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Essex Chronicle stories feed from registered users of the site and Northcliffe Media editorial

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    Police are believed to have extended their murder investigation into the death of a homeless man in Chelmsford to the parks in Roxwell Road.

    Areas cordoned off by officers last night include parts of Admirals Park and West Park. Teams remain on site this morning.

    A makeshift tent is currently under examination and is believed to be of significance.

    Colin Evans, 39, was found stabbed to death at a flat above the Sanctus cafe in Broomfield Road on Tuesday morning

    Forensics officers have also established a base at Central Park, which also remains partially closed to the public.

    Essex Police has also confirmed they have been granted extra time to quiz a man arrested in connection with the death of Colin Evans.

    West Park in Chelmsford cordoned off by Colin Evans death probe police

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    CLARETS boss Mark Hawkes is loving watching his strikers fight for the right to wear a Chelmsford shirt and has backed Michael Cheek to make it in the professional game if he wants it enough.

    Cheek grabbed a great hat-trick as Chelmsford saw off Worthing 6-0 in the FA Cup, second round qualifying on Saturday.

    "I think Michael has played about 30 games for the club and probably scored about 18 or 19 goals, which is a good return," said Hawkes.

    "He's still relatively young, only 22 and still has a big future in the game in front of him if he believes in himself. We keep drumming it into him to work hard. I've seen strikers go from non-league to professional football and they haven't had much more ability than Michael."

    Evans Kouassi netted his first goal for the club, but went off with a hamstring injury just before half-time. Hawkes was hopeful he will recover quickly.

    He said: "I don't think he's pulled it, just hopefully a minor strain. So we'll see. Perhaps he'll just miss one game."

    Luke Callander impressed when he came on for Kouassi and the Clarets boss believes that having competition up front has kicked his frontline up a notch or two.

    "Luke came off the bench and did very well. He worked very hard, and I think created three of the goals from his build-up play. He did everything but score. He put in a better shift than he has done in recent games," he said.

    "Michael and Evans played very well last week and that's put him on the back foot. He knows what's required. We've got three great strikers."

    He added: "Competition breeds confidence. The ones with the possession of the shirts have to make sure they keep doing it as there's boys ready to take that opportunity.

    "Early on we only had the two lads up front and it became a little stale for them with no pressure, knowing that if we were playing two up front they'd both play. Now we've got competition. It's healthy for the club."

    It is back to league action with a trip to St Albans on Saturday and then a home derby against Concord Rangers on Monday.

    "St Albans away is going to be difficult. They like to keep the ball on the deck and pass it. It's a nice pitch down there and it'll suit us as well," said Hawkes.

    "Then Monday night you go to almost the opposite with Concord, who like to play direct and are a big, physical side."

    The Clarets boss feels that Saturday's and Monday's fixtures could benefit his side.

    He explained: "We train Monday nights anyway, so for us to play on a Monday night perhaps gives us a bit of an advantage because there's probably not many sides that play Saturday and Monday." 

    Hawkes enjoys seeing strikers fight for a Chelmsford City shirt

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    A pair of doormen appeared in Chelmsford Magistrates' Court yesterday (October 1) in connection with an alleged assault on two men in Chelmsford.

    Bouncers Paul Neil Dixon, 45, of Harwich Road, in Colchester, and Edward Anthony Vernon West, 34, of Perryfields, in Braintree, are charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm upon Tyrell Braithwaite, and assaulting Benjamin Venables, on March 20. 

    The pair are accused of delivering a series of blows with their feet on the men, who sustained a number of injuries between them, including a dislocated ankle, broken leg, and swollen jaw. 

    The case was deemed too serious to handle at magistrates court and the pair was bailed to re-appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 22. 

    Bouncer pair in court over serious assault in Chelmsford

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    CONCERN is growing over a missing teenage girl from Braintree. 

    Jessica Pittaway, 16, originally from Tilbury but now living in Braintree, was last seen heading towards Braintree Railway Station yesterday (October 1) at around 3.30pm. 

    It is believed she was planning on heading towards east London, in particular the Chadwell Heath and Romford areas.

    Jessica is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall, with shoulder length straight black hair which was tied up in a bun, and blue eyes. She has a lower lip piercing. She is thought to have been wearing black leggings, a black zip-up leather jacket and leopard print deck shoes.

    Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police at Braintree on 101.

