Ragwort is so poisonous that it is one of the weeds named and controlled under ‘The Weeds Act 1959’, 1kg  can kill a fully grown horse.

Every year, Ragwort colonises more pastures and kills more stock

Ragwort has had 13 years to establish its fierce grip on our countryside.  Recovering from this uncontrolled invasion will not happen overnight, and during the next 2 - 3 years. While its natural predator ,the Cinnabar moth, is being re-established many people will be affected in some way by Ragwort toxins.

The moth lays eggs on ragwort leaves which are rich in alkaloid poisons. The caterpillars store the poison as they eat the leaves, which is passed on through to chrysalis and finally to butterfly. Predators such as birds soon learn not to eat them!

Its length is from 1.3–1.7 in.

 

Tags:

At the last Parish Council Meeting there was a presentation by Community Heartbeat which demonstrated the need for Public Access Defibrillators in villages.  British Heart Foundation statistics show they are important in saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest (heart attacks).

The cost and installation of a Public Access Defibrillator in Grimston Phone Box would be approximately £2000.  Grant Funding should be available and the Parish Council would be prepared to make a donation, but this would need to be a community led project with 50% of the cost raised by the community. 

If you are interested in getting involved in this project or have any comments please contact the Parish Clerk or a Parish Councillor.

This matter will be put on the Agenda of the Annual Parish Meeting next April when a decision will be made.  Please let your views be known.

 

Mary Fenton (Clerk)

Saxelbye Conservation Area
Designated: October 1994
Designating Authority: Melton Borough Council
Area: 9.34 hectares

Introduction

Conservation Areas are 'areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'. Designation of a conservation area recognises the character of an area worthy of preservation and enhancement and ensures the safeguarding of the best of our local heritage as represented by both buildings and the ambient environment, ie: the spaces between and around buildings when viewed as a whole. Local Planning Authorities have a general duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of conservation areas, consequently there are more stringent planning controls and obligations in respect of new development, demolitions, alterations, highway works and advertisements.
Conservation Area status is not just about the attractive areas of settlements. In some instances, areas, which either contribute little, or are even detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area, are included within the boundary because of their potential for enhancement. Conservation Area status does not mean that new development may not take place but must reflect the local architectural vernacular in scale, siting, massing, details and materials. Special attention should be paid to not only building form but also fenestration and materials.
A Character Appraisal is seen as the best method of defining the key elements that contribute to that special historic and architectural character of an area. It is important that all interested parties are aware of those elements that must be preserved or enhanced. It is intended that the character appraisals will guide the local planning authority in making planning decisions and, where opportunities arise, preparing enhancement schemes. It will be a material consideration when considering applications for development within the conservation area.

Location and Context

Saxelbye is a small, relatively isolated agricultural village located within a dip of the Leicestershire Wolds some three miles west of Melton Mowbray. It is served by a minor rural lane with links to Asfordby and the A606. The village was known as Saxelbie in the Domesday book - Saksu/fr (a male personal name) and by (a farmstead).

Conservation Area Boundary

Saxelbye Conservation Area includes almost all of the village except three dwellings to the north east of Main Street. Land to the east of the Old Rectory and a section of railway line to the southwest are all included within the Conservation Area and make an important contribution to its rural setting.

Spatial Character And Townscape Quality

Saxelbye is an open textured village with small clusters of farm buildings and residential properties fronting onto narrow country lanes. There are marked variations in levels with buildings situated in both elevated positions and also in dips. For example Ostler Lane enters the village from the north in a deep cutting whilst the buildings are at high level, making a significant contribution to the character of that part of the village. Open spaces are particularly important to the character of the settlement. Within the main built environment these include the grounds of The Rectory and St. Peter's Church, the front grounds of the Manor House and the well landscaped gardens on Main Street opposite Japonica Cottage. A glimpse of the Rectory can be seen through the trees at the eastern end of Main Street adjacent to Brook Cottage.

