Great Comberton has a village hall and a church and has a vibrant and friendly community (but no pub or shop - sorry).
This page gives some general information about the village history, the Parish, its surroundings, local walks and natural history.
Great Comberton is a small village lying on a gently sloping river terrace at the foot of Bredon Hill, above the River Avon in Worcestershire.The parish stretches from the summit of Bredon Hill to the Avon and covers 965 acres (390 hectares) of grassland and arable farm land on a calcerous clay loam.
The area was inhabited from prehistoric times, with Iron Age and Roman remains found locally. The origins of the village are likely between the 7th and 9th century AD, a period when scattered and ephemeral farmsteads were coalescing into compact villages surrounded by open fields laid out in strips and farmed communally under a feudal lord. This type of landscape, often described as Champion, is characteristic of a band of land broadly from Dorset to the Wash, contrasting with the scattered settlements and older enclosure of the north-west and south-east.
In 972 King Edgar's Charter describes the boundaries of Pershore Abbey lands and these include Cumbrincgtune, which consisted of 10 manses. The village appears in the Doomsday Book, but we cannot deduce either the area of the parish or the population from the information it lists. The earliest mention of the church is in 1268 but the structure seems to have been almost completely rebuilt in the 14th century, however, the nave has leaning walls which are Norman at the bottom. The church tower houses a set of six bells, some dating back to the 1600s and some cast locally in Evesham. The tower also houses the church clock, which is still working after 150 years, chiming out the hours and which is annually maintained by the same Derby company which made it.
The churchyard contains an enormous English Yew which is probably between 700 - 900 years old.
Great Comberton was notable in having one of the biggest dovecots in England (no longer extant). It was a red brick, square tower with a four-gabled roof and 1425 nesting holes and had been pictured in the Royal Academy. It used to stand near the road in the grounds of Kent Farm.
Parish Council News
The parish council has been made aware of a necessary road closure for much of the summer in Eckington, and in addition, some road closures for Great Comberton.
Since we were aware of both sets of roadworks, we have been engaged in lengthy communication with WCC / contractors to ensure there was no ‘clash / overlap’. In addition, the road closure maps and diversion routes provided were not at all clear, and we have been trying hard to seek some clarity.
We were advised only yesterday that the proposed closures in Great Comberton will last from July to October while a new water main is installed, but for most of this time will be confined to Church Street, where property owners will be kept informed of the route they need to take to their houses as each section proceeds.
In October there will be a closure of the main road through GC village from the post box on Church Street down towards the war memorial. (As before, parking will be available at Lower End Farm for anyone who needs it - phone Kate & Arthur on 710409.)
The Eckington works are programmed for 22nd July to 27th August, when there will be no access from the village to the river. At present the diversion is shown via Tewkesbury, which is good news to some extent, although of course anyone who knows the area will probably continue to come through Great Comberton.
We will be talking to the County Council to see if there is anything more that they can do to help mitigate the effects of traffic speeding through the village during the Eckington works.
We know that these are both going to present an inconvenience to a lot of residents, but unfortunately, we have no control. All we can do, as in this case, is talk with the authorities to reach a compromise. Whilst not ideal, we have at least managed to avoid both villages being ‘closed off’ at the same time, which is what seemed to be the case just over a week ago. We are fortunate that we share a clerk with Eckington, so we get both sets of information.
If you would like more details on these and all other roadworks, please follow this link on the WCC website:
The Parish Council has again been in communication with Worcs. County Council regarding the impact the road closure in Eckington may have on the buses servicing Great Comberton.
We have been advised that, for Great Comberton, the buses will still be running but there will be some diversions in the route via Eckington / Birlingham.
We would advise regular bus users to check with their regular drivers if this is going to impact on timings of the buses, or their own chosen route, rather than solely rely on ‘on-line’ information which is often misleading or inaccurate.
In addition, the parish council have asked WCC to advise the relevant bus companies (who serve The Combertons) to make them aware of the scheduled road closure for October, to give them plenty of time to make any necessary adjustments to timetables, and to ensure that users, have where possible, access to a service, and that sufficient notice is given.
Great Comberton Parish Council
FIBRE TO THE HOME INITIATIVE
We are delighted to report that Worcestershire has been selected to be one of the first counties to benefit from the new ‘Project Gigabit’ – the Government’s objective to cover at least 85% of UK premises with gigabit broadband infrastructure, once the initial pilots have been completed.
