Yelvertoft Pumpkin Festive all set for Halloween

Following the success of the 2020 Yelvertoft pumpkin festival which saw 40 displays entered around the village, Yelvertoft Pre-School Committee are organising a repeat event on Sunday 31st October, Halloween.

Parent-led committee members of the Yelvertoft pre school are calling for entries for the 2nd annual pumpkin festival. Organiser and father of three, Jason Adams, is hoping to see imaginative pumpkin displays created throughout the village, leading up to Sunday 31st October, Halloween.

Jason commented that ‘Last year over £600 was raised for the children at Yelvertoft Pre-School’. ‘This year we would like to try and aim for a similar figure so that we are able to purchase a waterproof awning for the children to be able to continue to play outside, even if the weather is slightly inclement’. ‘We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful rural location for pre-school, with a dedicated staff team, and so it’s important to us as parents and volunteers of the setting to be able to create an environment that enhances the outdoor space and encourages open-ended play through the Curiosity Approach we have adopted’.

The committee are grateful to B & A Dairies for their continued sponsorship towards the event. Ian Grimsley of B & A Dairies said ‘We are hugely supportive of the 2021 Yelvertoft pumpkin festival’. ‘The village of Yelvertoft has shown tremendous support towards the company and myself personally’. ‘I have been delivering milk and goods to the community and surrounding villages for the past 25 years’.  Last year’s event was an incredible event although I did get a shock when I drove round doing my milk round at 5am early one morning seeing all the spooky displays!!’.

The preschool committee wish to inspire everyone of all ages, to enter the competition and raise funds to provide the children with resources for our countryside setting.

Pumpkin displays of any shape or size, should be entered into the competition by midnight on Tuesday 26th October by visiting:

On Sunday 31st October between 10 and 3pm, anyone wishing to explore the village displays can pick up a map outside of Elkins Close and cast their vote on who should be crowned the winning display.

For more information on the event, visit Yelvertoft Pumpkin festival 2021 event page:


Yelvertoft pre school is a small, curiosity approach inspired preschool, based in a rural setting on the Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire borders. Registered charity number: 1024632

For more information on Yelvertoft preschool please email:




Parish Councillor Vacancy

Parish Councillor Vacancy

Would you be interested in applying for a very rewarding position whereby you can really help and make a difference to the community?

Do you live in Yelvertoft?  You could have your say in:

  • Future planning & developments
  • Condition of the highways and pavements
  • Grass cutting and planting
  • What the tax payers money is spent on
  • The way the village looks
  • Plus lots more!

If this interests you then why not become a Parish Councillor.  We meet 10 times a year in the Reading Room on Monday evenings.  We currently have one vacancy and are looking to co-opt.

Interested?  Then please do contact Samantha Haywood, the Clerk, on 07305 801095 or email for further information and an application form, or click here Co Option Policy Oct 2018

Protect our Hedgerows

From CPRE:

Hedgerows are the unsung heroes of our countryside. They have been a defining feature for over a thousand years, bringing landscapes to life with character and beauty.

They connect habitats and provide pathways, shelter and sustenance for wildlife, while protecting the soil, cleaning the air and absorbing carbon emissions. They are nature’s key workers.  

But around half our hedgerows have been lost since the end of the Second World War. This has left us vulnerable to the threats of climate breakdown, while intensifying nature’s decline.

That’s why we’re calling on the government to commit to planting thousands of miles of hedges all across the country. 

Planting must start now, so will you join the call and demand that government takes action? 

Sign the petition

Our countryside is struggling to cope with climate breakdown and nature’s decline.

Frequent and fierce floods threaten people’s homes, businesses and lives. Unpredictable weather  makes it harder for farmers to grow our food.

And some of our most cherished wildlife like hedgehogs, bumblebees and butterflies have plummeted in numbers over the past half century.

Nature holds the key to help solve these crises and the humble hedgerow is a unique solution. 

The government’s own climate change advisors have said we need 40% more hedges by 2050. Can you add your name to make the government set this target? 