At the heart of the village lies a cross-roads with views extending in all directions generally framed by trees, and to the west by the K6 telephone kiosk with the railway bridge beyond. Likewise each approach to the village centre differs, and by contrast the cross-roads becomes a focal point. The village is swathed in large areas of trees which give an enclosed, intimate feel and there is a backdrop of trees from most points.
The spire of St Peter's Church is also a distinct focal point, visible from outside the village and a dominant feature within. Whilst the village benefits from loose-knit development it maintains an intimate character, most views within the settlement being terminated by a visual stop be it a tree, hedge or built structure.
The distant roofscape is particularly attractive with its mix of styles, ridge heights and materials. Tall brick and slate boundary walls are also a particular feature of the village, which together with high hedges, result in an enclosed feel to the highway.

Quality And Character Of Buildings

The village as a whole demonstrates a wide variety of building styles and materials but red brick with Welsh slate tends to dominate with the bridge parapet and brick walls adjacent to Brook Cottage having unusual round-topped copings. These coping bricks are echoed in other parts of the village along many other boundary walls. "Ambleside" on Church Lane is noted for its part thatched roof.
There are 8 Listed Buildings within the village including a row of 7 Listed headstones in the churchyard of St. Peter's church. The Listed buildings generally cluster around the Church in the older part of the village. The Manor House is a particularly superior example built of stone and render with a slate roof and similarly built outbuildings. The Old Rectory can be viewed from the south of the Church along a narrow lane, over a bridge and framed by trees. The Old School, adjacent to the Church is a very attractive building.
Church Farm, off Ostler's Lane, another grade II listed building, is a particularly attractive former farmhouse built in red brick and slate with Yorkshire sliding sash windows. Its setting is marred by the addition of new green corrugated iron sheet roofs onto two of its outbuildings.
Leading into the village from Main Street to the east, Brook Cottage is a particularly attractive vernacular cottage situated adjacent to the stream. The road sweeps up and around into the centre of the village where Church Lane leads to the very fine grade II* St. Peter's Church with its crocketed spire and beyond to The Old Rectory, Brook Farm, the Old School House and the Manor House, all splendid buildings.
Continuing on down Main Street the Webster's Dairy complex can be viewed on both sides of the street. This was founded in 1883 and despite several extensions and alterations the form of the original farmhouse can still be discerned together with the original associated dairy buildings and pig sheds.
Station house, occupies an elevated position, adjacent to the railway line, within a group of trees at the end of Main Street. This former railway station building, together with the Victorian brick and cast iron railway bridge at the entrance to the village, bears witness to the era of the steam train when Saxelbye was once a stop on the Melton Section of the former Midland Railway which opened in 1849. The track is currently used as a high speed testing facility.

Natural Elements

The village is swathed in large areas of trees, which give an enclosed, intimate feel, and provide a backdrop of trees from most points. As the village is set within a dip most views beyond the settlement are limited in distance with the exception of a magnificent view from Webster's Dairy south towards the Manor House. The brook is a particularly attractive feature of Saxelbye meandering through the village from Brook Cottage and flowing east of the Church within the grounds of the Old Rectory.
Negative factors
The use of inappropriate materials, such as upvc double-glazed window units, plastic rainwater goods and modern brickwork and render, although minimal, still has a negative effect on the character of the conservation area in part.
There are a number of unsightly pole mounted electricity pylons within the "Langwood" vicinity which tend to mar distant views; there is also a large substation in the garden and an aluminium storage tank adjacent to the east elevation of Webster's Dairy which would benefit from screening.
Many of the distinctive red-brick walls which dominate the village would benefit from repair and maintenance especially that on the corner of Ostler Lane where tree damage is evident and has caused severe cracking.
For further help and advice please contact:
The Physical Environment Section
Melton Borough Council
Council Offices
Nottingham Road
Melton Mowbray
Leicestershire LE13 OUL
Telephone 01664 502502
The Council has also prepared a leaflet entitled 'A Guide to Conservation Areas' which gives general advice.
Copies are available from the Physical Environment Section as detailed above.
The above is an appraisal of the Saxelbye Conservation Area which highlights the most significant factors which make it worthy of Conservation status. The omission of any particular building, feature or space should not be taken to apply that it is of no interest.