    Concern growing over missing Braintree teenager

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    Lidl has taken advantage of a gaffe by supermarket Sainsbury's, in which the company mistakenly displayed a staff motivation poster in the front of one its supermarkets.

    The poster, which encouraged its workers to get every shopper to spend at least 50p on every shopping trip, was taken down after it was spotted by passer-by Chris Dodd, who tweeted a picture.

    Now, the German discount superstore has taken out an advert in national newspapers, in which it states "Let's encourage every one of our lovely customers to save as many 50ps as possible."

    It comes days after a poster appeared in the window of Sainsbury's in Stratford encourage staff to get customers to spend more.

    A spokesman for Sainsbury's said: "We often use posters to make store targets fun and achievable for our colleagues.

    "They are intended for colleague areas in the store, but this one was mistakenly put on public display."

    Lidl pokes fun at Sainsbury's 50p staff store poster gaffe

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    A PARISH councillor has been ordered to make a formal, public apology to a landowner for trespassing on his land during a planning application bid. 

    Roy Hart, of Rettendon Parish Council, was found to have breached the councillor's Code of Conduct  at a meeting of the Governance Committee last night (October 1) after trespassing on land belonging to David Bishop in July last year, during consultation for a planning application.

    Mr Hart returned alone to the land belonging to Mr Bishop the day after a formal visit to look at the site for a planned equestrian centre to take further measurements, a visit he claimed he believed he had permission for. 

    However following evidence provided by appointed  investigator Brian Keane that such permission could not have been provided, the committee found Mr Hart in breach of the Code, and ordered him to make a formal, public apology to Mr Bishop at the next suitable meeting of Rettendon Parish Council. 

    Mr Hart, who spent a significant amount of money on defending the allegations against him, was also found to have breached the Code of Conduct by applying "irrelevant considerations" to a seperate application for a hay barn, also submitted by Mr Bishop. 

    Chairman Paul Hutchinson said: "We would strongly recommend that Rettendon Parish Council arrange a suitable seminar for all members to cover such matters as improving relationships, planning issues and leadership in the community, and we further suggest that the chairman consider what training they might need in carrying out their respective senior leadership roles."

    The recommended additional training followed criticism of the level of knowledge of planning matters by investigator Mr Keane. 

    It is believed that Mr Hart may seek to appeal the decision via further legal redress. 

    Parish councillor ordered to make public apology for trespass

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    David Cameron's conference speech has been hailed as a gift to the squeezed middle and it was also to Youtube stars cassetteboy, with this parody video.

    The low key duo, originally from Chelmsford, remixed footage of the speech to create a music video to the beat of Eminem's Lose Yourself (contains strong language): 

    It comes days after parody videos were legalised if they were 'funny'

    And on the description of the Youtube video, Cassetteboy has a message for Mr Cameron: "Seriously though Dave, thanks for legalising parody videos."

    Chelmsford duo Cassetteboy behind David Cameron's conference speech rap - contains strong language

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    Partly set in Essex, new series Detectorists, the comedic directorial debut of McKenzie Crook (he of The Office fame), hits our screens tonight.

    The six-part series, which will be shown tonight from 10-10.30pm, centres on two friends, Andy, played by Crook, and Lance, played by Toby Jones.

    The friends, who are metal-detector enthusiasts, set off around the English countryside to try to find the treasure of Saxon King Sexred, and visit a variety of locations around the country - including within Essex county.

    Crook has also revealed to the Telegraph he is among the owners of a metal detector, and bought one a few years ago when he bought some Essex woodland.

    He told the newspaper: "A bridle path went through the middle of it and I thought it'd be interesting to see if there was anything along this path that'd been there for centuries.

    "So I bought a cheap one, went to the woods and within five minutes I'd found a Victorian silver sixpence from 1865. Five minutes after that I found an old copper alloy buckle from a horse's bridle. 

    "It was as if someone had been up there and planted these things to get me interested. Ever since then, all I've found are shotgun caps."

    The Detectorists is on BBC 4 tonight at 10pm

    MacKenzie Crook and Toby Jones in The Detectorists: Directorial debut hits BBC Four screens

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    A £400,000 Banksy mural which depicted pigeons holding up apparent anti-immigration messages was removed by council officials after a complaint that it was racist and offensive.

    But the decision has provoked fierce debate between those who say he was just being provocative and those who say he had no business bringing his brand of art to Essex.