Yes, I will

To have any chance of stopping climate change and reversing the loss of nature, we need to act fast. Every day, month, year lost to inaction will lead to further harm to our countryside and the natural world.

But, if enough of us join together, the government will have to listen.

Until next time,


CPRE The countryside charity 

PS: If you want to find out more about the campaign, check it out here.

Councillor and Clerk Monthly Reports – Sept 2021

Cllr Julie Cottle Report

  1. Tree works

The tree stumps have been removed from outside the school and in Brookside Close.  Topsoil and grass seed have been applied.  I’m pleased to say after checking each area, the seed has taken, and the grass is growing well.  We need to review this time next year with regards to replacing with new trees.

  1. KGV Field

The resident survey results are in, and we will be reporting on the results at the September meeting.

  1. Flooding/Canal Leak

I have been in contact with CRT, and they have informed me that the repair to the culvert under the canal will take place in the winter when it is quieter on the canal as they will probably have to drain a section of the canal for access.

  1. Footpaths

I am still waiting to hear from WNC regarding the footpath FP4, reported to Street Doctor.  I have also reported a broken stile on FP6 and a broken gate on FP8.

  1. Tarrys End

I have not heard from the contractor we awarded the Tarry’s End contract to. I will try to contact him again.

  1. Christmas Tree

I am looking into the feasibility and costs of planting a permanent Christmas tree on the Green near the memorial.

Cllr Chris Bolton Report

Street Lighting


  • Maintenance refund from EON received – £476.04.


  • Potholes – as always, any potholes or highway issues needs to be reported via Fix My Street
  • Crick Road railings – these have been damaged. Waiting for site visit from Northants Highways
  • Railings opposite the school – these have been repaired
  • Ward’s Lane – re-surfacing issue being picked up with residents and Northants Highways


Solar Farm

  • Bluefield LLP has appointed its main contractor – Bouygues. They were recently recognised as one of the top 10 solar EPC providers in the world by WikiSolar. Bluefield are still liaising with WPD on a connection date to allow works to begin.  I have chased regarding the community fund details and am awaiting a response.

Housing development – Hillmorton Lane

  • I have received an update from Whiterock. Some revisions to the site layout, following District Council comments, are being worked on which Whiterock will share with the PC once these have been agreed. Initial surveying work has been undertaken and a full planning application is expected to be made by the end of October.  Whiterock will keep us updated through myself and the Clerk.

New build

  • A planning application (WND/2021/0261) has been made for the construction of a dormer bungalow on the land to the rear of Manor Cottage, 92B High Street. The Council Planning Committee met to discuss this and decided to object to this on a number of grounds. Minutes of the Planning Committee can be found on the YPC website.

Speed Sign Project

  • A separate report with recommendations to the Parish Council has been made on this.

Clerk’s Report



Quite busy this month with two internments, two exclusive rights of burials, two queries, and a headstone memorial request.

Cemetery headstone inspection training

It is best practice that the Burial Officer plus one other is trained in headstone inspections.  The recommended training is with BRAAM.  I have contacted them for training details but it was very expensive at £350 + VAT.  NALC are now running a course for £85 but with very limited numbers.  I have provisionally booked a place and added to this agenda for approval. This will compliment previous training undertaken.


I have booked a GDPR course and have attended many free webinars this month:

  • Northants ACRE – Going Green with Energy
  • Northants ACRE – Community Swap Shops and Food Growing Projects
  • Northants ACRE – natural capital, green infrastructure plans and the planning framework’
  • Northants ACRE – Rural projects to explore – setting up a community orchard’
  • Northants ACRE – The importance of village halls in rural life


The 2020/21 audit documentation was submitted to the external auditor in June and published on our website. Still no result received.


The new groundsman contractor seems ok, albeit a bit slow as he is so busy.  He does respond to me quickly but takes 2-3 weeks to carry out work.  He has cleared all the alleys and the footpath by Troutbeck.


There has been a couple more teething problems with Norse not cutting all the areas they should but they rectify them same day.  I cannot fault their service/customer service and I think the village is looking the best it has for a while.