The wealth of information I’ve accumulated since my appointment is vast, varied and continues to grow apace.  I’m often asked by fellow villagers to share what snippets of knowledge I have and to browse through the folder over a kitchen table with a cup of tea; I usually end up discovering even more to add to the Heritage File along the way so the situation is rewardingly symbiotic.

I posted a note of my details and e-mail address on the Church notice board in Grimston in February 2013 and have been quite astonished by not only the amount of enquiries which I receive from visitors to the village but also from how far across the globe these queries emanate.  Amongst the most frequent requests for information are from people wanting copies of baptism and marriage records from the parish registers, folk who believe that their forebears lived here at some point.  Quite often I am asked to take and forward a photograph of a house where their ancestors dwelt, the old school, or of a headstone in the churchyard.  I am also asked to delve into the archives of The Melton Times and Leicester Mercury for various articles.  I think that family history must currently be a booming hobby in the United States, Canada and Australia!  Information pertaining to the Church and both Chapels in Grimston is often sought.  It’s good to be in a position to assist in sustaining a continuing interest in our community wherever it might come from.

The main focus of interest for both recent and younger residents of the parish revolves primarily around the history of their home – they want to know about the people who lived there before they did over the years, where they came from, why those people moved and where to, what they did for a living.  I’m usually able to supply the information readily but will happily research it if not and provide it once I’ve done so. 

The more mature and longer-standing residents of the villages tend to ask me for things such as records relating to the railway, historic maps which show the layouts of ancient field boundaries, old rights of way and woodlands as they once were.  Again, I’m usually able to help quite quickly, if not straight away.  Obtaining copies of these documents is generally quite costly but I am happy to charge them to my own expense in return for the information which is in turn kindly shared with me.

Surprisingly popular amongst both of the foregoing “groups” of residents are photographs of recent parish events and copies of census records.

The accumulation of information is most rewarding and enjoyable.  How to catalogue, share and display it has proved quite another matter!  I’ve worked hard to find solutions to these issues during the past year and believe that good progress has been made.

Cataloguing Of Information

In terms of cataloguing the information, you will see that the folder is divided into sections loosely relating to the built environment and social history of Grimston, Saxelby and Shoby.  I am in the process of devising an index whereby items within these documents can be easily cross-referenced and plan to complete this during the next 6 months.  I will continue to meet and discuss the best way forward with the archivists at the Leicester Records Office in Wigston Magna; their help so far has proved invaluable. 

Displaying The Material

Finding a satisfactory way to display the information to people without internet access is difficult.  An exhibition in The Village Hall or Church would be ideal but the budget for the Heritage Warden Scheme has suffered during the latest round of financial cutbacks; as a consequence I simply do not have access to the facilities/resources I would need to stage such an exhibition during the next 12 months.  However, I am currently in discussion with the Melton Carnegie Museum and negotiating the possibility of using space there to showcase material.  In terms of displaying information to those with the benefit of internet access, please read on. 

Sharing The Heritage File

Sharing and disseminating the information is something I have been working to improve and am pleased to announce that as of October 2nd 2013, the Heritage File has an online presence.  I shall make a point of adding to it at least twice a month.  Access is easy and free of charge and the content publicly available without the need to subscribe, register or log in.  I have provided a link from the Village Facebook page which is similarly public and visited frequently.