Although it is great news for Worcestershire, our communities are not guaranteed to benefit from this deployment. Securing gigabit broadband service, otherwise known as full fibre to each premises, we believe to be an excellent opportunity to “future proof” our homes. Download speeds that seem adequate now, may well prove inadequate in the future and the grant scheme currently favours Worcestershire rural homes.
Where we are now
We have more than 50% of households in all the villages interested in FTTP (Fibre To The Premises). By joining villages together we gain from collective savings and upgrading our area becomes a more viable option for the broadband companies so we have been working on costs as a group of 5-8 villages, possibly including: Little Comberton, Great Comberton, Elmley Castle, Bricklehampton, Cropthorne, Fladbury, Wick and Eckington.
We have initial estimates from Openreach and a Worcester based company called Airband.
Using all the Government vouchers we are entitled to, we still fall well short of Openreach’s estimated costs meaning that we would need everyone to make a financial contribution. As this is outside what we proposed we do not think going any further with Openreach is an option.
However, Airband is able to provide the infrastructure and installation within our financial constraints so we need to share with you the pros and cons of their offer so we know whether to proceed or not.
Airband is a growing Worcester based company who has been in the wireless broadband business for some years and has now expanded into the FTTP market. The company has successfully installed FTTP networks in Kempsey, Welland & Stock Green to name the few projects in Worcestershire. It, along with a number of other growing companies elsewhere in the country, is an approved provider and would use elements of BT/Openreach’s infrastructure to overlay the FTTP alongside our existing phone cables. Our existing BT/Openreach phones and internet access across the old wires would remain unchanged. After the new contract period, if any villagers were not satisfied with the quality of service, they would be able to return to their previous setup and internet service provider (ISP).
The Pros & Cons with Airband
Using Airband is within our budget so there would be no personal costs for the network build, cabling, hardware in our homes and installation or monthly landline charges. So long as we have sufficient homes it would undertake the collection of the Government vouchers on behalf of customers during the initial contract period. Airband would hope to start work towards the end of this year and then install to homes in early 2022. We would all have to sign an ISP contract with Airband and terminate our current internet services. Airband has indicated it will offer up to £250 to help customers terminate their current ISP contracts if necessary.
Airband is a small developing company and currently does not have agreements with any other companies to offer ISP services, although they are in the process of bringing other service providers to sell over their network, as this is one of Government’s requirements. At the time of signing any agreement we would not know of any future competitive packages. The Government voucher scheme stated that all recipients would have to sign up with their new ISP for at least 1 year. The shortest package Airband currently offer will be 18 months (currently 24 months). Details of its current packages seem comparable with other companies and are shown below.
We have just been given the following by Airband as packages they will be offering going forward:
There are still a number of unanswered questions that we need Airband to address and will obviously share their responses as soon as they become clear. Airband have offered to meet all the village coordinators to answer questions soon.
Before we progress with more comprehensive negotiations, including detailed surveys to ensure Airband cover all homes, including properties that fall outside village boundaries, we need to know if the majority wish us to progress with Airband? We are happy, and Worcestershire Broadband team does not have any concerns with progressing with Airband, to move on with the project towards the next stage of a finalised quote. We will be asking for an opportunity for villagers to meet with Airband where we would receive and share all finalised details before we ask anyone to sign individual contracts. However, we would ask any residents who DO NOT wish to be included to email us to remove them from our lists. In the event that significant villagers withdraw then we will let you know and will probably have to end the project.
Please email Suzanne Hamilton at Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to withdraw from the scheme. If I do not hear from you I will assume you wish me to continue working with the other village coordinators and Worcestershire Broadband team to start more detailed negotiations with Airband.
Following our recent update I am pleased to inform you that we now have a viable option to bring Ultrafast Broadband to everyone – everywhere within our villages – subject to a survey, individual commitment and achieving sufficient numbers.
Some of the coordinators met with Airband of Worcester recently (The Proposed Provider) to test their credentials and ability as an unknown provider compared to Openreach. The Community Ambassador for Welland, near Malvern was present to share their experience with Airband having taken this journey recently.
Firstly, let's remind ourselves why we are doing this:
To enable us to get a firm quote, I have registered an expression of interest on your behalf with Airband.
This is what it says, it is not contracting you to anything other than an open dialogue.
To direct any initial questions you have to Airband email email@example.com and quote “Pershore Villages Cluster” we will also be arranging a community meeting with Airband so you will have plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered.
Meanwhile take a look here https://www.airband.co.uk/support/faqs/
May and June are peak times for hedgehog mating activity, if you hear strange noises from the garden late on, it might be them. Now is a great time to think about how we can best help our endangered prickly little friends and encourage them to visit our gardens. Here are some links to websites that provide fantastic information.
