Leadgate Task Force - Review of 2018 Community - In - Action


Our year started early, no sooner had the Christmas dinner been eaten and the usual New Year resolutions had fallen by the wayside, the Task Force started out on yet another busy year in our village. Plans for the year included:

  • Fund raise to purchase 2 x Silent Soldiers and Lamp Post poppies to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1
  • Take part in the RHS Britain in Bloom Its Your Neighbourhood project
  • Organize litter picking sessions thoughout the year
  • Plant fruit trees in the village
  • Organise a Fairy Door Hunt during the summer for the children of Leadgate
  • In collaboration with Durham Wildlife Trust assist and promote activities in Watling Woods
  • In collaboration with Sustrans and Gibside Green Academies, clear and prepare the sleeper bed area on the C2C on Watling Street ready for planting up in 2019, it is hoped that this will include a memorial garden
  • Run the annual Santa Parade for the children of the village

Quiz Night - Golden Lion Leadgate

Raising funds for the Silent Soldier campaign to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1

By the Jolly Drovers. Second one placed on the roundabout at the bottom of Durham Road

This was part of a series of fund raising activities to raise money to purchase 2 Silent Soldier Silhouettes for the village. The Quiz Night was a great success, overall the events raised over £200. We are grateful to all who donated and special thanks go to Leadgate Cricket Club and The Golden Lion management.

Fruit Trees

Early January saw the planting of the first of the fruit trees in the village, a collaboration between the Task Force, Growing Durham and Gibside NT Green Academies project 3 trees were planted on the grass area on the area of New Road and Leadgate Cricket Club. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the trees had to be moved, they are now located on the old railway embankment opposite the doctor’s surgery alongside the C2C.

Since the initial planting 2 more were added with a further 3 due to be planted during January 2019.

Original location
New location on old railway enbankment

RHS Britain in Bloom

Its Your Neighbourhood

Over the spring and summer of 2018 the Task Force embarked on its most ambitious project yet. Having applied for some small grants we started work on the RHS Britain in Bloom "Its Your Neighbourhood" project.

Its Your Neighbourhood is a campaign to brighten up our village by tending to and planting up our streets and green spaces. In 2018 this included;

  • Having a 3 tier planter made to be sited on Front Street
  • Members making wooden planters that would be placed around the village
  • Purchasing a number of hanging baskets that would be placed on shops and businesses in the village
  • Purchasing the necessary materials

What we achieved was appreciated by not only those who live in our village but also the RHS Britain in Bloom project and we were awarded a certificate Level 3 - Advancing (see below).

Summer Fairy Door Hunt Watling Wood

To promote activities in Watling Woods the Task Force organised a summer "Fairy Door" hunt in the woods during the long summer school holidays. To achieve this, we made 40 doors which were then hidden throughout the woods, some of which had a "Prize" that the finders could win. Special flyers were produced and handed out to the children of the village primary schools before they broke up for the holidays.

The overall aim of getting children to get their parents to visit the woods to help them search for the doors was a success, feedback was very positive and two lucky families found the prize doors. No doubt the children went with the aim of finding the doors but other benefits included, a family fun day, fresh air and, hopefully an appreciation of the wonderful flora and fauna that is on our doorstep.

Watling Woods - Wild Woodlands

In collaboration with Durham Wildlife Trust

in August and October 18 - Lynne Mcguigan, a local child minder in Leadgate took the children to the Wild Woodlands experiences organised by Durham Wildlife Trust. The children had a wonderful time. After the session in October Lynn posted "Had a great morning in the woods with Durham Wildlife Trust... kids had a ball ...searched for birds with binoculars, made a bird box and some fat balls for the birds to eat".

The Sleeper Bed Area

In collaboration with Sustrans NE and Gibside NT Green Academies

The area of the sleeper beds on the C2C just off Watling Street has had many uses over the years, however of late they had become overgrown and somewhat unkempt.

Working parties from Sustrans, Gibside NT and Leadgate Task Force set about restoring the area on 19th - 20th of September. The teams made great progress and by the end of Thursday 20th had achieved:

  • Clearance of the old ground cover and cutting back the overhanging trees and bushes
  • Sorting out the railway sleepers, replacing where necessary, and pegging them in place
  • Digging over and weeding the top soil
  • Litter picking along this stretch of C2C up to the corner of new road
  • Planting of spring bulbs.

The work on this site continues, mainly by the Gibside NT Green Academies project, this included laying down a membrane across the beds.

Work will continue in 2019, the eventual aim is to use it as a flower bed, which will be part of our overall Britain in Bloom project and for a small memorial garden to be sited there.

Lamp Post Poppies

The Centenary of the Armistice of World War One

Working closely with Andy Plant and the "Leadgate Remembers" campaign in mid October 2018, 40+ lamp post poppies were acquired and erected throughout the village concentrating on the area of the Durham Road crossroads and working outwards in all directions.

Annual Santa Parade

Saturday‎, ‎8‎ ‎December‎ ‎2018

On the 8th December 2018 the annual Leadgate Santa Parade, aimed at bringing early xmas cheer to the children of Leadgate took place. Setting out from the Engine Shed at 1300 Santa's Sleigh, pulled by a tractor driven by the Chief Elf (Alan Elliot) started the magical journey through our village.

For this, the second year we have organised and run this parade, changes that had been made to the route would ensure that we could cover more of the places where children lived in the village by adding 2 stops on Durham Road, Laurel Drive & Dunelm Way.

Santa's helpers, boosted this year by a team of volunteers from Leadgate Co-Op (and not forgetting Mrs Brown), worked tirelessly to bring cheer and merriment to all as the parade progressed.

Thanks to the fund raising by the staff in Leadgate Co-Op Santa's sacks were bursting with 300 presents, 250 of which were handed out on the day, the last 50 being delivered to our local Foodbank.

Some of the happy Children and helpers


As you can see 2018 was a busy year for us apart from the hard work of the Task Force members and volunteers in bringing all of the preceding events we would like to give special thanks to:

  • Leadgate Cricket Club for their support and generous donations to our projects
  • The Golden Lion Hotel for allowing us to host events and meetings on their premises
  • Sustrans North East
  • Gibside NT Green Academy
  • Durham Wildlife Trust
  • Grow Durham
  • Leadgate Co-Op for raising the funds for Santa’s presents and providing 3 Elves on the Santa Parade, they were much appreciated by the children
  • Peter and Tony Suddes for preparing and allowing us to use the Tractor and Trailer for the Santa Parade
  • Beveridge's Nursery
  • Gary Caverhill for allowing us use of the Engine Shed for the Santa Parade
  • Garry Wilkinson for suppling Santa’s chair and lots of other help during his time at the Engine Shed
Created By
David lavery


David Lavery Ian Bone Lynne Mcguigan

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