I have become acutely aware of late that some of the finest sources of our parish history lie in the memories of the more elderly residents; as they pass on, their personal recollections will be lost with them.  I have been making a point of dropping by for a chat and the reminiscences of life and times gone by are truly fascinating.  Many have provided me with previously unpublished photographs which I shall add in time, along with their tales, to the archive.  Those I’ve spoken with tell me that they enjoy the feeling that their contributions are valued and take pleasure in being part of both the past and the future of the parish.  

I feel very strongly that the history of our villages is something which did not simply stop and begin to atrophy at some undefined point in the past; history in our vibrant community continues to be made every day and it is therefore vital to record current events so that they will be enjoyed as an insight into the past for future generations in time to come.  In 100 years’ time happenings such as the Jubilee Celebrations, Curry Night and the Christmas Breakfast will be as fascinating as the photographs which adorn the walls of the village hall are to us today. Something as seemingly mundane as a number 23 bus ticket or a snapshot of Main Street in Grimston on refuse collection day will, in all likelihood, prove to be similarly fascinating.  Maybe that these services ever existed at all will prove something of a revelation.  Who knows how much life will have changed even 10 years from today?  I happened to hear a quote from the feted novelist Hilary Mantel on the radio earlier this week and it rather sums up the way I feel about the role of Heritage Warden: “History is not just something we leave behind us, it is the medium that we pass through”.

I continue to capitalise on the latest forms of communication and IT in terms of sharing and promulgating the research and information which I continue to accrue.  Whether we like it or not, social media is currently one of the most effective ways of doing this and we have little choice but to embrace it.

John Davies has kindly agreed to include a link to the photograph gallery on the village website and Noreen Johnson accepted a notice for publication in the November edition of Village Life detailing the link. 

The staff at Melton Library and the Melton Carnegie Museum continue to provide enthusiastic help and support with my Heritage Warden activities.

During the past year I have neglected to attend many of the meetings or workshops arranged by the Leicestershire County Council for Heritage Wardens due to other commitments and the fact that I haven’t found them particularly useful in the past.  I do however meet regularly on an informal basis with other local Heritage Wardens to discuss projects and swap ideas and best practice.  I also network with various camera clubs and photographic societies who have access to – and have provided me with – old photographic prints of the parish. 

I am keen to further involve the youngsters of the parish and have what I believe to be some good ideas; any input that members of the PCC and attendees of this meeting might be able to offer would be much appreciated.  Logic and experience inform me that the more they are encouraged to feel included, the more they will value their cultural heritage which will in turn engender an enthusiasm to contribute.  Taking a very long (and perhaps slightly cynical) view, today’s “children” will become the Parish Councillors, churchwardens, village hall committee members and fundraisers of tomorrow if they’re sufficiently passionate about their village.  I shall endeavor to do all I can to ensure that they do develop that passion.

Further to the above, I believe that an effort in continuing to include more mature residents remains crucial. 

Objectives for the following 12 months

·        To add to the online archive at regular intervals, as described above

·        To further involve the children and new residents of the parish

·        To continue attending and recording village events and add photos of them to the gallery

·        To begin an oral history project

·        To continue meeting with the older residents of the parish and document their memories

·        To maintain and grow good relationships with the archivists at the Leicester Records Office, the staff at Melton Library and the curator of the Melton Carnegie Museum

·        To publish my contact details more widely (e.g. in the church visitors book, on the notice boards of neighbouring parishes and via the internet) in order to generate further interest and maintain vibrancy in the community

·        To contribute at least 4 submissions to Village Life with items of interest relevant to the history and heritage of the parish

·        To complete the index of items in the folder as described

I believe that the position of Heritage Warden is valuable to the parish and trust that the PCC are happy for me to continue in this role. 

