Towards Zero-Carbon

Here is a link to the first edition of St Nicks’ monthly updates on the topic of zero carbon. St Nicks is here to help on your zero carbon journey by inspiring you to act on climate in whichever form you can. 

carbon footprint


Water bird gallery

We’ve published a guide to birds that you might see on our lakes. There are quite a few different diving ducks, for example. Visit the web site to see more.

If you’ve got some nice photos that you’d like us to put on the web site, please let us know. We’d love to get some nice landscapes, or architectural shots, for example, or maybe craft projects, or artwork that you’ve produced here during lockdown.


Join ‘Our Big Conversation’ about the future of the city – City of York Council

City of York Council has started a ‘Big Conversation’ with all York’s residents to shape the city’s recovery.
— Read on


Get to know your Wild Neighbours

Great Yorkshire Creature Count begins on Saturday!

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are holding their Great Yorkshire Creature Count on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June – 24 hours in search of the wildlife on our doorsteps! They’re urging all Yorkshire folk to get involved. Sign up now at

It’s simple: you just download an app, and get snapping wildlife in your garden. Follow the link for details.

Telecoms Uncategorized

Broadband upgrade

The Pure Fibre broadband upgrade is now complete. They’ve installed a second fibre link to London, which should improve speed and reliability of your broadband connection.

The link was ordered last October, and is now completed, having been somewhat delayed by OpenReach misunderstanding what was required, and then by Covid-19.

The second link takes a separate route to London, so the chance of both links being down at the same time is very low. And while they’re both up, bandwidth will now be twice what it was. That should mean that speeds should generally be much faster.

I’ve been getting 350Mb/s on the “average 500Mb/s” plan today, which is quite enough for my purposes.

Broadband speeds have suffered over the last few months, but are much improved now. Note that you’ll get better speeds using Ethernet (plugged in to the wall outlets), than with wi-fi. Wi-fi speeds might be reduced by interference from electrical devices, and will be reduced if the signal has to pass through solid objects like brick and plaster walls.


From the Beano, to Le Figaro: free access to global news publications

A little while ago, City of York Council announced that they’ve provided funding for our local libraries to provide additional on-line services during lockdown. Well, you can now access online newspapers and magazines free of charge, if you have a library card. From the Daily Mail to the Guardian, from the Beano to Le Figaro.

If you don’t have a library card, you can still get one free. It’s worth thinking about the “York card”, which is a paid upgrade, that gets you discounts on entry to various attractions: well, assuming they’ll open again! For example, it gets you free entry to York Minster, which usually costs more than the card itself.


Changes to recycling

Read about changes to the council’s recycling services. The short story is that you don’t need to do anything different, except that garden waste is not being collected yet.


Pilates online

Lou Cooper’s Pilates classes, much loved by many Derwenthorpe residents, have gone online for the time being. For more information email her at or text/call her on 07587-182-683

LotsOn Uncategorized

NowtOn – April 2020

NowtOn at Derwenthorpe at the moment
Supported by the DRA (the Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association)
& funded by DPAC (the Derwenthorpe Partnership Advisory Committee)

Welcome to the first online only edition of LotsOn – the energy centre (aka the SSC) and practically everything else is closed, so there are fewer events to list (you’ll have spotted our jokey re-naming). But it’s already clear that the crisis is bringing out the best in our Derwenthorpe community, with many offers of support to those who need it, and lots of morale-boosting initiatives — which we all need. We’ve made it online only as it didn’t seem right to ask our valiant band of distributors to go door-to-door in current circumstances. It will be updated/added to as time goes on – if you hear anything which should be shared with your neighbours, please let us know, by sending details to the usual address – We hope that we can resume normal service before too long – but it looks like that won’t be for several months.

Some actual events

Coffee Morning at the Burnholme Library isn’t on, so we’ve gone on line, by video chat. Fridays 11am.  Find out how to join in. Bring your own coffee!

Afternoon Tea we’re also doing afternoon tea on Tuesdays, at 3:30. Find out how to join in, Er, bring your own tea!

What’sUp (news)

If you’re reading this, you already know that the new Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association website – is now up and running, with new features to come. This site will allow us to be more responsive to events, and let more people participate. Please let us know if you’d like to be able to post messages here on behalf of the Residents Association, or a community group. Many thanks to Ian Eiloart and Phill Jenkins for all their work on this.

New ‘How to use your house’ guides now available! Some of the features of our homes, such as trickle vents and MVHR systems, are new to many of us. To help, a small group of residents have put together a set of simple non-technical user guides to the more unusual features of our homes. These are based on our experiences and research. While many features of our homes are the same, there are also quite a lot of variations, so you may find differences in your place. However, we hope these guides give you a good starting point. You will find them on the DRA website. We hope to produce printed copies for all residents in due course. We hope other residents will add to the guides over time. Comments or feedback should go to Amanda Potts at

Are you self-isolating because of Coronavirus? Or just worried? The DRA has created a Derwenthorpe Neighbour Support Network on the estate who can help with odd bits of shopping, dog walking, advice on where to get further help, or just a friendly chatIf you need help call us on: 0771 287 2343.

If you want to get involved in providing support then email with your contact details including address. All offers of help welcome!

The following organisations already have trusted volunteers offering help and support – and they are also taking on new volunteers and looking for donations:

  • York Neighbours – Help for over 65s with shopping and practical one-off jobs. Phone 01904-891-627
  • AGE UK York – offer essential services such as “our shopping service, telephone information line, and hospital transport provision.” Phone 01904-634-061
  • NextDoor – ‘the neighbourhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services’. On their interactive map (login required), those in need can easily identify which neighbours have raised a helping hand nearby. Neighbours who are available to help, can indicate on the map making it easy to organise help and support between neighbours in the neighbourhood.
  • City of York Council are looking for volunteers “to help protect the emotional health and physical wellbeing of residents during the coronavirus situation”.
  • In current circumstances, York Food Bank needs support.

Keeping in touch with friends and familyNew to video-calling? The BBC have a reasonably simple guide to using Facebook’s WhatsApp or Apple’s FaceTime
For larger meetings/groups, many people use Zoom – again, there’s a simple guide. And then, we gather (though we’ve had no personal experience of it) there’s HouseParty, described as ‘a face to face social network’.

Some cafes and restaurants, forced to close, have converted to take-awaysThis blog post, by Bec Horner attempts to list them. However, Bec points out that it was compiled on March 21st, and this is a fast-moving scene.  Don’t rely on the information here – check first.  (By the way, Osbaldwick Fisheries has decided to close to protect its staff; they will post any updates on their new Facebook site.

Some useful contacts.

Derwenthorpe Residents’
Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust0800-587-0211
Benefits advice:
Neighbourhood Services Office: or 01904-752-921 
On the DRA web site:
David Wilson Homes01904-617-660  Out-of-hours (emergencies): 0845-601-6085
Veolia (heating, hot water faults)0345-078-1154
On the DRA web site:
Pure Fibre (Internet, phone)0330-808-2003 To check network status:
On the DRA web site:
Police101 (in emergency: 999)
NHS 111 (in emergency: 999)
Contacts list

Why not download, and print this list. Just in case.


SSC closed

We’ve had this message from JRHT:

After much consideration and taking into consideration the current government guidance, JRHT have taken the difficult decision to close the Super Sustainable Centre as of 1pm today.

The centre will not be available for use or any new bookings. JRHT will continue to review this position and we hope to open up the centre in the very near future.

Joanne Lofthouse, email 18 March 2020