Village Directory

I have spent considerable time updating the village directory listings and trying to obtain payment.  So many just do not respond or no not advise updates to their details.  A lot of companies have been removed from the directory as they have not paid and are not responding to my correspondence.


I use August to do my annual archiving, clearing out etc.  Many files that are no longer needed have been shredded.  Minute books passed to the History Group.  I am working on making all the cemetery correspondence electronic.  Scanning it all is taking a lot of time.

Councillor & Clerk Monthly Reports – July 2021

Cllr Julie Cottle Report

Tree Works

The Mountain Ash in School Lane and the False Acacias in Brookside Close have been removed.  The stumps will be ground down and dressed with top soil.  Grass seed will be applied to all three in due course.

I have looked at the trees in Tarrys End as required by our tree survey and can report that all the trees appear to be healthy. I will continue to monitor them.

Tarrys End

I am in discussion with the contractor and still waiting to get the resurfacing work underway.

KGV Field

Survey is ready for printing.


There was a leak in the canal which flooded down the Crick Bridleway.  I contacted CRT to report this immediately and it has been temporarily fixed.  I am liaising with CRT who will let me know when a permanent fix will be completed.

There is a need to raise the profile of the flooding problems in Yelvertoft.  Several residents have asked me what actions the Parish Council is taking to resolve the flooding situation. The Parish Council Flood Team should meet to formulate a response to the residents.  We should also be pressurising all the authorities on the actions they are taking to resolve Yelvertoft’s flooding problems.


Having received complaints about FP8, I have cleared and trimmed the grass and hedge concerned.  This is an area where volunteers would be particularly useful.

After receiving a complaint last month about FP8, I am pleased to report that a farmer has removed the manure heap and laid hardcore down to make the gateway easily passable.

FP15 Wards Lane to The Old Rectory is overgrown and requires clearing.

I have responded to WNC advertisement for Parish Path Warden for Yelvertoft.  Apparently, I will get training and support to carry out this role if successful.


Waiting for a delivery date on the new container.

Volunteers in the Village

I have become very aware recently of the excellent work our current volunteers are doing.  With the increase in growth of grass and hedgerows etc. the work has become demanding, so we are grateful of their support.

We need to officially thank John Nichols for mowing and keeping the KGV Field and Allotment Field tidy, Mr Sam Jarvis for the excellent work on tidying the Diamond Jubilee Garden recently.  We also need to thank Laurie Tedcastle and David McCullum for their continued hard work in the Cemetery and surrounding areas.  They do an amazing job whilst saving the Parish Council considerable revenue.

Cllr Chris Bolton Report

Street Lighting


  • Successfully negotiated a refund on street light maintenance. The amount is to be confirmed
  • Report that a light on Ward’s Lane is obscured by tree foliage. Requires attention – working with Clerk to resolve.


Speed Signs

  • Met with representative of Road Safety team to discuss speed signs. Proposal/motion in progress.


  • There has been significant pot hole work both in the village and surrounding areas (eg Lilbourne). However, potholes will remain an issue for the future.  Residents need to continue to be reminded to report problems through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street


  • Railings – the railings opposite the school were damaged by a delivery van reversing into them. Northants Highways have removed the damaged parts and put tape round.  Estimated time for full repair is up to 6 months.  The school has been informed.
  • Work has started on the electronic gate for the bridleway at the end of Hillmorton Lane.

Solar farm

Positive meeting held on solar farm – 2nd June.  There are a number of companies involved in the development with Lightrock seemingly a sub-contractor for the application.  The main investor and ultimate owner is Bluefield.  The meeting was with a Bluefield Investment Associate and their Head of Engineering.  No construction company had been appointed at the time of our meeting.  It was however anticipated that ‘enabling works’ (fences etc) would take place this year with actual construction starting in 2022 and lasting for c6 months.

It was agreed that a further meeting would take place once the construction company had been appointed to enable discussions on traffic management and potential highway damage and any other concerns (eg flooding, environment).  It was also agreed that community liaison was essential in order to address and alleviate any resident anxieties.

