All posts filed under: News

Pets Corner: Are muzzles a good idea?

Under certain conditions even the friendliest dog can bite and a muzzle might be necessary. The very first time many dogs will ever wear a muzzle is at the vet for some sort of emergency procedure. Dogs that are frightened or in pain are much more likely to bite. Safety must come first, however sudden muzzling can make a traumatic experience even more difficult and may cause a lasting negative association for the dog, both with the vet clinic and the muzzle. In my view, each dog should be taught to wear a muzzle as part of everyday life. This means that on the very rare occasion the dog has to be muzzled (travelling abroad or a veterinary procedure are just two examples) the dog is already relaxed about wearing one. Muzzling can also be an important management tool as part of behaviour modification, especially in aggression cases, and for dogs that might be fearful of children or that are space- sensitive. However, even if a dog is muzzled, care should still be taken to …

Holiday-proof your garden

It’s depressing coming home to a neglected garden. But a few simple jobs before you go away will help your garden survive for a few weeks without you. Here are 10 things to do before you head off on your travels. Move your pots to semi-shade, grouping them together to increase shade and humidity. Put them on saucers to catch rainwater or on soaked capillary matting. (But check the forecast, as plants don’t like to be in standing water.) Or consider installing an irrigation system. Any favourite plants that easily dry out can be sunk into soil to keep them cool, drenching the surrounding earth and giving it a mulch. As well as deadheading repeat flowering plants like cosmos, think ahead by removing the flowers as well – or pick a bunch of flowers to give to friends and neighbours. To avoid coming back to a weedy mess, it’s really worth removing as many weeds as you can before you go away, digging out the whole root of perennial weeds such as thistle and bindweed. …

Education news: Adventures in the Great Outdoors

Richard Alldrick, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Co-ordinator at Alleyn’s, tells us how to help our children get the benefits of being outdoors. Having seen countless children through their Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards over the last 20 years, Richard is a keen advocate of the scheme. Apart from its focus on volunteering and skills, it also gets young people into the great outdoors, which is especially valuable and healthy for our London-based children. We all know that getting active and being outside is good for our physical and mental health and many parents are keen to reduce screen time and encourage socialising – away from social media. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is run by many schools and youth groups but there are plenty of other ways to get your child active outdoors – and the great news is that many of them are low-cost orfree. Get them while they are young Young children generally gravitate to all things natural. You can nurture this innate interest from a young age, with …

The Last Word: Alice Tate-Harte, painting restorer

Alice Tate-Harte is a painting restorer and local Mum living in Forest Hill.  She set up Clean Air for SE23 this year and is a campaigner on air quality and greening London. How long have you lived in the area? Only one year but I know the area really well and have lived in SE London for 15 years. What brought you here? Friends, good schools and a nice community. What has changed most during that time? Air pollution has become a big thing in the press recently and I started to find out more about it. I was familiar with how Air pollution affected the old paintings that I work on, but I didn’t realise how bad it was for our health.  People are also getting more aware and concerned about climate change and want to know what they get can do to help. What do you most value about the area you live in? The fantastic green spaces and woodland, the swimming pool and the library and the interesting old buildings.  I also …

Around Dulwich – July news!

Last month was possibly one of the most exciting in cinema history! Never before has a new film release been more eagerly anticipated… well in my household anyway! I was so excited that I walked into East Dulwich Picturehouse and pre-booked tickets just so I could see it before anyone else. I have watched the first 3 movies over and over again. I have followed the characters on their adventures and laughed and cried along with them. I have purchased all the film merchandise and spent far too many hours trying to locate a tiny cowboy hat before a 2-year old realised it was missing (I still sometimes wake up in a cold sweat shaking my husband and crying “Where’s Woody’s hat?!”). Yes, Woody and the toys are back for Toy Story 4 and I can’t wait to see what the old gang have been up to! Meanwhile, School PTAs from the green to the hill have been busy planning their annual summer fairs. Goose Green Primary School is hosting a summer carnival on Goose Green (6 …