Many Ridlington residents are spending time in their gardens during lockdown and making the most of the opportunity to get them in tip top condition for an Open Gardens to be held in aid of Dove Cottage next year. Dove Cottage will be able to provide volunteers to provide tea and cake.  This event will be a follow on from us hosting their Carol Service this Christmas

Here are some virtual events that have already taken place and which will continue during the lockdown.

Birthday Celebration

Jane Moubray celebrated her birthday during lockdown in early April. She was joined by a group of friends in the village for a ‘virtual’ celebration of fish and chips from The Blue Ball in Braunston and everyone raised their glasses for a celebratory toast at 6.30pm.

The Choir

The Ridlington Singers have been joining in with Gareth Malone and the Great British Home Chorus. They have also held a ‘virtual’ choir practice in preparation to sing Happy Birthday to Captain Tom on 30th April to celebrate his 100th birthday and his amazing achievements in raising nearly 30 million pounds for the NHS.

Parish Council has reinstated their AGM

Due to the current Coronavirus situation it has been decided to reinstate the RPC AGM using modern technology! This time, the Council will meet online using the ZOOM App on Wednesday 13th May 2020 at 7.30pm.

Members of the public will be able to access the meeting through the App or by telephoning into the gathering for an aural connection. Connection details and timing will follow in due course. The agenda for the meeting will be made available as per usual on the website nearer the time.

PCC – The Parochial Church Council

The Parochial Church Council held its first ‘virtual’ meeting in April, which was a great success – although members missed the hospitality, usually provided by Bart Hellyer! The PCC will continue to meet in this manner throughout lockdown.


During Covid-19 the collection box can be found in the church porch and will be regularly taken to the Food Bank in Oakham, so please, please keep your donations coming.

Items needed at the moment include: coffee; dried potato; jam; small bags of sugar; tinned potatoes; small sponge puddings; UHT milk; tins of custard; shaving gel; washing up liquid; non-bio washing capsules; toilet roll.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to The Trussell Trust.

More information can be found at

If you think you are in need of some help, or know someone who does, please call the Citizens Advice Bureau on 01572 723494

Thank you everyone and stay safe.

Rutland County Council Business update

We are continuing to appeal for local businesses to come forward if they have been impacted by COVID-19 and are eligible to receive financial support.
Our Revenues and Benefits team are actively contacting business owners, where possible, to make them aware of the grant. As a result, RCC has now paid out £9.65million of COVID-19 grant funding to 830 local businesses. We estimate that circa 140 local businesses are eligible for financial support and yet to claim a grant.

Rutland County Council and Leicestershire Police have issued a Joint Message

Calling on drivers to watch their speed on local roads during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Department for Transport data indicates that motor vehicle use in Great Britain has fallen by two thirds over the past month. This has led to concerns that some motorists may be driving at unsafe speeds because roads are much quieter than normal.

Guidance on Public Rights of Way

At the end of March 2020 the Prime Minister brought in new powers to reduce social gatherings and limit outdoor pursuits. Further detail on the current position can be found at:

Defra has since issued further guidance on public access, including some sample wording that can be used on signs for those with busy public rights of way passing through farm yards, gardens or close to residential properties: government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces.

The rights of way network remains open and owners/occupiers should not unlawfully obstruct or restrict the rights of way network. Where large numbers of people are using such routes, landowners may consider the following measures:

  • Tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate;
  • Displaying temporary notices asking users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools;
  • Offering a permissive alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (permission must be obtained from relevant landowners and steps must be taken to make sure the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained.

It is also necessary to check the insurance position before doing this to ensure that appropriate cover is in place.

The NFU has welcomed this clarification. Template signs using Defra- approved wording are available for landowners to download from the NFU website:

Update on Local Transport Services

All local bus services in Rutland are now operating temporarily reduced timetables, having seen a significant drop in passenger numbers following the introduction of government social distancing guidelines.

Further timetable changes may also be made at short notice. As a result, passengers who need to make essential journeys are being asked to check regularly with bus operators to see which services are running and when.

For information about local bus services relevant to your journey, passengers are advised to check with:

Telephone – 0844 351 1120

Call Connect 
Telephone – 0345 263 8153

Delaine Buses
Telephone 01778 422866

Mark Bland Travel
Telephone 01780 751671

Rutland County Council continues to run a free minibus service for essential journeys between Oakham and Stamford, calling at Whitwell, Empingham, Tickencote and Great Casterton.

This service runs at set times, Monday to Friday, and must be booked in advance by calling 01572 758138 with at least one working days’ notice.