The £10k Community Fund was also discussed and Bluefield will report back on this.

A follow up email has been sent (26/06/210 to request an update)

  • Whiterock Homes (Hillmorton Lane development)
  • Awaiting planning confirmation

Cllr Nigel Mercer Report

Neighbourhood Watch and PLR report

This month there were quite a few break ins and burglaries that got shared to the village noticeboard.

We also now know who our Police Community Support Officer is (PCSO) and I am making contact with him this week. PCSO 7065 Craig Egdell, Neighbourhood Policing Team, Daventry Rural Officer.

I have also now contacted PLRs and NW folks in the nearby villages, to gauge interest in forming a WhatsApp group for locally disseminating information that is particularly relevant to our area.  So far, positive responses, so I’ll be forming the WhatsApp group very soon.  I’ll invite PC Craig Egdell to join as well.

We have been offered new NW signs to put up in the village.  After a walk around I think our existing ones seem to be in good condition but I think that there a few extra places that we could put some.

Clerk’s Report


Cemetery ashes sign

I am having no joy with getting the sign back of the old contractor.  I will persevere.

Cemetery Headstone Complaint

I contacted the next of kin regarding an unsafe headstone.  She asked that the PC get it secured and invoice her, which I did.  We now have the son denying any liability.  I am dealing with this.

Cemetery headstone inspection training

It is best practice that the Burial Officer plus one other is trained in headstone inspections.  The recommended training is with BRAAM.  I have contacted them for training details and costs but to date cannot get a response.


I have attended many free webinars this month:

  • HMRC – Payroll expenses and benefits
  • Northampton Virtual Funding Fayre:
  • Rural Support Services and Village Hall Advice
  • Tesco Community Grants and SEMLEP Community Grants
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • Office of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
  • The National Lottery Community Fund
  • Children in Need
  • Central Coop and Coop group


The 2020/21 audit documentation has been submitted to the external auditor and published on our website.


The previous contractor will just not respond to me. As stated above, he is holding the Cemetery ashes sign, along with the bridleway no vehicles sign.  I will continue different ways to resolve this.

The new contractor is not interested in small ground maintenance work.  I have made a proposal to solve this with a new contractor on this agenda as we have many outstanding jobs that need doing.


There has been some teething problems with Norse not cutting all the areas they should but Julie kindly took photos and I have been liaising with Norse who came out straight away and rectified the issues.  Going forwards they are now a lot clearer on what/where we cut so there should be no more problems.

Notice of Parish Councillor Vacancy




that a casual vacancy has occurred in the office of Councillor for the Parish of Yelvertoft following the resignation to accept office of ___Dawn Hedgecock____________________.

Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies.

The rule allows TEN ELECTORS for the ward in which the casual vacancy has arisen to request the Returning Officer to hold an election to the vacancy.* That request must be made within FOURTEEN DAYS, calculated in accordance with the rules. The 14 day notice ends on 1st October 2021.

What if a request to hold an election is not received during the permitted time?

Rule 5(5) of the above Rules will apply.  The Parish Council must, as soon as practicable after the expiry of the fourteen-day period, co-opt a person to fill the vacancy.

The Returning Officer’s address is:

Electoral Services, West Northamptonshire Council, Lodge Road, Daventry, NN11 4FP.

The telephone number for further guidance is 0300 126 7000 or email:


This notice is dated _13th September 2021__________________

Samantha Haywood, Clerk to Yelvertoft Parish Council


* There is no form of word for this request, which might simply be a letter headed with such words as ‘We the undersigned being electors of the [Ward of] …. Parish, call for an election to fill the vacancy arising from the [death][resignation] of *.  A template entitled “Request for an Election” is available from the Parish Clerk.  It is helpful if the ten signatures are accompanied by printed names and addresses.

** In calculating the notice period, day one is the day following the date of this notice; a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, Good Friday or a bank Holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning shall be disregarded, and the period closes at midnight on the fourteenth day after the date of this notice.  Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities)(England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies.

