Bug hotels

bug-hotelBug hotels provide an important environmental service. They can become home for butterflies, ladybirds, bugs and wild bees. They often house small insects, which consume pests from plants.

The bugs will stay within the perimeters of the hotel and don’t tend to move into our flats. They like the dark and secure environment the hotel provides for them. They will however enjoy our balcony plants.

Bug hotels are currently on offer at the Lidl store in Well Street for the bargain price of £7.99 but they can also be bought from other retailers like Amazon for home delivery.

Covid-19 related scam advice

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.​​​​​​​

Be tech savvy

I strongly encourage our residents to make the most of our new technology to stay and in touch and connect. Use email, apps and the Internet to stay informed.

But Cyber crime is on the rise. I want to give some advice:

  • Never click on links you receive from unknown contacts or sources via SMS, email, or messenger applications such as Skype or WhatsApp. Even if you think you know the sender, take a closer look at the sender’s address and the link itself. If anything looks odd, steer clear. Malicious links are one of the most common ways to distribute malware.
  • Don’t click on adverts that seem too good to be true. An ad offering you something abnormally great, is likely to be a scam
  • Use strong passwords for all your online accounts, something only you could know. Use a mixture of symbols, numbers, upper and lower cases and aim for 10 to 15 characters in length. If this seems daunting, try using a reputable password manager or random password generator to help.

There is a good online course we all can do free of charge to help us determine the issue.

Please visit the Cyberhood Watch page for more advice on how to keep yourself, your loved ones and your communities safe: https://www.avast.com/uk-cyberhood#pc

#LetsStayConnected

It’s the annual Neighbourhood Watch Week from 7. – 13. June 2020.

As we have social distancing neighbours are invited to

  • ring each other
  • say friendly greetings – whilst staying distanced
  • put a poster in their window, which can be printed from this site.

 

  • letsstayconnected

Be savvy with gardening

We have mostly window box and balcony gardeners on Parkview with some residents having small gardens attached to properties.

For balcony* gardeners especially relevant is the planting of tomatoes and cucumber seeds. Our metal lattice balconies lend themselves for the growing of cucumbers who can climb up on the lattice. Tomatoes can be grown in grow bags or pots.

photo of cucumbers and tomatoes in wooden crates

Photo by Nuzul Arifa on Pexels.com

Cucumbers can still be sown out from seed as late as June (earliest when the frosts have gone).  Tomatoes can be sown as late as 2 months prior to the first frosts settling in.

There is nothing easier and cheaper than taking a few seeds from a tomatoe or a cucumber and planting it into your balcony or garden.

Whilst we now getting warmer and drier climates, I want to suggest to you that you can use recycled water to nourish your plants. Every shower or bath is water down the drain if you just pull the plug or let the water run down.

You can use bath water even with bubble bath or shampoo residue to water your plants, also the tumble dryer containers are ideal to water plants.

For security reasons I would strongly suggest that you always lock your balcony door after going outside. Please also ensure that your gardens are burglar proof. Keep windows on latches.

*Please note that communal balconies are unsuitable for growing vegetables.