    Sam Crawford said on the Essex Chronicle Facebook page: "It's art, it's how you interpret it. I don't find it offensive. I think it would have been a great boost to Clacton tourism, they clearly do not understand what it could have done for the area and it's significance.

    Julie Hurst added: "Nooooooo.......An original Banksy silenced, but he can come and paint something the council approve off. The action of deleting the piece of art says more than the piece itself. Shame on you Clacton council."

    So it appears there are objects (and people) in this county which are more offensive and we've gathered them below

    1. 'Offensive' Nazi symbols on County Hall in Chelmsford

    An unnamed member of the public has lodged a Freedom of Information request asking why the building was commissioned given the "symbol's negative connotations." It has since been linked to the Masons

    2. Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones

    The controversial columnist and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant, originally from Rettendon, described Chelmsford as a dull, sepia town

    3. The A12 during rush hour

    Motorists often complain of the rush hour misery with calls for action to tackle the carriageway now coming from the top

    4. The Salvation Army building at the Odeon roundabout in Chelmsford

    Some may admire it as a bold archtectural statement but others may consider it's copper plated exterior in a prominent position something of an eyesore, particularly, when the sun's out

    5. Paul Worboys

    The 47-year-old appeared in court for breaching his Asbo, received when he made repeated complaints about Olly Murs' music in Braintree

    6. And on that note, Chelmsford city centre itself on a Friday and Saturday morning

    The area outside McDonalds has often been singled out as a place to avoid after a heavy weekend

    7. The TOWIE-like Pompadour haircut

    The close side shave and high top was made popular by the likes of Joey Essex and the rest of the TOWIE cast, but was banned by one school for contravening its uniform policy 

    8. Charles Dickens

    The novelist once described Chelmsford as the dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the earth on a fleeting visit. Surely that;s a harsh assessment.

    9. The Army & Navy roundabout

    The less said about the permanently backlogged but crucial Chelmsford junction the better, especially as it has a tendency to flood after heavy rainfall.

    9 things in Essex more offensive than Banksy's 'racist' mural

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    THE family of a mobile car mechanic who died following a road crash in Witham on Sunday (September 28) say he was "dearly loved" by everyone that knew him.

    Antonio Dredger, 54, of Humber Road, Witham, died after the green Triumph motorcycle he was riding hit a blue Hyundai I20 in Chipping Hill at about 7.10pm.

    In a statement, his family said: "Soapy was a dearly loved husband, dad, granddad, son, brother and friend to everyone that knew him. 

    "He had enjoyed motorcycling since his teens, fishing and spending time with his family and friends.

    "The family has not made any arrangements at this stage regarding Soapy's funeral. All the family members and friends will greatly miss him very much."

    An inquest into Mr Dredger's death was open and adjourned today (October 2) to allow for his funeral to take place.

    Family of Chipping Hill crash death motorcyclist Antonio 'Soapy' Dredger pays tribute to keen Witham biker

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    NINE people who battled to rescue a family and a man trapped inside their cars in a crash on Essex Regiment Way were today commended for their bravery.

    The group, which included several off-duty nurses, an off duty policeman, as well as the Chief Constable of Essex Police, were presented with a commendation after they helped at the scene of a fatal traffic accident in April.

    Between them, the group managed to pull a family with two small children out of one car, but were unable to save the driver of the other vehicle, a red sports car, despite desperate attempts to free him from the wreckage.

    "On that sad day, the public at that accident were breath-takingly decent, brave and caring and the emergency services were prompt, professional, co-ordinated and compassionate," said Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh.

    "I was proud to have played a small part but deeply saddened we could not have done more for the poor man in the red sports car. This commendation is dedicated to him and his family."

    Sophie Astbury from Braintree , Michael Hall and Sally Taylor, both from Kelvedon, Ann Marie-Crowther from Chelmsford, Myra Whitaker from Braintree, Denise Freeman and Peter Hine from Grantham in Lincolnshire and Ds Paul Storey, an off duty Metropolitan Police Officer, were commended for their bravery, compassion and public spirit.

    The family who were rescued from their care were taken to Addenbrookes Hospital and treated for serious injuries, but have all since recovered from the accident.

    Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: "I am delighted today not only to give the Chief Constable his commendation but also to meet those members of the public, who stopped to help at the scene of this tragic incident.

    "It is hard to imagine being confronted by such a dreadful scene, but I do know it took great bravery and compassion on the part of all those commended here today to rescue and then help those involved and to attempt to save the life of the person who, sadly, died.