Summer Reading Challenge

Every year Northamptonshire Libraries deliver the Summer Reading Challenge, which challenges children to read 6 books during the summer holidays. It has been proven that children who don’t continue reading during the summer have a lower reading age when they return to school in September than that before the summer. You can find out more about the challenge at or Facebook page:
The challenge starts on the 10th July and runs until September, when children return to school.
There is also an adult reading challenge this year, called Fully Booked, which will run for 6 months, from the 10th July. Full information about this, and the companion podcast, can be found at
summer reading challenge poster


Councillor & Clerk reports – June 2021

Cllr Julie Cottle Report


We will be installing the sleepers to accommodate the new container unit shortly.  We are waiting for a delivery date.

Tarrys End

I am seeking a third quotation for the proposed resurfacing works in Tarry End.

Tree Survey Works

I have interviewed 3 contractors to provide quotations for the Tree Survey Works.  I have contacted the Yelvertoft School to make them aware of the impending works.

KGV Field Survey

The working group have met twice and good progress has been made.  The proposed survey will be presented to Council for approval at the next meeting.

I have emailed Peter Bowman of Severn Trent and WWT along with Nicola Jameson of Natural England to request a letter of support with the Natural Flood Management we are considering along the Crick Bridleway and around the KGV Field.


I attended the Investigation by DSA on behalf of the WNC into the flood of 23 December 2020 along with Cllr Parker and four residents.

Solar Farm

I am attending a meeting on Wednesday 2 June 2021 with Lightrock and the preferred contractor along with Cllr Bolton to discuss issues including Highways and flooding.


I have still not had a response from the Rights of Way Officer regarding FP4. I will try via the Street Doctor route to see if I can get a response that way.

Complaint – Yelvertoft Brook

A resident has written to Council regarding a large tree trunk blocking the brook between Yelvertoft and Clay Coton.  I contacted the landowner a couple of weeks ago and can confirm that the tree trunk has been removed.

Transparency in my work

As requested I have issued the Clerk copies of all my email communication with Fields in Trust (Angela Lewis and Lydia Stilwell), Sports England (Rajvir Bahey,) Natural England (Nicola Jameson), WWT and Severn Trent (Peter Bowman) with regard to the KGV.

Cllr Chris Bolton Report

Street Lighting

  • Maintenance – New invoice has been sent. The cost is now £45 +VAT per quarter (£180 + VAT per annum).  This equates to a saving of £85.42 per quarter (£341.68 per annum)
  • Discussions are ongoing about backdating these charges in the form of a credit note
  • Charges – with new (December 2020) Western Power Distribution Certificate of Unmetered Supply to be reviewed and cost savings calculated


Northants highways

  • Liaison Officer has followed up on our meeting (4th May) with further information.
  • Road Safety team has been in contact with an overview of the process and funding availability. Meeting arranged with road safety officer for 4th
  • Contact made with the Office of the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner regarding funding. Documentation received on the Northamptonshire Road Safety Community Fund from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance
  • A full proposal will be made to the Parish Council after the meeting with the road safety officer.
  • School road markings – liaison officer found no documentation regarding the changes is road markings outside the school.
  • Potholespotholes filled on School Close and Hillmorton Lane. However, this area will be an ongoing problem for the whole village.  Residents need to continue to be reminded to report problems through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street


  • Solar Farm/LightrockMeeting arranged with Lightrock and new contractor for 2nd Councillor Cottle will also be in attendance
  • Whiterock Homes (Hillmorton Lane development)
  • Awaiting planning confirmation

Cllr Nigel Mercer Report

Neighbourhood Watch

Following on from the online Northampton NW meeting in April, I now have all the contact details for NW contacts in the nearby villages and hamlets. We are in the process of forming a WhatsApp group that will link us together and service information sharing locally.  This means that information on a very local crime or problem can be distributed very quickly and shared on each village noticeboard and/or Parish Noticeboard at the click of a button.  We hope to add the local crime officer to the group, as soon as we are informed of who it is. I think that WhatsApp is a more useful tool for things like this.  Sometimes emails can be a bit fiddly especially on a mobile ‘phone.