Alison Williams

Grimston Conservation Area
Designated: October 1994
Designating Authority: Melton Borough Council
Area: 8.40 hectares

Introduction

Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'. Designation of a conservation area recognises the character of an area worthy of preservation and enhancement and ensures the safeguarding of the best of our local heritage as represented by both buildings and the ambient environment, i.e. the spaces between and around buildings when viewed as a whole. Local Planning Authorities have a general duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of conservation areas, consequently there are more stringent planning controls and obligations in respect of new development, demolitions, alterations, highway works and advertisements.
Conservation Area status is not just about the attractive areas of settlements. In some instances, areas, which either contribute little, or are even detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area, are included within the boundary because of their potential for enhancement. Conservation Area status does not mean that new development may not take place but must reflect the local architectural vernacular in scale, siting, massing, details and materials. Special attention should be paid to not only building form but also fenestration and materials.
A Character Appraisal is seen as the best method of defining the key elements that contribute to that special historic and architectural character of an area. It is important that all interested parties are aware of those elements that must be preserved or enhanced. It is intended that the character appraisals will guide the local planning authority in making planning decisions and, where opportunities arise, preparing enhancement schemes. It will be a material consideration when considering applications for development within the conservation area.

Location and Context

Grimston is a small village lying in a secluded location on the southern slope of the Leicestershire Wolds some 4 miles west of Melton Mowbray. The origin of the name is probably "tun" (town or settlement) of a person called Grimr .
Conservation Area Boundary
Melton Borough Council designated the Grimston Conservation Area Boundary in October 1994.
The historic core of the village is centred around the Church, but the Conservation Area includes most of Perkins Lane, all of Shoby Lane and a large area of open pasture land to the south of the village. A significant area of housing in the eastern part of the village is not included.

Spatial Character And Townscape Quality

Grimston has several working farms and many residential properties fronting narrow lanes. The village green is situated at the western end of the village and marks the point where Main Street, Shoby Lane and Perkins Lane converge. Land levels vary throughout the village with the Church area centrally situated occupying the highest land to the north of Main Street. Shoby Lane, Church Lane and the Main Street approaching from the east all lead upwards and onwards into the village, however Perkins Lane rises to the north-west on exiting the village.
Open areas are at a premium within the core of the village, however, a large area of open pasture land is included within the Conservation Area, this lies south of Shoby Lane and includes land to the rear of Church Farm. There are outstanding views to be enjoyed from The White House, on Shoby Lane, over this open countryside looking in a southerly direction towards Leicester.
Shoby Lane is a narrow track which enters the village from the south west, passing Aylesford House with its semi-circular conservatory topped by a conical roof, onward into the heart of the village - the village green. This area is somewhat unusual in that the grassed area is divided into three separate greens by footpaths and Main Street itself. One of the greens is home to the village stocks, Listed Grade II and recently renovated. To the rear of the stocks is a large boulder; its origins are unknown but it is likely that it was placed there within recent times. Adjacent to 'Curate's Folly' an ancient spring emerges and flows into the remnants of a trough, probably used as a watering place for cattle.
There is also a pump overlooking the green. Nearby is a children's play area and the local public house, The Black Horse, providing a raised backdrop to this particularly attractive area of the village.
Perkins Lane leads upwards and out of the village, lined with mature trees which frame the roadside in a tunnel effect. At the entrance to the village green, high brick walls and buttresses at Hillside Farm form an imposing boundary to the road. A very attractive traditional red-brick barn occupies an elevated and visually prominent position opposite number 7 Perkins Lane.
The Church of St John the Baptist occupies an elevated position on Main Street overlooking Church Farm and Church Cottage at the junction with Church Lane and the distant roofscape beyond.
Leading downhill, within a cutting, Church Lane meanders down to Walton Fields and the substantial buttressed brick boundary wall to the property forms a visual stop at the bottom. The stable yard at Walton Fields is enclosed by traditional red brick stables with a half-timbered building with a clock tower at its centre.
Travelling east along Main Street, a glimpse of the Church may be seen within the mature trees that surround the area. This is the highest point of the village and notably the most ancient, containing all of the Listed Buildings within the village. The road is narrow at this point with the churchyard acting as a pinch-point with Church Farm, an imposing three storey building, built at a higher level looking upward towards the Church. An infill development of modern brick houses have been built adjacent to the Church, the stark red brick jarring against the softer mellow ironstone of the Church. This unfortunate intrusion does little to enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
Further on along Main Street a K6 red telephone kiosk and traditional post box can be seen adjacent to Wesley house and the old village pump on the grass verge adjacent to Oakley Cottages. Turning to the east, the Old Chapel forms a visual stop at the bend in Main Street at the Conservation Area limit.
A particular feature of the village are red brick boundary walls topped with either red or slate grey copings. Granite setts are an edging feature along some of the pavements.

