness. They are asking you interested people and/or community groups consider either hosting a session, finding out more about Dementia Connect as a service, or in attending a session already planned.

Why is it important?

In rural and urban communities the population continues to age, meaning many more people are living longer and in their homes within their communities.  Awareness building and opportunities within communities to support residents to benefit from increased levels of health, wellbeing, and access to the right services are vital.

Dementia Connect

The ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative invites people of any age to attend a single awareness session, where they will learn about dementia and more understanding of how living with dementia can affect a person. Attendees will gain ‘Dementia Friends’ status, by committing to helping people in their community in taking positive actions. For example, a Dementia Friend promises to be patient and kind when interacting with an individual with dementia. Hosting ‘Dementia Friends’ awareness sessions, will help to improve accessibility and care provision for those living with dementia, helping residents to feel supported in their community. Dementia Connect provides a free personalised dementia support service through in-person contact, telephone calls and online support and can be contacted via email or telephone:

0333 150 3456 |

If you or anyone you know may be interested in hosting or attending a free Dementia Friends session, or you would like to find out more please contact Dementia Connect directly. 

“I became a Dementia Friend because in the community I’m from, not many people are aware of dementia. It helps people with dementia because they might feel more comfortable knowing that I’m more aware of dementia and help them if they need it.”

Is 20 Plenty for Suffolk?

The quantity and speed of traffic using our residential village streets and surrounding rural lanes is a key concern of local villagers. Moreover, the traffic impact of the proposed Shepherd’s Grove developments,likely to include large scale warehousing and the like, will potentially exacerbate this problem for our community and those of neighbouring villages. The A143 is not suitable in many places for the levels and type of traffic anticipated and it is almost inevitable that this will also hugely impact traffic levels on local roads.

The village currently has an area outside the school on Wattisfield Road where 20mph is the advised speed limit and we are keen to know your views on traffic and in particular if there are other areas of the village that would benefit from lower speed limits or other traffic calming options.

There are quite a few reasons for promoting the 20mph speed limit but these are the key ones:

  • Encourages walking and cycling
  • Fewer casualties and collisions
  • Less air and noise pollution
  • Lower costs

In our particular circumstances, we also think that if the routes through our village become slower for through traffic it could make them less attractive to excessive traffic volumes created by the proposed developments.

Any implementation of 20mph would be building on the established understanding that slower speeds are right for most built up roads. The new Highway Code (Hierarchy of the Road Amendments), reinforces this message by prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders over cars, vans and buses.

The centre-fold of the October 2023 Observer contained a short survey designed to gather the opinions of those living, going to school or working in and around the village. Responses were collated into a report which you can read here.

To find our more, please visit the website: ​​

Common Misconceptions

“…Drivers don’t obey 30 mph road restrictions and won’t obey 20mph”

Studies have shown that average and faster road speeds do decrease over time as a new culture of awareness and compliance develops. This happens when drivers believe that other drivers are driving slower.

Portsmouth carried out one of the first case studies which monitored the effects of  20mph speed limits. The results showed that speeds were down by 6.3 mph overall and the average speed was 24 mph.  Drivers will adapt, as they did when drink-driving became illegal.

…A 20mph upper speed limit is negative to the local economy.”

Businesses thrive where it is safe to cycle and walk. Fuel costs drop and tourists and visitors love 20mph.

“…Reducing the speed limit in W.L.W. won’t have any appreciable effect on traffic pollution and air quality.”

Pollution reduces at slower speeds, particularly from diesel engines. There is less accelerating and braking which reduces brake and tyre particulates. The organisation NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) recommends 20mph without speed humps for better air quality, lower noise levels, vibration and road wear.

Walsham le Willows Parish Council

Our Neighbourhood Plan – The referendum

The Walsham le Willows Neighbourhood Plan is now in the very final stages of its development, and has been independently examined. Amendments to the Plan are currently being made.

The last step will be to hold a Referendum, where all registered electors in the parish will have the opportunity to vote, either to accept or to reject the Neighbourhood Plan.  It is important that the community use this opportunity, as it is the outcome of the referendum which will decide if the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted by Mid Suffolk District Council.  Watch this space for a referendum date.

Richard Belson
Chair of Parish Council

Banner by Evie Howes
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