Don't look down...
Scared of heights? Spare a thought then for ‘The Hamptonheights’.
The intrepid group from O&H Hampton and GKL Group edged backwards off the top of Peterborough Cathedral on 8 July and abseiled a whopping 150 feet down the side of the ancient West Front Tower.
It was a thrill for some, and sheer blinding terror for others. But all eight made it down and have raised more than £3,400 so far for Peterborough 900, the cathedral’s 900th anniversary campaign which is funding new facilities for education, visitors, music and worship, and which will help the cathedral to sustain its work into the future.
Roger Tallowin of O&H Hampton and James Brackenbury of GKL Group mustered the troops for the initiative.
As Roger says: “This was an opportunity to do something special to support Peterborough Cathedral and to bond our teams together at the same time. We had a chance to inspect the medieval masonry, but I’m not sure who had the scariest look on their faces, us or the gargoyles.”
Des Res for Hamptons' wildlife
The Hamptons gained a subterranean housing estate, three new hotels and a bunch of batty new arrivals in June. But no-one’s complaining, because the new ‘dwellings’ are all tailor-made habitats to swell the Hamptons’ population of animal residents.
O&H Hampton’s project team has spent two days constructing a state-of-the-art badger sett, complete with sleeping and breeding chambers and connecting tunnels.
The deluxe new sett is part of a mitigation project to prevent disruption to wildlife as a result of the construction, later this year, of the service road for the new development.
“Our ecological survey of the site found a badger sett and the assumption is that there are badgers there,” says O&H Hampton general manager Roger Tallowin. “So we are creating them a new sett close to the existing one, and the hope is they will move in.”
The sett is sited and designed to recreate all the features of one the badgers would have dug for themselves.
It follows Natural England guidelines and, according to the experts, it is likely that an artificial sett that is well constructed and in a suitable location will be adopted by the badgers.
Homes for voles and newts
Crown Lakes Country Park has acquired three new ‘reptile hotels’ – ponds specially constructed to provide a new and improved breeding area for aquatic wildlife, and in particular water voles and great crested newts presently living in a ditch in the area affected by road construction.
Dense woodland has been removed in the country park to provide an environment more to their liking, and pathways created to encourage them to migrate to the specially created habitat.
Any voles or newts that have not moved by the time construction begins will be trapped and transported to their new homes to prevent them coming to harm.
Both water voles and crested newts are species under threat. Water voles were once common in Britain and inspired the character of ‘Ratty’ in Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 classic The Wind in the Willows. Since then the vole’s numbers have plummeted, and it is the UK’s fastest declining mammal.
Great crested newt numbers have also declined, owing to loss of habitat, and both voles and newts are now heavily protected by law. The good news is that Hampton Nature Reserve has increased the local population of great crested newts from 24,000 to 34,000 over the last 10 years, a 40% increase. It is now Europe’s largest colony.
And, proving that artificially habitats really do appeal to wildlife, bats have taken up residence in Crown Park’s bat cave. The Hamptons now boasts at least seven species of bat, including Bartastelle and Noctule.
Wild facts about the Hamptons
- At least half the land in the Hamptons – more than 1000 acres - is green space.
- More than 120,000 trees have been planted as part of the Hamptons’ development.
- Hamptons’ parkland, lakes and woodland provide a habitat for a huge range of wildlife including at least 27 butterfly species, 198 species of dragonfly and 120 species of water beetle.
- Rare butterflies such as the Black Hairstreak, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers can be found here.
- We have a high diversity of breeding birds including Marsh Harriers, Barn Owls, Grasshopper Warblers, Skylarks, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Cettis Warbler Lapwings and Kingfishers.
- There are even signs of otters returning to the 7.5 km of Stanground Lode corridor.
Hamptons in the winter - photo competition winners
Winter in the Hamptons proved a massive inspiration for all you photographers out there.
O&H Hampton recently ran another of its popular photography competitions and asked for shots that best depict the Hamptons community in winter. Residents responded with some eye-catching images evoking a season of sombre beauty.
With a field of high quality entries to choose from, judges finally awarded first prize in the over-16 category to Kar Lee of Hampton Vale for his superb panoramic shot, which encapsulates the competition’s theme so beautifully.
And 10-year-old Rhianne McNair, of Hampton Vale, wins the 16 and under category for a thoughtful and atmospheric dog’s eye view of winter. Congratulations to our winners, who each receive an Amazon Fire 7 tablet.
But that’s not the end – O&H Hampton will be publicising many of the other excellent entries to provide more insights into life in the Hamptons. Keep an eye out for them on the O&H Hampton website, Flickr pages, Twitter feed and the Hampton Gazette Facebook page.
O&H Hampton’s Roger Tallowin said: “We really enjoyed the beauty and variety of entries we received for this winter competition. They remind us what a rich natural environment Hamptons residents have on their doorstep, and how they appreciate it.”