Quality And Character Of Buildings

The village as a whole demonstrates a wide variety of building styles and materials but white-washed cottages, red brick walls, red pantiles, Welsh and Swithland slate and concrete tiles predominate.
Of the nine listed buildings or structures within Grimston the grade II* listed 13th Century ironstone church of St. John the Baptist is the most important as the focal point in the village street scene. It houses a clock, circa 1670, which is an early provincial example of an anchor escapement mechanism.
In the churchyard there is a listed cross and two headstones. Red House Farmhouse, adjacent to the church, is a fine example of a timber framed building of 16th century origins. Opposite are Church Farmhouse and the adjacent barn conversion which are both dominant brick buildings in a roadside location. The former carriage arch to the barn has been converted to form a large window with the original doors retained as a design feature.
Church Cottage, Yew Tree Cottage and The Cottage all situated in Main Street are traditional examples of white painted village dwellings. White painted dwellings are also evident around the village green and this appears to be a particular feature of Grimston, examples are The Black Horse, The Old School dating from 1867, complete with bell cote still housing the school bell, White House Farm and Nook Farm which all echo this tradition.
Walton Fields Cottage has ornate chimney pots and No.1 Perkins Lane has two crown topped chimney pots which are unusual features within the village.
At the eastern end of Main Street there are three rendered houses with a date plaque stating that they were built in 1915. The former chapel terminates the conservation area and is a traditional red bricked edifice dated 1892 with an attractive dentil course of bricks below the eaves with granite setts surrounding its entrance.

Natural Elements

A particularly distinctive characteristic of the village is the wealth of mature trees which are in abundance throughout. Many are the subject of preservation orders including the horse chestnut which towers over the village stocks and dominates the green. The village green areas set this village apart from many in the Borough giving Grimston a true centre and focal point for village activities.
Magnificent areas of open land south of Shoby Lane offer splendid views over breath-taking countryside towards Leicester and these should be protected.
Views from within the village are limited due to the number of trees and differing land levels and building heights. Many of the streets fall below the floor levels of adjacent buildings which gives an enclosed and intimate feel. There are several grass verges which play an important part in the more open aspects of the village.
Grimston is a village of contrasts witnessed by the wide-open village green area, the densely treed area surrounding the Church, open tracts of land to the south, narrow lanes and buildings constructed at differing levels.

Negative factors

The use of inappropriate materials, such as UPVC double-glazed window units, plastic rainwater goods and modern brickwork and render, although minimal, still has a negative effect on the character of the conservation area in part. Although a certain amount of modern development is incongruous to the setting of the Conservation Area these are overwhelmed by the traditional essence of the village and its typical rural character .
For further help and advice please contact 
The Physical Environment Section
The Physical Environment Section
Melton Borough Council
Council Offices
Nottingham Road
Melton Mowbray
Leicestershire LE13 OUL
Telephone 01664 502502 
The Council has also prepared a leaflet entitled 'A Guide to Conservation Areas' which gives general advice.
Copies are available from the Physical Environment Section as detailed above.
The above is an appraisal of the Grimston Conservation Area that highlights the most significant factors that make it worthy of Conservation status. The omission of any particular building, feature or space should not be taken to apply that it is of no interest.

© 2017 Stuart Inkley Computer Services. All Rights Reserved.