It would be great to know just how many hedgehogs are visiting our gardens, so please can you let us know by emailing the firstname.lastname@example.org with your sightings and we will collate the information.
And, don’t forget to record your hog sightings on the Big Hedgehog Map too. Once you're signed up it’s easy to add multiple sightings.
Good hog spotting!
https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk The British Hedgehog Preservation Society - National information about hedgehogs.
https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/hedgehogs Worcester Wildlife Trust - local information on helping hedgehogs and where to find help for injured and ill hedgehogs.
https://bighedgehogmap.org/holes-for-hedgehogs-home/map-hedgehog-sighting Hedgehog Street - Record your sightings of hedgehogs to help understand where hedgehogs are living in the UK.
Also here are the contact details for Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for anyone looking for help for injured wildlife.
Its www.valewildlife.org.uk Tel 01386 882288.
Pete and Sally Allen also provided some other sightings from their garden.
"In the garden we also had 21 species of bird - 3 species of bumble bee - an Ashey Mining bee - 2 species of butterfly - Pip bats - lots of newts and a toad!" (5th April)
Then on 18th April a further update: "Lots of butterflies out yesterday (Peacock, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Comma and Green Viened White). 20 species of bird in the week, including Chiffchaff and Siskin"
Beryl Ward also captured an image of an otter visiting her garden in early March. Has anyone else seen an otter in the village ?
Rob and Kirstie Harrison spotted a (not very well) European hornet in their back garden on 18th April (see photo). Lately, a bird box has been taken over by a small hive of buff tailed bees.
Please let us know if you have any similar or more unusal sightings you would like to share.
Pete Allen sent a reminder that the NT and PlantLife are running a no mow challenge for May.
See the link below, which also has some great suggestions for making a Scaremow, a Bee Box and a Bug Hotel.
Please let us know if you spot any rare or unusual flowers or insects as a result.
Pete reports - Our no mow may has given us over 25 plants in the un-mown lawns including all three species of buttercup, common spotted orchid and pyramidal orchid, herb robert, ladies smock, sorrel, rosebay willowherb and Hairy Tare (had to look that one up!).
I have a feeding station in my garden and have a trail camera which I put out. Last night (Mar 6th/7th) I had three visits.It may have been the same one it’s difficult to tell but I think one was larger than the others.
I'm getting lots of visits (23 on 14th April) now they can't be the same one or else I've got a very greedy visitor
Cheers Beryl Ward
We also had a couple of visits from a ‘hog last night (13 March) can’t say if it’s the same one or a different one.
Subsequent sightings on 28, 30, 31 March and lots on 3rd April, so likely more than one hog.
Multiple captures on camera throughout the night of 4th April, then on 5th and 17th April.
Pretty much every day from 18th to the 27th April
Another sighting and photos on 15th May.
Plenty more since then, pretty much every night, with 4 hogs sighted on 5th June.
Pete Allen, Orchard House
We had two hedgehogs (seen together) in garden on night of 13th March at (4am) and one on night of 14th March (1am).
Two hedgehogs seen together at 21.15 (Elsa the dog alert!) on April 11th
Mark & Claire Adams, Vine Cottage
There is evidence of a hedgehog(s) at Leacrest, Back Lane. (21st March). We had them last year.
This is one of the two hedgehogs viewed in the front garden of Leacrest just after 10 pm May 16th.
They are very much back in evidence (See Gallery for photos)
Hamish & Dee Whitehead, Leacrest
Plenty of fresh hedgehog poo in front and back garden and all food left in feeding station has gone. (21st March)
Photo taken of a large hog (20th April)
Rob, Kirstie & Edward Harrison, Stowe Cottage
Spotted by Molly the dog in the back garden.
Geoff and Vicky Hodgson, Stone Bramble Cottage
I've just spotted a good sized hedgehog in my front garden (too dark for a photo though).
Debbie Mullet, 3 Hands Orchard
I would like to report sightings of a fox on 4th May and a hedgehog on the 5th at Church Cottage. I’ve tried extracting stills from the videos but the night vision is very blurred. I’ll try agin with a repositioned camera once the weather improves.
We're hoping the hedgehog is Harriet, the female we and The Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre (see above) helped last autumn after we found her stuck in a wire fence in the garden.
Colin & Audrey Maycroft, Church Cottage
Just to let you know that we have a hog sleeping in our hedgehog house.
Lucy Murray, Valley House, Church Street