Cllr Louise Somers Report

Since the last meeting I have delivered a Parish Council update for the Parish News with a focus on our local environment. A topic I touched upon was around potential changes to the King George V Field and I have been working with the King George V working group to develop a short update and questionnaire for local residents which has been submitted to the Parish Council for discussion.

As the Village hall is one of my responsibilities, I have joined the Village Hall committee and agreed to become a trustee of the Village Hall alongside Cllr Hedgecock, which we have been told is normal procedure for other committee members. And we will be attending these monthly meetings on a rotating basis so that there will always be a Parish Council presence. Finally, I have signed up for a Parish Council course ‘off to a flying start’ in September.

Clerk’s Report



It has been very quiet over the recent months but we have received 3 requests for ashes internments over the last couple of weeks and 2 headstone erection queries.

Bin surround

The new contractor has now added the doors to the bin surround as per the quote.  I have now paid his invoice.

Cemetery ashes sign

I am having no joy with getting the sign back of the old contractor.  I will persevere.

Cemetery Path Jet Washing

The path has now been jet washed.

Cemetery Headstone Complaint

I contacted the next of kin regarding an unsafe headstone.  She asked that the PC get it secured and invoice her, which I did.  Alan and I are dealing with this.



I have attended a few free webinars recently:

  • HMRC P11d and expenses
  • Opening up of community buildings / resuming f2f meetings (being Covid secure)
  • Employment Law Update

Previous Maintenance Contractor

The contractor will just not respond to me. As stated above, he is holding the Cemetery ashes sign, along with the bridleway no vehicles sign.  I will continue different ways to resolve this.

Audit 2020/21

This has taken a lot of my time over the last month or so but I am pleased to say it is now all complete.  The internal auditor has approved the financials except for one small comment being that I didn’t minute last year that the financials had been circulated to Council. Once the audit is approved at this meeting, I will submit to the external auditor.


The Knightley Arms has opened a new community café to help support local residents

 Press Release: Northamptonshire pub opens community café to help local residents

Publican Jen Rees has opened a new community café at The Knightley Arms in Yelvertoft, to help create a social hub for local residents.

The publican took over the pub in October 2020, which was closed, with the aim to re-establish it as the heart of the village.

publicanjen rees celebrating outside the pub 002

The Knightley Arms had previously focused on a drinking clientele and Jen was keen to encourage more women, families and elderly customers to come into the premises to socialise.  As the village has no other services Jen also sees the pub as an important place for people to get together and overcome issues of isolation and loneliness.

As part of this approach to make the pub more accessible the new community café, which serves a range of Lavazza premium coffees, cakes and pastries, has been opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.

The pub is now busy serving local families, cyclists, ramblers, passing boaters and loves to welcome dog visitors.

It serves food between 12pm to 8pm everyday offering a range of pub favourites such as Beer Battered Cod & Chips and Sunday roasts.

Jen Rees said: “The pub is now the centre of the village and is open to everyone. There has been a real buzz about the services we now offer and it has really helped to build morale in these challenging times.

“The community café has really helped to make The Knightley Arms the place for everyone to come and connect. It is so nice to see a range of different people including families and the elderly from the village using the pub.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Dave Allan said: “Jen has really transformed The Knightley Arms into the hub of this village in only a short time.

“The community café will offer those living locally the chance to meet and socialise following a time when many of them have been isolated due to lockdowns.”

publican jen rees showcases the new community café 002

Publican Jen Rees showcases the new community café 

Editor’s notes

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation inspired by HRH the Prince of Wales in 2001, which offers independent specialist advice to publicans on rural services diversification or the options for the community ownership of pubs, so they can all provide viable local services at the heart of their community.

With a proven track record of rural project development and delivery over the last 19 years, Pub is The Hub has worked with great publicans to open post offices, shops, libraries, cafes, community cinemas, allotments, play areas and much more. Since 2013, the organisation has also been able to offer small grants through its Community Services Fund.

Website:   Twitter: @PubistheHub_uk