Get snapping to be in with a chance of winning an Amazon Fire 7
Frost on the berries in Robins Wood, shimmering ice on Serpentine Lake or tell-tale paw prints on newly fallen snow, what does life in Hampton in winter mean for you?
Whether you’re an amateur photographer or photography enthusiast, we’re looking for entrants to take some snaps covering different aspects of life in the Hamptons that best depict the community in winter.
This is all about capturing a moment in time that reflects the beauty to be seen in the Hamptons during the coldest of the seasons.
The judges’ favourite shots will be divided into two categories – adult and junior (16s and under) – and we have two terrific Amazon Fire 7 tablets to give away.
How to enter
Entry is completely free and you can submit up to five photos. The competition runs from 1 February – 21 March 2016.
In keeping with the competition theme, your pictures need to be taken within the Hamptons – the Parish Council area – which we’ll stretch to include Crown Lakes Country Park.
If you take any pictures including people (seeing folk wrapped up warm in woolly hats and scarves would obviously lend well to the theme!), please make sure you seek their permission to feature in your shots before sending your photo/s in.
We’re also hoping to use as many of your pictures as possible, with full credit given, to brighten up the photo galleries on our website and Flickr pages as well as the Hampton Gazette Facebook page – so by entering you will be giving us permission to do so.
The usual small print on the competition rules follows here and we look forward to seeing your wintry snaps very soon!
Competition terms and conditions
- The promoter is: O&H Hampton Ltd whose registered office is Hempsted Barn, 285 London Road, Peterborough PE7 0LD.
- Professional photographers whose main income is derived from photography, and employees of O&H Properties and the Hampton Gazette, are not eligible to enter the competition.
- The winners in the adult and junior categories will be chosen by O&H Hampton and the Hampton Gazette.
- No entry fee is required and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
- No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
- The winner will be notified by email and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 21 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
- The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions and use of their entry in any O&H promotional material including the website, Flickr pages and Hampton Gazette Facebook page.
- The winners agree to the use of their name and image in any publicity about the competition.
- Anyone can request a list of the winners’ names by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the address given above. This information will be available 28 days after the closing date.
Peterborough’s one smart city
Beating off stiff competition, Peterborough was recently crowned Smart City of the Year 2015 in Barcelona. But what’s so clever about Peterborough and more importantly, what does this mean for people in the Hamptons?
Smart cities are gaining ground, in our imaginations and on our streets. As a constantly evolving concept, trying to define what constitutes a smart city can be somewhat tricky. But, what we do know is this: inspired by progressive thinking, smart cities are designed to promote better standards of living.
In smart cities, a wide range of enhancements are made to our civil infrastructure. They tend to feature new and improved transport solutions, better urban planning, greater energy saving initiatives, and more intelligent systems for information and communication.
To deliver a good quality of life, the powers that be in Peterborough have realised that smart infrastructures need to work not just for citizens, but with them.
The promise of smart, sustainable cities is much more likely to be fulfilled if the people living, working and playing there are listened to and encouraged to participate and collaborate in the development of their community.
Peterborough’s development of a circular economy, for example, which aims to use resources, energy and people more effectively, illustrates why it’s absolutely essential for local people to be placed at the centre of the drive for change.
It was Peterborough’s commitment to this circular economy strategy, along with its Environment Capital vision and collaborative approach to citizen involvement which convinced judges that the city should win the award.
Indeed, as one of the most successful developments within the Peterborough area, Hampton needn’t hold back in taking some credit for this outstanding achievement.
With its enviable reputation for safety, strong sense of community, resident involvement and a physical infrastructure that boasts excellent schools, green and open spaces, individually designed developments and popular sporting, cultural and retail facilities, Hampton has everything that most aspiring smart cities are working to achieve.
O&H Hampton’s general manager, Roger Tallowin, commented: “Hampton’s characteristics have played a key part in making it possible for Peterborough to hold its head up high on an international stage.
“The fact that significant issues such as environmental stewardship and community involvement helped win it for Peterborough is testament to all that the Hamptons epitomise.”
Peterborough received the Smart City of the Year award at the World Smart City Congress, on 18 November 2015. This year, the Barcelona-based congress worked with seven international experts to evaluate 265 entries from 52 countries. To give you a feel for the significance of the competition, the other major cities shortlisted for the award included Dubai and Moscow.
Peterborough is now continuing to focus on growth, innovation, skills and sustainability through the Peterborough DNA Smart City programme, which is testing ideas for a smarter city, led by the economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough, and Peterborough City Council.
Speaking about the award, Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved and for the city of Peterborough.
“The city is full of innovative SMEs and the Peterborough DNA Smart City programme supports and encourages them to work together to take advantage of new technologies and new thinking to drive growth, sustainability and prosperity.”