    "I know the Chief Constable would want me to add that every day of the week, Essex Police officers and PCSOs perform acts of bravery and selflessness to protect the communities they serve. All of us who live and work in Essex, are fortunate to have such a professional police force whose members regularly put themselves in harm's way to protect us."

    Members of public receive commendation after saving family in fatal car crash

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    WORK TO tackle a six-month backlog of overgrown hedges and verges in Chelmsford is under way after a funding spat was finally resolved.

    Chelmsford City Council downed tools in April after Essex County Council axed its £120,000 annual contribution towards maintaining the city's grass verges alongside footpaths, byways and highways.

    Now, the city council's maintenance team are playing catch-up after the county council belatedly agreed to pledge £50,000 towards the project.

    "Essex County Council reduced funding last year and we said we couldn't cope with that," said Councillor Ray Ride, city council cabinet member for parks and leisure .

    "Instead we have picked it up ourselves and we are pushing on with it.

    "That will give us completely cut and fresh-looking bridleways, footpaths and countryways across the whole of Chelmsford, and that gives a significant amount of confidence to the people who use those.

    "There is an awful lot of work that the city council and parks team are doing in collaboration and under delegation from the county council, to maintain and cut back to make bridleways, footpaths and countryways safe for all the people who enjoy living in Chelmsford and we will continue to do that with funding from the county council."

    The city council, which contributed £53,000 to the project from its own funds to try to cover the shortfall, started tending to the unsightly patches last month.

    Mr Ride, who added that the project will be complete by the end of November, said the work is about 40 per cent complete.

    The city council is responsible for cutting away at patches and hedges along bridleways, footpaths and countryways, while the county council will continue tending to areas beside the roads.

    City council leader Cllr Roy Whitehead said: "We hope this is the problem all solved.

    "We had long discussions with the county council and clearly we weren't happy that they weren't carrying out their duties.

    "There was a hiatus from April, which we've been very concerned about, but we're catching up and set a deadline for November to do it because there is so much to do."

    The county council money will also be used for flooding maintenance.

    Announcing the funding allocation, county council cabinet member for highways and transportation Rodney Bass said: "I want to repeat our initiative for Chelmsford City Council and contribute £50,000.

    "This will give Chelmsford's local highways panel greater spending power to significantly enhance Chelmsford's neighbourhoods."

    Work on overgrown grass verges in Chelmsford is finally under way

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    RESIDENTS were baffled this week after Government figures revealed Maldon is one of the least happy places in the UK.

    Data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which assessed people's satisfaction, happiness, anxiety and how worthwhile their life was, ranked Maldon and the surrounding area as the fourth unhappiest place in the UK.

    But in a similar survey in October 2013, also by the ONS, the district was found to be the happiest in Essex and the second happiest in East Anglia.

    Council leader Bob Boyce, who had lived the town since 1955, came to its defence

    He said: "I don't believe this latest survey truly represents the feelings of the residents of the district.

    "Never mind what the ONS says, I believe happiness abounds in the Maldon district – the sun always shines here.

    "We have a strong and vibrant community, and I would suggest anyone who has not yet been to the Maldon district should come and experiences our beautiful and happy place for themselves."

    The personal wellbeing statistics are used to inform Government decision-making, comple-menting traditional measures of progress and quality of life, such as unemployment and household income.

    Mr Boyce's opinions were echoed by residents this week, who felt more than a little confused by the results of the survey, revealed on Wednesday last week.

    Friends of Promenade Park member, Chris Brady, 72, who lives in Maldon, was perplexed by the results.

    She said: "Everyone says what a lovely place Maldon is.

    "I have no idea what happened in the past year for the results to change.

    "I've been here for 48 years and loved my time here. I wouldn't move anywhere else."

    Nationwide, 165,000 respondents were asked to rate how happy they were, how satisfied they felt, how worthwhile they thought their life was and how anxious they were, giving each indicator a score out of ten.

    On average, Maldon residents scored their happiness as 6.84, their life satisfaction as 7.26, the worthwhileness of their life as 7.73 and their anxiousness as 3.24.

    Last year's results saw an average score of 7.81 out of ten record across all categories.

    Other surveys of Maldon residents have also contradicted the latest findings.

    In January, a Halifax quality of life survey, taking into account factors such as jobs, housing, health, crime, weather, traffic levels and house prices, ranked Maldon 26 out of 405 local authorities nationwide.