Supermarket Volunteer Cards

Supermarkets ASDA, Sainsbury’s and M&S are now offering a volunteer card/voucher scheme.

These can be purchased online by residents who are self-isolating and then given to family, friends or volunteers who are helping them with shopping. They are available to purchase online so may not be an option for all residents. However, it’s a good way to safeguard both residents and volunteers, where possible, as these are cashless transactions and avoid the need to share bank cards/details etc.

More details can be found on the relevant supermarket’s website:

Website Updates

The following updates have been made to the COVID-19 Hub on Rutland County Council’s website this week:

New Young People’s page
A new page has been added to the RCC website with specific advice and information for young people. This includes information about ways to protect mental health and learning new skills while the COVID-19 lockdown remains in place. There are also details of who to contact if a young person would like to speak to one of our youth engagement workers or a trained mentor.

New Home Learning page
A new page has been added to the website providing signposting to information and activities for families. This includes links to online resources that can help children and parents with schooling and development. Please
share this with families and direct them to the page:

Changes to Existing Council Services page

Further information has now been added to the webpage that lists any changes and closures to Council services. Following the latest update, this page now carries additional information detailing services that are continuing to operate as normal.

Anglian Water have provided the following statement.

We realise that many of our customers are disappointed about our parks being closed. We do understand how much people love visiting our green spaces and it has been a difficult decision for us to make.

Re-opening our parks would attract large numbers of people from out of the area, following the scenes we’ve all witnessed recently where people have travelled outside of their locality, we need to do all we can to discourage this.

We all need to stay home where possible, exercise locally and observe social distancing measures. For these reasons, and for the safety of our staff, our parks will remain closed to public access until the national guidance changes.

We’re sending all our best wishes to our customers and visitors, and look forward to welcoming you back to enjoy our parks again as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding.

The following message has been issued by Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness

Thank you to everybody supporting our Rutland Community through this difficult time. I am so impressed (but not unduly surprised) with the altruism and community spirit that has been shown as a response to Coronavirus in Rutland. It has come from all quarters. I would also like to congratulate Rutland County Council who are doing an outstanding job in difficult circumstances.

Sadly many of the Lieutenancy plans for a celebration of VE Day have had to be cancelled, postponed or changed thanks to Covid-19. There had been such great plans. We will hope to celebrate with a Party in the Park, a parade and a gathering to raise a toast next year. However, this year there will be two Covid-19 appropriate, socially distant, celebrations for VE day which is on Friday May 8th. There will also be a virtual service on Sunday May 10th. I would be really grateful if you could alert all in your parish to these.

First, please encourage everyone to enter a competition for the best decorated windows to celebrate VE Day. All the information is on this link.  Rutland Radio are supporting this with me, the High Sheriff and RCC. There will be prizes for the best and many will be featured in the run up to May 8th.

Secondly, I am suggesting that at 3pm on May 8th (when I would have led Rutland’s celebrations, along with other Lord-Lieutenants in their respective counties, by raising a toast) everyone in Rutland raises a glass or a cup of tea/coffee, waves a flag if they have one (or can make one) and cheers from their windows or front gardens, rather as they do clapping for Care Workers on a Thursday evening. It would be good to have a county wide celebration on the day.

Thirdly, there will be a special church service broadcast on Sunday May 10th at 10.30am. I will be reading a tribute. The service can be accessed on

Please everyone keep safe! Spring is here and summer not far off.


Dr Sarah Furness PhD
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland

Due to the current Coronavirus situation it has been decided to reinstate the RPC AGM using modern technology!

However this will be done differently. We will not meet in the Village Hall but this time we will meet online using the ZOOM APP.

Members of the public will be able to access the meeting through the App or by telephoning into the gathering for an aural connection.

Connection details and timing will follow in due course.

The agenda for the meeting will be made available as per usual on the website nearer the time.

Dave Johnson


We have been operating the Scheme since 23rd March and have so far collected prescriptions for 23 villagers.  This not only saves trips to the pharmacies by villagers themselves but reduces the number of contacts the pharmacists have thus reducing the risk of infection.

I am grateful to both Octavia and Alison for undertaking the weekly collections from Uppingham and Oakham respectively and then attending to the distribution of the prescriptions in the village.  They are doing a great job.  I am grateful also to the others who are on the reserve list for collections.

The pharmacy at Uppingham surgery tell us that they are so busy they need to know by Tuesday afternoon at the latest what prescriptions we want to collect on the Friday.  At present, Boots next to the Oakham doctors has greater flexibility but we only want to make one collection a week from each pharmacy so please provide plenty of notice.

My contact details are or 01572 823910.

Thank you.
Debra Thatcher