Essential information for Petersfield and its villages with Claire Vennis and Joff Lacey.

Today, councillor Julie Butler joins us to help us keep an eye on our vulnerable neighbours, we have water-saving tips to help us through this hot, dry weather and the latest news of shops that are getting back to business.

Send your information updates, questions and thank you messages, for people who’ve helped you, to or phone 01730 555 500.

We share information with the Petersfield Coronavirus Resource Hub, the Petersfield Voluntary Care Group and other local agencies.


Let’s kick off with the information from South East Water. After the winter we’ve just had but it’s not that the aquifers are dry but that at times people are using water at a faster rate than it can be pumped from the sources to customers’ taps. 

I know that garden sprinklers alone use as much water in an hour as a family of six uses in a day, but tell me more.

Sprinklers contribute to an increased demand of 70% on hot days. SE Water region key workers pumped an extra 140 million litres of water through the network during the weekend of 22/24 May.

So we need to let our lawns go brown. They quickly recover – but many of us have taken a new pride and interest in our gardens during lockdown and it’s hard to see young plants looking parched.

I know its teams are working round the clock to look after the network but we can help by taking even two simple steps – letting lawns go brown and having a dirty car as a badge of honour. It means we can have enough water for our community, while still fighting the virus.

And here are some top tips for saving water – and you’ll save money on your water bill too

  • Top up the paddling pool instead of refilling it every day. When you’re finished, use the water on your plants and grass so that none goes to waste
  • Buy a water butt for your garden and use the harvested water on your plants (they grow bett er with rain water)
  • Water early in the morning or during the evening to reduce evaporation in the midday sun (and you won’t scorch tender leaves)
  • Use containers made from plastic, glazed terracotta or wood (water evaporates fast from bare terracotta)
  • Bury a short tube into your pot and water pours down to the roots where it’s most needed
  • Use any mulch, especially rotted manure to retain moisture and keep weeds down with bark chips or even gravel

You may already be doing all this – and if you are, Thank you for being a water- saving hero. 

[Interview with Cllr Julie Butler]

The phone number given out by Julie Butler for vulnerable people is 0333 370 4000.

Speaking of anyone needing some extra care and remembering that we talked a few times about security, I saw on the SE Water website that they have some really good ideas to help their priority care customers. One example is to have braille name cards for any of their workers visiting your home.

Such a simple but effective thing to do. The company has some free services available for anyone needing a bit of extra support – not just during the coronavirus period but for as long as the help is needed.

SE Water wants to help if:

  • You (or anyone in your home) is of pensionable age
  • You have a young family with children under the age of five
  • Anyone at home has mobility issues
  • Anyone is experiencing chronic health conditions
  • Anyone at home relies on medical equipment
  • Anyone has visual or hearing impairment or any other communication needs

Help may be, for example, by bringing you water in the event of a water outage in your area. You can register at any time at and follow links to Priority Customers or telephone a dedicated Customer Care Team on 0333 000 2468. All advisors are specially trained to offer confidential advice and support. 

We’re bringing you shop opening news as we hear it – and other businesses, too – so do get in touch if you would like customers to be aware of opportunities to get back to normal. The latest that are currently open with restricted hours include: the Bran Tub, Madeleine’s Kitchen and Chinwags- mostly going back to normal timings?? on Monday the 1st of June (Eliza- source: the individual shops). 

You may have heard on yesterday’s Morning Report that staff at Herne Junior School made a recording of their version of a popular Kaiser Chiefs song…

Well, there has been a great response on Facebook to the accompanying video, so if you missed all your favourite teachers making fools of themselves it’s still in the transcript from the 1st June programme


BT is working in Rival Moor Rd, with traffic control in operation.

West Sussex County Council is undertaking carriageway work from Killarney to Goose Green Road in West Harting. Traffic seems to be back to normal in the area  and delays are anticipated.


For a long time we could have just said ‘Sunny and warm’ and although the sun will shine again today, there will be more cloud in the afternoon. Temperatures will stay warm – but are set to drop, possibly by as much as 10 degrees, so make the most of today because the chillier feel on Wednesday may even contain some rain, with the highest risk at lunchtime. 

Save water, though, because there won’t be enough to suit gardeners, or farmers come to that, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to pick our own strawberries at Durleighmarsh.

Just a reminder that on Friday, Meon Valley Travel’s manager, Nicki Lahiri, will be with us to answer your questions on any aspect of travel or holidays. So, if you do have a query, please contact us either by email on, or call  5 55 500 and leave a message.

As lockdown eases, we’d love to hear your experiences. If you worry about your child going back to school or rejoice that you can get back to work; if you have stayed at home since 24th March and are gradually finding new freedom, or if you are struggling with remaining shielded, do tell us. As ever, that’s by email on or phone 01730 5 55 500.