    And only last month Maldon was officially recognised for its beauty for the ninth consecutive year after winning two awards at the Anglia in Bloom awards.

    The town won a silver gilt – the second highest award – for its flora and fauna, while Promenade Park was named best public open space.

    Overall, the ONS survey painted a picture of growing happiness in the UK, and reduced anxiety compared to the past three years, with four of the top five spots going to areas in Northern Ireland.

    'Happiness abounds in Maldon!' Backlash over ONS survey

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    A HOMELESS man has been charged with the murder of Colin Evans. 

    Jose Correia Agrela, 29, of no fixed address, will appear at Chelmsford Magistrate's Court this morning (October 3) charged with the murder of Mr Evans, a charity volunteer, whose body was discovered in Broomfield Road on Tuesday (September 30). 

    Mr Correia Agrela will remain in police custody until his court appearance following being formally charged last night (October 2).

    Mr Evans was found stabbed to death in a Chelmsford flat on Tuesday morning, in the same room as his beloved seven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Sweep. 

    The 39-year-old had started volunteering at Sanctus café, which also has accommodation for the homeless above, and had been helping to serve teas, run errands, mop floors, and redecorate the café when his life was cut tragically short. 

    Homeless man charged with murder of Colin Evans

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    WET and windy weather is forecast across Essex next week, putting an end to reportedly the driest September on record for more than a century.

    Temperatures will drop steadily to around 14 degrees celsius during the early part of next week with any sunny intervals broken up by showers, and blustery winds, according to predictions from the MET office. 

    The strong winds are expected to give a distinctly cold feel as we head further into October - a big change from the mild temperatures in Autumn so far. 

    This September is set to go down as the driest since records began over a century ago, in 1910, with meteorologists saying the UK as a whole saw less than an inch of rain. 

    Wet and windy forecast for Essex set to bring an end to driest September since records began

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    THE Essex Police helicopter was up over Chelmsford in the early hours of this morning (October 3) after two men were seen acting suspiciously.

    They were spotted at 12.30am in Shelley Road, prompting the helicopter to be sent up.

    It spotted the men and directed units on the ground to their location.

    A police spokeswoman said: An area search was conducted and all was found to be in order."

    Police helicopter sent up after men in Shelley Road, Chelmsford, seen in 'suspicious circumstances'

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    A MAN will appear in court after allegedly preventing a driving instructor and his learner driver go past his home.

    The stand off happened at around 5.30pm on Wednesday (October 1) as a learner driver tried to perform a three-point turn on Kings Road, Chelmsford, at a spot frequently used by driving instructors.

    A police spokeswoman said: "Michael Sawyer, 39, of Kings Road, was arrested and later charged with a public order offence of wilfully obstructing a highway and criminal damage to a police vehicle.

    "He was released on bail to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Friday, October 17."

    Michael Sawyer charged with obstructing highway after learner driver row on on Kings Road, Chelmsford

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    A CHELMSFORD teenager is among three men arrested this morning (October 3) in connection with the murder of Brentwood man Francis Ntena Nsiangangu on Saturday.

    A warrant was executed at a property in North Road, Wolverhampton, by officers from Essex Police assisted by West Midlands Police.

    An 18-year-old man from east London and a 19-year-old man from Chelmsford were arrested on suspicion of murder, while a 20-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.

    They are currently in custody in Wolverhampton.

    Student Clive Mundoma, 18, of High Street, Brentwood, has already been charged with murder.

    Mr Nsiangangu, whose nickname was Casper, was stabbed four times in Tower Hill, Brentwood on Saturday evening. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 8pm.

    Chelmsford teenager arrested on suspicion of Brentwood murder

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    by Grace Earl

    Smokers in Mid Essex are being offered the chance to quit for good by getting involved in the national NHS Stoptober campaign.

    A Stop Smoking stall, set up by social enterprise group Provide, will be at Chelmsford High Street Market today (October 3) to offer treatment and support free of charge.

    The stall will also be at the market on the Tuesday (October 7), Friday, October 24, and the following week Friday October 31.

    Stoptober encourages smokers to quit for 28 days, as evidence suggests that those who abstain for four weeks are five times more likely to permanently kick the habit.

    Carol Ryley, Provide's Stop Smoking lead said: "Please join us for this Stoptober challenge and give up for good.

    "If you want to quit smoking, then whether you've tried before or not, contact us and we can work out what is best for you.

    "We've loads of tips and we know how to get you through any cravings. Just think how great you will feel when you've done it."

    Provide are offering advice free of charge to Mid Essex residents.

    As an organisation which focuses on community health, Provide have years of success in helping people quit for good - one couple they have previously helped had been smoking for 90 years between them.

    10 tips to stop smoking

    1.Don't go it alone – get friends and family on board to support you. You can also contact your local NHS stop smoking services and the NHS Smoking Helpline, available on 0300 123 1044 (open Monday to Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am-4pm).

    2.Change your diet – a US study revealed that certain foods, including meat, make cigarettes taste better, whereas cheese, fruit and vegetables make cigarettes taste horrible.

    3.Get some non-smoking friends – when you're at a party, stick with the non-smokers to remove the temptation to light up.

    4.Move more – exercise cuts cravings and may even help your brain to produce anti-craving chemicals.

    5.Keep your hands busy – many people miss having something to do with their hands when they try to quit. Consider using an electric cigarette to conquer cravings.

    6.Manage your stress levels – don't try and give up during a stressful time of your life. Nicotine helps people to relax, so give other relaxation methods like yoga a go when you're giving up.

    7.Give hypnosis a go – hypnotherapists train smokers to associate lighting up with a negative outcome. You're then taught to repeat these affirmations anytime the desire to smoke occurs.

    8.Don't drink too much – alcohol lowers your inhibitions and is one of the biggest smoking triggers. Try and drink less during those first few weeks.

    9.Clean body, clean environment – get rid of all your ashtrays and lighters after you've had your last cigarette. Wash any clothes or upholstery that smell of smoke to get rid of that familiar smell.

    10.Treat yourself – you'll save a huge amount of money by quitting. Work out how much you'd usually spend per month on cigarettes and put that money towards a treat, such as a holiday.

    Their specialist smoking cessation website,, has a wide range of quitting tips and tricks, including a money-saving calculator.

    Contact the Provide Stop Smoking team by calling free of charge on 0800 085 2113 (confidential line), emailing or by visiting   

    Shoppers offered chance to quit smoking in NHS Stoptober campaign

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    THE season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is upon us so now is the perfect time to enjoy an autumnal walk in the Essex countryside.

    Take a look a few suggestions below

    Danbury Country Park Woodhill Road, Danbury CM3 4AW,

    Better known locally as Danbury Lakes, this scenic spot in the grounds of Danbury Palace is a popular place for walkers and picnickers. Walk around the three lakes, feed the ducks and play games in the meadow by the picnic area.

    Thorndon Country Parks

    Thorndon Country Park North, The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ

    Thorndon Country Park South, Arterial Road, Brentwood Essex CM13 3LW, 

    This extensive country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is split into north and south areas. In the north park is woodland which with the leaves turning colour will be perfect for an autumn walk. Also here you'll find the Gruffalo Trail, a short walk the kids will love where they have to locate the characters from Julia Donaldson's ever-popular storybook. You'll find a trail map in the visitor centre where there's also a cafe.

    The south part of the park has open parkland so is great for family days out, games and kite-flying. On a clear day you can ever see as far as Canary Wharf.

    Hylands ParkLondon Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ, 

    There are more than 574 acres of parkland at Hylands which include ancient woodland, grassland, ponds, lakes, beautiful formal gardens and the Adventure Castle playground. Conker collecting is a must here and there are plenty of walking routes around the estate which you'll find on the Hylands website. Once you've done your walk, you'll find refreshments awaiting at the stable block tea room where there's also a gift shop, second-hand book store and artists in residence.

    Great Notley Country Park, Great Notley CM77 7FS

    Between Great Leighs and Braintree, Great Notley Country Park features 100 acres of open space managed for the benefit of wildlife but with plenty of attractions for visitors. Formerly farmland, it is now a mixture of wetland, open grassland and wooded areas with paths connecting them all and a visitors centre with cafe. A variety of play areas will keep the kids entertained.

    Maldon Promenade ParkPark Drive, Maldon, Essex CM9 

    As its name suggests, this is a great place for promenading with waterside walks along the banks of the Blackwater Estuary that take you to the statue of Byrthnoth and the site of the Battle of Maldon. For families, there is plenty to do and see in the park, including an ornamental lake, crabbing lake, children's playground, wildlife garden and kiosks with food and drink. The nearby Hythe quay is home to Thames barges and two pubs where you can eat lunch while looking over the estuary.

    5 great places in Essex for an autumn walk

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